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4 Ways To Turn Your Apartment Into A Money Maker

4 Ways To Turn Your Apartment Into A Money Maker

These days it’s become the norm for people to have more than one source of income. There are so many unique money-making opportunities possible that people are realizing that they can earn a few extra hundred dollars a month by thinking outside the box.

Even though the economy seems to be on the mend, many of us are still living on a tight budget. A potentially lucrative but often overlooked place to make bank is your most valuable asset, your home. It’s a goldmine waiting to be excavated and a great place to boost your income. In the past, this may have meant re-mortgaging to release additional cash, but we have all the basics to be a bit more imaginative.

Besides having a junk-yard sale where one’s trash is another’s treasure, there are several unconventional ways to make a few extra pennies from the comfort of your home.

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1. Rent it out

Whether you have a spare room or an entire house to rent out to travelers, students or even temporary subletters, both options can help you to hone in on the big bucks. Some find it uncomfortable ‘living’ with a stranger, so the other option is to rent out your whole place. Think about taking that vacation you have been day-dreaming about at your office desk, which could possibly be covered by the guests in your home.

Airbnb make the process stress-free. It’s a great way for you to monetize your extra space and advertise it all over the world. If you still feel a little weary and have a fear of not being in control of your precious home, there are services who offer to take care of managing all the logistics remotely for you, such as Guesty, who clean and are available 24/7 for your guests’ needs.

2. See your home in lights

You can have your 15 minutes of fame by opening up your home to film crews or photographers. Many magazine and television companies are always looking for new and different places to shoot or film. If your home is well designed and immaculate, it could be perfect for a magazine. Family homes are often in high demand by television companies. Here’s a few tips to get started.

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This isn’t a surefire way to earn cash, but many agencies have a free registration so there’s no harm in applying. The film crew generally starts early and ends before you’re back from work. If they are a reputable company they will restore the home to the order it was found, paying for repairs and all. If you are not too house-proud this could be a jackpot if your home is picked, but be prepared to have your place turned upside-down as they may move furniture or paint the walls.

3. Lease out your garage or driveway

If you feel that the other options are home-invasions, there’s another alternative – how about letting people park in your drive? There’s plenty of money to be made, especially if you are located near the airport or a sports stadium. The idea is so simple and there are many websites that offer the service to business people traveling abroad who need a place to store their car.

 4. Freelance from your sofa

For some, renting out their home can be uncomfortable, the other option is to ‘sell’ your talents. Instead of spending your free time browsing Facebook, these hours could be used to make some cash on the side at the end of the month. If you are talented in writing, computer skills or even design, you can freelance these skills remotely. Sign up for a freelancing site, such as Upwork, where you can offer your services and get paid in return for your work.

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Freelancing offers consistent opportunities, no matter what the general job role. When companies are cash heavy, they have extra work that requires freelance help or when they’re cash-strapped and they can’t afford to hire full-timers, so they bring on more affordable freelance workers.

These options are just a taste of how you can earn money from your own home. Employment opportunities are becoming rare and it’s good to know that you have the ability to take things into your own hands.

Do you make money working from home? Share your experiences with us!

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Featured photo credit: ApartmentMoney via gratisography.com

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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