Day 3: Earn Money–Creating your income strategy

Welcome to Day 3 of the 7-Day Financial Wellness Kickstart series!

If you haven’t read Day 2, click here to review it

Day 3 Money mantraMoney flows easily into my life.

Did you know there is more than one way to earn money?

I used to believe the only way to get money was to exchange my time for a paycheck. A game-changer was realizing there were other ways to make money without having to exchange more time.

Today, you will learn how to create multiple income streams focusing on passive income sources. 

The more you understand how income is generated, the less you feel constrained to only use your time to earn money. You will come to discover the many ways income can flow into your life.

Because my goal is to elevate your money mindset, let’s first define the difference between earning and making money. 

How do you earn money?

Earning money requires exchanging your time and skills for money. You’re paid based on the number of hours worked. Whether you’re paid based on the actual hours worked or through a set salary–you’re earning money. You’re limited by your available time.

How do you make money?

Making money isn’t limited by time and can be scaled. They include income from licensing creative work, rental property, dividends from investments, advertising revenues from a blog, or a business that generates revenues. 

Now that you know the difference between earning and making money, I want you to understand the three income types because they can help you:

  • Regain your time
  • Reach financial goals sooner
  • Learn how hobbies can make money
  • Quit undesirable jobs and find meaningful work
  • Pay off debt sooner
  • Feel secure about your future
  • Create sustainable wealth

What is active income, passive income, and portfolio income?

Active income is money you earn for which services have been performed. The IRS refers to it as “earned income.” This includes wages, tips, salaries, commissions, and income from businesses with your active participation. 

In contrast, passive income doesn’t require daily activity to make money. Passive income is made from rental properties, royalties, and businesses in which you don’t actively participate. Passive income types often require an upfront investment of time, energy, and money. But continued earnings don’t require much of your future time and effort. 

Sounds great, right?

Well, there’s one more income type. A subset of passive income is referred to as portfolio income.

Portfolio income includes investing in stocks, mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs, depositing money into interest-bearing accounts, and investing in a business for a share of profits. Some examples include: 

  • dividends that a company pays quarterly for owning shares, 
  • interests paid in a savings account at a bank or credit union, 
  • capital gains for selling a stock that appreciated in price: let’s say from $10 to $15 for a capital gain of $5. 

Now, let’s get a bit more granular. I want you to know about the 7 sources of income. This can help you focus your efforts on growing your income.

Introducing the 7 sources of income

Income SourcesDefined
Earned Income (active)money earned from exchanging your time like salary, wages, commissions, tips, etc.
Rental Income (active or passive)money earned from rental properties.
Profit Income (active or passive)money earned from selling tangible goods or services from a business.
Royalty Income (passive)money earned from licensing your work such as your image, art, book, music, etc.
Interest Income (passive)money earned from lending to others, such as savings in a bank account.
Dividend Income (passive) money earned from profits as a shareholder of company stock.
Capital Gains (passive)money earned from the sale of appreciated assets like property or stock.

I want you to start thinking about income strategy.

Because diversifying and multiplying your income will help you gain peace of mind and reach financial independence.

What can you do?

First, focus on increasing your primary income earned from work: get paid more for the work you’re already doing. Second, earn extra money with side hustles. You can sell items, deliver packages, drive people, or freelance using your design, writing, or data-entry skills. Lastly, use the extra income to buy assets that earn income. Invest in a rental property, business, or company stocks. 

You see where I am going with this scenario: earn as much as you can to afford your needs and use the rest to buy assets that make money for you.

Day 3 Exercise

Today’s assignment helps identify your current income and lay the foundation for an income strategy. 

  1. Write down your income sources. Refer to your workbook.

What income stream excites you the most? And why?


Optional exercise

Starting a side hustle: What skills or experiences do you have that others need? What services can you offer and get paid to do? Start earning more with a side hustle. Here’s what you can do:

  1. List 5-10 skills in the workbook or on a piece of paper.
  2. Identify and circle 3 skills you can offer as a paid service.
  3. Choose one skill and draft a 3-5 sentence paragraph to share. (Ex. Today, I’m learning how to make more money through a financial wellness kickstart. I’m a great resume writer. Need help with your resume? Send a message.)
  4. Challenge: Post your paragraph on social media (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) and get started on your first new earn income source.
Breathwork exercise: Triangle breathing
Breathwork can quickly and positively affect your feelings.

Today’s practice is the triangle breathwork. Imagine an upside triangle. You’ll inhale for 4 seconds as you go up one side, then hold for 4 seconds at the base, and exhale for 4 seconds as you go down the other side to the apex. Repeat 5 times.

1. Take a comfortable seated position and plant your feet on the floor.
2. Relax your shoulders.
3. Close your eyes and envision an upside-down triangle.
4. Imagine moving up one side.
5. Take a deep breath in through the nose for 4 (count up: 1, 2, 3, 4).
6. At the base of the triangle, pause and hold your breath for 4 counts (count 1, 2, 3, 4).
7. Then imagine yourself moving down the other side.
8. Release the breath slowly through the nose for 4 (count down: 4, 3, 2, 1).
9. Repeat 4 more times.

Progress check-in

In this lesson, you learned about the different types of income and how to start building your income strategy. To repeat a key message: make as much money as you can with your primary source of income (that’s usually from an active income job) and use as much of that paycheck to buy income-producing assets that create your passive income streams.

And that’s it for today! See you tomorrow for Day 4.

With you on the journey,


Author of Happy Money Happy Life & Founder of The Smile Money

Additional reading

47 creative ideas to supplement your income

50 active income ideas

14 passive income ideas

Helpful resources

Access hundreds of articles on each of these pillars on Go ahead and dive deeper into areas you need help in right away.

And find the best earning opportunities and side hustle apps on

Get a copy of Happy Money Happy Life to start earning with a focus on a healthier, wealthier, and happier life.

Day 4 Preview: Grow Money–Investing for your future

Tomorrow, you’ll learn how to grow your money through an investing strategy. The goal is to help you get started investing in the stock market, investing for retirement, and investing for financial independence.

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