PTM 014 – Making Extra Money as a Starbucks Barista to Pay Off Debt with David Weliver of MoneyUnder30.com

Part Time Money PodcastToday’s episode features David Weliver, who at an early age knew he was living beyond his means and taking on too much debt. His solution: working at Starbucks part-time at nights on the weekends as a barista.

In this interview David talks about what motivated him to go out and get a part-time job, why he chose Starbucks (a great part-time job with benefits), and how he was able to be successful there and eventually pay off his debts.

David just happens to also be a personal finance blogger. You can find his money advice and commentary aimed at the under 30 crowd over at MoneyUnder30.com.

Realizing the Need for Extra Income

David Weliver was 25 years old and in crazy amounts of debt. Student loans and credit card debt were taking their toll on him.

He was post-college and living in New York City—one of the most expensive places to live in the United States—and working as a journalist—a job that’s not exactly known for paying well. Ironically enough, David was a journalist for a financial magazine.

David didn’t know anything about managing his money and expected to be able to live the same lifestyle he was accustomed to growing up. He maxed out a number of credit cards and his income wasn’t allowing for anything other than paying his bills.

One day while looking over his budget for the month, David realized if he paid his rent, bills, and minimum credit card payments, there was nothing left—nothing left to pay on his debt, nothing for emergencies, not even anything left to go out and have fun with his friends. If you’re looking for pointers to get your own budget started, check out this post.

David knew he had to do something. At that point, he didn’t have the experience necessary to get a higher paying job, so the quickest way he knew to make more money was to get a part-time job.

Becoming a Part-Time Barista

He ended up with a quintessential part-time job, a Starbuck’s barista. There was a new Starbucks opening that wasn’t exactly convenient to work or home, but it wasn’t bad.

He could work the hours he needed to work, weekends and after 5pm on weekdays. He also got to work on his feet and deal with people, so he took it.

Starbucks wasn’t the only thing David did to pay off his debt. He took a slightly higher paying job in marketing back in his home state of Massachusetts, and he moved in with his parents so he could take the money he would normally spend on rent and apply it to his debt.

Often, people perceive retail jobs—especially ones in the food service industry—as being miserable and low paying. But Starbucks pays a fair wage for the type of work required, and anyone who works over 20 hours gets health insurance.

Read this post for other part-time jobs with benefits.

David said working at Starbucks was the most fun he’d ever had at work. His co-workers were fun and interesting people, and the atmosphere of the store was the same.

At the time, Starbucks was paying employees $10 an hour. David was later promoted to shift supervisor and his pay increased to $11.50 an hour.

Combined with tips (employees split whatever was left each day), David was netting about $800 a month. It was 6 months before he started seeing his debt numbers reduce substantially, but they did.

David’s Advice

David advises anyone seeking a part-time job at Starbucks to remember these 2 things:

1.Know your coffee. He was asked a lot of questions about coffee in his interview. It doesn’t disqualify a person if they don’t know anything, but it certainly impresses the interviewer if you do.

2.Be engaging. It is a people job. People won’t go back if they aren’t treated well, no matter how good the coffee is, so show your interviewer that you are a people person.

I think a second job, if you are needing to make more money, is probably the way you can go out and find a new source of income the fastest. You can go out, and you can find a retail job; you can find something you can do in your off hours.

That said, I do not think it is the easiest way. It is the fastest way to find a new source of income. Over time you are putting in those hours, and it does wear you down, but it is a good way if you need to make ends meet or if you need to chip off some extra debt in the near term, it definitely works if you are willing to do what it takes. That is what it comes down to.

Listen to the Podcast on Working at Starbucks

Here’s more of what David and I discuss:

David Weliver and FamilyWhat made you want to start making part time money?
What got you into debt trouble?
What was your full-time gig at the time?

Why did you choose Starbucks?
Is it really a good place to work?
How did you find time in your schedule to work at Starbucks part-time?

Did the job help financially?
How much did you make as a Starbucks Barista?
What’s your best advice for getting a job at Starbucks?
What’s going on with your blog MoneyUnder30.com?

Full transcript can be viewed by clicking show

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Doable Finance says:

    That seems to be a good job. I plan to apply next month in May.

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