The cost of staying in a hotel can add up quickly. Owning a car can bring anxiety over damages and upkeep. Your empty garage could be wasting money. Luckily, the sharing economy is growing and whether you’re looking to turn your dormant assets into extra cash, or planning your next vacation – there’s something for you. There’s a solution to financial stress and the overbearing cost of living while also wanting to live your life to the fullest. Experiencing the sharing economy can help you gig your way into a better life by bringing on-demand access, no burdens of ownership, and is also better for the environment.
While some people participate in the sharing economy for the sole experiences, the increasing cost of living is forcing people to realize the benefits of sharing. The U.S. economy has shown its resilience following the Great Recession as the unemployment rate hits the lowest it’s been in fifty years. The economy continues to grow and nominal wage growth is the highest it’s been in a decade. But not everyone is lucky enough to feel the benefits of a growing economy and many Americans continue to struggle to live a great lifestyle.
The cost of living in America has risen 14% in the last three years – far outpacing wage growth. While nominal wages are growing, real wages remain consistent with only a small increase from $20.27 to $22.65 per hour on average in the last fifty-four years. People are no longer able to afford things outside of their basic needs, with some home-renters having to spend more than half of their income on their necessities. Lifestyle luxuries are beginning to disappear as over half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings. Two in three Americans can’t afford to go on a vacation this year. The average cost of vacation costs $1,979 which is more than what most people have in their savings, let alone more than the 32% of Americans that don’t have savings at all. The struggles of living in America, financial or otherwise, are contributing to the decline in general happiness since the 1990s. Money can’t buy happiness, but merely surviving isn’t going to take away financial stress or anxieties.
Having money in your pocket can influence happiness. Your money can fulfill needs and desires, reduce stress, and raise your self-reflections. With stagnant wages and the increasing cost of living, the key to happiness isn’t just having money, but how we spend it. Of course, we have to spend our money on our basic needs to survive, but almost half of the millennials prefer to spend the rest of their money on experiences rather than things. Experiences bring us the memories to look back on, help us connect with others, and are what our lives are made of. After an experience, people are able to focus on the good memories, but possession can age or deteriorate and be a negative reminder. Buying and owning have become a thing of the past as our money needs to be spent elsewhere. Big purchases can come with stress and anxiety, but the sharing economy takes away that worry so you can focus on the good.
By 2021, it is predicted that 86.5 million Americans will be using the sharing economy. Ownership often feels fleeting in a struggling economy. Save your lifestyle by sharing accommodations, storage, transportation, and more. Learn more about how to save money by embracing the sharing economy from the infographic below.
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