Is Doordash Worth It? Earnings, tax deductions, and more

Right, so, recently I joined Doordash to deliver around the greater DMV area. Just to make some extra side income to support my childre- erm, Chipotle and Uber eats addiction. As well as my fund for any emergencies, funds to party for the weekend or splurge that money on purchasing stuff I don’t need since I don’t live the frugal life. Hooray for multiple financial goals.

Anyway, I wanted to share my experiences with Doordash, weigh some pros and cons, and figure out if this is right for you.

Earnings 

This is the first thing on EVERYONES mind, the guac you make, and is it worth the struggle?  Do I really want to deliver this chick fil a in this sketchy neighborhood and risk getting shot?
Honestly, if you have a job where you aren’t asking yourself if you’re getting shot today than you’re in the wrong business. (I’m stupid, leave me alone.)

So I’ve made a chart, because I love charts and this is The Compounding Dollar, below breaking down my average hourly earnings and average earnings per delivery that week and overall in my dashing career. 

doordash earnings.PNG

Average hourly earnings comes out to roughly $13/hour. Keep in mind, your earnings will vary depending on the area where you Dash and this area is a gold mine, like, demand is HIGH around my cities, and Doordash is always paying bonuses/incentives for Dashers to go out and deliver.  

Expenses

All earnings are not tax withheld from Doordash, so as you’re working, you’ll have to calculate how much you owe in taxes. (Welcome to America :)) and place aside some of your earnings to the side so once tax season comes around, you’ll have the cash in hand to pay for your taxes and not end up borrowing money or worse not pay the IRS period.

Aside from taxes being an expense, you also have to think about car maintenance and gas. Me personally, I don’t care for any maintenance since I’ll literally take whatever vehicle I am using to the old shop I used to work at and have my dad fix it right up for me. I’ll say it again and I am not afraid or embarrassed to admit it. I will take the car to the shop and have my father, not me, my father, fix it. Talk about privilege. My only concern? Gas, but like… it’s dirt cheap, like $2.50 a gallon.

The write offs though  

If you’re self-employed, tax write offs are your best friend, in fact, there is a longer list of write offs for self-employed individuals than someone who is just an employee.

Mileage: Be wary when you use mileage as a write off, IF YOU DO, you cannot use gas purchases as a write off and vice versa. The 53.5 cents deduction per mile (as of 2017) counts for insurance, gas, maintenance, and depreciation.

Phone service: This one is a bit iffy, since you’ll have to calculate the percentage of your usage solely for business purposes. Say for example you use your phone 25% of the time for Doordash, 25% to text your mother, 25% to play candy crush, and the remaining 25% to watch Netflix. You can only deduct the 25% used for Doordash.

Parking: I have had times where I needed to go into a parking lot because I was delivering food into a big ass building. Yeah, I’m looking at you Capital One headquarters. Sometimes visitor parking ain’t free or cheap, fortunately for you, under the eyes of the IRS, it is a business expense.
However, if you get a parking ticket or literally any traffic violation, I’m sorry to say but that can’t be deducted from your taxes.

Health insurance: You can deduct your insurance premiums.

Tolls: If you pay a toll, you can deduct that from your taxes.

Supplies: If you purchase hot bags you can deduct that expense on your taxes.

Is it for you? 

Is Doordash for you? Can you handle the heat, that is delivering hot foods on time to the individual?

Doordash are for the folks who can self-motivate themselves and can get up to get their job done and get it done correctly. While the job is self explanatory, some lack the motivation to get up, get in their car, go restaurant to restaurant and delivering food to different places. Some lack the motivation to keep track of their expenses and place some of their earned income to the side so come tax season there are not any surprises. If you do not have the “go-getter” attitude, then you will struggle a bit to earn money through Doordash. It’s a fun side hustle if I do say so myself.