Making money for doing nothing might seem like a pipe dream. It’s not. You can actually do it by following a few things that are simple and proven. It won’t make you rich, but they make a difference over time. Here are some of the most legitimate ways to make money for doing nothing.
How to Make Money for Doing Next to Nothing
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Working a traditional nine-to-five isn’t always glamorous, and it can be frustrating to continually be trading hours of your time for dollars in the bank.
However, for millions of people, this is how money is acquired each and every day.
Although putting in the time to earn a salary at a full- or part-time gig is the norm, there are other ways to produce money. Enter passive income streams, stage left.
Passive income is the concept of generating earnings or income for yourself that requires little to no work on your part.
Instead of swapping your precious time for payment, passive income allows you to reap the rewards of a small amount of up-front work through an ongoing income stream.
It is important to note that passive income is not entirely passive – there is work involved in getting an income stream up and running and working in your favor.
Use Personal Capital to monitor your net worth and cash flow for free. You can use this to make more money while you focus on the more important things in life.
List of Ways to Make Money Doing Nothing
If you aren’t prepared to put in a little sweat equity or capital to create more cash flow in your life, don’t consider the following ideas.
If, however, you are ready to change the game in regards to what’s coming into your bank account, here are a few passive income generators that can help you accomplish that task.
1. Consider Rental Property
Historically, owning real estate has been a smart move, from individuals and families to small businesses and large corporations.
However, most think of real estate in the realm of owning a home in which they will live and make their own.
While that ownership track can lead to wealth over time, investing in real estate through a rental property can lend a hand on the passive income front.
Real estate investing often begins with buying a property that you do not plan to live in yourself, but instead, commit to renting out that space to tenants.
If your initial investment in the property is high enough to keep the mortgage amount low, having a steady renter who pays on time and in full each month, preferably for a longer-term lease, can create additional positive cash flow.
Over time, the surplus between the mortgage payment and the rental income adds to your wallet without you doing much work.
However, rental property can also cost a significant amount of time and money if you aren’t careful. Putting too little of an initial investment can mean getting a tenant to cover the mortgage with their rent and then some won’t be an easy task.
Also, a property that requires a heavy dose of TLC may be more of a headache than a cash cow.
Be sure to think through your rental income potential both in the short- and long-term, and the commitment of time and capital it may take to keep the property maintained over time.
There are plenty of pros and cons to real estate investing to consider before you get started.
You can use Fundrise to invest in commercial real estate immediately to start earning passive income.
See Related: How to Rent Your House Without a Realtor
2. Move Your Savings
If you don’t have rental property money lying around, you aren’t out of luck when it comes to creating a passive income stream. Merely opening a high-yield savings account can add to your overall financial picture without you putting in any additional effort to generate income.
A high-yield savings account works like any other savings account, except that it is often offered by an online financial institution instead of a brick-and-mortar bank or credit union.
Because of their digital structure, online banks have the ability to pay higher interest rates to consumers, given they have lower overhead expenses.
As a customer, you can earn ten to 20 times the national average in interest by putting your idle cash into a high-yield savings account.
The majority of high-yield savings options do not charge fees, nor do they have minimum account balance requirements.
They take only a moment to set-up, and you can easily link that account to your everyday checking or savings accounts for quick transfers between the two.
This is one of the most straightforward moves you can make with your money to have it work harder for you, rather than you working harder for it.
Check out CIT Bank for a high yield savings account that provides attractive interest rates. Just getting a new bank account can yield some quick extra cash for little work at all.
See Related: Ways to Refer and Earn Money
3. Invest Extra Cash
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Another way to potentially generate income for yourself without doing much of anything is by investing your money. Investing requires some know-how, though, and in some cases, professional guidance and education on what your money can and cannot do for you in the market.
When you invest, you are gambling with your funds to a certain extent.
Depending on how much risk an investment holds, your hard-earned money could plummet to nothing in a short period of time.
On the flip side of the coin, however, taking on risk through investing can lead to substantial returns over time, without you lifting a finger.
Now, investing comes in all sorts of flavors, and not every strategy is the best-fit for every individual. In all reality, educating yourself on investment options is your first course of action.
If you’re finding the investment world difficult to understand or hard to maneuver, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The best option for real estate crowdfunding to consider is Fundrise.
You can invest in commercial real estate across the United State for little money upfront (as little as $500). It’s completely free to sign up and breeze the various investment opportunities.
See Related: Highly Liquid Investments to Consider
4. Peer-to-Peer Lending
An interesting addition to the world of passive income comes by way of the world wide web. In recent years, online lenders have created some disruption in the financial industry, offering streamlined, sometimes lower-cost loans to individuals and small businesses in a third of the time it takes traditional banks.
While getting a loan doesn’t help on the income side of the line, investing in a loan might.
Peer-to-peer lending connects prospective borrowers with a marketplace of lenders who can either be institutions or individuals.
When a borrower fills out a loan application through a P2P lending platform, their information including loan amount, loan term, credit score, and income are compiled and farmed out to investors on the site.
Investors then have the opportunity to fund the loan if they feel like the borrower is a solid investment. In exchange for funding the loan, investors take part in the interest generated from the loan repayment.
This can create passive income for those who want to invest in a different but potentially lucrative way.
There are risks involved in P2P lending as an investor, however. The borrower could default on their loan, meaning interest payments stop.
Although many peer-to-peer lending platforms shy away from high-risk borrowers, the chance of losing out on an initial investment remains.
See Related: How to Make Money Buying Royalty Income
5. House Sit
If you’re looking for a way to earn money without putting in any effort, house sitting may be a realist option. Offering to watch over someone’s home while they travel for work or an extended vacation may not bring in a significant amount of money, but it is a way to generate passive income for merely being present.
House sitting doesn’t typically require anything other than being in someone’s home for as long as they need, or ensuring the property is still standing.
Check with friends or family to see about house sitting opportunities before extending services to people you don’t know.
See Related: Proven, Easy Under the Table Jobs to Consider
6. Sell Your Stuff
An easy and usually quick way to get some cash is to unload some unwanted items. Think of household goods, artwork, clothing, or furniture that no longer serves a purpose for you that may do so for someone else.
Fortunately, the days of garage sales and posting flyers around the neighborhood are long gone.
Countless apps allow you to easily post pictures and prices of items that need to go and connect with people from near and far willing to pay to take it off your hands.
There are also online marketplaces, through social media and other outlets, that afford the same opportunities to make quick cash.
See Related: Easiest Items to Flip for Profit
7. Get Cash Back
Cash back exists literally anywhere you look, from loyalty rewards programs at pharmacies and gas stations to credit card cash grabs. If you’re in the market for some quick cash but don’t want to do much to get it, focusing your attention on cash back offers can be a profitable endeavor.
Consider what you spend money on frequently, such as groceries or gas, and either ask about or search online for a rewards program that aligns with those purchases. You may be surprised what money you can generate simply by signing up for a rewards program.
On the credit card front, cash back bonuses are the norm these days. Credit card companies are constantly looking to entice new cardmembers to join their ranks, and they do so by offering healthy cash back rewards on purchases alongside new cardmembers sign-up offers.
Be strategic about opening new credit cards by focusing on those that offer the most bang for the smallest amount of spend.
For instance, a $150 cash back bonus for getting a new card and spending $1,000 in the first three months is easier and more cost-effective than a $250 bonus for spending $5,000.
Also, don’t overdo it on opening credit cards in rapid succession.
This has a negative impact on your credit score, even if you plan to repay any accumulated balances relatively quickly.
See Related: Rakuten Review
8. Monetize Your Web Presence
For those who have an online presence, whether that be a YouTube channel, a blog, or another content-producing website, monetizing that may be a smart way to create more income without putting in years of work.
First and foremost, any content produced for an online audience needs to be of quality, and it needs to have some semblance of purpose. Not every website, blog, or video will create income, so consider these tenets before monetizing.
Generating money from an online presence can come in many different forms. Affiliate marketing with other companies that are aligned with the content you produce is one way; offering advertising on the site to other online businesses is another.
If you’re willing to put in a little more work, creating an e-book or online course to visitors may also generate some cash that is ultimately passive.
You can get started with affiliate marketing quickly through an affiliate network such as FlexOffers.
Read more about the network in this FlexOffers review.
9. Play Video Games
Thanks, again, to the world wide web, doing something you thoroughly enjoy can lead to a passive income stream. Playing video games and streaming that experience online may generate cash in your hand.
Streaming platforms have become big business for some gamers, even if you aren’t well-known or exceptionally good at a particular game.
Getting on a platform like Twitch creates several income outlets, including racking up subscribers who pay each month, allowing advertising on a channel, and sponsorship opportunities.
It does take some heavy lifting to get onto a major game streaming platform at first, but once you’re in, the money can flow quickly and easily.
Alternatively, you can download the app Mistplay that will pay you simply for playing games on your phone.
Read more about the platform in this Mistplay review.
Want other ideas on how to make money with games? Here are some awesome ways to get paid to play games.
See Related: How to Make Money on Steam
10. Rent Out Your Space
No matter where you live, renting out your space can be a great way to generate some additional cash.
Subletting your house or apartment for a period of time while you go on vacation, travel out of town for work, or stay with someone else may not be as profitable as some of the other methods mentioned above.
However, it can help add some money to the pot if you charge more than you are required to pay for your space each month. You can do this through a longer-term sublet agreement with a qualified renter, or through short-term rentals like Airbnb.
If you live in a metropolitan area or a busy vacation spot, consider the times of the year where subletting or short-term rentals will bring in the biggest return. There are plenty of pros and cons of Airbnb that you need to evaluate before getting started as a host.
Although you may need to do some work up-front in terms of showcasing your space and posting it to online marketplaces, it could be worth the minimal effort in the long run.
Overall, several outlets exist for creating more cash flow on a monthly basis or generating a fast influx of cash as a one-time boost. Passive income streams and cash grabs through the strategies mentioned do not fall out of the sky, however.
There is always some level of effort involved, even if that is as minimal as signing up for a rewards program or posting your unwanted winter clothes online.
Think about what amount of time and money you want to exert to create one-time or ongoing increases to your bottom line, and pick your money-producing activity from there. Here are some other things to rent out for profit.
See Related: Airbnb vs VRBO – What is Better?
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About the Author
Melissa Horton is a seasoned financial professional, and premier writer APRfinder. She has been helping clients understand difficult money management situations for more than 14 years, is passionate about financial literacy, and strives to educate individuals with information that empowers them to make a good financial decision.