If you’re looking for a new way to save that is both social and sustainable try peer to peer (P2P) lending and sharing. From car sharing to house swapping, the list continues to grow but the bottom line remains – great savings can be found with the help of strangers!
Here are 4 progressive peer to peer movements that could save you thousands:
1. Shift your savings up a gear with CAR SHARING
Do you want the freedom of driving a car without the hassle of owning one? The fact is new cars are expensive with the majority skyrocketing over the $20k price. When you factor in registration, compulsory third party insurance, mechanical inspections and car depreciation combined with loan repayments the costs soar even higher.
While Hertz 24/7, GoGet and GreenShareCar allow you to hire fleet cars at a cost-friendly price, peer to peer car sharing platforms like DriveMyCar Rentals and Car Next Door let you borrow directly from your neighbour, putting money in their wallet (not a company’s).
How does car sharing work?
You need a hot hatch for a Saturday night date or simply want to enjoy a day trip up the coast. All you have to do is visit one of the car sharing platforms, sign up, search for your nearest neighbour with the right car and book.
Each website has a different way of picking up and dropping off the car. For example, Car Next Door attaches a lockbox device to the neighbour’s car, garage or fence that opens – with an 8 digit PIN via SMS – to give you the car keys.
However, DriveMyCar Rentals does things a bit differently, as you’ll chat with the owner to arrange a location and time and meet them in person for car handover and drop off.
To provide you with peace of mind both platforms have 24-hour roadside assistance and comprehensive insurance cover. Keep in mind the excess is paid by the driver.
2. Get lower loan rates with PEER TO PEER LENDING
If you’re planning an incredible wedding or are looking to (finally!) start your home renovations, you may be considering taking out a personal loan. But traditionally personal loans from the banks come with high interest rates attached.
For example, fixed rates can reach as high as 14.82%, compared to the main platform for P2P lending in Australia, SocietyOne’s unsecured personal loan with a low 9.80% fixed rate.
How does peer to peer lending work?
Peer to peer lending is an online platform that cuts out the banks from the borrowing equation, so investors can pass on competitive interest rates directly to borrowers.
SocietyOne offers personal loans to Aussie borrowers who are over 21, have a good credit history and full time job. The process is pretty similar to any other online loan application, where you fill out your details, register online and once you’re approved you pay it back over a set timeframe generally through direct debit.
3. Slash the price of your holiday stay with HOUSE SWAPPING
Forget pricey hotels and resorts! Whether you’re travelling within Australia for a sun-filled beach vacay or jet-setting overseas to discover the delights of a foreign culture, one of the largest costs will usually be accommodation. A great way to cut back on holiday expenses is using one of the many house swapping platforms available.
In Australia the main house swapping platforms include Aussie House Swap and House Swap Holidays, however there are plenty of overseas platforms, such as HomeExchange.com and Love Home Swap that offer the service to Aussies.
How does house swapping work?
House swapping is simply when two strangers (or families) make an agreement to swap houses, apartments or even houseboats for a period of time. There are many benefits that include staying in a “real home”, living amongst the locals and of course getting free holiday accommodation. All you have to do in most cases is pay a small membership fee (check with the specific platform for prices).
How it works is you create an accommodation listing and contact other members to see if they are interested in swapping. If you’re renting, keep in mind you will generally need permission from your landlord. If you don’t have a home to swap try Couchsurfing or Airbnb, a cheap way to see a country where you can stay with locals in their home.
4. Keep your fashion green with CLOTHES SWAPPING
Don’t spend your hard earned cash on expensive designer threads, when you have a wardrobe bursting with valuable clothes you no longer wear or outfits that aren’t quite right. Fashionistas, now you can swap those unwanted items with pieces from strangers that you will actually wear.
How does clothes swapping work?
There’s two ways to join the sustainable fashion movement: online or at a meetup. International platform Swap Style and the recently launched Australian owned Clothing Exchange allow you to swap with strangers without even leaving your own home. All you have to do is create a profile, upload your unwanted clothes and swap.
Alternatively, head to one of the clothes swapping meetups in your area, to grab a new outfit without spending a dollar. You could also host a clothing swap with your friends – you’ll have a great time, save money staying in and pick up something new.
The world of peer to peer lending and swapping is exciting! The benefits of helping out a “neighbour”, reducing your environmental footprint and saving bucket loads of cash all point to a great win for consumers.
Have we missed any peer to peer lending or sharing movements? Let us know below!