Do you ever wish you could make money without having to slog away at a 9 to 5 job?
Passive income offers the alluring possibility of earning while you sleep. With passive revenue streams, you put in the hard work upfront and then reap the rewards over time.
In this post, we’ll explore 50 passive income ideas perfect for anyone looking to boost their bank account. Some require significant initial effort, while others just need a bit of setup. But they all share the same benefit: bringing in cash without requiring your constant time and attention.
But wait, do you want a free tool that will help you generate unlimited business ideas? If, yes, check out the business ideas generator tool.
Let’s dive in!
Why Passive Income Matters
Before jumping into the passive income ideas, it helps to understand why passive revenue matters in the first place.
The typical way most people earn money is through active income. This means you trade your time for a set hourly wage or salary. The problem? There are only so many hours in the day. No matter how hard you work, there’s a ceiling on how much active income you can make.
Passive income breaks through this frustrating limitation. It comes from sources like rental property, dividends, interest, royalties, and advertisements on websites you own. They require upfront effort but then pay you over and over as the months and years go by. Passive income gives you the freedom and flexibility to earn money 24/7.
This income can supplement your active income from your day job. It can cover unexpected expenses that pop up. Or it can grow into a full-time revenue stream so you can quit your 9-to-5 entirely!
But enough big-picture talk. Let’s get into the nitty gritty of passive income opportunities.
1. Invest in Dividend Stocks
Dividend stocks pay you a portion of the company’s earnings regularly, often quarterly or annually. All you need to do is purchase shares of dividend stocks and then sit back as the checks come rolling in.
For example, Coca-Cola pays around a 3% dividend yield. If you invest $10,000 into Coke stock, you’d earn about $300 per year in dividend payments. Reinvest those dividends, and your income will compound over time.
Just be sure to research stocks carefully before investing. Opt for established companies with steady earnings and a history of dividend payments.
2. Earn Interest with Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer lending networks like Lending Club and Prosper allow you to lend money to other people and businesses. As borrowers repay their loans with interest, you earn passive income.
You get to set the loan amount and interest rates based on the level of risk. Loans are screened by the P2P platforms to assess borrower creditworthiness. That helps reduce potential defaults.
P2P lending offers average historical returns of 5-7%. And your investment is spread across hundreds of loans, further lowering your overall risk.
3. Try High Yield Savings Accounts
If you don’t want any risk with your passive income, high-yield savings accounts pay above-average interest rates on your deposited funds. While typical savings accounts earn essentially 0% these days, some online accounts offer 0.50% or more.
For example, CIT Bank currently offers savings accounts paying up to 0.65% APY. If you deposited $10,000, you’d earn $65 in interest after one year. This completely passive income comes with no market risk since your money is FDIC-insured.
While the earnings aren’t massive, high-yield savings accounts are an easy, set-it-and-forget-it approach to earning passive interest.
4. Invest in REITs
REITs (real estate investment trusts) are companies that own and operate real estate properties like apartments, hotels, shopping malls, and more. They are required to pay at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends.
This gives REIT investors rental income from the properties the company owns, without having to go out and buy real estate themselves. REITs often yield higher returns than bonds, though they involve more risk.
Consider REIT ETFs like VNQ for a diversified real estate portfolio with low costs and passive dividend payments.
5. Rent Out Your Extra Space
Do you have an extra bedroom? Basement? Garage? Renting out your unused property space is an easy way to earn hundreds or even thousands per year passively. You provide the space and maybe some amenities like furniture. In exchange, renters pay you simply to live there.
Advertising your space on Airbnb and Vrbo opens it up to millions of potential short-term renters. Services like Booking.com and Hostfully specialize in longer-term rentals for extra income. Your property gains new life as a vacation getaway or efficiency apartment!
6. Rent Out Your Car
Apps like Turo and Getaround let you rent out your car to locals when you aren’t using it. Set your own availability, pricing, and rules. You earn passive income while your car sits in the driveway instead of depreciating in value. Renters also cover gas costs and mileage.
Renting out your car can bring in $500-$800 extra per month based on demand and pricing in your area. But beware of the wear and tear long-term car rentals can cause. Focus on short-term rentals of just a few days at high daily rates for the best passive income.
7. License Your Extra Space for Storage
Do you have extra closet space? Unused garage? You can passively make money by licensing out space for storage. Neighbors and nearby college students often need extra storage.
Apps like Neighbor make it simple. List your available space and set your monthly pricing. Customers book online and gain 24/7 digital access to drop off and pick up their stuff. You sit back and collect your storage rental fee with little effort.
8. Sell Your Expertise in an eBook
Writing an eBook leverages your specialized knowledge into an information product you can passively sell online. Choose a focused topic you have experience with and self-publish an in-depth resource guide.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing handles publishing logistics like design and distribution. All you need to do is market your eBook and collect royalties when copies sell. Tim Ferriss has built a mini-empire through bestselling books. You can too on a smaller scale!
9. Invest in a High Yield Savings Account
This passive income idea bears repeating. While typical savings accounts earn essentially 0% these days, some online accounts offer 0.50% or more in interest.
CIT Bank currently offers savings accounts paying up to 0.65% APY. If you deposited $10,000, you’d earn $65 in interest after one year. And this income comes with no market risk since your money is FDIC insured. Easy!
10. Invest in Index Funds
Index funds provide instant diversification by owning a mix of different assets like stocks and bonds. For example, an S&P 500 index invests in the 500 largest U.S. companies. The overall stock market’s growth becomes your growth!
Index funds lower risk compared to owning just a few stocks. Costs are minimized too since no stock-picking manager’s salary is involved. Over long periods, index funds can reliably return around 7% after inflation. Reinvest the earnings and compound your passive income over time.
11. Refinance Your Mortgage
Did you know you might save hundreds per month by refinancing your mortgage? With today’s low-interest rates, there’s a good chance you can reduce your mortgage payment with a new home loan.
Work with a mortgage broker to run the numbers and see if refinancing makes sense for you. While refinancing involves an upfront cost, you can earn it back over a short time through lower monthly payments. That’s hundreds in recurring passive savings per month!
12. Invest in a Robo-Advisor
Robo-advisors like Betterment automate investing. Answer a few questions about your goals and risk tolerance. The robo-advisor then handles portfolio construction and optimization for you. Your money is allocated across diverse ETFs and rebalanced automatically over time.
Robo-advisors lower fees and minimums compared to human financial advisors. Returns average around 8% annually for balanced portfolios. Once set up, you earn fully passive investment income from the algorithms!
13. Install Cashback Apps
Cashback apps like Rakuten, Dosh, and Drop pay you money back for shopping activities you’d do anyway. Connect your credit cards and the app tracks your purchases, depositing cash back directly into your account.
It takes just a minute to route your shopping through the cashback app. Sit back as the recurring passive income comes pouring in from your everyday spending habits! Signup bonuses can also earn you a quick $10 or more.
14. Set Up An Online Course
Online courses allow you to earn passive income by teaching a skill or sharing your expertise. Popular course platforms like Udemy and Teachable handle all the logistics like hosting and marketing. You just create the content.
Courses require significant upfront effort but can pay dividends for years to come. Course prices range from $20 to $200+ depending on the topic and demand. You earn royalties automatically as customers purchase and go through your course material. Create once, profit forever!
15. Rent Out Your Car
This is another passive income idea worth expanding on. Car rental apps like Turo, GetAround, and HyreCar let you rent out your car when you aren’t using it. You set pricing and availability. Renters pay you and cover gas and mileage costs.
Long-term rentals of a month or more are best for passive income. You can earn $500-$800 extra each month depending on local demand and your pricing. Your car works for you instead of sitting idle!
16. Invest in Bonds
Bonds are loans issued by governments and corporations that pay fixed interest rates over time. Investors effectively lend their capital and are paid back with interest. If held to maturity, bonds offer guaranteed returns, unlike stocks.
While lower risk than stocks, bond yields are also generally lower. Current one to 10-year Treasury bonds offer around 4-5% annual returns. Corporate, municipal, and global bonds add diversification as well. Or choose a broad bond index or ETF for simplicity.
17. Invest in Certificates of Deposit
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are savings accounts with fixed interest rates and terms. The longer the term length, the higher the guaranteed interest rate tends to be.
CDs offer higher rates than regular savings accounts but come with reduced liquidity. You lock your money away for the term, usually 3 months to 5 years. Early withdrawal results in penalties. If you don’t need immediate access to your capital, CDs can provide easy fully passive income.
18. Profit from Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing connects you with brands offering commissions for sales you drive. Sign up as an affiliate for companies relevant to your interests and audience. Next, link to their products organically in your content. When readers click through and buy, you earn a royalty.
Top affiliate programs include Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten, and ShareASale. You often earn 5-20% commissions or more per sale. As your affiliate content library grows, so will your passive income.
19. Monetize a Blog or Website
Websites and blogs can earn passive income through advertising networks, affiliate links, digital products, and more. Each visitor or email subscriber becomes a potential profit you can monetize.
Your website needs interesting content and traffic to profit. But once up and running, you can let automated income streams like Google AdSense work in the background 24/7. Just check your earnings and refresh content occasionally.
20. Profit with Print-on-Demand Products
Print-on-demand platforms like Redbubble take care of product creation, printing, shipping, and payments. You design creative artwork like patterns, logos, or sayings and make them available on products like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases.
Whenever someone buys a product showcasing your design, you earn a commission. List enough unique products, and your shop can become a source of recurring passive income as orders roll in. All while you sleep!
21. Earn Cashback with Paribus
Paribus tracks and collects cashback and price drops on online purchases made with your email. If a retailer lowers an item’s price after you buy it, Paribus refunds the difference automatically. Did you forget a coupon code? Paribus finds it and earns you that cashback too.
Link Paribus to your inbox. Then the service goes to work in the background scanning your receipts. When cashback opportunities arise, funds get deposited into your Paribus account. Install and forget for effortless passive earnings!
22. Invest in Passive Real Estate
While owning rental properties involves active landlord work, passive real estate investing offloads those day-to-day chores. Private equity real estate funds pool capital which professional managers use to buy, operate, and sell properties. You become a limited partner-earning returns!
REITs offer another passive real estate option mentioned earlier. Or try CrowdStreet which lets you buy shares of individual commercial properties and earn rental income and appreciation minus fees. The resulting returns of 8-12%+ make passive real estate a powerful diversifier.
23. Lease Your Unused Bandwidth
Got super fast residential internet but aren’t maxing out your available bandwidth? Platforms like PacketStream, Honeygain, and IPRoyal let you sell your unused internet bandwidth to companies in need of extra computing power, networks, or speed.
Your router allocates a portion of your bandwidth to the service. In exchange, you earn micro-payments when companies route traffic through your connection. This fully passive approach monetizes an otherwise wasted resource!
24. Lend Your Home Appliances
Have a pressure washer? Spare laptop? Extra TV? Make money by renting out your appliances and electronics to neighbors when not in use.
Apps like Rent My Items and Fat Llama handle pickup, delivery, cleaning, and payments. Customers book what they need online and borrow from a local peer instead of buying new. You earn rental income for unused stuff taking up space!
25. Rent Out Your Driveway
Parking is a precious commodity, especially in cities. Apps like JustPark enable you to rent out your unused driveway or parking space when you aren’t using it.
Drivers book parking in advance, online, or through the app. You earn a set daily or hourly rate with no effort beyond maintaining your driveway’s availability. Unused household space converts into steady passive earnings!
26. Refer Friends to Become a Banker
Banks like Chase and Bank of America pay for qualified referrals. Refer a friend as a customer, and you can earn $100 or more. Become an advocate doing referrals, and you earn a commission on each successful signup.
For example, the Chase refer-a-friend program rewards $10-$500 for bringing new customers on board. The more friends you refer, the more you can earn. Sign up new prospects during your free time for passive referral income!
27. Rent Your Car to Uber/Lyft Drivers
Instead of driving for Uber yourself, rent your car to an aspiring driver. Apps like HyreCar and GetAround let Uber/Lyft drivers book their cars by the day or week. You set rental rates and terms. Gas, mileage, and insurance are covered by the rental fee.
For example, HyreCar claims owners earn an average of $830 per month for just 20 days of renting. Your car works nights and weekends while you earn hundreds in recurring passive income!
28. Invest in Artwork
Artwork can provide attractive returns as collectibles appreciate over decades. For example, the Mei Moses Art Index Report 2020 found fine art averages 10.6% annual returns over 50+ years. Iconic pieces bring in the highest prices at major auction houses.
While buying fine art involves substantial upfront costs, you can also invest small in fractional shares of high-value artwork using platforms like Masterworks. Let the long run lift value and your passive income.
29. Invest in Music Royalties
Music rights royalties generate income whenever a song is played on the radio, TV, streaming services, public performances, and more. Artists and rights holders earn passive royalties each time their music reaches our ears.
Royalty Exchange and SongVest let you purchase royalty rights in songs and albums. The streaming boom makes music royalties particularly attractive for passive income. Your favorite songs can pay you just for being good music!
30. Lend Money with Peer-to-Peer Platforms
Peer-to-peer lending networks like Lending Club and Prosper let you loan money directly to borrowers screened for creditworthiness. Returns generally range from 5-7% as borrowers make interest payments and repay principal over fixed terms.
With P2P lending, you earn monthly cash flow based on amortized loan payments. Your investment is spread across many loans to lower default risk. Loans outside the U.S. further expand earning potential.
31. Install a Micro-Investing App
Micro-investing apps make passive investing easy. For example, Acorns automatically invests your spare change in diversified ETF portfolios. Just link your credit card and bank account and funds get invested over time.
Wealthfront, Betterment, and Stash let you open an investment account in under 5 minutes. Start contributing any amount to diversified, auto-rebalanced index funds. Tiny regular investments compound into steady passive income over time.
32. Lend Your Car Out Peer-to-Peer
You can earn passive income when your car would otherwise sit parked and unused through peer-to-peer car rental networks. Getaround lets you list your car when you aren’t using it. Borrowers in your area can rent it by the hour or day via the app.
Turo works similarly. List your available car with details like rental price and rules. Bookings, pickup, and delivery are handled through the app. Renters just drive; you collect earnings!
33. Review Music for Royalties
Love discovering and writing about new music? Streaming services like Spotify pay royalties to reviewers curating playlists and describing new artists.
Become an online tastemaker through sites like PlaylistPush and Feedbands. By contributing your reviews, you earn royalties whenever someone streams a track you helped promote. Support indie artists while enjoying new music!
34. Teach Classes on Udemy or Skillshare
Online learning platforms let anyone share their expertise through teaching classes. On Udemy and Skillshare, you can upload courses on topics like photography, marketing, programming, and more.
Set your own class price and earn passive income through a set revenue share whenever students enroll. Build your class catalog over time for an education empire and recurring teaching income!
35. Rent Out Your Gear with Fat Llama
Do you have extra sporting goods, electronics, or equipment? Instead of collecting dust, rent out your gear for income! Fat Llama lets you list gadgets and equipment for locals needing temporary use.
Renters book gear online and pick it up for the duration. When returned, Fat Llama handles cleaning and collection. Unused quality gear converts into handy passive cash flow.
36. Design Teespring Products
Teespring allows you to design and sell custom t-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise with no upfront costs. As customers order products printed with your designs, you earn a commission.
Mock up products with your own graphics and marketing copy. Teespring handles production when purchases are made so you don’t need to stock inventory. Each new design becomes a new potential stream of passive sales income!
37. Install Cashback Browser Extensions
Cashback browser extensions like Rakuten and Honey automatically find discounts and coupon codes for you at checkout. Add the extension once and it works passively in the background going forward.
As you shop online normally, cashback offers will automatically appear during checkout at thousands of stores. Passively earning back 1-10% on purchases puts money back in your pocket!
38. Recycle Your Old Phones
That old cell phone in your drawer can still earn you cash! Sites like Decluttr and ItsWorthMore buy your used electronics for recycling and refurbishing. Just answer a few questions about the make and model and your device gets appraised.
Mail in your phones for payment via check or PayPal. Do a big spring cleaning of old devices for a couple hundred bucks! Turn technological trash into quick and easy passive income.
39. Submit Your Receipts to Paribus
Paribus is an app that gets you money back when retailers change prices or you forget coupons. Link it to your email and Paribus scans your receipts. If it finds unclaimed refunds or discounts, funds get deposited into your account.
The app works passively in the background with no effort needed. Let it monitor your inboxes for free money. Paribus earns you cashback on purchases you already made!
40. Answer Surveys
In your downtime between other tasks, sign up for an account on a survey site like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and Survey Savvy. These platforms pay you to share your opinions on products, services, politics, and more through online questionnaires.
Surveys won’t make you a fortune but are an easy way to passively earn free gift cards and cash. Share your thoughts while making money from brands curious about consumers like you! Sign up, check for new surveys periodically, and the earnings stack up.
41. Sign Up for a Cashback Credit Card
Cashback credit cards pay you back a percentage on all your spending. While you should avoid debt, if used responsibly cashback cards put money back in your pocket without any extra effort.
Cards like the Citi Double Cash offer up to 2% cashback across all purchases. Spending you’d do anyway results in passive earnings deposited into your account each month. Find a card fitting your normal spending habits for recurring passive paybacks.
42. Lend Your Self-Storage Space
Apps like Neighbor let you rent out empty driveway space, garages, and storage spaces for income. Once listed, locals book your vacant square footage as needed for boxes and more.
You set pricing and availability through the Neighbor website or app. Renters gain digital access and you earn passive income on storage space otherwise depreciated and unused! Start stashing cash instead of clutter.
43. List Your Home on Hipcamp
Turn your home and land into a campground with Hipcamp. List available space for travelers to park RVs, pitch tents, and enjoy nature as a campground. You determine availability and pricing.
Guests book online and enjoy your backyard campground. You collect income and feedback with minimal day-to-day involvement. Unlock hidden value supporting travelers and earning effortlessly!
44. Clean Out Your Closets
Everyone has extra clothes, shoes, and accessories stuffed in their closets. But these goods could net you hundreds of dollars instead! Apps like Poshmark, Depop, and thredUP make selling your used items easy.
Take photos, set prices, and ship sold items at your convenience. For extra passive income, allow apps to automatically list items according to their resell value. Your fashion recyclables become cash!
45. List Your Space on the Storefront
If you have an empty commercial space, Storefront is an online marketplace to list, market, and manage your vacant property. Insert listing details like photos, amenities, and pricing for a modern approach to commercial space rentals.
Storefront handles listings, credit checks, rent collection, and more so you enjoy passive income with little hassle. Long-term tenants convert unused retail space into reliable revenue.
46. Rent Your Car to Traditional Rental Agencies
Apps aren’t the only way to rent your car. Hertz, Avis, Budget, and other agencies now facilitate private car rentals from regular vehicle owners. You set rental terms and earn 65-85% of the rental cost. Agencies handle the customer experience.
For example, Turo Go places your car with a national agency’s fleet. Your vehicle gets listed across their websites and rental locations. Passive income with the trust of a big brand!
47. Invest in Waste Management Stocks
Trash and waste removal are indispensable services cities provide. That makes waste management stocks like Waste Management (WM) reliable long-term holdings. Population and business growth drive up trash volume, fueling revenues.
Waste Management yields 1.5% in dividends which grow over time. The industry has high barriers to entry for competitors too. Just set it and forget it in your portfolio for steady passive income from an essential service.
48. Submit Photos to Stock Websites
Love photography? License your photos through stock image sites like Shutterstock and iStockphoto to earn royalties. These platforms make it simple to upload your pictures for sale to third parties.
Add your portfolio to multiple stock image websites for maximum passive earnings. Users worldwide then purchase rights to use your images in publications, graphics, advertisements, and more!
49. Answer Questions on JustAnswer
Got specialized job experience or knowledge? Share your expertise through the JustAnswer app in your idle time and collect payments when you provide helpful answers. Register your background in law, healthcare, mechanics, computers, and more.
When someone asks a question in your category, propose an answer. If the asker finds your response useful, you get paid! Earn a few bucks here and there from your armchair expertise.
50. Let an Exchange Traded Fund Do the Work
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) come in all varieties these days from stocks to bonds to commodities. Choose an ETF focused on an asset category you expect to appreciate over time. The diversified fund then handles stock picking and trading internally. Sit back as overall growth lifts your investment!
For true passive investing, ETFs like VOO and SPY track entire stock market indexes. Gains in the overall market result in gains in your investment. Broad diversification smooths out individual loser picks for enhanced passive income potential.
Turn Passive Income into Real Cash Flow
The possibilities for earning passive income are endless once you start searching. Find a few options aligned with your unique interests, skills, and resources. Mix and match ideas to create multiple income streams that suit your lifestyle.
While initial effort and investment are required, passive income can quickly compound into thousands or more in annual earnings. Let the power of compound growth turn these ideas into real residual cash flow you can use to supplement your salary, splurge on vacations, or eventually free yourself from active work entirely!
What passive income stream will you start with? What possibilities intrigue you the most? Extra money awaits – the time to put these ideas into profitable action is now!