This year was a wake-up call for all of us. Many people relied on their 9 to 5 income, only to find themselves furloughed when the national shutdown occurred. It was devastating, to say the least. However, the only way to offset such upsetting news is to diversify your income streams or avoid relying on your full-time job as the only form of income you have.
Having diversified income protects your finances today and for the long term. As the world discovered the hard way, we have no idea what can be coming next. Income diversification ensures that even when one income stream falls apart, others are there to fill in the gaps.
Diversifying your income also has a few bonus perks – you improve your earning potential, increase your safety net, and you may even become a more well-rounded person! So, if you have a source of income that you’d like to safeguard against, check out these 17 ways to diversify your income streams.
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- Best Ways to Diversify Your Income Streams
- 1. Start a Side Hustle
- 2. Add Onto Your Existing Freelancing Skills
- 3. Dropship
- 4. Be an Influencer
- 5. Invest in Real Estate
- 6. Diversify Your Investments
- 7. Sell Digital Products
- 8. Create and Sell Online Courses
- 9. Be a Social Media Manager
- 10. Pay off Your Credit Card Debt
- 11. Try House Hacking
- 12. Sell Products
- 13. Do Gig Work
- 14. Open a High Yield Savings Account
- 15. Use a Robo-Advisor
- 16. Cut Down Your Discretionary Expenses
- 17. Rent Out Anything and Everything
- Diversify Your Income and Have Financial Peace
Best Ways to Diversify Your Income Streams
1. Start a Side Hustle
Anyone can start a side hustle today, honestly. If you have any multitude of skills out there, you can also start a small business. Whether you mow lawns, babysit kids, do website design, or do voice-overs, the sky’s the limit! You can figure out what you love to do and see if there’s a market for it. Chances are that there is, especially if you have digital skills or something you can market online and nationwide.
2. Add Onto Your Existing Freelancing Skills
If you already have freelancing gigs going, upsell your clients into other products and services. Also, try looking online to see if people are looking for work in other areas you are experienced in. Then think about how you can branch off of what you currently offer and get more for your time.
Are you a freelance writer? You could consider offering affiliate marketing support, social media marketing, or course content. If you take photos, try offering stock photography for a client’s website or digital product.
If you love marketing and selling products but don’t have the time to make a product (or the skill), sell someone else’s products.
Become a drop shipper for a company that makes products you see a need for in your area or nationwide. You can create your own website and market the products. Alternatively, you can also join an existing platform like Amazon or eBay. The drop shipper handles order fulfillment, shipping, and customer service. You don’t have to hold the inventory, but you will make money on every sale. So be sure to choose the right supplier and build a brand.
4. Be an Influencer
Do people follow you on social media because you’re fun? Do you have a ton of Tik Tok followers? Make money on the ‘fame’ you’ve accrued.
Brands and companies pay people like you to be an influencer. In fact, you don’t have to be a celebrity or do anything special. If you have an audience who will listen to you when you talk about products you love, brands will pay you to talk about their products. It’s fun, helps others, and it also diversifies your income.
5. Invest in Real Estate
You don’t have to be ‘rich’ to start investing in real estate. Of course, the best way to get started is by buying physical real estate and either fixing and flipping it or turning it into a rental property to earn passive income.
If you can’t afford to buy real estate right now, consider other real estate investment options, including real estate crowdfunding or REITs. You invest in real estate properties along with multiple other investors on an online platform. It takes the physical labor, time, and barrier to entry out of investing in real estate.
6. Diversify Your Investments
While it’s not a part-time job and you don’t have to complete any work, diversifying your investments is a key way to diversify your income.
Diversifying your investments could also mean buying different stocks or mutual funds in various industries. It could also mean putting your money into something more drastic, like individual stocks, REITs, physical real estate, bonds, and cryptocurrency.
7. Sell Digital Products
Digital products cover a wide range of options. You could create ebooks, printables, social media templates, and more. In fact, the options are literally endless.
- If you take pictures, sell stock photos.
- If you write, sell books or short stories.
- If you create art, sell prints of your work.
8. Create and Sell Online Courses
Online courses are so huge right now. You can use them as an ‘upsell’ on other gigs you already offer or on their own, especially if you are an expert in your field.
Think about what you do well and see if there’s a market for a course. You’d be surprised at what people pay to learn. These days, there are courses that teach how to crochet, do social media marketing, build a website, and everything in between.
9. Be a Social Media Manager
Businesses need to be on social media to market their products and services, but many don’t know how to make an impact online. They may set up a Facebook or Instagram page, but that’s as far as they get. As a social media manager, you can also offer monthly plans that manage their social media with consistent posts and marketing strategies.
You can do this from the comfort of your own home and on your own time. Work for a few hours a month by scheduling content and then bring in some decent side income.
10. Pay off Your Credit Card Debt
This doesn’t sound like an income stream, but it is. In fact, credit cards charge high interest. You pay money to have debt. If you pay off your credit card debt, you save on interest charges, thereby increasing your cash flow.
11. Try House Hacking
If you own (or can own) a multi-family unit, you can live in one unit and also rent out the others. Essentially, the rent covers your mortgage payments, so you can ‘live for free.’ Even if you don’t bring in extra cash, if it covers your mortgage payment, that’s diversified income at its finest.
12. Sell Products
If you’re crafty, try a hand at selling your own products. For example, Etsy and Facebook Marketplace are two great places to start. You can even start your own website and also market your business around the globe. So this is a great way to fill up your free time and make money doing it.
13. Do Gig Work
Gig work is gaining popularity by leaps and bounds this year. There are numerous apps, like Fiverr, Upwork, Rover, and Instacart, for example, that can help you contract work that helps you work on your own terms. Here are a few things to know about the platforms.
- Sites like Fiverr and Upwork let you set your own rates and ‘gig types.’
- Instacart is a shopping service where you will shop for customers and also deliver the groceries to their homes.
- Rover is a pet sitting app – it matches you with pet owners who need pet sitting or pet walking services.
14. Open a High Yield Savings Account
Another form of passive income is opening a high yield savings account. You may not believe that saving money is diversifying your income streams, but it absolutely is! You put the money into the account. And it earns interest with no effort. You certainly won’t earn a ton, especially with the Federal Funds Rate so low right now, but it’s something.
15. Use a Robo-Advisor
If investing intrigues and overwhelms you at the same time, try a robo-advisor like Acorns. You can invest your spare change because Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar. In addition, the app sweeps your leftover change into your investment account. Once you have $5, it invests it in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
There are many other robo-advisors, too, all of which focus on diversifying, or not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
16. Cut Down Your Discretionary Expenses
Cutting down on your expenses is a passive form of income. Do you really need that expensive cable subscription? What about the gym membership you never use? Ever thought about negotiating your insurance rates or utility bills? Every dollar you save diversifies your income because you can make your money work for you instead.
17. Rent Out Anything and Everything
Today people pay for just about anything, including leasing equipment and space in your home. For instance, consider renting out unused garage space, a room in your house, your baby stroller, or even your car. So check out sites like ShareMySpace or Turo to make money renting your stuff.
Diversify Your Income and Have Financial Peace
Personal finance can seem complicated at first. But, one of the simplest steps you can take to improve your situation is to get started with diversifying your income. Having multiple streams of income will ensure that you always have money in the bank, even if it’s not from a typical 9 to 5 or part time job. Try to branch out, diversify as much as possible, and increase your earning power as soon as possible.
For more ideas check out 23 Best Virtual Side Hustle Ideas and 11 New and Unique Business Ideas.