As independent contractors, we are all responsible (or should be responsible) for keeping records and receipts of our personal costs as well as miles driven. Come tax time it will make things much easier and help keep as much money as we can in our own pockets. I know there are a few apps out there that help keep all this info in a seamless fashion, but I haven’t tried any, yet. Maybe people will list some good ones in the comments section.
I keep my records on a spreadsheet that I complete after each shift. I also save my gas receipts and file them each Tuesday. It definitely takes some time and effort to do this, but once you are in the habit it’s second nature. I have attached a copy of the spreadsheet I use at the bottom of this post for anyone to try if they would like. There are a few numbers that will need adjusting depending on your cost per mile, the tax percentage you would like to withhold and the flat rate for delivery pay in your city.
My cost per mile on the form is .09 cents as noted in the Fuel Cost column. To get your cost per mile follow these steps:
- Before your shift, fill up your gas tank at a station as close to the warehouse as possible
- At the warehouse, set your odometer to zero
- Deliver as usual
- When complete, write down your miles driven
- Lastly, fill up your gas tank, again
You now have the figures you need to get the cost per mile. All you need to do is divide the cost of the gas on the fill up after the shift by the number of miles driven. So if your gas cost $11.45 (on the second fill up) and you drove 110 miles, your cost per mile is .104. (11.45/110=.104) Since the type of driving for each block is different, I used the average of this number over a five shifts. (You could just do one shift if you don’t feel the need to be so thorough.) You should also note that this number will change with gas prices. Pay attention to larger than average price shifts in either direction and run the test again when needed.
The next figure you will need to adjust is in the Taxes column. For my own purposes, I use 30%. This is stated as .30 in the equation. If you want to do 22% then you would insert .22. I am not a tax advisor so you will have to come up with your own figure on this one!
Lastly, in the Hourly Wages column I have the amount as $18.00. Some cities are higher, so adjust that number if needed.
Once you have the above items set up for you individually, the spreadsheet is very self explanatory. The only item you need to keep track of during your shift is the number of miles driven. Once you are finished delivering just input the date, hours worked and miles driven. If you are working for PrimeNow you can also input your tips.
Hopefully some will find this spreadsheet useful. It will definitely give you a good handle on how much money you are actually making out there. Let me know if you have any questions.
*One last tip- It’s good to get in the habit of filling up your tank before each shift. There is nothing worse than having 8 minutes to make that last delivery and needing to stop for gas!