42 Easy Ways to Make Money Fast

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No matter your reason for needing extra cash, here are several creative ways to make money over the next 30 days.

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You’re broke and payday is still a week away. You need to figure out how to make money fast.

Rejoice, you’ve arrived at the right place.

Whether it’s the end of the month and you’re short on rent, or you’ve got a small debt that’s come knocking, often all you need is a few bucks to get you over the hump (and preferably something you can start today).

To that end, if you need to somehow come up with $100 (or more) in the next few days, you may be able to find a few options on this list to help you pull it off.

On the other hand, if you’re deeply in debt and need a large sum of cash on short notice, this list probably isn’t for you. Outside of selling thousands of dollars worth of belongings or maxing out credit cards, anything that promises four figures in a short time frame is likely a scam.

Be safe and stick to the legitimate ideas you’ll find here. Everything included has been vetted as a real way to make money. Whether it’s a short-term work-from-home gig or cashing in on a unique promo opportunity a company has to offer, we’ve done the due diligence on dozens of different money-making ideas so you don’t have to.

1. Earn cashback and rewards 

The average American spends $1,804 online each year.
According to Invesp, the average online shopping revenue per shopper is: USA: $1,804, UK: $1,629, Sweden: $1,446, France: $1,228, Germany: $1,064

Earning potential: $100+ per year

If you do any shopping online (and if you don’t, who are you?), you are probably familiar with cashback and reward apps.

The premise is pretty simple: find something you like or actually need online, buy it through DollarSprout Rewards, and save money you would have otherwise spent.

It’s common to find an easy 2 to 5% cash back at popular retailers, and the browser extension also automatically searches the web for coupons and promo codes to try. 

ds rewards merchants

Once you install the desktop browser extension and quickly set it up, it’s set to start saving you automatically, forever. There’s no “catch” and it’s completely free to use. Between these savings and my cash back credit card rewards, I am paying for my summer vacation using earnings I’d otherwise have lost.

Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links we provided.

2. Cash in on the food delivery boom

instacart shopper
Source: Instacart

Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, food delivery apps were increasing in popularity. Now, we are seeing record levels of orders being placed every day.

Cash in on this trend by considering the ways you can make money delivering everyday items to people in need. Even in a post-pandemic world, the demand for the convenience of delivery will still be there. If Amazon has taught us anything, it’s that people love having stuff magically show up at their doorstep.

Driver-friendly apps include Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber Eats.

3. Take paid surveys

how survey sites work infographic

Earning potential: $50+ per month

Paid survey sites sometimes get a bad rap, but that’s usually because people have expectations that are too high. Surveys won’t make you rich (not even close), but they are an easy way to earn money in your spare time.

Market research companies such as Branded Surveys are hired by brands and businesses to find out more about consumers. Research companies often use surveys to gather these insights, and they pay survey takers for their time. Most surveys usually pay somewhere between $0.50 and $3.00, but there are some outliers that pay significantly more.

If you need help paying bills that are imminently due, surveys aren’t going to work out well for you. If, instead, you want a way to slowly accumulate $25 to $50+ every month in cash or gift cards without committing to too much work, surveys are perfect. Other high-paying survey sites include InboxDollars, Survey Junkie, and Swagbucks

4. Drive with Uber

Uber app icon and screenshots

Once you are cleared to drive with the Uber app, you can start earning right away. In fact, Uber Instant Pay now lets drivers cash out for instant deposits to their bank account up to five times a day. In most cases, you’ll receive cash in your debit card account, but it could take a few days, depending on your bank.

Between the fast payment options and the on-demand style of the app (you are in complete control of when and how much you drive), it makes sense why driving with Uber is regularly among the top choices for gig economy side hustlers.

According to Uber’s website, during the pandemic, many drivers stopped driving because of the reduced demand from riders (people were staying home). As cities began to reopen, there weren’t enough drivers available for all the riders who were requesting trips. That means that now is a great time to sign up to become a driver with Uber.

Get started on the Uber app.

5. Sell your location data

tapestri homepage

Odds are we’ve all heard some variation of the phrase “if it seems too good to be true, it is.” Just this one time, it’s wrong. 

If you’re not opposed to sharing your location data with yet another app (hint: you likely already share your location data with a dozen or more apps on your phone), you can earn up to $25 per month in completely passive income. 

With Tapestri, you merely install the app, give it permission to leverage your location data, and forget it. That’s it. You never need to interact with the app again if you so choose. 

Tapestri works with large brands like Walmart, Target, etc., to better understand consumer behavior. By collecting travel patterns on thousands of consumers, brands can get a better idea of how to target potential customers with their advertising dollars. 

The location data you share is completely anonymous, which makes this a safe, ridiculously easy way to earn a few bucks each month. 

6. Sell your textbooks

make more money selling textbooks online
University bookstores offer pennies on the dollar for used textbooks. Look at online sites like BookScouter.com for better buyback deals.

Earning potential: Up to $300

If you’re a college student or have graduated within the last year or two, chances are good that you still have some textbooks that you could easily sell for a few extra bucks. Usually, when you sell back textbooks, you get a tiny fraction of what you paid for it. I remember getting around $40 for a $300 physics textbook that I sold back to my university bookstore — a horrible deal.

Nowadays, there are sites like BookScouter that allow you to “comparison shop” when it comes to selling back your textbooks.

BookScouter, which tops our list of the best places to sell textbooks, is an online platform that lets you compare buy-back prices from over 30 different vendors so you can get the most money. If I had known about this back then, I probably could have got at least double for my physics textbook.

7. Teach English as a second language online

vipkid salary statistics
Teaching English to children in China is a lucrative business for companies like VIPKid and EF Education First.

Earning potential: $13-$20+ per hour

As I was doing research into tutoring jobs, I was surprised to learn how large the demand is in teaching English as a second language. In the United States, most students take 2 or 3 years of a foreign language in high school and then move on.

According to a 2016 study by China Youth Daily, nearly 70 percent of parents in China report that “their own children or children they know started learning English before five years old, mainly due to Chinese parents’ fixation on giving children an early advantage.” That is vastly different from how things are in the United States, which also means that the need for qualified teachers is constantly growing.

There are many private companies that specialize in remotely teaching English to Chinese students, but two of the most prominent are VIPKid and EF Education First.

8. Make an investment in your own health

betting on weight loss leads to higher made goal weight rates
According to a randomized, controlled study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people who bet were 5X more likely to hit a goal.

Earning potential: $50-$2,000+ in 6 months

To some degree, money is a motivator for most people. And the prospect of losing money is an even greater motivator.

Sites like HealthyWage and DietBet understand this side of human psychology and use it to incentivize their users to hit weight loss goals. If you want to lose weight and make some extra money in the process, consider placing a “bet” on either of these sites. If you reach your goal (which will be measured via a verified weigh-in), you get paid. If you don’t meet your weight loss goal, you lose your bet. See HealthyWage’s prize calculator to get an idea of how much you stand to win.

Related: 5 Apps That’ll Pay You to Lose Weight 

9. Rent out your space

average rent received per guest when renting a property out through airbnb
Source: iPropertyManagement

Earning potential: $500+ per month

If you have room to spare in your home, VRBO could be the perfect way for you to easily make some extra money.

The premise is simple: see how much your space might be worth, list a single room (or the whole house) on the app, screen potential guests, and then get paid. 

To get started, create a listing by filling out a description, take and upload photos of your space, and set a price. Your listing helps guests get a sense of what your place is like. Then, set the dates the space will be available and draft your house rules. Once your listing is live, guests can book their stay at your home, and you start earning money.

10. Help with product testing

80% of new products on the market fail to meet sales goals.
According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched and 80% of them fail.

Earning potential: $20+ per month plus products

Before a big product launch, brands solicit research companies to get as much feedback as possible from potential customers. Putting something out in the market without getting any input beforehand is a recipe for disaster (and lots of wasted money).

In order to get that valuable feedback, companies often use product testers. Product testers agree to give the product a test ride and their honest thoughts, usually in exchange for a free product or monetary compensation (or both).

To get started with product testing, sign up with market research companies and fill out your demographic information. If a testing opportunity comes up that fits your profile, you will be notified of the next steps.

11. Rent out your RV

Earning potential: variable, based on type of RV, season, and number of bookings

Renting your car isn’t the only way to make money with a vehicle.

If you have an RV sitting in your driveway or storage, you can join RVShare and rent it out to travelers. It’s free to register and list your vehicle, you have complete control over how often you rent your RV, and how much you charge. You can even choose to offer upgrades like unlimited mileage or pet-friendly reservations. 

Since many travelers are interested in RV life but don’t have the funds to purchase their own, this is a good opportunity for you to earn passive income while they use your RV.  

12. Get interviewed one-on-one by brands

Sample of surveys available on Respondent.io
Respondent.io offers high-paying interviews based on pre-screened eligibility.

Earning potential: Usually $20+ per hour, sometimes much higher

While companies embrace the idea of using surveys and market research companies to gather insights on their consumers, sometimes they want to dive deeper and talk to people one-on-one. Sites like Respondent.io specialize in making these connections happen.

The requirements for each individual “interview” are more stringent than your normal survey site, so you won’t qualify for as many opportunities. The ones you do qualify for, though, tend to pay quite well. It’s not uncommon to see some interviews fetch $200 or more for an hour of your time (though, again, the requirements for these are quite specific).

Another site to check out for this type of in-depth research is UserInterviews.com.

13. Lower your bills and cut subscriptions

The average American spends $237 a month on subscription services.
Source: July 2018 West Monroe Partners industry report

Earning potential: $1,000+ per year

Before you go crazy and try every side hustle under the sun, take a few minutes to look at your current spending. Where can you easily cut back? (Areas people often overpay include car insurance, credit card interest, cell phone service, cable TV, internet, and electricity.)

Subscriptions are another huge budget-killer. In fact, as I was putting together this article, I decided to take a look at my own lineup of subscriptions:

  • DAZN – $9.99 per month
  • PGA Tour Live – $5.41 per month
  • Amazon Prime – $12.99 per month
  • Spotify – $9.99 per month
  • Anytime Fitness – $38 per month
  • MasterClass – $15 per month
  • Netflix – $15.99 per month

Total: $107.37 per month, or $1,288.44 per year

Even though I won’t cut everything out of this, there are definitely some splurges I can get rid of and still survive.

In your situation, start by identifying areas you can save money or cut out subscriptions. If you’d like someone to negotiate your bills for you, there are several services that specialize in this. Rocket Money and Trim are the among most prominent figures in the industry. 

14. Take advantage of bank signup bonuses

Banks routinely offer deposit bonuses up to $700.
Banks routinely offer generous signup bonuses to attract new clients.

Earning potential: Usually $100 to $250. Up to $2000 in some cases

The banking industry is cut-throat, and banks will do anything they can to get new clients. Banks are smart; they know that once they get someone to bank with them, that person is very unlikely to leave. Think about it. When was the last time you switched banks? It’s probably been a while.

So, to encourage clients to leave other banks and come to them, banks will often offer hefty sign-up bonuses and high interest rates for new accounts opened. There is usually a minimum deposit amount needed to qualify for a signup bonus, so be sure to check your eligibility before making any moves.

Online banks — with no physical locations — often offer savings accounts with interest rates that well exceed the national average. CIT Bank is one such example. 

You can find an up-to-date list of the most competitive online savings accounts here.

15. Become your neighborhood’s top dog walker

make money quickly with dog walking and pet sitting
Sites like Rover.com allow you to set your own rates for dog walking, pet sitting, and more.

Earning potential: $200+ per month

Americans spend a staggering amount of money on their pets each year. In fact, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates that $72.56 billion was spent on pets in 2018. This includes food, veterinary care, and toys, but it also includes pet sitting and dog walking.

That’s where you can come in and make some extra cash. With apps like Rover and Wag, connecting to pet owners who need these services is a simple process.

Related: 6 Cute Ways to Make Extra Money With Your Pets

16. Pick up a freelance writing assignment

freelance gig availability statistic
According to The Balance, 25% of freelancers are able to find work within 24 hours if they need it.

Earning potential: $25-$500+ per article

Have you ever tried to read a long email or message from someone who can’t write? It’s a painful experience: the grammar errors, run-on sentences, and disorganized thoughts make it hard for anyone to follow.

The truth is, that’s how most people write. This means that if you can write in a way that engages a reader and keeps them wanting more, you have a skill that you can charge money for. And, in some cases, a lot.

Making money as a freelance writer comes down to two key steps:

  1. Develop a baseline proficiency as a writer and subject matter expert in a particular field (i.e. cooking, budgeting, technology, politics, etc.)
  2. Finding clients in that field who need your writing expertise. Online publications, like DollarSprout, often hire freelance writers to create content.

Related: 12 Ways to Make More Money as a Freelance Writer 

17. Rent out your car

Car rental apps like Turo and Getaround make it easy for car owners to make money by renting out their vehicles when they are not using them.
Car rental apps like Turo and Getaround make it easy for car owners to make money by renting out their vehicles when they are not using them.

Earning potential: up to $800 per month in some locations

Car rental apps, like many other gig income streams, have blown up in popularity over recent years, especially in densely populated areas.

Have a spare vehicle or hardly use the one you have? If you are comfortable with accumulating a few extra miles on your car, consider listing it on an app like Getaround, Turo, or HyreCar and get paid to let people rent your car. It’s but one of many ways to generate passive income with things you already own but aren’t necessarily using at the moment.

Popular car-sharing sites include HyreCar, Getaround, and Turo.

18. Get a promotion at work

Starbucks barista at work.
Savvapanf Photo | Shutterstock

Earning potential: $1,000+ per year

If you’re willing to go above and beyond and prove your value to your boss, you can move up the corporate ladder. More responsibilities equals more money.

For example, take a look at the average salaries of Starbucks retail employees:

  1. Barista — $11 per hour
  2. Shift supervisor — $13 per hour
  3. Assistant manager — $43,000 per year
  4. Store manager — $50,000+ per year
  5. District Manager — $92,000+ per year

Making the leap to the next level, no matter where you work, is one of the best ways to immediately lock in extra money.

Related: 32 Flexible Ways College Students Can Make Extra Money

19. Ask for a raise

82% of companies gave raises to base pay in 2019.
Source: PayScale’s 2020 Compensation Best Practices Report

Earning potential: $1,000+ per year

Getting a raise is harder than getting a promotion. Think about it from your boss’s perspective. Would you rather a) pay more money for the same service, or b) pay more money for additional responsibilities? Regardless, sometimes a raise is in order, especially if you have worked for several years without one.

20. Pressure washing, lawn mowing, carpet cleaning

Landscaping and pressure washing can be a quick way to earn money outdoors.
Many homeowners need help with basic upkeep of their property.

Earning potential: $200+ per weekend

There are two things many homeowners don’t like: manual labor and buying expensive tools for projects. If you have a lawnmower, a pressure washer, or a heavy-duty carpet cleaner, you can solve those problems and get paid in the process.

To advertise your services, you can post flyers in your neighborhood, post in local Facebook groups, or do it the old-fashioned way and knock on doors.

Related: 17 Best Places to Find Micro Jobs (Earn Up to $130 per Task)

21. Become a research subject

Available paid medical research studies.
A quick 5 minute Google search led to finding several paid studies at Virginia Tech (my alma mater).

Earning potential: $20-$500+, depending on the study

When I was a student at Virginia Tech, I participated in a 6-week study that looked at the effects of a high-fat diet on metabolism and digestive health. In addition to having all my meals paid for (and prepped) for 6 weeks, I was also paid $500 for my time.

If you live near a university, check the web pages of different departments to see if there are any researchers looking for subjects. You may also want to check out Craigslist (that’s where I found my study), but beware of giving out any personal information before you know for sure that the opportunity is legit.

Related: 15 Places to Find Paid Research Studies

22. Teach a live webinar on something you know

Twitter use @fourpillarfreedom offers live webinars to learn search engine optimization.
A recent tweet from personal finance blogger @fourpillarfreedom offering a live webinar on search engine optimization (SEO).

Earning potential: $50+ per webinar

Webinars have been around for years, usually as a sales funnel for a paid product or service. But with video conferencing via Zoom or Skype becoming more mainstream, there is nothing stopping you from hosting your own live teaching session to paying students.

In the example above, a personal finance blogger is offering training on search engine optimization (SEO). If ten people signed up for $40 each, that is a quick $400 he just made. For this model of making money, you don’t need a particularly large social media following — you just need to get the right people in the door.

Webinar ideas you can try:

  • Live at-home fitness classes
  • Cooking
  • Writing workshop
  • An Excel class
  • Nutrition coaching
  • First-time homebuyer class

23. Resell your unused gift cards

Resell unwanted or unused gift cards online.
According to thehustle.co, at any given time, 10% to 19% of gift card balances remain unredeemed — and around 6% of gift cards are never even used.

Earning potential: 70-90% of a gift card’s value

Have you ever found yourself with a stack of gift cards after the holidays or your birthday? If so, you might know the feeling of being compelled to spend money at a certain merchant just because you have a gift card, not necessarily because you want or need anything from there.

I had one pair of American Eagle jeans as a teenager that I didn’t particularly like, but a family member (who shall not be named) thought I was a die-hard American Eagle fan. Every year I would get a gift card for AE, and I never knew what to do with it.

Turns out, there are plenty of websites, like Raise.com, that offer cash for gift cards. For instance, I might be able to sell a $50 American Eagle gift card for $40 cash. Sure, I’m getting less than the card is worth, but at least the gift card is converted into cash that can be used for anything.

Related: Easy, No-Brainer Ways to Get Free Gift Cards

24. Sell handmade art in cafes, restaurants, or online

Art for sale on the wall of a local restaurant.
Many local food and drink establishments have wall art on display from local artists for sale. Ask the manager if they would be willing to display your art.

Earning potential: $10-100+ per piece sold

Do you like creating art as a hobby? If so, there are lots of opportunities to turn a hobby into a profitable side hustle.

Etsy is an online platform that allows artists to sell their handmade art to a large audience in exchange for a small portion of the final sales price.

If you’d rather sell locally, ask around at non-franchised cafes and restaurants near you if they’d be willing to display your art for sale in their dining area. If the owner or manager likes your work, most will gladly say yes. You’ll probably still end up paying a commission on any sales, but at least your art will be enjoyed by patrons in the meantime instead of sitting in your home.

Related: The Most Profitable Places to Sell Handmade Crafts Online

25. Sell your old gold or silver jewelry

sell your old jewelry
Research also suggests that most women wear less than half the jewelry they own.

Earning potential: varies

If you have any jewelry laying around the house and don’t mind parting ways with it, checking out places to sell your jewelry online is a great way to make money fast. When you go to sell your jewelry, keep these tips in mind:

  • Know what type of gold or silver you have
  • Find a reputable buyer
  • Know the current price of gold and silver
  • Get an appraisal of your piece
  • Shop around to find the best deal

26. Take advantage of your employer’s referral program

Of companies with employee referral programs, 69% offer between $1,000 and $5,000 per successful referral.
Source: Meritage Talent Solutions 2014 Employee Referral Trends report

Earning potential: $250-$2,000+ per referral

Many employers are often on the lookout for top talent to join their team. Depending on where you work and the needs of your employer, there may be incentive programs that give you the chance to get paid for any successful referrals you provide.

Example: Let’s say you are a Registered Nurse (RN) working at a regional hospital. The hospital has a referral program that offers $500 to any employee who refers another RN to join the team. If you have a friend who is about to graduate nursing school and you tell them to apply at your hospital, you would get $500 if they are successfully hired.

To find out if your company offers a program like this, ask your HR department.

27. Find house sitting gigs

According to HouseSitter.com, most house sitters charge $25 - $45 per day. Depending on your area and other factors this number might fluctuate.
According to HouseSitter.com, most house sitters charge $25 – $45 per day. Depending on your area and other factors this number might fluctuate.

Earning potential: $25-$45 per day

This is an especially popular way to earn quick cash during the holidays and over the summer when many families are vacationing. The requirements needed to become a house sitter are usually fairly low; you’ll need a clean criminal record and a positive reference or two. If you are interested in learning more, check out our guide to making money as a housesitter. Sites like Care.com are perfect for finding house sitting gigs near you.

28. Become a mystery shopper

Example questions you may have to answer as a mystery shopper.

Earning potential: $50+ per month

One challenge that retail businesses and chain restaurants face is keeping the customer experience the same across several different locations. In order to monitor across different locations, companies will hire “mystery shoppers” to secretly shop at a store and then provide feedback on their experience. And of course, these mystery shoppers are paid for their time.

A mystery shopper will usually take note of things like merchandise stock levels, what promotional signs are on display, and how the customer service was. To become a mystery shopper, start by finding a reputable company that specializes in this type of work. Stay away from any company that tries to charge you an up-front fee for training.

29. Become an Amazon Flex delivery partner

Amazon delivered roughly 3.5 billion packages worldwide in 2019.
According to Amazon, the company delivered roughly 3.5 billion packages worldwide in 2019.

Earning potential: $18-25 per hour, according to Amazon*

Amazon never seems to go out of style. But did you know that the company has an almost constant need for more drivers to deliver packages? Similar to companies like Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, etc., Amazon is always on the lookout for independent contractors (i.e, not employees) to join its fleet.

If you have a vehicle that can reasonably fit several packages and meet other requirements, you can start making money on your own schedule with Amazon. According to Amazon’s site, delivery partners sign up to fill delivery windows, which are typically between 2 and 6 hours.

*From Amazon: Actual earnings will depend on your location, any tips you receive, how long it takes you to complete your deliveries, and other factors.

Related: 13 Ways to Make Money Delivering Food, Packages, and More

30. Create drone videos for real estate agents

Earning potential: $100-$500 per video

Real estate is a competitive business, and with sites like Zillow and Trulia that are flooded with listings available for public view, agents need to stand out. It’s too easy to ignore a mediocre listing, even if the house itself is great.

A well-crafted and well-edited drone video of a property and the surrounding area is one way to quickly make a listing more memorable — and therefore garner more inquiries from potential buyers. The problem is, most real estate agents aren’t experts in aerial photography. 

If you have a drone (or are willing to invest in one), start learning how to capture great footage. Build a portfolio of 2-3 solid videos, then start calling and emailing any agents in your area that aren’t including drone footage in their listings.

Related: How to Get Started with Real Estate Investing 

31. Do traditional real estate photography

Real estate photography examples shot on an iPhone 11 Pro Max
I shot both of these photos on an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Understanding composition and editing are more important than having a high-end DSLR camera.

Earning potential: $200-$400 per shoot

While fancy drone footage is a great way to make a listing stand out, it’s not as important as having high-quality photos of each room in a property. Have you ever seen a listing where the photos were clearly taken by the owner with no photography experience? It’s an instant turnoff.

Most real estate agents have a professional photographer they work with for new listings, but if you are willing to network and make connections with the agents in your area, opportunities are bound to open up. What matters most to agents is the quality of your work and your responsiveness, both of which are 100% in your control.

Related: 4 Ways You Can Get Paid to Take Pictures 

32. Convert your garage or basement into an income source

example properties for rent on neighbor.com
Sites like Neighbor.com help people find storage or parking spaces for 50% less than self-storage units.

Earning potential: $25-50+ per month

Storage units are expensive. To address that, a new company, Neighbor.com, has come into the picture. It’s basically the Airbnb of storage space and parking spots.

If you have the space available and don’t mind storing a total stranger’s stuff on your property, it can’t hurt to create a listing and see if there are any takers. According to Neighbor.com, a customer can save over 50% by renting space through the site. Once the word gets out about them, expect to see this become much more mainstream over the next few years.

Related: A Detailed Guide to Renting Out Your Space for Money

33. Check your credit card rewards balance

cashback balance on credit card
Don’t forget about any cashback you may have accumulated since the last time you redeemed it on your credit card.

Earning potential: variable

This is the modern-day equivalent of checking for spare change underneath your couch cushions, but with a potentially much higher payout.

I am a chronic “points hoarder.” I’ve always liked stashing my rewards and seeing the balance accumulate. One day I plan to use my points on booking a vacation somewhere, but if I was in a pinch and needed money right away, I could always convert the points to cash.

34. Create your freelancer profile on Upwork

Upwork profile examples
Upwork allows freelancers to create their own profiles, set their own rates, and apply for projects.

Earning potential: $10-$500+ per project

If you have any skill that can be performed for a client remotely, it is almost guaranteed that there is a need for that skill by someone on Upwork.

Upwork is a site that connects freelancers to clients in dozens of different specialties. The site is especially useful for freelancers that have not yet built up their own personal network of work connections and need to drum up business ASAP.

Some of the most popular categories on Upwork are:

  • Graphic design
  • Customer service
  • Accounting
  • Administrative support
  • Web and mobile development

Related: 51 Best Freelance Job Websites to Find Your Next Remote Gig

35. “Donate” plasma

Donating plasma is an easy way to quickly earn $25 to $50.
Earn $20-$50 each time you donate plasma.

Earning potential: $20-$50 per donation

Technically it’s not a donation since you are being compensated. But nonetheless, there is money to be made selling plasma for those willing to endure a few needles.

For new donors who donate a certain number of times during a specified time period, there may be special bonuses. For instance, Octapharma Plasma pays an extra $400 for new donors who sign up. The FDA limits donations to two in a week and two days apart, which means that you can theoretically earn a few hundred dollars each month by giving plasma.

36. Offer consulting services

Earning potential: $25-$300+ per hour

Consulting is big business, and anyone who is an expert on something can become a consultant. Startups and established companies alike use consultants to find guidance on strategic decisions, streamline processes, and offer input on products and services.

Suppose you wanted to open up a coffee shop in your town, but had no experience in the coffee industry. By hiring a consultant who is an expert in the coffee business, you would have a much higher chance of success.

If you are an expert in a given field, you can create a profile on a site like Clarity.FM and get connected with entrepreneurs who are seeking guidance.

Related: How to Make Money as a Virtual Consultant 

37. Get paid to test out video games or apps

examples of common questions you may be asked as an app tester
App and video game testing can pay $5-$20+ per test, but testing opportunities might be inconsistent.

Earning potential: up to $5-$20+ per test

App developers and video game makers use beta testing to uncover bugs and kinks in their work before releasing it to the general public. If you have a knack for spotting mistakes and enjoy playing around with new apps, beta testing could be a fun way to make money.

For many tests, you will be asked to write about your experience in trying out the game or app. The more thorough your review is and the deeper your insights, the higher you will be rated as a reviewer. Top-rated reviewers tend to get the highest paying testing opportunities.

Betafamily.com and Playtestcloud.com are two reputable sites to sign up as a beta tester.

Related: 13 Legit Ways to Make Money Playing Video Games

38. If you’re a hospitality worker, pick up an extra shift on Instawork

Examples of gigs available on Instawork.
Instawork allows hospitality workers to find available shifts at similar venues in their area.

Earning potential: varies

As an hourly worker, there is almost nothing worse than wanting to pick up extra shifts only to find out that there are none available. And for employers, having no one available to cover a shift is just as frustrating.

Instawork is a platform that hopes to solve that problem by connecting hourly workers to businesses that need extra help. That means that, hypothetically, if you are a barista at Starbucks, you can pick up random shifts at a local coffee shop that fits your schedule.

Once you make your profile, you’re able to claim shifts that match your skillset (i.e., a bartender picking up a bartending shift). Besides the opportunity to pick up extra work, being an Instawork regular gives you the chance to expand your professional network considerably by working at multiple places. More connections = more chances to grow your career.

39. Become a Lime Juicer or Bird Charger (get paid to charge scooters)

get paid to charge scooters
You can earn up to $20 per scooter that you take home and charge with you for the night. hanohiki | Shutterstock

Earning potential: $10-$30+ per hour

If you live in a metropolitan area that has been taken over by the electric scooter craze, you have a great opportunity to earn quick cash whenever you’d like.

Lime, for instance, will pay you for collecting scooters around town, charging them, then returning them to a “LimeBase”, which is just a consolidated location of scooters (like in the image above). A scooter typically takes around 4-6 hours to charge. What most juicers do is collect the scooters in the evening, bring them home to charge, and then return them to LimeBase in the morning. Bird, another popular scooter company, works in a very similar way. For anyone willing to hustle, this is a great way to make money.

In order to become a Lime Juicer, you will need to purchase a charging pack. Lime offers a pack of 4 for $20, which is an investment that should pay for itself after your first day of juicing.

Related: 190 Side Hustle Ideas for Earning Extra Income 

40. Redeem your recycling

Remembering to separate your cans and bottles from the rest of your recycling isn’t always easy, but it’s a good way to get quick cash when you need it. Take them to a redemption center near you and trade them for money. You’ll receive five to ten cents per can or bottle, depending on where you live, but if you have a lot of them, it can add up.

Another option is trading in scrap metal for cash. You can earn money for recycling aluminum cans, copper, or steel, and once you’ve collected your metal, you need to determine if it’s ferrous or non-ferrous.

Non-ferrous metals will net you more cash, but ferrous ones are more common. You can find a scrap metal recycling center by performing a quick search for “scrap yards near me.”

41. Use a pawnshop

While the thought of taking your cherished items to a pawn shop isn’t ideal, it’s a quick way to solve your problem if you find yourself in a financial bind. If you’re good at negotiating, you might even be able to secure a higher price than their initial offer.

You do have the ability to buy your item back — even if it’s at a higher price, plus interest — but you don’t have to part with it forever.

If using a pawnshop makes you nervous, consider selling old jewelry that’s just sitting in a drawer or jewelry box. You can take it to a local jewelry store, a pop-up cash-for-gold store, or a place like We Buy Gold.

The price of gold fluctuates, and you’ll be paid per ounce of gold you’re selling. You may not get as much as the item is appraised for, but it’s a quick way to get cash today.

Related: 28 Best Apps to Sell Your Stuff for Cash

42. Have a yard sale

Having a yard sale is a relatively easy way to make money fast today. All you need to do is gather the items you want to sell, price them fairly, and pick a date to hold your sale.

If you live in a heavily trafficked area, you might not need to do much advertising, but if you live in a remote or secluded neighborhood, let your community know through Facebook posts or hanging flyers around town.

What’s great about a yard sale is that you can put one together in just a few days. However, if you can wait a little bit, consider using Decluttr.

Decluttr will buy and sell your old technology, books, games, Legos, and other items. You download the app, scan your item’s barcode, and receive a price immediately. If you accept their offer, you print out a shipping label to mail them your stuff. You receive payment the day after your items arrive.

Avoid These Sources of Immediate Cash If You Need Money Now 

Sometimes what seems like the simplest or easiest solution comes with the most risk. Before using crowdfunding or opening up a new credit card, make sure you carefully weigh those against the benefits.

Payday lenders

Using a payday lender seems like the most effective way to get cash when you need it. The process is simple, locations are easy to find and accessible, and you’ll walk out with money in hand.

However, the interest rates can be 400% APR or more, and the repayment term is short, making it difficult to pay back the money you borrowed without having to take out another loan.[1]

It’s easy to find yourself perpetually indebted to the loan company. If you truly have no other option besides a payday loan, do whatever you can to pay back the initial loan by the due date to avoid getting trapped in the payday loan cycle.

Borrowing against your retirement

While you can borrow against your 401(k) for a tax-free loan, it’s generally not a good idea. This comes with a large opportunity cost.

When you take out money from your retirement account, you lose any compounding interest and your contributions decrease, along with any possible company matches. If you do borrow against your 401(k), make sure you fully understand the repayment options and consequences.

Taking out a second mortgage

Taking out a second mortgage or home equity loan or line of credit isn’t the worst option for getting money now, but it is something to consider carefully.

By borrowing against your house, you’re using the equity in your home as collateral, impacting your home’s resale value. Second mortgages can be expensive thanks to things like appraisals and fees, and if you don’t pay your loan, you risk losing your home to foreclosure.

Although interest rates are generally lower than credit cards, make sure to carefully weigh if this is the best option for getting quick cash. Proceed with caution if you go this route.

Opening up new credit card accounts

Like payday loans, opening up a new credit card gets you access to funds instantly. It’s a simple process that you can usually complete online, and you’ll immediately know your credit limit.

It can be a practical option, especially if you have a plan to repay the money, but it can also be a dangerous one if you rack up a huge balance. You don’t want to end up in a more precarious financial situation than when you started.

Make sure you read all the fine print, especially if your new card comes with a 0% introductory APR. If you don’t repay the balance before the offer expires, you may be charged extra back interest. If the card comes with a cash-back bonus, find out if it applies as a statement credit or a deposit into your bank account.

Borrowing from family and friends

Asking friends or family for money can be a humbling experience. It’s difficult to admit being in a financially vulnerable position, and it’s even harder to ask for help. If you have generous friends or family members, they might be willing to provide you with an interest-free short-term loan.

If that happens, both parties need to understand the repayment terms and other conditions. You need to make sure you’re fulfilling your obligations to them and not engaging in frivolous spending. Be sure that borrowing money from them won’t negatively impact your relationship. If you have any doubts, don’t ask.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Lending Money to Friends and Family is a Bad Idea


GoFundMe or other crowdfunding platforms may seem like a good idea for getting money when you need it, and it prevents the embarrassment from asking friends and family directly. However, it comes with many of the same risks.

You may open yourself up to criticism, comments, and insults about your financial situation and you as a person. If you have a strong community and support system and are aware of the possible backlash, then crowdfunding may be an okay option.s

Final Thoughts

While there is a time and a place for quick money-making ideas, keep the big picture in mind. Easy wins are great, but they’re usually small, and somewhat fleeting. They won’t make a huge difference in your life over the long term.

That’s not to say that every side hustle you undertake has to turn into a full-fledged business, but one of the true keys to building wealth is to create real, sustainable value for others.

You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar

If you want to create a meaningful change in your income, you have to do something meaningful for other people.

No matter what your circumstances may be right now, remember one thing: earning more money means having more freedom.

Freedom to eat what you want to eat, live where you want to live, vacation when and where you want, and more. Making extra money starts with a simple decision: do you want more freedom in your life?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to go for it. You may have to try more than one idea on the list before you find one that sticks. But once your income starts to rise, you will gain control of your life and find even more opportunity than you could ever imagine.

Jeff Proctor

Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I am a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates, Business.com, Credit Karma, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, and more.

Tina L Taylor
Tina L Taylor

I’ve thought about trying some of these money-making ideas! That said, it seems like I just get the run around have to keep doing the same stuff over and over again! I’ve been thinking about advertising chauffeur services where I take people to appointments, clean houses, and run errands for them! I have a list of things to do to make people’s lives easier (where I can earn some extra money for me). Thank you for all your advice. I’ll just have to go over stuff and see what I think will work best for me!

– Tina L. Taylor

Those are some awesome ideas, Tina! I love seeing other people create their own side hustles/small businesses, and I think your ideas could be really beneficial for a lot of people. Keep us updated!

Pritina Liggins
Pritina Liggins


Thank YOU, Pritina. Glad to have you here — hope you enjoyed the article!


Megan, what if we live in the middle of nowhere? What are some things we can do?


These are some really great ideas! There’s a few I hadn’t heard of like “letgo” so I’m going to check them out. Thanks for sharing! Love the blog. 🙂

Thanks, Stephanie! So glad you enjoyed the article. Let us know what you think about letgo or any other apps you try!


I can tell you doing the paid surveys really works. I am disabled and can not work and I have made money with surveys for years.

Sandra Cokes
Sandra Cokes

Which ones do you make money at? I heard of this, and have wanted to do this, but everyone says no. I would appreciate any help, thanks!

I’m glad you’ve had success taking online surveys! My mom is also disabled and makes some extra money taking surveys online. She loves it!

Anna Havens
Anna Havens

Great tips Megan! I had no idea there were so many ways to make quick cash! Also, if you are a skilled photographer, you could pick up a few clients. Or sell your photos online through a stock photography website or Pixabay/Pexels.

Thanks, Anna! That’s another great tip! I have several friends who’ve started their own small photography businesses and make some nice cash on the side of their jobs that way. I’ll have to write about photography as a side hustle soon!

Sheila Halet
Sheila Halet

We are in our mid-seventies and we want to age in place. Our house is under a reverse mortgage but we need to come up with real estate tax money. Any advice?

Hi, Sheila! First off, I should make it clear that I am not a financial planner, and anything on this site should not be taken as financial advice. We believe it’s important to do your own research and consult a financial planner for detailed financial solutions.

I think what you’re asking is how you can make extra money to pay your real estate taxes. If that’s the case, it depends on your current financial situation, the amount of your estate taxes, your skills, and more. If you visit the “Make Money” section of our website, we have a few articles with different ideas that may be helpful for your situation: https://dollarsprout.com/category/side-gigs-and-hustles/

Depending on your credit (and again, your current financial situation), a personal loan might be another good option. We do NOT recommend using payday loans. However, a peer-to-peer lending platform such as Lending Club could work for you. You could also visit a local bank and look into obtaining a small loan through them.

As I said, I am not a licensed financial planner and am not familiar with the details of your personal situation, so I am unable to provide more specific advice. But I hope this helps!

Thrifty Mom
Thrifty Mom

We have used OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace to sell items locally. There are also local websites in every city that you can google (like the Macomb/Oakland Buy Sell Trade website, for example). Once at one of these local websites, it will give you other local websites to try.


You can try being a social media manager. It is a really good option if you want to work from home and make money.

Harish Kumar
Harish Kumar

Thanks for the great list. As a student I am facing a lot of difficulties in managing my monthly expenses. I am going to do one of these jobs to make money — keep up the great work!


Dear Megan,

I am a young teen looking for ways to earn money for an expensive animator tablet. Any advice?

If I were 12 and raising money for a charity, I would go around my neighborhood (with a parent) on knock on every door and ask for donations. Explain what the charity does and how their donations will benefit people 🙂


How do I sign up?

Hey Rachael, what is it exactly that you were looking to sign up for? 🙂


Sounds promising, I would like to try it.

Marlana Brush
Marlana Brush

Hello! I am 26 and just hit a huge life crisis wall! I had a great job and was let go out of the blue, with little to no money left for bills and other needed expenses. I was scheduled to drive home from Florida to Michigan tomorrow with my boyfriend and he has no idea I have only $400 to my name. I have no idea what to do or how to get enough money to get me through this trip. I already have found a new job but I don’t start until we are back in 10 days! I feel like I am so underwater!

Niki Neal
Niki Neal

Hello, my name is Niki Neal. I would like to pester you for some advice about working. I’m 18 with no job and no license, but I’m trying to make it on my own. What should I do?!

Michael Marshall
Michael Marshall

The crypto thing, yeah, that’s how I made my first $30,000 (in a couple of months). Maybe just luck but I mined for BTC until I got to $200. I bought XRP when it was at $.03 and sold it at $2.00 three weeks later.

Jodi Harrington
Jodi Harrington

One should think about their skills, hobbies, and basic daily habits as well. Do you like to cook? Be a personal cook or dinner parties. Like to bake? Make wedding cakes or cupcakes for weddings/special events. Do you enjoy cleaning? Trying going to banks/repo companies and ask if they are in need of a repo cleaner or market yourself as an all-around cleaner. Know how to mow a lawn? Get paid to do it in your neighborhood. Sell products from large companies — jewelry, Scentsy, health and home products, etc.

Syed Rohan Rafi
Syed Rohan Rafi

If you own a car, you can try something like Lime (that’s charging scooters and placing them back out for others to use).


Dosh doesn’t add 5 dollars for every card you add. It only adds 5 dollars for the first card.

Either an oversight on our part or they’ve recently changed their program, either way, thanks for the heads up! We updated it to reflect the new payout structure.


Great tips Megan! I had no idea there were so many ways to make quick cash! Also, if you are a skilled photographer, you could pick up a few clients. Or sell your photos online through a stock photography website or Pixabay/Pexels.


Instacart won’t download on the iPhone 7. I received a message stating that the app was not trusted.

This is actually a security feature on older iPhone models — you’ll have to go into your Settings and trust the app before your phone will allow you to open it.

You can do this by going to Settings > General > Profiles (or Profiles & Device Management) > Click Instacart > Verify App.


What did you do?


LeukoLab compensates healthy adults to donate blood for research. Two locations- Alameda, CA, and Quincy, MA. Donors can make up to $1650 for one donation. (Average compensation is about $250). Find out more at http://www.leukolab.com!

Nancy Normandeau
Nancy Normandeau

What is it that you are doing?

Rowan Clifford
Rowan Clifford

Wow! That’s one heck of a list.

A resource that you didn’t mention that I think has huge potential is ‘staking’ crypto assets. There’s a thing called ‘Resource Exchange’ or REX built on EOS that allows you to stake tokens and lease them to other people 100% risk-free.

Granted the returns aren’t huge at this point in time, but hey, it all helps. 🙂

Anyway, thanks for the article, some great tips in there.

Peace out,
Rowan Clifford

Kristen Fleming
Kristen Fleming

Read the article. It might be work to do, but if you want the money you will work for it.

Charles Kiyimba
Charles Kiyimba

Thank you for this useful article. There is a lot I have learned from it. I tried to visit some of the survey sites you mentioned here and discovered that they don’t accept membership from countries like Uganda. Any good survey site you know that allows members from all over the world?

Secondly, I notice that your blog earns you some good money. I am surprised to know that you get over $100,000 per month. I also have a blog – http://www.golaserengraving.com/blog – which I want to monetize and I have tried Infolinks Ads and PropellerAds. What other better options can you advise me to venture into to make a reasonable amount of money?

Hey Charles,

So I checked out your site but I don’t see an easy way to actually purchase your products? Do you have an eCommerce shop and/or have you tried a WordPress plugin like WooCommerce?

I see a lot of good content that stresses the importance of your products, but I don’t see clear CTAs and/or easy ways for prospective customers to actually purchase them.

Charles Kiyimba
Charles Kiyimba

Thanks for your quick reply Ben. Right now I haven’t considered establishing an eCommerce shop although it’s at the back of my mind. The reason being with the challenges of processing payment online in third world countries. As soon as this kind of roadblock is sorted out, I will obviously do it.

As for now, I am concentrating on promoting my business through the articles I post on my blog and somehow it’s working because about 80% of the clients I receive these days get to know our business from the internet. And because of that, I thought I could try monetizing it so as to create other streams of income.

Belinda Gonzalez
Belinda Gonzalez

Thank you for the information you shared on this site. I have heard of some of the information you shared and because I have more professional skills, I would love to learn more about how I can market myself with the skills I can help people with. For example, I learned about how to sell my pics through Pixabay/Pexels today from your site.

Another area I would like to learn more about is how to sell the homemade jewelry that I make.

I know of a few sites but the costs can add up.

I would like to sell my jewelry to international countries but don’t know if that would be more costly because of the shipping. Personally, I would not mind traveling to meet with a particular buyer that would look at my jewelry, and perhaps we can draw up a contract for doing business.

Any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to share. Thank you also for the information you provided. Many blessings to you for continued success.


Your list of ways to passively earn income is awesome and I couldn’t agree more with your closing statement: Earning more money means having more freedom! Great List!

Jon Snedeker
Jon Snedeker

Definitely some great ideas I see here. Thanks for putting together this great article for people on the hunt for a side hustle that makes money fast!

Thanks Jon! We appreciate it.

Shane Sanders
Shane Sanders

I don’t know, maybe I missed something but I signed up with the Nielsen Rating program and downloaded their app & there is no $50 for doing so. It just says they will enter you into some sweepstakes. Thought you might want to know that. Thanks.

Hey Shane!

Apologies for the misunderstanding — the $50 is not instant. They generally release it in $3-$4 increments each month totaling $50 per year (so long as you keep the app installed). In addition to the monthly cash installments, you get automatically entered into their $10,000 monthly sweepstakes. Hope that helps clarify!

John Rechal
John Rechal

This is one of the most awesome articles I have ever read about making money online. This is really helpful and it can teach people how to make money online with a couple of simple tricks.

You’re welcome John, glad you enjoyed it! 🙂



This is really great info.


You’re welcome Steve, hope you found something to make a little extra cash!

Michael Marten
Michael Marten

I’d love to be a writer for someone. I have written hundreds of songs for myself with many different themes and stories.


Really terrific array of options. I have a question for anyone actually using UpWork, though.

How did you start making money?

I created a profile and started looking for freelance jobs. I found the pay generally abysmal (i.e. I have a nearly-finished book on the exact subject someone was looking for, and they were offering $50…yes…$50 for an entire, expertly-written, original book)(sigh), but figured I’d jump in on a simple task and earn the $5 they were offering, just to get my feet wet.

(In terms of freelance writing, I have fairly high standards, but what’s being solicited is mostly low-value space-fillers, no personal expertise required. Just slap some sentences together that will pass a copyright filter, and there’s your $5-$25. That’s not for me. I write with purpose, and only on subjects I have the expertise to offer. I’m proud of my work!)

Lo and behold, that first potential employer asked to communicate outside UpWork, while assuring me pay would be through the platform, though. As my very first potential gig, I didn’t feel comfortable operating outside the rules, so I withdrew my application. So much for my first UpWork job.

I have found COUNTLESS potential opportunities on UpWork that speak directly to unique expertise I possess, yet there is always something…pay is not worthwhile, they’re not really looking for well-researched material, or they require someone with more UpWork experience, etc.

I just can’t see a way to really get started, what with so many unknowns on that platform. I’d love to hear from someone who has some experience. 🙂

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