How to use the sharing economy to recession proof your finances
The UK is in recession for the first time in 11 years and for many of us our finances are not as secure as we’d like them to be.
Many jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, working hours or wages reduced and some business owners have had to stop trading altogether.
It’s been a turbulent time for both the employed and self-employed, with an end not yet in sight.
Money is often a worry for most people without a pandemic.
Now, with local lockdowns, another national lockdown likely, jobs less secure and money uncertainties at an all-time high, many will be looking for additional income streams either to tide them over for now, or to prepare for better financial security in the long term.
One way to start making extra cash is to take advantage of the sharing economy and earn income from the things we already own.
By leasing your existing assets there are zero, or minimal, upfront costs and you can begin to earn money from idle vehicles, empty rooms and possessions such as tools that you don’t personally need to use every day.
Let’s take a closer look at three popular sharing economy methods. Get ready to earn extra cash and recession-proof your finances!
1. Rent your car on Karshare
Founded in 2020, innovative Bristol based company Karshare enables us to rent out our own personal cars when we are not using them.
According to Karshare, cars are only used for 4% of their entire lifespan! The rest of the time they are just sitting there… and they could be earning you some cash, helping to recession-proof your income!
For those of us who work at home, our cars may sit on our driveways nearly all day long. Equally, you may be a two car family and only need use of one of them at weekends, or you may work shifts and have certain days when you don’t need access to your car. Karshare tackles this issue by offering an opportunity to hire your car to those who need it and you’ll pocket some extra cash in the process.
If you live in Bristol and own a qualifying vehicle that you could hire out on certain days, you can earn some extra money from home (up to £550 per month) by renting your car on www.karshare.com!
Not only is car sharing a great way to earn extra income, but it also promotes a more sustainable future. By taking part in car sharing you’ll reduce the number of new cars being manufactured and we’ll need fewer cars on the street. It allows existing vehicles to be used more efficiently - doing more with less!
Karshare ensures the process is hassle free and worry free. Your car will be fully insured by their insurance policy whilst rented, leaving your own personal car insurance unaffected. They also offer roadside assistance as well as keyless collection and drop-off, meaning you can sit back and earn a passive income with minimal effort.
Also, with plans to launch in other cities in the UK in early 2021, more people will be able to take advantage of the Karshare platform and boost their household income.
2. Hire out your possessions
If you’re a keen DIYer then you’ll know that sometimes you need an expensive tool only for a day or two. Sometimes only for one or two cuts!
Rather than buying a brand new pricey tool, it can be much more economical to hire a tool. This is where a website like Fat Llama comes in allowing you to hire all sorts of everyday items from people in your community.
From electric scooters to cameras and music equipment, there are all sorts of things that people are looking to rent, rather than buy.
Perhaps you already have tools and equipment in your household that you can hire out to someone else?
This is something my husband has dabbled in as he has a large range of tools from his DIY passion and woodwork business that he doesn’t need to use on a daily basis.
By using sites such as Fat Llama he has been able to hire out equipment such as a cement mixer on a cost per day basis.
3. Let your spare room
If you have a spare room in your home then there’s more money to be made!
You can rent a furnished room out in your main home to a lodger, or for certain trading activities, and benefit from the first £7500 tax free under the government’s Rent a Room Scheme.
You can use the scheme if:
- you let a furnished room to a lodger
- your letting activity amounts to a trade, for example, if you:
- run a guest house
- run a bed and breakfast business
- provide services, such as meals and cleaning
My husband and I have been keen on letting a room on Airbnb for a few years and we’re finally going ahead!
We’re soon converting our second reception room into an ensuite bedroom which is suitable for a lodger or even shorter term Airbnb lets. It will be great to have a readily available room to rent out as income backup.
We are both self-employed, with neither of us having a set and secure income, so having a backup plan for financial security is really important to us.
If you’d rather your weekends to yourself at home then check out Fivenights.com for weekday lodgers only. They connect professionals with landlords who rent properties Monday to Friday only.
4. Rent out your empty garage space with Stashbee
It’s one thing to recession-proof your finances in a way that takes up a lot of time and energy. It’s another thing entirely to do it without having to do all that much.
The UK has a lot of people moving around, renovating their homes or simply acquiring stuff, stuff and more stuff - usually to the point where they can’t store it all in one place.
You can make a lot of extra money from home by offering up your empty garage for rent for storage through an online platform like Stashbee.
They pair you up with potential tenants through a free online listing, and all you have to do is accept or reject offers as they come in.
If you’re looking for a longer term tenant, a small e-commerce based start-up might be a viable option.
They usually operate remotely or from a co-working space, often without a formal warehouse to store their merchandise.
That’s where your extra space can swoop right in and save the day.
Once you’ve given garage rental a try, you should explore increasing your earnings with other storage rental options, like your loft space or even a parking space on your property.
An empty space has never before looked so (lucra/attrac)tive!
Get sharing and start earning!
Once you start exploring the sharing economy you’ll quickly realise there’s an opportunity to make money with whatever you already have.
If you live in London you can even rent out your entire home on Hermit Offices as a day office for a small business. There are websites to rent out bikes, parking spaces and even fields or large gardens!
If you need another income stream then look around and see what assets you have that could be potential earners.
By renting your car, spare room and other possessions you could easily make £1000 or more each month.
Dabbling in the sharing economy is a great way to set up an additional income stream around your existing commitments to recession-proof your finances.
For lots more ways to make money at home, read my blog post 60 ways to make money online at home and how to get free money!