Got a spare hour? Join the gig economy and make $50 in a flash
Did you know that nearly two thirds of Australians regularly use online platforms such as Uber or Airtasker to buy goods and services?
According to Australia's largest ever study on the 'on-demand' economy, we're using over a hundred different platforms to drive us, deliver food, get help putting together a flatpack, walk the dog and tutor the kids, just to name a few.
For those looking to bolster their earnings with a few fast-earned dollars, then joining the growing army of 'gig' workers and side hustlers could be just the trick!
Basic tasks such as driving or delivering food will earn you an average of $32.16 per hour, while professional service workers are claiming above $50 per hour. There's also an opportunity to save money through the gig economy with jobs like housesitting.
We caught up with three Aussies who are using on-demand platforms to make and save cash.
The house-sit saver
Name: Leah Tindale
Platform: Happy House Sitters, plus her own networks
Tasks: House-sitting, pet-sitting, light garden maintenance
Dollars earned or saved: Saves $300 per week in rent
"I've been house-sitting for three months now, and it's been a great way to save money on rent. When there are pets or a garden to look after, I can even charge a small additional fee, allowing me to increase my weekly income too," says Leah.
Leah joined a couple of platforms such as Happy House Sitters and Aussie House Sitters as well as joining Sydney Pet Sitters on Facebook, but says she also has lots of luck finding homes, gardens and pets to mind through her own networks.
Some house-sitting jobs, according to Leah, also come with a few perks.
"Recently, I was in a place that had a cleaner who came and even washed my sheets each week, leaving me more time to get on with other jobs," says Leah.
The savvy entrepreneur
Name: Matthew Callaghan
Tasks: Animation and Graphic Design Jobs
Dollars earned or saved: Earns $50 per week
"As a graphic designer and animator, I am always looking for new ways to experiment with my creativity or bring in additional income, especially if I am in between contracts or having a season of freelance work," says Matthew.
"I joined Envato as I can put my work up there for people to purchase and add as little or as many additional graphics as I want. It can be time heavy initially, but now I have 5-6 animations listed that bring in an average of $50 per week," he says.
The car hustler
Name: Kate Ferris
Platform: Car Next Door
Tasks: Rents out her Suzuki Swift
Dollars earned or saved: Earns $400 to $900 per month
"I was made redundant from a $70k a year job and moved to a limited income as a PhD student, but I still had a new $18,000 car to pay off," says Kate.
Kate chose to rent out her car on Car Next Door as it covered her car repayments, making between $400-900 a month.
"It was an effective strategy, and I was finally able to pay the car off this year, so now it's just pure income.
"I love using Car Next Door as it enables sharing between community members and it can save a bit of money for both the borrower and owner, and it helps the environment too by getting more cars off the road," concludes Kate.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of State Custodians. The above is general commentary only and is not advice tailored to any individual's financial situation. We recommend seeking advice from an insurance or finance professional before implementing changes relating to your finances.