1. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    How to make decent money at my age?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MatrixGravity, Sep 11, 2011.

    Right now, my parents are in distress and I was recently employed so I am going to try and do what I can to meet ends, but the problem is, my job only offers about $300 weekly, and if I push for more hours, the maximum I will be able to make is $450-500. Now, are there any alternatives to making money without a college degree? I'm 18 right now, and I already graduated High School about a few months ago but yeah. I just want to know if there are any alternatives to making more money right now because I don't really have much going for me. Is there anything I can do? Is it possible to get a higher paying job without the need to attend a 2/4 year college? I'm talking at least $12-14 an hour. I just really want to push for the best. What can I do?
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe this is not an option for you, but I did telephone market research, sales, and consumer services because I have a good voice and (in those days) I was fast at tapping info into a word processor. It was often evenings and weekends so the pay was good, there were no expenses for clothes etc, and I could study during the day. It was also a safer environment than a bar or something.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    can one make more than $500/hr doing that, mad?

    matrix... what skills do you have?
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ I can't remember exactly what the pay was since it was long ago, but it wasn't bad. Only about 3 hrs an evening and one day at the weekend paid my rent and was enough to live fairly extravagantly on. The (very infrequently earned) commission on sales was huge. One week I netted over 2,000 GBP and won a bottle of champagne for the most centimeters of ad space sold. It also led to a full time job at The Observer newspaper in the end. It was certainly better than other options, and the OP does mention that he is only 18 with no degree. Maybe you have better skills to offer than I had, Matrix?
     
  5. Mr What
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    Mr What Member

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    Perspective from a reasonably unqualified 19 year old, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm doing part of this but I'm also pursuing a university degree, so the long term of it isn't quite the same.

    Quantity can always make up for quality. If you're not getting paid enough, see if you can get a second (or third) job. It doesn't have to be a long term solution, but you only really need 6 hours sleep a day at most, and depending on the job market, you should be able to find work - be it scrubbing toilets, sorting recycling, waiting tables - multiple times a day. Cut back on expenditure (don't go out as much, eat at home etc - skimp wherever you can) and save 2/3rds of what you earn in a fixed term bank account so you get a guarunteed rate of interest. Once that fixed term is up (don't go longer for say, 24 months initially) invest some of that in the share market (you'll want stable shares but with good prospects for long term growth - you're young, you'll reap the benefits over time - read the financial pages over time and you'll pick up what to look for). Once you earn enough to have a solid bank balance and a reasonably diverse share portfolio you can scale back a (little) bit. Work for the money and then make the money work for you.

    If you work multiple jobs, you'll not only develop a strong work ethic you can take into other roles in the future (and will make you stand out compared to other young applicants in a very crowded jobs market) odds are you will also be recognised for it. You'll develop a wider range of skills than you would working the one job that, at your age, could help you get entry-level jobs in more... let's say 'prestigious' fields in the future. You're young and presumably healthy, it's better to be working hard now, by choice, for a couple of years to set up a comfortable life for yourself down the road than to be working just as hard at 35 because you have bills to pay and mouths to feed and you waited too long to do anything about it.

    If you're struggling to get even unskilled work you can try volunteering to get some experience, then go from there.

    Also odds are if work yourself till you bleed your parents will help out here and there a bit more. I know mine did!

    Oh, and avoid credit cards and debt like the plague. With the cost of higher learning (and in the US specifically) you actually have a four to seven year and a tens of thousands of dollars head start on those going to college. So consider yourself lucky! :)
     
  6. Admin
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    Admin Contributing Member

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    Carpenter.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to work as a carpenter you have to be apprenticed to a licensed one... or at least already be pretty good at it, if you can find someone to hire you... it would make more sense to seek a job as an unskilled laborer and even those can make decent money, but you have to be in good physical shape...
     
  8. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    If you have 3 months to spare, go to school for phlebotomy.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Move to Southern California and look for work as a stunt man in movies and TV. I've worked on stunt shoots before (never as the performer), and it is pretty safe if you're in good shape. The money is excellent.
     
  10. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Get a vocational license to be an electrician, plumber, construction worker, carpenter, etc. One of my uncles didn't go to college but makes plenty of money as an electrician with a vocational license (enough to support 4 kids, somewhat modestly but still).
     
  11. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Several of my friends are now mercenaries but that doesn't seem like the best advice to give.

    I never went to University, I'm 20 and I run my own business. There are things out there for you to do, just gotta decide what you'd 'like' to do and chase the dream.

    It's that simple.
     
  12. jimr
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    jimr Member

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    I am a self-taught carpenter/electrician/remodeler. I charge $20 an hour and am in demand because my work is golden and I am completely reliable. Technically I am violating state law I think, but on several occasions I have been contracted to fix problems left by licensed pros. I actually studied books at home to learn electrical work, and have compentantly rewired an entire house. Most of my regular clients are landlords. I have found work by cold calling property owners when things were slow, as well as distributing flyers in various places. I always have a signed contract, if a potential client balks at this I thank them and go my way. I have invested several thousand dollars over the years on tools, because the right tool will save effort and time. The real point is: you can immitate my experience in building trades or another avocation, such as landscaping. Find something you enjoy doing and promote yourself inexpensively, practice good ethics, cover your backside when it comes to getting paid, and you have a great chance for success.
     
  13. Admin
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    Admin Contributing Member

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    I myself was considering obtaining a pilot's license and trying to get into a private security firm as a drone pilot.
     
  14. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Do you even need a Pilots License to pilot a drone? I've very briefly handled a spy-cam version of one of those out in woodland, it seemed nothing more than a glorified toy, even if it is meant for much more serious business. Wouldn't be hard to use after two weeks training with it for anyone, I suspect.

    But then there are a ton of documents that you need for every little thing these days so you probably do. How I hate paperwork. (Says the writer and journalist lol)
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i wouldn't recommend trying this, matrix, because first of all, it's highly illegal in most places to do such work without a license... and secondly, it's potentially disastrous for both the worker and the homeowner, since if a mistake is made, injuries or loss of life/property can result, landing the unlicensed worker in the slammer... and even if the mistake wasn't totally the fault of the worker, the fact that the work was done without a license and building permit puts the worker squarely in the wrong legally...

    ...i have an extensive background in building design, contracting and construction, as well as having done a lot of paralegal work, so do know whereof i speak...
     
  16. CULLEN DORN
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    CULLEN DORN Member

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    I don't know where in New York you are from.
    Aside from that to answer your question. I think
    you are better off starting a career with any of
    the prominent airlines, (i.e.) Southwest Airlines, at
    either LaGuardia, Kennedy, or Islip airports. Begin
    as Ramp Agent, then after six months you can transfer
    to any department you want, and even transfer to any
    city to work and live you desire. Give it a try.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    baggage handlers also can be as young as 18 and with no experience...
     
  18. Cordoma
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    Cordoma Member

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    Matrixgravity, listen to me. This is one of thos times where, following another person's advice is not something you want to do. What you are experiencing is the school of hard knocks. It is life. When you ask for help, everyone will tell you what they did, what they want you to do. Unfortunately, following another person's advice is living their life over. Not yours. Everyone has their own life to live, and in this situation the possibilities of what you can and can not do are endless. You can listen, of course. Listen to other's counsel, by all means. But understand that the course of action must be your own, conscious decison, of which you alone are responsible.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whore yourself out to science. It isn't glorious, there is a risk (albeit small) of permanent damage, but it's easy money. My wife and I do them from time to time (we paid for our wedding like this and I'm currently doing them to cover my student loans).

    As an alternative, car sales.
     

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