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Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Sometimes a long vacation far away can actually be more exhausting than relaxing.

That’s why a weekend trip somewhere near you can actually be more rejuvenating.

Not only that but weekend trips are less expensive, you don’t have to take time off, and it can be just what you need to prevent burnout and keep your energies and spirits up.

The Best Weekend Getaways

The best weekend getaways cater to your personal preferences and desires so you can get the most out of your short trip.

Some people are looking for weekend getaways near me, where they can be close to home but still take a break from their lives. Others are looking for cheap weekend getaways, so they can enjoy a vacation without spending too much. Then there are people looking for group weekend getaways or the best weekend getaways for couples.

Different people look for different things in a vacation. Some people are history buffs and want to see some historical sites and go on tours. Others will want to go where there is lively music, or botanical gardens where they can walk and be with nature.

Other people have specific requirements for their vacation. If you have kids you might need a family-friendly option, or if you’re a couple you might want something more romantic.
Start asking yourself what kind of vacationer you are before you get started on any solid plans.

Take a moment to sit down and write a list of things you must have in a weekend getaway. This can help you decide the key elements of your weekend trip budget.

Make a Budget

weekend trip costs

The more days you stay away the more your trip will cost.

Which is why weekend trips are so great! You can vacation without breaking the bank simply by leaving for fewer days.

According to Budget Your Trip the average daily cost of a vacation for just one person comes to about $224. This means that a 2 day vacation would cost $448, a 3 day vacation would cost $672, and a longer 4 day vacation would cost $896.

But you can save even more on a weekend getaway by cutting areas of your budget and making smart, money-saving choices.

Download a Free Printable PDF for a Weekend Getaway Budget.

weekend trip budget

A vacation budget usually includes at least 4 categories.

Transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

According to ValuePenguin the average cost of transportation for 4 nights is $224, lodgings are $150, food is $155, and entertainment is $52. A 4 night trip, from Friday to Monday, can cost a total of $581.

These 4 budget sections are what you’ll need to figure out before going on vacation. Though there may be other things to consider depending on your personal preferences. For example, you might want to add a souvenir budget or create separate budgets for each person going on the trip.

Transportation

transportation

As with any trip, you’ll need to figure out what transportation you’ll use, how much it will cost, and how you can save in this category.

The farther from home you go the more expensive transportation costs are going to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t go far away for your weekend trip, it just means transportation will take up a larger portion of your budget if you do. You might have to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget, like which hotel you stay at if you want to go somewhere farther away.

Since it’s just a weekend trip, longer trips will also take up more of the little time you have to get away that weekend. But if you go somewhere close by, then you’ll have even more time to enjoy your destination. Try going on a road trip instead of flying since driving is generally cheaper than plane tickets.

You should also try and book accommodations that aren’t too far away from everything. That way you can easily walk, ride bikes, or use trails like the boardwalk or river walk to get wherever you want to go while on vacation.

Lodging

lodgings

If you book your accommodations well in advance then you are more likely to snag some deals.

If you want to get in the habit of taking weekend trips, then try getting into the habit of researching prices every so often. That way you’ll see when prices go up and down.

You can also save on lodgings by choosing Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at instead of expensive hotels. If you go on trips very often, then investing in a trailer or some quality camping gear could actually save you money in the long term.

Food

food

Eating out can easily become the most expensive part of a vacation. But you can save tons of money on food by packing your own meals and snacks.

No matter where you end up staying you can always bring your own food. If you’re going camping you can pack food bags and coolers full of nonperishable foods. If you’re going to a hotel or Airbnb you can find one with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals instead of spending tons of money eating out.

But remember to keep item number 1 in mind! Maybe eating out while traveling is a big part of a vacation for you. If this is the case, then just calculate restaurant expenses into your weekend getaway budget.

Entertainment

entertainment

There’s nothing more disappointing than coming back from a trip where you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do.

You don’t want your weekend trip to feel like a waste of time. There might be specific things you want to do to entertain yourself while on vacation, like see a movie, go to a specific restaurant, see a show, go on a guided tour, or visit the zoo.

Create a vacation schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on anything or unexpectedly spend money on tickets for something once you get there. By creating a schedule for entertainment ahead of time, you’ll know how you’re spending your weekend and how much each activity will cost. That way you can include your fun in your budget and not feel bad later for spending more than you thought you would.

Entertainment can also be the most flexible part of your budget and an easy place to cut costs. Maybe instead of paying for an expensive tour you pick up a cheaper tour guide booklet and see the sites yourself. Or maybe you can find free things to do like go to a public beach or nature park.

Download a Free Printable for a Weekend Getaway Schedule.

More Weekend Vacation Budget Tips

weekend getaway tips and tricks

Now that you know how to save on your 4 key weekend budget categories, let’s go over some other ways to trim your weekend budget.

1. Split the Costs

One great way to get the most out of a weekend vacation while still saving money is to bring a group of people and split the cost. By renting a cabin with a bunch of friends or family members, you can stay at a really nice place for a much more reasonable price.

Transportation costs can also be alleviated by inviting friends to tag along and help pay for gas.

2. Pack Light

Packing light will not only make your life easier, but it can save you in the long run. By not packing too much you won’t lose as many items in the hustle and bustle of traveling.

You also won’t have to pay extra traveling fees for having tons of luggage.

3. Don’t Spend Money Once You’re There

If you plan carefully and bring your own things, you can get away with not spending money once you reach your destination. Eat your own food and bring your own entertainment.

There are plenty of things you can do for free on vacation, like outdoor activities or going to state parks. You might actually enjoy just reading a good book by the poolside instead of filling your weekend with expensive and busy activities.

4. Look for All-Inclusive Options

Some resorts and cruises can be all-inclusive, meaning that you pay for your stay and they provide everything else. All-inclusive trips can also give you the best deal since one payment will pay for all categories of your budget. All you have to worry about is showing up.

5. Put Vacations in Your Budget Now

Planning ahead will always save you more, and that includes planning for your vacations now. Put away a little money each month into a fund just for trips. Then once you have enough to cover your vacation budget you can go, relax, have fun, and not worry about the money your spending because you saved it all up specifically for this.

6. Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Have trouble budgeting your spending once you’re there? Just get a Prepaid Debit Card and use that for spending on vacation. With a prepaid debit card, you won’t be able to go over budget and can protect yourself from your own money spending habits.

7. Long Weekends

Plan to go on vacation during a long weekend. That way you don’t have to use paid time off, and you can get an extra day or two of relaxation and fun into your weekend. Having a long weekend to look forward to can also make work more bearable, and give you a time frame for saving up.

8. Most Popular Weekend Getaway Locations

If you want to travel somewhere really popular, you definitely want to look for deals. You can use websites like kayak, travelocity, trivago, or airbnb to find deals on transportation, lodgings, and fun times. You can also use sites like the Crazy Tourist to see reviews about popular places and help you decide where to go and what to see on your trip.

Here are some examples of how you can use these sites to your advantage.

Getaways in San Diego

Trips to Santa Barbara

San Antonio Vacation Packages from $658

Las Vegas Weekend Break Hotels

15 Best Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Rhode Island

New York City Weekend Breaks

Best Weekend Deals Los Angeles

San Francisco Cheap Vacations


Provo’s Year of Transportation

transportation

Nobody likes getting stuck in traffic, but with rental bikes and scooters you can pass the traffic and get around quicker, all while helping the environment and air quality.

See what Utah’s city of Provo is doing this year to combat these two issues.

Explore this Article

Rental bikes and scooters are becoming increasingly popular in high traffic areas. Provo has become one of those booming, high traffic places, so it’s no surprise that so many transportation innovations have taken place in Provo in the last year or so.

Transportation is a giant part of our lives today. Everyone needs it and we often use it every day, sometimes several times throughout the day. Cities like Provo have a particular need for ample transportation. Not only is it a college city, but it has become a tourist spot, and home to numerous unique start-ups and businesses, attracting crowds from all around.

So because of Provo’s growing urbanization and success, Provo’s city council decided to start what’s being called Provo’s Year of Transportation. The initiative was begun by Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and has been ongoing since 2018. So far this transportation movement in Provo has included:

  1. Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)
  2. Rental bikes and scooters
  3. Provo airport expansion

Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)

The UVX is a free express bus with its own lane that goes between Orem and Provo station all day, Monday through Saturday. The UVX makes several new and convenient stops along the way to get people to key places between Provo and Orem quickly.

The UVX has been more than a success, giving more than 2 million rides since it began running! Provo has high hopes in having equal success with their other transportation initiatives.

The UVX is easy to pay for because, it’s FREE to all passengers! There’s really no excuse to not take advantage of this new city convenience. For other buses and the front runner, you can now pay for your tickets on the UTA GoRide app, making your UTA trips even more quick and convenient. And if you’re a student or employee at UVU or BYU, then your student or employee ID acts as a free annual UTA pass!

Rental Bikes and Scooters

The newest addition to Provo’s transportation movement is the electronic Spin scooter. Spin is the manufacturer of the scooters, and you use the Spin app to pay for, activate, and ride one of their scooters. But Zagster is the company the city council chose to oversee the overall operations of the scooters. Zagster will address and manage any problems and see to it that the new rental scooter program is a success.

They will also be adding rental bikes to their services in the coming months. The new bike rental program will be a docked system where the bikes are parked in permanent locations. They are planning to get this program up and running by January 2020.

But for now, you can use any number of the bike rental stores that already exist in Provo. Bikes are great for getting around the city quickly and avoiding traffic almost completely. But they’re also fun to rent as an activity with friends, to see the city sights!

  1. JigaWatt Cycles has 5 stars on Google. They have electric bikes for rent, with different bicycle types to choose from.
  2. Gary’s Bikes is the next 5 star review bike place in Provo. Their rental bikes can even be delivered to your home! They also sell bikes and bike accessories.
  3. Hangar 15 Bicylces is the final 5 star reviewed bike place on Google. They sell bikes and bike accessories as well.

Provo Airport Expansion

Did you know Provo had an airport? Because I didn’t! But people are hearing plenty about the Provo airport now since there are plans for major expansions. The first part of the Provo airport expansion is going to include a whole new terminal with 4 more gates. Eventually they plan on adding 10 more gates in total, allowing for more destination services to the airport right in Provo. This will not only make the lives of Provo residents easier, but a bigger Provo airport also means less traffic going into the Salt Lake airport!

Why We Welcome Provo’s Transportation Movement

better environment
 

Provo isn’t just expanding in order to draw more people and more traffic into town, but rather, Provo is accommodating the traffic already here. By providing these economically friendly transportation options, Provo can better manage its traffic flow, making getting around an easier feat for all.

These new travel options are also environmentally friendly and will help reduce the impact transportation has on the neighborhood’s air quality. The electronic bus and scooters that Provo has opted to use in their programs have a much lower impact on Provo’s environment than other options. For example, using electric buses for the UVX (instead of the traditional diesel buses) can lower emissions by as much as 87 percent!

About Spin Electric Scooters

There are currently 200 scooters in Provo, but if all goes well this number could increase if necessary. A scooter costs $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of use, capping out at a maximum $10 an hour. They can go a maximum of 15 miles per hour, and are equipped with GPS. The scooters are great for getting around to nearby places in Provo, for getting in between your other transit stops, or for sightseeing. They are extremely easy to use—you can either download the Spin app with your smartphone to activate and pay for your scooter rental, or if you don’t have a smartphone you can just text the barcode number.

As great as this all may sound for some, there are those who are skeptical about the scooter program and worry about problems arising. For those worried about the scooters being where they shouldn’t and getting in the way, worry no more! Scooters are only permitted anywhere bikes are already allowed, and they will actually shut off if the user tries to ride into an area where scooters are prohibited. For instance, the scooters aren’t allowed on BYU campus, so Zagster and Spin created a geo-fencing system that disables the scooter if it crosses that virtual fence. The scooter program also has up to 40 employees to keep the scooters from piling up at hot spots, and to gather the scooters up again each night and put them back.

How to Rent a Scooter

It is advised that you wear a helmet while operating one of Provo’s rental scooters.

  1. Open the Spin app and find a scooter near you.
  2. With the app, scan the QR code on the top of the scooter to unlock it.
  3. Once you are on the scooter use the right throttle to accelerate.
  4. When you are done just park it at a bike rack, or close to the edge of the sidewalk, where it won’t be in anyone’s way.

Heavy Traffic & Emission Problems Near You?

traffic problems
 

If you don’t live in Provo, but your city or town has similar problems with traffic congestion or pollution from car emissions, there are some things you can do to help! First of all, every town has a website, or people you can contact if there are changes in your neighborhood you would like to see. For instance, Provo residents can visit Provo.org to stay informed about their community and help make their town a better place. Start by getting more connected with your local community and government!

You can also buy your very own electric scooter or bike! You can buy online or go to a local bike shop near you and purchase your very own eco-friendly ride.

A scooter or bike can even help you beat the morning rush and get to work on time. It can also help you save on transportation costs since bikes and scooters don’t require gas. According to Business Insider the average person spends anywhere from $400 to $1,300 or more on gas each year, depending on the state you live in. Imagine what you could do, and the debts you could get rid of, if you only didn’t have to pay for gas?

If you need this kind of help in your life, but don’t have the funds to buy a decent bike or scooter right now, visit our website and get a Check City Personal Loan so you can start pedaling and saving asap!


READ MORE

Save even more money on transportation with tips from these articles:

Saving Money on Transportation

How to Save Money on Transportation


How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

flight attendants salary

Flight attendants fill a lot of hats—from janitor to EMT, they take care of everything related to the passenger.

In fact, flight attendants are more like aerial experts than they are servers. Below is a brief overview of the flight attendant profession and its salary.

Explore this Article

The career path you choose is important because you will spend a large part of your life at your job. So deciding on which career to pursue is no small matter. The career of a flight attendant provides a very unique form of work-life and can pay extremely well. If you want your job to include free travel and frequent travel opportunities then this career option might be the perfect choice for you. Keep reading to find out more about this career, the work-life it provides, and how much flight attendants earn.

The Life of a Flight Attendant

Anyone who has flown before has probably seen their flight attendant walking around the cabin, ushering people in and out of the plane, serving food and beverages to the passengers, and collecting trash. These tasks may not seem very glamorous, but flight attendants are actually much more than just servers and ushers. They are also highly trained professionals, taught to handle a variety of scenarios from medical emergencies to aerial ones.

Common Flight Attendant Duties
  • Greet and usher passengers to their seats
  • Process passenger tickets
  • Assist with passenger’s carry-on luggage
  • Keep the cabin clean
  • Make announcements
  • Serve passengers food, snacks, and beverages
  • Train passengers about basic plane safety and protocol
  • Train the exit rows on their specific duties in case of an emergency
  • Make sure passengers adhere to the safety protocol and regulations of the plane
  • Take part in preflight meetings with the pilots
  • Do preflight inspections and checks
  • Administer emergency medical care

As you can see flight attendants fill a lot of hats. They are trained professionals, hired to take care of everything related to the passenger, and trained to be ready for almost anything that could happen while they’re in the air.

In fact, much of what flight attendants are trained for actually has more to do with safety and the mechanics of the plane than serving passengers. They even need to have separate qualifications for each of the different kinds of aircrafts they work in. Short from maybe the pilot, your flight attendant knows a lot about planes.

So what is it like to be a flight attendant and how satisfied are they in their jobs? The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale both have some promising numbers for the profession.

Payscale found that 4 out of 5 flight attendants reported feeling highly satisfied with their job. They also found that 71.7% of flight attendants are female and 28.3% are male.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the job outlook for aspiring flight attendants is very good, reaching a growth rate of 10 percent. They predict that this healthy job growth rate is due to the promising future that air travel has, which will mean an increase in plane passengers, and thus cause an increase in demand for flight attendants. Overall, the future looks bright for anyone thinking about entering the flight attendant profession.

How Do You Become a Flight Attendant?

First,

you have to complete training and certifications. There are places you can go to get certificates and then when you are applying to get hired by an actual airline they will put you through what is called ground school. If you pass ground school you are hired.

Second,

you go through training with your airline, and receive any specific training for the aircrafts you’ll be working on.

Third,

you progress through the ranks! Seniority matters a lot in the flight attendant world, so generally those who are just starting out will have to be on call for a while and work lots of holidays. But eventually you can work your way up, get better hours, maybe get off on some holidays, and get more pay.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Actually Make?

Flight attendants can really make good money. Some stereotypes about flight attendants may lead some to believe that their jobs primarily entail customer service work, like being a waiter or working in the gig economy. But the numbers show that this is far from true.

Flight attendants are actually more like airline experts than they are servers, though they do provide those services as well. Their pay also reflects the amount of training they require, and most flight attendants make much more than the average waiter.

Pay Depends On:

How many years of flight attendant experience you have.

Like many jobs, the longer you work as a flight attendant, the more experience you have and the more employers will pay for your expertise. Generally employers are willing to pay more for experience because it means they will have to train you less.

What airport you work from.

A flight attendant usually works from a specific airport. Just like other workers who go to the same office building each day for work, flight attendants also go to the same airport each day to begin their shift. Bigger airports are going to have higher salaries available than smaller ones.

What airline you work for.

Flight attendants may work from the same airport, but the airport is not their boss, the airline is. Flight attendants are primarily employed by airlines, like Delta or United, who all offer different kinds of pay and benefits to their employees.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make a Year

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median annual wage for flight attendants was $56,000 a year. The lowest 10% earned less than $28,950, and the highest 10% earned more than $80,870.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make an Hour

PayScale also did a study that found some interesting information about the flight attendant profession. They found that the average flight attendant’s hourly pay is $20.73 an hour. The lowest 10% earned $12.73 an hour and the highest 10% earned $50.97 an hour. As of August 2019, the national average for hourly wage was $28.11, so a flight attendant’s average hourly wage is not far behind the national average.

When deciding any career path it is important to do your research and understand not just the kind of financial life it can provide for you, but the work life it comes with as well. If you want to see the world you don’t have to quit your job. You can become a flight attendant and keep earning while you follow your traveling dreams!

Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Payday Loans.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Flight Attendants.”

PayScale. “Flight Attendant Hourly Rate.”

Check City Blog. “Cheap Ways to Travel on a Budget.”

How to Become an Uber Driver

uber driver

Should you become an Uber or Lyft driver and are you missing out?

Passenger fares have never been lower, but the jury is still out on whether the ride-sharing gig is worthwhile for its drivers. We’re going to cover not only how to get in on the ride-share driving business, but how much you can expect to earn as well.

Explore this Guide:

Ride-sharing services are one of the fastest growing companies of our time. Ride-sharing apps appeal to potential drivers because they can come from all walks of life, they can be self-employed, and they get to be in control of their own hours. For passengers the appeal of ride-sharing services is the convenience of hailing and paying for their ride all on their phone.

Ride-hailing companies have really grown into a giant business—Uber alone exists in 63 different countries and is operating in over 700 cities. They’ve also recently broadened their platform to include not just car services but bikes, scooters, food delivery, and even freight. In the future they also hope to add air taxis and driverless cars to their many services.
Needless to say, the ride-sharing app business is growing and here to stay.

You’re probably wondering now how you can get in on this flexible form of self-employment and never answer to a boss again! But before you download the app, quit your job, and hop in your car, hear us out, because becoming a driver for a ride-share business may not pay as well as you’d think.

How to Become an Uber Driver

First, to become an Uber driver you must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the minimum age to drive in your city
  • Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the US (3 years if you are under 23 years old)
  • Have a valid US driver’s license
  • Meet vehicle requirements (an eligible 4-door vehicle)

Second, if you meet these requirements then you share the following documents:

  • A valid US driver’s license
  • Proof of residency in your city, state, or province
  • Proof of vehicle insurance if you plan to drive your own car
  • A driver profile photo
  • Must be a forward-facing, centered photo including the driver’s full face and top of shoulders, with no sunglasses
  • Must be a photo only of the driver with no other subject in the frame, well-lit, and in focus; it cannot be a driver’s license photo or other printed photograph

Third, you complete an online screening that reviews your driving record and criminal history. And that’s it! After your application is accepted you can download the uber app and start taking rides.

How to Become an Uber Eats Driver

Uber Eats is a delivery partner that has teamed up with many restaurants that don’t typically have their own delivery services. As an Uber Eats driver you deliver food orders made via the Uber Eats app. Becoming an Uber Eats driver is similar to signing up to become a driver. Once you sign up to be an Uber driver, upload the required documents, and complete the online screening you simply do the following to start receiving delivery requests:

  1. Go to your account
  2. Select vehicle options
  3. Accept delivery terms

However, when delivering for Uber eats you can also use a scooter or bike instead of a car. In order to drive either of these options for your deliveries you have to meet the following requirements.

How to Become a Lyft Driver

Uber’s rival Lyft is a newer ride-hailing company out on the roads right now. To become a Lyft driver you can visit the Lyft website to fill out their application and start their process. You’ll basically have to do the following:

  1. Fill out the application
  2. Vehicle Inspection
  3. Background check
  4. Meet the requirements of your city

How to Become a Driver without a Car

At this point you may be wondering, but how do I become an uber driver without a car? How do I become a lyft driver without a car? If you don’t have your own car to drive with, Uber has partners that can rent a car to drive with. Lyft has something similar with Lyft Express Drive. With this you can use a rental car and return it at any time, with things like insurance and standard maintenance included in the rental price.

How Much Money Do Drivers Actually Make?

How much you can really make as an Uber driver is riddled with caveats. Yes, you can earn good money from driving during surge hours and getting tips from your passengers, but then other things, like all the costs that go into having and running a vehicle, will dent your earnings. Because ride-share drivers are technically self-employed they have to take on all the costs necessary to run their business, and this is where ride-share drivers experience major disappointments in their earnings with apps like Uber.

How Much Uber Drivers Make

There are many people out there that would love a lucrative way to be self-employed, and there are many aspects of businesses like Uber and Lyft that draw in new drivers every year. There are estimated to be about 833,000 Uber driver participants in just one year. Uber has also said that their drivers can earn $75,000 to $90,000 a year, while the typical taxi driver only makes about $30,000 a year.

If these numbers were true to what most drivers are actually making then why would almost half of all drivers only stay in the business for less than a year before dropping out of the game? It is because most Uber drivers don’t end up seeing earnings this high.

In reality Uber drivers make an average of $15.68 per hour, which means Uber drivers make about $7.84 per ride, and about $109.76 per week if they work all 7 days. Surveys done by Earnest have also found that Uber drivers make $364 per month on average, which would mean that Uber drivers make an average of $4,368 per year. Uber does give drivers the ability to earn extra with surge pricing. This is when passengers fees go up during higher density hours.

How Much Lyft Drivers Make

Lyft drivers make pretty similar numbers but the difference might be just enough to make you switch apps. Lyft drivers make an average of $17.50 per hour. This means that on average they make about $8.75 per ride, and about $122.50 per week if they work every day. Earnest also found that Lyft drivers tend to make an average of $377 per month, which would mean that Lyft drivers make an average of $4,524 per year.

earning stats

Average Earnings by City

Not all cities are created equal when it comes to the demand for ride-hailing services. How much work you can get and how much you’ll get paid on average will depending on what city you work in. But remember, many of the best cities to work in for ride-share drivers are also more expensive cities to live in, and a higher cost of living will affect your earnings as well.

The 10 BEST cities for ride-share drivers are . . .
  1. Honolulu, Hawaii at $25.55 an hour
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Long Island, New York
  4. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  5. Westchester County, New York
  6. San Jose, California
  7. New York City
  8. Minneapolis, Montana
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. Cincinnati, Ohio at $19.18 an hour
The 10 WORST cities for ride-share drivers are . . .
  1. Buffalo, New York at $9.74 an hour
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  4. Oklahoma, Oklahoma
  5. Indianapolis, Indiana
  6. Tampa/St Petersburg, Florida
  7. Springfield, Missouri
  8. Houston, Texas
  9. Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  10. Akron, Ohio at $4.94 an hour

As you can see, drivers in some of the bottom tier cities aren’t even making minimum wage.

Average Earnings by Vehicle Class

If you were wondering how much drivers tend to make according to their vehicle class we found that information too. Overall they found that most drivers make the following according to what class of vehicle they’re driving:

  • UberX = $13.70 an hour
  • UberXL = $14.84 an hour
  • UberSELECT = $14.85 an hour
  • UberBLACK = $24.87 an hour

It would then seem like the higher class your vehicle is the better you’ll get paid, but you have to remember that you are the one paying for the more luxurious car. Passengers also pay more to ride in the higher-end vehicle types, which will affect how much demand there is each day for the vehicle class you offer.

The Cons of Being an Uber or Lyft Driver

There are actually many reasons these promising numbers don’t become a reality for most Uber drivers. First of all, there is the nature of how Uber drivers are employed (or technically not employed) which affects their pay and benefits (or the lack thereof). Then there are the many other costs that fall on the driver to pay and manage on their own. Finally there is the matter of location that dictates how much work is even available in a driver’s area.

Independent Contractors

Drivers are considered independent contractors, which means that they technically are self-employed. Sounds great right? Who doesn’t want to be their own boss? But there are a number of disadvantages to being self-employed.

Since drivers are independent contractors they have to take care of their own benefits, like insurance, and they are also in charge of all the costs of maintaining their vehicle. Below are some other cons to being an independent contractor for Uber:

  • Because you aren’t a W-2 employee, Uber is not required by any laws to pay its drivers minimum wage.
  • Because you aren’t a W-2 employee, you have to cover your own Social Security and Medicare taxes. Officially employed W-2 workers will typically only pay part of these taxes with each paycheck, while their employer pays the rest.
  • You are considered self-employed, but you still work for a business that will control and regulate aspects of your “self-employment” and control the percentage you get paid.
Demands on Your Own Pocket

Because you are only getting a percentage of your earnings, while the ride-sharing company takes the rest, this makes the personal costs of running your driving business all the more impactful on your wallet.

Instead of all the proceeds of your business going to you and your business, the ride-share app companies take a cut, and they get to decide how big a cut they get. Below are just a few examples of all the costs you have to pay out of your own pocket to run your driving business:

insurance

Insurance

Not only do you have to pay for your own health insurance—since ride-share companies won’t consider you an employee and provide any benefits—but you also have to pay for your own car insurance.


car payments

Car payments

Ride-share companies won’t provide you with a vehicle the way that other taxi companies do for their employees. Providing yourself with a vehicle to drive and work in is also all on you.


vehicle maintenance

Vehicle maintenance

Any maintenance, repairs, and general upkeep that your vehicle will need in order for you to drive is completely your own responsibility. And since you are driving your vehicle for your work it is going to need much more regular maintenance.


gas

Gas

You are not reimbursed for what you spend on gas. Business insider found that drivers can spend up to $150 on gas just in a week, and the more you work, the more you’ll be spending on gas each week.


tolls

Tolls

If you drive through any tolls your passenger will likely pay an added amount on their fare, but you will be responsible for taking care of the toll fee upfront.



Overall

A recent study was done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2018 and they found that ride-share drivers may not be any better off than taxi drivers. They found that self-employed drivers only made up 35% of the driving business, and at an average $14 an hour they’re not even making a taxi driver’s salary of $30,000 a year. Because of this it seems ride-share driving truly does belong in the gig economy as more of a part-time job for extra cash, than a full-time occupation.

If working for yourself means a lot to you and the projected numbers we’ve outlined don’t look that bad, then maybe ride-share driving is still the gig for you. You can also always take advantage of Check City Title Loans to help your car stay in business. But it may also be a side gig that needs some revamping by those in charge in order to be made truly worth-while for the drivers once again.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs.”

“How Much Do Nurses Make?”

How Much Do Nurses Make?

How Much Do Teachers Make?

How Much Do YouTubers Make?

Technology Policy Institute: Studying the Global Information Economy. “The Competitive Effects of the Sharing Economy: How is Uber Changing Taxis?”

Economy Policy Institute. “Uber and the labor market Uber drivers’ compensation, wages, and the scale of Uber and the gig economy.”

New York Times. “With Uber’s I.P.O., Dara Khosrowshahi Is Taking Travis Kalanick’s Company Public.”

7 Cheap Ways to Travel on a Budget

cheap travel

Don’t give up on your traveling dreams because you think the cost is too high. There are many tips you can use to cut costs and save so you can travel successfully on a budget!

Fulfilling all your traveling dreams or going on a much-needed vacation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By using some key traveling hacks you can keep to a budget while you’re traveling so that your time to have fun and relax doesn’t break the bank.

1. Travel During the Off-Season

off season

Fall is the best time to travel. During the fall time, the crowds at popular tourist locations decrease and so do the prices of hotels and plane tickets. Fall is a less popular time of year for famous tourist spots because the weather is colder, school is starting, and it’s just not the typical time period for people to take off for vacations. So if you do have time to kick back and relax this fall, take advantage of fewer crowds and better prices by traveling in autumn!

2. Use Sites Like Kayak

kayak.com

One of the best ways to travel is to plan ahead and thoroughly compare hotels and airlines. There are plenty of websites you can now use to easily compare prices like, Kayak, Expedia, and Trip Advisor. That way you can browse one place to find the best prices for everything you’ll need while you travel.

3. Use the “Explore” Feature

explore

If you want to get out of town but you don’t have a particular place in mind, you can use the Explore section on Kayak.com. This feature allows you to see the cheapest flights from your location to different airports around the world. If you’re on a tight budget and you don’t know where to go, the explore feature also allows you to choose the cheapest ticket it can find.

4. Use Airbnb

airbnb

Once you get to your vacation destination, it may be difficult to find a cheap place to stay. Hotels are expensive and they can sometimes be out of the way and not very accommodating. So another cheap way to travel is by skipping the hotel altogether and using a site called Airbnb. Airbnb is a website that allows smaller bed-and-breakfast-type locations to show their accommodations and rates. Choose from a private house, apartment, room, or a shared space. Find the option that is best for your budget, as well as the best location and near the necessary transportation you need.

5. Stay at a Hostel

hostel

One cheap option that you won’t see on Airbnb is a hostel. Some people automatically rule this option out, because they want more privacy. However, hostels actually do offer smaller, private rooms for decent rates. Often they are in much better locations in large cities than small bed-and-breakfasts on Airbnb. They also usually offer free wi-fi and continental breakfast in the morning.

6. Go Camping

camping

Make your trip an outdoors trip and save tons of money on travel and living costs. Instead of staying at an overpriced hotel, bring your camping gear and sleep under the stars! Instead of driving everywhere and spending tons of money on gas, take full advantage of nature trails and biking. You can even save on travel costs by making your trip a hiking trip, or by riding bikes where you’re visiting instead of bringing your car or paying for taxis or ubers.

Going on an outdoors trip can also be a great way to see beautiful sights and tourist attractions for free! A lot of nature parks and outdoor sight-seeing are free to visit, giving you a great vacation idea that won’t cost an arm and a leg to go see.

7. Compare Prices

notes

When you’re going on vacation, compile lists of all the options you have to choose from. Compare total prices for each destination flight fare, housing accommodations, and additional transportation, as well as must-see tourist sights. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of prices and links to specific flights and lodgings. You may even be able to plan multiple vacations at one time.


Though vacations are fun, they are always better if you plan ahead. Be sure you check the weather before you leave in order to ensure that you pack appropriate clothing. And the trick is, do not overpack!


Cheap Road Trip Adventures

We’re getting towards the end of January and that means we have one more cold month of winter ahead of us. While winter is nice, it’s hard to enjoy waking up to 15 degree weather and icy windshields when you know that a quick road trip can land you smack dab in the middle of paradise. If you find yourself getting cabin fever sometime in the next few weeks, maybe a road trip is the answer you’re looking for.

 

“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.”
—Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

 

Road trips are all about spontaneity, adventure, discovery, roughing it, being creative, and enjoying all the quirks of life that come your way. But if you’re not afraid of the occasional wrong turn, eating PB&J for a week, or trying buffalo jerky from an out-of-the-way hunting lodge, a road trip could be just the adventure you are looking for.

Road trips can be one of the cheapest forms of vacationing. Rather than booking expensive hotels, eating at nice restaurants for every meal, and paying entrance fees to every theme park, attraction, and tourist hot-spot, road trips are about finding all the fun, free stuff. Of course, there will be expenses, the most notable gas. But between you and your friends (and phone apps that help you find the cheapest stations around), you should be able to handle the costs. Outside of that you may have to pay for a few nights at a motel or hostel and of course some food. But aside from that, you won’t have to pull your wallet out for much else.

HOW to Enjoy the Journey

road trip fun

1. Stock up before you go

Before you take off, stock up on your favorite foods, snacks, and music. Try to bring food that doesn’t need refrigeration and that can be enjoyed for days. PB&J works wonderfully. So do crackers, chips, popcorn, dried fruit, and trail mix. But make sure not to miss out on local cuisine as you drive through town. Many out-of-the-way cafes, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts offer great quality food for decent prices. This is your chance to sample some of the best food America has to offer. See what edible jewels you can find along the way.

2. Stock up on coupons

When you’re on the road it’s hard to not spend money on fast food. There are plenty of foods you can pack to save on road trip food costs, but if you do need to eat out a couple times, use coupons! Restaurants and fast food places often have apps that include points and discounts that you can use to get a meal without paying full price.

3. Enjoy what is around you

There are a lot of beautiful, exciting places out in Mother Nature that are there for you to enjoy at no cost. Relax at the beach, wander through a canyon, play hide-and-seek in a small forest, or explore the streets of out-of-the-way towns. Especially during the summertime, many cities and towns throw festivals, open street markets, celebrate holidays, and hold cultural events. These usually offer free concerts, dances, cheap specialty foods, and a lot of good times. These are fun, unique, exciting opportunities to experience the diversity that exists in your own backdoor. Have fun, make new friends and enjoy a cheap, quality entertainment!

4. Talk to the locals

Another good tip is to ask locals what to check out. Rather than chasing after the typical tourist sites or falling for the places with the biggest advertisements, ask locals where the best food is, what locals like to do for fun, or where to go to see the best sunsets.

5. Save by camping

Motels, inns, and hotels can be extremely expensive, and honestly, the more affordable options can be sketchy and gross. Skip it all together! Just go camping instead. Camping is better than cheap motel options because you can accumulate your own camping set up and sleep in comfort during your travels. You can always use a personal loan to take advantages of sales and help you purchase quality camping gear.

 
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy a adventurous and cheap road trip whether it’s this winter or any time of year!

Getting Home for Christmas as a Student

students

College students spend most of the their year away from home. So when the holiday season finally arrives, they often flock home in droves to be with family and get a much needed break from school. But traveling home for the holidays can be expensive and students often don’t have that kind of money on hand. Don’t waste money on expensive, last-minute flights, gas money, rescheduling, and bookings. If you want to save some money this year, remember the following advice as you plan your Christmas holiday travels.

Know your Schedule

schedule

The very first thing you’ll want to do when booking your holiday travels is to plan in advance, and don’t take gambles. These two simple principles can save you a lot of time, money, and headache. Don’t book a flight home until after you know your finals schedule. You may know when your finals week is, but talk to each of your professors because they may have their own scheduled testing times for their finals. By doing this you’ll be sure to not miss any tests and you’ll avoid having to pay extra to reschedule a plane ticket.

Most colleges are very strict about their finals’ policies. You can’t be sure a professor will let you take a test earlier than scheduled because of a booked flight. So be extra careful to schedule your travel plans home accordingly so they don’t overlap with any of your final exams. Likewise, if you check thoroughly with all of your professors, and you find that you’ll be done with your final exams early, then you’ll be free to book an earlier flight and enjoy some extra time to get home and enjoy the holidays!

Book Early

book flights for students

If you can, book your flight or train ticket as soon as possible. The earlier you book, the better deals you can get. But if you look for tickets within a month of Christmas break, prices will skyrocket. In order to save money you’ll want to avoid last minute booking as much as possible. Even buying a ticket a month in advance is better than buying plane tickets the week of.

Avoid Rescheduling

airplane

Changing your flight in the last minute will also cost an arm and a leg in rescheduling fees. But you can avoid needing to reschedule a plane ticket by having your finals schedule all planned out in advance so you don’t make any scheduling mistakes. You can also avoid needing to reschedule flights by getting to the airport early. That way you’ll have plenty of time to go through security and reach your gate.

Car Pooling

carpooling

If you live fairly close to home, try to find people to carpool home with. This is a great way to save money on gas, miles on your car (if you ride with someone else), and a much more enjoyable way to spend a long drive. Many universities offer carpool-organizing services that help students link up and arrange carpools home with each other. Websites like zimride.com post schedules, contact info, and prices for rides too. There are also private Facebook groups set up to help students from the same community arrange rides. Car pooling is generally always cheaper than flying so take advantage of these resources and get home without spending too much.

However, make sure you use websites and networks that can be trusted. Be careful in choosing your carpool buddies. It’s always a good idea to ride with people you already know, or link up with fellow students on University approved carpool sites and Facebook groups. Always let your loved ones know how you’re getting home and who you’re driving with. Remember, safety first!

Explore Options

home for christmas

Make sure you’ve explored all your options. Expensive plane tickets aren’t the only way to get home for the holidays. Sometimes driving can be cheaper than flying. Bus tickets may be more or less expensive than planes. Trains could also be a good way to go. Each area, method of travel, and time has its specific advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you know what is best for you. Also remember that the cheapest option may not be the best one. The headache and stress of organizing complicated, but cheap, travel routes may not be worth saving fifty bucks on a plane ticket. Compare prices and compare the overall hassle in order to figure out which travel option is best for you.

Try Google Flights

Make sure you explore your options for plane tickets because there are a lot of choices out there. Some airlines are going to have cheaper fairs than others so don’t only look into tickets from one airline. One of the best ways to check multiple flights at once is to use Google Flights, where you can search your destination and travel dates and find an array of choices.

 

Know your finals schedule, know your options, and stick to your budget. If you do, you should be able to make it home fine, with a little money left over, and enjoy a wonderful holiday season with your family!


Save Money While Traveling

travel

Traveling is a fun way to relax, see new things, and enjoy a much-needed break in our busy lives. But the money you spend when traveling can add up quickly.

Many people avoid traveling all together because of the heavy costs. You have to pay for gas, bus tickets, airplane tickets, food, hotels, uber rides, and so much more. With all these costs to be aware of, it is important to know how to get the best price for your travel. There are a few tricks you can use when you’re about to fly that can ensure you get the best prices on your airfare.

1. Know When to Purchase Tickets

time

Certain seasons, times, and even days of the week will have cheaper tickets than other times. Knowing when to buy plane tickets can make all the difference in helping you find the best ticket price. For instance, if your trip can wait until after the last week in August, you will see a dramatic drop in the price of tickets.

When you book your ticket on Tuesdays after 3:00pm, you will usually be looking through the newest sale prices. Because of this, competing airlines will attempt to match those prices, making Tuesdays the best day to find regular plane ticket deals.

2. Travel During the Off Season

off-season

Not only can you find better ticket prices during certain seasons, but everything else during your trip can be less expensive if you just go during the less popular months. Traveling off-season can help you enjoy your vacation more as well, since it won’t be as busy and crowded.

There’s nothing more disappointing than going somewhere cool and not being able to see and enjoy everything there because there are so many people. You can easily check out when the on and off seasons are by googling where you want to go and check out the popular times’ section.

3. Find Ticket Deals

promotion

Keep up to date with airline promotions and learn to recognize good deals. Follow your favorite airlines on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. You may also want to set up a price alert so you get an e-mail as soon as prices on your specified routes drop below a specific price.

You also need to know the difference between a good deal and a rip-off. Travel experts say that a one hour flight should be $150 or less, $210 or less for two hours, $280 or less for three hours, and $340 or less for over three hours. A plane ticket can also be a rip-off if the ticket price seems good, but your layovers are going to keep you traveling and waiting at airports all day.

4. Know When to Use Frequent Flyer Miles

frequent flyer miles

If you have frequent flyer miles, make sure that you use them on flights that are worth it. Use the miles on flights that are over $400, because then an otherwise expensive plane ticket will be heavily discounted by your accumulated miles. You can really take advantage of flyer miles when shopping for plane tickets too.

If you find a great deal with an airline that does frequent flyer miles and points, then you don’t need to be scared when buying a ticket. If you come across a better deal later you can always refund your previous ticket for miles.

5. Go Camping Instead of Going to a Hotel

camping

Hotels can be one of the more expensive parts of traveling. Even cheap motel rooms can add up after more than one night. Instead of paying for a crappy hotel room or an overpriced Airbnb, you can go camping instead! Depending on where you set up camp, it might even be free. But if you do need to pay for a campsite at a campground it can still be cheaper than paying for a hotel. Not only is it cheaper, but camping is more of an experience as well.

6. Don’t Travel with Cash

cash

Traveling with cash can be very dangerous. Instead of carrying around cash, try a Check City NetSpend debit card! A prepaid debit card will keep your vacation funds in one easy to use place, and will keep your funds safer than if you travel with cash in your pocket. You can also budget your travels with these cards by controlling how much you put on your card to keep yourself to a budget.


When you’re traveling this summer remember these tips so you can save money and have an even better flying and traveling experience.


(Travel Safety) The 11 Part Guide to Safe Travel

travel safety

Traveling can be our greatest joy and our greatest pain. But some of the hassles can actually be our own fault by making common travel mistakes.

There are a lot of things to prepare for when you’re going to go away for a while. You have lots of travel plans going on and you’re excited to see new places, have unique experiences, and get some much-deserved relaxation time.

But traveling can be dangerous too, which is why you want to educate yourself on how to travel safely and about your travel destination and route. As you learn about your vacation spot you can be sure to avoid as much trouble as possible.

Part One:

What to Do with Your Money

Be smart about the cash you carry. Don’t be flashy with your money. Don’t attract unwanted attention to yourself by flashing your cash around too much. It’s also a good idea not to carry too much cash on you at one time in case you do lose your wallet or get pickpocketed.

You should also learn about your card options in order to get the best travel credit card for emergency scenarios and traveling. Different cards will have different insurances for if your wallet gets stolen or easier freeze features so you can stop your card from getting used as soon as you realize it’s gone.

It’s always a good idea to get a wallet set-up specifically for traveling. You can get something light and portable that can easily hide in a hidden pocket on your coat, or you can get a special wallet that hides in your shoe or a belt.

Money isn’t the only valuable thing you need to take care of though. Keep your identification documents in a separate place so that they are not taken if you are pickpocketed.

Part Two:

Prepaid Phone Card

You want to have a way to make a phone call in case of an emergency.

This will come in handy if you get lost, don’t have service, lose your phone, get your phone stolen, or your phone dies or breaks.

One way to be prepared in case of a phone emergency is to carry around a prepaid phone card at all times. With a prepaid phone card, you can make emergency calls even if your cell phone is stolen.

You can easily get a prepaid phone card at a Check City Location before you head out on vacation.

Part Three:

Keep Someone Posted

Whether you’re traveling in a group or all by yourself, you should always keep someone back home posted on your status. Plan scheduled check-in times to keep in contact with someone so your whereabouts and wellbeing are kept track of in case anything should happen to you.

Make sure this designated person has keys to your house in case an emergency happens in your home while you’re away and someone needs to get in. Give them the address of your hotel so they can get ahold of you in case of emergencies as well.

Part Four:

Stranger Danger

Be careful about the friends you make while you’re traveling. Vacation can be a great time to meet new and interesting people and even make new friends. But you should still be responsible when interacting with people you don’t know.

Use common sense and make sure you remain in control of every situation you find yourself in. For instance, don’t get into the car of a stranger because that takes away all your control in that scenario. Instead, meet at a designated, public location where you can socialize in safety.

Part Five:

Beware of WiFi Scams

When you’re traveling in unfamiliar places there is also going to be unfamiliar wifi. Think twice before you accept those free, guest wifi connections. They can be a trap for scammers to get into your device and get access to your personal information.

Instead, you can bring your own portable router or you can use unlimited data on your plan instead of connecting to unsecured wifi.

Part Six:

Keep Track of Your Stuff

Losing your stuff while traveling can be a real tragedy. There are some precautions you can take to help keep track of all your valuables.

Use products from tile so you can essentially put a GPS on anything important.

You can also set up a GPS tracking system for your phone. There are GPS apps you can use to help you find your phone in case you lose it.

Travel insurance is another safety net you can set up before traveling. It will help cover the costs if you lose things or get things stolen while you’re traveling.

Part Seven:

Protect Your Home

When you’re traveling, you leave your home alone for a period of time. This can be a danger since it makes your home more vulnerable to burglars while you’re absent.

Make your home less vulnerable while you’re away by not posting too much about how you’re leaving on social media. Instead, you can wait until you get home to post all about your trip.

You could also have someone house-sit your home. You can hire someone you know to just live at your house while you’re gone, bring in the mail, and deter anyone looking for an easy mark.

But if you can’t get someone to stay at your house while you’re away, then you can set up your own home security system. This can alert your phone when someone breaks into your house. You can even install cameras in your home so you can check in on your place from your phone as well.

Part Eight:

Learn the Language

If you’re going to a foreign country you might not know the language. This can jeopardize your safety as well as cause a lot of extra hassle and stress for you. But you can learn the language!

Duolingo is a great place to go when you need to learn some language basics.

You can also buy a pocket dictionary to carry around with you. Many dictionaries will even have sections with key phrases you might need to use the most.

Part Nine:

Learn Some Geography

Do some research about where you’re going. If you learn some of the geography beforehand, then you might be less likely to get lost once you’re there.

There might also be places or parts of town you should avoid. You can look up the crime rates for the area you’re visiting to learn what places are safe and which ones are less safe.

Part Ten:

Be Prepared for Emergencies

A lot can happen when you’re out of your element.

There are a few things you can do to prepare for potential emergencies. You can memorize important phone numbers. You can also write down important phone numbers on a notecard to keep with you at all times.

Keep a hard-copy map on your person in case your phone dies.

Bring a portable charger pack with you so you can charge your phone on the go.

Have enough money on you at all times for a bus fare to get back to your hotel. Try hiding your bus fare on your person somewhere so it’s less likely to get taken if you get mugged, that way you’ll still be able to easily get home.

Part Eleven:

Know the Scams

Tourists can be especially vulnerable to scams. You don’t know the area, you aren’t familiar with the local businesses, and scammers can take advantage of that.

Different locations will also have their own common scams. Take a moment to look up the kinds of ploys and scams you should be aware of.


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