Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Truth about Uber and AirBNB income.

(c)  2015 P. Lynne Designs
(Warning:  Although I am not affiliated with either site, there are links ahead, and I recommend you try one or both of them, with caution)

Ok, I am official back, writing about how to write, and about the world as I see it. 

Today, I want to talk about earning extra income.  Ok, before you turn the page and read another post, or (gasp) go to another blog, please hear me out.  I am taking issue with these two services, and I am not going to back down on my opinions either.  Before I do that, I want to issue some facts about these two services, in case you never heard of them.

Both of these services are popular among the Millennials (ages 18-35).  Uber allows a person to contact someone with a private car to take them to and fro.  The service (and others like it) claims to be cheaper than your typical taxi service, more accessible than your typical train or bus service, and you can make money by registering your own car, and charging the same rate as other Uber drivers.

Airbnb, on the other hand, is the Uber of staying overnight.  You simply contact someone through Airbnb’s website when you want to stay in town.  Any place (other than an apartment) is up for grabs, and you just simply rent a room for the length of your stay (1 night up to a whole month) or a whole house.  You can also register your home as an Airbnb home to earn extra income.

Now before you pack your bags for the nearing Airbnb in Maui or decide that you are not going to drive to work that day, there are some other facts to consider:  BE CAREFUL WITH THIS TYPE OF TRAVEL AND BE CAREFUL OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.   This is my only issue with these two services, especially outside of the US.  Why? 

With Uber, taxi companies, especially in Europe, have been protesting, because Uber drivers have been taking their money and their potential customers.  Hey after all, it is free enterprise, so I see no problems with the service.  Taxis charge too much money to get from point “a” to point “b”, and for what?   For example, back in 2004, my family and I returned from Walt Disney World.  We had fun, had to wait on another pilot to fly the plane, because the first Captain forgot his schedule, then a part fell off mid-flight, and we had to return to a burnt room at my parent’s house, but overall, we have fun and the Mouse’s Florida Home.  Anyway, the ride for 5 miles was almost $75!! In Columbus!!! For 5 people!!!  Uber would have been cheaper if it had existed.
For Airbnb, the complaint is from the hotel owners and city officials.   A recent news item was about a woman, who had registered her home with Airbnb.  She went through all the paperwork that was required by the city of San Diego, CA.  She double checked everything.  Next thing you know, she was trumped up with massive charges by the city, claiming that she had no right of running a bed and breakfast without a permit.  Many cities are taking issue with this too, like New York City.  Why?  Because of this so-called Hotel tax.  Look, if a person is stay one night in a city, why should they be charged $100 or more a night?  Also, I have a feeling that hotels and resorts are complaining, because, here again, customers are being taken away from them.

My Recommendations:  As I stated before, I love the concept of both.  I suggest you take caution on both ends. 

1.      Be careful who you except in both your car and your home.  It is not really possible for you to do a background check on Uber, except only except people who register on the site.  I am saying this for the ladies, but guys, because careful too.  As for Airbnb, only except those who register as a guest on the site.
2.      Do not go out on your own and put a listing on Craig’s List.  You are flirting with fire.  Do not answer an ad on Craig’s list either, unless you have done your homework about the person you have rented your humble abode to.  
3.      Follow both the rules of the site and the city where you live.  I feel sorry for the woman who was slapped with fines from San Diego, because she did what they asked her to do in the first place.  The city, state, nor the country should not govern what you can and cannot do in your own home.  If that was the case, a person cannot take in roommates, boarders, or anyone else without a permit.  Requiring a permit for someone other than your family to stay for a night or two borderlines the taking of freedom to do what you want in your own home.   If they (the city) wanted taxes in the first place, they should have told the woman.
4.      Abide to al rules of the road.
5.      Keep good records of all earnings and finally
Be safe and make the most of your new found earnings.   

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I took a month off…

This is not my typical blog post.  I am usually the one who is encouraging the potential writer to go after their dreams, by writing what they know, be creative in their writing, and own it.  By owning it, I mean, use correct grammar, research when you are not familiar with a subject, and be consistent in everything you write about.    I hope show a person how to achieve this goal, in hopes the person will learn how to write effectively enough to gain readers, and maybe earn an extra income or even write full-time.
(c) 2015 P. Lynne Designs
It has been a month since I written anything.  The reason is quite simple: I had a car accident, and even though I spent all of 5 hours in ER, my beloved 1998 Honda Accord LX, the one I bought from my parents in 2006, and the same car, my sister named “Jessica” for me, was destroyed in a matter of seconds.  If it wasn’t for the fact I wore my seat belt, my parents would have been mourning my death today.  That was 3 weeks ago, and I thank God for that. 
What I got out of this and bear with me and my dry sense of humor, was dealing with a town with less than the regulated 2 traffic light minimum, Columbus has more than its share of traffic lights.  A town, where the mayor oversees everything.  Columbus has Franklin County Court to do that for them.  I was trying to make light out of the situation, so sorry for those who live in a small town. 
Healing takes a while, and it is even worst when you have a low tolerate of pain. I hurt my right shoulder, and today was the first day I was able to type this long.   Last November, I was helping my mother, because she barely could do anything, and 3 weeks ago, it was my turn.  I have only been at home twice for short periods, and this weekend, I hope I can stay by myself.  
I have a new car, a 2008 Dodge Contour Hatchback, I am hoping to graduate to a 2014 or 15 Honda CR-V or Accord (I love my Hondas), but would not be mad if I have to stick to the Dodge a little longer.  (Note: September 18, 2015- I stand corrected, it is a Dodge Caliber)
I am trying to reinvent the wheel while I am not fully entrepreneuring (not really a word, but a play on Entrepreneurship).  Rethinking some things, taking it easy, but I should be back in full swing by September.  I have some things planned that I hope will generate my income again.   I have found out something in my downtime, the difference between being out sick when work for someone versus self-employment. The difference is, in working for a company, you have someone breathing down your neck, and even if you apply and receive long-term disability, there is pressure for you to return to work, or be replaced.  This happened to me when I had surgery in 1993.  I took short-term leave of absence, then had to switch to long-term.  I was told by my employer that I had to return in two weeks, or risk being replaced.  When you are self-employed, you just have to put on your big girl panties, and suck it up for a while.  In either case, you do not receive any money, unless you do what some experts ask entrepreneurs to do, and that is to have some kind of automatic income come in, even when you have a lean month.  August is my lean month, due to injury.

Well, it is now time to charge up the IPad, but I will have a regular post next time, and I will not take so long writing it.  If I have not taught you anything today (or whenever you read this), always remember to take some time out for you and your family.  It is great to be able to freelance write, create, or whatever your self-employed business is, but what good is it if you are not here to enjoy the moment and the fruits of your labor.  Take care of yourself.