Taking Care of Pets While Being in College

Through out the whole last year, I have been taking care of my 2 incredible animals: my two cats while being in College. I had brought them together with me to the U.S. from Europe because I felt like they were my family and that I couldn’t abandon them. I really love my two cats and think that they look super cute. However, owning pets is a huge responsibility and will cause for you to have certain inconveniences while being in College.

Your pets will require your time, attention, and money. They are like young children. They can’t provide for themselves and so you will have to provide for them. You have to understand this concept before you decide to bring your pet with you for College. Pets cost money and they also cost time. If you know that you will not be able to afford to have a pet while in College (due to not having money or not having time to take care of the pet), you should not buy yourself a pet in College or bring your pet a long on your college journey.

With this point/disclaimer out of the way, here’s how I have been taking care of my pets and some things that you have to keep in mind/tips that I can give about being a responsible owner of a pet (or pets) while being in College.

Place to Live

Most College dorms will not allow for you to bring your pet with you. This means that if you plan on owning a pet while in College, you should forget about living in a College dorm and rent out an apartment, instead. If your College forces all Freshman students to live in a College dorm there first semester, your only options are 1.) to not go to that College or 2.) not bring your pet with you. I chose option #1. Therefore, if your seriously plan on owning a pet starting your freshman year, this will have to be one of your considerations when choosing a College. And do not even think about braking the rules on this one. If your RA finds out about your cute little puppy, he will not have a lot of options but to confiscate it. And you do not want that to happen to your animal.

Some apartments that were made for College students will allow for you to have a pet. However, most of them have a one pet restriction. So if you own two cats like me, you will have to look for other options. If your College is in a big city, finding a pet friendly place to rent out will not be a problem. Although, you will most likely have to rent out a normal property that was not created for College students and find a roommate on your own to split the bill with. Unless your parents are rich. In which case, you can live on your own without a roommate and have your pets as your roommates. Keep in mind that you will probably end up spending more on housing with a pet than without it. You will also need to pay pet deposit fees and pet rent (although a lot of places allow for you to get away with it if you don’t). Some pets will also require for you to have a certain climate in your apartment. In this case, you will end up paying more for electricity.  If your College is in the middle of nowhere, however, it might be hard for you to find pet friendly housing options. Therefore, this should be something that you have to consider before choosing a College as well. Once you get accepted, you should search for different pet friendly options and if you can’t find anything and are set on owning a pet while being in College, you will have to pick your other options.

Also, owning a pet might prevent you from being able to live in a sorority/fraternity house or significantly limit your options. Some sororities/fraternities do not allow pets while others might still have hazing. I personally do not understand why a person would choose to get hazed in a sorority and not simply walk away but you getting hazed is one thing. Having your pet hazed is another thing. You do not want your pet to get hurt because of some stupid initiation ritual that your brothers/sisters came up with. This would be incredibly irresponsible of you. So if you are really set on greek life, owning a pet might not be the best idea for you.

Money

The second thing that you have to understand is that your pet will be a recurring cost. Unlike make up or clothes, you can’t just decide not to buy food for your cat tomorrow. Your cat will starve if you do that. You will have to spend a certain amount of money on your pets every single week. How much you will have to spend will depend on the type of pet you own and where you live. For cats, your recurring costs will be pet food (both can and dry), sand for the litter box, and maybe medication (if your cat needs it). You will also have to buy at minimum a liter box, cat dishes, and have some extra money saved in case you will need to take your cat to the vet. You will also probably want to buy toys and accessories for your cat (but those are not necessities. You can have your cat play with shoelaces or other improvised toys). At minimum, one cat will cost you about $30 per month for food + litter. For the fixed costs, it will be about $200. However, if you are bringing your pet with you, you can bring the litter box, cat dishes, etc… and not have those fixed costs. You also will need to either buy pet health insurance (which will cost you $175 per year) and/or have $1,000 to $2,000 in savings separate from the rest of your money that you will not touch under any circumstances. (I chose option #2 due to my distrust of insurance policies and my believe that the best insurance is cash. Cash doesn’t have “I cover this procedure but I don’t cover that procedure” after all. Even if you do decide to go the pet insurance route, I will still recommend to have about $500 that you will not touch, in case your pet will need a procedure that the insurance will not cover). If you do not have $30 per month to spend on your pet (or do not have a sound plan of making an additional $30 per month), than you should not buy yourself a cat. The costs of owning a dog or other pets will be different and I can’t say anything about those expenses because I do not own those animals.

Whatever that cost will be, you will need to make sure to set that money aside accordingly and not spend it on other stuff. What I mean by this is, if you have a part time job that you use to pay for your cat, you can’t just decide to spend that $30 on clubbing instead of buying your cat food. Also, if your part time job is your only way of paying for your pet and than decide that you don’t want to do it anymore, you will have to come up with another idea for paying for your cat before you quit. Remember. Your cat is like a really small child. It can’t provide for itself and it’s your responsibility to provide for it.

Taking Care of the Pet

This one will depend on the type of pet that you own. For cats, you will need to feed it 2-3 times/day with canned cat food. This is not too hard to do, since you can feed it one time before heading of to class in the morning and one time in the evening when you come home. You should also give your cat dry cat food in the morning so that it will have a “snack” to eat through out the day. You will also have to clean out your cat’s litter box. How often you will have to do that will depend on your cat. I clean it out after my cats every day. The good thing is that doing all of those activities will take you a maximum of 1 hour/day. This will obviously be different for dogs and other animals.

If you have some free time, you can also play with your cats, brush their fur, etc… You also have to remember to regularly shop for their food. I often buy their food online and have it delivered to my apartment. I find it more convenient than physically going to the store and buying it. After you figure out your routine, it should not take you a lot of time to take care of your pet. After a while, taking care of your pet will become a routine and it will not cause you a lot of stress or issues. It will even make you feel more put together.

With this said, you have to remember about your pet. You can’t just go our partying and forget to feed your cat or take your dog out for a walk because you are hungover. You also can’t ignore your pet’s needs because you have an exam tomorrow and are pulling an all nighter. So you if you are really bad at time management, a pet might not be the best idea.

The Vet

This part is a bit controversial and depends on what you want to do with your pet. Some people take their pets for check ups to the vet once a year (or more often). Other people choose not to do this. I used to take my cats to the vet in the past but due to a situation that  happened with one of my cats (that I do not want to discuss because it’s too private), I do not do this anymore. If an emergency happens, I will take my cats to the vet. I’m not crazy. However, I do not want to cause unnecessary stress to my cats by having the vet come once a year or taking them to the vet. My cats don’t like strangers or being moved from place to place too often and having this interaction with the vet causes unnecessary stress for them, which I do not believe is worth it.

With this said, the vet question should be based on what you think is best for your animal and not on what you can or can’t afford. If you believe in taking your pet to the vet once a year, you should find the money and time to do this. I would recommend doing this during one of your breaks and definitely not before exams.

Roommates

If you choose to live with roommates, they have to be made aware of you owning the pet (or planning to own one). Your roommate might have allergies or be scared of your pet. Or you might have cats and your roommate might decide to get a dog. All of this situations are bad for both of you. You do not want to anger your roommate. For this reasons, you should discuss this matter with them. If you are unofficially choosing a roommate, choose someone who is OK with you owning your pet and who will not get a pet that will make your pet unhappy. For example, if you own a cat, don’t get yourself a roommate who owns a large dog (or is a dog person).

On the other hand, your roommate might get really excited about your pet and will want to pet it, play with it, etc… Wether you allow for your roommate to do this or not is up to you. My recommendation is, if your roommate decides to consistently play with your pet, he should share some of the responsibilities of taking care of it.

Also, you will have to decide if the pet will only stay in your room or will be allowed in your roommate’s room, what will happen if your pet damages your roommate’s shoes, etc… Your roommate might like animals and will be OK with “sharing” the pet or he might be OK with you having the pet but will not want anything to do with it. All of this questions have to be discussed with him/her. If you are choosing your own roommate to split the bill on your own somewhere in the city without an RA, than you should choose somebody who will ideally like your pet and help you out. In this case, you have more options.

Transferring/interning/Study Abroad

Once you own a pet, you are not alone anymore and it’s your responsibility not to abandon it. This means that if you decide to transfer to another University, intern in another town, or do study abroad, you will need to figure out what you will do with your pet. You might find someone to take care of the pet and pay them a monthly fee to do so until you come back, if you plan on interning. Currently, there are a lot of legitimate firms that provide this service. They will come to your house, feed your cat, clean up after it, and play with it. If you plan on transferring, you should bring your pet with you. If you plan on doing study abroad, you will also have to think things through in terms of what to do with your pet. If you will be doing study abroad for semester to a year, you should either bring your pet with you or not do it. Or realize that your pet will get incredibly lonely and upset about you being gone for so long.

So here are the major points of having a pet or taking care of a pet while being in College.  It will make your life a bit more difficult and expensive. But you will always have a furry friend with you and I can almost guarantee that your pet will make you feel less stressed out before exams (and about life in general).

 

So think things through before brining a pet with you,

 

XOXO

 

 

Katy Bronsk

 

 

 

 

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The Time of No Excuses

Through out my life, I have heard (and was guilty of) making a lot of excuses and complaining about different things in life, all the time. However, the amount of excuses and complaints that my friends seem to be making have increased in recent years. So, in this blog, I will talk about some of the most popular and memorable excuses that I have heard over the past year and give my opinion on what I think about them.

I’m Too Poor To Work

Yes. I’ve actually heard one guy say this one, while he was depressed and hoping that money would fall from the sky into his hands (news flash: it never does).

While it is true that you need money for certain ventures, there are a lot of ways that you can start making money from nothing. For example, you can get yourself a part time job, do small tasks for other people, or, even, fill out stupid surveys online and get paid for doing that. Yes. Some of those ideas might fail. Miserably. But if you are going to sit around not trying and complaining about being “too poor to make money”, you are not going to make any money for sure. 2/3 of billionaires in the world right now are self-made. If the “I’m too poor to become rich” logic was true, this would definitely not be the case.

So don’t complain about being “too poor to work” and instead at least try to find yourself some form of income. Complaining about being poor never helped anybody become rich.

I Don’t Have Enough Time

I used to make this excuse incredibly often. In fact, this was one of my favorite excuses in terms of starting this blog. I would always complain about “not having enough time to do it” until I set down and did it.

After I’ve done this, I realized that what you actually mean by this excuse is: “I don’t really want to do this thing and would rather be doing something else. Because if I want to do this thing really bad, I would have found the time to do it.” There is nothing wrong with not wanting to do something or not doing something. Not everyone has to write a novel, win a Nobel prize, and become an Olympic gold medalist. If you don’t want to write a novel, don’t write a novel. If you don’t like sports, don’t do sports. But don’t say “I want to play sports but I don’t have time” because if you actually really wanted to play sports, you would have found the time to do it by not doing something else, such as by not watching so much TV, not spending so much time hanging out with friends, or not taking on such a rigorous academic program. Your priorities would have shifted and you would have made it work. Yes. With whatever you decide to do with your time, there will always be trade offs. However, if you really want to do something, you will find the time to do it and will be OK with those trade offs. Otherwise, you are simply lying to yourself about wanting to do it in the first place.

Parents

Yes. Until you turn 18 years old, this is a valid excuse/complaint. Before you legally become an adult, if your parents don’t want you to do something, they can legally stop you from doing it. Therefore, unfortunately, you have to play by their rules until that point. Your parents own you, which is why I often said, “happy parents, happy children”. And, yes, I do have a lot of sympathy for you if you have parents who don’t let you follow your dreams.

However, after you turn 18, you do not have this excuse any more. You are legally an adult. Which means that if your parents are holding you down, you can get yourself a job, start living on your own, and do whatever it is that you want to do. If you choose to live with your parents or listen to them, that is your choice. Therefore, if your parents are holding you down, you should either accept it and not complain about it or start living on your own, making your own money, and doing your own thing. I do not have a lot of sympathy for you if you are older than 18 and complain about your parents not letting you do something.

I Do Not Have Enough Education or Experience

This excuse is sometimes valid. For example, if you want to be a surgeon, you will have to go through medical school first before you can start operating on people. If a job requires an official certificate and/or is dangerous, you should get the required training.

However, for all other things in life, this is simply an excuse. I was also guilty of making this one. I would always think that I needed to get another degree/diploma/volunteer, etc… before I could start doing something. The problem with this approach is that the only way to have enough experience to do something is to start doing something. Also, the only way to learn certain skills is to start practically doing that particular activity in the real world. The best example of this is sales. If you want to get good at selling, selling lemonade outside your house or going from door to door selling make-up will teach you more about sales than any class or professor ever will. If you are sitting around and thinking, “who on Earth will hire me with no experience to do sales?”, I would like to remind you that loads of start ups and small companies always need help selling. (Yes. I’ve worked in sales for a small start up for a month this summer so, trust me, I know what I’m talking about. They didn’t even asked me for my resume when hiring me. Most of the work was called calling random companies and I did not enjoy it but the point is, it was not hard to get this job).

Similarly, if you want to write the novel, go and write a novel. If you want to dance, start dancing in the basement. If you want to start a blog, go and start a blog. When you run into difficulties, you can always use Google or ask somebody to help you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take classes to improve on your chosen endeavor. What I’m saying, however, is that you should not let your lack of education or experience stop you from pursuing what you want to do and if you can (legally) start doing something today and you want to do it today, you should start doing it today rather than waiting for the “right time” or “when you will be ready”. The time will never be right and you will never feel truly ready.

Those are probably the main excuses that I can think about (or remember) right now. I might end up expanding this list if I remember any others.

 

Feel free to share your favorite excuses/excuses that annoy you the most in the comments,

 

XOXO

 

 

Katy Bronsk

 

 

College Debt Calculations 

Recently, I got into an argument with some people on Twitter about college debt. Some of them argued that College debt is unfair or that it would be impossible for them to pay it back. While the concept of “fairness” is subjective (and I will not comment on wether I think that it’s fair), it certainly is “payable” for some career choices. 

As I have mentioned in my post about Majors, it’s important to chose what you will do before going to college and calculate how much money you will make in your chosen field, if you plan on going into debt. So, in this post, I will outline the calculations for the “worst case scenario” in terms of debt and talk about what your life will be like in those different careers. 

To illustrate the college debt situation, we will imagine a student named John. John has just graduated from high school and got accepted by Brown University. However, he has no idea what he want’s to do after he finishes college and after celebrating his achievement of getting into Ivy League for a good week or two, he starts thinking about what he wants to major in/who he wants to be after he graduates from college. 

He thought about 6 careers that he likes: Software Engineere for a large tech firm or a startup (Silicon Valley), Investment Banker (Wall Street), Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, or Social Worker. 

Assumptions:

  • John is too lazy to apply for scholarships (Or he did apply but didn’t get them). He is also not getting any part time jobs during his time at Brown. He will finance 100% of his tuition + living expenses through debt. He will get internships in the careers, in which it makes sense for him to get them, though. 
  • John’s tuition costs him $69,086 a year. His tuition stays stable over his time at Brown. (I know this is unrealistic but I don’t have a crystal bowl + we are already creating a “nightmare scenario” as is.) 
  • John was incredibly unlucky and got the loans from a bank that gave him 7% interest rate (although the current average  interest rate for private loans is only 2%. Again, we are exaggerating things and creating a “nightmare scenario from hell” for John.)
  • The six careers will remain unchanged over the next 10-20 years. I know, this assumption is a bit unrealistic but I am not a fortune teller. Predicting what will happen 20 years from now is close to impossible. 20 years ago, we couldn’t imagine having Instagram and only 3 years ago, we would have laughed if somebody told us that Trump would become president. Therefore, I am not assuming/predicting any huge changes in the job market. 
  • John really loves paying off his debts. He will spend 50% of his net salary paying them off. The debt comes before taxes for John and he will count tax as part of his living expenses. (If we don’t make this assumption, John will be paying off his debt forever for some of the jobs/careers in this list.) 
  • John started college at age 18. 
  • After John pays off his debt, he will save 50% of his salary and get 7% return on his savings. (I will discuss how much John will make by the age of 40 in a later post, since John’s debt is already a large enough topic). 
  • John will be good at his career but not super good. He will get promoted regularly and have a salary towards the higher end of the spectrum for some of his careers. But he will not become a billionaire hedge fund manager or start the next Google in College. 
  • The government will not pay for John’s student loans. He will not get an inheritance from his aunt. He will have to pay 100% of them back on his own. 
  • John will not start a side business or do anything else additional to his career/job. 

Silicon Valley: Nerds Now Rule The World

John decided that he wants to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckenberg. In his third year, John got an internship at Google and made 20k. Then, he went to work for an elite tech company, making a 200k starting salary. He then transitioned into a management role and his salary continued to increase until $2 million. 


John ended up paying off his debt in 3 years. He will pay off his debt at age 24.  Even if we change the assumptions with the debt around and increase it by 10-20%, John will still pay off his debt in 3 years. Even if we assume a slightly lower salary increase and that he doesn’t go into a management role, he will still pay them off in 3 years. For those 3 years and beyond, John’s life was pretty comfortable because he could live off of +100k a year and pay the other +100k out as debt. In fact, he could probably afford to pay out more than 50% of his salary and clear his debt out even faster or increase his savings even more in some years, if he wanted to.

Variations: Some talented programmers in my University start working in their senior year of college and end up dropping out. In this case, John will pay off his debt even faster (2-3 years and be debt free at age 22-23) because 1.) he will start earning 200k a year earlier and 2.) he will not take on additional debt for 4th year of College (because he dropped out). 

He might also get very lucky and start the next Google or Facebook or Apple. In which case, he can pay off his debt with one paycheck. Or he can start working for a startup that makes it big and have a large share of  equity ownership in it. (In which case, again, he will pay of his debt in one paycheck.) John might also work for a startup that will end up paying him badly but giving him equity and end up failing, in which case it will take much longer for John to pay off his debt. (Therefore, John should be careful to avoid this scenario.) 

John can also choose his company less carefully and make 180k-190k starting salary. In which case, you guessed it, he will still pay his debt off in 3 years. Maybe, he parties too hard during one of the years and pays it back in 4. 

Bottom Line: John will be fine. He will pay off his debt fast if he goes into technology/ software engineering and is smart about it. In the best case scenario (about less than 1% chance), he can pay them off with one paycheck. More realistically, if he is good at it and has smooth career transitions, he will pay them back in 3 (age 24) years. In an absolute worst case scenario, if we follow this assumptions, he will pay them back in 4 years (age 25). 

So if you are John, you should start learning how to code. Like right now. 

Damn, It feels Good to be a Banker” 

John watched the Wolf of Wall Street too many times and decided that he wants to be the next Gordon Gekko. In his third year of College, he gets really lucky and does an internship at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and gets paid $20k. After graduating, he goes into investment banking and makes 150k all in compensation his first year. His compensation increases, to 175k his second year and 200k his third year. In his 4th year, John moves up to become an associate and his salary decreased to 135k because he switched firms or because he had a bad year or because something bad happened to the economy. The point is: John had one bad year and made 135k. Than, his all in compensation continues to increase, he smoothly makes career transitions, and eventually ends up making $1 million a year. 


John pays off his debt at age 26 (5 years). Even if we assume a 100k compensation for his first year and 150k for his second year, he will still pay off his debt by the age of 26. If we remove the bad year and assume that his compensation remains flat at 200k (or that he switches to doing private equity/hedge funds with the starting compensation of 200-300k), he will pay his debt in 3-4 years (age 24-25). If John decides to take a year off from paying his debt and do models and bottles instead, he will pay his debt back at the age of 27 (6 years). His life will be less comfortable than that of a software engineer but it will be manageable (although his friends will make fun of him for not being a baller). If teachers can live off of a 50k salary, John can certainly manage at 75k. It will also be really bad for his 1st year and than get better from there. 

Variations: the compensation is going to be more varied at the MD/VP level than it is for analysts/associates. There is some variation due to the economy, the performance of the bank, the performance of the group, and individual’s performance. However, even if we assume 3 bad years instead of 1, John will pay his debt on time (age 26, 5 years). If he makes the switch to Hedge Fund/private equity or doesn’t have the bad year, the numbers will be closer to the Software Engineer example (3-4 years). 

Bottom line: In the absolute worst case scenario: 6 years. In the best case scenario: 3-4 years. Most likely: 5 years. John will not do a lot of models and bottles his first year but his life will get better. He will probably not save 50% of his salary after paying off his debt, though (which is fine because John should live a little). 

Even though John will get out of debt in his 20’s, it’s better to try to not be like John and not to take on this much debt. If John had less debt, he would have more money for bottles and models during his early 20’s. With this said, taking the Wall Street path (if you are in John’s situation) is not a bad idea. It’s worse than the tech path but better than the other 4 options. 

The Classics: Lawyers and Doctors 

Lawyers and Doctors are classic job/career choices. Therefore, I have to include both of them. 

Let’s start with doctors. 

John decided that he wants to become a doctor and help save lives (or his mom told him that he will be rich and he is in it for the money). After accumulating debt for 4 years in undergraduate, John decided to go to Harvard for med school, where he continued accumulating debt for another 4 years (assuming tuition rate of $78975, interest rate: 7%, he is financing 100% of it through debt.) 

After finishing med school, John earned 51k a year in residency. We assume he only spends 3 years in residency. Afterwards, John starts earning 400k. His salary increases 10% a year until it reaches 857k. 


As a doctor, John will pay off his debt at the age of 33 (in 8 years after med school or 12 years after undergraduate). His time at residency will suck really bad. Currently, living off of 25k in the US is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. John will absolutely hate his life. To make matters worse, the 25k that he will contribute to paying off his debt will not even completely cover the interest rate. Despite his contributions, his debt will continue to increase for this 3 years. 

After he starts working as a doctor, John will probably have a huge party because he will have 200k to spend on himself and 200k to pay back for the loans. John will be incredibly well off while he pays back for his student loans. If I change up the assumptions and imagine that John has 1 bad year and doesn’t get a promotion for a year, he will still end up paying back his debt at the age of 33. If we assume that John will pay back more than 50% of his salary  (70% after he starts working as a doctor), he will pay it back at the age of 32. 

Variations: I don’t really know a lot about medicine so can’t really say a lot about it. What I do know is that different specialization earn differently so you can earn more/less than this example. From what I can find, the pay doesn’t have a really large range so you have less risk of never paying off this debt. You might also end up spending more time in residency (some doctors spend up to 7 years), in which case I don’t even want to think about how long it will take for you to pay back this loan. 

Bottom Line: Having this loans pile up for over 8 years is a really long time. It doesn’t seem like the job of a doctor will allow for John to pay back his student loans quickly. However, John will be able to have a comfortable life while he pays them back after he finishes residency (assuming 3 years in residency.) Over all, if I were John, I would not go for the doctor path. (If you plan on becoming a doctor, I would recommend doing anything possible to avoid turning into a John). 

Now, on to the Lawyer path. 

As a Lawyer, John will spend 4 years in undergraduate and 3 more years at Law School. His college tuition for Law School will be the same as that of a doctor ($78975). He will continue having the 7% interest rate (going with our “worst case scenario” theme). 

After finishing law school, John got into an elite law firm and started making 200k a year. He gets promoted quickly and eventually makes partner and starts earning $1 million at the age of 36.


John will pay back his loan at the age of 31 (7 years after law school, 10 years after undergraduate). He will be able to have a pretty comfortable life getting there. This is definitely a better situation than the doctors path. 

Variations: John might not make it into an elite law firm, in which case the numbers will be much lower and John’s life will suck. 

Bottom line: John will be able to pay back his loans faster than with the doctors option. However, 10 years is still a long time. I can’t really make a judgment on this one because John will have a more or less good life for those 10 years. 

Teacher: John Loves Working With Children 

John decided that he loves working with children and that he wants to be a teacher. In his Junior year, he did an internship and got paid 6k. Than, he started working as a teacher at a public school in New York. His starting salary was 54k and increased 13% every year until he hit 119k. 


John payed back his loan at the age of 31. His life sucked because he only had 27k-53k a year to live off of. In New York, investment bankers complain about not making enough money and they make 150k their first year. John will be able to hardly survive and will probably end up paying less in order to cover his loans in real life. 

Variations: John can probably make more money if he becomes a teacher at a private school. In this case, he will be able to pay back his loans faster and his life will suck less. However, it will not be a huge improvement over the example above because teacher salaries don’t wary a lot. He might also not be as lucky and end up only having 40k salary at the end of his career and start out at 20k (this is the minimum in Texas). In this case, his life will suck even more and (again) I don’t even want to think about how long it will take for John to pay off his debt. 

Bottom Line: Even though John will pay his loans back at the age of 31, his life will suck. Therefore, if you want to be a teacher, do everything possible to avoid turning into John. Do not finish college over 300k in debt. If you are 300k in debt, don’t become a teacher. Tutor kids after work, if you just can’t live without teaching them. 

Social Worker: John Wants To Help People 

John wants to help people from underprivileged backgrounds by becoming a social worker ( he had been taught to “want to make this world a better place” at Brown, after all). 

After graduating from college, John’s starting salary will be 64k and his salary will slowly increase until he will be making slightly over 80k. Similarly to a teacher, John also did an internship his junior year of college and got paid 6k. (This numbers are exaggerated. His salary is supposed to stop increasing at 69k. However, 10% of social workers do make it up to 80k and so I inflated the numbers to give at least some hope that a social worker will be able to pay back such a loan). 


To say that this numbers aren’t pretty, is an understatement. John will pay back his loans at the age of 36 (that’s 15 years!!!). John’s life will also suck, since it is very difficult to have a good life with 36k. 

Variations: This numbers had been exaggerated. More realistically, John’s salary will hit the pay ceiling at 69k (if he is lucky). I was also assuming he makes the highest in his pay range so, again, the real numbers will be lower. In this case, he will payback the student loan at 37-38. 

However, I had seen some specializations within social work that pay in low 100’s so John might get more lucky and his numbers will look closer to the teacher’s example. 

Bottom Line: “Damn. It does not feel good to be a social worker”. 

Really. There is no other way to describe John’s situation. Even with inflated numbers, John will be miserable and it will take him the longest amount of time to pay back his student loans out of the 6 careers. 

If you really want to be a social worker, avoid getting yourself into so much debt. And if you are in this much debt, do not even think about becoming a social worker. You will spend your life helping families of strangers (or strangers) without being able to help your own (or yourself).

Conclusion: In terms of time it takes to payback the loans, the careers go as follows: 1.) software engineer (silicon valley) 2.) investment banker (Wall Street) 3.) lawyer/teacher (tie) 4.) doctor 5.) social worker. In terms of lifestyle: this one will be subjective so you decide. I already left my comments under each career choice on this topic and can not figure out a way to rank this one. 

Take Aways: 

Ok. So the main point of this really long post wasn’t to make fun of social workers or John for getting himself into debt (Although I do admit it was entertaining to write). Or to make people jealous of programmers and investment bankers. 

The main point is: think about how long it will take for you to pay your student loan back before running to the bank and taking it. What we have learned from this analysis is that it is possible to pay the student loan back for some careers, while incredibly difficult for others. This means that you have two options (assuming you are not a masochist and want to have a good life): 1.) take out less student loans with lower interest rates (go to a state school, get scholarships, etc..) and/or 2.) get a higher paying career, which will cover the loans (software engineering, investment banking, etc..). 

And before taking the student loans for your degree, run this calculations beforehand and play around with different setups. Obviously, don’t assume the “nightmare from hell” scenario if you are taking out less debt and choose the careers that you are actually interested in. And spend more time researching your potential careers than I have researching those 6 (they were just examples after all). 

Remember, a loan is not free money. You will have to pay it back, 

XOXO 
Katy Bronsk 

Note: I’m sorry about the picturesque/graphs. My laptop doesn’t work so the formatting is off. I will fix it when I get access to my laptop. 


Online Surveys (and doing small tasks on the internet). 

I’m going to appologize right away and say that this blog will mostly be focused on different ideas to make money online for the rest of the Summer. The reason for this is: it’s the Summer and I’m bored so I decided to look for ways to make some extra cash online. I’m also currently stuck in the middle of knowhere so finding stuff to do in person is not going to work. After the Summer, however, I will most likely return things to normal. (Unless a lot of you guys are in love with this new idea and would like for me to continue.) 

Today’s post will focus on the first way that I tried: Filling out Online Surveys and doing other (extremely) low skill stuff online. 

Which Websites did I use? 

I signed up for swagbucks.com, YouGov, Vivatic, and Toluca. Out of this websites, YouGov and Toluca naturally fell away within about 30 minutes because they don’t offer cash payouts, only gift cards. Since I’m interest in cash, I immediately stopped using those websites after I signed up for them. I did play around with swagbucks.com  mainly for the surveys and Vivatic together with CrowdFlower for small low skill tasks. In addition to surveys, swagbucks also allows for you to earn money for watching videos online and searching the web. 

Another website that I didn’t use but that’s great for low skill stuff is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. 

Some Advice 

I feel very stupid writing this section right now because I think literally a monkey can earn money by filling out surveys and that it’s not a great way to make extra cash. However, some things aren’t so obvious and a lot of people are interested in the topic so I will offer some practical advice: 

  • Register as a UK or US user (if you can get away with it). Most surveys/apps for tracking your online usage, etc… are made for US/UK and will not allow for you to participate if you register from other countries. 
  • If you are watching videos on swagbucks, don’t actually watch them. Simply let them run in another window while you do something more useful with your time. Currently, your iPhone/computer can’t determine if you are looking at it or not. So use this situation to your advantage. 
  • Answer surveys honestly or lie, it really doesn’t matter. It’s not like they will check for real. 
  • Look for small tasks that pay the most while requiring the least amount of time. Focus on those tasks. 

 If you have any other advice to add to this section, feel free to do so in the comments. I honestly can’t think of anything because I think it’s such an easy thing to figure out how to do (took me less than 30 minutes to get good). 

The good thing about this method 

The good news about filling out surveys online (and doing other small tasks) is that absolutely everyone who has a smart phone or a laptop (or access to one) and internet connection can do it. Everything that you need to start out is free and extremely easy to set up. 

It also requires 0 skills and anyone can do those easy tasks so you don’t really need to learn anything and you don’t have the “I don’t have any skills” excuse. 

Also, doing this is better than doing stuff like watching Netflix because one cent earned is better than nothing earned. (Or money spent on subscription.) 

The disadvantages 

There are a lot of things that I will be writing in this section, since I think the negatives outweigh the positives. 

  1. you will not be making a lot of money doing this. Surveys and small tasks will pay you cents and pennies. Also, Swagbucks will pay you in “Fake Currency” so you don’t even understand how much you are getting. I only ended up making $3 on Vivatic and 136 points on Swagbucks for the day. 
  2. doing small tasks on these types of websites is incredibly boring. You will spend hours doing incredibly boring work such as researching companies, translating what the robot is saying into human language, or classifying items into categories. All of this tasks will be so easy and routine that you will want to through your laptop out the window. Surveys are a bit more interesting but also will get boring. Whatching videos on Swagbucks is a good idea if you don’t actually watch them. This way you are making money doing almost nothing (even though it’s cents and pennies). 
  3. You are not learning useful skills by doing this. 
  4. You can’t take the money out until a certain point (so you are waiting to raise a certain amount of money before you can send it to yourself through PayPal.) 

Conclusion: 

Doing online surveys/small random tasks online is one of the worst ways to make money. After doing  this for a day, I wanted to kill my laptop (this is not an exaggeration.) It is incredibly boring and if you are even a bit intelligent, you should start looking for better, more higher paying, and more interesting ways to add value. I am definitely giving up on this idea and moving on to trying out other things. 

However, if you have absolutely no skills, are incredibly stupid, and are stuck in the middle of knowhere only with a laptop and internet access, than doing online surveys could be a way for you to make some extra cash instead of complaining about not having enough money. It’s also better than watching TV shows or spending money, because at least you are making something in this time. 
So this concludes my very fast overview of surveys/small, stupid online tasks.

What I have also learned from this experience is that you have absolutely no excuse of not making at least $50 per month (since you can make this much money by literally filling out surveys/doing random small tasks on different websites.) 

I will be trying out something more interesting next week.
XOXO
Katy Bronsk