There are many things we can do to ensure our children have a bright and positive future, but it’s hard to avoid the fact that finances play a role. If you can create a financially sound platform and future, then you’ll be well on your way to meeting the needs of everyone in your clan. There are many ways you can invest, literally, in your family’s financial future.
But though it’s easy enough to say, putting it into practice can be more difficult. After all, if it were easy, then everyone would be doing it – but they’re not. While you might not be able to switch careers or get a major pay rise, you can probably add at least one passive revenue stream to your monthly income. You’ll find several ideas along these lines below. Add one, two, or all of them to your financial portfolio, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a solid financial future for your family.
This is a collaboration post. However, please know I stand behind everything written here, and only include links to products/services/resources I’m willing to recommend personally. Also keep in mind that I am not a financial advisor! Consult your own financial professionals to help you consider which investment options might be right for you.
Ditch Your Debt Payments
The first recommendation isn’t so much about adding money; it’s about not losing money. The best way to make money is to keep it in the first place.
If you’ve got debt hanging around, then it’s smart to get that under control before you get to any other investing. If you pay anything less than the full balance due on your credit card each month, then focus your energies there. Paying off your credit card bills in full every month will save you a staggering amount of money over time in interest payments.
Lend to Others
If you’ve got some capital already, then you can put it to work by becoming a peer-to-peer lender. It’s a simple enough concept. There are people out there who need money for a project, but don’t want to go down the usual lending avenues, for whatever reason. So they look at private lenders.
YOU could be one of these lenders. You’ll give them a small loan, and there’ll pay it back over a set period, usually with around 7-8% added on top as interest. If it’s money that’s just sitting in your savings account, then you may as well put it to work.
Rent Out a Room
Your house is most likely the biggest cash investment you’ve ever made (or will ever make). But what has it given back to you, besides plenty of warmth, love, and memories? Not much by way of cash, in most cases. But that’s only because you haven’t yet put it to work. If you have a spare room, and your home is located in a desirable area (a city, near a university, etc.), then it’s possible that you can make your monthly mortgage cost each month just by getting a tenant.
This may not be that common in the U.S. for homeowners, but it’s the norm in many other parts of the world, including many Canadian cities. I’ve both lived as a tenant like this, and know people who cover their mortgage payments this way. Before I married my husband, I also bought my own home for the first time by renting out the second bedroom to a friend. Our total monthly expenses were the same as each of us had been paying in rent on a one-bedroom apartment, but we were now sharing them – and I was building equity.
There are conditions to this type of arrangement, so you’ll want to check your local laws first, and, for your own safety, also vet every applicant. If you’re not thrilled by the prospect of renting out a room, consider whether you can rent out your driveway to commuters (though this only works if you live in an area where many people need to park), or perhaps your garage to someone who needs extra storage or a covered parking spot during winter months.
Invest in Property
Everyone knows that real estate is one of the best investment decisions you can make. But what people don’t always understand is that it’s not just for super-wealthy people who can afford to buy the best, most centrally located homes. It’s a game that everyone can play, providing they’re looking at the right properties.
Smaller properties and condos often cost much less than single-family homes, and can make terrific investment opportunities. Again, this is especially true if you live in/near a city, a college/university town, or anywhere with low rental vacancy rates. And Investing in a duplex or triple-decker will give you a place to live as well as one or more rental units. As with any investment, however, you’ll want to check on the best practices and general advice for this type of option before parting with your cash.
Create Online Content
While the chances of creating the next Facebook or Google are slim (though try your best!), building a website that provides a reliable and steady flow of cash isn’t a ridiculous idea. But you will need to work for it, or rather, work for the people. The key is delivering content that other people will find useful. Once you’ve got a decent readership for your blog, then you’ll be able to look at monetizing.
Other ways to make money in this realm include freelance writing for businesses (which I’ve done) and working as a virtual assistant (VA). As a freelancer, you can use your writing skills to provide content for businesses who don’t have the time or in-house skills to create their own quality content. And VAs use their social media skills work for others (businesses, other bloggers, etc.) to manage their online social media presence.
Set up a Business
Thought setting up a business had to be a full-time job? Well, you were wrong. You can set up a business while juggling all the other aspects of your life, sit back, and collect cash at the end. How? By setting up the business and then letting someone else run it.
This works better if you have a chunk of money to invest in the first place, but it’s not essential. Just be aware that if you’re leaving the running of the business to someone else, then you obviously won’t be able to withdraw as much money, since they’re the ones doing all the work.
Invest in Stocks
Alternatively, you can bet on the success of other companies. The stock market, and investing in general, are shrouded in mystery to many people, but the key word here is ‘shrouded.’ Once you understand what’s going on, then you can get involved. And like anything else, all you need to do is spend some time learning about it.
This is a riskier proposition than other options mentioned here, however, and it’s not something that you should rush into. Careful consideration is always essential! And if you have any notion of getting super-rich from this type of investment, think again. Investing is a way to supplement income and secure your financial future. It’s not a ‘get rich fast’ option.
If you don’t have the time to commit to learning about investing, then don’t do it. It’s that simple. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put your money to work. You can always invest in index funds, which means you’re buying into a share of lots of companies; this spreads the risk out.
And there’s yet another option, called “robo-investing.” With this method, you deposit your money with a website that makes automatic investments. They’re generally risk-free, though it’s important to remember the word “generally” (and also that I’m not a financial advisor!).
If you’re looking for a relatively low-effort way to build money, then think about drop-shipping. If you haven’t heard of it before, then this is how it works: you set up a website and sell goods, but you don’t own any of the products; most of the time, you don’t even stock them! You simply sell them. When you get an order, it goes through to the supplier, who packages and sends the item. You’re just the middle person in the transaction.
The boom time of this type of venture might have passed, but it’s still possible to make some money with a business like this. For example, the official White House online gift shop uses a form of drop-shipping to fill its orders. Online orders for White House memorabilia are actually processed and shipped from several states away! I have a friend who used to work for the home-based business that handles the transactions, and I could not believe it when she first told me that she worked for the White House gift shop – even though she lives hundreds of miles from the nation’s capital!
People fall into the habit of thinking that their only source of income is the salary they get from their full-time job. While this might form the bulk of your income, it should only be considered the starting point. As this post illustrates, there are plenty of ways to add extra sources of revenue to your income, and many of them are not too time-consuming or difficult to get underway.
And the exciting thing about most of them is that there’s no limit on how much you can earn. Your salary might be good, but you know exactly how much it is. When you throw in an option that’s not set, you have the potential to grow the pot up and up.
What about you? Have you tried any form of passive revenue generation along these lines? Let us know in the comments!
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