smart spending

5 ways a sharing economy helps save money

Tool lending
Tool lending © Daleen Loest/Shutterstock.com

Power drills, weed whackers and sanders can be pricey.

To defray the cost, free tool lending hubs have sprung up. For example, community lending libraries in Oakland, Calif., offer more than 3,500 tools to residents of the city and nearby communities. "It's similar to borrowing books," BeFrugal's Lal says.

Other cities have their own versions of tool sharing, Lal says. For example, the city of Grand Rapids, Mich., partners with Home Repair Services, a nonprofit resource for homeowners that relies on volunteers and donations. Well Home Program, sponsored by the Phinney neighborhood in Seattle, also lends tools and holds free home repair workshops.

Some hardware stores also lend tools for free or for a small fee, Lal says.

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