The cost of living in the United States keeps going up and up while incomes are flat or declining. In addition, many of the biggest companies and job opportunities are located in expensive urban cores, forcing workers to live in high cost residential areas. What can the common person do about this situation? How can one get away from the never ending rat race and actually get time and money to enjoy life rather than work to just pay rent and put food on the table.
Find an alternative income stream
The first and most important action anyone can take to reduce their cost of living is to actually increase their income. However, not all increases in income are created equal. Working an extra job as an Uber driver or getting a small raise are not necessarily a good use of time. The ideal should be to build a long term business that creates a passive income. The word passive income is a misnomer, as it is more an income stream that one puts in a lot of work at the beginning to get a lot out of it later. One of the best routes to creating a passive income is an online business.
Many people, especially of the older generation completely dismiss and underestimate the potential of online income streams. Younger people know the potential of online income mostly through stories of high profile individuals, aka influencers, making tons of money through Instagram or Youtube. Many instantly assume that such fame and fortune is reserved for an exclusive few. In addition the education system and parents reinforce the concept with continued push idealizing college education and 9to5 jobs. However, what many young people and older people hardly realize is that there are millions of regular people making a middle class or even an extremely high income on these same platforms working completely remotely.
The online world is so massive that it is extremely hard to fathom for an individual. The hard part is deciding which part of the online space is the right place to start. In addition, the online world is completely reinventing itself literally every few months so the strategies and jobs that might have worked a few years ago or even a few months ago don’t always work in the present time. Lets go over some of the most popular online income streams in 2019.
E-commerce is potentially the most lucrative online income streams that one can try to tap into to create a remote passive income. Within e-commerce there are multiple options such Amazon FBA, dropshipping, or Etsy. However, in all of these the learning curve is a couple of months of hard work learning marketing, social media, and understanding consumer tastes. In addition all of these options require an initial investment of capital for either purchasing inventory or gathering data to target advertisements. Not only that, but consumer tastes are fickle and one has to make sure that any product that they sell does not create any legal issues in terms of consumer safety or copyright infringements. Both of these factors can create potential legal headaches down the road. Having said that the number of people making vast amounts of money from e-commerce is actually quite significant. In addition to marketing skills one of the key skills anyone attempting to master e-commerce is understanding product sourcing. Chinese websites such as Aliexpress and Alibaba are the most popular places where suppliers can be found for a variety of common consumer goods and can even manufacture unique designs with custom packaging.
The second big fish in the ocean of online income streams is social media. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube are used by billions of people across the globe. They are the biggest and easiest places to reach billions of people who may have the same shared interest as you. A budding social media influencer may be deeply interested in posting youtube videos of DIY sock designs. They can easily monetize their audience by promoting various products related to their niche or even benefit from automated ads that Youtube plays before their videos.
It may seem very difficult for a regular individual to imagine gaining any sort of following on social media, but it is actually easier than one thinks. The most important thing is to look deep inside yourself and find a passion or activity that one is extremely passionate about and wants to share with the rest of the world. Once the activity is found, then all you have to do is create quality content on a consistent basis. It does take time to build up a following, but once a wealth of content is shared, it only requires one or two posts to go viral and boost following massively. The great thing about social media is that the startup costs are almost zero and the only input required is work to create content.
One of the biggest alternative online income streams options are gig sites such as Upwork and Fiverr. These sites post both job postings and online profiles of individuals willing to do a small task such as graphic design, copywriting etc and the rates which they charge. The great thing about this income stream is that there is an immediate guaranteed income as soon as the first order comes in. They are a great way to build capital and many of the jobs can be done very quickly if an individual is highly skilled or posses correct tools. The downside is that although they may provide a good consistent online income stream, it is a challenging to convert it into a passive income source.
There are countless other online income sources which an individual can use to change their life to get away from the rat race. The online world is quickly enabling individuals to have rewarding careers and huge income streams which paradoxically also reduces their cost of living by allowing them to move to a lower cost of living area or travel to low cost of living countries.