Need help with your debt? We can help you towards a brighter financial future. Get started online or Call 800-497-1965

Passive income (or residual income) is money earned with little or no active involvement. Simply put, passive income does not require you to trade your time for money. Once a passive income system is in place, it should earn money for you with minimal tending or maintenance on your part.

Active vs. Passive Income

Unlike passive income, active income is a salary or hourly wage earned for services rendered or duties performed. Most jobs require you to work a certain number of hours or complete regular tasks or duties in exchange for money. 

Active Income

Income earned for work that requires regular active output.

  • Service or performance based work
  • Hourly and salaried work 
  • Contracted work
  • Gratuity

Passive Income

Income earned by assets that typically does not require regular active involvement.

  • Rentals
  • Selling ad space
  • Referral marketing
  • Interest earned on investments

Although passive income seems straightforward, the most lucrative types usually require substantial effort or assets upfront. Some types require overhead like financing, such as rental properties or vehicles. Others can require the creation of an asset that, once completed, can earn income passively – like selling a pre-recorded online course or e-book. 

Why is Passive Income a Good Idea?

Time is a finite resource. When you only have an active income, you are limited by time. It doesn’t matter if you make $10 an hour or $100 an hour; your income will be capped by the number of hours you can work.

When you stop trading time for money and establish passive income streams, you can start building wealth that will last far longer than your ability to earn actively. Passive income streams that are invested are a great way to save for retirement or lower the number of hours a week you have to work. 

5 Types of Passive Income

  1. Advertise on your car
  2. Rent your parking space
  3. Rent a room, property or storage space
  4. Sell stock photos online
  5. Earn from referral programs

If you are OK with putting a conspicuous wrap or sticker on your car, some companies will pay you to become a moving billboard for their brand or product. 

Photo from

Apps like Wrapify, Nickelytics, and Carvertise let you register your location, car type, and driving habits to match you with a brand. 

2. Rent Your Parking Space

If you live in a city with scarce parking spots, you could earn money renting yours. Garage or outdoor parking spots in Chicago typically range from $100 to $500 a month, depending on location and whether or not the space is in a heated garage.

Photo from

You can work with companies like SpotHero and JustPark or post your garage or parking space on Craigslist or Facebook.

3. Rent a Room, Property, or Storage Space

Renting out your apartment or a room in your home as a vacation rental is a great way to earn passive income. However, keep in mind that you will be responsible for cleaning the space and keeping it in good condition, so it does require some upkeep. 

If you are looking for a lower maintenance option, renting out your unused storage could be a good fit. Before renting your property, make sure you are allowed to do so. Some condo associations and landlords forbid it, and some cities require permits.

Photo from

You can rent your home or a room in it using familiar apps like Airbnb, Vrbo, or HomeToGo. Try Craiglist and Facebook or sites like Store At My House and to rent storage space on your own. 

4. Sell Stock Photos Online

If you have a lot of professional quality photos, you could make money selling them online. High-quality travel photos and candids that can be used by businesses or brands are particularly desirable.

Photo from

As the image creator you own the rights to any photos you take. However, when you sell it online through platforms like Alarmy or Shutterstock, you give the platform permission to share the image with users who pay for a license. In return you get a commission from any photos that are licensed by users.

5. Earn From Referral Programs

You can earn passive commissions via referral codes if you already create content for an online business, podcast or social media platform with a large audience.

You can add a referral promo to your existing content to earn passive income. Then, when your followers use your promo code, you earn a percentage on any successful sales. 

Brands often reach out to websites or social media accounts with large followings to promote their products via promo codes or referrals. You can contact brands yourself or use a referral placement program like Brandbassador

Use Passive Income To Pay Off Debt, Start An Emergency Fund or Invest!

Passive income is a great way to pay off debt, bolster your savings or start an investment account. 

If your debt is out of control, passive income can help you reign it in or speed up your progress in a debt consolidation service

If you don’t have an emergency fund covering 3 to 6 months of living expenses, set a savings goal and use passive income to build some financial peace of mind.

You can make even more on your passive income by reinvesting it. You can use it to set up additional passive income streams like rental properties or add it to a high-yield investment account to earn interest.

Was this helpful?

More Like This

The Ultimate List of Free Date Ideas for Couples

In today’s world, money and financial stress can often become a heavy burden on relationships. In fact, it has been found that couples who accumulate debt over time are more likely to split up. Despite the challenges posed by financial constraints, it’s crucial to remember that spending quality time together doesn’t have to cost a […]

How to Calculate and Improve Your Net Worth

Originally published: February 18, 2022 Your net worth shows you the big picture view of your finances and financial health. Add your assets and liabilities to our form to calculate your net worth and learn four ways to improve your result, including insight from financial planner Michael Ryan.

Worksheet: Estimate The Cost of Owning a Cat

Before bringing a cat friend into your home, it’s essential to consider the financial responsibilities that come with cat ownership. From initial expenses to ongoing costs, understanding the average cost of owning a cat will help you make an informed decision and ensure your furry friend receives the care they deserve. Use the free worksheet […]