Mailbox money — it’s something no one would turn down. And if you’ve listened to late rapper Nipsey Hussle’s mixtape “Mailbox Money,” you likely have an idea of what it is. In case you don’t, it’s simple: Mailbox money is cash you make passively, which will increase your freedom and flexibility. In other words, it’s income that comes to your “mailbox” without a lot of work.
Although it might sound too good to be true, there are several ways you can make mailbox money. Keep reading for some traditional — and not so traditional — ways to do it, decide which is perfect for you, then sit back and reap the benefits of passive income.
- Invest In Real Estate
- Engage In Personal Lending
- Become an Online Affiliate Marketer
- Open a Savings Account
- Buy CDs
- Wrap Your Car
- Buy a Vending Machine
- Rent Space in Your House
- Earn Cash Back With Credit Cards
You don’t have to be made of money to invest in real estate. In fact, if you have $500, you can get started in real estate investing now. Fundrise is a low-cost, private market investment advisor that can set you up with its Starter Portfolio that splits your investment into two portfolios of U.S. real estate.
Quarterly dividend payments — and, of course, appreciation — will provide you with cash while you do absolutely nothing. You can see which properties you’re invested in and create cash flow via interest payments and income — such as rent — from the properties.
You might sleep better knowing that Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since at least the second quarter of 2016. All you have to pay is a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee and a 0.85% annual asset management fee.
Lending money to people who might not be able to acquire traditional financing is called peer-to-peer lending — and it’s getting quite popular as a way to make money. With many platforms available for peer-to-peer lenders, it’s simple to find one that’s right for you.
For example, LendingClub offers its lenders a “fixed-income alternative, with historical returns of 4% to 7% per year” and, according to its website, 99% of portfolios with 100-plus Notes have seen positive returns. All you have to do is open an account, pick a strategy and fund the account.
Like all investments, peer-to-peer lending has its downsides: You won’t have any insurance or government protection, and if a borrower defaults on his or her loan, you’ll be out your money.
Online influencers and bloggers often make mailbox money from being online affiliate marketers.
When you want to get the word out about a product or service you think your audience will like, why not have an online seller pay you a commission for traffic or sales that your website generates for it? That means that every time someone clicks on an affiliate link on your site you get a commission — boom! It’s a no-brainer.
You’re in business if you already have a website up and running. In case you don’t, you can hire a website host to store your website on its servers for as low as $3 per month.
Sure, a savings bank account is something that you might already have. But if you don’t, you should. Opening a high-yield, online savings account is one of the easiest ways in the world to make passive income.
Take CIT Bank’s Savings Builder account, for instance. It currently offers 2.30% interest on its high-yield savings account, which is over 25 times more than the national average. You need just $100 to open an account, and you won’t have to worry about monthly service fees or take any risks because these accounts are FDIC-insured.
Read This: The Facts on High-Yield Savings Accounts
Ramp up your passive income in savings by investing in CDs. Sure, you have to lock in your money for a specified period of time, but you’ll get a better interest rate for doing it. You won’t be taking a big risk with CDs, either — if you need your money you can get it, and you will lose only the interest you’ve accrued. BBVA is currently offering a one-year CD rate of 2.51% for an investment of $500, and BMO Harris is offering 2.40% for the same timeframe for an investment of $1,000.
Check Out: 10 Best CD Accounts of 2019
Make the most of your daily commute by putting an ad on the side of your car. Carvertise has been in business since 2012, paying drivers to do what they already do. All you have to do is fill out an application, consisting of questions about your driving habits. Then, the company will match you to a compatible brand. Carvertise wraps and unwraps your car at the end of the campaign, and it pays you each month via direct deposit. According to its website, you can bank $300 to $1,200 per campaign. Another company that hires drivers to wrap their cars is Wrapify, which advertises no upfront costs and earnings of up to hundreds per month.
Owning a vending machine might take a bit of management, sure, but it’s still a great way to make mailbox money. The key to this moneymaker is location, location, location — find the right spot for your machine and you can probably pull down at least a few hundred a month for an investment of a few thousand dollars. A tip: Vending machines that offer low-cost, familiar items, such as beverages, packaged snacks, toys and phone cards come with the lowest upfront costs for inventory and equipment — and they have the longest shelf lives, too.
Another option for bringing in passive income is to rent out a spare room in your house — or a detached room with a private bath is even better. You can list it on a site like Airbnb and require that potential renters provide recommendations from other hosts before you allow them to book. Sure, you’ll have to clean that extra room a little more, but that’s a good thing, right? And you never have to worry about keeping your stuff safe — Airbnb covers every booking with $1 million in property damage protection and $1 million accident insurance.
Because you’re already shopping, you’d be silly not to find and sign up for the best cash-back credit cards. Do what you’d do anyway and earn free money? Yes, please. To earn some more passive income this way, consider signing up with Rakuten.com, a website that sends customers to stores and shares its commissions with them. You don’t have to fill out any forms or pay any fees, just shop at the website’s more than 2,500 stores and wait for your money to roll in.
Keep reading to find out new and easy ways to make money from home.
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Barri Segal is a personal finance writer in the Los Angeles area. She aims to help people better their lives through financial success.
Last updated: Sept. 26, 2019