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23 Ways to Create Passive Income Streams

I make money on some of the products and services I mention on Thinking Frugal through affiliate relationships. I never endorse a product or service unless I believe it will benefit my readers.

Do you want to find a way to make money while you sleep? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to pay off your debts quickly? Or even save for retirement? If so, passive income is something that you should consider.

Why is passive income so important? Well, for one thing, it can help you achieve financial freedom. It can also provide a cushion for you during tough times or retirement.

When thinking about ways to increase your earnings, consider exploring the potential of passive income streams.

What is Passive Income?

Most of us are probably familiar with the concept of active income – that is, income that we earn through working. However, passive income is a type of income that requires far less effort to earn money. Passive income can come from many types of things, but some common examples include rental income from property investments and royalties from books or other creative works. 

Unlike active income, passive income does not require constant work in order to earn money. This can make it an appealing option for those who are looking for ways to generate additional income with minimal effort. Furthermore, passive income can significantly boost your overall financial situation if it is managed properly.  

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How to Build Passive Income Streams

1) Rent Out a Room 

Consider renting out a room in your home. If you live in an area that has a lot of tourist traffic, you can easily rent out a room to vacationers. You can list your room on a rental platform such as Airbnb to get started. This can be a great way to generate passive income. 

Even if you only rent it out on the weekends, or even once or twice per month, your extra earnings can go toward your savings.

2) Invest in Dividend-Paying Stocks 

Another way to create passive income is by investing in dividend-paying stocks. This means that you will be paid a dividend (a portion of the company’s profits) for owning the stock. Over time, these dividends can add up and provide you with a nice stream of passive income. 

When you invest in dividend-paying stocks, you are essentially giving the company a loan. In return, the company pays you interest on your investment, which is known as a dividend. The dividend is usually paid out quarterly, which means that you can expect to receive four payments each year. If you invest in a stock that pays a high dividend, you can potentially make a lot of money each year without having to do any additional work. 

Just know that not all stocks pay dividends, so it’s important to do your homework and find ones that do.

3) Create an Online Course 

If you have a lot of knowledge or expertise in a certain subject, you can create an online course and earn money each time someone takes it. You can create and sell your course on websites like Podia or Teachable

If you have knowledge in several different areas, you can create a course for each one. After each course is made, you don’t need to do anything else to it and each time someone signs up, you’ll make money.

4) Self-Publish eBooks

Writing an ebook (or several) and selling it on Amazon Kindle is an excellent option if you enjoy writing and are looking for a relatively easy way to create passive income. 

When it comes to creating passive income this way, you’ll need to invest some time and effort up front because it will take a little while to write your ebooks. But after you have them written and published, you can earn passive income for years to come each time they sell.

If you’re thinking about ways to create passive income with no money, self-publishing should definitely be on your radar.

5) Invest in Certificates of Deposit

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are like a savings account but typically offer higher interest rates than a traditional savings account. They also have a fixed term, meaning you agree to leave your money in the account for a set amount of time, usually between six months and five years. If you cash out before the end of the term, you usually have to pay a penalty. 

When it comes to earning the most passive income with CDs, the key is to find ones with the highest interest rates and longest terms. That way, you can leave your money in the account for as long as possible and earn the most interest. Additionally, many banks offer special promotions on CDs, so it’s worth shopping around to see what’s available. 

6) Create a Membership Site 

Similar to creating online courses, if you have a lot of knowledge in a certain area, then creating a membership site is a great way to make passive income. 

A membership site is a website where people can pay a monthly or annual fee to access exclusive content or services that you have created. Cratejoy is an excellent platform to get started with your membership site.

By creating a site that offers exclusive content or benefits for members, you can generate income without having to do any active selling. 

7) Sell Printables Online 

Printables are digital files that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as planners, stickers, or calendars. 

You can use Canva to make your printables and then sell them on your own website or on Etsy. And the best part is that once you create and upload the design, you don’t really have to do anything else. 

8) Advertise on Your Vehicle

If you have a car, truck, or van, you can earn passive income by turning it into a rolling billboard. You can wrap your vehicle in an advertisement or place a decal on it. You can sign up with sites like Wrapify and Nickelytics and earn when you drive.

9) Invest in Index Funds

Investing in index funds is a fabulous way to make passive income. Index funds are types of mutual funds that track a specific market index, such as the S&P 500. Index funds provide a diversified way to invest in the market which means that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. 

Index funds are also low-maintenance, which is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to actively manage their investments. And because they’re diversified, they tend to be more stable than individual stocks, which means you can sleep soundly knowing your investment is doing well. 

Index funds also have lower fees than actively managed funds, which means more of your money goes towards investments rather than paying for management costs. These funds can be a helpful tool for growing passive income and achieving long-term financial goals.

10) Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing offers an excellent way to earn passive income. First, let me just say that affiliate marketing should not be confused with multi-level marketing. They are not the same thing.

Affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s services or products. When someone purchases the service or product through your special affiliate link, you earn a commission. Unlike multi-level marketing, you don’t sign up other people underneath you, and companies offering affiliate programs don’t charge you a fee to sign up.

You can promote the products and services on your blog, website, or on your social media platforms.

Many companies offer affiliate programs, but one of the best known is Amazon.

11) Dropship Products Online 

Dropshipping provides an excellent way to sell products passively online and never have to carry inventory. This is when you sell products that are stored and shipped by a third party. 

This is a great option if you don’t have the space to store products yourself or if you don’t want the hassle of having to ship products yourself. It’s a great way to earn passively.

12) Open a High-Yield Savings Account

One easy way to earn passively is by opening a high-yield savings account. High-yield accounts offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, which means your money will grow faster. In addition, many high-yield savings accounts have no monthly fees, so you can keep more of your money in savings. 

To open a high-yield savings account, simply research different banks and compare interest rates. Once you’ve found the right account for you, open an account and start transferring some money into savings each month. 

13) Create a Blog 

If you enjoy writing, you not only can sell self-published ebooks, but you can also create a blog and earn money from ads or affiliate marketing. This is a great way to generate passive income if you enjoy creating content and don’t mind dealing with the occasional advertisement.

14) Sell Unique Designs

If you have an eye for design you can make money by selling your designs on sites like Zazzle and Cafepress. This provides a great way to make money by taking advantage of current events.

15) Invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts

One way to generate passive income is by investing in real estate investment trusts or REITs. REITs are investments that own and operate income-producing real estate, such as office buildings, shopping malls, and apartment complexes. 

By investing in a REIT, you can earn dividends from the profits generated by the property without actually having to manage it yourself. 

16) Sell Photos Online

If you’re a photography enthusiast, you can sell photos online and earn passive income from each sale. You can easily sell your photos on your own website or on one of many third-party websites like Shutterstock.

17) Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending 

Peer-to-peer lending is where an individual lends money to someone else and receives an agreed-upon rate of return from that person. The person borrowing the money is usually someone with a lower credit score and this is where the person lending the money makes their passive income. The individual will choose the person they want to lend their money to, much like they would with a bank, and will be able to see their credit score before they decide.

18) Rent Out Your Car

Turo and Getaround are peer-to-peer car rental marketplaces that allow drivers to list their car and set their own price to rent it out. You can list a car and set your own price to rent it out, and you can rent out your car for a fixed rate or based on miles-per-gallon usage.

Rent out one of your cars, or all of them, and create an easy passive income stream.

19) Flip Websites and Domains

Domain name flipping is where you buy a domain name for a low price and then sell it for a higher price. You can do this by finding domains that are about to expire and then snap them up before someone else does. You can also find already registered domains that aren’t being used and then offer to buy them from the owner.

You can also do the same with websites. Check out marketplaces like Namecheap and Flippa to get started.

20) Rent Out Your Parking Space

If you have a parking spot that you don’t use, you can list it on websites like ParkWhiz and Parkable. You can set your own price to rent out your parking space and choose how long you want to rent it.

21) Create an Online Print-on-Demand Store

Print-on-demand lets you create custom products without investing in inventory or worrying about shipping. And there are a number of platforms that make it easy to get started, like Printify and Printful

You can design your own products or use someone else’s designs and then list them for sale on your website or shop. When someone buys your products, the platform will print them and ship them out, and you’ll earn a commission on the sale. 

22) Invest in Real Estate

Investing in real estate to rent out is a great way to make passive income. While it takes some initial investment and effort to get everything set up, the property can start generating passive income for you once you have tenants in place. 

You can buy either residential or commercial property to rent out, although commercial usually provides a better income.

23) Rent Out Things You Own

Do you have any idle items lying around your house that you never use? You can rent out many things, such as tools, clothing, baby gear, or sporting goods. You could be making passive income from them by renting them out to people who need them. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to make some money, consider renting out your unused belongings. Listing your items is easy with online platforms such as Rentah,  Fat Llama, or Spinlister. You can set your own rental price and schedule, and the platforms will handle the transactions for you.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a few different ways to create passive income streams. Rental properties, dividend stocks, and even high-yield savings accounts can provide a steady stream of income with little effort on your part. However, it’s important to remember that not all passive income is created equal. Some passive income sources require very little maintenance, while others may need to be actively managed to ensure continued earnings. 

Before you begin searching for ways to generate passive income, it’s important to assess your needs and choose the option that best suits your lifestyle. You can start generating passive income today and secure your financial future with a little time and effort.

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