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AM Uber Challenge | Is Early Morning The Best Time To Drive Uber?

sunrise while driving early in the morning

I wanted to save up an emergency fund.  I figured I’d try an experiment, that almost ANYBODY could do before work and save up a bunch of cash. Driving Uber BEFORE work.  This should make a nice case study and give you an idea if driving Uber before work is something that would work for you.

I cleaned out my Toyota Corola, vacuumed, washed and cleaned the windows.  I Armor All’d the dash and most importantly took out the car seat and toys in the back that my son rides in.  It’s easy enough to take out and put back in so this isn’t a problem. With a clean car I was ready to head out and drive.

Day 1 | Driving Uber Early Friday Morning

I went out at 4 AM on a Friday morning.  I live about 20 miles outside of the closest major city, Salt Lake City.  So I didn’t know if I should expect to get any rides, I turned on the Uber Driver app and started heading south to SLC.  I got a ping right away for a quick $3 fair.  Immediately after dropping my passenger I got hit with another ping, this was a $14 fair heading North, the opposite direction of SLC.

I was shocked, there were a bunch of rides to be had,  all before 9 AM when most people would head to work.

I ended up driving until 8 AM like I had planned and made $59.26 in 4 hours.

I essentially made $14.82 per hour driving Uber on a Friday morning before work.

Day 2 | Saturday Morning

I got wind that there was a huge convention in Salt Lake over the weekend so I thought it would be a great time to drive.  I planned on only driving 4 hours but ended up driving from 6 AM to 1 PM. Being Saturday I had to sleep till at least 6 AM right?

I headed towards SLC and started getting pings as I got closer to the city.  I met some pretty fun people on for a Saturday morning of Uber driving.  There were a lot of short rides but the Surges were hitting too.  most of the morning was about a 1.2 to 1.5 surge.  I met a nice girl who gave me a banana after her morning grocery shopping, another woman was heading to the convention but needed to stop and weigh in for weight watchers, she asked if I’d wait for her and take her to the convention too.  I agreed.  She ended up giving me a $10 tip on top of some pretty interesting conversation.

I came to the conclusion that Saturday Mornings are great for driving Uber. People want to head out and do things, people are checking in and out of hotels.

I ended up making $111.86

So in 2 days I drove 9 hours and 21 minutes and made $18.57 per hour driving Uber.  Not bad! I’ll update this next week when I drive some more.

Day 3 | Tuesday Morning Uber Driving Review

I skipped Monday even though I feel like it would have been a good day to go out.  Something about driving Uber close the the weekends seems to be better.

Tuesday morning I went out at 4 AM.  Rather than heading strait to SLC I figured there would be plenty of rides in my local area just like on Friday. I was wrong.  I waited about an hour for my first ride.  Waited almost another hour for my second ride of the morning.  I ended up going home at 7 AM because it was so slow.  I made a total of $25 thanks to a couple generous tippers.

I think I’ll either wait till 6 AM to go out tomorrow or head strait to the city to get more frequent rides.

Tuesday morning Uber earnings: 2 hours and 37 minutes drive time and $25.23 earned making my hourly $10.65.

Day 4 | Wednesday Morning

I woke up at 4:30 AM Wednesday morning to drive Uber.  I figured after yesterday, 4 AM was too early to get more rides.

Instead of staying in my area I decided to use Uber’s trip planning feature to filter rides toward SLC.  I got to Salt Lake City and got two airport runs right away.  Then a little down time followed by a ping that was right by me.  I figured it would be a quick $3 fair somewhere in the city.  I wish Uber would let you know where the trip was headed before accepting because this ride took me 20 miles south of the city. This wouldn’t have been a big deal but that is the direction almost ALL rush hour traffic comes from.  I would be stuck in stop and go traffic the whole way back.

Luckily I got another fair heading back into the city and my passenger had to deal with traffic with me.  He was pretty pleasant and we had a nice chat.

I stopped driving a little after 8 AM making an almost 4 hour Uber outing.

I made a total of $57.04 which included one $5 tip making my early morning Uber driving pay a descent $15.21 per hour.

note: I’d say it’s definitely worth it to head straight to the nearest major city to make the most money.

Thursday Morning

I slept in till about 8 AM.  I had to!  Driving Uber every morning would be sustainable if you go to bed early and stay consistent with waking up.  I really needed the sleep today.

I’ll get back to driving on Friday.  I guess this doesn’t have to be an every day thing, ya know?

Day 5 on the Road | Friday Morning

Before going out I figured Friday would be a busy day for Uber.  With people heading in and out of town for the weekend, I knew the airport would be busiest.

I left my house at 4:30 AM and headed straight into the city before turning on the app.  Once I went online with Uber I ended up going to the airport 3 times in a row.  Each airport trip earns me about $8.  I also never wait for airport pickups because there are so many cars in the queue. Overall people were pretty pleasant and there wasn’t much downtime.  I drove until 7:50 AM.

For how busy it felt driving, I thought my earnings would be higher.  I ended up earning $33.96 + a $5 cash tip. Not bad for a little under 3 hours of driving.

Interesting observation this morning: Every time I finished a trip there was a surge going on right next to where I was.  But I never got a surge trip.  It was pretty annoying really.  Kinda felt like Uber was just trying to steer me to different areas.  I’ve learned to never chase a surge, it’s always gone before you get there.  And really if the demand is so high it’s not like Uber hasn’t called you for a ride that was much further away

Monday Morning

Based on my experience so far, I was thinking that Monday morning was going to be busy with riders.  Just like I expected, it was a good morning for catching airport riders.

My first ride of the day was a very chatty guy who had obviously smoked a little weed right before getting in, but he was pleasant, made good conversation and tipped me $2 so I won’t complain. I had a couple more airport runs followed by my first no-show rider.  I didn’t know how long I should stay.  Uber starts to charge for wait times after 2 minutes.  I waited another 4 minutes and Uber told me to cancel the ride if the rider was not there.  I did and made an extra $3.20 for doing nothing!  I’ll take no shows for that!

All in all, I think Friday and Monday mornings are the best days to go out and drive Uber if you’re wanting to go out and get a steady flow of early riders.

It’s more straining work than you’d think if you haven’t driven for Uber or Lyft before but in a short amount of time you can add some cash to your bank account to speed up your retirement savings, save for a big purchase or whatever you want. Whenever you want.

I’m pretty grateful Uber is around to help make a little extra cash here and there, especially with the instant payouts you can take it is totally worth becoming an Uber driver.

What has your experience been? Leave a comment!

 

Saving More

Trying to Negotiate My Utilities

I’ve always liked negotiating.  Most people are afraid to ask for what they want.  If only they would realize people WANT to help you and give you what you want.

In this post I’m going to try and negotiate each utility and bill and see what happens.

Negotiating The Power Bill

Alright. Each month I’ve called and tried to see if I could get a discount.  Every time they say no that’s not how it works with them.  That’s fine.

I tried something a little different I asked if I could postpone my payment. They agreed.

Next I waited till they put a shut off notice on my door.  I called asking to pay a small amount now and the rest later. They agreed.

Conclusion:

So it seems that when your trying to negotiate with the power company they will not budge on price, but are happy to negotiate terms.  This could be handy if you ever needed to postpone payments and need to put your money elsewhere like rent or a mortgage.

Water Sewer and Trash

I waited to see if they would put a shut off notice on my door. They didn’t, they just shut it off!  I was surprised at this one, no warning at all.

When I called they said their people are too busy to put out notices. Understandable I guess considering this is offered by the city and they don’t want to waste tax payer money with nonsense.

They informed me there was a $50 fee to turn the water back on. I tried to get it waived, they wouldn’t. I asked them to reduce it and they cut it down to $25

Conclusion:

I wouldn’t call this a negotiating victory because I spent $25 more than I would have otherwise. But at lease I didn’t pay the full $50.

Internet

I have Comcast where I live. I got the promo price when I moved to my neighborhood 2 years ago but now the price is almost triple.  I’m going to call them pater today and update this post then.

 

Have you tried to negotiate a bill or utility? Tell us in the comments!

 

Eating Cheaply

Eating Street Food at Home | Cheaply

Falafel street food made by Frankie Calenza
Another installment of the popular Struggle Meals from Tastemade.  Chef Frankie Calenza (Frankies Instagram) creates yet another amazing set of recipes that YOU can make on the cheap. It tastes great and is easy on the pocket book. Lets dive right in!
Want to make the Falafel from the Video? Well here is the shopping list!

Falafel:
• 2 cups garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
• 1 medium yellow onion, grated
• 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 cups vegetable oil
Sauce:
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 3 cloves garlic, grated
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salad:
• 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
• 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
• 3 Roma tomatoes, cubed
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil
• 4 pitas, cut into wedges, to serve

Be sure to check the video for directions or click throught to Facebook and use the first comment on the post!

Credits:

Frankie Calenza is the amazing chef.

Struggle Meals is a great series produced by Tastemade on Facebook Watch, Youtube and their own site and app.

Day to day finance

Bank of America downgrades Video Game makers Because of Fortnite

It looks like Bank of America is having some doubts about video game makers Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard because of competition from Fortnite which is made by Epic Games.

While the popularity of Fortnite has stayed strong for a while now, Bank of America seems out of touch with the video game industry and how large it actually is.  I wouldn’t pay much attention to Bank of america on this call…


 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowers its rating for both Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard shares, citing competition from “Fortnite” and potential game sales pressure.

Day to day finance

Price-Earnings Ratio – P/E Ratio With Examples

People often want a snapshot of a companies value.  The PE ratio is often the first place people look. If a company has a PE ratio of 20, you can expect that you will need to invest $20 into that stock before you will earn $1 of the companies earnings. As of today 8/25 Costco has a PE ratio of 33.56.  So if I invested $33.56 into Costco stock using Stash or a brokerage, I could expect to get $1 of their earnings. Obviously the lower the PE ratio is, the more attractive it is to an investor. But a high PE ratio is not necessarily a bad thing either. We’ll write more on that soon and add a link to the article here.

The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing a company that measures its current share price relative to its per-share earnings.

This definition provided by Investopedia

Day to day finance

How To Pay Your Capitol One Credit Card With Cash

At some point you might need to pay your credit card bill using cash.

For whatever reason that might be, it IS possible.

Most credit cards come with an app. If you open the app and navigate to the branch / ATM finder.

Once there you will want to search for Bank Branches.

Once you find your local branch you can go there and pay with cash.

But what if there isn’t a branch in your area?

Should you just look for an ATM to make a payment?

No.  Most of the ATM’s you will find don’t allow you to make a deposit.

At this point you will have to find either a Moneygram or Western Union teller.  This option is not cheap but it will let you pay your Capitol One credit card using cash.

Pro tip: Almost every Walmart has a MoneyGram or Western Union at their money services desk.

Here is what you need to do to pay your Capitol One card with MoneyGram:

  • Locate a teller
  • give them the code 1013, They should be able to tell it’s Capitol One at this point.
  • Give them your 16 digit credit card number.
  • There is a fee of $9.99 to make your payment.

Call Capitol One at 1 (800) 227-4825 with your reference number and they’ll make the amount of your payment available immediately.

To make your payment with Western Union

  • Locate a teller
  • They’ll need a city code – CapOne/VA + card number
  • they’ll also need a client id which you can get by calling them at 1 (800) 227-4825
  • Make your payment plus the Western Union fee
  • Keep your reference # if you’d like you make your balance made available immediately by giving it to a customer service representative at Capitol One.

That’s it! It is not the cheapest way to make a payment. You’re far better off making the payment with a connected bank account. But this will work if you need it.

Let me know if this works for you in the comments!