Passive Income and Residual Income – What’s the Difference?

Comparison between Passive Income and Residual Income.

A person or company has income when they get payment for a service rendered or an investment made. There are two types of income: active and passive.

Passive Income and Residual Income – What’s the Difference?

These two names are sometimes used interchangeably yet have important distinctions. But just because it’s passive doesn’t mean it’s residual.

The term “passive income” refers to earnings from a business that need little, or even no, maintenance. Instead than being a distinct category of revenue in and of itself, “residual income” refers to the amount of disposable funds left over after all other expenses have been covered.

Passive Income and Residual Income - What's the Difference?


  • Making money with little effort is called passive income.
  • Establishing a source of passive income often requires an initial financial and time investment.
  • The phrase “residual income” is used to describe the amount of disposable money left over after obligatory expenditures have been deducted.
  • All forms of income, whether they be earned or not, are subject to taxation.
  • Many opportunities exist for the generation of passive income, from the sale of commodities on the Internet to the rental of second homes.
  • You might fund your passive income venture with the money you have left over after paying all your bills and living expenses.

Earnings That Require No Active Effort

Earning passive income, such as via investments or P2P lending, requires little to no active work on the part of the earner and may be a reliable source of revenue for both people and businesses.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) differentiates it from earned income since it comes from a source other than yourself.

If a person has a sizable passive income, they have more time for activities outside working. The setup for passive income might be hazardous, but it pays off in the long run with steadier income and less stress.

If it is reliable, passive income may provide you a great sense of safety since it is independent of your efforts. Even if it is not enough to allow you to leave your day job, having a second source of money to add to your primary source of income is always preferable.

If you have substantial debt or a dependent becomes ill, shifting more of your yearly income to a passive source may actually improve your quality of life.

Rental property profits earned by investors who do not participate in the property’s management are an example of passive income.

Annual dividend-paying stocks are another example. The only work required for an investor to get passive income is the first stock purchase.

Wages, salaries, gratuities, commissions, and bonuses are all examples of earned money. When you have passive income, you are not actively managing the business, but rather taking on a supporting role as an investor or silent partner.

Earnings That Stay Still

One example of passive revenue is interest on a deposit, which may be earned by a company with little to no ongoing work.

Yet, its meaning may shift depending on whether we are talking about personal finances, corporate finances, or the value of stocks and bonds.

What follows is a quick survey of how this kind of revenue is treated in various regions.

Private Money Matters

In personal finance, residual income is the amount of money left over after a person has paid off all of his or her bills and living expenditures. A borrower’s creditworthiness is evaluated in part based on their degree of residual income.

Banks, for instance, evaluate mortgage applicants by comparing their residual income to the cost of living in the location in question.

The applicant’s residual income is the amount of money left over after the bank deducts the monthly payments for the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and any other reoccurring debts such as credit cards, installment accounts, and school loans.

In economics, “residual income” refers to the sum remaining after essentials like food and utilities have been deducted.

Company Resources for Financial Planning

In the world of corporate finance, residual income refers to the amount by which a company’s net operating income or profit exceeds the rate of return that is considered acceptable for the shareholders.

After deducting the cost of all capital expenditures, net profit is what is left over. Profit after tax is a common metric for evaluating the success of an organization’s capital expenditures or individual business units.

Capital Stock Evaluation

When determining the value of a company’s shares, analysts employ a valuation technique called “residual income,” which is both an economic profits stream and a valuation tool.

The worth of a business is calculated using the residual income valuation model, which adds the book value to the present value of the residual income that is projected to accrue in the future. Getting this number entails deducting the value of net capital from the profit.

For the purposes of investment appraisal, “residual income” refers to the surplus of actual profits above the required rate of return.

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Exceptions and Cautions

Money earned with little to no effort is called passive income or residual income. But, you cannot replace one with the other since they have distinct meanings.

If you run a small company and take the money left over after paying your expenses, that’s your residual income.

After covering fixed costs like a mortgage or rent and variable costs like food and entertainment, the amount of disposable income left over is known as a person’s residual income.

It’s simple to see the similarities between residual and passive income when both are defined as receiving money on a regular basis from investments such as stocks or royalties or from renting out space.

The distinction between passive and residual income, and the nature of each, varies widely depending on the specifics of a given situation.

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