When it comes to the sharing economy – think sites like Uber, AirBnB and Airtasker – most people these days are participants, mostly as consumers.
It’s the ones providing the service that are making the real gains, usually by bringing in some extra cash on the side of their day jobs.
More Australians are taking a second or third job to make ends meet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which, in findings released last year showed there’d been a 9% jump in the six years to June 2016 with 763,000 Australians working a second job.
While everyone will have their own motivations for wanting more money, taking advantage of the sharing economy is a great way to bulk up savings for a home deposit, or, if you have a home already, pay off that never-ending mortgage a little sooner.
Let’s look at a few sharing economy hacks that can help you get there.
Car Next Door is a platform designed for car owners to share their vehicles with the carless. Whether it’s moving furniture, a weekend away, or a simple trip to the shops, Aussies are in need of a vehicle and Car Next Door makes it happen in a convenient, cost-effective and environmentally conscious way. While the benefits for those who don’t own cars are obvious, the platform enables car owners who share their vehicles to make a buck.
Car Next Door says the income someone can earn varies depending on vehicle type, location and availability. Some owners make $100 a month; others make more than $1,000. Car Next Door guarantees most people can make up to $2000 over 12 months. Sydney van owner Andy Corcoran earned five times that, racking up $40,000 in four years, on top of his regular income.
Let’s average it out and look at a person who makes $10,000 a year through Car Next Door. The interest saved during that period is $185, which equates to just over a year shaved off a 30 year mortgage.*
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Community marketplace Airtasker enables Aussies to pay someone else to do tasks they can’t do – or simply don’t want to do. From computer support to house cleaning and furniture assembly, the site claims Taskers can earn up to $5,000 a month – a figure derived from the median top 50 Taskers’ monthly earnings. Even for those opting to take on a few tasks a week, such as ‘moving a queen bed to a friend’s house’ for $50, or ‘plastering cracks in a bedroom wall’ for $750, there’s money to be made in helping others.
Let’s average it out and look at a person who makes $15,000 a year through Airtasker The interest saved during that period is $278, which equates to one and a half years shaved off a 30 year mortgage.*
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UK-founded Deliveroo delivers meals to customers in countries all over the world keeping bodies well fed and happy. For drivers, a spokesperson for the site claims there is the potential to make around $20 an hour during busy periods with the hourly fee plus tips. You’ll also keep fit by riding around town.
Let’s average it out and look at a person who makes $9,360 a year through Deliveroo. The interest saved during that period is $169, which equates to one year shaved off a 30 year mortgage.*
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Perhaps the most famous sharing economy platform out there, Uber has had its fair share of ups and downs (2017, anyone?) But whether you like or despise the rating system, no one can argue with its convenience and for drivers, there’s some serious cash to be made. Sydney-based casual driver Darren says he was making about $200 a night driving from 10pm til 1am, three nights a week. But he warns as Uber is not registered for tax purposes in Australia, you have to pay GST out of what you make – and 20% also goes to the man.
Another part-time driver, Nick, was driving around 15-20 hours a week at one stage and never worked past 9pm. He says he enjoyed meeting people and usually got a mix of smaller fees and larger ones. “I picked up one person in Brighton [Sydney] once and took them to Liverpool which was a $60 fare, but I had no one to bring back so it was a bit of a waste of fuel and tolls,” he says. Nevertheless, he made around $6000 over nine months, minus $1500 in fees and GST.
Let’s average it out and look at a person who makes $13,644 a year through Uber. The interest saved during that period is $253, which equates to 1.4 years shaved off a 30 year mortgage.*
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While there are plenty of stories about people running full-time hotel-esque businesses with AirBnB from their apartments or investment properties, the average Joe can make a buck or two by occasionally renting out their pad on the site. Michael rented his place out a couple of times and said it went pretty well.
“I did have to spend time cleaning it prior to someone coming and make sure valuables were hidden, but it all went pretty well. With one guy there were cigarettes on the balcony (and I don’t smoke) and an armchair came off its wheels but these things could be fixed pretty easily. There was no major damage and we always got them to pay a cleaning fee so we could get a cleaner in afterwards.”
Michael says those using the site should read the small print and understand the tax consequences before getting involved. “You may think you’re going to make $2000 from someone staying at your place for a week but once the tax comes out it’s more like $1000,” he says.
Let’s average it out and look at a person who makes $20,000 a year through AirBnB. The interest saved during that period is $371, which equates to just over two years shaved off a 30 year mortgage.*
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*We’re not tax experts. All estimates are based on the full income received, so it’s best to consult a professional when making important financial decisions. Our calculations use the minimum monthly principal and interest repayments on a loan size of $500,000 and an interest rate of 4% over 30 years, assuming the minimum monthly repayments and interest rate remain constant over the life of the loan.
It’s important to note that the information we give here is general in nature – no matter how helpful or relatable you find our articles. Even if it seems like we’re writing about you, it’s not personal or financial advice. That’s why you should always ask a professional before making any life-changing decisions.