Why Freelancers Need Income Diversity More Than Ever

It’s been a rough start to the year — at least it would have been without income diversity. Since January, I’ve had three different agency clients let me go in favor of hiring in-house. On top of that, two different clients cut their standing monthly orders by half.

That’s a lot of income to see fall by the wayside. In fact, it amounts to about 2/3 of my income.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to stay afloat because I live in a low-cost area and because I have a level of income diversity that doesn’t just rely on a client or two.

Work for Hire and Sudden Income Loss

I spent a lot of time building up regular gigs. These are nice because you have some degree of stability (until you don’t). A set number of articles each month can ensure something approaching a “real” job when it comes to your income.

However, the downside is that work for hire also comes with the risk of sudden income loss. Whether someone decides to hire an in-house writer full time to replace you, or whether a client dramatically cuts your workload, it can mean instant income loss.

Most of my agency clients were kind enough to give me notice, but my other clients simply announced that they weren’t going to order the same amount of work. It can be devastating to go from a client paying $2,000 a month to that client paying $1,000 a month overnight.

You can protect yourself, to some degree, with a work for hire agreement or contract that requires notice, but the reality is that sudden income loss can be a real problem if you haven’t planned to protect yourself with income diversity.

How to Promote Income Diversity

Promoting income diversity as a freelancer is vital. Here are some of the ways you can diversify your income:

  • Different clients: Don’t rely on just one client. In the past, I’ve had “cornerstone” clients, but I try to keep them limited to no more than providing about half my income.
  • A mix of one-off gigs and long-term gigs: Even though most of my freelance gigs are long-term gigs, I still like to keep up with one-off gigs. Having a couple of these projects around can provide some quick cash when needed.
  • Other side gig income: Sometimes I drive for Lyft. I don’t do it a lot, but if I have a day where I’ve got a wide swath of time, I’ll turn on the Lyft while working on other projects and get a little extra cash. There are other side gigs like that you can do with a little extra time and effort.
  • Your own products and websites: I have a book that still makes a little money for me. You can also develop and sell courses, do consulting, and build your websites. I’m in the process of building up my websites into the income-producing level they should be at.
  • Other investments and income sources: I also have some money in taxable investment accounts. I regularly add to these accounts, which include dividend-paying funds. Many of my freelancer friends also have rental income. Figure out how you can earn a little income from different sources, and you could see improvement.

No matter your situation, income diversity is vital to your financial future. As a freelancer, though, it’s especially important to cultivate different revenue streams.


This article originally appeared on Due.com

 

4 Side Hustles You Can Do with Your Family

When you’re faced with budget difficulties, other well-meaning people suggest cutting expenses. But sometimes that simply isn’t enough of a solution.

The next common piece of advice you’ll likely get is to start a side hustle and earn more money. Unfortunately making that choice can really cut into family time. It may also be tough to do when you already feel like there isn’t enough of it.

So what’s the best solution? A side hustle you can do with your family, of course.

Taking on a side hustle you can do with your family has advantages. You can earn more money and still spend time with them. It also gives you the opportunity to teach them the value of money and hard work. Here are a couple of side hustles you could choose to do with your family.

1. Grow a Lawn Care Service

Not all side hustles are family friendly, so finding one a spouse or kids can help with may be tricky. One side hustle you can do with your family is to grow a lawn care service.

There are positives to choosing this type of business. For one, you get to spend time outdoors. Another is advertising through happy customers with great looking lawns who will refer you to others.

By building up a client base you’ll have repeat customers every week or so. You can use your calendar to keep a schedule so all family members can follow along. Use it to schedule as many jobs as you’d like according to everyone’s availability.

Obviously you’ll need an invoicing system as well as a little equipment. But family members can help pull weeds, sweep, use a leaf blower, and perform other small tasks. Older kids may be able to mow and use a trimmer too. Having help allows you to complete lawn care quickly and make more money.

2. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

Having a side hustle you can do with your family may be easy if you like pets. Try pet sitting, dog walking, or both to get your family involved and making money along with you.

Not a lot of skills are required most of the time. Still, liking and being good with animals makes it much easier and more fun.

Young children will love helping with this job. It will give them an idea of what it’s like to start their own business while they’re still young.

3. Baking and Catering

An additional side hustle you can do with your family is baking and catering for others. To get started, try some recipes out on family and friends. Ask for referrals and advertise on social media to build repeat business.

To include your family, have them help do the tasks they can for their age. For instance, small children can carry non-food items that are not overly heavy or help with clean-up. Older children can probably do more of the actual cooking and baking.

4. Rent Rooms in Your Home

Need another idea for a side hustle you can do with your family? Try renting rooms in your home to travelers through Airbnb. Signing up is easy and your family can help out.

Have youngsters assist by stocking small toiletry items and towels. Older kids can clean and do other needed tasks.

Taking on a side hustle doesn’t have to mean sacrificing all of your family time. Choose a side hustle you can do with your family and you can have both while boosting your budget.


This article originally appeared on Due.com

 

How Pet Sitting Can Help You Go on Vacation and Put More Money In Your Pocket

Have you ever thought about pet sitting to help you go on a summer vacation?

Well, I’ve done it and it works. Over the past few summers, I went to Chicago to dogsit for some friends. I scored free room and board, and pet sitting allowed me to afford a sweet summer getaway that I couldn’t have swung otherwise. Intrigued? Can you hear the spare change jingling in your pocket from the excitement?

Here’s how you can go about pet or house sitting to save big bucks on travel this summer:

Plan Far in Advance

You’ll want to book a pet sitting gig as far in advance as possible. In fact, year-round professional house and pet sitters like Kelly Hayes-Raitt, author of How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva, book up to a year in advance. Securing a gig  ahead of time gives you some breathing room to learn about your clients and iron out all the details before you jump in and show up on the doorstep.

To get going, try visiting sites like Nomador, Workaway, and TrustedHousesitters. You can also check out HouseSitSearch, an aggregator of house sitting search sites.

Pro tip: while you’re figuring out where you’re going, consider renting your place while you’re away. Of course, you’ll want to proceed with caution. If you’re a renter and your lease explicitly states that you cannot sublease your place, don’t do it. You may be subject to eviction. On the other hand, if you own your home, you can check into a short-term vacation rental site like Airbnb and perhaps earn some additional cash.

Lay Out Expectations

Will room and board be covered completely, or will you be expected to pay for utilities and other costs while you’re there?

In my situation – in exchange for caring for a sweet pooch – my pal Dave Fried, a filmmaker, gave me a place to stay and covered my flight from Los Angeles to Chicago (as part of the deal, I paid for my way home). Not only did I have access to a nice kitchen where I could cook and store foodstuff, but I could also work remotely out of Fried’s place (free wifi for the win). While Fried and his partner Greg Slade were kind enough not to charge me for using their water and power, your clients may have a different arrangement in mind. So make sure you ask about all the specifics.

Another thing to consider when you accept a pet sitting or house-sitting gig: will there be roommates or other people in the house when you’re there? If so and you’re ok with this, find out what their schedules are like. Also find out if you’re expected to do additional tasks to help out the roomies. In my situation, Fried was away but Slade, who owns a barbershop, was around while I was there. It was still my sole duty to take care of the dog.

Remember: every situation is different. For example, your clients may also require that you water the houseplants, move the car during street cleaning, and go through their mail and alert them of any scary notices.

Make New Friends and Keep the Old

Make an effort to forge a friendship with the homeowner before you house sit, recommends Hayes-Raitt.

To do this, you can connect through Skype, email correspondence, social media, or phone calls. And, make sure you inquire about local haunts and ask where you can find the best deals on groceries. In other words, get the inside scoop.

Another idea: ask the homeowner to introduce you to one of his friends. This way you’ll have a local you can meet up with and someone nearby to let you know about neighborhood activities and restaurants, says Hayes-Raitt.

I was fortunate to have some friends from L.A. who had moved to Chicago. Plus, former Chicagoans who now live in Los Angeles were kind enough to connect me to some of their Chi-town pals. Their recommendations, combined with poking around the Internet, gave me plenty of ideas for summer fun during my stay. In fact, my friends tipped me off to cheap eats and the best ethnic markets with killer deals on produce. In addition, they told me about free summer concerts, street festivals, and movies in the park. And, in order to save more money while still having fun. I also cooked as much as I could and biked instead of taking public transit.

Hunt for the Best Travel Deals

If you want to continue traveling after your gig, you may want to check into deals that will help you extend your trip. Why not take advantage of your location and see some additional sites or cities?

To do this, try checking for bargains on flights to nearby cities, or discounted bus fare on Megabus or Wanderu. After one of my trips to Chicago, I then visited Ann Arbor, Michigan. For future Chicago dog sitting stints, I’m planning to trek over to Madison and Milwaukee, as well as Minneapolis.

It’ll Still Cost You, So Budget Accordingly

Even though my lovely Chi-town pals hooked me up with a bike, I was still a “tourist” and spent a fair share of moola. After checking my bank account statements, I indeed spent more on weekend bike rides, dining out, and touring local haunts than I would have spent at home. So, make sure you budget for your trip and save up some extra cash.

Pro tip: if you’re a Chime member, it’s a good idea to enroll in Automatic Savings. When you do this, Chime will round up every transaction you make on your Chime debit card and deposit the round up amount into your Savings account. This way you can start socking cash away now – without even thinking about it.

Try a No-Spend Weekend

After realizing I spent more than usual while dog sitting, I committed to spending zero “new” cash for an entire weekend once I got home.

This meant taking advantage of free entertainment, such as movies in the park and art openings. I also dug into my wallet and found an unused gift card. Score! All told, my no-spend weekend helped me reset and stick to my budget.

Ready to Pack Your Bags?

Scoring a summer house or pet sitting gig can indeed help you save loads on your travels, while giving you the opportunity to take a low-cost vacation. Just keep in mind that creating a budget and saving your pennies in advance will give you some extra spending money while you’re away. Are you ready to book your first house sitting gig?

 

6 Simple Side Hustles to Do With a Partner

Keeping your expenses down and sticking to a tight budget month after month isn’t easy. Sometimes it leaves you feeling like you’ve squeezed every extra cent out of your budget that’s possible.

When that happens you might consider starting a side hustle to alleviate some of the financial pressure. The only problem with that is that it takes away from time spent with family.

Thankfully, there are 6 side hustles to do with a partner that let you get a little togetherness back.

1. Childcare Services

One of the side hustles to do with a partner is to offer care to the children of others. It allows you to earn good money and care for your own children at the same time.

In addition, having an extra set of hands lets you take on more children and earn a higher income.

Some communities have a shortage of providers. Also, many parents have a hard time finding childcare for evenings and weekends.  These two factors should help you fill any open slots quickly.

Becoming licensed in childcare is not difficult. Nevertheless, the rules may be different from one state to another. To ensure you are following requirements and regulations in your state contact the Department of Health and Environment.

2. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Service

A second side hustle to do with a partner is a pet sitting and dog walking service. Of course, it helps if you both like animals.

However, it doesn’t require much in the way of sills. Just be prepared to clean up a mess or two occasionally.

3. Baking and Catering Business

If you like to cook one of the side hustles to do with a partner is a baking and catering business. You can practice on family and friends to help you get started. Just ask them to refer you to others in need of your services.

You can also advertise your services through social media or other channels.

4. Lawn Care Service

Another of the side hustles to do with a partner is to start a lawn care service. Obviously, you may need a few pieces of equipment to get started.

Still, once you get enough customers signed up you should be able to pay off equipment fairly fast.

5. Virtual Store

Need another side hustle to do with a partner? Try opening a virtual store. Depending on what you choose to sell there are many available on the internet to choose from.

Startup costs are low and many sites will help you get whatever you need. Some will even assist you with what type of items to sell.

6. Painting Service

You could start a side hustle painting houses for other people. There is nearly always someone willing to hire this service.

Choose interior, exterior, or both type of painting if you prefer. Just make sure you know how to properly prep as well as clean up before starting.

Living on a tight budget each month is hard. Fortunately, there are 6 side hustles to do with a partner that can reduce financial pressure.

 

5 Key Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat. Deciding on the right legal structure for your business is a common challenge you might face.

So if you’re going to legitimize your business, which option should you choose? Sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or corporation? Here are 5 key benefits of incorporating your business and using it to boost your bottom line.

1. Personal Asset Protection

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, a corporation is completely separate from its owners from a legal standpoint. This means that your personal liabilities and debts are separate from that of your business. This separation is key when protecting your own personal assets like your home, car, retirement account etc.

If in an extreme case, you’re unable to pay a business debt or someone sues your business, they won’t be able to seize your personal assets.

2. Tax Benefits

Certain tax benefits make corporations very appealing to entrepreneurs because self-employment taxes can be pretty brutal if you are operating as a sole proprietorship or even an LLC.

Generally, a corporation pays the standard corporate tax rate on its taxable income and the owners pay income tax on their personal earnings from the business. Yes, this is double taxation but it can be beneficial given the fact that only the owner(s)’ salary is subject to self-employment taxes instead of all your earnings.

If you can run a successful business and legally save on taxes, why wouldn’t you want to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket?

3. Automatic Protection For Your Business Name

When you incorporate your business, the business name automatically becomes protected in the state you registered the company in. This means that no other company or LLC in the state that sells similar products or services can use the same name as your business.

If you want to protect your business name throughout the U.S. you must file a trademark, but incorporating your business is a good first start especially if you do a lot of local, in-state work.

4. Opportunity to Get Shareholders

One of the cool perks of having a corporation is that you can sell stock ownership of your company to raise money. This could be a nice alternative to taking out a loan to grow your business. With a C-corporation, you can have an unlimited number of shareholders

5. Instant Credibility

Finally, I’m going to be blunt and say that incorporating your business will most likely provide instant credibility which is what you want as you expand your operation.

When you take the time out to formally register your business, it can make finding prospective clients, customers, and vendors easier. Even if you’re great at what you do, it’s difficult to trust people these days and there are tons of scams out there that others want to avoid (rightfully so). You want to give the best first impression when you meet people and network.

Having a formal and organized business tells people that you care about your company and are serious about working with them in some capacity.

Summary

Incorporating your business is a big decision so it will require some thought, planning, and a discussion with your attorney and accountant if you think it’s necessary. If you do choose to move forward, you’ll need to make sure your business meets all the legal and financial requirements. Then, you can start filling out the registration paperwork.

 

How to Keep a Side Hustle and a Day Job Simultaneously

While it seems as if everyone is turning a side hustle into a full-time gig, the reality is not everyone wants to do that. Heck, not everyone even should do that!

Contrary to how you may be feeling, it doesn’t make you any less of a business owner to keep your day job. That being said, you do need to find ways to stay sane during all of this. After all, you’ll be working quite a bit.

Tip #1: Prioritize self-care.

If you want to keep a side hustle and a day job, you will need to prioritize self-care. If you don’t, you will likely lose your mind with all the work you have to do.

Back in the day, I had a regular job, a side hustle and I was taking classes for a certification simultaneously. I had almost zero time for anything outside of that and the time that I did have was spent exercising.

Whether it was yoga or kickboxing, I was at the gym twice a week no matter what. This gave me the energy I needed to keep hustling and helped me deal with the stress related to the pressure I was under.

Tip #2: Know how much money you want to make on the side (and why)

I recently interviewed someone who has three businesses on the side of his day job. His success has a lot to do with the fact that he knew exactly what he wanted – to be financially independent by the age of 35.

Because he was so clear on what he wanted, he knew how much he wanted to earn and how. This allowed him to maximize the time he had outside of his job so that he could create three profitable businesses.

Tip #3: Take your side hustle seriously anyway.

Just because your side hustle isn’t your full-time gig doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. In fact, you should see it as a business like any other.

The problem many people run into is they don’t see their side hustles seriously. They just think it’s a hobby or a way of making some extra money – not necessarily a business.

This leads to problems in a few ways. First, you lose motivation to work on it. Second, because you don’t take it seriously then you allow other things to easily get in the way of growing your business.

Before you know it, you no longer have a side hustle that is providing you with extra income and you’ve reverted back to just having a day job.

Tip #4: Build a team.

While all business owners need to think about building a team, I would argue that it’s especially important with a side hustle. The reason is that you have limited time to create an extra source of income.

While I was recently interviewing people who successfully kept a side hustle on the side of their day jobs, I noticed they all focused on having team members. They wanted to remove themselves from certain tasks so they could focus their limited time on making more money.

Final Thoughts

It’s more than acceptable to choose to keep your side hustle as a side hustle. After all, not everyone needs to be self-employed full-time. Just make sure that you still take it seriously so you can create another source of income.

 

How to Work in the Gig Economy and Still Reach Your Money Goals

Working in the gig economy offers some great perks. For starters, you get the flexibility of setting your own hours. Plus, you can often find gigs instantly using an app rather than prospecting new work yourself.

Nearly one in four Americans have earned money in the gig or “platform economy” over the last year, according to Pew Research Center. Some pick up side jobs for extra cash to pad their savings accounts. Others earn a full-time income working multiple gigs. Yet, while the flexibility of working when you want is certainly appealing, a side hustle doesn’t result in a steady paycheck arriving in your bank account every two weeks. And, this inconsistent income stream can make it harder to reach your money goals.

Here are 4 tips to help you take advantage of the gig economy while still achieving your financial goals.

Track Your Cash Flow with a Budget

Having a budget is one of the fundamentals of personal finance. And, when you work in the gig economy with an irregular income, it’s even more important to create a budget to better track your cash flow.

First off, figure out how much money you have coming in each month. From there, compile all of your monthly expenses. This will help you understand how much money you need to cover your monthly nut. By tracking your money and spending habits, you’ll be able to get a snapshot look at where your cash is going and find areas where you may be able to cut back. For instance, maybe you spend a little too much on fast food or entertainment. Yet, once you see this clearly, you can opt to cut down on the number of times you eat out on Taco Tuesday.

Set Savings Goals

Saving money for multiple goals can feel like an insurmountable task, Yet, with a little know-how and planning, you can do it!

The first savings goal you should have is to build an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a savings fund that should be used only to pay for unexpected expenses and well, emergencies. Experts recommend saving three to six months worth of expenses in a rainy day fund and it’s never too late to start one. If you work in the gig economy, an emergency fund may come in particularly handy. For example, if you go through a dry spell and jobs are scarce, you may need to tap into your emergency fund to help cover your monthly expenses during this time of low employment.

In addition to an emergency fund, this is a good time to start boosting your regular savings account by automating. If you’re a Chime member, for example, you can enroll in the Automatic Savings Program to save money with every single debit card transaction. Every time you make a purchase using your card, Chime rounds up that amount to the nearest dollar and then deposits that round-up amount into your Savings account.

Grow Your Money Through Investing

Many companies offer their employees a company-sponsored 401(k) plan to save for retirement. If your employer offers a 401(k), you should definitely take advantage of this benefit. But, if you are your own boss working in the gig economy, you may not have the option of a 401(k). No worries; there are other ways to save for retirement.

Self-employed and independent contractors can save for retirement by opening up various types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Do your homework to figure out the best IRA option for you.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t want to work forever. Saving for your retirement starting right now will help you grow your wealth – allowing you to relax in your golden years.

Be Prepared for Taxes

Although it’s exciting when you start getting paid for your gig work, it’s important to remember that you still have to set some money aside to pay taxes on your earnings.

Yup. When you’re the boss, no one automatically deducts taxes from your paycheck. How much will you need to pay? There is no one answer to this question. So for this reason, you’ll need to do your research to figure out the right amount. To help you get into the practice of setting money aside, try automating your savings. If you sign up for a Chime account, you can automatically direct 10% of every paycheck into your savings account as soon as you get paid.

Indeed, putting money away with every paycheck will save you a lot of stress come tax time.

Final Thoughts

As we move into a new year, there’s no time like the present to investigate new ways to earn money or grow your wealth. With a little planning and foresight, you can be on your way to successfully work in the gig economy and reaching your financial goals.

 

5 Ways to Make Money Online in 2018

It’s a new year which means it’s time to set new goals for ourselves. If you’re like most people your new year’s goals are either to get healthy or make more money. If you said make more money, then you’ve come to the right article. Want somewhere to start? I suggest trying to make money online. If you can run a business from your couch what’s the excuse right?

Here are five ways to make money online in 2018.

Launch an Online Store

If you’re willing to really put in the time and effort launching an online store can be immensely profitable. Now before you say no because you don’t know how to code listen to this. Thanks to e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce you can easily build beautiful online stores with little to no technical experience.

You can create and run an entire online business using one of these platforms. They offer plenty of integrations like marketing, payment processing, search engine optimization, and more!

Ghostwriting or Guest Posting

Every single blog on the internet could use more content. If you’re a good writer you can make serious money ghostwriting or guest posting for various companies. If you’re an expert in a specific field like FinTech or cryptocurrencies you can make well over six figures a year writing full-time.

You can research companies in your field and try to find the person in charge of content. Reach out to them either with a finished post or a few sample titles. Once you get approved by a few companies start typing away and watch the cash roll in!

Start Your Own Blog

If you want to take your writing to the next level you may want to consider starting your own blog. Again this works best if you’re an expert in a specific area or industry. For example, if you’re a fitness expert you can start a health and fitness blog. Make sure your content is creative and try to offer as much guidance as possible.

Health and fitness blogs work best if your readers use your advice to achieve their fitness goals. If you get big enough you can turn your reader’s success stories into case studies and attract an even larger audience. Once your blog is popular enough you can offer sponsored postings or product placement by health and fitness related products. This example for health and fitness can be used for virtually any industry.

Trade Cryptocurrencies

This is a controversial yet highly lucrative one. Cryptocurrencies seem to be hot right now and it’s for a good reason. So-called “unsophisticated” investors are making millions trading digital currencies. The most popular coins now are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, however, there are new coins coming out every day.

If you want to make money trading cryptocurrency you need to get educated and use the proper tools. I suggest starting off with a Coinbase account and do your best to understand cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as a whole.

Offer Services on Fiverr or Upwork

If you consider yourself a professional you can offer your services on Fiverr or Upwork. These platforms connect freelancers with contractors for virtually any type of job. Services range from software development all the way to accounting.

The only issue with these platforms is that contractors typically only work with freelancers who have a developed work history. That said, it can be difficult to get your first few jobs. However, if you’re good at what you do then you’ll be a 5-star freelancer in no time.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make money online there are plenty of options for you to choose from. For starters, I suggest considering the five above as they can all become highly lucrative side (or full) time gigs.

 

What’s the Best Car to Drive for Uber?

When it comes to side hustles, driving for Uber is easily one of the most flexible options available. You can turn on your app and work anytime you want, and you never have to commit to a fixed schedule. And really, there are few requirements to get started. If you’re over 21 and have a driver’s license, a clear driving record, rideshare insurance, and a decent car, then you’re basically “hired.”

But, that doesn’t mean that any car will do if you want to drive for Uber. The rideshare company has their own set of standards you have to meet for your car to qualify, although they are fairly broad and can depend on where you live. In Indiana, for example, your car has to meet the following requirements to become eligible for Uber rides:

  • Model year 2002 or newer
  • 4-door car or minivan
  • Good condition and no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial brandingIn New York City, on the other hand, your car needs to be a model year 2006 or later. Before you take the plunge to sign up for Uber, make sure to check local requirements to make sure your car is a good fit.

Which cars work best for Uber drivers?

Beyond Uber’s requirements, there are still some cars that work better for ridesharing than others. And if you’re looking for a new car with the intention of driving for Uber, you’ll want to pay attention to the details.

As you search for cars that might work for an Uber side hustle, consider cars that meet the following criteria:

1: Good gas mileage

Especially in the city. If you’re driving for Uber in an effort to rake in some cash, then your car’s fuel economy should be one of your biggest priorities. A car with good mileage will cost you less to fill up, which will leave you with bigger profits as you drive.

According to Consumer Reports, 2017 models with the best city driving fuel economy include:

  • BMW i3Giga
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Chevrolet Volt LT
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE
  • Tesla Model X 90DThis is just a sampling, as there are obviously tons of cars with good fuel economy from nearly all model years that qualify to driver for Uber. You don’t need to drive a new car to get good fuel economy, but you do need a car that is efficient, especially in the city since you’ll spend a lot of your time driving for Uber off the highways.

2: Affordability

While fuel economy is a big deal for Uber drivers, it’s not the only criteria to consider. The Tesla mentioned above may get 90 miles per gallon in the city, but it will set you back at least $82,000. Obviously, you’ll struggle to make money as an Uber driver if you’re paying a lot for an auto loan.

This is why price point is a big consideration, too. You want a car that gets good gas mileage, but you don’t want to overspend. The Ford Focus mentioned for fuel economy has an MSRP of $16,775 – $36,120, making it a much better deal. But there are literally dozens of cars out there that offer a good combination of affordability and fuel economy, and that includes older model cars.

2012 Toyota Prius may get as much as 40 mpg driving in the city, but could cost less than $11,000. Make sure to consider car price and fuel economy as you find the best Uber car for your needs.

3: Safety features

Whether you’re driving for Uber or hauling around your own family, it’s important to keep safety in mind. The safety features your car does or doesn’t have could make a big difference in your driving experience and whether someone becomes injured during a crash. Solid safety features can also help you save money on auto insurance, which could help make your Uber business more profitable as a result.

Some of the most important safety features include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Rear automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping-assist
  • Lane-centering assist
  • Adaptive cruise controlWhile it might be difficult to find a car that has all these safety features, you should definitely consider one that has at least a few. Ideally, you’ll find an affordable car that gets good gas mileage that also comes with safety features you can count on.

4: Spacious interior

Last but not least, you’ll need a car with plenty of room. Uber rides are good for up to four guests, so you’ll need space for three butts in the back of your car as well as a rider in the front.

Since even the smallest cars like a Toyota Prius can easily hold five adults, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a car that fits the bill. Still, it’s worth considering whether your guests will have room to relax – and whether your trunk might be able to hold their luggage and gear.

Which car should you drive for Uber?

So, which car should you drive for Uber? At the end of the day, there are dozens of automobiles and model years that offer good fuel economy, an affordable price, and features that will keep your riders safe and help you save money on auto insurance.

So keep your eyes open and look for a ride that’s affordable, stylish, safe, and as far from a gas guzzler as you can get. After all, the whole point of driving for Uber is making extra money – not spending it.


This article originally appeared on PolicyGenius.
Image: Drazen_

 

How to Rock Your Finances While Self-Employed

Keeping an eagle eye on your business and personal finances while self-employed is highly important. When your business is having a cash flow problem your wallet is also having a cash flow problem.

Here are ways to rock your business and personal finances while running your own show:

Overplan for Emergencies

Your household’s emergency savings account is going to be your savior in situations when checks don’t come in. Clients can pay late or you may lose a client altogether. You need to be prepared for all circumstances.

The typical amount that everyone should have socked away for a rainy day is about three to six months of household bills. Self-employed workers may want to have a few more months of bills in savings. Your income is variable, so an extra bit of cushion can be a lifesaver.

Choose a Savings Vehicle 

Traditional employees can take advantage of company-sponsored 401(k) plans with company matches.  There’s also a 401(k) solo plan for self-employed workers that comes with tax benefits and allows you to make employer contributions from your own business.

For 2018, you’re able to contribute up to $18,000 into the 401(k) solo account as an employee. Your business (employer) can make contributions of up to 25% as well. 

Aside from the 401(k) solo account, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA accounts are other options. Social security is not something you can rely on to live comfortably in retirement. Make sure you have your own savings plan in place. 

Keep Your Money Separate

At first I kept my personal finances and business finances combined. It’s a nightmare. It makes record keeping difficult and filing taxes tragic.

Set up a different checking and credit card account for your business. Save for taxes and pay your business expenses before giving yourself a paycheck. Choose an accounting system for business bookkeeping that will make sending invoices and collecting payments a breeze.

Set Up Two Budgets

Don’t feel bad if you’re a little bit disorganized right now with your money as long as you commit to making a change. Create a budget for your business. This will help you monitor how much money you’re spending to operate. It’ll also keep you aware of whether or not your business is profitable.

There may be some months (or even years) when you’re business is not profitable or breaking even because you’re investing in resources, tools, equipment, or coaching. This isn’t a bad thing if you’re aware of it and investing with a purpose.

Final Word

Even the most organized people can find managing business and personal finances difficult when working for themselves. There was definitely a learning curve for me. I kept a meticulous budget that helped me save and pay off debt aggressively when I worked a full-time job with a steady paycheck.

Having a variable income threw me for a loop for a while, but it was something I got better and better at managing over time. Experiment and find a system that works for you.