If someone showed you passive income ideas to make money while you sleep, would you do it?
Heck yeah, I would.
It might sound cliché or unattainable, but there are actual ways to make money while you sleep.
It’s called passive income, and it’s been defined as “getting paid over and over again for work that you did once.”
It continues to gain popularity, partly due to millennials wishing to retire at an earlier age than previous generations.
Whether you’re looking to speed up your path to financial freedom (or just looking to earn a few extra bucks)—extra income could be for you.
And as millennial Sam Dogen, who makes $200,000 a year in residual income, would tell you, “starting as soon as possible” is key.
So, how do you get started today with these passive income ideas? Keep reading.
Top Passive Income Ideas to Put Cash Back in Your Pocket
Is passive income real? Is it good? Are there residual income ideas I can make money from?
It definitely is.
In this post, I’ll share the 20 best passive income ideas so you can actually earn money while you sleep.
Let’s hop in:
1. Invest in high-yield savings
One ultra-simple source of income that can help kick your finances into gear is opening a high-yield savings account.
In fact, many banks now offer an online saving account that exceeds the rates of return you’d get from your local brick and mortar bank.
Right now, with just $100, you can open a CIT Money Market account, which currently offers one of the highest interest rates on it’s saving accounts at 2.45% APY (that’s over 11 times the national average!).
2. Get cash back for shopping
If you are going to spend money on just about anything, then you might as well make money doing it, right?
Ugh, yes. Absolutely.
Now, there are cash back apps to help you earn cash back for almost any purchases you made online and offline for FREE.
How does all this work? Most of these sites make money by earning a small commission on each purchase you make via their direct link.
I recommend starting with these passive income online apps:
- EBates: Get up to 40% in cash back online plus a $10 sign-up bonus.
- Affinity: Get up to 30% to 40% in cash back online plus a $20 sign-up bonus.
- Drop: Get cash rewards for whatever you spend on every day online and offline. You never have to look at which sites have coupons or deals.
Practical Saver Tip: Use several of these apps at once to potentially make more than what you paid initially for your items.
3. Run background apps on your computer
When it comes to passive income ideas, this is pretty much as simple as it gets. . .
. . .let apps run in the background of your computer.
Believe it or not:
Companies are crazy hungry for consumer data on web usage. So much so that companies have started to pay people directly to share this information.
There are quite a few apps out there, but they all essentially work the same: Simply install and earn money and rewards without doing anything.
While some apps provide a guaranteed monthly reward, others offer sweepstakes prizes.
Granted, you’re not going to win a sweepstakes prize every single month. If you don't win, then, it's okay because you didn't exert any effort. If you do win, then, it's beyond great. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
Here are four money-making and rewards apps worth trying:
- Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel: Gives away$10,000 per month in sweepstakes prizes.
- MobileExpression: Get a gift card after one week for having the app downloaded.
- Opinion Square: Someone made $100,000through downloading.
- Survey Savvy: Get $5 per month for having the app downloaded.
4. Invest in crowdfunded real estate
Want to achieve your financial goals sooner? Adding a residual income stream to your portfolio could be the trick.
Real estate crowdfunding is a newer passive income investments strategy.
Made possible by the JOBS Act, now everyday investors can now invest directly into real estate crowdfunding projects online!
Through using platforms like Fundrise, the average investor can buy into private commercial and residential properties by pooling their assets through an investment platform.
Believe it or not:
The average rate of return from this investment is around 12%/year. That's a lot.
Gone are those days when you a lot of money to do real estate investing. Now, you can generate passive income online from investing in real estate without spending a lot of money.
You only need $500 to start investing with Fundrise.
5. Invest your cents
So you’ve got cents or free change.
What if I told you could make your cents really count, and make it one of the best residual income ideas ever?
Well, you can when you use Acorns, an app that invests your spare change automatically without you having to think about it.
Acorns rounds up your purchases to the next dollar. Once your account accumulates $5, it invests your money.
It’s by far one of the best answers to the question of how to get free money. Plus, you don't need to invest an amount of money that you can't let go.
Take it from me:
That's what I did, and my cents turned into over $2,000—a 12.5% return rate in just seven months.
6. Try peer-to-peer lending
Looking for passive income ideas to add to your portfolio? Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending might be for you.
The cool thing about P2P lending is that it allows you to lend out money to peers in the forms of personal loans, similar to the way that banks and other lenders produce income.
The best part?
Now with sites like LendingClub you can open an account and start your residual income venture today.
The platform also allows you to make investments semi-automatically so you don’t continually have to monitor your investor or reinvest returns.
7. Invest with a robo-investor
A newer breed of passive income, robo-advisors are automated investments software that creates a low-cost portfolio tailored to your goals.
Through platforms like Betterment and Personal Capital, all you have to do is fill out a short survey answering questions about your financial position and future goals.
From there, the robo-advisor puts together an optimal portfolio for you and manages it, so your investments stay on track with your goals.
Here are two of my favorites:
- Betterment: There is no minimum balance to open a new account—great for those new investors looking to get their toes wet.
- Personal Capital: Targets $100,000-plus investors with a hybrid model combining robo-advisor algorithms and human advisors that may make you more comfortable than having everything handled by a computer.
8. Start a blog
Earning a living from a blog is a dream job for a lot of people.
And, guess what? It’s an entirely attainable dream.
I’m telling you, can start a blog and turn it into a money-making machine.
Got proof? Yes.
I, for example, started this blog over two years ago. With zero blogging, coding or technical experience, I have earned over $180,000.
Partially due to affiliate links (see #19 below) and keeping costs low.
To keep costs low, I recommend using Bluehost that allows you to set up your blog for as low as $2.95 a month. Plus, this price comes with a FREE domain name!
9. Rent your space
Rent or own, chances are you pay a lot for your space.
But did you know you could earn money from your space?
Whether you have an entire flat or just the occasional spare room, there are quite a few ways you can earn rental income from your space.
It definitely depends on the location, size, and access to your space, but using Airbnb rental properties can make your passive real estate investment dreams come true!
10. Invest in dividend paying stocks
Investing in dividend stocks is an easy way to create passive income because you’re effectively getting paid to own them!
As a company brings in earnings, part of the profits can be siphoned off and paid back to investors as a dividend, which can be reinvested to purchase additional shares or received as a cash payment.
Online stock trading can be intimidating, but using software from a company reputable company should ease your mind.
Luckily, there’s Ally Invest.
Ally Invest has made it easier than ever for the novice investor to learn the basics about buying stocks online by through its easy-to-use platform and tutorials.
Ready to invest in dividend paying stocks?
11. Pay off or reduce your debt
Contrary to popular belief, paying off debt doesn’t mean you have to resort to living under a rock and eating ramen noodles.
There are quite a few platforms out there making it easier than ever to automate debt consolidation.
Now, there are thousands of companies that will lend money to you at very low-interest rates. Say good bye to your traditional banks and lenders.
Here are two of my favorites:
- Upstart: Upstart is excellent for younger applicants with less credit history but high earning potential.
- Tally: Tally will pay off your high-interest cards and then charge you a lower interest rate on the same balance.
12. Sell your photos online
Did you know you could make more than $130 a month by just selling your photos?
That’s a pretty solid passive income stream for images you probably have just sitting on your phone!
13. Start a YouTube channel
If you’re looking for passive income and like being on camera—YouTube may be for you!
YouTube reports that the number of channels that have hit six figures in annual earnings through the platform has doubled from last year.
Whoa—count me in!
Fun fact: Deleting receipts cost me over $300.
Don’t let that happen to you because you could get money back with Paribus.
Paribus tracks your confirmation emails and watches for price changes. When the app detects potential savings, it lets you know and help you get money back.
It’s not a get rich quick scheme, but it’s an effortless way to help save you some money.
Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?
15. Refinance your mortgage
Refinance your mortgage in a passive income ideas article?
Nope. That’s not a mistake.
It’s actually a great way to free up income and save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
And with interest rates continuing to be near historic lows, its time to act.
Ready to refinances your mortgage?
16. Sell your unwanted belongings on the internet
We all have a box crammed with things we know we’ll never use.
I know I do!
Fortunately, there are tons of apps and websites out there to help resell your things!
- Decluttr: Helps sell your games and electronics.
- Poshmark: Helps sell your fashion clothing and accessories.
- eBay: Helps sell pretty much anything under the sun.
17. Build an e-commerce site
If you’re willing to put in some up-front work, building an e-commerce website is one of the better passive income ideas out there.
Believe it or not:
When you create an online presence, you can make a long term (not a short term) residual income.
Take it from Trevor Chapman, who, in 92 days and only spending a few hours a night building e-commerce site turned $300 into $1 million.
Starting an e-commerce website might sound like a massive undertaking, but it really can be boiled down to three steps:
- Step 1: Choosing an industry and product.
- Step 2: Finding manufactures with great products.
- Step 3: Setting up the website.
Read on about these steps here, and be on your way to making a passive income online.
18. Use cash back credit cards
Practical Saver Tip: Make your purchases work for you by using a cash back credit card.
Think about it. If you’re already going to be spending the money, why not put money back into your pocket?
Granted, this won’t make you rich, but it will give you some kickback on money that you’d already been spending.
Check out the best cash back credit cards, according to NerdWallet.
19. Write an ebook
Writing a book is not as hard as you think (no literature degree required!), and is actually a very lucrative passive income stream.
In fact, you could earn more than $2000 a month! That's residual income right there.
All you need to start is a topic you’re passionate about and a writing schedule you can stick with. From there, you can start earning a passive income and deciding how to sell your ebook.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
20. Start affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and quickest ways to generate passive income and is a must if blogging or creating a YouTube channel is part of your passive income strategy.
What’s that? Affiliate marketing is where companies provide you with links to promote their company’s products.
What do you get in return? Companies pay you for each click that turns into a sale.
When it comes to creating the ideal lifestyle, passive income is definitely the way to go.
The amount of money you need to put in isn't always big. You can literally start with $2.95, for example, to put up your e-commerce site.
It can not only put cash back in your pocket but can also buy you more time to do what you love.
And, let’s be honest, who couldn’t use more time and cash? I know I could!
What do you think of these top 20 passive income ideas? Which one of these are you trying next? Which ones won't you try?