5 Ways to Make Money with the Extra Space in Your Home

Posted by Kate Cygan on May 13, 2019 4:34:18 PM

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For most people, our homes are our biggest tangible assets. So it seems like a no-brainer to put them to work and make a little money if we can. Airbnb is a big success story, but not everyone wants to rent out their homes for vacationers. Luckily, turning your house into a short-term vacation rental isn’t the only way to make money with your extra space—and we’ve got five creative ideas that prove it.

5 Ways to Turn Your Home Into Income

1. Share Your Garage or Workshop for Projects

Your unused space doesn’t need to be fancy to earn a little extra income. Your garage or workshop might be a real lifesaver for a weekend mechanic, local artist or a group of musicians needing rehearsal space. To find these creative neighbors, try reaching out on your neighborhood email list or in your church bulletin, posting on the local Craigslist or just putting up some flyers in the coffee shop near your home.

2. Offer Your Home as a Potential Filming Location

Similarly, your home doesn’t have to be a mansion to be useful as a filming location for movies, commercials or TV shows. Lots of productions need “real” homes that look lived-in and authentic. Your state or local film commission may maintain a database of homes that are available as film locations—especially if you live in an area with significant film/TV production like Toronto, Chicago, New York City, L.A. or Atlanta. You can also list your home on referral sites like SetScouter.com, which help location scouts find available properties easier.  

3. Rent Out Extra Parking Space in Your Driveway or Yard

If you live in a big city, downtown area or anywhere near a sports venue, beach or other popular destination, you know that parking is at a premium. Depending on demand, you can make some extra money by charging people to park in your driveway or even (temporarily) in your yard. Covered parking would likely generate the most money, but people will pay for parking convenience even without special amenities. If you live in a congested business district, you might even find a renter looking for an ongoing monthly deal. Finding parking space renters might be as easy as putting a sign in your yard or taking a flyer to a few office buildings nearby.

4. Share Your Empty Storage Space with a Neighbor

Surely you’ve noticed the proliferation of storage places across the country. But who said people have to store their stuff in a big commercial building? You might have an empty bedroom or extra space in your garage or basement. Maybe you own a warehouse, or your property includes some empty space or an RV pad. Someone in your area is probably looking for space to store things like ski equipment, holiday decorations, heirlooms or even a boat. They might as well rent your extra space! Check out Neighbor.com. Their platform makes it safe and easy to find and connect with potential renters, with free background checks, secure automated payments and a $2 million host guarantee.

5. Share Your Home With a Housemate

If you’ve got an extra bedroom, in-law suite or basement room, homesharing might be a perfect solution. Having a housemate—in other words, a compatible renter—can bring in some pretty considerable incomewhile also providing companionship and even some help around the house. 

Making money from your extra space might be simpler than you think. With today’s connected communities and helpful technology tools, it’s easier than ever to put extra space to work. It just takes a little creative thinking and willingness to be flexible. We hope these innovative ideas have opened your eyes to the potential in your home.

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Restoring Your Home After A Fire

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It’s during the summer months that you can find that your home is just a bit too warm, so you end up going out a lot. But when we are going through those incredibly hot southern summers, it can switch our brain off from time to time, and this is where our lack of judgment can mean that we burn our food, or even worse, suffer a fire. And when this happens, it can feel devastating. While you’re more than relieved that everybody is okay, you’ve still got to deal with the cleanup. What can you do to make sure that you rebuild and restore your home effectively after a house fire?   

Assessing The Damage

After you’ve called the insurance company, you should think about bringing in a professional fire restoration contractor. They can recommend a structural engineer to examine the property so you can get the ball rolling. It’s important that you contact the insurance company right away because the claims process can take a long time. Once you’ve secured the property, you can get on with addressing the structural repairs. This follows with the assessment of the electrical system, and then it’s time for the cleanup.

Restoring The Property

In terms of a house fire, there are two main sorts of damage apart from the fire damage itself. There is soot damage and smoke damage.

You’ve got to be careful when it comes to soot damage, even if the fire didn’t completely gut your property. Soot can be very dangerous to your health. You’ve got to be careful not to breathe it in. And when you are cleaning up the property, you have to start from the top and work down to the bottom because soot could fall from objects while cleaning. Because soot can be oily and stain carpets, you have to make sure that the carpet is secure. Once you are confident that the search has been removed from all of the high up areas, you can vacuum it all up. Be sure that you protect yourself in terms of the appropriate breathing apparatus.

Smoke damage is a different beast. It’s something that you can see for the most part, but you can smell it more. Even if you don’t see particles deposited, you will always be able to smell it. And when you are attempting to clean up specific materials, it’s important to go for the textiles first. And if you’re wondering what are textiles, they consist of items that don’t break, so this could be blankets, clothing, toys, sports equipment, and so on. Cleaning these can be difficult to get rid of the smoke residue and the odor, but there are some homemade techniques that you can use. To begin with, you can use a bucket of warm water with non-corrosive detergent on surfaces, and in terms of clothes, a good quality washing powder should do the job. Because it can be a lot of money to replace all of these items, you naturally want to be able to recover most of it. But if there are items damaged beyond repair, especially in terms of clothes, this is something that you need to discuss with your insurance company.

Additional Cleaning

In terms of soot and smoke damage, you’ve also got to be aware that your home should be protected from future damage. Mold is one of those things that may not enter your mind because of the severity of the fire. But if there’s minimal damage to your walls and ceiling, you can use a solution of hot water and bleach to wipe down the walls and prevent mold and mildew growth. It’s also important to realize at what point you should bring in a professional. Some homes will need to be treated right away by a professional. And again, this is something that you will have to discuss with your insurance company, but you can also look at local contractors that provide services for cheap. It’s difficult to find the right contractor because your insurance company will have specialized ones that they use. Generally, it’s far better for you to have an expert deal with it that comes highly recommended, rather than finding a cheap contractor that may not do everything to a high standard.Restoring your home after a fire is a long process, and can be emotionally draining. But you have to remember that, despite the hardships you are going through, and the time that it may take to get the home back up to code, that you shouldn’t lose heart.

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Startup Success 101: 5 Ways to Make Your Capital Work Harder

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There’s nothing quite like having that Eureka moment of a new business idea. However, it doesn’t take long to realise that turning concepts into profits is hard work. In many cases, the hardest challenge revolves around getting through the initial phases. If you can do this, your hopes of success become far, far greater. Keeping a firm grip on the outgoings and overheads will make a monumental difference.

So, how can you make your capital work harder? Here’s all you need to know.

Work From Home

Formulating ideas and putting them into action could take months. Rather than paying for commercial spaces, you should try working from home. This instantly reduces the costs while you can take the DIY approach even further. Use 123inkjet Canon cartridges to do your own printing, and use call redirecting to handle your own calls. As long as you continue to maintain a positive work-life balance, you’ll be fine. If it worked for Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and co. it can work for you too.

Outsource

Aside from removing the costs of running an office, outsourcing can reduce direct staffing costs. You can hire freelancers to complete the works that you require, which is cheaper than full-time staff or contractors. Meanwhile, you can use this as an opportunity to try out new people, keeping on the best and losing the rest. For the sake of productivity as well as your finances, this could be the smartest move of all. Outsource wherever possible for increased success.

Embrace Digital Marketing

Marketing is one of the most significant strands of any business venture, and efficiency is vital. Essentially, there’s little point in gaining $1m of sales if you spent $2m on marketing. Digital campaigns require creativity to stand out from the crowd, but allow you to achieve great results on small budgets. When supported by free resources such as Google My Business and on-page SEO, you will see great results. Better still, it’ll enhance offline sale and offline sales at once.

Sell Online

A few years ago, the costs of setting up an eStore were quite high. Nowadays, it’s far cheaper. For a small business, the annual costs are probably lower than a monthly rental in a real world location. However, you can also use eBay stores and Amazon stores to sell items in a trusted place. This helps you build the client base before directing them directly to your venture and can work wonders for long-term prospects. Besides, this is the ultimate way to increase your potential audience size.

Avoid Unnecessary Ideas

When starting a new business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things because it’s the done thing. Whether working from home or a commercial setting, saving time will ultimately save you money. Replace unnecessary meetings with emails and group chats. Get rid of any activity that doesn’t actively benefit the company. Be happy to say no before trialling ideas that you know will fail. When all of these issues are under control, the waste of time and money will fall.

When your business actively makes its capital work harder, fewer sales are needed to turn a profit. If that doesn’t encourage you to make a change, what will?

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Simple Eco-Friendly Changes You Should Know About

We are living in a great time, every year there are more products created that make it easier to live a greener, more eco-friendly life. And who doesn’t want to get in on that action? Let’s face it, the world needs some help, and we are in the position of knowledge now, we know what is good and what isn’t. From cleaning supplies to toothbrushes and shampoo bars, there are a million little ways that you can cut back and make changes that will have a positive impact on both you and the planet.

You don’t have to change your life completely to be able to make an impact either. Changing a single product in your routine will work, of course, the more, the merrier though!

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Why You Should Swap

The idea of eco-friendly products can seem like a bit of a minefield, but the truth is, they tend to be more simple in terms of ingredients and usage – once you are used to it of course. They have less of an impact on the planet, and in some cases, they even make significant contributions. Like the companies that plant trees, recycle and donate to green charities if you buy their goods. Going ‘green’ can be more economical too.

Hydrate and Reuse

Reusable water bottles. The chances are you aren’t drinking as much water as you should be anyway, but by getting a few reusable water bottles, and setting timers on your mobile phone, you’ll be hydrated and happy in no time. This cuts out the need to buy water bottles on the go too. Simple and effective. You can buy ones that are slightly more expensive that have reminders built in.

Clothing

Ditch the fast – fashion market and opt for more eco-friendly alternatives. They might cost a little bit more in price but they will last for a considerable amount of time and not only that, there are some cutting edge fabrics and designers. Coconut leather anyone? You can also check out a lyocell material consists of cellulose fibre. Tencel is being seen more often in high street stores too. It is produced in a sustainable way and is very versatile.

Straws

There has recently been a bit of backlash over a well known fast food chain swapping from plastic to cardboard. But, wouldn’t it be better if you were to carry your own mental straws instead? They’re easy to clean, usually come in a range of colors and designs and the best part is you won’t ever need to use a single-use plastic straw with a paper wrapper again.

By putting your money where your mouth is, you are making an impact on the world around you, and there is no ‘too small’ in this case. Taking control of what you use, and how you use it matters a great deal. There is an eco-friendly alternative to almost anything, it simply takes a spot of research and knowledge about the difference it makes.

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The True Cost Of Renting Your First Office Space

Managing your finances is absolutely key when you’re running a business. If you don’t keep your overheads under control, your profits will suffer and you might end up running out of money completely. One of the most common reasons that new businesses go under is that they simply spend too much before they’re bringing in enough revenue to cover their overheads. Renting an office space is one of your biggest costs so if you’re starting to grow the business and you’re looking at moving into an office, you need to work out whether you can realistically afford it. However, a lot of business owners go wrong here because they just consider the rent on the office, which isn’t the only cost that you have to bear. This is the real cost of renting office space.

Utilities

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You’ve considered the monthly rent of the office and you think that you can comfortably afford it, but what about all of the utility bills? The cost of running an office can be incredibly high because you’ve got a large space with all of the lights and heating, then you’ve got to consider all of the computers and other equipment that you’re running for 8 hours a day. Those costs quickly add up and a lot of businesses find that, even though they can afford the rent, they can’t actually afford the cost of operating the office every day. When you’re looking at offices, it’s important that you ask the real estate agent what the average monthly cost is likely to be. Factor this into your financial projects and make sure that you’ll actually be able to afford to keep the office running before you sign the lease.

Waste Removal

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Businesses create a lot of waste and you need to put it all somewhere. There are certain things that need to be disposed of properly and can’t just go into landfill, and that will cost you a bit extra as well. When you’re trying to calculate your costs, make sure to include the price of bin hire and removal. You also need to think about any extra costs involved with disposing of electronics because you’ll usually have to pay more. If you just throw them in with the normal rubbish, they’ll cause damage to the local environment.

Waste removal is a very important part of your public image and if you’re creating a lot of waste, that doesn’t sit well with potential customers. Environmental responsibility is a big concern for most consumers these days and if you’re seen to be a very wasteful company or you’re not disposing of waste in an environmentally friendly way, it could seriously hurt sales. That means you might need to invest more money in using recyclable materials around the office to reduce waste, so you need to factor that in as well.

Maintenance

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Maintenance is something that business owners always forget about but it’s a big problem, especially if you’re renting an older office space. Ideally, you’d rent a brand new office that isn’t likely to have any maintenance issues but most businesses, especially new ones, probably can’t’ afford to do that. You can save yourself a lot of money on rent if you use an older office but be aware that you might end up paying out more in maintenance costs.

If you have issues with the plumbing or electrics in your building, it can be incredibly expensive to fix. If, for example, you have a leak in the building, you’re going to have to call out an emergency plumber to sort it out. They’ll charge a premium for coming out right away and then you’ll have to deal with all of the damage, which will cost you as well. If you have a problem with the electrics and the building is unsafe, that will need to be sorted out immediately as well. As well as the cost of the repairs, you have to consider the loss of earnings as well. While this maintenance is being carried out, you’ll have to shut the business down. Depending on the severity of the problem, you could be out of action for a while and that’s all lost revenue. A single maintenance issue can cost you thousands and you’ll have to find that money from somewhere, so just be aware that a cheaper office isn’t always cheaper in reality.

The best way to avoid this is to pay for regular checks of the building at least once a year. If you can fix smaller problems as and when they come up, you can avoid any serious damage that is going to cost you a lot of money.

Furnishing

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If your office is going to function properly, it needs to be properly furnished. If you’re moving into a new office, this isn’t as much of an issue because you’ll have a lot of that furniture and equipment already. However, you’ll most likely be moving into a larger office so you’ll still need to buy some things. If you’re moving into an office for the first time and you have to start from scratch, it’s going to be expensive. All of the simple things that you take for granted like desks and chairs will cost more than you realize. On top of that, you have to equip all of your employees with computers and printers etc. It’s not just a one off cost that you have to bear either because those devices become obsolete every 5 years or so and need replacing. Consider that the average computer costs around $500, if you’ve got an office with 10 employees, that’s $5000 you’re paying out. That’s before you’ve even paid for the software licenses that you need, so it can quickly add up.

If you don’t invest in all of this stuff, your employees won’t be properly equipped to do their jobs and you won’t be in a position to operate the business effectively.

The cost of an office space amounts to a lot more than the monthly rent. If you don’t consider all of these costs when you’re budgeting, you’ll find that you can’t afford to operate an office and you can quickly run out of money.

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Getting the Best Deal When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be one of the best ways to buy a car, as the depreciation on brand new vehicles can be really high. Plus, buying a used car can also help to save you lots of cash compared to buying one that is brand new. The good news is that there is no lack of choice with a used car, as there can be things from your dream sports car to a great family wagon; there is a lot of choice in the second hand car market. But there can be tricky things that can put you off buying a used car, with the likes of unclear car histories or hard-nosed salesmen. When you don’t know what to expect, then it really can feel like a bit of a minefield. So with that in mind, here are some tips and tricks that can help you to get the best deal on a used car that you can.

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Even One Year Old is Better Than Brand New

If you think about the average price of a new car of around £30,000, then even by the time it is one year old, it can lose £10,000 in value pretty quickly. The next year of depreciation isn’t as steep, so it can be such a good idea to pick a car that is one year-old, rather than brand new, as it can quite dramatically slash the cost. So if you want to get good value for money, then that is what you should be looking for, rather than getting something brand new.

Choosing the Right Time to Buy

When you know what car you want to choose, then you need to know how to get it for the best price properly. Believe it or not, one of the things that you can do is buy your car at a specific time; there are some times that are better than others. Dealers and car dealers often have targets to meet, and for the salespeople, there will often be things like bonuses up for grabs. It can depend from country to country, and from dealership to dealership, but going on the quarterly sales is a great way to go. So think about the months of March, June, September, and December as good times to buy.

Doing your research is something that is so important too. You need to know what repairs the car has had, as well as seeing what else you can get for the car, such as tax paid and so on.

If you are choosing to buy a used car from a private seller, then it is unlikely that there will be a ‘good’ time to buy, as they will not have targets to meet and can wait for the price that they want. So if you are buying this way, then it is a good idea to keep an eye on the prices for a few months before you actually go to buy. Then you can see if the prices are going up or down and it can help your decision of when to buy, easier.

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What Not To Do When Buying A First Home

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There are so many potholes to swerve when buying a first home, which is why rather than a generic ‘What to do when buying your first home’ post here’s the what not to do’s. From using the advice below, you can expect to retain some of your money, time and sanity during the first home buying process.

Listen To Advice

Just to be clear, this title refers to listening to advice from those who have no idea about what owning a home entails. So if your friend Jack, who still lives with his mom reckons he has a few opinions about what your priorities be when buying a home, just ask Jack to write it all down for you, and then put it in the bin. Get your real estate advice from people who work with houses, such as real estate inspection professionals, people who own their own property or people who work in the real estate sector.

Think Bigger Is Better

It’s almost certainly not when houses are concerned. You might be thinking ‘hey, the lender tells me I can afford to buy this 5 bedroom house, awesome!’, even though you’re single, and will be cohabitating with your pet goldfish Lucky, and will never ever use even half of those rooms. This isn’t a good idea in anyone’s eyes surely, unless you are unreasonably rich of course. Houses are expensive, but not just to buy, to keep, to fix, to maintain, it’s a never-ending cycle, so where possible, opt for less house, less mortgage, less work and you will get less stress.

Rely On The Lender

Banks to an extent take an interest in your finances in so far as they want to establish what you can afford, comfortably. So if you have a house in mind to apply for, they will also demonstrate the eventuality of interest rates rising, and assess if you have the freedom in your budget to accommodate to this change and maintain the mortgage payments. Which is reasonable. But, some lenders, may suggest that due to your earnings, and based on their findings while assessing your finances, that you could, in fact, afford a bigger home. This is a wow moment for most people, but it’s a trap! A large family home means a bigger mortgage, and a bigger mortgage means more interest to repay. Therefore if you’re already settled on a home that’s big enough, avoid deviating from this plan and buy the home you intended to.

Reserve On A Whim

This is obvious, yet, people still have their houses repossessed because they can’t keep up with the payments. And some people will happily commit to a home they can’t afford at the moment, but hope to rack up the deposit requested in a short amount of time. Buying a home is black and white where numbers are concerned. You work out the deposit (and other home buying costs) you need to buy the house, if you don’t have it, you can’t reserve it, it’s as simple as that!

To save failing at buying your first home, choose a home that’s practical and affordable, check the house is worth its price, only reserve a home when you have the savings to cover all of the costs and avoid the temptation to keep upping your budget. Stay strong and logical when buying your home, and you’ll thank yourself for it later on.

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