31 Best Passive Income Ideas for 2019Passive Income Ideas
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Passive income is any income you earn that requires little or no time investment from you.
This is in contrast to active income — such as a job — in which the amount of income you earn is directly correlated to your time invested.
Active income, of course, comprises the bulk of one’s income. One would have to have $2,105,967 invested in stocks with a 3% dividend yield in order to enjoy dividend income equal to the U.S. median household income of $63,179.
Your mission, then, is to make as much active income as you can so you can invest as much as you can in passive income sources.
But which passive income sources are best? Well, in this article, I break it down.
1. Invest in fine art with only $1,000.
Did you know that the Wall Street Journal called “the best investment of 2018”?
That’s right. So while you should certainly have a core investment portfolio of stocks and maybe bonds, you may want to at least consider adding some fine art to your portfolio.
I know what you’re thinking. Don’t I have to be a multimillionaire to invest in fine art?
Well, you used to be. But not anymore.
Similar to what Fundrise (see above) is doing for investment-grade real estate, Masterworks is opening up fine art investing to the masses.
Masterworks’ minimum investment is $1,000.
2. Invest in Private Real Estate Deals
Real estate is one of the classic forms of passive income: you own property, and others pay you for using it.
The downside to traditional real estate, of course, is that you typically need a lot of cash to get started.
Not so anymore with the rise of private real estate investing platforms.
We personally invest in one of these platforms called Fundrise.
Fundrise lets everyday people invest in top deals across the nation — way better deals than most people could find on their own.
It also lets you diversify your real estate holdings.
For example, I am invested in deals in 10 different states!
And for the first 90 days of your investment, Fundrise will buy your investment back at the original investment amount if for any reason you are not satisfied.
3. Get credit card bonuses.
You probably already know that you can earn cash back or travel points by using the right credit card.
And you probably have your go-to one or two credit cards that you’ve had in your wallet or purse for some time now.
But did you know that every year new credit cards are being issued with incredible rewards and signup bonuses?
The tough part is figuring out what cards best align with your spending habits so you can make sure that you’re maximizing your credit card rewards.
To help you start maximizing, check out the handy credit card rewards calculator below. You simply use the sliding scale to estimate your monthly spending in each of the major categories (rough estimates are perfectly fine), and the calculator will then tell you which credit cards make the most sense for you based on your spending patterns.
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5. Easily check to see if stores owe you money.
This one’s pretty interesting since it’s not so much passive income but rather passive savings.
The gist of it is that you get cash back on items you bought online when the price of those items drop.
It’s like price matching, but after the fact!
And there’s a new tool called Paribus that will help you get the refunds you deserve.
You simply sign up for Paribus, give it access to the email account you receive your shopping receipts at, and let Paribus get to work!
Paribus will then track the price of the item(s) you purchased and help to get you a refund when the price drops.
If you’d like to start getting refunds on your online purchases, click here to sign up for Paribus.
6. Get paid to go to stores.
Did you know there’s an app called Shopkick (use promo code MDR for a $5 bonus) that gives you gift cards simply by walking into stores?
You don’t even have to buy anything!
So whether you’re a mall rat or just somebody who goes shopping every now and then, you stand to make a little extra cash this way.
7. Get paid to play mobile games.
This is another one of those passive income ideas where you get paid to do something you enjoy, so it’s not really work at all.
How it works is you download a free new app, then download new mobile games through the app.
As you level up in the mobile games, you earn more points that you can redeem for gift cards at Amazon, VISA, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple, Starbucks, and more.
8. Rent out your spare room to people.
Renting out lodging can be an incredible way to earn extra money.
I know some people making thousands of dollars a month, all by renting out an extra room to short-term guests.
Now, if you wanted to do this 10 years ago, you would’ve had to post an ad in the classifieds or on shady old Craigslist.
Gladly, those days are over.
You can now list your spare room on Airbnb and screen out prospective guests. (Guests are rated by their hosts for things like cleanliness and communication.)
9. Make $1,410 a month if you have good credit.
Recently, I’ve been making over $1,000 a month by adding authorized users to my credit card.
I work with a broker, and it’s completely secure.
Here’s how it works:
- People with poor credit want to be added as an authorized user on aged credit cards owned by those with good credit and high credit limits.
- I add them as authorized users on my cards.
- The authorized users never get access to the credit card (or its number) because the card is shipped to me, not them. I repeat, the authorized users never have access to the cards and so cannot make any charges on them.
- I make $90 to $240 per authorized user, per card.
- I routinely make over $1,000 a month (see images below).
The one risk here is that your credit card issuer will cancel your card because sometimes they see the rapid adding and subtracting of authorized users in a short period of time as a credit risk.
The way to mitigate this risk is by not being too aggressive with how many authorized users you add per card and by giving your cards a “break” periodically.
Now, I open as many credit cards as I can, even those with an annual fee. I’ll gladly pay $95 per year for that card if it can make me $110 per month = $1,320 per year.
Here are the requirements for a credit card to be accepted into the program:
- The credit card must have been open at least a year. The older the card, the more money you’ll make.
- The credit card must have at least an $8,000 credit limit.
- The credit card must be issued by Wells Fargo, Chase, Discover, Barclays, Citi, Regions, Bank of America, FIA, PNC, Sears, or Synchrony.
This opportunity is only open to a limited number of people, so if you’re serious about this, and have cards that would qualify, email me directly at email@example.com with subject line CREDIT CARD OPPORTUNITY, and I’ll put you in touch with the broker that I use so you can get a quote for your cards.
10. Get paid to get gas.
GetUpside is a free app that gives you cash back for every gas station receipt you submit!
If you drive a lot (or even if you don’t), this can add up to a decent chunk of change!
11. Get paid to walk.
I just made $10 for walking, paid in cash via PayPal.
There’s a new app, Sweatcoin, that will pay you for every step you take.
It motivates me to go for more runs, take the stairs more often, and be an all-around more active person.
12. Invest in Farmland
Mark Twain once said, “Buy land; they’re not making it anymore.” Sound investing advice, right?
For centuries, farmland has helped investors build vast fortunes. However, getting started with agricultural investing has been a challenge that traditionally requires either a lot of money, a knowledge of farming, or both.
AcreTrader is a unique investment platform that wants to remove the barriers between investors and profitable farmland.
Currently open only to accredited investors, this crowdfunded investment platform allows you to buy shares of agricultural land. But don’t worry — you don’t need to know a tractor from a cultivator. All you have to do is sit back and let your shares appreciate.
AcreTrader offerings range from Midwest corn and soybeans rote-crop farms to almond groves in California. And for some projects, the minimum investment is only $5,000.
13. Get paid to have an app on your phone.
There’s an app that will pay you just for having it on your phone.
It doesn’t get much more passive than that! You heard me right.
They will pay you $50 per year per device just for having your app on there!
Talk about the ultimate passive income opportunity!
14. Invest $10 in small businesses and earn 5%.
Worthy Bonds is a company that provides bond funding to small businesses — and it’s letting you get a piece of the action.
See, these small businesses (obviously) pay Worthy interest on these loans, and folks like you and me can buy bonds from Worthy that pay 5% interest.
This is far more interest than you could earn in a savings account at the bank.
You can buy bonds in $10 increments and / or link your debit or credit card and round up the spare change on your purchases to invest in bonds.
15. Write slogans.
Are you kinda witty?
Then you may be able to make passive income just by thinking up slogans in your spare time. Here’s how it works:
- Write a catchy slogan.
- Upload it online here.
- Get paid every time someone uses your slogan! Passive income!
16. Sell your photos.
Are you good behind the camera?
Then you can make a somewhat passive side income licensing your photos online for others to download.
For example, I get all my pictures for this blog from various stock photo sites on the Internet.
And every time I download a photo, the photographer who uploaded it gets a royalty!
Licensing one picture that you take and upload now can give you cash flow forever as it’s downloaded again and again!
17. Get your bank and credit card fees refunded.
This isn’t really passive “income” per se, but it is an opportunity for you to increase your net worth somewhat passively.
There’s a new website that can get you refunds on fees like:
- Overdraft fees
- Monthly service fees
- Minimum balance fees
- ATM fees
- Late fees
- Wire transfer fees
- Foreign transaction fees
- Credit card interest charges
18. Get paid for doing things you do anyway.
Swagbucks ($10 sign-up bonus) is a great app to use to make money whenever you have some downtime, say while you’re in line at the store or while watching some mindless TV program.
There are a variety of ways to make money with the Swagbucks app, including:
- Playing games on your phone
- Using the Swagbucks search engine
- Watching videos
- Taking surveys
- Getting cash back on online purchases
- Using coupons
- And more!
Do you have experience with social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.?
Then you have a very valuable 21st-century skill!
If you know your way around social media, then you can make some major dough by promoting brands on social media.
Companies are willing to pay ordinary people to help get the word out about their products and drive more sales.
But the trickiest part of this industry is finding the right opportunities.
There are a few resources out there to help social media pros land these opportunities, but the one we found to be the best is SocialSaleRep.com.
They’ve been around for a while and have several proprietary partnerships with large corporations looking for social media experts.
20. Use a free money-saving bot.
Sometimes the best way to make money is to save money.
Subscriptions, especially those that go unused, can add up over time.
Thankfully, there’s a free money-saving bot called Cushion that will go through all your subscriptions, let you know how much you are paying for each of them every month, and cancel them with a simple text message if you’d like.
And Cushion not only keeps track of your subscriptions, but it also negotiates your monthly bills such as cable and Internet so you keep more money in your pocket.
21. Take online surveys.
This one’s not exactly “passive,” but it is certainly mindless.
You can take surveys when you’re binging on Netflix or in line at the grocery store or waiting to pick your kids up.
The trick is that there are only a few legit survey sites. We recommend Survey Junkie.
It’s 100% legit, and they do not send you spammy junk emails.
Their payouts are excellent, and they pay you in cash via PayPal.
Top Survey Site
Survey Junkie has an 8.9/10 rating on TrustPilot — the highest of any online survey company.
And they also have some really fun surveys.
For example, in the screenshot below you’ll see a pretty awesome music review survey that I recently did. I made $50 reviewing music! ?
Now, I must tell you that not all surveys are this fun, and not all pay this well, but every once in a while you get a great one like this!
Also, it’s satisfying knowing that companies will use my opinions and inputs to make decisions about not only music, but also food, restaurants, consumer products, movies, and a lot more.
22. Get paid to lose weight.
If you can commit to shedding some pounds, it may pay off handsomely for you to cut that habit because you can literally get paid to lose weight through a new company called HealthyWage.
Check out this Good Morning America special on HealthyWage that explains how it works:
You can bet as little or as much as you want, but obviously the more you bet, the more you stand to win!
Also, you can bet on your weight loss of any period between 6 and 18 months.
23. Get cash back when you shop online.
Ebates ($10 sign-up bonus if you use our link) is a free website and app that gives you up to 40% cash back at over 2,500 online stores.
If you shop online a lot (or even if you don’t), this can add up to a decent chunk of change!
24. Invest in precious metals.
For as long as history has been recorded, humans have known the innate value of precious metals such as gold and silver.
Although the price of gold and silver go up and down like any other asset class, they maintain their value in the long term and are a hedge against price drops in other asset classes such as stocks.
It’s probably not the best idea to have all of your assets in gold or silver, but most financial advisors recommend having at least some precious metals in your portfolio.
25. Get a Free 401(k) Analysis.
If you’ve ever worked in corporate America, you probably have a 401(k) retirement plan through your current or former employer.
And while your 401(k) is generating passive income for you, it’s possible that it’s not optimized for the best performance.
Just improving your returns by 1% a year can make a huge difference.
Let’s say you have $50,000 in your 401(k), and it will earn you 6% over time.
Increase your returns so that you earn 7% a year will mean over $65,000 more in your 401(k) over 30 years’ time.
A properly-optimized 401(k) can generate for you additional tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of passive income over time.
That’s where Blooom comes in.
When you sign up for Blooom, your 401(k) will immediately be analyzed, and you will be shown what kind of hidden fees you’re currently paying in your 401(k).
26. Track Your Wealth in Personal Capital and Get a $20 Bonus.
Personal Capital isn’t so much a way to make passive income as it is to manage your passive income sources.
What is Personal Capital? It’s a free net worth and investment tracking website and app.
Your account balances are updated in real time! We personally use it to track our wealth and love the easy-to-use interface.
27. See if you can pay less for homeowners or renters insurance.
Similar to some of the other items in this list, this one is more about passive savings than passive income.
But the end result of saving an extra $100 a month and making an extra $100 a month is the same: they both increase to your net worth.
And theoretically, saving is better than income because while you don’t pay taxes on additional savings, you do have to pay taxes on additional income!
One expense that slips by most people without being checked every now and then is homeowners or renters insurance.
See, the traditional insurance company model is getting more and more outdated with their high deductibles and premiums.
Take new insurance company Lemonade for example.
They take a simple flat fee, and everything else goes into a collective claims pool that they protect for their users in case they need to make a claim.
Since Lemonade doesn’t profit from the claims pool (like other, older insurance companies), leftover money is donated to charities that users choose when they sign up.
Lemonade’s self-stated goal is to transform insurance from a necessary evil into a social good.
They offer renters insurance for as low as $5 a month and homeowners insurance for as low as $25 a month.
28. Get paid every time you search the Internet.
Swagbucks will pay you to simply use its search engine.
They will also give you $5 if you sign up through our Swagbucks $5 bonus link.
So yup. This is probably the easiest way to make money online.
29. Arcadia Power pays you to use less electricity.
Arcadia Power is a free service that rewards you for saving energy when it matters most to the grid and the environment.
You will receive a notification about once per week to save energy for an hour.
If you save energy, you receive cash.
30. Get paid to watch TV.
Believe it or not, there is a company out there that will pay you to watch TV. This company is called Swagbucks, and you can get a $5 sign-up bonus if you sign up through my Swagbucks $5 bonus link!
31. Invest in alternative assets.
Yieldstreet is a platform aimed at giving investors access to high-yield, asset-based alternative investments.
It aims to create a portfolio across multiple asset classes – real estate, marine, commercial, and legal.
These opportunities are secured through assets, properties, settled and future case proceeds, and vessel acquisition.
These supposedly allow for the creation of a diversified investment portfolio that’s fully backed by a certain type of collateral.
Yieldstreet announced that since its inauguration, it has made over 300,000 payments that returned more than $297,000,000 to its investors.
Logan is a CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.