Recently realized just how easy it is to let ourselves be Okay with using stuff that’s easily accessible. And conversely, how difficult it can be to access the stuff that’s tucked away. For example, have you ever shopped at a “buy-in-bulk” big chain like Costco, Walmart, BJ’s, etc.? These chains are great for stocking up on stuff like groceries, essentials, and some even sell liquor and beer.
Well, typically I’m not a big drinker by any stretch of the imagination; however, on one such occasion of doing our monthly buy-in-bulk session, I was tempted to add a gigantic bottle of Johnny Walker to the cart. The reasoning seemed logical at the time. Why not have some bourbon in stock at the house? It’ll be great for when guests are over. And I’m not impartial to indulging in some fine bourbon on sunny afternoons, when i have the day off. Read more
Last week I had a $400 emergency. Actually it was more like a $513 emergency, and was left-out of work for two weeks. Fortunately I’m prepared for a situation like this, because I’ve been funding a small emergency fund. And therefore had to withdraw some money from it. Last year, it was reported that an average of 34% of respondents with an income less than $40k/year would be able to cover a $400 emergency. Which means paying in cash, or using a credit card that’d be paid off by the end of the month.
The average number of respondents who reported being able to “handle the emergency” was higher along higher income brackets (e.g., of those making $40k – $100k / year, 62% responded in this way). Which means that 38% and a full two-thirds (i.e., 66%) of individuals last year, earning between $40k – $100k and ≤ $40k respectively, reported being unable to handle an emergency expense totaling $400. Furthermore, being unable to handle such an emergency expense was related to putting it on a credit card, and paying it off over time, borrowing money from friends and/or family members, or just not paying the expense all together¹.
Part of making, and sticking to, a budget that actually works is having to occasionally decline invitations. Often times our friends, family members, and especially our significant others will make requests upon us, which demand the allocation of our resources.
Have you ever thought, “that sounds like a lot of fun, BUT deep down is it worth the cost?”
Surely this decision crosses our minds multiple times a day. And most of the time, we’re forced to decide upon one of various potential outcomes using the best of our judgement. The extent to which we allocate resources to the chosen outcome (i.e., how much money it may cost) often influences our decision, one way or another; however, depending upon the significance of the request, our ability to comply may be limited.
For example, my brother who lives out of town recently was in-town because he was invited to go to a wedding (and apparently his frequent flyer miles were expiring soon). His ability to decline the invitation (from an ol’ college friend) was somewhat limited; however, the cost of complying with such an out-of-state wedding invitation was probably sufficient enough to warrant a pass this time around. Read more
Whats’ the biggest expense for rideshare drivers? Hands down has to be all the gasoline consumption, which is required for large quantity of mileage driven. During an average week, personally I’ll spend $40-50 on filling up my tank twice or three times. That works out to be ~$150/week easily!
To combat that never-ending thirst for gas that my vehicle has seemingly developed, always on the lookout for deals at the pump, with credit cards, at grocery stores, etc. Basically anyplace and anyway that I can cut down fuel costs, I’m doing it. Read more
In the past few years, on-demand transportation modes have become increasingly more popular. And Millennials rideshare driving have been powering these technologies, acting both as consumers and workers. According to the Young Invincibles, an estimated 23 million young adults fall between the ages 18 – 34. These young people make up the bulk of the on-demand economy workforce¹ ( check out the .pdf attached here); however, we Millennials are making less than the generation before us on average.
What does having no credit card debt feel like? Like discovering an oasis in the middle of the desert. How do you get to that point?
You need to make much more than just the minimum monthly payment. And I have transferred big chunks of my balance to low interest credit cards. That means more of each payment is going towards the principal balance, instead of interest. But that wasn’t always the case. Read more
J.M. here. January is typically a slow month for rideshare driving, which means resorting to meeting income guarantees and promotions from transportation network companies (TNCs) to supplement income. I’m closing in on a year of rideshare driving in NYC, and two years of rideshare driving in general. So with the lull in demand, let’s examine which location is more profitable: driving in NYC or in New Jersey?
To determine which geographical location is more profitable, driving in NYC or in NJ, I’ve dug up all of my past income statements beginning from day one. The data were pretty interesting when I averaged the weekly income payouts for each month. I wanted to know not just which months were the best for me, but whether getting a TLC license has been beneficial or not. So I averaged each weekly payout per month in NJ and NYC, and found that there was a substantial income boost after transitioning into the NYC market. Check out the graph below:
J.M. here. As I get into the year more, I’m constantly thinking about making a budget that will stick. And subsequently, in my next Friday financial installment, wrote this money savings article associated with my new budget. It’s not easy budgeting for future expenses, especially when spending temptations are so abundant. Check out this very basic budget plan for starters on where to begin.
I’m starting a new series on Rideshare Love that will devote one Friday a month to discussing the personal finance world. Dealing with finances for a rideshare driver is an inevitable. Saving money is something that’s naturally difficult to do, and even harder when you have lingering debt to payoff. Most people justify spending money on purchases, both great and small, and ignore their spending behaviors with credit cards. I know we all could use a bit more saved up. But where to even start? Well, let’s start with the basics.
Since becoming a full-time rideshare driver almost two years ago, I’ve quickly become adept at financial skills like budgeting, saving, and paying off debt. The on-demand economy has enabled individuals the opportunity of supplementing their income with extra work-hours, and has created full-time jobs for people who otherwise have nothing.