Why Didn't I Learn This in School: Money Myths, Busted

Finding a reliable source of information isn't always easy, but when you're steering your financial future, your economic health depends on truth -- not money myths.

Myth number one: You can't start saving until you pay off your student debt.

While that debt can be a big time burden, it doesn't have to bring you to a stop. Break down your paycheck -- Cover the essentials first, then take what's remaining and pay your debt, and then stuff what's left into savings.

EXPLORE MORE: Why Didn't I Learn This in School: DIY Savings Hacks

Myth number two: Everyone needs an emergency fund.

Sure it would be nice, but not everyone can afford to have one. It's recommended to have back-up funds to cover between three to six months of expenses, but if you can't, aim for $500 for emergencies and go from there.

If you think a savings account is the best place to put your money, you've fallen for myth number three. Leaving money in savings long term can actually lose you money since interest rates don't always keep up with the price of inflation. Check out a CD, money market account, or a high yield checking account to earn more while you save.

Next, investing is not just for the richest of the rich.

Start small, skip buying whatever this is every day and try investing that five bucks in an index fund. It adds up.

You can also link up your bank account to an app like Acorns which will round up the change from all your transactions and invest it.

Last myth, carrying a credit card balance improves your credit rating. Your credit competence isn't built by slowly paying off that balance. If anything, you'll end up owing more money due to interest. So, be sure to pay the balance in full every month and try to charge only a small percentage of your card's limit, because the amount of available credit you've used is another factor in your credit score.

So keep driving forward and watch for the signs.

Separating financial truths from money myths will help you reach your destination in no time.

Check out the slideshow below for tips to make a quick buck:

20 unusual ways to make quick money
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20 unusual ways to make quick money

Dog-sitting, babysitting, or house-sitting

These jobs are always in high demand, and the best part: you can name your price and create your own schedule! Post an ad on craigslist, or use your friends' and family's connections to get your name out there. 

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Rent out your space 

List your apartment on Airbnb or another rental site, and make some easy cash by staying at a friends and renting out your place for the weekend.

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Share your space

Just as you can rent out your full apartment or house, you can also post a free room (or even just your couch!) on sites like Craigslist or Airbnb. This way you can split your living expenses -- and maybe even make a new friend!

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Sell your body parts

Now here's a weird one: Donate your hair, breast milk, or even plasma for a profit. According to Grifols, if you're healthy and weigh above 110 pounds, you can earn up to $200 a month donating your plasma to life-saving medicine. 

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Sign up to participate in medical tests and clinical trials. 

Universities constantly need volunteers to test new medicines and treatments -- and because the pool of willing participants is limited, there is typically a large compensation for being a guinea pig. 

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Participate in a focus group

Companies and organizations will pay you to join a focus group. These can be conducted in person, online, or via phone. You will most likely be reimbursed in cash or gift cards -- plus, you often get to test out fun new products! 

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Take online surveys

Similar to focus groups, you can get paid to give your time and insights on an online questionairre. Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch. 

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Bank on your sperm

Although we don't necessarily recommend this option, there is a very high demand for healthy sperm donors. Keep in mind some of the obvious drawbacks, but sperm donation is non-invasive and highly compensated. 

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Crowdfund your dreams

Crowdfunding allows you to raise monetary contributions from a large group of people who want to support your venture. Post your project or idea on a crowdfund site, like GoFundMe.com, and see the cash pile up.

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Become a tutor

If you're qualified, post an ad online or on a community board to tutor children on their school courses or for the upcoming SATs.

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Get a part-time job

Capitalize your free time (on the weekends or after work hours) by working a part-time job. A bartender, waiter, or Uber driver are all great options for an additional source of income -- and great tips! 

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Resell tickets

Take this suggestion at your own risk: If you're staying within legal limits, buy tickets low and sell high as an effective way to source additional money. (Just make sure to check your state and local laws first!)

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You can sell anything on the internet these days... including your companionship! Get paid to go on a platonic outing for a few hours and enjoy your afternoon with a new friend. 

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Rent out your parking spot

Make sure to check with your landlord first, but if you have the option to park your own car further away, lend or share your parking space or driveway for the hour, day, or even month! 

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Keep a coin jar 

This one takes patience before a big pay out, but keep a spare jar or drawer for loose change that you usually toss anyway. It will keep it all in one place -- and those quarters do add up! 

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Make something to sell 

If you have a knack for arts & crafts, create jewelry or other handmade gifts to sell on sites filled with other thrifty vendors like Etsy

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Sell items online

This effective strategy requires low effort with a high return. Post photos of your used or non-used items on sites like eBay or Craigslist, and let the bidding begin! 

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Have a yard sale

Sell clutter you've been meaning to get rid of right in your front yard. This simple tactic is convenient, and guarantees a wad of cash right to your pocket.  

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Return past purchases

This tip may seem obvious, but is often overlooked: Take your recently-purchased items that are laying around back to the store for either store credit or a full refund. 

Recycle scrap metal and cans

Collect cans and scrap metal out your own garbage, basement, and street and bring to your local recycler to exchange your findings for money.  

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