Every superstar hits a ruff patch. You’re between pay checks, running low on cash and then disaster strikes and you need money–now. Or you get paid on Friday and find yourself broke on Monday. You have too much integrity or are too scared to rob a bank…but the thought has crossed your mind.
Don’t fret! I am here to help.
20 safe and legitimate ways to get money fast
Below is a list 20 perfectly legal and legitimate ways to get your hands on some cash in a pinch. Some of the ways are more suitable for some than others but the list will provide you with options and more importantly get you to generate your own creative ideas on how to increase your cash flow.
Keep in mind that these are short term solutions. The real solution to your money problems is proper money management and planning (a.k.a. budgeting). Learning to live below your means, delaying gratification, eliminating debt and reducing your dependency on credit are the keys to financial freedom.
If you need money today…
1. Pawn or sell something
If you’re REALLY in a pinch, you may need to pawn or sell that prized possession you’ve got stashed away. Your desperate situation may call for you to have to part with that old comic book collection, your grandmother’s antique pearls or china or that coin collection you’ve had since childhood. I do advise that you think long and hard before making this decision. Once it’s gone–it will be incredibly difficult to get it back and your desperation will ensure that you probably won’t get what the item is actually worth.
Another option is to dig through your closets, and basement for stuff that may still have some value such as an old DVD or video game collection, your 10-year-old’s baby clothes, a toddler bicycle, that espresso machine ( or juicer) that you only used once.
There are tons of apps1 that let you snap a picture of your stuff and post it online immediately.
2. Sell an old cell phone
Almost everyone has an old smartphone lying around that still works. You decided to upgrade from that perfectly functional phone because it was the chic thing to do. Now the old phone is just laying around collecting dust. Sell it! If you need money today check out the website ecoATM. This site allows you to safely sell and recycle your old phone. They also pay cash for old tablets, iPods and MP3 players.
3. Sell your clothes at a local consignment shop
If you have quality designer clothes or furniture you no longer want or need go ahead and sell it outright to a consignment or thrift shop. A lot of consignment shops will buy your items outright eliminating the consignment fee and the wait for your items to sell. You won’t get top dollar this way but you will walk away with some cash in hand.
4. Borrow from a friend or family member
This is the one method most of us want to avoid. However, you can receive the money the same day using apps such as PayPal. Keep in mind that borrowing from a loved one takes humility and sincerity. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT borrow from friends or family if you have no intentions of repaying the loan or if you know you cannot meet the terms of repayment2. This is the quickest way to ruin a relationship. Proceed with caution.
5. Sell your plasma
You can get paid for your plasma. Most donation centers will pay you anywhere from $25-$50 for it. The best part about selling plasma is that most places will allow you to sell it up two times per week.
**Quick note: There is a difference between selling your plasma and donating blood. You do not get paid for blood donations so make sure you distinguish between the two and are clear with your request.
6. Get A Cash Advance
This is a bad idea! I do not recommend this unless there is a life and death situation and you have a plan for quick repayment. Some credit cards offer the opportunity to take out cash against your credit limit. Please understand that the terms of repayment are going to be MUCH different than the terms for regular credit card purchases. Between the fees for accessing the money and the jacked up interest rate, it is not unusual for you to end up spending $1,000 for an $800 cash advance. It’s simply not worth it.
If you need money in 7 to 10 days…
7. Sell your clothes online
Selling your clothes is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make money fast. The clothing resell industry has become very trendy and is reportedly a $16 billion dollar industry3. There are hundreds of online apps, websites and avenues to get your clothes sold. Some apps and websites even pay the shipping costs for you.
8. Sell your junk online
Websites such as Craig’s List, Amazon, Ebay, and the list goes on, are great and cheap ways for you to sell your junk. You can resell ANYTHING these days. If you bought it, chances are there is someone out there who will pay you for it. These sites take time as you have to ship items, items have to be verified and then you are paid. Payment on these websites usually take seven to ten business days.
9. Sell your unused gift cards
Sites such as Cardpool, Raise and Cardcash will al low you to resell your unused gift cards for slightly less than face value. You can get you money in as little as two days and even quicker for e gift cards. It’s a quick, easy and painless process.
10. Become an Uber/Lyft Driver
If you have some extra time on your hands–just a few hours a week would do it–and live in or near a populous area, driving for Uber/Lyft is a very lucrative way to make money fast. It is also a great long-term side hustle. Uber drivers can make as much as some full-time jobs if they work in the right area. You could earn $100 mark in as little as five hours per week.
11. Sell your sports/concert tickets
Got season tickets or concert tickets? Sell them. In some cases you may not get face value for the tickets but you can recoup a good portion of your money. For really popular events–such as play off games or marquee performances–you can make well above the ticket face value. If you’re that desperate for money, missing a concert or the big game isn’t that big a deal.
12. Do odd jobs
Babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting, cutting grass, house cleaning, walking dogs and other odd jobs around the neighborhood are great ways to get some quick cash in your pocket.
13. Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks
Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks are websites that pays you cash (very small amounts of cash) to perform various tasks such as watching videos, commenting on ads, taking surveys, shopping and the list goes on and on. You will not get rich using these website, but you can earn a couple extra bucks by spending a few minutes (or hours) online. The websites requires you to bank $30 before you are paid.
If you need money in 30 days…
14. Negotiate with your creditors
If you need money to pay bills or debts, call your creditors and try to negotiate. Explain your situation and request an extension or make arrangements to pay a portion of what you owe. Most creditors will work with you. Their primary goal is to get their money. They are willing to wait a few days or take a portion of the payment in lieu of you not paying them at all.
15. Get a part time job
Look, I get it. You are already overworked, under paid and stretched thin as it is. But a part-time job isn’t forever. It’s only temporary. If you can work long enough to avert the crisis and then establish an emergency fund, you won’t find yourself in this predicament again. You may have to deliver pizzas in the evenings or work retail on weekends but anything worth having requires work. We live in the age of the side-hustle and in the era of multiple streams of income. This is one bandwagon worth joining. The more you do now, the less you have to do later.
16. Become a Secret Shopper
Secret shopping is the perfect side hustle for those who love to shop, stay-at-home moms and anyone who loves good customer service. Mystery or secret shoppers are independent contractors posing as “shoppers”. You are paid to visit your local stores and shops as a regular customer and report back on various aspects of your experience. A word of caution! This industry is full of scams. Be sure to check out the company reviews online or stick with companies that are tried and true4.
17. Garage/Yard Sale
There is nothing like a good ‘ole fashion yard sale to generate additional pocket money. I’m talking about the kind where you search every nook and cranny of your house and completely de-clutter and purge all of the items that are not absolutely necessary for you to live.
When planning the sale, make sure you advertise in your local area and also blast it on social media. A great thing about these sales is that anything that does not sell at the physical location of the event can be sold online. A great place to sell leftover items is on the Facebook Yard sale page.
18. Conventional Loan
This is an option–just not a good one. By taking out a loan, you are compounding your money problems in lieu of fixing them. However, if you feel you must take out a loan, experts suggest visiting your local credit union. Many local credit unions are getting into the short-term loan game and offer rates far superior to pay-day and other short-term loans. You do have to be a member of your credit union in good standing. Credit unions offering short-term loans work with those with poor credit and offer better rates, terms and conditions than other short-term lenders.
19. Become a Virtual Assistant or Bookkeeper
Virtual assistants provide a wide range of services to individuals, organizations or companies, but they do it virtually in lieu going into an office. It’s an excellent work from home opportunity and one of the most cost-effective ways of making money online. Rates for providing virtual services online could range from $10 an hour for simple data entry tasks to hundreds of dollars an hour if you have a highly specialized skill or expertise. You can work for a company online such as Upwork, Elance or Problogger or you can work as an independent contractor.
20. Rent out a room or become an Airbnb host
Got extra space? Rent it out. Getting a roommate is a great way to cut cost and save money fast. As with anything, make sure you do your research and due diligence when it comes choosing a roommate. If you live in or near a high tourist area, working with a service such as Airbnb is a great way to get a steady stream of qualified guests. They vet your potential guests for you and provide you with referrals.
Everyone needs some cash from time to time. The ways listed above are fairly quick and easily accessible ways to get a hold of some extra cash. The best way to avoid these money crisis is by living modestly and well below your means, saving for emergencies and following a budget.
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