Since I knew I’d eventually be losing my day job income, I had to set realistic goals. There was no way I was going to make a six figure salary blogging and working online after only 2 years but I thought it might be possible to cover our monthly expenses for a few months while I took time off and looked for a new job. I already had some secondary sources of income and there were others that I specifically tried to build up.
I run several online businesses now (all it takes to start one is a domain, hosting, and maybe incorporation). There are two notable ones. The first is meal plan membership site called $5 Meal Plan that I co-founded with Erin Chase of $5 Dinners. The second is the umbrella of blogs I run, including this one and Scotch Addict. They pay me ordinary income as well as qualified distributions since I'm a partner.
Audiobooks are witnessing a surge in popularity when compared to their text-based counterparts. If you have decided to write and publish an eBook, converting it into an audiobook requires little effort and is a great way to bolster your income. Amazon's Audible ACX platform connects authors with producers who can turn their written work into professional grade audio. Once that's done, the audiobooks are put up for sale on Audible and iTunes.
Connecting two entities is another great way to make extra money by spending less energy. So can always have an agreement with some business entity to give clients on referral basis and earn a commission. I recently hired a designer for some work and I asked him if he knows someone who can PRINT the designs for me. He referred me to his friend who done the printing work. I am sure he must have got some cut for the referral and there is nothing wrong in it. Its a smart way of earning money.
Passive income is defined by Wikipedia as “income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it”. And while the ‘no effort’ part of the definition is very enticing, the truth is that generating passive income requires a massive amount of effort. And this effort needs to be exerted up front and then sustained for months, and maybe even years, until your venture starts returning profits. And even then, you'll have to monitor your income streams to make sure it’s all going smoothly. It's certainly not an easy endeavour, no matter what most people may tell you, and it requires an investment of something far more valuable than money: time. But if you are up for it, then here are 14 ideas that you can use to start earning passive income.

Venture Debt – I invested $120,000 in my business school friend’s venture debt fund. He started his own after spending 8 years at one of the largest venture debt funds as a Managing Partner. I’m very focused on income generating assets in this low interest rate environment. The true returns are yet to be seen, as the fund has a 5-7 year life before it returns all its capital.


Passive income differs from active income which is defined as any earned income including all the taxable income and wages the earner get from working. Linear active income refers to one constantly needed to stay active to maintain the stream of income, and once an individual chooses to stop working the income will also stop, examples of active income include wages, self-employment income, martial participation in s corp, partnership.[4] portfolio income is derived from investments and includes capital gains, interest, dividends, and royalties.[5]
It is hard to do both but you’re not supposed to. You’re supposed to get your safety net down THEN try to do high wire acrobatics above it – not set up the two at the same time. So get retirement and your emergency fund squared away, then consider the stock market (taxable) and real estate. There’s no rush! Don’t let others dictate your future because they don’t have the same priorities as you. 🙂
Even if each patron only contributes a very small amount each month, it can still be a huge source of income. Take a look at the Patreon page for Kinda Funny, an internet video company. They have over 6,209 patrons which means an average of just $3 a month would be a monthly income of almost $19,000 – plus they get cheerleaders that are always happy to spread the word on their brand.

That's odd, because lot of these questions are actually pretty easy to answer. The IRS is good about publishing the data. Given that – and given the recent interest in personal income inequality, I decided to write a little bit about the different kinds of income people report on their tax returns. A longer paper – Sources of Personal Income – is here, but for a brief overview, you might want to check out the top ten sources of income:
California had a per capita income of $29,906 during the five-year period comprising years 2010 through 2014. About every third county and every third place in California had per capita incomes above the state average. Though somewhat counterintuitive, this implies that counties and places with per capita incomes even slightly exceeding that of the state can be classified as "high income" given the natural division of places into a top third (high), middle third (medium), and lower third (low) when ranked by per capita income. Hence, the upper third of all places in this ranking have a per capita income with a lower bound roughly equal to that of the state, about $30,000. The median place and county in California had a per capita income of roughly $25,000, and the lower third of both types of geographies had per capita incomes with an upper bound of about $20,000. Places and counties with the highest per capita income were concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has a relatively high cost of living. Those with the lowest per capita incomes were concentrated in the Central Valley, an economy in which agriculture assumes a primary role.

I've got a $185,000 CD generating 3% interest coming due. Although the return is low, it's guaranteed. The CD gave me the confidence to invest more aggressively in risk over the years. My online interest income has come down since I aggressively deployed some capital at the beginning of the year and again during the February market correction. You'll see these figures in my quarterly investment-income update.


In 2017, I ended up deploying roughly $611,000 into stocks and $604,327 into municipal bonds. The stock allocation should boost dividend income by about $12,500 a year, and the municipal-bond portion should boost income by about $18,000 a year after tax ($26,000 pre-tax). Therefore, total passive income gets an about $38,500 lift, which recovers over half of my $60,000 loss from selling the house.
I really enjoyed how you listed all of the reasons to build passive income streams as well as the framework. You also made an interesting point about freelance writing on how the more skilled writers want to keep posts for their own website. Good insight because freelance writing is something I’ve been looking into for income recently. Also, it’s amazing what you’ve been able to accomplish with your blog over the past 6 years. It’s so motivational to see the success of Financial Samurai. I’m not in a place to afford any consulting, but, I wish I could pick your brain or get mentored by a successful blogger such as yourself…Not trying to blow smoke lol. It would just be so great to have someone who’s done it provide guidance around the direction of the blog, ways to earn, and on the general concept. Always enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing :)

The challenge I’m facing and, I know it’s a good problem, is that the SF real estate has shot up about 35% in the last couple years. I’m sure you’re experiencing the same thing! So as the net worth is rising, the yield on the total portfolio is going down. Right now, it seems the only way to increase the passive income will be to raise the rent in December and to invest some of that cash in stocks, which I’m nervous to do in this market. Current allocation:
The Mughal Empire had a thriving industrial manufacturing economy, with India producing about 25% of the world's industrial output up until 1750,[78] making it the most important manufacturing center in international trade.[79] Manufactured goods and cash crops from the Mughal Empire were sold throughout the world. Key industries included textiles, shipbuilding, and steel, and processed exports included cotton textiles, yarns, thread, silk, jute products, metalware, and foods such as sugar, oils and butter.[71] Cities and towns boomed under the Mughal Empire, which had a relatively high degree of urbanization for its time, with 15% of its population living in urban centres, higher than the percentage of the urban population in contemporary Europe at the time and higher than that of British India in the 19th century.[80]
What I’m doing: I view passive income as funny money to keep myself sane during this long journey. I estimate 2-10 years to get to my goal depending on how active I am. The dollars created are just points one can accumulate. I’ve made passive income goals for each passive income type and check in at least once a year like I am now to make sure I’m on track. Passive income is also carefully managed to minimize tax liability. When you can build a buffer for a buffer, you are then free to take more risks.
Great post Jim. While it is convenient to lump the entire dividend income as one passive stream, in reality, it is several. If you have 30 companies across 10 major industry sectors, each paying you dividends, then you can consider having 30 streams or at least 10 passive streams, from each of the diverse industry sectors. I find this more diverse than relying on rental income from one investment property tied to one location and one good tenant. Your point about website is absolutely valid – will be great to have Ten Factorial Rocks worth 7 figures in less than 5 years as you have done!

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Dividend investing is right up there for sure. You don’t have to charge $48. You can charge <$10 to boost sales. The internet has enabled so many creatives to publish their works at a low cost. People will surprise themselves if they try to create like when they were in school. The other reason why I have Creating Products edging out dividends is because of the much higher POTENTIAL to make a lot more money. For example, $20,000 a year in book sales requires $570,000 in dividend investments to replicate the same amount. Plus, there is capital risk. With book sales, there is a correlation with EFFORT, and you are not beholden to the whims of the markets.
My dad is in  a similar situation as we speak, things have not been going well for him at work (but I do think he has himself to blame) and seems likely he will get let go.  Mr. Budgets and I both see how our parents are and we totally want to be on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to how they handle money. It motivates us to save and invest even more.
Has this thought ever struck you mind as what if your boss fired you overnight, what your course of action would be? I guess the answer is NOTHING! You have no monthly pay checks coming in, how are you going to put roof above your family’s head? How are you going to manage the bills payment? What would you feed to your family? An answer to all this lies in darkness…complete darkness in that situation. But I have answer to this question, because I am my own boss managing multiple things and earning from all of them at a time, losing one would not be that big deal to me.

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Investment in real estate can also be a source of a second income. If you have a decent sum of money lying around, you can use it to invest it to buy your second home. You may even take a home loan to finance your second home. This can become a source of income for you when you rent it to someone. These monthly rents would become your secondary monthly income. The key to making more money with rental properties lies in buying smart. Not all kind of property is going to give you a good return. Hence, analyzing the potential real estate opportunities is very important. The monthly rent highly depends on the area/location of the property hence it is highly important that you select the location of your property very wisely, keeping in mind the rent factor. You can save much even after your home loan EMIs. In addition to this, you can also avail tax exemption on the purchase of your property if it is through a home loan.
How do you do this?  Well, try to get the highest paying job you can!  Ask for a raise!  Utilize services, such as Glassdoor.com, to see how your salary competes with others in your same job.  Some companies really force employees to leave to get a raise, and then come back for another raise.   This industry jumping promotional strategy is very common and could work.
Leonardo da Vinci is another example of someone who was a "wide achiever," in the words of Roman Krznaric, author of "How to Find Fulfilling Work." Da Vinci was alternately a portraitist, an inventor, and a scientist. Krznaric says that in light of decreasing job security today, spreading yourself among several different jobs, as da Vinci did, is probably a smart thing to do.
The source of pension payments is determined by the portion of the distribution that constitutes the compensation element (employer contributions) and the portion that constitutes the earnings element (the investment income). The compensation element is sourced the same as compensation from the performance of personal services. The portion attributable to services performed in the United States is U.S. source income, and the portion attributable to services performed outside the United States is foreign source income.

It is very important to understand that contacting a “professional” to learn how to do this only results in them trying to sell me crap properties (whether high end or low end). I’ve tried contacting realtors out of state, and they attempt to sell me crap or someone else’s problem. No one has a vested interest in actually helping someone or teaching them about how to get an out of state rental. very frustrating. I could go out tomorrow and buy a rental in my city, but that is the last place I want to own one. Anyone? Are there an real people on here?

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