BY SARAH KEARNS
It feels like everything costs a ton of money. Students notoriously don’t have a ton of money to spend. Getting an education is both expensive and time consuming, leaving little free time to work a well paying job and keeping costs high in every other area of life. The sharing economy is a saving grace for many students who need to have their needs met in an unconventional way.
- Make Money Driving
If you have a car, you can use that car to make money. Join an app based ride sharing service, or sign up to deliveries (like for food) if you’d rather not lug passengers around. You can turn your availability on when you have time, and turn it off when you don’t. It’s a manageable side hustle, especially when you live near a university and many students don’t have the time to stop for food or the means to own a car.
- Rent Cars for Cheap
Apps like Maven and Turo allow people who don’t have cars but don’t want to utilize cab style ride sharing services to eliminate the middle men and directly rent cars from members of their community. You pay a fee and take the car. It’s relatively inexpensive for anyone over the age of 25, where younger students may have to pay a tad bit more. These apps make it easier to rent a car you can use to drive home and stay with your family for the weekend.
- Monetize Your Parking Spot
If you have more parking spots than you need, someone else might want to make use of the spare. If you live in or near a big city or a short ride from an airport, people will be willing to lease your parking spot from you. Try listing it on a community sharing site like Parkhound. This is an easy way to make money – all you have to do is lend out a slab of concrete you don’t have much use for.
- Get Free Textbooks
Textbooks are a huge expensive for so many students. A lot of the time, they’re almost as much as a months’ rent and you’ll only need to use them two or three times. Open Textbook Library utilizes the power of the sharing economy to provide digital access to current textbooks that contain the information students need to study and pass their classes. Even if you don’t use the sharing economy for anything else, Open Textbook Library is a lifesaver.
- Get Your Furniture for Cheap
Furnishing a dorm room or an apartment can be expensive – especially if you opt for all new furniture. Even lesser quality furniture from big box stores is still more expensive than buying secondhand high quality furniture. Check online community marketplaces for free or cheap furniture. You might even find someone who wants to trade – maybe they’re going from one mattress size to another and you can swap bedframes.
- Exchange Tutoring
There is something of a natural sharing economy that takes place inside most educational institutions. Sometimes, students publicly express it. Other times, it happens through circumstance. You’re really great at math and terrible with literature. Someone else is a literary genius with some serious math comprehension problems. Sit down and teach each other. It’s a one for one exchange where everyone gets the help they need.
- Dog Walking Apps
Dog walking apps are sharing economy based, and they make student’s lives better in an unpredictable way. By singing up as a dog walker, you’re getting three benefits. You’re making money, you’re getting exercise, and you’re interacting with dogs. Most students can’t keep dogs, so they miss out on the benefits of owning one. Studies show that dogs reduce stress in college students. You win from every angle when you join the sharing economy as a dogwalker.
The sharing economy is here to stay, and it helps young people earn or save money in countless ways. Even with the schedule of a busy student, there’s always a way to make the most of what the sharing economy has to offer.
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.