During college, I spent three years working for “the man.” I counseled and policed my peers in exchange for not just thousands of dollars from the university, but my first experience with corruption. In my rookie year on the force, I mean as an RA, our policy with alcohol was to confiscate it from a dorm room, bring the offending beverages down to our office and call security at the end of the night to pick it up. Suddenly, the policy changed. Instead of bringing the full containers down to our office we had to escort under-aged students to the bathroom where they were required to dump all their booze. Naturally, students were inclined to be total sweethearts while we forced them to literally dump their money down the drain.
After a few weekends of verbal abuse, and a few attempts at physical, from our sober and disgruntled residents, the RAs began to ask why the sudden policy change? After some stealthy digging I learned a few RAs had taken advantage of our old system and started sneaking confiscated alcohol back into their rooms at the end of the night. Once our superiors caught wind of this practice, the offenders were fired and the rest of us had to deal with forcing freshmen to dump 30-racks of Natty Light into the bathroom sink.
The story is silly, but was my first innocent experience with a person in power abusing their privilege to better his or her own situation. In this case, to get drunk at the expensive of doe-eyed freshmen. But say these same people had the opportunity to skim a little money off the top, perhaps they would’ve seen that as no more harmful than pocketing cheap booze. There are a set of ethics for becoming wealthy, but are we all operating with the same rules?
There are plenty of legal ways to earn money in addition to a base salary, especially if you’re in a financial bind.
Here a few ideas and my take on them:
- Sell blood or plasma (I prefer to donate, but I understand selling if you need money.)
- Babysit, housesit, petsit (Absolutely!)
- Sell things unused items (Obviously)
- Yard Sale (If I had a yard and more possessions I would have a yard sale.)
- Medical tests (Really depends on the type of testing…50/50 on this one.)
- Go Scavenging (Been there done that.)
- Create a side hustle (my roommate and I had the brilliant idea of renting out our empty front room as storage and call our business A-STORE-IA. Then a friend mentioned the likelihood of getting bedbugs…)
- Donate eggs (NO!)
- Be a surrogate (For money, no. For a dear friend or relative, ehhh maybe?)
But those aren’t likely to make you wealthy. Temporarily they’ll increase your bank account, but they aren’t a long-term solution.
In order to amass wealth, I truly believe you need to invest , save and live below your means. Otherwise, you better be invent an extremely profitable product, create a powerhouse business or be heir to a large inheritance. The ethics of investing are obviously fluid to some people. Embezzlement, insider trading and Ponzi schemes all can make the average-Joes wary about parting with their hard-earned money. The only way to counteract these fears is to educate yourself and thoroughly vet anyone, or any institution, you plan to entrust with your money. This way you can also be sure your money is being handled ethically and even invested in companies you believe behave ethically.
What would you deem as ethical ways to become wealthy or earn money? Would you do something legal, but possibly unethical?