How to make more money without much of any schooling?

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Johnny
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How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Johnny » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:47 pm

I'm 22. I unwisely dropped out of college after my first semester back when I was 18. I've been through numerous minimum wage jobs, and some more difficult barely-above minimum wage construction jobs. I believe I can count 8 different jobs I've worked since age 18 when I first dropped out of college.

I really need to raise my income. I want to FIRE, preferably before age 30. So if I'm to go back to school for a 4 year degree I basically wont be making a good income until age 27-28 or so (as it'd take that long to graduate and actually get a career which pays decent). I could alternatively go into a trade, and perhaps get an apprenticeship, but I also have a situation which sort of makes that difficult as well (and I just may not be able to do that for reasons which are irrelevant but I could mention if it's something anyone cares enough to know why).

Again, I'm basically just trying to retire or semi-retire before age 30. To accomplish that, I'm gonna need to make some money, and I'm gonna need to have some investments that generate me enough semi-passive income that I can live on the returns. Would definitely like to get into real estate, my father has personally purchased a few rentals for EXTREMELY cheap and has managed to retire at the early age of 39 with less than a $100k investment into real estate properties. Believe it or not but my father even managed to buy 4 rentals under $100k! Crazy he managed that, but he's making $650 per property every month and he's doing well.

I'd like to follow a similar path. The problem is, I can't generate enough revenue from any of the minimum wage jobs I've ever worked to save any money and make any investments. I'm roughly making $12-15k per year and I have a girlfriend that isn't a spendthrift but that I certainly over-treat. Pretty much living paycheck to paycheck.

How do I make more money at this age, without going back to school (or going for very long) so that I can raise my income significantly and have the opportunity to make investments so I can retire early?

I'd be more than happy to just make $10k or so per year. Wouldn't mind working one or two days a week if I wanted just a little more cash -- just trying to accomplish this goal by 30. Just a personal goal of mine.

Could anyone give me some financial advice on this? Should I start a business? Should I re-look into a trade and try to configure something to where I can do it? Should I deal with it and go into computer science and just work 3 (or maybe more) years in it and make great cash then quit? Don't want to waste my life away.

What would you do in my situation?

Seppia
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Seppia » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:07 pm

You write pretty good for a dropout - which makes me think you’re maybe smarter and better educated than you think.

I don’t have a lot of “readily actionable” advice in the form of a list, but my recommendation would be: don’t be in a rush.
Your focus has to be to find the job with the best prospects, and sometimes giving yourself too short of a timeframe is a recipe for failure.

Take your time, you can retire by 40 and you’ll still have a ton of life ahead of you.
If you manage to do it by 30, even better, but if you focus too much on “how do I make a ton of money as fast as possible” you’re going to end up with options that are either very risky (think bitcoin trading) or illegal (drug trafficking)

FIRE 2018
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by FIRE 2018 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:24 pm

Don't go the illegal route for the fast money. Your life may be at risk and your family too. When I was 22 I was working several jobs, paying down debt and investing in the market.

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Bankai
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Bankai » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:39 pm

As per Seppia's suggestion, take your time to find out what you like to do that also pays well. Some options are:
-trades
-self-thought programming (some people here did just that and landed $50k jobs)
-driving (this is high risk as the job is likely to be automated within a decade, but if you only plan a few years in a workforce, it might be OK)
-get any entry level admin job in corpo and work your way up to manager level or higher

Also, I'd recommend reading jacob's minimum wage post on the blog. If you're making 12-15k, getting your expenses down to 7k would put you at 50% savings rate; if you then double your income to 30k, that'd be 75% savings rate.

sky
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by sky » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:43 pm

Look for an electric lineman apprentice program.

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Sclass
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Sclass » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:46 pm

Seppia wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:07 pm
You write pretty good for a dropout - which makes me think you’re maybe smarter and better educated than you think.
Agree completely. :D

First off, your title is a truism. I have good news for you. If you want to be rich, less school is better. There’s nothing like an A rat getting locked in a cage and put on the gold plated hamster wheel.

Just looking at school for the sake of more training is a fool’s errand.

First target what you would like to do. You want to be a jet engine mechanic, a brain surgeon, a barrister, ok. Go find out what training you’ll need to get there. Make a plan. At the end of the day it is an investment. Figure out what you want to get out, what you have to put in, and how long it will take.

I’m actually stunned how much valuable knowledge is just handed out freely in the Information Age. What people fail to do is put it into a plan where they can package it up and get paid. Some of the most relevant information for making money is right under our noses yet remains locked away because of our inability to create a marketable package for it.

Well that’s my advice. Figure out what you want first. Then do some learning. Then do it.

Jean
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Jean » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:48 pm

Are construction work only paid 12'000 a year? Here it's about 45'000

chenda
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by chenda » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:04 pm

Arboriculturists make good money and have a low barrier to entry. At least they do here.

You don't have to climb trees btw.

FIRE 2018
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by FIRE 2018 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:12 pm

You are 22 and you should be able bodied with no excuses. Move to Alaska and work your ass off on an oil rig. Very hard work but lots of $$ to be made. If you want it, you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone to get it.

bigato
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by bigato » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:27 pm

Come on man, you don't know the guy, you have no ideas what possible struggles he could be dealing with. Don't be harsh like that.

Campitor
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Campitor » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:31 pm

I've been through numerous minimum wage jobs, and some more difficult barely-above minimum wage construction jobs. I believe I can count 8 different jobs I've worked since age 18
You're 22 so that means you've had 8 jobs since 18 which averages to only 6 months per job - you'll never move up into a better paying job or build a resume worthy of a good paying job moving around every 6 months. Stop this immediately unless you plan to be self employed.
I'm basically just trying to retire or semi-retire before age 30. To accomplish that, I'm gonna need to make some money, and I'm gonna need to have some investments that generate me enough semi-passive income that I can live on the returns.
You're giving yourself an 8 year timeline to create enough wealth via wages and passive income to retire or semi-retire. This is an unrealistic timeline for generating wealth to meet your expected goals unless you plan to live very frugally ala Jacob who was living out of a winnebago, taking navy showers, living on 7k per year, etc.
I have a girlfriend that isn't a spendthrift but that I certainly over-treat
Wind down the over-treating ASAP. If she is the right type of girl she will understand. If she's whines about the ascetic lifestyle then you know she isn't conducive to your goals of amassing wealth for ERE/FIRE/SEMI-FIRE.
my father has personally purchased a few rentals for EXTREMELY cheap and has managed to retire at the early age of 39 with less than a $100k investment into real estate properties.
Arriving at FIRE at age 39 sounds more realistic - why don't you want to ask your Dad for advice on his method. And why is your goal age 30? What's the hurry? It is possible to live a fulfilling life while working, building capital, and living frugally.

It's hard to give you advice without knowing your aptitude for working long hours, learning, skill building. How successful you are in this also depends on your region. Do you live in a major city or are you in a low population small economy town? Are you willing to relocate? Are you willing to work risky blue collar jobs in filthy environments?

Your best chance is working a blue collar job that is in high demand. Industrial electricians, welders, and plumbers are in demand but the work is dangerous but you can make 100+K per year working overtime. Depending on your region, the training required to be licensed can be 2 to 5 years. You'll get your license by age 27, work like a bastard for 3 years, and save 75% of your take home pay (or buy cheap Real Estate like Pappy-Johnny and become a RE mogul) - FIRE by 30.

thrifty++
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:23 pm

Listen to this podcast on how to become a millionaire on a minimum wage job. I thought it was awesomely inspiring.

https://player.fm/series/radical-person ... rt-rpf0043

theanimal
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by theanimal » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:34 pm

I felt kind of lost like you did at 22 and I had a college degree. It's hard to see the options with such fresh eyes but the older I get the more opportunities I find. Most of them make more than $50k/yr and don't involve things like long haul trucking or working on an oil rig. Although those are definitely options. If you're willing to travel, you're odds of making more money go up dramatically. Go to where the demand is. Like others said, you have to figure out what you want to do first.

Some options
-Trades (electrician, HVAC, plumber) all things in demand and that pay well from the start
- Program (teach yourself or Lambda School)
- work at a mine
- Wildland firefighter
- EMS/Police
- become a tour guide
-do scientific field research as a technician
- start a business

and many more...

Johnny
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Johnny » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:57 pm

I didn't expect so many replys in such a short time! I'll make an effort to respond to some of the more major questions.
Seppia wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:07 pm
Take your time, you can retire by 40 and you’ll still have a ton of life ahead of you.
If you manage to do it by 30, even better, but if you focus too much on “how do I make a ton of money as fast as possible” you’re going to end up with options that are either very risky (think bitcoin trading) or illegal (drug trafficking)
The reason I'm looking to acquire a small sum of wealth relatively quickly is due to me wishing to devote my time and life to a passion of mine. Just like some like art, or music, or knitting -- I have a passion such as this, and a 9-to-5 and constant stress about money doesn't comfortably allow me to devote myself to it.

Hence why I want to retire profoundly early in the first place.
FIRE 2018 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:24 pm
Don't go the illegal route for the fast money. Your life may be at risk and your family too. When I was 22 I was working several jobs, paying down debt and investing in the market.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider it.
Bankai wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:39 pm
As per Seppia's suggestion, take your time to find out what you like to do that also pays well.

Also, I'd recommend reading jacob's minimum wage post on the blog. If you're making 12-15k, getting your expenses down to 7k would put you at 50% savings rate; if you then double your income to 30k, that'd be 75% savings rate.
I definitely know what I like to do, but it unfortunately doesn't pay well.

Also aha, the problem isn't that I'm spending $5k too much, it's that I'm making $30k too little.

Living on $12k a year is comfortable for me. Would not have much of any lifestyle inflation if I were to make around $50k and I'm damn near sure of it. I just need to make more.
Sclass wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:46 pm
Agree completely. :D

First target what you would like to do. You want to be a jet engine mechanic, a brain surgeon, a barrister, ok. Go find out what training you’ll need to get there. Make a plan. At the end of the day it is an investment. Figure out what you want to get out, what you have to put in, and how long it will take.

Well that’s my advice. Figure out what you want first. Then do some learning. Then do it.
I absolutely know what I'd like to do. I've wanted to do the same thing since age 11. But passion doesn't pay the bills -- especially for the first 10 years I'd devote to it after my low-paying 9-to-5 job. I would love to make more now, retire early, and then devote myself wholeheartedly to my passion.
Jean wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:48 pm
Are construction work only paid 12'000 a year? Here it's about 45'000
I was paid roughly $18k a year at a construction job I was working 50 hours a week at back when I was 20. Another one only paid me $15k a year I worked at roughly 6 months ago. Now I'm working at the equivalent of a Lowes Outlet or a Home Depot and am making roughly $12k a year.
FIRE 2018 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:12 pm
You are 22 and you should be able bodied with no excuses. Move to Alaska and work your ass off on an oil rig. Very hard work but lots of $$ to be made. If you want it, you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone to get it.
Aha. I realize that you're not joking.

But to be frank, I'm not doing this. I have a woman I've been with for years. I doubt she'd stick around if I were gone over half of the year -- if not longer.
Campitor wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:31 pm
You're 22 so that means you've had 8 jobs since 18 which averages to only 6 months per job - you'll never move up into a better paying job or build a resume worthy of a good paying job moving around every 6 months. Stop this immediately unless you plan to be self employed.

You're giving yourself an 8 year timeline to create enough wealth via wages and passive income to retire or semi-retire. This is an unrealistic timeline for generating wealth to meet your expected goals unless you plan to live very frugally ala Jacob who was living out of a winnebago, taking navy showers, living on 7k per year, etc.

Arriving at FIRE at age 39 sounds more realistic - why don't you want to ask your Dad for advice on his method. And why is your goal age 30? What's the hurry? It is possible to live a fulfilling life while working, building capital, and living frugally.
Yeah I'm never going to devote myself to any place of employment. There genuinely is no use. How significant does a 50 cent pay raise truly make to your income every time you get one every six years?

Also yes, I do have a timeline. I have a timeline because I have goals I want to accomplish (in a timely manner). I would be more than happy living on $10k per year and 1-2 days of part-time work every week all year long if it meant that the other 6-7 days of the week I could live in my small home and devote myself to my passion (which I've spoke about above).

Also I realize this is not entirely relevant. But my father went from dead broke living at my uncle's house, to owning 4 rental properties fully paid-off within less than 5 years. I saw it happen first hand. He is now retired, got that way in the 5 years. Broke to retired.
thrifty++ wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:23 pm
Listen to this podcast on how to become a millionaire on a minimum wage job. I thought it was awesomely inspiring.

https://player.fm/series/radical-person ... rt-rpf0043
Bookmarked. Will give it a listen if I can get around to it.

Thank you.

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Ego
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Ego » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:50 am

Johnny wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:57 pm
Just like some like art, or music, or knitting -- I have a passion such as this, and a 9-to-5 and constant stress about money doesn't comfortably allow me to devote myself to it.
What is the passion?
Johnny wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:47 pm
What would you do in my situation?
Having just read the Brookings study on drug, alcohol and suicide mortality for those with and without a BA, I'd say go back to school.

Image

PDF https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/up ... deaton.pdf

How much of this is correlation and how much is causation, I don't know. From the conclusion:

We propose a preliminary but plausible story in which cumulative disadvantage over life, in the labor market, in marriage and child outcomes, and in health, is triggered by progressiveliy worsening labor market opportunities at the time of entry for whites with low levels of education.

Johnny
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Johnny » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:09 am

Ego wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:50 am
What is the passion?
It's related to art. I'm deliberately being vague about what exactly it is for anonymity reasons. No rudeness intended.
Ego wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:50 am
Having just read the Brookings study on drug, alcohol and suicide mortality for those with and without a BA, I'd say go back to school.
Yeah, I don't think school plays a significant impact on those things in my particular situation. I don't drink and never have, I'm not depressed or suicidal in any way, and any of the drugs I've ever taken we're not done for partying or abused in such a way to cause significant health problems.

.....

Also as a side note, I still am considering school. I just really think it'd suck for it to take 4+ years from now before I can start making a decent wage (and having to pay off all of my student debt). I mean yeah it's definitely a healthy long-term plan, but I'm here on this forum cause I want to retire extremely early (not when I'm 40+ (even though that would still be considered extremely early to lots)).

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Ego
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Ego » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:45 am

Understood. The typical advice is to figure out how to get paid now for doing the thing you are passionate about. Without knowing the passion it is not possible to give advice on how to do that.

Seppia
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Seppia » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:20 am

Sorry for the no-sugarcoat, but I sense some unrealistic expectation from your latest replies.

You know how they say “fast, cheap, well done. You can only pick two”?

In the same way your path to RE can be
Fast, end up with a large balance, require medium effort.
Again pick two.

If you want it to be lightning fast, and it is a MUST for you, you will either have to accept
A) a super frugal RE
B) to kill yourself and forget about quality of life for 8 years

I see no third way honestly.

FIRE 2018
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by FIRE 2018 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:25 am

Good points. However to get to that golden pot in the sky , some options,

Look for your passion and work your butt off

Step out of your comfort zone, sweat, sacrifice, work your butt off , be a risk taker

Be a good digger and latch onto someone with $$$. Do some research and look to see where the super wealthy hang out. Then go there , schmooze with the jet set crowd and network.

It's a cruel world out there and how bad do you want it ??

If the OP's girlfriend may get impacted, then perhaps influence her saying " I'm doing this for me and you, sweetheart, so we can be financially set up for success in the future and the things we dreamed about we can achieve ". And perhaps don't plan on getting married or having kids for now.

Johnny
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Re: How to make more money without much of any schooling?

Post by Johnny » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:34 am

Seppia wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:20 am
You know how they say “fast, cheap, well done. You can only pick two”?

If you want it to be lightning fast, and it is a MUST for you, you will either have to accept
A) a super frugal RE
B) to kill yourself and forget about quality of life for 8 years
If you look at my reply's I did state that I'd absolutely love a super frugal RE. Even something as small as $10k per year made passively would be an absolutely fantastic retirement in my opinion. Would happily work 1-2 days a week alongside that were I to desire a little bit more income.

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