Sometimes fast cash needs to be just that – fast! When an unexpected event hits our wallets (and we didn’t build an emergency fund beforehand!), it can be hard to not just sit and wallow.
As a parent, though, sulking simply isn’t an option. So when random events call for more money than we have on hand, it’s on us to get creative to solve the budget problems.
While getting a second job is a possible solution, most people don’t want to have huge amounts of their time at the disposal of another job after their first. Thankfully the internet provides us with many ways to earn money on the side without having to give up 2/3 of our daily hours.
The turnaround time on some of these varies, but none of them should take longer than two weeks to get you cash in your pocket, though some do have fixed payout schedules. Still, we have avoided including anything where the payout is months in advance; the goal of this article is to provide quality earning potential as quickly as possible in as many ways as possible.
As is typically the case, some of the links below may be affiliate links; this means I’ll earn should you click through to make a purchase or sign up for a service. This is no way impacts my recommendation of said products or services.
22 Ways To Make Cash Fast
With the advent of constant internet access via our phones, Postmates has gone from a few shops in major cities to being pretty much available anywhere. The company connects a goods-provider like a restaurant with a delivery person – you – and then your job is to get the goods to the customer, for which you’re paid a fee. You can sign up at the link above and download the app to start delivering pretty much anything and get paid for it.
We’ve done a Textbroker review in the past but if writing is a skill you possess they are still the best bet for finding reliable work in a large variety of subjects. They pay out every Thursday (you have to actually manually request a payout) but it will be in your Paypal on Friday. Again, if writing is your thing, few online “jobs” are going to be as reliable as this one.
Amazon’s Mturk program
Always at the forefront of data gathering, Amazon offers a wide variety of at-your-desk jobs that don’t require a lot of skill or effort. Mostly product reviews and information-gathering, Mturk pays you money to poke around in Amazon’s database.
If you’re not writing-inclined but you have another marketable skill like graphic design or marketing, Freelancer has more options that might suit your talents. As a freelancer, you can “bid” on jobs in order to get the opportunity to do them and then of course get paid. They pay bi-weekly, and if you sign up using this link, you’ll earn $20 into your account once you start completing jobs. Check it out!
Another freelancing service, Upwork has a VERY broad range of jobs, from writing to proof-reading to actual voice acting work, so you’re bound to find something that speaks to your passions and talents. In addition, Upwork has some very entry-level jobs that might not pay great but you’re almost guaranteed to get, and you can build up from there to get better and better paying jobs.
Do some mystery shopping
The MSPA (Mystery Shopper Providers Association) is an ever-growing bank of mystery shopping jobs. These typically pay you through reimbursing your cost at the shop and then an additional fee or products. While it’s not as reliable as some of the other work on this list, it’s a nice way to get a free meal and supplement your income in the process.
BestMark is another great mystery shopping site to check out!
Gigwalk pays you to scope out an area and take photos, record data, and report it back. Think of it like Google maps, but from a human perspective with human input. The pay isn’t outstanding but you’re effectively getting paid to walk and take photos, which most people do anyway.
Somewhat like Gigwalk, Foap allows you to snap photos from their app on your phone and upload them to their site. When a brand likes your picture and wants to buy it, they pay $10, which Foap splits with you. If you’ve got an eye for photography, a good camera on your phone, and a creative mindset, you can make a lot of money for a few snaps a day.
Since we’re on the topic of photography, don’t forget that Shutterstock is another great way to earn money! Many people turn to Shutterstock for their blogs, advertisements, websites, and more. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you can still earn money every month submitting photos.
Fiverr is another online job site, with a variety of offerings that will suit your particular talents. While you can set up a variety of offers, many look to Fiverr for things like designing a logo, writing up a blurb for a website, or resume help.
Drive for Uber
Uber has made taxis obsolete in a lot of cities, and it’s little wonder why with their accessibility and real-time reviews, you don’t need to worry about slow, rude taxi service. Driving for Uber can earn you some serious money if you’re good, keep a clean vehicle, and you’re consistently working. The link above will take you directly to their driver application page.
Nothing beats the old standby of mowing lawns, bagging leaves, or shoveling snow. No matter the weather, your neighbors probably have work they need done. Offer to do it for them and if you do well, you might find yourself with a steady source of easy money.
Check your local university for paid participation
This is particularly great if you live in a large city with a bustling college campus nearby. Universities are always paying people for certain types of participation. For instance, legal colleges might hold mock juries that will pay you in cash immediately upon the completion of your involvement. Some research colleges will pay you for participation in drug trials, psychological studies, or survey research panels. It’s worth calling to find out!
There are so many great ways to earn quick cash simply by doing something you need to do anyway – clean out the closets and declutter! While the benefits of decluttering are innumerable, making money certainly tops that list.
Start selling on Ebay
Selling on Ebay seems like a given, but many forget it’s an option. Whether you have collector’s items you’re looking to get rid of or simply a bundle of children’s clothing, getting started selling on Ebay is easier than it seems!
Sell gold or silver
Those pawn shops and “We Buy Gold” places are going to give you less than your jewelry/silverware/whatever is worth because they can. Instead, take your pieces to a coin dealer or a reputable pawn shop. It also helps to weigh your gold in advance. Those pop-up “we buy gold” places will try different tactics to give you less than your gold is worth, so be careful. Finally, go to a few different places with your gold or silver to get the best price among them; never just sell to the first place you go.
Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist
This is a no-brainer, but often overlooked. Sure, you can get some great sales at a flea market or by hosting a successful garage sale, but if you’re really in a hurry, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are still your best bet for efficient turnover on your items. What’s faster than finding a buyer, meeting, and exchanging goods for cash? Just be safe about it and meet in a populated, well-lit area.
Sell your electronics to Gazelle
Gazelle is a service that lets you send in your old phone and other devices for quick cash. Follow the banner ad below to get a fast quote on your device. Additionally, you can drop it off a their Gazelle kiosks, located throughout the country (typically in Walmarts). They even offer free shipping on any transaction over $1. If you’ve recently upgraded devices and/or have an old one sitting around, why not make some cash off it?
Sell your old stuff to a pawn shop
This is probably one of the oldest methods to getting quick cash but there’s a good reason pawn shops are a centuries-old business; they work. If you have quality items in good shape, pawn shops are your best bet.
Sell old instruments
There is a robust market for old instruments, particularly violins and brass like trumpets and tubas. Nobody wants to pay full price for a new one. If you’ve got an old one lying around, you can make some quick money on Craiglist or the Facebook Marketplace. If you want to sell more quickly, skip the pawn shop and head to a music store. They’re far more likely to offer you a real amount rather than try and pull one over on you.
Try a consignment shop for clothes
One of my favorite ways to save money on kids clothes is by buying used and re-selling later. While it’s not a guarantee, these shops will give you likely the best price you’ll get for clothes.
You’re online anyway, why not make some money? There are many ways to make money online, but here are some of the ones that’ll pay quick.
Ever downloaded an app or went to a site and thought “this is an awful site”? How would you like to be PAID to express those thoughts? That’s where UserTesting comes in! This site allows you to view a website, and use your device’s microphone to capture your review. You’ll get paid a minimum of $10 per accepted review, so it’s not chump change either.
Though it can be a grind, InboxDollars is a great way to earn money with surveys. You can also earn by playing games, using their search engine, and referring friends. They also have a variety of contests you can win, which is always fun.
Not sure where to start? Check out this guide on how to earn with InboxDollars!
Earn some quick cash when you need it most
Naturally some of these methods will reap far more immediate rewards – like pawning gold – but the drawback is more substantial. Earning some side money will never hurt and will help create a buffer in circumstances where you need it fast. Even if you’re not in dire need at this moment, give some of these a try today.