Are you thinking about making Music City your new home? With its vibrant downtown, ample outdoor space, delicious southern food, and country music galore — there’s so much to love! Whether you’re a young family on the move or a mobile, dog-loving professional, these cool neighborhoods in Nashville have a little something to offer everyone. Learn the best suburbs of Nashville and which one is right for you with this handy neighborhood guide.
The Gulch is the fastest-growing neighborhood in Nashville, and for good reason. Packed with restaurants, shops, bars, fitness studios, and some of Nashville’s trendiest apartments, this area attracts young professionals who enjoy being center of the action.
Nashville is also one of the best U.S. cities for dating — making this small neighborhood a prime location for singles. The Gulch is the perfect home for anyone with the “work hard, play hard” mentality. So, you’ll have tons of unique things to do and fun, young people to do them with!
This neighborhood spans half a mile along 12th Avenue South – hence 12 South. And it has become one of the most desirable places to live for young, remote-work professionals and families alike.
12 South is a highly walkable neighborhood, so you’ll find no shortage of hot eateries (like Burger Up and Urban Grub), coffee shops (like Frothy Monkey), and stylish clothing stores (like Reese Witherspoon’s own Draper James!). 12 South attracts Nashville natives and excited transplants alike, and it’s an excellent option for someone who always wants something to do or see.
While East Nashville isn’t as walkable as many of the other neighborhoods on this list, it has plenty of perks that make up for it. A hub for musicians and various creative types, East Nashville residents enjoy the neighborhood’s laidback, inclusive vibe and ample green space.
While some may describe East Nashville as “the hipster neighborhood,” it’s home to a diverse mix of creatives, young families, and professionals. You’ll find everything from rental houses to apartment buildings in this lively, on-trend neighborhood. But it’s likely a better option for those with their own vehicle.
The Nations is one of the more affordable neighborhoods on this list – though, with how many people move to Nashville a day, it may not stay that way for long. This area was largely industrial only a few short years ago but is now exploding with restaurants, breweries, retail establishments, and residential developments.
Located around the central district of 51st Avenue and about 10 minutes from the heart of downtown, the Nations is an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s attracting a mostly younger crowd. This is a great place to look if you’re on a tighter budget and want all the amenities of a vibrant city. This hotspot will be on everyone’s list of cool neighborhoods in Nashville before long!
Chock full of gorgeous, historic townhouses and tree-lined streets, Germantown has become known for its culinary scene. Boasting several critically acclaimed eateries, like Rolf and Daughters, City House, and Henrietta Red, residents of this beloved neighborhood will never go hungry.
Thanks to its location, only a few blocks from downtown Nashville, Germantown has prime access to the sports arenas, music venues, and other attractions in the city’s hub. This neighborhood manages to feel slower-paced and quieter than many other options and has a little something for everyone.
A young family looking to settle down should take a good look at Sylvan Park. Known by locals to be safe, quiet, and one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville to live, historic Sylvan Park is full of people who genuinely love their little community.
A quaint, walkable area, Sylvan Park boasts plenty of beloved, locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, and easy access to McCabe Park. Whether you’re raising little ones in Music City or simply enjoy a more residential feel, Sylvan Park is a growing neighborhood you shouldn’t overlook.
Make Your Move to Nashville with Apartment Search
Is there a Nashville neighborhood calling your name? Now that you’ve got an area picked out, explore available apartments on ApartmentSearch! Narrow your search by apartment size, rent amount, amenities, and more. Nashville can’t wait to have you home!
If you are looking for a state with hundreds of miles of coastline, sprawling urban centers and crisp mountain landscapes, then look no further than South Carolina.
The best places to live in South Carolina are cities filled with southern charm like Charleston, accented by pristine beaches like Myrtle Beach and brimming with opportunities like Greenville.
The Palmetto State has something for everyone interested in a chance at a new beginning. Known for their hospitality, South Carolinians will welcome you with open arms.
Here is our list of the best cities in South Carolina:
Average age: N/A
Median household income: $56,199
Average commute time: 23.2 minutes
Walk score: 20
Studio average rent: N/A
One-bedroom rent: $825
Two-bedroom rent: $849
Named the “South’s Best Small Town” by Southern Living, Aiken is no longer the best-kept secret in South Carolina. Home to world-class stables and equine training facilities, this fine equestrian town is sure to please.
In addition, Aiken boasts a mild climate that provides a nice break from the rest of the state’s hot summers. It is also far enough inland that residents do not have to worry too much during hurricane season.
Interested in culture? The Aiken Center for the Arts holds events year-round. You will also love exploring the many independent galleries during a quiet stroll through its historic downtown.
Because of its affordable living, Aiken is a perfect spot for young people just getting started on their own. It is also great for retirees looking for a small town with a beautiful landscape that is ideal for travel.
Average age: 41.9
Median household income: $68,438
Average commute time: 26.6 minutes
Walk score: 63
Studio average rent: $1,654
One-bedroom rent: $1,495
Two-bedroom rent: $1,725
There may not be a city in the world more popular with tourists than Charleston. Imagine experiencing the beautiful beaches, historic buildings, rich culture and world-class restaurants as a resident.
The first thing you will notice about Charleston is the stunning landscape highlighted by the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Residents walk or run the bridge for great exercise and exceptional downtown views, including its famous steeples. You can also watch as giant container ships sail to port through Charleston Harbor.
Second only to New Orleans in its southern culinary tradition, Charleston is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants. The steak martini at Halls Chophouse and the collard greens at Rodney Scott’s BBQ are a few of the many local favorites.
The cost of living is higher here than anywhere else in South Carolina, but the value of living in such a special city is priceless.
Average age: 37.2
Median household income: $47,286
Average commute time: 19.2 minutes
Walk score: 35
Studio average rent: $1,083
One-bedroom rent: $961
Two-bedroom rent: $1,095
In the heart of South Carolina lies Columbia, the state’s capital city. Columbia is one of the best places to live in South Carolina because it is a fast-paced metropolis that offers affordable living and a small-town feel.
The University of South Carolina is here along with its storied football traditions. As such, Columbia is a great place to catch a college football game.
If you’re a fan of art and culture, Columbia is absolutely brimming with both. The Columbia Museum of Art holds many different annual events along with its year-round displays. And, after a trip to the museum, you can enjoy a southern-inspired lunch at Cola’s Restaurant.
Lake Murray and Congaree National Park also offer Columbia residents a chance to get outside and enjoy more than 200 sunny days a year.
Average age: 41.4
Median household income: $56,609
Average commute time: 21.8 minutes
Walk score: 39
Studio average rent: $1,219
One-bedroom rent: $1,146
Two-bedroom rent: $1,384
Greenville is South Carolina’s fastest-growing city because of its vast economic opportunities and beautiful landscape. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills, Greenville has a higher elevation than most South Carolina cities, which makes for a milder climate.
Greenville’s economy has experienced a boom in the last decade because of major corporations like Michelin and BMW installing factories here. It is also conveniently located near Interstate 85, which makes commuting and travel a breeze.
The river district in downtown Greenville is home to many fine restaurants and world-class shopping. The weekly Saturday farmers market is also a popular event for young families to enjoy with their children.
Greenville’s cost of living is higher than in most South Carolina cities, but that is because of its excellent school system, healthy lifestyle and the many economic opportunities available.
Average age: 42.9
Median household income: $103,232
Average commute time: 26.2 minutes
Walk score: 29
Studio average rent: $1,364
One-bedroom rent: $1,459
Two-bedroom rent: $1,803
Mount Pleasant is one of the best cities in South Carolina because of its beautiful coastal landscape and its sprawling suburbs.
Sharing half of the famous Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge with its sister city, Charleston, Mount Pleasant affords its residents stunning views of Charleston Harbor and access to beach towns like Sullivan’s Island.
Although living costs in Mount Pleasant are higher than almost anywhere else in South Carolina, it also has a six-figure median household income that is higher than any other city on this list.
If you prefer leisure activities and relaxation, Mount Pleasant is a prime choice. A boater’s paradise, the city offers more than 12 miles of beaches and numerous rivers and creeks. And, after a busy day on the water, you can dock at Shem Creek and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner caught by one of the many resident shrimp boats that morning.
Average age: 45.7
Median household income: $43,200
Average commute time: 21.1 minutes
Walk score: 23
Studio average rent: $1,037
One-bedroom rent: $983
Two-bedroom rent: $1,264
Myrtle Beach has perfected the vacation lifestyle. More than 15 million people visit the Grand Strand annually, and the reasons they visit Myrtle Beach are also what makes it one of the best places to live in South Carolina.
With more than 100 golf courses, 60 miles of stunning sandy beaches and a breezy tropical climate, Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. The city’s tourism also means great economic opportunity for its residents. Myrtle Beach has more than 75,000 jobs connected to the tourism industry.
Myrtle Beach is also a popular destination for retirees because of its pleasing climate and excellent healthcare system. The cost of living is surprisingly affordable despite its popularity.
The local southern charm will woo you, as will its laid-back beach-town personality.
Average age: N/A
Median household income: $59,931
Average commute time: 22.7 minutes
Walk score: 33
Studio average rent: N/A
One-bedroom rent: $1,089
Two-bedroom rent: $1,665
Located across the Savannah River from Augusta, GA., North Augusta is a jewel on the riverfront and one of the best cities in South Carolina. The North Augusta Greenway traverses the city and adds a picturesque landscape to an already beautiful city.
Many events in North Augusta center around the river, including the Nike Peach Jam and the Savannah Riverkeeper’s Paddlefest.
With a population of just over 22,000, North Augusta is a small town with a big heart.
Residents enjoy one of the highest-rated school systems in the state and access to superb healthcare. The city’s proximity to major highways like Interstate 20 makes North Augusta a retired traveler’s dream.
Average age: 40.4
Median household income: $50,444
Average commute time: 28.7 minutes
Walk score: 32
Studio average rent: $835
One-bedroom rent: $914
Two-bedroom rent: $1,138
Twenty miles south of Charlotte lies the charming and affordable Rock Hill. The average commute time of under 30 minutes allows Rock Hill residents to benefit from the economic opportunities found in Charlotte without having to pay the costs or suffer the hassles of living in a large city.
Home to the Carolina Panthers’ practice facility, Rock Hill is a short drive away from catching a National Football League, National Basketball Association or International Hockey League game or NASCAR race.
The cost of living in Rock Hill pales in comparison to Charlotte and is still among the lowest in the entire state of South Carolina. Residents take advantage of the mild year-round climate and enjoy the many outdoor activities available in Rock Hill, like boating and fishing on nearby Lake Wylie or the Catawba River.
Average age: 42.3
Median household income: $40,053
Average commute time: 23.0 minutes
Walk Score: 29
Studio average rent: $727
One-bedroom rent: $888
Two-bedroom rent: $1,047
“Sparkle City,” as Spartanburg is affectionately known, is the smaller sister-city to Greenville. What makes it one of the best cities to live in South Carolina is its small-town charm, quiet neighborhoods and increasing economic opportunities.
Home to the headquarters of national restaurant chain Denny’s and one of the only BMW assembly plants in the United States, Spartanburg offers many employment opportunities to its residents. And, with its low cost of living and highly-rated school system, Spartanburg is a great landing spot for young families and career-minded millennials.
Downtown Spartanburg has enjoyed a renaissance in the last decade that has revitalized its landscape and brought art and culture back to the city. Ballet Spartanburg, one of the most celebrated arts organizations in the state, produces a dozen productions annually, including “The Nutcracker.”
Average age: 40.5
Median household income: $59,180
Average commute time: 35.4 minutes
Walk Score: 19
Studio average rent: $1,093
One-bedroom rent: $1,098
Two-bedroom rent: $1,380
Summerville gives nearby Charleston a run for its money when it comes to history, culture and landscape. A much more affordable option than the nearby No. 1 tourist destination, Summerville is the gateway to the Lowcountry.
With a population of just under 50,000 residents and an average annual income of over $80,000, Summerville is unmatched in the state of South Carolina in terms of cost of living and economic opportunity.
Summerville boasts one of the highest school ratings in the state, making it one of the best cities to live in South Carolina for education. The cost of living is higher than most smaller towns, but the location, beautiful coastal landscape and proximity to opportunity make up for it.
Find your own best place to live in South Carolina
If you are ready to call South Carolina home, we’re here to help. Start your apartment search today.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments in March 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Other demographic data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
Just enough to pay the bills? Are you puzzled at where all your money goes each month, or are you confident about the financial decisions you make?
April is Financial Literacy Month, a perfect time to reflect on your money knowledge — and build upon it.
Financial literacy, by definition, is understanding essential financial concepts and having the knowledge and skills to use money in a positive and effective way.
Financial Literacy Month evolved from Youth Financial Literacy Day, an awareness day created by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) over two decades ago.
NEFE passed the responsibility for promoting Youth Financial Literacy Day over to the Jump$tart Coalition, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving financial literacy. In 2000, the coalition expanded the one-day awareness to a month-long celebration. It later dropped the “youth” label, and Financial Literacy Month became a time for Americans of all ages to reflect on financial literacy.
In 2004, Congress passed a resolution designating April as Financial Literacy Month.
Although we, at The Penny Hoarder, want folks to learn more about money year round, we hope you’ll spend some extra time this month brushing up on your financial knowledge. You can start here!
6 Stories to Read During Financial Literacy Month
Check out the following articles to learn more about financial literacy and basic money concepts. Then test your knowledge with our financial literacy quiz.
Uncovering America’s Financial Literacy Problem
If you know enough about money to get by, you may be wondering what’s the big deal about financial literacy.
The Penny Hoarder conducted a survey of more than 1,500 adults in 2019 and found out that those who lacked financial literacy earned lower incomes and saved less money than those who grew up discussing money topics at home or in school.
Having a solid grasp on money concepts can have a real impact on your household’s financial bottom line — which is exactly why we champion increased financial literacy this month.
Give the Next Generation the Gift of Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy Month is no longer just targeted to young people, but they stand to learn a lot about personal finance.
If you’re a parent (or have nieces, nephews, grandchildren or other children in your life), take the time to teach your kiddos how to use money wisely. Here is our guide for teaching kids about money management.
Once they know those basics, level up the lessons and teach them how to build wealth. Use these clever tricks to get your kids excited about investing.
Be the Boss of Your Money
Stop letting money slip through your fingers. Tell it what to do… with a budget.
A budget is your blueprint for how you want to use your hard-earned cash. Here’s a step-by-step guide to budgeting your money.
Become a Super Saver
Putting aside some of your income is great, but knowing how to accelerate your savings growth is even better.
Money that earns compound interest will result in more savings than just stashing cash under a mattress. But what is compound interest and how does it work? We explain.
Get a Handle on Your Credit Score
Your credit score is like a grade for how responsible you are when borrowing money. This score comes into play when you apply for a credit card, get car insurance and buy or rent a home — so it’s pretty important.
So how do you build up to a great credit score? These five factors are what matters when it comes to your credit.
Test Your Money Knowledge With Our Financial Literacy Quiz
1. True or false:
Learning financial literacy from an early age generally leads to earning more and saving more as an adult.
2. Children can learn about money management by:
A. Using money jars for spending, saving and giving.
B. Having an allowance.
C. Comparing the prices of items in the toy aisle.
D. All of the above.
3. Which of the following is an example of a budgeting method?
A. The 50/30/20 method.
B. The snowball effect.
C. The even-odd method.
D. The hexagon method.
4. Having a budget can help you with all of the following except:
A. Reducing frivolous spending.
B. Paying bills on time.
C. Negotiating your salary.
D. Reaching your financial goals.
5. True or false:
Personal finance is a required course at 87% of high schools nationwide.
6. Credit scores range from:
A. 0 to 100
B. 300 to 850
C. 200 to 600
D. A to F
7. When it comes to your credit score, this is the factor that matters most:
A. How much credit you qualify for.
B. The number of credit cards you have.
C. Making your debt payments on time.
D. Having a diverse mix of credit accounts.
8. Compound interest is:
A. Interest on interest.
B. What you get when you multiply the principal amount by the interest rate.
C. When your interest rate changes throughout the duration of the loan term.
D. Another term for simple interest.
9. This investment vehicle uses pre-tax dollars to grow your money:
A. Roth IRA
D. 529 plan
10. A fractional share:
A. Pays dividends 50% less often than whole shares.
B. Is only for minors who want to start investing.
C. Requires you to diversify the money you invest.
D. Makes it easy to invest small amounts of money.
(1) True (2) D (3) A (4) C (5) False (6) B (7) C (8) A (9) B (10) D
You’ve got 8-10 correct answers: You know your stuff! Hopefully you’re applying that financial knowhow in real life to build wealth. Join The Penny Hoarder Community to share your best money tips with others.
You’ve got 4-7 correct answers: You’re growing your money knowledge. Try to hone in on what stumps you the most. Credit and investing can be tricky. If you’ve got a personal money dilemma bothering you, send your questions to Dear Penny — our financial advice columnist — for some wise feedback.
You’ve got 0-3 correct answers: You’re in need of a financial literacy boost. Fortunately, The Penny Hoarder has tons of articles covering a variety of personal finance topics. Follow our social media pages (you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for frequently shared articles and money tips.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
As a young person just out of college, you might be wondering, how do student loans affect your credit? Well, the impact of these loans can either be positive or negative. It all depends on how you manage the loan’s repayment.
While in college, the loans may quite helpful, but after graduating, everything changes. Missed repayments will start eating away on your financial life. On the other hand, timely repayments will see you off to greater financial freedom. For more on this, here are the ways in which student loans affect your credit.
The Positive Effects
– They Give You a Long Credit History
Your credit history length plus your accounts average age are some of the things that impact your credit score. The length of credit history has a 15% influence on your score.
With student loans having payment plans extending up to 10 years, your score will certainly be boosted if you make the payments as required. However, you should aim to repay the loans in a shorter period to reduce the payable interest.
– Making On-Time Monthly Payments Will Boost Your Score
Your payment history on student loans accounts for 35% of your score. If your payments are timely and the required minimum is met, your score will soar.
For better scores, pay more than the minimum monthly payment. Think of this as paying forward- enabling you to enjoy lower rates on future loans like mortgages.
– Student Loans Can Help You Establish Your Credit Score
For many young people just fresh out of school, student loans help you in getting your credit file opened. This information will be used by credit bureaus in scoring you. This will keep you from joining the millions who are “Credit Invisible”.
Without this file or data, creditors won’t have a base on which to grade your creditworthiness. You may end up paying more on rent, car rates and so on.
– Student Loans Help In Building your Credit Mix
Credit mix refers to the different lines of credit that you take over a period of time. For example car loans, credit cards, and mortgages among others. A healthy credit mix is very good for your credit; 10% of your credit score will be judged on it.
The Negative Effects
– Late Payments Damage your Credit
Late payments are reported to credit bureaus and will stick in your report for at least 7 years. This will definitely lower your credit score. Also, they will attract late fee charges from your loan servicer. If you have numerous loans with the same creditor, a missed payment on one loan will reflect badly on all the loans.
Student loans might also put you into financial pressure. This can lead to late payments on other loans such as credit cards, wrecking your score further.
– Defaulting can Lower your Access to Credit
To lenders, late payers are tolerable compared to defaulters. Defaulters make creditors lose money. As a person paying a student loan, you should never default. For a missed payment to be considered defaulting, it must be over 270 days. After this period, the total amount of your student loan will be due from that point onwards. A default remains on your credit report for 7 years from the default date.
What does this mean? For 7 years your credit access chances will be very low. No creditor will want to take a risk with you. You should never allow your account to be in collections.
– High Balances will Increase your DTI
Getting approved for new credit is hard if one has high balances on an existing loan. All this has to do with your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, i.e. the fraction of your total monthly income that is meant for to debt repayment.
If your debt-to-income ratio is high, it shows you are not very committed to resolving your situation hence creditors avoid you. Additionally, DTI has a 30% influence on your credit score.
Fortunately, when it comes to creditworthiness, the influence of installment loans such as student loans is not as strong as that of revolving credit. If you’ve mishandled your student loans, it high time to start making payments and save your scores. Also, by clearing these loans, the negative impact they have on your credit score will start fading away over time.
A friend’s 20-something son shocked his parents with his post-graduation plans: He was moving to Southeast Asia to sell selfie sticks.
Millennials in a nutshell, #amiright?
But who can blame them for taking non-traditional paths, given the poor financial hand they’ve been dealt: record levels of college debt, uncertain job prospects, stagnant wages, and more. It’s why one in three Millennials is deeply dissatisfied with their financial situation, according to a much-quoted new study from George Washington University and PwC.
Findings from a recent Harvard survey cut even deeper: half of Millennials say the American Dream is dead. Yep, that cornerstone of post-war America—the house, the car, the upwardly mobile career track—is about as relevant to them as black & white TV. To parents raised on the mythology of the American Dream, that’s grim news.
But the situation may not be as dire as it appears.
As they’ve done with everything from communications to careers, Millennials are redefining what it means to lead a “better life” (something parents see as key to the American Dream, according to a 2015 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll). This new paradigm is rooted in the experiences of people who came of age after the financial crisis of 2008, and reflects how they see the world. It offers a flexible lifestyle (one that some might see as transient) and a reworking of the traditional measures of success.
Here are three ways that our kids will make their own American Dream—and thrive.
1. They’ll rethink what college means—and how to pay for it.
Two-thirds of parents say the American Dream includes sending their kids to college, according to a September poll from the youth media company Fusion. These moms and dads are right to think this, as college grads earn about $1 million more over their lifetimes.
For Millennials, cost and career aspirations are informing this major life decision more than ever (call it pragmatism if you want). Gone are the days of selecting a school based on its bucolic campus or dominant football program. Kids (and parents) want more value—and less debt.
That’s why it’s so critical to start the college cost conversation early—like 9th grade-early. Want an incentive? A start-up called Raise.me allows high schoolers—as early as freshman year—to earn “micro-scholarships” from over 100 colleges. Got an A in chemistry? Won the lacrosse playoffs? Volunteered at your local animal shelter? Each awesome achievement can earn your kid $500 to over $1,000 from various colleges. Even “mayor” of Millennials Mark Zuckerberg backs it: Facebook is one of Raise.me’s main supporters.
Best way to avoid the college cost guessing game? Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)—the key to scholarships, grants, work-study, and low-rate federal loans. The form is notoriously long and complicated, but it’s getting better! Starting this year, you can access the FAFSA on October 1, 2016 (up from January 1, 2017). Why the new, early start? It means you’ll be able to auto-fill the form for the 2017-18 school year using your 2015 tax return data. (More details here.)
Parents of kids who excel in hands-on environments can encourage them to consider the growing trend of apprenticeships (a traditionally European idea that’s catching on here in the U.S.), particularly programs offered in tandem with a community college degree.
2. They’ll understand that owning your own “home sweet home” is only sweet when you can afford it.
In 1986 (back when I was graduating from college!), 76% of young people saw owning a home as essential to the American Dream. Today that’s down to 59%, according to the Fusion poll.
That means your kid is more likely to bunk with you—or rent—than take on a mortgage she can’t afford (so don’t turn her bedroom into a home office just yet). If she does move in with you, make sure she uses this time as an opportunity to save! (And work out any financial details in advance with this helpful guide from eHow.com.)
Renting has traditionally gotten a bad rap, but it lets your kid explore—new towns, new jobs, new people!—without being stuck in one place. Take our selfie-stick seller: his Southeast Asia stint lasted less than a year before he was back in the states and settling into a new city and new gig. Like his fellow Millennials, he’ll probably rent for several years. Buying may not even cross his mind until his early 30s. A Zillow study shows the average first-time homebuyer is now 33, up from 29 in the 1970s. Of course, you’ll want to talk to your kid about the realities of owning a home, including how to sock away a chunk of money for a down payment once she’s ready.
3. They’ll value happiness and independence over a huge paycheck.
The entrepreneurial goals of Millennials can sometimes seem a little, er, lofty (like the selfie stick plan that didn’t exactly take off), but thankfully, many are starting to pace themselves.
A study from Upwork, a company that helps businesses find freelance workers, showed that 62% (mostly Millennial) freelancers planned to work a full-time job and moonlight on the side for two years before quitting to follow their dreams. Two years may not be a magic number (a specific financial goal would be safer), but at least they’re earning—and learning—prior to taking the leap.
Today’s young people aren’t all work and no play, either. Millennials’ drive for success, salary, and even entrepreneurial goals pales in comparison to their desire to spend time with family and friends, which they rank as “one of the most important things” in their lives, according to the Harvard survey.
The takeaway? We’re raising a generation that demands independence, flexibility, and a true work/life balance. Perhaps that’s the new American Dream.
Sounds like something we can all believe in.
How do you define the American Dream for your kids? Tell me on Twitter using #NewAmericanDream.
Beth Kobliner is the author of the New York TimesbestsellerGet a Financial Life, and is currently writing a new book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not), to be published by Simon & Schuster. Visit her at bethkobliner.com, follow her onTwitter, and like her onFacebook.
Washington D.C. is a great place to live with more than 130 distinct neighborhoods, excellent dining and entertainment venues and one of the most diverse population’s in the nation. Many people think that everyone in D.C. is a lobbyist or a bureaucrat. While politics is a prevailing part of the culture, Washington is more than just a government town.
Recognized for its top-notch colleges, non-profit associations, high-tech and biotech companies and healthcare facilities, Washington D.C. offers opportunities and impressive cultural experiences.
1. One of the nation’s strongest job markets
As the capital city, Washington has historically ranked as one of the strongest job markets in the U.S. D.C. area residents typically work for the federal and state governments, universities and hospitals, government and private contractors, information technology companies, law firms, business and finance companies, non-profit organizations, hotels and tourist attractions.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, long-term projections predict that the job market will stabilize and continue to grow in the coming years.
2. It is pricey to live here
The cost of living in Washington D.C. is higher than the U.S. average, especially high housing costs. On average, you’ll find a one-bedroom apartment for about $2,400 and a two-bedroom apartment in D.C. for around $3,200 a month depending on the neighborhood. Both of these prices are considerably higher than the national average.
Living in the city is more costly than in the suburbs. When making a decision of where to live, it’s important to consider the stress of commuting and the cost of public transportation. D.C. has a good transit system, but the Metro is one of the most expensive subway systems in the country with prices ranging from $2.25 to $6 for a one-way ride. D.C. sales tax is relatively low at six percent. A beer at a bar will cost $8 while a meal at a sit-down restaurant will set you back $35-50, on average.
3. D.C. has some of the worst traffic in the nation
Traffic has to be one of the more frustrating things about living in Washington D.C. Rush hour lasts for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. There are too many tourists who don’t know the roads. There are traffic circles that are confusing. But there are also plenty of public transportation options.
However, if you live in the city, it’s pretty easy to get around. Many areas are easily walkable.
4. Washington is bike-friendly
The nation’s capital is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.
Capital Bikeshare was the first bike-share program in the country and allows people to use a bicycle to easily get around the busy urban areas. In recent years the city has expanded bike lanes across the city. With many parks and green spaces, D.C. residents enjoy bicycling for recreation as well as transportation.
5. Many free things to do
Washington D.C.’s most famous landmarks are free to visitors. National memorials dedicated to the country’s founding fathers and war heroes are aplenty. The Smithsonian museums and many others exhibit a wide range of historic artifacts ranging from dinosaur fossils to early spacecraft to modern art and technology.
All branches of the armed forces offer free concerts throughout the summer and a variety of festivals are also held throughout the year. In addition, as home to 175 foreign embassies, D.C. has endless opportunities to celebrate cultures from around the world.
6. Diverse population
Washington is much more diverse than the average U.S. city. with a wide variety of people from different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, religions and economic levels.
Many residents are transplants who moved to the nation’s capital to work for the government, a law firm or a non-profit organization. Most are highly educated and ambitious to get ahead in their field or to make a difference in the community. In recent years, the population has been growing with an influx of young people who enjoy the city lifestyle.
7. Centrally located on the east coast
Washington D.C. is centrally located on the east coast within an easy drive to cities including Baltimore, Philadelphia and Richmond, the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic coast or the mountains in western Maryland or Virginia. The region offers a wide range of places to visit and things to do. Getaways are endless.
8. Great live music and theatre
Washington D.C. attracts some of the nation’s top talent to perform at its venues. Theatergoers enjoy performances at the Kennedy Center, the National Theater, the Warner Theatre, Arena Stage, Fords Theatre and other theaters. The Capital One Arena, Constitution Hall, the 9:30 Club and other venues around town hold concerts throughout the year.
In summer, free concerts are held in various neighborhoods throughout the city. The Capitol grounds hosts its annual concerts for Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The National Mall is periodically used for special events that include live music.
9. Washington loves its sports teams
D.C. sports fans are dedicated to their home teams. The Washington Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the MLB’s National League and have a state-of-the-art ballfield built in 2008. Washington Football plays at FedEx Field and has long had a strong following. The Capitals ice hockey and DC United soccer games are fun to watch at the Capital One Arena.
10. Endless ways to volunteer
People flock to Washington D.C. to make a difference. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations that are in constant need of volunteers to help with fundraising events and the daily operations to help promote their cause.
You’ll find something to love about living in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. is a great city with endless opportunities to learn new things and take in our nation’s history and culture. Whether you prefer a quiet residential area or a bustling urban community, you’ll find a neighborhood that fits your budget and lifestyle.
Not having a credit score and having a bad credit score are some of the worst financial positions you can find yourself in. Both situations can prevent a landlord from to renting you an apartment or may dissuade a creditor from approving you for a loan. Simply put, both situations negatively affect your creditworthiness. To get a clearer picture of each issue, here is the difference between no credit and bad credit.
Having No Credit
Having no credit means there isn’t any information to judge your repayment abilities. Such information is supposed to be reflected in a credit report. Hence no credit translates to not borrowing money in the last 7 years- the time it takes for a credit report item to be removed.
Having Bad Credit
Bad credit means that on a scale of 350-850 points, your score is near the 350 point mark. This happens when you mismanage your credit by being late or missing monthly payments and defaulting.
Fees That You Will Be Charged
When you don’t have a credit score you will get charged deposit fees when opening an initial account with creditors. On the other hand, with bad credit, you may not be charged deposit fees. However, when opening one, you will be scrutinized through a bank-specific version of a credit check.
Electricity, phone, cable, and other utility companies also investigate your credit during the application process. A bad credit history attracts a security deposit in order to establish service in your name. Without a credit score, you may not incur such fees.
Chances of Getting a Loan
Each creditor is different, some will allow you to get a loan without the need of any credit history while others will refuse. For young people –just out of college, you might be approved credit on condition that you have a stable job. On the other hand, with bad credit, you may qualify for a loan but with strict unfavorable terms, like high-interest rates.
It is easier to get a cosigner when you have no credit than when you have bad credit. For any person looking to be your cosigner, they will look at how you repay your debt. This is because if you default or skip payments, their score takes a dip too. Another disadvantage of bad credit is that you may qualify for a lower amount and higher rates than a person with no credit score.
Ease of Building Your Score
With no credit, building your credit score is easier compared to fixing bad credit. Bad credit means that you are working from a bad debt management and repayment situation with different lenders. However, when you have no credit, you are working from a level ground where past financials mistakes don’t influence your score.
Bad credit can be good if there were mistakes when it was being calculated since it can be fixed, which will see your credit take an upward bump.
Career Goals Influence
Having no credit is better than having bad credit when it comes to influencing your career path. Prospective employers check credit scores. They are likely to accept a young prospective employee who has no credit than a person with bad credit.
Impact over Time
Impact of bad credit changes over time and terms become favorable with good debt management. Similarly, bad credit could continue lowering your score if left unchecked.
If you miss payments or default, this information remains on your credit report for a whole 7 years from the date that the incident was marked. This will surely affect some of your financial actions during this time.
Impact of no credit doesn’t change over time. Without a score, there is no damaging financial information to worry about. However, your options when it comes to credit will be very limited.
The above information highlights the main differences between a lack of credit and having bad credit. It also goes further to explain how each scenario affects your finances plus how to deal with each situation.
Working during the summer when school is out of session is a great opportunity for teenagers to make money and assert their independence. Having a summer job can help you earn extra income, reduce your college tuition bill and corresponding reliance on student loans, and gain practical experience for a future career, all while providing opportunities that might not be available during the school year.
Deciding what you want to do is the hard part. Do you want to work outside? Work with others? Work with animals? Once you figure that out, you’ll find there are summer jobs that fit the bill for almost any interests you may have.
As a high schooler, you may feel as though you lack the necessary experience to land a prime gig. But there are plenty of entry-level jobs for high schoolers and college students that pay rather well and tend to be more plentiful during the summer. These are among the best.
Best Summer Jobs & Opportunities for High School Students
Many great summer jobs and employment opportunities for young workers also happen to be excellent year-round part-time jobs for high school students. While some pay little more than minimum wage, others offer surprisingly high pay and may even extend health insurance benefits to part-timers.
Good babysitters don’t grow on trees. As a parent myself, I’ve seen both sides of the coin: uber-dependable babysitters I trust to be available on short notice and more than capable of handling whatever kids throw at them, along with decidedly mediocre sitters I wouldn’t work with again. The dependable ones earn their pay, and then some.
And that pay isn’t half bad. According to data collected by Sittercity, the average U.S. babysitting wage was about $16 per hour in January 2021. In some cities, babysitters clear $20 per hour on average. (Side note: Sittercity is an excellent resource for aspiring sitters to connect with families in their area, as is Care.com.) Sitters with credentials that families find valuable, like CPR certification and driver’s licenses, can ask for more.
2. Camp Counselor
Do you enjoy spending time outdoors — camping, hiking, playing sports? Do you also enjoy supervising and mentoring kids? Then working as a camp counselor is the perfect job for you.
There are summer camps all over the country designated for almost any activity you could imagine, so you can likely find a perfect match for your interests. If you don’t mind spending weeks at a time away from home, sleepaway camps typically offer free room and board, opportunities to socialize with fellow counselors after hours, and ample outdoor recreation opportunities on days off. Otherwise, you can work during the day and sleep in your own bed every night as a day camp counselor.
Being a camp counselor is definitely an entry-level job, but employers may prefer or require candidates with safety certifications like CPR and basic first aid. Considering most camp counselors work just eight to 12 weeks out of the year, the median pay — about $20,300 annually, according to Glassdoor — is quite good.
3. Landscaping and Lawn Care Worker
Few activities shout “summer” louder than mowing the lawn on a beautiful day. If you don’t mind doing laps in your own yard every week, why not offer to cut your neighbors’ grass too? Unlike your parents, who may or may not fold compensation for household chores into your allowance, they’ll pay you a fair wage for the effort.
Lawn care isn’t the only groundskeeping-type job available to high school students. Garden beds need digging, weeding, mulching, watering, and general tending throughout the growing season. Shrubs and trees need trimming. Patios and decks need cleaning.
Plenty of high school students work as one-person shows, prospecting for lawn care clients primarily among homeowners in their neighborhoods. If you can drum up enough business to support 20 hours of weekly work at an average hourly rate of $11.25 (per Payscale), you’ll earn about $225 per week before taxes — not bad for a job that hardly feels like work at all.
Alternatively, look for groundskeeping jobs with institutional clients, like school systems or office parks. This work is likely to be steadier and might have full-time potential. The catch is that jobs that involve heavy machinery, such as riding mowers, tend to be off-limits to applicants under age 18.
4. Pool Cleaner
Pool cleaning is another outdoor summer job that can hardly feel like work at all. If you live in a neighborhood where private pools are plentiful, you shouldn’t have trouble finding business through door-to-door prospecting, word of mouth marketing and client references, or advertising on community websites like Craigslist and Nextdoor.
If you prefer a steadier paycheck and a more structured work environment, target deeper-pocketed clients, such as condo complexes and homeowners’ associations with communal pools. Or look for work with a pool cleaning company that hires under-18s. (This may depend on labor laws in your area but should be made clear in the job description.) Either way, pool cleaner pay is a bit better than groundskeeping pay: about $16 per hour nationwide, according to Payscale.
5. Career-Track Intern
Even if you haven’t yet decided what you want your “real” career to be, high school summers offer the perfect opportunity to test a job you think you’ll like and want to continue longer-term. If you do a great job and are still interested in the line of work once summer is over, you’ll have some much-needed experience that leads to more work the following summer, a part-time job while you attend school, and perhaps even a full-time job offer after you graduate.
Summer internships are often unpaid, forcing students to consider whether the opportunity is worth the cost. That’s likely to come down to the value of the experience and the connections you might make on the job — connections that could land you a higher-paying, career-track job down the road.
To find an internship that’s a good fit for your skills and interests, set up a meeting with your high school guidance counselor, ask your parents and friends’ parents for leads, and check out websites like Internships.com (a Chegg subsidiary that focuses solely on internships).
Many middle and high school students use summer break to continue or enhance their education. If you’re adept at any particular subject, such as calculus or physics, or you’ve already taken and done well on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, you can help these students and earn decent pay as a tutor.
Tutor pay varies by specialty, experience, and educational attainment. Tutors who themselves are high school students or recent graduates aren’t likely to earn much more than the national average rate (per Payscale) of $18 per hour. But that’s not a bad wage for a job that requires no physical labor and can be done in the comfort of an air-conditioned home office or coffee shop.
Tutors also have some freedom to set their own hours. The biggest downside for student-tutors is that marketplaces like Tutor.com tend to have strict teaching experience and educational attainment requirements — often mandating college degrees — that effectively rule out high schoolers. To find success as a tutor, you’ll need to advertise locally — such as on Craigslist, Facebook, and other social media platforms or on Nextdoor — and work your connections in the community.
7. Barista or Restaurant Server
Food and beverage service jobs are plentiful and easy for young people to get without prior experience. Although average base pay is poor, sometimes below minimum wage, workers who earn tips can do well for themselves. And some national chains have the resources and inclination to pay more: Starbucks baristas earn about $12 per hour on average, according to Glassdoor, and may qualify for a benefits package that includes health insurance.
8. Grocery Store Worker
Grocery store and supermarket jobs are also relatively plentiful in heavily populated areas. Although most grocery employees don’t earn tips, base pay is generally a few ticks above the federal minimum wage — about $12 per hour, according to Payscale. Specialized positions like meat cutting pay the most, although jobs that require workers to operate heavy machinery are typically off-limits to workers under age 18.
Grocery store employees typically work in shifts, with part-timers pulling four to eight hours at a stretch. Peak shopping hours tend to fall on weekends and early evenings, too, so this isn’t the best gig for students who want to keep social conflicts to a minimum come summer. On the bright side, many grocery store employees belong to labor unions, which negotiate pay and benefits while providing some protection against bad managers.
9. Golf Course Caddy
The base pay isn’t great, typically working out to near local minimum wage. The opportunities aren’t super plentiful either, unless you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with more country clubs than grocery stores. But golf caddies do OK for themselves thanks to generous tips that, per the PGA, range up to 50% of the green fee — which can exceed $100 per group on summer weekends. Add in the sunshine and the free exercise, and caddying can be an enjoyable, decent-paying gig.
Caddying is physically demanding, even for able-bodied young people — you’ll need to walk the entire course at least once per day, jog for wayward balls, and carry your clients’ bags. Caddying also requires familiarity with the game of golf, including club selection, although new caddies generally receive basic training before they’re cleared to work the course. On the plus side, where local labor laws permit, caddying is open to applicants as young as 14.
If you’re a strong swimmer and can remain attentive for long periods at a stretch, lifeguarding at your neighborhood beach or pool can provide a solid summer income. Indeed, for people who like to work outside without exerting themselves unless or until an emergency arises, being a lifeguard might be the perfect summer job.
Lifeguarding requires more training and credentialing than the typical high school summer job. No matter where you work, expect to complete CPR certification, basic first aid training, bloodborne pathogens training, and a basic water rescue course. Open-water lifeguards — those supervising ocean beaches, for example — may need additional training. Whether the relatively low pay — about $10 per hour, according to Payscale — justifies the effort comes down to how appealing you find sitting by the pool or on the beach all day.
11. Handyperson or Painter
Summer is high time for home improvement projects, which makes it the perfect time of year to offer a helping hand or two.
Don’t bother with jobs that require extensive training or licensing like plumbing and electrical work, because few homeowners are so set on saving a few bucks that they’ll hire inexperienced high schools for such high-stakes work. Instead, focus on relatively low-skill work that many people don’t have the time, patience, or stamina to do themselves: painting fences or interior rooms (house exteriors have a higher degree of difficulty), laying or edging walkways, installing or patching drywall, installing laminate flooring, or moving furniture.
Advertise your services on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and the like, and draw upon neighborhood and community networks to find clients who need work done. Just know what the market is willing to pay for your services. Payscale’s average handyman pay approaches $24 per hour, but that figure includes seasoned professionals capable of much more than the typical high schooler.
12. Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
Much as they love them, many summer travelers don’t bring their pets along for the journey. That’s where you, a budding dog walker or pet sitter (or both) come in. It’s your job to care for your clients’ pets as if they were your own — feeding, exercising, and loving them while their pet parents are out of town.
Pet sitting, in particular, is a potentially lucrative gig for intrepid high schoolers willing to do the difficult and sometimes tedious work of prospecting for new clients and building referrals to make prospects feel more comfortable entrusting their pets to your care. Platforms like Rover take some of the legwork out of this task in exchange for a modest cut of the proceeds. Even so, pet sitters and dog walkers do fairly well, clearing $25 to $30 per visit on average, according to Thumbtack, and double or triple that for overnight stays.
Working during summer break has long been a rite of passage for high school students — a time when students whose studies or extracurricular activities prevent them from holding part-time jobs during the school year can gain valuable workplace experience.
Make the most of the opportunity. When summer rolls around, focus on your interests and life goals and try to find a job that matches closely with those activities. In other words, find a job that you actually want to spend your summer doing. Hopefully, you’ll look back on it fondly, as a formative experience that sets you up for success in whatever career you ultimately choose to pursue.
Shopping for a home has evolved over the years. Here’s what you need to know about the new generation of buyers.
For years we’ve seen the shift in Baby Boomers ditching their large suburban homes for the excitement of urban life. And we’re noticing the reverse from millennials: leaving behind small spaces along with the hustle and bustle of the city.
They’re open to a new world of suburban living, with single-family homes, more storage and closet space, and some outdoor space all their own.
These millennials, born between the mid ’80s and the late ’90s, came of age in a shifting cultural and social environment. Their experiences aren’t the same as their Baby Boomer parents, and as such, their preferences differ from those of their parents, who bought a generation ago.
Here are some real estate considerations to help you sell to millennial buyers.
Millennials are busy
Today’s young people work long hours, and they want to spend the free time they have with friends and family.
They’re also more transient than their parents’ generation. So, when it comes to real estate, many of them seek turn-key homes for quick and easy move-in. They can’t fathom taking the time to undertake renovating a bathroom or kitchen.
No matter how great the opportunity, many of today’s buyers aren’t interested in painting or “making it their own” as our parents did when they moved into homes they planned on living in for 30 years or more.
Home searching is like dating
Millennials grew up attached to their phones. They hail a car and order food with their fingertips. And now, instead of meeting at a bar, they date with their thumbs. Swipe right for the potential mate, or reject them by swiping left.
When it’s time to buy a home, their experience is much the same, thanks to smartphones and real estate apps. As a home seller, you and your agent must invest an incredible amount of time and money on your home’s photo shoot. If you don’t, you may never get a first “date” with your prospective suitor. If the buyer isn’t drawn to your photos, they’re on to the next place.
Bigger is no longer better
In the ’80s, a McMansion with quadruple master closets, oversized Jacuzzi tubs, formal rooms, and large basements were a sign of success, and coveted by home buyers.
Today, millennials want smaller and simpler homes on smaller parcels. Bigger houses or any land more than half an acre equals more work and maintenance to these first-time buyers, accustomed to the easy life.
You can’t make your home smaller, but if you are serious about selling and want to account for this trend, your price will need to meet the market.
Location matters more than ever
Millennial buyers want the urban experience, as best as they can get, in the ‘burbs. This means homes that are walking distance to a village or town, near the train, and in bustling neighborhoods are among the most popular.
While being away from town, secluded, and with more land was a status symbol in the ’80s, it’s a deal killer today. Unfortunately, you can’t move your home to a better location — but you can adjust your price to meet the market.
If you’re a Boomer selling a long-time family home now or in the future, and the millennial is your potential buyer (think: customer), you need to adjust your mindset to meet theirs. You can’t assume that anything related to your original home search applies today. Get ahead of it, or your home may spend many months (or even years) on the market.
Selling your home? Check out our Sellers Guide for more tips and resources.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
Instead of turning to Uber, Lyft, DoorDash or Grubhub, these college students started their own food delivery businesses to make money and show their entrepreneurial expertise to potential employers.
Two met a demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while two others started their delivery businesses before 2020. They all saw a need on or around their campuses that wasn’t being filled.
Here’s what they did.
4 Successful Examples of How to Start a Food Delivery Business
1. Deliver Produce from Farms to Kitchens
Will Gentry and Gray Carlton devised a way to help local farms get produce safely to consumers during the pandemic and make money for themselves with their new business, Lexington Harvest Haul.
The seniors at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., started thinking about their future enterprise last summer.
“There are a lot of farms that surround us, and we were noticing there wasn’t a great way for them to sell their stuff except at a farmers market once a week,” Carlton said. “We started brainstorming, thinking of what would be a good way to get their products to people. We came up with a system where we take orders based on what the farmers anticipate they’ll have each week.”
The students started by talking to various farmers at the farmers market to see if they would be interested in having their products delivered.
“They were extremely excited right off the bat. I was kind of surprised,” Gentry said. “I figured they were going to be set in their ways. But they are always looking for more sales avenues.”
The boys started a Facebook page, built a following in the community and collected more than 100 emails.
Here’s how the food delivery business works:
Customers place their orders on a website, Lexharvesthaul.com, by a weekly deadline. Carlton and Gentry go to five farms every Tuesday to buy all the produce, then sort the goods to assemble each customer’s order and deliver it all the same day.
“We don’t hold any inventory. It’s really unique,” Carlton said. They charge a $7.50 delivery fee, plus a markup of around 18% of the total order.
“Another benefit of what we do is customers can order from several different places and have it all come in the same package,” Gentry said.
So, a customer can order butternut squash from Sunflower Flats Farm, free range chicken from Hearthstone Farm, pimento cheese from Mountain View Farm, maple ginger cheesecake from Abundant Life Kitchen and Pink Lady apples from Dickie Brothers Orchard on one website, pay in one transaction and get it all brought to their doorstep for one delivery fee plus the markup.
Lexington Harvest Haul takes orders on a website powered by Shopify, which offers free templates for e-commerce sites, then charges $29 a month. The domain name cost $10.
In order to set up a bank account for the business, Gentry and Carlton paid $300 to form an LLC.
I figured they were going to be set in their ways. But they are always looking for more sales avenues.
“We also wanted some protection (from possible lawsuits) because we were handling food. Not that either of us has too much to protect,” Carlton said with a laugh. “Having an LLC allowed us to plug into the local business community and open a membership in the chamber of commerce. That’s beneficial because there’s a pretty strong small business community in Lexington.”
They hope to sell the business to other students or someone in the Lexington community when they graduate in May.
“Sometimes I do think about how we could build a bigger business out of it,” Gentry said. “I try not to let myself go down that rabbit hole and make sure we get it right the first time.”
2. Deliver Food from Dining Hall to Dorm
BC GET was created when a Boston College student realized how much he and his friends dreaded going out in the cold to pick up food from the campus dining hall.
J.B. Bruggeman got the idea to charge a fee to deliver dining hall takeout and soon partnered with fellow student Jack Antico.
At first, there was very little technology involved. Students could order takeout from the dining hall, then text Bruggeman and he would go get the client’s student ID card then go pick up the food, swipe the card to pay for it, deliver the food, return the card and get paid around $5 via Venmo. After a proof of concept was established, Antico got involved.
“Then there was an issue with the dining hall because you aren’t technically allowed to swipe someone else’s card,” Antico said. “I went to (Boston College) and said we proved there is a demand for this.” So, the college added a delivery option to the app students could already use to order food to-go.
As the demand grew, Bruggeman and Antico contracted with “getters,” who would receive a group email when a delivery order was placed. The first taker delivered the food and made $3.50. Antico and Bruggeman put the remaining $1.50 back into the business; they also delivered hundreds of orders themselves.
They marketed their meal delivery service in various ways, from a $150 banner hanging on a Boston College parking garage to a stunt in the middle of campus.
“I set up kind of a dorm room on the main quad and called it the Day of GET. J.B. lived in a tent, we had a TV set up outside,” Antico said. “We delivered all the meals to J.B. for 24 hours to showcase how useful the service could be. People walked by and wanted to know more about it.”
At its peak, BC GET had about 25 orders a day. Getters could make around $500 a semester. The founders made more, of course, though Antico declined to say how much. The two students ended their business partnership after a couple years when they each had different business interests and Boston College revamped its dining program.
We proved there is a demand for this.
The delivery business, however, must have looked impressive to potential employers. Bruggeman now works as a product manager for Facebook, and Antico, a BC senior, scored an internship at national grocery delivery business Shipt last summer and now owns a web development business.
3. Deliver Groceries to Homes — Without the Big Apps
When Manhattan College in the Bronx halted in-person classes because of COVID-19, Joseph Chionchio moved home to Bay Shore, Long Island. Soon, his mother told him about friends and neighbors who were waiting up to two weeks to get groceries delivered using the most popular apps.
“I saw a clear-cut opportunity right there. I started an Instagram page and made some posts saying I’d shop and deliver groceries,” Chionchio said.
At first, customers emailed him their grocery lists, but soon he set up a website where they could submit orders. He delivered during a timeframe he set each day around his online classes.
Chionchio named his new venture Smart Shop Delivery and spread the word on Facebook, along with asking local restaurants and influencers to post about his effort to help people who were having trouble getting groceries.
Most customers paid via Venmo, but if they were older and hesitant to use an app or share credit card information Chionchio smartly allowed cash and checks. He also accepted handwritten grocery lists. By taking a little extra time for these customers, he reached a market that wasn’t being served at all.
He charged a 15% fee based on the grocery bill for his delivery services.
“I made a lot of traction after a couple weeks,” he said. “Once I got six orders a day, I hired five drivers.” They were all friends or friends’ siblings.
Soon a local TV station did a story on the 21-year-old finance major, then New York’s Newsday newspaper covered the student entrepreneur, too.
“Once Newsday hit, the demand went up like crazy. I hired about 50 drivers,” Chionchio said. He also hired two administrative assistants to help process orders and verify drivers’ insurance and licenses.
Then Fox business anchor Neil Cavuto featured an interview with Chionchio.
“That was national,” he said, and demand went up even more. “We stopped advertising for a while. We were still in the process of building the infrastructure, and I was still in school.”
At this point, he also teamed up with friend John Kelly, who also graduated from Manhattan College and is currently working on his MBA there.
I saw a clear-cut opportunity right there. I started an Instagram page and made some posts saying I’d shop and deliver groceries.
In April three apps — one for drivers, one for customers and one for retailers — will be available for Android and iPhone users. The customer app is called Smartshopcustomer.
Smart Shop Delivery has partnered with a small chain of grocery stores, Fresh by Nature, a coffee shop and a meat market. Customers in the Long Island area can place their orders on the app for those retailers, but still get groceries delivered from other retailers as well.
Chionchio continues to run the growing company as he pursues a master’s degree in financial engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
4. Deliver Food From Campus Gates to Dorm Rooms
Anthony Zhang created a business offering the second and final leg of food delivery at the University of Southern California. When he was a freshman in 2013, gates around the University Park campus near downtown Los Angeles were locked at 9 p.m. Students ordering a pizza, burrito or sandwich had to leave their dorm and meet the delivery person at the gate.
One night a friend of Zhang’s said he’d pay someone $10 to go get his Chipotle burrito once it arrived on the edge of campus. Zhang took him up on it.
He started doing the same for other friends, posted flyers around campus offering his late-night on-campus delivery, and his business, EnvoyNow, was born.
“It just had my phone number on there and said to text me. I got swarmed with orders the first weekend that I did it,” he recounted to the Los Angeles Business Journal in December. He hired other friends to start delivering and make $50 to $100 a night.
At first the orders were all texts to Zhang who passed them on to other delivery people. Then a computer science student who was a frequent customer built an app for the business.
Zhang skipped class one day to go see Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban and Survivor producer Mark Burnett speak on campus. At the end of the presentation, they took impromptu business pitches from the audience. On the spot, Burnett invested $100,000 for a 10 % stake in EnvoyNow.
Zhang received a lot of publicity and soon the Thiel Fellowship offered him a $100,000 grant. The fellowship is a two-year program for young people who want to quit or skip college to work on a business. He left USC in 2015 and expanded EnvoyNow to 22 campuses, according to a recent interview with Medium.com.
It just had my phone number on there and said to text me. I got swarmed with orders the first weekend that I did it
A year later Zhang suffered a diving accident in a Las Vegas swimming pool and was paralyzed from the neck down. After several months of rehab, in 2017 he sold EnvoyNow to JoyRun Inc., which was acquired by Walmart Inc. in 2020.
Since then, Zhang launched and sold another company that rates venture capital investors and now has started Vinovest, which gives retail investors a way to invest in fine wine.
Katherine Snow Smith is a freelance reporter and editor in St. Petersburg, Fla., and author of Rules for the Southern Rulebreaker: Missteps and Lessons Learned.