With inflation and the cost of living skyrocketing, Millennials are buckling up for the second financial crisis of their lives, while Gen Z are hunkering down for their first ride on the recession rodeo.
It’s no wonder that recent research found that 47% of Millennials and 34% of Gen Z say they have more than one stream of income and make extra money outside of their full-time jobs.
Diversifying your income streams in your twenties is a smart way to protect yourself against financial shocks and can help you build wealth for the future — even during times of crisis.
This article will cover seven side hustles you can start now to build multiple streams of income in your twenties. But first, we’ll look at the difference between active and passive income streams.
Active vs. passive income
Active income is revenue you earn from an activity — whether that’s selling handmade items on Etsy or getting paid for professional copywriting services.
Passive income, on the other hand, is generated through compound interest — the process of reinvesting dividends to generate more income over time.
Neither route is a get-rich-quick scheme — even creating passive income requires strategy and consistency. Both can be a reliable source of income that helps you achieve financial freedom, so the best is to have a mix of the two.
Let’s dive into the list of side hustles so you can pick the best passive and active side incomes for you.
1. Affiliate marketing
If you’ve ever wondered how to make money online without creating your own products, affiliate marketing might be a good option. It has the perks of running your own business — but all you have to do is drive traffic to other people’s websites.
Affiliate marketing can become a lucrative source of extra income, but it takes a lot of work before it pays off. You’ll need to use a solid content marketing strategy to build an audience around your niche and add affiliate links to products your audience will love.
Once you have a solid following, you’ll be able to earn affiliate earnings in your sleep every time someone makes a purchase through one of your links. Popular affiliate marketing platforms include:
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliate
2. Start a blog or YouTube Channel
The ways to make money from blogging don’t end at affiliate marketing. If you have a natural flair for content creation — whether it’s writing, filmmaking, or even podcasting — there are multiple ways to monetize your content.
The key is to pick a profitable niche — i.e., one that’s already popular, such as health, personal finance, or parenting — and write blogs or make YouTube videos or podcasts about it.
To make your voice heard in a crowded market, you’ll need to combine finding unique content angles with a solid content strategy that helps drive more traffic to your website or channel.
Once you’ve built an audience, you can monetize your content through:
- Selling physical or digital products (such as online courses or ebooks)
- Creating exclusive paywalled content
- Setting up a membership community
If you have a monetizable skill — such as software programming, accounting, graphic design, or translation — you could set up a freelancing business.
Freelancing gives you the power to choose how much you work — giving you control over both your earnings and your work-life balance. The important thing is to do something you’re both good at and passionate about.
Start by creating a portfolio and applying to jobs on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. You can also use social media networks like LinkedIn to generate inbound leads by creating content and building relationships with potential clients.
4. Invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies
Investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies is one of the most popular ways Millennials and Gen Z make extra cash, with a quarter of all 13 to 30-year-olds reporting to have investments in both the stock market and crypto.
If you want to take this route, it’s essential to educate yourself on the nuances of the stock market and cryptocurrency exchange.
For example, do you know the different types of stocks you can trade in? Have you considered long trading vs. short trading? How about mutual funds — are you investing in those (or other safer instruments) to hedge against the inherent risk of the stock market?
Crypto is an even riskier — and potentially more rewarding — beast. However, cryptocurrency is unregulated and notoriously volatile, leaving it vulnerable to shocks.
If you take the plunge into the world of crypto, you’ll need to learn how the blockchain works, what the risks are, and how to make mature trading decisions.
5. Start a Shopify website
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands or are looking to supplement your part-time income, you might want to consider setting up an e-commerce website. One of the most popular platforms for creating and customizing an online store is Shopify.
Even if you don’t have any products to sell yourself, you can set up a dropshipping store to sell trending products in your local area, as Shopify operates in almost every country in the world. And as online shopping is growing in popularity across the African continent, the e-commerce industry represents a lucrative opportunity.
6. Subletting and real estate
Real estate investing can be big business — if you have the money to invest in the first place. If so, you can either renovate and sell the properties you buy or keep them as rental properties to make recurring earnings.
Even if you can’t afford real estate right now, you can still sublet your home — as long as your landlord allows it. You could even rent out a room on Airbnb — or the whole house if you’re away.
7. Peer-to-peer loans
A little-known way to make a side income is to loan money to your friends and acquaintances through specialized financial platforms. These platforms let you lend money at interest rates ranging from 3% to 10% for a variety of purposes.
They usually have a small minimum lending amount, but you can diversify your loans across types — such as home improvement loans or debt consolidation loans — and earn a steady income.
Manage multiple income streams with Chipper Cash
There are plenty more ways to create multiple streams of income, but hopefully, this list has inspired you to get started.
As your income grows, you’ll need an app to manage your revenue, expenses, money transfers, and tax payments while supporting and empowering your vision.
One such app is Chipper Cash, a personal finance platform that allows you to manage and send money across Africa and around the world. Not only that, but you can also trade stocks and crypto with your Chipper account.
So what are you waiting for? Download the app from the App Store or Google Play and join the Chipper revolution today!