It may take a little effort on your end as far as cooperation but sharing certain items with friends and neighbors can save everyone a lot of money. Who knows, it may even help build some relationships with neighbors and friends. The first step would be to make a list of items that you can actually share. Here are just a few ideas we’ve collected, we would love to hear your ideas!
Tools & lawn care equipment:
This is a great thing to share especially if you live in the city where you have little to no yard. If you have any grass though you are going to need a something to mow the yard and keep the edges trimmed. Lawn care equipment can be expensive but only a third of the cost if you share it with your neighbors on both sides. Heck you could even setup the actual work and only have to tend your yard 1/3 of the time!
Sure, it might be a little weird at first but sharing your home can actually save you a ton of money. We actually did this for about 18 months with one of my wife’s co-workers. We rarely used our basement at the time and it had a full bath, bedroom and living room and even a fridge and microwave. It wasn’t luxury living for her but it gave her 18 months to pay down some debt before she got married. In exchange she did some babysitting for us and dropped our kids off at evening activities when my wife and I couldn’t make it.
Child or Pet care:
Babysitters and pet-sitters can be expensive. In order to ease some of the financial sting why not alternate babysitting every other week with a close friend who also has kids? When the cost of dinner and a movie can sometimes cost upwards $75 for 2 an added babysitter for a few hours can push a date night well over $100! Same deal with pet-sitters. If you are going out of town for a few nights find a friend who also has pets. More than likely they will be glad to help knowing you will owe them the same in the future.
How many times have you fixed a wonderful meal and had tons of leftovers? The leftovers get stuck in the fridge and pushed to the back. You really had good intentions of eating them but something came up and 2 weeks later you remember the chicken casserole you were supposed to take to work but forgot! A great way to share food and not waste leftovers is to find a few friends to make freezer meals with on the weekend. On Sunday invite 2 or 3 friends over and have a cooking party. Make several casseroles, pasta and soups that can easily be distributed into freezable containers. Everyone takes just enough for a meal. Not only are do you have dinner for the next few nights you have also saved several dollars on cooking supplies and ingredients.
My sister and cousin are great at sharing clothes to save money. My sister has 3 boys and my cousin has 2. They are spaced out perfectly to where they have passed clothes back and forth for several years. When one kid grows out of that season’s clothes it gets passed back to the other family for the younger kid. Many parents do this in the own family, saving baby clothes in anticipation for the next child, but when you combine it with additional families think of the savings you will rack up!
How much does it cost to own an automobile? Many studies estimate that the average American spends around $8,000 per year on cars. Sure, you may be in a position where you actually need a car but, you should consider other forms of transportation, especially if you live close to work. A great way to share transportation is by using services such as Zipcar. Zipcar basically lets you rent a car for a few hours per day, week, month, etc.
Peer-to-peer sharing services include Turo, Spride Share, and WhipCar, which allow both neighbors and strangers to rent each other cars. There are also many new companies — such Avego, Zebigo, Zimride, and Carticipate — that connect carpoolers and ridesharers over the Internet.
If you do have to have to own your own transportation you can make some extra money with services such as Uber and Lyft. These services allow you to use your personal car as a taxi service. You can drive at any time you want so it’s convenient for just about everyone.
I hope you enjoyed reading my 6 ways to save money by sharing. If you have any other suggestions we would love to hear about them!