35 Proven Ways to Make Money Fast: Your Ultimate Guide
Looking to make some extra cash in a hurry? Look no further! In this ultimate guide, we will unveil 35 proven ways to make money fast.
Whether you’re trying to pay off debt, pay your rent, save for a dream vacation, or simply increase your disposable income, these strategies are designed to help you achieve your financial goals quickly.
From side hustles and online gigs to investment opportunities and money-saving tips, we’ve got you covered. We understand that time is of the essence, so we’ve curated only the most effective and efficient methods that have been tried and tested by countless individuals.
So, get ready to discover the secrets to generating income on demand. Whether you’re a student, a stay-at-home parent, or a full-time employee, there’s something for everyone in this comprehensive guide.
How to Choose the Right Way to Make Money Fast
When it comes to making money fast, it’s essential to choose the right method that aligns with your skills, resources, and time availability. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:
- Assess your skills and interests: Take stock of your skills, talents, and hobbies. Identifying what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing will help you narrow down the options that best suit you.
- Evaluate time commitment: Consider how much time you can dedicate to your money-making venture. Some methods require minimal time investment, while others may demand more significant time commitments.
- Research income potential: Look into the earning potential of each method. While some options may offer quick returns, others may require patience before you see substantial income.
- Be realistic: While the goal is to make money fast, it’s essential to set realistic expectations. Avoid falling for “get-rich-quick” promises that sound too good to be true.
A Warning About Income Scams
Before we delve into legitimate ways to make money fast, it’s crucial to address the issue of scams. In the pursuit of quick wealth, many fall prey to fraudulent schemes that promise instant riches but deliver nothing but disappointment and financial loss.
Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- Unrealistic promises: If an opportunity guarantees overnight riches or incredibly high returns with little to no effort, it’s likely a scam.
- Upfront payments: Be cautious of any program that requires you to pay upfront fees or invest a significant sum of money before you can start making money.
- Lack of transparency: Legitimate opportunities should be transparent about their business model, income potential, and risks involved.
- Pressure to act quickly: Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to rush you into making a decision. Legitimate opportunities will give you time to research and consider your options.
- No verifiable track record: Check for reviews, testimonials, and success stories from real people who have used the method. If there’s no evidence of past success, be wary.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and do thorough research before committing to any money-making opportunity.
35 Legitimate Ways to Earn Money Fast
Click on the individual items to see the details below this chart.
|WAY||POTENTIAL PAY||HOW FAST|
|1. Sell Your Old Movies, CDs and Video Games||About 60 cents per item||You’ll make money within a day or two after Decluttr receives your goods — and shipping is free.|
|2. Sell Your Clothes||$5 to $25 an item on average||Most sites credit your account when your item sells or when the buyer receives it. Consignment stores typically pay upon sale, but some pay up front.|
|3. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards||85% of the card’s value||Usually within a few days|
|4. Sell Your Old College Textbooks||$10 to $100||Varies. Immediate if you get a ready buyer in person. 2-4 days online.|
|5. Flip a Craigslist Freebie||Varies||Payment upon sale|
|6. Sell Household Items You Don’t Use||Varies||Payment upon sale|
|7. Rent Out Your Parking Space||$50 to $400||CurbFlip pays immediately per transaction; SpotHero pays a lump sum 10 days after the end of the month.|
|8. Complete Micro Gigs||$6 to $12||Requesters pay you through your MTurk or Clickworker account, and you can cash out weekly or monthly.|
|9. Create YouTube Content||As low as $3 a subscriber, up to $120,000 a year for 100,000 subscribers||It’s going to be a few months unless you go viral. You need 20,000 views on one video to make $100. You must reach a balance of $100 to get paid.|
|10. Create TikTok Content||A few pennies per 1,000 views can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars||Unless you go viral, it will take at least a few months to get $50 or so.|
|11. Online Focus Groups||From $20 to as much as $600 per hour||Usually on the spot|
|12. Have A Yard Sale||$50 to $250 on average||Immediate|
|13. Sell Your Old Phone||$30 to $100||If a company sells it for you, you’ll be paid once it receives the phone. If you use a site where you sell it yourself, you get paid when the transaction is done.|
|14. Sell Your Gold and Silver||Depends on daily value of gold and silver||Immediately|
|15. Ask for Help||Peer-to-peer: Individual donations average $5 to $10 but can add up to hundreds
Grants: $750 to $1,250
|Peer-to-peer: Within an hour or a few days
Grants: Depends on organization’s review of your application
|16. Apply for Unemployment||$180 to $800 a week, depending on your state||2-3 weeks or more|
|17. Become an Extra on a TV Show or Movie||$100 a day||4-6 weeks|
|18. Participate in Research||$10 per 30-minute activity||Can be immediate but it varies|
|19. Find Someone Who Needs Your Skills||$10 and up||On the spot if it’s local, within a month for online platforms|
|20. Babysit||$17 an hour is the average hourly rate according to Sittercity.com||The day of if with a direct client; within a day via Care.com|
|21. Pet Sit||$25 an hour for a walk to $60 for an overnight||1-4 days|
|22. Sell Your Plasma||From $20 for 2 hours to $75 an hour||Usually on the spot|
|23. Donate Blood||$20-$30 in gift cards per donation||Immediately|
|24. Clean Houses and Assemble Furniture||$20-$50 an hour||Immediately|
|25. Have a Car Wash||Folks will pay $10-$20 a car. (Ask for donations, don’t set a price.)||Immediately|
|26. Turn Designs Into Swag||50 cents and up||It can take months based on the popularity of your design and the commission you receive.|
|27. Sell Stock Photos||$5-$100 per photo||You must accrue $25-$100 in royalties depending on the site to get a payment.|
|28. Be a Virtual Busker||You set your price||When something sells or people donate, you get money directly.|
|29. Sell Baked Goods or Other Culinary Specialties||$200-$400 a month||Upon delivery|
|30. Pick Up Freelance Gigs||$25-$50 an hour||Within a week to a month|
|31. Surveys: Inbox Dollars||Surveys typically pay between $0.50 and $5 and take less than 30 minutes to complete.||You can cash out once you earn $30.|
|32. Surveys: MyPoints||$5 bonus after 5 surveys, plus points for every survey. Most spay under 100 points, but some pay up to 400 points. 480 points gets you a $3 Amazon gift card.|
|33. Surveys: CashKarma||Earn points for each survey.||You can cash out once you earn 6,000 points, equal to a $5 Amazon gift card, and cash out through PayPal or choose gift cards to major retailers.|
|34. Surveys: Survey Junkie||Earn 20-200 points per survey. A point is worth about a penny, so surveys earn you 2 cents to $2.|
|35. Surveys: Ipsos i-Say||Earn points for each survey.||Cash out once you earn 500 points, equal to $5.|
Make Money Fast Online
1. Sell Your Old Movies, CDs and Video Games
Potential earnings: About 60 cents per item
How fast: Payment is pretty fast — you’ll be making money within a day or two after Decluttr receives your goods — and shipping is free.
Start shuffling through your old movies or CDs, because Decluttr is an online site that will pay you for them.
Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods — it’s easily one of the simplest and best ways to make money online.
One user, Gil Flores, can attest that this is a good way to make money fast. He told us he sold about 100 DVDs and 75 CDs and made $275 — an average of $1.57 each. Declutter reports its average purchase is around 50 cents and it buys 97% of items offered.
2. Sell Your Clothes
Potential earnings: $5 to $25 an item on average
How fast: Most sites credit your account when your item sells or when the buyer receives it. Consignment stores typically pay upon sale, but some pay upfront.
Take a look in your closet. If anything still has tags on it, return it if you can. After all, you haven’t worn it yet.
Then take another spin through your hangers: When’s the last time you wore that blouse? Or dressed up in those heels?
Gather up a stack of clothes and start taking photos of each one on a hanger or recruit your friends as models then sell your wares online to shoppers looking to save money on gently-used clothes.
Brand names will likely get you the most cash.
Here are five sites where you can sell clothes online fast. Prefer the in-person experience? Local consignment shops are always looking for good-condition, in-season clothes to re-sell. Here’s what you need to know, plus six brick-and-mortar stores to sell your used clothes.
3. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards
Potential earnings: 85% of the card’s value
How fast: Usually within a few days
No need to hang onto that gift card you’ll never use — exchange it for fast cash.
Check out these five sites that’ll buy back your gift cards.
You can also find a physical location that’ll take your gift card through Cardpool.
Search Cardpool’s cashier-assisted and kiosk locations. Be sure to read the details and restrictions of each location. You might be able to exchange that Starbucks gift card only for a Target gift card, for example.
4. Sell Your Old College Textbooks
Potential earnings: $10 to $100
How Fast: Varies. Immediate if you get a ready buyer in person. Two to four days online.
We know you’ve still got some textbooks lingering in your closet or on your bookshelf. Dust them off — then see whether they’re worth anything.
Use BookScouter to see how much your books are worth. It’ll suggest the best online marketplace to sell them, but if you want to get extra money by the end of the day, list them on eBay, Letgo, OfferUp or Craigslist.
5. Flip a Craigslist Freebie
Potential earnings: Varies
How fast: Payment on sale
Craigslist is chock full of freebies. Just hop over to its “Free” section, and see what you can find — whether it’s clothing, furniture or appliances.
Once you secure a freebie, you can resell it for extra money. Take notes from Penny Hoarder contributor Kerrie Urban. She sold her freebie finds on eBay and earned $545. If you need the money sooner than later, low-ball the price and set your listing as “buy it now.”
6. Sell Household Items You Don’t Use
Potential earnings: Varies
How fast: Payment on sale
If you’ve been meaning to declutter your house, now’s the time. Make some fast moneywhile also gaining space in your home. Look through your kitchen cabinets, your desk drawers and your utility closet. Whatever you don’t need, purge.
7. Rent Out Your Parking Space
Potential earnings: $50 to $400
How fast: CurbFlip pays immediately per transaction; SpotHero pays a lump sum 10 days after the end of the month.
Got a driveway or a parking space in a lot or garage you don’t need? If you’re in a busy city or tourist spot, all the better. You can make extra cash renting it out. Just make sure your city and your landlord (if you rent) allow it.
Just as Airbnb matches renters with properties where they can spend a night, there are a growing number of apps that match drivers with parking place owners. You could make passive income much easier than working a part time job.You can list your residential or commercial parking space for short-term daily parking or by the month.
You will make more money the closer you are to a sports arena, college campus, the beach or other major attraction.
SpotHero operates in 120 cities across the country and charges $70 a month in Jackson, Miss., to $530 a month in New York City. The parking space owner gets around 80 percent of the fee.
More than 600 parking spaces across the United States are listed on CurbFlip. They range from a spot near the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Fla., for $15 a day to a commercial garage space in Jersey City, N.J. for $250 a month. According to CurbFlip, more than 10,000 drivers around the world search the site for parking each day.
8. Complete Micro Gigs
Potential earnings: $6 to $12
How fast: Requesters pay you through your MTurk or Clickworker account, and you can cash out weekly or monthly.
These marketplaces connect you with people and companies who need help with small tasks, like writing or proofreading, surveys or data entry. Some companies pay freelancers rather than hiring an employee to save money.
Pay is usually low, but the tasks are quick, you can complete many of them in a few hours and they don’t require expertise.
9. Create YouTube Content
Potential earnings: As low as $3 a subscriber, up to $120,000 a year for 100,000 subscribers
How fast: It’s going to be a few months unless you go viral. You need 20,000 views on one video to make $100. You must reach a balance of $100 to get paid by YouTube.
Are you an avid fan of creators on YouTube? Well, you too can use the platform to give your bank account a boost.
Monetizing a YouTube channel is a way for creators, entrepreneurs, freelancers and educators to build an audience and a brand, and create new income streams.
If you put in the effort to gain traction with a YouTube channel for a brief period, it can generate (a little or a lot of) income for years to follow, even if you don’t post new videos as actively.
You can create content and build an audience on just about any subject — from travel to web design to toy reviews — and monetize it creatively. It could be a way to fund your trips, attract new clients, get free products and yes, make real cash.
Depending on your number of subscribers, you can make money by sharing ad revenue with YouTube, charging subscribers and receiving free products. Here’s what you need to know to start a channel and build a subscriber base.
10. Create TikTok Content
Potential earnings: A few pennies per 1,000 views can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars
How fast: Unless you go viral, it will take at least a few months to get $50 or so.
You no longer need a Hollywood agent or even a headshot to make money entertaining people. TikTok is the wild, wild west of being discovered directly by an audience for your unique talents. From kids opening toys to vegan chefs making yummy meals, to singers and skateboarders, people on TikTok are collectively making millions of dollars a year.
Companies can pay from $200 to $20,000 for a branded video and that depends a lot on how many followers the producer has. When you get more than 100,000 views per video, you can join TikTok’s Creator Fund and start earning pennies per 1,000 views. It can add up, but you need the numbers. Here’s how to give TikTok a try.
11. Online Focus Groups
Potential earnings: From $20 to as much as $600 per hour
How fast: Usually on the spot
Focus groups can be a lucrative side hustle when you break down per-hour pay. You get to be a part of a company’s market research efforts, magnifying your opinion above those of other potential consumers.
These days, you don’t have to participate in paid focus groups in person. During the pandemic and beyond, you can use online focus group platforms to make good money just for giving your honest feedback.
Here’s more info on how to participate.
No Experience Required
12. Have A Yard Sale
Potential earnings: $50 to $250 on average
How fast: Immediate
Team up with family or neighbors, clean out your closets and sheds, and host a yard or garage sale to declutter and make some good money on a weekend.
Follow these tips for a successful garage sale:
- Give it a theme or several themes — like sports, garden tools or outdoor gear — to stand out from the crowd.
- Schedule it creatively to avoid competition and coincide with high traffic in your neighborhood, like around commutes or neighborhood events.
- Advertise through fliers, Craigslist, Facebook and local message boards.
- Put up several large, colorful signs around the area to draw in people..
- Get more small bills for change than you think you’ll need.
- Yard sales that clearly show prices of items make more money.
- Prepare for buyers’ needs, like a mirror for trying on jewelry and an outlet to test power tools.
- Organize it like a store, with tables, racks and thematic sections. Put big-ticket items near the road.
- Sell items at 10% to 25% of their original value, and offer half off near the end of the sale.
- Play music and offer snacks to keep shoppers hanging around.
13. Sell Your Old Phone
Potential earnings: $30 to $100
How fast: If a company sells it for you, you’ll be paid once it receives the phone. If you are using a site where you sell it yourself, you will get paid when the transaction is completed.
Got an old iPhone or Android collecting dust? Probably. Clear your data first — then it becomes an easy source for extra cash.
The first step is to find out how much your phone is worth. You can go to each site directly or use sellcell which claims to find the best price by comparing many other sites for you.
You can also recycle your device (iPhone, Android, tablet, mp3 player) at an EcoATM kiosk and get money in return. Enter your phone’s information into its estimator tool, then find a location near you — likely at a local mall or Walmart.
Depending on the condition of your device, you could earn fast cash. For example, an iPhone X with 64GB of storage in decent condition could get you $65. A newer tablet, on the other hand, could help you bag more than $100.
14. Sell Your Gold and Silver
Potential earnings: Depends on daily value of gold and silver
How fast: Immediately
If you need money by the end of the day, dig deep in your closet. Remember those gold and silver collectors’ coins your grandpa gave you? Or maybe you have an old piece of jewelry from a long-ago ex. Exchange these items for some fast cash.
Use a few of these tips to sell your gold for cash. Research shows buyers vary greatly in what they pay, with some offering 70 percent less than the top bidder. So shop around and get at least three estimates.
Find a local shop to sell to. You’ll get paid a lot faster than with a national buyer you see advertised on TV.
15. Ask for Help
Don’t hesitate to turn to government and nonprofit organizations when you need a quick cash injection and can’t wait until you find work and get paid.
Peer to Peer Donations
Potential donations: Individual donations average $5 to $10 but can add up to hundreds
How fast: Within an hour or a few days
Leveler helps people with job security share money with people who need it. Sign up when you’re in need of quick cash, and you could receive fee-free donations via PayPal or Venmo.
Potential donations: $750 to $1,250
How fast: Depends on an organization’s review of your application, so make sure your documents are accurate and current.
Apply for an emergency grant from these organizations:
- Modest Needs makes small one-time grants to help you cover your bills.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides Emergency Solutions Grants to people experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis.
- 211 helps you find resources to cover essential needs. Call 2-1-1 or visit 211.org.
16. Apply for Unemployment
Potential earnings: $180 to $800 a week, depending on your state
How fast: Two to three weeks or more
Unemployment compensation got infused with billions of dollars in federal money during the pandemic as millions of people lost work. In addition to each state’s regular weekly payments, the federal government created new programs and expanded the amount of benefits available to jobless Americans — including independent contractors who don’t normally qualify for traditional unemployment benefits.
Some programs have expired, and benefits vary depending on how each state implemented the federal boosts. But you can claim money retroactively in some cases. Applying for unemployment can be a long and cumbersome process — but the assistance can give you a measure of financial freedom while you search for more stable work.
Here’s a map showing how much each state has been paying in unemployment. And here’s a handy guide to all the different acronyms for all the different unemployment programs.
17. Become an Extra on a TV Show or Movie
Potential earnings: $100 a day
How fast: Four to six weeks
TV shows and movies put out casting calls for extras every week in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago. Even in smaller cities, like Cleveland and Seattle, you can make money hanging around the background of a TV scene.
You don’t have to have acting experience to be an extra, just a free day. Research talent agencies in your area and see which ones have experience casting in commercials, TV shows or movies. Sign up with one so you will be notified if there is casting you might fit. There shouldn’t be a fee, but they may charge to take a headshot. If you get work, the agency will take a cut.
The Penny Hoarder reader Jared Zajac was an extra in two major blockbusters filmed in his town, Cleveland, Ohio. He earned minimum wage, including overtime, plus catered meals, and he worked several days for each film. Also, this is a part time job that makes for good conversation.
18. Participate in Research
Potential earnings: $10 per 30-minute activity
How fast: Can be immediate but it varies
We know paid medical studies are a simple — if sometimes invasive or risky — way to earn significant money. You can also make some quick cash participating in less invasive and less time-consuming academic research.
Look for opportunities to become a research participant if you live near a university or other research institution.
For example, a university psychology or political science department often needs participants to answer questions or interview with a researcher.
Local Gigs For Extra Money
19. Find Someone Who Needs Your Skills
Potential earnings: $10 and up
How fast: On the spot if it’s local, within a month for online platforms
People always need help, whether it’s with yard maintenance, moving or a simple repair.
Sell your services via Craigslist under its “Gigs” section. Pay and tasks will vary, but you have nothing to lose posting an advertisement. Cast a broader net by setting up a profile on gig platforms like TaskRabbit, Fiverr and other apps for specific services.
Potential earnings: $17 an hour is the average hourly rate according to Sittercity.com
How fast: The day of if with a direct client; within a day via Care.com
Babysitting is a classic way to make extra cash. It often pays in cash as soon as you’ve completed the gig.
Letting friends, neighbors and coworkers know you’re available to watch their little ones could be a simple way to get paid as soon as this week. Advertise your services on Care.com to reach more people in your community.
21. Pet Sit
Potential earnings: $25 an hour for a walk to $60 for an overnight
How fast: One to four days
Pet sitters provide owners peace of mind by watching over their animals while the clients are away. Services include midday walks and visits, in-home overnight watches and boarding at the sitter’s home. Tons of apps help you secure a pet-sitting side gig, but you likely won’t pocket the money immediately. Check out Care.com, Rover and Meowtel.
If you don’t want to wait to get your pay through these peer-to-peer apps, offer up your services to family, friends or neighbors. You can post in a local Facebook community page, or advertise on Craigslist.
Here’s the lowdown on what you need to become a pet-sitter.
22. Sell Your Plasma
Potential earnings: From $20 for two hours to $75 an hour
How fast: Usually on the spot
Nope, you’re not going to want to sell your plasma every day, but if you’re desperate for money today, it can be a good deed that’ll reap a monetary reward.
Look into plasma donation centers near you. Be sure to do your research.
We found an International Quality Plasma Program-approved center near us, and it says first-time donors can make up to $400. However, you should probably expect something more like Penny Hoarder contributor MaryBeth Matzek’s experience. She sold plasma in 2014 and earned about $20 for two hours of her time. Though you can usually give up to three times a week.
23. Donate Blood
Potential earnings: $20 to $30 in gift cards per donation
How fast: Immediately
Stop at one of those big red busses you see outside a restaurant or Walmart or connect with the Red Cross to find a blood drive near you. The “thank you gifts” vary, but often are at least a $20 gift card and sometimes that plus another $10 gift card. They aren’t actual cash, but you can use them for groceries or eating out, then have more cash in hand because you didn’t have to spend it.
Once you sign up as a donor, you can get texts alerting you to the next drive. You can usually give blood about every three months. Here are more details about gift cards worth your blood.
24. Clean Houses and Assemble Furniture
Potential earnings: $20 to $50 an hour
How fast: Immediately
Put your Type-A personality to good use, and make money tidying and scrubbing homes and offices and mastering those IKEA assembly directions.
Amazon Home Services lets you sell services like house cleaning and furniture assembly, and even skill services like plumbing and electric work, as long as you have proper certification and insurance. You can also market yourself on Care.com and Thumbtack.com. Here are some price guides from Thumbtack:
- 1-bedroom home: $110
- 2-bedroom home: $126
- 3-bedroom home: $143
You can also self-promote through your own website. Set up a simple website through a service like Wix or Squarespace to describe your offerings and rates. Use keywords that’ll help people in your area find you through a Google search, like “house cleaning in [your town]” or “[your town] furniture assembly.”
25. Have a Car Wash
Potential earnings: Folks will pay $10 to $20 a car. (Ask for donations, don’t set a price.)
How fast: Immediately
This is one of those money making ideas that’s usually associated with fundraising, but you can use it as a means of making money quickly. Get a few friends together, and set up a car-washing station in your neighborhood to put extra cash in your pockets.
To draw customers in:
- Promote the event on Facebook, especially in local groups.
- Post several large signs in the area leading up to the car wash, so drivers don’t miss it.
- Play music and offer refreshments to keep drivers occupied while you clean.
- Have a cordless vacuum to clean out the inside of the car, too.
Creative Ways to Make Extra Cash
26. Turn Designs Into Swag
Potential earnings: 50 cents and up
How fast: It can take months based on the popularity of your design and the commission you receive.
If you’re into design or illustration, set your own hours and turn your creations into products to sell online. Merch by Amazon lets you upload a design and select T-shirt styles and colors to print it on, then list your T-shirts for sale on Amazon as if you had your own online store. This isn’t a way to make money overnight, but if you get approved by the vendor and consumers like your style, sales can add up over a few months.
You don’t have to make an upfront investment. Amazon prints T-shirts to order and pays you between 13% and 37% of your sale price, depending on how much you charge.
Amazon is a great option because of how many people visit the site every day. But some creators prefer other services for better royalties or more product options. Check out these alternative marketplaces:
- CafePress: Print your design on shirts, baby onesies, mugs, hats, totes, pillows, stickers, phone cases and more. CafePress keeps the base price (cost of producing a product) plus 5% to 10% if it’s sold through the CafePress marketplace, and you earn any markup on your list price.
- Design By Humans: Create shirts, prints, mugs, phone cases and stickers, and set up a storefront through the platform. Royalties are a flat rate per product, from $0.50 each for stickers to $8 for a large framed print.
- Redbubble: Sell T-shirts, posters, phone cases, mugs, prints and more. Redbubble sets a base price per item, and you earn any markup.
27. Sell Stock Photos
Potential earnings: $5 to $100 per photo
How fast: You must accrue $25 to $100 in royalties depending on the site to get a payment.
Whether you’re a beginner with an iPhone or a hobbyist with a DSLR camera, selling photos online is easy using any of a variety of online sites.
Check through your cache of iPhone photos, select the best ones and list them on Foap, an app that works like a photo marketplace. When someone buys your photo, you get 50% of the price; Foap takes the other half. Most photos sell for $10.
If you have the photography chops and a solid camera, microstock websites will be a little more lucrative. These are sites that host and sell stock photography. Popular companies include iStock, Shutterstock and Getty Images.
Here are some tips:
- Keep your photos as generic as possible.
- Don’t include any visible brands.
- Describe your photos with relevant keywords in the microstock listing.
28. Be a Virtual Busker
Potential earnings: You set your price!
How fast: When something sells, or people donate you get money directly.
Taking to the streets with a canvas, guitar or clever costume is a well-known way to quickly earn cash for your talents. Ever thought about doing the same thing online?
Offer your art through social media, and take contributions through a payment app like PayPal, Venmo or Cash. Some ideas:
- Drawing or design: Offer to draw caricatures of your friends and followers.
- Performance: Perform an act like dance, comedy, recitation or magic live through Facebook or Instagram, and include a link to receive contributions from viewers.
- Writing: Publish stories to a blog, and include a PayPal link for supporters. Or publish behind a paywall through a subscription service like Patreon or Substack.
- Music: Offer to write songs or jingles for friends and followers.
29. Sell Baked Goods or Other Culinary Specialties
Potential earnings: $200 to $400 a month
How fast: Upon delivery
Got a mouth-watering recipe for banana bread or a unique skill for cupcake decoration? Stop getting paid in compliments, and start… getting paid.
In some states, you can sell home-baked goods as a side hustle without a permit or license. Let friends, colleagues and neighbors know you’re open for business, and fill custom orders to ensure you get paid for your time and ingredients.
30. Pick Up Freelance Gigs
Potential earnings: $25 to $50 an hour
How fast: Within a week to a month
Pick up quick freelance writing, design and virtual assistant gigs through freelancing marketplaces that connect you with people who need affordable services. Bonus: You can set your own hours.
Set up a profile to list your writing, design, editing and development skills on these freelancing websites:
- Upwork is the largest freelance platform in the world.
- Fiverr spans many fields including marketing, writing, graphic design and video.
- Freelancer is a marketplace where both workers and employers can create special listings and hourly rates.
- Gigster is an on-demand software development website offering freelance work to designers, developers and product managers.
- Guru invites freelancers to bid on projects and jobs posted by employers. Employers reach out directly to freelancers as well.
- nDash is for freelance writers.
- PeoplePerHour includes work in web design, SEO, writing and much more.
- TopTal is for developers and project managers.
You could pick up occasional work whenever you need money fast — or turn your freelance work into a full-blown side hustle, make your own website and advertise on social media.
Earning potential: Gift cards for $5 or $10 or a few dollars cash after completing many surveys.
How fast: It can take weeks or months to qualify for surveys and then accumulate enough points to be paid.
This is time consuming and not a way to bring in big bucks, but you can earn a little extra money in your spare time or a few gift cards by taking online surveys.
You can take surveys online while you sit on the bus or train, watch TV or eat your lunch. Yes, companies pay for your opinion. Here are some of the most popular survey sites:
InboxDollars lets you get paid for everyday online activities that provide customer input to its partner brands.
You’ll pocket a $5 bonus when you sign up, and you’ll earn more money each time you take an online survey, watch a video or shop online with affiliated brands.
MyPoints aggregates online survey opportunities and pays in gift cards to dozens of major retailers.
You’ll earn a $5 bonus after completing five surveys, plus points for every survey you attempt to qualify for or complete.
CashKarma is a survey app that lets you earn some spare cash by completing surveys, watching videos, completing sign-up offers and other online tasks. It aggregates survey opportunities and directs you to third parties to complete surveys.
34. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie matches you with online survey opportunities based on your profile on the site. You’ll earn points you can cash out via PayPal, Dwolla or gift cards.
35. Ipsos i-Say
Ipsos surveys are popular and well-known for their political polling. The company also runs i-Say surveys to get customer opinions on brands, entertainment, advertising and trending topics.
You’ll earn points for each survey you complete, and you can cash out once you earn 500 points, equal to $5. Cash out directly via PayPal, or opt for gift cards to major retailers.
How Much Money You Can Make in A Day, Week or Month
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about making money fast:
How can I make money right now?
When you need money immediately, put your efforts toward tasks that will put cash directly in your hand. Avoid survey sites and cash-back apps that reward you in points you can only cash out periodically.
Sell stuff to people in your community, rather than listing it on a marketplace. Busk or ask for donations. Offer services to your neighbors — even if they only want to help you out.
How can I make $200 fast?
When you need just that little extra to make rent or keep your account from overdrafting, try pawning or selling stuff. You could pocket a quick $50 for items like old phones, digital cameras or furniture, so you only have to sell a few things to hit your $200 target.
Virtual busking — especially if it’s the first time you’ve done it for your followers — could also nab you a few hundred dollars quickly.
How can I make $1,000 fast?
When you need a bigger payout, like four figures, you might have to get more creative to pocket it quickly. Lots of the gigs above could earn you that kind of money over a few weeks or months, but how can you get it today?
You could make $1,000 selling used stuff, but you’ll have to have some pretty big-ticket items — or clear your house.
One simple way to get the money today is to ask for pay in advance of the work. Get a paycheck advance, or negotiate with a freelance client to pay upfront. But that’s a tough ask.
Another option is to focus on activities that could bring in a lot of people — a bake sale, car wash or garage sale, for example. If you’re connected with a lot of friends or followers online, virtual busking could give you a four-figure payday, too.
If you can’t earn the money quickly enough, you might have to consider taking on debt.
Avoid payday loans and credit card debt if you can, and consider getting a personal loan instead. You could apply online and have the cash the same day with some lenders, and interest rates are usually much lower than payday loans or credit cards.
How can I make $100 a day?
Picking up a few of the side gigs listed above could easily help you set up an ongoing income stream of $100 a day.
If you have free time to dedicate to earning more money each day, try freelancing, community services like babysitting or handyman jobs, micro gigs, or a combination of all of these ways to make money.
To earn passive income, or at least income you don’t have to pour a ton of extra time into, try selling stock photos, selling T-shirts, or renting a parking space.
Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Carson Kohler is a former staff writer.