Four Simple Ways To Build A Second Income

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many people arrive at a place in their lives where they want and in some instances need to make a second income. There are many creative ways to do this in 2021. The following contributed post is entitled, Four Simple Ways To Build A Second Income.

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One of the most beneficial aspects of technological advancements in recent years is that it now allows people to work from home and make use of their knowledge and experience. Many people have already made the decision to either start a side business to supplement their income or make the transition to working from home full-time. Even though more people are beginning to do so, there are still those who are unsure of how they will be able to accomplish this. Beginning to make money online is extremely simple, especially if you have a small amount of spare time on your hands. Some people even travel around the world while working and earning money online from the comfort of their own homes and laptops. Anyone can participate; the key is to find a method that works for you and stick with it.

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Here are some of the options for working from home that you might consider:

Become An Amazon Store Seller

Making money as an Amazon seller is one way to generate a good secondary income for yourself. You aren’t even required to keep the inventory or ship the inventory yourself. Investigate the Amazon business strategy to see if it could be applied to your situation.

Put Your Photography Skills To Use On The Internet

Do you enjoy taking photographs? If you are successful, you may be able to turn it into a source of passive income. You can sell your photos on photography websites such as Shutterstock and iStockphoto, which are designed to help you make money. They may offer a percentage of each photo that is sold to a site client or a flat fee for each photo that is sold.

An individual photo can be thought of as a cash flow generator because it can be sold over and over again in this manner. You only need to create your photo portfolio and upload it to one or more photo sharing websites, after which the activity becomes completely passive. The web platform is in charge of all of the technical aspects of the photo sales transactions.

Finding Easy Tasks

Even though this isn’t the fastest way to make money online, and you’re unlikely to make enough money to quit your day job, it is a fantastic way to supplement your income while working part-time from home. The internet is flooded with websites and apps that encourage you to engage in activities such as playing games and taking surveys in exchange for points that can be redeemed for cash or Amazon gift certificates. Maintaining sufficient points to qualify for a payout may take some time, but it is something you could do while watching television in the evenings or on your way to work.

Consider Stock Trading

Investing in stocks may appear to be a minefield at first glance, but with careful research and the use of online tools and apps, it can be a viable way to supplement your income at home or while travelling. Begin with a small investment and conduct extensive research into the trading markets. Keep in mind that you are investing your own money, and as a result, you stand to lose as much as you stand to gain from the investment. However, if you strike it rich with stock investing, you stand to make a substantial profit if your investment is successful.

Credit Cards With Cash Back

There are credit cards that offer cash-back benefits ranging from 1% to 5% of the purchase price. Isn’t it true that you’ll be out shopping and buying anyway?

Rewards will allow you to earn some passive “money” (in the form of lower outgoing) by doing what you’d be doing anyhow.

We’ve just begun to be more conscious about collecting reward points on our credit cards, especially because we enjoy travelling. We were able to use our reward points to pay for nine round-trip flights and a couple of hotel nights in the last year. That’s exactly what I’m referring to!

Create A Blog

Another fantastic option to make money online is to start a blog. A growing number of people are turning to blogs to share their thoughts and views with others. The fact that it is possible to make a living from it, however, is not widely known. There are currently a large number of professional bloggers and freelancers that make a living solely from the content of their blogs. You’ll need compelling content that appeals to a specific demographic in order to succeed. Whatever you want to talk about is fine, covering anything from lifestyle to health and fitness to motherhood to technology and everything in between. Even while it is not the most expedient method of earning money, once you get your blog up and running and have a reasonable following, you may begin earning money through sponsored content, free vacations and gifts, and affiliate relationships.

These are just four options for making money online; do you have any others that you can share in the comments section?

Are Passive Income Streams What They Seem?

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. An important concept for everyone to understand is that of passive income. It’s a principle that is not well understood though it is a powerful one. Passive incomes can in fact take multiple forms. The following contributed post is entitled, Are Passive Income Streams What They Seem?

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What is a passive income? A passive income is money going into your account that you don’t have to work for. Instead, the money works for you in the background of your typical life routine. At least, that’s what people expect, but is this really what a passive income is? Is there anything in life where you can earn money without doing anything, literally nothing? Short of winning the lottery, we’re not so sure and even then you have to buy the ticket. Let’s dive a little deeper into this conundrum.

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Examples Of Passive Incomes

There are numerous examples of incomes that people tend to describe as passive. For instance, you might invest in stocks. Many people often refer to this as a passive income because you buy the stock and then wait for them to hopefully rise in value. So, you’re not really doing much and still earning money. However, you can’t be completely passive here because if you are, you’ll miss out on the right time to sell.

What about the property? This is another option people suggest can be a passive income but is it really? After all, to invest in property, you need to make the purchase. You then need to decide whether you are going to let or sell. If you let, you take on all the responsibilities of a landlord and while you own it you have a lot of commitments. For instance, you’ll need to pay a rental tax. Luckily, there are companies such as that will be able to help you out here. This is one of the ways that you can keep an income passive. You can pass off the duties and responsibilities to another person or business and they will handle it for you. However, that will only be possible if your investment budget allows for this.

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Real Passive Incomes Aren’t Usually Successful

A real example of a passive income would be something like a savings account. While it’s true that you will earn additional money through interest on a savings account, it won’t be enough to make a massive difference to your earnings. It’s just a nice added bonus of choosing the right bank.

Or you could be more dramatic and suggest blogging is a passive income. But it’s not really because you need to put the time and effort into making the blog a success. If you treat a blog like a hobby rather than a business, you’re never going to earn the money that you want. You can learn more about running a successful blog on

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Should You Still Search For A Passive Income?

Despite not being truly passive it is still worth looking for one of these possibilities. Essentially, what we’re talking about here is a side hustle or a secondary income that supports your primary one. You may have to put some effort in and potentially even spend money in places but experts agree everyone should have at least two incomes. It puts you in a far more secure place when dealing with future financial challenges.

You’ve Lost Your Job- What Happens Next?

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and a key focus is Career Discussions. Most everyone will experience the loss of a job for one reason or another. If you’re fortunate, you will receive a timely warning so that you can prepare for the loss of income. Some people aren’t so lucky and the loss is sudden. In either case it’s important to know what to do in of a job loss. The following contributed post is entitled, You’ve Lost Your Job- What Happens Next?

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Losing your job is up there with one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. In an instant, everything is at risk- your home, your car, your credit score where you can quickly fall into debt. There’s a hugely emotional side of things where you might be wondering how you’re going to look after your family and pets, not to mention a loss of identity. Our jobs are more than just jobs, they’re part of who we are. And so losing that, your security blanket, it’s a difficult pill to swallow. If you’ve found yourself in this position, perhaps due to redundancies in the company or them going into administration, or maybe due to a fault of your own, here’s what you need to do next.

Claim any money you’re entitled to
Have you had to leave your job because you got injured? If it’s someone else’s fault then you might be entitled to compensation, make sure you’re getting what you’re owed. For example, if you were hurt while riding your motorbike then a lawyer like would work your case for you, if it was at work then you’d have to go down the relevant channels. This money can help you with your recovery and can be a lifesaver while you’re out of work. While you don’t have a job, you may also be entitled to help from the government. See if there are any welfare or benefits you can claim to cover your basic costs and keep you going while you find something new.

Take a temporary job
Finding another job can be a lengthy process. Depending on the career you’re in and the job roles you’re going for, it can take time for a position to come up, the employer to go through CVs, call people in for interviews and eventually start. You may also get rejected a number of times along the way. For this reason, it can be worth taking a temporary job– any job you can get in the meantime. As the saying goes, it’s easier to find work when you’re in work. It might not be what you want to be doing or a long term job for you but any source of regular income is better than none. Whether it’s delivering pizzas, working in retail or cleaning, see if there’s anything available right now that you can take.

Create new sources of income
Going forward, it’s so worth building additional sources of income so you’re financially protected if you ever lose your job again in the future. Establish and monetise a blog, build up a good reputation as a freelancer or start a home business. These things will take time to get going, but you could run them alongside your new job when you finally get to work. It’s extra money for now, and if you need them in the future it’s a source of income you can rely on.

Are You Putting Your Income To Good Use?

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy. A key to understanding money is knowing the best ways to use what income you have, but also to eliminate waste. Incomes vary and there is less room for error the less you make. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Are You Putting Your Income To Good Use?

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With the number of expenditures most of us face on a daily basis, it’s hard to make a paycheck last for the entire month. But there might be more you could do to manage your financial situation. Are you putting your income to good use? Let’s talk about some ways in which you could spend your money wisely.

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Tidy up your monthly expenses.
The first way in which you should put your income to good use is to tidy up your monthly expenses. So many people unnecessarily waste their earnings on expenditures that they don’t need. Practicing the 30-day rule (avoiding buying a luxury until you’ve waited for 30 days) is a smart way to control your desire to splurge. Of course, even those of us who avoid luxury purchases might still struggle to cover the endless list of monthly bills. But you could save money in that sense too. You could insulate your walls and windows to reduce the energy needed to warm up your house and save money on your energy bill. You could use online vouchers to save money when shopping for food, new clothes, or anything else you need online. You could even put up a lodger to help cover some of your bills if you have a spare room in your house or flat. There are so many ways to tidy up your monthly expenses if you change your approach to spending money. Budgeting is the easiest way to track and manage your finances, of course.

Find worthwhile investment opportunities.
Finding worthwhile investment opportunities is another way to put your income to good use. As we’ll discuss in the final point, saving your money is important, but you could really improve your future financial situation by letting your wealth grow substantially through investments. Perhaps you could look at the stock market, for example. You might even want to head here for some new build houses. Investing in property is very smart because it’s a market that always has keen buyers. After all, people always need somewhere to live. Whether you buy and fix up properties to sell them for a quick profit or you buy properties to lease them out for a regular income, there’s a lot of money to be made here. Still, however you choose to invest your money, just make sure you do your research to make low-risk and high-reward decisions.

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Save on payday.
If you know that you’re prone to splurging as soon as that paycheck comes through every week or every month then you should start saving on payday. That way, you don’t have to worry about triggers urging you to spend your money when you’re out shopping or browsing online. You can immediately transfer a portion of your disposable income to your savings account and any disposable earnings that remain can be your spending money for non-essentials. It’ll mean you don’t have to feel guilty if you do treat yourself to luxuries because you’ll know that you’ve already put something into your savings for the month. This is a smart way to start putting your income to better use. You’re allowed to treat yourself in life, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your overall financial security in the present or the future. That’s always the crucial thing to remember.

Challenging Misconceptions and Stereotypes in Class, Household Income, Wealth and Privilege

“It seems to me that in general white people are content to eat soup and sandwiches if it means buying a house. They don’t care as much about of having the latest fashions, and driving the fanciest cars!”

First of all, I hope the opening quote didn’t offend you. It was a part of an actual discussion with my father – one of many, and you’ll see its relevance later on. The first principle of my blog is “Creating Ecosystems of Success” which in short means showing others how to be successful, keeping in mind that what’s considered successful varies from person to person. The second piece I published on the Examiner titled, Challenging misconceptions and stereotypes in academic achievement, revisited one of my earliest lessons about academic success. In short, my father pointed out that academic success was merely a function of priorities and time invested, not the inherent ability or genetics of a particular race – something which helped me become a stronger student later on.

With two other principles of my blog being “The Teaching of Financial Literacy/Wealth Building”, and “Long-term thought”, I’ve crafted a similar piece discussing how our ideas and misconceptions shape our financial lives, and how we see the financial lives and privileges of other ethnic groups/races. Relatively recent data shows that while black families still have half the average median income/net worth of white families, Asian families seem to have caught up to those same white families and have even surpassed them. As a black man myself, I’ve wondered if Black-Americans should look around at all of the other ethnic groups in the United States, as opposed to solely focusing on White-Americans, in terms of financial success and all that comes with it.

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“All of that state and federal money is going to those white folks. The black folks aren’t getting anything.” I’ve heard these and similar discussions frequently growing up during holiday dinners, and even today from my elders in my mother’s generation when discussing current events in my home city of Buffalo, N.Y. For some, Buffalo is a segregated, “non-progressive” city as described in the story of my blog, and it forever shaped the outlook of my mother and her peers.

Actually, many discussions with my father, who is from Harlem, were also peppered with broad brush discussions of “white people”, “them”, or “they” in unflattering ways – usually about the oppression of black people, and white people having unfair competitive advantages in life. The opening quote of this post was from a discussion he and I had about spending habits and race. Are my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles racists? No, I don’t think they think black people are superior to other races, but they did experience segregation and Jim Crow causing a residual level pain, a distrust of white people, and arguably some bigotry of their own. Yes, even if only to a small degree, I do think black people can also be bigoted.

In hindsight, we never discussed how or what Arabs, Asians, and Hispanics were doing – only white people. We knew that most of the stores in our neighborhoods were owned by other ethnic groups, but we mostly talked about the, “white folks.” It was a singular focus which compared black and white, mostly talking about black people being disadvantaged and powerless. It seldom, if ever, came up that there were multiple classes of black people – some which were winning in life, had been doing so for a long time, and had some privilege of their own.

There were, in fact, affluent and privileged black people, though my family didn’t affiliate with them much. It wasn’t until I went off to college that I started to see that there were alternate realities. Lawrence Otis Graham’s Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper-class periodically pops up in my writings. Highly criticized for celebrating America’s black upper-class, it was an important work for me personally because it let those of us who didn’t grow up in that class know that it existed – something as a black person you encounter and must reconcile in cities like Washington, DC, where I now reside. Some of these people were born into the upper class through generational wealth and inheritances, while others climbed there through digging in, sacrificing, and doing some things that other ethnic groups had done – things that were considered in some circles to be “white.” The children of these black families had privileges I didn’t have.

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“The person who wrote this, are they white?” my godson asked me.

As described in my post titled, We should have bought Facebook and Bitcoin Stock, a mentor gave me a copy of the book How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn, Invest and Save. I started giving copies of the book to the younger people in my circle so that they could have a head start on some of the important concepts I only started learning in my late twenties – “Compounding Interest” for example, covered in Chapter 8. One of the lucky recipients was my godson.

I had just read a passage to him from the end of the book. The subsection was titled, “You made a million dollars? Great. Now Zip it”. The section warned against, “playing the high roller to impress people,” which could, “make you look like a fool” and, “invite theft.” I didn’t anticipate his question, but it was very telling about my godson’s world view – a teachable moment which I’ll return to with him in the future.

After asking him about his question, he told me that the passage I read to him sounded like a, “white way of thinking.” I first told him that it seemed that at 14 years of age, he’d started recognizing that there were differences in the value systems of different ethnic and racial groups – in this instance black people vs. white people. In terms of values, our people are known for frivolously spending their resources, flaunting their wares (many only depreciating) – signaling to one another as described by Dr. Boyce Watkins. I then cautioned my godson that not all white people are wealthy and that some were in fact poor. There were also some black people who were wealthy from things other than athletics and entertainment.

What was my godson growing up seeing in Prince Georges County, Md., the wealthiest black county in the United States? I’ll just say that earlier that day, I watched as many of the people at his house gushed over his blue and white Air Jordans – the ones with the shiny colored toes. They were enamored with name brand sneakers, clothing, and other symbols of money and perceived power – again many which only depreciate in value. I’ll stop there. In short, the values he was experiencing daily didn’t dictate keeping any material prosperity he would achieve quiet as it was a white way of thinking.

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I first thought about Asian-American wealth last year when someone on Twitter shared an infographic stating that Asian-American wealth has steadily grown, while their voter participation had stagnated. The point of the tweet was that while Black-America has been one of the more vocal groups during elections, and in civil rights/social justice arenas, we haven’t significantly closed the wealth gap with White-America (as a group). The implication of the tweet was that black people as a group were focusing on the wrong things.

I found some interesting data in a report by the Pew Research Center titled On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites are Worlds Apart. While the report mostly compared black people and white people, it also included some data on Asians and Hispanics. I’ll start with the figure titled “Whites are more likely than blacks to have a college degree”. It showed that 36% more white U.S. adults ages 25 and up had college degrees versus 23% of blacks in 2015. Interestingly 53% of Asians-Americans had college degrees – a greater number than whites.

A subsequent figure titled “Racial gaps in household income persist” showed that in 2015, blacks and Hispanics had median adjusted average household incomes of roughly $43,000. Whites had a median adjusted household income of $71,000, and surprisingly Asian-Americans had a median adjusted household income of $77,900. According to the report, Asian income has been on par or exceeded White income since 1987. Asian-Americans weren’t tracked in the report prior to 1987 so it’s not clear where exactly they started as a group. The gap between blacks and whites has steadily widened since the 1970s.

The figure titled “Blacks are twice as likely as whites to be poor, despite the narrowing of the poverty gap” showed that in 2014 the percentages of blacks and Hispanics in poverty was double that of whites and Asians. The next figure showed that whites have 13-times more wealth (net worth) than blacks in terms of household – $144,200 versus $11,200 for blacks. No data were presented on Asian-Americans. The figure titled “Homeownership is more common among whites than any other racial group” showed that whites led in homeownership, followed by Asians and then Hispanics and then blacks. Further data showed that blacks led in unemployment, versus the other three groups. Lastly blacks led in non-marital births, children under 18 living in single-parent households, and finally declining rates of marriage.

There was an interesting 2014 article from CNBC, written by Hailey Lee titled, How Asian- Americans are transforming the face of U.S. wealth. The article cited data from the Federal Reserve showing that Asian-American wealth had changed dramatically since 1989, growing to 70% of that of whites – $91,440 vs. $134,088. A subsection of the article titled “What came first: Wealth or education?” discussed whether or not the increased attainment of education could account for this gain in wealth.

The article stated that, “In 2013, 73% of Asians aged 35-39 held a degree beyond high school. That percentage was 54% for whites, 36% percent for blacks, and 23% for Hispanics. The disparities grow when looking at individuals with at least a four-year college degree: 65 % (Asian), 42 % (white), 26 % (black), and 16 % (Hispanic).”

In the section titled, “The wealth effect”, the article further stated that, “When Charles Emmons narrowed the data set to examine Asians younger than 62, both levels of median income and median wealth surpassed whites. This implies that younger Asians tend to be financially stronger than older Asians. And older Asians compared to their white counterparts, are weaker financially.”

“There’s a huge population of hardworking, educated Chinese who look to the U.S. for real estate investment,” said Elizabeth Schwartz in the Washington Post’s article titled Wealthy Chinese buyers are a growing force in U.S. real estate markets. “But they come to this market (New York City) not with money to just throw around, but rather to make informed, well-reasoned investment choices.” I looked up this article because I’d heard in recent years that there were lots of foreign investors buying up U.S. real estate in the aftermath of the great recession. One of the most prominent groups being Chinese Nationals whose average home price in 2015 was $831,800 compared with $499,600 for all other international buyers according to the Rosen Consulting Group.

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So, what does all this data mean? First, as Black-Americans our measuring stick is often White- America, but the data out there suggest that the time has come to start looking around and tracking other ethnic groups, and inquiring about how they’ve gotten to where they are in such relatively short periods of time. In my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y for example, on the eastside where I grew up, none of the stores are owned by the black people who live there. The owners are from the Middle East, and they’re able to effectively run their businesses and coordinate with one another – all while growing steadily wealthier.

I didn’t know that Asian-Americans had made such strides in income/wealth. With all of the talk about white wealth and privilege, I thought whites would have been the leaders in these areas. As described in my Challenging Stereotypes and misconceptions post, Asians are perceived as an extremely hardworking group. Malcolm Gladwell dedicated a whole chapter to their work ethic in Outliers. Their attainment of college degrees in comparison to other ethnic groups is noteworthy, but it’s also important to consider what their degrees are in – probably the STEM fields.

They also seem to be very entrepreneurial, and I’m not speaking exclusively about their restaurants. Again, if you look in many black communities you also see an abundance of beauty supply and nail shops. Lastly their spending habits and marital rates are probably also important factors.

In closing, race discrimination, stereotypes and misconceptions are very dangerous in that they can enforce false narratives and world views. Those false narratives and views can lead whole groups of people in the wrong direction over long periods of time, setting them back for generations. Lastly, they can create false targets and goals to emulate and pursue – hence the power of political groups and the media.

Thank you for taking time out to read this blog post. If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Challenging misconceptions and stereotypes in academic achievement
Your net worth, gross salary, and what they mean
We should’ve bought Facebook and Bitcoin stock: An investing story
The differences between being cheap and frugal
Mother’s day 2017: One of my mother’s greatest gifts, getting engaged, and avoiding my own personal fiscal cliff
Father’s day 2017: Reflections on some of dad’s money and life lessons

The Big Words LLC Newsletter

For the next phase of my writing journey, I’m starting a monthly newsletter for my writing and video content creation company, the Big Words LLC. In it, I plan to share inspirational words, pieces from this blog and my first blog, and select videos from my four YouTube channels. Finally, I will share updates for my book project The Engineers: A Western New York Basketball Story. Your personal information and privacy will be protected. Click this link and register using the sign-up button at the bottom of the announcement. If there is some issue signing up using the link provided, you can also email me at . Best Regards.