14 Ways to Boost your Income Using the Sharing Economy

 Photo by  Darwin Vegher  on  Unsplash

Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

Sometimes the bi-weekly paycheck from your 9-5 just isn't enough. Trust me; we could all use a little extra spending money these days. I've compiled a list of apps and websites that make it simple and easy to earn extra income while barely lifting a finger.

1. Airbnb

If you're not using Airbnb to travel, check it out. It's a much cheaper alternative to a hotel and much cleaner and cozier than a motel. Individuals put a spare bedroom, apartment, house, or even a couch on the site and open their calendar for bookings.

If you have hotels in your area, there is a market for Airbnb. Think about putting your couch up for rent or even your room if you're going out of town. You might have a low upfront cost such as sheets or nicer guest towels, but let's be honest; you could probably use those anyway.

2. Bookscouter

If you’re anything like me, your bookcase is your trophy case. But maybe you don’t need 40 old novels and self-help books collecting dust. Someone will definitely enjoy your hand me down 50 Shades book just as much as you did. Scan the barcodes into this app and wait for an offer. Once someone places a bid, fill in your payment info and ship.

3. Foap

Remember last week at brunch when you took that oh-so-candid shot of your BFF blurred behind an order of eggs benny with the perfectly positioned carafe of mimos? Or that perfectly casual shot of your perfectly painted toes hanging out of a hammock watching the sunset? Upload them to this site and people will pay you for the rights to your photos. You've been instagramming for years. Put all those likes and filters to good use and make a little extra money.

4. Getaround

Have you ever tried to rent a car? It’s expensive, a hassle, and the attendant gets annoyed if you don’t purchase the extra insurance. No one wants to pay $100+ a day. Put your car up for rent while you’re on vacation or taking a long weekend by using this app. They take care of all the payment processing and insurance.

5. HomeDine

Speaking from experience, cooking for one is extremely difficult. I always have way too many leftovers and end up eating the same thing for a week. Put your leftover meals on here for people to enjoy a home-cooked meal while either traveling or just having a busy day. This is a perfect alternative for throwing away food that goes bad or you get tired of. Make it a goal to fund your grocery list solely from profits if you live in a bigger city.

6. Ibotta

Take your receipts from your grocery shopping each week and scan them in. Certain items are featured each week and will earn you anywhere from a few cents to a dollar. I won’t lie, this gets a little tedious. Ibotta offers great gift cards that make it worth it. Spending $25 at Target or Starbucks feels less guilty if it’s technically free money.  

7. Just Park

If you live in a city where you own or rent a parking space, put it up for rent when you aren’t using it by using this app. Time increments are as low as a half hour, so you can utilize the extra income even when you’re out running errands for a few hours. This is an absolutely effortless way to pad your paycheck.  

8. Poshmark

Everyone knows a girl who never wears the same thing twice. How does she afford always having new clothes? What does she do with them afterwards? Use Poshmark to sell your gently used clothing items. Post grads are constantly looking for a way to make their dollar to stretch farther. This is the perfect way to sell your clothes to make a little extra money or even to browse for some great discounts.

9. Receipt Hog

This app is similar to Ibotta, but they accept all receipts. You can shop anywhere and earn points for your purchases. However, it takes longer to earn a gift card since the point values aren’t as high. Either way, free money.  

10. Rover

Sign up to pet sit, dog walk, and even do in-house visits. Pet owners will view your profile and request whichever pet services you are able to offer. This is a perfect way to cure your puppy fever without having the full responsibility and commitment of a dog.

11. Spinlister

Sports rental companies charge an arm and a leg for a few hours of bike, ski, or even surfboard rentals. This app allows you to rent out your equipment at a lower rate instead of letting it collect dust in your garage. A new bicycle could pay for itself tenfold by renting your old one out.

12. Uber/Lyft

Everyone has had a drunken night and responsibly turned to their favorite transportation app. But have you thought of becoming a driver? You make your own schedule, retain about 80% of each ride, and are essentially your own boss. Everyone has been forced to DD before; you might as well get paid for it.

13. Udemy

Again, everyone has something they’re good at. That could be anything from Microsoft Excel, cooking, resume building, or even how to play a sport. Udemy allows anyone to upload online courses to their site for customers to purchase. This is completely passive income that allows you to teach a skill that you are already passionate about and familiar with.

14. Zaarly

This app allows you to create your own online store. You can sell anything from baked goods, financial services, delivery services, or even home repairs. Everyone is good at something. Put your skills to good use and earn extra money by advertising your specialties.

Now there’s no excuse as to why you aren’t putting your infamous dog walking skills or grandmothers apple pie recipe to good use. These 14 apps will help you pad your checking account and make ordering that third bloody mary guilt free. Each app is easy to use and will earn you extra income without you lifting a finger.

The puppy gif was inspired by Zack Mathis, as were all the correctly spelled words

Twenty-Five Financial Lessons for my 25th Birthday

Birthday Fiscal Financial Advice Credit Savings Investment.jpg

25. Start saving for retirement now, every little bit will help your future

24. The best way to get out of credit card debt is to not get in it in the first place

23. The slightly pre-owned car will always be a better choice than the brand-new car

22. Buying a home isn’t always more beneficial than renting. Don’t rush into it

21. Live within your means. The snowball of debt and compounding interest will be much more miserable than missing that show, not taking that vacation, or attending that happy hour

20. The best way to get a pay increase is to prove you’ve earned it and then directly request it

19. Don’t sacrifice your long-term comfort for impulse gratification, but also don’t forget to live in the now due to fear of the future

18. Buying a gift for someone else will always be more satisfying than making a purchase for yourself

17. A $150 pair of jeans that will last you 5 years is a better investment than anything from Forever 21. Quality over quantity

16. Set annual financial goals for yourself and make an effort to meet them. Max out your IRA, set money aside for a down payment, invest a portion of each paycheck

15. Be mindful of your credit score; it’s only there to help you

14. Do your research and open a credit card with rewards that will benefit you

13. Educate yourself on investing. There’s nothing better than watching your money multiply while you do nothing

12. You’re never too poor to donate

11. Money isn’t everything, but it does make life a lot easier in many aspects

10. Create a spending template rather than a budget. Limiting your expenses to a certain dollar amount gives you more freedom than setting a specific budget for each expense category

9. Never take out a loan on a depreciating asset

8. If your company offers you a 401k, contribute as much as you need to receive the maximum match. Never turn down free money

7. If you don’t have the money in your bank account, you can’t afford it. Your credit card is a way to earn rewards, not a supplemental income

6. It’s better to be wealthy than appear wealthy

5. Be aware of your finances. Track your income and your spending. Educate yourself on your financial habits and be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses

4. You don’t have to be rich to invest

3. Keep 6-9 months of expenses in a liquid account. You never know when you’ll get a medical bill, have a car issue, or (unfortunately) lose your job

2. It’s better to pay taxes rather than to get a tax refund. Receiving a tax refund essentially means you gave the government an interest-free loan

1. Spending money on an experience will always be more memorable and rewarding than purchasing a material item

Again, Zack Mathis is the best for dealing with me drowning on about all things credit. Seriously, you're a saint. 

What are you Willing to Sacrifice?

 Photo by  Jordan Ladikos  on  Unsplash

If you're like the rest of us, you only make x number of money annually. What you choose to spend that on or how much you choose to save is completely up to you. This is a huge privilege and responsibility that most of us face shortly after the rents kick us out of the nest. Many recent post-grads aren’t used to earning a decent paycheck and being faced with deciding to allocate the funds productively. Are you going to spend every single cent the second you earn it? Are you going to sit in your apartment alone every weekend just to save all your money for retirement? Is there a happy medium? It's your money, your decisions.

But…you can’t have it all.

It's okay to go out to lunch every day. It's also okay to buy a $4 cup of Starbucks every morning. Just like it's acceptable to go out of town every weekend and plan lavish vacations. The same way it's perfectly fine to never wear the same outfit twice. It's your money and your adult financial decisions.

But are you thinking about your future?

On the other hand, it's okay to live simply. You may live in a small, barely-furnished apartment. It's fine to drive a beat-up car that you cross your fingers and say a small prayer before you attempt to start the ignition. It's perfectly fine to never travel or even leave the city you live in.

But what are you saving all that money for?

Where is the happy medium? Are you willing to sacrifice one cup of Starbucks each week to help pad your retirement account? Would you consider bringing your lunch to work to save up for the vacation you've been dreaming of? It’s extremely difficult to cut back on the things you love to save up for distant ideas such as a down payment on a house or even retirement. As an adult, financial decisions are just a few of the many annoying weights on your shoulders. It’s easy to swipe your card for that $4 coffee, your $6 cocktail after a long day at work, and that $15 worth of takeout that you’ve been dreaming of all week. But what are you willing to sacrifice? You can spend all your money now. But what happens if you need to pay an unexpected medical expense? Or your car breaks down? What if you find a Groupon for an amazing six-day trip to Italy and you’re the only one in the #squad who can’t afford to go?

You only make so much money. Unlike your mimosas, that paycheck you get bi-weekly isn’t bottomless. Trust me, a girl can dream.

What are you willing to sacrifice? Skip happy hour one night a week and put that extra $20 towards an Italian vacation. The wine is better there anyway. Bring your lunch every day for a week and put that extra $40 towards a down payment on the car you’ll eventually need. You probably don’t need those new Michael Kors wedges; you already have two pairs anyway. Take the extra $150 and put it in your IRA. You’ll watch it grow over the years and appreciate your decisions when you’re 65.

I’m not advocating that you save all the money you make. I’m advising that you make a few sacrifices and find your happy medium. Find your balance between spending and saving and plan a budget that fits your needs. Splurge a little, save a little.

As always, thank you to Zack Mathis for reminding me that puncuation exists for a reason.