Side Checks Podcast

7 Income Generating Assets Under $1000

May 29, 2023

I'm AMY!

Hello! I’m Amy and I love helping ambitious people turn their big ideas into sustainable and enriching side hustles. I'm also a blogger, podcaster, food photographer, niche strategist, and business coach.


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income generating assets

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Starting A Business With An Asset

Starting a business can be extremely exciting. You never know what idea will pop into your head and completely change your career and your bank account. And when it comes to income generating assets, this can be one of the fastest ways to catapult business success.

Today I am diving into 7 income generating assets that you can invest in for under $1000 each. So if making money in a more passive method is for you, you will love this episode.

You don’t need to wait to start managing your first income generating asset. In fact, I am going to show you that you can start a lot sooner than you think. Download my Free Business Plan Template here. This download will help you put together an official plan for your income generating asset.

What Are Income Generating Assets?

When you purchase an income generating asset you are choosing to invest in something that can continue earning you money. This is typically something you could rent out to others actively or passively. The asset earns money while you manage the operations. 

Now not all IGA’s are the same. There are some that are extremely passive and some that require more attention and labor hours each week. 

So if you’re considering purchasing an asset, consider first what it is you need from entrepreneurship.

A really good resource for this is episode 14 of Side Checks: 5 Questions to ask yourself before starting any side hustle. If you go back and listen to that episode, I give you some good steps to walk through as a first timer and as a seasoned business owner to proactively build a business around your needs. 

When you choose to invest in an IGA, you are selecting a business model that might be set up to earn income sooner rather than building out products and services for people to find, get warmed up with, and eventually purchase. 

An IGA can be a fantastic way to enter into entrepreneurship, to tack on to your current career (entrepreneurship based or not) or used as a way to scale your income and flexibility.

Smaller Scale Income Generating Assets

When we talk about income generating assets, I think a lot of you will think of short term rentals like Air BnB’s or rental properties. However, what if instead of jumping ahead and thinking of large investments, like a house, what if we turned our attention toward micro investments?

Smaller scale income generating assets can be a wonderful way to explore business and earn more passive income. Not all income generating assets need to be a significant purchase. And a lot of time, smaller scale assets are overlooked.

Here are 7 income generating assets that you can turn into a business each for under $1,000. Of course, these aren’t all of the options but just some of my favorites.

  1. Donut Board
  2. Marquee Letters
  3. Rental Furniture
  4. Parking Spot
  5. Bounce Houses
  6. Vending Machines
  7. Website or Blog

Explore which ones stand out to you. I’ll even help you draft up a business plan with my free 25-page business plan template right here.

01. Donut Board

Okay so let’s get to talking about the first item on my list. And that is a donut board. The large board you see at weddings and events with pegs sticking out of the front that people will hang donuts off of for guests to grab and enjoy. And of course, take pictures in front of it. 

This is an asset that you can purchase or make yourself or have someone make for you that you can then rent out. You can rent this out for weddings, birthday parties, or private events. 

And because this is a large board, that means there is little to no set up involved and requires very little maintenance to pick up and drop off with renters. 

You can even streamline this business model to have renters pick up and/or drop off at a safe location with an access-code lock if you cannot physically transport the board.

You can purchase a very nice board off Etsy for about $100 on the high end

And according to my research, you can rent out a donut board for anywhere from $75 / day – $200 / day. So that gives you a 75% ROI after renting your donut board just one time. 

If you were to rent it twice at $75 / day on the low end, you would see a 150% ROI. And after 5 times, you would see $275 in profit. Now imagine if you have two or three boards. 

Now downside to this, some people looking for a donut wall may rent from a company that they are already renting tables and chairs from. But this isn’t always the case. 

So if purchasing a donut wall sounds appealing to you, research any al la carte donut walls in your area. Reach out to wedding & event planners, mom groups and begin getting your asset out there and known. And of course, build a streamlined and easy way for someone to inquire and book.

02. Marquee Letters

The second income generating asset that you can purchase for under $1000 and begin to make money is oversized metal marquee lighted letters. 

These are used a lot in the wedding industry. Couples will a lot of time rent their initials with an & symbol and have that displayed at their wedding reception. Other popular occasions for these are graduation parties for photo-ops where people will rent out the graduation year. Proposals, bachelorette parties, greek life events, and birthday parties. 

When it comes to large marquee letters, I’ve seen people both make these themselves or purchase them. 

I did some research and it looks like Etsy is the best place to purchase marquee letters. Etsy has a lot of great shop owners that sell individual letters as well as word bundles that spell out things like “love” or “marry me” or “grad”. 

The average cost of these were harder to gauge. Some shops sell them for $50 and some sell them for $200 each. However it looks like there is a difference in materials and quality. 

If this project sounds like something you would want to invest in to rent out, the downside is that you may need to either purchase a special word or year first and snowball profits from that to continue purchasing letters. 

From my research, it looks like pre-built words like “love” or “grad” as well as someone’s initials rent out for about $100 / day.

So on the high end, let’s say that it did cost $800 to purchase the word “grad” or “love”. And you rented it out for $100 per day or maybe even to make the most of your money, per event. Perhaps you could rent out twice in one day. That gives you a 12.5% ROI after the first rental. 

You would need to rent them out 8 times to make your money back. And after that, you could see a more passive $100 / day come to you just for picking and drop off. 

03. Rental Furniture

The third asset is fancy rental furniture or theme rental furniture. Renting out a fancy or vintage couch, sitting area, vignette, or anything like this could be a wonderful want to make extra on the side. 

Events that you would want to look for would be weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties, day organization and events, or maybe even themed parties like halloween or Christmas depending on what furniture you have. 

Something else you can consider would be what local photographers are looking for to create different setups for things like annual mini-sessions. 

This idea does work best when you already own a unique piece of furniture or a unique collection. However, if you see a need in your area, you can also invest in a collection to rent out. This idea also works best when you can store the pieces that you’re renting in a low-effort manner like inside your garage. 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I would begin by staging the furniture in the different ways it could be used and take photos. 

You can create a website or maybe just a Facebook page showing the different set ups you have available. And from there have a simple inquiry and payment process. And to promote this asset, you connect with local event planners.

04. Parking Spot

When it comes to income generating assets, you can also explore parking spots.

Renting out a parking spot can become a wonderful income generating asset that requires little to no effort each month. Especially in high-traffic areas.

Even if you don’t live in a larger city, a parking spot may still be a great option for you. Sometimes someone will need to store an extra vehicle, need a secure parking spot closer to a certain destination, or may need space to work on a vehicle. 

Best case scenario for this would be at a residence that you own or rent. That way your overhead is essentially $0 or just looped into your mortgage or monthly rent. 

If you are renting, be sure that you’re abiding by all the rules and regulations for renting out a parking space at that location. 

Explore apps like SpotHero to signup yourself up and list your parking spot to rent. This app is really easy to use and it is similar to AirBnB but for parking spots. They have hourly, weekly, and monthly rental options. is also a good resource for renting out a parking spot or finding one. I don’t live in a very large city and in my area, there are still a lot of parking spaces available for rent on Plus a lot of good reviews so you know the platform is active.

The average to rent out a single parking spot in a large city can range from $15-$25 / day. And in a smaller residential area, a space can rent for about $100 each month. 

Remember, this is practically 100% passive income since there are apps to manage the operations. Plus you won’t need to uphold any maintenance with a parking spot. 

05. Bouncy Houses

Inflatable bouncy houses make great income generating assets that you can purchase for under $1000 and begin earning income over and over. 

If you have a $1000 budget, then you may need to purchase a used inflatable. They do start at around $1200 but you can find a used one that’s in good condition for cheaper. 

Bouncy houses rent for about $200-$250 a day. So if you invest $1000 into a bouncy house, you would need to rent it 5 times on the low end to earn your money back. And if you rent it out another 5 times, you could earn $1000 in profit in the span of 2 months if you rented it out each weekend. 

If you rent your bouncy house out for each Saturday and Sunday all through the summer, let’s say 4 months May – Aug that will earn you $8,000 about $2000 per month, again on the low end. 

Bouncy houses are built and designed for anyone to use them. That means the inflating and deflating process is easy to do and that you don’t even need to be the one who does it necessarily. 

You can set your client up for success through something like video tutorials that walk them through how to blow up the inflatable and deflate after use so all you have to focus on is the pick up and drop off. 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in I would search Facebook Marketing for a used bouncy. Be sure to do your diligence and purchase from a trusted source especially if you’re purchasing used. And if you’re purchasing new, there are a ton of great websites that you can find. 

I would then set up a google business account so you can start promoting your business on Google locally and begin to show up when someone searches for your service in their area. 

Lastly implement a streamlined, customer service-enriched workflow process to ensure your operations are smooth and sustainable, and that they set you apart from the competition. 

06. Vending Machines

The next income generating asset you could invest in would be a vending machine. 

Similar to the bouncy houses, you would need to purchase a used machine off Facebook Marketplace or eBay to stay under the $1000 budget. But it is doable and they sell used and in good condition all the time. 

Vending machines will typically run anywhere between $2k and $3.5 new. According to my research, a vending machine can earn around $300 in revenue each month. 

Now this will vary depending on your location and the location of the vending machine. If your machine is in a high traffic area, you will of course see more revenue. 

It’s hard to get an exact number when it comes to profit since every vending machine is different and stocked differently. However, the closest I was able to get was that you should expect to see 60-70% profit based on your revenue. So if your machine’s revenue is $300 at the end of the month, this means it likely cost you $120 to stock those items and that you’ve made a profit of $180 pre-tax. 

I do know vending machines are becoming a more popular business model, especially with the younger generation. And according to a lot of the vending machine owners that I’ve researched, most owners own more than one machine. 

07. Website or Blog

The last example of income generating assets that I want to talk about is purchasing a business. 

You can an actual business already built and ready to start earning income. An example of this is through purchasing a blog or a website. 

Fun fact, in 2022 I built and flipped blogs for people looking to purchase a business! I created a wedding website and sold it to a buyer for $1,000.

So if managing a blog, pumping out content, and promoting a business is something that sounds up your alley, you can literally bypass the website building, affiliate hook up, and all the technical processes and invest in a ready to go, turn-key website. 

Out of all of the IGA’s listed here today, this one may be on the slower growth side. Websites do take time to build traffic. However it can also be a really great investment. 

You can go to to browse websites listed for sale, see their stats, see recently sold sites, and learn more about the entire process. 

Getting Started Today

Income generating assets can be a blessing when it comes to entrepreneurship. They are great for introducing ourselves to business. Or since they are more passive, they can help supplement income.

Like any business, income can be optimized if the right person is at the right steering wheel. Be sure you understand what you need from entrepreneurship before investing time or income. Ask yourself these 5 questions before investing in any income generating asset.

Are you ready to start your business? Nothing would make me happier than to assist you in that journey! You can download my free 25-page Business Plan Template right here. This download will help you put together an official business plan, designed for success!

Ready to dive in? I hear ya! Explore my 1:1 Power Hour Coaching Calls right here. These calls are 60 minutes and are built to dive into the deep end of your business.

Do you have an amazing business that's just waiting for the right audience to come along? Let me help you find them! Download my Free Lead Magnet Workbook right here!

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I'm Amy Schmidt

I’m a blogger, podcaster, food photographer, niche strategist, and expert side hustle developer. Needless to say, I walk the walk when it comes to building and scaling non-traditional businesses! 

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