When it comes to making extra money I’m a huge fan of squeezing cash out of things you already do or already own.
One of the most underutilized resources many of us have is our home. Our house doesn’t have to just be a place we live, but it can also be a cash generator.
Here are a few ways to take advantage….
1. Rent out Your Closets, Attics and Storage Spaces
If you are interested in renting a closet or another part of your home, there’s a cool website that helps owners and prospective renters find each other. It’s called Storeatmyhouse.com and here are a few things you need to know…
- No fee to post your space
- You set the price for your space and control the length of the rental
- Free sample contracts that you can modify for your own use
- Adding pictures can help sell your “space”
Once you find a renter be sure to establish some guidelines in your contract. How often will they be allowed access their space? What will they be allowed to store in their storage space? Will you be legally liable for their stuff?
I’m not sure if something like this would work for my already cramped apartment, but for those of you with some extra space, this might be a fun way to make some cash.
Here is a clever way to make money for you homeowners. Turn your backyard into a campsite.
It’s easier than you think to rent your backyard and there is even a website to help you link up with prospective campers. AirBNB is a marketplace for landowners and campers to come together by allowing folks to list their backyard for rent.
Renting a backyard campsite is great for campers because it offers them the ability to camp all over the world for a relatively cheap price. And it’s even better for us Penny Hoarders because we always love an extra way to make money. If you are interested in giving this a try, head over to the AirBNB and create a profile. It’s free to list your backyard and you can even choose the amount you want to charge to campers (you pay 3% when you receive a successful booking).
A few things to remember about hosting campers… This is probably best for those of you who own some land and live in an interesting place. I’m not sure if anyone would want to camp in suburbia, but who knows? Also, you may want to check with your municipality before hosting a camper. Some cities limit the number of days a tent can be placed in a backyard and others may not allow campfires, etc.
3. Refinance. Like today.
So, I know we’ve been hearing this advice for the past few years, but it really can’t be said enough. Interest rates are at record lows so you should look into refinancing your mortgage immediately. The savings can be huge too. Even if you lower your rate by 1%, you could save more than $100/month on a $200,000 mortgage.
I know it’s not the most radical advice, but if you haven’t done it recently, I’d really recommend looking into it. Even if you refinanced last year, it might be worth getting another quote.
Here’s a handy chart of the current rates in your area…
Yes, I understand this is more of a way to save than a way to make extra cash. But, my suggestion is to use those savings to start investing in an IRA. LendingClub.com happens to be my favorite (because I’m earning 14%/year), but anywhere will do.
If you can continue to save $100/month for the next 20 years (at 14% interest), you’ll end up with $106,022! Can you imagine? More than $100,000 in a bank account!
4. Host a Foreign Exchange Student
From six weeks to six months at a time, you can make money by renting out a room in your home to students who are visiting the states to learn English or are enrolled in a study abroad program through their university.
Not only is this a great way to make some extra cash on the side, but it’s also a good option for meeting new people, discovering more about other cultures and even learning another language. In case the idea of housing a teenager isn’t your idea of fun, the best part is that this doesn’t stop with just students–guest lecturers from all over the world attend and teach courses here in the states, and they are in need of housing, too!
If you’re interested in hosting a student (or faculty member), you first need to establish contact with the schools that teach (or employ) these people. From local language schools to community colleges and universities in your area, you need to reach out to the student housing offices to be placed on their list of host families.
Once you’ve established contact with the school, you’ll need to formally apply and submit to interviews, a tour of your home and background and reference checks. After you’re approved, your name and contact information will be listed on the school’s database for families, advisers and school officials (from the foreign schools the student regularly attend) to contact you.
If you’re looking for language schools in your area, check an online resource such as the International Association of Language Centres where you can search for schools based on geographic location.
How Much Money Can I Make?
Depending on your location in proximity to the student’s school (or the professor’s workplace) and any major cities or urban areas, you can make upwards of $200/week to host a foreign student. The total sum varies depending upon other factors such as meals you’ll provide for the person, if the room has an attached bathroom, etc. You can also charge additional fees for laundry services, transportation and Internet access if you’re willing to provide extra service options for your visitors.
Remember that these situations are temporary, so you can host a student or professor at a time that works for you. You also won’t be stuck with an unruly teen or a horrible roommate forever if the situation sours–although six months can be an interesting amount of time so make sure to do your own due diligence before you agree to host someone.
5. Rent Out Your Driveway
They say there is no such thing as a free lunch and when it comes to parking in the city that is certainly the case. Cities across the country, short on space and high on the need to raise revenue, have been raising the cost to park your car on public streets. Private parking is even worse. A few years ago the New York Times ran a story a few about 8 individuals that were competing to buy a parking space in a Manhattan condo development for $225,000!
That number makes me shudder, especially considering that kind of money could buy a whole subdivision of homes here in central Florida.
There is an upside to these outrageous parking fees and that upside is for you homeowners with extra space in your driveway. That’s right, your extra parking space can help make you some extra cash. ParkAtMyHouse.com is the largest online parking community and it allows users a marketplace to rent out their available spaces. Started in the United Kingdom, it has branched out to include the United States and is especially popular in the city as you can imagine.
Getting started is easy. In fact, it doesn’t take long at all to register on the site. Within minutes, you could have your first booking, although don’t expect the $225,000 price tag those Manhattanites were paying.
Your Turn: Would you do any of these to save/make a little extra money with your house?
Good luck Penny Hoarders!