3 Simple Side Income Ideas

It seems pretty obvious now…

…but it took some really dumb decisions and a lot of hard knocks for us to finally figure it out.
I’m just grateful that we’re able to share it with you now so that you and your family can benefit.
Based on what’s happened in our own marriage…
…as well as the experience we’ve gained by interacting with thousands of Engaged Marriage readers, we’ve come to a conclusion.

Every Couple Needs A Side Income

You may be wondering why the name of this post is so specific.

Well, $54,448 is a very memorable number for our family.  That’s the amount of (non-mortgage) debt we owed when we “woke up” several years ago pregnant with our son.

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This was no doubt a scary time in our marriage, but it was also a very powerful turning point for us and our views on money.

We decided at that point that enough was enough, and we paid off all of our debts in less than 3 years in large part because we developed some really effective side income streams.

Extra Income Means Greater Freedom

This is still an important part of our marriage and our mission in helping other families.

Because we’ve built multiple side incomes (and full fledged businesses in some cases), Bethany is able to be a stay-at-home Mom to our three small kids, and we have a lot of financial freedom.

Your goals are probably different, but I bet you could find good use for $500 – $1,000 in extra income each month (and build it up from there)…in a way that doesn’t take up all of your spare time.

If you need a little more motivation for taking action, be sure to check out our article on the 7 Reasons Every Smart Couple Needs a Side Income.

I hope you agree that developing a side income is an awesome goal.  Now, let me share some ideas for making it happen with you that I think you’ll enjoy.

What’s The Best Way For You To Get Started Earning Some Extra Money On The Side?

Over the last several years, we’ve created at least 10 different side income sources.  But I want to focus on three main types to show you how simple this can be for you.

As you’re reading about our experiences with these side businesses, think through some similar ideas that could work for you.  I recommend you think in the context of our “Three Keys to Quick Side Income Success” for busy couples:

  • Start With What You Know
  • Go Low-Cost & Low-Time
  • Get Your Spouse & Family Involved

Let’s take a look at three types of side income opportunities and how we’ve applied them in our own marriage.

Big Idea #1: Buy/Sell Stuff (Arbitrage)

This is about as simple as it gets.  While the fancy term is “arbitrage” what we’re really talking about here is buying something for a lower price in a constrained market and then selling for a profit in a larger market.

This could be as simple as buying collectables at a garage sale and then selling them at a higher price at a flea market.

But we don’t want to forget our Three Keys to success, so we need to do this in a way that doesn’t bore us to death and scales to generate more income without taking a lot of time.

You’ll Scale Quickly With The Right Idea

For us, our biggest success came from our golf club reselling business.  I love golf and was buying different clubs on eBay to try out.

I realized that I could break even and sometimes make a little money by reselling the clubs I didn’t want to keep back on eBay.

The business really took off when I started buying clubs locally (mostly through craigslist), cleaned them up, and sold them nationally (sometimes internationally) through eBay.

I learned the typical sales price for popular clubs and could spot a deal easily, plus I became skilled in creating eBay listings that maximized my sales price.

This business generated net profits of over $1,000 per month quickly and peaked out at over $2,000 per month.  Here’s a screenshot of a few of my eBay orders:

This was a classic case of buying low in a local market and selling higher to a broader audience who will pay true market value.

You could replicate it easily, especially with the more efficient online markets (like Amazon’s Fulfilled By Amazon service) available today.

I only quit doing this because it was too time consuming for me to travel around the region buying the clubs.

While I could have hired someone else to do this for me, my interests turned to more passive online strategies like those below.

Big Idea #2: Solve a Simple, Recurring Problem

How many times each week do you encounter a problem and search for a solution?

I bet it’s a lot more often than you think, and there are thousands (probably millions) of people out there with the same issues.

When you develop the right mindset, you will see your problems as opportunities to help others…and make some income in the process.

The beauty of this approach is that it’s a matter of creating a solution one time and then selling it over and over again.

Recurring Income Rocks

I have two quick examples that I’d like to share from our own experiences.

The first was a problem I encountered when training for my first half marathon. I developed shin splints, and if you’ve ever had them you know what a painful and frustrating experience it is.

Well, I searched and tried many different treatments to make the pain go away.

Once I finally found a process of foam rolling, stretching, strengthening and icing that worked really well, I realized that there was nowhere to buy the different pieces of equipment as a kit.

Well, now there is!

I packaged up the foam roller, ice packs, foot massager (golf ball) and resistance band along with a brief instruction manual and now sell it as a Shin Splints Treatment Kit both on my own simple site AND on Amazon!

I created a single video on YouTube (for free) showing how to use the equipment and telling people where to find the kit.

I get several sales every week, and oftentimes multiple orders a day, for this little kit with no marketing:

The best part is my kids help me pack the boxes and Bethany fulfills the shipping, so it’s truly a family affair.

You may not know that anyone can list a product on Amazon and let them sell it for you.  They take a fee on each sale, but there’s no upfront cost.

The other example I’ll share here came from my trouble getting started when it came to writing a love letter to Bethany.

Help Others While You Help Your Family Thrive

I try to be romantic (I run Engaged Marriage after all!), but I kept falling into the trap of thinking “someday” I should write her a romantic letter.

After I finally wrote the letter and thought through the process, I realized there was a method to the madness.

I documented it and created templates to help you write the perfect love letter to your spouse.  Bethany and I recorded a session discussing the why and how-to of writing a great letter and packaged it with the templates.

The result was the Romance the Write Way love letter program.

This has become a best-selling product from Engaged Marriage.  It sells every single day, and we only created it one time.

That’s the beauty of passive income!

Big Idea #3: Teach (But Probably Not In School)

The last area I want to share with you is the absolute easiest to get started.

With a post on your Facebook profile or a quick free ad on craigslist, you can start earning some extra money right away.

It’s as simple as teaching others something valuable.

You may not consider yourself an expert at anything in particular, but you don’t need to be!

You’re An Expert To Many

If you are just one step ahead of someone when it comes to a specific skill, you are an expert TO THEM and you can add incredible value to their life.

Teaching in various forms is the main source of side income for our family nowadays. 

The simplest form of this for us is tutoring.  I have tutored high school students in math (children of neighbors), and Bethany has tutored several students in a variety of areas.

It’s not very passive (you trade time for dollars), but it’s something you can do right away.

What Can You Teach Others?

Piano lessons, Excel, public speaking, childcare, reading, art, sports…the possibilities are literally endless.

Did you know that you can be an author featured on Amazon?

It’s true, and the easiest way to get started is to write a short how-to book for the Kindle platform.

This IS passive income, and I currently have three books in the Amazon Kindle store that sell consistently with no marketing effort on my part.

You can see two of the books in the image below.  And the third?  Well, it’s a written version of my how-to process for fixing shin splint pain!

You can also create a course and sell it for free on the super-popular Udemy site.  I have a time management course that sells there very passively.

And of course for us, the biggest side income of all has come from our passion project – Engaged Marriage This recently allowed me to “retire” from engineering consulting to focus totally on building our businesses! 

With The Right Approach You Don’t Need Much Time

I didn’t mention that all of our efforts have happened while I worked a demanding “day job” as an engineering consultant.  That only changed a couple months ago when the side income majorly exceeded my engineering income…so I quit!

With that and all the hustle that comes from having three kids under the age of thirteen, I hope you see that while our time is very limited we have found great success in building multiple streams of side income.

And I know that you can do the same!

Are You Ready To Get Started Creating Your OWN Side Income?

So, at this point you probably have some initial ideas for potential side income streams…or at least you can see it’s possible if you had a little help getting started.

Well, your timing is excellent!

We just opened the doors to our newly upgraded Side Income Success Club, which will guide you step-by-step to success.

And when you enroll right now, you can get literally get started for 30 cents a day.

Click the button below to get all the details and get started today!

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About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Dustin, thanks for sharing this. I am a regular reader of your blog and am happy you shared about this. Having extra source of income is very important to everyone and to Couples in particular , however many people ‘don’t know how or where to start.

    But these examples your shared have opened our eyes.

    Thanks once again

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