Home > Personal Finance > 4 Ways to Earn Money Without Lifting a Finger

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While your salary may sound good in negotiations, it can be a different story when you get your monthly paychecks and start dividing it up to pay your bills. Wouldn’t it be great to have an additional, continuous stream of money coming into your savings and/or checking account?

Having multiple jobs can seem overwhelming, but there are some side activities that you can help you earn without adding much stress. This is known as passive income, or money you don’t have to actively work to make. Your additional income can help build your retirement or emergency fund, reduce student loan or credit card debt and even help you afford an extra vacation. Check out some ideas below to help you earn extra money on the side, without much effort.

1. Real Estate

Investing in real estate is often mentioned as a top source of passive income. While it’s true that buying a home and renting it out as an investment property can provide you with a stream of income, it can also be a lot of work. To make this income more passive, consider choosing a property you can pay all or mostly in cash and employing a property manager to deal with renters. That leaves you to just cash the check. Of course, it’s important to find a location where you can charge enough rent to cover your mortgage (if you have one), property taxes and property manager while still leaving you some money left over as profit.

2. Investments

From stocks and bonds to peer-to-peer lending, investing can multiply your money for decades if you play your cards right. You have probably heard of compounding interest, when your money makes money and then that money makes money. This is what happens when you set aside money in something like a 401(k) account and leave it there until retirement. Once you put the money in, you don’t have to do anything and you’re still making money. Keep in mind, though, that you may want to take some time to re-evaluate how your assets are allocated and review your statements regularly to make sure you’re invested in products that meet your needs and goals.

3. Affiliate Marketing

If your website, blog or even social media account receives decent traffic, you can negotiate with a company to promote or even sell their products. This usually works through ads or a blog post written about a specific item. This requires the work of writing the article once but then continuing to earn from affiliate marketing afterward.

4. Royalties

Aside from writing books and songs or developing products and inventions, you can also buy someone else’s share of intellectual property in an auction. If your bid is accepted, you will get a royalty check each month depending on how much the song is played or book is reproduced. While you could write a book or song and receive royalties, this would require more work on your part.

It’s important to make the most of your passive income by putting it to work for you. Paying off debt can improve your credit and save you thousands of dollars in interest over your lifetime. You can see how your debt is impacting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.

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  • AJ Smith

    Hi Alex – Thanks for reading and for asking. There are some options online to help you bid in these types of auctions. One such service (though I’ve never used it) is Royalty Exchange. Hope that helps!

  • GirlPaint

    While these are all potentially money-making ideas, you will definitely have to lift some fingers (several in some cases). Real estate investing is hard work and you’d better know your market and have a good broker, banker, lawyer and property manager on retainer. Whoops, there goes your profit. Affiliate marketing, too, is hardly “set it and forget it” money-making. Whatever website you set up needs to be updated with fresh content and also should be designed impeccably. It has to be hosted and the domain should be recognizable (or at least become recognizable) if you want to attract the audience necessary to make affiliate marketing pay off. Generally speaking, even great websites that have been up and running for many years may pull in $50-200 per month in affiliate revenue. Plus, websites can be expensive unless you know what you’re doing. Investing in the market is no small undertaking either. You need a sizable chunk of money to get started, in most cases a minimum of $2500 plus fees and commissions, and once again, you’d better know what investments are worthwhile — or you’d be wise to employ a reputable, seasoned investment advisor (not cheap). I don’t know anything about royalties, but my guess is buying the ones that make money isn’t cheap or easy. You could create your own intellectual property — music, book, film, etc. You will need to build an audience before the property is valuable of course, but this is one way to go.

  • tamya01

    I agree with GirlPaint…I think the title is catchy but each one of these tips require quite a bit of work, in regards to research, time, and expertise. In the end if you put in the work and time to set these vehicles up correctly you can have great passive income without lifting a finger.

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