Passive Income Now

How You Can Stay Sane While Moonlighting

Alright so I’ve told you guys many times before how I think that moonlighting can be really fun. You know, holding down a side hustle when you have a full-time job. You’re able to continue earning a steady income while on the side you get to dabble with entrepreneurship to see if you have what it takes. I find that this is much better than jumping right in and branching off on your own. Moonlighting is a great idea in my opinion.

There’s also the other side to moonlighting. I must admit that you can also lose your mind and sanity while trying to maintain a successful side hustle along with your full-time career. Between trying to maintain a social life and finding enough time to sleep so that you can be productive, moonlighting can take a major toll on your sanity. Let’s look at how you can stay sane while moonlighting:

Set goals for the side hustle.

What are your plans for your side gig? Do you want to go full-time eventually? Do you want to earn extra spending money? My current goal is to finish an eBook project by May. I try not to set any financial goals because I don’t want to be solely focused on money. I find that setting goals in general gives you something to work towards.

Keep a calendar.

I’m on and off with this idea, but it works great. You essentially keep a large calendar at eye level by your desk. You update this calendar and jot down everything that comes to mind/deserves your attention. This will help you stay exponentially more organized. This calendar works the best when you use it for everything. You can keep track of nights out, meetings, projects, and anything else that will help you stay focused and prioritized.

Don’t multi-task so damn much.

I’m guilty of multi-tasking to the max. You’ll catch me eating a meal, writing a post, reading a book, and watching tv, all at the same time. I know that this doesn’t work because my attention is so diluted that it’s damn near impossible to be productive by any means. My goal is to stop multi-tasking all of the time. Do you find that you multi-task too much?

Have a social life.

As much as you want to work, you need to maintain a social life. Don’t neglect your friends and don’t skip social events just to stay in your room. This will drive you nuts. Getting out and talking to people is good for you. I try to go to the gym every day during the week. I’ll either do some weights or I’ll attend a kickboxing class. This forces me to get out and to stay active. I usually come back refreshed and ready to work.

Disconnect once in a while.

Yes you have to actually turn your Blackberry and laptop off sometimes. For me I try to disconnect at least one day on the weekend. This means that I just hang out with friends or do something fun, without going online to check stats or stress about some minor detail. Disconnecting for a little bit is great because it brings you back to the basics. You quickly realize that you don’t need to be connected all of the time. You need some time for yourself away from the computer.

There you have it, a few quick ways you can stay sane with a side hustle

Is Passive Income Online The Way of The Future?

Are you searching for passive income sources online? Are you hoping to finally leverage the internet to your advantage?

Acquiring passive income in any venue is challenging. For some reason it seems that more and more folks (myself included) are trying to figure this out online.

We all want to create passive income. We especially want to find a way to magically make money off the net.

Is passive income online the way of the future? I think that it is. Why is passive income online the way of the future?

Work is highly scalable.

The thing with the work that you produce online is that it’s highly scalable. Meaning that you can really leverage a piece of work that you put a lot of effort into. When you write a blog post you can promote it to many different sources. When you create a digital product, you only have to put it together once. You then find a distribution source (like e-junkie) and have them deliver the product to your customers at a very low cost. This means that you only have to put the effort in initially for each of your passive income projects. Then you hope (aka PROMOTE) to try to generate some “passive” income.

Many ways to make money.

There’s so many ways that one can create passive income off the internet. What are some of these popular passive income opportunities online?

Creating digital products.
Setting up a niche site.
Promoting affiliates on your blog.
There are many new passive income sources emerging on a daily basis. Some are legit– others are well, a complete scam.

All of the get rich plans have gone cyber.

I haven’t been alive for that long, but I’m pretty damn sure that get rich schemes have been around forever. It seems like all of these con-artists have gone online. Almost every time that I surf the web, I find some dude laying on the beach promising me that I can make thousands of dollars a week doing nothing. Wow, really? NOPE. Passive income online is common online. Passive income scams are even more common.

I wanted to conclude by saying that I do understand that there are and will be many more passive income opportunities online

Choose Rehab: Why a Run Down Property is Best for Flipping

Although the housing market is a lot different than it was a few years ago, flipping properties is still a great way for passive income. You can do maybe 1 flip per month or even less, depending on your goals. While some people want to put minimum work and money into a flipped home, your best bet is to get a rehab property. That’s where the gold is! A run down house is going to be full of opportunity and be the property you’re most proud of flipping, and here’s why: You can negotiate the price:

There’s a reason that torn down home has been sitting on the market forever: no one wants it. But you should! Houses that are in desperate need of rehab are also in desperate need of a buyer, so banks will be willing to let them go for less, just to get them off their hands. You can haggle down the price, and get a bargain or steal, compared to a home that has a few interested buyers. Big lots, small properties: Some of these homes are on a big lot but the square footage doesn’t fit with the home. If needed, you have the chance and the room to expand. Add on extra bedrooms or common spaces, and you’ll get more people interested in a home that can accommodate their entire family. Old houses have character: While a lot of people are choosing newer homes with open concepts, older houses have character that isn’t found in newly built houses. Take advantage of the character of these older homes, and bring in some new concepts to make it a unique property that your buyers won’t be able to forget.

Rehab properties have primarily cosmetic issues: Rehab properties sit on the market because of their appearance. A lot of the issues are purely cosmetic, and can be fixed with simple solutions like a fresh coat of paint, a bit of landscaping, new flooring and some fixture changes. You’d be surprised what lighting and some decorations will bring out of a home. When you hold your open house, other investors and agents will be wondering why they didn’t see all that the house had in store. You can inspire change: Run down properties are often in run down areas. If you start to remodel a home you’re about to flip, you can inspire neighbors to change their houses too. The problem is people hate change, but they also hate being shown up.

If they see the property you bought is looking better than theirs, you may light the fire under them to cut the grass, finally renovate their kitchen, or do some work in their backyard to make it more comfortable for their family. You’ll essentially bring up the value of the neighborhood one flip at a time. Appeal to all buyers: Everyone has their preference in a home, but it’ll be hard to find someone who wouldn’t appreciate a home that has been completely updated throughout. Use that as a selling point, and it will not be ignored. If you include before and after pictures, people will really be able to see why your property is an awesome buy. From first time home buyers, to seniors who may be moving elsewhere, your rehabbed property can appeal to all buyers.

5 Legit Ways To Make Money Online

Everyone wants to make online fast, retire at age 40, and relax on the beach all day. Well if you are one of those people you might want to press the X button right about now. Passive Income Now is about creating a steady source of passive income together. The road to passive income requires active income. Many passive income ventures require you to have some money saved up.

Today I will share how you can make money online now.

This is not the article for those looking to become a millionaire by next summer. This is a perfect article for those that are tired of their 9-5 job and would like to make money online as a career. This article is also ideal for those of you that spend hours in front of a computer and would love to make an additional income. Since this blog is about earning a passive income, some of the ideas are passive.

1. Sell stuff on eBay if you want to make money online now.

Selling stuff on eBay is one of the oldest ways of making money online. You tired of something around the house? Have old collectibles you want to sell? Then eBay is the place where an online market is setup for you (the supplier) to sell a product to another user (the demander, I know the word doesn’t exist but I wanted to use supply & demand).

Of course the main setback of this way to make money online is that you have a limited amount of things you can sell. Yes there are the exceptions and people that sell random junk to make money. If you want to earn serious money on eBay you need to put some effort in. As Passive Income Now grows I will touch upon this topic in greater detail.

2. Make money online from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

This is an interesting source of online revenue. You get paid a set amount for every small task that you complete. Some would argue that this source of online income is very low. The benefit here is that you can be doing something else at the same time while you make some pocket change. I wouldn’t quit my job to work on Mechanical Turk full time but I would definitely consider it in my spare time. Trent of The Simple Dollar wrote about his experience with earning money from Mechanical Turk. Trent pretty much came to the conclusion that you will earn a minimum wage income from this service.

3. Write an eBook on a topic of expertise.

Pat from Smart Passive Income started working from home when he wrote & sold an e-book based on how to pass a certain architecture exam. Pat was passionate about a topic that lots of people were searching for. Pat then decided to spend hours of his free time on writing a study guide for this exam. A little bit of design help & SEO led to Pat having some very successful months (as you can see from his monthly income reports) with his online business. Only write an eBook on a topic that you honestly have a great wealth of knowledge in and a topic that is searched for by many. Not sure how well an eBook would do on the life & times of K-Fed.

4. Write freelance articles.

There are bloggers out there looking for solid freelance writers that can put together highly optimized articles for search engines. You can always start off by checking out the ProBlogger job board for potential writing gigs. If you don’t want to write articles for blogs you can always find work in your specific niche. A former co-worker of mine ended up writing articles for Mixed Martial Arts sites. Of course he had a background in the training for the sport and people wanted to know his opinion. No matter what your interests are, I’m sure someone out there wants to know your opinion.

5. Sell stock photos.

Of course you can’t just snap a few pictures and expect the online income to start flowing in. There are people out there that take photography extremely seriously and are able to earn a decent living from selling their photos. If you check out iStockPhoto you can see what the going rates for certain images are and if you have the talent to make money online from this source

Do You Want To Own Your Own Franchise?

A few years ago for the longest time I always saw myself being a franchise owner one day. It all started when I found out that a friend from the gym owned a highly profitable Subway restaurant in town. I only heard about the positive side of owning a franchise. Recently, I’ve started to hear about the negative side of buying a franchise. Today I wanted to share both sides.

Do You Want To Own Your Own Franchise?

Is owning a franchise worth the hassle?

Let’s start the discussion today by looking at the cons of buying a franchise:

You’re buying yourself a job.

You can feel good by telling yourself that you’re your own boss. You can feel proud for having direct  control of your career. At the end of the day all that you’re doing is buying yourself a job. At least that’s what a friend from school told me the other week as he planned the closure of his franchise restaurant. After running the calculations and looking into other job offers, he found out that he could make more money and have much less stress by working a normal job instead of owning his own franchise.

This all ties into the concept of what your goals are with your career plans. Do you want your franchise to be your primary job or do you want it to be a significant source of passive income?

No control.

You essentially have no control over much. Does your brother Steve import cheap cucumbers? That’s irrelevant to Subway because you have to order from their suppliers. You also have to abide by all construction and infrastructure policies. Some franchise businesses require that you remodel your unit ever few years. This can cause you problems with your bank because it’s not easy to acquire more debt when you already have debt outstanding. At the end of the day you really have very little control when you own a franchise.

Heavy capital investment.

You need lots of money for any decent franchise business that’s for sale out there. This means that you’re going to have to tie up lots of your money into this source of passive income. Are you ready for this? Are there any other ways out there that you could leverage to generate passive income with such a massive amount?

We got the negatives of owning your franchise out of the way, now we can look at the pros of buying a franchise for passive income:

Owning your own franchise be passive income.

If you buy the right franchise, find the ideal employees, and your business starts to turn solid revenue, then your franchise can become a steady source of passive income. Many franchise owners only stop by once in a while. They essentially delegate and disappear. If you have the capital to purchase a franchise, along with a strong team in place, your new franchise business could be just what you need to improve your bottom line.

Brand name.

If you buy an established franchise, then you’re buying yourself a piece of a well-established company. There’s only so far Jack’s Coffee Shop can go. Tim Horton’s on the other hand, that can go a long way (in Canada at least). When you buy a franchise you’re paying for an established company. You’re buying a piece of the years of marketing. You’re getting a piece of popular brand. The question is, are the franchise fees justified by the strong brand name?

Do You Really Want to be Your Own Boss?

Lately it feels like all of my friends with “real jobs” want to branch out to be their own boss. Maybe a lot of them are taking business or online MBA courses with the aim of doing just that. Most entrepreneurs take deep pride in being their own boss. I think it’s cool to be your own boss and all but is it all that it’s cracked up to be? I’m personally one of those people that will always at least hold down a part time job. I don’t think I could ever fully be my own boss.

What if you’re reading Passive Income Now and strongly considering becoming your own boss in the near future? A few things to consider for those of you that want to leave your job to be your own boss:

The buck stops with you.
You can’t go home at 5 (or stop working if you work from home) just because the work day is officially over. There really is no work day. There really are no boundaries at all to be honest. The boundaries between work/leisure time and home/office space become pretty much non existent. Just from running a blog I find myself checking email, stats, and jotting notes at the most random times. My friends will assume I’m texting a check on my phone when in reality I’m responding to an email from a reader. The thing with being your boss is that the buck stops with you and you’re ultimately responsible for EVERYTHING that involves your business. You can’t pass on the money problem to that annoying guy in Finance.

Long hours.
If you think your 8-hour shifts suck, just wait until you become your own boss. There will be days where you watch reruns of The Office all day. Then there will be days where you don’t have time to respond to a text from your best friend. You take the good with the bad and hopefully you understand that just because you work for yourself it doesn’t mean that you work less by any means.

The only beauty about being your own boss I find is that most people get so caught up in their work that they don’t mind and they don’t even feel like they’re doing “real work.”
Payment/money issues.

Most of us pretty much hate dealing with money. We want to receive our paycheck and move on with life. Anyone that has ever had to run their own business will tell you that a major cause of stress comes from:
How will the business earn money?

Where will the money come from?
Working for someone else you’ll never ever have to really think about these two questions. Now as your own boss these two questions will consume your mind on a daily basis. Are you ready for this?

Once again I want to make it clear that as much as I support entrepreneurship, I fully understand that I will always hold down some sort of a part-time job. Being “your own boss” sounds exciting and all, but I’m not ready for all of the risk yet.

How to Buy an Investment Property as a Young Investor

You may have heard that the housing bubble has burst and there is little to no hope for investors, but that’s not true. If it’s a buyer’s market, it can easily be an investor’s market. What better way to start securing your financial future than to start investing young? The odds are in your favor more than you think. The banks have so much inventory, they’re almost willing to let foreclosures and short sales go without much of a fight. Home prices and interest rates are at historic lows. Young investors should take advantage of this opportunity and buy their first investment property. So what are the steps?

Find Your Investment Style
Real estate investors usually have a style that they prefer. You can be a landlord and have rental properties where your tenant pays the rent and you profit from that. There are investors who like to flip houses, meaning you buy a property, fix it up a bit, and sell it for a profit. You can specialize in apartment buildings, duplexes triplexes and fourplexes. Maybe you prefer commercial real estate, where businesses can open. Decide what you prefer, and go for it!

Find Your Partner
Since you’ll be a young investor, you’ll want to partner with someone who knows the market and can help you get started. Find a real estate agent or broker who is familiar with the area you’re interested in, and will want to work with you in the future. There are some investors who work with the same agent time and time again. You don’t have to, but it can be profitable for both of you. The agent or broker will help you find properties, and will give you the details and information you need for purchasing them.

Location, Location, Location
You wouldn’t buy a home in just any neighborhood if you were going to live there, right? The same goes for an investment property. Location is very important, so you should do your research ahead of time. This will match up with your style as well. If you’re going to be a landlord, you’ll want to find a property near places people will want to rent, maybe near colleges, a thriving business area, or entertainment. If you’re looking into commercial property, you don’t want to have a restaurant in a location no one is going to want to eat, or a business front all by itself. You can research online as well as going out and seeing for yourself.

Get Your Finances Together
Investing is still going to cause you to come out of pocket, even though it will be a method of passive income. You can’t buy a property without the necessary capital. You may want to meet up with a Certified Financial Planner before seeing a lender to make sure you’re ready to handle the ups and downs that come with being an investor. As a real estate investor, you’ll certainly experience your share of lows, including vacancies on your rental property, your property staying on the market longer than you’d like, and tenants no longer being able to pay the rent. Prepare for the worst situation. Also, ask about the different options for financing the property, including conforming mortgages.

Do Your Research
When you’re searching for your perfect investment property, you’ll want to know what other properties are going for in the area. You don’t want to pay a price that’s much higher than a similar building is going for. You can do this research on your own online at websites like Zillow and Redfin, or you can ask your experience realtor partner what they think. You’ll also want to know the history of the property, including what to expect in case of construction.

Don’t Fall in Love With the First Property
It’s going to take a lot of time and patience before you find the best investment property, so don’t fall in love with the first one. You’ll want to look at a variety of properties in different areas and different price ranges. The cheapest property is not always the best, and neither is the most expensive. Don’t make your decision in haste; take your time to weigh your options. An investment is a big deal and should not be taken lightly.
So are you ready to buy your first investment property? Find a CFP, a lender, and a broker, then you’ll be on your way to becoming a young real estate investor.

How Important is Income Diversification?

Income diversification. You know the idea of having more than one source of income. A popular topic and an idea that’s heavily promoted. The phrase is commonly mentioned on personal finance sites, but why is income diversification so important?

With high unemployment rates, gone are the days where you work for a company for your entire life and retire happily. At any point in time you could lose your job. Even worse you could also struggle to find a new job. With all of this mentioned, it’s clear that having a few income sources will definitely get you through the lean times in life.

The recession and high unemployment obviously go hand in hand. Suze Orman says, “the financial crisis is the greatest thing that has ever happened to our generation.” Whether you believe this or not, it does make sense in a way. What the recession of late-2008 showed us is that anything can happen. Your once “steady job” can go out the window. Your “recession-proof” investments could go down in value. Instead of complaining about it with your friends or watching the evening news, you need to accept reality and learn how to move on. One of the best ways to move on is to diversify your income. When you lose one source of income, the purpose of diversification should be to sustain you while you try to get back on your feet.
Risk tolerance.

How well do you handle risk? Does the thought of losing your job keep you up at night? Is your emergency fund low? Is your overhead high? These are all questions that you need to consider as you start to focus on diversifying your income. If you really can’t handle risk then you need to focus on diversifying your income ASAP.

How can I diversify my income?
Get a part-time job.
Start a side business.
Invest in a rental property.
Freelance your skills.
Continually apply for new jobs.
Below is my income breakdown followed by some of my thoughts.

These numbers are very rough as my income fluctuates on a monthly basis. As you can tell my current job is responsible for the vast majority of my current income. I’m not too thrilled about this. I would like to slowly decrease this figure until my current job is of course eliminated from my income breakdown. I would like to bring my online income to about 60% of my income because you really can’t trust online income too much. Also as I save more money over time I would like to invest more money. This would hopefully bring my income from investments up way past 10%. Finally, I plan on increasing my other income by selling more crap and finding unique ways to make a few extra bucks here and there.

How does passive income factor into this?
By creating passive income over time you’re able to alleviate some of the stress that comes with market fluctuations and an unexpected loss of work. Passive income allows you to diversify your income between your current job and any other sources of money that you have. You can also use your passive income to build up your savings/emergency fund to help you get through the lean times

Are You Jumping On The Self-Employed Bandwagon?

Do you really want to be self-employed or are you jumping on the “follow your passions” bandwagon? This thought hit me hard the other day. I don’t even remember how this question popped into my mind but it did. Every where that I turn these days the discussion tends to revolve around people hating their jobs and wanting to be self-employed. It’s now a very popular topic to discuss quitting your job. The idea of working for myself definitely entices me but I’m not sure if it would work out for me.

If you’re not sure if you truly want to be self-employed or if you’re just following the crowd, I suggest that you ask yourself the following questions:
Do you just hate your job?

Many people just hate their job so much that they think self-employment is the only answer. Is it worth trading in your boss for something worse? Demanding clients can be much more annoying than a incompetent boss. A toxic environment can really leave you disenchanted with the whole idea of working a 9-5 job. Maybe the problem could be that you need to switch companies or departments. Self-employment is not the only option.
Do you just want more money?

You could be in debt. You could have out of control spending. There’s a variety of reasons why you might be in a position where you want to earn more money. Working for yourself is not the only way to make more money. It’s actually one of the worst ways to make more money. You’re going to have to invest in your business, work long hours on it, and hope to make any money. The need for more money is not a viable reason for turning to self-employment.

Are you convinced that life will be better?
It’s becoming instilled in us that life will be one huge party when we become self-employed. I’m not sure that this is the reality. The promises of laying on the beach surrounded by beautiful women are not exactly accurate. You’re likely going to be stuck by the computer during all hours of the day trying to figure out how you’ll pay the bills. You’re going to have more freedom, but there’s never a solid guarantee that life will be better.

Do you want to work on your own projects?
This is the kicker for me. I really want to work on projects that I’m passionate about. When you’re employed at a company you’re going to be stuck with many assignments that you dread. As a self-employed person you choose what projects you want to work on. This is an excellent opportunity to shine and use all of that creative energy that you’ve been storing inside of you for all of these years.

Money Hacks Carnival #102: Build a New Blog Edition

Welcome to the 102nd Money Hacks Carnival: The Building a New Blog Edition.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Many of you reading this are thinking wtf is Passive Income Now? Most of you have probably never heard of PIN. It’s all good. This is the fun part. Growing a blog/audience from the ground up.

I hope you all enjoy today’s theme about building a new blog.

Editor’s Picks:

debt kid presents What Is A Debt Snowball posted at Debt Kid.
GLBL presents Famous quotes about money posted at Gather Little by Little.
Kyle C. presents Can you Build a Credit History Without Getting a Credit Card posted at Suburban Dollar: Personal Finance Blog from a Suburbanite’s Perspective.
Jeff Rose presents 10 Tips for Budgeting in the New Year posted at Jeff Rose.

Economy: Getting new readers.

Arguably the most funnest and most difficult part. This is the part that involves social media, networking, and lots of guest posting. It seems like every day a new personal finance blog enters the blogosphere. Not only does this make it more challenging to find new readers, but it facilitates creativity.

Bucksome presents Do Baby Boomers Know How to Find A Job? posted at Buck$ome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement.
jim presents S&P500 Dividend Aristocrats posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
20smoney presents Long Term Outlook For Wal-Mart Is Excellent posted at 20s Money.

Income: When will the money come?

I’m not worried about the income yet. I find that too many new bloggers immerse themselves in the whole blog monetization system that they forget about their readers. Not PIN. Priority number one is to build an audience. Once PIN begins to add value to the readers and builds a community, money will be thought about. For now it’s time to just enjoy the ride.