Harry here. Although it’s ideal to have money saved up for a rainy day, things don’t always work out like that in real life. Today, RSG Senior Contributor Christian Perea details a recent situation he was in where he needed access to fast cash and rideshare was his best option. Here’s how he handled it and how you can be prepared in case the same thing happens to you.
If you look at the numbers, most Uber drivers are part-timers. They often drive to save for an extra trip or to quickly pay off an unexpected expense, or what my grandpa calls “walking money.”
I recently shifted from being a full-time driver to a casual/part-time driver a few months ago when Harry hired me to help run things on the blog. Nowadays, I spend most of my time writing and working on this site. However I still drive quite a lot because 1. I am a motorhead. 2. I sit at a computer at home all day and 3. I hate student loans.
(Of course, I also drive because I want to stay close to the reality on the ground and remain closely tied to the interests of drivers.)
One thing I’ve noticed since I transitioned is that there is a lot less stress as a part-time driver. It is actually a whole different ballgame because it’s easier to look at any extra money as a bonus. Whereas when I was full-time, I NEEDED to constantly hit earnings targets to make sure I survived.
However, last month I found myself driving because I NEEDED an extra $300 dollars to cover an emergency expense. Just when I had saved some money, SFMTA put a boot on my car because I had too many street sweeping tickets. Then, since there was a boot on my car and I couldn’t move my car from a dark sketchy street, some very nice people decided they would smash the windows to my car and steal….NOTHING.
So last month, I needed to make an extra $300 magically appear in my bank account in two days. Since I’m not a wizard (and neither is Harry), this meant I had to drive.
Part-Time Drivers Should Leverage Multiple Platforms
In order to make the most money in a limited amount of time, it is important to leverage multiple platforms. This is because you cannot leverage the full-time benefits of driving by committing yourself to a single platform over the course of a week. Part-time drivers operate on a more situational basis and need to to rapidly switch to whichever app is busier at any given time.
After fixing my window, I could only use Lyft because they had Express Pay, which has been ultra reliable for me. It usually gets my pay into my account within 20 minutes. Even on a weekend. Uber’s Instant Pay was not really an option for me because I had only two days to meet my goal, and Instant Pay requires setting up a separate bank account with GoBank and then waiting 14 days for a debit card to show up in the mail. I also didn’t want another bank account.
Related Article: Lyft’s Express Pay
So I was stuck with just Lyft for the weekend. Not that it’s bad, but I was unable to take advantage of Uber Surge or Select fares. This also left delivery off the table.
At this point, I could have really used DailyPay. It would have allowed me to drive for Uber, Lyft, and Doordash and flip between who was the busiest – meaning less time on the road.
Combine Multiple Platforms With DailyPay To Access Fast Cash
DailyPay recently announced a partnership with DoorDash, so you can now get paid quickly from work with Uber, Lyft, and Doordash. This allows you to adopt the part-time strategy that plays off of full-time drivers.
DailyPay is pretty easy to setup and it works as advertised. They can pay you the next day for your earnings on Uber or Doordash. Once you set it, you can really forget it. There is a fee for each day they pay you, but it’s only $.99 for up to $150 and $1.49 for amounts over that. Since I only drive part-time now, I don’t care so much about the fee’s long-term effects as much as getting a few hundred extra bucks the next day to fund a surprise weekend trip or to send some extra money toward my student loans.
In the case of my broken windows, DailyPay would have helped me earn faster as I drove to prevent more than $100 in overdraft fees. Although a lot of my predicament resulted from being a bad adult, 47% of Americans would also have trouble paying an unexpected expense without borrowing money or selling something. So if you are the type who often drives for Uber, Doordash, or Lyft when this sort of thing happens, DailyPay can save your butt. You just need to sign up for it ahead of time.
Value In Speed
A lot of decisions and actions have added value when they can be conducted quickly. The ability to replace a tire on your car today versus tomorrow means you can get back on the road faster. So the time value of making that decision is an extra day’s worth of income. Similarly, if a hot date invites you on an unplanned trip come Saturday that you won’t be able to afford until Monday, there’s a lot of value in getting liquidity on Friday.
You can sign up for DailyPay using our affiliate link here.
Platforms That Allow You To Get Paid Daily/Instantly
Uber – DailyPay
Uber is the busiest platform in every city. For all of our criticism of Uber, we know that if you login, you are going to get some rides. Even if you prefer Lyft or Doordash, it’s smart to check the Uber app when you drop-off a passenger/burrito for surge pricing nearby. We all know it’s usually easier to get an Uber Surge ride than it is to get a Primetime Ride on Lyft, so being able to switch between platforms really pays here.
Uber also tends to have larger surge areas. They surge more often, and there is more certainty since Uber tells the driver whether or not there is surge on a ride. This is important for part-time drivers.
Lyft – Express Pay
We should remember that Lyft was FIRST to have an option to cash out your earnings instantly. Many drivers prefer them over Uber. Lyft’s Express Pay fee is 50 cents and you must have a minimum of $50 to cash out. The difficulty with driving only for Lyft when you need to earn money quickly is that the volume of rides is not always there. It’s good to have around if you are trying to get as many pings as quickly as possible and the tips add a little extra. However, Lyft is much slower than Uber in many markets.
It took me about two days of driving Lyft only to cover my broken window expense, but I probably could have shaved a few hours off if I had been doing Uber too.
Doordash – DailyPay
Since Uber and Lyft are offering incentives based off the number of rides conducted, delivery is increasingly become a good play on the weekends. Why? Because many drivers wait until the last minute to rack up their ride count in order to get the Power Driver Bonus or Uber’s Power Driver Plus. This leads to a weekend where there is often a lot of driver saturation and very little surge. This can be frustrating, but what makes it worse is that it is also the time that you are driving the party crowd. So that means increased risk of “incidental” damage or drunk shenanigans.
Meanwhile, people are ordering a lot of food from Doordash, Postmates, or Caviar. It ends up being busier than Uber or Lyft since everyone else is trying to get their ride count up at the last minute. So you can stay busier without having to deal with the drunks.
The Result: Tight Efficiencies and Higher Margins
Being able to leverage multiple apps at once means that you spend much less time driving without rides or on a trip. We all know that on some nights you can spend a lot of time driving dead miles, especially when there are a lot of other cars on the road trying to get rides, too. While other drivers are trying to stack their ride count for the weekly bonus, as a part-time driver you should focus on operating a tight efficiency where you have butts or burritos in your seats as often as possible.
Multiple Surge Zones
Since Surge or Primetime is going to be very important to a casual driver, being signed up to drive and get paid quickly for three services allows you to get more dynamic pricing. You may find that Uber is surging on the other side of town and then log into Lyft to find there is a lot of Primetime nearby since all of the other drivers left to chase the surge on the other side of town.
Burritos Tip Better Than Uber Passengers
Doordash has a good tip game. I find it kind of funny that people will tip you more to bring them a burrito than they will to drive them home drunk in an Uber at 2AM. Delivery is becoming increasingly profitable over Uber and Lyft while also minimizing the risk and hassle of dealing with entitled passengers.
So if you are part-time or like to casually drive, the fastest way to earn your money is going to be to drive for Uber, Lyft, and Doordash while using DailyPay and ExpressPay to get your earning fast. That way you will be able to wake up the next day with an extra few hundred dollars.
Drivers, what do you think of services like DailyPay and ExpressPay? Have you used them or are you using them currently?
-Christian @ RSG
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