With COVID showing no signs of abating, drivers who thought they could return to Uber or Lyft driving in a few months are starting to wonder if it’s a smart thing to do. If you’re not ready to return to Uber or Lyft driving but still want to do something to earn money safely, this article from Dash Bridges is a can’t miss. He breaks down all the in-demand and profitable ways drivers can make money now.
As we all know, America’s had a rough year the past few months. There’s no need to recount the tragedies that have befallen every state and every demographic. Odds are that you’ve been affected by it too, potentially in multiple ways.
At the very least, your rideshare work has been severely curtailed. People neither want to pick up a stranger, nor hail a car driven by one. Masks. No masks. It doesn’t matter. Rideshare will remain in serious decline until we have an upper hand on the pandemic.
That said, the rent is STILL due on the 1st. You need alternate ways to earn money until life returns to semi-normal. It might be easy for the government to blithely suggest you to Find Something New, but we know that finding those alternate ways can be STRESSFUL.
So, let’s brainstorm together: What can we do besides rideshare?
Below, we’ll take a look at ways at-risk drivers or drivers who don’t want to drive can do instead of rideshare driving. The suggestions below are both in-demand and safer for you than rideshare driving.
- Deliver food with companies like Postmates, DoorDash and Instacart
- Use apps like Steady or FlexJobs to find temporary work at home or delivering for Amazon
- Use government programs to delay mortgage payments, or consider renting out room in your house with Neighbor to bring in extra income
1) Food Delivery
Deliver burritos instead of people! The idea is obvious. In fact, as an Uber driver, you’re already involved with Uber Eats, and this change would be the most logical and similarly-skilled, so it probably makes the most sense.
Other food delivery options we recommend:
Delivering food is safer than delivering people, and the chicken parmesan isn’t going to forget to wear a mask.
In addition, many restaurants have been dealing with this challenge for a few months now. Their safety methods have steadily improved. Furthermore, there are few barriers to entry to this work and you can start quickly. Signup is even easier than it was with Uber or Lyft.
Over the past few months, Dasher earnings have been highly unpredictable and, on the average, lower than they were pre-pandemic. Earnings and availability vary by metro market.
(Thank you to this website for the chart)
What works in Miami might not work in NYC nor Houston! Here in Silicon Valley, in late June DoorDash wasn’t offering anything for a referral bonus. As of mid-July, I see a modest offer of $200 for a referral who completes 240 deliveries in 60 days. They’re at least looking for SOME new drivers.
2) Grocery Shopping
While the growth of restaurant delivery may depend on the economy at large, everyone needs groceries.
Instacart delivery drivers can earn $25 an hour. Instacart shoppers we’ve spoken to say their top tips are to stay close – orders more than 10 minutes away aren’t worth it, and focus on a few stores and get to know them well. This will make you more efficient and faster.
For even more tips on earning more with Instacart, take a look at our video 10 Tips That Make You More $$$ on Instacart here:
3) Cannabis Delivery
If it’s allowed in your state and you have a clean record, I strongly recommend cannabis delivery.
Your car will not smell like weed. The products are prepackaged like you’d find at Target. People LOVE seeing you arrive.
In addition, you’re actually a W2 employee, which means you get reimbursed for car mileage and you may have access to benefits.
Onboarding is much more formal than rideshare. I actually had an interview before starting, and attended an Eaze-organized certification training with the San Jose Police Department. After all, cannabis IS a controlled substance.
4) Driving or Working for Amazon
If you need to make money NOW, there’s a great chance you can get hours at your local Amazon warehouse. It’s not great work, but in the short term, it’s a paycheck.
You can use the Steady app to scroll through jobs including warehouse work at Amazon.
You can also sign up to deliver packages through Amazon as well. Read more about what it’s like to be an Amazon delivery driver.
5) Online Opportunities
Are these jobs going to make you an astronaut? Vaccine Developer? Movie Producer? No. But these companies are hiring now. More about LinkedIn below.
You can also take a look at our suggestions on making $1,000 fast. Many of these options are not just quick ways to make money, but things you can turn into side or full-time jobs. They include gigs like:
- Using FlexJobs to find online work
- Signing up with TaskRabbit to highlight services you offer (house cleaning, painting, etc.)
- Pet-sitting with Rover (people still need their dogs walked, especially if they’re essential workers working outside the home)
6) Job Search Sites/Networking
Is your LinkedIn page up to date, complete with a half-decent picture and a resume? Do you even HAVE a LinkedIn page? What about ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Glassdoor? Get on all those sites, sign up for periodic emails, and let THEM find YOU.
Yes, a lot of spam and duds will come through, but opportunities that you never knew existed, or didn’t know how to find, might present themselves. However, you must BE on these sites to get SEEN on these sites!
Fun fact: My best friend, an online/TV sports show producer, had his updated resume on all the above sites. A company he’d never heard of reached out to him to ask if he was interested in writing freelance articles about sports gambling. He agreed, and he now earns an extra few hundred bucks a week writing about baseball team win totals or value bets for the 2020 NFL rushing title.
Networking isn’t just relegated to specific employment sites. Sending out job inquiries through your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is widely-used and can’t hurt to try. Tons of people get jobs through friends and friends-of-friends who simply know who to talk to at a company who’s hiring. If roles were reversed, wouldn’t YOU want the chance to get a friend an interview somewhere?
When I was looking for a full-time job, I didn’t do this. I was too embarrassed. Many friends had no idea I was unemployed. Coincidentally (or not), I remained unemployed for TWO YEARS in a mostly-good economic environment. I’m mid-career, and one of my great career regrets is my lack of networking inside and outside of business.
7) Shoot Your Shot: Unique Ways At-Risk Drivers Can Make Money
While some of Noah Kagan’s ideas can be out of reach, i.e. Head of Growth or Squarespace Designer, he had great advice at 8:40 of the video below.
If you following something closely, a Tik Tokker, podcaster/radio show host, a local social movement, and you have ideas or opinions about it, reach out to the producer with a real suggestions, i.e. a show segment, promotional idea, or business idea and be willing to follow through on it for free. Do more than just ‘be a fan’, show your value, and get in.
Not convinced? Here’s an example: I was an enthusiastic DoorDasher, and I had underused writing skills at my day job. I put them together and cold-emailed this site’s founder, Harry Campbell, back in 2016.
I asked if he needed a food-delivery correspondent for his fledgling site that focused on rideshare only. He agreed to take me in and I’ve been testing platforms, sharing experiences and earning money ever since.
In addition to finding short-term work, here are a couple of ideas that aren’t for a specific job, but might help you make ends meet.
401K Early Withdrawal Fees Waived in 2020
If you have an employer-based retirement savings account, known as a 401K (or 403B for government employees), the idea is to leave the money there to grow until you’re retired, unless you’re in a dire emergency. Early withdrawal fees charge an extra 10% on top of the normal and federal and state taxes.
In March, the federal government waived that 10% fee for withdrawals in 2020. So, if you pulled out $20,000 to tide you over for a few months, you’re absolved of that $2000 early-withdrawal fee. However, you’ll still need to pay your normal income tax rate.
If you have a mortgage, chances are that your lender has a plan for you to defer payments. My bank, Bank of America, gave me the opportunity to move three months of payments to the end of my loan, so I could save money while looking for a job.
There’s also a government program that can help you defer your payments, which you can read more about here.
Can you fit one more in your house/apartment? Space might get tighter for a few months, but adding another contributor to rent and household bills might help you squeak through.
In fact, Harry interviewed Neighbor founder and CEO Joseph Woodbury, who said the average Neighbor storage host can earn around $2,000 a year. Power hosts can earn up to $20,000 – it just depends on how much space you have to rent out and how high demand is!
Hey, if you have more (or better) ideas, please place them in the comments. We’re all just trying to scramble and make enough money to tread water until things improve. Let’s help each other out!
Drive safe. Stay safe, and please…be good to your neighbors.
Readers, what are you doing right now to earn money instead of driving for Uber or Lyft? Were these suggestions helpful?
-Dash @ RSG