The Sharing Economy

Saving money or earning extra income can be as easy as using an app to rent a car or lend someone your backyard tools. With about 5,000 sharing companies, organizations and programs in operation, consumers could save hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year.

The main focus of the sharing economy is car and bicycle rentals, home sharing, and shared nanny services.  But consumers can also borrow drills, saws, ladders, lawn mowers through a community tool shed.

To avoid obvious dangers, be sure to use a sharing service that screens potential customers with background checks and identity verification. Technology can increase trust with online profiles and reviews from users.

There is also money to be made in the sharing economy by providing rides to others or renting out an extra bedroom. Before getting involved in the sharing economy, be sure to have proper insurance coverage and an understanding of tax implications. Participants in the sharing economy also note the social benefits of connecting with others from around the world.

For additional information on the sharing economy, go to:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/business/T049-C000-S002-cash-in-on-the-sharing-economy.html

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C000-S002-sites-to-help-you-save-make-money-by-sharing.html

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students research various apps that facilitate transactions in the sharing economy.
  • Have students create interview questions that they might ask someone who is a buyer or seller in the shared economy.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What benefits are present for individuals and society as a result of the sharing economy?
  2. Explain how technology helps to increase the participation and acceptance of sharing economy activities.
  3. What concerns should be addressed when participating in the shared economy?
Categories: Chapter 1, Chapter 6, Economy, Financial Planning | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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