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10 ways to make money through the share economy

Ever found yourself wondering how you managed to accumulate so much stuff in your life? We’re all guilty of it and yet still we never seem to have all that we need…

Which is why the share economy is about to become our new best friend. A ‘share economy’ is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of resources. People who need something are connected online with those who have products or services to sell, hire or lease.

The benefits of the share economy

  1. Monetises assets you don’t regularly use
  2. Brings communities closer together
  3. Creates better efficiency of resources in your area
  4. Saves you money through leasing what you need, not buying
  5. Gives you flexibility in the way you use things
  6. Reduces environmental impact because overall less is needed

Hmmm… that garage full of things (and even the garage itself) is looking better all the time.

So how can you tap into this marvellous resource? Here are 10 ways to get you started – and just remember, if you don’t want to be the one loaning out your stuff, you can always use any of these services yourself.

1. Rent out a spare room

All over the world people are making money hosting through platforms like Airbnb, Stayz or Flipkey. You don’t have to have an entire house to rent out, either. A spare room or even a spare couch will do (try Couchsurfing or Be Welcome). Not only will you make some extra cash, but if you want to, you can also meet people from every corner of the globe.

2. Rent or swap your house for a holiday

Another way to make the most of your home via the share economy is house swapping. This will save you loads of money when you holiday, plus you have the added reassurance of someone minding your home while you’re away. To find out how it works, visit one of these home swap platforms:

3. Rent out your garden

If you’re not keen to share your home, perhaps sharing your garden is an option? Campspace connects campers and caravanners with land to camp on. And that could be your backyard.

4. Rent out your garage

There’s also the option of renting out your garage or carport. Parkhound and Spacer are both sites that make it easy to set this up. Judging by the listings, you could make up to $400 a month by leasing your unused car space to someone who needs it. That figure requires you have a CBD lock-up garage available, but there’s money to be made no matter where you live.

5. Rent out your pool

The pool you barely swim in anymore is coveted by many and Swimply can put you in touch with them. You can rent your pool by the hour, day or even make an arrangement for the entire season.

6. Rent out your car

Another share economy backbone is renting out your car when you’re not using it. It’s actually a really straightforward process:

  • Sign up at a site like Car Next Door, Drive My Car or Go Get
  • Fill up your fuel tank
  • Park your car and share the GPS coordinates
  • Leave your keys in a designated lockbox or arrange to meet borrower to hand over the keys 

All makes and models of car are able to be rented out, provided they’re in good nick with full insurance. If you have a campervan, motorhome or caravan (or need one), Camplify is your go-to.

7. Mind a pet

Anyone who is mad about pets will love Madpaws. The site puts you in touch with people who need someone to mind their pets while they’re away. You can look after Fido, Snake or Kitty in your own home, or the owner’s home (see housesitting below).

To tap into this share economy, you can also list your services on your local Facebook community page or with a card on the noticeboard at the local shops.

8. Try housesitting

Offering your time to look after someone’s property or pets while they’re away is a simple. You live in their home like it’s your own and the money is good.

Most house sitters charge in the region of $60-90 per night, depending on what’s expected and where the house is located. Watering the garden, looking after pets, bringing in the mail or being required at the home at certain times during the day or night all mean you can charge more.

One of these platforms can help you get started:

9. Start a Street Library

While this one won’t bring in extra dollars, it’s an excellent way to justify all the money you spend on books! A library is easy to start, you just need a few books you’re willing to lend (plus council permission if your library is on the verge – no worries if it’s in your front yard). The benefits of becoming a street librarian include bringing your neighbourhood together, recycling books and getting a ton of new books to read.

10. Invest some money

Lending money directly to people who need a loan is a growing form of investing. Instead of buying shares or property, you can lend to a business or person who needs it. You make money on the interest you charge, so your return is guaranteed at a certain rate. Online platforms make it reasonably easy to set something up: