Last year, an article in The Atlantic showed what it’s like for about half of Americans that can’t afford to pay for an $400 emergency in cash. The writer detailed his own struggles to save for the unexpected and what it’s like to not have an emergency fund in case something goes wrong.
That scenario is common, but fortunately it is preventable. You can learn to cut expenses, live on less, and save the difference. And if you’re one of millions of people who doesn’t have enough savings set aside, then you should also find a way to make money fast. Fortunately, in this age of the gig economy, there are countless ways to scrape up enough money to last you during whatever crisis you’re going through.
Read below for our best tips on making $1,000 quickly in a week.
1. Drive for Uber
According to Uber, the average driver earns $25 an hour. But that amount is calculated over slow periods when you could be lucky to get one passenger.
Determine when the busiest times are in your city and drive only then to maximize your efficiency. Weekend evenings and nights are usually a safe bet, and rush hour can also be good. If you have a big airport near you, then figure out when the busiest times are for drop-off and pick-up.
Uber and Lyft both often have special bonuses drivers can earn if they fulfill a certain number of rides, so look out for those. Many people often drive for both services so they can take advantage of different surge times. Plus, now that Uber has added tipping to its app, drivers can stand to earn even more money.
2. Sell What You Don’t Need
Unless you’re rocking the minimalist lifestyle, you probably have stuff laying around your apartment or house that you don’t need or haven’t used in forever. Old cell phones, unopened books, long-forgotten DVDs. All those items represent dollars that you could be earning.
Take a look around your place for everything that you don’t regularly use. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. Compile everything in one space and then divide it based on the type of item it is. Clothes should go in one pile while video games can be in another.
Then, determine the best place to sell your stuff. Large items work well on Craigslist, where you don’t have to pay for shipping fees. Clothes can do well on specialty sites like Poshmark and ThredUp, especially if you have designer threads. Electronics, video games, and collectibles sell well on eBay, but make sure to be accurate on the quality or you’ll get downgraded on your user rating.
For everything that doesn’t sell quickly, host a yard sale. Advertise for free on Craigslist and post signs around your neighborhood. Price items to sell, even if it hurts to see all your kid’s baby clothes sell for less than $1.
Anything that you don’t get rid of can be donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, where you can ask for a receipt to deduct the amount donated on your taxes. Another win!
3. Deliver Food
On the social media site Reddit, drivers theorized if you could earn $1,000 a week delivering food with a company like Door Dash. The general consensus was that if were driving about 10 hours a day and hitting every peak time (lunch and dinner) every day of the week, you could reach $1,000.
Users said that the best way to maximize your deliveries was to use a motorcycle or other high-mileage vehicle. If parking is difficult or if you’re driving in LA-like traffic, your hourly rate could suffer. Most agreed that you’d have to work between 50 to 70 hours a week to make it work, and that doesn’t seem to be sustainable for the long-term.
If you’re in between gigs, this can be an easy way to supplement your income.
4. Rent Your Pad on AirBnb
If you’ve got a spare room or are going to be out of town, you can rent out your pad on AirBnb for some extra cash. How much you earn depends on where you live, the desirability of your neighborhood and the quality of your pad.
A two-bedroom loft in downtown Miami will net more than a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of nowhere in Kansas. Visitors also pay more if they have total access to your place, so if you’re still in town, you can make more by crashing on a friend’s couch for a few days while guests rent out your space.
You can increase how much you charge by allowing pets, including appliances such as a washer and dryer and other amenities. Holidays are prime times for visitors and you can also charge more for festivals, special weekends and more. Be extra responsive and polite to renters. Airbnb has a ratings system that most people use to leave comments and share how they felt about you. The higher your rating, the higher prices you can charge.
5. Search for Unclaimed Money
Unclaimed money is money that legally belongs to you, but that you haven’t claimed. For example, sometimes people request a tax refund through the mail, but it gets returned if you put a wrong address. Or if you were being paid through check by an old employer and left before you received your last one.
Unfortunately, there’s no central website where you can search for unclaimed money, but this US government site has information on the difference types of unclaimed money and how to see if you have any. If you do find funds in your name, it can take several weeks to access them because you’ll have to verify your identity. But you’ll be one step closer to getting money that’s legally yours.
6. Open an Account That Offers a Bonus
Ever get those pre-approved credit card offers in the mail promise to give you 20,000 or 40,000 miles or points? If you’re used to a credit card that barely pays you 1% cash back, it might be hard to believe that you can earn real rewards.
But you can. Every major credit card provider has a few credit cards that provide huge bonuses when you sign up. However, you can’t just earn the points by applying for the card. You usually have to spend a certain amount within 90 days to qualify.
The highest bonuses range from $100 to $500, so if you are married or have another person in your household, you could easily qualify for $1,000. For example, you can earn $500 with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® when you spend $3,000 in 90 days. The $500 will come as a statement credit on your account and can only be redeemed for travel expenses.
Banks and credit unions also often have bonuses when you open a new account and fulfill other minimum requirements. For example, a new Chase checking account customer can earn $200 when they set up direct deposit and keep the account open for at least six months. Since many of these requirements only ask that you have a direct deposit of at least $300-$500 a month, you can open multiple accounts and earn bonuses at the same time.
7. Work as a Brand Ambassador
Ever see those people handing out free samples of chips or drinks at local festivals or concerts? Those are brand ambassadors, people hired to work a few hours to promote a local or national brand. Sometimes it’s handing out food samples, other times it’s trying to get people to fill out surveys.
Look for local brand ambassador groups on Facebook. Most pay between $10 to $35 an hour depending on the work involved. Work comes on a first-come, first-serve basis and you’ll often have little training beforehand. Many gigs ask for a couple headshots beforehand. Shifts can last a couple hours or all day. If you work five days at eight hours a day for $25 an hour, you can make $1,000.
8. Cash In Your Vacation
While most people love to take their paid vacation time, others would rather have the cash. Fortunately, some employers allow you to cash in your vacation time and work instead. If you decide to cash in your vacation time, you can easily get an extra $1,000 on your next paycheck.
If you earn $25 an hour and have seven days of paid vacation, you could cash it in for $1,400. You’ll still have to Medicare and Social Security taxes on those wages, so make sure to factor that in. And you’ll have to be ok knowing that you won’t have any days off in case something happens.
This is definitely a risky move to take, so be aware of the pros and cons. If you’re about to leave your job, then this can be a great way to transition to a new company with some extra change in your pocket.
9. Garage Sale Arbitrage
This sounds complicated, right? Well, not to fear, it is actually pretty simple.
All you need to do is visit some garage sales this coming weekend. While you are there, look for items that you are familiar with that you could potentially resell online.
For instance, if you are familiar with technology, look for electronics like home audio and computer equipment. Lets say you find a router that is marked $5. Find the model number on the router and look it up on Amazon to see what the lowest price of a used item. When you are looking it up you notice that it is selling for $40 used.
All you have to now do is give the host of the yard sale a 5 spot and get back in the car. Then pull your phone back out and list it on Amazon (or similar site like eBay). You will have to pay some fees and ship it, but it is likely that you can pocket about $25 is this deal.
The bottom line is, there are lots of ways you can make $1,000 in one week if you’re short on cash. Give some of these a try next time you need some extra money in your pocket.
Which of these ways to make 1,000 dollars quickly are you going to try?
Make Some Extra Cash by Taking Surveys
Taking surveys in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra dough fast. Check out Survey Junkie which will pay you instantly with cash via Paypal. They have over 6,000,000 members and they have an 8.9/10 rating on Trust Pilot.