The U.S. economy is booming with unemployment the lowest it has been in nearly 50 years, nominal wage growth is the highest in the decade and the economy continues to grow – but the cost of living has risen by 14% in the last 3 years – far outpacing wage growth. This is causing Americans to struggle to maintain and afford a good middle class lifestyle. Renters in more than 10 states spend more than half of their income on basic necessities and luxuries are disappearing as in 2018, 2 out of every 3 Americans can’t even afford a summer vacation. In all, 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and 32% have no savings at all. Among American adults general happiness has been going down since the 1990’s and the lack of money is a very large cause of it.
Money influences happiness by fulfilling needs and desires, reducing stress when facing hardships with drugs and other chemicals, emotional well-being increases as salaries rise, and self reflections become more and more positive with higher income. With stagnant wages and rising costs of living, the key to happiness isn’t having money, but how we spend our money on things that make us happy.
The solution to many of these problems, to make these luxuries more affordable, is to use the sharing economy. By 2021, 86.5 million Americans will be using the sharing economy and buying and owning are becoming things of the past. Sharing rather than owning is better is several ways. It’s on demand access, no burdens that come with ownership, such as upkeep, it’s better for the environment, and it’s more sustainable than ownership. It’s also a great way to start a business using what you already have and monetizing it to help pay for things like your extra room in your house, your car, and even your swimming pool.
Find out more pros and cons of the sharing economy versus ownership here.