In today’s world, when you are getting your coffee at Starbucks, you might encounter a barista with a psychology degree, or when getting a ride home you might meet an Uber driver who majored in philosophy. These encounters leave many spectators wondering – Why do so many Millennials struggle with earning a good income after they receive their college degree?

Where Are All the Good Jobs?

One possible explanation for this issue is that some establishments don’t value the qualities that applicants with a degree obtain. And while jobs that don’t require a college degree typically have lower wages, we also come across situations where higher paying jobs require several years of education beyond the bachelor’s degree. The combination of either too much education or not the right level of education becomes a recipe for disaster in the job market for many college graduates struggling to make a decent living.

Ways to Make Quick Money

During these times when it is difficult to find a good job, it is important to know how to build alternative sources of income. Consider practical ideas that actually work, which can include passive income ideas that require minimal maintenance work:

Babysit – Many parents seek sitters so they can have some stress-free alone time on an occasional date night. Reliable babysitters are in high demand and can earn $15+ an hour these days. You could also house-sit for friends or provide dog walking services.

Collect Your Change – Check for extra cash floating around on your bed stand, home office, junk drawer, or closet and turn your coins in for cash.

Millennial Magazine alternative income for millennials

Sell items on Craigslist – Each fair-sized community has its own place on Craigslist where you can post goods for sale. You could even have success with selling used books and textbooks.

Recycle Scrap Metal – Selling scrap metal to your local salvage yard or recycling center is a way to get some quick cash. If you are remodeling or have unused copper pipes in your house, it may be worth it to pull them out and head to a salvage yard.

Start Your Own Part-Time Business – This might require you to spend some money before you start making money, but starting a business and doing what you love can be very rewarding.

Rent out Your “Spot” – If you own prime parking real estate, you could rent out your spot and park further away. It’s the equivalent of “renting” a parking space.

Take a Part-Time Job – Bartending and waiting tables are jobs that offer immediate money in your pocket.

Make Trinkets to Sell – Selling crafts is a fantastic way to make quick money. You can create and sell T-shirts or set up niche online stores. eBay and Etsy have never made it so easy!

Find an Online Gig – The internet is a great place to make some extra cash with sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Program or even become and Amazon Associate.

Hold a Yard Sale – Be sure to run ads in the local newspaper, and if your town allows, post signs that highlight your big ticket items (child’s bedroom set, water skies, etc.) It will also be a good idea to price in advance and open early. Be sure to check with your city to see whether you need a permit or not.

Millennial Magazine alternative income for millennials

Seek Emergency Assistance – Even though asking for charity can take a big chunk out of your pride, it can be helpful when in dire need. If your income is low enough, you may also qualify for food stamps to help you until you are back on your feet.

Become a Temp – Most temp jobs pay fairly well, and you can get a chance to see how temp companies work.

Pay a Visit to the Pawn Shop – In a pawn shop you bring your items, which you offer up as collateral on a loan. In most cases, the loan will be about ten percent of the actual value of your item.

Set Up a Roadside Stand – From selling bouquets of flowers to glasses of ice cold lemonade, a roadside stand might help you make a profit.

Scalp Some Tickets – Buying tickets to events with the intent of scalping them later can make you some money. When a ticket or two is all that is standing in the way of your economic relief, getting back that money would definitely be worth it. If you are going to scalp tickets, make sure you proceed with caution and check your state laws for scalping restrictions.

Millennial Magazine alternative income for millennials

Go Scavenging – Finding and collecting scrap cans or bottles can be an easy way to make cash at recycling stations.

Invest in Dividend Paying Stocks or Funds – Investing in the dividend paying stocks is a good way to earn money regularly.

Get Cash Rebates When Buying Online – When you shop online, go through the site, Ebates. It provides you with extra cash back when you buy through them.

Blogging – Become a freelance writer and write for sites like Squidoo, Yahoo Contributor Network, and Triond. If your blog becomes popular enough, you can earn some income from the advertisements.

Enter Contests and Giveaways – Search for freebies and sign up bonuses. If you win you can always sell your prizes.

Remember that once you have a secure handle on your cash or a good job, you should put these alternate sources of income into a saving account. Resist spending money impulsively. Building an emergency fund can help you eliminate debt or give you an extra cushion when you are in a financial crisis.

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Alexandra Zuccaro


Los Angeles

Alexandra Zuccaro is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A in English. She a strong interest in journalism and hopes to pursue a career in the field.

All posts by Alexandra Zuccaro

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