Renting Out A Spare Room For Money

Cambridgeport room for sublet, July 1 - Aug 31st,

This is not my house, but you get the idea.

Have you ever thought about renting out a room in your house? We have thought about it and we currently do rent out a room in our home.

We have had 3 total roommates since we bought our house 4 years ago. The first two didn’t end up working out (we were helping out people who needed a place to live), and the third is my sister who has worked out very well. We’ve never had more than one roommate at one time also (and the second roommate only lasted a couple of days anyways).

When we bought our house 4 years ago, we never even thought that we would rent any of the rooms.

We didn’t buy the house thinking that we could only buy it if we rented out additional rooms also (I know of some people who have done this). We kind of just fell into renting out a spare room in our house. Every time that we have had a roommate, it’s because we were asked if they could rent a room.

We have four bedrooms in our house and we only use one. So when my sister needed a place to live, we of course invited her to live with us. It’s been working out greatly. She’s been living with us since May of 2012 and pays around $325 per month. She is hardly home so we haven’t really noticed an increase in any of our bills also. For us, this is definitely a win, and it’s a win for her also. I’m sure she loves living with us! 🙂

Before now, I haven’t lived with my sister since I was very young, so seeing her more often is definitely a change and can be fun. Even though we do fight, my friends still occasionally tell me that they are jealous of our sister relationship.

Now, I will say that besides my sister, I do not think that we will ever rent out a room in our home again. Don’t get me wrong though, my sister has been great to have. However, I would just prefer not to because I don’t think anyone else would be a good fit, especially since in a couple of years we see ourselves having children.

Before you add a roommate:

  1. Make sure you really want one. This is key! Not everyone is meant to live with people who are not their significant other or their family.
  2. Lay out the ground rules. Who buys toilet paper? How many people are allowed over? Can there be parties? What about cleaning? Do you share household duties? Can they change the thermostat? Trust me, these all seem like little things, but they definitely need to be talked about. No one wants to feel like they are getting walked on, regardless if you are the one renting the room or you are the renter.
  3. Make sure there is value. Maybe it’s not always about money, and you actually just want to help someone out.  If you are just looking to add additional cash flow, make sure that there is actually cash flow there. If this person uses a crazy amount of electricity, water and so on, then you might not actually be making any money in the end if you are not calculating everything in.
  4. If you are doing this just to help someone out, make sure that you think about everything and really think about whether or not you want to ruin this relationship that you have with this person. Living with people who you know does not always end up the best.

Have you ever thought about renting out a room in your home? Why or why not?

 

Spending Time on Side Hustles

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Lately I have been feeling super overwhelmed. I feel like I have no time for anything, and I haven’t been very efficient with my time.

I work over 45 hours per week at my day job, and spend 10 hours per week getting ready and commuting for that job. I also probably spend around 40 hours per week doing my side hustles as well. So that’s around 100 hours per week dedicated to working.

I multi-task when I do anything, which of course makes everything take just a little bit longer since I have to constantly switch my focus. And that of course means a lot of time wasted.

One thing that everyone is constantly asking me, is how I have time to do everything that I do. It’s really not that, that bad. This is especially so since we don’t have kids. If we had children, I’m pretty sure all of this would be impossible! I’m not sure how some bloggers do it!

Determining on how much time I spend on side hustles is hard to quantify.

For example, I love to read blogs and articles, and don’t know if I should be counting that as “working.” Most of you know that I am all over the place and read all different types of blogs. I don’t consider reading a blog post “working” because I genuinely like to do this and like to know what’s going on in everyone’s lives.

Keep in mind that I have a full-time job completely unrelated to blogging (analyst in the financial services industry), so my side hustles revolve around that currently.  I usually spend each Saturday and Sunday working on my blog as well. I definitely spend at least 40 hours a week on my side hustles.

Cutting back in certain areas

I’ve cut back in certain areas because I’ve been feeling too overwhelmed due to lack of time. I don’t do much staff writing anymore. I noticed that writing on my own blog was suffering because I didn’t have enough blog ideas and was using all of my awesome ideas for my staff writing jobs.

I will most likely increase this again once I make the full-time self-employment switch, but for right now, my time is very limited.

How much time I spend on my blog posts

I spend a decent amount of time on my blog posts. I will write it and then go back to it days later to add more, so that’s also hard to quantify.  Usually for my whale posts (which have been every single post that I’ve written lately), these take hours and hours. High quality posts are important!

I know a lot of bloggers says that shorter posts of around 500 words are better, but once I start talking about something, I tend to talk about EVERYTHING. I should probably work on finding a way to split up my posts, but for right now I am happy with the length of my posts.

Here is my normal weekday schedule:

  • 6:15 am – Wake up and get ready for work. Yes I can get ready super quickly. This is years of practice of being able to apply makeup within minutes!  🙂
  • 6:45 am – Check emails, moderate comments on my blog, read blogs (I love reading blog posts!)
  • 7:45 am – Leave for work
  • During my lunch break – Check and reply to emails, blog work, side hustles
  • 6:00 pm – I come home from work and work on my side hustles more. Sometimes I barely work on them, but sometimes I work on them a ton. 

How much time do you spend on your side hustles?

 

Should you get rid of all debt for financial independence?

Should you get rid of all debt for financial independence?

Is this what you want in financial independence?

Financial independence has definitely been on my mind a lot lately. I even started a blog (this one) dedicated to it! Financial independence doesn’t have the same definition to everyone.

Some consider it similar to early retirement, and you are not working. Some are on the opposite end and think it means that you can choose when and where you work and be more focused on enjoying life. One thing that may be different for some is financial independence when it comes to debt.

Debt doesn’t always mean the same thing for everyone. Some categorize debt as good or bad and place a lot of value on interest rates. Some think that all debt is bad and must be paid off. So does a person eliminate all debt before they declare that they are financially independent?

Are you considered financially independent if you are taking advantage of low-interest rates and would rather invest your money?

For me, I would prefer to have all debt gone. I know that many say you should keep low-interest rate loans since you can earn higher than that in the market.

However, I would rather have complete financial independence and have no debt, especially not a mortgage. I would want my monthly expenses to be as low as possible, but still enjoy life. That means no mortgage and no car payments or anything else large.

Positives of eliminating debt

  1. Lower monthly expenses. Your housing expense most likely won’t be completely eliminated since you will most likely have to pay property taxes still, but you will still be cutting your expenses by a lot.
  2. More room in your yearly budget to do what you want.  With debt, you might want to have more of a stable job, which might not equal financial independence for you any longer.
  3. Knowing that you paid it all with your current earnings can reduce the pressure to earn more to pay back debt. Also, you can get discounts when you pay in full. For example, according to cheapautoinsurance.net, you can avoid paying additional credit charges and save around five to 10 percent on your auto insurance when you pay in full.

Positives of keeping debt

  1. Might be able to earn more in the market and “make money” off your debt.
  2. Less net worth tied up in your home. If you truly needed to dip into your investments, then cash from housing may not be easily accessible.

Are you working on eliminating all debt?