May Income Report: Instacart, Dividend Cuts, and a Bank Bonus

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Our total dividend and side hustle income for the month of May was $3,794. How did this break down?

Instacart: $2,396. Earnings were down from April but still solid for the month. The decline in earnings is because we are working less hours and the market is becoming more saturated with shoppers. We spent a week in Florida with friends then had family visit us for a week, which added to the drop in income for the month.

Now we’ve found we can still earn $30+ hour by working in the mornings, but it’s tougher to hit that number after 12pm between more shoppers and less overall orders. The primary customers prefer the morning delivery windows here. Costco also revised their hours back to 10am for Instacart shoppers, so there aren’t the 7am orders to start a day with a $40+/hr job. The earnings continued to slow throughout the month and I expect this will settle into a $500 to $1000/mo income item for us.

One random benefit we got this month was $160 in free groceries. We were running a delivery during a storm and the neighborhood was blocked off due to a flash flood. This blocking-off was full with police redirecting traffic and notices to the residents. Since groceries aren’t returnable due to Covid19, the customer was rescheduled for the next day and we got to keep the order in lieu of being paid for the job.

Dividend Income: $940. Our monthly paying of STAG Industrial and Entertainment Properties Trust (EPR) delivered for the month, generating $806. Unfortunately this will be the last dividend for a while from EPR, the company had to suspend its dividend to satisfy its lenders. The company primarily rents properties where people gather, meaning I don’t expect the payout to resume until the 4th quarter. Dividend income was down compared to February ($1,481) due to Cracker Barrel deferring their 2nd quarter dividend and Westrock cutting their dividend. I picked up a couple small dividends from Starbucks and International Logistics Properties Trust, two new holdings for my taxable account purchased with the market pullback.

Blog Income: $58. This was a shock to me, I received the first payout from advertising on the blog. This means the blog generated more money in May than it had cumulatively earned in the first 2.5 years of existence. Blogging is a fast route to income, right?

Bank Bonuses: $400. We had a $400 signup bonus pay for a Wells Fargo checking account. This is a great deal, I put $1500 in the account and ran a few PayPal and Fidelity transfers to qualify as direct deposit then got paid $400 about 100 days after opening the account. It will be time to start two player mode for this bonus soon. Check out Doctor of Credit if you’re interested in starting the bank bonus game.

Finally, I wrote about our Bear Market Contingency Plan and before retirement I wondered if the 4% rule always worked due to spending, now this thought was put to the test. In the month of May we spent 9% less than our spending target. This still included a few discretionary expenses, including our annual donation to the college sports program we support and replacing our gas grill which was in its 7th year of service.

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8 Replies to “May Income Report: Instacart, Dividend Cuts, and a Bank Bonus”

    1. I absolutely love our Weber Spirit 2 Burner. Nursed the last one to four different houses, three grate replacements, one hose replacement, and was lighting it manually. Bought the exact same thing. Seven years and it gets a lot of use!

  1. Hi,

    This is expected for the dividend cut. One should not have any problem if he/she is flexible in the spending. Reduce when the cut occur accordingly.


    1. Thank you. I put a small ad network on my site but between traffic (all personal finance) falling off and ad revenue declining, I had low expectations. One article I wrote in early 2019 got shared and it then generated 17,000 pageviews. Goes to show the benefit of just doing this for a long time!

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