Sharing is Caring: How You Can Benefit From The Sharing Economy
The so-called ‘sharing economy’ is one of the most popular terms of the last few months. And unlike many other buzzwords, this one looks like it’ll be around to stay for a good while yet. For those not in the know, it basically refers to assets or services shared between private individuals for a fee, usually using the internet as a tool.
In a world in which many people are still being squeezed financially, extra sources of income can make a huge amount of difference. If you’re struggling financially, it’s worth taking a look at Money Expert's debt advice service. If you’re still not sure about the sharing economy, here are just a few ways that you can benefit from getting involved. Best of all, a lot of these methods don’t require you doing much at all!
Rent Out Your Place
We all know that your property is one of your most valuable assets. Why not consider maximising this asset by renting out your spare room? Popular websites such as Airbnb make this process straightforward. You can list the available space in your property and the dates in which it is available. You could either find a long term lodger or someone who is looking for a room on a more temporary basis. If you are going on holiday, you could even consider renting out your entire property. Homeowners across the world are capitalising on this phenomenon that seems to be getting more and more popular.
Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
This is the one that has probably been around the longest (eBay was founded 22 years ago!) but new platforms are being established all the time. The rise of smartphones means that you can quickly snap a picture of something, post it online and have it sold before you know it. We all inevitably acquire stuff we don’t need or no longer use over time, so having a clear out once in awhile is a great way of making some extra money as well as clearing some much needed space in your home. As well as general selling platforms like Gumtree, there are also sites that specialise in particular categories like clothing and electronics. It’s worth doing some research to find out where you can get the best price.
Rent Out Your Driveway
If renting out part of your home seems like too much of a big imposition, consider renting out your driveway. If you live in a city or near to some good transportation links, you are likely to get people falling over themselves to grab your space. Parking costs can quickly end up spiralling out of control for many people, so offering a cheaper alternative can make you a steady second income. And it may be the case that you are not using your space while you are at work so there’s no inconvenience. You could literally be making cash by doing nothing!
Store Stuff For People
Another way that you can capitalise on space that you are not using, people are willing to pay good money to store their things for them. In highly populated places, space can be a highly desirable commodity. If you have an attic or a basement, this is prime for storage space. You can charge a monthly rental fee. The more disused space you have, the more money you can make.
You don’t necessarily have to quit your dayjob or moonlight to become a delivery driver. Websites such as Nimber matches deliver requests with people who are nearby or heading in that direction. You could even consider delivering some packages while travelling to or from work so you don’t have to deviate too much from your regular journey. It’s unlikely to net you a fortune, but it could give you a bit of extra cash without really having to go out of your way.
If you have a bit of extra time on your hands then some people are willing to pay for you to do odd jobs such as shopping or gardening. If you are skilled at DIY, you are likely to be in demand. You could even specialise so you are only offering one particular service. As DIY becomes something of a lost art form, your skill could really be worth something whether it is plumbing or electrical work.
Another concept that has expanded rapidly in recent years, ridesharing platforms such as BlaBlaCar help you to fill up empty seats in your car. Find passengers who are willing to pay you for lifts ranging from your regular commute to work to long journeys across the country. If you’ve got space going, you may as well make the most of it. As well as making your long journeys more interesting, it’s kinder to the environment to share rides.
Rent Out Your Car
Why not go one stage further?! This is another one that you may not have heard a lot about, but you can even find people who would like to rent out your car. Obviously you will need the proper insurance cover in place, as well as being in a situation where you don’t need your car all the time. But if you’re willing to put your trust in the general motoring public, you can make thousands extra per year.
Rent Out Household Items
If you have an item around the house that you are not getting much use from, you may find that people nearby are willing to pay to rent it out. These items can range from power tools to musical instruments - things that you may not want to sell but you are willing to rent them out for a fee. Once again, this is a way of generating income without you doing much at all. What could be better?
Rent Designer Clothes
Pretty much everyone’s wardrobe (or else your partner’s wardrobe) has at least one or two items with a fairly hefty price tag that you have only go round to wearing once or twice. Many people only want to wear something once, so renting out these items to people going out on the town is a great way of pulling in a bit more extra cash.
If you have any sort of artistic ability, why not market this talent in your spare time? There are a wide range of platforms in which you can sell your art. People love buying things that are homemade and one of a kind. If this is your passion anyway, it’s a great way of making some supplementary income while doing something you love.
If you have an area of expertise like a second language, people are willing to pay money to learn. Sharing your skills doesn’t have to require a huge amount of effort on your part, as you can speak to people online through your webcam. As well as generating some extra cash, you get the natural reward that teachers feel without putting hours and hours into lesson planning and marking.
With the sharing economy set to continue growing exponentially over the next few years, now is the time to get involved. Some people base their entire careers around it, while others just use it to make a bit of extra money on the side. Whether you try out one or a combination of these ideas, you can find yourself making money, while offering a product or service that really makes a difference to people’s lives.
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