Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Readers' Challenge - Increasing Your Active and Passive Income

In the previous readers' challenge, I gave a challenge to save 50% of your income by setting up an automatic fund transfer. However, saving money has its limits if our income is too low. Therefore, increasing income is also important. But don't get me wrong. You still must focus on saving money if you've not done so. If you already have the habit of saving, then increasing income is the next step for you.

There are many ways to increase our income both in active and passive terms. Active income means the income we earn from our active work where we exchange time for money. Passive income means the income we earn from money working for us. Hence, we can basically earn money in two ways, we work for money or money working for us.

Increasing your Active and Passive Income

Increasing income is not as straight forward as saving money. It takes time to build up our capacity to earn more. But, once we have built it up, it becomes easier and easier.

Here are some ways which I think can potentially increase our income:

1. Upgrade your Professional Skills 

Upgrading our skills set is probably the most basic thing that we can do to increase our active income. Taking up relevant certification courses will enhance our profile which may get us a higher paying job.

2. Learn Communication Skills

Certification will only help us to gain entry into a job. Whether we will excel in our career will depend a lot on how we interact with people. Do you interact well with your boss? If you're a manager do you interact well with your staff? In our work, we probably can't do everything alone and have to depend on some of our other colleagues to get a job done. Good communication skills will definitely help us to work better with other people.

3. Expand your Network

The people we know in our lives will determine our future. Building up meaningful relationships with people in our industry may prove to be useful somewhere in the future. If you choose the right network to build upon, your chances of success can increase a lot.

4. Discover and Build on your Passion

Passion is a powerful force. I've written a few articles on passion in my blog and am an advocate of finding your passion in life. Passion makes us excel in the things we do. We spend hours upon hours on something we are passionate about. A person who's passionate in art will spend many hours drawing. A person who's passionate in sports will spend many hours training and sweating it out. The end result is they become so good at it that people notice their talents and approach them. They get opportunities from everywhere.

If you've yet to discover your passion in life, take some time off your busy schedule and think about your interest. What are the things in life that makes you excited? Keep searching and never give up. Finding your true passion will make your life more meaningful instead of just living everyday without a purpose.

The Challenge - Start another Stream of Income 

Focusing on increasing our current income is important but have you thought of starting another stream of income? Some of my friends I know still teach tuition apart from their full time job. Some are doing their own freelance jobs such as selling property or even health products. Others like me are blogging and writing which happens to earn some money apart from the passion which started it.

Doing a side line job is a good way to have another stream of income. But, the problem is it takes up our time and time is limited in our lives. We still need time for our family, our friends and our own rest and recreation needs.

Apart from doing a side line job which is an active income, we can start another stream of income by creating passive income. Passive income is money working for you. This can be done through investing in property and collecting rent from tenants, investing in stocks and collecting dividends, creating a product/intellectual property and collecting royalties.

Actions to take for this challenge

1. Start a side line job if you have the time

Apart from teaching tuition, those of you who like to write can also be freelance writers who get paid perfor every article written. Those who can do web site designing can also be freelance web designers. Or you can even be a freelance translator, proofreader etc. Check out Elance for freelance job opportunities.

2. Learn how to invest to create passive income

You can invest in virtually everything. You can be an investor in a business, invest in stocks, invest in properties etc. One thing to take note of is to invest in something within your circle of competence. Putting your money into something you are not familiar with is never a good idea.

3. Learn to create your own products/intellectual property. 

A good way to start exploring is to know what you are interested in. Examples of people who have created their own products are book authors who have the passion to write on specific topics, singers who record their own album, artist who create stunning art pieces.

4. Sell your own Stuff

There are many avenues to sell any kind of products online now. Got some unwanted clothes, gadgets, accessories that you want to sell? You can try this app called Carousell where you can sell virtually anything. It is quite popular now that I hear many of my friends talking about it. You can just make a couple of hundred dollars just by selling your unwanted stuffs at home.

Are you ready to take up the challenge? Try some of the ideas above and you'll be on your way to a richer life.

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Related Posts:
1. Readers' Challenge - Cutting Down Your Expenses in 2015 To Save 50% of Your Money
2. Make Money Investing For Passive Income


  1. SGYI : agreed with you that at the current environment, we need to find ways to increase our streams of income (preferably passive)..

    To me, there are two ways of creating extra income streams ie :
    1. Sell our time (active income)
    2. Sell our skills/knowledge/passion (can be active or passive eg creating our own products/service or online marketing etc)

    1. Hi Richard,

      In a sense, I think selling our skills and time work hand in hand. If our skills are good, we can exchange for more money with lesser time. A person with low skill may earn $7 per hour but a person with high skill may earn $20 per hour.

  2. Exchange freedom for money.

    I know some people (and smol) too who chooses to work during the public holiday and get double the pay.

    1. Hi B,

      That's if we got nothing to do during wekends. Haha

    2. SMOL got too much free time. He chooses weekends. Why?

      Weekends are best for his "networking" and getting into some self enjoyment.