How to Make Money Fast Today!

One of the most common questions I hear is, how can I earn some extra money fast?

Maybe you’re faced with an unexpected home repair, or your car decided to call it quits?  Now you’re in need for some cash quick, fast and in a hurry (like yesterday). If you are looking to earn money on the side, then you will need to be careful, there are a lot of “get rich quick” schemes and work at home scams.

In today’s post, we look at legitimate ways to earn money, find some fast cash, launch a business online, and even build some mostly passive income.

Ground Rules

You may have seen the lists on online; “100 plus ways to make money quickly’ or “creative ways to make extra cash.” Most of these lists are merely affiliate link spam. I’m not going to add to the noise and suggest you waste your spare time so I can make some affiliate commissions.

Must Pay Well 

Call me crazy but if you going to spend your spare time side hustling you should expect to make more than minimum wage.

If you need money now to cover rent or get the car fixed, reward apps, sign up bonuses might not cut it. Let’s face it a 5$ bonus or 10$ bonus is not going to solve your financial woes, neither is banging out online surveys. Anyone who tries to tell you, Survey Junkie, is the best way to make 100 dollars fast is trying to pad their own wallet, not yours.

Plus, if you already did the shopper app, welcome bonus, “pledged your body to science thing” the last time you clunker needed a repair, then it is likely your in need of some creative new ways to make some extra cash.

No Upfront Investment Needed

If you are in desperate need of a quick cash infusion, ponying up for an expensive eCourse or Bootcamp is not an option. Similarly, we not going to recommend you buy a bunch of inventory or products. Sorry, not sorry, multi-level marketing your out!!!! 

Must be Fast, Like Really Fast

Blogging, podcasting, and passive income investments are all great ways to make money, however, they are not fast, easy or quick.

To be included on this list, the option needs to be a real way to make money and have the potential to pay higher than a living wage. Plus, it had to be quick because that’s why you’re here. As a bonus, we are going to show you show you ways to save some money and improve your cash flow.

 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money

1. Helping Others

Donate Blood Plasma. This hack comes from fellow blogger Melissa Blevins, who has been making upwards of 400 dollars a month donating blood plasma. If making a few extra dollars wasn’t good enough, donating blood plasma can save lives.

Need more reason to give, donating blood plasma can burn 650 calories, beats the exercise bike for an hour! (420 calories)

2.  Monetize Your Experience

How to make money fast and easy? Teach a class on Symposium.

Symposium is one of the fastest real ways to make money. The app connects anyone with expertise to a robust marketplace of users seeking experience. Experts sign up for a profile and can begin teaching classes or offering one-on-one consultations in a matter of minutes.

Getting paid on Symposium is fast and easy; once a session is completed, money is immediately transferred to the seller’s debit card. You don’t even need a PayPal account; It doesn’t get much quicker than that.

Chances are you have experience in something; maybe you are in HR and know the common mistakes job applicants make, or perhaps you enjoy fashion and make-up and mastered “the smokey eye.” People are willing to pay to learn from your experience, and Symposium is the platform that allows that to happen.

Anyone can use the App to make money quickly;

  • Fitness enthusiasts could launch workout coaching, nutritional coaching, or even virtually coach a spin class
  • Wellness experts can start motivational or inspirational lessons
  • Podcasters could offer unique enhanced pay-per-view versions of their podcasts
  • Crafters and makers could teach courses on how to 3D print, use a Cricket machine, or even how to knit or crochet.
  • Cosplay fans could teach classes on how to make costumes or even give fans a “behind the scenes” peek at competitions.
  • Gamers could broadcast playthroughs, review games, or even offer to coach for more difficult game elements.
  • Tech’s and service pros could offer one-on-one troubleshooting

The best part is Symposium offers synergies with other side hustles. Makers can broadcast a how-to while making custom products for sale. Photographers can broadcast live from remote locations while prowling for photos, and flippers can broadcast auctions and markets, teaching others how to flip successfully.

Even a small audience can represent real profits. A live SymCast to 15 people for 20 dollars a piece is 300 dollars. Sure beats filling out surveys online.

3. Become a Hacker 

Not that kind of hacker, become a cashback app hacker.

Need a little cash in a pinch? Try earning gift cards and free money with cashback apps like iBotta and Hooch that allow you to receive a card as part of your everyday spending.

If you require some extra dough, and you have to buy groceries anyway, might as well earn some cashback. Don’t forget to print coupons online and grab your weekly newspaper insets, reward apps like iBotta stack with coupons. If you are first time user of iBotta between the sign-on and referral bonus you can make $100 or more.

It may not be the fastest way to make money or even the highest paying, but if you are in immediate need, every little bit helps.

Popular Cashback and Money Saving Apps

Reward and Cash Back apps worth trying;

  1. Swagbucks (Join free for a $10 bonus)
  2. Inbox Dollars (Join free for a $5 bonus)
  3. Arcadia Power (Earn $5 when you connect your utility account for free)
  4. Trim – will analyze your accounts to find recurring subscriptions and determine where you can save more money. Trim cancels subscriptions, negotiates your Comcast bill, finds you better car insurance, and more.
READ:  The 4 Best States for Starting a Small Business

4. Become a Flipper

Become a flipper. If you have a keen eye and are willing to do some research, you can make decent money flipping items. Check out Craigslist and eBay and see what items are selling for. Start with small pieces until you have a sense of how to flip.

There are several resources online on how to start reselling on eBay. However, the easiest way is to sell your stuff first, go through your house and look for any items and you no longer need, such as old books, the hobby gear you picked up and never used, and older electronics.

It’s a fun way to kick off that decluttering you have intended to start.

Once you have built up a reputation and have some experiencing selling on eBay, it’s time to look for items to sell. The most natural path to find things is to start with what you know. If you are into video games than considering buying and selling games, if you collect antiques, then buy and sell antiques.

Additionally, don’t rule out handmade items, handcrafted goods can do well on eBay. However, Etsy is probably a better venue for your homemade products.

Example, Local farmers in my area love 275 Gallon Caged IBC Tote’s, used ones sell for 150 dollars in the area. I found a person on Craigslist who sells them for 75 dollars a piece about an hour drive from me. After a little on the phone negotiating, I was able to pick up 15 totes for 50 dollars apiece. It took the Mrs. and me less than three hours to pick up the totes and return. We kept a few totes for ourselves to harvest rainwater and sold the rest off for a nice profit.

Looking for more information on how to flip for fast money? Check out my interview with Norm. The Art of Flipping.

5. Sell Photos

Sell your photos online. Have you built up a massive collection of photos from your travels? If so, turn your passion for photography into money in your pocket. Website developers and bloggers are always looking for pictures to use on their sites. Consider selling your art on sites like twenty20, iStock, or SmugMug.

Prices can range from a few cents to twenty-plus dollars. Make sure you review all the fine print; some of the sites do not allow you to offer the same photos on several websites.

The key to making money online with your photos is thinking outside the box. Turn your photos into products, such as mugs, mousepads, or puzzles.

Also, don’t limit your self to just selling your digital photos. Historical photos sell well on websites such as Etsy.com and eBay. Travel to local estate sales, yard sales, garage sales, and flea markets, you can often pick up old photos and albums inexpensively and sell them for a nice profit.

Note: older advertising also sells well, at a local car show a gentleman was selling ads from old magazines for $15 a piece. 

6. Start a VA or Freelancer Side Hustle

Become a social media virtual assistant. Do you love Pinterest or Instagram? Many brands and bloggers do not know how to use these social media platforms correctly. Offer your expertise to coach or act as a social media manager. It’s a win-win: the brand gets the right type of social media exposure, and you can make money doing something you enjoy.

How much could money could you make as a VA? Some VA’s make between $14 and $25 an hour, others charge  $40 and up. If you are great at making Pinterest images and Instagram creatives, you could charge brands upwards of $50 an hour. To get the best value for your work, it helps to have a social media following of your own to demonstrate your work online.

Tip: You may be tempted to offer your services on sites like Fiverr or Upwork; customers of the sites are looking for rock bottom prices. If you provide a quality premium service, engage blogs and brands in the more popular networking groups or reach out to them on social media.

Consider Freelance Writing

Freelancing writing is a great way to earn money online from home. The advantage to freelance writing is you have a built-in customer, and you know exactly how much you will get paid. According to a survey by ClearVoice,  “most intermediate to advanced freelance writers charge between 10 cents and $1 per word.”

Depending on your level of experience and speed of writing, an intermediate writer could make between 20 and 40 dollars per hour. Forty dollars an hour beats signing up for surveys.

Note: if you are interested in launching a side gig as a freelance writer, check out our interview with Josh Weiss, who is killing it as a full-time freelancer.  

7. Make Money Making

Become A Maker. Making and selling custom products and craft items are starting to become a lucrative side business. With the sites like Etsy, eBay and Amazon its more accessible than ever to sell online and you don’t need to a web designer or SEO guru.

Online, your options are endless: you could 3D print custom game pieces, knit dice bags, or use a Cricket machine to make custom apparel. You can even create and sell non-geeky items like baby outfits, buttons, or any craft imaginable; the options are limitless.

8. Put Your Real Estate to Work

Become a Landlord

Try turning an unfinished basement, attic, or additional space into an apartment. When we built our barn/garage, it was very inexpensive: only 1,500 dollars more to upgrade to storage rafters instead of traditional rafters. We were able to add 1,400 sq. Ft. apartment space for a nominal cost. The cost to finish it further is reasonable.

Renting out extra storage space is an excellent way to become a landlord without the headaches and make extra money at home. Think outside the box (house) you can rent empty field space to people looking to store equipment for the winter, your woods to people looking for a place to camp, or even a front yard for extra parking for a local event.

We have also rented out our extra space in our garage/barn to people looking to store their motorcycles and sports cars for the winter.

Host a Wedding or a Party

Have beautiful views and landscaping? Try to rent your property for weddings, receptions, reunions or parties. It’s even better if you have a charming barn. If a barn is not an option, tents can be rented. Also, wedding rental places are always looking for people with land to rent.

READ:  Five Money Lessons from South Park

Reach out to them and bring awareness to your property. Renting out a property for a wedding, rehearsal or party can make a few thousand dollars for a weekends worth of work.

Leverage Your Green Thumb

Grow high-value crops, such as lavender. Not only is a patch of lavender beautiful, but a 20×20 lavender patch can produce over $1,800 of lavender a year. By turning the lavender into essential oils or soaps, it could provide even more income.

If harvesting crops sounds like too much work, consider a U-pick crop like blueberries, strawberries, gourds, and pumpkins. A small patch of pumpkins can is minimal work and offers the potential for excellent returns. If vegetables are not your jam, consider raising Christmas Trees or even house plants like figs and Cacti.

Take Your Plants Indoors

Build a small greenhouse. This structure can be a cost-effective business for growing seedlings out of seeds and selling them. I have a client that makes over $2,000 a year, growing and selling seedlings in a small greenhouse. There you can buy an inexpensive greenhouse kit at most home improvement and hardware stores, as well as Amazon, Harbor Freight or Tractor Supply Co. The best part is, it’s seasonal work and doesn’t require much labor.

If you live someplace with strong winds, choose a greenhouse that uses polycarbonate panels. It can be tempting to purchase a greenhouse that uses film; however, the film rarely holds up over time. Also, check Craigslist over even go for a country drive. You can often find derelict greenhouse frames occupying a country garden. Many times you can pick these up for free or pennies on the dollar, and they usually need some TLC, film, or replacement panels. 

Turn Equity Into Safe Income

Have equity in the house? Consider investment loan arbitrage. If you can borrow money from your home at a lower interest rate, you may be able to use the funds and earn money in safe investments. Essentially, you would be winning by pocketing the difference. If you are over 62, you may also consider a reverse mortgage.

Tip: When considering using loan proceeds for investment purposes, make sure you understand the terms of the loans. IE: What parts can change, such as interest rates. Also, ensure you know the terms of the investment and are comfortable with the guarantees provided and are familiar with what could go wrong.

Ideally, a homeowner using loans in such a way should only use guaranteed savings vehicles, bank products, or insurance products. It might be tempting to cash out your equity for the latest hot crypto-currency, but not only could you lose the investment, but you could also lose your home if you’re not careful.

9. Keep More of Your Money 

Saving Money is Making Money.  You may have heard the saying “You can’t “outwork a bad diet”; finances are similar. Before launching your creative new side hustle, it makes sense to sit down and look for opportunities to reduce unnecessary expenses. Now, I’m not suggesting you give up the items you and your family value and enjoy, instead let’s trim the fat a bit.

Let’s look at the low-hanging fruit:

  • Comparison shop your  Life, Health, Auto, Home Owners’, and Liability insurance.
  • Did you quit smoking or lose weight? Ask your health and life insurance co.’s if they will reduce rates
  • Challenge inaccuracies on your credit report. If you improve your score, ask lenders and insurance co.’s if they can reduce your rates.
  • Check your deductibles, limits, and features on health and property & casualty insurance. Many people are overpaying for lower limits or features they may not need.

 Creative Ways to Free Up Some Cash

Who wouldn’t like a little more wiggle room in their budget? A lot has been written about subscription boxes, morning lattes, and ditching cable to save. However, cable bills and coffee shops are not where most Americans waste most of their money. The biggest budget-busting bullies are debt, taxes, and insurances.

Review Your Health Insurance

Review your employer-sponsored health insurance; many employers offer a menu of options to their employees. However, recent research suggests that employee tend to pick the more costly options, even if the plan doesn’t provide any additional benefit over a lower-cost alternative. In fact, according to research, many employees pay up to 40% more than necessary.

Many employees are unfamiliar with the benefits their employers offer and may be missing out on valuable incentives like funding their Health Savings Account (HSA). It can pay to sit down with the individuals at Human Resources and ask them to explain the benefits.

Most employer-sponsored plans will have a representative that services the account, and they should be able to answer questions. Should you need more help than that, it could make sense to talk with an outside financial advisor.

Shop for Property and Casualty Ins.

Review your home, auto, and umbrella insurance policy and periodically review your coverage. Comparison shopping competitors can save you a ton of money.

I know spending an afternoon on the phone calling around to all the companies does not sound like a lot of fun. However, saving up to a $100 a month can take the sting out of the time you spent. Additionally, there are several websites and brokers online that can run multiple quotes from competing companies to help you find the best deal.

Do you have a couple speeding tickets on your record? You may have decided to pay the fine instead of taking the day off from work and fighting the ticket. That ticket (or two, don’t worry, I am not judging) might be driving up your insurance premiums. Many times, you can appeal the ticket and negotiate a non-moving violation to clean up your record. Also, ask your insurer if they offer discounts for taking safe driving courses.

Some insurance companies base your rates in part on credit rating. If you have been cleaning up or establishing your credit and have seen a nice improvement, call your insurer and ask if they can lower your rate.

Never hurts to ask!

Tip: Ask the Insurance broker if the company offers discounts based on alumni associations, professional/trade groups, or club affiliation. Being a member of a group could save you 10 percent or more, and if you not already a member, it could pay to become one.

Drive Like a Granny

Ask your insurance company if they offer a driving monitor or tracking program.  Many insurers are offering tracking devices with giving you a 5% to 10% discount just for taking the device for a spin. It may seem a bit Orwellian to have the insurance company monitoring you driving, and the devices can pay big dividends.

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First, if you brake gradually, and accelerate slowly, your insurance may reward you with even more safe driving savings.

Secondly, slowing down and driving less aggressively can save you some serious coin.

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each five mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.18 per gallon for gas. – FuelEconomy.Gov

Wake up 5 minutes earlier so you can go a little slower.  The time it costs you will be more than worth it with the savings it brings.

Reduce Life Insurance Costs

You should periodically review your insurance policies. Maybe you picked up coverage when the kids were younger, and you no longer need the coverage. Did you lose weight or quit smoking? Often an insurer will change the rating status of a policy if the insured has given up smoking for more than two years or if their health has improved.

Once a year, you should call your provider and ask for an enforce policy illustration. This illustration will model out how the policy is performing. You should use this information to compare the policy with offerings from other carriers to see if there are lower costs options or plans with better benefits.

Tip: If you decide to apply for a new policy and the company orders a psychical or blood tests, ask that you be sent a copy of the results and keep them with your medical records.

Fix Your Credit

Savers should review their credit and fix any inaccuracies. If you have negative information on your report such as missed payments, ask the lenders if they would consider a good faith removal of the offending remark. If you’re successful in improving your credit rating, go back to your lenders and ask if they will refinance your debt at lower rates. Remember, the goal is to save money, try not to add to the balances or extend the term.

You will see some guides online about how to request a good faith removal on your credit report. There are plenty of sample letters online.  However, try to avoid the temptation to use a boilerplate form. The best course of action is to write a personal message. Explain why your payment was late, why it is essential to for you to improve your credit, and what steps you’re taking to ensure you won’t be late again in the future (hopefully).

Rock Free Goods and Services

Looking to free up some quick cash? Consider rocking free goods and services. With a little bit of effort, you can stream movies for free, listen to free music and even get a free cell phone plan.

Looking for even more free goods and services? Check out;

Deal With The Real Bullies

A pet peeve of mine is the tired cliché that the only thing standing between people and financial success is their addiction to morning lattes. Sure, frivolous lattes can wreck a budget. However, a bigger budget-busting bully is looking to steal our lunch money; the IRS.

Do not give up your morning coffee before reviewing your income taxes. Taxes can consume 20 percent or more of your income; I doubt anyone spends that much on coffee. An hour or two planning on taxes can save you thousands. Unfortunately, everyone waits until tax season (end of January to April 15th) to think about taxes. I can’t blame them: taxes are not fun.

Savers should look ahead, to any tax credit or break they expect to use in the upcoming year and determine what is necessary to qualify and plan. You don’t want to find you missed the deadline to fund your 401k and therefore missed qualifying for the saver’s credit by a few dollars. Remember if you are buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act the amount of your premium tax credit is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) planning could not only save you in taxes it could reduce health care costs.

Note. Every year during tax time, I see a news article about whether or not you should pay your taxes on a credit card, or what to do if you can’t pay your taxes. Don’t let that be you. Plan ahead.

Now is a perfect time to plan for your 2019 taxes. You should estimate your expected income, and look to see if you will owe money in taxes. With just over seven months left in the year, there is plenty of time left to budget and/or take corrective action.

Start Making Money

Noticeably absent from my list is “blogging.” I enjoy blogging and sharing with readers ways to save money, inspiring success stories, and of course geek culture. However, blogging is not the path to quick cash online. Despite what many bloggers and peddlers of courses may suggest, blogging is tough work, and it takes a sizable audience to make even a modest return.

Many of the blogs that claim otherwise have designed products or courses that they sell and launching a product online take time and resources. While owning a successful blog is a wonderful goal to pursue, you may need quick ways to make money to maintain cash flow until your blog or websites takes off.

By following these seven creative tips, you will be able to reach your financial goals in record time!

About the Author

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Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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