When hairdresser and single mum of two Christine Holden found out in late June Sydney was going into lockdown again, the first emotion she felt was panic.
She knew how rough the 2020 lockdown had been, and wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of another period with uncertain income.
While the unpredictability of the next few months continues to weigh on the Dee Why local, she does feel more stable than she did last year, thanks to her three new income streams.
“I’m just trying to make do with what I can, in the easiest possible way,” she said.
Holden estimates she makes around $400 a month by renting out her two car spots through car park rental platform Parkhound, and another $600 by renting out her Nissan Pulsar through vehicle sharing platform Car Next Door.
Throughout the week, she tutors Year 5 and 6 students in English, after having excelled in English at school and studied journalism at university.
At $40 to $50 a session, all up she makes around $1,500 a month through her side hustles, in addition to government COVID-19 Disaster Payments.
While it doesn’t equal her roughly $80,000 hairdressing salary, it’s enough to deliver a bit of stability and comfort to her and her two young sons. And she found it “so easy” to do, setting up both of her park rental and vehicle sharing platform accounts within 10 minutes.
For Holden, the added benefit is that she feels she can also give back to her community.
“I feel quite good about [using Car Next Door and Parkhound] because Northern Beaches Hospital is quite close, so the people that are using my Pulsar and my garage spots are essential workers,” Holden said.
“They’ve either driven down from Palm Beach or have come from quite far away… and obviously it’s quite nice to be able to help out in that way where I can.”
Today, she believes everyone in lockdown probably has something they can monetise, whether it’s a personal skill or an asset like a vehicle or car park.
“There's probably more [ways I could find extra income]. During this time there are ways to make money. Everyone's had a full-time job, I had a full-time job, and I've gone to nothing. But there are ways you can help yourself and help others,” Holden said.
“It's just thinking outside the box, and finding little things you can do to just make that extra cash. Obviously, it's not a lot, but it's something.”
And, she added, it’s worth keeping this in mind if lockdowns become a normal part of life.
“I really do support anyone that has the opportunity to be able to [develop an income like this]. And with COVID-19, this really is the best time to even just test it out. Maybe it’s not for them, but if so, they just cancel their accounts. But why not?”