Rental arithmetic:

Turn your stuff into money without selling it

Rental arithmetic: Turn your stuff into money without selling it

It’s about this time of year, usually just after the last of the Christmas ham has been scoffed and the cherries are a distant sticky memory, that our thoughts turn to money. As in: how can we have more? And how will that work without grovelling for a pay rise from Bossy McBossface?

One solution is to have a good fossick around the house, spy some unwanted stuff and sell it on Trade Me. Which is great, but once you’ve spent the money you have no money and no stuff (and who knows, perhaps those smoke alarms and that home dialysis machine might have come in handy one day).

Another approach is to rent your stuff to other people. And by stuff, I mean everything from that snowboard you bought but never used after your girlfriend ran off with the snowboarding instructor, to your whole entire house (if you’re lucky enough to own one). These days, there’s a bunch of websites that take care of the heavy lifting … so all you have to do is sit back and wait for the money to roll in*.

Put it on the house

If you’ve got a house, or even a bach or crib, that you’re happy to let other people use, you could earn some handy cash. Locally, Bookabach and Bachcare are always looking for good listings, and global operator AirBNB is also very active in New Zealand. All of them charge fees, of course, and these range from 3% to 12%. You’ll also need to allow for cleaning (if you don’t want to do that yourself) and of course you’ll need somewhere to stay while your place is rented out!

Toot toot chugga chugga, big rent car

Move over Avis, it’s time to get into the car rental business! Most New Zealand cars sit doing nothing for 95% of the time, and for Auckland peer to peer car rental company Yourdrive that’s a business opportunity! Listing your car with Yourdrive lets you set a daily price for your precious wagon, tell people when it’s available and any other requirements you have. When we checked, most cars were in the $40-$70 per day range. (Yourdrive keeps 40% of the renting fee, but that covers insurance and promoting your car on their website.)

Free parking… not!

If you live somewhere that’s short on parking, and you’re lucky enough to have a driveway or offstreet spot you don’t use during the day, Parkable could help turn that into cash. Like Yourdrive, with Parkable you set the hourly or daily price you want for your spot, then leave them to list and administer it. The returns aren’t huge – most central city spots run to $2/hr… but over a year it could really add up. Listing on Parkable is free, but the site charges a 25% commission.

Turn that lawn into a campground

Sick of being stuck behind a campervan driving up that endless hill? Turn that frustration into cash by letting one park in your back yard! Campable is a New Zealand site that matches campervan drivers with property owners. All you need is flat land big enough to park a campervan on, but if you can offer power, toilets, wifi and so on you can charge more. Campable takes a 25% fee, and most sites charge from $20 to $50 per night. 

*Actually, some of these take a fair bit of work … so you’d better like cleaning and having email conversations with strangers.

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