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Spare room boon: Australians missing out on $1.2 billion in potential rental income

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Aussies could be raking in hundreds of extra dollars each week by renting out their extra room, according to new research by Finder.

Over a third of Australians (35%) – equivalent to 7.1 million people – are currently earning additional income through a side hustle, according to data from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

Of those with a side hustle, 9% – equivalent to more than 600,000 people – are renting out a room in their home. Finder's data shows the average Aussie who is harvesting a profit from their spare room is making an average of $667 per month ($167 per week).

ABS data shows that 77% of households have at least 1 bedroom vacant, leaving a potential $1.2 billion in additional weekly revenue for Aussies who are willing to lease out a room.

Richard Whitten, money expert at Finder, said now is a great time to cash in if you have an extra room to rent.

"For many Aussies, living with a roommate is better than the consequences of missed repayments.

"It's also a good opportunity to create an extra revenue stream.

"You could be missing out on thousands of dollars by not making use of your extra room."

Whitten said it was important to do your due diligence before taking the plunge.

"Having a roommate isn't for everyone, and the onus is on you to ensure it's the right decision for your personal situation.

"If you do decide to go ahead with it, you'll need landlord insurance to be covered. Home insurance doesn't typically cover damage caused by tenants."

Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows the 2 most popular ways Australians are earning a second income is by selling pre-owned goods and collecting recyclable cans and bottles.

Whitten said there are other ways to make your expenses more manageable.

"Loyalty rarely pays when it comes to financial products. If you haven't compared utility or insurance providers in the last 6 months, you could probably be getting a better deal.

"Refinancing your home loan to a cheaper deal with a new lender can potentially shave hundreds of dollars a month off your mortgage.

"You could also ask your current lender for a lower rate. Lenders often have better deals for new borrowers. It never hurts to ask," Whitten said.

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With the cost of living so high, here's 51 of the best side hustle ideas you can start today.

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