I Filed Bankruptcy. I Moved in With Mom. I Drive for Uber. It’s Not Enough

Dear Penny: Need Some Money Advice? Ask Penny!

Kristy Gaunt / The Penny Hoarder

Expensive Penny,

Expensive Penny,

I’m 44 and a full-time ride-share driver for Uber and Lyft. I reside with my mom as a result of I can’t afford to pay lease. I filed for chapter nearly a yr in the past to reorganize my funds, however I’m underemployed and having a tough time discovering an actual job.

I barely make sufficient to pay my numerous recurring payments, from a automobile word and cellphone invoice, to a payday advance.

Are you able to please assist a damsel in misery?

Damsel in Misery,

Submitting chapter is a reasonably courageous transfer. It’s an enormous alternative to, as you stated, reorganize your funds and provides them a second likelihood.

However not sufficient folks speak in regards to the feelings concerned: concern, disgrace and guilt are generally a part of this lengthy course of. And when it’s throughout, you’re left grappling with these feelings as you attempt to rebuild your credit score and work towards a more healthy monetary future.

I’m positive recovering from chapter on the identical time you’re experiencing underemployment doubles the quantity of stress you’re feeling.

Experience-share driving is a dependable supply of earnings for a lot of, however it’s not as straightforward as turning on an app and raking in money. The Rideshare Man weblog surveyed 863 Uber drivers final yr and located that 32% of them make between $10 and $15 per hour earlier than bills. One other 25% stated they make $15 to $20 per hour.

However these bills can take an enormous chunk out of your earnings: Gasoline is type of nonnegotiable for those who’re driving, and ignored upkeep can go away you — and your passengers — within the lurch. Be sure you’re holding receipts in your automobile bills, tolls and mileage. It gained’t aid you climate the day-to-day bills, however it’s going to aid you take advantage of deductions while you file your annual tax return.

Within the meantime, you may think about using a web-based device to evaluate automobile insurance coverage choices to ensure you’re not overpaying. In case your telephone invoice appears excessive, a invoice negotiation service can ask for a reduction for you — an enormous assist for those who simply don’t have the power to speak to customer support.

Past particular person payments, monetary counseling could possibly aid you get on a stronger footing. The Monetary Clinic works with native organizations in 10 states to supply monetary counseling to individuals who is probably not eligible for public help however are nonetheless struggling to make ends meet.

You may additionally be capable to contact the credit score counseling service you used throughout your pre-bankruptcy course of. If it doesn’t present different monetary counseling choices, it could possibly refer you to a service that may.

Should you get caught as you search sources, name the United Manner. The group runs the 211 useful resource hotline and web site for folks searching for help for all types of challenges. The applications fluctuate by location. For example, in Tampa Bay space of Florida, the place The Penny Hoarder is positioned, there’s an grownup emergency monetary help program that gives momentary assist to folks struggling to pay their payments.  

As I discussed, it takes power to work towards monetary restoration. Be form to your self, and bear in mind that you would be able to’t repair your funds or job outlook in a single day. Don’t overlook to have a good time small wins, like negotiating a invoice or getting a job interview, as you focus in your bigger targets.

The inbox is open. Submit a query or ship your worries to [email protected], and I’ll see what I can do to assist.

Disclaimer: Chosen questions and featured solutions will seem in The Penny Hoarder’s “Expensive Penny” column. I will not be capable to reply each single letter (I can solely kind so quick!). We reserve the correct to edit and publish your questions. Don’t fear — your identification will stay nameless. I don’t have a psychology, accounting, finance or authorized diploma, so my recommendation is for normal informational functions solely. I do, nevertheless, promise to present you sincere recommendation based mostly by myself insights and real-life experiences.

Lisa Rowan is a senior author at The Penny Hoarder.

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