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How to Generate Passive Income

How to Generate Passive Income

Our spending and saving habits develop over time, and it is because of this reason that they are often hard to change. Economists use a phrase called “propensity to consume,” which suggests how much of additional portion of $1 earned will be consumed by us. For example, if I earn an additional $100 a day and spend 90% of this $100, my propensity to consume will be 0.9, which is often considered a high number. We often fail to change our propensity to consume because our spending patterns are deeply rooted into our psyche.

Since our spending habits are hard to change, little bit of passive income can help us to support our already-established spending habits without actually putting strain on our regular income.

Passive income is an income which is received on regular basis with little or no effort. However, to reach to a level where you don’t have to do anything and earn little extra on regular basis, you need to take some efforts to find avenues from where passive income can flow.

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Deciding on a purpose

Although it would be nice to earn little bit of extra income without putting in any effort, you’re going to have to put in some effort at the beginning. First, you must be clear about why you want to earn passive income. Is it that you want to support your existing lavish shopping? Is it that you feel uncertain about the future and want to have alternative sources of income? Are you finding it hard to earn enough regular income to support your family and yourself, therefore you need extra passive income?

Searching for the right reasons to earn little bit of extra income may help you to see your present circumstances in a more effective manner. For example, if you want passive income because your regular income is not sufficient enough to support you, you need to evaluate as to whether you are in right profession or job? If work is not sufficiently paying you according to your skills, you may need to change your job rather than committing yourself to generating passive income. So clearly decide as to why you need passive income and where you will spend it.

Paddling the wheel of your life’s cycle

There is a very famous economic theory on our spending and consumption habits which sheds a lot of insight on the ways in which we can customize our spending patterns as we progress in our lives. This small and beautiful hypothesis suggests that we, as individuals, smooth out our consumption and saving patterns over our lifetime.

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As an individual, you need to determine what stage of your life cycle you are in right now. Are you single? Are you married with no children and dual income? Will your spouse leave his or her job if you decide to have kids? Are you nearing your retirement? These are simple questions which you need to ask yourself and clearly establish answers for them. The benefit of this exercise will be enormous because your life cycle will determine your saving and consumption patterns, and thus, you can easily decide on how much passive income you require.

For example, if you are married with a single income and have two school-aged children, your consumption requirements may be different as compared to a person who is single. Thus, identifying your stage of life will help you to clearly assess how much resources you need to put into the source which can generate enough passive income to support you.

Say you want to invest in real estate and rent to tenants. You must first decide whether or not your existing income will be able to bear the burden of additional mortgage payments. What if you are unable to find renters? Will you be able to afford your other expenses as well as additional mortgage payments until you rent out your property?

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Cultivate the habit of saving

You will probably never be able to generate passive income if you don’t cultivate the habit of saving. Probably the first and only rule to earn passive income is to save first. Save even if it’s only 1% of your income, and you will build the momentum to accumulate sufficient money.

Identifying the source

On paper, it may seem easy to invest in real estate and earn the rent as passive income, but in a practical sense, it is often difficult to translate this investment into income. Identifying the source which will generate a stable passive income is probably the biggest challenge you might face. You may require external help. Most activities that generate passive income, like starting a blog or selling items on Craigslist or eBay, can end up taking so much time that they aren’t really “passive” activities anymore.

Similarly, putting your money into real estate in an economic scenario like the current recession may only result in the depreciation of the value of your property, which can cause you to lose on value and win on earning interest. So clearly identifying the stable and trusted source is one of the key issues you need to look into.

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Always play safe

If you are too busy in your life and job and have lots of responsibilities, you need to play safe. One of the easiest and probably best options to start with for earning passive income to invest your money into high interest paying saving accounts. A simple search on comparison sites can give you a little insight into what kind of rates are being offered by the banks and financial institutions on the saving accounts. So start putting your extra money in high yield saving accounts.

Another good and probably the safest option is to invest into government securities. Government securities may offer low returns, but they are safe and can support your life style. Don’t go for stocks because investing in stocks requires a certain degree of investment acumen and financial expertise. Always play safe even if you have moderate level of understanding as to how the stock market works.

Some sources from where passive income can be generated

  • Consider the following passive income investment opportunities:
  • High yield savings and money market accounts
  • Government treasuries and bonds
  • Rent from real estate investment
  • Interest income on high quality AAA rated corporate bonds
  • Selling your music on digital music services such as iTunes (only if you are artistic in nature)
  • Write articles for sites such as hubpages.com
  • Write a blog entry and hope that someone might donate to you

Don’t be ambitious

Please remember that your passive income may not be higher than your active income. Your goal should be to achieve a combination where both incomes are greater than your current active income.  Don’t expect too much, but always remain optimistic. You and I may not be as lucky as J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown, but we both certainly deserve a good vacation.

Remember that you should remain playful, enjoy your journey, be compassionate and kind, and never become greedy. Keep in mind that our needs are already taken care of by the source which has created us all–we need only to trust in that source. Having passive or active income is just another way to receive what is already ours..

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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