How to use your smartphone for passive income

June 23, 2021
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Having a successful side hustle has become more and more common in recent years, with people of all walks of life finding creative ways to earn supplemental income – including passive income.

What is passive income?

Passive income is a way to earn money that requires minimal labor and little effort from the earner. A small task may be required to get started, but the rest is almost effortless. If earning passive income sounds like something you’d like to explore, here are some places you can get started.

person checking Acorns app on Apple iPhone

Earn passive income through investing

Investing is one of the most common ways to start earning passive income. You don’t have to know anything about the stock market or investments to get started – investing apps make the process smooth and simple, helping you learn as you go.

Fundrise, for example, allows you to build a real estate investment portfolio and earn returns. You can create an account in minutes, choose your portfolio strategy, and watch your original investment grow over time, all from your smartphone or tablet.

M1 Finance uses a similar approach, but with added features that allow you to determine exactly where your money is coming from and going. You can even borrow from your portfolio through a flexible line of credit and get direct access to your cash with an integrated checking account. 

Investing in the stock market is another way to earn passive income. You can start investing in the stocks of your choice for as little as $1 and keep track of their progress as that investment grows. Public.com makes it easy to get started.

For a more laid-back approach to investing, try Acorns. Acorns rounds up your spare change automatically and invests in for you. They also offer money tips in case you decide you want to customize your own portfolio.

Woman shopping online with smartphone

Get paid to shop, dine out, and more

Thanks to apps like Rakuten, SwagBucks, and Fetch Rewards, you can earn passive income while doing your usual shopping and dining out. These apps partner with major retailers and restaurants to give you gift cards or cash back on your purchases, either by scanning your receipts or receiving coupons for certain products ahead of your purchase.

There are also apps like Honey and Capital One Shopping that scour the internet for coupons and automatically apply them to your cart when shopping online. It’s not exactly “income”, but it’s more money in your pocket.

couple looking at smartphone in coffee shop

Advertise for passive income

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to advertise, and companies will pay you to spread the word about their products. 

Apps like S’more pay you to advertise on the lock screen of your smartphone. If you’re an Uber, Lyft, or food delivery driver, you can also advertise on your car with the help of companies like Carvertise.

Companies can also offer affiliate links to individuals who want to partner with them. They will share a specific link or discount code with you to share with your friends and family. When someone uses your link to purchase a product from that company, you get a portion of the profits. It’s a common method of earning passive income for influencers and celebrities, but you don’t need a huge following to make some extra cash.

family sitting on couch looking at smartphone

Take surveys, test websites and more

If you have spare time, there are companies out there who will pay you for it. Many brands will help you earn passive income using apps like InboxDollars to take surveys, watch videos, and test their products. These activities can almost always be done from your smartphone, tablet or computer, all from the comfort of home.

Many survey websites allow you to pick and choose between what you’re interested in taking and what pays well, so you can participate at your own will. It’s quick, easy, and a great way to make some extra dollars.

woman using smartphone to check passive income investments

Trade in your old smartphone

Check around the house for any smartphones you don’t use anymore. Whether it’s broken, cracked, scratched, or just outdated, you can trade them in for something brand new, like the OnePlus 8 5G UW smartphone, LG G Pad, Apple AirPods Pro, or accessories like the PureGear Magnetic Wireless Charger. No more sitting in a drawer collecting dust.

With these passive income tools and tips, you’re reading to start earning right away.