Wednesday, February 4, 2015
There are two ways to make sure that you stick to your family budget. You can reduce the amount of money you spend on things (there are tons and tons of ways to do this) and/or you can increase the amount of money you have coming in. Some people do this by freelancing or taking on a second job. But what if you don’t want or even can’t take on that second job? How do you find the money you need?
The first thing you need to do is look around you. Is there anything that you can sell to bring in some extra cash? Yard sales, for example, are a great way to bring in some extra dough. You can also sell things on eBay or Craigslist for a pretty penny. You can also use your home!
Yep, you read that right: your home is a great resource when you need to make some extra money. Here are a few of the different ways that you can turn your home into an income source.
Rent a Room (or Two)
If you have a spare room, why not rent it out? There are always people who are looking for affordable and safe places to live. In addition to bringing in money (whatever you decide to charge in rent), you can also reduce the amount that you are paying out of pocket for your utilities by asking your new housemate to chip in for them.
In addition to spare bedrooms, spaces like attics, basements and garages can be converted into perfectly reasonable living spaces for a relatively small amount of money. Where things get expensive is when you try to convert them into stand alone apartments. So, don’t go that route! Turn it into an extra bedroom that you rent out instead.
Some cities are notoriously terrible when it comes to parking. San Francisco, Portland and New York, for example, all have far more cars than they do parking spaces. Why not rent out your garage or driveway to someone who lives or works nearby? Obviously this is easier if you don’t drive yourself. A good parking spot can easily bring in more than $100 a month, especially if you grant exclusive access to that person.
If you don’t want to convert your basement, garage or attic into a living space, why not turn it into a storage space? Storing things for your friends and neighbors in exchange for a small fee is a great way to bring in some extra spending money every month. Just be warned that, if you do this, you will have to respect your space renter’s privacy and be ready to make yourself available if they ever want to come and grab something they've stored in your home.
Everybody knows that the very best food is the food you grow yourself. You know this but you can’t even keep a cactus alive, let alone a garden full of herbs, fruits and veggies. Why not offer the yard space up to someone who does love gardening for a small fee and/or some of the bounty from said garden? You can get fresh veggies (which will reduce your grocery costs) and bring in a small amount of money.
The House Itself
If you are over the age of 62, you can use some of the equity you've built up in your home and turn that into a regular cash payment. This is called a “reverse mortgage” and can be a good resource if you’re having trouble making ends meet. Make sure you check out a reverse mortgage calculator to find out what you can get before you talk to your lender, though! You don't want to start with a low-ball estimate.
These are just some of the ways that you can use your home as an income generator. Have you found other ways to use your space to make money? Share them with us!