Couch to $10k in Six Months Part II

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

I figured out pretty quickly that the Dick's Sporting Goods life was not for me. Maybe waitressing or bartending would be more bearable? Idk, I didn't try it. But I promised myself that I wouldn't quit until I found another way to make money. Determined. Determined AF.

Passive income is the concept of making money with little to no effort. If that doesn't sound attractive, I don't know what will. I’ve been trying to figure out how to still get paid without actually showing up to the office for years. Let me know if you ever figure out how to do this, I’d love some insight.

I listened to podcasts, I asked around, I googled. I finally came across one episode of Side Hustle (best podcast ever, go listen) about a guy in Amsterdam who lives solely off the income he makes through Airbnb. We all know what Airbnb is, right? It’s the only way millennials can afford to travel since hotels have decided to be the most expensive.

All communication, background checks, and payments go directly through the website for security reasons. Basically, if there are hotels in your area, there is a possible marketplace for Airbnb. Some cities have certain permitting restrictions, but it’s pretty easy to get yourself signed up and registered. There are obviously safety precautions you should take if you look into this. I only allow female guests and also require the guest to write me a little blurb requesting to stay. You don't have to book anyone you don't feel comfortable with. There's a difference between feeling awkward and feeling unsafe, trust your gut here.

My apartment was definitely not anywhere as cool as Amsterdam, but it was definitely worth a shot. I was lucky enough to live alone in a charming two-bed room about a mile from downtown. Giving up my freedom was tough, but worth it for the extra income. So, I bought a cheap mattress and bed frame, had spare keys made, took a few pictures, and listed my space on the website.

The room was listed at a pretty modest price. It was targeted towards college students in lieu of short-term housing, and freelancers just passing through town. I guess I did something right, because I had constant booking requests coming in faster than I could approve them.

I had everyone from a Berliner in town to get some firsthand experience on just how obese our city was, to an international student taking summer classes at the local University. I hosted couples in town for a weekend wedding, girls in town for the jazz and wine festival, and a student for her summer internship.

While meeting new people constantly is always fun, hosting them isn’t always butterflies and rainbows. You can’t even imagine the amount of laundry and dishes between visits. I was constantly out of coffee or making sure they had a complimentary bottle of wine. It was a lot of work, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for the extra income.

Renting out your spare room is just one way to earn extra income. Another way is to walk dogs on Rover. You could even try to build that app you’ve been pondering. Providing a budgeting/personal finance service to postgrads is another. See what I did there? If you get creative, the possibilities are endless here.

Start a blog, build an Airbnb empire, develop an app.  Slide in the DM's of that computer science major and ask him to help build that app you've had in the back of your mind. You might be surprised by how cute he is under those glasses, and even more surprised by how profitable your ideas really are. It doesn't matter what you do, figure out a way to make money by doing it. The more creative you are, the more opportunities you have. That's the beauty of passive income.

Special thanks to Zack Mathis for reminding me that I'm good at money, not grammar.