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Sharing and caring

It’s amazing how many money saving and money making opportunities are springing up from the IT revolution. The buzzword is “connectivity”. It’s now so much easier to connect with folk without moving our lips, which is a remarkable thing! Here’s an example.

Harriet from Brisbane writes, “Use the Kerb app to park or lease a space to save money on parking or earn money renting a space you don’t use!”

This Kerb app is new to us, so we did some snooping on the Kerb website.

Essentially it works like any market that brings buyers and sellers together. In this case, the “product” is a parking space. Usually, it’s somewhere to park a car or motorbike, but it could also be a marina berth or a helicopter pad – no doubt many oily raggers will be either looking for space to park their helicopters or have helipads available to rent!!

The way it works is very similar to Airbnb, but for parking spaces rather than living spaces. It’s a great idea. It will be of particular interest to those with a parking space but no vehicle, as well as businesses that may have surplus car parks as part of their office lease. We know of one company for example that was committed to taking six car parks as part of their lease, but after changing the nature of their work only needed two.

Kerb started in Australia but now operates in a bunch of cities, including Auckland. Their website shows that in downtown Auckland there are car parking spaces available from $10 a day. Bookings may be for one or more days, with discounts for the longer term.

It’s a great idea and shows how developed the “sharing” economy has now become.

The big players in this economy are, of course, Uber and Airbnb.

Although Uber was the first ride-sharing cab off the rank there are now a number of companies operating this type of service, so those wanting to earn some extra money as a driver have options. Zoomy is already operating in Auckland and Wellington, and a company called Ola is about to enter the market offering a lower per-ride commission rate.

While snooping around the sharing economy we came across a bunch of other not so well known sharing sites, including one called Dog Buddy. It’s a dog minding service where those with pets that need to be minded, connect with those who have the time and desire to mind them. For pet owners, it’s a great alternative to kennels (which is a little like a boarding house and you never quite know what your pooch gets up to!) and a great way for people who love pets to spend time with a pooch and get paid for it.

Now to a couple of oily rag questions. Trudy from Napier asks, “Does anyone have a recipe for dishwashing liquid?”

And Jo from Waimate is trying to avoid plastic. “I have made a serious effort to reduce the plastic I buy. I noticed that nearly everything is packaged in plastic, especially in the supermarkets. I now take a recycled plastic container to the butcher, who is very happy to fill it for me. I have found a farm, where I can buy loose milk and provide my own bottle. A one-litre bottle with flip-top cost $4 at the Warehouse. I pay $3 for a litre and each time it feels great to have one plastic bottle less going to waste! I’m now using more jam jars to put in the freezer. I have bought cheese from a cheese factory, still in paper, which contains a thin layer of plastic! I wrapped it in a beeswax wrap but I noticed it still dries out the cheese. Any other suggestions?”

Let us know if you have ideas to help Trudy or Jo – and we would be happy to pass them on.

To share your tips – or ask your questions – please drop us a note via or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.

Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Read our wealth of tips on the Oily Rag website at