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Housing is the biggest monthly expense for most of us, whether we are paying off a mortgage or paying rent. The general rule of thumb is that housing costs should account for no more than 30% of your income, but for many people (particularly those renting in certain parts of the country) that percentage can be as high as 50%. So is there a way of making your home work for you? Can you make money with your home to offset some of those expenses?
Well, actually yes. There are lots of ways you can make money with your home! Here are some of the ideas I found.
If you have a spare room, you can make money by letting it out. The best part? You can earn up to £7,500 per year tax free for letting out furnished accommodation.
That equates to £625 a month, which unless you live in London, you’re unlikely to exceed.
You don’t have to be a homeowner to do this either – although you will need permission from your landlord if you’re renting. It’s also important to note that if you get a council tax discount for single occupancy that you’ll lose this.
SpareRoom is a great website for advertising your room for rent – I have used this many times myself over the years to find accommodation for me and family/friends.
Back in my early twenties I rented a room in a few different properties and my monthly rent was between £300-350 – sometimes this figure included bills, sometimes I was responsible for a proportion of utilities.
It’s a great way of paying toward your mortgage although it isn’t for everyone.
An alternative to getting a lodger is letting your property short term.
Websites such as mondaytofriday are great for renting a room during the week but having the house to yourself for the weekend.
This is particularly good for business professionals who need to be close to work during the week, but travel back to their own homes on weekends.
AirBNB is another great option – especially if you live in a big city or the countryside. Where I live, I’m unlikely to attract an AirBnB guest as there isn’t a great deal to do – you wouldn’t really visit my town unless you’re visiting someone.
But if you have a quirky property, or a hot tub you don’t mind a guest using – it’s an option worth considering.
If you use AirBNB and don’t qualify for rent a room relief, you can still get £1,000 tax relief under the property allowance.
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A less intrusive way of making money from spare rooms in your house is renting it out as storage space – spare bedrooms, garages, attics. You can list your space with a website such as StoreMates for free and they’ll take a commission of 16.5% + 20p from each payment you receive.
I did a search on my postcode, and despite being in quite a rural area there were lots of listings! (seriously, we’re never on any of these sites!).
Have a large driveway or extra parking spaces you’re not using? Did you know you can rent it out? If you live near an airport or busy city centre I can imagine this would be quite a profitable revenue stream.
There’s definitely been occasions in the past when we’ve gone to a big event (like the Spice Girls) and I’ve contemplated knocking someone’s door and asking if I can park on their drive for a tenner – after driving around for ages looking for a space; so although it’s not a service I would provide, it’s a service I would use.
You can upload your listing to websites like JustPark for free and they take a 3% commission of the money you make.
When I was doing research for this post and read that you could rent out your home for film sets I thought, “No way”.
Then I remembered reading this article about the woman whose living room was used for Gavin & Stacey, which is amazing!
Obviously, this isn’t guaranteed regular income – in fact, you might register your home and it might never be used as a set, but it would be pretty cool if it was right? You can register with a site like Shoot Factory or Location Works and if you meet the criteria a film maker is looking for, you could be seeing your home on the small screen!
Some of these ideas might not suit everyone, but some are a great way to bring in extra income without impacting you much at all – I particularly like the storage space and parking space idea.
Next time I go to a big event, or the airport – I’ll definitely be seeing if I can save on parking!
Do you know any ways to make money with your home that you would add to the list?
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!