It’s that time of year again. What are you going to do with your summer? Hang out by the pool? Family vacation to the Grand Canyon? Crank up your video game system and lock yourself in your room for three months? If you’re smart, you’re going to start saving for college.
This may sound like a boring summer to you, but it’s time to face some facts. Saving money is something you’ll (hopefully) be doing the rest of your life, and saving for college is a great first step. Now, how do you go about doing this? What do your parents do? Right: They work jobs to save money for things they need and want. Try doing the same thing this summer.
Think outside the box. Think unconventional. Need some examples? Check these out:
Gum Ball, Anyone?
Ohio high school senior David Krichbaum bankrolls around $200 a month, the Marion Star reports, operating a chain of gum ball machines in the Akron area. About two years ago, Krichbaum bought a used gum ball machine, repainted it and placed it inside a Chinese food restaurant. Now, he’s hoping to grow his business to include 30 machines that net $800 a month in profits.
So, why is he peddling gum balls instead of getting a regular job? The teen said he doesn’t want to take out any student loans to pay for college, and with close to $1,000 coming into his bank account every month and his parents’ help, he won’t have to.
If you like the idea of jumping into an off-the-beaten-path business venture to finance your college education, there are some other avenues you can take. Krichbaum has the Akron area all sewn up as gar as gumballs go, but why not try the same in your city? Or open a hot dog stand in Sacramento? Or start selling used cars in Tucson? If you’re a high school junior or senior, the used car business can garner you some excellent sales and customer service experience, as well as a steady paycheck to sock away for those big four years ahead of you.
Another idea: Play the stock market. Tim Olsen, 13, is barely even a teenager, but he’s already a financial big shot with a diverse portfolio. Olsen bought his first stock when he was eight, and now he’s sitting on a bundle of cold, hard cash that’s growing by the day. Olsen wrote a book for teens entitled, “The Teenage Investor,” containing his experience and advice. He’s been featured on television programs and in investment publications across the country. By playing the stock market like Olsen, you may finance all four years of college.
Traditional Works, Too
If these unconventional ideas don’t sound like your thing, that’s fine. Don’t worry about it. The College Planning Guide features some traditional summer jobs for high school students.