If you’re interested in generating extra income, in this post we’ll dive into the best passive income ideas for this year. Passive income is an amazing source of income since it doesn’t require much additional work after you’ve set it up. Every once in a while you might do some maintenance work. That’s it!
Passive income is not you working for money, it’s money working for you. Here I will share some passive income ideas that require an upfront investment but also how you can create passive income with no money.
Passive income can be a great way to fast track your way to financial independence – who doesn’t want to get there asap and do whatever they want?!
What Is Passive Income?
Passive income is money you earn that doesn’t require continued work. It can require upfront work where you invest money or time, but over time the income streams are building and maintaining themselves.
Any work done after it’s set up and ready to earn you money is very minimal if any.
The difference with active income is that, with active income, you need to actively do something to make money. A good example is most day jobs or under-the-table jobs, where you don’t get paid if you don’t work.
Do you understand now why you should build passive income streams? If you want to reach financial independence and stop working your day job, it’s better if you would not trade your time for money. It’s good to build up different streams of passive income, meaning that you will still build up income even when you’re not working at your day job.
Depending on what your occupation is, it might be tough to get truly wealthy if you’re only depending on active income. Even with only one stream of passive income, it may be tough.
Consider the different forms of passive income that we’re talking about today, take the forms of passive income that fit with your lifestyle and implement them.
If you are looking for extra active income ideas, check out:
- 13 Things To Sell To Make Money Fast
- 5 Small Things You Can Do To Sell Your Stuff Online Faster
- Stop Being Afraid To Negotiate Your Salary
Passive Income Ideas
There are some common passive income ideas like real estate, (dividend) investing, royalties, and more that I will share with you today.
First, we’ll dive into forms of passive income that require upfront capital to get started. After that, we’ll look at some passive income ideas that require no upfront investment but will take some time to get going.
Passive Income Ideas With Upfront Investment
Passive income ideas with upfront investment mean that you need to invest money before you get passive income. However, the upfront investment can be as little as $5, making it a low barrier and available for everyone.
1. Peer-to-Peer Lending
I am in love with peer-to-peer lending! P2P lending is a great form of passive income. As you’re investing in P2P platforms, you’re basically the ‘bank’ that provides money to borrowers on the specific P2P platform you’re investing in.
You pool money together when investing in Peer-to-Peer lending. Meaning that you only need a small amount of money to get started with P2P lending – you can already start from €10.
I invest in Peer-to-Peer lending through several platforms, where I get between 12.15% and 18% interest on my account. Mintos is my favorite P2P platform out there. Peer-to-peer lending is a great way to start your passive income journey!
How do you get started with P2P lending? Check out these articles:
- How To Start With Peer-to-Peer Lending
- Mintos Review – the platform that provides me with a 12.15% annual return. Click here to sign up directly and get a signup bonus of 0.5% cashback for the first 90 days.
- Peer-to-Peer Lending Safety – here are the peer-to-peer risks that you need to be aware of before investing.
2. Crowdfunding Real Estate
If you want to invest in real estate but want it to be a passive income stream that has a higher sit-back-and-relax note to it, real estate crowdfunding can be for you. Crowdfunded real estate is an option in real estate where a group of investors all invest in a portion of the project and share the profits.
This means the barrier to entry is lower since you don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to enter this form of income.
Unlike owning a property, crowdfunded real estate is completely passive. It provides you with nice cash flow constantly. There is the risk of defaults, but often the returns are better than expected.
The leading European marketplace for property-backed loans is EstateGuru. With their platform, you can invest in real estate development projects with a fixed interest rate.
EstateGuru pays you regularly, making it easy for you to build up a stream of passive income. Check out our EstateGuru review here.
3. Rental Property Income
This is a no-brainer that you’ve probably heard a million times. But have you ever really thought about making a passive income monthly from rental properties?
It is one of the passive income streams that require some upfront cash. The benefits are also high since this is a passive income stream that has been existing for centuries and could be one of your best investments!
If you’re not sure how to get started with investing in real estate, Dustin from Master Passive Income does this. He’s been able to make enough passive income with rental properties to quit his 9-to-5 job. Dustin has created a FREE Real Estate Investing course, that shows you how to quit your job and live your dream life!
4. Dividend Stock Investing
Dividend stocks are a popular form of passive income. I have to admit that it’s pretty amazing to receive cash flow from your investments.
Receiving dividends is like eating nachos, you double dip! Your investments are worth more as the economy grows plus you get passive income in the form of dividends.
Dividends are a distribution of earnings to shareholders, which can either be cash or stock dividend. What I’ve found, most cash dividends are paid out quarterly.
If you invest monthly in stocks, you build up passive income over time.
It’s important to have a good broker when you’re investing in dividend stocks. Our favorite brokers are:
- If you’re based in the US, M1 Finance, which is a FREE investment platform that allows you to invest in several dividend stocks for free. Check out the full M1 Finance review here.
- If you’re based in Europe, DEGIRO is a great broker where you can invest with low fees. Read my full DEGIRO Review here.
5. Invest In Index Funds
An index fund is a passively managed fund that follows a specific market – it can have many forms like stocks, bonds, real estate, and more. It means that with an index fund, you’re not investing in an individual stock but in the entire index at the same time. For example, the S&P 500, which contains the 500 largest US companies.
Especially low-cost index funds are amazing. You don’t have to choose your investments, do any rebalances, or do any company-specific research.
Historically speaking, passively managed index funds outperform actively managed funds. Of course, there are always risks involved with investing. If you look at the historical charts, you see that the general direction from the market is up.
It is also good to know the difference in return between large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks.
6. Start A Blog
Blogging is a great passive income form! I make money just by people reading my articles and visiting my website from ads. If you’re reading this article, I need to thank you!
I’m sure that this article will still make me money far in the future. When you get a growing amount of people reading your articles on your blog, it can bring in a nice amount of money.
Besides ads, I’m involved in affiliate marketing. That means that you promote a product or service online, and get a commission when someone purchases something through your link. I do this regularly on the blog and its general products I use myself. It’s nice to recommend something that I enjoy and get paid for it!
If you want to start a blog, check out my step-by-step guide and see how you can set up a blog for only $60.
7. Invest Using Your Change
A very easy and convenient way to start investing in a small way is Acorns. Acorns is a service that rounds up all of your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests that money.
You can have as many credit or debit cards linked to Acorns as you like, meaning that you can put your change to work for you. One thing to keep in mind: you don’t work for money, you let money work for you! You can invest in a low-cost ETF and start investing in an easy and quick way.
Acorns costs $1 monthly, but it’s free for college students!
How To Create Passive Income With No Money
If you want to start making passive income without monetary investment, here is exactly how to create passive income with no money.
8. House Hacking
House hacking is a popular method today to lower your housing costs. When you can have a roommate in your house or rent a room in your house through Airbnb, you can make decent money without much effort. Especially when you’re in big cities, the reward can be really big.
House hacking or saving money on your housing is really one of the best passive income ideas to make more and save more money. It’s one of the ways I live on half my income – and I’m sure you can too!
9. Write An Ebook
Another way to make some money is to write an e-book. Think about it, do you have some knowledge that people are willing to pay for? The skills you have are unique and they can provide value to all different kinds of people. What do you know that people can learn from?
Writing an ebook can take some time, but once it’s written you can start to make real money with it. Due to the amazing place that is called the internet, you can reach many people who are interested in the exact topic you decide to cover.
Make sure you offer solid value in your ebook and people will come back for sure!
10. Create An Audio Book
Following the ebook, you might want to consider audiobooks. When you’ve already written the ebook, why not consider creating an audiobook from it as well.
You can create other people and potentially more clients. Another way to make the audiobook work is to combine it with your ebook to provide a higher value to your customer!
11. Sell Your Photos
Many people use stock photos in their business. Stock photos are professional photos for creative use. Instead of hiring a photographer, many business owners and bloggers use stock photos – just like me!
Imagines are important to any business and finding good images can be hard. That’s why it’s a good market to get into; the demand is high, which means income potential.
12. Create A Course
One other thing that you can do is online courses. Recently online courses have become very popular. It will take some time to create a solid course but with a solid PowerPoint and a voiceover, you are able to produce great results!
All you need is expertise in a topic people want to learn more about, plus offer a good structure that will actually teach them the thing.
You can promote your online course on various platforms that will pay you every time a student purchases your course. Some popular platforms are:
- Skillshare – which is an online learning community where anyone can take or teach a class. The courses are available on subscription and you earn royalties from that.
- Teachable – which is one of the leading platforms in online course creation. In Teachable you can build video, audio, and text-based courses that help you to monetize what you know.
- Udemy – an online learning community where anyone can take or teach a class using videos. This can be a great way to turn tutoring into a passive income stream!
Your skills and experiences can 100% teach someone else something that is helping them move forward.
13. Digital Downloads
What I like about passive income is that you do the work once and it will provide you income far in the future. That’s also the case with digital downloads, which you crease once and you can sell again and again! You can create all different kinds of things like templates, invitations, printables, greeting cards, and much more.
The good thing is that you don’t need professional software like photoshop to create this. You can just use Canva, which is a free photo editing software that makes you feel like you’re a graphic designer.
When you want to sell those things, you might want to consider Shopify. It’s a great platform for things like that! They make it very easy to open your shop and put your products out there.
Do you want to join them? You can! All you need to do is record yourself while doing something you enjoy. You can cook, do makeup, talk about finances, play games, educate people, play an instrument, or one of the other talents people would want to see. It can be anything!
If you’re not bothered by a camera and you have one, you can start with how-to videos or step-by-step tutorials. Use your talents and make some money with it!
It’s amazing to start and build up passive income streams. I hope that these passive income ideas inspire you to try some new things and create some new revenue streams.
It always seems hard in the beginning but once you pushed through and have started, it’s actually not that hard.
For example, I was scared to start my blog. Since I started my blog, I realized it’s not difficult at all. It takes a lot of work, patience, and commitment but it’s worth it for sure!
What is your favorite passive income source?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.