Most of us have gone through it: those four plus years of higher education, draining our pockets to the point that some of us have to depend on ramen noodles -- of all things -- for nutrition. It can't be understated how much these years put a strain on you financially.
You've contemplated getting a job during those nights that you're not studying to get a hold of that troublesome class. You've thought about becoming the snitch R.A. just to get half of your tuition taken care of. You've even considered suffering the God-awful fun-starved-yet-massive-debt-avoiding life of a commuter to deal with the costs.
And if you're not struggling to come up with the $100,000 - $200,000 for your undergraduate tenure, you're banging your head against the wall thinking about what better use that money could have been put to.
Think no more. Elite Daily has taken the burden of imagination off your shoulders to bring you this: the 10 things you could have invested your money in with the tens of thousands of dollars you paid to chase your degree.
(P.S. - We are not responsible for any damage to your computer in the event that reading this results in a laptop-tossing rage.)
1. Become A Diversified Stock-Trading Prodigy
You see this boss smirking like he knows exactly what he's doing? He does, and that could be you. This may be the no-brainer of all no-brainers. With the money you’re using on getting that degree in the field that you “kinda” want to work in, you could be trying you hand on the stock market.
All that’s really needed to start is a few thousand dollars, a brokerage firm to handle your trading (like Etrade) and the right amount of advice and research. Becoming a master at trading stocks is no easy task, but each amount of information you learn about the game (and it very much is like a game) boosts your chances of making profit. The same cannot be said for your classroom.
2. Real Estate
The past few years have been friendly to those trying to invest in real estate. The interest rates are low and people are buying homes again, which has given many investors the opportunity to flip a profit while the market recovers from going bust in 2008.
The most attractive option at this point and time is a real estate investment trust (REIT). As NPR points out, REITs represent a good investment in that they are stock-like, but have to pass government tests to make sure they are legit. When you invest in REITs, you're really investing in a range of properties.
However much money the trust you're investing in makes, they are required by law to hand out at least 90% of it to their shareholders in dividends, otherwise known as your potential profit if you invest in them.
3. Create Your Own Tech Company
Many of today’s best startups actually started up from very modest beginnings. Tumblr started off with just two employees. iCracked started in a college dorm room. Basically, you don't need much to begin a startup. You need the right drive, the right idea and, as you grow, the right funding.
That's where your tuition money comes in. With those racks you could be buying office space, the rights to a domain, a few desperate employees, a couple of interns willing to give their all to help your startup grow for little compensation and all the equipment you need. Your tens of thousands can fund your tech startup in too many ways to list.
4. Become a mini-venture capitalist
With the over $100,000 you used on that education for the past few years, there is a serious possibility that you could have made yourself into a venture capitalist, on a small scale. $20,000 could see you owning equity in startups that you see potential in. As the company grows, you as a part-owner would see the value of your investment grow.
You could literally support anything you want to do. For instance, if you want to become a wedding photographer, you could easily buy more than enough equipment and newspaper ads with the $25,000 - $50,000 worth of tuition that you'd pay your school in one year. If you want to be a music producer, you can literally purchase the equipment with your room & board funds to make a respectable in-home studio. It's been done before. The idea is yours to come up with.
6. Your hustler habits
This is the idea that requires the most creativity and street smarts, as you'll need to be able to find the right buyers. If you can, theoretically, you could become the perfect hustler. Just think about it. How many things do you see on Amazon selling for profit?
Perhaps you can buy the next batch of Jordan en masse and resell them for a profit to the customers that weren't willing to wait in line on a Saturday morning to get them first, but are still willing to pay double the original price (those people exist). The new PS4 is coming out, you flip those.
A rolex? You can definitely flip that. Honestly, we're just taking shots in the dark, but depending on your creativity, you could find the perfect hustle to fund your lifestyle.
7. Paying A Developer To Help Your Business
Let's say the worst case scenario is you paying 60k for a year at school (*cough* NYU students), that money could be going toward the salary of the developer that can give your new business a head start. Between you and developer guy, a good idea and a good engineer to put the idea into execution, you could be on your way to creating the hottest new app on the market. Angry birds? WhatsApp? All of it is conceivable in 2013.
8. Manchester United
Since the world's most popular soccer team went public after its IPO in August and thus entered the New York Stock Exchange, its stock increased by over a third, going from about $14 a share to $19 a share in February and May. Before calming down to fall to a price of about $16 today.
But we all know the coolest thing about being a part owner of Manchester United -- essentially, being a part owner of Manchester United. Its the most valuable sports franchise in the world and the first to reach a value of $3 billion, an accomplishment which was confirmed by Forbes list of most valuable sports franchises this past January.
Investment might represent a legitimate opportunity for good profit if its commercial deals are any indication -- the team recently signed a seven-year, $559 million sponsorship deal with Chevrolet.
9. Key Person Insurance
This might be getting ahead of yourself, but in the case that you have a small team for your business, you could be insuring those valuable members. Let's assume for instance, that you used your thousands to make your enterprise more efficient and thus more attractive to other outsider investors that could help grow your business even more.
If the worst happens to one of the few of your employees, you want to be covered. Inc. proposes that for a 40-year-old employee, insurance could be about $50 a month. How much less would it be for the young ambitious and healthy employees you could have on your small team in the first years of your startup?
10. If all else fails… Somehow Find A Way To Do What Jay Did.
Photo credit: WENN