Money Making Idea – Find a Roommate

Money Making Idea - Find a RoommateOur house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, which is definitely a lot of space and room for just two people to be living in. We figured that the extra space was better utilized by renting it out.

We aren’t bringing in the big bucks by renting out a room in our home, but we are making a little profit on a room that would otherwise be empty.

Since we bought our home almost five years ago, we have had four people live with us. The first two were not for very long (one for around six months and the other for just a few days).

The longest person to live with us is my sister, and she’s been with us for a few years now. My sister has definitely been the best roommate so far. However, after she moves out this summer, we will not be looking for another roommate.

I still do think that it can be a great way to make some side money, but I plan on turning her bedroom into my home office and turning the other room upstairs (where my office currently is) into a nicer guest bedroom (our bedroom is upstairs as well, and the fourth bedroom is in the basement). I definitely think that renting out a room for around the past 5 years has been well worth it.

Below are different things to think about before you decide to get a roommate.

 

Will you actually make money?

I have seen people rent out a room in their home for something cheap – like $100 (and not splitting the utility bills). However, at $100, you might not even be making any money because your bills will go up, and there will also be additional wear and tear on your home.

You should try to find an amount that you think the room deserves, but you should also be realistic. If your monthly mortgage is $1,000, then asking for $900 for rent for one bedroom is probably not realistic.

We have always asked for around $250 a month for the room that my sister is currently in. We believe it’s a good price, and she even thought it was on the cheap side. I prefer for both sides to feel like they are getting a good deal!

$250 isn’t a lot of money, but it is better than nothing. We could rent out the other two bedrooms that we have as well (the last bedroom is for us, of course), but fitting more people into our house would make it feel a little cramped. The rent money we collect used to go towards student loans, but now it just goes towards other expenses that we have.

 

How do you determine what they should pay?

This is hard to say. Pick an amount that you think is fair. If you have four bedrooms, then something such as 25% of the total mortgage may be fair if you want to rent out one bedroom.

Also, you might think about splitting all utilities and other bills with your roommate. You never know if they may use a lot of water or a lot of electricity.

 

Are you allowed to have roommates?

If you don’t own the place where you live, then you may not be able to even rent a room out. Also, if you live in a neighborhood that has an HOA, then you might not be able to as well.

 

Who do you want to live with you?

You might think that you will be fine with just anyone living with you, but that is usually not the case. You should think long and hard about who the right person is, and you might even want to conduct some interviews.

For example, if you enjoy peace and quiet, then you probably do not want a constant partier living with you who will come and go at all hours of the night. Also, if you are a clean freak, then having an extremely dirty person living with you might drive you nuts. You will probably drive the other person nuts because you will probably be nagging them all the time.

 

Lay out the ground rules.

Since I’ve been public with my blogging, I have to refrain from bashing one person who used to live with us. They only lived with us for a few days, but it was an absolutely horrible experience. The person really needed a place to stay, so we weren’t doing it to make money, we were just trying to help the person out. We ended up paying him to leave because it was so horrible. Lets just say someone did something illegal (multiple times) in front of our house for all of our neighbors to see (our neighbors told us instead of calling the police) and we then realized how sketchy the person was. Oh yeah and there were other incidents as well that included peeing in our house multiple times (nope, not in a bathroom!), and inviting equally sketchy friends over.

If you decide to have roommates, you should always try to lay out the ground rules beforehand. Different things that you might want to discuss include:

  • Are parties allowed?
  • Are they allowed to have guests? What about overnight guests?
  • Who buys toiletries?
  • How does the cleaning situation go?
  • When is rent due?
  • What happens if they break something?
  • What rooms are they allowed to go in? Are they only renting their bedroom, or do they have access to the whole house?
  • Are pets allowed?

Have you ever rented out a room in your home? Why or why not?

 

Six Months Of Being Self-Employed

Six Months Of Being Self-EmployedMy last day at my day job was in the beginning of October of 2013, so it has officially been 6 months since I made the life-changing switch to self-employment.

Can you believe that?

It does not feel like it’s been six months at all.

I still remember when I first told my employer that I was leaving. I was dreading the day. I was extremely nervous about what they would say, and I kept saying to myself “Six months from now all of this will be long forgotten.”

Well, that day has finally come! I can say that I have no regret from the decision that I made, and I’m so glad that I left my day job.

Self-employment has been going very well. I won’t lie though, I thought I would be able to increase my business income more. My income is still at the same level as when I had my day job, which is crazy to think about since I have so much more time to dedicate to work.

I guess I’m just enjoying myself a lot more these days! Nothing wrong with that, right?

Below is my update after being self-employed for six months.

 

Not being in an office hasn’t fazed me yet.

I still get the “I would be so lonely working at home” line all the time, but I actually prefer it this way. I don’t feel lonely at all! I know others feel differently, but I like being in the comfort of my home and spending time (probably too much time) with my fur children.

Like I said last time – At my day job, I worked in an office, but I still worked independently. I worked in an industry filled with older men (everyone was at least twice my age, but most were three times my age), so it’s not like I was being swarmed with office friends and conversations every single day.

 

I’m getting better at putting on “real” clothes.

I now have a rule where I have to put on real clothes after I eat breakfast. Nothing fancy, I usually just put on workout clothes even if I don’t plan on working out! Haha.

This has led me to save money as well. My closet is the emptiest it’s been in a while, mainly because I don’t really need a lot of clothes now since I’m always at home.

 

I still enjoy what I’m doing.

When I was in the process of making the switch to self-employment, many people told me that I would probably not enjoy the business anymore since it would no longer be a hobby. Well, they were wrong!

It’s been 6 months and I’m still as motivated and happy about everything that has happened since Day 1.

I don’t think there’s a single thing that I could say I don’t enjoy. Everything is going very well.

I wake up each morning more motivated than the previous morning. I don’t have “weekend dread,” and I also enjoy the community that I am in.

 

I do need to start working harder. 

I am definitely still spending way too much time relaxing.

And I’m spending too much time planning the wedding. It is crazy to think that I have been planning something for almost a year and the actual wedding day will be less than 8 hours long. AHH What was I thinking?

This is probably why people think brides are insane.

Once the wedding is over, I will have no more excuses. I have a long list of things that I would like to tackle before the summer is over.

 

What else do you want to know about my four months being self-employed?

How is self-employment treating you?

 

How To Start An Online Business

How To Start An Online BusinessThis past week, I have received many e-mails asking for steps that a person should take if they are interested in starting their own online business.

I started my business very slowly and I definitely didn’t follow any steps. I made many mistakes and I had to learned things the hard and slow way.

However, hopefully with this post I can help others start an online business. Of course, reading blog posts will not mean that your business will be successful. Even if you have a plan, how you approach your business and the amount of time and effort you put into it is important.

Have a business plan.

If you want to start a new business, then you need some sort of business plan. You need to do research and think about everything that needs to be done in order to have a fully functioning business.

You need to know:

  • What your product or service is. It’s nice to want a business, but what are you trying to sell?
  • How you plan on gaining an edge over your competitors.
  • Who you will sell your product or service to.

Is there a market for the product or service that you want to sell?

Before you change your whole life around and focus on your business, you should make sure that there is a market for your product or service.

If you can’t think of a single person who would want to pay you for your product or service, then it may not be the best idea. Yes, some people start non-profit businesses, but they still have someone out there who is interested in what they are offering.

Do you have a website?

I’m not sure how people start an online business without a website, but I have seen it done. I think that if you want to create a successful online business then you need a website.

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just a simple website that details your services and tells a potential customer more about you. Usually simpler is better.

However, you don’t want to have such a bad-looking website that people close out of your website immediately.

The steps in my blog post How To Start a Blog can also apply to starting a commercial website as well. You will need a domain name, a hosting company, a website design, and more.

Have a way to accept payments.

I have seen this happen before. A person starts a business but didn’t think about how they will accept payments. Sometimes they don’t want to start a PayPal account because they don’t want to pay fees, or they try to deal with cash as much as they can.

I think if you want an online business, that 99% of the time you will have to deal with PayPal. About 99.9% of the transactions that I deal with are through PayPal, and I can count on one hand the amount of times that I have received a check in the mail instead.

Make your business legal.

Many people start their business without thinking about any legal or accounting aspects, but it can never hurt to start off on the right foot.

Talk to a lawyer and/or accountant about forming a company (LLC, Partnership, etc.), any licenses that you may need, tax help and so on.

Be polite to your customers.

I think you should always be polite to your customers, but you should really aim to be polite and careful with what you say when you are in the beginning stages of having a business.

For example, the other day I was on Instagram and I saw a company be rude to its customers.  Multiple customers said that they hadn’t received the product. That’s when the owner of the company started calling the customers names and was yelling. I could not believe the things that I was reading from the owner. I immediately unfollowed the company on all social media accounts because I knew it wasn’t something that I ever wanted to deal with.

In the beginning, how you treat your customers will shape your reputation. If you are known for being rude, this can actually lead to your downfall very quickly.

What am I forgetting? What steps did you make sure to make?