Fascinating Things I’ve Learned From Uber Passengers Part II


Uber Passengers

“You will learn some fascinating things driving for Uber.  Riders will share with you their fears, dreams, life hacks, etc.”

-Peerless Money Mentor


Quick Recap

In the first part of Fascinating Things I’ve Learned From Uber Passengers I shared four stories.  The four stories I shared were about my first pickup, a sports team pilot, how a Jason Aldean band member got his start, and my conversation with a financial planner.

While reading the first post, you may remember me mentioning a rider who left me a $64 tip.  I’ll share the story behind that tip first.  Afterwards, I will share some more stories!

A $64 Tip!

Uber Passengers

“I have to get to the Buku music festival.  My car was totaled yesterday in an accident.  The bus system will not allow my cat, Max, to ride with me to New Orleans”

A few months ago I picked up a very determined young man.  He was determined to get to the Buku fest, by any means necessary!  The day before his car was totaled on the interstate.  Undeterred, he hopped on a greyhound to Baton Rouge, La.

When I arrived at the bus station to pick him up, the fist thing I noticed was that he was carrying a cage.  I soon learned that in this cage was a cat.  As soon as he got in the car, he started telling his story.  “I have to get to the Buku music festival.  My car was totaled yesterday in an accident.  The bus system will not allow my cat, Max, to ride with me to New Orleans.”

“Thanks so much for picking me up, Man.  You are a godsend!”

Uber Passengers
Halfway through the ride, he realized that the room he booked did not allow pets either.  He would have to call another audible!  After thinking it over for a minute, he had a revelation that his mom knew someone who stayed in New Orleans that might let him and Max spend the night.

He tried several times to reach this woman but failed.  However, his persistence paid off.  When he finally got in touch with the woman, she agreed that he could spend the night.

Noticeably relieved and excited, he screamed, “Yes, another problem solved!  This will save me $125!”

Big Tipper!

When we arrived at his destination, he wouldn’t let me pull off.  “Wait, I got something for you!” he said while handing me two crisp $20 bills.  After dropping him off, I linked up with a friend to hang out in the French Quarter for a while.

The next morning, I would see an additional $20 tip left on the Uber app.  This brought the total tip amount to $64 on a $86 dollar ride.  He tipped a whopping 74.4%!

 A Lesson in Geoarbitrage

Uber Passengers

“Within a year, my husband and I are relocating from Santa Barbara to Panama City, Florida to stretch our retirement dollars.  Florida has no state taxes!”

If you are an avid reader of personal finance blogs, you may know what the term “geoarbitrage” means.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it simply means moving from a high cost of living area to a low cost of living area to take advantage of the differences in living costs.  Since I have been seeing a lot of posts about geoarbitrage lately, I got excited when my passenger shared her plan with me!

Read this excellent post: Why I am Considering a Geoarbitrage Lifestyle in My 20’s by Olivia @ Birds of a Fire

When arriving to pick this woman up, she started telling me her story from the moment she got in the car!  After a minute of listening to her speak, I learned that she currently lives in Santa Barbara and would be in Baton Rouge for a week to babysit her grandchildren.  She informed me that it had been over a decade since she visited.  Her son was going on vacation with his wife and needed someone to look after the kids.

We conversed about a lot of topics.  The  cost of living in Santa Barbara, a wildfire she seen from afar, mudslides,  hurricane Katrina, and the 2016 flood that devastated parts of Baton Rouge, La.  While those topics were fascinating, my ears perked up when she started spilling the beans about her retirement plan!

Retirement Plan

She began by telling me, “Within a year, my husband and I are relocating from Santa Barbara to Panama City, Florida to stretch our retirement dollars.  Florida has no state taxes!”  She continued, “If it were up to me, we would be in Panama City, Florida already!  My husband wants to finish working on an important project at work before we relocate though.”

According to her, living Santa Barbara is entirely too expensive.  “A 2 Bdr, 1 bath home in Santa Barbara will set you back $750k.” she informed me. “While I do not know the average price of a house in Panama City, I know it is substantially cheaper to own a home there.”

Fun Fact: Florida is one of nine states that has no state income tax.

Uber Passengers
Bestplace.net cost of living comparison results

According to the cost of living comparison results above, it looks like their retirement dollars should last much longer in Panama City, Florida! While all of the cost of living indexes appear to be comparable, the Housing index (579.1) in Santa Barbara is ridiculously high, which pushes up the overall cost of living score to 254.

Tip given: $15

The Bibliophile

Uber Passengers
Behind the scenes look at a peerless reading list!

“Have you ever heard of a book called The Inevitable?  You should read it; I think you would love it!”

Earlier this week, I picked up a fellow book nerd.  After conversing for a few minutes, I shared with him that I read a lot of books at work.  He asked what book I was reading currently, and I informed him that I was finishing up Purple Cow by Seth Godin.  He then said, “Oh, I’ve heard about that book.  It’s about how to be remarkable, (peerless 🙂 right?

I replied by saying, “Yes, it is a book on how to stand out in marketing yourself or a product.  It’s a quick read, too!”

Afterwards, he asked me what other type of books I enjoyed.  I told him I enjoyed reading books on writing, psychology, personal finance, science, technology, etc.

Uber Passengers

Then he  recommended a book for me to add to my reading list!”Well, I think you would enjoy reading this book titled The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.

It sounded like a good read to me.  As I am typing this now, I just added it to my digital collection a second ago!

Related: The Power of Books and How You Can Read for Free!


Community Feedback

  • Would you consider using geoarbitrage to stretch your retirement or current dollars?
  • What’s the highest amount you have ever tipped your Uber driver?
  • What thought-provoking book have you read lately
  • Have you read The Purple Cow or The Inevitable? If so, what did you think about them?

*Thanks for reading!  Remember to tip your next Uber driver $64 :-)*


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Author: Jerry

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8 thoughts on “Fascinating Things I’ve Learned From Uber Passengers Part II

  1. Would you consider using geoarbitrage to stretch your retirement or current dollars?
    YES. Geoarbitrage is an amazing tool for early retirees! We like to travel, explore the world, and discover new cultures so why stay here?

    If we can stay somewhere safe, clean, with a good health system, and with a nice climate, I don’t see why not.

    1. Hey my friend! Thanks for reading and commenting. I am sure the driver would appreciate your wonderful tip.

      That sounds like an interesting read. I might have to add it to my never ending reading list 🙂

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