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My Passive Income Idea

UserPost

8:38 pm
November 17, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

Hi all, I'm completely new to blogging and this forum, so let me know if I screw up. 

My blog is http://www.nakedbudgeting.com (named because I anonymously disclose all our personal finances each month). 

I just posted about an idea I am piloting to bring in extra income.  I'm putting dog food in candy vending machines and putting them at off-leash dog parks around my city.  I placed the first one this weekend and it brought in $1.50.  It might not seem like much, but that $1.50 of passive income cost me $0.12 in dog food, so the variable margin is 1200%.  I don't think it's a game changer, but check out my blog and future posts about our 10 year plan to be debt free millionaires and other crazy side-income projects I do. 

Anybody have any other fun/crazy side-income ideas to share?

4:56 am
November 18, 2013


My Personal Finance Journey

Member

posts 3159

Cool idea! You could also try putting dog treats in the vending machine as well. 

 

Did you make sure to get approval to place that from the dog park owner?

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey

Visit me at My Personal Finance Journey

Email me jacob@mypersonalfinancejourney.com

Be my Facebook Friend, Follow my journey on Twitter

6:12 am
November 18, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

Hey Jacob, I just checked out your site and found your Carnival of Passive Investing.  I would be honored if you would feature my article there.  I come up with these weird ideas every few months but I want to see if I can build this one up as a fun side project.  Now that I know about your Carnival, I'll write more about some of my ideas for that.

 

And regarding your comments … dog treats which don't dispense out of the machine very well since it's built to dispense round candy.  We considered packaging up dog treats in those little plastic eggs but it would take a long time to "egg" up each one.  We didn't find any "round" dog treats but if you know of one, let me know.  I think the treat manufacturers don't want them to look like dog food.  But we went with the highest quality dog food we could find, so hopefully that helps.

 

We might ask a gourmet dog food store in town to make food for us.  They would get advertising and we would get custom shaped treats.  

 

The dog parks are run by the city and no, we haven't asked for permission yet.  We wanted to test it out a bit before asking.  I'm going to leave it there for a few more weeks and if there is enough interest, we will start jumping through those bureaucratic hoops.  At the very least we will have to apply for a vending permit.  Not something I'm looking forward to.

5:38 pm
November 20, 2013


cellotime

Member

posts 10

You might want to be careful with putting for profit devices or anything onto either public or private property without permission.  They may be able to confiscate the device and \ or fine you for having it there.  All it takes is one person to complain and you're in a world of hurt.  I work in local government, so I know these seem dumb, but it happens all the time.

http://www.cellotime.com

@CelloTimekarl

On Becoming the worlds foremost 35-year-old beginning cellist

karl@cellotime.com

4:12 am
November 21, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

Thanks!  I actually was thinking the same thing and removed it yesterday.  

 

Since you work for a local government, what advice would give someone like me for asking them if I can put it there?  I was thinking about just visiting the Parks and Rec people and trying to find someone to talk to about it.

10:30 am
November 21, 2013


Eve of Reduction

Buffalo, NY

Member

posts 46

Cool idea, though. The pet business is explosive. My friend took her dog trick-or-treating and I was like what?

Cristin Frank
Founder of Eve of Reduction - Where Reducers are Producers - Reduction Rebels, let's save money by being clever, resourceful and creative. Before we open our wallets, we open our minds.
Author of Living Simple, Free & Happy: How to Simplify, Declutter Your Home, and Reduce Stress, Debt & Waste
Like us on Facebook and Pinterest
Twitter: @cristinfrank

9:18 am
November 22, 2013


Barbara Friedberg

Member

posts 1302

This is a really creative idea. Where did you get the dispensers? I think this is likely to be quite profitable. Maybe a franchise opportunity in the future :)

2:01 pm
November 22, 2013


Money Reasons

Admin

posts 697

I'm confused, how is this "passive" income?  To me it sounds like "side income" but not necessarily passive income.  Then again, what is truly passive income.  I use to think investing was passive income, but I work pretty hard at it… lol.

 

To me is sounds like a clever vending machine business.  It's a very clever and original idea, but don't you have to buy the food, restock the vending machine, pick up the money, deposit it in the bank, etc.   Does the vending machine require electricity?  How is that being accomplished?

 

Either way, kudos to you!!!

9:23 pm
November 22, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

Eve of Reduction said:

Cool idea, though. The pet business is explosive. My friend took her dog trick-or-treating and I was like what?

Yeah, I got the idea partly because I heard on the radio that the pet industry is bigger than the wedding industry.  And after going through that "ringer", I knew it was big.  :)

 

Plus people always say to put vending machines near where people bring their kids.  And for most pet owners their pets are like kids.  

Anyway, maybe that's just my own logic and I'm too rosy about its prospects.

9:25 pm
November 22, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

Barbara Friedberg said:

This is a really creative idea. Where did you get the dispensers? I think this is likely to be quite profitable. Maybe a franchise opportunity in the future :)

The dispensing machines are fairly cheap on craigslist.  I bought my for about $50-60 each from someone who used to own a food truck and put them nearby on the sidewalk to possibly get extra income.  

9:36 pm
November 22, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

Money Reasons said:

I'm confused, how is this "passive" income?  To me it sounds like "side income" but not necessarily passive income.  Then again, what is truly passive income.  I use to think investing was passive income, but I work pretty hard at it… lol.

 

To me is sounds like a clever vending machine business.  It's a very clever and original idea, but don't you have to buy the food, restock the vending machine, pick up the money, deposit it in the bank, etc.   Does the vending machine require electricity?  How is that being accomplished?

 

Either way, kudos to you!!!

All good points.  I think you're right in that all "passive income" is "active" to some degree.  

I would have to buy a bag of dog food once every 6-12 months and possibly stock the machines every few months on a Saturday afternoon.  My reasoning was that if I built it up over time until I had 10 machines going that made $30 each month, then I would be making $300 month and working maybe half a day every 3-4 months.  So I would possibly make $1,000 for a half day of work.  Obviously that might not work out, but in my crazy little mind it works like a charm!!  :)  Other vending machine routes work on this logic, so I thought maybe it might work for this.

Oh and these are just the 3 bay single quarter gum ball machines that don't require electricity.  Maybe I should have clarified that the pictures in the blog post that I linked to was the actual vending machine I'm using.  (link below)

http://nakedbudgeting.com/2013…..-machines/

 

Barbara Friedberg said:

This is a really creative idea. Where did you get the dispensers? I think this is likely to be quite profitable. Maybe a franchise opportunity in the future :)

The dispensing machines are fairly cheap on craigslist.  I bought my for about $50-60 each from someone who used to own a food truck and put them nearby on the sidewalk to possibly get extra income.  

1:40 pm
November 24, 2013


cellotime

Member

posts 10

MITM said:

Thanks!  I actually was thinking the same thing and removed it yesterday.  

 

Since you work for a local government, what advice would give someone like me for asking them if I can put it there?  I was thinking about just visiting the Parks and Rec people and trying to find someone to talk to about it.

You need to determine first if the governing rules of the city / county / whatever allow a mixed use of public and private use.  You'd probably waste the least amount of time calling either the Mayor \ councilmember \ excutive office and asking who to speak with about business partnering and improving public spaces.  That or the finance department would likely know the rules there.  I would probably start with the top though, as every place wants to partner with business.

What they may want or require (usually by law) is a split or profits or a placement fee or something.  Most governments are required by law not to just give away benefits to business, so you likely will need to talk about some type of payment.  I'm sure they'll also want you to have a certain level of insurance, make sure that the machines are always in good working order, etc.  If a pet get hurt from your machine, they will bring a lawsuit against the government first.

It will probably take you significantly longer than you think it should, but that's what happens in most governments when you have 3 different and separate decision makers all with a particular view of the world.

It sounds like a great idea, but it may be difficult to implement depending on where you live.  The easiest route may be a campaign donation.  :)

http://www.cellotime.com

@CelloTimekarl

On Becoming the worlds foremost 35-year-old beginning cellist

karl@cellotime.com

6:45 pm
November 24, 2013


MITM

Member

posts 11

cellotime said:

MITM said:

Thanks!  I actually was thinking the same thing and removed it yesterday.  

 

Since you work for a local government, what advice would give someone like me for asking them if I can put it there?  I was thinking about just visiting the Parks and Rec people and trying to find someone to talk to about it.

You need to determine first if the governing rules of the city / county / whatever allow a mixed use of public and private use.  You'd probably waste the least amount of time calling either the Mayor \ councilmember \ excutive office and asking who to speak with about business partnering and improving public spaces.  That or the finance department would likely know the rules there.  I would probably start with the top though, as every place wants to partner with business.

What they may want or require (usually by law) is a split or profits or a placement fee or something.  Most governments are required by law not to just give away benefits to business, so you likely will need to talk about some type of payment.  I'm sure they'll also want you to have a certain level of insurance, make sure that the machines are always in good working order, etc.  If a pet get hurt from your machine, they will bring a lawsuit against the government first.

It will probably take you significantly longer than you think it should, but that's what happens in most governments when you have 3 different and separate decision makers all with a particular view of the world.

It sounds like a great idea, but it may be difficult to implement depending on where you live.  The easiest route may be a campaign donation.  :)

Wow.  Sounds like I have my work cut out for me!

 

Thanks so much of the advice.

4:14 pm
November 25, 2013


annielogue

Member

posts 60

I've never entirely understood passive income, because it seems like you have to be active at SOME point. I receive ongoing royalties from my books, but it was work to write them and it is work to promote them. Is getting a check for something I wrote in 2006 active, or passive? I'd argue it's delayed active income.

However, I like the creativity in coming up with a side business. That's excellent.

Annie

Low Finance. High Finance: Spend less than you earn, get a return that beats inflation

The Root of All: http://www.therootofall.com @annielogue

Chicago on the Cheap: http:www.chicagoonthecheap.com @chicagocheap

11:41 am
November 26, 2013


Barbara Friedberg

Member

posts 1302

Annie, I have a huge smile now!! I agree with your remarks.

The only truly passive income in my opinion is investment income; dividends and capital gains. And, unless you go for an extremely passive approach (ie set up your asset allocation, automatically fund through regular contributions, and only rebalance once per year), investing requires a certain amount of monitoring and management.

 

As one who has been an entrepreneur, real estate investor, book publisher etc., I've yet to find any sort of income that is truly passive (except maybe when my father in law sends me a check for my birthday :) ).

 

Even Geico, the successful insurance company is ALWAYS MARKETING!

1:27 pm
April 21, 2014


jwmann2

Member

posts 7

Not sure what your actual machine looks like, but it seems like the first initiative is to design the prototype vending machine, perfect it and go around to all of the dog parks, pet stores, etc and pitch the machine to the owner/overseer. A profit share of the treats should also be considered to help seal the deal. Great idea though! Best of luck to you. 

FromThisSeat.com

Learn About Your Seats, Before You Buy Your Tickets.

9:14 am
May 24, 2014


colormefrugal

Member

posts 99

Regardless of whether it's passive or active income, I think it's a cool idea!  It doesn't sound like it takes much work, and I think it would be fun!  Kudos to you!

3:19 pm
May 28, 2014


Pauline

Member

posts 274

Even investments take some active thinking at one point or the other, when you ponder which stocks you will invest in, research etc. For me passive income would be a blog with a blog manager that bring in $1,000 a month, blog manager cost $500 and you earn $500. Even then, you had to buy or set up the blog and it took some work. But it is ongoing passive.

If you have had your stocks for a few years and plan on keeping them forever, while they produce dividends, then it's passive, otherwise it is a little active even though you only manage them 2 hours a week or a month.

                                                        Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence

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Email:  tdmpauline *at* gmail *dot* com

I am also on Twitter and Facebook

4:14 pm
July 8, 2014


James Martin

townsville,qld

Member

posts 38

Post edited 4:14 pm – July 8, 2014 by James Martin


Sounds weird little but creative. Now-a-days pet related businesses running very well.

4:56 am
July 9, 2014


moneystepper

Member

posts 182

Hey MITM,

 

Did you go ahead with this idea? I would love to get an update on your progress / success ?


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