The Best 7 Passive Income Ideas for 21-25 Year Olds

The Best 7 Passive Income Ideas for 21-25 Year Olds

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Welcome back to Young, Dumb, and Not Broke where it is our goal to simplify your finances, help you to build a sustainable income, and show you how to become financially independent. In today’s article, we’ll be demystifying the best 7 passive income ideas for 21-25 year olds.

These tips could apply to you at any age. Just because you’re older than 25 doesn’t mean you can’t use them! But we want you to start as early as you can. If you are just getting started achieving financial freedom, I recommend you check out our previous article, “10 Things Every 18 Year Old Should Know About Money”. It is full of useful advice you may have not have learned in school or from your parents (It’s not their fault, parents are people too)

. Let’s get started discussing an active income stream, then move on to the passive income ideas.

Fiverr & Upwork (More Active Than Passive)

The internet has made it incredibly easy to offer your skills and services to business owners and employers around the world. The best part about sites such as Fiverr and Upwork is that they are super diverse in terms of the services you can offer people. Digital design? Check. Writing blog posts? Check. Coaching for video games? Check.

The trick to these platforms is evaluating the skills you already have, understanding the value of that skill, and being able to market it to potential buyers.

I know what you’re thinking right now – “I don’t have a skill to sell.”

Stop. That’s where you are wrong. If you are in the 21-25 year age bracket, you most definitely have knowledge, experience, or skill in an area that sets you above other people in the freelancing marketplace.

Let’s give you an example:

You have been editing videos or social media clips and posting them to YouTube. Potential skills here are video editing, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Editing videos has become a great form of income and passive income for many people.

Another example:

You take photos on your phone and edit them in a way that is unique to your style. There’s a taste for everyone! Potential skills are photo editing, branding, and design.

People are always looking for a photographer and that could be you.

One final example:

You like writing product reviews on sites such as Amazon or social media. You could offer to copywrite and more.

Writing reviews or being able to connect with people is a high demand job right now for people looking to make passive income.

And even if you think you aren’t particularly an expert in a given area, you may be more experienced than a client who is looking to outsource that work. So, the first tip is to identify your skills and passions to see what you could offer on platforms such as these.

This can sort of be classified as passive income because the site works for you in the sense that it finds your clients. However, it’s still active because you’re the one doing the actual work. Next, we’ll talk about some truly passive income opportunities.


Building a social following of fans and customers is vital in today’s business world. Whether you are just getting started or are already established, Patreon can be used as a passive income source to help bolster your finances to enable you to continue to grow your business.

It doesn’t matter if your business is selling a product, a service, or building a community, Patreon can work for all kinds. Patreon works by setting up a donation page, detailing what it is you are offering and creating, and asking for the support of people.

The best way to do this is to pre-plan and create content that you will be creating anyway for your business and to create extra content for your “super fans” – this way you’ll be offering something of value to the people donating to you and your business.

You can even set specific goals such as achieving X amount of donations monthly will allow you to do Y.

An example:

If I manage to get $300 a month, I will be able to offer one-on-one coaching sessions via Zoom for people looking for advice on building their passive income.

So, after you’ve thought about the skills or services you could offer to people, also identify how you can give back to the people that support you. A business is nothing without the customers that support it.


Again, the internet has made it significantly easier to not only offer your skills, services, and knowledge to the world but also your products and merchandise. Merchandise is one of the key forms of passive income for a lot of people online, even full-time businesses.

Sites such as Merch By Amazon, Amplifier, Teespring, and more make it more accessible to those looking to offer merchandise to their followers. You may not think much of this, but many customers, fans, and followers do want to represent their favorite brands. However, it is more than that.

Building a relationship with your followers and customers is about inside jokes, passion for certain areas related to what you offer, and more. This tribe mentality is what drives us to stick with big brands such as Apple, Adobe, and others.

The best part about merchandise as a passive income stream is that all you have to do – with the majority of these sites – is create the initial design and set the price. The creation of the product, quality and assurance, and distribution are all handled by the companies (for a small portion of the profit).

All you have to do is build a relationship with your followers and promote things they identify with. Furthermore, you don’t have to be fantastic at art to create art that sells. Alternatively, you could just outsource that work to Fiverr (see what I did there?).

Affiliate Marketing

If you haven’t heard about affiliate marketing yet, it is a great and easy source of passive income. It allows you to earn a commission based on the products you already want to promote. Some can be as little as 1% of the product’s sales price. Some can be as higher as over 10%.

However, you have to do affiliate marketing in the right way. Our best advice is to:

  • Only recommend what you have used or love to use.
  • Be transparent about your affiliate links.
  • Continue to build a rapport with your followers by giving them the pros AND the cons.

As long as you follow these simple criteria, you can go about creating your reviews or posts. They can be in the form of a blog post, a guest article on a site such as Medium, Instagram posts, and more! Don’t forget about multiple media formats too. You can use video and make YouTube videos or do a live stream talking about the products. These are awesome because they allow you to interact with people watching and see what your followers want to check out next.

I’m currently an affiliate for Tiller Money because I love their product. My favorite part about affiliate marketing is you don’t have to have a huge audience to make it work for you. All you need are people who trust you.


Blogs can become a pretty impressive source of passive income. Not only can you do affiliate marketing, but you can also include advertisements such as Google AdSense on your website – earning you money for page visits and clicks.

This website you are currently on is a blog and it does make me passive income. But not all my pages are monetized with ads and there are a lot of blogs out there that make a lot more money than I do.

You can also set up your store to sell digital products (more about that below) so that your website can earn money while you sleep. That is an attractive proposition for 21-25 year olds (or others) that want to become more financially independent from the daily grind.

Since blogs can be a host for multiple sources of the passive income streams we are mentioning today, it can be an incredibly effective method. Just like with everything, it will take hard work and determination to succeed. I know it seems that popular blogs just became popular overnight. That is basically never the case. Just because it will someday be passive, doesn’t mean you didn’t have to put in the time and effort to get there.

While blogging can take time it can also be a huge opportunity to make passive income.

Online Courses

Skillshare and Udemy are similar to platforms such as Fiverr, but instead of offering a service, you are offering a course or series of classes to teach someone else knowledge, sharing your experience in a niche, or teaching them how to do something.

The reason why it is similar is that it is all about identifying what you are good at doing and how that can offer value to other people. The initial investment of time will be in creating a high-quality course that covers the steps you’d like to share to teach someone a new skill or offer them something they wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere – yourself being unique already.

Online courses are a vital source of passive income to consider as they often generate higher incomes than most normally paid jobs. To be honest, this is why I built my full list of courses.

However, it does take time. You have to have a rapport with your followers to create something of value for people to want to invest their time and money into. That is why I suggest everyone diversify. Not only with where they produce their content but the products they offer. For example, I currently offer three products in my store.

  1. Money Made Easy – $149
  2. One-on-One Money Coaching – $75
  3. Opening An Investing Account – $20

We will be sharing more advice about online courses in a future article, but always reach out to us in the comments or by email if you have questions.

Be aware that you can also sell your courses independent of these platforms. The advantage of Skillshare, Udemy, or Podia (what I use) is that they have a high amount of traffic already. The disadvantage is that you’ll be paying a portion of your profits to have access to that traffic.

Digital Products

The last passive income idea we’d like to share with you today will be that of digital products. Physical products require production costs, distribution fees, and could have potential problems such as quality assurance and postage. Digital products, as long as you put in the time to create a quality product, bypass all of these problems.

They are also readily available 24/7 to generate income. Great ideas for digital products include:

  • How-to guides
  • Photography filters
  • Video editing transitions or effects
  • Recipe books (actually, any sort of book)

And more! You can sell them on your site or platforms such as Shopify and Etsy. Similar to the online course above, the only investment will be in the researching, planning, and initial production of the digital product.

All it takes is a little bit of your time, expertise, and personal touch to make them stand out. That being said, you will have to figure out how to market your digital products so that people become aware of them.

You can achieve this through a mailing list, Facebook ads, improving your content for SEO (search engine optimization), and other techniques which we will get into in a later article.

So now you’ve identified your skills, experience, and passions, and how you could bring value to people. The next step is to focus on creating a list of potential digital products that you could make to bring even more value to your followers and customers.

The Bottom Line

Financial freedom does NOT have to be difficult.

I think the obstacle for most young adults between 21-25 years old is that they think building multiple income streams is too difficult. They’re worried they have nothing to offer or they just don’t know how to put it into action.

Today is the day to leave that thinking behind and get going.

I hope that this article has inspired you with these passive income ideas and that they will motivate you to take action and start building a financially free future. If you’d like to ask any questions, feel free to contact us. Just remember that all it will take is a bit of learning, some time, and your determination to succeed!

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