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How to find fast cash
20+ ways to make $100 or more in a pinch
Sometimes you need more money than you have 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 what to do.
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.
Sell something you own
1. Sell electronics, phones, clothes, jewelry, tools, sports gear, furnishings and more
Selling something online is one of the quickest ways to earn money. Sell electronics on Decluttr, clothes on Poshmark or all kinds of valuables and furnishings on sites like OfferUp, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
2. Sell your gift cards
You can get money 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 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 make 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.
Rent something you own
6. Rent a room
Renting a spare room on Airbnb could bring in cash the same week, and you can charge a cleaning fee on top of 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 as well as 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 share of the earnings into an account a few days later.
8. Rent out your stuff
You can rent out just about 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.
- 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.
- Spinlister: Rent out bikes, snowboards, surfboards and other sports equipment.
- Style Lend: Rent out women’s shoes, bags, and accessories.
- Fat Llama: Similar to Loanables, Fat Llama lets you rent out anything you own.
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
If you have experience in math, reading, English, foreign language, art, chess, etc. you can list your tutoring services on sites like Wyzant, TakeLessons, Indeed.com and Care.com. 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 a good relationship with your manager and your company needs extra labor, you could earn a few hundred extra dollars this week. 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:
- Postmates: Drivers earn between $10 and $20 per hour with delivery charges ranging between $4 and $8 each.
- 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.
- 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.
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 and/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
There are two main types of paid market research: focus groups and surveys. Focus groups generally pay more. 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 be given 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. There’s also a possibility of tips, 100% of which go to the Tasker. Jobs that have the “highest earning potential” are handyman-type tasks, 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 everywhere 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:
- Childcare: $11.75/hour
- Nanny: $12.75/hour
- Housekeeping: $13.00/hour
- Tutoring: $14.25/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 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 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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