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Passive income: 5 low-effort ways to make money

There are ways to earn extra cash without investing in shares or property.

Passive income ideas
Queenie Tan shares five easy ways to earn passive income. (Source: Queenie Tan/Getty)

Want to make money in your sleep? Well, that’s the idea of passive income streams. It’s where you make money with little or no ongoing effort.

While many passive income ideas are focused on investing in shares or property, there are also ways to earn extra cash that aren’t as complicated.

Licensed personal finance content creator Queenie Tan shared her five top tips.

1. High-interest savings accounts

“Banks have to be savvy to compete in this environment, and many are upping their savings rate in tandem with interest rate hikes to 4-5 per cent interest per year. It’s a low-risk, maintenance-free guarantee to cash,” Tan said.


If you have $10,000 in a savings account with a 5 per cent interest rate, you can make $512 over a year in interest. But bear in mind, you’ll often need to meet bonus or promo conditions to get the top rate.

2. Cashback platforms

Cashback platforms like ShopBack, Cashrewards and CommBank’s Cheddar are another easy way to get money without thinking about it. These platforms let you get money back on your spending, with the exact amount depending on the platform and retailer in question.

“There’s deals available for nearly everything you buy these days - and not putting in that two minutes to find them is costing Australians,” Tan said.

3. Rent out your stuff

“There are platforms such as Uber Car Share and Turo, which allow you to rent out your car to people when you’re not using it. In return, you can earn some passive income,” Tan said.

“And the same goes for designer items, tools and more - if you’re not using it, consider making money off it.”

You can rent out your clothes on platforms like The Volte, car spaces on Parkhound and Spacer, and even storage space on Spacer.

4. Digital products

If you have an existing skill set, you could consider creating an online course on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare, or creating an eBook to share your knowledge. While this does require a bit of upfront effort, you can kick back once you’ve created the product.

“You could create a digital product such as a course or an ebook, which people could purchase. It’s a great way to bundle up the knowledge you’ve learned on a particular topic and help other people who are interested in that topic,” Tan said.

5. Affiliate income

Affiliate income comes from promoting other people’s products or services on your own platforms. It generally works for people who already have an audience, so it won’t necessarily suit everyone.

“If there’s a product you like, and you’d happily mention it to your friends, there’s a pretty good chance that there is an affiliate program attached to that product, which can allow you to earn passive income,” Tan said.

“For example, some phone plan providers have an affiliate program, which allows you to earn cash by referring friends.”

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