Airbnb Hosting: The Lucrative Side-Hustle for Tough Economic Times

Posted on 21 May 2023

In 2023's high-inflation environment, many people are looking for innovative ways to supplement their income and regain financial stability. One opportunity that stands out is Airbnb hosting — a side-hustle that allows you to make the most of your extra space and turn it into a profitable source of additional earnings. With its global reach and increasing popularity, Airbnb offers an accessible platform for individuals to become hosts and benefit from the ever-growing travel industry. Let's explore how you can leverage Airbnb hosting to earn extra income and navigate these challenging economic times with confidence.

Tap into the Growing Demand for Accommodation:

As the travel industry continues to recover, the demand for unique and affordable accommodation is on the rise. By becoming an Airbnb host, you can cater to this growing market and tap into a stream of potential guests. Whether you have a spare room, a cosy apartment, or an entire property, listing it on Airbnb allows you to attract travellers seeking authentic and personalised experiences. This surge in demand provides an excellent opportunity to generate a steady income stream.

Maximise Your Space, Minimise Costs:

Using Airbnb as a side-hustle enables you to monetise under-utilised space in your home without significant investments. With minimal effort, you can transform that spare room or apartment into a comfortable and welcoming space for guests. By capitalising on your existing resources, you can generate income without incurring additional overhead costs. This flexibility is especially valuable during tough economic times when every dollar counts.

Flexibility and Control:

One of the greatest advantages of Airbnb hosting is the flexibility it offers. As a host, you have control over the availability of your space, pricing, and the house rules you set. This flexibility allows you to adapt your hosting schedule to your existing commitments, making it an ideal side-hustle for those juggling multiple responsibilities. You can choose to rent out your space on specific days, weekends, or during peak travel seasons, allowing you to optimise your earnings while maintaining a work-life balance.

Boost Your Financial Resilience:

In uncertain economic times, diversifying your income sources is crucial for financial resilience. Relying solely on a traditional job may not provide the security needed to weather unexpected financial challenges. By embracing Airbnb hosting as a side-hustle, you can create an additional revenue stream that adds stability to your financial situation. The extra income earned from hosting can help you pay off debts, build an emergency fund, or pursue long-held aspirations.

Expand Your Skill Set:

Becoming an Airbnb host goes beyond financial benefits; it also offers an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Hosting allows you to refine valuable skills such as communication, customer service, and property management. It provides a chance to enhance your entrepreneurial mindset, learn about different cultures, and develop a keen sense of adaptability. These skills can prove invaluable in various aspects of life and may even open doors to future opportunities.

How much can you earn?

Obviously the earnings potential from Airbnb varies widely depending on region (city / regional / tourist area), proximity to attractions (city centre / breaches / tourist spots / remote), and quality of the rooms/house on offer. Outside of cities, earnings are likely to be seasonal, with coastal areas earning more in summer and mountainous areas earning more in winter.

Here are a couple of realistic examples for city fringe accommodation in a city like Wellington in 2023:

1. Single room in shared house

  • Nightly rate: ~$70
  • Cleaning fee: ~$30
  • Average 2 bookings per week, 5 days in total
  • Weekly earnings: (70 x 5) + (30 x 2) = $410/week
  • Linen & cleaning: Do it yourself

2. Whole house, with 3 bedrooms

  • Nightly rate: ~$200
  • Cleaning fee: ~$150
  • Average 2 bookings per week, 5 days in total
  • Weekly earnings: (200 x 5) + (150 x 2) = $1300/week
  • Linen/washing: $90/booking
  • Cleaner: $90/booking
  • Weekly expenses for linen and cleaning: (90 + 90) x 2 = $360/week
  • Net earnings: $940/week

The above examples exclude mortgage interest, rates, rent, etc., which are things you'll need to take into account when working out whether or not Airbnb hosting would work for you. Earnings will also be subject to income tax at your marginal tax rate if operating personally, or at the company tax rate if the property is owned through a company structure.

Are you up to the task?

In these challenging economic times, embracing Airbnb hosting as a side-hustle presents an exciting opportunity to earn extra income and increase your financial resilience. But it's not for everyone and there is a lot to learn; It's important to setup a welcoming environment for guests as you'll rely on them rating you highly in order for Airbnb's algorithms to keep sending new guests your way.

If Airbnb hosting is a venture you'd like to explore more then head over to to learn in detail how to turn your spare room or house into a successful ongoing income stream.


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