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I cannot believe that it is time for part 8 in my Side Hustling series. This week we hear another excellent interview with Jane from Shoestring Cottage. She tells us how changes in her family situation presented her with a money making opportunity.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Jane and I live in north Essex with my partner Justin and 2 cats. We have 3 grown up daughters. I blog at www.shoestringcottage.com about about getting off the consumer treadmill, growing our own food and living a truly wealthy life through frugality and simplicity.
I also write about how we make extra money to enable us to do the things we love to do. Now that the girls have all but moved out, we rent out their old rooms. We have done this in two ways: by taking in foreign language students on a short term basis and by renting to longer term lodgers.
What was your motivation for starting?
We wanted to make some extra money to put into our emergency fund and to enable us to do the things we enjoy, such as going on days out, having weekends away and taking regular holidays.
How much time do you put into it?
The lodgers take very little time and tend to look after themselves, although there is some work involved in advertising and showing people round initially. The students are more labour intensive, as they require their meals prepared, their laundry done and time spent chatting to them to help improve their English.
What’s been the highlight so far?
We have met so many interesting people from all over the world! It is fascinating to learn about other people’s ways and cultures, and to see them growing in confidence as they develop their language skills. I would really recommend taking in foreign students. We see many of them as friends and keep in touch, as we do with our lodgers. They become like one of the family.
How about the biggest challenge?
We have been lucky in that most of our guests have been lovely. However, many of the language students are teenagers away from home for the first time. You are responsible for their well being. We have had a couple who have pushed the boundaries and stayed out later than they should. One 17 year old rolled in very drunk at 1 am. You need to be prepared to set clear ground rules. After this early experience, we set out our expectations very clearly as soon as they arrived and have had no trouble since.
What would you say to someone considering a similar route?
You need to be friendly, welcoming and tolerant when you invite a stranger to live in your home. This is especially important with the younger foreign students, who may be extremely nervous.
What does the future hold for this venture?
We plan to continue to earn money by renting our rooms out for the foreseeable future. It is handy extra income and enjoyable too.
And where can we find you?
Are you feeling inspired yet?
Every week I ask this because we hear from amazing people you are making the most of the opportunities presented to them. Jane saw the opportunity to make money from her home and hospitality and it sounds like she’s doing very well from it. Thank you so much, Jane! It has been fascinating to hear your story.
If you want to catch up on the rest of the series make sure you click the Side Hustling tab above. If you’ve got an interesting way to make money and want to take part in this series then email me at: email@example.com .
Got more questions? Comment below!
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.