Why collaborative consumption could work for you

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Did you know that the average dog owner spends around $2,500 a year on their pet?  Or that most cars are parked 95% of the time?  How about the fact that home shares are hailed as the future of retirement living?

Cue collaborative consumption.

At heart, it’s a form of sharing that redefines the way people consume.  The term is used to describe the shared use of a good or service, by a group of people.  So, instead of one individual bearing the entire cost, expenses are divided across a larger group.  Everyone reaps the benefits, at a fraction of the cost.

So how could collaborative consumption work for you?  Here’s a rundown of some of our favourite things to share.

 

Cars

tyler-b-128618One of the most popular forms of collaborative consumption is a car share arrangement.  Basically, it means you either share the cost of a car with others or pay as you go to use a peer-to-peer car sharing network.  Right now we’re loving YourDrive, a New Zealand based start-up that allows vehicle owners to rent out their cars on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.  Owners retain 60% of revenue, which means you can make money instead of leaving your car parked in the driveway all day.  Or, if you’re in need of a ride every now and then you can sign up and rent cars on a PAYG basis.  You’ll get from A to B, without lumping the costs associated with actually owning a set of wheels.  Win-win if you ask us!  Find YourDrive in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

 

Pets

pet, dog, chair, peaceBeyond cuddles, pets can have a hugely positive effect on your mental and physical health.  But, they can also be stressful.  Particularly when there are twice daily walks and big vet bills to cover.  This is where pet sharing can be a fantastic option.  If you’re craving a little canine company, why not reach out to your friends and see if anyone else is in the same boat?  Chances are, they’d also love to become a pet owner but are a bit overwhelmed at the thought of such a big commitment.  Instead, why not share the responsibility and take joint custody?  Your pet can live between two homes, you can share the vet bills and have a loving co-owner to take care of your pet when you’re on holidays.

 

House and holiday homes

home, aloneWhether you’re dreaming of a holiday apartment or a retirement friendly ‘forever’ home, collaborative consumption could seriously open up your options.  Buy or rent, there are big benefits that go hand in hand with sharing a property.  As well as the financial savings, psychologists also say that the sense of companionship is invaluable.  You can also swap using home exchange websites like HomeExchange.com.  Did anyone else love Kate Winslet in The Holiday?  Alternatively, you could think about sharing your home with others via platforms like Airbnb.  According to the company, seniors are its fastest-growing demographic, and now make up around 13% of all hosts.

 

Toys, tools and more

building-vehicle-motorbike-motorcycleFrom a shed full of power tools and a fancy new electric lawnmower to a sleek second-hand sailboat, sharing luxury lifestyle items can unlock access to more than you can afford.  Chat to your neighbours, set up a community ‘sharing’ group or use platforms like Gumtree to advertise.  Alternatively, get online and explore!  Right now we’re obsessed with Floragora.kiwi, a platform that allows you to swap seeds, bulbs and fully grown plants with other green thumbs.

 

Embrace the sharing economy

Unfortunately for the big guns, the sharing economy has revolutionised a myriad of industries.  From ride sharing services like Uber to hotel alternatives like Airbnb, the collaborative economy connects consumers and sellers in a way that’s never before been possible.

As well as being smart and cost effective, collaborative consumption is fun.  You’ll meet new people, make friends and essentially, get to live beyond your means.