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Best Passive Income Ideas

Updated on September 4, 2012

Residual Income

Some of these may not be new to anyone. Yet, I think we tend to forget all the easy ways to make money in this rough economy. Given the right circumstances you too can prosper. Try these best passive income ideas at home for a little extra something on the side.

5 Best Passive Income Ideas

1.) Vending Machines: Vending machines are a great way to make passive income. Plus they are relatively cheap to purchase, $800.00 - $3,000.00, depending on the type and if it’s new or used. If you place a vending machine in a key location you may need to restock every day. Vending machines come in all different sizes. A Royal 650 Merlin IV vending machine which sells drinks can hold 648, 12 OZ. drinks. If you had only made a 25 cent profit off drinks you would make $162.00 a day (assuming you sell out every day). But, with a strategic location and permission from the owner that is not a hard goal to obtain. Eventually, you will be able to purchase more and generate a larger income. It is an easy and profitable way to earn money on the side which is why I rate it at #1 and is truly the best way to earn passive income.

2.) Online writing: Online writing is a great way to share your ideas with the world. It is also a good way to relax, especially if you enjoy writing. If you write a blog or use Hubpages you can generate revenue on the side. It is especially useful for stay at home moms and those that may be retired or spend a good time at home. The only catch, as you may already know, is there is a lot of competition. It may be hard for some to advertise their work which may only generate a few dollars a month. Nevertheless, it is a great way to relax and generate a passive income.

3.) Gardening: If you have a garden or some land to begin one, it can be a cheap way to earn money on the side. Once your plants are ready to be picked you can sell them to your family, friends, and neighbors or perhaps take them to a farmers market. Keep in mind that your profits will be determined by your success. If you live in a harsh climate or are not the greatest gardener, you reconsider putting in the time since your profit relies heavily on your success. In otherwords this may not be the best option for you.

4.) Recycling: Every day millions of American’s throw away their recyclables. One way to capitalize on this is asking your neighbors for their recyclables that they throw away. Perhaps, you will be able to get them to start putting their cans in a bag for you. If you are more of an introverted individual you can stick to recycling your own. You get about 25 cents to 90 cents a pound but changes between states. If you have a large family who drinks soda regularly, you can make several hundred dollars annually with little or no work.

5.) Babysitting: This can be the best way to earn passive income for those that are stay at home parents, why not make some money? You can watch your neighbor’s children while watching your own. Of course, this may require some more work on your part. But, it is a way to make money while doing your daily duties. Between all of these tasks you may be able to generate a sufficient amount of income.

6.) Photo Booths: My wife came up with this idea and it holds the same concept as a vending machine business. Most of us have used photo booths before and they can generate a steady income if left in one location. You may also want to rent them out for weddings and special events. Their down fall is that they are relatively expensive to own; prices range from $3,000 to $7,000 dollars. With one machine, it may take a while to profit from the initial expense.

7.) Carpooling: Never underestimate your ability to make some extra money. If you have a car, it is likely that someone you know may not have one. This is especially true if you are still in high school or college. Now, it is likely that you may go somewhere that someone else will want to go. Be it school, the mall, or out to eat. The point is that you can charge them a small continuous fee for going somewhere you are already going and extra for the places you aren't. I made around twenty to forty dollars a week just by allowing people to shuttle around with me. The great thing is that you determine your own income and your own schedule.


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    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I had considered vending machines before, the problem there is to find a good location when you don't have any good contacts. Any suggestions?

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 5 years ago

      Oh yeah, I definitely agree with everything you just said! =) You're absolutely right about approaching it as a business.

      I guess we're just defining our terms a little differently. For me then, you earn passive income when you do work without getting paid for it, but then you gradually earn later on without having to do additional here on HubPages. Nobody actually pays us to write hubs. Instead we earn from the traffic and ad clicks that come along as time goes by.

      Anyways...just nitpicking terminology...I definitely enjoyed your hub and think that there are some useful ideas in here. Perhaps a followup hub or two about operating a vending machine business? I'd read and share that too!


    • NC4Life078 profile image

      NC4Life078 5 years ago from United States of America

      -Daisy, I loved the designated driver idea, that hadn't crossed my mind. But, you most certainly could rake in money especially if your friends are heavy drinkers.

      -Chris, I agree that some of them you may have to "work" for and may certainly be exhausting. Nevertheless, is that not life? What you put in is what you get out a vast majority of the time (hopefully). This especially goes for those who are self employed.

      For me, writing is a hobby and while I do make residual income when I'm not focused on it. To make serious amounts of money you must approach it like a job. This can be very time consuming, especially for those who are new to SEO or may not have all the time in the world to write. In reality, his could be said for any of the passive income ideas on the list.

      I suppose I may need to define my own definition of what I believe to be passive or residual income to eliminate confusion;

      Passive Income or residual income to me means making revenue off of an idea you are already doing.

      Essentially, everything is going to take some amount of work. But, it is an entrepenuers state of mind to figure out how to make a profit off an idea. We can take Daisy's comment as an example of this.

      I have always wanted to buy a vending machine for my house, perhaps one day. I think I would like a classic cola machine to bring class with every refreshing sip. Hopefully, you put what you found in your piggy bank. I'm to much of a penny pincher to let someone else have my money. I'm glad you liked it and found it interesting enough to share, thank you for the support and the comment.

      I thank you all for the great comments and am glad you have enjoyed reading it.

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 5 years ago

      I'm not sure I would actually call any of these passive...maybe the vending machines and photo booths are passiveish? Just my opinion...but passive or not, there are some great ideas here.

      My grandfather did vending machines years ago, and I remember how I used to love going to his house and running straight to the den in the back of the house. That's where he would count his earnings and roll coins, and there were always coins in between the couch cushions. He let me keep whatever I found in there.

      Come to think of it...I thinks some of his machines sold cigarettes! THOSE were the good old days!

      Voted up and shared! Aloha!

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      Great article, some simple money making tips there. I actually did something similar to car pooling when I was in college and uni. I dont actually drink much so I used to agree to be the driver for the night. Getting to our local town and back in a taxi would cost 5 of us around £45 - so quite expensive. The girls would each chip in £3ish and have me drive instead of a cab. Plus buy me soft drinks for the night! Cheap yet still a fun night for me!

    • wlrahilly profile image

      Wendy Rahilly 5 years ago from St Petersburg, FL

      Great article. You have listed some really interesting ways to make passive income. I, along with being an Entrepreneur, also do some online writing as well. :-)

    • esantiago340 profile image

      esantiago340 5 years ago from INDIANAPOLIS

      nice info thank you if your wanting to have a Passive Income without cold calling or chasing friends an family then get back with me for Link.

    • NC4Life078 profile image

      NC4Life078 5 years ago from United States of America

      Thanks for the comment Robert! You just reminded me of a way that helped me pay for my gas in High School.

    • Robert Connor profile image

      Robert Connor 5 years ago

      Babysitting is a great one - mine is eating my lunch money!

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 5 years ago from Florida

      Some really good ideas. My kids and I did the can recycle one summer. We went to the YMCA once a week or so and got cans the kids finished and other stuff. Recycled all summer and used the money for fun summer stuff. Voted up.

    • NC4Life078 profile image

      NC4Life078 5 years ago from United States of America

      Yes, I do realize that it is exhausting. But, if you already watch children, why not turn it into a profit? It is passive in the sense that it is something you are already doing.

    • flagostomos profile image

      flagostomos 5 years ago from Washington, United States

      My mom does babysitting and I can tell you.. it's not passive income haha. It's a lot of work.


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