Passive Income Ideas If You’re Strapped for Cash

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices.

Let’s be honest: there are no get-rich-quick schemes. Making money requires work, even if you’re talking about passive income. That being said, though, creating your own passive income is something to consider as a Frugalite. This way, after the initial upfront work and investment, you’ll be able to still earn money for (potentially) years down the road.

However, too many people think that earning passive income requires thousands of dollars to toss around in real estate investments and the stock market. While these are most certainly options for passive income, there are other options that are more readily attainable.

So, what are some of the best forms of passive income for the frugalite who is strapped for cash? Let’s take a look…

Vending machines

Buying your own vending machines and figuring out where to place them can be a good way to make a bit of extra money on the side. Places where people are forced to spend long periods of time can serve as great locations.

Oil change stations, factory break rooms, and parks can all serve as good locations for a vending machine to earn you money by selling snacks and drinks as you sleep.

Write a book

Don’t expect thousands of dollars in sales here but writing a book can be a potential means of earning passive income as the years go by. You’ll spend weeks writing the book, editing it, working on formatting, getting the cover design right, and marketing, but you’ll eventually end up with a finished product that you can sell online.

Royalties will continue to roll in for every book that you sell.

Develop a course

You likely are very good at something. Perhaps it’s growing pawpaw trees, making the perfect cheesecake, or building furniture. There are plenty of people out there who are terrible at those things and want to learn more about them.

This is where you can earn money.

Online courses, particularly for certifications that require continuing education units to remain certified, are a great way to earn passive income. After you do the initial work organizing your videos, talking points, demonstrations, and the like, you’ll be able to collect money with each person that signs up for your course.

Rent out your car with Turo

You have to be careful that your vehicle insurance will cover this, but if you have a spare car, you can potentially make a substantial bit of money by renting it out to strangers with Turo. Of course, there’s a bit of risk with this one – you don’t know who is going to be getting into your car, are they going to smoke, are they going to throw up, are they going to trash it – but if you’re willing to accept that risk, this is a chance to earn some passive income.

Set up an Airbnb room

If you already have your own home and have a spare guest room, why not consider renting it out with Airbnb? You truly don’t have to have luxurious accommodations or even live in a ritzy neighborhood to set this up as an option.

All you need to do is provide a clean and safe environment for somebody to sleep at night with easy access to a bathroom with a shower. If you have that, you’re good to go here.

Affiliate marketing with social media

This one takes a lot of upfront work, but it is a means of making passive income. Companies want to sell their product and to do that, they need to put money into marketing. Marketing can be expensive, though. So, as a company, why not find other people to be your marketers?

This is what affiliate marketing does. All you have to do is sign up for the company’s affiliate program and then post your promo code or affiliate link around on your social media and websites online. When people click the link and purchase a product, you get a small commission.

If you have an Instagram page where you regularly post pictures of life on the farm, posting your affiliate links within your posts of the products that you’re using can help you to make money on your posts even when you’re at your day job.

Advertise your car with StickerRide

You can actually make money just by riding around in your own car. The only catch is that it’s not going to look like your own car. If you use the app StickerRide, a company will pay you to plaster your car with the logos of their company.

Then, as you drive around town completing your errands, you’ll log into their app. The more you drive, the more you get paid. This may be a good way to offset the rising price of gas if you don’t mind it looking as if you’re driving a TV commercial around town.

Rent out your tools with Sparetoolz

Have extra tools laying around that you’re okay with complete strangers using? Then Sparetoolz may be a way to earn a little bit of extra cash with the equipment that you already have. Like any other form of passive rental income, you never really know who your customer is – something which isn’t for everybody – but, again, this is a viable means of earning some passive income.

3D printing contracts

This one will require an initial $200+ investment. You’re going to have to buy a 3D printer, and you’re going to have to buy filament. With that gear in place, you can now seek out manufacturing contracts from online purchasers.

Oftentimes, there are people who need 5+ of something – say, a new invention prototype, a board game piece they created, or the like – that they need to have 3D printed but don’t have the time, desire, know-how, or space to print themselves. In these circumstances, contracts go up online for people with 3D printers to pick up.

Accept the contract, download the files, and then get your 3D printer to start printing the product while you’re asleep.

Passive income can make a serious dent in your monthly bills.

You have to be willing to put in the work upfront, though. Just because passive income earns you money when you sleep does not mean that it’s a piece of cake to set up. You’re still going to have to put in that initial work, but once you do, hopefully, you’ll start to see the dollar bills start flowing to your account soon.

What are your thoughts, though? There are roughly a kajillion different ways to earn passive income without having to get a second mortgage. What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Passive Income Ideas If You\'re Strapped for Cash
Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

6 thoughts on “Passive Income Ideas If You’re Strapped for Cash”

  1. Vending machines are NOT a passive business. A buddy of mine owns a few dozen of them in three locations. You spend a lot of time shopping for stuff to put in their (candy, chips, drinks), then you spend more time going from site to site refilling machines, collecting the money, and repairing any machines that are broken. You do the last one more often than others. He tells me that it is almost a full time job.

    As for writing, forget it. You said, “You’ll spend weeks writing the book, editing it, working on formatting, getting the cover design right, and marketing, but you’ll eventually end up with a finished product that you can sell online.” No. First you need to find a topic. Then write an outline. Then research. Then write it. Then have someone else review and edit it. Then rewrite it. If you do actually complete it, you will probably have an audience of about twenty if you self-publish (most of them friends and relatives), not including the copies you give away.

    I was a tech writer back in the 80s, and have edited novels and articles for people over the last thirty years. There are far better ways to make passive income.

    A far better idea would be to start posting videos on YouTube. There’s a process there in terms of monetizing your work, but it can pay off.

  2. This is a worthwhile article with good ideas. And, contrary to what some folks might think, writing is doable. I wrote and self-published a series of 8 books entitled The Non-Electric Lighting Series (because there’s always a blackout somewhere). The first book is on making candles. Further along are books on kerosene pressure lanterns and propane. They are all available in paperback and ebook (Kindle) format. In the beginning (8 years ago) my royalties totaled $50 a month. For the last couple of years it’s been $200 a month. And I don’t advertise. The promotion is all word of mouth. They’re simply good books.

    If you’re interested, I have some tips. (1) Write non-fiction. That’s what sells. (2) Clean up your grammar. Maybe take a college writing course and/or join a writer’s club. (3) Whether it’s gardening or auto repair, make sure your advice is accurate. If book #1 is good, your reader will probably buy book #2. But if book #1 contains an error (just one) because you were too lazy to do your homework, your reader’s trust is broken and you’ll never sell another book to him or her. (4) Remember that with self-publishing you are responsible for EVERYTHING. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, plagiarism, rights to use photos, page numbering, dirty words, cover design, index, EVERYTHING. Sloppy and successful just don’t go together.

    Here’s my “Follow the Author” page on Amazon. Perhaps worth a look — https://www.amazon.com/Ron-Brown/e/B08LB1R7L8?ref_=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000

    1. Writing a book is hard. I know because I’ve been writing on the same one for years. It takes diligence and focus. It also requires being willing to listen to criticism and honestly assess if it’s accurate. My husband and I were in a writer’s group that started at a local library, then broke off on its own. It’s good to hear what other readers think; it points out what’s good and also what needs improving.

      Editing can be more difficult than actually writing if you think every word you wrote is golden and you refuse to change anything. Someone we know spent years writing a book (non-fiction) and asked my husband to critique it, which he did. It was unreadable the way it was written, and the author didn’t want to hear it and maintained that he would change nothing. It was a shame because the topic was a good one, but the delivery wasn’t.

  3. Great comment, Carla! Say you’re writing a book and take the latest chapter to your writers’ club. You read the chapter aloud to the group and then ask, “What can I do to make it better?” And then you LISTEN to the feedback . . . and act on it. Not many people can do that. There is no doubt that accepting criticism is essential to success. And is much more difficult than writing.

    1. That’s a great idea! My book is fiction and one comment that I got was that too many of my characters sounded like me and the way I talk. It stung, but they were correct.

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