40+ Passive Income Ideas and Ways to Make Extra Money
Are you looking for actionable ideas to help you earn $100, $1000, or even more on the side? I have complied this list of ideas that you can use to start building extra income today. Just spend an hour or two each day and work on items that are practical for you and you will be on your way to build alternative income sources that could help you earn more. It is worth noting that not all of these are passive income ideas, so you will actually have to actively work for these income streams to grow.
In compiling this list, I did my best to avoid any sort of scams, and stick with practical ideas that work. I have tried many (but not all) of these ideas. Some of these helped me earned a few dollars here and there, but there are some that helped me earn extra money on the side every single day and are still going strong! Also, it is important to note that some ideas may be worthwhile for you (but some may not be), it all depends on your your ability and your current financial situation.
Photo by ErRbBbiiIE via Flickr
Passive Income Ideas
Passive income involves ideas or methods that once you set up in motion, they require minimal maintenance work for your part to keep the money flowing in. Here are some money making ideas that are mostly passive and have been proven to work.
1. Earn Higher Interest on Your Savings
One of the easiest way to increase your passive income is to shift your savings to a bank that pays a higher yield on your savings. Although it doesn’t sound like much (especially in this low interest environment), little things do add up and the interest rates will rise.
2. Build a CD Ladder
For a slightly higher yield, you can build a CD ladder. The basic idea is to break your money into smaller chunk and buy a serie of 1-year high yield certificates of deposit. To learn more about this, take a look at How to Create a CD Ladder.
3. Lend Money on Social Lending Network
Lending Club is a platform where you can lend your money to other people as if you’re a bank. Each loan is only $25, so you can for example invest $1,000 and lend money to 40 people. There are many grades of loan (from safest to riskiest) and investors earn between 5.49% to 13.55% on average. For more information, check out Investing and Making Money with Lending Club Peer-to-Peer Lending.
4. Invest in Dividend Paying Stocks or Funds
If you’re looking for current income, investing in the dividend paying stocks (or dividend fund) is a good way to earn money regularly. Pay particular attention to the S&P Dividend Aristocrats, these are companies that pay high dividend and has a long history of increasing their dividend payment over the years.
5. Use Cash Back Reward Credit Cards
You buy stuff everyday, why not make the most of your purchases? Take a look at these credit cards that pay 5% cash back on your purchases. When you make your day-to-day purchases, use these cards and get money back. My family get several hundred dollars a year from using these cards.
6. Get Cash Rebate When Buying Online
When you shop online, make sure you go through Ebates. This web site will give you extra cash back (on top of your credit card cash back) when you buy through them.
7. Earn Money When You Search
You probably do a couple of web searches each day. If you do all your web searches through Swagbucks.com (instead of Google or Bing), you can collect points called SwagBucks which you can trade for a variety of prizes, including gift card for Amazon.com, Walmart, PayPal, etc.
Visit BeingFrugal.net to see how you can get 70 bonus sign up points through the end of May.
8. Real Estate Investing
This is mostly passive once you have it all set up, but it does take a lot of work at the beginning and will require occasional maintenance. Currently, we are investing in a couple of rental properties and we are earning about $500 profit from each a month. You can read more about my rental properties at MoneySmartLife.com: How and Why I Became a Landlord.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can also do real estate investing through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). These investments invest in real estate and mortgage, and they pay out 90% of the taxable income to shareholders annually.
Ways to Make Extra Money
In addition to the passive income ideas above and other broad income generation ideas such as starting a business, getting a second job, and learning how to invest here are specific money making ideas you can try. Note that these do require ongoing work to maintain the income.
- For college students, sell your used books and textbooks as soon as your classes are over for the semester.
- Sign up for Cash Crate, complete surveys, and refer your friends.
- Freelancing (you can check out Elance, Guru, RentACoder, Amazon Mechanical Turk, etc. for leads).
- Make money blogging. For example, this blog provides me with daily income since 2007. You can learn more about blogging and start one. Here are some more good articles to learn more about this:
- Write for money — e.g., Squidoo, Yahoo Contributor Network, Triond, etc. – or you can write for various websites that work with freelance writers.
- Ghostwriting. This is very similar to the idea above, but you write anonymously and the assignments are usually longer.
- Offer basic services — e.g., babysitting, housekeeping, gardening, dog walking, painting, snow removal, etc. These basic services are good for motivated teenagers and most of these can be done right around your neighborhood.
- Offer skilled services — e.g., tutoring, resume writing, business consulting, blog development, logo design, etc.
- Turn your hobbies into income streams — e.g., photography, videography, quilting, etc.
- Sell handmade products on Etsy.
- Write and sell eBooks. This is easier than ever with the help of Amazon and the Kindle.
- Enter contests and giveaways (use Google Alerts) and sell the prizes.
- Search for freebies and sign up bonuses. For example, you can typically get a $100 bonus from a credit card sign up.
- Turn your everyday spending into college savings with Upromise.
- Becomes an Amazon Associate, and ask your friends to use your affiliate link to buy things.
- Sell unused items on eBay or Craigslist; or buy bulk items and resell them individually.
- Sell your collectibles.
- Start a bulk candy vending machine business.
- Mystery shopping.
- Find missing money — MissingMoney, Where’s My Refund, TreasuryHunt, PBGC database, and GovBenefits.gov.
- Create and sell CafePress T-shirts.
- Set up niche online store — i.e., Amazon.com aStore or eBay Niche Store.
- Participate in paid focus group studies.
- Sell your body parts and fluids.
- Collect cans and bottles for recycling.
More Income Resources
- 65 Home Business Ideas You Can Do From Your Kitchen Table at Good Financial Cents
- 15 ways to make $200 quick at Christian PF
- 10 Unusual Ways to Get Money Fast at Cash Money Life
- 25 Ways to Make Money Today at WiseBread
- Multiple Income Streams: 10 Ways to Earn Extra Income at The Dough Roller
- How to Make Your Income More Passive at Frugal Dad
- 5 Ways To Make Some Extra Money at Bible Money Matters
- 52 Ways to Make Extra Money at Prime Time Money
- Everyman’s Guide to $30 / Month in Passive Income at Money Smarts Blog
- Spend less than you earn – the wrong way to think at Brip Blap
- 20+ Free Passive Income Resources at Life Optimizer
- Passive Income: How to Earn More and Work Less at About.com
- 8 Ways To Earn Passive Income Online at iSiteBuild.com
- Automate Your Income to Simplify Your Life at Zen Habits
- Passive Income is the Key to Freedom and Retirement at All Financial Matters
- 11 Great Ways to Earn More Money at Free Money Finance
- Defining Alternative Income at Lazy Man and Money
- 50+ Resources to Legitimately Raise Your Income at My Super-Charged Life
- 40 Ways to Make Money on the Internet at Dumb Little Man
- 102 Ways To Generate Extra Cash at Savings Advice
If you like this article, be sure to check out my Extra Income Guide.
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