Student debt is a huge concern for those graduating college this year, as well as those in recent years. Even with scholarships, students can find themselves with a few thousand dollars of debt while keeping themselves in school.
Good news is the national unemployment dropped for the first time in 3 months, as it was stuck at 5.5 percent for a while, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Bad news is that millennials are earning less than those in other generations in their age bracket when they were graduating school.
With these facts in mind, it may seem impossible to pay off student debts to those with a fresh degree in hand. Ready for some surprises? Here are some neat ways to add to your income while lowering student debt:
Driving for companies like Uber and Lyft are great ways to make extra money in your spare time. With Uber, choose what hours you want to work, be sure to have a smart phone in your possession to keep in touch with customers, and take advantage of their financing program, if you need a new car. Lyft has benefits such as Prime Time prices during peak hours, amazing insurance protection, and has a charity initiative called Lyft for Good.
2. Plasma Donations
In this scientific process, where your plasma and sometimes platelets are separated from your blood, the contribution to medical research is crucial. Plasma is often used for patients suffering from cancer, burns, and other traumas. Those with a blood type AB are especially sought after, since this blood type is compatible with all others. Some plasma centers that compensate are located in multiple Minnesota locations; check out GRIFOLS and CSL Plasma, and research your own area as well.
3. Thrift Hunting
Though there can be questionable items donated to places such as Goodwill and Salvation Army, there are some amazing finds in these thrift shops, if you’ve got time to look. The author of this piece once found a small, gently-used Kate Spade bag at a Goodwill. I verified it was real by researching it on my smart phone while in the shop, sold it on eBay and made $75 from it. The price I paid at Goodwill? Four dollars! You can also find unique items, craft with them, and sell them via an Etsy shop.
4. Mystery Shopping
Yes, there are mystery shopping opportunities out there that are not scams. MSIShopper through TrendSource is a great program that runs audits all around America, as well as in parts of Canada. Sign up to be a free agent and you can request to do projects in your area. While you likely won’t make a huge profit or even get a day-job salary off of mystery shopping, it’s a great way to get free groceries, have your gas money paid for, meet great people, be paid to travel, and build additional professional skills by becoming an agent. Some projects pay more than others, and doing multiple projects per month helps you.
If you ever wanted to explore your talents and showcase them to the world, YouTube is a great venue. Actually making a living and becoming popular on YouTube is quite a task, but if you do make it, you could be making close to $13.2 million a year like YouTuber PewDiePie, or have a net worth of $2 million like iJustine.
If you are a person of many talents, you will want to look into a site called Fiverr. Build a website, make something in Photoshop, proof read a chapter of a book, make a jingle for a company – anything that would be quick for your skill set will get you paid $5 a pop. If you do multiple jobs per day, this will add some nice money on top of your day job.
Amanda Rosenblatt is a 2009 graduate of Suffolk University and gratefully graduated debt-free with the help of some tips above. She works at VA Home Loan Centers, where they are helping active duty military and veterans obtain their own homes. Visit their site or follow them on Twitter.