So you're slogging away at a 9 to 5 job, paying off that student loan, doing all the things The Man said you had to do to succeed. Then one day you stop and think to yourself: there has got to be an easier way to make money.
And that's why you're in jail now. Which is too bad, because it turns out there are a number of completely legal ways to make money--good money--without setting foot in an office or putting on a uniform or even learning a single skill. And people do it every day.
#5. Sperm Donors
$12,000+ per year (depending on the sperm).
Finally, it's the job you've been training for since middle school!
The opportunities are only as limited as your own libido and genetics. For just a couple minutes of your time you can net around $100 for each donation, depending on the bank. Some even offer up to $500 a shot--but that's only if you agree to do it "Open ID" style so that your offspring can come knocking on your door years later.
No matter what career you're currently in, this should be the easiest job interview you've ever been through. There will be some basic health screenings to prove that you can physically handle the gauntlet of porn they're about to throw at you. Also, be ready for a background check on you and your immediate family to make sure that you aren't Charlie Sheen.
"What if I said you didn't have to pay me?"
Did we just mention the porn? Yeah, they put you in a nice quiet room with a bunch of porn. Do the deed, drop off your semen at the desk and make an appointment for later in the week (you can donate every three days).
A hundred bucks, every three days, that's $12,000 a year. And that's just entry level. If you're really serious about this, why limit yourself to one sperm bank? You can hit as many as you want, multiplying your yearly haul with each one. The "Open ID" method specifies that you're limited to two pregnancies per state. But they distribute your sample for you, so assuming you don't mind having a brood of 100 children scattered across America, you're literally sitting on a potential $50,000 at this moment.
And they smile when you give it to them. And they keep it in drinking glass.
Even if you don't go "Open ID," your earning potential is only limited by your ability to deliver the goods. The sperm count tends to decrease with the volume, but your guys can handle a few workouts a day, right?
Ladies, we're not leaving you out of this one. You can donate eggs and--get this--you can wind up with $5,000 or more per cycle.
#4. Street Entertainers
$25,000+ a year.
We've all seen the guy with a guitar hanging out by the subway station with his case open to accept donations. And you've probably dropped a quarter in feeling sorry for his poor homeless ass. But don't be fooled by that sad song about his wife leaving him for someone fitting your general description. He's just doing his job as a "busker." And that job can pay anywhere from $10 to $20 an hour depending on the performer's choice of location and level of talent.
"Cagey bastard always gets to the titty statue first."
There's even a book on the subject by long-time busker Johnnie Mac, covering all the basics from the choicest locations to where to put your tip cup. Mac spent almost 20 years as a street musician and says he was, "making a fortune... in fact, more than triple what I was making in the job I left behind."
And there's plenty of room for advancement. The Blue Man Group, Jimmy Buffet, Pierce Brosnan, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jewel, Jimmy Page, Penn and Teller, Rod Stewart, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and Robin Williams all started their entertainment careers on the streets.
This is none of the people listed above but he's probably loaded.
Sure those people all had talent, but you can also make money miming, fortune telling and standing totally still while covered in silver paint (though we're guessing that last one involves lots of smart-ass kids walking by and punching you in the nuts).
Street performances are perfectly legal in most places as long as they don't interfere with traffic and business. But you do have to deal with the other buskers who are trying to horn in on your racket. After all, your sweet saxophone playing isn't going to get you any cash if there's a dude noisily plucking at his banjo five feet away, drowning you out. Luckily there's a sort of "Busker Code" that street entertainers follow which basically states, "I got to this corner first, and if you try and set up shop here, I'll stab you."
#3. Human Guinea Pig
$50,000 a year (if you survive).
The key to science is trial and error. This occupation offers offers the excited opportunity to get paid to be one of the two.
Anyone can do it and, if you get involved in enough studies, man can it add up. For instance here's one that pays up to $1,500 for just two days of your time (granted, you have to be in chronic pain to qualify, but who isn't?) or you could get paid $15 an hour to be a test patient for medical students to poke at. And best of all, it's perfectly safe!
"Open big. Good, now swallow this tree frog."
Okay, that's a lie. A couple of years ago 11 people got tuberculosis after participating in a study that was apparently trying to find out what happens when you stick 11 healthy people in the same room with one guy who has tuberculosis.
Sure, that sounds horrifying. But we know at least one of their symptoms was prominent swelling. Of their wallets.