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10 ways other than Uber & Lyft to make money using your car

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 3:34 AM

Let’s face it: A 9 to 5 is not for everyone, and that’s OK. Advances in technology and the way work gets done means that, today, the sharing economy is a viable means of making a living for untold numbers of Americans.

One thing that means is that if you have a vehicle — whether it’s paid off or not — you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to being able to generate a considerable amount of income.

10 ways (besides Uber & Lyft) to get paid while driving your car

Much has been made about the most well-known ridesharing services, Uber and Lyft, and how they allow drivers to get paid for ferrying people around town. But the truth is that many of those drivers are making less than minimum wage or even losing money after expenses, according to a recent MIT paper.

But take heart, there are more profitable ways to earn income behind the wheel. Here are several that you could consider, if they’re available in your area:


Unlike Uber and Lyft,  DoorDash  doesn’t care about the condition of your car, as long as you have a license, insurance and a clean driving record. DoorDash does offer supplemental insurance “up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties” if the crash occurs while on a “Dash” (delivery).

DoorDash gets food to people wherever they are, whether it’s at a picnic, a family reunion, their home or place of business. You’ll have to pass a background check, which is initiated during the application process on the site.

What about the pay? The company advertises that you can “Get your first check this week.” According to the site, you get paid on a weekly basis for all deliveries completed between Monday to Sunday of the previous week (ending Sunday at midnight PST). Direct deposits usually take a few days, so expect to see the fruit of your labor on Wednesday nights, the service says in the website’s FAQ section.

For “DoorDash Orders,” delivery pay is calculated as $1 + 100% of tip + pay boost. The pay boost amount will vary based on order complexity, distance and other factors. For “Driver Orders,” it’s $5 per delivery and 100% of tip paid to DoorDash by the customer or merchant. Click here to their Dasher Pay Model FAQ.


Caviar  couriers can earn up to $25 an hour driving or riding their bike and delivering food to their neighbors. Through its app, you can tell Caviar when you’re available to work and orders will appear on your smartphone. From there, all you have to do is choose to accept or not.

What about the pay? “Money is deposited directly to your bank account each week,” the service says on its website.


Like DoorDash, Roadie   doesn’t care how old or what condition your car is in, as long as you can get from point A to point B. The site matches people who need items delivered with drivers already headed in that direction. To join as a driver, you just sign up, create a “Gigs Alert,” make offers and wait for them to be accepted. Two of the perks include discounted roadside assistance and free Waffle House!

What about the pay? Roadies get paid via direct deposit. “Each direct payment should appear in your designated bank account within 4 – 6 business days of Gig completion,” it says on the site.


One of the largest service economy food-delivery platforms, Grubhub  promises its drivers competitive pay and a flexible schedule. One benefit of driving for Grubhub is that the network is so vast, you can stay quite busy if you want to.

What about the pay? Many areas have guaranteed hourly minimums, so once you sign up, the company wants you to refer to your individual “Grubhub Payment Terms” to find out what your local rate will be. As for the formula, it says on Grubhub’s support website that “You will be paid per order + 0.50 cents per mile from the restaurant to the customer + 100% of your tips.” On online forums, many drivers said they made around $10 an hour.


Part of the Grubhub network, Seamless  lets people order food for delivery or takeout from their favorite local restaurant. This means you get to drive for Seamless and Grubhub, giving you the opportunity to earn more money. Seamless has the cooler slogan, though, which includes the line, “No menus, no phone calls, no repeating yourself.”

What about the pay? It’s the same as Grubhub.


Wrapify  will pay you for advertising a particular company by covering your vehicle’s exterior in a branded wrap. Clients get to select daily mileage caps but the drivers get to approve campaigns before going forward. Drivers get paid by the mile along with a visibility formula that includes time of day and areas of heavy traffic.

What about the pay? For a full wrap, you can make between $264 and $452 a month, according to Wrapify’s website. For a partial wrap, the earnings are $196 – $280 a month. And for just a panel, you can make around $84 – $140 every 30 days. Carvertise is a similar service, but they usually pay only about $100 a month.

Amazon Flex

Amazon Flex is the program Amazon uses, outside of its courier staff, for regular people to deliver packages to customers. Promoted as a “be your own boss” type of gig, Amazon Flex offers people who don’t want to deal face-to-face with customers an easy way to make money. The flip side of that is that you have to be Johnny on the Spot at those fulfillment centers.

What about the pay? Amazon says that drivers can make $18 to $25 an hour, but you’d better not be late with those deliveries: The company’s one-to-two-hour Prime Now promise is at stake.


One of the most popular grocery-delivery services,  Shipt  was bought by Target late last year. If you sign up to drive for Shipt you’re also more or less a shopper as well. That means you’ll be responsible for orders as small as a stick of butter and as large as a whole shopping cart full of groceries.

What about the pay? Shipt says that most of its shoppers earn between $15 and $25 per hour, but that depends on the size of the orders, your ability to shop quickly and the distance you have to drive to complete the delivery. For an in-depth look at the service, See our 5 things to know about Shipt story.


Instacart  promises some deliveries in as little as one hour. Once catering to a more exclusive crowd (Whole Foods), Instacart in recent years has expanded to major retailers such as Kroger, Food Lion and the like. The Instacart app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices (sorry, Android users).

What about the pay? Shoppers’ wages are based on a per-item commission as well as per-order — and they vary depending on what city you’re in. Some make more, some make less. This woman makes $17 an hour shopping.


If you happen to have a large vehicle like a van, truck or semi, you can make some decent money by becoming a carrier with uShip , a shipping marketplace that helps you bid on customers’ shipments. You might surprised how many people need help hauling large items on a recurring basis — and cross-country. The site charges a fee for drivers, but that is typically built into your bid price.

What about the pay? It depends on what you bid. Like most of the other apps, there’s no hand-to-hand payment. The customer pays the entire shipping cost at booking and releases it to the carrier at the time of delivery. Drivers get paid via payment code, available within their booking confirmation email.

Getting paid for driving your car looks like it’s here to stay. The more sophisticated the sharing economy grows, the more prevalent services like these will become. And that’s a good thing for people who want to have more flexibility in their lives and earn some cash at the same time.

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Downtown Dayton office building/Table 33 home sells for $2.8M

Published: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 @ 2:08 PM

Dayton city garage maintenance worker Kevin Price points upward at the 130 W Second St./ 1st National Plaza in downtown Dayton in this 2001 photo. FILE
Dayton city garage maintenance worker Kevin Price points upward at the 130 W Second St./ 1st National Plaza in downtown Dayton in this 2001 photo. FILE

A downtown Dayton office building near the federal building sold for just over $2.8 million today, according to local property records.

Titan Loan Investment Fund L.P. is identified as both the buyer and the seller for the May 1 transaction at 130 W. Second St. in downtown Dayton, according to Montgomery County property records.

The transaction is a sale to an investor named Brian Lash, a new owner coming into the market for this building, said Katie Doup, a Columbus-area spokeswoman with  real estate firm CBRE. She said a fuller press release was being prepared now on Lash’s investment in Dayton and his plans. 

 MOREMaker of Gibson guitars declares bankruptcy

Doup also said a second announcement on the sale of another Dayton building may be forthcoming in the near future. 

The 22-story building at 130 W. Second was on sale with an asking price of $4.25 million, according to a LoopNet real estate listing. It offered a rentable building area of just over 326,000 square feet and was built in 1972.

Acadia, the Table 33 restaurant, IT firm DataYard and County Corp. are some of the building’s most notable tenants. 

Acadia moved to the building last year from Kettering. The company moved to 4,800-square-feet of offices in that building.

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6 tax mistakes procrastinators make and how to avoid them

Published: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 11:46 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 11:46 PM

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Taxes

We get it. Doing your taxes is no fun, especially if you know you’re going to owe money. But as with any project on which you procrastinate, leaving everything to the last minute can lead to errors, both large and small, and some of those errors could cost you serious money.

If you’ve gone and done it, though, and are still looking at that pile of tax forms over there in the corner, we’ve compiled a list of six quick-and-dirty tips that could keep you from making some obvious, and not-so-obvious, mistakes when you finally sit down and tackle the task. They could also help you maximize your tax refund.

1. You Forgot to Sign It

You might wonder how anyone could forget to sign their tax form, but this simple process is one of the most common tax mistakes, according to the IRS. Just like forgetting to sign a check or a contract, it means your return isn’t valid. Usually, there isn’t a penalty or interest associated with this error (since you’ve already included a check or electronic payment if you owed), so the IRS will just send a notice asking for a valid signature, but it will delay the processing of your return. If you’re getting a refund, that too will be delayed.

So check, double-check — heck, triple-check — that you signed or completed the e-signature process before filing your return. Also, check out these last-minute filing tips from the IRS.

2. You Miscarried the 9

Math errors are also a very common mistake made by folks in a hurry. Fortunately for most people, the IRS corrects any miscalculations, so there’s no need for filing an amended return. But these mistakes can mean the difference between you thinking you’re getting a refund and the reality that you actually owe taxes, so be sure to check your calculations carefully.

One way to help you avoid math errors is to file electronically so the calculations are done for you. Bye-bye, No. 2 pencil! So long, calculator!

3. You Didn’t Account for All Your Income

Did you have a side hustle early last year? A freelance design gig for a friend’s business? If so, you’re going to need to account for it, regardless of whether you received a W-2 or 1099 from whomever paid you. That’s because, while there’s an IRS threshold for filing these documents by employers, there’s no similar threshold for claiming the income. Income is income is income. If you made money and don’t report it — and the IRS catches it — it’s going to cost you penalties and interest at best, and open you to a possible audit at worst.

4. You Forgot Deductions or Tax Credit

It’s easy to forget these things when you’re in a hurry, but they can end up saving you some serious money and are well worth the extra time to figure out if you qualify. So if you’re just claiming the standard deductions because you’re under the gun, you might want to take a deep breath and check out TurboTax’s list of 10 commonly overlooked tax deductions that can keep you from overpaying the tax man.

5. You Filed for an Extension but Didn’t Understand the Rules

Filing for an extension is a great idea if you’re down to the wire and don’t really understand your tax situation. But remember that an extension gives you an extra six months to file your paperwork, but not an extra six months to pay any taxes due. So, if you’re confused, tax pros recommend doing a quick calculation of your taxes, filing for your extension and making any required payment of taxes you think you owe. This will help you avoid penalties and interest once you get your final calculations together.

6. You Didn’t Bother to Request an Extension

You gave up. You shoved, slammed and jammed your return through and now it’s full of mistakes that are going to cost you money by way of penalties or because you’ve left money on the table. It’s a much better idea to file the extension, then get the help you need from a tax professional to ensure you’re not overpaying your taxes.

Whatever you do, make sure you file your taxes. Unpaid taxes can have serious consequences on your personal finances, including your credit scores if they go unpaid long enough.

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11 ways to reduce next year’s tax bill

Published: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 11:55 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 11:55 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 14:  Liberty Tax Service tax preparer Ronn Seely works on tax returns on April 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 14: Liberty Tax Service tax preparer Ronn Seely works on tax returns on April 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If you claimed the right number of dependents and standard deductions on your 2017 federal income tax return and you still ended up owing the IRS, you’re probably looking to avoid a repeat performance next year. Luckily, there are several ways to increase your chance for a refund (or at least reduce the amount you’ll owe) and you don’t have to be a tax whiz or accountant to take advantage.

Here are 11 ways you can pay less in federal taxes for your income return next year.

1. Contribute to a 401K or IRA

Contributing to a retirement fund is an important way to ensure financial independence in your golden years, but it can also convey short-term tax benefits. In most cases, the contributions you make to your 401K and IRA plans are tax-deductible and are not included in your taxable income at the end of the year. (Note: If you didn’t contribute to an IRA in 2017, you still have time. You have until April 17 to contribute up to the maximum amount and shave off a good chunk of your tax bill. Filed your taxes already? That’s OK. You can file an amended return to reflect the contribution.)

2. Buy a Home

There’s a distinct tax benefit to home ownership. The interest you pay on your mortgage is tax-deductible, and the interest is front-loaded. For the first several years, most of your mortgage payment goes toward interest, which will drastically reduce your adjusted gross income at tax time. Want an extra boost for your taxes next year? Consider paying January 2019’s mortgage payment in December to get a tax benefit before the end of the year.

3. Donate to Charity or Volunteer

You probably know charitable donations can be itemized and deducted from your income, so you’ll want to save receipts anytime you donate cash or items to charity. You can even deduct miles you travel for volunteering or other charity work.

“Miles you travel on behalf of a charity are deductible at 14 cents per mile for 2018,” said Gail Rosen, CPA.

4. Start a Home Business

Starting a home business can provide you with a new source of income and allow you to take deductions off any income the business generates.

These deductions include business costs you incur throughout the year, a portion of your mortgage and utilities if you use a home office and the cost of goods needed to keep your business running. You can even deduct startup costs.

“Any expenses that are incurred before the first sale are ‘start-up costs,’” Rosen said. “These costs cannot be deducted until the first sale. Then they are deducted over 15 years and you can deduct the first $5,000 in the first year.”

5. Search for a New Job

If you hunt for a new job in your field this year, you can write off some qualifying expenses as you search. There are exceptions, but potential write-offs include things like clothes or travel.

“If you looked for a new job in 2018, you should be aware of the income tax deduction that may be available with respect to job-search costs,” Rosen said. “Qualifying expenses are deductible even if they do not result in a new job being offered or accepted.”

6. Open a Flexible Spending Plan

Many employers offer flexible spending plans that let you contribute toward yearly medical expenses pre-tax. These contributions typically don’t count toward your taxable income.

7. Deduct Medical or Dental Expenses

Many medical and dental expenses are tax-deductible. According to Rosen, the cost of getting to and from medical treatment is deductible at 17 cents per mile, plus the cost of tolls and parking, and dependent expenses are also deductible.

“If you cover the medical cost of dependents, these can be deducted. Additionally, if you are covering the costs of an individual who would qualify as your dependent except that they have too much gross income — for example, an elderly parent — you may be able to deduct these costs as well,” said Rosen.

8. Education-Related Expenses

Current and former students have many eligible deductions and credits related to their education expenses. Paid student loan interest and tuition and fees can be claimed as deductions. Eligible current students can also access the American Opportunity Credit, which can cover up to $2,500 annually for four years, and the Lifetime Learning Credit, which can cover up to $2,000 per tax return.

9. Install Solar Energy

Homeowners who install solar energy systems in their home can get back tax credits at up to 30% of the cost of installation. This credit will begin to decrease after 2019 so you may want to act soon if you’re planning on installing solar panels.

As an added bonus, solar energy can significantly reduce your energy bills.

10. Hunt Down Every Available Tax Credit

We’ve named several tax credits above, but there are more, including credits for adopting children, the cost of child care and low-income households. Tax credits are more valuable than deductions, as they reduce your taxable income on a dollar-for-dollar basis, so make sure you’re taking advantage of every option.

11. Get a Pro to Do Your Taxes

No matter how much research you do, a professional may be able to identify tax deductions and credits that hadn’t occurred to you. Paying a reputable professional you trust can help you stay organized and minimize your tax liability. Here’s a handy guide to finding the right tax professional for your needs.

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5 surefire ways to retire earlier than you thought

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

The following are five surefire ways to get to retirement quicker Set clear goals for yourself and track your progress Working hard and being disciplined is the most reliable ways to retire early Streamline your spending and scale back on luxuries Cut your housing expenses Put your money to work - wisely

Retirement can seem like a difficult goal to reach, so the thought of achieving it early may seem downright impossible.

But getting to retirement quicker doesn't require genius-level investing knowledge or extreme deprivation. With a plan, hard work and discipline, you may be able to get there sooner rather than later.

RELATED: House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loans

The following are five surefire ways to get to retirement quicker:

Set clear goals for yourself

Consumer adviser Clark Howard recently shared advice from Chris Reining, who decided in his late 20s that he wanted to retire early. By the time he turned 37, he was able to reach this goal.

Howard said he thought setting clear goals was one of the most important things that Reining did. He labeled his investment account "Retire early" so he could see the words every day. In addition, Reining tracked his progress by using a spreadsheet you can get on his website. He wanted to save up 25 times his annual expenses before retiring.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Work hard

The Forbes Finance Council recommends working hard and being disciplined as the most reliable ways to retire early.

This can be achieved through a high-paying job combined with saving as much of your income as possible. Another path is starting your own business.

Reduce spending

Forbes quotes a blogger who retired early and says that streamlining your spending is an important step toward achieving this goal. It's not glamorous or complicated, but it works.

He suggests scaling back on luxuries and investing your savings in a low-cost index fund. When you accumulate 25 to 30 times your annual spending in this type of account, you can quit working for the rest of your life.

This Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, photo shows a new home for sale in a housing development in Raeford, N.C. On Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates.

Cut your housing expenses

If you're like most people, your home is your biggest expense, so it's also your biggest opportunity to save, according to Money.

Housing costs take up about a third of the average budget, so Money recommends not taking out the biggest mortgage you can get. Live in a more modest-sized home when possible, and in some cases, homeowners can purchase a two-family home, living in one side and renting out the other.

Put your money to work - wisely

CNBC talked to Scott Alan Turner, who had more than $70,000 in debt at age 25, yet managed to turn things around and retire by age 44.

He put his money to work and although he made some mistakes in the beginning, he evolved into what he calls a boring investor. His savings are automatically funneled into low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffet calls a surefire way to build wealth.


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