passive income for stay at home moms

Passive Income Ideas Requiring Upfront Money Investment: For Stay at Home Moms

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This week Alcides Otiniano, founder of Prosperous Frugal, offers her best ideas for moms that want to make smart investments that can help them make passive income. These passive income ideas require upfront money investment but little time investment. Passive income is the holy grail for moms that want to be financially independent without further stretching their busy mom schedules. Am I right? 🙂 There are some great ideas below, if you’ve been looking for a sign to get started here it is- simply choose one idea that fits your goals and finances best and give it shot! 

This article will describe ideas to create passive income that require money explaining why it can benefit stay at home moms.

I have personally applied many ideas listed here through many years to reach financial security. Stay at home moms can gain an additional source of income that does not require direct active involvement. At the end of the day, moms as most people are already very busy and everybody appreciates having a revenue stream but not to constantly work on it to get money.

For the Internal Revenue System, the purpose of passive income is to not be actively involved to generate the income [1]. Hence aligned with the “set it and forget it” approach. So, the ideas discussed will not include time consuming activities such as stock picking, direct rental property management or online courses.

The Gist (“Too Long Didn’t Read” version of the article)

As a stay at home mom, having an additional source of passive income can turn beneficial. Your money can grow every year and progressively cover your daily expenses or more. It is possible to choose a platform from any idea in this list and start earning some money. The best part of passive income is that it lets you focus on your other activities like spending time with your loved ones and enjoying your life on your terms. As these ideas require upfront money, the more you have to use, the more passive income you will get.

Here below the 9 ideas analyzed (click on what you’re interested in!):

  1. Rent baby gear and clothes you are not using anymore
  2. Rental income and storage space
  3. Rent car/parking space
  4. Rent home and unused space
  5. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
  6. Certificate of Deposit Ladder
  7. Index Funds
  8. High yield savings account
  9. P2P lending

1. Rent baby gear and clothes you are not using anymore

Babies grow fast. You might have a few items you are close to due to their sentimental importance. But there are certainly others you would be happy to rent or even sell. For renting consider It includes insurance on items rented [2]. And you can also rent other things on sites like Frindswitha and PeerRenters. Finally, Spinlister lets people rent sport items such as surfboards , stand-up paddle boards, snowboards or skis. The company charges 17.5% on each rental but claims its users can rent a bike for $500 per month.

For clothes, StyleLend is for users willing to list and rent designer dresses and accessories. RentNotBuy specializes in design brands that rent much more easily (Oliva, Alice, Eliza J, Chanel) than fast fashion (Forever21,H&M).

2. Rental income and storage space

Rental income

Having a property to rent can be beneficial if you want to move there with your child eventually but for now you want to earn some money on it and keep living in another modest property below your means.

The pandemic has made the situation more difficult for tenants. Many might end up not being able to pay rent. Also,  legal protections and eviction moratoriums can forbid you to vacate the property.

Identify your investment returns objectives and the costs (taxes, mortgage, and related expenses). Let’s imagine you want $12,000 in rental income, the monthly mortgage is $3,000 and there are $500 needed for taxes and related real estate expenses. You would need to charge $4,500 monthly rent to reach desired rental income.

There are many online platforms such as Roofstock for single family homes and RealtyMogul for crowdfunding. The latter has recently decreased to $1,000 the minimum investment and claims it has an average return of 5.4% [3].

US Farmland: Farmland, Farm Together, AcreTrader

Accredited investors are those whose yearly income of more than $200,000. They can access sites like EquityMultiple for more investments.

Storage space

In the US, 1 in 11 people pay for storage space [4]. One platform to rent your storage space is

3. Rent car/parking space

You might already be driving to take your children to school, or even have thought about renting your car to friends while you are busy at home. Whenever you are not using your car or even your parking space you can also rent it to other people.

A car’s value diminishes faster as it is used. So, the income obtained from renting it should be higher than its depreciation [5]. Verify your insurance fineprint to be sure you are not losing coverage if something occurs when renting the car. Many insurers might ask for additional insurance policy in case of car renting to honor insurance claims. That could increase current vehicle costs like  maintenance, repairs and washing, etc.

Renters might end up damaging the car. To cover you from that risk, Turo includes up to $1M insurance if the car rented was bought after 2005 and has less than 130,000 miles. Alternatives to Turo are Getaround and HyreCar. The latter rents cars for common services such as Uber, DoorDash and Instacart.

Parking space

You could list your free space on sites such as Craigslist, LeBonCoin in France, PetitesAnnonces and Anibis in Switzerland, MercadoLibre in  Latin America, etc.

Stow It specializes in vehicle storage. You are able to list for free but it charges a 10% fee on rentals. Other options are  Curbflip, Parqex, SpotHero (that recently acquired Roverparking) and Pavemint. The latter can vet users, insure and collect payments.

4. Rent home and unused space

If you go on vacation, you could get rental income that can pay for your trip when you leave or just increase your income if you stay there but still have unused available space to rent. If your available space is big enough for hosting an event, use ShareMySpace. It lets you list online your available square footage. If you are already renting and you want to sub-rent the property to someone else, the owner’s authorization is required.

The risk of renters damaging the property exists. But services like Cozy and SpareRoom help you list your space online for rental while identifying bad tenants.

AirBnB is one of the most well known platforms to rent. It is available in more than 220 countries and has enabled 4 million hosts to welcome 900 million arrivals since its creation in 2007 [6]. The company behind has created “AirBnB Experiences” to let users host events, meetups, and tours in a given city. It charges 3% on every booking done through it [7]. Others might charge more like VRBO, charging 5% per booking, and 3% additional if the guest pays with a credit card [8]. But there are more alternatives like Vacasa, which specializes in vacation home rental .

5. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

If you want to get involved in real estate for your passive income without dealing with property management, you can consider REITs. That legal argot means that a company acquires and manages properties on behalf of investors. Managing and owning properties is expensive, lacks diversification and takes time to  manage it directly. REITs offer investors a means to avoid all that.

Diversyfund is available to investors from $500. It invests in multi-family units such as apartment buildings. The company improves properties in around 5 years while providing cash returns and then sells the properties for capital gains. 

Fundrise lets non accredited investors invest in real estate from $500. They claim to have returns of 9.4%. [9].

GroundFloor claims 10 % annual returns on average and is open to investors from $10. They repair properties during 12 months and provide cash returns to investors during that time. Their circulars and other documents reported to SEC are properly listed in their site.

PeerStreet is open to investors willing to lend money and finance property buying from $1k.

Streitwise requires $5,000 minimum investment. It offers REITs and claims in its site have provided dividends over 8.4% in 2021Q2, despite Covid’s effect. They avoid complicated fees and state them clearly: 3% upfront and 2% on going [10].

6. Certificate of Deposit Ladder 

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a contract with a bank that lets you receive money for putting your money in a given bank for a given period. And the “ladder” refers to a group of different periods. For example, you could create a CD ladder with periods of 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years. 

Banks might decide to change how much money they offer you in the future, but if you already have a certificate of deposit, you have the certainty about how much the bank will pay you for a given period of time. This approach is useful because it minimizes the risk of making a contract with a bank when it was offering to pay you too little (interest payments) for your money.

CDs offer low returns but also low financial risks. Keep in mind that there are penalties for withdrawing the money before the agreed expiration date. So, it is wise to use only money not needed in the short term. Also, CDs could include fees and you have to check the fineprint when opening an account to identify the withdrawal terms and conditions. Sites such as Cit Bank and Ally Bank offer no penalty for CD withdrawal after the first 6 days of deposit.

7. Index Funds 

If you have ever considered investing in the stock market, index funds are used by the average investor that has no time to follow the markets and still wants to get the long term rewards of a growing economy such as that of the U.S..

According to Investopedia, low-cost index funds like VTI or VTSAX have almost zero probability of losing everything thanks to diversification [11]. Even more, if you invest for 20 years in a passive index fund, its returns can beat most actively managed funds [12].

Many tools exist to hold those ETFs in online brokerages like TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, DeGiro for Europe, M1 Finance and WeBull (offering 1 free stock).

8. High yield savings account 

Online banks offer typically the lowest fees. Also, you can get bonuses at account opening so first check Bank Bonus. You can earn up to 1.78%, but verify whether those accounts are insured by FDIC [13]. Banks insured by the FDIC are covered up to $250,000, money market accounts not always [14].

Consider tools like Chime, providing 0.5% return and Credit Union Netspend for 5%.

If you’re looking for other ways to save money without losing it to inflation, consider other options that are considered market stable, such as gold and silver.

9. P2P lending

Peer to Peer (P2P) lending can be done to people and businesses. Many people and companies borrowing in P2P platforms do not qualify for a usual bank loan, so those can be risky. Also, crises like Covid make them even riskier as people might have a lack of income.

Prosper offers 5.5% return on average and is available from $25 loans. With it, you can check prospective borrowers’ historical data. Then, you can avoid high indebted individuals (high debt-to-income ratios) or low incomes.

Worthy bonds, offering 5% return on average (Not FDIC insured).

PeerStreet, claims a median 8.2% return [15].

MyConstant offers loans backed with crypto as collateral (guarantee of payment). It is not FDIC insured and claims returns can be up to 7% and 4% for just depositing USD [16, 17]. In Prosper you have to invest in one loan at a time but with My Constant you can use a pool of loans to diversify more.

What is the next step?

If you try all ideas at once you might end up overwhelmed and doing nothing. It is wiser to pick one idea and establish a passive income source. Then improve it for more income or pick another once the first is set and ready to go on without your active involvement. 

You might have started working from home when you had your first child. If you like the convenience of staying at home and want to keep doing it, you might consider retirement plans for self-employed people. Take a look at an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Roth IRA or a Simplified Employee Pension IRA (SEP IRA). The latter lets you contribute the lesser between $58,000 and 25% of your business income for a given year.

Continue expanding your knowledge on prosperous frugal tools checking the articles written by the same author on Prosperous Frugal.

What passive income idea sounds best to you? What would you add to this list? We’d love to hear!


Frugality and prosperity are not opposites but complementary. We all can be frugal and prosper. That’s why the author has created the Prosperous Frugal site. There you will find related articles such as How to use financial planning to create your plan.


[1] Internal Revenue System, Over the Top: How Tax Returns Show that the Very

Rich Are Different from You and Me; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[2] Babyquip, Explore: Baby Carrying Solutions, Clean. Safe. Insured.; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[3] Realty Mogul, Mogul REIT Lowers Minimum Investment to $1000; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[4] Curbed, Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry; at (visited August 18, 2021).

[5] Car Edge, Car Depreciation Calculator; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[6] AirBnB, About Us; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[7] AirBnB, What are AirBnB service fees?; at  (visited August 1, 2021).

[8] Vrbo, How is the pay-per-booking fee calculated?; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[9] Fundrise, Understanding Fundrise historical returns ; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[10] Streitwise, Beware: Hidden Fees with RE Investment Platforms

How to Avoid Them; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[11] Investopedia, Can an Index Fund Investor Lose Everything?; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[12] Investopedia, Put $10,000 in the S&P 500 ETF and Wait 20 Years; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[13] Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation FDIC, National Rates and Rate Caps – Monthly Update; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[14] Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation FDIC, Deposit Insurance Home; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[15] Peer Street, Insight into Peer Street’s Loan Performance Q4 2020; at  (visited August 1, 2021).

[16] My Constant, Lend money online to earn up to 20x better interest than a Certificate of deposit (CD); at (visited August 1, 2021).

[17] My Constant, Deposit money online to earn interest, compounded and paid every second; at (visited August 1, 2021).

[18] Nexo Help Center, Security and Insurance; at (visited August 1, 2021).

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *