Is It Cheaper to Own a Car or Use Uber? This Calculator Lets You Know

iStock
iStock

As our thoughts on transportation evolve, it’s important to look at options beyond car ownership, especially as ride-hailing apps become a bigger part of our future. Depending on the type of car you buy and your lifestyle, there’s a chance that it could be cheaper to rely solely on services like Uber and Lyft for your commute and errands rather than buying a vehicle for yourself.

The online calculator Ride or Drive looks at both the cost of buying a new car and the fares associated with ride apps, and figures out which option is best for you. It’s simple: Ride or Drive looks at the cost of the vehicle, loan term, interest rate, fuel efficiency, and other factors to get a gauge on how much a vehicle purchase will set you back over the years. Then it considers how many trips you take per day, the duration of each, and the annual mileage you accumulate.

The last part, according to the calculator, is the “most critical consideration”: How do you value your time? For this section, the calculator asks “How much would you pay to not be stressed driving around town? How much would you pay to catch up on email, read a book, or take a nap?” Basically, how much would you be willing to pay to save the time and aggravation of driving?

The monetary value of catching up on emails, doing some light work, or even taking a nap in a Lyft or Uber varies from person to person, so this section isn’t quite as black and white as the others. But as the calculator stresses, it’s important to the fundamentals of its calculations.

“The value of your time is something that I don’t think most people account for at all when it comes to transportation,” Todd Davidson, part of the Ride or Drive team, told Fast Company. “People might understand it in the sense that they realize how long it takes them to get to work, but I’m not sure people are really internalizing what an alternative might be and whether or not it would save them money.”

Screenshot from Ride or Drive

If your car is less expensive, more fuel efficient, and you get a good deal of use out of it, chances are that buying a vehicle is your best bet, as Fast Company points out. However, Uber or Lyft might be the better choice for people who don’t have long commutes or have their eye on a gas guzzler.

A car’s cost is about more than the sticker amount slapped on the windshield at the dealership. It’s about gas, maintenance, mileage, insurance, and—yes—even your time. So seeing all of these costs visualized on the calculator’s graph at the end can help people make a more informed decision on the cheapest way to get around.

[h/t Fast Company]

Amazon’s Big Fall Sale Features Deals on Electronics, Kitchen Appliances, and Home Décor

Dash/Keurig
Dash/Keurig

If you're looking for deals on items like Keurigs, BISSELL vacuums, and essential oil diffusers, it's usually pretty slim pickings until the holiday sales roll around. Thankfully, Amazon is starting these deals a little earlier with their Big Fall Sale, where customers can get up to 20 percent off everything from home decor to WFH essentials and kitchen gadgets. Now you won’t have to wait until Black Friday for the deal you need. Make sure to see all the deals that the sale has to offer here and check out our favorites below.

Electronics

Dash/Amazon

- BISSELL Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner $170 (save $60)

- Dash Deluxe Air Fryer $80 (save $20)

- Dash Rapid 6-Egg Cooker $17 (save $3)

- Keurig K-Café Single Coffee Maker $169 (save $30)

- COMFEE Toaster Oven $29 (save $9)

- AmazonBasics 1500W Oscillating Ceramic Heater $31 (save $4)

Home office Essentials

HP/Amazon

- HP Neverstop Laser Printer $250 (save $30)

- HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed OCR Scanner $274 (save $25)

- HP Printer Paper (500 Sheets) $5 (save $2)

- Mead Composition Books Pack of 5 Ruled Notebooks $11 (save $2)

- Swingline Desktop Hole Punch $7 (save $17)

- Officemate OIC Achieva Side Load Letter Tray $15 (save $7)

- PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pens 12-Pack $10 (save $3)

Toys and games

Selieve/Amazon

- Selieve Toys Old Children's Walkie Talkies $17 (save $7)

- Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers $59 (save $21)

- Duckura Jump Rocket Launchers $11 (save $17)

- EXERCISE N PLAY Automatic Launcher Baseball Bat $14 (save $29)

- Holy Stone HS165 GPS Drones with 2K HD Camera $95 (save $40)

Home Improvement

DEWALT/Amazon

- DEWALT 20V MAX LED Hand Held Work Light $54 (save $65)

- Duck EZ Packing Tape with Dispenser, 6 Rolls $11 (save $6)

- Bissell MultiClean Wet/Dry Garage Auto Vacuum $111 (save $39)

- Full Circle Sinksational Sink Strainer with Stopper $5 (save $2)

Home Décor

NECA/Amazon

- A Christmas Story 20-Inch Leg Lamp Prop Replica by NECA $41 save $5

- SYLVANIA 100 LED Warm White Mini Lights $8 (save 2)

- Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle Vanilla Cupcake $17 (save $12)

- Malden 8-Opening Matted Collage Picture Frame $20 (save $8)

- Lush Decor Blue and Gray Flower Curtains Pair $57 (save $55)

- LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser $25 (save $5)

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Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Try This Breathing Technique

Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels
Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Struggling to fall asleep can feel like a hopeless battle. It often seems like the harder you try turning your brain off, the less likely it is to happen. One way to trick yourself into falling asleep fast is finding something to concentrate on other than how long you've been awake. For nights when your thoughts just won't stay quiet, try the 4-7-8 technique.

According to Simplemost, the 4-7-8 breathing method is meant to combat anxiety, restlessness, and other enemies of a good night's sleep. The actual technique is simple: Just inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Like counting sheep, measuring out your breaths gives your brain something to do that isn't obsessing about your hectic day or the day ahead.

Taking slow, deliberate breaths has also been proven to reduce stress. Neurons that influence calmness have been found in the breathing control centers of mouse brains. In humans, deep breathing has long been central to mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation. The 4-7-8 breathing technique functions as both a distraction from your thoughts and a way to combat any anxious sensations that may be keeping you awake.

The next time you find yourself tossing and turning at night, try anywhere between three and eight rounds of this breathing technique to calm your body and mind. And to get the best rest possible, make sure you're settling into the best sleep position for your health.

[h/t Simplemost]