Watch CBS News

Passive income, paid surveys and other ways to access cash in 2023

There are multiple ways to build passive income (in which little to no work is required) and tap into current cash reserves. Getty Images/iStockphoto

As a new year begins and holiday debt remains outstanding, many Americans may be looking for ways to generate new income or access existing cash. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to build passive income (in which little to no work is required) and tap into current cash reserves.

"Passive activities include trade or business activities in which you don't materially participate. You materially participate in an activity if you're involved in the operation of the activity on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis," the IRS explains on its website.

When it comes to passive income, it really depends on what you're interested in and where your talent is. Here's what to know to start making money.

Passive income ideas

Here are three ways to start building passive income in 2023.

Paid surveys

Have you ever taken a survey on the phone for free? If so, then online surveys may be for you.

"You won't get rich taking surveys and it's not meant to take the place of a full-time job but it can supplement your income and give you a little extra flexibility in your budget," market research site Survey Junkie explains. "Complete three surveys daily and earn as much as $40 monthly. Share more, earn more and make it worth your while."

Paid surveys can generally be completed within your time frame and they can be done in as small or as large amounts as you wish (the more you do, the more you'll get paid). And why they won't pay the mortgage each month, they can certainly help pay some utility bills.

It's easy to get started! Set up an account online now and start making money now.

Become a virtual assistant

Are you already working remotely full-time? Or are you on a hybrid model? Regardless of where you fall, if you're already working online then consider doing a little more by becoming a virtual assistant. By becoming a virtual assistant via websites like Indeed (just search for "Remote Virtual Assistant") you can work for a business in need from your own home. The work varies - from writing to traditional bookkeeping and more - so look around for the best fit for you.

Become a transcriptionist

If you don't mind working online then consider online transcription for cash. Just listen to audio files and then transcribe what you hear. You get paid per piece, so the faster you can type, the more you can potentially make. Sites like, GoTranscript and TranscribeMe are just some of the places where you can apply for online transcription work now. 

Other ways to access cash

If you're not interested in monitoring a passive income stream or completing paid surveys, there are other ways you can access cash. Here are some other options to consider.

Withdraw from your life insurance policy

Life insurance isn't just something that your beneficiaries can use after you have died. There are insurance types, like whole, that have a cash reserve that you can access while you're alive. That money can then be used to pay bills, for household repairs or for many other things. 

Don't have a whole life insurance policy? Start by getting a free quote online now so you know exactly how much you would qualify for.

Take out a reverse mortgage

This option is only available for older homeowners but it can still be a resourceful way to access cash that's already yours. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners (62 and older) who have completely paid off or paid off most of their mortgage, to withdraw a part of their home's equity. This money qualifies as tax-free income. It needs to be repaid, however, if the homeowner dies or elects to sell the home. 

You can easily explore your reverse mortgage options online here now.

Complete a cash-out refinance

This option, available for eligible homeowners of all ages, entails taking out a new mortgage loan in an amount larger than what you currently owe. You then use the new loan to pay off the old one and keep the remaining difference as cash for yourself.

If you don't mind remaining in your home for the next several years - and need cash for bills or other expenses - then a cash-out refinance may be for you. Interest rates on the new loan may also be more favorable than credit card or personal loan alternatives, too. 

If you think you would benefit from a cash-out refinance then start by answering this brief survey to determine your next steps and potential future savings.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.