Whether it’s a holiday, new handbag or simply for the future, most of us are saving for something. Well, at least we’re trying to save. We begin with great intentions, creating a foolproof budget and diligently putting away money each pay cycle. But then, unexpected expenses arise and we often find ourselves dipping into those hard-earned savings. Suddenly, we’re somehow back to square one and living paycheck to paycheck again.
It can be rather disheartening when you’ve got grand plans for the future (that are going to require some money) but can’t seem to save a single cent of what you earn. But what if your day job wasn’t your main source of income? No, we’re not talking about starting a side hustle (although that can be a great idea, too!) We’re talking about generating a stream of cash flow by doing, well, pretty much nothing!
We know, it sounds too good to be true. But welcome to the wonderful world of passive income—the reason most rich people are rich. These streams of residual income usually operate on a ‘set and forget’ basis. You put in a little bit of effort to begin with, link it to a separate bank account you can’t access and leave it going in the background while you go about your daily business. Then, a few months later you remember to check your account—and hopefully are pleasantly surprised by the amount in there! Sounds ideal, right? Here are some ways you can do it.
Gone are the days when only suitcase-carrying stockbrokers with 20 years of experience could invest. Now, it’s anybody’s game, thanks to a growing number of apps that allow everyday investors (that’s you and me) to build their portfolios at the click of a button. Take Acorns Australia, for example. The app allows you to link your spending account and rounds up your transactions to the next dollar. Then, it automatically invests the spare change into a diversified portfolio of companies. It’s super motivating to see how quickly the money adds up—and the amounts are so small you don’t even notice the money is gone!
Prefer to throw your money behind some kickass girl bosses? Join the waitlist for fund’d, a soon to be launched investment platform with a focus on funding female-led startups. For as little as $100 per month, you can invest in some of Australia’s most innovative up-and-coming startups!
2. Start a blog
We all have that one topic we’re obsessed with and would happily talk about for hours and hours. If you also have writing and/or digital skills, creating your own blog on that topic is a great way to earn some passive income. Setting it up is super easy, thanks to user-friendly web platforms like WordPress. Sure, updating a blog every week is a bit of work, but if you pick something you’re genuinely interested in it won’t feel like it! As for how bloggers earn their money? Affiliate links! This is when you join a company like Amazon Affilitates or Reward Style and earn money through links to products. So, for example, if you write a blog post about your favourite books and someone buys one from your link—boom, cash money! The best part is, you don’t even need a huge following to do it. Find out more about affiliate marketing here.
3. Rent out your room
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room that you keep all your junk in, it could be a wasted opportunity to generate passive income. Airbnb makes it super easy to temporarily rent out part of your home to people from all over the world. This is a particularly great way to earn money while you travel—by renting out your place while you’re away you can essentially make your trip cost neutral!
4. Create an ebook or online course
Have you ever purchased a dirt-cheap ebook or online course and wondered how on earth the writer was making any money off it? Well, when thousands of people download it, the earnings can very quickly add up! If you have an area of expertise (whether it’s making jewellery or social media marketing), there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Sure, creating an ebook or online course requires a bit of work up front. But websites like Canva and Udemy make them super easy to create and sell. And once the work is done, you get to sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labour for months (or even years!) to come.
5. Sell your photos
If you already love taking photos and have a great eye for it, a fantastic way to generate passive income is by selling them to stock image sites. Websites like iStock and Shutterstock allow photographers (budding or professional) to sell their images. This can either be done as a flat fee when the agency purchases the photo or residual income every time someone downloads the photo. So, if you take an amazing photo of a place you’ve travelled to, you could potentially earn thousands of dollars off that one image with very minimal work!