We all know about active income, perhaps a little too well at times: we fight the urge to hit the snooze button, do our morning routine and then head off to work so that we can meet our responsibilities and obligations.
However, most people are much less comfortable with the idea of passive income. This is regular income that we receive without having to put in daily active effort to earn it. Some passive income takes a little preparation and routine oversight, yet still nothing compared to the effort put into a job, while other passive income streams are more or less free money.
The best part of passive income streams is that since they are so low maintenance, it is possible to stack up a number of passive income streams at the same time and actually make some serious money.
While most passive income streams will not change your life overnight, with some smart planning you can use passive income streams to significantly improve your current quality of life and achieve much better retirement outcomes.
Here are the top 5 passive income ideas that you can use to increase your cash flow.
Dividends from Stocks
High dividend stocks come from companies who have made a commitment to pay out some or all of their profits in the form of dividends instead of reinvesting those profits into expanding their business. This means that the overall share price of the stock is less likely to rise, but you will be compensated with a steady stream of dividends instead.
The best part about high dividend stocks is that they are easy to find even for people who have little financial knowledge and they require little or no oversight to keep the dividends rolling in safely and on time. If you are unsure about how to find and oversee high dividend stocks, brokers and investment managers will be happy to help for a small fee.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending
P2P lending is a relatively new feature of the financial world that lets independent investors and borrowers make private loans without a traditional intermediary. P2P loans are arranged using a clearing house that offers a variety of information about borrowers and facilitates interest rate and loan duration negotiations.
P2P lending takes a bit of legwork, but the returns can far outstrip those seen in traditional passive investing. Most P2P clearing houses have pretty stringent requirements for potential borrowers, and the information provided is more than enough for lenders to make rational and informed decisions.
If you have never lent money on a P2P platform before, then it is best to start out small, but you will quickly become comfortable with the idea and be able to identify the best returns for your risk tolerance.
You can do all this from the comfort of your own home spending just a few hours a week or less. Even better, some of the loans are for very interesting and important projects that many investors are proud to be a part of.
It used to be that rental properties were considered among the most high maintenance forms of passive income. While you can hire a rental management company to oversee most aspects of owning a rental property, there were always still unexpected expenses and legal problems that would require your attention and eat into your passive income stream.
The advent of crowdfunding has dramatically altered the landscape for rental properties. Now you can purchase a ‘share’ in a wide variety of rental properties that require no management or maintenance at all.
Since you are offered access to rental markets from all over the world, you can dramatically increase the passive income stream from rental properties without being limited to just what is in your backyard.
Crowdfunding rental properties does take some research, but nothing near the effort involved in finding and managing properties in your city or region, making rental properties one of the easiest and most lucrative sources of passive income.
High Yield Savings Accounts and Money Market Funds
Over the last decade of extremely low interest rates many people have given up on traditional savings accounts, term deposits and money market funds. However, these sources of passive income are back in the spotlight now that new financial technology companies are transforming the market and displacing traditional banks.
The trick to making a nice return off these investments is to ignore traditional banks and instead head online to find new financial technology companies offering much higher rates. These companies manage and use their deposits much more efficiently than traditional banks, which allows them to pay out much higher interest rates.
Deposits are the ultimate form of passive income, requiring only the most basic effort to search out the best rates on offer. You could be seeing high yields on your deposits in less time than it takes to finish a morning cup of coffee.
Rent Out Space Using AirBNB
AirBNB is an online platform that has mastered the short term rental of space. Most people use AirBNB to rent out one or more rooms in their house, but people also use it to rent out garages, office space and even backyards.
Using AirBNB to rent out your space takes a little bit of prepwork to make it attractive, but the effort and cost is small compared to the returns. Then all it takes is a little effort to confirm bookings, see to your guests and prepare the space again after each use.
While people may naturally have concerns about letting strangers into their house, AirBNB has proven to be safe and simple way to make the most of your extra space. It is a great source of passive income for people with some extra space and enough time to rent it out regularly.