Letâs face it. Most of us, at one point or another, have been faced with a financial emergency, or a plain, old-fashioned cash crunch. Itâs definitely not a fun spot to be in. While there are steps we can take to avoid such situations (more on that later), thatâs often the last thing on our minds when we need to come up with money â quick.
To assist, Iâve compiled the following list of money-making ideas. While some of the items included are more lucrative than others (youâll never get rich taking surveys, for example), they all share a common theme: making money fast. Ready? Letâs dive in.
And before anyone mentions it, yes we’re aware of the irony of publishing an article about making money fast at a website called Get Rich Slowly.
Sell Your Old Stuff
Iâll kick off the list with an obvious one: selling your old stuff. After all, is there a faster way to make money? If you walked a few steps to your basement right now, or stepped outside to the garage, Iâm willing to bet that youâd find some junk lying around that someone else could use:
- Old computers and video games.
- Sports equipment your kids have grown out of.
- That extra bike thatâs never ridden.
- Your old collectibles. (J.D. sold his comic books. You could sell your baseball cards.)
Once youâve come to grips with parting with your junk, selling it is as easy as taking a few pictures, and posting an ad on Craigslist, or your local Facebook Buy and Sell. If you need some inspiration, hereâs a list of 12 surprisingly valuable things that are lying around your house.
Taking online surveys isnât going to make you rich, but thatâs not your goal here. You need to make money fast, and paid survey sites like Survey Junkie will help you do just that. In fact, you can start earning within a few minutes of signing up, and get paid as soon as you accumulate $10 in rewards.
Survey Junkie will pay you for each survey you complete, in the form of Paypal credits or gift cards to your favorite retail stores. The more surveys you take, the more youâll make. The best part is that you can take surveys while doing other things, like watching TV, or listening to music, making it an easy way to earn some quick cash.
Swagbucks is similar to Survey Junkie, but they take things a step further, by giving you more ways to earn cash and rewards. In addition to completing surveys, Swagbucks will pay you to browse the internet, play games, and shop online. Theyâll even send you a daily survey, and a daily poll, as a way to earn rewards faster.
With Swagbucks, you wonât have to wait before redeeming your rewards. While youâll need $25 worth of Swagbucks to move cash to your Paypal account, you can redeem points for gift cards worth as little as $1. In fact, when I checked out the Swagbucks rewards page, I noticed $3 Amazon gift cards advertised.
Remember your goal – to make money fast. When you sign up for Acorns using my exclusive link, youâll receive a $5 credit to kick off your account. Now, I wouldnât suggest that you go to all that trouble for $5, but with Acorns, youâre getting so much more. Acorns is an investment app that makes saving money easy. You can open an account on your mobile phone in a couple of minutes, collect your $5, and be on your way to building that emergency fund, or saving for your next special purchase.
Open Your Acorns Account and Earn $5
To help you get there, Acorns uses an innovative feature, called round up savings. Acorns syncs to your debit or credit card and then rounds up the âspare changeâ whenever you spend. For example, letâs say you buy a pack of gum for $1.25. Acorns will round to the nearest dollar, and set aside .75 into your Acorns investment account. Because the amounts are so small, youâll hardly notice the money leaving your account, but youâll be surprised how quickly the savings adds up.
Acorns works so well, in fact, that itâs my top choice for investment app for 2021.
Drive with Uber
If you have a clean driving record, a reliable vehicle, and enjoy being around people, driving for a rideshare service like Uber is a great way to make some extra money, and fast. One perk to this job is the flexibility it offers. You decide when, and how much you want to work.
Once youâve signed up with Uber, most drivers report that it only takes about 3-5 days to be approved.
Here’s more about the pros and cons of becoming a rideshare driver.
Deliver Food with UberEats
If driving for Uber sounds enticing, but youâd rather not spend your time making small talk with strangers, you could decide to deliver food with UberEats. You use the app to select deliveries that are in your area. The best part is that you decide when you want to work, and how much. Keep in mind, you will make more money during peak periods.
Rent Out Your Ride on Turo
Take advantage of your carâs downtime by renting it out to someone who needs a ride. Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing app that makes it easy to rent out your car. I’ve used Turo as a renter multiple times and believe it will continue to catch on, so they’ll need an increased supply of vehicles for rent. Once youâre set up through Turo, list your car on the app, wait for a request, and be ready to accept or decline. Keep in mind, your car will need to meet Turoâs vehicle requirements, and the nicer it is, the more money you can charge.
Rent Out a Room With Airbnb
If you have a spare bedroom in your home, you can rent it out to a short term guest, on Airbnb. Some people will even rent out their entire home, if they have another place where they can stay.
Not only is this a great way to make money quick, but if itâs something you enjoy, you could turn it into a regular income stream. A great perk with Airbnb is having the flexibility to decide when your space will be available, and how much youâll charge.
Employee Referral Programs
Any recruiter will tell you, itâs tough for companies to find good people these days. As a result, many organizations will pay their own employees a bonus for successfully referring new talent.
Depending on the role, and the demand for the position, you could be eligible to receive hundreds, even thousands of dollars by bringing in a new employee. Not only is this a quick way to make money, but it requires almost no effort on your part. Youâre simply connecting to parties.
Babysitting or At-Home Daycare
In todayâs society, most families are dual income, with both parents working outside the home. Because of this, there is a constant demand for reliable childcare. If youâre a natural caregiver, and enjoy being around kids, you can make good money by offering to provide childcare within your local community. Whether itâs babysitting or an at-home daycare, it wonât take long to find your first client. Use your friends and family to get the word out, or notify your Facebook community, and youâll be making money in no time.
Teach English with VIP Kid
If you enjoy teaching, consider putting your English skills to good use by becoming an online tutor. Websites like VIP Kid source clients for you, and the pay is pretty good too. Itâs not uncommon to make $20-30/hour teaching online.
Tutoring is something that can be done in person as well. In fact, during the school year, thereâs no shortage of students in your community in need of help with their studies. Check with your local high school, or get the word out on your community Facebook page.
J.D.’s note: For eighteen months, I met with a Spanish tutor three times each week. Aly had moved to the U.S. from Peru, and she found that tutoring was a fantastic way for her to make money.
Rent Out Your RV With Outdoorsy
If you own an RV, Outdoorsy will match you with people who are looking to rent a trailer or motorhome, for their next summer adventure. At rates as high as $150/day, or more, this is a great way to make money fast. Head to Outdoorsy, and find out how you can get your RV making money for you.
Collect Rewards With Drop App
Money doesnât always have to arrive in the form of cash. Drop allows you to earn points when you shop at your favorite retailers, then redeem your rewards for gift cards at places like Starbucks, or Amazon. Drop works by syncing to your debit and/or credit card, and keeping track of your purchases. You donât need to worry about clipping coupons, or scan receipts to receive discounts, Drop does all the work for you.
Download the free app to start earning with Drop!
Earn $50 per Year With the Nielsen Ratings App
For decades, Nielsen has been tracking TV ratings. But did you know that they will pay you to download their app to your computer or smartphone? Doing so allows them to compile data by tracking your internet usage. No need to worry however, your anonymity is guaranteed, and according to Neilson, the app wonât slow your deviceâs performance in the least.
Sounds pretty great, doesnât it? There is a BIG caveat, however. You must be selected by Nielsen. Thatâs because Nielsen families are chosen using a scientific process. That said, itâs good to know about this easy money-making opportunity, in case you are ever approached by Nielsen.
Take Advantage of Bank Signup Bonuses
This is a great way to make some quick money. Banks everywhere are in a constant battle for new customers. The financial services industry is highly competitive, and companies know that if they can secure your day to day banking business, theyâll have a shot at your mortgage and your investments as well.
While these promotions come and go, itâs not uncommon to be offered a few hundred dollars when you open a new checking account with a bank, providing that you meet the qualifying criteria. This usually includes hooking up your automatic payroll deposit and completing a couple of online bill payments, that kind of thing.
Earn Credit Card Rewards
Iâm a big fan of credit card rewards, but Iâll be the first to admit that using credit cards as a way of making money can be dangerous, and definitely isnât for everyone. If youâre not paying off your credit card balance in full each month, or if using a credit card creates a temptation to overspend, then having a rewards credit card will cost you more money than you will ever make.
That said, a cashback, or travel rewards credit card can be a great way to make extra money. Many premium cards come with a welcome bonus, such as a couple hundred dollars cashback upfront, or enough travel points to get you a free flight somewhere. Have an upcoming trip planned? This could be a great way to subsidize the cost. Head here for more information on the best credit card rewards.
Make Money as a Freelance Writer
If you have interest, or experience in a specific area and love to write, thereâs a good chance you can make money online as a freelance writer. What I love about this side hustle, is that itâs something you can do on your own schedule from the comfort of your living room. Not only that, but you can make good money. The website Problogger has an active job board, where you can browse, and apply for, freelance writing gigs across a wide range of niches.
Note: Many former Get Rich Slowly staff writers have gone on to become professional freelance writers with lucrative careers.
Advertise Your Freelance Services on Fiverr
In addition to writing, there are no shortage of services you can offer as a freelancer. Graphic design, bookkeeping, social media management – these are all services that small businesses will pay you to provide. One of the best ways to find clients and start making money is by joining a freelance marketplace like Upwork, or Fiverr.
Teach Music Lessons
Who said that a musician needs to live like a starving artist? If you are skilled on any number of musical instruments, you can make good money teaching private lessons. Ask your local music store if you can post an ad on their bulletin board, or advertise through Craigslist or Facebook. Early September is a great time of year to get started, as students are back to school and looking to start up music lessons after the summer break.
Earn Cash Back With Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)
Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, makes it easy to earn cashback when you shop online at top retailers, such as Amazon, Kohlâs, and Microsoft. Sign up with Rakuten, and gain access to hundreds of partner retail stores via links directly on their site. Rakuten will keep track of your cash rebates, which can be as high as 40%, when you factor in limited time offers. The best part? Receive an automatic $10 bonus when you sign up for Rakuten, and earn an additional $25 when you refer friends or family.
Deliver Food With DoorDash
DoorDash is one of a number of app-powered food delivery services that have popped up in recent years. If you need to make money quick, becoming a delivery driver for Doordash may be the perfect solution. In fact, the signup box on their website reads, âGet Your First Check This Weekâ.
Ask for a Raise
Perhaps the fastest way to make extra money is by leveraging the job you already have. Unfortunately, many people donât think about this, and instead feel like they need to take on something extra. Iâll finish with a few ways to increase your 9-5 income.
Youâve probably heard it said, âIf you donât ask, the answer will always be, noâ. To most companies, a valuable employee is worth their weight in gold. Part of this is due to how much time and money it takes to hire and train someone new. Chances are, your employer is willing to pay you more, but you need to ask. If youâre able to effectively communicate your value to your boss, you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Since the early says of Get Rich Slowly, we’ve advocated learning how to negotiate your salary. It’s one of the best ways to boost your income — now and in the future.
Apply for a Promotion
When was the last time you considered applying for a promotion? Not only is a new job a great way to make more money, challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone will further develop your skills, and help you grow as a person. If youâre having trouble getting promoted at your current company, you may decide to go to take your skills somewhere else. Hereâs an article that gives 10 reasons successful people change jobs more often.
Take Advantage of Any Unused Benefits
If youâre not taking advantage of all of the benefits your employer is offering, you may be leaving cold hard cash on the table. Far too many employees donât take the time to understand whatâs available, and as they say, if you donât use it, youâll lose it. Read through your employee benefits package, or speak to an HR representative if you have questions. Thereâs money to be made, from health spending balances and 401K matches, to affordable insurance coverage and employee discounts.
Ask to Work Overtime
Not every job offers this opportunity, but if yours does, consider volunteering to work overtime, if youâre needing to make more money fast. Overtime work saves you from having to start something extra in your spare time, such as a second job, or a time-consuming side hustle. Remember, the goal is to make money fast. Either way, always strive for a healthy balance between time at work, and time away. The last thing you want is to feel burned out.
Final Thoughts on Making Money Fast
At the outset of this article, I mentioned that there are ways to avoid finding yourself with a shortfall of cash. While we can never be prepared for absolutely every emergency (nor should we try to be), we can make life a little easier with some advanced planning.
My best advice is to build an emergency fund. This can be as little as $500, or enough to cover several months worth of expenses, itâs up to you. Having an emergency fund will not only reduce your stress level, but it will also decrease your odds of having to use a credit card to cover a financial emergency, and that is a good thing.
In the meantime, my hope is that you feel more confident about making money fast, should the need arise.