Guest Blog Post By Danielle Hegedus from Modernize.com
For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. When you own your own home or condominium, you also have to factor in the additional costs of maintenance, unexpected repairs, and homeowners associations fees. Any dip in income—an unexpected car repair or a decrease in your hours (or salary) at work, can turn your monthly mortgage payment into a major source of stress. At Modernize, we recommend creating a financial safety net. Think of small things that you can do on a regular basis—not necessarily a second job, we know you work hard enough—that will help offset your monthly mortgage expense. Read on for five suggestions on how to make extra money to help with your mortgage payment. You may even have fun with some of them!
Got Extra Space in Your Home? List It on Airbnb
Airbnb is a home sharing site that allows you to rent out your entire home, a spare room, or just a couch or an air mattress. Not only is Airbnb an affordable way for people to travel more frequently, but it enables them to feel like a local. With Airbnb, travelers are typically removed from hotel districts or tourist hotspots and they can get a real feel for your city.
As a host, you can review a potential guest’s ratings from other Airbnb hosts before you decide to rent to them. You can also verify their identity on Facebook and ask for other information so that you feel secure about having them in your home. They’ll be rating you too, though, so make sure you have pictures that accurately reflect the space you have to offer. You can get positive reviews from travelers by providing a clean space and small gestures of hospitality like tea or coffee in the morning or a walking map to local restaurants that you would recommend.
Check out what similar properties are going for in your area and you’ll get a better sense for what you should charge guests on a nightly basis. If there are major festivals, concerts, or events happening in your city, you can charge a premium during those periods and still be competitive with top hotels in the area.
Busy professionals, parents with young children, and the elderly are just some of the types of people who could benefit from the help of a professional dog walker. If you are comfortable with dogs, this is a great way to make extra money, get exercise, and put a dog-owner’s mind at ease while giving their pooch some extra TLC.
Via Sniff Seattle
Start out by walking the dogs of your neighbors or friends so that they can provide you with some positive reviews or customer testimonials. Once you have some professional experience, you can advertise your services on your own or consider working with a local dog walking agency. You can typically charge up to $15-20 per dog per walk. This is a business that is largely based on word-of-mouth, so as your reputation grows, so can your salary—and clients may even ask you to dog sit for them when they travel rather than paying the high fees at kennels and potentially unnerving their pets.
Note: A great way to curry favor with your dog walking clients is to send them pictures of their happy pups while on walks. Dog owners love to see their dogs being well-cared for, and it helps put their mind at ease about their four-legged buddy while their busy during the work day.
Focus groups always need participants, and based on the particular product or study, you can earn up to $150 an hour for just giving your opinion. Research local focus group opportunities in your area. Typically, you’ll start by filling out a short survey online that provides the company with some basic demographic information about you so that they can fill their study with diverse participants and/or the company’s target population. You may not get selected for every study, but they’ll tend to reach out to you at least a couple of times a month with opportunities to participate.
Take Care of Someone Else’s Pesky Errand
Are you happy to spend a few hours researching new apps for early education for a teacher or an education blogger? Are you a fast and accurate typer who can take on mountains of data entry while enjoying your favorite podcast? TaskRabbit may be for you!
TaskRabbit allows you to work remotely on projects that people will hire you to do because they lack the time, skills, or desire to compete the project. You bid against others for the projects, but once you get enough jobs and good reviews under your belt, you’ll find that you can increase your prices because clients will pay a premium for your reliability and competence. Another great thing about these jobs is that as long as you are meeting your deadlines, you can work however you like. So couch and pajamas? Check!
Host a Yard Sale
A yard sale may not give you a recurring income stream, but it’s a great way to free yourself of some clutter and make a little extra money. Go through your home (storage areas and closets are treasure troves for items to sell) collecting books, kitchen goods, electronic gadgets, sports equipment, dog crates, and anything else that you might not use anymore.
Whether you live in a condominium or a house, coordinate with your neighbors to get a group of people to host a yard sale on the same day and time. You may think that would increase competition, but multiple sales in close proximity to each other will actually attract a lot more buyers and it provides a great opportunity to connect with your neighbors.
Advertise your sale on social media and be sure to include pictures of items that will be for sale. On the day of the sale, turn on some music, set out some comfortable chairs, and get ready to free yourself of belongings that you never really use. Consider selling water, pop, and baked goods, too, as many of your buyers will be dedicating their entire day to shopping and will appreciate the refreshments!
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