Earn Passive Income in Singapore in 2020 - 7 Side Income Ideas

Most people dream of earning money without actually doing anything. The idea of waking up without the weight of an impending working day weighing on your shoulders; being able to fill your hours with whatever appeals to you; and even travel while earning money is something that sounds almost too good to be true.

We’ve all heard of that Instagram micro-influencer who claims to earn money while they sleep, and it’s easy to assume that such claims are just part of a scam to get you to sign up to their bogus course or become the latest recruitee of whatever pyramid scheme they’re trying to sell. While this may be true in some cases, that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of legitimate ways to earn passive income in Singapore that genuinely work. 

With the rising cost of living, it’s now more important ever to have multiple revenue streams in 2020, especially when our world has been shaken by a pandemic that we never could have predicted. Whether your job stability is an issue going forward or not, knowing that you’re financially supported from income other than your salary will give you the reassurance that you need in the following years. 

What is Passive Income?

Passive income is income that you don’t need to work to maintain. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to do absolutely nothing to earn your cash – although it can sometimes, with the right planning and setup. 

A couple of generic examples of earning passive income include renting a out a property or investing in the stock market. You might need to communicate with your tenants or check stocks on a daily basis, but you won’t have to work actively throughout the day to manage your income. 

While going to work at your 9-to-5 can get you so far, earning passive income is the best way to build up wealth over a longer period of time. Things like job security will be less significant when you start to earn passive income, as you can take peace of mind in the fact that you always have something to fall back on, no matter how big or small.

7 ways to Earn Passive Income in Singapore

Earning a side income in Singapore is not as impossible as you may think. Whether you’re more of a creative or logical thinker, there are hundreds of opportunities to get involved in that can help you accumulate cash on a daily basis. 

If you’re keen to start earning passive income as soon as possible, the 10 tips below should help you to get started. Please note that these tips are not intended as advice, and any case of making an investment, you may need to discuss with a qualified advisor.

1. Look into Freelance Opportunities

Nearly all of us are blessed with at least one skill that can be put to use in the working world. In many cases, you can now use your in-house skills as a freelancer, selling your service in your spare time. In the majority of cases, freelancing won’t earn you passive income – but it can do if you get creative. In fact, we wrote a whole article on the topic:  5 Best Freelance Job Sites & Work Ideas in Singapore 2020.

One example of how to passively earn money through freelancing is to set up your own affiliate website and sell a brand’s products or services, which entitles you to a percentage of every sale you make. Providing you’re willing to invest in quality content and SEO for your site, the audience you bring in should help you to earn back the money you spent, plus a whole lot more. And considering you don’t need to store, buy, or even source your website’s stock, this is a simple way to make side money while sat at your computer desk. 

You can also sell unused work, which is particularly handy if you work in a more creative job. From blog posts to professional photos, if you have a collection of unused projects from your day job, you can find a location to sell them online. Pexels and Flickr as particularly good sites to join if you have plenty of your own images going spare. Selling your stock images to the likes of Adobe Stock and Getty Images is another quick way to earn cash. 

2. Rent out a Spare Room in Your Home

Whether you have a spare garage or an entire floor in your home that you don’t use, renting out your space is one of the quickest and most fuss-free options for earning passive income in Singapore. 

If you don’t like the idea of living in close proximity to a stranger, you’d be surprised at how many people are looking for spare storage space, and want to avoid the inflated costs of using a commercial storage unit. If you have free attic space, an empty garage, or even a large cupboard, you can advertise the space on sites like Rent in Singapore. 

Renting out a spare bedroom room or any part of your home gives you the opportunity to house a student or working professional on a short-term basis and earn easy passive income. Just make sure that if you’re renting the property yourself, you’re not violating your rental terms by sub-letting a part of your home. Always speak to your landlord if you’re not sure. 

3. Buy an Existing Business

If you’re looking to reap the benefits of owning a business, but can’t be bothered with the hassle and financial burden of setting one up yourself, buying an existing business is your answer. You can earn Singapore passive income through making a one-time investment in buying a business that is already well-established, then outsourcing your duties and making a simple, steady profit. 

Buying a business doesn’t mean you have to develop the necessary skills to manage a trade you might know nothing about. There’s always the option to hire managers and staff (if the business doesn’t have them already), which means you won’t have to juggle one-million jobs you might know very little about yourself. 

There’s also no need to get too complicated at all with the business you buy. There are plenty of Singapore-based blogs and affiliate websites that are already optimized, packed with content and ready to go. All you’ll need to do is make sure to keep up with the general maintenance of owning a website, which you can choose to outsource to a personal assistant. 

4. Make YouTube Videos

Making passive income doesn’t have to be boring, and there are plenty of ways to use your creative side hobbies to earn a bit of extra cash. If you enjoy being in front of a camera, you might want to consider giving YouTubing a go. Thousands of Singaporeans earn passive income from showcasing their talents or sharing their expertise with the rest of the internet – some even become YouTube megastars from vlogging their daily life. 

Of course, becoming a YouTuber nowadays is a lot trickier than it was five years ago. The site is chock-full of Singaporeans all wanting to achieve fame and success from their personal brand. If you want to make real money from YouTube, you might want to take a more business-minded approach to your platform, and think about how you can provide genuinely helpful information to your audience. 

You are much more likely to catch the attention of a stranger if you’re offering advice on a problem they need to resolve, rather than if you’re letting everyone know what you ate for breakfast. Some of most popular Singaporean YouTube channels, aside from the huge entertainment channels, offer education and advice that millions of people can benefit from. 

5. Write and Sell an E-Book

Another way to put an enjoyable side hobby to good use is by writing and selling an e-book. A unique, thought-out and well-marketed e-book has the potential to earn the author hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars in passive income. Providing you have the time to invest in writing the book, and the cash to pay for online publication, your e-book can earn you side income for many years down the line. 

The key to success with writing an e-book is to make it original. While you might have a passion for cooking your own Italian recipes, if there are already hundreds of Italian cookbooks on the internet, you will find it more difficult to get seen. Look for a gap in the market, and ask yourself whether you’re competent to fill it. If you are, by all means give e-book writing a go in your spare time. 

The great thing about the e-book market is that it’s immediate. If you were to try and go through the traditional publishing route, while you might eventually succeed in earning passive income, this could be a long time into the future. You will need to find an agent, and then a publisher, and deal with in-house processes like editing. Getting an e-book published, on the other hand, can take just a matter of weeks from write-up to publication. 

6. Rent Out Your Car

Your car may be one of your biggest current financial drains, but if you don’t use it that frequently, you can actually make money from owning it. Providing you don’t mind other people using your car, you can rent it out for a couple of hours, a couple of days, or weeks at a time. 

Sites like rentoutcar.com behave a little like Airbnb for cars, and let you rent out your car as and when suits you. Make sure your car meets the regulations and safety standards put in place by the company before you consider renting it out. If you’d rather not go through an online funnel, you can also earn passive income by simply advertising your car for rent on social media. 

You should do your research into the average price of rental cars in Singapore, as well as in your local area. You can then price your own car competitively, which will help you to receive more interest and ultimately earn the most consistent source of passive income. 

7. Buying Domains

As the internet continues to grow and evolve, getting your hands on a popular domain name in Singapore is now harder than ever. Some people have caught onto this, and are earning money from purchasing domain names and selling them at an elevated price to make a profit. As you only need to dedicate a bit of time into researching domain names, this opportunity is another simple way to earn side income Singapore. 

There is method to making the most money from buying domain names. It’s often not a good idea to randomly pick a few domains and hope for the best. Try to be strategic in your search, narrowing your focus to a specific niche – it just makes things easier that way. It’s also wise to purchase multiple variations of the same domain, such as www.website.com and www.website.co. This is because there’s a good chance that if someone is looking to buy one domain name, they will probably want to “trademark” the domain as their own by buying a package. 

Typically, domain names can cost anything between a few dollars and a few hundred dollars, depending on the name in question. Some of the most sought-after domain names have sold for several millions, so if you think you have a knack for predicting the future, buying and selling domain names may work very well in your favour. 


Earning passive income in Singapore is far from impossible. While many of the tips mentioned in this guide require equal parts time and patience, they offer almost guaranteed success when you stick them out. With that said, this information is not intended as professional advice. While it can offer you some pointers in the right direction, you should always speak to a qualified advisor if you need more in-depth financial support.