Every homeowner goes through those moments of panic as they fear they won’t be able to keep up the mortgage repayments. Things inevitably crop up that demand your money and juggling the finances is a tricky challenge. Life changes. Income fluctuates, and the cost of living goes up. So how can you make a living in your home much more affordable? It’s time to make your home pay its way.
There are several ways you can earn a small income from your house. And there are many more ways you can save by utilising what your home offers you in a more frugal way. You can choose to adopt some or all of these ideas. It’s best to pick the ones that best suit your family lifestyle and that you will be able to continue working on.
Make Some Money
Your home is the place where you feel safest and most comfortable. If you have young children at home, the idea of renting out one of your rooms may not feel comfortable at all. Of course, you might feel a bit better if you know the tenant. Friends or family members can make good tenants and will often pitch in with some of the domestic duties or childcare needs from time to time as well.
If you’re looking to fund a holiday or repay some of your debts, why not consider renting out your entire house? If you live in a city, you could do this on a short term let for holidaymakers. Perhaps there is a big event coming to your town that will attract overnighters looking for somewhere to stay? A temporary let can earn you some money without being too costly if you’re all able to stay with family for a few days. Perhaps you can coincide it with your own holiday?
If you’re not willing to rent out your spare room, consider starting up a home business. The extra space in your home can be used as an office or a studio. If you use the room for other things, you may not have to pay extra rates. Of course, if you rent it out for these purposes, you may be charged taxes from your local authority.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, consider renting it out. It may only make a few pounds each week but that could soon add up over the course of the year. A little is better than none if it’s only used for storing junk! If you have a large garden, you could fence some of it off and rent it out as an allotment plot. Alternatively, consider growing your own flowers and vegetables to sell at your local market.
Solar panels can be quite an expensive purchase. However, there are still some deals to be had. Consider how much money you will earn from the excess power going back to the grid? With good, sunny weather this will more than pay for your own energy usage. Over the lifetime of the panels, you could be earning quite a lot over your initial investment.
Have a clearout. You’ve probably heard it all before, but it’s worth doing for two reasons. One, it clears up some space that could be put to better (more profitable) use. The other reason is that it could generate a little extra cash. Even if you see no value in a lot of your old junk, somebody somewhere will be interested in acquiring it. Just check your local classifieds to see what kind of price you ask for.
Teaching others skills like playing a musical instrument, taking photos, or even speaking English could be a valuable way to make money from your own front room. Typically lessons will only last 30 to 60 minutes so won’t disrupt your household for long. You don’t need special premises to teach one-on-one or small groups privately. If your house is clean and tidy, the informal environment could be quite inviting.
If you have a large garden shed or outbuilding, put it to good use. Start refurbishing old cars or antiques. Build furniture. Create something arty from old scrap. These ‘hobbies’ can easily become nice little side earners. Why not go into partnership with someone else and use that space profitably? If you’re a creative person, chances are you’ve dabbled in arts, crafts, and renovations before. If you can turn that into a small business, then your house can really start to earn its way.
Live More Frugally
If your home is set up right, you can live for less more easily than you thought. Start with your light fittings. Many of them will be able to take LED bulbs to save you a lot of money on your energy bills. If you can’t buy a LED to fit, consider changing your fitting. Save even more money on your energy bills by using a service like the Simply Switch energy comparison website. A comparison will help you check you really are on the cheapest tariff for your usage. It will also help you see just how much money you’re overspending each month.
Food is continuing to go up in price. Don’t be afraid to start growing some of your own. You might want to invest in raised beds with fresh, organic soil. Perhaps you just want to start with a few smaller containers to see how you get on? Potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and herbs are everyday foods that we simply don’t have to pay for. Add a heated greenhouse to your little plot, and you might be able to enjoy your own produce for most of the year.
By making a few small tweaks to your lifestyle, you could save hundreds of pounds in cash every year. For example, a home brew coffee machine can be purchased for as little as a week’s worth of coffee at your favourite cafe. Simply take a thermos of it with you to work each day. Making your own lunches instead of buying from the sandwich van can offer further savings. Like the cinema? Swapping to a monthly movie subscription service like Netflix can provide savings from your very first movie.
Your mobile phone might be costing you a lot more than it should. When was the last time you shopped around for a new tariff? It’s not just the networks that offer cheap pay-as-you-go deals at the moment. If you’re willing to keep your current handset and go with a SIM only option, you could save a lot of money. Carefully scrutinise your usage to determine exactly how much data, calls, and texts you really need. Use that to find a deal that suits you. If your current contract isn’t yet up for renewal, check you won’t be penalised for leaving it.
DIY is something we should all be a bit better at. It could save you a fortune if something was to break or go wrong. Simply wanting to install something new could be costly if you need to find someone to do it for you. If you’re not sure how to tackle a job, there are plenty of YouTube videos and good handyman websites that will break it all down for you. Sure, you need to have a good selection of tools and safety equipment. But don’t be put off!
It’s easier than you think to make the increasing cost of living just a little more affordable. Best of all, the answers are already all around you in your own home. What will you change today?
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