Saturday, 6 October 2018

Saving Money via Sharing

When I was a kid, I still remember my elders teaching me the importance of sharing. Nowadays, I am continuing this phenomena with my daughter as well. However, the only difference in today's sharing is that there are numerous opportunities to save money via sharing. Lately I have come across various articles in the newspapers hearing this new term called 'Sharing Economy'.

Saving Money via Sharing

Sharing Economy involves people collaborating together and sharing their assets and skills at a very good fee on a common platform. The rise in the sharing economy is primarily attributed to the Indian Millennials who are resisting to own an asset or being committed to a long term service when they are able to save a lot of bucks by sharing. Be it furniture, clothing, cars or even office space, a lot can be saved through the sharing culture. You can even earn by renting your own things too on these platforms.

Several categories I have identified to Save and Earn are:

  • Private Apartments: Air BnB and Homestay are some of the most popular platforms in this category. When I travelled to Croatia and Austria this year, we booked our accommodation in the form of private apartments via Air BnB. Not only were we satisfied with these homes, but we were able to save around Rs 4,000-6,000 per day instead of booking a 4 star hotel. If you have a private room or an entire house, you can list them on these platforms and utilise the opportunity to earn a substantial rent.

  • Clothes and Accessories: Not sure what to wear on an upcoming occasion or you liked something but did not have the budget to get it? Well one can  now even rent clothes and save a lot of time and money. Companies like Flyrobe, Rent It Bae and LibeRent are renting designer outfits at a very comfortable price. A normal designer dress costs around Rs 10,000-12,000 and can be worn 2-3 times at max in a season. You can rent a similar dress for as low as Rs 2,000-3,000. In a year if you choose to rent 2 such dresses instead of buying them, you can easily save around Rs 15,000 per year. Moreover, Flyrobe even allows to rent your clothes if it matches their requirements and you can earn up to 9% of the retail price every month.
  • Furniture and Appliances: If you frequently switch places on account of your job requirements, I would suggest to opt for rented furniture and appliances. Not only you are saved from costly purchases, you won't have to worry on movement of these things when switching places. You save both on installation and relocation costs. Companies like Rentomojo and Furlenco are prominent ones offering furniture and appliances on rent. They also offer you to buy the rented furniture after a year if you like the product.
  • Co-Working/Office Spaces: There has been a paradigm shift in the way Indian Millennials work. Freelancers, budding entrepreneurs, start-ups etc, can save a lot of money by opting for shared working spaces. Companies such as WeWork, Awfis and Innov8 are offering collaborative workspaces at attractive prices. Not only you save on paying low rents, you don't have to worry about operational costs, such as electricity and water, which is usually covered by the space provider. You are also saved from maintaining security deposits. A 500 sqft semi-furnished office in a metro costs around Rs 70,000-75000. A team room in a sharing workspace costs around Rs 30,000-35,000. On an average you save around Rs 25,000 per month.
  • Transportation: Share rides services offered by Ola and Uber are already popular among travellers where rates are usually 30-35% less than a normal private ride. Carpooling and mini bus sharing companies such as Orahi, BlaBla Car and Shuttl are also gaining immense popularity specially from office goers. A 20 km private cab ride will cost around Rs 225, while a shared cab ride for the same distance will cost around Rs 150. In a 22 days working month one can save around Rs 1,650 per month.
  • Books and Toys: You can now even enjoy the pleasure of reading your favourite books without the need to buy them. DoorstepBooks and Indiareads are some of the major ones offering books on rent across India. Similarly, Rentoys and Toyexpress offers toys and educational books on rent for kids aged between 1-12, helping us save cost, time, space and environment. 

  • Other Upcoming Categories: The sharing market is continuously evolving and expanding to new domains. For instance, EM3 Agri Services and Trringo offer farm equipment on rent to cater rural India demand. Unwind Life offers camping gear and accessories on rent. Zoomcar offers self driving cars and has also introduced Pedl offering bicycles on rent across major cities of India.

Incase you are aware of any other common sharing technique that can help in saving some money, mention in the comments section.