Ever wonder how to save up for the initial down payment for an investment property, especially if you are not a high-income earner?
When we talk about personal finance, you can only cut expenses so far before you need to increase your income to get ahead. Increasing the gap between your income and your expenses—and saving and investing the difference—will help accelerate your path to financial independence.
Whether employed full-time in an office setting, working from home, or currently unemployed, a side gig may be the perfect way to earn that extra income. This type of work can even help reduce the burn rate on your savings or allow you the freedom and flexibility to be at home to care for a loved one or pursue a passion project.
What’s better, in today’s world, you do not necessarily have to go back to school and earn an extra degree in order to increase your income.
Boost Your Income With a Side Hustle (or Two!)
A few years ago, I was laid off around the holidays. While I looked for another job (so I could have the W-2 income to continue saving for future rental property purchases), I leaned hard on the “gig economy” to reduce the burn rate on our rental cash flow and savings.
Some gigs I loved, like Rover (here, poochie!). Others I dreaded, like Lyft (please don’t make me drive anyone!). Some gigs I continue to work today—with my daughter in tow, in order to teach her what it means to work hard and bolster her college savings.
Below is a list of apps, ideas, and work-from-home jobs to help you increase your income. These ideas do not require a specific degree and potentially no (or very little) money to start. This list is by no means exhaustive. So if you have an idea, please add it in the comments (nothing like some crowd-sourced LOVE!).
The Gig Economy
This first group is comprised of what I call gig economy apps. You are trading time to perform a service; however, perhaps you can pair the service with something you are already doing to leverage your time better.
Examples include pairing Lyft or Uber with your daily commute into work or TaskRabbit shopping when you are running errands. For us, we do Rover when we are at home. (We are already taking care of one dog… Why not add one more?!).
- Uber and Lyft are well known rideshare platforms. You will need a well-maintained car, valid driver’s license, clean background check, and insurance. The cool things is you can drive for both platforms at once.
- Rover is a pet care app that allows for walks, daily home visits, and in-house boarding. You will need transportation and a clean background check.
- Wag! is similar to Rover. At the time of this writing, it only offers daily home visits and walking services. You will need transportation and a clean background check.
- WeGoLook is an interesting platform where you list your qualifications and take a mini-test. The platform will match your skills to on-site visits someone needs. You need transportation and a clean background check. For me, I found myself taking accident pictures of cars, verifying an address existed, and taking various measurements requested. If you have a trade skill, you can earn more. I also have used this service to verify a home I want to buy exists.
- TaskRabbit and Thumbtack are skillshare platforms, where you can offer your services by the hour. This can range from doing housework to more skilled labor. You will need a clean background check and may need transportation.
- Fiverr and Upwork are freelance skillshare platforms that encompass higher-skilled work. Fiverr, you get paid by the gig. Upwork is great for more long-term, project-based work.
Rent It Out
You can also create income with your “extra” items that are not in use. This is a great way to leverage your time, as you don’t have to trade time for dollars.
Here are a few platform examples:
- Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental platform
- Spinlister is a peer-to-peer bike, surf, and snow rental platform
- Airbnb and VRBO are great for renting extra rooms in a home (or the whole home!)
- RedWeek is a great place to rent out that timeshare you (or your parents) bought
Level It Up
Certification-based work is a new category of work-from-home jobs thanks to the internet. You can take online courses (for free or a low cost) to earn a certification in the respective Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms. These are highly sought after skills and the only things you need are an internet connection and the drive to learn a new skill.
- Google Analytics
- And the list goes on and on!
Real Estate Focused
Then, there are more real estate-specific gigs. I love this area, as you can double down in real estate if this is your true passion:
- Mobile notaries can earn $75 to $150 per mortgage closing. In most states, this requires a simple online course, background check, and an upfront investment for your stamp and book.
- Investor relations admin/manager can be a work-from-home position, where you provide all the background administrative and customer service support for an investment group.
- Fix & flipper
- BRRRR investor
Cutting your expenses to save for a real estate investment will only get you so far. You have to create a gap between your income and your expenses. The simplest way to increase your income is by providing value in the form of time, hustle, or money.
The good news is, it has never been easier to generate extra income on the side—or build an entire career—working from home. In fact, what I’ve listed above are just a few ways to increase your income—I didn’t even touch on how to leverage Amazon, Craigslist, or eBay!
How will you choose to carve out your path to financial independence?
Share in the comment section below.