Instead of a Starbucks planner, I used that money to buy cryptocurrencies. And now I’m up grande.

The 2018 Starbucks Christmas planner will set you back anywhere from ₱2,430 to ₱3,420.

Did you know that Starbucks Philippines has been doing their Christmas planner promo for 13 years now? For the unfamiliar, you just have to collect a total of 18 stickers within 2 months. The stickers come from ordering 9 handcrafted drinks and 9 special Christmas drinks. Collect them all and you’ll get a “free” annual planner.

Before the planner fanatics get their pitchforks out, I’m not saying these notebooks are useless. If your Starbucks planner organizes your life the way no other planner can, then it’s a good purchase!

All I’m sayin’ is… if you had spent roughly the same amount of money plus a few hours of your time, and bought some cryptocurrencies instead…

I'm just sayin'

OK. I’m not going to lie. This whole thing takes a liiiiitle bit of work. At least more work than walking over to a coffee shop and handing over your money to your friendly barista.

But not as much time as walking over to a coffee shop, waiting in line, and handing over your money to a friendly barista eighteen times.

If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, the work that you have to do is to LEARN something new.

Are you thinking it’s risky? Because it literally costs the same amount as a Starbucks planner. You’re not going to go bankrupt. This isn’t a YOLO kind of deal.

It’s more like LAL. As in… live a little. Lol.

But if you think this is all too much work and you’d rather spend your time scrolling through that endless social media feed for hours on end… you can now go back to doing that. (Which btw, according to academic research, may even put you in a bad mood.)

OTHERWISE, welcome to my mini money making adventure!

Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency

Contrary to what my parents think, there are actually over 1,300 other cryptocurrencies out there. These are also known as “altcoins” or coins that are an alternative to bitcoin.

A lot of these altcoins are also waaaay cheaper than bitcoin. We’re talking like $0.13 or ₱6 per coin cheap. Remember, bitcoin started at $0.08 back in 2010. I’m not saying these altcoins will also be worth $20,000 each in the coming years but… who knows.

If you’re wondering why it’s all bitcoin you keep hearing about, it’s because it was the first-ever and biggest cryptocurrency out there.

Anyhoo, today, I shall share with you what I’ve learned about three altcoins! These three are what I bought instead of a Starbucks planner:

1. Steem (STEEM) is a cryptocurrency that users can earn by posting content on a social media platform called Steemit. Everything that a user does on Steemit… every post, every comment, and every like…earns a fraction of Steem currency. As one’s amount of Steem accumulates, it can be cashed out.

2. Lumens (XLM) is the currency for the Stellar network, a payments platform that aims to facilitate cheaper cross-border transactions that settled instantaneously, instead of the typical multi-day wait time.

3. Factom (FCT) aims to provide an unalterable record-keeping system. Businesses, schools, and governments can use Factom to safely store their records and other data so that they cannot be modified, deleted or backdated.

Show me the money

In case you think I’m making crap up, here’s a look at my buy orders from Poloniex:

Poloniex Trades

And as of this writing, here’s how much my $54.80 or ₱2,740 is now worth:

Starbucks Planner Gainz

I just made $41 or about ₱2,050! I don’t think I can make that sort of money from a planner.

How I bought my altcoins

I first bought bitcoin (BTC), transferred it to an exchange (Poloniex, Kraken, Bittrex) and then finally bought the altcoins in exchange for my bitcoin.

If you’re creating your first ever cryptocurrency exchange account, it could take anywhere from 1 to 4 days (depending on the exchange’s backlog) to get your account verified. You’ll need to send documents to prove your identity and also take a selfie. Don’t worry, this is safe. It is part of the companies’ KYC and AML processes.

But the value of those coins could also drop!

Yes, they could drop. To even zero.

Fortunately, this is money I’m imagining to have spent on a Starbucks planner. I’m not losing my life savings or leaving bills unpaid to buy cryptocurrencies.

Sure they could end up being worthless, but they could also be worth $1,000 each in a year.

For me, missing out on that Starbucks planner and suffering from Frappuccino FOMO will totally be worth those potential gainz.


I just want to be clear that what I’m doing is purely speculative. Which is why I am only risking a small amount. My downside is limited but the upside could be huge. If you’re thinking of dropping a lot more money, then you first need to do a lot more homework about each cryptocurrency. Or you just might go broke.

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