(BPT) - Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living continues to rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of inflation in the U.S. increased by 8.5% in the last 12 months, drastically increasing the price of food, gas, utilities and other household items. While some have tightened their belts, others are looking for alternate sources of income to combat rising inflation.
One popular way to earn extra income is to offer up rooms, homes and apartments as short-term rentals. While offering short-term rentals isn't new, according to a recent report by Airbnb, the number of new Hosts in the U.S increased by 50% during Q2 of 2022, coinciding with the increasing inflation rate. Also, 41% of U.S. Hosts reported that one reason they host is to earn money to help navigate rising prices.
According to the numbers, hosting short-term rentals seems to be working, with new Hosts earning a combined total of over $1.8 billion globally in 2021, up more than 30% from 2019. For those who have an extra room or property, offering up their space as a short-term rental has given them the opportunity to earn amid a rising cost of living.
According to the survey, nearly 40% of Hosts in the U.S. said that the income earned through hosting has helped them stay in their homes in 2021. This was especially true for Jenny Radick a single parent who, in 2016, was overwhelmed by the never-ending cost of day care, rent, car bills and student loans.
'I was working every moment I could to pay my bills, but it meant sacrificing valuable time with my children,' said Jenny. 'I knew that my work life wasn't sustainable, but I didn't know how I could balance my desire to parent with my need for income.'
Luckily, in September 2017 she decided to start hosting her entire home - a cabin in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, on the weekends to earn extra income and took the opportunity to visit family while her home was in use. While every Host's experience is different - and earnings can vary widely depending on availability, price, listing type, location, and more - in Jenny's case, the idea eventually paid off: The income she received from her first short-term rental allowed her to pay off her mortgage in the first year and invest her earnings into buying a second home. In the last 12 months alone, Jenny earned $44,496*. 'Hosting has removed a huge weight from my shoulders,' said Jenny. 'Without the stress of financial uncertainty, I have the freedom to spend quality time with my children that I couldn't afford before.'
Become a Host
If, like Jenny, you're looking for a way to alleviate your financial burden, consider becoming a Host. Whether you have a finished basement with a separate entrance, a seldom-used cabin or summer home, even a private room, or if you can visit friends and family for the weekend, you can easily start earning extra income.
If you're new to short-term rentals, Airbnb can match you with an experienced Superhost to answer all of your questions and provide personal tips and guidance on hosting. To talk to a Superhost, learn more about hosting and list your space for free, visit Airbnb.com/Host.
*The median annual income for an entire place in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, is $24,154. Your actual earnings will depend on several factors, including your availability, price, and the demand in your area.