Most rideshare drivers probably have a checking account. Many might also have a separate savings account too, possibly with a high interest rate. Even fewer drivers are likely to have a retirement account setup, which would need to be done independently (since no rideshare-app companies currently offer 401Ks). And if you’re a rideshare driver that’s currently investing some of your profits into a brokerage account, it’s far more likely that you’re purchasing Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or Mutual funds.
These characteristics described are exactly what my financial picture looks like right now. I’m using a business checking account, a linked high-yield savings account, am socking money away into a brokerage account, and have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). What I don’t do with my rainy day money is buy/sell individual stocks. And especially don’t short-sell stocks through a trading platform of any kind. Here’s why. Read more
During a jog this week, something happened that many joggers have experienced before. I found money on the ground. A small windfall like this sparked an interesting response, which was to put it in my wallet. Where else does this money belong after all? Certainly not on the jogging track at my local park. So why was saving this money an unusual response? Because according to behavioral economics, individuals are more likely to spend money they find on the ground on something frivolous². According to “mental accounting,” a concept coined by nobel prize-winning economist Richard Thaler, people treat money differently depending on extraneous factors like it’s origin and it’s intended use. The theory hinges upon the determinant that money has fungibility – that is, it has properties like being interchangeable, and doesn’t have labels.² For example, $200 found on the ground is considered “free money” that can be spent without reservation (e.g., on a nice restaurant dinner). Even though it’s worth the same $200 that we earn from working our day jobs (or night jobs).
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
What if it were possible for anyone to save $1,000,000? Would you want to know how? Maybe that sounds a little far fetched. How about the notion that anybody can save $100,000? Are you interested now? Perhaps, perhaps not. What if I said that it’s possible for both you and I to save $10,000? Now I bet your ears perked up. And finally, let’s both agree that it’s possible for almost anyone to save a cool $1k? Uh-huh. You’re totally on board with it? Cool. Because what most people don’t realize is that the process for saving either $1k or $1M is essentially identical.
It’s just a matter of the degree to which we’re saving money that determines how much we’re able to bank. Let’s look at it another way: Imagine that suddenly it were possible for human beings to forgo the need to sleep ever again. Drink a magic elixir, and you’re devoid of needing any resting period longer than one hour per day. That means the extra eight hours of daytime (or night-time rather) could be put to use towards more productive means. You might work an extra six hours each day, and put the other two hours towards practicing an instrument, for example. Read more
The age old question of how to allocate available income is best resolved by either paying off pre-existing consumer (credit card, car loans, etc.) debt, and/or investing for the future. Presumably, when we speak of investing the most popular way to accomplish this is through stocks and bonds. But how much to throw at debt, and how much to invest is often under debate. Are there fixed percentages that financially responsible individuals use (e.g., 85:15%, 60:40%, etc.)? Can we just add an extra $100 on top of our minimum monthly payments and live with that? Does investing in asset classes that average a certain percentage of return justify putting our dollars there [e.g., if I can confidently assume a 9% rate of return year-over-year (YOY) but my car loan interest rate is only 6%, I should choose funding that particular asset class]?
All of these questions will be explored, and more, in this article. But first, it’s worthwhile mentioning that no two snowflakes are identical. And thus, not everyone will have the same savings strategy. Although the strategies contained herein may be effective for some, and not others, the basic idea(s) are almost universal. So take what you can from me, and absolutely feel free to tweak according to personal preferences.
Now, let’s go tackle some debt.
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The relationship that we have with money is an interesting one. Why is it interesting? Well, for one there’s indeed an emotional attachment to money. A universal feeling that the owner has when possessing the almighty green-backs. This feeling is powerful; but not quite as powerful as the feeling we get when coming into possession of dollars. That feeling of, “the world is my oyster” to the extent of the buying power that that cash amount has.
When somebody slips me a tip, my brain lights up as I quickly stash it away out of sight. Try to immediately remove the dollars from my sensory register. And when those dollars are gone? The brain slowly recovers from it’s heightened state; however, the mind seizes the new numbers, and quickly computes any of numerous calculations of money. The same goes for other forms of receiving cash: accepting a gift, when paychecks come, finding money on the ground.
Afterwards, some time later, there are several potential places for the money to go: into the gas tank, or take a walk to the restaurant, etc….. hey maybe into the bank! Read more
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.