If you find yourself saying, “I need money NOW!”, trust me. You're not alone. Nearly everyone has faced a situation where they needed cash for an emergency, and there are times when budgets run tight.
If your bank account is empty and your credit cards are maxed out, what are you to do?
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to get cash in your pocket in the next 24 hours. They may not all be glamorous, but you could rely on these methods in a pinch.
24 Ways to Make Money Right Now
Need cash now? Work your way through this list to find a few ways to put money in your pocket in just a few hours.
#1: Give plasma.
Donating plasma requires a strong tolerance for displeasure. Not only do you need to fill out annoying forms and stand in long lines, but you have to let someone draw your blood, too! But if you’re up for it – and your local plasma center is open – you can usually score at least $40 for your first donation, and maybe more.
That’s not a lot of cash, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers!
When I was in college, I found myself in this exact situation. Needing money now I headed to the local plasma center and plopped myself on the donating table. One word of caution: be sure to drink plenty of fluids! It was in the middle of the summer and apparently I was a bit dehydrated so I was there much longer than expected. Either way, I may some quick cash and got some free apple juice in the process. 🙂
#2: Use TaskRabbit.
The wonders of the internet have led to a number of ways people can make money quickly. One website that helps in this respect is TaskRabbit. By signing up, you can run errands for people and earn cash in return.
Jobs can vary greatly, but common tasks include picking up laundry from the cleaners, making a grocery run, picking up prescriptions, and walking dogs. If you don’t mind doing random stuff in exchange for fast cash, this is an option you should definitely consider.
#3: Watch dogs with Rover.com.
Do you love dogs? If you do, you can make some easy money for doing something that comes naturally. With a service like Rover.com, you can connect with dog owners who need someone to watch their pets overnight. Best of all, you can easily earn up to $49 per night per pet depending on your location and the rates people charge nearby.
#4: Tear your house and car apart to find money.
Most of us have money stashed all over the place. We might have a dollar stuck in the back of our wallet, a $20 bill in an old jacket, and an ashtray in our car stuffed to the brim with quarters and dimes. If you really need money fast, you should get to work tearing your place apart. Make sure to check in all the places you keep money often, or may have kept money in the past.
You may not get a lot of cash with this method, but anything you find will help!
#5: Return stuff you don’t want…and get cash!
We all make purchases that don’t work out the way we want. Sometimes, we might even stuff that purchase in a closet with the tags still attached. If you have stuff you can return, you should definitely try. With or without a receipt, some retailers will give you cash back for your purchase or, at the very least, store credit.
This is more of a refund on your own money, but hey, it works! Before you look for more ways to earn money fast, check around your house for stuff you bought, never used, and could potentially return.
#6: Pawn something you really don’t want.
Pawn shops offer quick cash for items you don’t want, yet offer just a fraction of the actual value of your item. That’s why I only suggest this strategy if you have stuff you do not want and have no intention to keep.
Items that can help you score big at a pawn shop include things like guns, jewelry, and electronics, although other items might work well, too. I once had dreams of being the next Led Zeppelin and saved to buy a Fender guitar. You know how many times I played it? Maybe two. So much for my dream of becoming a rock star! Recognizing I wouldn't be taking the main stage anytime soon, I was able to get some of my money back at a local pawn shop.
Like I said though, you should only pawn stuff you will never miss!
#7: Borrow from friends or family.
Need money quickly? It may pay to turn to family and friends for a temporary loan. While this situation may be uncomfortable, it can work in a pinch. Just make sure you get the loan terms in writing to avoid hurt feelings and get everyone on the same page.
If you want more reinforcement, you can facilitate a loan from family or friends through an app like Ledge or Venmo. By using one of these services, you can create a digital history of your loan, plus set up a repayment plan that makes sense.
#8: Consider a personal loan.
If you have a credit card already, you can normally take out cash with an ATM or one of those cash advance checks they send in the mail. While this option can work, expect to pay a cash advance fee plus credit card interest if you don’t pay the loan off right away.
That's why personal loans can be the much better option. Getting approved for a personal loan used to be a hassle, but with the evolution of technology, it's much simpler. Online lenders, like Discover Personal Loans, for example, have removed much of the headaches and hassles of getting approved.
#9: Sell stuff on craigslist.
We all have used stuff we don’t want anymore. Why not sell it? By setting up a few simple (and free) ads on craiglist, you can offload things like furniture, CDs, electronics, and even clothing.
If you belong to any Facebook resale groups, you can also post your items for sale there. Just make sure to price your items so they will sell quickly. With the right item, the right price, and a little bit of luck, you could have cash in your hands (and less stuff to worry about) in no time.
#10: Turn on your Uber app.
This strategy will only work if drive for Uber already. Still, it might be worth signing up now if you know you'll need money in the future.
Uber is a ride sharing app that lets regular people earn money for driving people around. You do have to get your vehicle approved and meet special standards ahead of time, but it’s a quick and painless way to earn money once you’re all set up! The best part about Uber is that you don’t have to commit to working certain hours. If you want to earn cash, you can turn your Uber app on. If you aren’t ready to work, leave your app turned off. It really is as simple as that.
#11: Complete a task through Fiverr.
If you have technical or design skills, advertising your services on a website like Fiverr is a smart move. Not only can you score ongoing work, but you can pick up one-off jobs that lead to cash fairly quickly.
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One day, you might get asked to design someone’s logo. On another, you might be asked to create a PDF. The jobs you’ll get hired for really depend on your current skillset and list of abilities.
Either way, setting up a profile on Fiverr is a smart way to earn cash fast if you know what you’re doing online.
#12: Scan receipts into ReceiptHog.
This probably sounds crazy, but at least one website will pay you for scanning in receipts. ReceiptHog is an app that lets you earn cash back just for scanning in receipts for stuff you already bought.
They don’t even have to be your receipts, really. I mean, ReceiptHog won’t know if you scan your mom’s grocery receipt and claim it as your own!
If you want quick money, you better start scanning!
#13: Babysit some kids.
Do you know anyone with kids? A few people? Chances are, someone you know needs some child care within the next few days. By placing an ad on Facebook or messaging some friends, you may be able to score a fairly quick babysitting gig. And who knows? It could even lead to ongoing work.
Babysitters charge different rates, but you should be able to earn at least $7 or $8 per hour. Even if you only babysit three hours, that’s at least $21 in your pocket in the next few days. Boom!
#14: Have a garage sale…..now.
If you live in a neighborhood with any type of foot or car traffic, there’s no reason you can’t have a garage sale today. All you have to do to get started is find some household stuff you don’t want, set it out on some tables, and put up a few signs. And thanks to the internet, you can advertise your sale on Facebook and sites like craigslist.org for free.
If you have clothes and electronics to add to your sale, that’s even better! The more stuff you can sell, the better off you'll be!
#15: Become a street performer.
Can you sing, or at least try? How about blow fire?
Hey, we’re not judging your ability here; we’re just suggesting a fun way to earn quick cash. If you can sing, perform physical stunts, play the guitar or a piano, or do standup comedy, you could feasibly do it by the side of the road for cash, right? At the very least, you could give it a whirl!
No matter what your “skill” is, you could probably earn at least some money for performing in an area with lots of street traffic. Make sure to sit out a bucket or hat to let people know you’re taking donations, and let the good times roll.
#16: Figure out who owes you money.
Chances are good you have loaned people money in the past, but did they ever pay you back? If not, you might want to look them up and pay them a visit. If someone owes you $20, $50, or $100 and you can feasibly collect, this is a great way to get money quickly.
Before you go door-to-door, think of people and situations where you may have loaned out money in the past. Perhaps you paid for someone’s dinner when your waitress wouldn’t split the check. Or maybe you loaned someone a $50 bill when they were down on their luck.
Whatever the reason, ask that person (politely) for your money back and you might be surprised how quickly they pay up.
#17: Negotiate a bill.
You never know when you can save money (and put money in your pocket) just by asking. But if you have a phone bill, a cable bill, or any other service bill, negotiating might be worth it.
Before your bills are due, call up a few of your service providers to see if you can negotiate a better deal. If you were able to bring your cable bill from $110 down to $70, for example, you would save $40 and pocket that money each month instead.
We were able to save almost $70 from our satellite bill by doing this. All we had to do was call and casually mention we were switching to one of their competitors and by the time the call ended we netted a huge savings and got all of our hardware upgraded.
Score! If you’re unsure of this method, it’s always worth asking. All they can say is “no,” right?
#18: Ask your boss for an advance on your check.
I would never, ever suggest someone get a payday loan. However, it can’t hurt to ask your boss for an advance on your paycheck.
If you really, seriously need the money, explain the situation to your boss to see if they want to help. At worst, they will say no and send you on your way. At best, they will agree to give you a few hundred bucks from next week’s paycheck.
The key here is, you’ll never know unless you ask.
#19: Pick up a serving job.
This one might take you up to a week, but it can put cash in your pocket fairly fast. If you need real cash and can’t wait too long, a part-time job as a server or bartender could fit the bill.
Once you are training, you should start earning tips right away. This may not be the best way to earn cash fast, but it could pay the bills. Plus, you don’t have to work there forever, right?
#20: Turn in your gift cards for cash.
Did you know that some Coinstar machines let you turn in new or used gift cards for cash? The good news is, you’ll get cash instantly and on-the-spot. The bad news is, you’ll forfeit up to 20 percent of your gift card’s value in the process.
If you have unused gift cards you won’t use, however, this is a smart way to turn them into dollars.
#21: Sell nice clothes for cash.
Certain stores geared at both adults and teens (but mostly women) will give you cold, hard cash in exchange for your brand name used clothing. Plato’s Closet orBuffalo Exchange are two such options, with each offering you money in exchange for your nicest stuff.
You’ll generally need to keep your clothing in excellent shape to get actual money back, but this strategy works well if you have a lot of nice clothes.
#22: Clean houses.
Do you know someone whose house is unkempt? Offer to clean it for them in exchange for a fee, and see what they say. Lots of people don’t have the desire or time to clean their own homes, and some of them are perfectly willing to pay for the service.
If you don’t know anyone personally you can ask, you can always place a free ad on craigslist.org or Facebook. Chances are, you’ll reach someone who could benefit from your cleaning skills and a few hours of your time.
#23: Become a handyman…right now.
Believe it or not, many people earn a living performing odd jobs. If you know a lot about construction and are able to fix most household issues, you may be able to earn cash with your own handyman business.
After placing an ad online, you could easily connect with people who might pay you to clean out their dryer vent, replace interior lighting, or do basic maintenance work. Most of the time, you can get paid in cash and earn up to $40 an hour!
#24: Cash in all of your credit card points.
If you have a rewards credit card or two, chances are good you’ve got some rogue points hanging around. They might not seem like a lot, but they can add up fast!
Turn in your points for a statement credit if you can, then use your credit card for any immediate purchases you need to make. If you can wait a few days or up to a week, certain rewards credit cards will also let you redeem points for a check in the mail.
If you need money now, chances are good one of these suggestions will provide the immediate influx of cash you need. If not, I challenge you to come up with other creative ways to earn money fast. When it comes to earning money, some skill and a little creative thinking can go a long way.
What would you add to this list? What is your favorite way to get cash quickly when you need money now?