Rental properties are defined as passive income with a couple of exceptions. If you’re a real estate professional, any rental income you’re making counts as active income. If you’re “self-renting,” meaning that you own a space and are renting it out to a corporation or partnership where you conduct business, that does not constitute passive income unless that lease had been signed before 1988, in which case you’ve been grandfathered into having that income being defined as passive. According to the IRS’s Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules, “It doesn’t matter whether or not the use is under a lease, a service contract, or some other arrangement.” 

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Where investing is a wealth-building strategy that has been around forever, the second passive income option on this list is fairly new. Affiliate marketing is an income idea that requires you to have a website or platform you can use to promote other companies, or “affiliates.” When someone uses your affiliate link to purchase a product or sign up for a service, you get paid.


I have done everything on this list except for invest through Robo-Advisors, and there are a few on this list that have a soft spot in my heart (because I consider them absolutely effortless) and a few that I feel required a little more effort than the term ‘passive income’ allows for.  Nonetheless, whether it is passive or not really that passive, these are the best ways to earn money without spending 8 hours a day earning the money, know what I mean?
Well, it might become passive income once you get the blog established.  However, before that happens it is a lot of work to write content, promote your content and market your content, and check your page views in an obsessive-compulsive manner throughout the day.  Even then, you will likely need to continue writing content so that people continue to visit your blog.

I will share what we did, because it’s an incredible success story. We used an existing tax loophole where if you sell your primary residence (after having lived there at least two years) you get to keep your profit tax-free. So, we stair-stepped. We bought house after house, at least two years apart, used the profit money to pay down on the next house (so on and so forth, yadda yadda) building up equity as we went along… and now, we own a $600,000 house debt-free. And now we are using our paid-off home as leverage to borrow money to buy commercial buildings to rent out. I like commercial because it’s a BUSINESS transaction… kids, pets, other wear and tear that you see with residential rentals is nonexistent. People take care of their business space much better than residential. You have to be in a good area for renting out commercial – a thriving business community – to make this work. But that’s how we “made it”, and though it took 15 years, we will have residual income to take care of us when we’re old enough to retire. People made fun of us for moving so much, but who’s laughing now? 😉 Oh, and our child only had to change schools once (and we wanted to anyway) because we stayed in the same general area as we moved around. We were careful not to disrupt his life too much.

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I have done everything on this list except for invest through Robo-Advisors, and there are a few on this list that have a soft spot in my heart (because I consider them absolutely effortless) and a few that I feel required a little more effort than the term ‘passive income’ allows for.  Nonetheless, whether it is passive or not really that passive, these are the best ways to earn money without spending 8 hours a day earning the money, know what I mean?

Why passive income is important?


When I purchase an existing online business, I look for cash flow over the past year and where the money comes from. I want the sources to be more passive so that it does not take a lot of my time. Also, typically I will make an offer that is 18 – 24 months of profit so that I know that I will get my money back within the next two years. I hope that helps!
But, it took me a while to get to that point. Where I once worked in my financial planning office on most days, I started by testing things out with a few days per month away from the office at first. From there, I began working remotely 2-3 days per week, then 4-5 days per week, and so on. Eventually, I was able to run my business remotely without ever having to show up for work.

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If you put $500,000 into a candy store with the agreement that the owners would pay you a percentage of earnings, that would be considered passive income as long as you do not participate in the operation of the business in any meaningful way other than placing the investment. The IRS states, however, that if you did help manage the company with the owners, your income could be seen as active, because you provided “material participation."
When I purchase an existing online business, I look for cash flow over the past year and where the money comes from. I want the sources to be more passive so that it does not take a lot of my time. Also, typically I will make an offer that is 18 – 24 months of profit so that I know that I will get my money back within the next two years. I hope that helps!

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You don’t have to invest individually to take advantage of dividend paying stocks (i.e. investing in an ETF like DVY, which currently has a 3.16% dividend yield – almost 4%). And while your math is indeed correct, there is more to dividend paying stocks that just the math. The reason the companies pay dividends is typically because of their underlying strength, steady growth, etc. These companies can be good investments for the long run. As such, it might not make sense to sell.

What does passive income mean?


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I have only dabbled in drop-shipping before when I had an eCommerce platform 6 years ago or so. I think it is something that you could do on the side, but you would want to do in depth research on the industry you want to get into before setting up shop. It may be a little less passive up front, but over time you could take your hands off the wheel.

Andrew Fiebert is a thirty-something soon-to-be father of twins, a self-professed data nerd, and has worked as a Data Engineer for Barclays Capital and iHeartRadio. He's spent the past six years growing LMM into a multi-six-figure business with over 500 hours of free personal finance education that reaches over 1 million people every month. Andrew has a B.S. in Computer Science and has been featured in Quartz, Forbes, Business Insider, and The Telegraph.

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I don’t look at Checkout 51 before I go grocery shopping.  I just do it after I grocery shop so that I don’t get influenced by their product coupons.  A lot of the coupons are for non-produce goods, but for certain things like diapers, it really saves money because I can stack my coupons (e.g. $2.00 print out coupon, and then another $3.00 from Checkout 51 for a total of $5 off the economy box of diapers).

passive income


1. The batting cage idea is very risky. I’ve seen many of them close over the years and it is not anything close to passive income if you want to keep the business going. You have to continually promote it and target youth leagues, coaches, schools etc to catch all of the new players who grow up and want to play. I’ve played at probably 8 batting cages over the years and 7 of them closed.

passive income ideas


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Some people define passive income as money you earn while sitting on a beach sipping a good drink. But don't let the word "passive" mislead you, because there is usually a lot of upfront work involved. Passive or residual income is money you earn while not being actively involved after an initial investment of time and/or money. Some methods require you to have some cash to spend initially, while other ideas don't require any spending at all. Here are some suggestions on how you too can generate passive income.

What are the five sources of income?

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