Many home business owners and side-giggers are constantly on the lookout for passive income streams. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it generally refers to opportunities that require very little effort to generate some extra cash or you put in the work one time and they continue to earn on their own with little further effort for an extended period of time. Finding the right passive income ideas that meet your skills and schedule can greatly increase your income.
What Is Passive Income?
Passive income can mean different things to different people. While some people would lead you to believe that you never have to do anything to continue making money from the idea, that rarely – if ever – happens. There may be a little updating or promoting to do to keep your chosen program active and out there. Maybe you just need to use a certain website, app or card to earn some extra cash doing something you are doing anyway.
The point of implementing these avenues is to not only increase your earnings, but also provide you with a buffer during slow times, a little nest egg for investing or emergencies and/or your rainy day fund.
Earn Passive Income While Shopping
We all have to shop whether it is for groceries or clothes. The following programs will allow you to earn cash back when doing so.
Ebates – Receive quarterly payments by check, Paypal or charity donation (and sometimes Amazon store credit) when making online purchases. This one earns me a nice chunk of change for my online purchases and referring friends.
Discover Card has long given up to 5% cash back to their customers. Take your rewards in cash, Amazon.com store credit, gift card or donate it to charity. Sign up through my link and get a $50 cash bonus when you make your first purchase withing 3 months of signing up.
Prescription Transfers will often earn you in-store gift cards at nationwide pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and even Kmart and Target. Check online for current offers.
Use Walmart Savings Catcher – I love apps like SavingStar and Ibotta, but I frequently forget to check them for savings. And when I’m running to the store for one thing – that turns into 20 – I don’t take the time to coupon and check the sale ads. Therefore, I have become heavily dependent on Walmart’s Savings Catcher app. They check the local ad and give me the lowest price despite my laziness.
Passive Income Ideas for Earning Online
Swagbucks will allow you to earn points for watching videos, completing short surveys and more that can be redeemed for cash and gift cards. More than $120 million in gift cards and cash paid out to members to date!
Start a website and earn money through affiliate marketing and direct advertising. Once your content is up and your site is bringing in traffic through search engines they can sometimes continue to earn almost hands-off for years.
Become an author by self-publishing a book Kindle.
As a freelance service provider, there are a number of opportunities to add residual passive income streams with services your clients need to run their businesses effectively. Webhosting and newsletter services are two popular choices that can offer monthly payments as long as your referral remains a customer.
License photos, videos or music for use by others and you can earn indefinitely from one piece.
Dropshipping – Not up my alley, but some people are finding great success with it. Check out our expert tips here.
Create an online course at Udemy.
Design T-Shirts – Every time I see a cool t-shirt on Facebook or Teespring I think I wish I would have thought of that! If you are creative or catchy, sell your wares on Cafepress or Zazzle with no out of pocket expense.
Create and sell apps, website themes and plugins.
Sell unused items on eBay or Craigslist.
Sell Printables and Digital Downloads – We have spoken with several ladies lately finding passive income success selling digital downloads on Etsy. You can also set up an estore on your own website with Woocommerce.
Sell your old textbooks on a site like BookByte.
Create a membership site where people pay a monthly subscription for your knowledge or goods.
Earn When Banking
Retirement Investments can not only increase in value over time, they can also come with tax advantages for the self-employed.
Savings and CDs earn interest (i.e. free money) over time.
Peer-to-Peer Lending is big business these days. You essentially are acting as the bank, lending and earning interest on personal loans. This opportunity does come with risk! Prosper allows you to invest as little as $25 and you can view the borrower’s credit history, loan descriptions, personal testimonials and more.
Several banks offer cash bonuses for new customers opening savings or checking accounts. For example, Capital One is currently offering a $25 bonus for opening a qualifying checking or savings account.
Earn For Essentials
Allstate will send you Safe Driver Bonuses quarterly if you don’t have an accident. You can’t get much more passive than that. You can also save on your deductible if you don’t have any claims for a specified period of time.
Do a search on your State Treasurer’s website for unclaimed property in your name.
Earn For Renting
Rental properties have long been a way to earn an income without punching a clock 40 hours per week.
Rent your car when it’s not in use with a company like Relay Rides.
Party rentals can include tents, tables, chairs, cooking equipment and more.
Car washes, Laundromats and vending machine businesses all allow you to earn income by “renting” your equipment to customers.
As you can see, very few of these passive income opportunities require no work at all, but many require very little. These certainly won’t replace your full-time income without becoming a full-time job themselves, but they can be a great way to pad your bank account with a few well-crafted moves and more thought out decisions.