Sunday Times Column: How can you make money without working? Let me count the ways…



Anyone got a spare room tonight? I’ve rented out my flat on the Airbnb website and now I’ve got nowhere to go. Probably as you read this I’ll be begging my mate to sleep on his sofa, then clock-watching at the pub until we can go home.

Every Airbnb booking I get entails three phases. First, I congratulate myself for listing our flat on the site, where people hire out their homes. If we rent out our Soho pad a few nights a month for £200 a night, that’s half our rent solved. Second phase: panic, as I assess the ever-dire cleaning situation. Third phase: new panic, as I realise I’ve nowhere to go.

Is anyone not Airbnb-ing? My mate Max juggles nightly Airbnb bookings on his flat like a DJ spinning tunes on the decks. He runs a complex rota operation, booking people in for odd nights, long stays or weekends, while he alternates between friends’ spare rooms and his sister’s place. (In a few months he’ll have paid his mortgage for the year).

I get regular calls from friends asking to crash on our sofa as they make cash renting out their bedrooms, while other people I know rent their flats while they go away to subsidise holidays. But Airbnb is not our only cash-spinner: we’ve got streams of alternative revenues on the go.

How can you make money without working? Let me count the ways…



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