Guest post by Kyle Taylor from The Penny Hoarder
I started clipping coupons with my mom when I was just 10 years old. At the time it wasn’t just a fun hobby, but a serious way for us to help make ends meet. Nearly ten years later I started college and I really put my coupon clipping hobby to work to help pay for the costs of my schooling.
The only problem was that every semester my tuition bill seemed to get a little bit higher, until suddenly clipping coupons was no longer enough. I simply was already cutting every corner I could and I needed to increase the other side of the ledger–my income.
I already had a full-time job, along with school, so I had no choice but to get creative. I now blog full-time about my wacky adventures to make extra money and I think some of my favorite ways to make money are when you can leverage the assets and skills you already have at your disposal. For many people the biggest asset that they have is their house, so I wanted to share with you four of my wacky ways to use your house to make extra money.
1. Rent out Your Closets, Attics, Storage Areas
As we Americans accumulate more stuff, huge storage facilities have been popping up at a rapid pace. A few years ago, two veterans had the novel idea to start an online marketplace that gave homeowners the opportunity to rent out their extra space thereby creating a lower-cost alternative for storage seekers.
The result is a great website called Store At My House, where you can create a free listing to rent out your attic space, extra shed, spare closet, etc. As the renter, you get to choose who to rent to, what is allowed to be stored, and how long the contract will last.
2. Rent Your Backyard to Campers
A few years ago I worked for a non-profit organization that wanted to do some environmental work in Key West, FL. We had a very small budget and thought that we could save some money on a hotel by pitching a tent in the state park.
The only problem is that campsites in Key West are booked six months to a year in advance and we needed a space in a few weeks. Our solution was to contact one of our members who graciously offered up their backyard as a place for us to set up camp.
Camping in backyard ended up being tons of fun and a great way for us to save money. Well, it turns out the idea is not so novel because there is a whole website dedicated to letting people rent out their backyard to campers called Single Spot Camping. It’s free to list your backyard or extra lot. However there are several terms everyone must agree to so that your property is protected and the camper enjoys their stay.
3. Find a Roommate
Roommates aren’t just for college kids anymore. More and more families are taking in renters to make use of an extra bedroom or a mother-in-law suite. It’s a great way to make extra money and despite the connotation some of us have, it can be a fun experience to have someone new around the house.
If you do decide to rent out an extra room, be sure you run both a background check and a credit check before agreeing to rent. If you need helping finding a roommate there are several great resources online such as Roommate Locator and Craigslist.
4. Rent Out Your Driveway
If you live near a large city or in an area with limited parking, you probably know that parking costs are skyrocketing. This may surprise you but according to a new report the average monthly parking costs in downtown Manhattan are $541! Agh, can you imagine?
It turns out that parking garages aren’t the only ones taking advantage of skyrocketing prices, because you can actually rent out your driveway on site called ParkAtMyHouse.com. You also get to decide how much to charge and the terms of the contract. If you’ve got an extra lot on your property why not think about renting it out for special events?
For more information about ways to make money, visit The Penny Hoarder, where you an read about topics like how to make money selling crafts, how to make money attending movie premieres, and how to make money as a used book hunter.
Thanks Anna..!!! Very enjoyed reading your blog.
These are fab ideas! I can’t use any of them because we live in a tiny apt, but what a great example of creative thinking!!
My daughter and her husband live in the same city where he went to college. They have been able to rent out their finished basement and 2 upstairs bedrooms to people affiliated with his fraternity who have just started working and are looking for an inexpensive place to live.
Jen T says
Some really great ideas! If we lived in a different, nicer, area I might consider checking out some of these ideas. Right now we have enough problems with just giving out our address to people to come view our room for rent – we’ve had a few of these people use our address for their mail and they just came by one time! Or they flaked on actually viewing our room to just get our address. Crazy huh?
Be so careful! Not one of these ideas is permissible within any city around here. Also be sure to check your Homeowners Association! Most are very strict.
Snob on a budget says
Love the ideas! Renting out storage! What a great idea, I haven’t thought of that one. although I think you would have to look into insurance in case of fire, flood etc.
We have roommates at times, not at the moment though.
I guess I’m a nervous-Nelly, but these suggestions (except maybe renting out a parking space) make me nervous! Too many crazies in this world, in my opinion.
Love the idea of the backyard-renting. Not for my actual backyard, but for the piece of property that we’ve been trying to sell for over a year. Might have to check it out and tell Hubby.
Another idea if you have more than an acre or two, is rent it to someone with livestock. That’s what we’ve done in the past with that land, which worked out very nicely- we ended up taking payment in the form of a freezer full of meat. 🙂
Wendi S says
These are the most unique and interesting ideas I have read on here yet – and that is saying something, considering I’m always learning something new here. I will look into your blog.
Interesting ideas but I would keep in mind that if anyone gets hurt at a garage sale or backyard they can file on your home-owners insurance–raising your premiums!
My brother rented a house with 6 other guys in a nice neighborhood in DC while attending Georgetown. They rented their two parking spaces all year and made enough to pay utilities all year!
Before renting out your yard for camping or driveway, etc. for RV parking, be sure to check your city ordinances to see what is allowed. Same for garage sales, some limit the number you can have per year.
None of these interest me personally but I’ll remember them in case I see somebody who would be able to use them. And thanks for sharing the blog, it really looks neat so I bookmarked it 😀
Also make sure that your city allows you to camp out in your backyard (or have fires). Ours has a strict law that you can’t.
I just wanted to say that the house in that picture is so cute!!! I want to live there.
Interesting ideas. However, maybe it’s just me, but the thought of strangers camping in my backyard is very unappealing!
That wouldn’t bother me so much. What I wouldn’t like would be renting out my closet space. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic idea but I would have to REALLY know the person. I wouldn’t do it with someone random in case they had illegal substances. To me, if I put an ad out there for a closet for rent, I’d want to know each and every item going in…including what’s in the stuffed teddy bears!!!!
I agree it sounds down right scary to me. Besides I live near a state park that only charges $7 a night for camping. The idea I like most is the parking fee but it doesn’t work for me & I would only rent a room to a close relative and I’m not storing anybody’s stuff. I just read a horrible bedbug infestation story.
It’s a very unappealing thought to me, too. So is renting out closet space. We don’t own a house or have space to do those things anyway, though.
Kylie Ofiu (Aspiring Millionaire) says
Great ideas. I never thought of renting out your closet space or your backyard for camping! I wrote a similar list recently with 7 ideas. It is amazing what you can do with your house to make extra money and how easy a lot of it is.
Thanks for sharing.
Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy says
Single spot camping? I had no idea!
I live in Derby City, and my friends who live near Churchill Downs can pay their mortgage with what they get for renting out their driveway for parking during Kentucky Derby week–at least one months’ payment, and two if they’re savvy! But it hadn’t occurred to me to explore anything like that for my own home a few miles away.
What a fun topic! Perfect for your site, Crystal, but just offbeat enough to be super-interesting!
We lived in Old Louisville in college and we rented out our parking space for the derby. My husband told me to do it and I thought he was crazy. No one would want to drive from Old Louisville to Churchill. Boy was I wrong! Simple easy cash.
Mary K says
Wow- these are interesting ideas, but they won’t work for this faithful reader- I’m stuck in a house that’s in a not so great neighborhood, I don’t have extra closets since I have three kids in a small three bedroom house and we’ve never pulled even close to that much in a garage sale 🙁
what awesome ideas! i love the penny hoarder’s blog!!!
Oooo, I wonder if I could rent my driveway for garage sales, lol. We get such heavy traffic at ours b/c we are in a great location. It’s normal for me to have $1000 garage sales over a Friday and Saturday. And all I have to do is post on Craigs List and put 3 signs up at our neighborhood entrances which happen to be on 3 main roads in our town. The wheels are turning!
Interesting thought. I live out in the boonies and I’ve often thought how nice it would be to have a garage sale at a better location in town. Surely, I’m not the only person that has thought that. With enough traffic to generate $1000, people might really consider it! Of course, they would have to have stuff worthy of earning $1000 too. If your town doesn’t have a limit like ours does (must get a permit, and can only have 2 per year at any one location), and you could keep the price reasonable, and figure out how to let shoppers know it’s not your “same old stuff” every week, it might be worth trying!
just so you know, alot of the links in the post aren’t working, i tried clicking on the ones to go to her website and it says oops page is not found
Try refreshing the page and see if they work for you. I think I fixed them.
Thanks so much!
I love the Penny Hoarder blog! Always the most interesting ideas for making money.
I may have to check out renting camping space in my yard. We live way out in the woods in a town that’s very tourist-heavy, so that might actually be an idea to pursue.
Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder says
Thanks Anna! I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog. 🙂
Sorry, I meant Imagine. I was so worked up about the price my fingers took off. Lol
Wow. I can’t imaging having to pay those prices monthly just to park my vehicle(s). That’s almost our entire rent here in the North West. Ouch. I will be much more appreciative that this includes 2 parking spaces. Lol 🙂
At college we use to let people park in our driveway for the football games, easy $40.00!
Kacie Woodmansee says
I had some friends that did that. That’s how they paid their utilities. I’ve always lived too far from campus.
The links seem a bit messed up for this post (example: https://moneysavingmom.com/2011/08/%E2%80%9Dhttp:/www.parkatmyhouse.com%E2%80%9D).
Just thought you’d want to know!
Love this blog, by the way. I’m a daily reader :-).
Thanks so much for catching that! Oops on my part for not double-checking the links before posting.
Thanks for letting me know; they should be fixed now.
Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder says
Oops… so sorry if I added a broken link. 🙁
Thanks for fixing everything Crystal!