Looking for a little extra cash until payday comes around? Want to make some money to save up for a shiny new thing, a vacation, or maybe just something to put away for a rainy day? Well, I did a quick survey of my friends, family, and some Wise Bread regulars and compiled this list of 25 ways to quickly make money. As in, today.
Some are obviously a little easier than others, some require skill, some are a bit silly, but all of them are within reach for most of us. It just takes a little guts, some pride-swallowing, and a lot of perseverance. Oh, and in some instances, a good sense of humor. (See also: 9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight)
1. Sell Some Stuff
Whether it’s Craigslist, eBay or a good old fashioned yard sale, there are plenty of avenues for you to explore when it comes to selling stuff. Most of us have a basement or garage filled with things that we just don’t use or need anymore. Free up some space and grab some cash. It’s quick and easy.
2. Mow Lawns
I’m no fan of mowing my lawn, and it’s not exactly a large one either. But I do it because I’d rather not pay someone else to do such a simple task. However, there are plenty of people who will gladly pay someone else to mow. And as lawn mowers are collapsible, you can pop it in the trunk and drive around the neighborhoods, offering your services. I spoke to a guy at work who said he made $100 in a few hours by mowing lawns. He used the cash to buy concert tickets, and he said he got a nice tan and a workout!
3. Hit Up Goodwill
Goodwill, and charity shops just like it, are a treasure trove of hidden gems. If you know what you’re looking for, you can pick up items for a few bucks and sell them for ten times that amount. Vintage clothing, CDs, jewelry, memorabilia, and a whole lot more is just sitting there waiting to be discovered. If you have a smartphone and see something that looks like it could be worth something, you can research it right there. It’s not unheard of for people to find very rare and valuable items in charity shops.
4. Make Lemonade From Lemons
Literally. The kids may love a lemonade stall, but there’s no reason you can’t get in on the action when it’s hot outside. Lemonade is cheap enough to make, and the profits are worth the time. In the winter, you can swap out lemonade for coffee or hot chocolate. When everyone is out shoveling snow, a hot cup of joe for a buck is a bargain.
5. Have a Bake Sale
Turn your cooking skills into hot profits. There’s no doubt that people seem to be doing less home cooking these days. We eat out all the time, and we all miss good home-cooked food, like freshly-baked apple pies or bread. So, if you can cook and you have the ingredients, make something and sell it. (See also: Homemade Bread for Beginners)
6. Become a Street Performer
Can you play the guitar? Do you have mad saxophone skills? Squeeze yourself into a 2-ft. square box? If you have a talent, get paid for it. Street performers can bag some nice cash for doing what they love.
If you really hit the hard times, you can try begging. There are stories of people making a very good living from begging, including one woman who supplemented her income to save for a new kitchen. As the article states, people think beggars are destitute, but that’s not always the case. (None of the 20 beggars questioned were actually homeless.)
There’s not just street begging either. Cyber begging sites are popping up everywhere, with people asking for donations instantly via PayPal for surgeries, help with bills, and school tuition. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
8. Rent Useful Space
If you have a garage that you’re not using, or a basement that’s doing nothing for you, why not rent out that space to someone else? A few people I know actually rent out the space in their basement as storage and collect money every month. Others have turned their spare bedrooms into rental rooms to help with the monthly mortgage payment. (See also: Refinancing Your Mortgage)
9. Scoop Up Your Change
It’s amazing what you can find down the side of the sofa, under the car seat, and in the back of the junk drawer. Collect it all up and cash it in.
10. Return Unopened, Unwanted, or Broken Items
I looked in my basement recently and found a tool I’d bought two months ago for a job I was doing in the house. It turns out I didn’t need that tool. I still had the receipt, the store had a 90-day return policy, and I ended up getting a nice chunk of money back. Even if you don’t have the receipt, you can get store credit. And if something broke, don’t just throw it away. It’s possible that you can return the item for being defective and get a full refund.
We recycle our card, plastic, paper, cans, and bottles in one large recycling bin every few weeks. We don’t get a cent for the recyclables, and we had to pay $80 for the bin. But you can actually get money for cans, bottles, and other recyclable items. You just have to put some effort into it.
12. Donate Your Sperm (Umm, Guys)
If you’re a man with a clean bill of health, you can go to a sperm bank and make a donation. The process is fairly straightforward and you will be paid upwards of $40 for each donation you make. This bank in California gives you $65 per donation. And let’s face it, guys, it’s not the worst way to earn some quick cash.
13. Sell Event Tickets
So you bought tickets to a big concert and are having second thoughts. Or, you just can’t go. Well, don’t dump them, sell them. As long as you obey the law (scalping is illegal in many areas) and sell the tickets at or below face value, you are within your rights.
OK, so it’s not guaranteed money, but if you know the odds and can play a few card games, there are ways to make money quickly and easily. For instance, you can start playing poker online and quickly rack up a nice amount of money, if you know what you’re doing.
15. Sign Up for Medical Tests
Take caution with this one; there are plenty of horror stories out there about people who are still suffering side effects from medical tests. But many people have signed up for clinical trials and came out not only unscathed, but flush with cash. In fact, earning up to $250 a day is not unheard of. Find out more at PaidClinicalTrials.org.
16. Walk Dogs
How about doing something that keeps you healthy and earns you instant cash? A lot of people these days don’t seem to have the time to walk their dog twice a day (at least) and it’s the dog who suffers. For a few bucks, maybe $3, you can take their dog on 20-minute walk. Do it every day, you’ve got $90 a month and you’re probably going to feel better. Do two or three dogs at a time, twice a day, and you can see how it adds up.
17. Dumpster Dive
If you’ve seen shows like American Pickers, Storage Wars, or even Cash In The Attic, you know that there are gems out there, hidden in the trash. Most of the time, it really is just garbage. But sometimes, people throw out valuables that they believe are worthless. Dumpster diving can really pay off, if you know what you’re looking for. (See also: Turning Trash Into Cash)
18. Become a Delivery Service
I was inspired to add this one after I talked to the guy who delivered our fridge. We bought a used one from Craigslist, well under the price it was worth, and found someone on Craigslist who hauls large items. As it turns out, he uses his truck on the weekend for delivery services. At $30-$50 a delivery, he’s making more than enough to pay for his gas and truck payment for the month.
19. Donate Plasma
Even your own body contains saleable items. A recent check online found that one person made $260 per month donating plasma!
20. Monetize Your Blog or Website
If you blog regularly or have your own website, you should think about placing ads for extra cash, or finding other ways to make your online presence into a money-spinner.
21. Become an Online Juror
I only recently found out about this one. It turns out that lawyers want to practice, and online juries are a good way for them to put some theories to the test. You can earn $5-$10 per online appearance, with each one lasting no more than 35 minutes. Find out more at ejury.com.
22. Take Paid Surveys
There are several places online to take genuine, paid surveys. Most don’t offer very big cash rewards, but it all ads up. Some, like erewards.com, offer points that you can trade for goods and services.
23. Wash Cars
At least one a week in the summer months, I see high-school kids with signs offering car washes. If they can wash cars for a few bucks, so can you. Grab a few friends, turn the radio on, and if you get good you can make $50-$60/hour between you.
24. Go Fishing
Know how to fish? Or hunt? Well, if your hobby can put food on the table, that’s as good as cash. If you hunt for food, you can also sell it to friends and family for a profit. Obviously, this isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve already got the skills and the equipment, why not put it to good use?
Editor’s Note: Check with your local game and fish department before selling meat or fish to ensure that it is legal in your state.
25. Become a Tutor
If you have knowledge that can be shared, why not do so for extra money? I know several people who tutor children privately for extra money. Others get paid to speak at local colleges or universities. Hey, you paid a lot for your education; your day job doesn’t have to be the only reward. (See also: How to Make Money With Online Tutoring)
That’s my top 25 list. I’m sure you know of others, so chime in. What’s a great way to make money today (that’s legal, of course) and what are your experiences in making a quick buck?