Don’t worry about the threat of increasing interest rates! Don’t worry that you will not be able to afford to keep your house! There are several innovative ways to earn a little income from your property.

Some retired folk have turned their garage into a workshop and they make wooden furniture for summer selling. Others use their large yard to stack wood that has been cut and split in the summer for sale in the winter.

Another idea is to rent one of your rooms to a student for a few months while you adjust to a new financial situation.

Yet another money-making idea is to borrow an age old European tradition and offer bed and breakfast in your home. This need not mean cooking up a large breakfast and getting it to the table all in one piece! Often there is no cooking involved at all, and there is almost no initial outlay either.

This can be a lucrative business if you live on a main road, or can hang a sign that can be seen that states, ‘Bed and Breakfast’. There are other venues for marketing your new business, but often pamphlets take up to a year to register your listing. Do you have a Tourist Information in your area – they give out information about bed and breakfast accommodation, often for free.

Years ago it used to be intrusive on your personal life to run a Bed and Breakfast. It was also hard work! However, hotels have shown us the way to simplify matters: a coffee machine in the bedrooms is a must. This can also be used to make tea or other hot drinks, just provide a few different sachets along with the milk and sugar.

Take the money in advance, when they first arrive and after they have seen the room.This will help your client too, as often they may be touring and will want to be off as early and as quickly as possible in the morning. While you are settling the account, you can ask them what time they would like their breakfast left outside their bedroom door in the morning.

If you do all of this at the same time, you will have completed the majority of your business interactions with them in about ten minutes. Quite high wages for such a short period of time!

As you will never know when you may have a client knocking at the door, it is advisable to keep your breakfasts in the freezer. This way, however late your guests arrive, you will have time to defrost their food overnight. .

Some of the frozen breads that you can defrost overnight and bake fresh in the morning are great! Also fresh baked and frozen muffins and croissants can be defrosted and warmed for a few minutes. If you are warming buns or muffins, do not use the microwave, as the crusts will turn soggy. Pre-heat a traditional oven and pop them in for a few minutes. (Or use a small toaster oven if you can be sure not to burn them!)

Place all your goodies on a tray covered in a nice linen cloth, or in a decorative basket, and add knives, cheeses and jam or marmalade. (Single serving sachets of these can be bought in most supermarkets.)

Bottles of juice are a nice touch and even a piece of fruit for the journey. Cover the food with a second cloth, add a couple of serviettes, and your ‘morning rush’ is over!

Most guests leave early, the norm is to vacate the room by 11.a.m. This gives you all day to change the linen and re-store the room for the next caller.

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