There are lots of ways to get mailbox money. Maybe you want to pay off debt or perhaps you need to save money for a house or a trip.
For some, the goal of mailbox money is to create a viable income stream so they can quit their day jobs for good.
What is Mailbox Money?
Mailbox money is where you get money in your mailbox with little to no work. These days, technology makes it easier for everyday people make money in their sleep.
Mailbox money is a smart way to increase your income because it doesn’t require a ton of time from you, and you can still keep your day job.
How to Get Money in Your Mailbox
True mailbox money is making money at any time of the day without having to constantly tend to it. There’s no such thing as a 100 percent easy, effortless gig. If there was, everyone would already be doing it.
Creating passive income requires work, but the bulk of the work is mostly done on the front end. Once that part is done, the idea is to then sit back (with minimal maintenance) and let the checks roll in.
The trick to building strong passive income is to diversify. Cast a wide net and try a number of different things so you can see what works well for you and what doesn’t.
Diversifying and creating multiple streams of income may also help increase your income.
As with any type of work you do, gravitate to what you’re capable of, and what you enjoy.
In my case, I’ve created multiple streams of passive income through Airbnb, selling products on Amazon and putting extra money away in a number of investments.
Here’s a rundown of the best ways to make mailbox money.
1. Got an Extra Room? List it on Airbnb
One of the best things about the Internet is the blossoming share economy that millions are embracing.
One of the pioneers in this space is Airbnb, which allowed people from all over the world to open up their homes to travelers for a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
Making passive income by renting out a spare bedroom or your entire home is easy. Take some awesome photos of the space, give it a brief description, and post it.
I listed my place on Airbnb because I was traveling over the holidays and within two days, my apartment was almost fully booked for the dates I was offering.
A nice part of opening up your home to Airbnb is that you have full control of the calendar, which means you can turn Airbnb “on and off.”
2. Create a Website or Blog
Creating a website or blog is a great way to build your brand and these days, websites are so easy to create (there are templates you can use), anyone who says it’s too complicated is just giving excuses.
If you’re good at something or know a lot about a particular topic, share it with an online community, grow your traffic and following, and then monetize it.
Are you good at cooking with healthy spices your Indian mother used to make for you when you were a kid? A website giving the best recipes with these spices would be a logical place to start.
Are you a whiz at fixing cars? Make some videos of how to do your own oil changes and throw it up on your site or even YouTube.
People who have successfully done this are called influencers, and the internet is chalk full of them. These are the people who have deemed themselves an expert in their field and have the content to back it up.
Once you have created the blog, you can start thinking about creating a course or choosing affiliate products to promote and sell.
3. Create an E-course
If you have a website with traffic already, an e-course could be a great way to get mailbox money.
You don’t necessarily have to have a website to create a course. However, you’d definitely be at an advantage if you already have a site that generates traffic. This is because you could easily market your e-course your existing audience.
People who go down this route usually have a skill they are already utilizing, and sometimes say the idea for the e-course sprouted from their community or from friends and colleagues constantly asking the same questions.
Creating an e-course can be done in a number of ways. A big consideration for how to convey your e-course depends on what you’re teaching.
If it’s a course about how to restore old motorcycles, video might be your best platform. If the course is about how to write for blogs or how to become a virtual assistant, a written e-course might be just fine.
A few places you can start your research is on Teachable.com, which is a company designed to help you create and sell online courses. A basic plan starts at just $39 a month.
4. Promote Affiliate Products
Secret: This is how bloggers and online influencers make a nice chunk of their mailbox money.
In my opinion, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to build passive income. If you have a product or service and want to let others know, why not “share” the profits with an affiliate?
Affiliate marketing is where an online retailer pays a commission for sales generated from its referrals.
Basically, if you have a website and want to promote products and services you think your audience will purchase, it can be an easy way to make more mailbox money.
You can sign up for an affiliate network and check out the kinds of brands they partner with, and what products or services they offer.
Some well-known affiliate networks include Commission Junction, Clickbank, Impact Radius and Amazon Associates.
5. Invest Your Money
Investing in the stock market is one of the most popular ways to make mailbox money.
Hopefully you have an IRA or 401(k) that you contribute regularly to. If you don’t, this should be on your list of financial goals.
If your company doesn’t offer a 401(k), open an IRA with Vanguard. They have low fees, compared to other investment companies.
After you open the account, make sure to max out contributions for the year.
Another option to consider is Ally Invest, which is a great option for investing in low-cost ETFs and stocks.
They offer two types of investment accounts. One for the hands-on investor called Self-Directed Trading, and Ally Invest Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolios for those who like automation.
You can get started with a minimum investment of $100. Ally has an annual advisory fee of 0% for all balances.
6. Invest In Real Estate
In addition to your long-term investments, consider more ways to invest in real estate using a company like Fundrise.
Fundrise allows you to invest in commercial real estate with as little as $500.
You can choose from a variety of investment options, from shorter to longer-term goals.
They actually offer a 90-day satisfaction period. If you’re unhappy for any reason within 90 days, they will buy your investment back at the original investment amount.
7. Peer to Peer Lending
You’ve most likely heard of Prosper, which is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers low-risk portfolios. In short,Prosper is an online company that matches two types of people — those who want to borrow money and those who want to lend it.
Lenders can earn as much as 25%, although the average is usually between 3-8% for most investors.
Keep in mind that with any type of investments, there are risks involved, and Prosper is no different.
While your investment can certainly yield higher percentages than a traditional savings account, it can require more research and work from you to fully understand the loans and make an informed decision that best suits your goals.
8. Sell your Unwanted Stuff Online
If creating your own website, affiliate marketing and an e-course are too much of a commitment for you, there are easier ways to make money in your spare time.
The two big honchos of online selling are Amazon and eBay, but there are other platforms that are geared to specific items, like Decluttr, which helps you get rid of your old CDs, DVDs, games, books, and cell phones.
It’s free to sign up, and they’ll send you a free shipping label to your first box of stuff you send to them.
There’s also Offerup, which shows your items to people who live near you, so it’s good for selling larger items that you don’t necessarily want to ship.
9. Put Your Car up for Rent
If you have a fun car that just sits in the garage, or if you don’t drive much, snap some nice photos and rent your car to make some extra cash. This is just like Airbnb, but for your car.
I’ve heard of people purchasing multiple cars just to rent it on Hyrecar. They use the money they make from Hyrecar to pay off the car.
For customers, it’s a cheaper alternative to renting from traditional companies like Enterprise or Hertz.
Similar to Airbnb, users must have a profile and are rated and reviewed by others. There are options for auto insurance that renters can choose.
10. Open a Savings Account
One of the safest ways to earn mailbox money is by opening a savings account.
Although savings accounts wont make you rich, they will provide a stable return and are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Right now you can get higher interest with a bank like CIT Bank. It is an online bank that offers daily compounding interest to maximize your earning potential.
Sometimes the hardest thing about a project is just getting started. Whether you decide to rent out a room or invest some extra money, set aside time on your calendar and be prepared to plan and do your research.
Creating time in your calendar to execute your tasks is the best way to get things done so you can make some mailbox money this year.