Web Site: http://www.thecasualcapitalist.com
Bio: Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.
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- Sign up to the service – You can sign up through FB, Google, or email. As you sign up your identity and eligibility to drive is verified.
- Search for the perfect car – When you enter the travel dates and location and you are presented with a wide selection of unique locally owned cars
- Book the Car – Book the car that you fancy and the owner should confirm or decline your request within eight hours. Alternatively, get instant bookings by clicking on listings that have the “Book Instantly” badge
- Pick up the Car or Have it Delivered – Meet the car owner, show your license, inspect the vehicle and drive off into the sunset for a time of your life. Many car owners offer delivery and can bring the car to you.
- Return the Car – After your trip, replace the gas used and meet the owner to give them back the car. Again, inspect the car, hand over the keys and thank them for their service.
- List the Car – You can list your car with just a few clicks. Remember to include a description and a few photos of the vehicle to improve chances of it being rented. Additionally, keep the calendar up-to to date so travelers know when the car is available.
- Respond to Inquiries – Notifications are instantly sent to you when someone requests or books your car. Be sure to confirm or decline as soon as possible and contact the traveler in case you have any questions
- Deliver / Give out the Car – Communicate and organize with the traveler about pickup details. Inspect the traveler’s license, check the car for fuel and mileage and then hand them the keys.
- Earn in Your Sleep – You can kick back and earn in your sleep. Turo covers your car with $1 million in liability insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance throughout the trip. Just lie back and watch as the dollars roll in.
- Pick up your Car – Meet the traveler and receive back your car. As always, inspect it to ensure everything is as it should be. And don’t forget to rate and review the traveler in the app to keep the marketplace transparent.
- Be at least 18 years old with an iPhone or Android smartphone and willing to volunteer their social security number
- Have a valid driver’s license, insurance, a clean driving record and at least a year worth of driving experience. You can deliver using any vehicle.
- Dashers can also deliver on foot, on motorcycles, scooters, bikes etc.
- Lower interest rates on average. Online platforms don’t have branches or other major overheads enabling them to pass the cost benefits directly to borrowers.
- Faster processing of loans. Online lending platforms employ automated risk profile scoring algorithms that enable them to quickly determine the risk profile of a borrower.
- Loan terms are clearly stipulated. The days of combing through fine-print to find the hidden fees and charges are long gone.
- Better risk adjusted returns. Most online platforms lend to people and businesses that may be considered riskier by traditional banks in terms of creditworthiness. This enables them to charge higher interest rates.
- Transparency in loan investments. Online platforms provide a variety of data for each loan giving the investor a clear understanding of what they are investing in.
- Access to a high-yield investment class. Let’s face it, the interest rates on your savings are earning a paltry amount. Online lending opens up a better option for lenders to earn better returns.
- Access to credit profiles for each approved loan. This enables an investor to make better and informed decisions on their investment.
- Borrower credit risk. A borrower may default on the loan risking the lender’s investment.
- Liquidity and regulatory risks. P2P lending is a new concept and they are still legal gray areas being addressed.
- Investors bear more risk than borrowers. While a slightly different way of lending, normal borrower protections still apply. Among them are laws on usury, debt collection practices, regulations against discrimination for borrowers etc.
- A limited operating history for most p2p lending platforms.
- Potential for fraud due to online anonymity.
- Inefficiencies in the proprietary credit risk scoring methods used on the lending platforms.
- Lack of clear regulations with regards to online p2p platforms.
- Stiff competition from traditional banks that are fast catching up.
Something we get asked very often here at the Casual Capitalist is: how does Turo work? Today, we want to break this amazing car-sharing platform down for you.
Turo is a peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace that connects private car owners and people who require vehicles all via an easy web and mobile interface.
It was founded back in 2009 as RelayRides and inspired by the other sharing economy companies such as Airbnb. It later re-branded to Turo to reflect the changing nature of its marketplace – where users can rent out or find vehicles for their trips for longer periods of time, such as three, five days or more.
So How Does Turo Work?
On the Turo website and app, users can choose from over 800 makes and models of cars to rent.
Car owners offer their cars in over 250 cities and 300 airports across the country, sometimes with delivery included.
How Does Turo Work With Renting A Car?
Listing Your Car on Turo as an Owner
Renting out your car to travelers is an easy and straightforward process:
How Does Turo Work for Making Money?
When you list your car on the platform, Turo dynamically sets your car’s rental price based on a variety of factors.
This includes your vehicle’s market value, time of the year (for example during the holidays demand might be high), location and other factors in order to maximize earnings for your listing. Alternatively, you can manually set the daily rental price for your car.
Let’s say the market value for your car is around $20,000 and you are willing to rent it out for 10 days a month.
According to the Turo calculator here, you could earn upwards of 4500 in a year!
Your earnings are paid via direct deposit within five days of the trip ending. You can earn anywhere from 65% – 85% of the trip price depending on the vehicle protection package you choose and 90% of the trip price if you have commercial rental insurance and waive the protection Turo provides.
How does Turo work when it comes to listing your car and how much does it cost?
Well, the best part, it’s absolutely free to list your car with Turo. You incur no monthly fees or buy-ins of any kind!
Turo verifies the identity of each traveler and runs complete background checks as an added insurance against anything happening to your car. In addition, they assist you every step of the way to ensure you are earning as much as you can with your car while still enjoying your peace of mind.
And that’s everything you need to know to get started on Turo.
How Does Turo Work: Final Thoughts
So, do you have a car that is just sitting idle in your driveway?
Do you want to create another source of income and beat living from paycheck to paycheck?
Are you a retiree who doesn’t use their car often and could do with some extra income in retirement?
Now you know how Turo works, so check out them now and see if it’s right for you.
It will only take a few minutes, and cost you nothing!
It’s not just millennials participating in the sharing economy; seniors are finding some flexible and exciting retirement jobs as well.
Sharing economy websites are digital platforms that allow people like you to make money from things you already own – such as your car, home, skills, hobbies, consumer items, and much more.
Sharing Economy Retirement Jobs By The Numbers
Research indicates that 24% of those ages 55 and older found retirement jobs in the sharing economy. And, at least 28% of this generation has used a sharing economy service.
One of the reasons is that boomers have gotten comfortable with technology: According to one PEW research, 58% of people ages 65 and older use the internet. And more that 27% of this generation own a smartphone.
Numbers aside, the sharing economy affords those in retirement an avenue to bring in extra income to supplement their retirement income. And making money especially in retirement is a good idea, you don’t want to outlive your nest egg.
Sharing economy as a retirement job has other benefits for boomers such as keeping them active and fostering social connections. The opportunities are flexible, a key benefit for those in retirement.
Retirement Jobs: So What’s Available?
While there are some popular services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, today we explore five other services and websites that are tapping into the sharing economy for retirement jobs, especially for boomers. both as a source of potential income and assistance in retirement.
These digital platforms can be both a retirement job and source of income, as well as providing assistance in retirement.
Retirement Jobs: SilverRide
With SilverRide, seniors can enjoy fulfilling mobility at their own convenience.
It provides rides to older people who in some cases might need extra assistance. Whether going for a doctor’s appointment or picking up your grandkids from school, SilverRide has you covered.
SilverRide doesn’t stop at offering rides however, their services are tailored to be a complete package with personalized rides and a full concierge service.
SilverRide’s drivers are specially trained in geriatric physical assistance and receive instructions on First Aid to better assist riders. They accompany and engage with seniors through their excursions providing freedom, independence, and fun.
Talk about perfect retirement jobs for seniors!
Retirement Jobs: SilverNest
This is a unique roommate matching service for seniors, baby boomers, and empty nesters. SilverNest brings together those looking for roommates and those with rooms to spare in their homes.
Users can search for their ideal housemate based on their preferred criteria and SilverNest handles the verification of identities, running background checks making it easier for seniors to bring in extra income.
In terms of low-maintenance retirement jobs, SilverNest is a perfect fit. Otherwise, check out the larger home-sharing platform Airbnb if SilverNest isn’t in your area.
According to SilverNest CEO and co-founder Wendi Burkhardt, the majority of the targeted population are seniors earning less than $60,000 annually and with less than $50,000 in retirement savings.
For income supplementation, home-sharing with SilverNest if the perfect retirement job.
Retirement Jobs: Chefs for Seniors
Everyone has to eat, and seniors can at times face a hard time preparing their own meals. Chef for Seniors brings the chefs right into the seniors’ kitchens.
Clients select the menus and the chef brings groceries and other necessary equipment. The chefs normally cook 10 servings of meals in about two hours leaving enough to last the client a week.
Founded in 2013 by Barrett Allman, a professional chef and his son Nathan Allman of Madison Wisconsin, the service has expanded to other states, offering not only healthy meals but social connections for seniors.
Some of the chefs are retirees using the service as a flexible and profitable retirement job.
Retirement Jobs: Roommates4Boomers
The service matches homeowner women 50 and over with like-minded boomers who are looking for a place to call home.
Roommates4Boomers aim is to improve housing availability and lower the costs for this growing demographic, who at times don’t have enough saved for retirement.
Living together not only lowers the costs but also satisfies the need for security, companionship, and community necessary for a fulfilling life post retirement, especially for the boomer women, many of whom are single, divorced or widowed.
Roommates4Boomers was founded by Karen Venable in Portland, Oregon. She started the company after her divorce and having a positive experience sharing a home.
Rents range between $400 to $1000 a month depending on location. The service is available in every state except Montana and North Dakota.
Similar to SilverNest and Airbnb, Roommates4Boomers can be a low-maintenance retirement job for you.
Retirement Jobs: Seniors Helping Seniors
Launched in 1998 and based in Reading, Pennsylvania, Seniors Helping Seniors seeks to provide a way for seniors to live independently in their own homes.
This not only provides respect and dignity for seniors but freedom to live life on their own terms.
The service matches seniors who require assistance with others who can provide the support. From simple companionship and housekeeping to cooking and social activities, Seniors Helping Seniors has boomers covered with services ranging from $16 to $30 in hourly fees.
As far as retirement jobs go, helping out your fellow senior can bring social and personal fulfillment, and provide you with some extra income.
Seniors are embracing the sharing economy, not only as a way to get assistance, but as a source of profitable retirement jobs.
The older generation is ripe for technology innovation and, as you can see, startups are rising up to address this need.
From pizza to groceries, we love when stuff is delivered to us. And let’s face it, we crave convenience.
Fortunately for entrepreneurs out there, there are innovative digital platforms that provide you with delivery driver jobs at the swipe of a smartphone.
But more on that later.
Nobody wants to stand in line behind some guy counting pennies holding the line for hours. We want our stuff and we want it now.
The Age of Instant Gratification
Where there is a pain point, the casual capitalist in you and me sees opportunity.
People are generally lazy by nature. Trust me, I know!
People love their stuff and people want their stuff immediately. We simply are an instant gratification generation.
The good news is, you don’t have to start from scratch. Technology and the sharing economy movement has opened up ways for you to profit delivering stuff to people.
Whether you want to fill in some free time or make some extra cash. You can pick up delivery driver jobs near you and bring in the bucks.
Delivery Driver Jobs Near Me
A simple Google search such as “delivery driver jobs near me” will give you plentiful of results. However, sorting them out for legitimate ones can take time. The truth is, none of us have the time.
We simply want to jump in and make some money while providing a service. Today we explore the top bona-fide delivery driver job platforms you can use to bring in some extra money.
Delivery Driver Job #1: Postmates
Postmates is a robust platform connecting couriers with people that want their stuff delivered. All a user needs is a smartphone with the Postmates app installed.
With that, they can easily request a delivery from their favorite stores in their cities.
In terms of delivery driver jobs, Postmates is one of the most popular. Why?
You can make up to $25 an hour as a package delivery driver working with Postmates. Your rate depends on the location and the items you deliver. While Postmates keeps 20% of the package delivery charges, the driver keeps 80% plus any tips they make from each delivery errand.
Whether you have some spare time or you want to make some extra cash, Postmates is a great platform to supplement your income.
Delivery Driver Job #2: DoorDash
DoorDash enables users to order food and other items from their favorite merchants and have them delivered to their doors. The platform uses independent contractors or “Dashers” to deliver the items to users.
As a Dasher, you can make upwards of $25 an hour plus tips making package deliveries. The amount you earn depends on location and items delivered.
For some larger orders, Dashers can make much more. In addition, as most of the orders are to local businesses, you can always pick up the delivery driver jobs most near to you, thus reducing your time investment.
As with Postmates, all you need is a smartphone with the DoorDash app installed to look at the orders you can help deliver.
Become a Dasher today, simply apply on the DoorDash website here and you could be on your way to finding delivery driver jobs near you.
Or, for more on DoorDash, check out a more in-depth case study here.
Delivery Driver Job #3: Instacart
Grocery shopping is a hassle for most people. Instacart eliminates the bother by having groceries delivered at the user’s convenience.
All one has to do is log onto Instacart or download the app, pick the the groceries from their favorite stores, pay for them and then sit back and have them delivered.
Instacart is a great way to find delivery driver jobs near you. The best part is that you can deliver the goods in whichever vehicle as long as it’s functioning and the goods get to the customer.
Apply here to become an Instacart shopper and delivery driver.
After registration you get the order sent to your phone. All you have to do is shop and deliver to the customer. Whether you are in between jobs or simply want a way to make extra cash, Instacart is a great way to supplement your income.
Delivery Driver Job #4: UberEats
We have previously talked about how you can bring in extra income while driving with Uber. UberEats adds onto your arsenal of more ways you can leverage to maximize your driving profits.
UberEats is obviously a part of Uber. It partners with restaurants in different cities allowing users to order food and have it delivered to their homes at “Uber Speeds”.
The same Uber principle works for UberEats. Customers simply order food through their Uber apps and drivers pick up and deliver those orders to the users location.
Whether you are an Uber driver already or want to make some extra cash delivering food to customers, UberEats is an excellent platform to leverage your time and skills and bring in extra cash.
You don’t need a car to make the deliveries. You can use a bike or make deliveries on foot.
Final Thoughts on Delivery Driver Jobs
When looking for a delivery driver job, there are clearly a lot of options on the menu.
Commit right now to testing out at least one of these websites. What’s the worst that can happen?
You can always find delivery driver jobs near you if you invest the time to research opportunities. I hope this post opens your eyes to an easy way to make some extra money or fill in any free time you might have.
Welcoming guests personally to your Airbnb property sets you apart from the crowd.
It creates a deeper connection. It’s also a great way of of making your guests comfortable.
However, as well all know, that’s not always possible.
Many Airbnb hosts manage multiple properties. Or, they have a full-time job, or kids, and the list goes on and on.
It’s not always practical to personally welcome each guest. In addition, synchronizing your schedules with the guest for key handover can be a hassle.
What are Smart Locks?
A smart lock is a locking device controlled by mobile technology.
Savvy Airbnb hosts are embracing smart locks as an alternative to traditional physical keys or meeting someone in person.
These smart locks provide a convenient way to let guests and other maintenance personnel into the property.
With a few taps on a smartphone app, you can easily change door access codes ensuring only authorized guests and personnel have access to the property.
Smart locks, such as the August Smart Lock, expands those features even further.
It comes with internet access that allows you to change door access codes from anywhere in the world. This makes it easier to control who gets into the house and gives the guests convenience.
You can also monitor who accesses your property, and when.
Top Reasons to Consider Smart Locks
Airbnb guests want easy and stress free access to the property. You as an Airbnb host want peace of mind and security of your property.
Smart locks solve the problem for both parties!
For example, installing the August Smart Lock makes it easy to change door access codes.
Since the August App is linked to Airbnb, virtual keys are automatically sent out to guests for the duration of their reservations.
Airbnb hosts conversely can keep track of who has access to their properties at all times.
2. Control Your Smart Lock
You have complete control over who gets into your Airbnb property. Whether you want to let in guests or the cleaning personnel, smart locks give you absolute control.
You can control who has access to your property from anywhere in the world.
Unlike physical keys that can be lost, stolen or copied, smart locks have security mechanisms that makes them tamper-proof.
Airbnb hosts can see the status of their smart locks from their smartphones and take necessary steps if they suspect any tampering.
Additionally, unique virtual keys are allocated to guests that only last the duration of their reservation.
Aside from owning a castle with a moat, smart locks are about as secure as you can get.
Although, it may not stop rival Knights from entering your kingdom.
4. Smart Locks Save Time & Money
You don’t have to be physically present at the door to change the keys.
All you have to do is tap on to your August App and the keys change automatically saving you time. It also makes it easier to manage multiple properties at once.
5. Full Integration with Airbnb
The August Smart Lock App is fully integrated with the Airbnb App. When guests confirm their reservations they receive instructions on how to download the August App.
The app generates virtual keys to unlock the August Smart Lock. These keys are valid only for the duration of the guest’s stay.
Airbnb hosts can easily change the keys and assign them to new guests.
Airbnb hosts can easily save themselves the hassle and headaches that come with managing a property.
With a smart lock, you get an easy and secure solution to keep your doors locked.
You are also guaranteed peace of mind knowing who has access to your properties at all times.
Best of all, you can control locks from anywhere in the world.
Which gives you ultimate flexibility in life – isn’t that why you became an Airbnb host in the first place?
DoorDash is a delivery platform that connects customers with local businesses.
Here is exactly how DoorDash works.
As a DoorDash customer, you can order from your favorite local restaurant or store and “Dashers” – the independent contractors DoorDash uses for delivery – bring the food or item right to your doorstep.
People love it because it’s convenient and easy.
It also bodes well with our need for instant gratification, laziness of the human condition, and the fact that we have to eat.
How’s that for an ideal customer?
Founded in 2013 by Stanford students Evan Charles Moore, Andy Fang, Stanley Tang and Tony Xu and backed by legendary startup incubator Y Combinator, DoorDash is revolutionizing how we get our food, and taking the complexity out of last mile logistics in over 25+ cities across the country.
With DoorDash, local businesses can focus on what they do best and leave the headaches of delivery to a dedicated team of Dashers.
Customers have a wide selection in terms of the food they can get and restaurants they can order from.
From exotic cuisine to run of the mill burgers, DoorDash will keep you fed.
Although still a young startup, DoorDash is currently valued at over $700 million. It sees more than a million orders through the platform and by tapping the “gig” economy, DoorDash utilizes upwards of 30,000 Dashers – the independent contractors who pick and deliver the orders.
How DoorDash Works
DoorDash is available through their website and through apps from Google Play and iTunes stores (Android & iPhone platforms).
Customers only need to register on the platform or download the app and select meals from restaurants.
You can filter restaurants by price, cuisine, speed of delivery, quality of food etc. The service charges $1 for the first delivery and up to $4.99 for subsequent orders.
Tipping and extras are up to the customer.
After that, sit back, relax and wait for the doorbell to ring with your order. (If you are super hungry you can track and watch as your order moves from the restaurant to you.)
Restaurants and merchants register on the platform to display their food, menus or other items. With a few clicks of the mouse a business is set up instantly on the platform.
Restaurants and stores can also order pickups for deliveries they want done. It’s as simple as setting a pickup location, a delivery location and perhaps pertinent customer information, specifying the order size, and DoorDash takes care of the rest.
How to Make Money with DoorDash
DoorDash “dashers” can make upto $25 per hour according to the company.
There are currently two types of deliveries dashers can make: Normal DoorDash orders and DoorDash Drive orders.
The latter are big orders, say by restaurants or catering companies that need large deliveries of food and other items made.
DoorDash Drive orders are normally requested by merchants and may come with extra instructions.
As a dasher you can make more from DoorDash Drive orders depending on the estimated value of the order and the locality.
The company pays a flat amount per delivery depending on the region. Bigger order deliveries through DoorDash Drive pay higher depending on the estimated value of the delivery.
Payments are made on a weekly basis for all deliveries completed between Monday and Sunday of the previous week. The payments are usually transferred to your bank account through Direct Deposit and might take 2-3 days to show up in your account.
Dashers can also make money from tips and any gratuity paid by the customer, and they get to keep a 100% of this extra monies.
DoorDash however may or may not allow tipping through its software for Drive orders.
To become a dasher, simply apply on the website.
To qualify, a dasher has to:-
DoorDash has a commercial auto insurance policy which covers upto $1M in bodily injury or property damage to third parties arising out of accident while making a DoorDash delivery.
If you are in one of the DoorDash locations, and looking to fill spare time slots in your day, then give their delivery service a try.
That is how DoorDash works. Simply head to DoorDash.Com now, or download the app and see whether you can make a few extra bucks.
Today we welcome a guest post from Adam Ferraresi. He’s a successful web developer from Dallas, Texas and one of the amazing writers at wefollowtech.com. He enjoys listening to music and watching old movies, that is, when he’s not working on interesting new articles.
Saving money is a skill that needs honing just like any other. We’re all a bit envious of those people who can set aside a certain amount of money every month and keep stashing it in the bank, either for a rainy day or just so they can save up for something they desire.
For most of us, though, this isn’t the way it works! Personally I was the kind of guy to spend my money as soon as I got it. I knew exactly what I wanted to spend my money on and I did so as fast as I could.
Realistically, this is completely normal human behavior, which is reinforced by the countless ads we’re bombarded with each day.
So my question to you is, how do the majority of us that don’t have a natural tendency towards saving money accomplish it? Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can do so without having to completely change your lifestyle. In this article I’m going to be talking about just that – a few easy methods that you can use right now to save big bucks.
People grossly underestimate how much money they can save using coupons alone. Over the course of my life I’ve known several people that were coupon hunting fanatics, and it’s positively scary what kind of discounts they’re able to get just by keeping up with them.
An ex-girlfriend of mine for example got a 70% discount on a $600 bill, which brought her total down to $180, and while admittedly this is an extreme case, it’s absolutely possible to get such amazing deals.
According to her, there’s really nothing to it; all you have to do is spend fifteen minutes to half an hour every day browsing coupon websites, trying to snag a deal that you might potentially get some use out of. Just don’t spend all of your time asking yourself “do I really need this?” Eventually, all coupons tend to pay off as long as you’re smart about it.
Video Streaming and VoIP
Ask yourself this: How much do you pay for your cable bill annually? How much time do you really spend watching TV these days? I asked myself this very same question a few years ago, and figured out I was paying more than $1100 per year, while spending minuscule amounts of my free time in front of the set.
Most of the stuff I was genuinely interested in I could watch online anyway! Worst case scenario, waiting a few hours after it airs on television. So I canceled my cable bill and got a Netflix subscription. I went from paying more than $1000 a year to less than $100.
If you tend to make a lot of international calls via landlines, here is an easy way to save tonnes of cash on your phone bill: Look into VoIP as soon as possible.
Applications like Skype, Viber and FaceTime allow you to call a person located anywhere in the world for the low price of absolutely nothing. As long as you both have access to the same app and an Internet connection, then you can chat for hours.
Special Prices with VPNs
Did you know that certain shopping websites actually different prices for the same item depending on where the buyer is located? In other words, you can buy the same item for, say, $20 less if you’re in the U.S. as opposed to if you were located in Australia (shipping charges not included).
However, you can use this seemingly unfair practice to your advantage. Utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN) such as ExpressVPN.
The moment your PC connects to a VPN, it receives a new IP address – and since IP addresses are intrinsic to your specific location, the website you’re buying from now thinks that you’re browsing from a completely different location. In other words, if you’re in Australia, all you have to do is connect to a US-based VPN server, and you can immediately get access to potentially lower prices.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the US founding fathers once said, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” He was right on the mark. Cutting back on big expenses is easier since we contend with them each day. Small expenses however escape our attention and end us costing us in the long run unless we remain vigilant.
Grocery shopping isn’t a laughing matter. Fail to treat it seriously and it’s all too easy to spend way more than you meant to.
Not to mention the possibility of getting hangry.
That’s where our money-saving tips below come into the picture.
Our hunger games edition tips will teach you how to save money on food the easiest way.
Save Money on Food: Plan Ahead
If there’s one tip you remember, let it be this: always make a plan before you head to the grocery store.
A detailed grocery list contains exactly what you need (and only what you need). It greatly reduces the likelihood that you’ll put items into your cart that you don’t need.
Create your grocery list based on your food needs, weekly meal plan, and budget.
Look in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what you already have so you don’t buy unnecessary repeats.
Though an old fashioned paper grocery list is always effective, more people than ever before are going shopping with digital lists, according to Mother Nature Network.
Grocery Pal is another powerful app that actually lets you write your grocery list while checking out the current sales and coupons from the top stores in your area.
Save Money on Food: Think Healthy
Healthy eating isn’t just better for your body – new research shows it’s also better for your bank account.
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, a healthy diet helps reduce your food budget, especially for families.
Another study from the Harvard School of Public Health backs up the claim that there is a big difference in the cost-effectiveness of eating healthy and eating unhealthy.
One of the best things you can do is cut out nutritionally-empty foods. These are foods like soda, candy, and chips that pack in the calories without providing much in the way of nutrition.
Check out Greatist for a list of the top 44 healthy foods for under $1 for some ideas to get you started.
Save Money on Food: Limit Eating Out
Perhaps the easiest way how to save money on food is to prepare most of your food yourself.
In other words, limit how much you eat out.
Pack lunches the majority of the time and restrict dinners out to special events. It’s amazing how much money you can save simply by changing your eating habits regarding meals out.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also suggests that packing your own brown bag lunch is much healthier than going out for lunch.
Save Money on Food: Choose Generic Brands
If you’re still wondering how to save money on food, another good tip is to choose generic brands.
The AARP states that generic brands save you money. They’re just as safe and just as high of quality as most name brands.
In fact, many generic brands are bought from the same companies that supply name brands. In essence, they’re the same exact product in a different package.
Of course, it’s still wise to check labels as there are exceptions.
Look at the ingredient list to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. WebMD gives canned tomatoes as a good example.
You should select the brand that has tomatoes first on the ingredient list rather than water.
Some of the most commonly asked money-related questions are about how to save money on food. Yet the answers are some of the least commonly followed.
Create a grocery list (/meal plan), eat healthy, limit eating out, and go generic to save the most money on food possible.
Even incorporating one or two of these tips at a time has a big financial impact.
“Glenn, can I invest in loans, or loan money online with these new p2p lending websites?”
My friend Ray asked me one day.
“Or, do you need need to be an accredited investor?” he continued.
Ray, like many others, are lower net worth individual investors, but want to explore how to invest in loans and p2p lending platforms.
Well, there’s good news.
Due to recent regulatory changes, you can now diversify your investments and loan money online.
Simply put, you can become the bank!
Now, because this post is super long and super badass, for the first time ever we are including a table of contents.
Let’s get started, and answer Ray’s question: Can I invest in loans?
Invest in Loans: An Intro to P2P Lending
Online lending, or peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as it’s commonly referred, is the process through which borrowers get loans directly from lenders, usually facilitated by an online platform.
These online platforms act as intermediaries matching borrowers and lenders.
Simple as that.
This presents an interesting opportunity for those looking to lend out money or diversify their income streams.
With P2P lending, you can invest in loans to pre-screened borrowers through powerful platforms. But more on this later.
To make money lending as an individual, you are no longer limited to loaning your buddy Ray $500 to get his food truck business off the ground.
Now, you can access pre-screened businesses and individuals who require a business or personal loan.
Let’s dig a little deeper into how to invest in loans.
P2P Lending – How It Works
While the idea might sound novel, the practice of borrowing and lending has existed for centuries. From inter-borrowing among friends and family to fundraising for causes.
Additionally, “traditional” banks are founded solely on the concept of aggregating depositors money and lending it forward to borrowers.
P2P lending has adapted the idea of lending money to our digital technology reality. And, as you will see, the results are powerful.
This has also opened up opportunities for ordinary people, like you, to take part in the “banking sector” as lenders.
So, yes Ray, you can loan money and invest in loans!
P2P lending through online platforms has some serious advantages.
P2P Lending: For Borrowers
P2P Lending: For Lenders or Investors
However, as with any type of investment, if you invest in loans there’s still risks.
Apart from that, there are risks inherent in the platforms themselves. Some of these include:
Invest in Loans: Old Bank Advantage
The last point worth exploring is about traditional lenders; banks! Financial institutions have some distinct advantages when it comes to lending money.
- They enjoy a low cost of money since most are deposit takers. Their cost is about 0.6% compared to an average of about 10-15% for most online platforms.
- They have large borrower bases. Banks have been around for centuries and have gained the trust of most people. Online platforms, on the contrary, are still new and have to earn that trust.
- A huge asset base. Compared to online platforms, traditional banks are required by law to maintain huge asset bases. This not only means they have an upper hand when it comes to lending, but also the muscle to market their services and invest in R&D or marketing campaigns.
Traditional banks are fast catching up with some like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and a host of others exploring options to participate in online lending.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for p2p lending platforms.
They keep on innovating! But more on this in a moment.
Additionally, savvy investors continue to make extra cash from their online lending activities.
Invest in Loans: Your Advantage and Returns
How much? Well, depending on the loan risk, you can earn between 4-12% interest.
Consider if you invested $5,000 in a safe 6% personal loan, on which there was a 3-year term.
You would stand to earn:
There’s also this fancy calculator that will help you figure out your potential returns should you choose to loan money online.
OK, it’s time for the good stuff!
In the rest of this article we explore some of the best online lending platforms to invest in loans with.
We delve into how you too can be the bank and make extra money from the comfort of your home.
Best P2P Lending Platforms
Founded in 2006, Lending Club is one of the most popular and well known p2p lending platforms. It was also the first p2p lending company to go public in 2014.
Lending Club is a marketplace that brings lenders and borrowers together and facilitates their interaction.
Loans offered range from $1000 – $35,000 for personal loans while business loans start from $15,000 up to $300,000.
Simply put, this online platform allows you to loan money.
Lending Club offers loans for various purposes including personal (debt consolidation, home improvement, paying off credit cards etc), medical procedures to business loans.
The interest charged on loans can range from 5.99% for borrowers with good credit to 32.99% for borrowers with risky credit profiles.
Lending Club handles the bulk of loan processing and underwriting.
They also run credit checks on borrowers before approving any loans and generate a risk profile based on this and other factors. Once this is done, the borrower is assigned an interest rate.
The loan gets approved if when the borrower accepts the terms.
Once a loan is accepted, the loan goes live on the site giving investors a chance to take part in funding it. Lenders can put in a minimum of $25 on each loan allowing them to diversify their investments and minimize risk.
Historically, returns for investors have ranged between 4.9% for the safest loans to 8.3% for riskier loans. (include lending club graphic)
How to Invest in Loans with Lending Club
An investor/lender has to first open an account. This is an easy process that involves filling out a standard form. One can choose whether to open the account as a regular account or tax-deferred investment account (IRA).
Once your fill out your contact and tax information, you can go ahead to fund your account.
While there is no minimum, some states may require lenders to have a minimum income, usually around $70,000 or have at least $250,000 in net worth to be an eligible investor in the platform.
But again, this depends on your jurisdiction.
A minimum of $2500 is recommended for investors in order to have proper diversification in their loan investment portfolio.
After funding your account, you want to go ahead and pick the loans to invest in.
Let’s face it, money just sitting in your account doesn’t earn you any interest. You want to be as near 100% funds invested as possible.
Picking loans comes down to your preferences and risk profile. Understand that riskier loans may have higher returns but also have higher rates of default.
Investing in loans takes a bit of experimentation to find what works for each individual investor.
Have fun with it!
A few good rules of thumb however are worth pointing to help you get started when investing in loans:
- Look for borrowers with no pre-existing loan delinquencies
- Invest in borrowers with good work histories, preferably 10+ years
- Borrowers in tenured positions or with union protection are an added advantage.
- Filter for borrowers with a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 30%, meaning only a third of their income is tied up in servicing debt.
- Loans with at least 60-month repayment periods.
While this criteria alone won’t weed out all possible defaults, but it’s a great start when you loan money online through p2p lending platforms.
Additionally, it’s best to diversify your loan investments such that no individual loan takes the bulk of your investable loan money. This not only reduces risk but also improves your overall loan portfolio performance.
Lending Club has a feature that allows investors to automatically reinvest their income into loans without extra charges.
Simply set it up and any money that comes (principal + interest) is automatically re-invested.
If you don’t already know the power of this feature, also known as compound interest, read this.
Prosper was among the first peer-to-peer lending platforms launched in 2005. To date it has serviced more than $7B worth of marketplace loans.
Prosper loans are mostly used for personal purposes. One exception is that they can’t be used for post-secondary education since the Higher Education Opportunity Act prohibits it.
Loans disbursed range from a minimum of $2000 to a maximum amount of $35000. Prosper has instituted measures to reduce the risk to investors of borrowers defaulting. This include raising the minimum FICO score for borrowers from 520 the original to 640.
Additionally, Prosper uses its own proprietary algorithms to score borrowers and give each borrower a Prosper Score ranging from A – HR with A being stellar credit and HR being High Risk.
Can I Loan Money with Prosper?
Prosper is similar in many ways to Lending Club. There are eligibility criteria for lenders/investors.
- Being 18 years and over with a checking/savings account and
- Valid social security number
- Residing in an eligible state
- Some states also have additional eligibility requirements eg, having a minimum annual gross income of $70,000 and above and a net worth of the same amount to participate.
When a borrower makes a loan application, Prosper checks to see whether they meet the underwriting criteria. They run credit checks to ensure the 640 minimum FICO score is met and then assign the borrower a Prosper Score to denote their perceived risk on the loan.
Investors can invest a minimum of $15 on the loan once approved. Using the many filters available on the platform, an investor can filter out loans to invest in based on the risk profiles and a number of other factors.
This nifty feature makes investing in loans on Prosper very user-friendly.
What sets Prosper apart from other platforms is the ability to save your filters and invest in loans that meet your criteria automatically. You can set this up by using either Quick Invest or Automated Quick Invest (AQI).
When loans are added to the platform which happens twice a day, the filter runs and automatically invests your set amount in loans that fit your criteria.
Alternatively, investors who are technically savvy can utilize the Prosper API to run filters and automatically invest in loans. The API runs before the Automated Quick Invest giving API investors an edge. And let’s face it, speed is of utmost importance when investing in loans.
The reality is that when you invest in loans with higher returns, they also tend to attract more investors. The faster you are on the trigger, the higher your chances of making a decent return.
Funding Circle caters specifically to small businesses. Loans range from a minimum of $25,000 to $500,000.
To date the platform has disbursed over $3B in loans to over 20,000 businesses globally. Loans attract an interest rate of between 5.49% – 27.79% based on the borrower’s credit risk profile.
Funding Circle also charges an origination fee of between 0.99 and 6.99% on each loan.
Loans under $300,000 can be processed in under 10 minutes with the documentation required being at least 2 years of business tax returns and a year’s worth of personal returns.
Borrowers that need amounts above $300,000 may be required to submit additional documentation.
Loans on Funding Circle can used for any business purpose such as hiring, expansion, funding asset acquisition etc.
The platform boasts of over 60,000 retail investors including banks, national governments and financial institutions.
In early 2017 the company closed a $100M Equity financing round led by Accel further boosting it’s lending capacity. Funding Circle remains committed on building it’s brand as a small business lender.
So, how do you invest in loans with Funding Circle?
An investor can directly invest in a loan or they can purchase into the loan fund managed by Funding Circle.
The company purchases individual loans and bundles them into one investment, providing ample diversification and minimizing the risk of individual loan default.
Catering specifically to student loan debt and student loan debt refinancing, SoFi is unlike other p2p lending platforms and has strict lending criteria.
To qualify as a borrower one must:
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Have no felonies on record
- Have no declared bankruptcies in the past 3 years
- Be currently employed or having an offer of employment
- Have a minimum credit score of 660 (the average on the platform is about 700.)
The platform welcomes both institutional and individual investors to fund student loans and student loan refinances.
In some instances one is required to be an accredited investor.
With their more solid credit profiles, investors can expect returns starting as low as 2.66%.
SoFi also offers unemployment protection services, career coaching, entrepreneur support and other services geared towards making their borrowers succeed in their careers and businesses, thus in a way, reducing the credit risk.
Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart takes more than just a borrower’s credit score in determining their credit risk profile.
They also consider other factors such as:
- Work history
- Academic performance including area of study
- Current income
After this the borrower is assigned a rating based on their FICO score and Upstart’s proprietary scoring algorithm.
This indicates a borrower’s financial ability and their propensity (or lack thereof) to service the loan.
Similar to SoFi, Upstart caters to the student loan consolidation crowd.
According to the site, the average FICO score is 690 for borrowers on the platform, with over 90% of borrowers being college graduates.
To invest in loans on this p2p platform one ought to be an accredited investor with a net worth exceeding $1M for individuals excluding the primary residence. Other requirements include:
- Be a US Citizen
- Be a “US Person” for tax purposes
- Have a Bank account.
You can view the entire eligibility criteria here.
Returns range from 3.69% – 9.45% depending on the loan risk profile.
The Upstart platform allows investors to automatically invest in loans. All one needs to do is fill out their preferred criteria and set a fund allocation. The amount is automatically invested in loans that qualify.
Additionally, investors can opt to invest with an IRA effectively using their p2p lending as a retirement fund.
The minimum one can invest is $100 which can be transferred through credit cards (for first time investments only), ACH Bank transfers, wire transfers, or checks.
Register on Upstart Network Website and make your first p2p lending investment.
Zopa is the p2p lending platform in the UK.
It was founded in 2005 and has so far disbursed more than 800 loans to over 20,000 borrowers. It currently has a 2% share of the personal loans market in the UK; dwarfing other p2p lending platforms there.
The following is the eligibility criteria for borrowers on the platform:
- A good credit history
- At least 20 years old
- 3 years of address history in the UK
- A good income-to-debt ratio
- Have not taken out loans of late.
Zopa subjects borrowers to rigorous credit checks, identity checks as well as thorough risk assessment. After this they are assigned a score ranging from A* – C denoting their credit risk, with A* being good credit.
There is also the “S” denotation for small businesses seeking loans on the platform.
Invest in Loans on Zopa
Unlike most other p2p lending platforms, Zopa uses Automated Loan Selection. What this means for investors is that they only need to set a criteria and terms they are willing to lend at and fund their accounts.
Zopa then matches that criteria to available borrowers and disburses the loans.
Zopa ensures that no single borrower is allocated more than 10 (pounds) of the investor’s money. This provides diversification and reduces the risk on the lender’s loan portfolio.
Zopa has a Provision Fund (currently at $5, 266, 144) that enables lenders to receive their investments back in cases where a borrower default.
The fund is put together from the 1% loan origination fee charged on the platform. It’s an added security feature that shields investors from losses arising from borrower default risk.
The platform charges a 1% annual service fee to lenders on the amounts they lend.
Can I Loan Money: Yes!
P2P lending is one of the most popular alternative investment strategies today. As you can see, you can be the bank and earn some serious passive income.
Commit to trying out at least one of the above p2p lending platforms over the coming weeks. Even if you invest less than $100, you can get a feeling of what it’s like to loan money.
And, most importantly, have fun with it!
We all have to do it, but few of us know how to do it right. Saving money is essential for ensuring that we can meet both our short and long-term financial goals, and is one of the keys to maintaining financial freedom post retirement. It might seem like a daunting task, but with a little ingenuity and some solid tips, you can incorporate some of the best ways to save money into your everyday routine.
Saving money is essential for ensuring that we can meet both our short and long-term financial goals, and is one of the keys to maintaining financial freedom post retirement. It might seem like a daunting task, but with a little ingenuity and some solid tips, you can incorporate some of the best ways to save money into your everyday routine.
It might seem like a daunting task, but with a little ingenuity and some solid tips, you can incorporate some of the best ways to save money into your everyday routine.
Save Money Today: Scale Back.
One of the best ways to save money is to take a comprehensive view of everything that you’re spending on and seeing if there are ways to pare your expenses down.
Eliminating debt is a crucial first step. If you have multiple sources of debt, look into consolidating them to make it all more manageable.
This is particularly true for credit card debt – the worst kind! You need to plan to reduce this debt bruden first, as high-interest rates are eating away at your finances.
For your essential bills, look for methods of scaling back.
Your cell phone plan, for example, might have additional features that you don’t really need. You can excise these to save some money.
Insurance is another area where you might be able to do with less. You might even try comparing different plans to see if you can get better rates elsewhere.
Do you have cable? You might not need it. Cable prices are going up, and a growing number of Americans are deciding to cut the cord altogether and switch to Internet-only plans.
Streaming services and internet content providers largely make cable superfluous so consider ditching the cable company if you can.
Save Money: Look For Alternatives
We’re not saying you can’t go out and have fun. What we are saying, though, is that one of the best ways to save money is to look for other options when it’s time to unwind.
Instead of a lavish vacation, think about a smaller “staycation.”
Forego movies at the theaters and think up a cheaper date night alternative. You’ll likely find that by being creative, you can have just as much (if not more) fun as before.
Save Money: Use Cash
Cash is king, they say, and using it in lieu of your debit card to make purchases is one of the best ways to save money.
Set a budget on how much you can spend weekly, and withdraw that amount at the beginning of the week.
Don’t touch your account beyond that, and you’ll find yourself becoming more judicious about how much you spend.
There is a huge psychological difference between spending money on cards and spending physical cash. It’s a proven fact that spending cash is harder for consumers than using a debit card.
Using cash will make you think harder about each purchase.
Save Money: Nix The Cards
Adding on to the above, you can also limit your credit card usage by employing alternatives to putting things on credit.
Using layaway is a way to steadily pay for the items that you want without incurring hefty interest charges.
Start checking with the retailers that you shop with to see if they will extend this service to you.
Save Money: Live Healthier
Improving your lifestyle is a great way to improve your finances.
Instead of eating out, buy healthy foods and cook for yourself. Got bad habits like drinking or smoking? Cut them out of your routine and watch your bank account grow.
On average, Americans spend about 1% of their income each year on booze, so cutting back will put a nice bit back into your usable funds.
Tuck Some Money Away
It should be obvious, but one of the best ways to save money that is often overlooked is to actually save some money!
You can set up automatic deposits into a savings account so that you aren’t tempted to spend money from your monthly earnings.
You can save leftover cash from purchases and deposit it into your account regularly.
You can also “tax” yourself for certain indulgent behaviors, putting that extra money into savings, and perhaps correcting bad habits at the same time!
Happy spending everyone!
Juno is the new ride-sharing platform taking on Uber and Lyft. It’s banking on being driver friendly, ethical and socially responsible in attracting the best drivers to the platform. Currently it operates mostly in New York City with plans to launch in other cities.
It’s no secret that Uber has had rocky relations with its drivers. It’s policies and practices such as cutting prices to woo riders at the expense of drivers makes it unpopular with some of it’s drivers. Juno seeks to change that by ensuring drivers are treated right. They hope that this translates to better experiences for riders.
In addition, by keeping it’s marketing and advertising costs down and passing those savings to consumers, Juno is hoping to compete on price with Uber, which is known for slashing prices to fend off competition.
Juno was officially launched in New York City the spring of 2016. Before that it had operated in “stealth mode”, allowing select drivers to test out the app alongside those of competing platforms.
The CEO and co-founder Talmon Marco is a known serial entrepreneur with his last startup Viper acquired in a $900M deal by Japanese internet giant Rakuten. The other co-founders are Igor Magazinnik, Sani Maroli and Ofer Smocha all of whom were co-founders in Viper.
The Juno Difference
The ride-sharing market is currently dominated by Uber. It has an expansive cash war-chest and presence in over 700 cities across the world. Competing against them can seem futile at times. Juno is exploiting Uber’s weaknesses – such as how it treats its drivers, to woo the best drivers from the platform and create a niche for itself.
Whether that is a lasting competitive advantage remains to be seen.
Currently, Juno is signing up the best rated drivers from the other platforms. To qualify as a driver one needs to have a satisfaction rating of at least 4.7 out of 5 on Uber and speak good English.
Here are some advantages of driving with Juno
- The platform takes 10% of each ride’s fare unlike Uber that takes upwards of 20%
- Tipping is allowed
- Drivers can keep all the tips
- Juno plans to have 24 hour phone support for drivers
- Drivers can get paid more to pick passengers in surge areas but customers aren’t charged more.
- The company isn’t offering “pool” which Uber drivers claim increases their workload yet reduces their profits.
- Drivers can block problematic passengers.
Juno Share Equity – Own a Piece of the Company
Perhaps the clincher is that the company has reserved 50% of it’s two billion founding shares for drivers. You are not just a driver on the platform. You also stand the chance to be co-owner and grow equity in the company while still a driver.
To qualify, a driver needs to drive at least 120 hours a month, (approximately 30hrs a week) for 24 months out of 30.
Juno drivers who are full-time for 24 months out of 30 can keep their equity shares even if they’re taking rides for other companies like Uber and Lyft during the same time
Whether Juno survives the cut-throat ride-sharing space remains to be seen. The biggest challenge remains wooing riders to the platform. As much as Uber has questionable practices, it still commands a huge volume of passengers. This makes it lucrative for most drivers.
The Casual Capitalist seeks to bring to your attention different ways of profiting from the sharing economy. And this is another great platform to add to your arsenal. Sign up here to try out Juno alongside Uber or Lyft.