Overspending is often a byproduct of the holiday season. But savvy city dwellers have a variety of options to save and even make money by tapping into the sharing economy.
Here are five ways to combat your finances dipping into the red this season and into 2015.
#1 Problem: Gym memberships are expensive.
Solution: November Project. A fitness movement first started in Boston to stay in shape during the winter. The free, boot camp-style workouts have gained a cult-like following in multiple cities across the nation (Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC). Each “Tribe” offers as many as three free workouts a week at various locations throughout their city.
Bonus: Tribe members also dole out loads of free hugs.
#2 Problem: I want to DIY but I don’t have the tools to do it and can’t afford them.
Solution: Lending Tool Libraries. First started in Columbus, Ohio in the late 1970s, lending tool libraries have now sprung up in a number of cities across the nation (San Francisco, Oakland, Washington D.C., Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore, Kansas City, Manhattan, Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle). Much like public libraries, individuals can borrow everything from ladders, to woodworking tools, to sanders, free of charge.
Bonus: Entrepreneurial types can use the tools to plant a garden to grow their own food or build something that can be sold for cash.
#3 Problem: I can’t afford to enjoy all of the great culture in my city.
Solution: Free Museum Days. Museums in cities across the nation offer specials days were admission is free of charge. Check with your favorite local museum to see which days they offer free admission, or keep an eye out to see when Free Museum Day is for 2015.
Bonus: Being smart is the new sexy.
#4 Problem: I’d like to make some extra cash but don’t think my landlord would be cool with me renting out my apartment on Airbnb.
Solution: SpinLister. You may not own your own home or apartment to rent out for extra cash, but we’re guessing you might own a bike, surfboard or ski equipment. If so, you’re in luck. Spinlister lets you rent out your gear in exchange for cash. And, you can list in whichever city you live in.
Bonus: Meet like-minded people who are renting your stuff.
#5 Problem: I want to earn some extra cash but I don’t have a car so I can’t drive for any of the car sharing services.
Solution: Fiverr. Everyone has a skill. Maybe it’s video editing or drawing anime characters. Maybe you are willing to rub chocolate syrup on your belly and sing someone happy birthday, or flirt with someone’s significant other on Facebook to see if they are committed. If so, you’re in good company. These are all things real people are willing to do to earn $5 on Fiverr. What services can you offer?
Bonus: We’ve gotta bet that that belly rubbing singer has some great stories for dinner parties.
Photo credit: Fiverr