In January, the US government shutdown became the longest in American history. Over 420,000 federal employees went to work without pay. Another 380,000 were sent home. Government contractors went on indefinite leave.
They joined a growing number of Americans facing tough decisions over finances. Sometimes you need to get money fast to fend off the wolves at your door.
If you are looking for some legit ways to make money fast, here are some ideas for scoring quick cash. Though, it all depends on what “quick” means in your situation.
If You Need Money ASAP
If you’ve already ransacked your junks drawers and furniture cushions for spare change and didn’t find a hidden stash, then you’ve got to find a way to earn money fast. Take a look around and see what you can generate into quick cash.
1. Recycle Cans and Scrap
Ten states in the US have bottle deposit laws, including California and New York. You can return aluminum can and glass bottles for five cents each, or 10 cents if you live in Michigan.
You can collect bottles from around your neighborhood. Many leave them outside for curbside pickup. A 50-gallon trash bag filled with cans redeems for about $12. That’s not a huge amount. But with a little hustle, you can accumulate quite a bit.
If bottle deposits don’t exist in your state, you can always sell scrap metal. In this case, collecting cans isn’t worth your time and effort. Though, you may have old aluminum hanging around or scrap metal containing copper.
If so, you can get a reasonable price from your local recycling center. Prices vary per market. No matter, if it’s junking up your garage and yard, you may as well haul it in. Even $20 back is $20 you didn’t have before.
2. Sell or Pawn More Valuable Items
We aren’t talking about your grandmother’s pearls here. Think of items around the house that hold value that you don’t want or need. Some examples are DVDs, baby clothes, and small kitchen appliances you never use.
Post these items for sale on your local marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook. If you want to get money fast, you can post them for cheap. Or, for high-value items, you may want to hold out for a decent price.
You can pawn items as well, though you rarely get a price close to the item’s actual worth.
3. Sell Your Old Smart Phone
If you have an old smartphone and you need cash fast, there are a few places that will pay you for your old phone. One is ecoATM.
If you search and find a kiosk in your area, drive to it. You place your old cell phone in the ecoATM’s test station. The machine examines your phone, identifying the model number and condition.
Then it scans the retail market and offers you a price. If you agree, you get the money right then and there. This is why they are called ATMs. ecoATM also accepts MP3 players and tablets.
Another vendor focuses on Apple products. Cult of Mac buys your old Mac devices. You mail your device to them and get paid in about ten business days.
4. Day Labor for Quick Cash
Even if you have a job already, you can try your hand with a day labor agency for your days off. Day labor jobs are generally low-skill and low-pay, though what you need is just a little extra.
Arrive early in the morning to increase your chances of being chosen for the job. You go to work right then and get paid at the end of your shift.
5. Sell Your Plasma
Is there a plasma donation center in your area? You can make anywhere from $25 to $50. You will get paid the same day. Some donation centers pay in the form of money cards.
It takes about 30 minutes to donate your plasma, and a little longer the first time. You’ll have to fill out paperwork and have a quick physical. You can sell plasma about twice a week. Not a large amount, but a legit source for funds.
6. Family and Friends Loan
This option may be one you save for last, and who can blame you? Asking a friend or family member for a loan can be a kick to your pride. Sometimes it is an option you at least have to consider, especially if they can get your money today.
7. Have a Garage Sale
If you have a good amount of stuff lying around, a yard sale may be worth the pain and effort. You can devote a weekend to clearing out the junk. See how much of it you can turn into quick cash.
If nothing else, you’ve cleared out the clutter and put gas money in your pocket.
8. Drive for Uber or Lyft
This is not an option for everyone. Though, if you have the time, a reliable vehicle, good insurance, and people skills, you can make extra cash this way.
The average Uber driver makes about $9-$10 per hour, give or take. That may be less than you thought. Though, you get paid instantly (after passing the background check) and get to set your hours.
To make the most money, drive during peak hours like Saturday nights. For the short term at least, it may be worth the extra wear and tear on your car.
9. Sell Your Event Tickets
If you have tickets to a large concert or another event, decide how important it is to keep hold of them. If you woke up today thinking “I need money fast,” consider selling them at a fair price.
StubHub is a well-known ticket resale website. Other sites include VividSeats and Ticketmaster. Depending on the event, you could make just about all your money back. You may have to wait a few days for the cash to arrive.
10. Sell Your Gift Cards
Do you have gift cards lying around? You can sell them at discount prices. Gift card exchange websites like CardCash.com verifies the balance on your cards. They purchase them, and you can get paid in about two days.
There’s typically a fee of 15% or more of the card’s value. That may be a small price to pay for getting quick cash when you need it.
If you have a marketable skill like SEO writing or graphic design, you can make a quick buck on Fiverr.com. Fiverr does not generate lucrative side hustles. They do provide a means for earning money quickly.
Most gigs start at just $5, and Fiverr takes 20 percent as their fee. You can glean a little more by working quick jobs in volume or offering add-on services to your base rate.
Signup is free and Fiverr pays quickly. All in all, it’s not a bad way to earn some quick cash using your creative skills.
When You’ll Need Money Soon
Sometimes you know you’ll need money within a month or so. It’s still a money crunch, but you have some time to gather the needed funds. Try some of the following ideas on for size.
12. Rent Out a Room
If you can handle strangers in your home, websites like Airbnb make it possible for people to rent a room or apartment from people like you.
You can make money renting out a room in your home while you’re there. You can make more by renting out your entire home while you’re gone. You’ll make less than what your local hotels charge.
That can still earn you over $100 a night depending on the city you live in. It’s not instant income, though. You list your place, then wait. Your first reservation may not happen for months.
13. Dog Walking and Pet Sitting
If you’re good with animals, you can try your hand at pet sitting or dog walking. Rover.com is an established website where you can sign up as a provider.
The company reviews your profile and takes up to five days. You may not qualify if you don’t have experience. If you are approved, people can hire you to walk dogs in your neighborhood.
Or, you can host a dog in your home. You can earn up to $40 per night and get paid three to six days after.
14. Part-Time Job
Onboarding at any company takes a while. A side job is an excellent source of supplemental income. Though, it can take a month to hire on and receive your first paycheck.
If you know you’ll have ongoing added expenses, a part-time gig may be a solution for your near future.
Sometimes, it just makes the most sense to take out a loan from a reputable lender. The interest rates on personal loans are higher than a home equity loan. Though a personal loan is better than cash advances on your credit cards.
15. Taking Out a Personal Loan
The best personal loan meets your specific needs and circumstances. If you are considering a personal loan or even a payday loan, think about your goals for the loan.
How much money do you need to pay your monthly expenses? What’s your credit score?
It’s best to take out a loan for just enough or slightly more than your needs demand. Think about the repayment process. Payments can’t exceed 15% of your gross monthly income. Budgeting is a must.
Personal Loans for Low, Bad, or No Credit
Personal loans for bad credit are available. Though, you can expect the interest rate to be higher. This type of loan may give you the opportunity to build your credit rating back up.
They are available for low or no credit as well. The details for each depend on your situation.
Consult a Professional
There are many types of loans out there. Deciding on the right one can be overwhelming. Though, loan applications are far less complicated now, making them a viable option for getting quick cash when you need it.
If you opt to take out a loan to get you through this bump in the road, you can learn more about how to get quick cash by taking out a loan, visit our learning center.
Better yet, contact us directly with questions.