Looking for ways to make passive income? I’m sharing my secret stash of an untapped list of the best passive income ideas to make money online in 2021.
Passive income seems like an elusive fantasy for most people. I want to spread the word and set the record straight that passive income is for anyone to enjoy.
Depending on how much disposable cash a person has, they can put their money to work in areas ranging from high yield savings accounts, real estate, and more unique ways such as peer-to-peer lending.
Getting passive income is simple but many people don’t realize it. Realty Shares did a study and found that only about 15% of Americans invest in real estate beyond their primary residence. I believe this is due to a lack of awareness that investments in real estate can be made with just $500 with companies like Fundrise, no really.
Clearing up misconceptions such as these can be a significant difference-maker for individuals looking to learn how to make money online fast. But what are the best approaches to generating passive income in 2021?
The two approaches to generating passive income
I’m now going to reveal the untapped list of the best passive income ideas to make money online in 2021.
Before I pull back the curtain and share some of the most creative and best passive income ideas you must know that are two ways to generate passive income, creating passive income if you have money and passive income if you have time.
Creating Passive Income (if you have money)
Creating Passive Income (if you have time)
|We all heard the old saying “Make your money work for you” right? Making passive income can sound tough if you don’t have a lot of money lying around. But passive income can be for everyone — even if you only have $50. Here are some ideas you can start with:||What’s better than money? Time. Whether it’s after work, on the weekends, or even in the mornings — you stand a chance to generate passive income streams… all you need is time and effort. Don’t believe me? Here are some legit passive income ideas to start with:
You may not consider a high-yield savings account as passive income but it is. If you have cash sitting in a checking account or a traditional savings account, no matter what amount, it’s likely earning only 0.09% (the national average). It now pays off to have high-yield savings accounts that now offers attractive interest rates. Basically, the higher your interest rate, the more money you make off your cash.
CIT Bank is a great example of this. They let you enjoy an amazing rate of 1.75% APY when you open a new CIT Bank Money Market Savings Account at CIT Bank. That’s over 22x the national average savings rate!
You can open a new savings account with their low $100 minimum opening deposit requirement and it’s as simple as that.
CIT Bank provides an outstanding example of what you can receive in an internet bank with its amazingly high APY and their outstanding service.
Open a CIT Savings Builder account and get a 1.75% APY!
On all balances
|GET MY RATE|
Annual Percentage Yield
|GET MY RATE|
If you are interested in opening an account, check out the best high-interest savings accounts.#2: Invest in crowdfunded real estate
Wouldn’t it be great if you could invest in commercial real estate and apartments without dealing with all the hassle of buying, improving, and re-selling real estate?
You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in these types of properties. You can now invest in large-scale real estate for as little as $500 with Fundrise.
Through their real estate investment products, investors earned an average of 8.7 – 12.4 percent on their money last year, and all without painting a wall or dealing with unruly tenants.
There is a reason why they currently have over 500,000+ users, this app really pays you!
If you’re interested, I recommend you sign up for more information from Fundrise by clicking here.
No matter what kind of home or room you have to share, Airbnb makes it simple and secure to host travelers. You’re in full control of your availability, prices, house rules, and how you interact with guests.
Like Uber did for Taxis before it, Airbnb is fast revolutionizing the holiday and travel accommodation industry, and you’re set to profit from it!
Airbnb is an online marketplace for people with space, rooms, or even entire houses to spare as they let you list your place for rent just like a hotel or motel.
Maybe you’re traveling overseas yourself and want to make the most of your empty place while you’re away? Perhaps you have a spare room that currently houses nothing more than empty boxes? With Airbnb, you fill that empty space in your home and fill that empty spot in your wallet with more than a little spare change.
We all heard the old saying “make your money work for you” right? Investing can sound tough if you don’t have a lot of money lying around. But investing can be for everyone — as some companies even give you free stock just for joining.
Moomoo will give you a free stock worth between $3 and $200 if you open an account with them. You don’t have to deposit anything to receive the free stock either.
Not only does moomoo offer free trading, but they also offer you an intuitive mobile trading platform that will let you invest anywhere and anytime.
This is a great opportunity for investors or those looking to invest in companies that are poised for high growth and addressing global issues. Click here if you are interested in learning more and getting a free stock.
If you are not getting paid cash back for the shopping you do daily then your not making passive income. You can start doing this by using two simple strategies:
Step 1: Cash back credit cards
If you’re serious about saving money to make extra money, then you should know about cash back credit cards. My favorite cash back card is American Express Blue Cash Everyday which has no fees at all and because you can get:
3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
Also, this card is beneficial if wanted to claim a $250 bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $250 back in the form of a statement credit.
Strategy #2: Cash back shopping portals
You can also utilize your cash back credit cards with these shopping portals for ultimate saving hacks:
Have you heard of MyPoints? It’s a cash-back site that pays you to shop online. I love it because it lets you earn cash for the shopping you would do anyway.
And right now, you can earn a $10 Amazon gift card with your first purchase at any retailer through MyPoints!
Here’s how it works…
- Sign up for MyPoints here (you just need to give them a name and email address).
- MyPoints will instantly send you an email to confirm your email address. You’ll need to click that to get the free gift card.
- You’ll also need to purchase $20 worth of products at any of the more than 1,500+ top retailers like Walmart, eBay, & Amazon. MyPoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus points that you can redeem for a $10 Amazon gift card.
That’s all! It’s basically $10 off anything you buy.
Looking for an easy passive income app? Dosh is the free cash back app that finds you money for shopping, dining out, and booking hotels and travel activities with more than 100,000 merchants and brands nationwide. This free app not only allows you to get cash back on everyday purchases, but no receipt scanning required.
Have you ever dreamed of paying less for gas each week? Well, that time has come, with GetUpside you can earn money by sharing your purchase receipts and shopping at local stores. I heard about this app on the radio and decided to try it out for myself.
The system is simple: you take a photo of your gas receipt and upload it. Then the app will digitize the receipt information and you’ll get up to 25 cents off each gallon. I’m surprised I don’t hear about this app more often though, I make a killing with it:
You can likely rack up an extra couple hundred this year by using it. And you can also save up to 35% at restaurants and 15% at grocery stores near you. The money you earn can be transferred to your Paypal account or redeemed for gift cards to buy at Amazon and other stores.
Refinance your student loans, like now. Sometimes you can make extra money just by finding new ways to save.
A big one that many people fail to remember is that you can save around $300/month just by refinancing your student loan debt.
Are you wondering did I get the best deal on my loan? Should I refinance? How do you go about refinancing?
With online student refinancing portals, you can now see how much you can save literally in minutes — and it doesn’t affect your credit score.
If you are interested in refinancing student loans, it’s simple to check. Here are my top 5 picks for refinancing student loans. You can get your new rate in under 2 minutes by visiting the lender to check your rate (doesn’t affect your credit score):
|Fixed: 3.25% - 7.25%|
Variable: 2.72% - 7.43%
|Fixed: 3.50% - 7.89%|
Variable: 2.53% - 9.06%
|Fixed: 3.64% - 7.50%|
Variable: 2.53% - 9.06%
|Fixed: 3.89% - 8.07%|
Variable: 2.5% - 7.12%
If you are a homeowner, then this one of the smartest things you can look into.
I currently work as a Business Analyst at Freddie Mac, so I know a thing or two about the mortgage market.
If you own a home and have not yet taken advantage of historically low refinance rates, you probably are spending way more than you should be on your mortgage.
LendingTree could help you refinance your mortgage at a significantly lower interest rate – Let’s say you can lower your rate by around 1%, on a $200K mortgage, can save you over $100/month and over $40,000 in total over the course of your 30-year loan!
Passive income ideas that require time & effort investment
These passive income ideas require some time and effort on your part. No money is required, but time is.
If you are looking for ways to make extra money online then you probably already know about blogging. But do you have one yet? And do you really know how much potential there is to make money with blogging?
The best part? Starting a blog is easy. You can get the initial set up done in under 20 minutes and it’s just a Google search away.
Websites like Survey Junkie can make you quick money for passively sharing your opinion and trying new products.
It is 100% legit and simple: companies pay you in cash via PayPal so they can understand consumers better and survey takers can benefit.
The number one survey site is Survey Junkie, which has an 8.9/10 on Trustpilot, the highest of any survey site.
Expect to make between $1 and $50 per survey, it varies but most surveys take under 5 minutes to complete. If you’re already a fan of Survey Junkie, be sure to check out our list of recommended paid survey sites.
Knowing that companies are using your opinions to make decisions about restaurants, consumer products, movies and a lot more is oddly satisfying. They also have plenty of high paying surveys to choose from, so you don’t have much to lose. You can get started with a registration bonus here.
Swagbucks is a rewards site that pays you to do simple tasks like search the web, play games and even watch TV!
It’s similar to Survey Junkie, but there are also a few other ways you can earn money as a member (including a $5 bonus just for signing up).
Other ways you can make money with Swagbucks outside of surveys:
Swagbucks is conveniently offering a $10 bonus just for signing up through this link, so act fast.
There are quite a lot of reward sites out there. These just happen to be the more reputable ones that are legit. As always, be wary of handing out your information to random survey sites. I recommend using an entirely separate email address for online paid survey sites so you don’t clutter your inbox.
If there ever was a passive income app you should have in your life, it should be Paribus.
Sign up for Paribus and find out if stores owe you a refund – effortlessly! This free app will scan your emails for any purchase receipts from dozens of online retailers.
You don’t even have to know about the price drop in order to get your refund. It’s 100% free and will save you a lot of money.
I pocketed around $50, in the first few weeks of signing up and you’ll likely rack up $200-300 this year by using it.
This is an easy way to make money from home. By using the internet as you do every day, Nielsen invites you to make a difference – and you can make money too. You don’t even have to do anything other than registering your computer or phone.
Like beer money apps? Here are some of my favorites:
#1 BeerMoney App: Swagbucks App
It’s one of the highest paying beer money app that actually works and pays via PayPal ?. Earn money by having videos play (easiest way to earn), play games, use their search engine or participate in focus groups. As a new member, you can conveniently earn up to $35 per survey through this link.
#2 BeerMoney App: InboxDollars
You can even make money by using the InboxDollars search toolbar (an instant $1 credit) which, according to their Web site, could potentially net you up to $57 a year (passively). Most of the payouts on activities range from a few cents to a few dollars depending on what you choose. If you sign up before the end of this month they also give you a $5 free bonus just to give it a try.
#3 Beer Money App: SwagIQ App
This is a trivia app that hosts games over the SwagIQ app. Usually, the prizes are well over $1,000 so if you’re privy to trivia, give it a go. What do I like about this beer money app? You’ll get beer money just for testing your knowledge and they pay you straight cash without doing any work. Get A Free Swag IQ Account here.
#4 BeerMoney App: Nielsen Panel
This company will pay you $50 a year keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device and they also give away $10,000 each month. So you can possibly make more than $100. Sign up through here for a registration bonus.
#5 BeerMoney App: Panel App
Panel App is a very slow earner but the basis is that it tracks your location in the background and will give you surveys about your location history every so often.
HealthyWage offers people the opportunity to earn cash for losing weight. Earn cash for losing weight? Sounds too good to be true, but you read it right. The company was founded in 2009, and its HQ is in New York, and part of its mission is to provide ways to have a measurable impact on the growing obesity epidemic in the US.
They do this by legitimately offering cash prizes to make weight loss more fun and effective. Since HealthyWage was founded they have been featured in literally hundreds of newspapers, magazines, TV shows, blogs, and websites:
How can you make money with it?
You essentially bet on yourself and how much weight you can lose. Since they are promoting ways to be healthy, your winnings depend on how much weight you lose and how much you bet. It’s a great way to make money and be healthy at the same time.
Shopkick is the app that rewards you for walking into stores. You don’t have to do anything else, just physically walk into a store nearby. You can earn reward points (they call them kicks), then redeem for a wide selection of free gift cards!
So whether you have any stores you can walk by on your lunch break, or go shopping now and then, you can make some quick cash with this app.
If you want to make legitimate money quickly, driving with Lyft is a smart side hustle.
With Lyft, you get to drive people around your city and get paid well (I’m talking an extra $500 to $1000 a month with just a few hours on the weekend).
Of course, your earnings will vary but you can earn even more now since you get tipped directly and even get a $1000 driver sign up bonus in all cities.
The smartest way to earn more is to drive when there is surge pricing. You might have guessed that surge pricing occurs when people are out and about most (weekday & weekend nights).
So instead of partying up this weekend, why not make passive income with Lyft?
Did you know that you can rent out your car when you’re not using it? And that you can bring in a lot of extra cash in your wallet by doing so?
Do you plan on heading on a vacation soon while your car sits unused at your home? Do you sometimes not use your car on the weekends? If so, renting out your car while you’re not using it could be an easy way to make passive income. A well-known company, Turo, which has signed up nearly 5 million users to its website, according to Bloomberg, lets you do just that.
It’s also really simple to do (and free). Listing your car is quick and easy and takes less than 10 minutes to set up. According to a recent Turo review, somebody listed their car for 5 days every month and made $3,496 in a year. Sounds pretty good to me. Oh, and they also protect your car against physical damage, so you’re fully covered.
#17: Start a low-risk drop shipping business online
Oberlo allows you to easily import products from AliExpress directly into your Shopify store and ship directly to your customers – in only a few clicks. It’s very simple to open a shop on Shopify and drop ship items in order to create a business without too much risk. You can literally start and set up a drop shipping business without any type of product in one afternoon with minimal risk as Shopify has a 14-day free trial and Oberlo is completely free.
What is the most popular drink in the world that does not contain alcohol? What is the official national anthem of the United States of America? What is the Capital of Australia?
If you answered coffee, star-spangled banner, and Canberra, then you may want to look into the new Trivia App called SwagIQ that pays you huge cash prizes for your smarts.
Today’s prize is worth over $1,000!
I’ll be playing, will you?
Many of you have come here by searching “how to make $50 fast.” Well, here you go. This has got to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to make quick money.
Did you know you can actually get paid to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, news and all sorts of other videos?
You can sign up for websites like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie that will pay you to watch certain videos. They will tell you how many minutes you need to watch the video for and you might also be asked to like the video.
While you not going to make a career out of it, it’s very easy money for pressing a few buttons on your phone in your free time. There really is no limit when it comes to the question of how to make money online.
You can make around $500 a month by spending 15 minutes a day on surveys. If you wanted to make money by watching videos and other tasks you may be interested in:
- Swagbucks: Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more to earn real money. Join Swagbucks Now to Get $10 Free
- SurveyJunkie: Make up to $50 per survey in your spare time from home to take online surveys, participating in Focus Groups and trying new products. Join SurveyJunkie Now
- InboxDollars: Has so far paid its members over $40 Million. Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more. Join InboxDollars Now and Get Free $5
Earn extra cash by evaluating products and services. Get up to $50 for each completed survey, product and service reviews. Plus earn up to $.50 for every email you read. Free to Join! MindsPay compensates its members to test out products, services and give feedback on those tested. It’s free to sign up and only requires a small amount of information.
What you need to know about passive income
Passive income often sounds like some magical thing reserved for the world’s wealthiest people. You know, CEOs and oil tycoons. In reality, that mindset couldn’t be more wrong. When it comes to passive income the mentality of “it all starts somewhere” is a better guide.
Separate from your regular earnings, passive income is money you earn with little to no effort usually done by completing a few (or more than a few) actions upfront and then reaping the rewards over time with little maintenance later. In a simple form, that means is your money is making money for you or you are making money while you sleep.
As you read this article, I want you to keep reminding yourself that the amount of money you get from passive vehicles does not matter. What matters is that passive income is passive income, and the goal is to increase the amount you earn from 0% to 0.1% to 0.2%, or $1 to $2 to $3 and so on. Also, this will be a long term effort to increase your wealth, not a get rich quick plan.
So what are these mythical passive income vehicles once thought to be reserved for the rich and famous? Let’s take a look.
I know what you are thinking, “I already have a savings account.” But do you really? In 2019, the average savings rate for the common brick and mortar bank, think Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo and those alike, is floating somewhere between 0.06% and 0.15% (nerdwallet.com). Meanwhile, some online banks offer much higher rates in the area between 2.10% and 2.25% (nerdwallet.com). I understand if you cringed a bit when I said the dreaded words “online bank” (ooooh scary), but this is 2019 and it’s time you open your eyes to the changing landscape.
It remains true that you shouldn’t toss your money into the first online bank that pops up at the top of a Google search. The advantage in that aspect remains with the local bank you can walk into and have confidence it’s a real and trustworthy bank. You will have to do a lot more homework in regard to online banks. Although, with a bit of effort you will find a huge financial reward. And let’s be real, financial success is mostly gained by giving up an equally huge amount of hard work. To get you started, check out Marcus by Goldman Sachs Bank, Synchrony, and Ally. All three of those banks are FDIC members.
Certificate of deposits (CDs)
The average rates of CDs in 2019 is around 2.70% for a year or 3.10% (nerdwallet.com) for five years. CDs are similar to a savings account in the fact that they give you a guaranteed rate of return on your money without risk factors such as a sudden downturn in the economy or a volatile stock market. Although, CDs do come with more rules and restrictions. The most notable difference being if you want access to your money before its maturity date you will be hit with a penalty fee. With that being said, use a CD as a secondary vehicle for your cash after you have enough in your savings account for a rainy day. Typically, you should keep 6-8 months of reserve cash on hand for emergencies.
Let’s take a brief pause.
I believe this is the drop-off point where most people start to say they don’t have “extra cash” and thus think passive income is for the rich. I understand, and this is where I will remind you about increasing your passive income from 0% to 0.1% and so on. You should, and I repeat you should have a savings account. If you do nothing else after reading this article other than opening a higher yielding savings account than the one you have now, consider it a success because you improved your passive income.
If you only have $100 in savings at any given time, you need to understand how important it is to earn $2 a year on your money vs. just 10 cents. I refuse to let you believe $2 isn’t important when you only have $100 in savings. Use whatever scenario that will help you to realize that. $2 = one meal for your child or the difference between being able to pay your power bill and not. Whatever it takes, understand more is more. Simple as that. Now, let’s continue.
We have entered the realm of higher difficulty in passive income vehicles. Remember, financial success takes extra effort. There are multiple ways to get into real estate and not all of them require a six-figure salary to enter.
Real estate investment trust (REIT):
There exist public and private trust open to investors. A REIT can be thought of as a pool of money that is gathered and used to invest in something that each contributor may not have been able to (or don’t want to) finance alone, and the investments are handled by a company whose main purpose is real estate investing. Some have high minimums, but a lot have low barriers to entry. Public REITs can be found using most investment services (TD Ameritrade, Robinhood, Merrill Edge, etc.) and investments can be made by purchasing individual shares.
Public shares give you the freedom to invest as little as you like and to retrieve your money whenever you like based on your brokerage account rules. Although, using this method you are also at the mercy of stock market volatility which means your holding could be down significantly at the time you want to retrieve it. My recommendation is to treat public shares the same as a private holding and only use cash that you don’t expect to need for at least the next 3-5 years.
Private REITs take a little more work to find and offer some advantages as well as disadvantages when compared to public REITs. After doing your research, it will help you decide which method is best for your situation. In the private sector, you will have limited access to your funds as most real estate investments have an expected investment horizon of 3-5 years. The advantage comes from being, mostly, separate from the daily volatility of the stock market.
Investment groups and crowd funding:
If executed correctly with due caution, both investment groups and crowdfunding can be excellent ways to pool money together to invest in a real estate property that would have been near impossible for the average investor to invest in alone. Investment groups can be started by anyone, and the key to success is working with partners you trust and developing robust guidelines that you will adhere to no matter the nature of the working relationships. Avoiding the horror stories of working with family and friends should be an essential goal when establishing rules and responsibilities. Exit strategies should be clear and agreed on by the collective group because they can be an effective way to end a professional partnership while maintaining a personal one.
It is also possible to work with people who you have no personal relationships, and many online resources exist in facilitating those introductions. As with any other business venture, make sure you should do your due diligence to before making any serious commitments with people you don’t know or trust just yet.
Once a solid group is formed, as well as the supporting team members such as realtors, accountants, and others, finding and investing in a property will be a difficult task. Although, if your group consist of people who have bought real estate before, such as their own house, sticking to a solid plan should provide good results as the actual process of buying a property is rather common. Certain complexities will arise in the form of transferring ownership to the company, but with a solid strategy, you will be on your way to earning passive real estate income that can add another step on your stairway to financial success.
|Crowdfunding is relatively new and is rightfully so in the realm of being a skeptical route. Still, the possibility exists for it to be a successful venture toward earning passive income. Websites like Fundrise or Groundfloor are gaining popularity because they expand to non-accredited investors, which basically means there are lower minimum investment options. Tread carefully, but with optimism. I would suggest as you expand your passive investment portfolio you start with the safer alternatives and then move on to the route with more risk involved.|
Traditional rental property and Airbnb:
These options should be more familiar, but a good reminder never hurts. If you inherited property from family, or have a vacation house you never use, then you should think about renting the space out. If you think time can’t be spared to do so, then you should look at property management services. They will cost money to use but letting them take a small cut of the profits is better than having no profits at all.
|Airbnb has become a highly regarded and recognized platform for travelers to rent rooms and houses. If you have a spare house or room, consider looking into Airbnb. Protect yourself by establishing ground rules you are comfortable with, such as the deposit, cleaning fee, and pets and this could be a profitable passive income vehicle.|
Other investment accounts
Another form of investing that is relatively new, peer-to-peer lending is a significant change in the way that average people get a loan for a various number of needs. In the old days you only had a few options, borrow money from family and friends or a big financial institution. I’m excluding payday loans and pawn shops because those were always outside the box and inefficient ways to get a loan.
In modern times, the landscape is changing, and different companies have risen in many forms to be able to facilitate loans. These loans can be rather large and will continue to close the gap of what a traditional bank can offer compared to other companies. In the case of peer-to-peer lending, investors crowdfund their money to offer up as a loan to somebody who needs it. Investors earn interest on that loan just as a bank would.
The benefits of peer-to-peer lending are that you don’t have to offer up a huge sum of money to a single person or business which would create a high risk for you. Instead, you can create an account and fund it with $1000 for example, and then loan out $25 to 40 different borrowers. Your return on investment will depend on the number of those loans that default and the average interest rate for all of the loans.
This is another method where you should tread carefully. Upon further research, you will find that peer-to-peer lending is not very tax efficient, so this should not be your go-to for passive income. If you already have a diversified passive income portfolio, peer-to-peer lending can add another layer to further diversify your risk if used correctly.
Standard brokerage/investment account with dividend-paying Stocks
Investing in stocks and bonds is a risky business, there is no way around that fact. Even so, when done correctly, the rewards can be extremely lucrative. In the case of looking for passive income, dividend-paying stocks can provide a steady income if you are able to ignore the noise of the market. Buying stocks of good companies that have a proven track record of paying dividends can provide steady passive income if you buy and hold for an extended time, think 10-15 years and beyond. Search for so-called “dividend aristocrats” that have increased their dividend annually over the last 25 years.
Alternatively, safer options include investing in a low fee index fund or a trusted Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Both funds will come with a price, but the funds take care of the day to day actions that will allow you to reap the reward of passive income. Holding onto these assets over a long period of time can add passive income to your wallet but is not for the faint of heart because the price can drop significantly in a short amount of time. It will take a steady hand to avoid selling your positions because of a significant loss in value.
Passive income ideas summary
Passive income can be for anyone regardless if they have money or just time. So if any of these passive income ideas was enticing in the slightest, go for it.
You don’t have much to lose, but a lot of passive income to gain year after year.
In fact, if you were to make an extra $100 a day, that’s $3,000 extra a month, and an extra $36,000 a year.
While it may take some work to get up to $100 a day, it is certainly possible.
What are you waiting for? Here’s to you scrolling back up and choosing one of the best passive income ideas to boost your income and get paid 24/7.