25 Ways to Earn More and Work Less
Everybody's working for the weekend. Yes, the sage wisdom of Loverboy rings true for most of us, doesn't it? You put in 40+ hours a week, only to enjoy those fleeting moments of independence on Saturday and Sunday. Then, it is back to the grind, to a job you probably don't even enjoy. Some of us sacrifice the weekends, too, perhaps to work overtime or an additional job. It doesn't seem like you are really living when you go to the same office, see the same faces and repeat the same tasks every day.
Well, now that we've painted a depressing picture of your life, here's the good news: you can earn more money by working less. No, this isn't about to turn into a sales pitch for a self-help book - we are talking about establishing multiple passive and/or portfolio income streams. Confused already? Don't be, as you won't need a business degree to achieve financial freedom. Also, know that this isn't a pipe dream. Millions of people are enjoying life, real life, every day while making money. Here are 25 ways you can do it, too.
- Rental Homes — Yes, you will need some capital to invest in real estate, but you can always start small. A residential home, even a small trailer, can pay for itself if you rent it out at the right price. Let someone else pay off the mortgage loan you obtained, then all the residual money goes into your pocket.
- Flipping Houses — To "flip" a house means to buy a home at a decent price, increase its worth by fixing it up a bit, then sell it for a large profit. If you aren't much of a handyman, then you may want to partner with someone who is. Familiarize yourself with balloon-rate mortgages, spiffy up that house as soon as possible, then unload it for a hefty price. House flipping isn't for the faint of heart and it will take a lot of work for a short period, but the rewards are great.
- Reselling Acreage — As cities spread their boundaries further each day, undeveloped land is becoming a precious commodity. Again, this takes some capital, but buying acreage to sell in smaller lots is a great way to make a profit. The more land you can buy, the cheaper you can get it per acre.
- Book Royalties — We know that authoring a book isn't an easy task, but once the initial chore of writing and publishing it is finished, you can sit back and enjoy the royalties. Romance and young adult novels are the two easiest fiction genres to break into. If you are more interested in writing nonfiction, then go for a DIY guide that hasn't been covered by another writer.
- Music Royalties — If you dabble in poetry or music composition, then consider selling your work for commercial profit. Music royalties work just like book royalties do and are a great way to passively earn some income through the years.
- eBooks — Publishing an eBook is easier than selling a regular book. For one thing, eBooks are much shorter, taking less effort to write. Also, there are many eBook publishers that will sell your book for you or allow you to self-publish and market the book yourself. If your eBook is well-written and has a wide appeal, your passive income will come trickling in.
- Web Affiliate Marketing — Consider building a Web site with an affiliate sponsor. Essentially, you create a site that people will want to visit on a frequent and long-term basis, only to direct said visitors to your sponsor's related product and/or service. That sponsor will pay you for sending customers their way.
- Blogging — Blogging for money has a similar business model as an affiliate site, although it takes more maintenance. However, if you enjoy blogging on a frequent basis, then it certainly won't feel like work. Once you build a steady readership, then a donation button and some Google ads will send a little extra cash your way.
- Vending Machines — Vending machines are a great way to make easy money, particularly if you learn how to repair and maintain the machines yourself. The product sells itself if you place the machine in a prime area, such as a busy office building.
- Arcade Games — Yes, there is still a market for stand-up arcade games. Placing one in a busy public place is an easy way to make money, as the machines can be bought for a reasonable price at auctions. Setting the game to the hardest level will ensure that players use plenty of quarters with each game.
- Snow Cone Stand — This is a summertime business with low overhead and, if you have teenage children, you can make them do all the work for you.
- Fireworks Stand — Again, this is a small business that will only be operating a few times a year. If you live near a busy highway in the country, stick a fireworks stand in your front yard and earn a few thousand a year.
- Web Site Domain Names — There is actually a market for buying and selling domain names. Do you have a clever name for a Web site that someone might want to use? Register it and put it on the market. Purchasing a domain name costs less than $10, but a desirable one can be resold for hundreds, maybe thousands.
- eBay — eBay is the easiest way to become an instant entrepreneur. You can make quick cash by selling your unwanted things or you can buy things specifically for reselling on eBay. There are many people who make a full-time living as an eBay seller, which can hardly be considered "hard work".
- Paid Surveys — This is far from a "get rich quick" opportunity, but filling out paid online surveys during your downtime at work (while the boss isn't looking) will put some extra cash in your pocket.
- Paid Public Speaking — Are you an expert in your field? Public speakers can make thousands of dollars at seminars and conferences. If you enjoy hearing yourself talk, even better, as it won't feel like work to you at all.
- Raves / Parties - Believe it or not, but there are people who make a decent living from organizing raves and parties. If you are a social butterfly and hate your day job, perhaps this is your calling.
- Equipment Rental — From margarita machines to tractors, expensive equipment can become moneymakers if you rent them out. This is a fairly easy operation to run and there is already a built-in demand for the service.
- Storage Rental — If you are thinking of starting a business, make it the easiest kind of business to run. What could require less work than renting out storage shelters? The customer hands you his/her credit card, you swipe it, then you hand over a key.
- Conventions — Beyond renting a venue, organizing a convention requires very little overhead. Vendors will pay to operate at the event and visitors will pay to attend. From comic books to dentistry, there is a demand for many types of conventions.
- Teaching — Compared to grade school teachers, college professors work far less. However, if you don't want to bother getting a post-graduate degree, you can teach in other capacities, such as short-term adult education classes. If you are an expert in any subject, you can turn put that knowledge to work, albeit not hard work.
- Franchising — If you operate a popular business, consider franchising it and letting other people do the hard work for you. Colonel Sanders may have put in some hard work in the beginning, but he certainly took it easy once his franchises started making money.
- Stocks — Unless you take big risks, you won't get rich on Wall Street. However, with some research, you can make safe choices with stocks and later get a cash return on your investment.
- Bonds — Rather than letting your savings just sit in a bank, invest some of it in bonds, which will safely make you some money years from now if you let them mature.
- Mutual Funds — This is the safest way to invest in the stock market, as it diversifies your risk. Remember, this won't make you a fortune and it won't pay off quickly, but it is a wise choice for long-term investment.
The easiest way to earn more and work less is to establish multiple income streams. From large ventures like franchising a business to small ventures like renting out vending machines, your risk is lowered if you have several business opportunities going at once. While some of the above ideas require hard work in the beginning, the end result is residual income. Yes, you could work a 9-to-5 until you retire and then cash out a huge 401K, but why? With a little creativity and a lot of determination, you can live life to the fullest now.