This will be America’s first year without stimulus since the beginning of the pandemic. For many households, the absence of direct payments and advance tax credits will leave a big hole in the family budget.
For those families, 2022 will be all about finding creative ways to build their own wealth to make up the difference.
“Building wealth does not have to be complicated or take over your life as you try to make money,” said Donny Gamble, founder of PersonalIncome.org. “It is about making smart investments and finding simple ways to get the cash flowing.”
The following are a few suggestions for building wealth in 2022. A few are side hustles that most people can use to earn more income. Others involve growing money you already have through investments.
All, however, could go a long way to building financial security in an uncertain year.
Consider the Outsized Rewards — and Risks — of Equity Crowdfunding
Just about anything can be crowdfunded, and upstart business ventures are no exception. 2022 is looking like a good year to get in on the ground floor of one of the many startups that are emerging to meet the evolving needs of the post-pandemic business world.
“Equity crowdfunding platforms allow individuals to grow their wealth by investing in early-stage private companies with the potential for high returns,” said Chris Rawley, CEO of Harvest Returns. “There are platforms that allow people to invest in just about every type of company, from tech start-ups to indoor agriculture. Many of these platforms allow someone to invest with fairly low minimums, but investors should also realize the risk involved with start-ups and not invest money they potentially might lose.”
Use Stablecoins as an Entry Into Crypto Investing
If you’re tempted by crypto but turned off by the volatility of 2021, you can get in on the action with less risk by investing in digital tokens that are pinned to stable underlying assets.
“Instead of investing in high-volatility coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum, you can simply stake stable coins like USDC for a low-risk return on the order of 12% APY,” said Brian Bender, Ph.D., of Earning Fire. “Stablecoins, like USDC, can always be converted to U.S. dollars at a ratio of one-to-one, so you don’t face the same market volatility as other alt coins. Just sign up on one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges, convert your dollars to USDC, and stake these coins like you would a certificate of deposit and enjoy a high, stable return.”
Sell Products You Never See With a Dropshipping Store
Selling things on eBay or Etsy is one of the most common suggestions for people looking to pull in some extra cash on the side — but holding, managing and shipping inventory is a specialty that in and of itself can be a full-time job. There’s an alternative route that lets you make money by marketing and selling products on behalf of a third party that handles the merchandise, which you don’t ever touch or even see.
“Dropshipping is one of the best ways to start earning money from anywhere, even if you don’t have a lot of money,” said Shiv Gupta of Incrementors Lead Generation. “Dropshipping is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It does necessitate an initial time investment. This business model entails setting up an e-commerce store where customers can browse and purchase products, and you don’t even have to see the products you sell. Your supplier handles everything from manufacturing to packaging to fulfillment when you use dropshipping. There’s also less cash risk because you don’t have to send money to your supplier until your customers pay. You can earn a good living while learning how to run an e-commerce business if you choose the right product and set the right price.”
Work as a Freelance Virtual Assistant
In the era of COVID-19, the best side gigs involve remote work that pays well and doesn’t require advanced degrees or training.
“The best example is through freelancing as a virtual assistant,” said Stephen Keighery, CEO and founder of Home Buyer Louisiana.
Virtual assistants are currently in high demand as businesses continue to need help transitioning from on-site to remote work.
“Depending on your qualifications and performance output, you can earn up to $60 an hour,” Keighery said.
Zip Recruiter backs up that assessment but shows $60 to be an outlier. The national average is more like $23 an hour.
Or If You Want To Get Outside, Work as a Dog Walker
Working as a dog walker has long been a staple on lists about side hustles that regular people can actually do — but demand has never been higher than it will be in 2022 and there have never been more opportunities than there are right now.
“One of the biggest cash-making businesses currently is to be a dog walker or sitter,” Gamble said. “Since the pandemic, many people have adopted dogs, but many of them are returning to the office, leaving the dog alone for much longer than they are used to.”
In 2021, Bloomberg reported that Americans adopted 47 million pets in the first year of the pandemic, a 5% increase over the year before that will cause the pet care industry to triple in size. The report showed a huge uptick in bookings for dog walkers on the two biggest apps, Rover and Wag. Rover predicts that bookings will nearly double in 2022. All that new demand will certainly lead to more opportunities and higher pay — and although dog walking can’t be done remotely, at least it’s done outside.
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