Harris, I think it depends on several factors. First, I recommend having a well established emergency fund that will be enough to cover several months living expenses. This will help you cover any unexpected expenses and avoid taking out additional debt. Next consider other short/medium term goals. For example, are you saving to buy a house, do you need to replace your car in the next two or three years, etc. Finally, consider the interest rates of your student loans and what you may be able to earn in an IRA and decide which option is best for your needs. Investing for retirement now could be a huge benefit for you and your wife when you reach retirement age, but eliminating debt increases cash flow and gives you peace of mind. Both options are solid. Best of luck.
Blaz Kos writes about data-driven personal development at AgileLeanLife.com. Blaz Kos helps people shape superior life strategies by: (1) employing the best business practices in personal life management, (2) teaching established psychological techniques to better manage mind and emotions, and (3) setting goals based on understanding market paradigms, the quantified self, and following cold hardcore metrics that prevent any fake feeling of progress. He is obsessively passionate about hi-tech, mass media, personal development and making the world a better place.
I couldn’t disagree more. The concept of systematic saving and hoping for a solid average return in the markets isn’t something that I believe in anymore. I’m 32, and have been investing in the markets since I was 18, under the assumption that if I set up automatic contributions throughout my life I would ultimately be “rich”. I started by maxing out my SEP-IRA and then by maxing my Roth. I invest monthly in a range of products, again, all with the goal of cost averaging the market to my benefit over time. Fast forward 14 years from when I began, and I have accumulated less than $60k. My invested dollar amount exceeds my current total, as it did even at the recent market highs in 2007. In other words, investing for the long haul doesn’t work like it used to, particularly for my generation. The first decade of wage earning is the most important in terms of compounding interest, and we have just experienced a completely lost decade. The hopes for recovery to make up for that lost decade (14 yrs in my case) do not appear reasonable. David
You can generate a small side income taking online surveys — but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, unless you invest a lot of time, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Global Test Market. Read our analysis of a dozen survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
Freelance writers can more easily be thought of as a “writer for hire” or someone who is contracted out to write about a particular topic. If you have some writing chops, but don’t want to deal with all the extra work that goes into running a blog, you can hire yourself out and write for newspapers, large online publications and even other bloggers.
Note:  In an emergency situation it might be tough to come up with cash fast, if you’re in need a loan but don’t have access to credit from your bank, due to no credit or bad credit you can use websites like Bad Credit Site to help you find the cheapest lender willing to lend to you, for free and without affecting your credit score. Borrowing should be used only in an emergency situation, you should do your research and compare reputable lenders, and develop a plan so your short term solution does not become a long-term problem. 
Thanks for stopping by. Do you/have you ever spent time on the consulting side of things? Each time I see a very specific skill-set like this, it typically leads to some sort of suggestion that revolves around remotely helping other industry experts. Specifically, creating and hosting your own website, and then learning how to use paid media/search engine optimization to market yourself as some sort of construction consultant.

GlobalTestMarket — They pay up to $5 per survey just for sharing your opinions. Joining is easy — just enter your email address, fill out some information about your household, and you’re in. GlobalTestMarket has paid out over $34 million to members worldwide since 2014, so needless to say they’re the real deal. When you sign up with GlobalTestMarket, you’ll be automatically entered into their sweepstakes to for a chance to win $2,000.
Ebates ($10 free signup bonus): Shop online through their website at more than 2,000 stores like Sephora, Macy’s, and Apple. Ebates members also special discounts, promo codes, and coupons. You earn cash back with each purchase and will receive it in the form of a check or through PayPal. If it’s already cheaper to shop online, why not make it even cheaper?
Have you ever met someone who is unassuming and modest and then were surprised to later learn that they are actually rolling in dough? I had an older client who was stuck in 1983: he wore ugly brown suits and running shoes, drove a beat-up baby blue Volvo station wagon and lived in the same modest house he bought 40 years ago. Turns out, this man was an uber-successful entrepreneur and multimillionaire — and even richer because of his humble habits.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out the Squadhelp platform where you can earn a little extra money online by naming brands, services, products, company slogans and even help out on the logo design front if you've got the chops. 
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