Time is our most limited resource – yet it’s often the only way we can make a living.
Your day job requires you to exchange your time for money. But if you’re short on time and need a way to boost income for paying off debt, consider setting up one or more sources of passive income to leverage your time better.
What is passive income?
Passive income is produced by leveraging your assets, whether purchased or created. These assets are considered investments that produce residual income over the long-term.
It may take some time, effort, and money up front to get these assets to a place where they become a source of passive income. But when done right, the return on investment will be worth it.
Use these tips to start a passive income stream on the side of your regular job that will help you pay down student loans faster.
Best sources of passive income
1. Rent out a spare room
How much you earn depends on the size and location of your home; if you live in a popular city or close to attractions (like an airport), you could earn extra money from a space in your home that would otherwise remain unused.
If you’ve been considering becoming a landlord but aren’t ready to pull the trigger on such a large investment, consider using one of these sites to host travelers on a smaller scale. You could earn as much, or even more, than a traditional landlord since you can charge per night like a hotel.
2. Sell an ebook on Amazon
If you’re an expert on a particular subject, you could earn as much as $2,000 from selling ebooks via Amazon’s Kindle platform. This is what writer Steve Gillman did and has since earned thousands more from his ultralight backpacking ebook, as well as many other ebooks that he’s written and sold on Amazon.
The more specific your topic is, the better it will sell. It may take a bit of time and effort up front to write and format the ebook, but if it’sa topic you understand well, it will be relatively easy to write.
These kinds of shorter ebooks usually sell between $2.99-$9.99 each – Amazon pays a royalty of 70%. So at a price of $2.99, for example, you’ll walk away with a royalty of $2.09 per sale. Pretty cool! And the best part is that you don’t have to do much marketing to make continuous sales since Amazon does most of it for you.
3. Earn royalties from a fiction book
Much like writing an ebook, publishing a traditional book can reward you with well-earned royalties for as long as the book continues to sell. Fiction books can become especially popular, making your passive royalties quite substantial.
The most popular fiction book series have been turned into movies, screenplays, and even theme parks (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, anyone?).
You can continue earning money as long as your book sells or is used as a jumping off point for other avenues.
4. Invest in land minerals
This passive income strategy is lesser-known since it requires a bit more legal research and consulting to ensure a fair deal. But once you purchase oil and gas minerals, it could be a very easy way to make substantial money. I used to work for several oil and gas companies for over 10 years in the Dallas, Texas area and continue to earn small oil and gas mineral royalties myself.
Oil and gas mineral rights are purchased from individuals or families who have inherited the property. There are multiple types of royalties you can earn, but they all produce an income stream percentage from the oil, gas, and other minerals sold from each well.
You could also earn bonus money from any land you lease to oil and gas companies who want to build these wells on your property. In this case, you would only own the surface rights to the land and not the minerals below.
5. Sell your photography
There’s a large market for stock photography for corporate websites and casual blogs alike. Additionally, social media is driven by imagery, so there’s a growing need for beautiful social media images as well.
There are several ways you earn passive income from your photography. You can start earning residual income from your photography by selling it online via:
- Stock photography websites like Shutterstock and ThinkStockPhoto will pay photographers a small percentage of sales you make on their platform. This income stream becomes completely passive once you upload your images to one or more of these stock photography sites.
- Creative imagery sites like Creative Market and Etsy are aimed at artists with a more modern perspective. So if you’re a photographer with a unique point of view, your images could consistently sell without any marketing.
- Start your own photo membership site aimed at social media experts and bloggers. Charge a small subscription fee for these individuals to access monthly photo packages. Some examples of excellent photo membership sites include Death to the Stock Photo and Rosemary Watson.
6. Become a referral source
If you have a well-established blog or social media following, you can review products and earn a small commission if people sign up through your link.
This form of commission-based referral income is also known as affiliate marketing. It’s a completely legitimate way of earning passive income on the side and there are multiple ways you can become a referral source.
Start by signing up for a particular brand or product’s affiliate program and then grab your personal referral link. You can then publish in-depth tutorials of services on your blog, unbox a product and publish the video on YouTube, or share your experience with friends and family members via Facebook or Instagram. Just be sure to include your special link so anyone you refer it to will be able to sign up and you’ll receive a commission.
7. Get paid to shop
Start earning money by getting paid to shop and earning rewards for things you already plan to buy. For example, InboxDollars rewards you with money for surfing the internet, taking surveys, watching ads, and testing out different products. Take advantage of earning points or cash for things you’re already doing.
You can also earn cash back on all your purchases with sites such as BeFrugal or Swagbucks, getting paid via PayPal or gift cards. I recently cashed in my BeFrugal earnings for a $75 Amazon gift card and used it to purchase some much-needed household supplies.
Setting up passive income streams requires some work in the beginning, but can be a lucrative way to earn additional income once you have the correct formula.
Just be sure to not let it consume too much of your time. Focus on the sources of passive income that cater to your strengths and you’ll start earning extra money towards your financial goals in no time.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.30% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 6.30%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.51% – 8.09%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.21%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|