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Driving for Extra Cash: Food Delivery App Job Considerations

Are you looking for a part-time job with flexible hours that fit your schedule? Food delivery app jobs might be right for you. Once the primary domain of restaurant pick-up and pizza delivery, the restaurant delivery industry has been transformed by a number of apps that have made more restaurants’ food available without leaving home.

Deciding on the best food delivery app to work for can be complicated. Doordash, Postmates, GrubHub, EatStreet, Uber Eats, and many more compete to attract drivers. Each company has its own unique benefits and costs. The following guide is designed to help you navigate the complicated food delivery app job market:

Scheduling

Scheduling is an important factor to consider when deciding which food delivery app service to work for. Some food delivery apps, such as EatStreet and Grub Hub, encourage drivers to sign up for scheduled blocks. Drivers are essentially “on call” during that time, and are sometimes guaranteed minimum hourly earnings if they are on schedule. On the other hand, other apps including Uber Eats allow drivers to choose to accept an order as it notifies them on the app. This allows for increased flexibility on the job.

Pay Formula

Each food delivery app service has a unique pay formula. Some apps will guarantee minimum hourly earnings, while others will pay based on difficulty of the order and distance to and from the restaurant. Several food delivery apps will reimburse drivers for mileage. Another important factor to look for is the ability to earn tips, and more specifically, what percentage of tips the driver is allowed to keep for themselves. Drivers can also sometimes be penalized for missed, rejected, or dropped orders.

Keep in mind, pay can be inconsistent. The flexibility of creating your own schedule can come with fluctuating paychecks. Some apps will pay their drivers after each order, other times, drivers are paid weekly or monthly. Another important point is that drivers are responsible for their own taxes: they may have to file a form 1099 at the end of each year. This means that drivers need to set some extra money aside to cover any income taxes that they will be required to pay.

Vehicle

Most food delivery apps will require their drivers to have a vehicle, but some, including Postmates, will allow their drivers to deliver on bikes or motorcycles. Some apps have strict minimum qualifications for vehicles. These can include a maximum age of the vehicle, minimum auto liability insurance, and a two-door requirement. It’s important to understand the specific vehicle stipulations when looking at which food delivery app services to apply for.

Wear and tear on vehicles is an additional part of the food delivery app service to think carefully about. By making deliveries, drivers increase the mileage on their cars, which can lead to added car difficulties and maintenance. If you are considering working in the delivery service industry, it’s important to examine the current state of your vehicle.

Other Requirements

Many apps require their drivers to be at least 18 years old. In addition, minimum qualifications can include that drivers have a valid, government-issued ID and at least one year of driving experience. Some food delivery apps will even complete background checks on their drivers before they can be employed.

Overall, the food delivery app industry offers many employment benefits for the average college student. These jobs allow drivers to set their own schedule, become their own boss, and make extra cash on the side. However, the food delivery isn’t for everyone, and it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each food delivery app when deciding which to apply for.

If you need additional help analyzing part-time opportunities or have any other financial questions, please schedule a free appointment with one of our counselors at.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial.

Emma Hahn

Peer Counselor I

Powercat Financial

www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/

Sources:

https://driver.grubhub.com/

https://www.doordash.com/dasher/signup/ge/5761dc?utm_source=ge_t_v1

https://eatstreet.com/driver-careers

https://fleet.postmates.com/

https://www.uber.com/us/en/drive/delivery/

 

So… You’re Graduating!

Graduation day is fast approaching and your mind may be on many things. For example, passing all of your classes or getting ready to start a job after college. However, some other major items you need to be thinking about are repayment of student loans, budgeting with your new salary, and what your new job benefits mean for you. While this can seem like a daunting task Powercat Financial is here to help! This blog will focus on some of the key items in each of the three areas listed.

Repayment of Student Loans

There are four key items you want to be sure to know in order to be ready to repay your federal student loans. All of the following information can be found by logging into the Federal Student Aid website.

  • Loan type – make sure you know what type of loan you have. They could be subsidized or unsubsidized.
  • Loan amount– know the balances of your loans and if your loans were unsubsidized or private loans be aware of the interest that has accrued while you were in school.
  • Servicer– the servicer of the loan is who you will be making payments to. It is important that you know who your servicer is and make an account with them in order to be ready to make payments.
  • Repayment options– Be sure to look at the different repayment options and find the best fit for you. You can also use the Loan Estimator tool found on the Federal Student Aid site to find what repayment method they suggest for you! Also, be aware that you will automatically be place on standard repayment if you do not contact your servicer to make any changes.

Budgeting With Your New Salary

For some this may be the first steady stream of income that you have had. It may also be some of the largest paychecks you have gotten so it is important to budget your money. It may sound simple to spend less then you earn but there are some factors you may not have considered:

  • Cost of living– If you are moving to a new state for your job you need to factor in the new cost of living. Even just moving from Manhattan to Kansas City you’re going to see an increase in your housing, transportation, and food cost. You can use tools like the cost of living calculator found on NerdWallet to get an idea of the changes for your cost of living.
  • Taxes– You need to know how taxes will affect your paycheck. This will help you be able to budget more accurately because you will be budgeting with the amount of your take home pay net of taxes.
  • Emergencies-They can come very unexpectedly and cause a lot of financial stress if you are not prepared for them. This is why it is important to factor savings that is put aside for an emergency fund. This will cut a lot of stress out when the emergencies pop up.

New Job Benefits

Every company and every job will have different benefits that will be offered to you. While I cannot go over all of these benefits I wanted to mention the three of the most common benefits you may see. You are likely to see what your employee benefits are in your job offer.

  • Health Insurance– There are many different items to consider when looking at the health insurance that is offered to you. Some items to consider are if you have to pay part of the premium yourself, if you can cover you spouse or other family members, and looking into if dental, vision, and disability are included.
  • Retirement options– Some things to look at when viewing the retirement plan options are if there are restriction like years worked at the company before you can join the program, if there is an employee match and how much that is, and seeing if there is a retention requirement for when you are allowed to retain the employer match.
  • Paid leave time– This is one of the more straight forward benefits but it’s important to understand what type of leave you have. For example if there is vacation, sick, or maternity leave. It is also important to know if you have to work a certain amount of days or moths before you earn paid hours off.

Remember you can always make an appointment with Powercat Financial if you have any financial questions. All you have to do is schedule a free appointment with one of our peer financial counselors at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial.

Rebecca Kuderka

Graduate Assistant

Powercat Financial                                                                                                          www.ksu.edu/Powercatfinancial

Spring Break Savings

With Spring Break just around the corner, the excitement about a vacation might not be on everyone’s mind. Many students have to stay home and work or just might not have a Spring Break vacation planned. Although you might be staying in town over break there are still ways that you can have some fun or treat yourself in other, more wallet-happy, ways.

Below are three ways that you can enjoy spring break while not overspending or feeling some major FOMO (fear of missing out)!

Plan a mini vacation
Even if you aren’t going to South Padre Island this year, you can still find ways to have some fun. Planning a weekend getaway could be just what you need to recharge from half of a semester. Getting out of town and visiting family if you can is always a great idea, you can also look for an Airbnb to stay at for a night or two and split it with some friends.

Choose a day to pamper yourself
Even if you choose to do this in the middle of the week it is another great way to feel refreshed. Don’t put anything on your calendar for 2-3 hours for one evening of the week, have some at home face masks ready with your favorite take out. Even get the polish and do an at home manicure or pedicure. Maybe pampering yourself looks more like finding time to get a good workout in or finally making it to that hiking trail you’ve been thinking about. Whatever it is, make it about you for a few hours!

Self-care
If pampering just doesn’t seem like the right word for you, take some time to take care of your needs and your mind by distressing in your own way. If that means reading a book, spending time doing hobbies like working on your car, completing a puzzle or piece of art, make sure to take that break that most students are needing at this time of the year. For me, self-care looks like this – Netflix, chips, pizza, and some candy, give me that on a random Wednesday night and I am set for the rest of the semester.

Just keep in mind that even though you are not heading south over the break it doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy your time. If you want to learn about more ways on how to save money, stop by our next event, Spring Break NOT Spring Broke on February 27, 12:00-1:30 pm, at the K-State Student Union. Food, fun, and prizes are provided!

If you’re looking for more in-depth counseling on personal finances like budgeting and saving, student loan repayment, or credit use and debt management, Powercat Financial peer counselors are trained to help you with just that. Request a free appointment on the website at https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/.

Do you want to host an event for your residence hall or student organization? You can also request a presentation through the website as well https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/.

Karina Moncayo-Michel

Practicum Student

Powercat Financial

https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/

Ideas and Tips for a Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is approaching, hopeless romantics! Along with the holiday of love comes the misconception that we must buy extravagent gifts or fancy dinners for our significant others. However, having a great holiday does not mean that you are required to break your bank account to prove your love to your other half. Here are some budget-friendly ideas for gifts, a night in, or a night out.

  • Redbox movie night
    • Did you and your significant other happen to miss seeing a movie in theaters that you were dying to see? Does it happen to finally be out on DVD? Perfect. No lines, no obnoxious popcorn-eaters, and no overpriced snacks and drinks. Redbox movies can be rented for under $2 per night, which immediately eliminates the expensive ticket prices at the theater box office. Purchase popcorn, soda, and candy at the dollar store, and the stay-at-home movie night experience is complete.
  • Cook a fancy dinner at home and get dressed up for it
    • Going to a fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day can take weeks of planning, due to the fact that everyone and their dog is out and about on date night at the same exact time as you are. Reservations may have to be put in place, or you may just have to get to the restaraunt early. Eliminate the burdens of planning, overpriced food costs, and leaving a tip for the waiter. Instead, plan to make a homecooked fancy meal with your significant other, complete with appetizers, a main course, and desserts. Dress up for the occasion (after the messy cooking, of course), light some candles, and enjoy a night in.
  • Picnic together and go tech-free
    • Want to spend the day out and about instead of in the house? Picnic together. Lay out a blanket in one of your favorite parks or outdoor locations (or in the living room if the weather isn’t cooperative), pack a basket with both of your favorite foods and drinks, and spend a few hours solely in each other’s presence – with no phones around!
  • Go ice or roller skating
    • A date to the ice or roller skating rink is often under less than $10 per person for admission and skate rental, making this outing one that doesn’t break the bank! This is also an activity that guarantees hand holding. Whether it’s by choice or because you can’t stand up by yourself, I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself.
  • “What I Love About You” journal
    • No matter how long you and your significant other may have been together, it’s important to let them know why you love them in the first place. Amazon sells journals like this with 100 different prompts to help you out, and for under just $10! A simple, affordable, and thoughtful gift like this one will be sure to leave your partner feeling very loved and appreciated.
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day after Valentine’s Day
    • Everything is half off. One of my favorite things to do post-holiday is load up on Valentine’s Day candy the day after because it is so cheap and isn’t picked over just yet. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, a celebration on Saturday at half the cost is a great way to spend it. Besides, who’s to say that only one specific day out of the year should be the only day you appreciate your other half?

Showing appreciation for your other half does not mean that you have to go to extreme financial lengths in order to prove how much you care. Little thoughts and actions add up, and this Valentine’s Day can be an example of that. I hope these ideas and tips inspire you to have a happy and budget-friendly holiday.

Need help incorporating gifts into a tight budget? Please contact Powercat Financial or simply request a free appointment today with one of our counselors at https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Carson Cox

Peer Counselor I

Powercat Financial

www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/

Sources:

https://www.brides.com/story/budget-friendly-valentines-day-date-ideas

https://www.mydomaine.com/affordable-valentines-day-ideas

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g30520110/cheap-valentines-day-gifts/

Paying Down Student Loan Debt

It is exciting. You have just graduated college, started a new career and are truly “adulting”. The days seem to fly by as your new job takes off. Flash forward 6 months and you wake up in the night in a cold sweat. Your student loan repayment is beginning soon, and you don’t know what to do. Thankfully, you think back to reading this blog and are more than prepared to handle your student loan payment.

Student Loan Repayment Basics

Student debt has become a very scary term in society today. While the price of college attendance rises it becomes easier to have a large student loan balance after graduation. However, with some planning your student loan repayment could be a very easy process. First, you need to identify your loan servicer(s). This can be done from the www.studentaid.gov. You must make an account with your servicer to make payments, manage repayment plans and give the servicer the other information that they require. Then it is important to communicate with your loan servicer as many of them will work with you if you are late on a payment or need to change repayment plans.

Once you have selected the repayment plan that is right for you, it is important to build that payment amount into your monthly budget. This will help make sure that you have enough money to make a payment every month. If you can afford it, putting more money towards your student loans every month can really reduce the total amount you will have to pay and the total amount of interest you will have to pay. Be sure to talk to your servicer before you send in an extra payment in. Servicers will often times let you select which loan you want the extra payment to go to. Paying down your highest interest rate debt first will save you a lot of money in the long run.

There are countless ways to pay down your loans. Recently, a few counselors at Powercat Financial discovered an app called ChangED, which will help you to make extra payments towards your loans. It works by rounding up your spare change from credit purchases. So if you bought something worth $9.75, ChangED would round that charge up to $10 and put the excess 25 cents into a separate account. Once your spare change total hits $100, the app will create a payment directly to your student loan servicer.

Payment Plans

Another important aspect of your student loan repayment is the payment plan that you select. There are several different options including standard, graduated, income-based repayment and Pay As You Earn (PAYE). When your repayment period begins, you’re automatically put into standard repayment, which is a flat payment across the 10-year repayment term. If you elect to change your repayment plan, you will have to talk to your servicer. A graduated repayment plan goes off of the assumption that you earn more as you progress in your career, therefore payments start at a lower amount and grow progressively throughout the 10-year term. PAYE and income-based repayments are a little trickier. They are calculated off of your salary and ability to repay. For instance, you might be required to pay 10% of you discretionary income. Keep in mind that if you pick a repayment plan with a longer term or one that you pay less early on will result in more accrued interest and therefore a larger amount you have to pay back.

Conclusion

So, as you begin your new career, don’t get blindsided by your student loan payments. With a little planning you can make your student loan balance a very manageable thing. If you have any questions regarding student loans or any other financial topic, please contact Powercat Financial or simply set up an appointment on our website at https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/.

Garrett Jackson

Peer Counselor I

Powercat Financial

www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial

FREE MONEY: Scholarship Season is Here

It is that time of the year again. For many students, it is time to start thinking about ways to fund next school year. Why? Because we are officially in the midst of scholarship season. Woohoo! Free money! To help you get the most out of this season and not miss a deadline, I want to dispel three common myths and make you aware of a few important dates.

Grants vs. Scholarships

First, it is important to understand the difference between two kinds of free money: grants and scholarships. Grants can come from a variety of sources, but usually they come from the federal or state government. These tend to be need-based and several come from filling your FAFSA. While both tend to require applications, scholarships are usually awarded based on specific criteria and may have stipulations required to keep it. This usually means maintaining full-time student status or remaining at or above a certain grade point average, it all depends on the scholarship.

Common Myths about Scholarships

  1. Scholarships are a waste of time. It is better for me to use that time to work.

If you have experienced being turned down for a scholarship before, I know how difficult it is to keep applying. However, the payoff for even one scholarship is not something you should pass up.

For example, say you spend 5 or even 10 hours (most do not take this long) applying for a $500 scholarship that you win. You would have made $50-$100 an hour. Wow! It would take me at least 50 hours of work to make that at a $10 an hour job.

  1. Most scholarships are extremely difficult.

How difficult is writing a couple of sentences or even a page essay compared to some of your college writing assignments? Most scholarships are not extremely difficult, especially when you break the work into manageable chunks and start at least two weeks before the due date. Pro tip: use your updated resume and keep a running list of things you have been involved in with a brief description of what you did. It makes that application process A LOT faster and less stressful. Additionally, if you have questions there is usually a contact person who can answer them.

  1. I won’t qualify.

There are scholarships for almost everything. Are you left handed? A vegetarian? Have a political party? Over 6’2”? Have a major or desired career? There are many scholarships that do not require you to have financial need and/ or stellar grades.

Scholarship Jackpot for K-State Students

KSN- Due 2/15

The K-State Scholarship Network is arguably the most important scholarship you can fill out as a K-State student. This scholarship network found at https://www.k-state.edu/sfa/aid/scholarships/ksn/ gives you access to university wide, college and sometimes even departmental scholarships. The general application is super simple. There is lots of checking and a description of up to five extracurricular activities you are involved in at K-State. While the second application varies by college in complexity, it also tends to be fairly simple. It maybe took me two hours to complete. Additionally, you may have additional recommended scholarship opportunities that you can apply for based on the information you provided on the general and college application. If you have a renewable scholarship from the university, then many of them require you to fill out the KSN to remain eligible anyway. While department scholarships are sometimes included in the KSN, this is not always the case. Be sure to check with your department to find out for sure.

In addition to K-State scholarships, there are several other scholarships that have due dates in the coming weeks. Many community scholarships and company scholarships tend to be due in the next two weeks to month. You may qualify for these because of where you live, the town/county you graduated from or your major. Now get applying!

Do you want help understanding the different options for paying for school or have other financial questions? Request a free appointment with a peer financial counselor today via https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/.

Anabelle Sanko

Peer Counselor I

Powercat Financial

www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial

Sources:

https://www.k-state.edu/sfa/aid/grants/

https://www.k-state.edu/sfa/aid/scholarships/

https://www.k-state.edu/sfa/aid/scholarships/ksn/

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