Easy money can be defined as money made that requires little to no effort. Though this concept is a title of a 1983 Rodney Dangerfield film, in real life, there is seldom a path to easy money. Fantasizing about money made without much work is certainly a key theme for many. Yet for the most part, this concept remains the stuff of dreams and not a reality.
People are often quickly exploited by the idea of making easy money. Websites and various businesses have advertised for years on the idea of the “get rich quick” scheme. Some of these businesses continue to attract new customers, but usually not because their promises to make easy money come true. Instead, such businesses are very good at selling the fantasy of making money quickly, and this appeals to many who would very much like to find a quick way to make lots of money.
Another easy money draw is gambling and especially things like lotteries or jackpots where the payoff is extremely high. Numerous people invest significant amounts of money in buying lottery tickets, for instance. Most will not have a return on their investment, but the potential to suddenly be rich almost beyond measure keeps people buying tickets.
Others look to certain professions that seem to make easy money. High profile jobs in sports and the entertainment industry may be viewed as “Money for Nothing,” like the 1984 Dire Straits song. While it’s true that very well known actors, musicians and athletes can make exceptionally high salaries, the path to fame is not necessarily easy.
Few people get highly paid celebrity positions without significant hard work and sacrifice. Like the lottery, many people try to enter these professions and are unsuccessful because competition for jobs is incredibly stiff. There are talented actors, athletes and musicians who are never recognized for their craft and end up having to make their money “the hard way.”
Some people view investments as a potential way to make easy money. Those who got in on the ground floor of dot com companies before they boomed made money that many envy. However, every investment comes with risk, and it can be just as easy to lose your shirt instead of making enough to buy a whole closet full of designer clothes. Similarly, investments in real estate always come with the risk of economic downturn wiping out an investment.
There are a few legitimate ways to make easy money, but they are typically not within a person’s control. People can inherit huge sums from wealthy relatives, but no one gets to pick their relatives or the circumstances into which they are born. Also, losing a close and loved relative is never easy, and many people would prefer more time with their loved ones instead of a large inheritance.