Need Money Now? Here’s How to Make Money Fast (Legitimately)
In a pinch and need to know how to make money fast?
Like really fast? As in, the lights are about to be cut off if I don’t pay this bill today fast?
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. It’s a terrible spot to be in, but it’s life. Especially when you’re giving everything you have to try to create a life that’s better for your kids and grandkids to stand on.
So whether you’re trying to make it through a temporary rough patch or just made some mistakes and need some extra cash ASAP, here are over 100 ways you can make $100+ starting right now:
Table of contents
- Quickest ways to make money (time: 24 hours or less)
- Manual Labor (time: 1-7 days)
- Sell/rent your body for science (1-7 days)
- Creative ways to make money (1-30 days)
- Freelance (time: 1-3 months)
Quickest ways to make money (time: 24 hours or less)
Cash in change
This might be the quickest, easiest way to make money fast. Of course, you’re not exactly making money. You’re just using money that’s already laying around, and that’s the beauty of it (if you still use cash for anything nowadays).
Have a yard sale
Here’s a classic way to make quick money. If you grew up in the South (or anywhere else in America I guess), then you’re all too familiar with yard sales. Just gather up everything you don’t use or don’t need anymore, put it out in your front yard, throw a sign on a few light poles in your neighborhood, and start making money.
See if your family/friends will let you clean out their garages and have one big yard sell with their stuff
If you don’t have enough stuff to have your own yard sale, ask your family members and friends if they have anything they want you to put in your yard sale. You can even tell them you’ll clean out their garage if they’ll let you sell the stuff you find (you’ll get them a cut of course).
Sell old clothes and shoes
I think it’s safe to say most people in America have too many clothes and shoes.
Chances are, if you look around your house and take an honest inventory of things you actually need, you’ll probably find there are at least a handful of items of clothing/shoes you can sell on Craigslist or on a Facebook yard sale page of some kind.
Sell old phones/electronics
The same rule applies to electronics: look around your house/garage and I’m sure you can find at least one old phone, camera, dvd player, etc. Electronics sell quickly on Craigslist and Facebook from my experience, so these are great if you’re look for how to make money fast.
Sell old unused gift cards
Got a gift card or two still hanging around in your wallet or kitchen drawer that you haven’t had time to use yet (or just forgot about)? Time to cash in.
This one might come across a little desperate, so you may want to be discreet. You can always sell your gift card on Craigslist or Facebook and just discount it some (ex: sell a $25 gift card for around $15 – $18).
However, if you don’t want to look like you’re dead broke in front of your local community, you can also try a site like Raise.com to get rewards and cash for your gift cards online.
Use old gift cards (to a store) to buy stuff and then sell them
If you don’t feel like messing with a third-party website to sell an old gift card, you can always use your gift card to actually buy something that you know has a good chance of selling fast online.
For example, if you have a Lowe’s gift card, you can always buy a cordless drill or wall art, then turn around and post it on Craigslist. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Use old gift cards to stores to buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards
Not sure if this is possible everywhere, but it’s worth a try. Let’s say you have a gift card to a big retail store like Walmart or Walgreens, but you need cash to pay bills, buy gas, etc.
Why not try to use that gift card to buy a Visa or MasterCard gift card? All they can say is no, so it’s worth a shot!
Return anything semi-new
Want to know how to make money fast? There’s nothing faster than returning anything you still have a receipt for. Look around for anything you recently bought that you can live without.
Even if you don’t have a receipt, if it’s unopened or even just slightly used, most larger stores like Walmart and Target would rather just give you a refund than argue with you about it.
See if anyone you know has stuff they want you to sell for commission
This goes along with the yard sale idea, but with this you’re selling higher ticket items (you wouldn’t want to sell a bunch of $1 – $10 items one at a time online, unless you’re REALLY desperate) from other people one at a time on a site like Craigslist or Facebook. Think of it like running your own consignment shop.
Pawn old jewelry
Got a ring or necklace from a previous relationship? Or maybe you or your wife has a jewelry collection that’s starting to look more like cash to you right now. When times are hard, let the unimportant things go!
This one’s tough for me personally, so I would save this one for when you hit rock bottom. Pawn shops will rip you off, but that’s how they make their money – when people are desperate for cash. Then again, if guns aren’t that important to you and you have one laying around you’ve never used and never even shot, now might be a good time to cash in.
Pawn old video games
I know it hurts, but you have to let the old games go. Sure you’ll probably get ripped off, but when times are hard you do things you hate.
Make pallet artwork
Pallet artwork is all the rage now, and lucky for you pallets are cheap (and you can find them for free if you look hard enough).
Make book shelves
Book shelves are one of the easiest pieces of furniture to make, as long as you have a little bit of money to buy the wood. And they usually sell fast online.
Make coffee tables
Coffee tables are another piece of furniture that sells like crazy online. If you really want to make money, try making a coffee table out of something creative, like a pallet, barrel, or cable spool.
Make picture frames
This one might be a little tougher to make, but if you have the right tools (or if you make it “rustic” enough) you can make some money selling picture frames online.
Make TV stands
Same concept as the coffee table, just with different dimensions. You can find plans on Pinterest for all kinds of DIY projects like this.
Make wall art
Have some scrap wood, paint, and a creative flair? People will pay for wall art, and there isn’t really a wrong way to do it.
Make dog houses
You might be surprised, but a good-looking dog house that’s reasonably priced will sell quick. Just put it up on a site like Craigslist or Facebook and it’ll be gone in no time!
Antique old furniture and sell it
Got old furniture that’s too tarnished and worn to sell? Just slap a coat of throw-away paint on it and rough it up with sandpaper and you have an antiqued piece of furniture that’ll sell fast!
Sell old DVDs to cd stores
Sell old textbooks
Check out BookScouter.com.
Sell old video games to a video game store
Similar to selling games to a pawn shop, but a last resort effort if pawn shops aren’t open or they won’t take your particular games for whatever reason. Game stores will typically give you a tiny fraction of what you could sell it online for, but it’s instant money.
Sometimes they’ll want to give you in-store credit instead of cash. This may not be ideal unless you have a game that no one online really wants, in which case you could trade it in for a game or accessory that people online might buy faster. After all, it’s all about getting the cash now right?
Sell old furniture
If you don’t need it anymore, why not sell it? People love buying old furniture pieces and antiquing them nowadays, no matter what condition they’re in.
Sell new furniture
I once read a book called The $100 Startup where it told about a guy who got a truckload of mattresses from a friend who owned a furniture store, rented an old abandoned car dealership building, and started selling mattresses. Three years later, that mattress store was doing $1 million in revenue.
You may not have a friend who owns a furniture store, but what can you do with what resources you have? Hey, it’s something to think about.
Manual Labor (time: 1-7 days)
Ah, good old manual labor. You just can’t beat it when it comes to making money fast. These ideas have been around for generations, and will continue to be perhaps the most practical ways to make quick cash.
Each one of the following can be done together (as a package deal) or as a separate specialty service.
One of the simplest ways to get clients is to either go door-to-door where people look like they need your service, or print off fliers and leave them on people’s doorsteps.
Blow off concrete
Edge curbs, sidewalks, etc.
Paint numbers on curbs in front of houses
De-fog car headlights (don’t see many guys going around doing that do you?)
Shampoo car mats
Shampoo (home) carpets
Detail car engines
Clean car windows
Pressure wash driveways
Pressure wash houses
Wash (home) windows
Offer handyman work
Put up/take down holiday decorations
Sell/rent your body for science (1-7 days)
Participate in medical studies
Sell your plasma
This site seems like a pretty legit place to find a place to donate/sell your plasma.
Sell your hair
Here’s a good article to get you started.
Sell your breastmilk
Here’s more about selling your breastmilk. The article talks about using onlythebreast.com to sell breast milk online.
Creative ways to make money (1-30 days)
Help older people with their computers
I once posted an ad in the local newspaper saying I would give computer/internet lessons to anyone who needed it. Within a couple of days I got my first paying client who wanted to pay me $40-$50 to teach her how to set up a Facebook profile and use Facebook to interact with her grandchildren.
Throw a wreath-making party
A friend of mine started doing this and actually made a decent side-living with it. Basically, you just create some cool wreaths or door hangers, post them on Facebook and Pinterest, and have people contact you to schedule a time to come to their house to teach them and their friends how to make a door hanger.
You can decide what to charge per person, but you can at least get $40-50 per person at each party you throw.
Teach people how to play an instrument
There are several sites out there that offer online music lessons. I would start by Googling “teach music lessons online” or something similar. Takelessons.com looks promising.
Offer to tutor
Here’s a site to get you started making money as a tutor online – Tutor.com.
Sell baked goods
You’ll have to check your local permit requirements, but if you have an original recipe for cookies, brownies, bread, etc. you can make good money on the side.
Rent out your extra space (storage, living, etc.)
Got a storage building/shed/barn? You could make some extra cash. Just post it on Facebook, Craigslist, even the local newspaper letting people know they can use it for storage for a small fee.
If you have a spare room in your house/apartment, you could get a roommate. Not exactly original, but plenty of people make money on the side this way.
Rent out your car
Want to make your car work for you? Now you can rent your own car out and make extra money. Check out Turo and Getaround.
Here’s a good article to check out if you think renting your car out sounds good.
Become a street performer
Can’t say I know much about this one, but if I could sing and play well enough you better believe I would be out there making extra money performing music!
This article covers how to make money doing market research. The author goes over a few sites she has used to make money participating in market research.
Offer to be a designated driver
Live in a town with a decent nightlife? Take advantage of it by offering to be a designated driver.
You might want to check on permits/regulations around driving for money in your area, but you should be able to get whatever you need without too much of a hassle. It’s essentially like being an Uber driver, but on your own without a parent company.
I personally would start by coming up with a name and a logo (on Canva.com) and then printing flyers out and taking them to all the local bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’ll require some marketing groundwork, but it could be worth it in the long run.
Help people with their resumes
Buy products in bulk and sell them door to door or online
Garage sell flipping (if you have a little money)
This is basically where you go to garage sales and try to find items you know you can sell online for more than you buy it for. Some people actually make a living doing this using Amazon FBA, but you have to learn how to find the most profitable items to sell/flip.
Sell photos to stock photo websites
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Program
Sell bottled water someplace where it’s not readily available (like near outdoor events where allowed)
Sell flowers (door to door or in a public place)
Use your kids as a front to sell lemonade
Be a personal trainer
If you’re in school (or still have your old notes laying around somewhere) you can make money off them!
Seriously, this is apparently a thing.
Want to get paid to shop? It can happen if you become a mystery shopper.
Make a YouTube video and spread it
This isn’t exactly a sure thing, but if you have a pet or kids that do hilarious stuff, why not record it and see how many views you can get? (YouTube pays you when you enable ads in your YouTube videos and people click those ads.)
That’s right, you can get paid to deliver groceries. Check out instacart.com.
Be an UBER driver
Offer to spread flyers door-to-door for businesses
It might be tedious, but there are always businesses, churches, and nonprofits who need people to go door-to-door with their flyers. Churches and nonprofits are probably your best target audience, but they’re notorious for having tight budgets.
You could try offering them a deal on printing to sweeten the offer. For example, check out GotPrint to see what kind of prices you could get and use that as your “connection” to possibly save them money on printing.
Be a human billboard
Put together a recipe book and sell it
You’ll need a unique spin, like a “Pinterest” recipe book with all the top recipes from Pinterest, or a recipe book for meals under $5. Anything slightly interesting and convenient will probably sell. Remember, you don’t need mass sales or anything, you’re just looking to make a few extra bucks.
You can either sell a PDF version of the book or print it out, put it in a binder, and sell it. If you’re desperate enough, you can go door-to-door, but make sure the book looks presentable.
If you really want to be professional and you get some people to pre-order your recipe book, you can check out a site like Lulu.com to get your book professionally printed. I think a standard paperback costs roughly $2 to print, so there’s room for profit if you can generate some interest.
Freelance (time: 1-3 months)
If you’re a decent writer (you don’t have to be great, trust me), you can make money online. Just go to a site like Upwork, create a profile, and start bidding on jobs. You might have to work for cheap/free at first in order to build your reputation, but it’s well worth it in the long run when you start getting regular contract writing gigs.
Be a freelance editor
Same as above, just instead of actually writing, you’re editing instead. Don’t worry about being a professional, just have confidence and learn as you go. That’s what most people do anyways!
Be a virtual assistant
You can also find virtual assistant jobs on Upwork. I’ve never done it, but I hear the hours are flexible and the pay is decent, so it’s worth a shot. There are probably a ton of other sites you can find VA jobs on as well. Just do a quick Google search for “virtual assistant jobs” to see what’s out there.
Love planning the ins-and-outs of weddings, parties, and get-togethers? Then chances are you can make money as an event planner.
If you have an eye for design, you can make money as a graphic designer online. It’s that easy. With sites like Canva.com, anyone can make professional-looking designs even if you’re not great with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
I’ve heard of a lot of people making money selling custom invitation design on Etsy, so that’s where I would start.
Again, Canva.com is the place to go if you don’t have any experience with other professional design software. You can also try Inkscape if you want a free design software with more options.
Set up WordPress websites
This one will take a little while to figure out, but once you get even the basics of how to setup and customize a WordPress website (not a WordPress.com website).
I personally recommend learning at Treehouse. It’s free to start and I learned everything I needed to know to make hundreds, even thousands, extra a month on the side.
The following are various services you can offer on Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, and other freelance websites. As with most other freelance sites, you’ll have to do some work up front for cheap/free in order to build your reputation. But don’t worry, it’ll be well worth the initial time investment.
Design ebook covers
Design business cards
Do voice overs
Social media management
Search engine optimization