Putting Our House To Work

In our 2017 Income Booster Guide we talked about the urge to generate some extra income and how we could boost our income, which got me thinking about another resource that many of us have and that can make us some extra money – our homes. If you own your home, then there are ways of putting the house to work to make some extra money. Here are a few, including ones I have tried myself – with pros and cons of them.

Taking in a lodger

There’s a huge demand for housing these days and this has seen an old idea come back to life – taking in a lodger. The combination of people with spare, empty bedrooms and other people wanting to live in a certain area but unable to afford the full rent has led to the need for rooms to rent. I’ve done this one a couple of times, for students, and it can work but you need to be a little careful.

Remember, this person is going to be sharing your house so you could be eating meals with them, sharing bathroom rotations and even relaxing together, depending on the layout of your house and the person. Sure, they will likely have their own things to do but everyone spends time at home. So remember you need to be willing to share your home with a stranger for it to work.

Used as a film location

This is an exciting and interesting way to make a bit more money that isn’t a guaranteed source of income but if you need a boost for a holiday, a project or to clear a debt, then it could be an ideal solution. I did this once for an (unnamed) film company and it was great fun.

Having your home used as a film location can also generate a reasonable bit of cash assuming your home is what the film companies are looking for at that time. Bear in mind, however, that you will need to move out while they are filming. The contract will include the cost of a hotel but you could be out of your home for a few days or even a few weeks depending on what they are filming.

A slight off-shot to this is if your home is in which case, photographers might pay for a short use of your home or a room in it for a photo shoot. This won’t pay as much as the film studios idea but it also less disruptive to your life if you don’t want to move out.

Set up with Airbnb

Airbnb is a massive new concept where people rent out a room in their home to holidaymakers for a short time. It has taken off in a big way and can be a good use for a spare room that can earn money when you want – say for a month in the summer or while the kids are away at university. You can list your home, facilities you have and local attractions to attract people but remember, you will have complete strangers staying in your home for their holiday.

 

2017 Income Booster Guide

There are lots of reasons we could do with a New Year income booster – make life easier, afford a great family holiday, make renovations to the home to mention just a few. There are lots of ways to do this, even when you are working full time and here are a few tips to boost your income in a variety of ways.

1.      Check benefits

If you are married or have kids, then you are entitled to certain benefits or tax deductions and if the government doesn’t know you qualify for them, then you aren’t going to get them. You can increase your income simply by ensuring you receive all the help you are entitled to.

2.      Look at your credit cards

Most of us have credit cards and there’s nothing wrong with that. But they can require a big monthly minimum payment if you aren’t in a position to clear them entirely. A simple way to boost your income is to look to manage your credit cards better – could you do a balance transfer to a new provider who are offering 0% interest or a lower monthly minimum payment? Once you take a card, swap the balance then simply shut down the old one to avoid temptation and keep your credit record in good order.

3.      Consider second jobs

When you work full time, the idea of a second job might sound like hell but there are lots of modern ways to earn extra income that don’t require adding another four hour shift onto your day. One example is being a tutor online – if you have something you can teach there are lots of sites where you can get paid to help people. It can be as simple as answering questions and can be done when it suits you, say after the kids have gone to bed.

4.      Doing freelance work

Similarly, doing freelance work can fit around your schedule and is a great way to earn extra cash. Say you are an accountant assistant as your full-time work – you could do some bookkeeping as a freelancer. As long as you declare your earnings to HMRC and pay applicable tax, you are able to work as much as you want.

5.      Check out PPI

The PPI scandal has been a boost for some people – a few of my friends have received an unexpected windfall for policies they didn’t know they had. While some banks automatically give you back any PPI paid, others require you to apply for it. So go through your papers and see if you have any accounts or loans you may have had it on – query it with the bank and they will tell you if you did and if you can claim it back.

Conclusion

Having extra income isn’t about being greedy – it’s about doing the things you want to do. Increasing your income can help if you’re applying for a mortgage, for example, or if you want to start your own business and need to put aside some capital in order to do it. It can make life a little easier and allow you to do the things you struggled to do before. And that’s what life is all about.