Would You Reduce Costs By Taking on a Lodger?

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

One of the more interesting ways to save money on living costs — and possibly make money on the side — is to take on a boarder. More than 150 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for someone struggling to allow lodgers in their homes, although the practice died out over time. Having someone else around to help pay the costs of housing can reduce your own costs, and possibly even help you make a little extra money.

These days, some people are once again open to the idea of letting someone else move in. Having someone to pay rent to you can reduce your housing costs, since you can put the amount toward the mortgage. If your lodger is willing to share grocery costs and utility costs as well, you can save even more in the long run.

Permanent Residents

Before you allow someone to move in with you and pay you rent, it’s important to understand the statutes in your city. In some cases, even if you own a home, you can’t have non-relatives living with you in areas zoned for single-family residences. If you are renting an apartment, you might need to check with the landlord about the rules involved with adding another tenant.

Once you find out that the whole thing is acceptable, you can get started. Make sure that you perform a background check. This can cost money, but remember that you are inviting someone to share your space. A background check is especially important if you have children. You don’t want an unsavory character living under your roof with access to your loved ones and your possessions.

As with any tenant agreement, you need to spell out the terms, getting a signed agreement from your lodger. Make sure that he or she understands the rate, and what is included in that rate. A rental agreement is a good template for this type of arrangement.

What about Temporary Lodgers?

In some cases, people are finding success with temporary lodgers. Web sites like Airbnb allow you to put your home “out there” for others to see. They can come stay with you for a few days while on vacation, or you can even rent out the home while you are gone. That way, you can make a little money on the side, even when you are on vacation.

Once again, you have to be prepared to offset some of the risk that comes with having strangers in your home. Make sure your valuables are properly locked up. You can also check user profiles and ratings on most sites that provide these services. Be sure to properly vet anyone who pays to stay in your home.

These are ways that you can use your living space to your advantage. Every little bit helps when you are trying to live more frugally. If you can cut your living costs — and perhaps even make money and come out ahead — it might make sense to consider renting out a room in your house, or even your whole house.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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