When was the last time you took a taxi? Chances are you’ve used a ride hailing service instead of a traditional taxi.
Ridesharing is just one of the many ways the sharing economy has made luxury items available to just about anyone.
These days there may be an economic pinch, but that doesn’t mean you have to do without life’s luxuries. The sharing economy allows people to live a solidly middle-class lifestyle at a time when the middle class is sliding off a cliff into oblivion.
The Economy Is Booming But It’s Not Helping
The economy is strong and the job market is stronger. Unemployment is at a 50-year low and nominal wage growth is at its highest in a decade. Unfortunately, the cost of living has outpaced wage growth by 14% over the last three years.
This leaves people with bigger paychecks but with less ability to make ends meet. Nearly 60% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings and almost a third have no savings at all. This year, two thirds of Americans couldn’t afford a summer vacation with an average cost of less than $2000.
Hard Times Affect Our Happiness
General happiness has been declining since the 1990s. Having a tough time making ends meet affects our moods. In an ongoing basis, it can affect our health and well-being.
In one study, people felt happier when they were anticipating a big experience like a vacation, when they were actually experiencing it, and when they were recalling the experience. The enjoyment you derive from a vacation is more than just from being there. The anticipation and the recall of the event can help you feel happier longer.
When we can’t afford such experiences, it harms our overall happiness not just in the moment, but on an ongoing basis.
Experiences Are Better Than Things
When you buy things instead of experiences, you then have to deal with the upkeep and maintenance of the thing. You constantly worry about it breaking or getting stolen. Those things can add to your stress instead of making you happy, especially when you are talking about luxury items like boats and fancy cars.
Opting for experiences instead of things is a shift that is taking place culturally right now, thanks to millennials.
There’s no need for you to own a vacation home just to enjoy a nice vacation. You can rent one and have a nice time. You won’t need to own a designer dress for a fancy party. All you have to do is rent one and have a lovely evening in style without the expense or the guilt. The experiences and the memories are still the same.
When you rent them, you cut out the added stress that comes along with owning property and luxury goods.
The Sharing Economy Is Booming
With all the options in the sharing economy, it’s no wonder why this market segment is booming. If you have something to rent out, the sharing economy can benefit you.
By 2021, 86.5 million adults in the United States will use the sharing economy in one way or another. While currently only 27% of American adults have used a sharing service in the last six months, that number is growing by the day.
Not only is sharing more economical, it is also often more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It’s better than owning property that gets used very seldom.
See Also: Did The Gig Economy Jump The Shark?
Will you use the sharing economy soon to enhance your lifestyle? Learn more about what the sharing economy concept is and how you can start living your best life from the infographic below.
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.