One’s 20s are an incredible time in life — a time when many people graduate college (or set off into the workforce) and begin their professional lives, becoming fully independent adults. Despite the often turbulent nature of relative youth, it’s also a great time to start thinking about creating wealth and setting good financial habits that can last a lifetime. You’re never too young to start planning for the future.
Though, doing so is not always easy. According to CNBC, citing a 2021 study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, it was found that 28- to 38-year-olds “had built up less wealth than previous generations had by the same age.” This result was largely attributed to the current generation of this age holding greater amounts of student loan debt than those previous.
It’s not impossible to start earning and saving at this age, as small steps early on can really snowball into higher yields over time. Young people are also inventive and savvy, especially with technology, which is a great asset to have for finding money-making opportunities.
According to financial expert Tom Corley, via CNBC, you should have three income streams at all times to achieve substantial wealth. If you’re looking for some options to create multiple income streams in 2023, here are some ideas.
Offer Online Courses
Use your tech prowess to your advantage by offering online courses. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials stand out from other generations due to their tech awareness — though boomers are adopting more digital habits, and may need help navigating the latest platforms. CNBC recently detailed the story of a 29-year-old who quit her full-time job to launch TikTok courses teaching Excel and, given the viral popularity of her content, she now reportedly brings in $2 million a year.
Sell Unnecessary Items
Secondhand items have become big business the past few years, largely driven by zoomers and millennials, 62% of whom often buy used rather than new items, according to a report by ThredUp. If you have outgrown your wardrobe, have sporting equipment from high school and college you no longer use, or want to clean out your impressive shoe collection, there’s a market for those goods.
Invest in Startups
This tactic is how many angel investors created their incredible amounts of wealth. Just think about early investors backing Apple, Amazon or Facebook, for example.
Business Insider recently profiled 21 young people whose creative business ideas are taking off and making them millions, noting how entrepreneurship is a young person’s game nowadays. Do some concrete research into fledgling companies that sound like they have a lucrative future and consider investing on the ground floor — just be sure to make it official with proper documentation so you can safely profit when they succeed, or claim a loss if things go awry.
Create a Substack
The influencer bubble may soon burst — as some outlets have reported, many people are experiencing influencer fatigue and the pull of high-profile accounts on social media may be lessening. Rolling Stone went as far as to declare that “influencer marketing is dead” in June and reported that online communities are the way of the future.
One way to tap into this trend is by creating a digital newsletter, perhaps via Substack. If you are a great writer, have some information to share on a regular basis, or are the type of person who people always turn to for advice, this could be a great way to bring people together and make some money. You can set a fee for subscribers (from weekly to monthly), and determine your own content schedule.
Take on Freelance Gigs
It seems that everyone has a side hustle these days. According to Forbes, citing a Bank of America survey, 62% of Gen Z respondents and 56% of Millennial participants said they now have a side gig, something that many Americans took on when the pandemic began. Freelancing or contract work is a great way to create an additional income stream — most jobs are flexible and may be remote or off-hours. Some allow you to make your own schedule, such as driving for Uber or delivering Instacart orders. Freelancing in a field that is not your primary career may also introduce you to a new type of work if you’re thinking of changing industries.
Sell on Etsy
If you’re a creative person — such as an artist, jewelry maker, fashion designer or upcycler — turn your hobby into a cash-making venture by opening up a marketplace on Etsy. Shoppers flocked to the site during the pandemic and haven’t really left, per the Motley Fool. The Motley Fool suggested that gross merchandise sales on Etsy (in 2022) topped $2.6 billion, up from $1 billion in 2019. So there’s lots of eyes on the site, especially if you have a product that’s truly unique.
Come Up With a Killer App
The famous Apple marketing adage still applies over a decade later: “There’s an app for that.” The thing is — there’s still a great app idea out there, lurking in the proverbial weeds. Coming up with a novel and necessary idea for an iOS and Android application can be a great way to enter the tech marketplace. Once you have a great idea you can partner with a programmer (if you lack software development skills yourself) and watch your passive income grow once the product takes off.
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