With finances tight after a financially gruelling year, many will be pondering how to monetise their spare time or assets to top up their wallets in time for Christmas.
Made famous by Airbnb and Uber, some sharing platforms have experienced a downturn due to the pandemic this year, but families are expected to turn to the sharing economy with renewed vigour now that restrictions are easing.
The sharing economy enables you to rent out pretty much anything these days – from a swimming pool or car to a spare room or storage space.
People will also pay money to rent a spare garage, designer dress, handbag or even a desk.
Research conducted by The Sharing Hub reveals that one in 10 Australians earned $1100 a month in the sharing economy in 2018.
And with COVID-19 claiming many jobs and flexible work on the rise after a devastating wave of pandemic-related job losses this year, CEO Mike Rosenbaum said it’s highly likely this figure has increased.
“With the cost-of-living increases and wages remaining stagnant, the sharing economy allows people to make passive income by hiring out their empty space, parking space, dresses, motorhomes or even by pet sitting,” Mr Rosenbaum said.
“In terms of earnings, you can earn more in peak seasons, like holidays.
“Location is also important – there are more earning opportunities where there are more people.”
A post-lockdown flurry of bookings means van owners in Victoria are on course to earn between $5000 and $15,000 over the summer months alone on Camplify, a spokesperson for the platform said.
Brighton mother Simone Anderson had $2000 worth of bookings a week after listing her Moroccan-inspired van on the site for $150 a night. The van features reverse-cycle air-conditioning, a double bed and a fridge.
Meanwhile, more than 400 Australians are making extra cash by listing their backyard swimming pool on Swimply, which launched a year ago.
Co-founder Asher Weinberger said: “Average pool owners can make anywhere between $15 and $100 an hour, or even more depending on their amenities, and owners need to ensure the pool is well maintained, and both parties sign a waiver.”
Melbourne mother of two Fiona Kibet has been renting her eight-metre backyard pool for $41 an hour, pocketing $272 in one week. And although bookings were banned during Melbourne’s lockdowns, she’s looking forward to accepting more visits over summer.
“I’d highly recommend it,” said Ms Kibel, based in Forest Hill.
“We’re hoping to earn some extra cash over summer when we’re not using it.”
In metropolitan areas, small storage cages can be rented for $150 a month and large cages for up to $700 a month.
Larger spaces are often used for storing business inventory, according to a spokesperson from Spacer.
Other platforms that cross over into the gig economy include Mad Paws and Airtasker.
The former allows people to earn up to $40 a night dog sitting, and the latter is a platform for odd jobs and house removals among other things.
But be warned: The Australian Taxation Office cracked down on the sharing economy after Airbnb last year handed over data to the tax office to help authorities track down people not meeting their tax obligations.
The ATO warns that working in the sharing economy hasn’t changed the definition of income, with GST and income tax obligations still applying if you earn income from these activities, based on turnover.