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5 of the Smartest Low-Cost Passive Income Ideas

5 of the Smartest Low-Cost Passive Income Ideas

Earning a passive income typically involves some upfront investment. You need to put in some degree of time, effort, and yes, money, to create a reliable income stream.

Your ability to do so may be limited depending on your circumstances. For instance, college students often benefit from passive income ideas. They may be too busy to take on jobs that require them to work long hours and thus take advantage of strategies that provide them with some consistent money throughout the year. However, college students also don’t typically have a lot of time or money to invest when setting up a passive income stream.

That’s why it can be smart to focus on passive income ideas that tend to yield rewards without requiring major investments during the early stages. The following area few popular options to consider.

Invest in Real Estate via Apps


Up until recently, investing in real estate required a high net worth. Technology is changing that. New apps like Fundrise allow users to invest in crowdfunded real estate for a lower cost. Granted, low-cost real estate investments also tend to yield lower rewards than larger ones, but they may be the right strategy for someone on a budget who is also interested in learning the basics of investing in real estate.

Sell What You Already Make

One of the smartest ways to make passive income is to simply monetize your passion.

Maybe there is something you already create that people would pay money for. Perhaps you create your own handmade jewelry—you could sell it on Etsy to make a profit. If you have a blog you actively post on you could place ads on it to monetize your blog traffic. If you’re a writer, you can self-publish your books and sell them online. There are also stock photo sites that will buy your pictures if you’re an amateur photographer. You’ll find there are many different ways to turn your own creativity into a passive income stream if you do just a little bit of research.

Interestingly, you may be able to leverage two passive income streams to strengthen each other.  For example, if you maintain a monetized blog, you can write an e-book of premium content that you otherwise would have simply included on the blog. Use the blog to promote the e-book of valuable content while using the book to reference your blog, increasing your earnings from both.

Use a Low-Cost Investment App

Investing in the stock market always involves some degree of risk. You should thoroughly research any investments you make before acting.

However,  it’s now easier than ever for people with limited capital to start investing in the market. Products and firms like Robinhood and Vanguard allow users to make investments without the typical broker fees that would incur if they invested through traditional firms. As with apps like Fundrise,they can be valuable learning tools for anyone who may wish to become a more active investor in the future.

Use a Cash Back Credit Card


Obviously, you should only use your credit card to buy what you can afford—you don’t want to put your credit in jeopardy by spending more than you should. But if you trust yourself to exercise discipline, look for a reputable credit card that offers cash back features. Use it to make purchases, and you’ll earn redeemable points over time. Best of all, if you are disciplined and pay off your balance each month, you’ll build up your credit, which is helpful in the long run.

Use Apps That Track Your Info

Information about your Internet browsing and overall purchasing habits can be quite valuable to some businesses. That’s why there are apps that will reward you for sharing it.

With Swagbucks, you earn rewards simply by agreeing to use Swagbucks as your web browser, while ShopTracker will pay you $3 a month if you connect the app to your Amazon account. InboxDollars offers rewards for taking surveys and browsing the Internet. Although these types of passive income streams won’t generate a tremendous amount of money, every little bit helps, particularly if you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to devote to more complicated passive income strategies.

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