Earning

My 9 streams of income bring in $10,000 a month: Here is my best advice

"I figured out my earning potential."

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Alyssa Davies is the founder of Mixed Up Money.
Courtesy Alyssa Davies

I used to worry all the time about my finances. I constantly wondered about what might happen if I lost my job, whether I had saved enough and how I could protect myself from financial emergencies. And I was far from alone in my concerns. After all, 56% of Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency

I didn't want to constantly live with this uncertainty, so I started to think about ways that I could make more beyond my 9-to-5 salary. I learned that there are several different kinds of income streams someone can have – and many of us have more earning opportunities than we realize. 

For me, multiple streams of income have given me the freedom to remove the word "fear" from my money vocabulary. It's also helped me earn more, invest more for my future, and provide the life that I've always wanted for my children.

When it comes to money, it's crucial to think about your "why" as motivation. My "why" is security. I strive for financial security, as well as security in my living situation and in my relationships. 

Today, my nine income streams help me bring in $10,000 a month, and I have gone from feeling overwhelmed, to confident about my finances.

Here is my best advice. 

How I figured out my earning potential

When I started looking into different income streams, one of the biggest things that helped me was breaking down what I could earn into specific groups. I identified seven different earning tracks that came up again and again in my research:

  • Earned income: the money you make from your primary job
  • Business income: if you have a part-time job, side hustle, or your own small business, this is a secondary stream of income
  • Interest income: putting your money into a high-interest savings account can provide you with this stream of income
  • Dividend income: money you earn by investing
  • Rental income: owning a property that provides you with an additional income
  • Capital gains: making money from selling your investments or properties
  • Royalties or residual income: making a product and selling it to a larger corporation, in which you earn a small percentage of every sale for its entire shelf life

With this template of sorts in mind, I started to plan accordingly. Now all nine of my income streams fall into these categories.

I have a full-time job as a content manager, which I started in 2017. I have three side hustles: My financial blog, Mixed Up Money which I launched in 2015; my part-time job as a freelance writer, which I started doing the following year; and influencer work on my social media accounts, which I started doing in 2019. 

I have multiple high interest savings accounts for my short term financial goals. And with help from a robo-advisor, I manage my investments and receive dividends and capital gains that are both reinvested into my portfolio. I also earn royalties from the two books that I published, "The 100 Day Financial Goal Journal" and "Financial First Aid."

How I started to build each income stream

Typically, it can be simpler to start by first focusing on options with a low barrier to entry, like opening a high-interest savings account or a 401(k). I accidentally ended up starting with a side hustle. 

I started a free website in 2015, began writing a personal finance blog, and slowly built up my content portfolio. From there, this passion project turned into a great way to make more money and create additional income streams. 

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Side hustles can be a phenomenal way to set yourself up with multiple and passive streams of income — but they take time. It took me four years to make more than $1,000 each month from Mixed Up Money, but by 2019, I was earning a five-figure salary from it. 

Once I became more educated and aware of money and paid off my consumer debt load, I focused on investing my money. That became my third stream of income. Then multiple high-interest savings account for short-term goals and capital gains from those same investments. 

By adding one stream at a time, I quickly realized that the more, the safer I felt. The more financially secure I became and the easier it was to continue to build wealth.

My best advice for starting new income streams

Everyone has a different approach, and what works for me is not going to be the same for everyone. But the most important advice I can give is to be realistic about what you can take on and how you want to spend your time. 

It's true that my multiple income streams do give me a feeling of security, but they take work to maintain, and that can mean burnout too. Peace of mind and well-being is what we're after here. You can't achieve that if you are spreading yourself too thin. 

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If you're unsure whether you have more than one stream of income, I would start by taking the time to write down a list of all the ways you are making money right now. Next, I would tackle interest and dividend income. 

If you don't have them, consider a high-interest savings account for your short-term financial goals and something like a 401(k) or a Roth IRA for your long-term financial goals like retirement.

These can help set you up for success. Not only that, but you can accomplish both of these tasks in one day. All you have to do is find a financial institution of your choice, open the account and set up automatic contributions.

Once you know how many streams of income you have and you've taken control of your financial goals, now you can think about a potential part-time job, small business idea, or side hustle.

Finding a side hustle can be more challenging than the side hustle itself. I always encourage people to write a list of everything they enjoy doing or are good at and begin to narrow down your list by acknowledging the amount of money you can make versus the amount of time it will take. 

Be honest with how much time you want to dedicate to put into this income stream. Remember that building multiple streams of income isn't something you can accomplish overnight: It takes time. But if you are willing to make some short-term sacrifices for long-term financial gain, it can be completely worth the investment.

Alyssa Davies is a content creator and a published author living in Calgary, Alberta. She is the founder of the two-time award-winning Canadian Personal Finance Blog of the Year, Mixed Up Money, that has over 60,000 followers across social media. She has been featured in many notable publications, including The Globe and Mail, FLARE, Global News, and more. In 2021, she was host of The Dream Team featured on CBC Gem. Her first book, "The 100 Day Financial Goal Journal," was published in 2020, and her second book, "Financial First Aid," is available for preorder.

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