Quick Cash: 30 Ways to Make Easy Money in One Day
Do You Need Money Now?
My idea of fast cash is getting money now, not in a week, but having cash in hand that day and without needing a lot of money to invest in to begin with.
In order to get money quickly and legally, you either have to sell, borrow, or beg for something.
Here are some ideas that you may not have thought of before. Some are online and some are offline, some well-worn and others a bit edgy, but hey, you need money and a man's got to do what a man's (or woman's) got to do!
30 Easy, Quick Ways to Earn Cash Now
1. Rent out Your Apartment and Go Stay with a Friend
I've actually done this one so I know it's possible, but I live in Manhattan where you can rent out just about anything for the right price. These days, it's so easy to list a temporary rental on Craigslist, anyone can do it. If you live in a busy destination spot or you know of a big upcoming event in your town, consider using your house or apartment to earn money.
2. Sell Plasma
This has been a tried-and-true method to earn fast cash for a long time now. Why? Because it works. Apparently, selling blood is illegal but selling plasma isn't. If you want to do this, just Google "where can I sell plasma in [your town]" and go from there.
3. Have a Garage Sale
Sure, it's been done, but still, it's a great way to get rid of your old junk and make some easy cash. You say you don't have enough stuff? Well, hit up your friends, family, and neighbors. I'm sure they have enough old stuff that they would be glad to get rid of!
4. Sell Something on Craigslist or eBay
If your stuff is too valuable for a garage sale, put up an ad and sell it. Again, see if your neighbor, friend, or acquaintance has any items they'd like to sell and offer to do it for them for a cut. Many people are too busy to do it themselves and they would be glad for your help. You'd be surprised at what people will buy!
5. Collect Bottles and Cans
This is what I call homeless work, but hey, homeless people aren't collecting bottles and cans for nothing! For every recyclable container you bring in, you can earn approximately 5 to 10 cents, and it adds up quickly.
6. Borrow It
If you have family or friends, ask them for a loan. Why not? The worst they can do is say no and think less of you, but maybe they'll understand. Keep your mind on the cash, baby! If you have no friends, there are other people that will lend you money (see the video at the end of this article), although of course the terms may not be the greatest and you do have to have good credit.
Babysitters make about $10.00 an hour (depending on your area and how many kids are being watched). If I were you, I'd pile them in. Of course, you don't want Children's Protective Services on your case, so keep it to five kids at a time and you'll earn around $50.00 an hour (if you can handle it).
8. Sell Your Old Books
Many cities have bookstores that will buy old books. I've sold over 100 books at a store called Book-Off. From what I understand, Strand's also buys books. I've also sold books at Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Usually you don't get much for your books. In New York I only got, on average, a dollar per book, but I sold all 150 books I brought for a total of $150. It isn't much but it's better than nothing for books that you don't want or have already read.
9. Shovel Snow
If it's snowing, put an offer on Craigslist to shovel snow. This is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll explain anyway. Check out other snow-shovelers, see what they are charging, and then undercut them a little. A little competition never hurt anyone and hey, you're desperate, right!
10. Pawn Something
You know that ring your great aunt left you that you never wear? Pawn it! You can get it back later if you want to.
11. Rent out Your Couch (or Spare Room)
I've done this too (but once again, I'm in Manhattan). People who don't have money for a hotel still need a place to sleep and shower, and believe me they'd much rather stay on your couch than sleep in the car or on a park bench. Of course, you should be careful not to rent out to criminals, but if you interview your prospective lodger carefully, trust your gut feelings, and get some money up front, it should work out for you; it worked out for me.
12. Rent out Your Garage
Clean up your crap and list your garage as a place where someone else can store their crap. Storage is expensive. If you can undercut the going rate, you will have takers.
13. Mow Lawns
Give the local tween a run for his money: it's a dog-eat-dog world, you know!
14. Clean Gutters
Many people don't have the time or skill to do this job themselves. Make sure you know what you are doing and aren't afraid of heights.
15. Sign up as an Extra on a Movie
In New York or L.A., you can do this and get paid the same day. Everywhere else you're kind of out of luck on this one, although more and more movies are getting made in places like New Orleans, San Francisco, Miami, and Atlanta. Check Backstage Casting for more information.
16. Pet-Sit and Walk Dogs
The nice thing about this is that you can do other jobs while you're on the job, like babysitting, so you could make twice the money for the same hours. I'm always thinking!
17. Same-Day Jobs
Depending on where you live, Craigslist often has one-day jobs like cleaning someone's apartment that day. Check Craigslist's listings under "gigs,” as well as their job listings under “part-time” and “etc.”
18. Pose as a Nude Model
You don't have to be young or cute or female for this job. At art schools and classes that need live models, one can make $30 to $100 dollars an hour. I wouldn't do this, but you might.
19. Promote Clubs
In New York and other large cities, you can make from $400 to $1000 a week promoting clubs. Usually this entails standing on the curb and handing out fliers but hey, there are worse things out there!
20. "I Will Wait for You"
I heard of a woman who advertised that she would wait for the cable guy, the electrician, or a plumber for you for a certain rate per hour. I thought it sounded like a good idea because people are busy and don't want to take time off of work.
21. Taxi, Anyone?
Give the local taxi service a run for their money. If you have a car, you can offer rides for a price. If you can wait until the end of the week to be paid, there are informal taxi services like Uber which will hire you as an independent contractor.
Sit in front of Starbucks looking depressed, with a cup and a sign saying that you need money for food. Hey it works, I saw a guy sit in a busy downtown Manhattan Starbucks and I think he took in at least 200 bucks while I watched him for 2½ hours. They also fed him lunch. I considered it for a moment but thought, ”I'm too fat. No one would believe that I'm starving,” so I didn't do it. :)
23. Payday Loans
I hate to even mention these, because the high rates are a ripoff (the equivalent of up to 400% interest, compared to up to 30% for credit cards). Still, they are a way to get money fast.
24. Exchange Your Paper Dollars for Quarters
I know this makes no sense, but let me explain. Sometimes you'll find valuable old coins that you can sell for a profit. Until 1965, the US used real silver in its quarters: that year they stopped, since the value of the quarter's silver exceeded 25 cents. You can identify silver quarters by looking at the edge: the quarters that are not silver will have a stripe of copper. The ones that are all silver don't have the copper stripe and are dated between 1932 and 1964. This site about U.S. Coins will help you figure out what to look for and how much you'll get. Value depends on the scarcity of the coin and the current price of silver: last I checked, silver was worth about $20.00 an ounce.
25. Sell Your Old Gold Jewelry
I think gold is going up, up, up, so you won't get the best deal, but if you really need cash right now, I mean today, they will give it to you.
26. Count Cards
Again, this is taking a risk, but life is risky. Counting cards at card games like blackjack—using memory techniques to estimate the proportion of low to high cards left in the deck—can put the odds in your favor when you bet. It isn't illegal, but the casinos don't like it. If you can learn how to count cards, then the odds are in your favor. If not, then you are just throwing your money away because the odds are against you. I would not recommend playing cards for money if you can't count cards successfully.
27. Fix Something
What are you good at? Can you fix a computer or a car? Advertise on Craigslist, fix something for someone, and you will be paid in cash that day!
28. Sell Junk Metals
Copper is going up, so if you can find copper and other scrap metal, you can sell it to a junk metal dealer and get money that very day. Of course, you shouldn't steal it, as some are prone to do!
29. Pick Fruit and Sell It
In the summer, in places like the northwest, blackberries grow like weeds. Pick them, set up a small roadside stand, and sell them.
30. Last but Not Least, SELL YOURSELF!
This isn't what you think: Get your mind out of the gutter! There are websites like care.com or Craigslist where you can offer your services for a day or two for cash. I did this once for a man who was hospitalized and didn't want to impose on his friends to come and pick him up. I made $30.00 an hour, in cash, to escort him out of the hospital. Seriously, all I did was walk him out, help him back to his apartment, and get him some ice at the corner store. It was the easiest money I ever made. I did several odd jobs from that site and was always paid well, in cash, that very day. So give it a go. Who knows, you might find a niche that suits you and provides enough money to start your own business!
Okay, that's all I can think of for now, all that's legal at least :), so good luck in making fast cash! If you have any other ideas, please comment below.
Related Links by Brie Hoffman
- 19 Off-Grid Small Business Ideas
Money is tight all over but making money off the grid is a unique challenge. If you don't use public utilities, you still need to pay taxes. Here are 19 business ideas in which you can make money off-grid.
- Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online and Avoid Scams with no start-up Money!
As we know, there are lots of online scams out there, but here are some legitimate ways that I have consistently made money online.
- Advice for those who Can't Pay their Credit Card Bills
This blog is for people out there who cannot pay their credit card bills. If you have lost your job or suffered from an illness and you cannot pay your credit card, whatever the reason...
- Facing Foreclosure: FIGHT BACK!
Okay, so you are facing foreclosure and wondering why? Let's start with a very brief synopsis of the whole mortgage meltdown crisis: Here is what happened in a nutshell.
- How to Sell your Home on Craigslist and Save a ton of Money!
It's easy to save a ton of money in real estate commissions by selling your own home, using Craigslist. This can be done from 3,000 miles away and without a real estate license and I will show you how.
- Money Tips—How to Stretch a Dollar
Sew your own clothes and buy from garage sales: I recently started doing this and not only am I saving a fortune by not having someone else alter my clothes (I'm short), but I am also saving money.
- How I make $600 to $1,500 Cash Every Month Easily
Times are hard and who couldn't use some extra cash these days? And when times are hard, creativity is key. I'm going to tell you how I have paid my rent even though it is $2,300 a month.
- Do You Really Want to Know Why the U.S. Economy is Falling Apart?
If the American people could just wrap their heads around the fact that the Federal Reserve is a group of men who print money and run our government because of it, it would change the world.