Does the thought of traveling appeal to you but you’re not sure how you could pull it off and maintain the bills in your current apartment or house? Do you have a spare room or basement area that no one is using? Would you like to rent out your space to make extra money? If you said yes to any of those questions, then this post is for you! Today’s post is all about renting out your space to make extra money (and how you can travel full-time too).
Today is part 9 of the 10 part money making series (In case you missed read Part 8 – Making Extra Money by Asking for a Raise here). I love talking about the topic of making extra money with people and brainstorming ways this can be done. Oftentimes, making at least a little extra money is quite simple to do but for some reason does not come easy for people. Let’s change that!
The point of this series is to help you take small & incremental steps to start earning extra income. Earning extra income can come in many ways (some you might not expect) & some may surprise you! It can be hard to think outside of the box in your own situation, so that is where I come in. I’m doing this 10 part series on making extra money to help you think outside the box and bring some extra money in.
Once you do that, you’ll be able to use the extra money to build up your emergency fund, pay down debt, give back more or take a vacation (or anything else that excites you). So let’s have fun with this and work together to come up with ideas to make extra money! Let’s get started!
Make Extra Money by Renting out Your Space
Years ago the thought of renting out your room or home (or staying in the home of a stranger) was such a foreign concept that no one would have even considered it. Today the concept is so mainstream that you probably know at least one person who has stayed in or shares out their space. Those who already do this know they can earn big bucks by renting out their rooms on a short-term basis. Sites like Homestay.com & Airbnb are easy-to-use online platforms for listing and booking private rooms in locals’ homes around the world.
I’m planning to take a trip to Nashville in January as a get away and I’m renting a tiny home for 4 nights. I’ve been both irritated and fascinated by the tiny home craze and decided to check it out. I found this tiny home on Airbnb, looked up the dates I wanted to go and had it booked and confirmed in less than an hour! The process was simple and I was thrilled to be able to stay in one of these to see what all the fuss is about!
I paid roughly $100 a night to rent out this tiny home. A little math tells me the owner of this place has a nice little side gig going with her extra income for the place. If the Tiny Home is rented 25 nights out of the month, the owner makes $2,500 a month or $30,000 a year! I know there are expenses involved as well as the owners time. In this instance, I’m renting out a fully furnished tiny home so there are the costs to furnish the place & utilities to consider. However, I still think it’s a great return on investment!
You can do the same (even if you don’t have a tiny home to rent out) with an extra room, basement or private living area in your home!
Could I Really Rent out My Extra Space or Stay in Someone Else’s Space?
I know you are asking yourself that question as you are reading this and let me tell you, yes you can! I have to admit, I’m such a private & particular person that I wouldn’t actually rent my space out in the house I’m in now. However, I will most certainly be using Airbnb & Homestay when I travel in the future to find unique and exciting places to stay (like the tiny home, I mean how cool is that!).
Jumpshot has an interesting infographic from January 2015 which shows the average rentals on Airbnb. Most of the rentals were for entire homes/apartments with 2-4 people staying in the space. The solo travelers only accounted for 7% of the reservations. I wonder what those numbers will look like for 2016 as more and more people are opening up the idea of renting out their space?
Trust & Safety
I know the next thing you are probably thinking (and rightfully so) is how safe is it to rent out my space and/or stay in someone elses’ space? I thought the same things. When I booked the tiny home in Nashville, I noticed a few things:
- Airbnb requires you to scan a government ID and connect other online profiles to your Airbnb account to verify who you are
- You can get to know your guests or the host through detailed profiles and confirmed reviews
- You can use their messaging system to ask the host/guest questions and interact prior to the reservation.
Airbnb has a set of standards they use to keep everyone safe.
We developed these standards based on our extensive experience interacting with members of the Airbnb community. These standards are intended to gather together our existing policies into a single framework that will help members of the Airbnb community better understand what to expect from us and what we expect of them.
Homestay also has their own set of standards for safety:
The safety of our hosts and guests is our number one priority. Any hosts that are connected with a Local Partner are visited by them before being listed on Homestay.com. Please note, Homestay.com do not visit or verify in person any homestays listed on the Homestay.com website.
We ask that hosts confirm their email addresses and phone numbers during the signup process which we also send for verification. We review every profile in detail before allowing the listing to appear on the website.
Our hosts’ public profile on the website will show only their first name and will not give the specific location of their home. It will show only the general area in which their home is located. Guests will only receive their host’s full name, address and contact details after they have made a confirmed booking and have paid their 15% booking deposit.
We currently store documents in Amazon S3. This storage complies with the safe harbor regulations. All documents are encrypted, and only accessible with private tokens dynamically generated.
As with anything else in life, common sense should be used. If it doesn’t feel, sound or look right then listen to what that voice is doing. I personally would only feel safe staying places that had a lot of positive reviews so I could read all the feedback prior to going.
I read the reviews on the tiny home I’m renting and one thing that really appealed to me is how much of the local scene the owner is able to share with the renters. That is one thing I love about visiting new places, actually seeing how the city and the people are in the local areas, not the touristy areas (especially in Nashville!).
As I was browsing around Airbnb, that is one thing I noticed about a lot of the reviews – that the guests and hosts interacted with each other and most seemed to enjoy it! I thought that was a pretty interesting trend among the reviews (and pretty awesome too).
Supply & Demand
As I mentioned, when I’ve thought about traveling in the past, my first thought is to rent a hotel. That is changing as I understand how to experience travel through Airbnb and it looks like I’m not alone.
- In the past year alone, Homestay.com bookings grew as much as 600 percent in the U.S.
- Honolulu was the chart-topper at 600 percent
- Other cities experiencing strong bookings growth include:
- Boston (443 percent)
- San Francisco (283 percent)
- New York (179 percent)
- Washington D.C. (125 percent)
- Los Angeles (88 percent)
- Chicago (60 percent)
- San Diego (56 percent)
- (source Homestay.com)
As it currently stands, demand for homestays in the U.S. far exceeds its supply. For example, in New York, which receives almost a quarter of total global bookings, there was a 179 percent increase in bookings this past year, but only a 64 percent increase in host sign ups. Boston, another favorite, saw a mere 10 percent increase in sign-ups, but a huge 442 percent increase in bookings.
With the average price of a U.S. homestay hovering around $60, hosts who rent out a spare room for half a year can stand to make $10,950! That’s a great way to make extra money and meet new people too.
Traveling & Renting Out Your Space go Hand in Hand
Let’s get back to what I mentioned at the beginning of the post when I asked if you were interested in traveling more. If you are, renting out your space while your gone is a great way to fund your travel bills! I’ve read stories of other bloggers making a lot of extra money through Airbnb’s referral program and renting out their space which both fund their extra travel!
If you’d like to learn more about how to travel for free, check out my friend Kimberly’s course on Traveling for Free using Instagram. Kimberly has been working with the travel industry for nearly 20 years, creating content for some of the biggest names in travel. She will teach you know how to style your Instagram feed to attract travel destinations & how to professionally work with the travel industry.
If you really want to travel more but are limited on funds, you have a lot of options here with renting out your space & learning how to travel for free from Kimberly’s course!
How to Get Started
There are two ways to get started on Airbnb & Homestay: as a host or as a guest.
- To become a host or a guest for free on Homestay, sign up at http://thejennypincher.com/Homestay. Once you get signed up, you can refer friends and earn up to $113 for every friend that signs up (while each friend will receive $23 travel credit on Homestay.com)!
- To become a host or a guest for free on Airbnb, sign up at http://thejennypincher.com/airbnb. If you use my link to sign up, we both get a $35 travel credit! And, you can earn another $75 in travel credit when you welcome your first guest!
Renting out you extra space to make extra money is not for everyone, I understand that. However, if you are brave enough to rent out your space or book space to rent, you might be surprised at the friends you meet and the experiences you have!
Have you used Airbnb or Homestay? If so, please share your experience below!
Did you miss Part 8 of this series, Make Extra Money by Asking for a Raise? If so, be sure to click and read it!
If you are ready to Tame Your Finances once and for all, be sure to sign up for my free workbook: Tame Your Finances & Save $5,000 in the Process.