Sometimes you just need money fast – as in TODAY.
Perhaps you have an unexpected car repair because your transmission went out or you blew a tire.
Or maybe the water heater in your house needed repair — along with your refrigerator, your air conditioning system and your Internet all in a three-day period.
That really happened to a friend recently. Luckily, my friend had some cash set aside in an emergency fund. Everyone needs an emergency fund.
Or you might need money fast for a variety of good reasons.
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Maybe you got a last-minute phone call from a friend who wants to go on a spontaneous (and expensive) trip together. Or perhaps you’ve decided that it’s time to finally kick that consumer debt to the curb once and for all.
Fortunately, there are lots of legit ways to get money quickly. The 21 ideas listed below for getting money fast may help you with your money woes as quickly as today or as soon as a week or two.
If you work it right, you can try a combination of the money-making ideas listed below and increase your cash flow even more.
Look through the list, figure out which money-making ideas are most conducive to your lifestyle and get to work.
21 Ways to Get Money Quickly
Although there are many ways to get money fast, I’ve picked twenty-one ways I feel are doable for most people. So, you won’t find weird things on this list such as selling bodily fluids or panhandling.
These are real, legit ways people make money every day.
1. Drive People Around
Driving people around companies like for Uber or Lyft is great because you can pick your hours to work without any notice at all. These apps provide rides for people who need to get places.
People like choosing Uber or Lyft over a traditional taxi service because the service they get with these types of rideshare companies is more personalized and often more affordable as well.
After you get approved to drive for Uber or Lyft, you’ll download an app that lets you sign in or sign out whenever you want or need to – in other words, you can work at your convenience.
As you pick up riders and bring them to their destinations, Uber collects the money for the ride, and riders often give tips directly to the drivers who provide great service.
If the rider tips you in cash on the spot, you get some money right away, and then the money you get for providing the ride itself is paid by the rideshare company on a weekly basis.
And you don’t have to worry about your safety as an Uber or Lyft driver. Both companies take safety very seriously and work hard to keep both client and driver lists free of undesirable people.
If you choose to start making cash as an Uber or Lyft driver, there are things you can do to maximize your income and potentially increase your tips as well.
Here are some keys to making more money as a ride-share driver:
Drive During Peak Hours
Rides cost more during peak hours such as late nights (think near or after bar closing times), early mornings or on weekends.
If you are willing to be available at peak ride times, you’ll likely make more money as a ride-share driver.
Keep Your Car Clean
People using rideshare services like to ride in a clean vehicle. Make sure to keep your car clean inside and out by washing and vacuuming it regularly.
Provide Exemplary Service
The better the service you provide as a rideshare driver, the better chance you have of increasing your tips. It’s important to be friendly and smile as you pick up your rider.
Take cues from the rider as to how much conversation they want and respond accordingly. Also, many successful rideshare drivers offer riders extras such as small bottles of water or mints.
Drive safely and obey all traffic laws so that your rider feels confident in your abilities.
By providing excellent service as a rideshare driver and driving during peak ride times, you can earn more money faster.
If you’re interested in learning more about driving for a rideshare company, check out our article on How to Make Money Driving for Lyft.
2. Play on Your Phone with Swagbucks
Sites like Swagbucks pay you for doing things you probably do already anyway. With Swagbucks, you can earn points for doing things such as:
- Playing games
- Watching video
- Taking surveys
After you earn enough points, Swagbucks will allow you to convert those points into gift cards from your favorite retailers, or into cash deposited in your PayPal account.
You won’t earn a ton of money with Swagbucks, but it will help you to earn a few bucks here and there and pay you for things you are likely already doing without getting paid. Right now they have a $10 bonus just for signing up!
3. Sell DVDs and CDs
Do you have oodles of DVDs and CDs sitting around your house that you never, ever watch or listen to? Why not sell them to make some quick money?
Decluttr is a cool website where you can sell your stuff and get money really fast. Here’s how it works:
First, you go to the Decluttr site and enter in the bar-codes of things you want to sell. Decluttr primarily buys CDs and DVDs, but they also buy a few other items such as:
- Cell phones
Yep, apparently, there’s a big market for reselling LEGO sets. Anyway, as you enter the barcodes for the items you want to sell, Decluttr automatically tells you how much they’ll pay you for each item.
Obviously, the more popular the item (i.e., the better it’ll do as they re-sell it) the more money you’ll get paid for selling it to Decluttr.
After you approve your “sell” list and agree to the prices they offer, they will send you a FREE shipping label. Yep, it’s absolutely free.
When the label arrives, you box up your stuff, put the label on the box and bring it to the nearest authorized shipping store, such as UPS.
Decluttr promises to pay you the day after they receive your stuff, and they don’t charge you any additional auction or seller fees.
Although you won’t make as much selling on Decluttr as you would selling your stuff outright, you have to do little to no work to sell, and that makes up for the potentially lower offering prices.
No listing stuff on Craigslist or eBay, no holding a garage sale and no paying seller fees.
Using Decluttr is an easy way to sell your stuff fast.
4. Rent Out a Room on Airbnb
Do you have a spare bedroom – or even a spare couch – in your house? If so, you can rent it out to travelers on Airbnb.
Airbnb is a site that offers rooms, couches or whole houses for rent to travelers who are looking to avoid the expense and lack of personal feel that often comes with traditional hotel rentals.
Some Airbnb travelers are traveling for work-related reasons, some are in town for a special event such as a concert, and others are looking for a short-term place to stay as they travel to a further destination.
When you list your available room on Airbnb, you’re advertising to hundreds of millions of travelers who use Airbnb to find their travel stay destinations.
How much money can you expect to earn if someone rents your room through Airbnb? Well, it depends on where you live; each city has a different average rate, and it can vary based on the amenities you offer as well.
In the major metropolitan area where I live, the average weekly rental rate for a single room is $297. That’s a lot of cash for just letting someone crash at your place for a few days.
If you think renting out a room in your house or apartment might be a great way for you to get money fast, visit the Airbnb site today to learn more about becoming a host.
5. Take Surveys on Survey Junkie
If you find yourself with spare time to browse on your phone, you could make some fast cash by signing up with Survey Junkie.
Survey Junkie pays people for sharing their opinions, and the cool thing about the company is that it allows you to complete surveys whenever you want.
When you complete surveys on their site, Survey Junkie rewards you points, which can then be converted into gift cards at your favorite stores or cash which is transferred to your PayPal account.
You won’t get rich by completing surveys, but you can start earning points right now and get cash quickly.
If you’re eighteen years of age or older and like the idea of making money just for answering questions on your phone, check out Survey Junkie.
You can make money with Survey Junkie even when you’re sitting around watching TV or sitting in the waiting room for your dentist appointment.
6. Deliver Groceries to People
Have you heard of Instacart? They will deliver groceries to your home, and they quickly pay people who deliver groceries to their clients.
As with Uber and Lyft, you can sign in as available for grocery delivery shifts at your convenience.
With both companies, they let you know when there is a delivery opportunity available and you can choose whether or not to take the job.
Your rate of pay as a personal grocery shopper will vary based on a number of factors such as the size of the grocery order and the miles driven for delivery.
A typical reported average pay for doing grocery delivery is $15 an hour. Remember that as with other delivery services, you can get tips along with what you get paid directly from the delivery company.
Depending on which company you sign on with, you might be shopping and delivering the groceries that clients order, or you may just be delivering.
Tips for Making More with Instacart
As with most service jobs, there are things you can do to increase your ability to earn tips as a personal grocery shopper. Here are some suggestions.
- Shop carefully and thoroughly, making sure to get everything on the client’s list and to pick quality produce items
- Deliver quickly and with a smile
- Set the items in your car carefully, so they’re not able to tumble around as you drive
- Keep your vehicle clean and free of garbage or unpleasant smells
Delivering for Instacart could be an excellent way for you to earn cash quickly if you like driving and live near a grocery store.
7. Sell Your Unwanted Clothes
Chances are you have at least a few unwanted clothing items in your closet. If you need money fast you may be able to sell those clothes and get some quick cash.
Luckily, there are several ways to sell your old clothes. If you have a LOT of clothes, you could hold a garage sale, but people typically don’t have enough clothes alone to do that.
Here are some other ways people make money quickly by selling their clothes.
Selling clothes on eBay is very popular – especially when you have a lot of name brand clothing. To get the best price, check out what similar items are going for and price your items a bit lower.
Don’t forget to account for seller fees and shipping charges as you price. Some people find more success when they add shipping charges to the price and offer free shipping, too.
If you have consignment shops in your area, you may be able to bring your clothing there to sell. However, remember that you’ll have a much smaller audience if you sell your clothing that way, so the clothing may not sell as quickly as it might on eBay.
There are online companies such as ThredUp that buy specific brands of clothing from people and then resell them.
Although it is a great way to sell your clothing really fast, you should know that sites like ThredUp don’t pay a lot for clothing and they do have a limited number of brands that they accept.
Selling your clothing could make you quick cash and help you declutter your house at the same time.
8. Be a Tasker on TaskRabbit
Have you heard of TaskRabbit? TaskRabbit is a site people visit if they need a small (or large) task done.
If you sign up to work with TaskRabbit, you might find yourself putting together furniture, running an errand or helping someone with a small home repair such as fixing a leaky faucet.
TaskRabbit clients also request tasks such as virtual assistant work, delivery work or cleaning jobs. For instance, they may request to have their home deep cleaned before they host a holiday party.
Here’s how it works: first, you sign up to be a tasker on the Task Rabbit site. After being approved, you’re notified by the company of available tasks in your area via their free app.
You get to choose the tasks you want to take, and after you finish the job you submit your invoice directly to TaskRabbit, and they collect the payment from the client.
As with Uber and Lyft, taskers for TaskRabbit often get tipped by clients, which could mean extra money in your pocket extra fast.
Your regular paycheck for the work you do for TaskRabbit comes to you weekly. And because you can pick and choose which tasks you want to do, you get to decide when you are available for work with TaskRabbit.
9. Do Freelance Gigs
Are you good at particular skills such as writing short articles, creating resumes, web development, virtual assistant tasks or graphic design?
If so, you could make some money quickly by finding a few freelancing gigs on sites like Upwork. Individuals and companies look for freelancers on Upwork when they need some work done but don’t have enough work to hire an official employee.
Freelancing jobs on Upwork are often finished in a day or two, and you can often work any hours during the day that fit your schedule.
Rates of pay vary on the type of work you’re asked to do.
10. Offer Your Babysitting/Pet Sitting Services
One popular way of making money these days is through pet sitting or child care. The great thing about these types of jobs is that you are usually paid on the spot the same day you do the work or finish the job.
Check with local friends and family members to see if they need a pet sitter or babysitter, or if they’d like an evening out. A reasonable average pay rate for babysitting services is $10 per hour – and more if you are watching several children.
If you can’t find friends, family members or neighbors that need help watching their little ones, you could always sign up with a website like Care.com to find babysitting gigs in your area.
11. Recycle Things
Another way to make money fast is to recycle things. Nearly everything from aluminum cans to scrap metal to electronics may be able to be recycled in your area.
Check your local yellow pages or search online to find businesses in your area that pay for recycled products.
Aluminum cans are probably the easiest product to find for recycling, so gather up your own cans and then check with family, friends, and neighbors to see if you can have theirs and search local parks for discarded cans to recycle.
12. Do Tasks for Family and Friends
If your family and friends are like everyone else, they probably have a slew of tasks they’d like to get done but just can’t find the time to do.
To make money fast, send out an email, text or a note on Facebook letting loved ones know that you’re looking to make some cash quickly and if they have any tasks they’d like to hire you to do.
Some ideas for quick tasks could include:
- Cleaning their house
- Organizing an area, room or house
- Washing their car
- Cleaning up doggy doo from their yard
- Mowing their lawn
- Washing windows
- Raking leaves
Or similar types of tasks. Work with the homeowner to decide a fair price and then get to work. You could find enough work to earn a couple of hundred dollars in one weekend if you look hard enough.
13. Find Gigs on Craigslist
Craigslist has a “gigs” section where people are looking for help doing what usually amounts to quick tasks.
In the “gigs” section you might find somebody asking for help moving, cleaning their home or doing a car repair job.
The gigs section has different types of jobs too, from labor jobs to writing jobs to computer-related jobs. Note that you may find some weird stuff on there also, so search the listings carefully.
14. Get a Job as a Waitperson or Pizza Delivery Person
The great things about wait staff jobs or pizza delivery jobs are that you can usually get hired quickly and start working right away.
And although you likely won’t get a paycheck for a couple of weeks, you will earn tips immediately if you do your job right.
Check with local chain restaurants and pizza delivery places to look for quick work as a wait staff person or delivery person.
15. Run a Mobile Car Wash Service for a Day or Two – or Longer
A mobile car wash service is a great way to earn some money fast. Put together some simple supplies: a bucket, some rags, some towels for drying, some dish soap, window cleaner, some paper towels and a portable, rechargeable vacuum.
Head out into the neighborhood (weekends are usually best – evenings can work too) and go door-to-door offering your mobile car wash service.
It is a task that people know they need done but often just don’t have the time to do. All you need from them is their car and access to their outside water and water hose.
Base your rate on how long you think it will take you and on how messy the car is. Do a terrific job, and you might earn some tips as well.
16. Flip Freebies from Craigslist
Another popular way people earn money fast is to pick up valuable stuff from the free stuff section on Craigslist and then resell it on the same site.
People regularly give away valuable stuff on Craigslist because they don’t want to deal with the selling process.
As I was researching for this article, I found a nice baby crib in the “free” section. Something like this could easily sell for $50 or $100.
17. Find Gigs on Fiverr
Fiverr works kind of like Upwork where you are paid to do a short-term job or task. The difference is that many of the jobs on Fiverr are fast and only pay $5.
For instance, somebody might want you to write a poem for their loved one or draw a quick picture of their pet.
Just search through the jobs on Fiverr and apply for the ones you can do quickly, or create your profile there and offer your services.
18. Take Back Stuff You Bought
If you like to shop and spend a lot of your money on clothes and other stuff, you might be able to come up with some really fast cash by returning items you bought but haven’t used yet.
Search your house and closet for stuff like that DVD movie you just had to have or that sweater you haven’t worn yet.
Take your pile of stuff and the accompanying receipts and bring it back to the store for some quick cash. Chances are you don’t really need it anyway, right?
19. Do Lawn Work for Your Neighbors
Lawn work is one of those tasks that many people would gladly pay to have taken off their hands. If you want quick cash, you can offer a variety of lawn care services.
You could mow lawns, rake leaves, shovel snow in the winter or do basic trimming and landscaping. Other ideas include weeding gardens or clearing out vegetable or flower gardens for the winter.
Prices are generally negotiated per job and are paid for as soon as the job is finished. If you play your cards right, you could be hired on as a regular by some clients and have fast money every week.
20. Hold a Garage Sale
If you have a lot of stuff hanging around your house that you don’t want or need, holding a garage sale could be a great way to get money fast.
Thursdays, Fridays and weekends are usually the best sale days for getting rid of your stuff. Go through your house, gather your stuff up and price it competitively (10% of the retail price is reasonable).
Display your stuff attractively and organize it well to make it easy for people to shop. Gain more traffic by posting your garage sale on Craigslist and hanging up signs around the neighborhood.
Be willing to bargain too. Getting something for an item is better than getting nothing.
Want to make your sale extra attractive? Offer snacks or lemonade for free or cheap.
21. Do Gigs on Gigwalk
Gigwalk is a different type of task site. Gigwalk is a company that helps consumer brands identify and fix potential marketing issues.
When you sign up to be a gigwalker, you’ll have the chance to do a variety of tasks that help the company get feedback for their retail clients.
Gigwalker tasks take anywhere from five minutes to a few hours, and you get to see the task and the pay before you decide whether or not you’ll take it.
You find out which jobs are available on Gigwalk by downloading their app onto your phone. The range for a Gigwalk task might be anywhere from $3 to $100, depending on the task.
A gigwalker might be asked to take a picture of a menu at a restaurant or give feedback about a product display at a store.
Payments are made directly through PayPal.
A Word About Freelancing and Taxes
If you are going to make your cash via any official companies such as Uber, Lyft or Instacart, you should know that depending on the type of gigs you choose, a 1099 form may be issued at the end of the year.
The 1099 form is a tax form issued to freelance workers or contract workers that states how much a company paid them for services provided.
What this means is that you’ll be responsible for reporting the income – and paying the accompanying taxes on the income – you made with the companies you worked for when tax time comes around.
So, if you are planning on making this gig income thing a regular, weekly deal, you may want to consider setting aside a portion of your earnings to pay for any taxes you might owe in April.
If you don’t, you could end up having to do even more gigs to come up with some fast cash to pay Uncle Sam.
As you can see, there are many, many opportunities for making money really quickly. To maximize your income – especially where service types of jobs are concerned – be sure to do your best work.
Developing a good reputation as you do the different jobs you find means people are more likely to call on you when they need help in the future.
Have you ever done any of these jobs to make money fast? What are your favorite ways to make money quickly?