According to the Alliance for Walking & Biking’s 2014 Benchmarking Report, 91.6% of American commuters drive to work. That compares to 5% who use public transit, 2.8% who walk, and just 0.6% who bike. In larger cities, walking and transit get a much larger share of total commutes: 17.2% and 5%, respectively. Biking is still the laggard, at just 1%. Of course car commuting remains the overwhelming favorite, making up more than three-quarters of all trips.
Pets are family members, which means they need to be cared for in every way. They need food, shelter, love, and, yes, their long-term health needs to be looked after. For many pet owners, though, medical care can be a big expense. So, how can you do right by your pets’ health in a fiscally responsible way?
There are dozens of options for trading stocks online, but none quite like LOYAL3. This online trading platform caters to less experienced traders who want to demystify the stock market and own shares in recognizable companies.
It lacks many of the features of full-service brokerages, including stock screeners, retirement accounts, and securities other than stocks. However, LOYAL3 boasts several rare features: It makes it easy for relative novices to get in on corporate IPOs, it makes fractional shares of stock available for purchase, and it never charges commissions to buy or sell stocks.
For the past several years, I’ve been riding the homebrewing and craft beer bandwagons, sampling too many styles to count. My interest in cider, however, is a more recent development. Before I visited England a couple of years ago, I didn’t even realize alcoholic cider was a thing. To me, “cider” was that dark, cinnamon-tasting stuff that appeared in my supermarket’s produce section every fall.
By Brian Martucci
How often do you go to the dentist or eye doctor? If you’re like me, probably not often enough. Sometimes, though, whether you simply need a routine checkup or a more serious issue demands treatment, you’ve got to get your teeth and eyes examined by a professional.
For nearly a century, USAA (full name: United Services Automobile Association) has offered an ever-growing suite of financial products to active-duty and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their family members. According to its website, the San Antonio-based private organization was started, back in 1922, by 25 military officers who couldn’t find an insurance company willing to cover their vehicles.
Today, USAA hawks everything from brokerage and retirement accounts to flood insurance, through about a dozen subsidiaries. USAA itself – the parent company of these subsidiaries – is member-owned, structured under Texas law as an inter-insurance exchange. This is a cooperative model, as opposed to a traditional corporation. All members can purchase insurance through this structure. As a member who owns a slice of the company, you’re eligible to receive a share of USAA’s annual profits.
I live in Minnesota, one of the few states that bans Sunday alcohol sales – with the exception of specially brewed “near beer” varieties that have less than 3.2% alcohol by weight, or about 4% alcohol by volume. The limitation extends to retailers including grocery stores and gas stations, and the state legislature only just passed a law allowing breweries and distilleries to have onsite taprooms. Despite these restrictive statutes, or perhaps because of them, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of homegrown craft breweries since the beginning of 2010.
An emerging, highly flexible economic network known as the sharing economy allows people to share resources – such as equipment, services, and skills – with one another, often at significantly lower cost than traditional retail or employment arrangements. You can now get a loan directly from your peers, share the same office space with dozens of different companies, and stay at a stranger’s house instead of a hotel when you’re traveling out of town.
The rise of ridesharing and carsharing has greatly expanded the options available to urbanites who find car ownership to be costly and cumbersome.
Ridesharing and carsharing are like two sides of the same coin, as both make it possible for you to use your car less – or even ditch it altogether. Ridesharing is similar to using a taxi, but more flexible: You log into an app and hail a nearby driver, who picks you up in his or her own vehicle and drives you to your destination. Carsharing is more like renting a car: You reserve (or, in Car2Go’s case, find) a vehicle and drive it yourself, paying for the time you use.
Zipcar offers city-dwellers a viable alternative to traditional car ownership. Its hundreds of hubs around the globe make it one of the world’s largest carsharing companies, and once you have a membership you can use its vehicles anywhere – including Europe. Like fellow carsharing service Car2Go, and the locally based nonprofits it competes with, Zipcar is great for folks who don’t drive frequently. It’s also useful for travelers who want the peace of mind that comes with having on-demand access to a personal vehicle, but who don’t want to pay for – and park – a rental car.
Sidecar is a ridesharing app that lets you hail point-to-point rides from your phone. Though not as popular or widely available as its two main rivals, Uber and Lyft, it is available in Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Long Beach, San Diego, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston, and Washington, D.C. as of fall 2014 – though more markets are in the works.
Lyft is a popular ridesharing app – also known as a transportation network company, or TNC – that’s available in several dozen American cities. Like Uber’s similar app, Lyft lets you electronically hail cars driven by independent contractors. In practice, it functions a lot like a taxi service, although it’s far more technologically sophisticated, tends to have shorter wait times, and doesn’t directly employ any drivers (its drivers are independent contractors).
With a presence in more than 40 countries and hundreds of cities, Uber is the world’s most popular ridesharing app. Like the Lyft app, it lets riders hail drivers electronically and compensate them for their services by credit card. Unlike Lyft, the Uber app offers access to several different levels of service, from a cut-rate option (UberX) that competes with Lyft and other ridesharing apps, to a luxury service (Uber Lux) that competes with limousine firms.
Maybe your personal budget isn’t as generous as you’d like it to be. Perhaps you’re getting tired of your nine-to-five grind. Or maybe you just want to earn some extra spending money. There are plenty of side hustles for folks in your shoes, from legitimate ways to make money from home, to part-time and seasonal jobs that put cash in your pocket. Now that ridesharing apps – also known as transportation network companies, or “TNCs” – such as Uber and Lyft are available in most major U.S. cities, you can add hiring yourself out as a personal driver to that list.
Everyone born in the United States receives a unique, nine-digit Social Security number at birth. Without this identifier, you can’t enjoy many of the perks that American citizens and legal residents take for granted, including retired and disabled worker benefits. Of course, you also need a Social Security number to file your taxes.
Business entities don’t get – or need – Social Security numbers. However, they can obtain a unique, nine-digit identifying number through a system that’s nearly as ubiquitous as Social Security: the Data Universal Numbering System, or D-U-N-S. If you own your own business or are thinking about starting one, you should know more about the uses, benefits, and drawbacks of having a D-U-N-S number.