My House Is A Whore – How I Became Financially Free And How You Can Too.

My House Is A Whore – How I Became Financially Free And How You Can Too.

For those of you who follow my Instagram and wonder, “How does she afford to travel so much?” And for those of you that assume that I have some sort of old man sugar daddy that I am dealing with every week; you are cute, but oh so incorrect. I’ll tell you how I am able to afford to travel so much, it’s a little secret I’ve acquired over the years called renting out your own stuff to strangers for money, particularly in this case on Airbnb.  I’ve rented out my apartment and my car to strangers to make some extra cash, but let me tell you how Airbnb got to be my main side dish.

I moved into my first apartment alone while I was living with a boyfriend at the time…it’s a little confusing…but prior to me getting my own studio, we lived together with his brother and brother’s now wife; and I wanted to move simply because I needed the personal space. I mean, come on, when you’ve semi-dated two brothers why the heck would you want to live with both of them?! Another story lol.

I learned recently that I am an introvert. Thinking I was an extrovert my whole life, more things started to make sense to me. It made sense looking back that when I was about to move into a home with a boyfriend for the first time, that when I saw there was a third bedroom, I actually asked if that could be my room, or my “study room” since I was studying for the CPA exams at the time. I wanted my own room in my boyfriend’s house and I knew that was a little weird but he nor his brother wanted any part of that. My dude didn’t understand why I would want my own personal space to such an extreme and his brother didn’t want us having “more of the house” than him and his girlfriend had.  They didn’t understand that I wanted this extra room to be able to recharge, to study in quiet, and plain and simple to stay sane in this new “living with a boyfriend” environment which was all brand new to me… I was going to pay for it! Anyway, waking up to someone you love and coming home to them is the best thing in the world, but sometimes you just need a little space…. not you? Ok fine, you’re perfect. Like it or not, though, we are all different in what we need.

Speaking of personal space, now that I rent my studio out on Airbnb, I really don’t get any. I have a stranger in my bed every weekend who can be rifling through my dresser drawers, bathroom cabinets, and even though I lock my closets, you can get in there with a screwdriver if you really wanted to (If I really wanted to prevent this I could try harder, but I don’t own nice things so I don’t see the hassle). I can’t remember exactly how I came up with the idea of renting out my space…(yes I do, I went broke from my new rent in Santa Barbara while living on my own) but it started with the first studio I ever had on my own. I didn’t waste any time. I’ve rented out every studio I have had since. When I look for my place of living I almost put into account that I know I will be wanting to rent it out so I ask specific questions to see how often the landlord is on property, where they live, and if a friend needed a place to stay, how long are they okay with them crashing with me etc. but not in a weird suspicious way…

Just real quick back to living with a boyfriend and then moving out on him mid-relationship – try to explain to your boyfriend who you live with that you need personal space etc. yeah the relationship didn’t last long past the move….from him not helping me move as much as a lamp, I should have known what I was doing was so hurtful to the other person, but I was only thinking of myself at the time, unfortunately, wanting my space blah blah blah. I wish I would have communicated that better but at that time in my life, good communication was foreign and hard and scary for me. And, I just didn’t understand why he didn’t understand. I mean come on, read my mind please :b (just kidding. get out of there. don’t do that).

Once I lived in my own apartment, and I was going from $500 rent to $1200, I wanted to find some sort of side hustle, to be able to have any extra spending cash at all. Somehow I came up with Airbnb, among other failed, half started ideas.

I hadn’t actually used Airbnb before but I understood the idea: Have a spare room, home, RV, tree house, or boat? Rent it out on Airbnb for extra cash. That was it. All you need is the space and you are set up to run a business. It’s actually incredibly easy and accessible to do. Which is why, I’m hoping this post sparks a light or encourages you to make a little extra cash out of that spare room, trailer, the vacation home you have, hell even your main home. And if you think it’s a great idea but you don’t know how to orchestrate the renters, the cleaning etc. on your own, talk to me. I’m here! So let’s talk!

We recently rented a camper van in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, it slept three people and I made a joke of renting out the third bed in the back and making half our money back on the thing – the funny part is, although would take a minute to organize, that is 100% feasible to do.

I sail with a family guy who rents out his place in Goleta for I think $1200 a NIGHT. He’s taken it as far as to get a mobile home down in Carpinteria so he and his family have a place to stay while it’s rented out, but even when they would stay in a hotel, they were coming way up every day. (this guy is in his late 40’s, has a cool wife and 13-year-old girl and has a good respectable job, in case you were wondering).

In my first studio, I lived in an apartment complex where the landlord lived on the property. I had to make sure this lady wouldn’t find out I was side renting her place (which fun fact also used to be a brothel…totally lived in an old brothel).  A few ways I found to be helpful in keeping this a secret – for a while – when filtering through requests to stay I would mention prior to their stay to not mention anything regarding “renting” or Airbnb and that if they ran into anyone to say that they were just a friend of mine. I also was a bit more picky with who I put inside. I checked out their profiles, their reviews etc. Lastly, I made a limit of only one person per visit and no guests. That I think is my best secret for this working, living so close to neighbors and a landlord.

It worked for a year while I lived there. I tried to side hustle too hard and have it going when I left on a one way trip to Croatia in 2015. I had my stepmom set up to come down to Santa Barbara and help me clean between requests. It worked a few times and then I think I got a dummy guest (someone from SB county who acts as a guest but isn’t as a way to catch them and shut them down – SB County had put a ban on Airbnb in Santa Barbara that past year.) because, after him, my landlord left me a message with almost the exact wording I had told the man. It was fine. I was given the warning to stop by my landlord, but I told her that I would be moving out that month anyway – due to not being able to afford it while I was traveling (unless I was Airbnbing it lol).

The idea for me at first, over 4 years ago, was for this extra money to help me to save to buy a house. I kinda sorta accidentally got pushed into a travel adventure – seriously, which ended up lasting 11 months, (Read about that one here) which is where my savings went, and where my mind switched on what is important in my life.

A trigger in me switched then, from things being important to people and experience, and my, what a wonderful life it has been since. Somewhere along the way, I learned that I didn’t need to wait to travel. I almost didn’t know how to book a trip since my last few trips happened so spontaneously. I learned that I could take an extra day or two from the weekend from my job to travel instead of waiting for that perfect moment to bounce out (thank god for “unlimited vacation policy” that so many of these tech companies give you these days).

Renting on Airbnb has been more than just a side hustle for me. It’s a sense of freedom but also a sense of slavery wrapped into one. On one hand, you actually make money for leaving your normal life and doing something else. Are there times I don’t want to clean and leave my place? Yes. Are there times I’m counting down the minutes until they check out so I can get back in? Yes. Are there times I had no place to go, ended up driving and having an amazing adventure-full weekend of solo fun? Yes. There is so much Yes for me when it comes to Airbnb. A truly great idea that can virtually involve anyone. Anyone can do it. Jesus, it’s brilliant. Okay, I’ll stop >.<

On that other hand, the weird slavery part that I mentioned, is if someone requests to stay, then you have some work to do. You need to prepare this place for them and in that sense, you feel a bit stuck and forced to do something that you may not want to. You may want to spend the weekend in your apartment, but you may also get a request for Friday to Monday to make $450 (I also include a $30 cleaning fee) which you then need to make the decision of which is worth it more? Your freedom now? or your freedom later? :b I usually chose the money, for freedom later, but it got really exhausting…but then it would be okay again when I saw my bank account climbing.

I was doing all the cleaning each time.  I started to hate bed sheets and laundry and dusting. Even though I normally do these things for myself, for Airbnb it is just constant. But my savings account was growing. I was getting paid 10 times a month rather than 2 from my regular job and Airbnb was the only way that it would continue to grow. My salary from my job alone would never provide me with the extra cash to travel to Cabo San Lucas (twice), San Diego, San Francisco, New Orleans, Texas and Montreal, and the Canary Islands that Airbnb helped with, in just under a year and a half.

If you have never used Airbnb for your travels I would highly recommend doing so. Friends who sign up to host for Airbnb with this link will get a special credit to their account. What is there to lose when there is only something amazing to gain! Don’t hesitate and sign up to host your first Airbnb experience today.

Leave a Reply