The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
My husband and I first started hosting through AirBNB in the summer of 2013 when we were saving up money for our wedding day. Neither of our parents could afford to help us much with our big day and we didn't want to go into additional debt. It was simple and easy to do. We literally set it up a hosting account in one day and started booking guests the next day. We were able to make a few thousand dollars to help us offset the cost of our wedding. The bonus was meeting a lot of like minded people along the way who were interested in traveling and connecting with people. We have now been hosts for over three years and are "AirBNB SuperHosts," which means we go out of our way to respond to requests and inquiries and have an especially nice space that we offer to guests. I work from home as a writer and graphic designer and my husband has his own business, so we get to book our spare room a lot of the time. But really, anybody can be a good AirBNB host who has extra space in their home. Hosting through AirBNB has literally been a gamechanger for our income. Eventhough we still have student loans, it helps us continues to help us save for the "big adult purchases" that we want to do in our future. We are currently saving money for a down payment for our first home and paying more money towards our student loans. We have also successfully put away 10,000 for our emergency fun. Once we purchase our first home (hopefully next year) we hope to continue hosting through AirBNB to offset our mortgage and utility bills in the summer and winter months and continue pre-paying our student loans. For traveling, we use AirBNB nine times out of ten. It's simple and a completely transparent way to travel and meet people without spending a lot of money at a hotel. Plus, it offers a unique experience that you may not get otherwise. Next month, we are traveling to Asheville for a wedding and are staying a local farm where we will get to eat cage free local eggs that are raised on the premises. We recommend AirBNB to friends and family who are serious about saving more money or who want to be able to travel more. I'm not sure how we would save money and enjoy our lifestyle without AirBNB.