5 Things to Know Before You Drive for Uber

5 Things to Know Before You Drive for Uber

You can set your own hours and make money driving around town

If you’re not familiar with the app or have been living under a rock for the last five years, Uber is a ride-sharing program where individuals can become a taxi driver with their own vehicle. It’s a great side-gig to make some extra money — you can set your own hours and make money driving around town. But, there are five things you should know before you drive for Uber.

1. You Don’t Make as Much as You Think

Uber wants you to believe that you can make a living driving for them, advertising potential earnings of more than $90,000 a year, or $40 an hour.If you’re driving on New Year’s Eve during surge pricing, you might make $40 an hour, but in general, you’re not going to make as much as Uber advertises.

What you make depends on two factors — where you live, and how many other people are driving for Uber in the same area. You’re in constant competition with other Uber drivers, so you may find yourself waiting for work instead of making money.

If you live in a rural area, don’t expect to get a lot of fares — it might not even be worth signing up for Uber if you live in the middle of nowhere.

2. You’re Self-Employed

As an Uber driver, you’re self-employed. Technically, you’re working as an independent contractor, so you’re responsible for your taxes and other related information.

If you work as an employee, your employer is required to take taxes out of your paycheck and remit them to the federal government. If you work for yourself, you’re the employer, so taxes become your responsibility.

If you make more than a certain amount, you may have to pay taxes every quarter instead of once a year. You don’t need to pay quarterly taxes unless you’re going to owe more than $1,000 in taxes for the year, but it’s something to keep in mind as you’re driving.

3. You Need Different Car Insurance

You already know that it’s important to have car insurance, but the coverage you have might not be enough if you’re using your vehicle for Uber or other ride sharing programs.

Most personal car insurance policies exclude public conveyance — meaning if you got into an accident with an Uber passenger in your car, you likely wouldn’t be covered and could end up paying repair and medical costs out of pocket.

Uber does provide supplemental insurance for its drivers if the app is on, but it’s important to make sure that you aren’t left liable by a lapse in your car insurance policy.

4. Your Mileage Is Deductible

As a self-employed driver, your mileage is a tax-deductible expense. For the 2017 tax year, you can deduct 53.5 cents per mile driven for business purposes. Keeping track of your miles is important. You can do this with mileage tracking apps on your phone — they’re more accurate than Uber’s own records — or through programs like Quickbooks for Self-Employment, which helps you keep track of your earnings and the amount of taxes you’ll owe at the end of the year.

5. You Earn More With Surge Pricing

Uber is notorious for its surge pricing — increasing fares on popular nights like holidays and big sporting or concert events. When demand is high, rates are multiplied.

Some passengers in New York City on New Year’s Eve, for instance, ended up paying hundreds of dollars for their ride home that night — all because surge pricing multiplied the standard fare by 8.9 - 9.9. That’s nearly 10 times the regular fare rate. One passenger ended up paying more than $1,100 for a ride that would have normally cost him $125.

Even if you’re not driving in big cities on the holidays, some days end up being more profitable than others. Friday and Saturday nights, for example, tend to be more lucrative because people are taking an Uber or taxi so they can go out drinking. If you’re driving those nights, stock up on barf bags because someone will inevitably have too much to drink and vomit in your car.

Uber can be an excellent way to earn some extra money or even get away from your nine to five job if you’re prepared and willing to work enough hours. Just make sure you have a good, functional car and know what you need, such as insurance, and you’ll be set to make some extra money by just driving people around your local area.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Nursing Major

Is it all worth it?

"You're going to feel like quitting. You're going to struggle. You'll have days where you'll wonder, 'what's it all for?'

You'll have days when people attempt to break you down, or challenge your intelligence, skills, and right to be where you are. You'll have moments when you question your own abilities, and perhaps your sanity - but you'll rise.

You'll rise because your strength as a nurse is not determined by one grade, one shift or one job - it's an ongoing journey of learning, honor, humility and a chance to make even the smallest difference in the lives of your patients."

Don't ever give up on achieving your dreams to be a nurse. Keep pushing forward, no matter how hard it is. Nursing is not an easy major. You will have very little, if any, time to do anything other than study. But just think about how great it will feel to connect with a patient, pray with them, and even save his or her life.

This will make all of the late night studying, weekly breakdowns, countless cups of coffee, and tests so hard all you want to do is cry, worth it. To see a patient's face light up when you walk in his or her room will make your heart melt and you'll know you chose the right major.

The kind of nurse you will be isn't based on a test grade, it's based on your heart for the people you are caring for. You may have failed a class, but don't let that ruin you. Try again and keep pushing toward your goal. Don't allow others around you to drag you down and tell you that you aren't good enough to be a nurse.

Show them how strong you are and that you will never give up.

There will be days when all you want to do is quit, I know I question my major more than once a week; however, there is a patient out there that needs you and your caring heart. You can do this, have faith in yourself that you can move mountains.

I will say that you definitely must have a heart for nursing.

Personally, I want to be a Pediatric Oncologist and work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Just the thought of those precious children going through the hardest part of their lives, keeps me going so that I can be there for them. I want to be a light to my patients and their families during a dark time. When I feel like giving up, I just think about how many lives I have the chance to touch and I keep on going.

So when you feel like giving up, just think about your future patients and how you can make a difference, even if its only for one person. I love the quote from Katie Davis that states, "I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. But I can change the world for one person. So I will keep loving, one person at a time."

Even though this quote is about foreign missions, I believe it fits the mold for nursing as well.

Nurses have the opportunity to change the world for people every day. Just remember that, smile, don't give up, and keep pushing toward your goal.

Cover Image Credit: chla.org

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5 Things That ALL Millennials Get Wrong About Investing

Millennials tend to save more conservatively and our aversion to taking risks may prevent us from reaching our full wealth potential.


Millennials get a bad rap when it comes to making personal finance decisions. But while we may enjoy our avocado toast, surprisingly enough, we're also saving more money than previous generations. We also tend to save more conservatively and our aversion to taking risks may prevent us from reaching our full wealth potential.

Here's what millennials get right about their money and where room for improvement exists.

1. We wait too long to start

Even though experts have long recommended starting an investment portfolio as young as possible, many millennials hesitate when it comes to opening their own trading accounts. This results in missing out on the opportunity to sit back and watch our money grow through compound interest.

Many of us utilize savings accounts but relying solely upon these avenues prevents us from letting our money do the heavy lifting for us. Most savings accounts pay relatively little in terms of interest, often less than 1%. Throwing all our money into savings accounts earns us mere pennies for each $100 we invest.

Instead, millennials need to harness the power of the stock market which provides far more in terms of long-term financial gains.

2. We overvalue cash

Because we came of age during an era of financial crisis, millennials shy away from the stock market. But this hesitancy costs us big time in terms of future economic freedom.

No reward comes without risk, and by far the easiest way to reap huge financial gains remains investing in high-yield growth stocks. The best time to take any financial risk occurs before age 35, before the expenses related to home ownership and child-rearing require more financial conservancy.

Stashing away a small amount of cash under our mattresses for emergencies can't hurt, but wasting valuable time simply saving for a rainy day impacts our long-term wealth. If you're hesitant about investing on your own, hire a qualified financial advisor to manage your investment portfolio.

3. We miss out on tax deductions

Failing to diversify investments means missing out on valuable deductions come tax time. While interest from savings accounts gets taxed at the same rate as ordinary income, the capital gains tax rate remains substantially lower.

In addition, certain types of investments, such as investments in oil and gas partnerships, allow taxpayers to take advantage of government subsidies to offset any potential risks to capital.

Millennials do themselves a disservice by failing to seize these opportunities, as experts predict no decrease in demand for these resources over the next few years.

Even making an additional contribution to a 401k or other qualified retirement account can offset tax liability but far too few of us take advantage of this potential tax-buster!

4. We don't do enough diversifying 

Even though one out of every six millennials possesses over $100,000 in assets, few take the time to adequately diversify their investment portfolio. A strong portfolio consists of a mix of high-risk, high-yield stocks, steady, reliable blue-chip stocks, bonds and other forms of property.

Failing to diversify costs us big time in the long term. No matter how much cash we stash away today, inflation remains a powerful force that decreases the value of each dollar saved over the life of our savings.

The only way to account for price increases due to inflation remains investing in the stock market, where gains have a reasonable expectation of keeping pace.

5. We ignore history

Many millennials, myself included, tend to panic when we hear news stories of the stock market rising and falling at breakneck speeds. Indeed, current fluctuations in the Dow tempt many of us to pull out of riskier investments in exchange for less risky vehicles such as bonds.

Savvy millennials, though, resist the temptation to abandon ship.

Historically, investments in the stock market pay off over the long term. Market ups and downs tend to balance out over time.

Despite saving more than ever, we millennials need to educate ourselves about the importance of building a diversified investment portfolio.

Being willing to take greater risks while we're young will lead to a wealthier, more financially free retirement down the line. We millennials must learn to make our money work for us!

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