From the Archives: ‘Broke because of break? A few ideas to pad your wallet,’ March 25, 1997

Dear Miss Bea,

I really blew a wad over Spring Break. I know I shouldn’t spend loan money, but I really needed to get away for awhile. Now I feel guilty and I’m not sure how I’ll make it to the end of the semester. Any creative money-making ideas?

– Down and Out

By creative, I assume you mean legitimate. Of course, I would probably get fired if I mentioned something like prostitution in the newspaper, so I’ll keep that idea to myself.

I could also make the totally crazy suggestion that you get a job, but that’s even crazier than prostitution, isn’t it? Check the backs of newspapers like the “National Enquirer”, and you’ll find all sorts of neat job ideas. You could become an Amway representative, or even get your free Ph.D. in Religious Freakology or Apocalyptic Studies, or whatever they call it. Maybe you could get your own television evangelist show on public television or even resort to street preaching. I saw a lot of people doing that in Montana. Granted, most of them were drooling, too.

I know, those ideas are a little too enterprising. Did you know you can make some decent money by selling your blood plasma? I snickered at this but our trusty reporter, Amanda, has done it. She made around $30 for letting them stick a needle in her, pump her blood through a tube, remove the plasma, then pump it back in. She said the whole process made her a little sick, but hey, it’s $30. In Fayetteville, N.C., where she lived, a lot of people sold plasma regularly for supplemental income.

According to Crestar Student Lending (a student loan company), many students have done some pretty humiliating things for a little extra college money.

– An Idaho student posed nude for his college art department. “What have I got to lose?” wrote the student, who was asked not to return after his first sitting.

– A Missouri student, who sold her plasma for $40, then received $50 from her parents not to do it again.

– In California, a student and her boyfriend raised money by cutting their hair and selling it to a local salon.

In all seriousness, publications like “Readers Digest” offer some pretty good cash rewards ($500) for simply submitting a good joke. Also, selling your old CDs to the Third Eye (Regency Mall) can earn you some quick cash. They offer some good trades, too.

Here’s a little cheap, sleazy advertising. Crestar Student Lending is giving cash prizes and six scholarships for the best 100-word essays on ways students have earned money for college (www.student-loans.com).

Helpful note to recently featured stripper “Joanne”: your idea probably doesn’t count. However, some of us probably could also make some good money by taking off our clothes. People might pay us a lot to put them back on. And you thought that huge butt of yours would never come in handy.

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