Yes, you can make a living without working, and, no, we are not going to propose anything illegal or ridiculous – please see YouTube for lots of those.
Passive income is what it’s all about. Gaining passive income, many people think, is a matter of having millions to invest so that you receive dividends or interest income.
But there are ways for the less-well-heeled among us to earn passive income legally and that don’t require vast wealth to obtain.
Here are few little-known ways to build your income without getting another job.
Buy an ATM machine
Believe it or not, you can buy an ATM machine and collect a percentage of the fees earned by the business or bank that is using it.
You can buy a new one, for about €10,000, or a used one for as little as €1,000.
How much can you earn? Depends a bit on location, but some ATMs yield several thousand euro per month.
When a business allows an ATM to be placed at its location, they have the opportunity to earn a commission, part of the fee paid by the user to get cash.
However, if you rent the ATM, the business that maintains the machine (fills it with cash, repairs it etc.) receives some of the money.
And it’s also possible to sell advertisements on the ATM screen. This is becoming increasingly lucrative, as nearby businesses profit from ads that offer benefit just a few steps away.
If you own a physical retail business, putting an ATM machine in your store is a proven way to improve sales. Customers come in to take cash, and then spend some of it in your store.
Buy a vending machine
Some of the same principles apply to purchasing a vending machine as to acquiring an ATM – but there are important differences.
With vending machines, location is of prime importance. We’ll all walk a block or two to withdraw cash, but few people will travel that distance to buy a gumball.
The machines have to be in a much-frequented place, and they have to offer something relatively cheap and simple. There are vending machines that sell things like caviar and gold bars, but they are expensive to supply and maintain.
You’ll want to stick with snacks, coffee, sandwiches and that sort of easy sell. You should discuss the right fit for the possible location with the vendor or the business where you rent space. It is possible to place vending machines in offices where employees need access to food or drink, and this can often be done without charge.
It is possible to buy a vending machine that sells hot pizza, but it’s probably not a good idea to place it in a health-food store.
Costs, however, are surprisingly low: you can acquire a vending machine for €3,000 and they run up to €20,000 (more for very specialised ones).
Earnings, of course, depend on what you’re selling, but they vary from €2,000 per month to as much as €15,000. There are expenses involved in the vending machine business, however, so you should make a careful calculation of potential earnings and costs before buying them.
Share your car
You don’t have to be an Uber driver to make money in this way.
If you own a car, you will soon be able to rent it out in Cyprus using the now-gone-viral app Getaround.
Getaround is already available in most of Europe, and no doubt will soon arrive in Cyprus. The app permits you to both rent a car from a nearby person whenever you like at very competitive rates, or to rent your own out in the same way.
Rentals in the UK were priced as low as 5 pounds for the day. There is a vast selection of cars at all price levels, however. You can rent by the hour at 12 miles per hour.
The rentals are insured by Allianz, with 24/7 roadside assistance from AA, so risks are under control.
And it’s all done via your smartphone. Find your car; choose from the available dates; upload your driving licence and identification; use the app to perform the check-in process, then unlock the car in one tap. The keys will be inside. You get 12 miles per hour (19 kilometres per hour) up to 120 miles (193 kilometres), or 120 miles per day. The app manages every aspect of the rental.
So you can head off to Protaras, and the renter back in Nicosia does all the work. Regular rentals pay off well above the cost of the car usage, so the profit is real.
Buy or build a storage unit
This is a much more costly investment, but self-storage is a rapidly growing industry because the workforce is increasingly mobile, and the cost of space for businesses is increasing.
Rental space, both commercial and residential, is growing more costly in almost all European markets, and Cyprus is no exception. This is driving the popularity of self-storage, and so operators can demand higher prices.
But the business is built around the fact that you can put a self-storage unit anywhere around a city, but in a place where land and buildings are relatively cheap. Costs at the outset are high to prepare units with the minimal necessary equipment, but these costs are low.
Margins are very high, according to industry experts. And clientele has a tendency to build up over time, so that after the first two years, most self-storage units stay full nearly year-round.
Income from a well-managed unit can reach €100,000 per year, once startup costs are covered. Maintenance is cheap.
Obviously, this last choice isn’t for everyone. But a few friends might undertake to start a self-storage unit, and, with good planning, profit will really make a difference in your life.