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Supplemental Income: Expectations vs. Reality

There’s nothing better than having a little bit more money coming in each month.

No matter how much money you make a month, it looks like that everyone could use just a little bit more money to live better.

This is most likely due to the big gap between the average paying salary and the higher costs of living.

The cost of living keeps rising and it’s going through the roof while the salary doesn’t really get significant increases.

Therefore, supplementing your income has become the new standard of living in the modern world and many more people are doing it.

But what is supplemental income, how can you acquire supplemental income, and what should you expect? If these are some of the questions you’re looking for answers to, you’re in the right place!

What is Supplemental Income?

a person counting money

Supplemental income is a type of income you receive on top of your regular income. In other words, supplemental income is any money you earn besides your regular income.

What’s great about supplemental income is that there are no rules on how you can acquire it. You can acquire it in many different ways and it will always count as a supplemental income.

Most people aim to earn supplemental income to help cover costs of living, invest, save, or even do something they’re passionate about (such as a costly hobby).

How Do You Earn Supplemental Income?

There is no one way you can earn supplemental income and yet it can come from many different sources.

It’s important to note that you can have multiple supplemental income streams coming in from different directions.

You can earn supplemental income by putting extra free time you have on your hands into doing tasks that pay.

For example, if you decided to mow someone’s yard and you get paid for it, you’re supplementing your income.

Of course, you can supplement your income in many different ways and nowadays, it’s super popular to earn supplemental income online.

You can freelance any of your skills, create & sell stock photos, be a virtual assistant, or even start a passive online business that will supplement your income.

Supplemental Income – Expectations

Most people will make financial plans while including the supplemental income into consideration.

Of course, supplemental income is super helpful, but it can also disappear at any time, depending on its source.

Before even creating a supplemental income source, you should be clear with yourself as to how well you use the money and how will it help you in general.

Lastly, you can keep your expectations high, but taking small steps and starting slow is the best way to build up your supplemental income.

Also, not putting a lot of pressure on building your supplemental income quickly is another good thing you should pay attention to.

Once you create a supplemental income stream, one thing you should never do is fully rely on it as if it was your primary source of income.

Supplemental income can disappear, things can change, and it might not be as reliable as your primary income stream.

Supplemental Income – Reality

man holding money to head

The reality of supplemental income is that creating a supplemental income stream can be tricky at first.

You will definitely have to put a lot of effort, will, and hours into it before this income stream starts dripping some money into your bank account.

Supplemental income is great, but it might not be very consistent so you shouldn’t completely rely on it.

Also, you shouldn’t set financial targets that are too high since this can only distract you from taking the small steps to eventually achieve any supplemental income.

Depending on the way you decide to supplement your income, you might not earn recurring income yet only a one-time income.

Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you should be careful that your efforts pay off in the long run.

For example, selling stuff for cash might consume some of your time and it’s a one-time thing that can supplement your income, but not forever.

Supplemental income can really take up much of your time and if you don’t prefer money over time, this might be a bit hard, no matter how hard your current situation is.

How Hard Is It To Supplement Your Income?

What’s great about supplemental income is that you can do it in many different ways. Therefore, it’s not hard to supplement your income with so many options around you.

However, many people would do anything to supplement their income which can lead to a harder life-work balance.

Instead, doing research and testing out potential ways to supplement your income is recommended.

This way, you will be able to find something that will provide a great cash flow, and yet won’t take up too much of your time.

Also, you’ll be able to avoid overworking yourself, leading an unbalanced life-work life, and not getting much in return for everything you do to create the supplemental income.

Therefore, while it’s pretty easy to pick up on something and start supplementing your income, you should also pay attention to your goals and quality of life.

Can You Turn Supplemental Income Into Your Primary Income?

folded dollar bills

Yes! Turning supplemental income into a primary income is definitely possible. For many people, this happens naturally and most people don’t plan for it to happen.

But how does this happen?

If you don’t settle on anything to supplement the income and yet you do something that will bring even better long-term results for your income, turning supplemental income into primary income is going to be super easy.

A perfect example is the creation of an online business that might not supplement your income at first, but if you stay consistent and you build the business properly, you will be able to earn passive income.

Depending on the field of choice and the way you create the passive income, passive income can end up earning you more than your current primary income.

It’s definitely a snowball effect so as long as you have the future in your crosshair, you will be able to potentially turn supplemental income into primary income.

3 Interesting Ways to Supplement Your Income and Create a New Income Stream


laptop showing revenue stats

The easiest way to create a long-term supplemental income is blogging.

Even though it takes time, you get to work on your blog at your own pace, creating a successful blog that can generate passive income from different streams.

Even though this might be the slowest way to build a supplemental income, if you’re not in a hurry, the reward is huge.

Since there is no cap on the earnings you can make, you can literally replace your primary income if your blog is a success.


Everyone has skills and if you happen to have any skills you can do digitally, you can take advantage of them by getting some work done for others.

With so many different ways to get started and find clients, you can set up your portfolio, create a couple of samples, and start searching for your first couple of clients today!

With freelancing, you will get what you put into it so even though it might be hard to get started, once you get rolling, you will be able to have a quite steady supplemental income stream.

If you end up liking what you do for your clients, you can turn it into a full-time job and replace your primary income.


If you are more of a creative person, you can connect creative skills with marketing.

Therefore, you can create anything from print-on-demand products such as T-shirts, drop shipping stores, create YouTube videos, proofread books, or anything else that you find interesting.

You can do creative work for yourself and do your best to monetize it, or you can do it for your clients who will pay you a fee for all your work.

Depending on how much freedom you’d like to have on your projects, you’ll choose one way and give it a go.

Even though this might be the hardest way to supplement your income since it takes a lot of time to get started and it requires just a bit of marketing to succeed.

However, once you get started and see some success from your creative work, you might never want to go back to your day job and earn your primary income.

This means that creative work might take a lot of time to supplement your income, but it can end up doing much more than just supplementing your income!

The Bottom Line Is…

Supplemental income is definitely something that can help you out, but there’s a difference between expectations and reality.

It’s good to know some of the things upfront so that you can avoid some of the mistakes. Believe it or not, supplemental income can have its cons if it is negatively impacting your life.

More money is not always the solution so finding a way to supplement your income and be happy while doing it in your free time is the goal.

What is the reason you would like to supplement your income? How will you supplement your income?

I would like to hear from you, so please share your questions and comments below and I will be happy to respond.

All the best,


Founder/Creator:  Living On Lean Means ?

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