Can I earn £10,000 in a year without getting a job?

I love my life.  I enjoy being able to be around for my kids whenever they need me.  I also like being able to spend the time when they are at school doing the things I need to do to run the house and the things I want to do like writing this blog or writing an e-book. Living such a thrifty lifestyle has enabled me to do this for the last two years and it’s been great. There is one small problem though – we recently realised that we are regularly a bit short each month. This is not a big problem in the short term, but could be a much bigger problem in the long term.
So in contrast to last year, where I entertained dreams of living a moneyless life (Moneyless Manifesto inspired), I have come back to earth with a bit of a bump and it is time for me to make some money. I don’t plan to go out and get a job though (as you might have already guessed) and I don’t plan to change my lifestyle at all.  Instead I have a plan which was inspired by the following:
  1. We rent out our garage for storage and because of that I was featured as a case study in an article in the Independent a while ago.  The article reckoned it is possible to make £10,000 from your home in a year (read it here). 
  2. A couple of months ago a reporter got in touch wanting to know if I was suitable for a documentary they were planning which included a section on people making money from things they already own.  She wanted to know if I was renting out my car when I wasn’t using it.  I wasn’t and it turned out I wasn’t doing enough in the making money stakes for them and I never heard from her again. I did look into making money from my car though and was reminded about the article in the Independent.
My plan is to set myself the challenge of earning £10,000 from my home, my car and things I already have this year! The ‘Sharing Economy’ (i.e. where people ‘share’ for a fee, things that they own) is big business these days. According to PWC the sharing economy was worth $15 billion in 2013 (read more here). 
Sharing is a really eco-friendly thing to do.  The theory is that if you rent out your room, your car, your garage or your stuff while you aren’t using it then you make the best use of what already exists. You reduce the need for new stuff, new cars, new hotels and new storage units to be created, built and maintained to rent out to people.
My initial thoughts on how to make my £10,000 include the following ideas:
  • Renting out:
    • my spare room (more than I have been)
    • our home when we are away (if not houseswapping)
    • my car on weekends
    • the rest of my garage (I’m currently only renting out 1/3 of it)
    • our rarely used stuff
  • Selling on-car advertising on my car.
  • Continuing decluttering and selling our unwanted stuff
I’m going to be testing out the ideas to see how much we can earn, how well they fit into our life and how much work they involve. I will of course be reporting back on how it all goes throughout the year, so watch this space and wish me luck!

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