How to increase your income and find creative ways to make money

Look for quick wins

Selling used items like toys and clothing, and even doing it for others for a cut of the sales, is an example of a "quick win," said Jamila Souffrant, creator of the financial education podcast, Journey To Launch.

Nicholls netted about $7,000 before she returned to full-time work.

To make money fast, think about what interests you and where your skills lie.

Manu Vega | Moment | Getty Images

Do you like animals? Consider dog walking or pet sitting for friends and neighbors. If you are good at math or another subject, you can offer tutoring services, or you can babysit for families struggling with child-care needs.

Your gig can also be expanded into a bigger side hustle by creating a website, social media account or business cards, and offering your services to a larger audience, Souffrant pointed out.

That's how she started her business. Initially a blog about her desire to obtain financial independence and quit her job in commercial real estate, Journey to Launch eventually expanded into a media platform that included the podcast. During that time, Souffrant also obtained her financial education instructor certification and quit her day job.


3. Deduct Business Expenses

If you have business expenses that can't be reimbursed, they might be tax-deductible, said Josh Zimmelman, founder of Westwood Tax & Consulting. Allowable expenses might include tuition you paid for continuing education.

If you plan to use this money-saving tip, make sure to keep your receipts. You'll need to demonstrate that any purchases were legitimate business expenses if you're ever the subject of an IRS audit.

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Maximize Your Earning Potential

Implementing the above tactics to increase your income doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you’re willing to put in the work and seek out professional help when it makes sense, you could be well on your way to a secure financial future. For more articles like this one, check out our personal finance learning center.

Passive income is not

  • Your job. Generally, passive income is not income that comes from something you’ve been materially involved in such as the wages you earn from a job.
  • A second job. Getting a second job isn’t going to qualify as a passive income stream because you’ll still need to show up and do the work to get paid. Passive income is about creating a consistent stream of income without you having to do a lot of work to get it.
  • Non-income producing assets. Investing can be a great way to generate passive income, but only if the assets you own pay dividends or interest. Non-dividend paying stocks or assets like cryptocurrencies may be exciting, but they won’t earn you passive income.

1. Drive for Uber or Lyft

This is a no-brainer. If you have a car and a clean driving record, drive for Uber or Lyft. Payments come in quickly and you can choose your own schedule. Simply download the app and sign up. You’ll need to set yourself apart so that you can get good reviews on the platform. Find a way to add more value. Provide refreshments or some other unique service.

Oftentimes, people won’t head out with a driver with a low score. I know that I personally cancel ride shares for drivers with a score lower than 4.7. It also works the other way around. Drivers often won’t pick you up if you have a low score. So they usually go for passengers with higher scores.

Related: These Are the Best Cities for Uber and Lyft Drivers (Infographic)

13. Sell Your Influence

If you're already active on sites like Facebook and Twitter, take a tip from social media masters Tony Robbins and Kim Kardashian and earn money online as an influencer. Not only is social media its own legitimate side gig, but using it to build your reputation in an industry related to your main job can raise your profile, making it easier for you to secure a raise.

You can also earn money directly by partnering with brands to use and review specific products or simply let a brand pay to place sponsored content on your profile.

How much you'll make per blog or social media post depends on your following. Morgan Timm, a full-time blogger and blogging coach, writes on her website that even beginning bloggers should charge at least $100 per post.

11. Play video games on Twitch

Twitch is a great way to make money if you’re into video games. You can stream your gameplay and provide voice over services to get people to subscribe to your channel. You can also make money through video ads, donations, sponsorships, and so on.

You can find a list of games that you can play on Twitch here. Some of their most popular games are Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch and Player Unkown’s Battlegrounds.

Related: 5 Lessons Video Games Taught Me About Success

How To Make Passive Income

There are four main ways to earn a passive income: investing money, investing time, renting things out, and getting paid to do activities you already do.

Invest Your Money

Invest with a robo-advisor. An option that require

  1. Invest with a robo-advisor. An option that requires little to no effort, a robo-advisor is a digital platform that provides algorithm-driven financial planning services by collecting information about clients’ financial situation and goals.
  2. Invest in dividend paying stocks. Dividend-paying stocks are a great way to build long-term wealth because you get paid a portion of the company’s earnings simply for owning the stock.
  3. Buy a rental property. Have some space you’re not using? Rent it out to a long-term tenant or capitalize on the growing demand for short-term lodging by listing it on an accomodation-sharing site.
  4. Participate in crowdfunded real estate. Investing in real estate has a high financial barrier to entry. If you’re not quite there yet, consider a crowdfunded real estate venture that allows you to invest in a small percentage of real estate.
  5. Invest in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). REITs are companies that manage income-producing properties in a variety of sectors. They trade on major stock exchanges so anyone can invest in a portfolio of real estate assets.
  6. Buy royalties. Music royalties come from a percentage of the money earned from the sale or use of a song. Even if you’re not a musician yourself, music royalties are often up for auction and will send a monthly check your way.
  7. Invest in index funds. Index funds are similar to mutual funds, but instead of having a portfolio manager make selections it is up to an asset management company. This type of investment is a great option because it’s relatively hands-off and has a low turnover which means lower transaction costs.
  8. Become a silent partner. The sole responsibility of a silent partner is to provide a business with capital. Silent partners are rarely involved in an operational capacity, making it a great form of passive income.
  9. Invest in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are buzzing with opportunity at the moment, and it is possible to earn a passive income simply by holding certain cryptocurrencies.
  10. Start peer-to-peer lending. Get matched up with a borrower online to start peer-to-peer lending—a simple way to lend money to businesses and individuals. You can earn higher returns than similar transactions through traditional financial institutions.
  11. Open a high-yield savings account. If you’re already putting money into a savings account on a consistent basis, consider opening a high-yield savings account. This special type of account offers a safe way to make a consistent income.

Start a Side Business

Develop a mobile app. If you have the programming

  1. Develop a mobile app. If you have the programming skills and a one-of-a-kind idea, turn it into an app! The app marketplace is rife with opportunity for apps of all kinds.
  2. Start (or buy) a blog. With a little entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of creativity, you can create a successful blog—it just might take a little while. Prepare to work hard in the beginning, but through multiple revenue streams like running ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing your work will more than pay off.
  3. Affiliate marketing. There are several ways to utilize affiliate marketing in addition to having a blog. Although a large audience helps, even some local businesses offer a word-of-mouth referral program for referring friends and family to their businesses.
  4. License a business idea. If you have a great idea for a business or product, but don’t have time to start it yourself, consider licensing that idea. Interested companies are willing to pay royalties in exchange for the right to use your idea.
  5. Buy a vending machine business. You’ve probably never thought twice about who actually owns all those vending machines, but the vending machine business can be a lucrative passive income source! Once you find the right spot, hire someone to restock the machines for you and you’ve got your own business going.
  6. Start house or pet sitting. This one is a sort of hybrid passive/active income source, but if you’re going to be hanging out at home doing nothing, why not get paid to do it somewhere else? Watch someone’s house and pets while they’re on vacation for a little extra cash.
  7. Start a YouTube channel. Although the YouTube space is competitive, there’s little overhead cost to get started. If you’re passionate about your chosen niche and provide value to your viewers, ad placements and sponsorship opportunities can help you earn a sizeable passive income.

Monetize Your Creative Skills

License your photos. If you have a natural eye for

  1. License your photos. If you have a natural eye for photography, consider selling your photos to stock photography websites. Once approved, you’ll earn royalties each time a customer downloads one of your photos.
  2. Design t-shirts or other products. Create fun and trendy graphics for e-commerce sites like Zazzle or CafePress to put on all sorts of products from t-shirts to mugs. Production is taken care of and you’ll earn a commission on the products sold.
  3. Create website templates. If you fancy yourself an HTML wiz, designing and offering website templates for bloggers or e-commerce websites could be a great source of passive income for you.
  4. Sell graphic design files. Even amateur graphic designers can earn a passive income by designing and selling graphic design files like icons or templates of all kinds.
  5. draft an ebook. Do you have a story you’re itching to tell? Writers no longer have to wait for the attention of a drafter to release their work. If you market your book well (think social media), self-drafting an ebook will earn you plenty of residual sales.
  6. License music. For the musically inclined, licensing music, especially instrumental tracks, can generate a decent passive income and help companies or video creators looking for high-quality audio.
  7. Sell digital art files. To lower overhead costs and minimize supply chain logistics, design a piece of art or photography and offer a digital download for a lesser price. Many people are looking to furnish their homes on a budget and would happily print the art themselves.


Create an eCourse. An eCourse can be about anythin

  1. Create an eCourse. An eCourse can be about anything you’re passionate about. Have a lot of knowledge about digital marketing? Create an eCourse! Are you an expert in the field of bird watching? Create an eCourse! Whatever you love, there’s an audience out there.
  2. Record a video course. Similar to e-courses, there are endless options for video course topics. Video as a medium offers a personal connection and a different way to learn, making it an equally viable option.
  3. Sell a lesson plan. If you’re a teacher you can make a passive income simply by selling your lesson plans online to other teachers. It’s something you’re doing already, so why not share the knowledge?
  4. Make an online guide. If you’re an expert in your field or have in-depth knowledge of how something works or how to fix something, you can write a guide for it.

Get Paid for Everyday Activities

Sign up for cash back credit cards. Many credit ca

  1. Sign up for cash back credit cards. Many credit cards offer some sort of cash back benefits, but finding one that offers the most rewards for your lifestyle is the key to maximizing your return.
  2. Advertise on your car. Some companies will pay money for ad space on your car. All you have to do is drive around—which you’re probably doing anyway!
  3. Participate in research studies. Get paid to let researchers track anything from your shopping habits to you sleeping patterns. If you’re comfortable sharing this information, it can be a great source of passive income that requires little to no effort.
  4. Rent a room in your house. If you already have an extra room in your house, rent it out. You can make extra money with just some basic hospitality.
  5. Shop with cash back sites. Shopping through websites that offer cash back rewards can be as effective as couponing, if not more! Simply shop as you normally would and earn rebates on your purchases.
  6. Rent your stuff. Do you have random equipment filling your garage that you seldom use? Rent it out! Specialized equipment for lawn maintenance or home improvement projects is often a one-time use for most people. You’ll make some money and other people will be able to use your tools for a fraction of the cost of buying them outright.

Launching a side business or figuring out how to invest your money when you’re strapped for time isn’t easy, but the payoff makes it all worthwhile. The money you earn from passive income will undoubtedly have you well on your way to achieving your financial goals and that much closer to true financial freedom. If you’re wondering how your finances currently stack up, find out where you stand financially. No matter the result, Mint’s personalized advice will help get you where you want to be.

How many income streams should you have?

There is no “one size fits all” advice when it comes to generating income streams. How many sources of income you have should depend upon where you are financially, and what your financial goals for the future are. But having at least a few is a good start.

“You’ll catch more fish with multiple lines in the water,” says Greg McBride, CFA, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “In addition to the earned income generated from your human capital, rental properties, income-producing securities and business ventures are a great way to diversify your income stream.”

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that putting in effort into a new passive income stream isn’t causing you to lose focus on your other streams. So you do want to balance your efforts and make sure you’re choosing the best opportunities for your time.

How Can You Grow Your Income?

Benz: How about some ideas for growing income? What are the key things that you talk about in the book with respect to that? Maggiulli: I would put these into two different camps. There’s the like – okay, your main hustle thing and then their side hustle stuff. So, just in main hustle, which is like, climbing the corporate ladder. I’m one of those people that I’m not against, like, 9 to 5s, you shouldn’t do that, you should kind of be your own boss and all that. I’m not against the people that do that, either. But I think a lot of people, a lot of millionaires out there got there by working a 9 to 5 job and getting experience and doing that. We all don’t need to be entrepreneurs and run our own businesses and do that. So, I think there’s a lot to just building your skills and becoming valuable in a company and kind of slowly making more money over time. I think that’s definitely a way to do it. The other options, which are all like side hustles, is like, okay, do you sell your time and expertise? That’s one idea. Do you sell a product or service of some sort, something you can – that’s not always linked to your time, but maybe it’s linked your time initially. But over time, as you get more efficient at it, you can sell it for less time. There’s idea of teaching people, like doing online courses, things like that. I’ve seen people make some good money doing that, whether you’re doing making a product in that way. In addition – I think those are kind of the biggest ones you can look at. And then, the last way to grow your income, I say, in addition to that, like, buying income producing assets. So, the whole idea of creating these income streams, and those are great and all, but you ultimately want to take that money from those income streams and then invest it in income producing assets that start paying you more. So, that’s things that will pay you dividends or any sort of cash returns, cash yields, things like that. So, I think, ultimately, the short runways to increase income are all kind of based on your labor and work you do, whether it’s selling products, teaching, things like that, selling your time. But in the long run to raise your income, you’re going to have to invest in income producing assets. I think that’s the ultimate way to build wealth.

Bottom line:

Act wisely, grab the opportunities and grow your i

Act wisely, grab the opportunities and grow your income successfully. You are not alone, give us a shout if you need any help. Good luck! – Reza Abbaszadeh


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