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MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
3/3/24 7:56 p.m.

After hearing a lot of complaints about how the quality of replacement voltage regulators and ignition modules for vintage Mopars have really gone downhill - and torn apart a parts store example to see how bad they are firsthand - I am tooling up to make my own. I have a rough prototype on the Dart right now and the PCB design for the production version almost finalized.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
3/3/24 10:23 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

If that really happens, I know a couple guys who can spread the word to a whole lotta Mopar folks.

 

average_bear
average_bear New Reader
3/5/24 5:29 p.m.

In reply to Scotty Con Queso :

How does your employer see Solidworks experience? I'm looking for CAD work, and I can't imagine AutoCAD is so far different I couldn't learn it quickly

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Dork
3/5/24 8:13 p.m.

My options for a side-gig are somewhat limited.  I travel ~once or twice a month for work, sometimes w/out much notice.  Also, some weekends are mostly comitted to sporting events for my teenager. 

I drove Uber on Sunday night for ~2.5 hours.  I made $35 in 2 hours over ~35 miles, I presume this night was a bit more "normal."  I'm still surprised by the number of people who leave either $0 or $1 for a tip.  I routinely tip 20% or more of the total fare when riding Uber.   I was a bit more selective about which fares I'd accept & parked in between rides so I would be less distracted.  I picked up a local ride, took a couple to their hotel 10  minutes away, zipped out for a pick up at the beach & dropped downtown, & picked someone up downtown & dropped by my house.  traffic is pretty light after 10PM so it's not stressful.

Unfortunately, all is not good.  I logged on last night to see if there were any scheduled rides I could pick up in the AM & drop on my way to work.  If not, I figured I'd see if I could take a fare in the general direction of work (50 miles away) in the AM.  Getting paid an extra $20 or $30 to drive to work would be a nice little tailwind.  Unfortunately, the app glitched & said I needed to upload my insurance again, once I did that it said my car wasn't eligible.  I tried the chat support and they told me it's a glitch and I should delete my car & add it back.  Instead, I uninstalled/reinstalled the app.  The car & my insurance/registration was gone.  Apparently, the app allows 2007 vehicles to sign up, but they only "actually" allow 2008 and newer vehicles now.  It takes 2-3 days for the review team to reject older vehicles.  Frankly, I was a little surprised to see they'd allow a 2007 vehicle to drive.

I was contemplating using my son's minivan for nights where there are concerts.  It does hold 7 passengers w/out the jump seat, so nothing else is needed.  It's a year newer, and I'm sure it's way better for passengers...but definitely not as nice of a driving/riding car.  7 Passenger vehicles can earn more for Uber XL...but picking up 7 passengers can also take a lot more time to load/unload.  Big groups tend to be disorganized.  Either way, I may need to discuss speeding up Kiddo's plan to start driving stick shift on the regular so I can use his van.  

  

 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Dork
4/9/24 11:32 p.m.

I decided to start driving my son's daily driver, the Hoondavan (2008 Honda Odyssey) weekend evenings.  7 passenger vehicles (6 riders) are eligible for XL fares, which can be a bit higher.  It's got nearly 190k miles, so depreciation isn't a concern.  Gas mileage isn't great, but I typically turn down rides that are more than 15 miles away.  Longer rides usually mean a long ride back to town w/out a fare.  Longer rides on Uber can also be comically cheap.   Other times, they try and send offers that are inconvenient, low priced, or generally require lots of driving for low $$ (think 2 hours 1-way for $40).  I mostly drive weekend evenings.  Sometimes 10 until midnight or 1 AM.  Other times I'll start at 5PM & drive until midnight.  I've done some weeknight driving when it's been busy  (FL spring break & after easter was spring break for the northeast)

From what I can gather, Uber has gone to essentially a reverse auction model to pay drivers.  Their algorithms will price passenger rides as high as possible...but they will start filling a ride by finding a driver who will take the fare at the lowest possible price.  They've increased customer rates/mile each of the last 2-3 years, but average driver pay per mile has been cut consistently.  It's still good enough to make decent money under the right conditions ($30 to $50 per hour)...but if it's not busy, they essentially ask you to drive for free.  There are likely some drivers who may not appropriately factor in gas and/or mileage depreciation.  There are others who may rent cars & don't appropriately value their own time when things get slow (accepting fares that translate to very low $/hr earnings). There's plenty of times where I only hopped off the couch and started driving because surge pricing went into effect.  When it's super slow, $20/hr can be a challenge at times.

Tips tend to equal between 30% and 35% of my earnings.   I'm usually driving tourists around either to/from dinner/drinks and hotels.  I tend to talk a bit w/customers & recommend places to eat/drink and things to do.  Some passengers are quiet...but most are friendly, engaging, & interested talking. 

My highest earnings were a 3-day concert weekend, followed by spring break week.  Concert goers tipped really well.  Spring breakers, not much at all...but it was busy & they were all mostly all XL fares.  Concert nights aren't really as lucrative as they should be due to the fact lots of drivers from out of town show up.  Once they show starts they all just sit accepting low fares until the concert ends.  Pickup at a concert is also a bit of a crapshoot. You could accept an early fare before prices spike...but if you get delayed w/pickup you'll miss the surge.  Some shows I can get 3-4 pickups and 3 dropoffs.  Others, I may wind up doing just one each.  

The money has been very helpful in taking care of bills.  More often than not a single customer/ride makes it all worthwhile.  For example, last Friday it got super slow early-evening.  I was about to head home, but wound up making $75 from two ~10 minutes rides (significant cash tips)....which equaled my earnings from the prior 3 hours.

I'll probably keep driving.  It'd be smart if I sold my E91 so I don't have to "borrow" kiddo's car when it's time to drive.  SWMBO's GX460 uses too much gas around town to be logical.  A newer E90 or E60 would be a nice replacement...but something XL would be much smarter. I've been toying with the concept of a Mercedes R350 (gas only...no diesel for reliability reasons).  I'd probably get better tips for the luxury, but they're more thirsty & operating costs would probably be higher.  Another Honda Odyssey or a Sienna would be much smarter.  Also, people tend to really like power the power sliding doors of the odyssey. It makes loading/unloading very easy.  With that said, I really don't want to have a mininvan as my primary driver.    Not quite sure what I'll do, but here's a snapshot.  Some nights I drove 2-3 hours, others 5-7.

  

 

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
4/10/24 7:31 a.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

Seems like you've found your niche.

 

How are you handling the documentation/tax prep/business side of your Hussle?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
4/10/24 9:02 a.m.

I, uhh, am bad at this.

 

I am an ordained Deacon. This comes with several hours per week helping people through the mercy ministy in our church and the community. Obviously pay is $0 in USD.

 

I am the committee chair and Woodlands Ranger for our local Trail Life Troop. Again, this is several hours per week, sometimes quite a bit more. Again pay is $0 in USD.

 

 

Seriously, though. I do get a lot of enjoyment out of these things. I do also wish that I could earn money somehow from something on the side. For some reason today means that a household grossing $160K with four teens/preteens means we shop for food at the expired food store, and clothes at the thrift store.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Dork
4/10/24 9:33 a.m.
Indy - Guy said:

In reply to Hoondavan :

Seems like you've found your niche.

 

How are you handling the documentation/tax prep/business side of your Hussle?

Good question.  Because the vehicle isn't dedicated 100% to Uber, i'll plan to take the standard mileage deduction.  I take a picture of the odometer w/ trip meter at 0 when I start driving & a picture w/trip odometer at the end of a drive.  I started using a mileage tracker app, since i think the IRS does require details on the destination.

prodarwin
prodarwin MegaDork
4/10/24 9:52 a.m.
Hoondavan said:

  

 

Perhaps I missed it, but what do your expenses look like for those weeks?  How many miles driven?

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Dork
4/10/24 10:55 a.m.

In reply to prodarwin :

My earnings were $1,728 in March.  Uber tracks miles while online, my calculation is probably a bit more detailed...but I need to update my spreadsheet. 1300 miles, my fuel costs are about $225 (18 mpg x $3.50/gallon) .  IRS mileage Mileage expense at $0.67. mile = $880 of deductible mileage expense.  Self employment taxes (40% of net earnings) would be roughly $350.  After tax & expenses, I've netted ~$1,200.  I'll also be changing the oil a bit quicker than usual, so that'll cost me $40.  Finally, I did buy some colored LED lights for the interior for another ~$20.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/10/24 12:03 p.m.

Not sure how I didn't post in here yet. KPTuned.com providing wiring harnesses, standalone conversions, etc for the VW/Audi community. Distributor for DIYAutotune/AMPEFI and Bowling and Grippo MS products. I also sell some drivetrain parts like gearsets, etc for them. 

Have been averaging 60-70k in sales most years but peaked at 120k in 2020 due to reasons. All to support a stupid VW race car.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
4/10/24 12:14 p.m.
Hoondavan said:

What's your side-hustle? 

Could I interest you in a copy of:

RevRico
RevRico MegaDork
4/10/24 12:18 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

As a Deacon, in your particular church, are you able/allowed to be a stand in as an officiant for other faiths for weddings or baptisms or things? 

Doing destination or in nature/not in a church wedding ceremonies could at least generate a little money, but I don't know the rules of your church or state with regards to those services. 

Up here in PA my universal ministries ordained ministership allows me to do wedding officiating if the couple gets the right wedding license at the court house, called a self uniting license. I charge $50-200 for the service depending on if I know the people, what they expect me to wear, and how far I need to go to do the service.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
4/10/24 12:36 p.m.

This thread got bumped at a convenient time. Turns out the local zoning board takes a dim view of actually building electronics at home for sale. How do those with side gigs deal with inconvenient zoning rules? Petition the zoning board for a special permit? Find some way to arrange to have space in an industrial area a few hours a week?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
4/10/24 12:59 p.m.
RevRico said:

In reply to tuna55 :

As a Deacon, in your particular church, are you able/allowed to be a stand in as an officiant for other faiths for weddings or baptisms or things? 

Doing destination or in nature/not in a church wedding ceremonies could at least generate a little money, but I don't know the rules of your church or state with regards to those services. 

Up here in PA my universal ministries ordained ministership allows me to do wedding officiating if the couple gets the right wedding license at the court house, called a self uniting license. I charge $50-200 for the service depending on if I know the people, what they expect me to wear, and how far I need to go to do the service.

Not only no, but I believe our pastors don't charge anything either. We usually waive the fee for the building if the wedding party cleans it up themselves. Thanks for the idea, though.

 

 

We definitely don't charge anything to anyone for baptisms either.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
4/10/24 2:49 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

This thread got bumped at a convenient time. Turns out the local zoning board takes a dim view of actually building electronics at home for sale. How do those with side gigs deal with inconvenient zoning rules? Petition the zoning board for a special permit? Find some way to arrange to have space in an industrial area a few hours a week?

How did they find out? At small scale I would just do it at home without any governmental involvement.

My side gig is refurbishing and reselling electronics. I've been doing it for damn near 30 years - did it full time for about a decade then shifted careers and moved it to a side gig. Some years I don't do any and other years I do a lot. It's easily scalable and fun but takes a fair amount of room (packing materials and inventory) and is definitely a j-o-b and not a passive income. Income changes directly correlated with time spent. Some times I get a bug and do something different like part out a car or fix up something bigger and resell it. But mostly it's electronics. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/10/24 3:01 p.m.

No side hustle and don't want one. Would rather find a higher paying job for my 40/hours during normal hours. Going to start looking in earnest after my next bonus in August. 

And we also need to reign our lifestyle in a bit and get more in savings. 

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
4/10/24 3:10 p.m.

I've always done something, just like my Dad.  For the last the 20 years I ground camshafts and did custom cylinder head work primarily for Suzuki automotive applications. You'd be surprised how widespread their use is in non-automotive applications. I'm officially retired, and most of my equipment's gone, but I still do a little here and there, mostly to support past customers. There's one thing I didn't entirely give up, and it's something I have done at a specialty machine shop near Toronto. The reason I'm still doing it is because I make just enough on each job to pay for the day trip, nice lunch or dinner, and put a few bucks in my pocket when I have to make the drive to Toronto.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
4/11/24 12:30 p.m.
dculberson said:
MadScientistMatt said:

This thread got bumped at a convenient time. Turns out the local zoning board takes a dim view of actually building electronics at home for sale....

How did they find out? 

Business license application.

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
4/11/24 1:37 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Working with the Rangers?  I taught Junior High Boys Sunday School for years and some were allowed to call me PJ if we went to lunch at some point (totally supervised x 2 adults).

Today they are 30+ year old men having their own kids calling me PJ when I run into them. 

You are an influence in their lives that pays a lifetime back.  Can't put a price on that. 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Dork
4/15/24 8:37 a.m.

Stated before: flipping junkyard parts, selling teaching resources (this isnt much money, about 20-30 a month typically), and flipping estate sale stuff.

But this weekend I added something new - laser engraving goods. I did a small, one day craft fair and made decent profit. Not a  ton of money, profited 87 bucks, but my costs were only 20, somy intake of 110 at a small event wasnt too bad

And Ive already gotten orders from folks who I met there.

Again, side hustle. Not expecting to retire on it or anything like that, just want some coffee and tee shirt money.

RevRico
RevRico MegaDork
4/15/24 9:09 a.m.

In reply to hybridmomentspass :

My neighbor has been doing a hell of a side hustle with his. Upgraded over the winter to an Omtech 80 watt CO2 laser, and has already paid it off purely from word of mouth. 

He wanted to do hats, like leather patches for trucker hats, and has found a niche in shot glasses, whiskey decanters, and wine glasses. 

He keeps trying to build up inventory to go do one of the vendor shows, but between friends and co-workers, he's been staying too busy to build anything up.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Dork
4/15/24 9:57 a.m.

Yeah I have the eco50 and it's starting to pay for itself slowly, but Ive also not really pushed myself/marketed myself. But I have the assistance of one of my college classmates who used to do this before our MBA program started and he's all about trying to push me...so that's rad.

 

Yeah, I dont have the time to really do many 'shows' right now.

Work. Family. College. Trying to be a decent husband and help my wife with her business (and she'll actually have some of my items for sale in her store).

Im exhausted, honestly. Once June hits, and Im out of work for two months, I plan to do some craft shows and push that more. I will also take those days to hit more junkyards and work some gun shows as Ive designed some gun shirts over the years etc

gixxeropa
gixxeropa HalfDork
4/15/24 10:09 a.m.

Thinking about taking on small scale composites stuff. Making and selling NACA ducts and flat plates etc. 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Dork
4/18/24 4:34 p.m.
gixxeropa said:

Thinking about taking on small scale composites stuff. Making and selling NACA ducts and flat plates etc. 

That's awesome, Id be interested!

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