how to make money fast

No matter how carefully you plan, money can run a little short at times. Maybe your kid needs new shoes; your car broke down, or you just want a night out on the town.

Whatever the reason, if you need a little extra cash, there are plenty of ways to find it these days, because the internet is the greatest job creator the world has ever known.

1. Drive for Uber or Lyft.

Companies like Uber and Lyft offer a great opportunity to make some quick cash. You’ll need a clean driving record, a fairly new car and the authorization to work wherever it is that you live. If you have all of those things, you can work when it’s feasible for you, whether that’s in the middle of the day during rush hour, or in the wee hours of the night on a weekend. The choice is yours.

2. Become a market research participant.

In college I participated in loads of market research. It’s fairly quick money for not a lot of work. Companies looking for consumers’ opinions on a variety of products and services put you in a room to garner your opinion. That’s it.

This often involves writing or stating your opinion, answering polls or surveys, or breaking off in a discussion group. The mechanics don’t matter much. The point is that you can rely on it from time to time.

Related: 6 Things You Must Quit Doing Now If You Want to Be More Successful

3. Sell old books on Amazon.

Amazon makes it fairly easy to list and sell old books on its marketplace. You can make more than just a few bucks If you have pricey text books from college. Be sure the books are in good condition. You’ll get negative reviews if you attempt to sell books that are falling apart. Remember, add value where you can, no matter how small it might be and no matter how few people might readily notice it.

4. Sell, or resell, used electronics on Craigslist.

The market for used electronics is vast. You can use Craigslist to part ways with your old iPhone or your MacBook. You can grab a premium for these types of electronics. Some people even flip items by buying them and reselling them.

You could also use a website like Gazelle to sell your used phones, no matter what kind you have. Companies like that have made an entire business model out of buying used phones and refurbishing them. Either way, you can expect to get a fair bit of money relatively quickly if you have these items laying around your house.

5. Sell things you no longer need. A quick and easy way to make some money is to sell valuable, high-demand items. Look around your house for commonly-sold items you no longer need, such as:

  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Books
  • Musical instruments
  • Collectible toys
  • Electronic equipment (computers, tablets, televisions, speakers, etc.)
  • Smartphones
  • Video games
  • Jewelry
  • Crafts
  • Unused gift cards (these can be sold on various websites, or redeemed instantly at Coinstar kiosks)

6. Become an Uber Driver

This is #1 for a reason!Got some free time and live in a reasonably populated area? Then becoming an Uber Driver can be a very lucrative part-time side hustle. Uber drivers make as much as some full-time jobs if there are enough riders in their area. This means you could hit the $100 mark in as little as five hours per week.

The best thing about Uber is that the schedule is completely up to you. I have seen stay at home mom’s pick up Uber gigs for a few hours a day in the middle of the day while the kids are in school.

7. Open a new checking account with a bonus

Chase offers a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking®account. In order to get the bonus you have to set up direct deposit. Other than that, you are good to go.

This is the best offer we have found for signing up for a new checking account and, since Chase is not just an online bank, you also have access to their services in over 5,000 locations across the country.

8. Inbox Dollars

You can earn free cash by changing your search engine to InboxDollars. You’ll even get a free $5 bonus when you sign up (just name and email address)! This will take a bit longer to get you to $100, but it’s still easy money by using their search engine, watching videos (seriously), printing coupons and a variety of other things.

9. SwagBucks

Similar to Inbox Dollars in that you can get free cash by swapping your search engine. SwagBucks also pays you for the shopping you already do online as well as a bunch of other everyday online activities. You can get $5 for signing up here.

10. Online Surveys

Online websites like My Points will pay you for your opinion. The average survey will pay between $0.50 and $1.25 and there are new surveys available each day. If you qualify, you can even get surveys over $5 each. Many of the surveys take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Some may have you scan products that you purchase. You can learn more in our review of online survey sites. Here are a few of the reputable ones that payout:

  • E-Poll Market Research
  • Vindale Research
  • Earning Station
  • iSurvey World
  • MySurvey
  • Harris Poll Online
  • Thumbtack. A site that matches you with local folks who pay to have tasks and errands performed.
  • Fiverr. What would you do for $5? Write a love letter for someone? Attempt to eat a tablespoon of nutmeg on video? Market your service on this website for $5 or more.
  • Agent Anything. The “agents” perform tasks. “For the last two years, we’ve provided errand-runners for working moms, beta testers for startups, temp workers for small businesses, and street teams for major corporations,” the site says.
  • ReceiptHog. This company will pay you for market research data. Simply snap a picture of your receipt every time you buy something and they’ll send a little money your way through PayPal. Click here for Android, click here for iOS.
  • Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. You can make a few bucks performing one of the many tasks available at this site. Projects include things like writing product descriptions or selecting the best photograph for a product.
  • Field Agent. Another app that pays you to do things like checking prices and scanning bar codes.
  • UserTesting.com. You can earn quick cash by looking at someone’s website and figuring out what might be confusing for the average user.
  • TaskRabbit. This site connects you with local people willing to pay you for a wide variety of tasks — from light carpentry to picking up takeout food.
  • Drive for Uber or Uber Eats. If you’ve got a car, put it to use earning extra money in your spare time. Click here to find out how much drivers can make ride-sharing.
  • Pet-sitting. What’s better than playing with a puppy? Getting paid for it. You can start with friends or family, or sign up for a national service like Rover.
  • Baby-sitting and more. Baby-sitting isn’t just for teenagers. Sites like Care.com can connect you with a gig. They also have jobs for “child care, special needs care, senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more.”
  • House-sitting. When friends or neighbors go out of town, offer to keep an eye on their house, pick up the mail or water the plants. Don’t know of anyone who’s leaving? Try an online job portal such as Mindahome.com.

11. Sell Gift Cards

You can sell your unused gift cards online, but you won’t get the cash in the next hour. To sell your cards quickly, you need to turn to friends and family again. If the cards are for stores where they typically shop, they might be happy to buy a $50 card for say, $40.

12. Sell Your Neighbors’ Junk

I sold a junk-picked table for $50 last year, and cashed in on a few other items retrieved from a dumpster. But it looks like I could be doing even better — this guy makes a six-figure income dumpster diving.

Look for items you can quickly sell at a pawnshop, recycling center or used furniture store. You can also resort to those marketplace apps, like letgo.

13. Return Your Purchases

Have you bought anything in the last couple of months that you haven’t yet used? If you still have the receipt, you can probably get a refund. Return policies vary, but some stores are pretty generous. For example, Walmart’s refund policy allows up to 90 days for most items.

14. Return Soda Cans for the Deposit

If you’re in one of the 10 states with bottle bills, you can return empty cans and bottles to the store for the deposit refund. I once made $1,500 collecting soda cans at work, although it took months, and I lived in Michigan, where the deposit is 10 cents each (in other states it’s typically 5 cents).

To maximize your take and get it done quickly, gather up your own empties, and then stop at the homes of family and friends for “donations” on your way to the store.

15. Make a Bet

I figure a few readers will be sitting in a pub saying, “I need money now,” while reading this post on their smartphones. If that happens to include you, check out my previous post on sneaky bar bets you’re sure to win. You could have a small pile of cash in front of you in the next few minutes.

16. Sell Your Furniture

My wife and I learned how to buy and sell used furniture when furnishing our home in Colorado. We sold on consignment, which takes time, but some used furniture stores pay cash for good tables, couches and other items. Sell a few things you really don’t need, and while you’re at it, see what your friends want to dispose of, which brings us to…

17. Sell Things Belonging to Others

If you’re already on your way to the pawnshop or used furniture store to sell your own items, why not see if friends or family members want to get rid of anything?

Take their stuff along, and after you get an offer on the items, call them to see if they’ll sell to you for less, so you can pocket the difference. Otherwise, return their things.

18. Do tasks with TaskRabbit.

TaskRabbit lets you tap into an existing marketplace of people looking for help locally with chores. The tasks aren’t always small. This platform (along with others) offers bigger tasks, such as home renovations, as well.

Amazon is getting into the task business with Amazon Home Services. The services listed there range from very small repairs to larger and more involved tasks that would take considerably more effort.

19. Deliver for PostMates.

You can earn some cash when you’re in dire straits by using PostMates, and you don’t even need a car, just a bike for deliveries in busier cities and downtown centers. I’ve used it often to get food from specialty places that don’t deliver themselves, but it can be used for many things.

PostMates states on their website that you could earn up to $25/hour doing deliveries. You could also earn some tips in the process so it’s a great option for people that are looking to do something in their spare time, similar to the big ride-sharing apps that are hogging up app stores everywhere.

20. Online Coaching or Consulting

Beyond blogging, you can also become a coach or consultant for others, especially if you have some skills that people are looking for. Maybe you’re a social media maven, or you have great online business skills. Selling your time and hopping on a Skype call or Google hangout is a great hustle.

A good platform to get started with this is Clarity.fm. You can get paid by the minute for your consulting calls.

21. Online Freelancing

There is a lot of freelance work online. You can sign up for sites like UpWork, or you can even become your own online freelancer like I did. I’ve made over $10,000 on the side by online freelancing, and I share my story, as well as resources to help you get started, here: How To Start Freelance Blogging and Earn $1,000s on the Side.

One of the more popular ways to make money freelancing right now is by doing SEO consulting. If you’re a little savvy and analytical, you can make $75/hr or more. Check out this free SEO Consulting Course to get started.

You could also do something like proofreading or transcription work. Many bloggers and authors need proofreaders to make sure their writing is on point. You can learn how to get started proofreading for bloggers and others here.

For podcasters, having a great transcription can be huge. When you hear the term “show notes”, who do you think helped put that together? Learn how to transcribe from home here.

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