MUM-OF-TWO Lily Canter earns £8,000 a year from renting out a spare room and drive.
The 39-year-old lecturer from Market Harborough, Leicestershire uses the money for home improvements and adds any leftover cash to her retirement pot.
Lily Canter Mum-of-two Lily makes £8,000 a year from renting out her drive and her spare room
Lily Canter Lily is a freelance journalist, a lecturer and a mum-of-two
She rents out a spare room in her house as well as two private parking spaces.
“It all started three years ago when we saw a notice in the local paper asking for families to host a Japanese student for three weeks in the summer,” says Lily who lives with her husband Mark and their two sons.
“It was for the local international school and we thought it would be an interesting experience. We didn’t even realise that we would be paid £150 a week.”
A few months after the Japanese visit, the family were contacted again to see if they would be interested in hosting a 17-year-old lad from Ethiopia.
Lily Canter Lily also rents out her spare room to students and she says it doesn’t add much to her bills at all
They were initially asked to house him for three months, but this soon turned into two years.
The student has his own room and his parents pay Lily £130 a week for food and board.
Under the government Rent a Room scheme owner occupiers or tenants can rent out furnished accommodation to a lodger for up to £7,500 a year tax free.
“We were apprehensive at first because it is such a long time and a big commitment but we have found it really easy. He is a lovely guy and gets on well with our kids and he keeps to himself.
Lily Canter Lily uses the extra money to make home improvements and to stash away in a private pension
Lily Canter The journalist lives with her family in a semi-detached ex-council house
“He usually eats at school so all we have to do is clean his room and that’s about it.
“He uses our Netflix account and we have unlimited broadband so apart from a bit of extra washing and use of the shower there really is no additional cost to us,” says Lily.
The student has been living with the family in their semi-detached ex council house for 18 months whilst he studies for his A levels.
“He has an allowance from his parents and he used it to buy a PlayStation 4 which is in our living room so we actually got our PlayStation 3 upgraded for free,” adds Lily.
What to know before renting out a room or driveTHESE are Lily’s top tips before pushing forward with plans to make money from your home:
Make sure you know the tax threshold for renting out any spaces
If you are renting to a student you need to ensure the room can fit a bed and a desk
Good wifi connection is a must for student lodgers
Having good photos of your parking space to encourage people to book it
Be aware that parking apps charge a commission
Realising there was more money to be made from the house, Lily decided to put their front drive on JustPark at the beginning of this year.
There is room for two cars which makes Lily around £10 per day, depending on the length of the hire. The scheme is tax free for earnings up to £1,000.
“My husband goes to work really early in his van which is parked round the back so I move my car to his space, which frees up our drive.
“We are only a five minute walk from the train station which charges £12 per day for parking, so we save commuters a lot of money.
“We are hoping to make around £1,500 this year from parking and have been getting lots of bookings so far.”
Lily Canter Lily says the students who have moved into her spare room in the past have kept to themselves
And once their Ethiopian student finishes his exams this summer he will be off to university meaning their spare room is available once more.
Lily says: “We are definitely going to get back in touch with the school to see if we can host another student again for a short term or long term stay.
“It is a great way to make money from the spare room which would otherwise be used for storage but also it is a nice way to meet people from all over the world and support their studies.
“In the past year we have used the money for home improvements including getting a new front door made and fitted, and buying a new lawnmower.
“The rest of the money goes into a private pension as we would really love to go travelling when we retire.”
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Yesterday, a couple revealed how they eat out at posh restaurants twice a month but only ever pay half price.
There are plenty of ways to make money – and some can be done in under an hour.
Meanwhile, if you make 11 tiny changes to your routine you could make an extra £6,000 a year – and it’s good for the planet too.
Our top eight apps to help you save money in 2019
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