Families and friends have been sharing resources for centuries, trading homegrown veggies for a lift into the city, or fixing a fence in return for some babysitting.
Now the sharing economy has expanded and people share resources with complete strangers in exchange for cash. It’s a win-win situation with cheaper prices and the ability for anyone to get involved and pocket some extra money.
Joining the sharing economy is now easier than ever. Here ME provides some tips on getting involved in the sharing economy:
1. Put your car to work
If you own a car, becoming an Uber driver can be a smart way to make your car pay its way. Uber drivers in Australia earn an average of $35-$40 per hour before Uber takes its 25% cut.1
Don’t fancy ferrying people around? Consider a site like Car Next Door where you can rent out your vehicle for $25-$40 a day.
2. Rent out that spare space
Whether you’ve got a spare room or even a fold-out couch, you could consider renting it out for short-term accommodation on a site like Airbnb. Or if you’ve got a holiday booked, you can rent out your whole house while you’re away.
3. Support a commuter
Finding a car spot is a daily grind for many commuters. If you have an empty garage or vacant driveway in a sought-after area, you can rent it out on sites like Park Hound. You get to pocket extra cash while giving a commuter affordable parking.
4. Sell your skills
Are you handy with a drill and hammer or have a real green thumb in the garden? You can sell your skills through sites like Air Tasker. From home cleaning to providing the muscle to move furniture, Air Tasker puts people with skills in touch with those who need affordable help.
5. Turn unused stuff into the folding stuff
You probably have a mountain of stuff you only use occasionally — a formal suit, that Louis Vuitton handbag, or a fishing boat, which only leaves dry dock a couple of times each year.
Instead of selling these items, you can rent them out. On sites like Rentoid, an angle grinder can command $30 a day or a spare fridge can get $60 per month.
Before you get started
Make sure you do your research before you get started so you know exactly where you stand. If you’re renting out a spare room for instance, check your home and contents insurance to see if
you’re covered for damage that might occur.
And, whether you’re a customer or a provider, always read the fine print on a sharing website to get a clear idea of your rights and responsibilities.
What about tax?
If you’re earning extra cash, it pays to know your tax obligations. To find out more about tax and the sharing economy, go to ato.gov.au.
Australia’s sharing economy: The numbers
A recent survey of over 1,000 Australians found that:
65% used the sharing economy in the past six months
38% spend at least $50 a month on sharing economy services
25-34 year olds spend the most — averaging $120 a month
22% earn at least $50 a month through sharing economy services
Source: RateSetter's November 2016 Sharing Economy Trust Index at ratesetter.com.au
MTAA Super does not recommend or endorse any of the products or services mentioned in this article. You should form their own view about whether the products or services are appropriate for them in light of the benefits and risks involved.