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How to make fast cash
20+ ways to make $100 or more in a pinch
Sometimes you need a little more money in your checking account. And if you haven’t yet been able to build up an emergency fund and you don’t want to borrow and take on debt (smart!), you’re probably wondering how to make fast cash.
From selling your gift cards to simply keeping someone company at an event, here are 20 (or more!) legitimate ways to earn a small amount of money quickly. Some of these you can do anywhere. Others might only be available in certain locations.
To make fast cash: Sell something you own
1. Sell electronics, phones, clothes, jewelry, tools, sports gear, furnishings, and more
Selling items online is a quick way to earn money. Sell electronics on Decluttr, clothes on Poshmark, or valuables and furnishings on sites like OfferUp, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.
2. Sell your gift cards
You can get cash back by selling your gift cards on a website like Rise or at Cardpool or the kiosks you can find at most grocery stores. You won’t get the full price for the card, but at least you’ll get money immediately.
3. Sell old books and games on Amazon
You can sell old books, games, and devices on the Amazon marketplace if the items are in good condition. According to Amazon, textbooks, niche books like Dungeons & Dragons books, comic books, collectibles, non-fiction, and hardcovers tend to sell better.
Amazon does charge a few fees for the individual program (40 or fewer product sales per month), but you keep the rest, minus your cost to pack and ship the book, or you can use Amazon fulfillment. For example, if you sell a book for $100, you keep about $76.00 after shipping and fees.
4. Pawn something
If you have items like jewelry, electronics, power tools, collectibles, or musical instruments, you can sell them to a pawnshop. Pawnshops won’t pay you as much as if you sold it directly through OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace, but you’ll get money right away.
A word of caution: Pawnbrokers may try to offer you a loan instead because they make more money this way. Don’t fall for it.
5. Give blood
You can earn around $20 to $50 per donation of blood (or plasma), depending on if your blood type is rare or common. Different states have different minimum payment requirements.
The blood collection company may have requirements regarding weight, age to general health. For example, if you’ve had any piercings or tattoos in the last 12 months, you may not be eligible. Check the local company’s website before going in.
To make fast cash: Rent something you own
6. Rent a room
Renting a spare room on Airbnb can bring in cash the same week, and you can charge a cleaning fee in addition to the rental price. If you live in a popular city or tourist area, this is a pretty darn good option.
If you rent out your whole place, you can crash with friends and family. Check other listings in your area and Airbnb’s income estimator to find out what rates you can charge.
7. Rent your car
Sharing your car when you don’t need it is a great way to earn money. Peer-to-peer car-sharing sites like Turo and Getaround let you rent out your car through an app and they typically provide and include insurance, too.
The company handles scheduling, key exchange with the driver, and deposits your earnings into an account a few days later.
8. Rent out your stuff
You can rent nearly anything you own on peer-to-peer lending sites. These companies take a percentage of the rental amount (usually about 17-20%) and you’re responsible for coordinating pickups and returns.
- Fat Llama: Similar to Loanables, Fat Llama lets you rent out anything you own.
- Loanables: A one-stop shop to rent just about anything you own. Popular items include exercise equipment, sports gear, kids’ inflatable toys, power equipment, tools, bike racks, and more.
- Style Lend: Rent out women’s shoes, bags, and accessories.
- Spinlister: Rent out bikes, snowboards, surfboards, and other sports equipment.
To make fast cash: Sell your time
9. Your friendship
RentAfriend provides income just by simply being a companion to someone else — maybe you need a friend to go with you to a wedding, concert, reunion, or sporting event. Don’t worry — it’s not a dating or escort site. You can earn as much as $50 an hour and get perks like free meals.
10. Offer freelance services
Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru match your skills with individuals and businesses looking for freelance help. Needed skills including writing, graphic design, proofreading, data entry, programming, and many more.
11. Tutor online
Another good way is to simply ask friends and family if they know anyone looking for tutoring. It’s more common than you might think.
12. Ask your employer for overtime
If you’re paid hourly, ask for another shift or extra side project. If you have good relations with your manager and your company needs extra labor, you could earn a few hundred extra dollars.
You’ll have to wait to get the extra money at the end of the pay period, but it’s guaranteed and may earn you extra points toward a future promotion, too.
13. Deliver food
Delivery jobs are flexible and allow you to drive in your spare time without a long-term commitment. Sign up for multiple companies if you are looking to fill up your schedule. Examples include:
- DoorDash: Apply to DoorDash to make food deliveries as a “Dasher.” You’ll earn an average of $9 to $12 per delivery depending on the distance, and you can keep 100% of the tips you receive.
- Instacart: You can earn an average of $10 to $15 per hour delivering groceries as an Instacart full-service shopper. Earning tips on top of your hourly rate is also a possibility.
14. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Driving for Uber or Lyft is a great way to make extra money, but signing up and finishing the car inspection could take a week. You’ll need a clean driving and criminal background record, a fairly new car, and the authorization to work wherever you live.
Once you are activated, you can work anytime you want. Most drivers get paid weekly via direct bank deposit, including tips and bonuses.
15. Walk a dog or pet sit
You may be able to pick up cash in your neighborhood by walking dogs or pet-sitting while their owners are away. Rover is a site that will connect you with pet owners for daily walks, pet check-ins, and longer stays. You set your rate, but like other job sites, they take 20%.
16. Become a market research participant
The most legit paid focus groups give you around $50 to $100 for your time, whereas surveys pay $5-$8 a pop. You’ll also probably get free samples of products.
Google for companies in your area or search on Facebook. Brand Institute, Focusgroup.com, 20/20 Research, Athena Research, and Aldier Weiner Research are examples of companies looking for help.
17. Task Rabbit
Task Rabbit connects you to customers looking for help with a wide variety of tasks. Taskers are paid an hourly rate minus a service fee. 100 percent of tips go to the Tasker. Jobs that have the “highest earning potential” are handyman, moving, and cleaning.
However, there are many other jobs you can get paid for like waiting in line at a new restaurant or sporting event, assembling Ikea furniture, and helping out at a party.
18. Be handy
From painting, mowing lawns, cleaning houses, or larger projects like roof and fence installations, sites like Task Rabbit, HomeAdvisor, CraftJack, and Jobonji can connect you to these jobs. HomeAdvisor will set you up with an online business profile and help you collect customer reviews to land your next job.
19. Micro Tasks
Sites like Mechanical Turk, Spare5, and Crowdflower offer small tasks like cleaning up, labeling, and collecting data. Each task is small in and of itself, but if you’re efficient, a bundle of tasks could earn you $10/hr. Easyshift and Field Agent are similar but deploy you to do things like taking pictures or helping price or count inventory at local stores.
20. Wait or cocktail tables
If you have nights or weekends available, waiting tables or cocktailing can bring in immediate cash with tips, and a biweekly paycheck to give you a bit more.
21. Babysitting and childcare
Parents are always in need of babysitting and nanny services. Get the word out to your local network and sign up with a local site like Care.com or Sittercity that connects you with parents. Both companies run background checks, manage payroll taxes, and pay so you don’t have to.
There are fees to be aware of such as background checks, care.com credits, and more. The most popular jobs on Care.com have the following average hourly wages:
- Tutoring: $14.25/hour
- Housekeeping: $13.00/hour
- Childcare: $11.75/hour
- Nanny: $12.75/hour
You can make $20 or more cleaning houses on a one-off or longer-term, weekly basis. Get the word out in your neighborhood, post on social media, or use and an online service to find work such as Care.com, Amazon Home Services, Indeed.com, or Housekeeper.com.
There are many creative easy to make a few extra bucks to help cover an emergency expense (such as rent) or build up savings. In addition to the money, you might also learn something new, develop a different skill, or heck, even make a new friend.
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