You’re stuck. You’ve done everything you know to do, but you’re painfully behind on your bills with no relief in sight. You keep thinking to yourself, “I need money today” but you have no idea where to get started.
Yes, people talking about how they make money online, but a lot of the options they share need months to implement. And the truth is, you need money pretty much yesterday.
If this is you, you’re definitely not alone. We’ve all been there. The key thing to remember is that this is “figure-outable” and today, figuring it out is exactly what we are going to do.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
How to make extra money right now
1. Flip your unwanted items on sites such as eBay
If someone tells you that you need to spend money to make money, there could be nothing further from the truth. Sites such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace serve as free platforms that let users list items for sale at no upfront cost. All you need is a phone and an internet connection.
What does that mean for you? If you need to make quick money, the best way to get started is to look through your house for any items you can sell online.
There is always that one thing that’s been gathering dust for years in the corner waiting for its time to shine. Truth is, with such items, no matter how well-intentioned you are, you’ll probably never use them.
And in this age of decluttering, who wants to hold on to excess baggage when there’s the option to offload AND make money while you’re doing it.
If that’s you, take a good look at the inventory in your home - going room by room. Items that could do well include books, furniture or unique one-of-a-kind vintage items. Once you’ve found items around the house, give them a good clean, take multiple great quality photos and list them up on eBay.
2. Sign up to run errands on Task Rabbit
Task Rabbit took the gig economy by storm stepping in as a platform that allows people to run errands in exchange for money. If you’re wondering who uses the service, you’ll be surprised at just how many people need an extra hand to help them manage their day to day tasks.
Tasks range from running errands for the elderly, going on grocery shopping runs for the busy entrepreneur, cleaning, escorting a patient to and from surgery – the list is endless.
To sign up, you will be charged a non-refundable registration fee which is currently $25. Once you sign up, you’ll be invited to create a mini-blurb selling your services and you’ll be asked to block out your available windows on the app. That way, you can easily be matched with tasks that align with your skills and availability.
To really succeed on this app, it is important to have a complete profile that really showcases your skills, dependability, and experience with similar tasks.
For example, you might sign up for your decorating skills. For that, you could highlight your friend’s baby shower that you pulled together and share the feedback you received from attendees.
3. Drive for Uber / Lyft
If you own a car, love driving and love meeting new people, a rideshare gig may be the perfect fit for you. Services such as Uber and Lyft let drivers clock in and out according to their own chosen schedules.
You’re never required to work specific days and you can choose to even work only every few days or on weekends only. All you need to do is to turn off the app when you’re clocking out.
Aside from the monetary benefit, which can be quite lucrative especially during surge pricing (higher pricing during peak traffic hours), Uber also comes with many added benefits. For instance, meeting new people and freedom from the 9 to 5 corporate structure.
4. Work odd jobs
If you need to put food on the table, working odd jobs to cover the gaps is an equally viable option. While it may entail more hands-on work, it could make the difference between being short on cash another month and being able to meet your financial obligations.
Jobs in this category include working at a car wash, pet sitting, laundry services, cleaning homes, running grocery errands, cooking, cutting someone's grass or raking their backyard. The list is endless and the opportunities are readily available.
5. Sign up to do childcare
It can be expensive to raise kids and one significant cost parents have to figure out is daycare. Some parents are fortunate to have family in the area that can help with this, but most, especially in big cities, need to hire help with this task.
That’s where you come in. As a babysitter or childcare provider, you can effectively spend your day minding the children while the parents are away at work. A great place to get started looking for opportunities is Care.com.
6. Do surveys
While this certainly won’t make you rich and can take up a good amount of time, participating in online surveys has been known to rake in extra dollars for participants. There are literally hundreds of sites offering these services. However, not all are made equal and proper diligence needs to go into exploring your options.
If you’re looking to get started, a few good options to consider include sites such as Swagbucks which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been around for over 12 years. Another option would be Survey Junkie, which gives you points for surveys that can be converted into cash.
7. Airbnb your part of your home
Realistically, most people use a fraction of their homes on a day to day basis, unless if it’s a tiny apartment. This results in a lot of potential to earn extra income. In fact, the income potential from renting your additional room out via Airbnb is higher than what you make from sharing the space with a roommate.
What one person would pay in rent for the month, could be made in a number of days on Airbnb.
It may be rather intimidating to invite a complete stranger into your home. However, the truth is, the number of incidents that occur through the platform is minimal.
Additionally, Airbnb has checks and balances in place to protect you as the landlord such as giving you the option to request that the guest provides Airbnb with a copy of their identification documents.
Before getting started, it is important to check laws in your area and a good place to start is on the Airbnb site where they offer some guidelines around what regulations you can expect for your city.
Beyond the regulations and your initial diligence process, the next step will be to put out a well-optimized listing.
Imagine yourself as a complete stranger to a new city who is looking for somewhere to stay. What’s the one thing that will give you a lot of confidence in your decision making? It's Information.
If there is anything you need to remember, it’s that most people you will host will know next to nothing about your area so the quality of your listing will either make or break your chances of success. Make sure to provide lots of great quality information about the unit, the neighborhood, transport, and distance to major attractions as well as providing high-quality photos.
8. Negotiate your bill with a payment plan
Surprisingly, many subscription-based services understand that hard times can hit someone in life and a large majority have alternative payment arrangements they don’t advertise to the general public. Businesses would much rather secure a subscriber over the long term instead of losing the customer because he or she failed to make a payment.
If you are struggling to pay a specific bill, call up representatives from the company and let them know your situation and demonstrate your desire and commitment to paying your dues. More often than not, the specialists will do everything in their power to help you with alternative payment arrangements.
Desperately need money right now?
You’ve done all you know to do but you’re still stuck. Now what?
1. Ask for overtime at work
Sometimes we spend hours and hours trying to figure out the best way to make additional money when the opportunity is staring us in the face – over time.
If your job offers the opportunity to work extra shifts then you’re in a great position to earn more money quickly. Some additional benefits of overtime include the fact that you incur no additional costs to get to and from work, you require no additional training and you automatically contribute more to your retirement nest egg through your existing payment arrangements. If you haven’t explored the opportunity yet, discuss it with your employer.
2. Return unnecessary purchases
In this day of online shopping, it is not uncommon to buy something you think you love only to try it at home and realize you’re not that into it or that you actually don't need it. Online shopping is notoriously the cause of a ton of overspending.
A lot of people stop here and end up accumulating heaps of unwanted items because of the hassle of processing a return. If you need cash, check the return policy on items you bought. Many stores have generous policies sometimes extending to 90 days (or in the case of Macy’s, 180-days).
3. Ask friends or family for help (with a plan to pay them back)
Your immediate support system can be a good go-to source for help in those moments when your finances are not lining up well. However, this option must be approached with caution.
Borrowing from close ties and failing to pay back the money can lead to a breakdown in relationships. Understandably, life happens and sometimes there is no other option than to go down this route.
If you do borrow from friends or family, clearly articulate a realistic schedule for when you can get the money back to them by and do everything in your power to stick to it or pay it off faster.
4. Consider taking out a loan (that you can afford to pay back)
If you’ve tried all the above and none of the options seems feasible for you, then you may have to explore the option of taking out a loan or a credit card. However, approach with caution.
If your bank offers you a $10,000 loan and you only need $500, be careful not to fall for the temptation of getting a big windfall because, at the end of the day, you will have to pay it all back – with interest.
Set realistic expectations and carefully review all the loan terms before committing to the loan. Also be sure to build your repayments into your budget, setting a goal to pay off your debt as soon as you can.
5. Sell plasma and save a life
It might sound crazy but plasma is a precious resource that saves the lives of those with chronic conditions. It is the liquid portion of blood remaining once red blood and white blood cells and platelets have been removed and it is used to support people suffering from chronic illnesses.
There are centers in almost every city that accept plasma to help individuals in need and you can sell your plasma while doing good. Pay ranges from $20 to $50 and the best way to get started is to google a plasma center near you.
How to avoid being in a place where you need money desperately
Set up an emergency fund
Emergency funds exist for moments like this. When you face an unexpected set of circumstances that are beyond your immediate control, an emergency fund can be the difference between having to take on additional debt and comfortably cruising through a tough patch in life.
An emergency fund is essentially a savings account exclusively dedicated to helping you through life’s emergency situations. The size of the fund largely depends on your lifestyle choices.
Get in the habit of building a sinking fund
If you have large one-time expenses coming up, the best way to prepare is by putting a sinking fund in place. Sinking funds are essentially a pool of money you set aside for a specific one-time purpose. This can include setting aside money for a new couch, paying for a wedding or buying a new car.
Sinking funds can be an excellent way to ensure that your budget remains balanced throughout the year without the need to look for additional income or to take on debt.
Establish multiple streams of income
There’s never been a more exciting time to be alive than now because the number of opportunities available is countless. If you find yourself strapped for cash and you’ve done all you can to maximize your current income, it may be time to consider diversifying your sources of income.
Income diversification can take place in so many ways – the choice is yours. Trade time for money by doing work such as house or pet sitting. Invest in the stock market and grow your income through asset appreciation. Focus on passive streams of income such as peer to peer lending. Invest in real estate by buying properties that will bring in rental income. You could even start a side hustle.
As you can see, there are a ton of options and anyone at any income level can start earning more.
Is it possible to make money today? Absolutely. But only if you dedicate the extra time and effort. Like anything worth doing, it will require some hard work and commitment. If you get started today, you certainly won’t regret the time invested!