Except for the super rich, frugal is the new black for many small-business owners and entrepreneurs. Doing more with less, but still succeeding, is the new American dream.
Roughly a third of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Of that group, about 66 percent are middle class, according to a recent study from the Brookings Institution. And given the recession's ripple effect, more consumers have turned to collaborative consumption as way to test the entrepreneurship waters. The trend sometimes is referred to as a sharing economy, which lets individuals pocket revenue by driving passengers and renting rooms. Popular start-ups in this space include Airbnb, Uber and TaskRabbit
"If you're living in New York City, you might have lost your job and you may be earning below the average income," said Melissa O'Young, founder of Let's Collaborate!, which connects people in collaborative consumption in New York City. "Using Aribnb to earn some money through rentals or by being a 'rabbit' on Task Rabbit can really help ends meet," she said.