It’s the first of the month, and crap: Rent is due.
At my old apartment, I had a five-day grace period, but there’s no legal requirement for this niciety. Technically, your grace period is built into the last five days of the previous month…
So you need money — like by tomorrow — to pay rent.
Unfortunately, companies don’t usually hand out daily paychecks.
And even if you secure a side gig or online hustle, if it’s through an app or online platform, payment likely isn’t immediately.
You could hit up the payday loan store. But please don’t do that. The interest rate is terrifying.
So, instead, here are some make-money-right-freakin’-now ideas to pay tomorrow’s rent.
1. Break up with some of your clothes.
Because if you’re like me, you’re guilty of always wearing the same two things in your closet full of clothes… and yet you still have nothing to wear.
Lately, I’ve been trying to create a capsule wardrobe, so bit by bit, I’m getting rid of the clothes I don’t wear anymore.
My usual sell-back spot is Plato’s Closet. But sometimes I get insulting offers for a stack of nice, gently worn clothes.
There are other options, though. Apps and websites will let you sell your clothes — and you don’t even need to leave your house.
We like letgo because you get to set your own prices. Plus, it’s easy. All you have to do is a take a photo of the clothing item. The platform operates like Craigslist in that you’re advertising to local consumers, so once someone bites, and you make the transaction, you get paid.
The platform recommends you use something secure like Paypal, but that’s not your only option.
2. Play with some dogs.
Love dogs? Cats? Even birds?
Tons of apps out there help you secure a pet-sitting side gig, but you likely won’t pocket the money immediately. Plus, the apps typically take a cut of your commission.
If you don’t have that kind of time, offer up your services to family or friends. You can even post in a local Facebook community page, advertise on Craigslist, or set up a profile on Care.com.
You could get paid $40 just to take pup for a walk, according to our pet sitting guide (but you have to pick up the poo, too).
3. Sell your unused gift cards.
Didn’t get your dream birthday present? Got an irrelevant gift card instead?
That plastic is taking up space in your wallet where some cold, hard cash could be.
But no need to hang onto it until it expires. You can sell that sucker on online.
Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar has cashed her gift cards in and wrote about five places that’ll take those things off your hands — and pay you.
We tend to gravitate towards Raise, because similar to letgo, you get to set your own asking price. So if you’re not willing to sell that $25 Starbucks card unless you get at least $20 for it, you can control that.
The only thing: People might not bite immediately. Whereas the some of other sites Sitar wrote about will pay right away.
4. Do a random chore.
People always need help.
My cousin recently cleaned out her garage and needed someone to come haul her junk away because she didn’t have a truck. So she consulted Craigslist and paid a nice man to do the job.
Craigslist is a great place to sell your services under the “Gigs” section. Pay and tasks will vary, of course.
You can also break out of the internet bubble and reach out to your family, friends and neighbors. Chances are someone could use a hand!
5. Sell your old DVDs, CDs and electronics.
I don’t have many old DVDs or CDs sitting around — not even old phone or electronics — but my editor Matt Wiley wrote about how he had about 100 DVDs and Blurays he’d stockpiled. :scream:
Because you need money ASAP, try selling those suckers to an old video store or a pawn shop.
If you have a couple of days to spare and don’t want to leave your couch because you’re now addicted to Netflix, you could sell them on Decluttr.
6. Return something.
Look around. Does that jacket you impulsively bought still have its tags? Or maybe you impulsively splurged on something totally random from Amazon…
Now that rent is due, those purchases might seem unnecessary.
7. Deal with sticky fingers, and babysit.
Nowadays, sitters can make $12 to $18 an hour to look after kids, and, as one Penny Hoarder wrote, “It’s not just a business for teenagers anymore; as an adult, you may be more likely to find work.”
Keep your ear to the ground — in classes, at work, around town or within your family. You can even volunteer, because an exhausted parent might not even realize they need a night off.
8. Dust off your bookshelf.
I stockpile way too many books. I even have old college textbooks stacked in my closet; I never touch them.
If you’ve been meaning to get rid of some of these, your dire rent situation could be the perfect motivation to purge.
For the most immediate results, venture over to your local used bookstore. See what they’ll take for your books.
If you have a little more time, there are online platforms, such as Bookscouter. You’ll enter your book’s ISBN, and it’ll tell you how much the book is worth — and which buyback company will grant you the best deal.
It’s free to use and will help you make the most off those dusty pages.
9. Get the most out of your grocery run.
Just because rent is due and you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you can give up grocery shopping. Food is a non negotiable in my book.
However, you can earn some money back with rebate apps such as Ibotta. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt.
It’s No. 5 on this list — which also shares other ways you can earn money back.
10. Suck it up, and borrow from your family or friends.
This isn’t ideal, but if worse comes to worse, see if your family or friends will loan you some money to get by this month.
If they can afford it, your loved ones often want to help out when you need it, so ask. Just be upfront and honest with them. We also recommend writing down whatever you agree upon, just so everyone’s on the same page.
Bonus: If you just need a drink…
When you can’t make rent, you might just want to go invest in some alcohol.
But if you’re going to do that, you might as well be smart about it, and use bevRAGE.
The rebate app grants you cash back on drink deals at bars, restaurants, grocery and liquor stores. You can search by your location, find the best deal, then take a photo of your receipt to redeem your rebate.
BevRage deposits the money in your PayPal account within 48 hours — giving you some cash to fund your rent.
Your Turn: What’s your go-to way to piece together your rent payment?
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Adding these links helps us keep the lights on in The Penny Hoarder HQ, which makes it a lot easier to play shuffleboard after a long day of deal-seeking!
Thanks to Minting Nickels for some of these ideas!