Need money fast? We have all been there before.
While it’s best to have a cushy emergency fund you can fall back on to help you cover unexpected expenses, there may be times where your needs don’t justify spending from your emergency savings or you may have too many expenses for your small savings fund to cover if you are just starting out.
Last week, my husband and I were faced with some unexpected travel expenses and we really didn’t want to dip into our emergency fund since it’s still growing and we’re trying to save up for a house.
Taking out a loan can be costly and borrowing from your retirement fund is just a bad idea. Instead, try one of these 8 realistic ways to make extra money fast so you can cover your expense(s).
1. Use TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit allows you to earn money by doing small tasks for other people in your local area. People list tasks they need help with whether it’s running errands, handyman work, help moving, cleaning services, personal assistant duties etc.
The compensation varies depending on the task, but you’ll see the rate before you accept the job and can get paid within 24 hours of completing the work. When you sign up, you do have to attend a brief orientation in your area and it could take 3 business days for your payment to show up after you complete a task so to be on the safe side, this option could allow you to make extra money within a week’s time or less if you’re already signed up to be a tasker.
2. Write Articles
TextBroker is an online service that provides web content to companies for a low price. TextBroker hires freelancers (you) to write this web content for an even lower fee. Basically, a client pays TextBroker $10 for a 500-word article and TextBroker pays you $5 to write it.
The application process is simple. Submit your online application which includes your name, address, etc. and a writing sample. Make sure you submit a decent writing sample because the quality of it will determine which writing gigs you can accept. Once you submit your application, you will have to send a picture of your government-issued ID to prove that you are a US citizen. Don’t worry – you can block out any personal information that you don’t want TextBroker to see.
Once your application is approved, start writing! There are plenty of writing gigs to choose from at any given time. Some are 200 words in length; others are 1000. Obviously, the longer length assignments pay more. The assignments are organized by topic. You can only work on one assignment at a time.
3. Complete Freelance Projects On Freelancer.com
If writing isn’t your forte, you can still earn money quickly by using some of your other skills to pick up freelancing gigs on Freelancer.com is a crowdsourcing website that matches freelancers with people who need projects completed.
The projects range from graphic design to writing to data entry. Signing up is easy, no super personal information required. When you create your profile, you select your skills, include a biography and submit work samples. You also have the option to add a profile picture.
Once you sign up, you can immediately begin bidding on jobs. There are usually a handful or more of other bidders, so bid wisely in terms of how much you want to get paid and how long it will take you to finish the project.
Freelancer.com takes a $5 or 3% service fee (whichever is higher) from every project you complete. Keep that in mind when bidding for lower priced projects.
4. Sell Used Items On Craigslist.Org Today
Craigslist is a fast resource for selling used items online. If your item is in demand, you could sell it in as little as one day. I’ve sold a used a camera, baby gear, and electronics on Craigslist. Here are some tips for selling used items on Craigslist:
- Pick a used item that you will never use again
- Search through Craigslist and see the price range for similar items
- List your item using a separate email address from your main one (to protect your privacy and avoid spam)
- Make sure you explain why you are selling the item and any wear and tear it has
- Only communicate via email at first
- Only exchange numbers once you have identified a buyer
- Meet in a public place and exchange item for money
5. Sell Items At A Local Yard Sale
Yard sales are popular during the warm months. Most will let you participate for a small table fee ($10 or so).
I had a yard sale last summer and made $60 selling things from around my home at the yard sale. That’s a $50 profit for getting rid of items I would have otherwise thrown away or donated! Here are some tips for successfully selling items at a yard sale:
- Find local yard sales through your apartment building, community centers or Craigslist
- Secure your table (either pay in advance or arrive at the sale early)
- Only sell items you are sure you have no need for
- Bring cash to give buyers change
- Toward the end of the sale, start selling the remaining of your items for one or two dollars
6. Work Overtime at Your Day Job
If you are an hourly worker, try to find opportunities to do overtime at your job. Overtime is paid at one and half times your regular hourly wage. So, the overtime hours can add up to a good amount of extra income really quickly.
At some jobs, overtime hours must be pre-approved. If this is the case, demonstrate to your manager that your workload requires working past your normal end time or coming in early. If you work in a job in which you can simply sign up for additional shifts, do so to earn overtime income.
Others ways to make overtime income:
- Help out in other departments to get extra hours
- Volunteer for additional projects
- Relieve a busy co-worker of some tasks
7. Sign Up With A Staffing Agency (Or Three)
Staffing agencies are well known for placing people in jobs fairly quickly. I suggest you sign up with more than one agency to multiply your chances of getting a job. Call the offices or walk into the location and discuss your resume. The recruiter will let you know if there are openings that match your skill set and then will be in touch from there.
Stay by your phone! A job opportunity can arise anytime. It is not unheard of for staffing agencies to get last minute request for a worker that same day. The more prepared you are to work immediately; the more jobs opportunities you will get.
Staffing agencies offer temporary assignments (as short as one day), temporary-to-permanent (temp to perm) jobs, and direct hire jobs.
8. Complete Online Surveys
Online surveys are a small but reliable way to make fast income online. You set up an account with a survey website and then answers surveys based on your demographic qualifications. For example, some surveys may only want females over the age of 25 to answer – or people age 18 and older who listen to the radio.
Be wary of websites that claim you don’t qualify for any surveys. These sites may just be taking your personal information with no intent to pay you. Below are two websites I use to take paid online surveys. Some survey sites take a while to pay out but these compensate with cash or a PayPal gift card rather quickly.
- MindSwarms – 24 hours
- Swagbucks – up to 10 days
- Pinecone Research – instantly
- Opinion Outpost – $10 minimum within 24 hours
(Here are a bunch of other legit survey sites you can sign up with. Keep in mind that payment time with these can vary.)
Having a reliable way to make money quickly can make a huge difference when you need money fast. Keep these ideas in mind the next time you are faced with an expense and don’t want to use your emergency savings or take out a loan to cover it.
Have you ever done any of these things to earn extra money?
Photo Credit: eskamilho