The more I diversify my income, the more I realize what a huge blessing it is to have the opportunity to do this. It not only allows me to experiment with new ideas, but I also have the comfort of knowing that if one income stream fails, I have several more to back me up.
Remember, if you go back and think about the basic personal finance equation: Income – Expenses = Savings. You can only cut so many expenses, but you can boost your income to limitless potential.
It took me awhile to learn how to effectively diversify my income, but now the possibilities seem truly limitless.
If you’re just getting started, here are six ideas to diversify your income and add more to your bottom line.
Start With Your Day Job
We talk a lot about “side hustling” and multiple income streams, but let's face it, your day job is, most likely, your number one source of income. This is what most likely pays your bills and keeps food on the table.
For me I’d consider my “day job” my freelance income. Even though I’m self-employed, I view certain income streams as the ones that pay my bills and others are goal money or fun money.
But for others, your day job might be a true nine to five. Regardless, there are several ways that you can boost your income stream with your day job. Can you pick up shifts at work? Volunteer for overtime? Or, even asking for a raise can boost your day job income.
Offer A Service
After your day job, your next step might be offering a service of some sort. This service should be based off of your skill set, your free time, and your hobbies.
A few ideas to get this started are:
- Resume Help
- Social Media Management
There are both pros and cons to offering a service. The big pros are that you get to set the hours, choose the pricing, and pick the service. The cons are that it can take time to build up clients and that you’re still trading time for money.
We have a ton of other ideas for service-based side businesses here.
Sell A Product
This third idea will require initial time upfront, but then can become a passive income source. The royalty trickle of income can take a lot of upfront marketing to make successful, so don’t expect to create some sort of product and start raking in the big bucks. Earning royalties requires hard work!
With that said here are some ideas:
Write an eBook: Anyone can become an author on Amazon. In fact, I tried this a few years ago. All you have to do is write your eBook in a word doc, format for Kindle, and upload to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. The process is simple, however, making sales and getting your book to rank high is a ton of work.
Sell Stock Photos: There are so many places that you can sell stock photos for royalties. If you’re a photographer this could be an excellent side gig for you. Just a couple places to sell your photos are 123rf.com and freedigitalphotos.net
Create T-Shirts: Do you ever see ads on Facebook for T-Shirts that have your name or occupation on them? Those ads are usually from people who create the T-Shirt and then advertise to you through Facebook. If you end up buying one of those T-Shirts the creator will earn a royalty. If you like this idea here’s an interesting podcast on it from Side Hustle Nation.
Get Involved With Direct Sales
Another option for diversifying your income is getting involved with direct sales.
Direct sales is definitely not for everyone, but if you have a strong network, and can find a product you’re in love with then it can be a good fit.
Direct sales involves you selling a product directly to consumers for a commission. Some direct sales companies also have multi-level marketing opportunities, meaning, if you get sales people to sign up under you you’ll receive a portion of your team’s revenue also.
Here are some of the popular direct sales companies:
- Beach Body
- Pampered Chef
- Origami Owl
- Jamberry Nails
- Young Living Oils
Invest In The Stock Market
A mostly passive option to diversifying your income is investing in the stock market. Since Robert is the investing expert around here, I’ll leave you some of his posts on creating a monthly income through investing to check out:
However, just like anything, investing does take a little up front capital to get started. However, you can build a dividend portfolio and start seeing rewards right away (albeit small). But the power of compound interest is a huge force, and you'll soon see your income stream grow!
Invest In Real Estate
My income is fairly diversified right now. The next thing I would love to add to the list is investing in real estate. Of course, it’s going to take me a good amount of time to get the cash saved up for this.
Here are my favorite ideas for investing in real estate:
Flipping a House: I know many people think that flipping is a very risky business and it can be, it just depends on the real estate market in your area. I have successfully flipped a house before (the one and only time that I tried) and I can’t wait to try it again.
Owning Rental Properties: Owning rental properties is not for the faint of heart. You have to be able to plan for vacancies, repairs, and deal with renters. While I haven’t completely ruled out owning rental properties I’m not sure that I’d want to deal with tenants. I’d ideally use a property management service to handle this for me. However, this could still be a great way for you to diversify your income.
Crowd Funded Real Estate: One of the newest options for investing in real estate is crowd funded real estate. This is where you join others to invest in a rental property – either commercial or residential. The great thing about this is that there are low minimums to get started, and you don't even have to be an accredited investor.
- Realtyshares – Realtyshares offers investors a variety of properties to choose from, including residential, mixed-use, commercial and retail. They don’t charge their investors fees, instead placing that burden on the property holders. Investors can start seeing a return just a few weeks after the project is funded. We are partners with Realtyshares, and they’re giving College Investor readers $25 for free for signing up with the code TCI25.
- Fundrise – One of the most popular real estate crowdfunding sites, Fundrise has a minimum investment of $1,000 and charges between 0-3% in fees. The site is ruthless about which projects it accepts – only about 5% of proposals are chosen. Fundrise is another one of our favorite sites simply because of the range of investment properties they have to choose from, but also because you don’t have to be an accredited investor to invest – they are one of the only platforms that allows this currently.
Get Good At One Then Work on Another
My motto for building multiple streams of income is to get really good at one thing before moving to something else. Trying to take on too much at once will only set you up for failure.
Pick one thing, master it, and then add another income stream.
How do you diversify your income?