Three ways to turn financial decisions into money-making investments

I recently wrote a post inspired by The Simple Dollar’s assertion that one’s home is not technically an investment. Long story short, I completely agreed.

However, I did get some great questions regarding any potential ways to turn some of our better financial decisions into actual money-making opportunities.

Turn your house into a money-making machine

Yes, paying a mortgage means you are slowly — but surely! — building equity in your home. Compared to renting, this can provide real long-term stability as well as the opportunity to live quite minimally once that mortgage is paid off.

Paying that mortgage does not generate any income, unfortunately.

That was part of the case being made in The Simple Dollar: Saving up for a down payment and making manageable monthly payments can be a great financial decision. 

Let’s turn the conversation around a bit. As my recent post made clear, an investment is something done exclusively to generate cash.

A decision to purchase a house, therefore, can be an investment if somehow it generates more than equity. Simple enough, right?

It can be, but not everyone is willing to take on a roommate or put their home up on AirBnb.

That’s fine, but understand that making money is not the exact same as saving money. Making money takes some sort of work or sacrifice. Renting out a room is sacrificing space. The same goes for AirBnb.

Both options, however, explicitly generate income. That is a real investment. There is a great post on Mr. Money Mustache outlining a major AirBnb success story.

Put your car to work for you on Turo

I bet you thought I was going to suggest you drive for Uber or Left didn’t you?

Obviously those are great ways to turn a smart car purchase from a “good financial decision” and into an “investment.”

Renting out a room in your house takes very little actual work. AirBnb necessitates active management, but is also fairly pain-free after an initial learning period.

Uber and/or Lyft, however, take real time and effort. They can be great money-makers, but if you are busy with your day job, they can be tough ways to get your side-hustle on.

Instead, dive into Turo and think about renting your car out when you don’t need it. They have insurance and all that, so it might be a great way to earn some passive income with your vehicle instead of working to earn money as an Uber driver.

I won’t make any money if you click that Turo link, it’s just some food for thought if you want to turn your car into an investment!

Sell something!

This doesn’t quite result in a residual income, but a one-time cash influx still counts, right?

Absolutely, fellow Ninjas, absolutely.

Go into your storage closets, and just your regular closet. What in there haven’t you used in more than a year? The answer to that question might surprise you — and result in some extra income. Take some of those old clothes and shoes and what not and throw them up on eBay or Craigslist.

What is the worst that could happen? You only make a few bucks instead of making back the hundreds of dollars you spent on all the crap you no longer need in the first place?

Just think of it as spring cleaning, with a little profit in the process.

That’s the point of this entire post:

Start thinking about profits in your everyday life.

Changing your mindset from trying to make smart purchases to trying to make passive money might just change everything.


Check out the ongoing, full retirement ladder here:

Step 0: Create a budget that helps you get wealthy

Step 1: Why building an emergency fund is so important for your nest egg

Step 1.5: What type of account is best for your emergency fund?

Step 2: Contribute to your 401(k) up to the company match

Step 2.5: How should I pick the best 401(k) investments for me?

Step 3: Pay off all high-interest debt as aggressively as possible

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