I love passive income, especially if it does not require any money for me to get started. I suppose it's great for everyone, but it's perfect for people who are too busy to take on a second job or a side gig.
This article is going to cover 15 ways to make passive income that are truly passive (that means no writing ebooks, online courses, blogs, or anything else that requires a massive investment of time and effort). It is also going to only cover strategies that don't require any money to start. So no investing in dividend paying stocks, CDs, and all of the other financial instruments that can provide passive income.
The majority of these 15 ideas relate to renting out things you might already have. It's great because you don't need any money to get started (you already have your money-making asset).
And you are just renting stuff out, so once it is rented, you don't need to do much – you just get paid. That's certainly passive.
Finally, you don't need any specialized knowledge or skills to do any of these ideas, which makes these ideas accessible to anyone.
Alright, let's get into it!
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1. Car Sharing
You can rent out your car to people who want to use it. Turo and Hyrecar are two of the more well-known platforms that offer this service.
I wrote an article about this which gives you the details about this type of passive income strategy.
One feature that I think is cool about car sharing is that if you like it, you can grow it like a business. Just buy another car to add to your inventory with the money you made through your first car.
I have used Turo before as a renter, and when I was browsing the cars in my area, I saw several owners who each seemed to own a fleet of cars. These people turned their car-sharing side income into a real business.
Of course, if you go down that road, I would say that this option no longer qualifies as passive. When you are just renting your car out for the occasional weekend to get a little extra cash, that's pretty low-key. But running a fleet of cars? That sounds like a fair amount of work.
Still, you may want to make that trade-off if you are finding success with this strategy.
GetUpside is an app that is quickly gaining popularity for offering its users cashback each time they visit participating gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants. The premise is simple, make money while doing the things you are going to do anyway.
Here's what they do – they partner up with businesses in your area and the businesses give you discounts off your bill for coming in and becoming their customer.
So you will see a bunch of offers on your app for gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores near you. If you like any of them, you go to the business, spend money there, check-in via the app so you get credit (or if check-in is not available at that location, you can take a pic of the receipt and upload it easily).
GetUpside will credit you for the advertised discount and you will have that money available for withdrawal. You can claim your cash at any time via PayPal, e-gift card, or check.
They offer discounts of up to 25 cents per gallon, up to 15% off groceries, and up to 35% off restaurants.
Rent Our Your Extra Storage Space
You can also rent out any extra storage space you may have in your house, including closets, bedrooms, basements, and a bunch of other areas on your property. Neighbor is one of the best-known platforms offering this. But you can also check out storeatmyhouse or stache.
This is the same concept as Turo, but for people who have RVs. If you are an RV owner, you probably know that there is a lot of idle time where it just sits there.
According to RVShare, they are the largest RV rental marketplace. Similar to others on this list, they offer a platform that connects you with people who want to rent your RV.
RVShare claims you could earn thousands of dollars per year doing this. Could be a very nice boost to your income for an otherwise idle asset.
Rent Out Your Parking Space
If you’ve got an extra parking space in your garage, land, or another area, you can rent it out on stowit. But this is not available in many places. Spothero and Neighbor also offer parking rentals and seem to have a broader reach, so I would check them out too.
Rent Out Your Backyard
If you’ve got some space in your backyard that you don’t mind sharing from time to time, you can rent it out to campers looking for campsites. One platform that offers this service is homecamper. Same concept as all of the others, but with an outdoorsy twist.
Rent Out Your Pool
If you have a swimming pool that doesn’t see a lot of use, you may want to take advantage of that downtime by renting it out on swimply. This should at least help take the edge off the maintenance costs associated with your pool and earn you some extra money on the side.
Rent Out Your Stuff
Rentnotbuy is a platform where you can rent out a wide variety of items from campers to household items and tools. Apparently, they have significant financial backing and they claim to have nationwide reach.
If you’ve got some baby gear that’s not being used, babyquip may turn that unused gear into a money-making machine. Their website includes a host of categories you can put up for rent, including cribs, strollers, car seats, high chairs, bouncers, toys, bathtubs, etc. It’s pretty broad.
They also seem very well established. There's a good chance that this is available in your area.
According to their website, the average owner is making $600 per month, while some are earning up to $5,000 per month (although, like Turo, that probably means, their level of effort is not as passive).
Still, that’s pretty good.
Rent Out Your Musical Instrument
If you’ve got a musical instrument collecting dust, you may be able to monetize that through fretish. Unfortunately, it seems limited to Austin, New York, and Los Angeles for now.
Rent Out Your Bike
If you have a bike to spare, you can use spinlister to rent it out. They have locations worldwide, but in the US, they operate in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland.
They claim you can make up to $500 per month.
Share Your Mobile Browsing Data
If you agree to install an app on your phone that tracks your browsing behavior, mobileXpression will pay you a weekly credit that can be redeemed for gift cards at a number of large retailers or online websites.
Apparently, they include some pretty big names, like Amazon, The Home Depot, etc.
But as far as I can tell, the earnings are pretty meager ($5 per week). If you don’t mind the privacy issues associated with someone tracking your online behavior, then this extra income is about as passive as it gets.
This is an intriguing idea. When you use Honeygain, you install an app on your devices and Honeygain securely shares the internet with no access to personal data. They use your internet data to run various queries for their clients.
This is all for the purpose of gathering market data that may be valuable.
How do you get paid? You get credit based on how much data is shared. These credits are then converted into money.
Once you have accumulated enough credits, you cash out ($20 is the minimum amount needed to cash out). Here is the link to Honeygain going into more detail on this.
Make sure you are on an unlimited data plan because it may use a lot of your bandwidth.
Wrap Your Car with Ads
If you don’t mind wrapping your car with advertisements, you can use wrapify to make a little extra cash. These guys are well-established and have a broad reach.
They claim you can make hundreds of dollars a month. Pretty passive and fairly lucrative if you can handle your car being a billboard.
Make Money Watching TV or Playing Video Games
If you are watching TV or playing video games anyway, you can earn a little extra cash on the side. Check out inboxdollars for more info.
This can be viewed as passive because watching TV and playing video games is not really work, but I can see it being a bit of a hassle.
Cashback Rewards Credit Cards
If you have good credit, you can apply for a cashback rewards card. Here is a list from Nerdwallet of what they think are the best cashback credit cards.
If you are going to be spending with a credit card anyway, you might as well get some cash back for those purchases. Passive income with no money required – fits the bill for me.
So that completes our 15 truly passive income ideas with no money needed. I hope at least a couple were interesting to you.
If you want more great passive income ideas, check out my ultimate beginner's guide to passive income [25+ strategies that work], where I cover tons of effective strategies that generate passive income.