Author Topic: Food delivery as a side hustle?  (Read 14976 times)

secondcor521

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #100 on: October 26, 2020, 02:55:53 PM »
secondcor521 also trolls?

I mean, I have my aspirations.  Some day, maybe.

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #101 on: October 26, 2020, 04:38:14 PM »
secondcor521 also trolls?

I mean, I have my aspirations.  Some day, maybe.

Hard to compete with someone named "troll". I have found my own niche in "ignorant pedant"

Runrooster

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #102 on: October 27, 2020, 12:23:09 AM »
All you guys need to stop arguing about the mileage deduction and get yourselves a halfway decent accountant.

Good side hustles produce more cashflow than taxable income.

OP what is your marginal tax rate? This is really important to value the costs that are written off.
This year will likely again hit 35%

Is that just federal or do you include state, and 15% self employment?
My side hustle is tax prep, obviously only 3.5 months out of the year.  Before taxes I made $2500 this year, because tax season "ended" early, and worked 150 hours, for a gross pay of $16/hr.  That's one evening and weekends, down from two evenings, and its still hard on me.  I get less exercise, eat a lot more junk food, rely on my housemates for more cooking and cleaning.  Work always feeds me, and even with getting some healthier options other nights, I was eating pizza one night a week. If Im honest, Id say there's an hour or two downtime during every shift.  I get paid to eat, shop for groceries, surf the net.
Numbers for 2019 were almost double, working 300 hours for $4500.  There was more downtime on the second evening a week so it didn't pay as well (commission) but it was also relaxing. I was able to use about a week paid leave from work for the end season.  Thats vacation I havent had a use for this year.

I know tax prep requires minor training.  A coworker had a second job in the grocery store, at our county minimum wage of $14, until she stopped because it was too draining.  These part-time, second jobs are easy to get, even for retirees, but they do require a commitment which is hard with a full time job.

I'm aware that troll would not call tax prep a good side hustle because there's minimal expenses attached.  I do expense my commute from my home office to work, one day of which I would do anyway (the tax office is literally next door to my usual grocery store).  I dont expense food, phone, internet, home office.  There has been serious talk of my buying into the business - before covid, again - and possibly expanding to medical billing. 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 12:25:35 AM by Runrooster »

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #103 on: October 27, 2020, 06:50:50 AM »
Is it then not fair for the question to be, did I make enough money to replace the car and then make some as well? 
So why is the calculus here need to me any more complicated than am I spending less over all than what I am being paid?
I seem to be missing the point of how making $1,000/month and spending about $300 at best is not viewed with a similar positive viewpoint?
If i make even 1 cent of profit does that not mean that this is a money making effort? 
It appears others see it differently, though my question is still if you are not seeing it as a losing proposition why is it a bad idea?
You are the ideal candidate for a food delivery job.
You ignore both the costs incurred AND how many hours you spent to earn the money.
All you care about is generating enough revenue to exceed your (unknown) costs, regardless of how many hours it takes to do so.

Just because something isn't a "losing proposition" doesn't make it a good idea.
If you kept an accurate accounting of all your expenses and hours worked, and found you were making minimum wage with this side hustle, would you think this was a good idea or a bad idea?

Quote
If I was to work fast food would everyone be worried about the wear and tear on my car?  Of course not, because driving to work is assumed to be part of having a job. 
A car isn't a requirement for working at a fast food restaurant.  They can walk, ride a bike/bus, catch a ride, or drive a short distance.
They aren't required rack up 20K unreimbursed miles in their own vehicle as a condition of their employment.

The average fast food worker (if they even have their own car) is likely only driving a few miles to work.  Say 1.5K miles/year, not 20K miles/year.
If someone gets a job at a fast food restaurant 80 miles away from their house, then yes you would absolutely be worried about the wear and tear on the car.
Quote
Here I have some fraction of 57.5 cents of expense for every mile.  We can again get into minutiae about how much that really is.  Is it  9 cents of 20?   I am spending a fraction of that expense but get to claim 100% of the mileage expense. 
You still aren't getting it, even though it's been pointed out by multiple people.
You may be spending a fraction of the 57.5 cents/mile, but you are also getting only a fraction of that 57.5 cents as an actual financial benefit on your taxes.

Quote
The challenge here is the rabbit hole this can go down to try to figure out the costs is always prone to now being accurate.  I use the car outside of food delivery.  When my water pump fails was it really because of the delivery, or would it have failed anyway just owning the car and making no money with it?  If I only deliver on sunny days does that mean i can ignore wiper costs because those only happen on the personal time?  You can see what I am getting at about how this seem to me to be an exercise in minutiae.   
You know it is not this complicated. 
All you need to do is allocate vehicle expenses based on the proportion of total miles spent on delivery.  For examples...
Total Miles - 30,000
Personal Miles - 10,000 (33%)
Delivery Miles - 20,000 (67%)

Take all of your expenses during this time, say $1500 for oil changes, tires, brakes, battery, ect.
That means $1000 of this cost is allocated as delivery expenses.
Answer to first question:  It is a good idea.  Thinking I can make more than minimum wage with this type of side hustle would make me pretty foolish.

OK, so on the last portion, I have had $400 in total car expenses above fuel.  At this point my miles are split 50/50.  So $200 in expenses.  Add that to a total of $350 in fuel.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #104 on: October 27, 2020, 06:58:19 AM »
Ok but that is $4,600 I made even after all the costs right?  So how is that a bad thing?

I do not track all the hours, as I am not paid hourly, but when I calculated my earnings for months to figure out my hourly rate as I said it is at least $15/hour and more accurately between $18-$22.
I have a sister who is doing app based driving who also reports similar earnings (also ignoring indirect costs). If your earnings after direct costs are $18-22/hour, you're probably close to $15/hour after indirect costs like depreciation. For many workers in service industries this would be considered reasonable pay (it seems to be the rate all the labor organizations are clamoring for as a minimum); but only you can decided if your time is worth this rate to you (many on this forum would not be willing to trade their time for money at $15/hour). I'm pretty sure if you're in a 35% marginal tax rate, this activity is not close to your pay rate at your regular job (or your have a high earning spouse).
Yes, I make over $100K (so over $50/hour) at my current job and have made 50% higher than that for nearly a decade prior before I decided to step back to individual contributor for quality of life change when I determined senior corporate executive bullshit is just not worth the pay.  My wife is making about that in self-employment as well. 

As i have said before, the times I go out are times my wife is working with students so I am not losing any "quality" time with my spouse, I am losing time watching TV or playing video games by myself.  I have plenty of other time to read or do those things outside of those hours, so I am choosing to trade $0 hours for $15 hours and make a tiny bit of extra money to help speed up the FIRE train as much as I can.  The level of effort to get and keep this type of job is virtually zero for me because I take every order i get and therefore make the apps super happy as not refusing orders.  Versus literally any other job i have examined this is the easiest way on earth to make this amount of money.  No boss, no schedule.  It's wonderful and I am helping people get something that makes them happy.  Win-win.

expatartist

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #105 on: October 27, 2020, 07:29:40 AM »
It's wonderful and I am helping people get something that makes them happy.  Win-win.

This is everything. Glad you are happy with this way of being productive with your time.

researcher1

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #106 on: October 27, 2020, 08:26:32 AM »
Thinking I can make more than minimum wage with this type of side hustle would make me pretty foolish.

Yes, I make over $100K.
My wife is making about that in self-employment as well.

As i have said before, the times I go out are times my wife is working with students so I am not losing any "quality" time with my spouse, I am losing time watching TV or playing video games by myself.  I have plenty of other time to read or do those things outside of those hours, so I am choosing to trade $0 hours for $15 hours and make a tiny bit of extra money to help speed up the FIRE train as much as I can. 
It's wonderful and I am helping people get something that makes them happy.
Your position makes much more sense to me, based on your last few posts...
The focus of this endeavor is more about your day-to-day lifestyle vs. the actual money earned.
You are home alone and bored.  Food delivery gives you something to do and helps pass the time. 
As an added benefit, you can earn a bit of extra cash doing it.

For a family of 2 with a household income over $200K in a LCOL state, the money you earn with this food delivery gig is inconsequential.
This is why you don't care about your expenses, the number of hours worked, or your hourly rate.
It is just a "hobby" to get you out of the house when your wife is working.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #107 on: October 27, 2020, 12:05:15 PM »
Thinking I can make more than minimum wage with this type of side hustle would make me pretty foolish.

Yes, I make over $100K.
My wife is making about that in self-employment as well.

As i have said before, the times I go out are times my wife is working with students so I am not losing any "quality" time with my spouse, I am losing time watching TV or playing video games by myself.  I have plenty of other time to read or do those things outside of those hours, so I am choosing to trade $0 hours for $15 hours and make a tiny bit of extra money to help speed up the FIRE train as much as I can. 
It's wonderful and I am helping people get something that makes them happy.
Your position makes much more sense to me, based on your last few posts...
The focus of this endeavor is more about your day-to-day lifestyle vs. the actual money earned.
You are home alone and bored.  Food delivery gives you something to do and helps pass the time. 
As an added benefit, you can earn a bit of extra cash doing it.

For a family of 2 with a household income over $200K in a LCOL state, the money you earn with this food delivery gig is inconsequential.
This is why you don't care about your expenses, the number of hours worked, or your hourly rate.
It is just a "hobby" to get you out of the house when your wife is working.
Sure, though hobby is a bit off and I am certainly not doing it because I am bored; I could do other things for certain but none make any money, they are just fun.  I wanted to find a way to make a little extra money and speed up the stash, however little it might help (guessing even it I keep at this pace from now until 2029 which is my target FIRE date I might move things up a year with added cash this late in the game.  At times my daily change in index funds is more than I have made thus far in this process). 

I know I am not losing money, but yes, if I was looking for this to be my main job there are a lot of alternatives that make more sense. 

Goals have been simple:
  • Find something I enjoy a bit to make extra money
  • Speed up the stash
  • Try to pick something I can do anywhere we might move to once we FIRE and in the event I need to plug a hole in a bad year with a few thousand in earnings

The last point was really the value of this exercise.  As I get closer to FIRE and see how a pandemic can really mess with things I wanted to know that if the world blows up once I step away I can do something other than Wal-Mart greeter to make extra income in my older age as I am not going to be a spring chicken when I hit that FIRE date (not one now). 

Now with that said, I am a strong proponent of "do not let perfect get in the way of the good".  I bristles against the minutiae of figuring every last dollar that might be an expense in this enterprise.  Once you get the big nuggets, the other things are just not worth the bother and I stand by that even for someone not in my circumstance.  Sure if someone's entire income is $20K, $100 expense is a much bigger deal than it is in my case with 10 times that household income.  If my car fell apart tomorrow and I could not afford a replacement that was able to let me continue this I would stop immediately.  If traffic picks up or I find that in winter this gig makes no sense because of the change in dynamics, I will stop, at least until spring.  I am constantly testing the scenarios in my head as I live them each week with this gig.  I have made adjustments to make it worthwhile.  I no longer go out every night as order volume makes that a losing proposition.  From a trucking perspective I am not running a lot of deadheads.  Every time I am in the car for this it is making me money.  If orders dry up for that day, I turn off the app and head home.  I do not try to milk a dead horse. So the statement above of "do not just compare what happens on a good day" does not fit how I do this.  Every day is a good day.  The only difference is some might be great.  The $150 on Saturday was mostly Instacart, which has less driving per hour hence the high dollars and low miles.  Yes I spend time, so I account for that in hourly rate, but since Instacart is around $25/hour for the time spent it covers things quite well, with the downside being more of those dollars would be taxable as I do not have miles to offset them.

That last point might be worth delving into as it may not be the typical way to look at this.  On the FB groups for these gigs I see people posting "Would you take this order?" with a screenshot from their phone.  The latest was an Instacart order for $40, that would take an hour to shop most likely and had a delivery of 20 miles.  My point was I would because the 40 miles round trip would assure me that I had earned at least $20 of those dollars tax free.  The responses indicated most people are not considering that, they just focus on the distance and time not on a new order.  But is it really better to take an $11 order that takes 45 minutes to shop and is 2 miles to deliver?  I think not, because then you may have another $11 order next and now you have spent the same time I have even with the driving time and you made half of what I did and are taxed on almost all of it.  Not realizing there is a way to use the mileage to make more money is a flaw in focusing on what is the hourly rate you are making, because I assure you, that taking shorter, smaller orders does not move the needle enough (increase on the high end is $1-2 per hour best case, and most case you make less, that I achieved when trying that model and was heavily reliant on a steady stream of orders, which is not the reality one can count on now).  I think these are the things people, even on this thread, overlook if they have not actually done the work and tested the results.  There are a lot of ways to get taken to the cleaners on these gigs.  I am confident I am fully aware of them, even though it appears I am "ignoring" costs, and have made them irrelevant because of the offset I achieve my doing this smart.  It is no different than the analysis people do about rental properties.  You can lose your shirt buying properties for rent, and many people do and get out of it because they do not do the work to understand how to maximize value.  As I have said many times, I think I have maximized the crap out of this gig work.  That is part of why I think there are so many of you pressing me on I must be not giving you the expenses right because I cannot do it that cheaply.  This feels the same as when I share with couple who spend $400-$500 on groceries a month that I spend $600 or less a month for a family of 8 and I get told I am lying or must not be tracking.  I show them the YNAB and the credit cards that show the spend and there is not much to say.  I bring that same level of optimization to this process and so that is why I may seem flippant because I am aware of the spend and I am making money.  Is the main rub for those pressing back that it is not worth the money I am making to use their time this way?  If so, I certainly get and respect that, and when this starts being a chore of me and less of a fake "hobby", I will stop.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 12:12:25 PM by caracarn »

trollwithamustache

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #108 on: October 27, 2020, 12:40:10 PM »
All you guys need to stop arguing about the mileage deduction and get yourselves a halfway decent accountant.

Good side hustles produce more cashflow than taxable income.

OP what is your marginal tax rate? This is really important to value the costs that are written off.
This year will likely again hit 35%

I'm aware that troll would not call tax prep a good side hustle because there's minimal expenses attached.  I do expense my commute from my home office to work, one day of which I would do anyway (the tax office is literally next door to my usual grocery store).  I dont expense food, phone, internet, home office.  There has been serious talk of my buying into the business - before covid, again - and possibly expanding to medical billing.

I'm actually gonna approve tax prep. BAM, there is your stamp of approval. Seriously, since its only part of the year, I'm leaving the time suck/value as your personal decision.

Its also an office intensive job. so you've got all the home office, phone, internet write offs. not just for tax season, but for any time of the year you are marketing the job. You may do the tax work at this office, but if you run your business of "you who goes places and does tax prep" from home, you can take the home office deduction for that.

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #109 on: October 27, 2020, 01:13:20 PM »
Its also an office intensive job. so you've got all the home office, phone, internet write offs. not just for tax season, but for any time of the year you are marketing the job. You may do the tax work at this office, but if you run your business of "you who goes places and does tax prep" from home, you can take the home office deduction for that.

I'm going to go off on another tangent here, but IRS has pretty restrictive rules about what actually qualifies as a home office (namely, that the location in the home has to be used exclusively and regularly as an office). From what my accountant told us last year, most people over-deduct in this area and would not fare well in an audit.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #110 on: October 28, 2020, 01:33:27 PM »
Its also an office intensive job. so you've got all the home office, phone, internet write offs. not just for tax season, but for any time of the year you are marketing the job. You may do the tax work at this office, but if you run your business of "you who goes places and does tax prep" from home, you can take the home office deduction for that.

I'm going to go off on another tangent here, but IRS has pretty restrictive rules about what actually qualifies as a home office (namely, that the location in the home has to be used exclusively and regularly as an office). From what my accountant told us last year, most people over-deduct in this area and would not fare well in an audit.

I am a Huuuuuge fan of using a real accountant when you go down this road. Find a good one, a really really great one. 

Seriously,  its very important note if you are not taking a deduction at all, you are very far from over-deducting. Most accountants should have some kind of standard data-sheet (on size/exclusivity of the area)you fill out so they can correctly calculate the home office deduciton and then your basis is documented. Real accountants also do this, so if your home deduction gets audited, they hand over the sheet and a lot of times thats enough to make the audit end then and there.

Now this is me talking out of my A$$, but it sorta feels like in a COVID world, they really can't argue with the home office deductions as much either. Part time tax prep, will that be done at a home office or a crowded office space?  all the gig drivers, especially if they drive for multiple services need a landing pad where they evaluate/plan their days.  Lots of people have been pushed to home offices.

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #111 on: October 28, 2020, 03:17:30 PM »

I am a Huuuuuge fan of using a real accountant when you go down this road. Find a good one, a really really great one. 

Seriously,  its very important note if you are not taking a deduction at all, you are very far from over-deducting. Most accountants should have some kind of standard data-sheet (on size/exclusivity of the area)you fill out so they can correctly calculate the home office deduciton and then your basis is documented. Real accountants also do this, so if your home deduction gets audited, they hand over the sheet and a lot of times thats enough to make the audit end then and there.

Now this is me talking out of my A$$, but it sorta feels like in a COVID world, they really can't argue with the home office deductions as much either. Part time tax prep, will that be done at a home office or a crowded office space?  all the gig drivers, especially if they drive for multiple services need a landing pad where they evaluate/plan their days.  Lots of people have been pushed to home offices.

Yeah, we're pretty much on the same page, here! I think it was in reference to people who do their own business deductions that our accountant had brought it up.

And yeah, I doubt they'll argue about home office ones much this year just due to the sheer volume of them that will be coming in - presumably most of them without malicious intent - and it's just not worth their while to get nit-picky. But I could see the tax code changing in a year or two for this reason.

Runrooster

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #112 on: October 29, 2020, 06:47:08 AM »
I work for a franchise tax prep place.  We charge minimum $400 for a Schedule C 1040.  One of our tax preparers recently graduated to a real accounting firm, which charges 3 times as much. On a $2500 gross income you want me to spend how much to approve sketchy tax deductions?  I'm okay with taking the advice of my managers, thanks.

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #113 on: October 29, 2020, 08:32:20 AM »
I work for a franchise tax prep place.  We charge minimum $400 for a Schedule C 1040.  One of our tax preparers recently graduated to a real accounting firm, which charges 3 times as much. On a $2500 gross income you want me to spend how much to approve sketchy tax deductions?  I'm okay with taking the advice of my managers, thanks.

Yes, those recommendations were not only a one-size-fits-all blanket statement, but targeted at you personally. You should have been called out by name to make it more clear. If you do not comply it means that not only are you a poor citizen, but an awful person to boot. I would prefer you spend at least $2K, but $400 seems adequate.

JK, you do you man, of course there's variance in all of this ;)

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #114 on: November 18, 2020, 11:49:49 AM »
So latest update is with the surging numbers in out state my wife and I agreed I will suspend doing any of these activities as the risk makes no sense.  It is a side hustle after all and not something we need to pay the bills, so unless a miracle happens am done for 2020 and who knows when I may start again in 2021, thinking late spring at best so probably a six month plus hiatus until vaccine starts to take effect.  That likely means July or August.

kelly_

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #115 on: November 21, 2020, 07:51:22 AM »
Caracarn, I am just jumping in here to say 'thank you' for sharing such a detailed account of your experiences with food delivery, costs, etc. I signed up for DoorDash but have been hesitant to get started because I wasn't sure if the costs would outweigh the benefits. Your posts have provided a wealth of information.

For reference, I drive a VW Jetta that I bought from my parents last year for $2,500. It is older (2008) but has only 80k miles on it. I have to put premium gas in it :( I work from home (permanently) so I only use the car currently for errands, etc. I could technically live without a car at all because I live close enough to walk to stores, etc. So, the car is an asset but one that is not doing a whole lot for me. On the flip side, I really need to be building up my $$$ right now. I am 38 years old and late to the game. I only have about 70k saved for retirement and I owe $130k on my house. So I am thinking that even if I sacrifice the wear and tear, etc. on the car, it might be worth it to use the extra income to bulk up my investments and/or pay toward my mortgage.

I do have some more time to think on it. Like yourself, we are having a surge of Covid cases in my area as well. So it is something I would be starting once it is safer to do so.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 07:56:46 AM by kelly_ »

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #116 on: November 21, 2020, 04:06:40 PM »
Caracarn, I am just jumping in here to say 'thank you' for sharing such a detailed account of your experiences with food delivery, costs, etc. I signed up for DoorDash but have been hesitant to get started because I wasn't sure if the costs would outweigh the benefits. Your posts have provided a wealth of information.

For reference, I drive a VW Jetta that I bought from my parents last year for $2,500. It is older (2008) but has only 80k miles on it. I have to put premium gas in it :( I work from home (permanently) so I only use the car currently for errands, etc. I could technically live without a car at all because I live close enough to walk to stores, etc. So, the car is an asset but one that is not doing a whole lot for me. On the flip side, I really need to be building up my $$$ right now. I am 38 years old and late to the game. I only have about 70k saved for retirement and I owe $130k on my house. So I am thinking that even if I sacrifice the wear and tear, etc. on the car, it might be worth it to use the extra income to bulk up my investments and/or pay toward my mortgage.

I do have some more time to think on it. Like yourself, we are having a surge of Covid cases in my area as well. So it is something I would be starting once it is safer to do so.

If you dont' need the car, it's in good condition, and are looking to add money, why not sell the Jetta for $5K whilst also ditching insurance and registration costs?

kelly_

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #117 on: November 21, 2020, 04:51:34 PM »
Caracarn, I am just jumping in here to say 'thank you' for sharing such a detailed account of your experiences with food delivery, costs, etc. I signed up for DoorDash but have been hesitant to get started because I wasn't sure if the costs would outweigh the benefits. Your posts have provided a wealth of information.

For reference, I drive a VW Jetta that I bought from my parents last year for $2,500. It is older (2008) but has only 80k miles on it. I have to put premium gas in it :( I work from home (permanently) so I only use the car currently for errands, etc. I could technically live without a car at all because I live close enough to walk to stores, etc. So, the car is an asset but one that is not doing a whole lot for me. On the flip side, I really need to be building up my $$$ right now. I am 38 years old and late to the game. I only have about 70k saved for retirement and I owe $130k on my house. So I am thinking that even if I sacrifice the wear and tear, etc. on the car, it might be worth it to use the extra income to bulk up my investments and/or pay toward my mortgage.

I do have some more time to think on it. Like yourself, we are having a surge of Covid cases in my area as well. So it is something I would be starting once it is safer to do so.

If you dont' need the car, it's in good condition, and are looking to add money, why not sell the Jetta for $5K whilst also ditching insurance and registration costs?

That's a really good point to consider! I think I could actually get more for it that that because the market for used cars is so great right now and it's in pristine condition. I am less than 2 miles to grocery, library, etc. so I could easily live without it. Now you really have my wheels turning!

Now I am wondering if it would be better to just sell it (I prob would need to invest a small amount in a used bike) or better to use it to make more money. That's quite the math assignment...

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #118 on: November 22, 2020, 05:26:21 AM »
Caracarn, I am just jumping in here to say 'thank you' for sharing such a detailed account of your experiences with food delivery, costs, etc. I signed up for DoorDash but have been hesitant to get started because I wasn't sure if the costs would outweigh the benefits. Your posts have provided a wealth of information.

For reference, I drive a VW Jetta that I bought from my parents last year for $2,500. It is older (2008) but has only 80k miles on it. I have to put premium gas in it :( I work from home (permanently) so I only use the car currently for errands, etc. I could technically live without a car at all because I live close enough to walk to stores, etc. So, the car is an asset but one that is not doing a whole lot for me. On the flip side, I really need to be building up my $$$ right now. I am 38 years old and late to the game. I only have about 70k saved for retirement and I owe $130k on my house. So I am thinking that even if I sacrifice the wear and tear, etc. on the car, it might be worth it to use the extra income to bulk up my investments and/or pay toward my mortgage.

I do have some more time to think on it. Like yourself, we are having a surge of Covid cases in my area as well. So it is something I would be starting once it is safer to do so.

If you dont' need the car, it's in good condition, and are looking to add money, why not sell the Jetta for $5K whilst also ditching insurance and registration costs?

That's a really good point to consider! I think I could actually get more for it that that because the market for used cars is so great right now and it's in pristine condition. I am less than 2 miles to grocery, library, etc. so I could easily live without it. Now you really have my wheels turning!

Now I am wondering if it would be better to just sell it (I prob would need to invest a small amount in a used bike) or better to use it to make more money. That's quite the math assignment...
Certainly worth consideration.  My only caution is do not take the "for a carpenter with a hammer every problem is a nail" approach.  Be certain this is not the knee jerk drive from MMM forum to you should not have a car.  Like it or not the reality of life in much of the US is not having a car places limits on you.  We were just looking at the possibility of getting rid of an extra car our kids use for work and school, after all there is a bus system in town.  However the buses stop running at 8 PM and working in fast food when you close at 10 or 11 means that is not an option and walking that late at night is not the brightest option to ask your 16 year old to undertake. 

I agree that if you have no other need for the car in the next few years as you see it other than something like Doordash you need to investigate.  You said you are permanently working from home which I assume means you are not able to find a different job that would have you commuting, so that is off the table.  Just do not think short term and find yourself in the expensive used car market you speak of as a buyer because you only looked at immediate issues.

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #119 on: November 27, 2020, 05:24:19 AM »
Caracarn, I am just jumping in here to say 'thank you' for sharing such a detailed account of your experiences with food delivery, costs, etc. I signed up for DoorDash but have been hesitant to get started because I wasn't sure if the costs would outweigh the benefits. Your posts have provided a wealth of information.

For reference, I drive a VW Jetta that I bought from my parents last year for $2,500. It is older (2008) but has only 80k miles on it. I have to put premium gas in it :( I work from home (permanently) so I only use the car currently for errands, etc. I could technically live without a car at all because I live close enough to walk to stores, etc. So, the car is an asset but one that is not doing a whole lot for me. On the flip side, I really need to be building up my $$$ right now. I am 38 years old and late to the game. I only have about 70k saved for retirement and I owe $130k on my house. So I am thinking that even if I sacrifice the wear and tear, etc. on the car, it might be worth it to use the extra income to bulk up my investments and/or pay toward my mortgage.

I do have some more time to think on it. Like yourself, we are having a surge of Covid cases in my area as well. So it is something I would be starting once it is safer to do so.

If you dont' need the car, it's in good condition, and are looking to add money, why not sell the Jetta for $5K whilst also ditching insurance and registration costs?

That's a really good point to consider! I think I could actually get more for it that that because the market for used cars is so great right now and it's in pristine condition. I am less than 2 miles to grocery, library, etc. so I could easily live without it. Now you really have my wheels turning!

Now I am wondering if it would be better to just sell it (I prob would need to invest a small amount in a used bike) or better to use it to make more money. That's quite the math assignment...
Certainly worth consideration.  My only caution is do not take the "for a carpenter with a hammer every problem is a nail" approach.  Be certain this is not the knee jerk drive from MMM forum to you should not have a car.  Like it or not the reality of life in much of the US is not having a car places limits on you.  We were just looking at the possibility of getting rid of an extra car our kids use for work and school, after all there is a bus system in town.  However the buses stop running at 8 PM and working in fast food when you close at 10 or 11 means that is not an option and walking that late at night is not the brightest option to ask your 16 year old to undertake. 

I agree that if you have no other need for the car in the next few years as you see it other than something like Doordash you need to investigate.  You said you are permanently working from home which I assume means you are not able to find a different job that would have you commuting, so that is off the table.  Just do not think short term and find yourself in the expensive used car market you speak of as a buyer because you only looked at immediate issues.

Definitely should be analyzed. Probably the easiest way in this situation is to pretend you don't have a car and go about life. See how often it's actually used. If you manage without too much stress for a couple of months, then likely you are in a situation where renting a car infrequently is a better option in the long run for trips or something.

We went from 3 cars to 1 car in our household this way.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #120 on: November 30, 2020, 02:57:07 PM »
So entered all my income and deductions into app and here is what 2020 is like:

$8,860.31 income
$5,557.75 deductions
$3,302.56 profit

From my other numbers I had one more tank of gas so another $35 or so.  Nothing else.

I may or may not ever return to this line of work.

Right now I am benched because of the pandemic getting super bad in our county.  At his point will likely wait until vaccines are distributed to even consider again and given that will be 6-9 months from now I may not longer have that drive as I will have settled in to having weekends and evenings fully mine again without the pull to make a few bucks.

As I told my wife the initial goal was to test this out to see if post-FIRE I could make $5-$10K in a down year.  I think I have proven that with certainty if we had a terrible stock market year in the first 5 years of RE I could cushion the loss and likely fully make it up with this, so it was a rousing success.  Secondary goal was to speed up the stash but that requires multiple years of this to really make a dent, so on that front the jury is out if I ever do this again without a need.  Happy to answer any questions now or down the road.

researcher1

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #121 on: November 30, 2020, 03:30:51 PM »
I may or may not ever return to this line of work.
I may not longer have that drive as I will have settled in to having weekends and evenings fully mine again without the pull to make a few bucks.
The italicized point is the one I've been making throughout this thread.

Life is short. 
For someone like you who doesn't need this money...you should value your free time and spend it doing things you enjoy.

I can't fathom spending my free time on weekends/evenings standing around McDonald's/ect. for hours waiting on orders, then driving all over town for hours delivering stinky food to lazy people.  Just to make a few extra bucks.

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #122 on: December 01, 2020, 06:38:12 PM »
As I told my wife the initial goal was to test this out to see if post-FIRE I could make $5-$10K in a down year.  I think I have proven that with certainty if we had a terrible stock market year in the first 5 years of RE I could cushion the loss and likely fully make it up with this, so it was a rousing success.  Secondary goal was to speed up the stash but that requires multiple years of this to really make a dent, so on that front the jury is out if I ever do this again without a need.  Happy to answer any questions now or down the road.

This is good and re-assuring. I'm not claiming to know better, but it doesn't count for the opportunity cost in a down year. If you are retired and looking at less ideal portfolio situation, there are many ways to make money. That's not to say that driving isn't valid, but it is far from the only option. Also, who knows what the food delivery service market will look like in 5+ years? The industry popped out of nowhere, so who's to say it won't drastically change as the companies evolve their product?

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #123 on: December 07, 2020, 08:39:42 AM »
As I told my wife the initial goal was to test this out to see if post-FIRE I could make $5-$10K in a down year.  I think I have proven that with certainty if we had a terrible stock market year in the first 5 years of RE I could cushion the loss and likely fully make it up with this, so it was a rousing success.  Secondary goal was to speed up the stash but that requires multiple years of this to really make a dent, so on that front the jury is out if I ever do this again without a need.  Happy to answer any questions now or down the road.

This is good and re-assuring. I'm not claiming to know better, but it doesn't count for the opportunity cost in a down year. If you are retired and looking at less ideal portfolio situation, there are many ways to make money. That's not to say that driving isn't valid, but it is far from the only option. Also, who knows what the food delivery service market will look like in 5+ years? The industry popped out of nowhere, so who's to say it won't drastically change as the companies evolve their product?
This is certainly a valid point, but all I can do it make decisions on what is known, without a crystal ball.  At this point most elderly workers are Wal-Mart greeters or do similar "greeting" activity at tourist attractions.  Given we are potentially looking at settling in TN near the Smokies I may do that.  It is still the only real option I see that does not require me to show up somewhere for a set number of hours (meaning if I just don't feel like it today I could get fired for not appearing, where with food delivery no one will take that action).  The barriers to entry are virtually zero.  Hard to say that about any other option (though happy to hear if I may have missed some).  I do not need to go find clients, which would be required for any self employed side job like consulting, coaching etc.

These are the reasons I wanted to test it.  What I have read/understood is having a way to make up a $5-$10K shortfall provides a much safer path to FIRE, so that is what I was seeking.  All your points are valid.  It could not exist in 5 years if/when I step away even earlier than planned but what my current calculations show is my glide path and then I have the make decisions then, but if I was stepping into FIRE today, this would be my plan.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #124 on: December 07, 2020, 08:45:00 AM »
I may or may not ever return to this line of work.
I may not longer have that drive as I will have settled in to having weekends and evenings fully mine again without the pull to make a few bucks.
The italicized point is the one I've been making throughout this thread.

Life is short. 
For someone like you who doesn't need this money...you should value your free time and spend it doing things you enjoy.

I can't fathom spending my free time on weekends/evenings standing around McDonald's/ect. for hours waiting on orders, then driving all over town for hours delivering stinky food to lazy people.  Just to make a few extra bucks.
All that was very clear. 

I just do not view it as negatively as you do.  I am in the car, listening to the radio and enjoying myself, and not missing something else.  At this point laziness would be more the thing that I would succumb to about not picking it up again.  I am binge watching The Crown instead of making money.  Not sure that is such a "better" use of my time.  Yes I enjoy the show/TV in general, but as with anything one can get sick of it too.  Post COVID restrictions I do feel my options for spending my time will obviously open up immensely again and that is actually what I mean, but certainly while my options were really about doing something on the couch or in a chair at home versus helping people out, enjoying the fresh air and singing away while making money, it was pleasant to spend the time that way.  Only as the risk increased beyond what was reasonable have I hung up the delivery bags, perhaps forever.

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #125 on: December 07, 2020, 10:34:45 AM »
I just do not view it as negatively as you do. 
I am in the car, listening to the radio and enjoying myself, and not missing something else
but certainly while my options were really about doing something on the couch or in a chair at home versus helping people out, enjoying the fresh air and singing away while making money, it was pleasant to spend the time that way. 
For someone like you, food delivery sounds like a reasonable way for you to pass the time.
Though it may indicate an opportunity to develop more meaningful interests, which would also serve you well when you early retire.
There are MUCH better ways of getting off your couch and enjoying the fresh air than delivering food.

Sitting in your car isn't any different than sitting on your couch.
And you can't "enjoy the fresh air" when sniffing the grease fryers at McDonalds, or inhaling the Big Mac smells and car exhaust fumes while on delivery.

How can you not be "missing something else" more meaningful by spending your evenings/weekends delivering food?
What about hiking, biking, fishing, photography, canoeing/kayaking, sightseeing, home improvement, lawn care, vehicle maintenance, ect.

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #126 on: December 07, 2020, 04:56:28 PM »
How can you not be "missing something else" more meaningful by spending your evenings/weekends delivering food?
What about hiking, biking, fishing, photography, canoeing/kayaking, sightseeing, home improvement, lawn care, vehicle maintenance, ect.

+1

Not to throw judgment. We're all different people and it's good that way. But I can think of 20 things off the top of my head that I'd rather do than drive around. None of them are watching TV.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #127 on: December 08, 2020, 06:51:51 AM »
How can you not be "missing something else" more meaningful by spending your evenings/weekends delivering food?
What about hiking, biking, fishing, photography, canoeing/kayaking, sightseeing, home improvement, lawn care, vehicle maintenance, ect.

+1

Not to throw judgment. We're all different people and it's good that way. But I can think of 20 things off the top of my head that I'd rather do than drive around. None of them are watching TV.
My point was a bit hyperbolic.  At this point my wife does not even want to go hiking until health conditions get better so we are sitting at home, but yes, in normal times lots that can be done.  I read a lot, I record audio books.  I do hate lawn care/gardening as does my wife and we've only with a slight joke talked multiple times about paving over the entire lawn around with house with rocks or just a big parking lot to do away with the chore entirely. 

StashingAway

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #128 on: December 08, 2020, 07:08:03 PM »
How can you not be "missing something else" more meaningful by spending your evenings/weekends delivering food?
What about hiking, biking, fishing, photography, canoeing/kayaking, sightseeing, home improvement, lawn care, vehicle maintenance, ect.

+1

Not to throw judgment. We're all different people and it's good that way. But I can think of 20 things off the top of my head that I'd rather do than drive around. None of them are watching TV.
My point was a bit hyperbolic.  At this point my wife does not even want to go hiking until health conditions get better so we are sitting at home, but yes, in normal times lots that can be done.  I read a lot, I record audio books.  I do hate lawn care/gardening as does my wife and we've only with a slight joke talked multiple times about paving over the entire lawn around with house with rocks or just a big parking lot to do away with the chore entirely.

Ah, interesting... I didn't translate the hyperbole at all! I have seen weirder things on this forum so it didn't stand out at all. And if hiking is out of the picture... well, you already said you've stopped grabbing grubby handled food... but I don't know what could be much safer. Unless you're doing some extreme traverse that could end you in a hospital.

PDXTabs

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #129 on: December 08, 2020, 10:14:07 PM »
Quote
For example on my $97 of earnings, I have $93.13 in mileage (162 miles), so my taxable income is less than $4 right now.
That tax deduction for mileage isn't because the IRS is nice, it's because that's their estimate of how much it costs to drive. Yeah, you can probably get away with costing less if you have a low-value, high-gas mileage, low-maintenance car, but that looks to me like they basically pay your car costs while you drive for free.

This. You didn’t earn $97, you had $97 of revenue. You’re saving money on taxes because your “profit” was $4 for all that work.

Come on, what mustachian pays 57 cents per mile to drive? I have a 2014 Ford Focus that I purchased brand new with financing and my total cost per mile is at most half of that. And it is really the marginal cost per mile that matters. Nowadays with the pandemic sometimes I barely drive my car all month but the insurance is still $93/mo. The first mile is very expensive but the last is cheap.

EDITed to add - With that said, I won't be driving for DoorDash anytime soon, but if I was I would make sure to open a SEP-IRA.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 10:33:00 PM by PDXTabs »

samanil

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #130 on: December 12, 2020, 07:42:07 PM »
I haven't read through this whole post but I just wanted to chime in and say I delivered food on my bike full time for about a year, and it was pretty cool. I was in really good shape and developed a love for cruising around cities (worked in Seattle and SF). I did something like 3k deliveries. Doing it on a bike has significant advantages over a car, the biggest being you don't have to deal with parking and there are essentially zero costs (rather you get paid double--money and exercise).

I'm building an ebike now and am probably going to get back into it as a side hustle. On a good day I'd make $200, with my ebike I'm hoping for more.

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #131 on: March 02, 2021, 06:51:43 PM »
This was a great read.  Caracarn, thank you for sharing your experiences.  Researcher1... you're really triggered throughout.  Odd. 

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #132 on: March 24, 2021, 05:02:12 AM »
ptf and also to note that I had a blast when I worked in pizza delivery. I generally enjoy driving (especially on ice, lol), listening to tunes, and learning the ins and outs of a neighborhood.

Also, people and dogs are typically pretty happy to see food arrive, so there's very little of the negative part of customer service I dealt with when I worked a cash register.

I can totally see how this is a fun side hustle.

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #133 on: March 24, 2021, 09:52:36 AM »
On our Nextdoor feed  is a thread where people are relaying their experience of food delivery people STEALING their orders! Unbelievable!

The delivery folks snap a photo of the food at the address, and then pick it up and drive away with it! Someone even has video of this happeneing with their Postmates delivery. Several people have chimed in to say it happened to them. Then one person said “maybe the delivery person needed the food...” so there we go. I am in urban St.Louis where we like to coddle criminals.

I have had Doordash deliveries about six times in two years and never a problem.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 09:56:52 AM by iris lily »

Zamboni

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #134 on: March 26, 2021, 09:03:24 PM »
^Lol, my son one time caught a delivery lady drinking some of his milkshake. Ewww! Note to self: no milkshake delivery. Not that I was planning to ever do that anyway.

On the flip side, some customers are cads and don't tip the driver. Tip your server, people! C'mon.

Let's all be honest with the fact that there is almost no barrier to getting a food delivery gig. It takes about 60 to sign up on a phone app, and then you are cleared and ready to go that same day as long as you pass a rudimentary background check. It can be a nice side hustle if you have a fuel efficient car or bike, prefer to work at meal times, and live in a high restaurant density area. OP's idea to use it to optimize his commute as a tax write off borders on brilliance.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #135 on: March 31, 2021, 12:16:56 PM »
Glad to see this helped some folks.

I am still on the sidelines waiting for my second dose of COVID vaccine next week, but at this point not really sure if/when I might jump in again.  I have liked having the time back and the experiment proved out that as a easy to earn $5-$10K a year it beats being a Wal-Mart greeter.  I wanted to know if I needed to make some money after FIRE if I could, and I certainly can. 

New things of note:

  • Restaurants in our area have severely cut back hours (even Taco Bell now closes at 8 PM, yes TACO BELL the 4 am joint), so this has closed the window and gives me no desire to fight for scraps
  • With more people out, I think orders have decreased as evidenced by all the apps offering higher and higher incentives to go deliver that I get texted and also having blocks open in what used to be prime time.  I think this means orders have dropped and drivers have said they are not dealing with it and moved to something else, so when there is an order there is no driver which creates a bad expereience and no repeat order so a vicious spiral.  Will see if this industry comes out OK on the other side.
  • Everything is pandemic related right now, so I absolutely expect these items to be temporary, but still means now is a bad time to do this, at least in my area as what made it work I think would be gone and this would me much less lucrative

DK82

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #136 on: March 31, 2021, 07:39:24 PM »
I recently began experimenting with this.  I've found multi-apping to be highly effective. 

Some nights I've been bored, so I'll DoorDash/GrubHub/UberEats for a couple hours and make some money.  Tonight I made over $100 (yes, before taxes and yes before accounting for gas/wear and tear/etc) in three hours. 

Other times, like yesterday, I had to run an errand, so I turned it on, wait til I got an order that took me in that direction and off I went.  What would've been a trip to the grocery store to spend $50 wound up being a trip to the store to spend $50 but also make $15. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #137 on: March 31, 2021, 08:25:45 PM »
Need to start following this thread... my wife is interested in becoming an Instacart shopper - she really enjoys grocery shopping and is very good at finding and picking out items that aren't damaged and messed up lol.

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #138 on: April 01, 2021, 11:51:23 AM »
Need to start following this thread... my wife is interested in becoming an Instacart shopper - she really enjoys grocery shopping and is very good at finding and picking out items that aren't damaged and messed up lol.

I'm late to the thread.

I highly recommend this.   We made just over $19,000 last year on Instacart, mainly because we live near a Costco.

The first 10-20 orders will stink, then you'll (she) will get better at batch selection, when to work, ect.   Solid $30/hr hustle if you're selective, $20/hr if you're not.  Those are gross numbers, so you still owe taxes and will put a few miles on the car.  Less driving than food delivery though.  Actually have a guest post coming out on Rideshare Guy in a week about it

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #139 on: April 02, 2021, 10:51:56 AM »
Some nights I've been bored, so I'll DoorDash/GrubHub/UberEats for a couple hours and make some money.  Tonight I made over $100 (yes, before taxes and yes before accounting for gas/wear and tear/etc) in three hours. 

Other times, like yesterday, I had to run an errand, so I turned it on, wait til I got an order that took me in that direction and off I went.

This is a lifestyle that I'm unfamiliar with, lol! I'm never bored and usually plan my trips so that I've got a pretty specific "errand hopping map" already.

jeromedawg

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #140 on: April 02, 2021, 10:55:28 AM »
Need to start following this thread... my wife is interested in becoming an Instacart shopper - she really enjoys grocery shopping and is very good at finding and picking out items that aren't damaged and messed up lol.

I'm late to the thread.

I highly recommend this.   We made just over $19,000 last year on Instacart, mainly because we live near a Costco.

The first 10-20 orders will stink, then you'll (she) will get better at batch selection, when to work, ect.   Solid $30/hr hustle if you're selective, $20/hr if you're not.  Those are gross numbers, so you still owe taxes and will put a few miles on the car.  Less driving than food delivery though.  Actually have a guest post coming out on Rideshare Guy in a week about it

That's awesome! So both you and your wife and separately doing this? I've seen it where ppl will 'team' up in a single car to make deliveries faster. In terms of deliveries - can you be selective about what the orders that come through and whether or not you want to take them? So you can basically *choose* jobs where the person lives within 5 miles and the grocery store they've chosen is also within 5 miles? Or is it more like Lyft/Uber where you are sort of 'obligated' to take jobs and if you don't you'll get penalized (at least, that's what I thought I heard regarding how Uber/Lyft, or one or other, does things).

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #141 on: April 02, 2021, 05:11:46 PM »
@jeromedawg

No penalties for *not* taking an order.  We have 4-6 to choose from at any time on our screen and the options rotate through.  We have to be quick on the higher paying orders.

We shop together, we know how to split up and conquer an order quickly.  Not technically permitted per IC's terms of service, but nobody is going to report us if we're respectful in the store.   On the rare occasion we'll be shopping on one account and we see a small order going to the same general area from the store we're already in...and will absolutely double those up.

In the peak time, we would alternate orders and could pickup some efficiency that way.  It's not *that* good anymore.

jeromedawg

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #142 on: April 02, 2021, 05:51:16 PM »
@jeromedawg

No penalties for *not* taking an order.  We have 4-6 to choose from at any time on our screen and the options rotate through.  We have to be quick on the higher paying orders.

We shop together, we know how to split up and conquer an order quickly.  Not technically permitted per IC's terms of service, but nobody is going to report us if we're respectful in the store.   On the rare occasion we'll be shopping on one account and we see a small order going to the same general area from the store we're already in...and will absolutely double those up.

In the peak time, we would alternate orders and could pickup some efficiency that way.  It's not *that* good anymore.

Wow you guys really have a system down... are you doing this on the side apart from work? I think I'd get stressed out and under too much pressure trying to split-up the work and also taking on orders *while* shopping hahaha. Once at least one kid is in school my wife has been talking about doing this on the side (and I think maybe after she has been vaccinated too) - she says she really enjoys shopping and thinks she'd be good at this (especially picking out the best of the batch like fruits and veggies...not sure about meat haha). Logistically trying to juggle this with two small kids seems challenging otherwise.

Are there any 'upstart' fees when signing up?

chasesfish

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #143 on: April 03, 2021, 09:21:44 AM »
Zero fees to signup.  Only real costs we incurred initially were buying two good insulated frozen bags to be more efficient hauling car to door.

We eventually bought a $40 folding cart off amazon to make hauling bigger loads into apartment complexes easier.

We don't have kids and are FIRE, so we have all the time in the world.  This morning we doubled up a Costco order and made $63 in an hour twenty.  9am on Saturday tends to be the highest paying window in our market.

DK82

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #144 on: April 04, 2021, 06:18:32 PM »
Found myself out at 6pm today and headed home.  Decided to turn on GH and DD instead and wound up making $37 in 45 minutes versus driving home and making zero dollars in 10 minutes. 

tooqk4u22

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #145 on: April 05, 2021, 06:46:41 AM »
Need to start following this thread... my wife is interested in becoming an Instacart shopper - she really enjoys grocery shopping and is very good at finding and picking out items that aren't damaged and messed up lol.

I'm late to the thread.

I highly recommend this.   We made just over $19,000 last year on Instacart, mainly because we live near a Costco.

The first 10-20 orders will stink, then you'll (she) will get better at batch selection, when to work, ect.   Solid $30/hr hustle if you're selective, $20/hr if you're not.  Those are gross numbers, so you still owe taxes and will put a few miles on the car.  Less driving than food delivery though.  Actually have a guest post coming out on Rideshare Guy in a week about it

Solid numbers.   Now that it's tax time how does that figure in?  Are you responsible for both sides of FICA/Medi, so called Self employment tax, bc it is a contractor position?   Also was mileage or gas factored in?  Just curious what your overall net was/will be on the $19k.?

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #146 on: April 05, 2021, 09:11:27 AM »
Need to start following this thread... my wife is interested in becoming an Instacart shopper - she really enjoys grocery shopping and is very good at finding and picking out items that aren't damaged and messed up lol.

I'm late to the thread.

I highly recommend this.   We made just over $19,000 last year on Instacart, mainly because we live near a Costco.

The first 10-20 orders will stink, then you'll (she) will get better at batch selection, when to work, ect.   Solid $30/hr hustle if you're selective, $20/hr if you're not.  Those are gross numbers, so you still owe taxes and will put a few miles on the car.  Less driving than food delivery though.  Actually have a guest post coming out on Rideshare Guy in a week about it

Solid numbers.   Now that it's tax time how does that figure in?  Are you responsible for both sides of FICA/Medi, so called Self employment tax, bc it is a contractor position?   Also was mileage or gas factored in?  Just curious what your overall net was/will be on the $19k.?
Yes you are self employed, so all that applies.  Key is to have expenses that offset so small amount is taxable, as in my case of the $9K I made only $3K was taxable.

caracarn

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #147 on: April 05, 2021, 09:12:41 AM »
@jeromedawg

No penalties for *not* taking an order.  We have 4-6 to choose from at any time on our screen and the options rotate through.  We have to be quick on the higher paying orders.

We shop together, we know how to split up and conquer an order quickly.  Not technically permitted per IC's terms of service, but nobody is going to report us if we're respectful in the store.   On the rare occasion we'll be shopping on one account and we see a small order going to the same general area from the store we're already in...and will absolutely double those up.

In the peak time, we would alternate orders and could pickup some efficiency that way.  It's not *that* good anymore.
Be careful on shopping together.  At least in out market other Instacart shoppers will report you as they see you as having an unfair advantage.  People talk about turning in people all the time on our local Instacart FB feed.

chasesfish

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #148 on: April 05, 2021, 11:49:37 AM »
Need to start following this thread... my wife is interested in becoming an Instacart shopper - she really enjoys grocery shopping and is very good at finding and picking out items that aren't damaged and messed up lol.

I'm late to the thread.

I highly recommend this.   We made just over $19,000 last year on Instacart, mainly because we live near a Costco.

The first 10-20 orders will stink, then you'll (she) will get better at batch selection, when to work, ect.   Solid $30/hr hustle if you're selective, $20/hr if you're not.  Those are gross numbers, so you still owe taxes and will put a few miles on the car.  Less driving than food delivery though.  Actually have a guest post coming out on Rideshare Guy in a week about it

Solid numbers.   Now that it's tax time how does that figure in?  Are you responsible for both sides of FICA/Medi, so called Self employment tax, bc it is a contractor position?   Also was mileage or gas factored in?  Just curious what your overall net was/will be on the $19k.?

Taxable was around $14,500, with the largest write-off being mileage expense at 57.5 cents per mile (reduced to 56 for 2020).  I put our actual cost per mile in the 20-23 cents per mile range.  It also includes half of our cell phone bills becoming a business expense.

We were responsible for both sides of the payroll tax, but then were able to deduct our ACA premiums of nearly $7,000 on a separate portion of the tax return. 

chasesfish

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Re: Food delivery as a side hustle?
« Reply #149 on: April 05, 2021, 11:50:50 AM »
@caracarn - I've seen that as a risk, but we also have shoppers running around with kids in tow and nobody seems to care/report them.

We usually have pictures of the order ahead of time and split up and shop it in two baskets.  We stick to Costco and have a pretty solid system splitting the store in half.