credit card debt and the gig economy

I’m really excited to talk to you about my experience as an Uber driver and freelance experience (it’s a great way to get closer to a man’s yearly earnings). When you’re a single woman it’s a great idea to figure out a side hustle because the bills don’t seem to stop.

 

Having some Uber Driver money (or other side hustle) in your pocket can change your life

A trip to Ulta beauty to buy one lipstick from Urban Decay can cost you over 19 bucks. You can probably make this much money in about an hour driving Uber if you need to stock up on makeup or buy organic groceries for your persistently hungry teenagers.

 

First, let’s talk about the gender pay gap between women and men

Well, it’s no secret women in America earn an average income well below that of men (no kidding). I’m going to fill you in with some staggering statistics.  

I got these numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and The Institute For Women’s Policy Research. Through these sources, I  discovered full time working women only earn $0.76 to every working man’s dollar. Holy smoke! I’ve created a handy dandy chart for you here so it’s easy to understand how much more money men are making than you. 

 

Chart comparing incomes of men and women

Men make almost $500,000 more than you make lifetime

When you add it up it seems almost unbelievable. I’m terrible in math and at first thought, it was $50,000. I wish I would have been right. It’s time for us to catch up with men.

In many households today the gig economy is a real thing because it has to be— especially for single women

We need to make more money— that’s the bottom line. And if you’re not doing any side gigs yet, you might want to consider it and pay off your Sallie Mae student loans for the English degree you’re not even using. 

The gig economy became popular during the financial crisis of 2008 to 2009. During this to time, people had to find ways to make some cash.

Gigging is ever expanding and hopefully, women’s pay will also expand enough to catch up 

This gig economy now is estimated to have around 34% of the workforce, and by 2020 it’s expected to be closer to 43%. So almost half of Americans will be doing side gigs. There is a good reason for this (or rather, a bad one).

Debt is skyrocketing out of control for too many people

No wonder side gigs are happening— the approximate debt of the average American is about $38,000 according to CNBC. That’s more money than the average woman makes in the US until she hits her 35th birthday. This amount of debt is unacceptable!

 

This information (and rant) is coming from a woman who filed bankruptcy 5 years ago due to drowning in over $45,000 in credit card debt after a divorce

This whopping average debt includes mortgages, student loans, car loans, and personal loans and of course credit cards (with exorbitant interest rates). People today often don’t have a choice but to enter the gig economy.

briefcase full of money

You need money. I need money. We all need more money. You can do it with freelancing

Harvard Business Review estimated that about 150 million  North American and Western European countries were independent contractors. I’m one of them (in many areas). I’m not a steady paycheck kind of person, and I’m used to fluctuating income sources. Maybe you don’t know anything different.

 

What’s it’s like being a full-time gigger and entrepreneur

I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my adult life. I’ve also had brick-and-mortar businesses, bartended, managed restaurants, waited tables, sold stuff on eBay and Etsy, still have a concession stand and face painting business, and currently do lots and lots of freelance writing, branding, and copywriting for other businesses.

 

I live and breathe the gig economy. I haven’t had a “real” job ever— at times it’s scary (but it’s totally worth it!)

I’ve also been fired and squeezed out of more jobs than I can count on one hand. And it’s not because I’m lazy or don’t know what I’m doing. It was because I questioned authority— always. And wanted to live a life filled with freedom and of course, I love me some risk.

happy single woman jumping for joy

So I’ve embraced the whees! And OMGs! of the gig economy

I’m a bit of rebel and like doing something different every day in my life. The corporate world was never a good fit for me (not that I ever tried it). Living the life of a gigger isn’t always consistent, but it’s exciting.

So even if you like the 40-hours-a-week job with consistent pay, you can still dig up a few hours somewhere to be part of the ever-growing gig economy. You might get the gig bug and never look back. But if you’re not ready for that—

 

Becoming an Uber Driver is an easy fit for the single woman lifestyle who’s still in the regular workforce

It doesn’t matter if you’re a cashier at Wawa or a professor of Economics (who happens to have summers off). You can drive for Uber, meet amazing people and make some extra moolah.

There are many other things you can do to make extra cash too. You can clean someone’s house, sell clothes on Poshmark, do social media posts for a local business, or walk your neighbor’s furry bestie, named Jerry Seinfeld.

single woman eating pizza and having a drink

Or you sit on your butt in your car with the windows down and the radio turned up (and work whenever you feel like it)

Even when you work full time sometimes it feels like they’re still not enough money, and that is because there isn’t.

 

Single women have a disadvantage, but you have the power to figure out what you need to do to reach your goals and keep some gourmet pizza on the table

Hopefully, you have enough to pay your outrageous phone bill and have a little fun, but if you don’t, you probably need a little side hustle in your life

Let’s say you’ve been grinding 6am-5:30 pm every day for the past 20 years. You need a break. You love to go out for drinks and dinner with your girlfriend’s every week. After you get the tab for one evening out, you’re probably spending 20-50 bucks. Now if you go to the salon (a girl’s got to pamper herself!) we’re talking $100 or even more!

happy single woman shopping

Besides buying new shoes and lipstick, you can use Uber bucks to save up to buy a home, or stash money away in your savings account or get a much-deserved pedicure

Even if you have a high-paying job, just imagine having a source of income that is purely for savings, or can get you to your dream vacation goals even faster. Where do you want to go? Venice, Italy, Machu Picchu or even New York City? Or how about all three? That’s what I’m talking about!

 

If becoming an Uber driver is something that actually interests you, I’m sure you’re wondering how much can I earn with Uber?

Lucky for you (and for me) I just finished doing my 2018 taxes. Some people aren’t quite so transparent with their money, but I don’t mind. So here is what I made driving very part-time. Ok, there are some one dollar bills under those hundreds. 

big box full of money

Here’s the breakdown of  how much I made driving Uber:

 

Completed trips:  945

Miles driven:  7310

Gross earnings (what I made before deductions):  $11,190.76

Uber fees (there are several different ones): $4,195.23

My net payout (what I made after deductions in 2018):  $6,995.53

single woman on the beach

I made an extra $7,000 driving Uber part-time

That breaks down to $583.33 extra per month. Not too shabby. I made more than enough in the past year to pay for plane tickets to Phoenix, Saint Pete and Myrtle Beach and also upscale hotels, food and $4.50 ginger ale at my bougie hotels.

Another great thing about being an Uber driver is I had a juicy deduction on my taxes thanks to the increased IRS standard mileage rate.

The standard deduction for business mileage in 2018 was 54.5 cents. So my $7,301  gave me a $3,947 deduction on my taxes. Yeah, baby. We can all use a little reduction.

 

Here’s one of my favorite Uber driver hacks:

If I need to take a trip to Target or the Aldi grocery store, I simply turn my Uber driver app on to destination mode. So while I run errands for my household I can make some money. I also can get compensated for mileage on my taxes.

 

When you pick up passengers while you’re out shopping or going to the post office, you can pay for your new sandals and gluten-free crackers

Then when I’m on my way home, I turn on my destination mode on again toward my house. Then I can also write off the mileage or travel time on Uber. My experience with Uber has been a great one. It’s given me more freedom and I’ve also made great connections in my community it’s a good thing when you’re single.

When you drive for Uber you can meet your neighbors, and even strike up business deals while you’re driving. The benefits to this side gig are incredible.

single women traveling by gig economy

Do you want to know some more of the benefits of driving for Uber as a side gig?

 

  • You can work whenever you feel like it.
  • There’s no boss to answer to.
  • You can eat on the job.
  • Your favorite Thievery Corporation pandora station can play all day long.
  • If it snowing you can stay in bed?
  • When it’s beautiful outside, you can pick up a passenger, and make $10 on your way to the beach.
  • You can write off candy and drinks for passengers, your car waxed, probably even a new iPhone (for mileage tracking) on your taxes. However, you need to talk to your tax professional about this, because I’m definitely not an accountant.

 

So if you want to become an Uber driver, you can click here for my referral link. I could receive a commission for referring you. So if you do you’ll be helping another single woman out while taking the wheel of your own life. 

 

Here are some of the basic requirements to become an Uber driver

However, these could change at any time. They were relevant the day this article was published.

 

  • You have to be 21 years of age or older
  • Must have a four-door car truck or van that is less than 10 years old (usually).
  • Have an insurance policy
  • Have a current driver’s license in your state
  • Current vehicle registration and license plate
  • Social security number
  • You have to pass a  driving record check in a background check

 

These are the basics. I hope this has been educational and is giving you the inspiration to increase your income as a single woman. I know it can be hard paying all the bills by yourself and creating a lifestyle that you love. Doing freelance gigs have given me more freedom, an opportunity to travel more, and have some extra money in the bank. You can do it too!

Lots of Love,

Dina Colada

 

Dina Colada is a contributing author at Secure Single LLC. You can connect with her at DinaColada.com for loads of dating advice and profile makeovers or on Instagram.

 

Secure Single provides a forum for a diverse variety of perspectives, ideas, experiences, and resources and does not take official stances. All writers speak exclusively for themselves. Concurrently, any quotes, shares, reposts, interviews, etc. do not imply endorsement by Secure Single LLC or its curators. Now go live your best single life!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dina has been mostly single for much of her adult life with lots of dating in between some short, yet growth-centered relationships. She has devoted most of her time to helping singles thrive while on the path to love. She is multi-passionate and loves to connect with other entrepreneurs— Especially ones that are single!
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