In today’s economy, chances are it’s impossible to get by with a single income stream. Gone are the days where securing a steady job meant a golden handshake and a comfortable retirement. Instead, growing debt and rising costs of living means that many of us may be forever trapped by debt.

Alternative or secondary income streams are derived from activities outside of full-time employment. Besides allowing you to earn more money, alternative income streams enable you to diversify your risk.

For example, if you lose your current day job, your alternative streams of income will keep you on your feet, until something else comes along. With that in mind, we take a look at 5 easy ways for you to set up secondary streams of income.

1. Earn higher interest on your savings

One of the easiest ways of growing your income is to start making your savings work for you. Letting your savings languish in a bank account, with a pitiful rate interest is a waste.

Take the time to shop around and search for banks with competitive interest rates. In today’s low-interest environment, some may say that this is easier said than done. The fact is, many banks are more than happy for the business. All you’ll need to do is to pay a visit to your local bank and speak to the officer in charge.

With a little groundwork or a Google search, you’ll be able to make a list of banks and their interest rates. Making your savings work for you allows you to have a steady flow of income coming in each month. Passive income streams allow you to build up your savings without any effort on your part.

2. Start selling stuff online

Trading is quite likely one of the oldest forms of commerce in today’s world. With the internet, merchants from all around the world are more connected than ever before. Where in the past, one had to travel great distances to trade, now anyone with an internet connection is able to buy and sell goods with just a click.

Websites like Amazon, E-Bay and even Facebook will allow you to start selling your products. However, before you start, it is crucial that you perform some market research. The e-commerce industry is fiercely competitive with many established players.

So, instead of competing with the big boys, it is best that you tap into an existing niche in the market. Niche markets are a small but profitable segment in the market which has not received any or much attention from competitors. If you’re able to target a niche in the online market, you’ll be able to start making a fair amount of money.

As e-commerce does not require any physical presence, you won’t need much capital to get started. Finally, as most communication is online, you’ll be able to work on your business during your free time.

3. Sell your skills online

It’s a known fact that businesses have taken to outsourcing jobs to freelancers. Hence why not consider taking part in the gig economy?

From copywriting to programming and even web design. freelance work allows you to earn extra money on the side while building your skills.

Freelancers are usually free to dictate their own working hours. Hence if you have a full-time job, you’ll be able to complete jobs on your off-hours and rest days.

However, freelance work can be demanding and time-consuming. Along with this, it takes months or even years of commitment to secure a steady stream of work. So, it’s best that you manage your expectations.

4. Think outside the box

So far, we’ve looked at some common methods of developing alternative income streams. To truly achieve financial freedom, one needs to think outside the box.

In Malaysia, a lady was able to earn upwards of US$100,000 per month by selling nasi lemak; a Malaysian delicacy, by the side of the road. The owner of the stall realized the potential of her little business and took it to the next level.

While you may not be a skilled chef, there are still ways in which you can earn a tidy income with some creativity. Horse racing for example, allows a punter to quickly earn large amounts of money in a short time with little effort. All it takes is some analysis, maybe taking time to look into free live horse racing streaming, and a bit of experience.

Do take care to not overcommit yourself or you may burn through your hard-earned winnings.

The road to financial freedom may be a long one, with determination and grit, you’ll find a way.