Weekend Rideshare Driving: Worth It?

My typical work schedule is M – F and either Sat. or Sun.  Because I need at least one day off a week to rest.  I’ve tried working seven days/week before, and it’s no fun.  It is helpful for chipping away at credit card debt though.  But isn’t very enjoyable otherwise.  Occasionally, a weekday is designated as an off-day too.  As there’s a buildup of non-work related tasks that tend to accumulate when I’m working overtime.  

But this past weekend I struck a harmonious balance between work and play.  And for really the first time was able to fit everything that I’d planned on doing in.  Typically when friends or a family member requests to spend time together, it’s a decision between doing that OR rideshare driving (which is an avenue for directly making money).  

So now I’m sort of critically thinking and/or reflecting back on how this was possible?!  It’s so rare (okay uncommon) to be able to line everything up for Friday night, Saturday day and night, and Sunday; then knock everything out as planned.  Sunday nights are really reserved for either one of two things:

A). Rideshare driving – a lot of demand on Sunday nights.  If you can deal with feeling alone and estranged from loved ones; as they’re firing up Netflix after a nice meal, I’m somewhere in the middle of Manhattan waiting for a customer to find their ride.  With the increased demand, Sunday nights are typicaly one of the more, if not the most, lucrative block of time for this gig.  

Related Post:  How Much Can I Make Rideshare Driving in NYC?

2).  Rest and Relaxation – preparing a nice meal with my wife, enjoying it together, then firing up the Netflix for some downtime before bed.

Needless to say, I worked M – Sat. this past week so opted for option 2 above.  But wait….  there’s more.  

In addition to the aforementioned activities of leisure, this weekend I was also able to engage in the following behaviors:

  • Go out to eat with my spouse.
  • Meet up with friends for drinks.
  • Read a few chapters from the book I’m currently reading.
  • Catch up on my bills.
  • See a show.
  • Run 3.5 miles.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Clean the apartment.
  • Send and read received text messages.
  • E-mail.
  • Watch some golf on TV.

And all of these responses were made before Sunday evening, say around 4pm (actually I finished my run around 6 or 7pm, although it felt like four pm but with much more daylight as it’s now spring officially).  

Along these lines, it’s the purpose of this blog post to analyze exactly how the stars were able to align this weekend.  Compared with other weekends, where I’d only be able to get half as many of these things accomplished?

Budgeting My Time

Just like I’ve created a budget for my income, it’s equally as imperative that my time is budgeted too.  It also really helped that Via operates 24/7 now, and they are heavily promoting after midnight hours to drivers.  The day portion of Sat. was spent doing things watching golf, e-mails, bills, etc.Grocery store run before any fun. Knowing that I had the ability to work (and earn a profit) after doing fun stuff required some discipline; but essentially was key to enacting my Time Budget.  Here’s how it all shook out:

Wife insisted that we go out to eat on Saturday, but I was determined not to ruin my actual budget.  So if we went grocery shopping first, I negotiated, then we’d be able to dine at whatever restaurant.  Deal? 

Deal.  Awesome.  So, that’s how the grocery shopping got done this weekend.  [Classic Grandma’s rule at work here, as it’s known in the behavior science field.  The kid wants to go outside to play, but Grandma says you must finish homework first.  Also known as the Premack principle.]

Before any of this transpired, I started the morning out (on Sat. and Sun., and most days actually) with a minimum of one chapter from the book that I’m currently reading.  Weekends are especially great for this, because the wife makes the coffee while I’m digging into the novel.  

Using Networks For Necessary Expenses

Considering that dining out was inevitable (it was my b-day this past week); I convinced the wife to eat at a friend’s bar (i.e., a bar/restaurant where a friend works), because if he’s working we don’t typically pay for drinks.  He was there, but wasn’t working.  Didn’t get fall down drunk; however, he ordered a brunch-drink for each of us “on the house.”  It was great to see him, and get really good recommendations (and a free drink).  

Having then checked off ‘dining out’, we returned home.  But I had made plans to see friends after dinner, in the city.  That’s where Via’s late-night service comes in.  Because she drove us to the train-station, crossing under the Hudson river was necessary to get back to the wife’s car.  Soon as she drove us home, I hopped into my rideshare vehicle and crossed over the Hudson again.

Photo of Crocodile Lounge - New York, NY, United StatesSuccess!  I found street parking with ample time to grab a drink (and free pizza too).  It was around 9pm at this time, and Via’s promotions began at 10pm.  Therefore, I had a solid hour budgeted for social interactions.  Which proved to be time enough in getting to see some old friends.  I love it when a plan comes together.  The Crocodile Lounge, where my amigos were hiding out, offers a free pie for each drink order.  So I had the chance to eat a lil’ something before off to work too.  Check out my full Yelp review of them here.

Being Flexible Behooves Me

Most rideshare drivers cite the flexibility of the gig as one of its biggest advantages.  And when you’re out somewhere in NYC, with your rideshare vehicle a block or two away, the flexibility factor really kicks in.  

Related Post:  Side-Hustle or Main Gig?Rideshare promotions for weekend drivers.

This promotion for large vans to earn $32/hour wasn’t even sent to me in advance of leaving for the city the second time.  Already dropped off the wife, and was returning to meet up with friends for drinks when Via sent this extra incentive to me.  

Doing Via’s 24/7 service (Flex service, which I intend on writing a post about sometime in the near future) was already in the plan; however, this fit in nicely with the time that I had budgeted too.

Found a two-hour meter parking spot, had one drink, one small pizza, and some terrific conversation with old friends.  When the clock struck 10pm, I turned into a pumpkin and turned on the Via app.  Started my shift at 10:01pm that lasted until almost 3am.  For all my troubles taking out the wife, meeting up with friends, parking, tolls, the Path train, etc. I still was able to net over $145 on the day Saturday.  Which meant grossing over $200 from rideshare driving, not bad for 5 hours work!