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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't do food. But week after week there are so many threads where drivers are bemoaning the pitiful pittance of pay that these food delivery (grocery shoppers included) portion out.

So, is anyone making a living doing this work? If so, care to share how you are pulling it off?
 

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If you rely on it no, unless you're in one of the top 5 or so cities, like san Fran, seattle, nyc, Boston, etc., where the pay and tips are better.

If you have 3 or 4 apps on your phone like uber combined with other stuff you can do ok in bad cities if you work every day at the peak times.

Food deliveries mostly pan out during the lunch rush and dinner rush, so it's only reliably busy 5-6 hours, the other hours are hit or miss.

If you get a $15 order once an hour, or 2 $7.50 orders an hour, you'll make $75 to $100 working 2 3 hour shifts, sometimes more.

Take out the gas and working 6-7 days and it's really not worth the mileage on a newer car, or the repairs you will end up with on an old car.
 

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I have a full time day job so I don’t have to “make a living” doing food delivery, it’s supplemental income. That allows me the luxury of only working prime time dinner rush hours. On a per hour basis and revenue per mile basis I do very well. Even on weekends I’ve given up even trying days, waste of time. The good offers and tips are during dinner rush at “real” restaurants. The dollar value of the orders at real restaurants is much higher than most chains and higher value orders usually leads to higher value tips. Fast Food is the bottom of the food chain, although sometimes it’s ok.

Truthfully, if I was doing this full time then my per hour and per mile revenue would drop like a rock. Full timers would be working a lot more than dinner rush. The lunch rush can be ok but it’s not the high value orders that the dinner rush is. Outside of breakfast, lunch, and dinner rush, the other hours are very slow and since the demand is low it’s filled with $3 garbage offers.

Bottom line it can be very good supplemental pay, but after 4 years and 7500 deliveries I’m not sure about “making a living” doing food deliveries only. I think as @Disgusted Driver pointed out, if you are trying to make a living at gig work it’s best to diversify and blend a few gigs together.
 

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If you rely on it no, unless you're in one of the top 5 or so cities, like san Fran, seattle, nyc, Boston, etc., where the pay and tips are better.
…and the cost of living is WAY ABOVE AVERAGE.

If someone makes $100k/yr. and can’t even afford their own studio apartment, that is not what I’d call wildly successful. So it is not fair to look at cities like those you listed as places where you will be more successful.
 

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…and the cost of living is WAY ABOVE AVERAGE.

If someone makes $100k/yr. and can’t even afford their own studio apartment, that is not what I’d call wildly successful. So it is not fair to look at cities like those you listed as places where you will be more successful.
I agree. My last rental in NYC (I moved in 2016) was a 1-bedroom for $3K. And that was cheaper than others because I knew the owner.

I had a few Years in a rent-stabilized 1-bedroom at $1,800monthly. For NYC, that’s a steal. So unless you commute in (factor in the tolls on all entry points and inevitable tickets), you make WAY more in suburbia than you do in cities. Extra perk: you’re rarely dealing with apartments and paid parking.

I wouldn’t drive in NYC. No way.
 

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I’m doing ok, but the way I pull it off is that my wife and I are EXTREMELY FRUGAL. We don’t have a mortgage or any debt whatsoever, wouldn’t dare buy a home with an association fee, and even let the temperature in our home go above 90 degrees sometimes in the summer to save on utilities. Oh yeah, never have had cable TV, another waste of money.

No money spent on vices, except we do like to travel (cheaply) on occasion. I have no qualms whatsoever about staying at a Motel 6. Much of our travel is to a place less than 100 miles from home where we can stay free because we own it free and clear (just like our primary home).

Many on this site could save a LOT OF MONEY by cutting back on unnecessary expenses. I had a good friend once who confided in me that he spent $800 a MONTH on cable TV. That’s almost 10 large a year!

I know that may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but if you constantly think of two questions, your financial life will (over time) become much easier. The two questions:

1) Do I REALLY NEED the item I’m about to buy?

2) How can I buy this item for less? Can I buy it used or even find it for free somewhere? Could I even trade for it? (Tonight on my way home I found a brand new 3/16” cobalt drill bit- new in original packaging- in a construction dumpster- I’ve found thousands of dollars of stuff over the years! Much has been given to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul.

My wife wanted to replace our garbage disposal without hiring a handyman. So she watched a YouTube video and did it herself. She’s never been one to get her lashes and nails done. Instead of buying her flowers for Mother’s Day, we can go into our yard and get our own roses.

I could probably write a book on the subject. Bottom line- if you are expecting to get rich via gig work, you are most likely being unrealistic. If you expect to live reasonably comfortably and are willing to change your habits, you have a MUCH BETTER CHANCE of reaching your financial goals IMHO. Good luck to all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I’m doing ok, but the way I pull it off is that my wife and I are EXTREMELY FRUGAL.
...
That's similar to how I run my financial life. When I moved to a remote rural area years ago I adopted the military DEFCON system (Defense Condition) to personal finances. Whereas DEFCON 5 is peacetime everything's cool, and DEFCON 1 is actively engaged in war, my economic DEFCON system looks like this:

DEFCON 5: Ultra rich. Can afford anything. No household budget needed.
DEFCON 4: Wealthy. Multiple homes. All the toys.
DEFCON 3: Comfortable. Owns/rents home. Household budget required.
DEFCON 2: Income stream may be in peril. Threat of future financial stress. Must have buffer due to uncertain future.
DEFCON 1: Income has been interrupted. Cannot meet current financial obligations.

I live as though I was at DEFCON 2.
 

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DEFCON is an interesting concept. Will have to study that a bit more. Thanks for the idea!

Another thing to consider is this. Just this week an update on Social Security was made. COVID affected Social Security in that there are lots of people out of work who (along with their employers) contributed to the gigantic slush fund.

The SSA is predicting that the big bank account with extra money set aside for decades will run dry by 2033. Assuming that happens they are saying the average check will go down 24%.

For those who wonder why payouts would go down 24% instead of 100%, it is because younger and middle aged people would still be working. And the proceeds from people currently working pays roughly 3/4 of Social Security expenses.

I’ve heard the annual inflation (COLA) adjustment this year will be 5.4%. That is the highest since 1983- a whopping 38 years ago. Anyone who cheers an extra 5.4% is being short sighted. Inflation is a truly ugly monster we DON’T want to experience.

Underfunded pensions are also a potential issue for anyone who relies on them, but not that many get them anymore.

Bottom line- don’t rely heavily on any one thing and you will be better able to deal with an uncertain future. I say this as someone who worked almost 20 years in the financial industry and spoke with an estimated 100,000+ people along the way.
 

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I would say it’s OK money for part time work. I like the fact that I can work whenever I want. I can’t imagine having to show up to Walmart every day at 7pm to make minimum wage
 

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Rent has doubled or tripled in almost every city worth living in. The cost of rent in fl now is not much less than ca if any less at all.

But the uber drivers in CA can make 2500 a week with incentives, whereas the drivers in FL make less than half that but have similar high rents.

It's totally screwed for low end workers no matter where you are, not just certain places.
 

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I think Uber figures you drive for them because you need extra money.
If you get extra money you won't need extra money.
If you don't need extra money you won't drive for Uber.
Uber therefore pays gas + break-even cost, plus a little thank-you.
 

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I’m doing ok, but the way I pull it off is that my wife and I are EXTREMELY FRUGAL. We don’t have a mortgage or any debt whatsoever, wouldn’t dare buy a home with an association fee, and even let the temperature in our home go above 90 degrees sometimes in the summer to save on utilities. Oh yeah, never have had cable TV, another waste of money.

No money spent on vices, except we do like to travel (cheaply) on occasion. I have no qualms whatsoever about staying at a Motel 6. Much of our travel is to a place less than 100 miles from home where we can stay free because we own it free and clear (just like our primary home).

Many on this site could save a LOT OF MONEY by cutting back on unnecessary expenses. I had a good friend once who confided in me that he spent $800 a MONTH on cable TV. That’s almost 10 large a year!

I know that may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but if you constantly think of two questions, your financial life will (over time) become much easier. The two questions:

1) Do I REALLY NEED the item I’m about to buy?

2) How can I buy this item for less? Can I buy it used or even find it for free somewhere? Could I even trade for it? (Tonight on my way home I found a brand new 3/16” cobalt drill bit- new in original packaging- in a construction dumpster- I’ve found thousands of dollars of stuff over the years! Much has been given to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul.

My wife wanted to replace our garbage disposal without hiring a handyman. So she watched a YouTube video and did it herself. She’s never been one to get her lashes and nails done. Instead of buying her flowers for Mother’s Day, we can go into our yard and get our own roses.

I could probably write a book on the subject. Bottom line- if you are expecting to get rich via gig work, you are most likely being unrealistic. If you expect to live reasonably comfortably and are willing to change your habits, you have a MUCH BETTER CHANCE of reaching your financial goals IMHO. Good luck to all.
I have much the same experience. A lot of it depends on your expenses as that is half the equation.

My wife and I do have a mortgage but other than that we have zero debt. We also have very little furniture. I do agree with you that it is definitely manageable, at least for some.
 

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I do UE full time, leave at 8 a.m. a break after lunch rush, back at it at 5 p.m., often get home after midnight. I can cruise to $150/day, usually more. Always exceed $1,000/week. Work 7 days/week, one day off per month. Works for me.

I'm retired, an annuity. Between Uber and annuity, I bank well over $80k/year. no debt, no taxes, retired at age 49. I know none of you believe this, but I love UE, have a blast every day. My gf smokes a ton of weed, she doesn't work. When I need motivation, i just tell myself, everything I make today i can spends= on weed. Life is good. Made $130 this morning, 4 hours, gave it all to her to buy more weed.

Never been happier. Just bought a new $40k sports car, love to drive it all day/night. I have perfect health, and I am thankful each day for the life i have. Health and happiness, what more can we ask for?
 

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I know none of you believe this, but I love UE, have a blast every day.
It’s not that we don’t believe you (although your posts where you say you just paid your rent and now are broke do kinda make the narrative somewhat iffy). It’s that you deny others the right to feel differently. You insist everyone agrees with you and call them losers if they don’t.

I, for one, am delighted you love it so much. Sincerely.

But in my experience, truly happy people act like @Seamus, @FLKeys and a few others here. They don’t judge, they happily share and in general just chill.

You just seem to be trying too hard. Relax.
 
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