When I was in college, I felt like I was always uttering the words “I need money NOW!”
In fact, I needed cash so much one time that I opened a store credit card at NewEgg. I bought electronics and sold them at a loss. So I could turn credit into cash.
Yeah, it was terrible.
I’d imagine most of us have felt at one point or another – helpless. It’s not uncommon for us to feel overwhelmed by bills or not having enough in our checking accounts.
In fact, money is the number one cause of stress for us.
The point is – there are times when we need to get some extra money, fast. Unfortunately, the ways of doing this aren’t always legit or safe.
In this article, I’ll share 38 different ways you can make money fast if you need cash right now. Let’s get started.
1. Share your knowledge on Udemy
We all have something that we can teach someone else. Take a few minutes to think about what you do pretty well. Or at the very least, better than the average person.
With platforms like Udemy, you can create an online course about anything. Assuming you’re well-versed in the subject matter of course.
Udemy is one of the most popular online learning platforms today. It’s helped millions of ordinary people earn money online by selling courses they’ve created.
The best part about Udemy is that you only need to bring your knowledge. They will take care of the advertising and the back-end technical stuff for you. This makes it super easy to build an online course and start selling.
2. Take part in paid online surveys
We all know that information is power, at least when it comes to companies. Companies can use the information we provide to get a leg up on their competition.
That’s why surveys are so popular. And from a cost perspective, paying a small fee for a study to collect valuable data makes a lot of sense.
For us, it’s a quick and easy way to make money. Answering questions about yourself, a product, or service is simple. And companies are willing to pay for your feedback.
The problem today is that many “survey sites” aren’t legit. You have to look for the best ones that will not only pay you but pay you fast. Who the hell wants to wait four to six weeks to get a check for $5?
3. Earn money with your car (driving or renting out)
Believe it or not, having a car is one of the best (and fastest) ways to make money today. The first, and most obvious, way is by driving for Uber or Lyft. If you meet the requirements to become a driver, you can actually earn some decent money.
The nice thing about driving for Uber or Lyft is that you can do it when you want to or when you have time.
I’ve been taking a lot of Uber and Lyft rides lately, so I’ve been asking the drivers what they think about it. In doing this informal research, I found that most drivers love it. They love it because they can make their own hours and it gives them some quick extra cash.
If you don’t have time to drive around, there’s Getaround. Getaround helps you earn money by renting your car out to other people. Getaround is perfect when you need money and have a car that you aren’t using.
The app is great since it comes with an insurance policy. So in case anything happens to your car, you don’t need to worry about coverage or getting paid.
You can also get some instant cash by signing up.
4. Deliver food with Uber Eats
If you don’t own a car, don’t worry. You can start making some quick cash today delivering food using your scooter or bike. Sign up with Uber Eats and begin providing food for people around town.
Uber Eats doesn’t need an Uber-approved car, despite its name. Complete an application and download the app. Then, you can start receiving and attending to delivery requests within your area.
I love how flexible the app is. You can work both day and night, for as long as you like. Given the increasing number of people buying food online, Uber Eats makes sense. It can earn you some good fast money anywhere in the world even if you don’t own a car.
5. Deliver groceries using Instacart
Instacart is another excellent app if you’re interested in delivering food. Grocery shopping is inevitable. Everyone has to do grocery shopping at least once a month and most people don’t find it very fun.
I guess this explains why Instacart has become an instant hit (ha!). Many people are willing to outsource tasks like grocery shopping. And Instacart has made this possible.
The principle behind this app is like Uber Eats. You need to sign up and confirm your availability. From there, you can start doing grocery shopping for others.
Earnings are dependent on a variety of factors. Things like the size of an order, driving distance, and the complexity of items will impact pay. Besides earning a fixed rate, you can also make money from tips. I haven’t tried Instacart yet, but I know people who average $15 an hour on the app.
6. Run errands and complete small tasks with TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is another excellent app. It lets you earn money doing simple chores and errands. And they don’t always revolve around shopping. If you know how to fix furniture, for instance, there may people living in your area who are willing to pay you.
The app goes beyond fixing furniture, though. You can earn money by cleaning, moving, doing personal assistant tasks, and much more.
TaskRabbit sends you a notification when there are tasks nearby. You decide which jobs to take. From there, you confirm the details with clients before doing the task and getting paid. Like Rover (more on this below), many TaskRabbit users work full-time on the platform.
There will always be a demand for handymen. And errands are never-ending.
So, earning money on TaskRabbit is fast and easy, and will be around for a long time. I love the flexibility since app users keen on making money select tasks when they want to.
7. Complete jobs online with Fiverr or Mechanical Turk
If you don’t mind doing chores for others but prefer online assignments, Fiverr is an option to consider. You can complete a variety of jobs online – from writing to making videos for other people – in exchange for a fee.
Fiverr is among the most popular platforms for advertising any service you can offer. I’ve tried out Fiverr as a buyer in the past, and I love it.
The app doesn’t restrict you from offering one service, either. There are thousands of gigs at any given time.
As long as you have a skill set that’s sought after, you shouldn’t have a problem making money right away from Fiverr. Follow Fiverr guides to the letter to increase your chances of securing work on the platform.
Mechanical Turk is another great online platform for doing small online tasks. The Amazon-owned system offers many different opportunities. Things, like taking surveys, editing transcriptions and moderating content, are common jobs. A serious “turker” can earn $500 to $2,000+ monthly.
8. Rent out your home or spare room with Airbnb
Airbnb is another great way of earning money fast using resources you already have. I have friends who have tested Airbnb both as a homeowner and guest. And they have nothing but great things to say about this money-making method.
You can rent out a spare bedroom, or even your entire house, to someone else and earn up to over $100 a day. Airbnb turns homeowners (as well as renters) into landlords in an instant.
And you don’t need to worry about safety, security, or property damage. Airbnb has a $1 million insurance policy to cover all possible risks. Also, you can charge a cleaning fee or security deposit to cover losses or other occurrences.
Airbnb has over 150 million users globally. They also have 1.9+ million bookable listings, so it shouldn’t be a problem getting renters if you have a decent offer.
9. Walk dogs with Rover
This money making method is perfect for you when you are in a pinch, AND you love dogs. As a dog lover, I’d consider walking dogs for free, so the sound of earning money walking them is irresistible.
Dog walking has is becoming revolutionized by tech. If you want to earn money fast as a dog walker, consider apps like Rover. The app connects pet owners and trusted dog sitters from the U.S. and beyond.
What’s more – the app is excellent for other dog or pet related activities such as house sitting and doggie daycare. Rover has made dog walking and related jobs very lucrative. Hell, you can turn dog walking into a full-time job if you want.
Consider dog walking with the Rover app if you need some immediate cash and you love dogs (or pets) in general.
10. Offer babysitting services through Care.com
You can choose to get babysitting clients the old fashioned way, sure. But it could take you a while before making some money.
If you don’t have any family or friends that need a babysitter, it can be a daunting task trying to find work. Platforms like Care.com allow you to find clients fast and easy.
You don’t have to know anyone with children to get a babysitting job near your area. Care.com connects parents and sitters together.
You can earn about $10 an hour watching one child. And MUCH more watching several children together.
Care.com is flexible, too. You can work when you want. The prospects of becoming a full-time babysitter are also high when you’re referred.
11. Declutter with Decluttr
You can make some decent money today by decluttering thanks to apps like Decluttr. You might be broke, but chances are you have tons of valuable clutter in your home.
Things like CDs, games, books, phones, and other “stuff” that might seem like junk may actually have value. Decluttr can turn most (if not all) items you consider useless into income immediately.
You need to sign up and scan the item or enter the barcode. The app will offer a price for the item. Proceed by printing a free shipping label and ship off the item.
Finally, you get paid 24 hours after Decluttr receives your clutter. It’s that fast and simple, considering everyone has valuable clutter in their home.
12. Earn from freebies with Ibotta, Dosh, and Ebates
Whether you are broke or not, you still need to spend money on groceries, right? Why not make those dollars count by using Ibotta? Ibotta, among other cashback apps, allow you to earn money on everyday purchases.
There are many freebie opportunities to consider other than Ibotta, too. For instance, you can use Dosh to get cash back ($5) for every card you link.
Another essential cash back app is Ebates which offers a $10 cash back when you spend $25. You won’t make thousands of dollars from cashback apps, no. But you do stand to save money you would have otherwise spent.
13. Sell clothes on eBay or ThredUp
We all have unwanted garments in our closets that could fetch some quick cash. Some large online platforms make selling unwanted clothes fast and easy.
You don’t need to have a garage sale, limiting yourself to buyers near you. eBay is among the most popular platforms to consider. Especially when you have branded clothing.
Register and check the cost of similar clothing. Proceed by setting an attractive price. Don’t forget to include shipping charges and seller fees.
Other great platforms include ThredUp, which buys and resells specific brands of clothes. ThredUP doesn’t offer high prices, but this might not be an issue when you’re getting rid of clothes you don’t want anyway.
14. Use Trim to curb your spending
Overspending is among the main reasons why you can’t save money. Even when you earn a decent income. You can get some spare cash by reorganizing your expenses.
Practicing frugality can help cut any future instant cash needs. Luckily, some apps can find some quick and easy wins when it comes to improving spending habits.
For instance, Trim can find extra subscriptions you should cancel. Trim can also negotiate current bills (such as cable).
They’ll even spot you better and cheaper car insurance. Although you won’t make direct money, Trim can optimize your budget. They do this by freeing up five percent or more of real money you would have otherwise wasted.
The app is free and worth trying. Even if it’s only a few bucks – that’s a few bucks you didn’t have before.
15. Install apps or allow ads on your smartphone
Some companies will pay you to place ads on your smartphone or install apps. These apps run in the background.
They gather information about your spending habits, among other data. If you don’t mind sharing how much you’re spending on groceries, for example, these apps will offer you easy money.
You need to understand the kind of information that is being collected, though. Also, install apps from companies with a valid profile to safeguard your privacy.
If you want regular usage rewards, sign up with Nielsen. Nielsen will give you $50 or more every year to install and keep apps on your phone.
Google’s Opinion Rewards is another great app for rewards. Get paid $100 or more by letting Google track your internet usage.
Google uses this information to increase the effectiveness of their advertising programs. Targeted at users like us.
16. Become a freelance writer
Freelance writing is another great avenue for making quick money online. There are a couple of options you can take if you want to be a freelance writer.
The positive to these types of sites is that you can get a lot of work, fast. The downsides are that they may not pay much and you may not get consistent clients.
For more info, check out my article on where to find freelance writing jobs for beginners.
The second (and better) option is to become a real freelance writer. One that writes for major online publications.
I do this for a few sites right now, and it can be very lucrative. You also develop long-term relationships and referrals if you’re good.
To get started, I’d HIGHLY recommend checking out Earn More Writing. It’s a super in-depth course on making a full-time income by freelance writing.
Holly Johnson, a fellow freelancer, designed the course end-to-end. She makes six-figures a year by doing freelance writing, too.
So she knows what she’s talking about. Be sure to check it out if you want to step up your game.
17. Find a Craigslist gig
If you prefer to do quick tasks online but don’t know what to do, head over to Craigslist’s gig section. The gig section features people looking for help on various quick tasks.
Craigslist’s gigs can be anything from helping someone move to cleaning a home or doing an auto repair task. The gigs can be online or offline (i.e., labor tasks to online-computer related jobs).
There is no limit to the kinds of gigs you can find on Craigslist so, search and pick gigs with care.
18. “Flip” freebies from Craigslist or Facebook
Once you find free stuff that has value, you can resell it on Craigslist or another website. On Facebook, you can search for a local buy-sell-trade group that often has freebies, too.
People give away all kinds of stuff on Craigslist or Facebook for a variety of reasons. It’s usually because they don’t want to go through the selling process. It’s possible to pick up some gems, too.
19. Transcribe with Speechpad
There are a ton of money-making opportunities online that need little to no skill. Transcribing is one of them.
You need to put your fingers into good use, and you can earn up to $20 or more making a text file out of an audio or video file. There are a few good transcribing platforms today; but, I’ve heard Speechpad is by far the best.
You can start earning some good cash immediately if you are a speedy typist. Transcribing is a great way to earn money online if you have some spare time.
You also need excellent typing skills and an excellent transcribing platform. With rates averaging $0.4 per minute, it’s easy to make $100+ on a weekend typing on your computer at home.
20. Pawn something
If you don’t mind a new “adventure”, you can consider pawning what you don’t need. Pawn shops are available in most towns. You can visit a local pawn shop and sell jewelry, electronics, or any other valuable items you don’t need.
Pawn shops offer fast cash for valuable items. Be mindful of the risks, though.
Pawn shops will provide only a small fraction of the real value of something. So I’d avoid pawning precious items and find another way to sell those.
Pawn shops are good for selling stuff that you don’t want or would otherwise be junk. For instance, an old (but functional) TV or smartphone is excellent, as long as you have a newer one.
21. Donate plasma
If you’re broke and have a tolerance for displeasure, consider donating plasma. You can find a plasma center in your local area and earn over $40 on your first donation.
The pay may not be much, but $40 can come in handy when you don’t have money for gas or food. Make sure to take some precautions if you choose to donate plasma, though, as there are risks. Most important, remember to drink enough water/fluids after giving.
You should also view this fast money making method as a one-off opportunity. There are limitations on the number of times you can donate plasma.
You need to abide by these limitations as well as other essential requirements. This is for your own sake as well as that of the recipient.
22. Do tasks for family members and friends
If you hate asking for money, try an approach I like – offering to do jobs in exchange for cash. Appealing to others’ self-interests is excellent when you want help without creating resistance.
This is because it gives the other party an excellent reason to help you. Plus, it’s easier today to reach out to family and friends when you need help.
You can use Facebook and let your loved ones know you are willing to work to make some quick money. You can have a list of tasks you’d prefer to do or leave it open to suggestions.
It could be anything from cleaning a home to washing their car – duties they would pay someone else to do.
You can offer incentives such as a lower price. It may surprise you how many family members or friends have jobs they’d give you over paying someone else.
23. Run a mobile car wash
You can also make some quick money today running a mobile car wash. Carwash services are sought-after. BIG TIME.
Plus you only need a few supplies. Things like rags, a bucket, a vacuum cleaner, window cleaner, and some soap will get you started.
You can set up your own mobile car wash in your neighborhood within minutes and start earning money. This fast money making idea is perfect during the weekends and evenings when most people are at home.
What’s more – every car owner needs this task done, but most don’t have time to do it themselves. You can start running a mobile car wash in your neighborhood on a door-to-door basis.
It may shock you how many people are willing to give you repeat work if you do a great job. You can even turn this service into a real business.
24. Ask for a pay raise
This may be the most overlooked method of earning more money when you already have a job. Have you asked for an increase lately? If you need cash right now, it may be because you don’t earn enough money.
I have been in many jobs where I felt I was not paid well. For some of those jobs, all I needed to do was ask for a pay raise.
If you find yourself broke because you don’t earn enough, it doesn’t hurt to ask your boss for a pay increase. A pay bump of as little as a $1 an hour can increase your income by over $2,000 a year and save you from taking short-term loans.
Plus, it only takes a few minutes to have a conversation with your boss about it.
25. Switch banks/bank accounts
You could be broke because you are banking with the wrong bank or you have chosen the wrong account. Switching to a bank that earns you a higher interest will start making you money immediately.
It may take time (weeks or a month) to get physical cash. But, you’ll start making money right away.
This option is perfect if you have savings accounts with a considerable amount of money. You should be in constant search of the best interest deals if you love safe investments.
Things like savings accounts don’t offer a high-interest rate but can be very reliable. It may “wow” you by how much small interest rate earnings can earn you in a year.
Take a few minutes each month to review your current interest rate against other offers. Taking the best interest deals can earn you enough money to pay off debt. It’s also easier to shop for deals using free comparison tools online.
As we move to more sustainable living, many businesses will pay you for recyclables. You can make money selling anything from aluminum cans to old electronics.
Check online or your local yellow pages to find businesses operating in this space. If you need some quick cash right away, aluminum cans are most accessible to find for recycling.
You could also gather up old electronics from friends, family members, and neighbors. The search can extend to your local park too.
27. Use your money-back guarantee
Almost everything you buy nowadays comes with a money-back guarantee. When you find yourself needing money, it’s a good idea to consider returning things. Things you’ve purchased but don’t find useful anymore are prime candidates.
If you like shopping, this should be easy. The average household spends a considerable amount of money. We buy things like clothes, shoes, accessories, and entertainment every month. It’s easy to find something you can return and get some fast cash.
It could be anything from a gadget you can live without to DVDs. Or how about an online course you don’t find useful anymore? Many of these come with a no-questions-asked 100% money back guarantee.
If you search your home, I’m sure you’ll find something you can return in exchange for some instant cash.
28. Redeem your reward points
If you’ve been earning reward points from credit cards, you could have hundreds of dollars lined up. You can use points to pay for groceries or gas, among other expenses. 1.5% cash back may not be much. Yet, it’s good to know you can buy some groceries or pay for gas when you are broke.
29. Apply for a short-term loan with Prosper
If you aren’t in a position to work or engage in any of the above activities, you can consider taking a loan. This shouldn’t be your first option since you must pay back loans with interest.
But, there are many instant loan platforms online that cater to people who need money now.
You can conduct a simple search online to find local lenders near you. I advocate for small, short-term loans when you can pay them fast.
Also, be sure to choose a loan with a reasonable interest rate. You don’t have to go to traditional banks. There are peer-to-peer lending networks like Prosper to look at. These tested P2P networks are great – from payment terms to accessibility.
30. Complete tasks with Field Agent
Complete tasks in your area in exchange for cash payments made to PayPal. Travel to the site suggested by the app, complete each step as required by the client, and send the report.
Within hours, Field Agent approves most tasks. Check the balance in your account and ask for a payout. Keep in mind that tasks change daily.
31. Do research for EasyShift
Record prices of products, take photos or give your opinion in exchange for cash. Easy Shift submits payments within 48 hours to PayPal. The app is free to download and easy to use.
32. Take random gigs with Gigwalk
Like the first two apps I mentioned, Gigwalk matches Gigwalkers with gigs. Once approved, complete the task, and send it. When everything checks out alright on Gigwalk’s end, you receive payment via PayPal.
If you’re out and about, check to see if there are any tasks in the area need to complete. Make sure to follow each step, though. Many projects need you to be in the store or restaurant at the time of the report. Double check completed tasks to receive credit for them.
33. Have a garage sale
Weather permitting, hold a garage sale. Use the money to pay your rent or mortgage payment, utility, medical or credit card bills. It’s more accessible to get help from your credit card company than a landlord. Or the bank who expects you to adhere to the guidelines stated in loan contracts.
34. Sell your old phone
Don’t discount the value of your “junk” until you’ve done some research. Specific makes and models of cell phones earn you cold hard cash even when they’re broken. Check out places like Gazelle and uSell to dump that available phone for money.
35. Sell empty printer cartridges
36. Sell scrap metal
Always see what others are willing to pay you for something you’d throw away or toss in the recycling bin. For example, you can get up to $0.85 per pound for aluminum, so be sure to save those beer cans.
37. Do online tasks for Crowdsource
After getting trained and tested, you’ll become a qualified worker. Once that happens, you can then choose from many different jobs to do for money. Some examples are writing, moderation, quality assurance, and research.
CrowdSource rewards you for performing at high levels, and they have production-based pricing. So the more work you do (and the faster you do it), the more money you’ll make.
38. Do local odd jobs
Mow lawns, shovel snow, or clear out someone’s garage. Ask that the person you do the work for pays you in cash. Think of how to make the best use of your downtime then roll up your sleeves and get busy.
Making extra money requires work. If the other options I shared don’t earn you enough, you may have no other choice than to do physical labor.
39. Sell your creations
Think about how to make bank off the things you love to do. If you paint, set aside time to work on a couple of pieces and put them up on Facebook for others to see.
Take the jewelry you’ve made, the cookies you’ve baked or the plants you’ve grown and do the same. It’d floor you at how fast people jump to buy things handcrafted by you. Etsy is a fantastic place to sell your art and other creative inspirations online.
Well, there you have it. 39 different ways of making money right now.
Not all these will be as easy as you’d like, but they should get you paid pretty fast. Stop feeling wrong about needing money now. Get up and take some action today.
Now, it’s your turn:
What tactics have you used to get quick cash when you need money now? Please share in the comments below, I’d love to hear your feedback.
Chris is the founder of Money Mozart, a blog about personal finance. He discusses frugality, minimalism, and achieving financial independence by living well below your means. He’s also an avid craft beer lover and an aspiring minimalist.