As a child, being asked to share with other kids could sound like a death knell. No way were you letting them get their grubby hands on YOUR Captain Planet figurines or Bookworm books! But these days, in an urban landscape that’s becoming increasingly devoid-of-kampung spirit, sharing your resources with the community is becoming cool again.
Enter the sharing economy, that lets ordinary people like you and me rent out our homes, cars and even our evenings to strangers—often, not without getting something back in exchange. The sharing economy is exploding in Singapore, and while connecting with the community is nice and all, we think being able to save and earn a little money in the process has a lot to do with it.
Whether you need a taxi ride or a place to stay, turning to your fellow city dwellers instead of landlords and rental companies can not only be more memorable, it can also save you a bit of cash, too. We explore the options.
Rent out your flat
Airbnb – If you’re lucky enough to live in private property, you can rent out rooms or your entire unit on a short term basis. Staying in Airbnb accommodation when you travel also gives you better facilities and possibly a kitchen at prices that can dip below that of budget hotels.
PandaBed – Touted as Asia’s answer to Airbnb, PandaBed works in a similar fashion, letting you dispose of your property via short-term rentals while getting an affordable place to live when you travel.
Roomorama –Yet another player in the short-term rental market, Roomorama focuses on a few select cities, Singapore being one of them.
Become a taxi driver
Uber – Becoming an Uber driver is becoming an increasingly viable job in Singapore, and lots of people are turning to it as a long-term supplement to their income, or to earn some cash when they’re in between jobs. As a driver, you can choose between using your own car or renting one from Uber. Using an UberX driver tends to be more expensive than hailing a normal taxi, but during off-peak hours and after midnight you might actually be able to save a little if you’re able to get a driver.
GrabCar – GrabCar functions in the same way as UberX, however they have less cars on the road so most people tend to search on Uber first if they’re in a hurry. Still, worth a shot as it’s growing pretty fast.
Rent out your belongings
Rent Tycoons – Even if you don’t have a car or real estate to generate a bit of income for you, there are other ways to make money out of what you do have. At Rent Tycoons, rent out anything from lorries to tennis rackets. Someone’s renting out a briefcase right now, which could be used for a last minute job interview.
Blockpooling – A mobile app with a more social, less utilitarian slant than Rent Tycoons, Blockpooling lets you connect with people in your neighbourhood and lend and borrow items amongst yourselves. It’s the 21st century’s answer to knocking on your neighbour’s door to ask if they have salt.
Ryde – While there are several websites that have tried to boost carpooling in Singapore, most have failed. Until Ryde, that is. Share your car with a couple of people on your way to work and you’ll earn a bit of spare cash to cover petrol. As a passenger, this is a much cheaper option that taking a taxi or hiring an Uber driver.
PlateCulture – Working on the ethos that eating in the home of locals is much more fulfilling than checking into yet another characterless restaurant, PlateCulture enables people to open their home to strangers, usually travellers, for a meal, giving them the opportunity to charge them for their troubles in the process. If you’re a good cook this is a fantastic way to earn a bit of money; for diners it can be a rather expensive experience (from a purely financial standpoint) compared to eating at midrange or budget places.
BonAppetour – With a similar concept to PlateCulture, BonAppetour lets budding chefs turn their dining rooms into a little restaurant.
Rent out your car
iCarsclub – You’ve paid your weight in gold to earn a car, so here’s your chance to make a bit of money out of it without ever having to get into the driver’s seat. iCarsclub lets Singaporeans rent their cars out to others. If you only need the car for a few hours, you’ll probably end up paying less than if you were to rent one from a commercial car rental company.
Have you tried any of the above resource sharing options? Tell us in the comments?