You may have heard the term sharing economy over the last few years. It can mean a lot of different things to different people, but I've come to use as a set-up start-up companies that allow you to rent resources that you aren't currently using to others.
Perhaps one of the most popular examples of that is AirBnb, where people are using a room of their house as a small bed-and-breakfast. The owner gets some money for a room that might not be otherwise used. The visitor gets a room that may be cheaper and have better service than a hotel. It works out awesomely for both parties most of the time.
Today, I'd like to bring up three companies I am personally exploring to make money in the sharing economy:
I've reviewed Dog Vacay before. Essentially, I'd be pet sitting service. Not to make it sound easy, but I have a dog now and while he does require walks and feedings, he isn't a ton of work. (It's a good thing that his reading level is poor because he might not like me talking about this way.) Having a second dog simply would give him a friend, a fresh butt to sniff. It's a win for both dogs.
The next question is, "Is it lucrative?" Well, people pay between $30 and $40 a night on Dog Vacay for overnight care. There's a crazy dog lady that we've used to pet sit for our dog who typically has 6-7 dogs at her house. That's around $200 a day. Dog Vacay will keep their cut and managing that many dogs is a ton of work. However, it's probably an extra $40,000 a year (accounting for vacancies) - not chump change.
I don't see myself hosting anywhere near that many dogs. I'm not ready to be Crazy Dog Guy (though I am crazy when it comes dogs). I certainly won't have them around all the time. However, I can see averaging a dog a day which would be around $1000 a month.
I recently covered this one in detail when I asked should I become an Uber driver? Most of the feedback seems to be that it isn't worth it. It just isn't a good use of time after you factor in wear and tear on the car and gas. However, it's really on the cusp of being worth it and a lot of people suggested it as a good way to make a little extra dough if you were to suddenly become unemployed. I'll keep it in mind as a potential safety net.
Relay Rides is a relatively new car sharing site. You make your car available for others to rent. Obviously this works out best if you happen to have an extra car that you don't need. I happen to be in a such a situation. I've been thinking of selling the car, but for reasons both sentimental and lazy related, I haven't. This could be a good way to keep it, use it when I want, even make some cash on it.
I had actually heard of another car sharing site called Getaround, but that has launched in very few cities. Relay Rides came up in the search for that. Unlike Getaround, Relay Rides seems to be available across the whole United States.
Adding it all up
If I seriously combined a few of these, I bet it would be possible to make around $2000 a month. Uber would be the wildcard as it seems that could make a $50,000 a year salary in some places... I just don't know if I'd want to devote the time for it. Relay Rides doesn't require any of my time, just an existing asset. Dog Vacay requires more time, but dogs can be relatively good at keeping themselves entertained and then resting together. There's the occasional walk that I'd take anyway for my own health. The only incremental time would be feeding them and picking up after that feeding is digested, which is something I'm doing for one dog anyway.
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