Remember Gordon Gecko – the brilliantly-named greedball from Wall Street, who famously declared that lunch was for wimps and that greed is good? Even if you weren’t born when it premiered in 1987, chances are you’ve seen it since. So convincing was Michael Douglas’ portrayal of Gecko that even 20 years after the film came out, Douglas was still being asked to explain himself by reporters, whilst he was at the UN, as to whether Gordon Gecko glamourised greed and in turn contributed to the latest financial meltdown. Lot of responsibility to put on an actor there, eh?
Of course, we know now that greed isn’t always the smartest way to go when it comes to money. One of the few good things about the recession has been the move away from the greed is good philosophy towards sharing. Take the two biggest things that we spend money on: our homes and cars. For Gordon and his ilk, in the eighties and early nineties it was the bigger the better when it came to homes and cars. Oh, and without a villa on a Carribean island for holidays, you were nothing.
Now? Well, thanks to the web and also to people being more conscious of how they spend, there are new ways to find your holiday accommodation and car travel – and many of them involve sharing.
Share and save – accommodation
A few blogging pals have mentioned Airnb to me lately – a site that allows you to rent out a room in someone’s house – or a whole apartment – for way cheaper than a hotel. You’re often sharing your home with the host and getting the benefit of their local knowledge too. It’s waaaay cheaper than a hotel, especially if you’re visiting major cities. I like the concept so much that I was going to do a whole post about it, till I stumbled across this lovely one, by Pauline at Reach Financial Independence and thought I’d share it with you. She explains the whole Airnb concept beautifully here – with links to Couchsurfing- an even cheaper (aka free . . . ) way to travel the globe.
Share and save – travel
Remember hitchhiking? You hardly see anyone hitching now. I guess that the web’s got something to do with that: put out a call in advance via Twitter, Gumtree etc to see if someone’s going your way and that’s a better use of your time and energy then standing in the rain by the side of the M25, watching your cardboard sign drooping in the rain. Now though, there’s a site that’s getting tons of press and I’m loving the idea of it as a way to save cash and save the planet too. Oh, and it’s got a cool name too, which, as Gordon Gekko knows, always helps.
Blablacar connects people who don’t want to drive alone with passengers going the same way. As a way to save money on travel costs for both passengers and drivers it’s a genius idea – drivers get a contribution towards fuel costs and passengers got a ride to where the want to go which will often be cheaper and less hassle than public transport. And for women passengers there are extra security options too. The thing I love most though? You can rate your ‘blabla’ preference ie whether you want to travel with someone who talks the whole way or prefer to snooze through the journey quietly. I’m not being paid to write this – just think it’s a cool idea and others do too it seems, as it’s getting a lot of publicity lately.
Share and save – everything!
Need a mikestand for a one-off gig? A wallpaper stripper for one day only? Then ecomodo is another site that can save you splashing out on stuff you’ll only use once. The idea is that you borrow the items you need for a small, refundable deposit. Simples, huh? And you can donate the deposit to charity at the end – taking the whole sharing philosophy even further.
So, three nice sites there that believe in sharing. What about you? Got anything you’d like to share with your fellow Skint pals about living well for less? Have you used airnb, balblacar or ecomodo? I’d love to know!
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