How to Make $500 Fast When You Need it Now

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Do you need $500 fast?

If so, you’re not alone. There have been several times an extra $500 would have made a big difference in my life and would have prevented me from making some questionable financial choices.

Whether you want to kickstart your emergency fund or are facing a financial crisis, you might need some extra money – and quickly.

Whatever your reason for needing that cash, there are plenty of gig economy jobs to help you. According to a report, over 16.5 million people in the U.S. are working in “contingent” or “alternative work arrangements”.

The main reason? Many of them can help you earn that $500 in a week (or less), especially if you’re willing to put in some hustle and hard work.

21 Realistic Ways to Make $500 Fast (In a Week or Less)

From walking dogs to driving people around to working from your laptop, there are plenty of different kinds of side hustle jobs. Choose the gig that fits your lifestyle and earning goal.

Sell your stuff

Selling things is an easy, painless way to make $500 fast. Fortunately for you, there are many online work opportunities available, so you don’t have to go around harassing friends and family to make a sale.

1. Sell CDs, DVDs, tech, and LEGO® with Decluttr

get an instant cash offer on used video games from decluttr
Source: Decluttr

Decluttr is an easy way to make money by selling all your unwanted tech and gadgets. Enter the barcode on each item to get an instant offer for your stuff. You can enter the code manually, or download the Decluttr app to scan it.

Once you scan all your items and accept the order, Decluttr sends you a free shipping label. All that’s left to do is pack up and ship it off.

Decluttr sends your payment the day after your order arrives. You can choose to receive payment via direct deposit, PayPal, or a check in the mail.

This is a great way to make some quick cash if you have a bunch of CDs, DVDs, or old cell phones lying around.

How fast can you make $500?

This method might not get you all the way to your $500 goal unless you have a massive LEGO® collection or tons of old DVDs. But it’s easy and simple to send your old tech.

2. Sell clothes on Poshmark

Poshmark is an online marketplace where people buy and sell clothing, shoes, accessories for men, women, and kids. Everything is shipped, so you don’t have to worry about coordinating meetups with strangers.

The process is simple: create an account and download the app, snap a picture of whatever you want to sell, and add a description and price.

How fast can you make $500?

Assuming you have a lot of decent items to sell and you get started today, you could make $500 with Poshmark in about a week. If you can sell 10 items for $50 or 20 items for $25, that’s all you need to net $500. Make sure to consider that Poshmark generally takes about 20% for shipping costs and listing fees for higher-priced items.

3. Sell on Craigslist

Though your reach probably won’t be as far as with other sites, Craigslist is another great option to sell your old stuff. Depending on where you live and what you have to sell, it may be a little slower moving than other sites.

However, you can sell just about anything on Craigslist including your services. If you have a particular skill set or can offer a service that’s in demand like babysitting, pet sitting, or home repair, consider offering it on Craigslist.

Another option is to browse the “Free” section of Craigslist for good finds, then flip them for some cash.

How fast can you make $500?

Depending on how valuable the things you’re selling are, you could bring in some quick cash in a couple of weeks. Children’s clothes, old furniture, electronics, and appliances are all great items to sell on Craigslist.

4. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook is another popular way to sell online these days. There are specific sales groups created every day for this very purpose, and the Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to sell to people in your area.

Since your Facebook friends already know you, they’re more likely to buy from you. You can also sell to strangers on the Facebook Marketplace or in neighborhood groups. It’s also easy and quick to sell on Facebook – all you need to do is make an engaging post and wait.

How fast can you make $500?

It depends on what you’re selling and how quickly the buyer can pick it up from you. You could make an extra $500 as soon as today if you’re able to coordinate a meeting quickly.

5. Sell on Etsy

If you’re crafty, opening an Etsy shop is a simple way to get started making an extra $500 fast. It’s free to start a shop, but you do have to pay for your listings. You can also sell anything including knit and crocheted items, handmade jewelry, custom shirts, printables and more.

Having an Etsy shop is one of the best ways to turn a hobby into side hustle income.

How fast can you make $500?

With a large inventory and some social media marketing, you could potentially earn $500 in one day. However, it’s more likely to take around a month to make that kind of money with Etsy. Posting regularly on your social media accounts could speed this process up.

Pick up a side hustle

Pick up different gigs to make 500 dollars in a week or less

Next to selling things, gigs and side hustles are one of the best ways to make money fast. Apps can get you connected to people in your area looking for what you have to offer.

6. Walk dogs and pet sit with Rover

Pet sitting is one of the best side hustles an animal lover could imagine.

If you live in an urban area, you could easily pick up several dog walking customers or cat sitting gigs per week. Even in smaller cities, people still travel during the summer or on holidays and need someone to watch their pets.

Earnings for Rover pet sitters and walkers are set up as flat fees for specific services rather than hourly rates. That means you get to set your rate and charge what your services are worth. Check out the competition in your neighborhood to see how much you could make working with Rover.

For example, to hire a Rover dog walker in my area to come to me and take my dogs for a walk would range from $8 to $28 per dog. For overnight pet boarding, rates often fall in the $25 to $90 per night range.

How fast can you make $500?

At an average of $20 per visit, you’d need to make 25 visits to earn $500. If you offered pet boarding and charged $50 per night and watched one dog, you could make $500 in just 10 days.

7. Repair broken screens

One of the most lucrative DIY replacement skills you can learn is fixing iPhone, Android, and tablet screens. These types of repairs are not especially difficult to learn to do, but most consumers would rather not attempt to repair phones or tablets themselves.

You can take advantage of that and start offering screen replacement services. And since most of us have broken a screen at some point, it’s a safe bet that people you know need to have their smartphone, tablet, or Fitbit screen replaced.

Check out this repair resource guide to get started.

How fast can you make $500?

If you charged friends or coworkers $50 per repair, you would need to do 10 repairs to earn $500. Put an ad on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, and you could make $500 in a week.

8. Deliver food with Postmates

If you’re at least 18 years old, own a smartphone, and pass a background check, delivering food with Postmates is an option for making $500 quickly.

Unlike other food delivery services, you don’t need a car and can deliver on foot, by bike, or by scooter. The company even provides you with a prepaid card and insulated bags to keep the food at the right temperature.

Postmates pays a minimum of $4 per delivery, but rates fluctuate based on location and delivery distance. You can also earn extra money for the time you’re waiting for an order as well as the miles you travel. Couriers keep 100% of tips they earn.

How fast can you make $500?

How quickly you can earn $500 depends on how many orders you deliver per day, the tips you earn, and when you make deliveries. You’ll earn more during peak hours, but it is possible to make $500 in a week.

Related: What It’s Really Like to Be a Postmates Courier (and How Much You Can Expect to Make)

9. Rent out your car

Getaround can help you make quick money by renting your car to others when you’re not using it. Getaround automatically connects you to people in your area who need a car. Renters can access and book your car straight from the app, so you don’t have to mess around with scheduling and exchanging keys.

It only takes a few clicks to put your car to work with Getaround. Just register for a free account, name your car, set the location and availability, and enter a description.

As a Getaround car owner, you get access to premium parking as well as a $50 monthly rental credit. And with $1 million insurance coverage, you can rest assured that your property will be taken care of.

Rental earnings accrue on a monthly basis and are paid on the 15th of the following month.

How fast can you make $500?

Getaround estimates that that most cars in the U.S. sit idle for about 22 hours each day. That’s 154 hours every week.

If you rent out your car for 40 hours each week and offer the lowest rate of $5 per hour, you would make $200 a week. Since you keep 60% of your earnings, that comes out to a $120 take-home pay. At that rate, you could bring in an extra $500 in a little over four weeks. Make sure to consider the costs of wear-and-tear on your car and charge accordingly.

10. Babysitting

Although we typically think of babysitting as a job for teenagers, it’s a great option for adults who want to earn extra money. Parents might trust an adult more than a teenager, and the extra years of experience – especially if you’re a teacher or have kids of your own – mean that you can charge more.

You can advertise locally, post on your social media, or register with a company like to find clients. If babysitting isn’t your thing, you can also use to find gigs cleaning houses, pet sitting, and tutoring.

How fast can you make $500?

Like many of the other options on this list, how quickly you earn money depends on how much you charge and how much you work. If you charge $20 per hour and babysit three kids per week for five hours each, it would take you just under two weeks to earn $500.

11. Teach kids English on VIPKid

VIPKid is an international education site that helps children in China learn English using a private one-on-one model. If you’ve taught in the past, you may be a strong candidate for VIPKid.

This gig is legitimate, and VIPKid carefully vets its teachers. To be considered, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any subject, and you’ll need to pass the demo class interview.

Depending on your experience and how you do in the interview, you could make $14 to $22 in one hour teaching English online with VIPKid. It’s not going to make you $500 in one day, but you can realistically make $500 in a couple of weeks or less.

Since everything is online, you’ll need a reliable computer, headset, and Internet access.

How fast can you make $500?

Due to time zone differences, you won’t make $500 a day one starting out, but you can still make some quick money.

Teaching sessions are 30 minutes long and VIPKid says its teachers make an average of $18 per hour, which comes to about $9 per class. Theoretically, you’d need to teach about 28 classes (56 hours) to make $500. Since VIPKid is designed for Chinese students, you’ll have to work during the night to be available for their regular school hours.

Related: How to Make Money with VIPKid While Working at Home

Do errands and odd jobs

There’s more than one way to piece together an extra $500. These micro-jobs may not pay much individually, but when stacked together they’re a great way to earn some quick cash.

12. Become a Gigwalker

Gigwalk is an app that connects businesses with “Gigwalkers” to perform short tasks.

Businesses post tasks (called “Gigs”) like taking pictures or answering short survey questions, for Gigwalkers to complete. You can choose gigs in your area that are a good fit, do the task, and get paid. Gigs take anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours and pay $3 to $100 each.

This app is best if you live in a metropolitan area and can quickly go from gig to gig. You can still do this if you have to drive, but the gas and wear-and-tear on your car may cut into your profits.

How fast can you make $500?

If you live in a more rural area or someplace that’s not easily navigable on foot, then it could take a while to earn $500 on Gigwalk. But if you happen to live in a big city, you’ll have more options to choose from and may be able to complete them in a shorter time frame.

At the minimum amount per gig ($3) and the shortest time frame (five minutes), it’ll take you a little under 14 hours to earn $500. Definitely doable in a week if you really hustle.

13. Freelance on Fiverr

Fiverr is another site where you could potentially make hundreds of dollars fast. It’s a digital freelancer marketplace so all your tasks can be done anywhere you have an Internet connection.

The most common services offered on Fiverr include graphic design, digital marketing, writing and proofreading, virtual assistant work, and web development. There’s also a high demand for video and audio services, like creating branded videos and voiceover work.

If you’re skilled in any of these areas, you can make $500 fast freelancing on Fiverr.

How fast can you make $500?

If you have a high-demand skill, you should be able to land five projects at $100 each in under a couple of weeks. It may take longer since you’ll be starting from scratch without any reviews. Do a stand-out job to get five-star reviews immediately.

Choose your tasks carefully to make money on Fiverr without wasting a lot of time. The best way to approach freelancing on this site is to take on big projects with a higher payout.

14. Perform small tasks with TaskRabbit

Unlike Fiverr, which is all online, TaskRabbit connects you with people in your area who need an extra set of hands.

On TaskRabbit, you get to choose the rate you work for. Browse through the tasks in your area, send your offer, and wait to see if you’re chosen. The types of tasks you can expect to do include:

  • Handyman work
  • Helping people move
  • Interior painting
  • Cleaning
  • Yardwork
  • Grocery shopping

There are many more, but these are a few of the most popular.

How fast can you make $500?

Since you set your own rates, how fast you reach your $500 goal depends on your rate. For instance, if you can find 10 tasks at $50 each and do two per day, it’ll only take you five days.

Other Ways to Make $500 Fast

15. Work overtime at your job

If you already have a full-time job, you can earn extra money by working extra shifts or overtime. Depending on your hourly rate, if your job offers time and a half (or double-time), how many hours you work, and on how many days you work, you could net $500 within a week.

Don’t forget to account for the extra taxes taken out of your paycheck when you’re working overtime. That could significantly cut into your earnings.

16. Rent a room in your house on Airbnb

You can earn an extra $500 by renting out a spare room in your house on Airbnb. How much you charge depends on your home’s location, the size of the room, and the other amenities. How much you earn (and how quickly you earn it) will depend on how long your guests stay and how many guests you book.

If this seems like an option you’d like to consider to earn an extra $500 fast, check out our guide on how to be an Airbnb host. You can even earn extra money by hosting an Airbnb experience.

17. Write an eBook

Someone needs to create the notebooks and coloring books people like to buy. If you have a computer, Internet access, and access to a graphic design program (like a free one like Canva), you can design and sell your own low-content books.

You can sell them on Amazon or on your own Etsy shop, and depending on how you price and advertise the books, you can generate $500 in as quickly as a week. You can get started with your own designs, or you can purchase templates from places like Tangent Templates.

18. Have a yard sale

Selling items through Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace isn’t for everyone, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. However, you can put together a yard sale fairly quickly and sell your unwanted or used items in person.

A yard sale could potentially earn you $500 in one afternoon, depending on the types of items you’re selling and how much you’re asking for each item. You can even make extra cash at your yard sale by selling baked goods, drinks, or homemade crafts.

19. Trim

Trim is a free program that can help you find places to save on your utility, internet, and cell phone bills.

After registering and linking your bank or credit card accounts, Trim skims your accounts to look for places you can save. That can mean eliminating unwanted or forgotten subscription services, negotiating bills like cable, phone, or internet, and sending you alerts for things like late fees and paydays.

The savings Trim finds could quickly put $500 back into your monthly budget.

Related: Trim Review: The Tool that Automatically Lowers Your Bills & Saves You Money

20. Check for unclaimed money

You might be owed money and not even know it. This might include safety deposit box contents, utility or apartment deposit refunds, or uncashed paychecks.

If you need to make $500 fast, check out a few of these sites to see if you have any unclaimed money:

21. Cash in your recycling

If you have a lot of empty aluminum cans and bottles around your house, consider taking them to a nearby recycling facility for some quick cash. You can actually do this with any scrap metal you might have lying around your house.

While it might not generate you $500, it could help supplement one of these other ideas.

Try Earning Extra Money Before Taking Out a Payday Loan

While it can be tempting to get a payday loan when you need cash quickly, the long-term effects are damaging to your finances. From overly high-interest rates to the renewal fees if you need an extension, you’ll most likely find yourself deep in debt.

Instead, try a few of the options listed above to earn the extra money. It might take a few days longer than getting a payday loan, but in the long run, it’ll solve your financial emergency and prevent you from going into debt. And if you like the side hustle, you can keep working at it to start your emergency fund and have cash on hand the next time you need it.

Annette Miller

Newlywed coach with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology + specialization in financial wellness for millennial couples. Boilermaker, former Air BnB Superhost, clumsy yogi, tech lover, aspiring whiskey snob, and Heath bar addict. Currently living in Bourbonland, USA (aka Louisville, KY) and tweeting @millerannette.

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