A SIDE hustle ended up saving a graduate who was struggling financially with tens of thousands worth of debt.
Shonnita Leslie left college owing more than $80,000 in student loans, with interest pushing it upwards of $100,000.
Additionally, she owed another $33,000 which included medical and credit card debt.
That led her to give a side hustle a try – and that was DoorDash, which allows drivers to make money by delivering food to customers.
At the time, Shonnita only had $5 worth of gas left in her car and was struggling financially when she got the green light to start delivering.
“I figured if I could make enough to pay for gas, I’d stick it out over the long term. I made $30 in my first hour,” she told NextAdvisor.
But four years later, she has made more than $52,000 through DoorDash, with all of it being allocated towards her outstanding debt.
Here are her earnings by year from making deliveries, according to NextAdvisor.
- 2018: $6,324
- 2019: $17,959.06
- 2020: $18,423.00
- 2021: $9,738.25
- 2022: Estimated $11,240.08 total
In addition, Shonnita runs the YouTube channel Noir In Color, where she uploads personal finance content.
How Shonnita has done it
As always, keep in mind that your side hustle could be subject to a tax bill from the IRS.
These types of gigs are considered income.
But for those looking to follow Shonnita’s footsteps, she recommended in a recent video to start small.
For example, Shonnita originally set her goal to make $50 each day – but she had to adjust.
“After accessing what the economy was doing, I realized I needed to make modifications,” she said.
“I changed it to $30 per day.”
In addition, Shonnita unsubscribed from marketing email lists.
This allowed her to not be distracted by deals and instead focus on paying her debt back.
How to maximize money Dashing
Starting with small expectations might not be a bad idea, but you might be limiting your earnings.
If interested in becoming a Dasher, you need to sign up online.
However, traditional drivers are limited in the size of deliveries that they can engage with.
If you’re looking to earn more money, you’ll need to qualify for the large order program.
To be eligible, you must meet two of the following requirements:
- Complete at least 100 deliveries in the past month
- Have at least 200-lifetime deliveries (the total number of deliveries made)
- Have an average star rating of at least 4.7 in the past month
- Have a completion rate of at least 95% in the past month
Another similar side hustle earned a driver $224 in just a few hours.
I did so through Walmart’s delivery service Spark Driver.
And for more on side hustles, we spoke to a marketing expert who revealed how he made an extra $6,000 per month without putting any time into it.