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Most Americans struggle to make ends meet. Life is expensive, especially in some of today’s popular urban areas. In addition to the cost of living, we all have to pay taxes. Inflation takes a bite out of any cash we set aside.

With the relentless rise in the cost of living, it can seem impossible to get ahead of the game. Even if you worked two jobs, it would be tough to save a lot. Besides, you would risk burning yourself out, which could have a negative impact on your main source of income.

Burning the candle at both ends is never a good idea. To continually build and grow your money year after year, it’s important to develop passive income streams. These are investments that make money for you all of the time, even when you are not sitting in a cubicle or punching a clock. In fact, while you’re making your salary at your regular job, your passive income streams are also making money. This makes it possible to get ahead of bills, taxes, and inflation. This allows you to build real wealth.

Passive Income Streams

Consistent returns are the key to success with passive income investments. Treasury Vault recommends building your savings using passive income and consistently reinvesting the gains. This can consist of investing the money back into the same venture or putting the profits into a new passive-income opportunity, thus further diversifying your income. Let’s look at some of the top passive income options recommended by Treasury Vault.

Currency Trading

The FOREX isn’t just for Wall Street wizards. You can also get in on the currency trading option. Profits are made by buying a currency and trading it for another currency after it appreciates. This comes with risk, so it’s important to do your homework and start with small investments.

Real Estate

Owning a rental property is a great way to go if you can buy in a good market and have the adequate funds to manage the purchase and maintenance. In a hot market like Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington, rental property is tough to beat as a passive income investment. You can make a positive cash flow and benefit from the appreciation.

Not ready to be a landlord? Most people aren’t. If we were, we’d all own fancy apartment buildings in Seattle. The good news is that you can still own a piece of the real estate market without owning a single property.

Many Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are available on the stock exchange. For a few dollars in commissions and an investment you are comfortable with, you benefit from the REIT’s vast portfolio of real estate holding. Dividends can be huge, giving you a consistent income every quarter.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Rather than paying interest to credit card companies, why not become the bank and make a profit? Many applications exist allowing you to start in this business with loans as low as $25. The apps take care of most of the work, such as collecting payments.

Other Endeavors

Online businesses or creative endeavors can bring in passive income. If you are a writer, an artist, or craftsperson, your skills can be used to make money. In the online world, once you have a successful business set up, you can continue to reap the rewards without having to spend the day tending a store.

Online Business Ideas

Cyberspace is huge, which can make choosing an online business difficult. Here are three tried-and-true types of online businesses recommended by Venture Pad. They all can bring in steady income with residuals.

Affiliate Marketing

Getting started in this business part-time from home makes it the perfect moonlighting gig. It takes some time to build up a base, but once you do, you have a strong passive income stream.

Smart Watches

These are the hot new thing. Why not cash in? Once you get an online storefront created, you can trade in watches like the Casio Smartwatch.

Freelancing

Do you have a talent and passion for something you can do online? Writing, graphic design, freelance consulting, and art are all great skills to use in freelance work.

How to start

According to The Balance, the best way to start is by using the money from your regular job to acquire assets that produce passive income. If you already have a chunk of savings or are lucky enough to have family money, you can buy significant assets right away. If not, it takes time, patience, and planning. It’s better to avoid debt and invest with cash savings only. Using borrowed money leaves you at greater risk if a setback occurs.

With passive income streams, you build financial independence and security. In a time where paycheck-to-paycheck living has become the norm, passive income is especially important. Passive income provides the path to long-term stability.