Multiple Income Streams: 10 Ways to Earn Extra Income

Do you have a side hustle like nearly everyone else? Read about the importance of multiple income streams and see our 10 easy ways to earn extra money.

ways to earn extra money



Secondary Income Ideas:


Generating multiple streams of income can have a major impact on your finances. Even an extra income of $500 each month could go a long way towards paying down debt or increasing your investments. We often hear about the importance of diversifying our investments, but diversifying our income streams is just as important, particularly in difficult economic times.

Let me show you just how valuable even an extra $1,500 per month can be. Then I’ll list the factors to consider in deciding how to generate extra income, followed by 10 multiple income stream ideas.

The Value of a Second Income

A few years ago I was discussing with a friend the income I earn online. At the time I was earning about $1,500 per month. He asked why I get so excited about this income given that it is a lot less than what I made from my job. So here are a couple of different ways to look at an extra $1,500 per month:

  1. Savings account: To earn $1,500 a month ($18,000 per year) in a savings account at 1% (the current rate for top paying savings accounts), you would need to save $1,800,000!
  2. Investment account: To earn $18,000 from investments at 10%, you would need to invest $180,000. Looking at the best robo advisors or online discount brokers is a good place to start.
  3. Employment: For many, to get $18,000 in raises could take several years of dedicated service to your employer.
  4. Financial Freedom: Extra income of $1,500 per month could cover car payments, help pay down credit card debt, or cover some or even all of a mortgage payment.

The point is that even relatively small amounts of extra income can go a long way.

What Makes for a Great Source of Extra Income

We could all go out and get a second job at Home Depot or Starbucks to earn some extra income. As you might imagine, however, that’s not what I have in mind. When assessing how you can generate multiple income streams, consider these factors:

Flexible: The ideal source of extra income will allow you to call the shots when it comes to your time. Particularly if you have a full-time job, the last thing you want is being tied down to working a set number of hours each week at a second job.

Scalable: Look for income sources that have at least the possibility of generating substantial amounts of income.

Sustainable: The ideal extra income source will continue to generate cash even when you’re not working at it. The idea is to build something that can eventually function without you.

Enjoyable: Generating additional sources of income is a lot of work, so you might as well enjoy what you’re doing.

Inexpensive: I don’t like income-generating ideas that require a big financial investment.

10 Extra Income Ideas

So now we get to some ideas on how to go about generating extra income. You want to choose something that fits your interests and personality. You may have certain skills, training, or education that will dictate what’s best for you. Or you may want to learn a new skill, so you can do that while earning extra income.

While this is not one size fits all, here are 10 extra income ideas to consider:

    1. Taking Paid Surveys at Home: I was skeptical, at first, until my 17 year old son starting making money at home taking paid surveys. Companies desperately want your opinion, and they are willing to pay for it. The trick, of course, is knowing where to find the paid surveys that pay the best. Two of the most popular and legitimate survey sites are Swagbucks and MyPoints. Not only can you make money taking surveys, but you can also make money by watching videos and even surfing the net. They also offer significant cash back for online shopping. Learn more about MyPoints in our review here.
    2. eBay Store: It’s now easier than ever to run an online eBay store. You can, of course, acquire products to resell on eBay. But you can also create an online store to market products that others are selling on eBay and share in the commissions generated by the sales. Recently I interviewed a family friend who started her own eBay store and now makes five figures from home. Check out the interview here.
    3. Start an Online Business: Making money online requires very little cash investment and can be done on your schedule from home. You can build a blog, much like I did beginning back in 2007. Setting up a blog takes just minutes and costs very little. You can learn more in my tutorial on how to start a blog.
    4. Realtor: This may seem like a crazy time to start selling real estate. As prices go up, more would-be realtors enter the market. But you have to start sometime. You’ll need an initial investment to obtain your real estate license, but over the long term have the potential to make a substantial income.
    5. Website Design: With the continued growth of the Internet, website design has become a growing industry. Unless you already have the know-how, you’ll need to spend some time learning the technology. But there are plenty of online resources available, and the best in the business can earn a great income.
    6. Graphic Artist: There are a lot of ways to generate money through graphics. Just the logo business alone could keep you busy if you have the artistic skills necessary to develop cool graphics.
    7. Virtual Assistant: Virtual assistants today can do just about anything for you that doesn’t require their physical presence. Many virtual assistants from places like India are working full time for people in the U.S. The best VAs can earn $30 to $50 per hour. The starting place if you are interested is UpWork.
    8. Freelance writer: If you have a knack for writing, you can earn great money writing for others. Not sure how to start? Contact bloggers, who are always looking for great writing. As blogs grow, they can afford to pay freelancers good money for quality articles. Websites looking to build links also hire freelancers to write guest posts to be published on blogs and websites.
    9. Home business: The ideas and potential for a home business are limitless. I know folks who run creative memories stores, operate a video business, or sound studio from their home. One of the great benefits of running a home business is that it greatly reduces your initial investment.
    10. Sell a product: I have good friends who have designed a children’s game and are in the process of producing and marketing it. It’s a lot of work, but they are passionate about the work. And the potential payoff is huge.
    11. Bonus Idea: Fiverr. Perform micro-outsourcing jobs for people looking for your expertise. From graphic design, voiceover to writing greeting cards. Anything you like is possible on Fiverr’s digital platform

Generating income (along with minimizing expenses) is the foundation of smarter money management. While earning extra income does take work, its payoff can be huge. If you are interested in taking the leap, here are some additional resources to consider:

Topics: Earn Extra Income

77 Responses to “Multiple Income Streams: 10 Ways to Earn Extra Income”

  1. Shubhangi Dhall

    Thank you so much for this information. I think online trading is a great source of earning passive income. The trick is to find the right platform for you, I would recommend using It has a user-friendly interface and it is fairly easy to use. It also has demo account, tutorial videos and a great customer support team.

  2. Sky Stewart

    Hi, I’m an 18yr old who is about to enter college with a substantial amount of federal aid and scholarships but it is nowhere near enough to pay for the full amount. I know that I will be in debt but I need to figure out a way to generate multiple sources of income somehow to let money flow within the 4-6 years I will be in college. When I’m done with schooling I don’t want to be suffocating in my debt so much where I won’t be able to do anything in life.

    I am a very hard worker and am willing to do whatever it takes to make a substantial income but my questions for you is how could I do this at college? How could I generate enough income from multiple sources of flow that will keep me afloat for years to come? I am in desperate need for help. Thank you very much, I would be in great appreciation if I could get a response.

    Have a great day.

  3. Hi, in as much as the article in this blog appears to be a source for information for us folks who are perhaps a little older (and wiser) would it be possible to point a person who is extremely sceptical about earning extra income.. other than worked 9-5 for? ( that person of course is me). Who now in a few years should be retiring, problem is, no money there to retire on. So a second source of income/investing is critical to my wife and I.
    Pls note that living here in Canada MLM’s are not allowed.
    Thank you

  4. @D M Kirkman, I think you can spend time working towards blogging first, and then work towards using that income towards building up other incomes. This is probably the safest way to get yourself started.

    There is some truth to those types of social media jobs can be a little bit more scammy, so be careful with those. I found that many will not provide you a lot of details that you might need to do your job.

  5. D M Kirkman

    I wanted to know if anyone can tell me if there is any truth to these Social Media Jobs that I see advertised where you can get paid to do things via Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, etc. In my search for a legitimate opportunity I am so apprehensive of spending my hard-earned money on a scam. Thanks for any feedback.

  6. People don’t realize how important this is. Recently an online marketing system, who had thousands of members who depended on it for their income, just shut down without notice. One morning all the members could no longer log in to their back office. Capture pages were gone, built in autoresponder gone, and their email list of subscribers were gone forever. Many were running solo ads and advertising. To make matters worse those who clicked on their links were redirected to the before-mentioned system creator’s new business and their own affiliate id’s. This means that any sale that was made went in their pocket off the backs of their now former members. Working from home is awesome but everyone who does it needs to be cautious and prepared. The best thing to do is earn multiple streams of income, just as this article talks about, and try to have control over your business. Don’t depend on all-ready-made systems. Make your own capture pages, have your own autoresponder, website, etc. This will go a long way to keeping your business alive and income flowing in.

  7. Joe M.

    In order to replace $1,200/month ($18,000/yr.) with a retirement account using the 4% safe withdrawal rate you would need $450,000, which really puts it into perspective.

  8. Just to add another option/idea here if you’re interested in making some extra money. I have a House Cleaning Business, Handyman Service, am a Photographer, and resell on eBay. Very exhausting! Most of my Housecleaning Clients are in a 55+ Community and many are retired. It’s hard work though.

    I recently (60 days ago) was introduced to yet another MLM. (rolls eyes)

    BUT, I joined, due to my son’s recommendation, and just got around to checking out the compensation plan, products included in the membership and I’ll honestly say, I’m impressed.

    There is no product to sell, for one. It doesn’t involve buying something you don’t need. I like that.

    It includes an entire network of tools/discounts/software to help you SAVE money and manage your spending & saving habits. You log into a “HUB” where you can access savings on almost any local business, like restaurants, auto parts, beauty salons….etc.

    It has a built-in Savings Tracker which is neat. Some savings are automatic, when you purchase through your HUB. I’ve saved over $300 in the past 2 weeks by using it.

    You also get cashback on almost anywhere you already shop, like Walmart, Target, Office Depot, Lowe’s, Cabella’s, and it varies, but is up to 40%. You just purchase through your HUB or you use the debit card they provide to you.

    Today, when I logged on, there were 2,126 free items I could browse and select and I ordered my 3 free magazine subscriptions (allowed 3 per year.) One was GolfDigest and all the popular newstand mags like Cosmo were there, too.

    I found out today that I can learn a language for free and everyone who remains a member for 12 months earns a $2500 vacation each year. Oh, and there are vacation discounts, a vacation club where it is possible to earn 52 weeks of vacation. That’s my new goal. LOL!

    You get a 22% discount on your Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile phone bill, once you’re a member.

    The coolest part for me is a little part called Taxbot. It’s a cloud on the site that tracks all of my business expenses and you can download that to your phone, take a picture of your receipt and toss it. It also will track your mileage via GPS for you, when you need to. This has saved me so much time, and I feel so much more organized. You wouldn’t believe what I deal with during the Tax Season. Boxes and boxes of receipts, trying to piece it all together.

    There’s more, but all in all, it includes helpful money-saving tools, not money-spending products.

    I’ve compared their Compensation Plan with every other MLM out there and nothing beats this one. Refer 3 people and you cover your $99/month membership, so now you’re not paying. Easy, right? It was. Next level, help those 3 people do what you just did, you get a monthly bonus of $600 (minus your membership cost) so you Commission $500 every month. EVERY month. No one drops out once they’re actually profiting, and it’s consistent income, not some flashy startup bonuses, like many others offer. Do a comparison yourself to see how many people needed at other MLM companies vs. the 12 needed here, to be at a $500 monthly residual income.

    My son has put some time into it and in 60 days, his last commission check was $2860, I believe but his next one will be $5000. I’m right behind him in his footsteps. I’ll continue my businesses until I don’t need to anymore.

    I am having a “cocktail hour” get together with some friends at my place tonight to show them everything involved. It’s as simple as that. That’s what works for me. Make sure they bring a few friends.

    One last thing to mention that I was truly impressed by, before you start your researching…. the panel of Gentlemen who put their minds together behind all of this, have such amazing, impressive backgrounds and innovative minds, it’s no wonder this is taking off so fast. Founded in 2009, worked through all the Legalities for years and started enrolling this past November, 2012. 2nd largest growth in MLM the past 2 months in a row, ever since it hit our state, Arizona. Canada is now launched, too.

    It’s worth taking a look at. Email me if you would like more info. I am having good luck enrolling Retirees, who could use a nice supplemental income.

    • Rob Berger
      Rob Berger

      Michelle, you should never pay to take surveys. There are some informational resources, like the one I site to, that pull together all of the sites where you can earn money taking surveys. And they charge for this information. Of course, you can always spend the time to do your own research if you want.

  9. Susan Hathaway

    The surveys from home, you added a link for “everything we needed to know” it sent me to a site where I had to pay them $35 or $45 to get started. It doesn’t say anything about how, until you pay them. You sent us too the site BUT, have you checked it? Is it safe? Will they take my $, & I get nothing? If you say its OK, then fine, but usually these things are bad news. I fell into one when I was young. Proof reading at home. They sent you a book on how to do it, & then a “LIST” of all the company’s that hired at home proof readers. Well, they sent me the book, which was fine. But, the list they sent me had nothing but company’s that only hired people with long time prior experience proof reading. So, it was useless to me. ;(

  10. Hey the advise in this article is great. has anyone tried the external links he provided? Especially, the paid survey one. I’m interested but I’m wondering if it is the usual custom to have to pay to become a member…. Anyone know? If you do and you reply my comment, I’ll see it. I’lll be checking back for it. thanks!

    • Hello,

      There are several income possibilities.

      One is to distribute discount cards and you get a residual income every month.

      Another way is to sell discount dental and vision plan.

      Feel free to email me and I will give you information on how to make extra income.
      tan (dot) frazier@gmail (dot) com

      Best Regards,


  11. Came to the U.S. as an immigrant in 1968 from a poor Asian country with only $100 in my pocket. Took advantange of 401-K savings plan by contributing 10% of my pay. My employer matched the first 6% savings (50 cents/dollar saved). Did not know anything about investment so 100% of 401-k money was invested in index 500. No other savings except 401-K. Retired in 1999 at 55 years old with about $1.2 million in 401-K and $450,000 lump sum pension which I rolled over to IRA. I invested this money in bonds and only buy equities (small cap index) whenever value drop to at least 50% of its high. I made a lot of money by investing in small cap index (ticker, IWM). Because of the risk involved, I don’t buy individual stock.

  12. Good ideas. I would also add, that if you own your own home, you could rent it out for more than you pay rent in a smaller place. It’s an instant way to start earning hundreds more a month without doing much. You can even get a property manager to do the work for you.

  13. Ingrid

    Hanna, thank you so much for sharing. I find it extremely time consuming to do all the market research on used stuff! Sounds like Statricks will do the job for me:) I just signed up myself:)

  14. Hanna

    These are great tips, I’ve recently gotten into eBay selling myself (and with great success!). It is amazing how much you can resell an item for if you just fix it up. For instance, you can get an iPhone with a broken screen for a fraction of the price on Craigslist, change the screen for $50-100 and sell it and still make money of it!
    I’ve used this new tool called Statricks, where you get price trends and fair market values for almost all used goods so you’ll know what the going price is for an item. I find this very useful and reassuring, as I’ll know I’m not overpaying or underselling my stuff.
    I would recommend everybody to sign up for it and start flipping items!

  15. With the way the economy is going Multiple streams of income is the way to go if you know what your doing. I luved your insight and your so right there are so many ways. The best way that i know of is to brand oneself cause people dont join business they join YOU. Like , trust is key ingredient along with building your list after all the money is in the list or should i say the people in the list. The best part with the system im presently using is i still get paid with affiliate even if they don’t join my primary biz…

    thankyou and many blessings Doug..u ROCK!

  16. maria

    Hi DR I really love what I read about making extra money. I am looking to have a sum of $4000 canadian monthly @ 10 hours daily. But I need advise and guidence towards this path. I would highly appreciate your guidence so I can be successfull. Thank you.

  17. Thanks for this awesome post and the various links to find out more. eBay looks interesting at this point.

    There is no security with J.O.B. Instead of living in constant fear that we can get retrenched anytime, we should pro-actively go out there to work for our multiple streams of income.

  18. Genell Banks

    I would love to read a post on how your friends you mentioned have gone about getting their childrens game. Although it’s not in my field of expertise, I’m currently looking for ways to develope a baby product as well. Just to receive some info/tips in their process would be helpful.

  19. This is a buzzword I heard about through a few career coaches. Slowly more awareness is spreading that we can escape the rat race and find alternative ways of working, and indeed, the days of having to choose one particular career path are becoming outdated. The recession is forcing us to think of more imaginative ways to make a living and I am determined to use every skill and talent I have to start generating multiple income streams. Before I was racking my brain for YEARS because I just couldn’t choose one career path! I am only just beginning on a small scale and am not making any real money as yet, but this year I will dig out the toolboxes I’m not currently using and set up various things that will hopefully bring in the pounds. Thumbs up to multiple income streams.

  20. David Hutcherson

    Great Article. If you think about it, it doesn’t make sense why every person in the WORLD doesn’t have multiple streams of income. Why is it the norm to have 1 source of income to pay for 15 expenses (mortgage, student loans, rent, food, phone, utilities, car note and etc). You have to do something different in order get a head and have some financial freedom or else you are going to stay in your situation at your J.O.B. (Just over broke). I applaud those who have found this site because they are taking the first step to change their life because like I always say, change your mind and your money will follow.

  21. you’re really a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a excellent job on this matter!

  22. When every you hook up your computer on the web you have just went global on the Internet. Keep in mind you now have the chance to meet and sale to anybody in the world. There are so many forums and website that are connect to the global world just logon the Internet you now have a chance for extra income

  23. Terrie Hall

    I have been using,”multiple streams of income,” as my mantra during this rough patch. Being an interior designer easily translates into designing other things as well. I have been designing jewelry that is customized in price and style for different stores. I also opened an Etsy shop for my jewelry and for vintage items that I find in my treasure hunting for clients.I am bringing in an extra $1500-$3000 a month, and I am having fun! My first passion is always going to be interior design, and I am thankful for the clients I have!

  24. Ryan Gilpatric

    I think it’s funny how 1500 is the amount of extra income you mention because that’s what I’m shooting for! If I can make that much more each month to supplement my regular income, I will have almost all of my school debt payed off in one year! I’m really motivated. I use Mechanical Turk with Amazon to perform menial task and get a few extra bucks. I also use Varolo which is a fairly new idea. I really think it has potential. If you don’t mind me promoting it, here it goes.

    Varolo is an advertising campaign that allows major corporations (like Coca Cola, Lysol, and others) to reach their target audiences with a high return on investment. Major corporations are desperately trying to find new ways to advertise to people as the newspaper continues to decline in demand and in an age of DVR. Varolo is the newest opportunity that actually pays you, the one being advertised to, to watch their advertisements. You can join the campaign and earn a little extra spending money by viewing and rating commercials and even trailers for major motion pictures. While the trick is to devote 5 to 10 minutes of each day rating what you see, you should also be motivated to invite others along through Facebook, Twitter and other social media so that you can increase what you profit each week.

    Depending on how hard you work to recruit others, you can earn a little or a lot. But you must put in the effort before you can reap the reward. Use the following link to watch a short introductory video and sign up. You will be given an option to either click “User” or “Advertiser” when you follow the link below. Most people will choose “User”. Good luck!

  25. Mae Russell

    Working from home can get boring and tedious, so have to have the right attitude in order for any home based work or business to succeed.

    One of the easiest way to earn online is to sell people your services. For instance you are willing to design a new graphic ad for $5. This way you can put your talents at work and generate income.

  26. The secret of success on your Internet entrepreneurs relies on two important things: Decide what you want to do online and research all its possible aspects and you will be on your way to success. Do not let the congestion of the market, the scams surrounding the industry, and innocence defer your way towards success.

    • A. Shirley

      I like your attitude – a CAN DO one! Way to go.

      And yes this article is awesome and very helpful.

      Hope to see an updated version for 2010 as I am sure things have changed since this was written in 2008.

  27. taylor

    hey, help me out if you can. I did some research sometime back on generating income from the internet and came across a program that reviewers found very accessible and legit. The program’s name was in German and it totally escapes me, it started with an N, like, Nietsche or something that looked similar to that word. The creator, his package include how-to videos. Do you know what i am talking about?

  28. side kaSh

    This is all very interesting indeed. I totally agree with a few of the points here — especially selling on eBay. I’d like to take a second to promote my new website that also share ideas on making extra money on the side (especially focusing on products they can resell on eBay).

    No gimmicks. No eBooks to Buy. Just free information. Thanks for this great article and I hope my new website will also provide useful information to you as well.

  29. Shona aka greenpiggy

    Another resource-rich article from you. Thank you. Have recently started blogging as well, so traffic is slowly picking up to my site. I’ve enjoyed many of your articles, so I’ve added a link on my blogroll to your site, so that they can be shared with my readers as well. Head on over, and feel free to visit the abovementioned url 🙂 Keep up the good work, and I’ll continue to visit and enjoy your articles and info.

  30. Amanda Bline

    Learn how to become a savvy and successful Ebay seller from Lynn Dralle. She has many tips and tricks to share that are easy to understand and can help anyone save time and money when selling on Ebay! This video will teach you what kind of items will be sure to have a high bid and what items to keep an eye out for when garage selling, thrifting and antiquing!

  31. Nice article. I have been blogging on a few sites that are friendly to my business and have gotten several customers through them. You might not get results right away from blogging or selling online, but if you stay persistent, you’ll start getting results like I have.

  32. Great ideas here, and thanks for the link! I’m definitely interested in learning about using an Ebay store, although I’ve heard they are not as effective as they used to be. One interesting problem that arises though is with online work, that is, work performed via the internet. If one does not reside in one’s home country while doing it it might be considered illegal (so check on all those tax implications).

  33. Hi DR,

    I love your site and was wondering if you had completed the post on how you make $2500 monthly yet? I desperately would liket to create a passive income stream, but have not been able to decide which path to take, so I would really like to see what works for you. Besides blogging?

    Thanks for your help and input. I also liked your posts on the 4HWW. I also read the book and enjoyed it, but have yet to try anything. Once I decide what might work best for me though, I’m sure I will.

    Thanks again.

    • Frances hloern

      I have been working Arbonne International s. Second source
      There is no limit to earnings
      Been doing it 7 months make $700 to 4000 per month potential next rank will be 4000.12000 per month
      At nvp level you can earn round 20 per month and get the white Mercedes bonus
      I’m nearly there
      Go to

  34. I appreciate the comparison between various ways to earn the same money. I’m sure that we would all like to have an extra $450,000 to plonk into a savings account and earn interest, but in the meantime I’ll keep looking for nifty new sources of income. Thanks for the post!

  35. May I ask how you are generating $1500 a month? that would be enough for paying off my car in 1 year, then be able to split the rest between extra on the mortgage and investments!!!

    Oh please do tell.

  36. I look forward to your posts. I’m new to blogging and have way too much to learn. I wish I had a personal mentor to teach me everything. It really can seem overwhelming at times. Thanks so much for all your wonderful insight.

    • Jan Mast

      Here’s a thought. When you retire, don’t have ANY debt. No car payment. No mortgage. No credit card debt. My hubby and I paid off our house when we were in our late 40’s. Have been debt-free for years! And he retired when he was only 56 years old!

      • Hi, thanks for the tips I never have thought of a number of them. personally like to use online surveys to make a second income, I am making about five hundred dollars per month working about an hour each day not bad for a side income. The site I like to use is paymentforsurveys blogspot com if your interested.

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