Tampa Bay families turning to side jobs for fast cash with help of mobile apps

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Side hustles are now the thing to do and apps make it easier than ever. 

Feeling a little strapped for cash? Maybe you’re struggling to make ends meet with a full-time job or need extra income for the holidays? 

The grocery store is one place to make money. There are a growing number of people going aisle to aisle, making a quick buck on their own time. 

Some people hate it but Stephanie Ward Bishop loves every minute. 

“I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Stephanie said. 

Stephanie is a professional shopper who is getting paid to pick up groceries for others and delivering it right to their front door.  

“It has been an amazing experience. I have been working with Shipt for almost two years now,” Stephanie said. 

Her cell phone is the key way to connect with customers. 

A customer places an order through the Shipt app and from there it goes to Stephanie if she’s nearby.

Stephanie then uses a special Shipt card to pay for it all before making the delivery. 

She does it full time, but it’s work that can be done on the side. 

“You can work as little or as much as you want to,” Stephanie said. 

Shipt officials said experienced shoppers make an average of $22 an hour and they get paid every week. 

Stephanie says the job has other benefits, too. 

“We, in a lot of cases, deliver more than just groceries. Sometimes if I’m delivering to an elderly customer, I might be the only communication they receive all day,” Stephanie said. 

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Stephanie’s not alone because more and more people are turning to their cell phones for side hustles, finding ways to make fast money.

Uber driver Satarah has mastered the art of juggling multiple apps. 

“I drive for Uber. I drive for Uber Eats. I do Lyft and I do InstaCart,” Satarah said. 

Satarah typically combines her side jobs to work 12-hour days but she likes the freedom to take a break. 

“You can turn your phone on and work and make money, turn your phone off and go do whatever you want to do,” Satarah said. “And you get paid the same day.”

Social media expert Jonathan Sellers says the wave of side hustles has been a game changer. 

“This is letting them take the power back into their own hands,” Jonathan said. 

Sellers, founder of marketing company Spark Outbound, said a recent study shows that people using apps are making less money than they did years ago.

“You have to worry about competition. You have to actually be available, do the work, be there, be present,” Jonathan said. 

Eighty percent of those who work for Uber drive fewer than 35 hours a week in America’s biggest cities. 

The company said more than half only work between one and 15 hours a week.

Uber and Lyft driver Eddie Marcano loves driving, but admits there are a few ups and downs.  

“We only get 65 cents out of the mile,” Eddie said. 

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Eddie believes that just isn’t enough. The retired UPS driver said some Uber and Lyft drivers waiting in line at Tampa International only make $40 to $80 a day after working eight hours. 

“The more hours you’re here on the street, the more risks you have on safety issues and I think Uber should start recognizing that and at least bump up a little more on the pay,” Eddie said.

Bottom line, the opportunities are there but how hard do you want to work? How resourceful can you be? For people like Stephanie and Satarah, the answer is in the palm of your hand.


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