Hey, everyone! Today we have a guest post from Bruce Doane. Bruce is a friend and someone who takes his finances very seriously! We were chatting a couple of weeks ago, and he told me about how he’s been hustling on the side to earn some extra money with Postmates, so I asked him to write up his experience to share with you. Read on to learn some excellent tips on how you can make extra money with Postmates, too!
At the beginning of the year, I made a financial goal to earn an additional $5,000 on top of my current salary. It's a lofty goal, but I figured between garage sales (my wife and I host two a year), our new high-interest savings account, and a couple sharing economy opportunities I'm involved with I might be able to hit it.
I've heard it said one should always have multiple streams of income. That way, if something goes wrong with one stream, there is at least one other to help a person stay afloat in some sense. I already have two jobs. Why not add a third?
I figure I can sit in front of the TV, and I don't watch much TV unless Survivor is on or LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are marching toward the NBA Finals or earn some extra cash! (Btw, #DefendTheLand)
With that in mind, my new favorite side hustle is Postmates. I discovered Postmates, an on-demand food (and other goods) delivery service, on Twitter one night. I'd found out Kevin Durant is an investor, which is what initially peaked my interest. After doing a bit of research, I realized this could be a way for me to earn a few extra dollars on the side.
It's Uber for food (and other goods). As a Postmate, I get paid to deliver whatever customers request, within reason. So far, it's mostly been restaurant runs, but there was that one time I picked up a gallon of purified water and a small bag of cat food from the grocery store for one customer's kitten.
My results? After periodically signing on and off for six months, I've earned my first $1000 (that could be an Emergency Fund!) as a Postmate. And it might be the easiest $1,000 I've ever earned.
I'm still a long way off from my $5,000 goal, but I'm banking a bit on the summertime. I work primarily at a school, and I have much of the summer off. I'm planning to log many more hours in June and July than I have in previous months.
A few hours here, a few hours there… adds up quick! Most days I only log onto Postmates for an hour or two at a time. I've logged on during my drive home after clocking out from my full-time job or on the way back from the grocery store. If I find myself bored at the house, I'll log on to kill time. I've dropped my wife off at her girls only small group through the church and knocked out a few deliveries that way, too. I've found that these experiences don't feel too time-consuming and that they add up financially over time. There is less than a handful of days I've been logged on for 5+ hours, which brings me to my next point.
I work full time at a school, so I get all the major breaks off (Fall, Christmas, Spring and some Summer). In the past, I've used days off to sleep in or veg out on food and movies. I told myself 2017 would be different.
So far I’ve done pretty well, over the course of my Spring Break (5 days) I was logged on to Postmates for roughly 14 hours (basically a day and a half of a regular 40 hour work week) and made $200 - an hourly rate of just over $14. And I still had plenty of weeks left to relax or accomplish other priorities. Weekends are a great time to log on as well.
As a Postmate, you will spend a lot of time in your car driving from place to place. Most interaction comes from ordering and picking up food from vendors or brief hello's during food drop off.
To combat the bordem, I've asked my wife to tag along several times to create a bit more of a social experience. She and I mentor a few neighborhood kids, and we've invited them along as well, which lets us all quiz one another about life. There isn't much else to do in a car other than talk, so it's been a fun bonding experience for us all as we deliver food all over the city.
I've learned it's highly beneficial to give every dollar earned a job. I've created a Postmates category in my budget for a couple of reasons. One, I know I'll have to pay taxes on the income (which I'll pull from that category), and two, my wife and I have decided that all Postmates money will be flagged for a new vehicle in the future. I drive a 2003 Honda Element with nearly 200,000 miles on it, so I figure it's not that far off from finding it’s retirement.
There is a little learning curve to be a Postmate. I didn't research much or find any tutorial before doing my first delivery, and I fumbled my way through it. It was an order at S&B Burger Joint that I had to wait 30 minutes for. And as a part of the purchasing process, Postmates deliverers are required to snap a picture of an itemized receipt to upload. But I didn't realize that until I had already left the restaurant without a receipt. So, I took a picture of an S&B logo cup and uploaded it. Whoops. Hopefully, I won't get audited for that one.
Since then I've become a part of a Facebook group with several other Postmates drivers who are all a great resource for one another. Postmates does have a website dedicated to their "Fleet" of drivers with several helpful FAQ's, and they also have a Twitter account titled @Postmates_Help where you can direct message any inquiries. At this point, Postmates does not have a direct phone support helpline, so you will have to use the in-app support options or find an answer to your question on social media.
Absolutely. Postmates has been a fun way for me to earn a bit of extra cash on the side to help me reach my short term financial goals. Additionally, my wife and I use the app as customers, too. We have always found the experience to be comfortable and convenient.
If you want to try out Postmates, here’s $100 in FREE Postmates delivery credit (good for seven days).
Sign up with code “DOANE” or use this link http://springboard.postmates.com/cvAe/RDzkfdRwMC
Just remember, if you want to earn extra money, there are plenty of ways to do it!
What side hustles have you done that have worked?
We'd love to hear if you have driven with Postmates.
Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. All ideas are welcome — especially the ones that seem a little crazy!
Zack is one of the co-founders of FreeUp and is in charge of setting the strategy for the blog and managing the day-to-day operations. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome blog content, he likes to geek out about global affairs, ride motorcycles and can probably be found hiking somewhere during his days off.
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