Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the term “passive income.” Simply speaking, passive income is recurring income that is generated by work done only once. To grasp the concept of passive income, think of an author who receives royalties for book sales, long after the book is written. Or an insurance agent who receives commissions, not just when policies are written, but when they renew as well. The idea of passive income can be applied to saving money as well.
Admittedly, many ways of saving money are less than passive. In order to save at the grocery store month after month, the work of clipping coupons, shopping for loss leaders, and planning meals must be done time and time again. The same goes for cutting your own hair, washing your own car, or mowing your own lawn. In order to save money by doing these things yourself, the action has to be repeated each time. This is active saving, not passive saving.
But what if something could be done just once and the saving continued month after month? That’s what I like to think of as passive saving. Here are just a few examples:
- Cut back on your cable TV package.
- Negotiate to have your credit card rate lowered (assuming you have a balance).
- Weatherproof the windows and doors or add insulation to your home.
In each of these cases, the real work is done only once, but the saving continues indefinitely. Here are some other ideas:
- Find a cheaper hairdresser, auto mechanic, or cell phone service.
- Cancel a little-used gym membership.
- Downgrade from an expensive car to an economical one.
By focusing on making moves like these, you will benefit from the savings long after the initial research, phone call, or transaction is completed. As with most things, once you begin to focus on finding these savings, opportunities seem to pop up everywhere.
And speaking of opportunities, switching to a PerkStreet checking account with a cash back debit card is a great example of passive savings. Once the initial switch is made, you will benefit every time you swipe your card… forever. Getting cash back for spending you were doing anyway is about as passive as it gets!
What passive saving methods can you think of? Please share so we can keep this idea growing!
Julie Mayfield is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about everything having to do with personal finance. She shares money saving and debt reduction tips on her blog, The Family CEO. When she’s not reading or writing about money, you can usually find her hanging out with her friends and family and cheering on the Kansas Jayhawks.
Julie is a PerkStreet customer by choice and a regular guest columnist on the PerkStreet Blog because she believes in what we’re building. Interested in joining the roster of talented bloggers? Email the editor at kyle.psaty[at]perkstreet[dot]com
Usually, we try to tell you why PerkStreet is awesome down here, but Julie did such a nice job! She’s totally right: Spend your money on the stuff you want, earn cash back. PerkStreet makes saving simple!