I worried about my finances all the time. I constantly wondered what might happen if I lost my job, if I had saved enough, and how I could protect myself from financial emergencies. And I was far from alone in my worries. After all, 56% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.
I didn’t want to constantly live with this uncertainty, so I started thinking about ways to earn more beyond my 9 to 5 salary. one can have – and many of us have more earning opportunities than we realize.
For me, multiple streams of income gave me the freedom to remove the word “fear” from my monetary vocabulary. It has also helped me earn more, invest more for my future, and provide the life I always wanted for my children.
When it comes to money, it’s crucial to think about your “why” as your motivation. My “why” is safety. I want financial security, as well as security in my life situation and in my relationships.
Today, my nine streams of income help me earn $10,000 a month, and I’ve gone from feeling overwhelmed to being confident in my finances.
Here is my best advice.
How I Discovered My Earning Potential
When I started looking at different sources of income, one of the biggest things that helped me was dividing what I could earn into specific groups. I identified seven different revenue avenues that kept coming up in my research:
- earned income: the money you earn from your main job
- business income: if you have a part-time job, a side business or your own small business, this is a secondary source of income
- interest income: putting your money in a high-interest savings account can provide you with that income stream
- Dividend income: the money you earn by investing
- Rental income: owning a property that provides you with additional income
- Capital gains: earn money by selling your investments or properties
- Royalties or Residual Income: make a product and sell it to a large company, in which you earn a small percentage of each sale for its lifetime
With this model in mind, I started planning accordingly. Now my nine streams of income fall into these categories.
I have a full-time job as a content manager, which I started in 2017. I have three side businesses: my financial blog, Mixed Up Money, which I launched in 2015; my part-time job as a freelance writer, which I started the following year; and influencer work on my social media accounts, which I started doing in 2019.
I have several high interest savings accounts for my short term financial goals. And with the help of a robo-advisor, I manage my investments and receive dividends and capital gains which are both reinvested in my portfolio. I also earn royalties on the two books I have published, “The 100 Day Financial Goal Journal” and “Financial First Aid”.
How I Started Building Each Income Stream
Generally, it may be easier to start by focusing on low-barrier-to-entry options first, like opening a high-interest savings account or a 401(k) . I accidentally ended up starting with a side scramble.
I launched a free website in 2015, started writing a personal finance blog, and slowly built my content portfolio. From there, this hobby project turned into a great way to make more money and create additional revenue streams.
Video by Tala Hadavi
Side hustles can be a phenomenal way to set you up with multiple, passive income streams, but they take time. It took me four years to earn over $1,000 a month from Mixed Up Money, but by 2019 I was earning a five-figure salary.
Once I became more educated and conscious about money and paid off my consumer debt, I focused on investing my money. It became my third source of income. Then, multiple high-interest savings accounts for short-term goals and capital gains from those same investments.
By adding one feed at a time, I quickly realized that the more there were, the safer I felt. The more financially secure I became, the easier it was to continue building wealth.
My Top Tips for Starting New Streams of Income
Everyone has a different approach, and what works for me won’t be the same for everyone. But the most important advice I can give is to be realistic about what you can do and how you want to spend your time.
It is true that my multiple sources of income give me a sense of security, but it takes work to maintain them, and it can also mean burnout. Peace of mind and well-being are what we seek here. You can’t reach than if you spread yourself too thin.
Video by Helen Zhao
If you’re not sure if you have more than one stream of income, I’d start by taking the time to write down a list of all the ways you’re making money right now. Next, I would tackle interest and dividend income.
If you don’t have these, consider a high-interest savings account for your short-term financial goals and something like a 401(k) or a Roth IRA for your long-term financial goals like retirement.
These can help you succeed. Not only that, but you can accomplish both of these tasks in one day. All you have to do is find a financial institution of your choice, open the account and set up automatic contributions.
Once you know how many sources of income you have and have taken control of your financial goals, you can now think about a potential part-time job, small business idea or side hustle.
Finding a side hustle can be more difficult than the side hustle itself. I always encourage people to write down a list of everything they like to do or do well and start narrowing down your list by recognizing how much money you can make versus how long it will take.
Be honest with how much time you want to spend on this income stream. Remember that creating multiple streams of income is not something you can accomplish overnight: it takes time. But if you’re willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term financial gain, the investment may be worth it.
Alyssa Davies is a content creator and published author living in Calgary, Alberta. She is the founder of the two-time Canadian Personal Finance Blog of the Year, Mixed Up Money, which has over 60,000 social media followers. She has been featured in many notable publications including The Globe and Mail, FLARE, Global News, etc. In 2021, she was the host of The Dream Team featured on CBC Gem. His first book, “The 100 Day Financial Goal Journal”, was published in 2020, and his second book, “Financial First Aid”, is available for pre-order.
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