6 Income Streams (How I Doubled My Income)

I shared a video on YouTube that covered my 6 streams of passive and active income that have doubled my income in the past year.

My day job provided my main income for many years but in the last year I’ve used the other 5 income streams on this list to fully double my income.

Why I’ve Built Multiple Income Streams

In this video I’m revealing my 6 streams of income. I’ve found building multiple streams of income over the last two years has really helped us create a solid financial foundation and a whole online business for myself!

I’ve been building these income streams over the past two years because of one important lesson: a job is not enough.

One income stream is not enough.

I’ve been let go from a job unexpectedly and I’ve work for a company that went under. After several unexpected job changes over a couple of years I realized that no job was 100% secure. After seeing how a pandemic in 2020 changed many people’s lives as well, I knew that one income stream from a job could never be enough.

Building multiple income streams builds a web of financial security. If one income stream slows or disappears you have others to pick up the slack. You also have a much higher chance of saving money and building up a nest egg because you will be earning more money.

I’ve worked hard to build up these multiple income streams and I’ll continue to do so.

Passive Income Vs Active Income

My income streams include both passive income and active income streams.

Passive income is where you earn money without active involvement or work.

Active income is where you trade your work and time in order to earn money.

These income streams are very different but both have a place in building a solid financial foundation of multiple income streams.

Having passive income streams can change your life which is why I focus so much on my favorite passive (and mostly passive) income sources: digital products, affiliate marketing and YouTube.

It is important to remember when building passive income streams that all income streams require something: either time or money.

To build passive income you have to invest upfront with no guarantee of returns.

For most of my passive income streams I’ve had to put in a lot of time to building out my content and learning skills to be successful. You can cut this short and save time by spending money but either method will require something of you. Passive income can’t be created from nothing. But the great news is that it can be created.

We can create our own incomes. We can create multiple income streams.

Income Stream 1: Day Job

I currently work a full time, 8-5 corporate job. It has been my main source of income for the last five years and has allowed me the security to build up my secondary income streams.

There are many benefits to having a full time job:

  • biweekly paychecks you can count on (for the most part)
  • predictable income each paycheck
  • feelings of stability and security
  • base to build multiple income streams
  • 401k access with 4% match
  • health insurance subsidized by employer
  • FSA accounts for childcare and health
  • other benefits like free food, holiday parties, occasional bonuses

There are definitely benefits to working a regular job and no one should ever feel like it’s not a good option. I just personally think it needs to be one option of many.

Working at my job is active income where I trade my time for money.

Related: 7 Things To Consider Besides Salary

Income Stream 2: Investment Returns

Investment returns and dividends are the most passive income on my list. I purchase stocks and those stocks work for me by either growing or paying a dividend.

I love investment returns as an income because it is so passive. Once you purchase the stocks you are done and just sit back and let those companies work for you.

Currently I earn dividends in my retirement accounts and in my taxable brokerage accounts. I also consider the minimal savings account interest earned in this category.

Related: How To Start Dividend Investing For Beginners

Income Stream 3: Freelance Work

In addition to my full time job I will also take on some freelance work for clients. This is not a huge income stream for me because it is active income that requires my time, but I enjoy helping a few former clients.

Freelance work can be a great addition to your income streams if you need to increase your income but can’t wait for passive income streams to pay off.

What kind of work can you do freelance jobs?

You can find freelance work easily with many skills like:

  • writing
  • SEO
  • editing
  • video editing
  • graphic design
  • website design
  • voiceovers
  • programming

And many more! Whatever skill you have can be useful as a freelancer. You could set up website funnels for businesses or manage Shopify stores or thousands of other things.

Where can you find jobs?

You can sell your skills on sites like Fiverr, or just contact local businesses around you. If you’ve worked in a certain field and have a good reputation you will also be approached with jobs by contacts.

Related: Make Money With Canva (10 Ways)

Income Stream 4: Digital Products

Selling digital products is a fantastic passive income stream. In fact it is one of my favorite income streams and the most consistent one I’ve created online.

Digital products come in many formats and niches so there is endless opportunity to create something that you can sell digitally to customers. The best part? Once you’ve created a product you can sell it again and again.

I started an Etsy shop and sell budgeting and saving printables because I created them for myself, but there are many different ideas out there.

Some digital product ideas include:

  • SVGs
  • PNGs
  • Planners
  • Guides
  • Templates
  • Wall Art
  • Mockups
  • Courses
  • Digital Stickers
  • Digital Planners
  • E-books
  • Checklists

Want to get started with digital products as an income stream? Check out these posts:

Income Stream 5: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a fantastic income stream for content creators. It’s one of my favorite and most profitable income streams.

Every month now I earn thousands of dollars in affiliate marketing revenue. The best part is that I only recommend products I actually use and love so I get paid for doing something I would do anyway.

With affiliate marketing you promote products or services and get paid when you refer a customer. You have a custom link with your data that lets a company know when you have sent them a sale. For each sale you get a kickback.

Affiliate programs range in types and profitability. Many larger companies offer 1-4% of sales that you refer. Smaller companies or fellow content creators can offer up to 50% of the sales. Then other companies pay per lead or have recurring payments.

There are many ways to earn money with affiliate marketing!

Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Check out these posts:

Income Stream 6: Advertising

My final income stream is advertising. As a content creator I make money from the ads shown on both my YouTube channels and my websites.

I like the advertising model of online revenue creation because it’s enough to support my work but it doesn’t force my audience into anything. They can choose to watch and ad or not. They can scroll by or click an ad.

Advertising can be a very low paying compared to affiliate marketing.

For many niches ad rates are very low. However, if you enter a high paying ad space you can earn decent income without a ton of views.

Luckily for me my interests overlap with well paying ad rates. Financial niches tends to have better paying ads for creators and YouTube ad rates for financial channels can be quite lucrative.

Related: Best Bank Account For YouTubers

Building Multiple Income Streams

Those are all 6 of my income streams which equal to more than I earned in my day job. For many people building multiple income streams encouraged them to quit their jobs when those jobs didn’t pay well.

Adding them all up has put me in a much better financial situation and I’m so glad I went about building multiple income streams!

Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.

Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.

Her favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, where she built a custom portfolio for free with no fees. She shares her portfolio growth and savings progress every month on YouTube.