For the week ending 09/17/21, I worked zero (0) shifts for a total of 0.00 hours, and earned $0.00, resulting in an extra student loan payment of $0.00.
This has become a pretty common pattern for me: a good week followed by a goose egg. This past week(end) had little to do with my willingness to work and everything to do with the fact that I had to cover a last minute, 24-hour, week-long, on-call shift for a colleague and unable to accept gig shifts.
For the week ending 09/02/21, I worked zero (0) shifts for a total of 0.00 hours, and earned $0.00, resulting in an extra student loan payment of $0.00.
This should come as a surprise to no one as I waxed poetic about whether or not I was being a lazy heffa by not working over the weekend. With Squaddie and Pennyfolk support, I’ve decided I wasn’t and that the break was much needed. I am working Saturday and Sunday of the this weekend so my report next week should look better.
For the week ending 08/27/21, I worked three (3) shifts for a total of 16.22 hours, and earned $373.64, resulting in an extra student loan payment of $263.55.
This was my most lucrative gig week to date but I have been tired most of the week. The academic year at University B started this week and I have already had to work evenings. I’m just $237.50 shy of hitting my gross additional income target of $1000.00 for August but nothing in me wants to work this weekend. We will see…
For the week ending 08/13/21, I worked zero (0) shifts for a total of 0.00 hours, and earned $0.00, resulting in an extra student loan payment of $0.00.
Ugh, that was tough to write. But I caught a cold last weekend and wasn’t in a position to do much more than nap and try not to be too gross (apparently colds are easier to catch than COVID-19 even if you are masked up and social distancing because there are more of them and they are “hardier.” I know…creepy). Given that my gig work is primarily in the food service industry, it was in my best interest and those with whom I might come in contact that I sit on the bench. However, I am feeling much, much better now and will likely pick up some gig work this weekend.
Let’s get one thing straight: Gig apps, like traditional staffing agencies are far more lucrative for those who run them than for those who work for them. This is perhaps true of all businesses, but I think most business have a bit more skin in the game than staffing agencies/gig apps who are middle men in the truest sense of the expression. While the idea that someone else is offering my labor for up to 40% more than they are paying me certainly bothers me, in this instance, it is the “cost” of doing business. For that reason, it is really important that I treat gig work like a business. Unlike my work at University B, gig work is not a career, there is no room for advancement, not benefits, no personal or professional development, and no other perks beyond the occasionally free staff meal. The relationship I have with the gig app is entirely transactional and it is important that I do my best to determine the ongoing value of the transaction on my end as they endlessly do for their end.
When I decided to join the gig apps, I initially created this gig tracker. I wanted to track the projected shift vs. the actual shift (this helps with determining whether or not to accept a gig if a client consistently cuts staff early), the rate of pay, billed hours, the distance from my home to the event location, and the actual payment. I then planned to use this information to determine my vehicle costs (billed to myself at the IRS rate of $0.50/mile), uniform costs (if the requested uniform required a piece of clothing I did not already own), and taxes (most gigs hire workers as 1099 independent contractors and do not take out taxes; however, Instawork in particular has quite a few clients for which W-2 documentation is required). I would then use these “costs” to determine whether or not it was worth it to accept a gig.
It took me exactly four gigs to figure out that long term this level of tracking would become both tedious and discouraging. However, that realization did not give me the right to not account for these costs (reread spiel up above about me evaluating my gig work like a business). Instead, I have decided to withhold a flat 30% of my gig earnings to account for these costs. While this is perhaps an overestimation on the tax side of things (I always receive a tax refund and it is likely that my refund would cover any taxes owed), I still want to play it safe. Further, the wear-and-tear on my car is a real cost and this money will help build a sinking fund for things like oil changes and tires.
Moving forward, I plan to do a Gig Work Income Report each Friday that accounts for money earned from the previous Friday through the immediately preceding Thursday. You can check out my Gig Work Income Report for the week ending 7/23 here. This explanation should help make it a bit more clear as to why I reported earning $113.26 at my first gig but only making an extra student loan payment of $79.28.
Okay. I am putting the cart way before the horse on this one (aren’t idioms fun?) and I have a lot to explain but I didn’t want to get a backlog of posts to write and then start procrastinating writing. The short version is that in an effort to pay off Private Student Loan 4 (PSL4) this year, I have decided to venture into the world of gig apps. In another post(s), I will explain all that entails and what my experience has been thus far, but for now, I just want to get a past due income report up. Yea, okay, that needs an explanation as well…
Briefly, work through gig apps is generally paid within 1-2 days of the end of the shift (however, there is one app that pays weekly on Thursday). In an effort to keep myself motivated and to drag you all along for the journey, I am going to post a weekly gig income report each Friday that includes money earned the previous week (so Friday through the immediate preceding Thursday).
For the week ending 07/23/21, I worked one (1) shift on Thursday, July 22nd (the day I worked my first gig on any app) and earned $113.26, resulting in an extra student loan payment of $79.28. In another posts (I know, but I already mentioned I needed to write this above) I will further breakdown things like my average hourly rate, the type of gigs I’m working, and why the amount of my gig income is different from the amount of my extra student loan payment.