Are you looking to increase the amount of money you have left over at the end of the month? While cutting expenses in order to help you save money can certainly help you do that, there comes a point in every budget when you just can’t reduce expenses any further.

At that point, the only thing you can do to reach your financial goals faster is to increase your income. The more income you have, the faster you’ll reach those goals provided you are managing your money it in a way that aligns with your vision.

What is Residual Income?

The term “residual income” refers to two different things. From an accounting perspective, residual income is the amount of money you have left over each month after you pay the bills.

From a business perspective, residual income (or passive income) is income you gain by doing one-time work or very little work yet still earn income, similar to passive income.

Both definitions have the same goal: increase the amount of money you have to do what you want to do with it. I’ve listed below some ways you can build your monthly passive income levels so that you’ve got more money coming in each month.

Check out the list and see whether or not one or more of these avenues to more residual income may be right for you.

1. Consider Crowdfunded Real Estate

Real estate investing has long been touted as a smart way to build passive income. However, not everyone can afford to put the necessary twenty percent down on a rental property. Also, not everyone is interested in owning and managing rental properties directly.

Enter, crowdfunded real estate investing. The premise behind crowdfunded real estate investing is amazingly simple: a group of investors each borrow a pre-determined amount of money to a person or company that owns and manages real estate rental properties.

The expert real estate investor then uses that money to purchase or improve upon residential or commercial real estate properties, which they then flip or rent out.

As the property they purchase increases in value, gains rental income or is sold, the investors who contributed to the purchase or management of the property earn investment income. They get the benefit of the profit without having to directly own or manage the property.

Two of the most popular crowdfunded real estate companies are Fundrise and Realty Shares. Each of the companies work a little bit differently.

Realty Shares

Here are the basics about Realty Shares.

  • Realty Shares requires a minimum investment of $5,000
  • They charge an annual asset management fee of one percent
  • They have commercial and residential investment options available
  • They only allow accredited investors to participate

An investor is considered accredited if they meet one of two different financial parameters.

They can either have a minimum of $200,000 individual or $300,000 joint-with-spouse income (for the last two years and expected to continue at that level), or they can have a net worth of $1 million.


Here are the basics about Fundrise.

  • Fundrise requires a minimum investment of $1,000
  • They charge an annual asset management fee of 0.85%
  • They invest in commercial real estate transactions only
  • They allow non-accredited investors to participate

If you want to start making residual income via real estate investing but aren’t interested in physically owning and managing properties, this might be the way to go.

It’s important to know, however, that there is a potential of loss of initial investment amount, just like with other types of investing.

2. Start Investing in Dividends

Financial experts such as Warren Buffett swear by dividend investing as a path to building residual income. Dividend stocks are generally blue chip stocks in companies with longstanding histories that pay dividends back to customers.

If you are going to trade stocks, check out Ally Invest as they charge as little as $3.95 per trade. This is great because many brokers charge around $10 per trade.

Many investment firms charge hefty fees for investors that participate in their dividend investment strategies, but robo-advisors (companies that have automated management systems in place) make investing affordable and increase potential profit margins by charging lower fees.

One of the top robo-advisors is Motif which is known for low fees and diversified portfolios.

Keep in mind that investing with robo-advisors does hold a potential risk of loss of investment funds, just as there is with traditional investment management firms.

However, with the right picks and a healthy stock or bond market, you can also use dividend investing to increase your passive income.

3. Open an Online Store

Online stores can help you increase your residual income one of two ways. You can have your online store function as a drop-shipping site, meaning that you collect the orders and then send them to the distributor of the product.

The distributor houses and delivers the products, and you get a slice of the profit for actually selling the item.

Or you can keep an inventory of the products you sell online and ship them directly from your house or warehouse to the client.  This route would be more time-intensive, however, and not be as passive of an income source.

Either way, whether you choose the drop-ship method or selling directly, companies such as Shopify can help you with setting up a professional online store, online shopping cart, etc.

But know that you’ll be sharing your profits with Shopify or any other e-commerce company for that service.

4. Write a Book

Publishing a book can be a great way to increase passive income because once the book is done and published, the only work left for you to do is market it.

If you choose this route to make residual income, you’ll have to make some decisions, like:

  • Do I want to offer the book in e-book format only or as a paperback or hardcover as well?
  • Will I create and publish the book myself or use an outside source?
  • Will I edit the book myself or hire someone to do it for me?

Going with the e-book only route will be the most inexpensive choice, provided you don’t have to pay too much to have a cover designed. There are many website articles on how to format an e-book for publication and sale.

Amazon allows people to list e-books for sale on their site too, which can help you get more exposure for the books you write.

If you have the skills and the desire to write a desirable fiction or non-fiction book, this might be a good income source for you.

5. Work with Affiliates

Affiliate income is fast becoming a popular way to make residual income. Blog and website owners can make affiliate income in a couple of different ways.

Placing Ads on the Site

If you look on most web sites or blog sites, you will probably see ads for different products or companies off to the side. Companies such as AdSense and MyFinance can install ads on web or blog sites.

The ads might advertise a particular product such as a pair of shoes or a beauty product. Or the ads might advertise a particular service, such as identity theft protection or products at a specific financial institution.

When site visitors click on those ads, the site owner makes a small commission. The more visitors you have to your site, the more clicks you will probably have on those ads.

Offering links to Specific Products

Another way blog or web site owners can make affiliate income is by offering a specific product or service on their site.

A blog about beauty and fashion might share a link to a particular shampoo or makeup line. A blog about personal finance might share a link to a popular money management book.

As products are purchased from the link on a site, a commission is earned by the site owner. In the case of affiliates such as Amazon, they’ll pay a commission to a site owner even of the person who clicked on the advertised item buys something else instead.

So, let’s say you’ve advertised a certain book on your site. The site visitor clicks on the link to the book, but decides not to purchase the book. Instead they shop around a bit and end up purchasing a sweatshirt during that visit.

You as the site owner will get a commission on the sweatshirt purchase because you directed the customer to the site, even if they didn’t purchase the exact item you advertised.

Obviously not all affiliates pay out in this manner, but either way, affiliate income can be a great source of residual or passive income if you own a blog or other website.

You can learn more about how to use affiliate marketing on your website with a course like Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

6. Make YouTube Videos

Yes, it is possible to make residual income through YouTube. Ads placed on videos pay the video creator for every view. Although the amount paid per view by advertisers is small, it can add up over time.

The amount of income you’ll make depends on your viewership, so it’s important to create the types of videos that people seek out.

Viewers tend to prefer videos that help them learn something. To make residual income from YouTube, you’ll have to first decide what it is you know that will be useful information for someone else.

Are you great at fixing things around the house? Can you put together a short but powerful video on creating wealth? Use your knowledge and expertise to decipher what you know that can help others.

Another aspect of creating videos that produce income is to not rely on the ad revenue alone. Instead, put links within the videos to products that you sell or can gain affiliate commissions for.

For instance, if you are making a video on how to replace the roof on your house, you might want to link to your favorite roof nailing gun. If you are making a video on how to do a certain hairstyle, you might link to your favorite hair products.

Or if you are making a video on how to create a budget, you might want to link back to your blog site or to a personal finance e-book you are selling.

By “double dipping” on the possible income sources from your YouTube videos, you can make sure you’re not leaving your income potential in the hands of advertisers alone.

7. Create Product Designs

Websites such as CafePress are becoming more and more popular as a way to create residual income.

The process is simple: create an account with CafePress, upload the designs you create to the site, and CafePress advertises a number of items for sale with your design on it, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs and comforters.

When an item sells, you as the designer earn a commission off of the sale. By sharing your designs via social media accounts, you can help spread the word about your offerings on the site.

8. List a Room in Your House

Hotel rental prices can be expensive, but sites such as Airbnb can offer affordable alternatives to hotel stays for travelers.

If you have a spare bedroom in your house that’s not being used right now, you could make extra money by listing it on Airbnb.

When I looked through available Airbnb listings for our major metropolitan area, I found they were going for between $30 and $50 a night. This could add up to some serious cash over time, especially if you live in a busy area.

It’s important to be aware of safety standards created by Airbnb to keep hosts and guests safe when listing a room in your house, and to not take any guests you’re feeling unsure about.

The Airbnb site does have reviews listed for all potential guests so that you can get some feedback and have control over who stays at your place.

9. Sell Digital Designs on Etsy

This idea is genius, if only because the designs you create don’t require real shipping. Etsy has thousands of different items for sale such as jewelry, handmade flash drives and more.

A person selling an actual hold-in-your-hand item on Etsy has to do the work of not just creating the item, but storing the inventory, the supplies to make the product and of packaging and shipping the item to clients.

However, if you can create attractive digital designs to sell, all you need is a computer and the necessary programs to create them.

When a client purchases your design, you simply send them the digital file, and they bring it to a printing store to have it printed out. Some ideas for digital files that sell on Etsy are:

  • Sayings for home décor that can be printed and framed
  • Personalized designs for home décor
  • Digital files for monthly planners and other office supplies
  • Digital files for custom artwork

You make the product, but the print work and any necessary framework are paid for and completed by the buyer.

10. Create a Mobile App

How many mobile apps do you use each day on your smartphone? Mobile apps are great at making life more convenient for people. If you have an idea for a great mobile app, you can create and sell it online.

This podcast on how to make money developing mobile apps can give you more information on how creating apps might mean more residual income for you.

What will you do with the residual income you might create by using one of the ideas above?

Make Some Extra Cash by Taking Surveys

Taking surveys in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra dough fast. Check out Survey Junkie which will pay you instantly with cash via Paypal. They have over 6,000,000 members and they have an 8.9/10 rating on Trust Pilot.

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