How to Make Residual Income: 7 Great Ideas

Frugal wives and working moms are absolute legends when it comes to budgeting. We might not have accounting degrees, but we’ve got exceptional skills when it comes to balancing the monthly household budget. We might not have fancy CFO job titles, but our tasks and responsibilities are just as important. We might not have the swanky corner office, but we occupy an important place in the smooth operations of the household.

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As such, most full-time moms I’ve met are always looking out for ways to maximize their income. At its most basic level, there are two things we can do: work harder, and save more. I’d like to introduce another way to maximize your earnings: residual income.

Residual income is a valuable part of my regular income. Without it, I simply wouldn’t be able to make ends meet. I’ll be giving you some great residual income ideas in this blog post, but first I think we need to define just what residual income is.

What is Residual Income

What is Residual Income?

There are two definitions of residual income: the accounting definition, and the business definition.

When we talk about the accounting definition, we’re talking about money that’s left over after you pay for necessities and bills. In that regard, residual income is just that – income residue.

In the business sense, it refers to income that continues to come in even after you’re done with the initial work or effort. Another definition of residual income is passive income. An example of this would be a monetized YouTube video. You produce and upload the video only once, but income will keep coming in as long as the video is up (and as long as there are people who watch it).

Residual or passive income is great for us moms because we will continue to earn from our past efforts even if we’ve moved on to another task or job. It’s effectively a force multiplier; we’re earning “dividends” today from “investments” we’ve made in the past.

I can’t understate the importance of residual income to my budget. I can only work so long and save so much. Passive income helps get rid of that ceiling. And it even helps me work less and spend more quality time with my family!

Here are Some Great Residual Income Ideas

There are many ways to earn residual income. There are big (read: expensive) methods like buying up rental properties or maintaining a blue-chip stock portfolio. And those are awesome, but for now let’s stick to a few methods that require less monetary outlay, and are things you can do now. So let’s get to it!

Create YouTube Content

Create YouTube Content

Let’s talk about this method first. Creating YouTube videos (or any other type of content, for that matter) is perfect if you’ve got a flair for the creative and the necessary skills and equipment. There’s a steep requirement, but if you put the time and money into this, you can earn some pretty good residual income.

First, pick a subject that you like. I suggest creating a YouTube channel about a topic or hobby you love. You’ll be putting lots of time and effort into this, so it might as well be about something you love, right? You also have to make sure that your content will be about something people would actually want to watch. I don’t doubt you love your kids, and love taking pics and video of them. But would strangers actually want to watch that?

Take my sister in law as an example. She’s a devoted board gamer. Since there are many like-minded people on the internet, she decided to start a YouTube video about board gaming. On her channel, she regularly posts reviews, game strategy, and even does game night videos. For game night vids, she gathers some friends and uploads video of them playing and having fun.

She had to spend on video and editing equipment (she already had a sizeable collection of board games), but once everything was in place, she rarely has to buy new equipment. Her videos are monetized, and YouTube puts ads at the beginning of her videos. She gets paid whenever someone watches her content.

Producing content is a great example of residual income, but I need to note that you will have to constantly create fresh content. But that’s okay, since you’ll be earning from both your older and newer content. And that’s a pretty sweet deal!

Create a Blog

Create a Blog

If producing video content is too intimidating for you, don’t worry. Creating videos isn’t for everyone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create content. Maybe starting a blog is the right thing for you. I know it was for me, which is why I started the Frugal Wife!

Most of the tips for video applies here, but you’ll be producing written content and taking photos instead. And instead of uploading to YouTube, you use a blog platform – I suggest starting with a free one like WordPress.

And once you’ve got enough content, you can monetize it via Google Ads (which used to be known as Google AdWords) or Amazon’s Affiliate Program.

Grab Points Adscend Videos

Watch Videos on GrabPoints

Here’s a less-intensive way to earn residual income. I already wrote about answering surveys on GrabPoints in a previous article. Answering surveys is great, but it’s not passive income (since you actively need to answer surveys!) But on GrabPoints, you can also earn by watching videos. You get paid a set amount after each video ends.

Watching videos is practically passive; you can leave the videos on while you do other chores or tasks. Since GrabPoints has multiple channels covering topics like entertainment, tech, and lifestyle, it’s no different than leaving the TV while you do other stuff. And that’s a perfect example of residual income.

Your Vehicle Into Ad Space

Turn Your Vehicle Into Ad Space

I’m willing to bet you never thought of this one! There are companies that will pay you to turn your car into a rolling advertisement for various products. Don’t worry, the ads are not permanent. Instead of getting painted on to your car, the ads are applied via a vinyl wrap. This wrap can be easily removed without damaging your car at the end of your contract.

Companies like Wrapify and Carvertise are the best places to check with if you’d like to turn your car into ad space. Your daily route and driving habits will be taken into account. If you drive through a busy area during rush hour, you could get paid more. (Your movements will be tracked via GPS) Since you’ll be driving through your regular route anyways, that makes this a form of residual income.

Rent Out Your Driveway

Rent Out Your Driveway

If you’re out of the house most of the day, why not rent out your garage or even driveway? As a fierce mama of two adorable kids, I’m not too keen on sharing my personal space with strangers, but renting my garage and driveway is actually fine by me.

I used to wonder why anyone would want to rent just a garage or driveway, and the answer is simple: parking space. Parking in office buildings and malls can get real expensive – so expensive, that it might be cheaper for the car owner to rent your garage and commute the rest of the way to work.

Of course, houses that are near business areas will be able to charge more. And if you live close to an airport, as I do, you’re in luck. Parking at airports can get really expensive, and people are always looking for cheaper alternatives. If you’re interested in renting out your garage or driveway, head over to CurbFlip, ParqEx, and Parking Cupid to find out more about this.

Crowdfunded Real Estate

Crowdfunded Real Estate

I mentioned how owning rental property was a great way to earn residual income, but is out of reach for most of us non-property owners. Luckily, there’s still a way for us to get in on the real estate game. And that’s via crowdfunded real estate. Think of it as mutual funds, but for buying real estate. A bunch of people pools together their funds, and a property manager uses the money to buy and sell real estate. The profits are split between all parties.

And this is totally legit. The formal name for this is “Real Estate Investment Trust” (REIT).” You won’t earn as much as if you owned the property yourself, but the initial investment with crowdfunded real estate isn’t too high, and that also means the risks won’t be as great either. If you’d like to give this a try, below are some legit companies you can look into:

Fundrise – They require an initial investment of $500, which isn’t high when it comes to real estate. You can pick from about 50 properties to invest in.

Realty Mogul – They require a higher investment – $1,000. It’s a considerable sum, but not out of reach for anyone determined to get into the real estate game. And a higher investment means higher earning potential as well.

Rich Uncles – If both options are too high for you, you can always check with Rich Uncles. They have a $500 package, just like Fundrise, but they also have a $5 investment package for student housing. Rich Uncles is the best place to get started on REIT.  

Time Deposit Accounts

Time Deposit Accounts

Savings are important, but you might actually end up losing money with a regular savings account. Regular cash deposit accounts earn only about 1.10% per annum. That’s not a lot, inflation might overtake the amount of interest you earn. Meaning thanks to inflation, the dollar you have stashed away may end up being worth less in a few years.

So keep a cash deposit for emergencies, but once you’ve reached a sufficient safety net, you should put your finds into a time deposit account. Time deposits pay a higher interest compared to regular cash deposits. They’re called time deposits because your money will be locked in for a set amount of time. Terms and interest rates will vary, so check with your local bank to find a scheme that works for you.

Think of it as an investment – which it very much is!


Good luck on your quest to earn residual income! Hopefully, this article gives you some tips and inspiration!

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One Response to “How to Make Residual Income: 7 Great Ideas”
  1. Cath C. November 9, 2018

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