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We all experience times when money is tight, but bills are due.
In addition to the stress this adds to our life, we think about how we can get our hands on quick cash.
An online search for this topic will yield some results but with one significant problem: the ideas are not fast.
If you need extra cash yesterday, refinancing your house isn’t going to work since it will take weeks, even months, to get the money.
You need ideas that will put cash in your pocket as quickly as possible.
So I created this list of 31 ideas.
If you’ve ever thought, “I need money now,” these ideas are for you.
You can have the money to cover unexpected expenses, medical bills, and more.
So stop worrying and start acting using these tips.
Need Money Now? 31 Ways For Fast Cash
#1. Rideshare Driver
A simple and quick way to make extra money is to become a rideshare driver with Uber or Lyft.
You could make money in a few days if you meet the requirements.
If this idea interests you, here are a couple of tips to maximize your income:
- Be on the lookout for events: Is there a wedding, sporting event, or concert? You will increase your odds of finding riders if you are around and available at these times.
- Don’t drive around: It is better to sit in one place and wait for a rider than drive around. You will save money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
- Log out before busy times: When you log out before a busy time, it shows fewer available rides, driving up the price riders pay. Then log in a few minutes after surge pricing goes into effect and benefit.
#2. Sell Stuff Around Your House
We all have stuff around our house we no longer use or want.
To get some cash quickly, you can sell this stuff and use the cash to cover your bills.
For this option to make the most sense, sell items high in value so you don’t have to sell 50 things to come up with the money.
#3. Reduce Your Bills
Many services you pay for are open to negotiation.
The problem is either people don’t know this or have the time.
This is where BillTrim comes in.
You’ve likely heard of other services that negotiate your bills for you, but BillTrim is different.
They ask for a one-time payment and then will get to work lowering your bills.
Even better, they will refund your payment if they can’t save you $300.
People rave about the service and save up to $900 on their bills.
BillTrim is the best way to lower your bills. Make a one time payment and let BillTrim get to work, saving you money. The average user saves up to $900 a year. And if BillTrim can’t save you $300, you don’t pay.
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If you enjoy kids, babysitting is an easy one for you.
Find some neighbors who need help with their kids and offer to watch them.
You can even find mom groups on Facebook looking for sitters.
Charge $20-$25 an hour and start making money.
#5. Have a Garage Sale
If you have things you no longer want and would rather sell them all at once as opposed to listing individual things, hold a garage sale.
Put some ads promoting your sale on Craigslist, Facebook, and the local paper.
If you go with this option, many people will be looking for a deal, so you can’t price your items too high.
This isn’t to say you have to sell your stuff for pennies, but know that if you price too high, you might not sell much.
#6. Walk Dogs
People love their dogs but don’t have the free time to walk and play with their pets as much as they should.
This is where you come in.
You can walk dogs or offer to spend 30 minutes playing with them.
If you charge $20, doing this for five different people earns you $100 a day.
And if you only spend 30 minutes each, that is only two and a half hours.
#7. Pet Sit or House Sit
An easier version of the last tip is to pet or house sit.
Here you take care of people’s animals or their houses when they are traveling.
This might include feeding their pets and giving them some attention, visiting their house to ensure everything is OK, or watering indoor plants or their garden.
To make money the fastest way possible, contact neighbors to see if they need help.
#8. Offer Cleaning Services
Do you enjoy cleaning?
Most people don’t or don’t have the time, so they hire a cleaner.
If you have the time, you can spend a few hours cleaning or organizing someone’s home and make $100 or more.
Tell your friends and family to tell everyone they know, and you’ll be making money before you know it.
#9. Take Surveys
If you enjoy answering questions and learning about new products, then completing paid surveys could be for you.
This option isn’t for those who need a significant amount of money, as most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.
But they are a simple way to bring in some cash.
And here is a trick I use to make $150 or more monthly: Sign up for a few different sites as they all offer different surveys.
Then schedule a time to take them, like on the ride to work or 30 minutes before bed.
#10. Deliver Food
If driving people around isn’t for you, consider delivering them food.
Many people use food delivery apps to get take-out delivered to their home or office, and you can make a decent amount of money doing this.
And if you are open to driving people around, you can do both.
When you don’t have a rider, see if there are food orders to deliver and vice versa.
#11. Sell Scrap Metal
You can make a decent amount of money recycling scrap metal.
To find metal to scrap, search around Craigslist or Facebook.
A lot of people will post free curb alerts for large items like refrigerators and more that they want to get rid of.
You can swing by, pick it up, and recycle it, making money.
#12. Play Games
You can play games, watch videos, and more on sites like Swagbucks.
Earn points that you can convert to cash and deposit the money into your PayPal account.
You aren’t going to make hundreds of dollars overnight with this one, but if you need a smaller amount of money, this is a fun option.
#13. Provide a Service
Do you enjoy mowing lawns? Detailing cars? Planting gardens?
There are endless possibilities for you to make some extra cash on the side.
For example, if you own a van or a truck, you can offer to help people move.
Additionally, there are some specific things you can do as a teacher to make extra money.
Spend a few minutes thinking of what you enjoy doing and then see if you can do it for others and make money.
#14. Find a Job That Pays Cash
There are many jobs out there that pay under the table.
Even better, many of these businesses are struggling to find workers.
This means you can walk in the door, start working, and walk out with cash at the end of your shift.
While working a second job might not be ideal, remember it is temporary until you pay your expenses.
Then you can quit the part-time job and have your free time back.
#15. Donate Plasma
If you don’t need a lot of money, consider donating plasma.
Most places pay you $50 every time you donate, and donating a few times a month could earn you a few hundred dollars.
Do an online search for a few places near you and call to ask what they pay.
You might discover one pays more than the others.
#16. Do Small Tasks
Are you good at putting together Ikea furniture? Maybe know how to swap out an electrical outlet?
People need help with small jobs all the time.
You can find these jobs on sites like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, and Handy.
The best option would be to monitor all three, as most people will only post a job on one app.
#17. Negotiate a Raise
Another great option is to negotiate a raise with your boss.
Depending on your company, this could go into effect immediately, giving you more money the next time you are paid.
To ensure you get a raise, set a meeting with your manager and be honest about why you need some extra cash.
You might have to take on more responsibilities or forego a raise at the end of the year, but the most important thing is you are getting more money now.
Finally, make sure you put a lot of effort into your work from now on so your boss can trust you with future raises.
#18. Cut Your Spending
Cutting your expenses gives you a few ways to have more money to cover your expenses.
If you reduce your grocery bill or drive less, the money that goes towards these things can be used for other expenses.
The trick is to find the ones that will most impact your finances and work on these first.
Then move down the list and cut out more things until you reach your goal.
#19. Barter with People
Here is a great under-the-radar idea that many people don’t talk about.
Reach out to friends and family, and even post ads on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, where you barter with people.
See who needs something that you have that you can exchange cash for.
Someone may need a ride to the airport or help to clear a brush pile.
You could do these tasks for cash.
Alternatively, think outside the box.
You may need money fast so you can hire an electrician.
If you don’t have the cash, call a local electrician and see if they will do the work for you in exchange for babysitting their kids.
Everyone has a need. It’s just a matter of finding the person who needs what you can offer.
#20. Resell Items
This idea could be very lucrative for you.
The easiest way to get started is to go to local thrift shops, buy high-quality items for cheap, and then list them for sale on Facebook Marketplace for a higher price.
Another option is to go to yard sales in wealthy neighborhoods, buy name-brand items on a discount, and resell them online.
Some people love this idea so much they turn it into a side job that makes them close to $1,000 a month or more.
#21. Rent Your Car
If you have a car, or even a second vehicle, that you don’t drive often, consider making money with it instead of sitting there.
There are apps like Turo where you can list your vehicle for others to rent and make $25 or more per day.
The newer and nicer your car, the more you can charge.
#22. Ask Friends and Family for Money
If you are in a pinch, consider contacting friends and family for some cash instead of considering online loans.
The most critical thing when doing this is paying them back, assuming you are asking for a large lump sum.
Money issues ruin too many close relationships, so ensure you repay those you borrow from.
#23. Pawn Something
If you have things of value, like jewelry, musical instruments, and more, consider pawning them.
A pawn shop will give you a loan in exchange for the item, and when you pay the loan back, you get the item.
If you never pay the loan, the item is the pawn shops to sell.
You could even consider finding high-quality items that pawn shops accept and sell them for quick cash.
#24. Community Loans
Are you low-income?
If so, there could be loans your community offers to help you get by.
Additionally, there are assistance programs to help you with your bills and other expenses to help you survive financially.
A good place to start is local shelters and the Salvation Army.
From there, reach out to churches and other non-profit organizations to see what information or support they can provide.
#25. Personal Loan
A personal loan is an option, as this will get you money in a business day or two.
You can get one from an online lender or your local bank.
Most offer flexible repayment terms, ensuring you find one that fits your needs.
The downside is you are going into debt, making your financial picture much more difficult.
But this option is better than putting a charge on your credit card or the options that follow.
If you decide to go this route, contact multiple lenders to find ones with competitive interest rates.
#26. Payroll Advance
Some employers offer the option to get your paycheck early.
This idea works like a loan where your future paychecks have a small payroll deduction taken out to repay the amount you took early.
Some apps even allow you to borrow money online instantly by advancing your paycheck.
As long as you repay the amount you borrow on time, no interest is added to the amount.
All you need to qualify for these advances is a bank account and show recent time sheets.
#27. Ask For Forbearance
If you need money to pay a loan, consider contacting the financial services company.
Tell them you are in a difficult position and ask them to work with you.
The reality is most will because it is cheaper for them to get some money from you than to chase you down for payment or risk not getting paid at all.
They may put you on an extended installment loan or accept delayed payments without late charges or a hit to your credit.
#28. Credit Card Cash Advance
Credit card cash advances allow you to borrow money instantly.
The problem, though, is the interest rates on the cash advance will be sky-high, even higher than your standard interest rate.
This makes repayment difficult for people struggling financially.
And as your balance grows and you are late or miss payments, you find yourself with bad credit, making borrowing money much more expensive.
#29. Payday Loan
Payday loans are popular with some, and while you could go this route, it is to be a last resort.
The reason is that when you consider the interest rate, you could set yourself up for bad times ahead.
In fact, many people that go this route end up stuck in a spiral of taking out additional payday loans to repay the ones they already took out.
This is why payday lenders are happy to loan out the money.
#30. Payday Loan Alternative
While payday loans are not ideal, there is an alternative option.
Since most of these loans charge outrageous interest rates, you can get a short-term loan from a credit union.
The benefit is that Federally chartered credit unions legally can’t charge more than 28% interest, much lower than a traditional payday loan.
#31. Auto Title Loan
You are most likely familiar with auto loans, where you borrow money to buy a car.
But you might not know what auto title loans are.
These loans allow you to borrow against the equity in your car and get the money the same day.
The downside is you are using your car as collateral, so if you don’t repay the loan when you go to sell, you won’t get the total amount.
A portion will go to pay off the loan, and you will get what is left.
However, the benefit of this is that there is no credit check, so as long as you have a vehicle with equity, you qualify.
#32. Borrow From Your Retirement Account
Another option I don’t recommend is borrowing from your retirement account.
It sounds like a great idea. You borrow from yourself and pay yourself back the money.
The nice thing about this is there is no credit check, so you can borrow money instantly.
But the problem is that you will have a lot less saved for retirement because you miss out on your money compounding.
Worse, if you lose your job or leave before you repay the loan, you must pay it back immediately or pay penalties and fees.
#33. Borrow Against Life Insurance
If you need money, you can consider borrowing against your life insurance policy if you have a policy with a cash value.
The nice thing here is you are not required to repay when you borrow money, as the insurance company will deduct that amount from the policy amount when you pass away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it wise to borrow money if I need money now?
Ideally, when you need money, finding ways to earn fast cash is better.
This is because when you borrow money, you put yourself in a difficult financial position moving forward, as you now have additional bills you need to repay.
The result could mean you need more money to get by.
If you have to go this route because you have no other options, research your loan options to find the best one.
Then only borrow the amount you need to cover expenses and nothing more.
What are the best options for obtaining money when I need money?
Being a rideshare or delivery driver are easy ways to get cash in a short amount of time.
From there, see if you can take on odd jobs to cover the rest of the emergency expense you need to pay.
If you do work a second job, make sure you put some of the money you earn to the side, as it is taxable income, and you will need to pay taxes on it.
If you ever said to yourself, “I need money now,” you have solid options to get the cash you need.
I encourage you to try to earn money instead of going into debt, as this will only make your financial situation more challenging.
Not only do you risk destroying your credit scores and going from good credit to bad credit, but you make it more likely that managing financials will be an issue for you for years to come.
Avoid the debt and work on your financial literacy so you can have the extra money in savings to cover emergency expenses when they come up.
It won’t be easy, but it is better than being stuck on the hamster wheel and needing cash instantly every few months.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.