Even with the best intentions for budgeting, unexpected expenses can sneak up on you, and erratic work schedules can mean you’re not prepared for monthly bills when they come due. No matter what your financial situation looks like, if you’re strapped for cash, you’re in good company. 27% of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency cost without selling something they own or borrowing money — and 12% wouldn’t be able to cover it at all.
Sometimes, your primary job just isn’t enough to make ends meet. If you’re regularly struggling to keep up with your bills, you might want to join the more than 7 million Americans who have multiple jobs. Or, if you’d rather be your own boss, pick up a gig. Three in 10 adults work in the gig economy, typically as a way of earning extra cash.
The best part about starting a new gig? Besides snagging that much-needed money, you can typically find gigs that align with your interests and hobbies. So, while you’ll be giving up some of your precious free time to work, you can spend it doing something you actually enjoy.
So if you need money fast and payday is a ways away, don’t fret. We’re not going to tell you to sell your organs on the black market or even to take out a payday loan. Instead, we’ll tell you how to make $1000 fast, legally, and safely.
Become a rideshare driver
If you like cruising around listening to music or podcasts and don’t mind possibly making small talk with a rider while you’re at it, consider becoming a rideshare driver with Uber.
The best part is that you can set your own schedule, and you won’t even have to wait two weeks to get paid, since you can access your earnings weekly.
If you’re not a people-person, you could deliver food with Uber Eats, DoorDash or Postmates, and you may even be able to make deliveries on a bike. You could also shop for Instacart or drive for goPuff. All of these opportunities let you choose when you deliver, so it’ll be easy to fit the extra earnings into your schedule.
Hang out with dogs
Rent out your car when you’re not using it
If your car spends any time sitting in your driveway, you could be missing an opportunity to earn some serious cash. You can make thousands each year with peer-to-peer car sharing. It’s fast and easy to list your vehicle, and most sites will also pay you quickly once your car is rented.
You can list your car using one of these services:
Sell items you don’t need
Yard sales can be a great way to earn some extra cash, but if you don’t feel like lugging all your stuff onto your front lawn, you can also list items online for local pickup or to be shipped. You’d be surprised how much cash you can rack up this way — I earned more than $5,000 just selling clothing that no longer fit me on Poshmark.
Make sure to take plenty of clear pictures of your items, include comprehensive descriptions, and research similar items to choose a price that will sell. Check out these resale sites to get started:
Get into the sneaker trade
Got a pair of Yeezys or Air Jordans? Your sneakers could be worth more than you think, since so-called “sneakerheads” will pay top dollar for limited-edition styles. The sneaker resale trade is valued at a whopping $1 billion, according to estimates.
Do your research to find new releases that are likely to sell out quickly and be worth a lot of money when you resell them. Or, if you’re holding onto a pair of retro sneakers, search eBay to find out what they might be worth. We found a pair of 2008 Air Jordans selling on eBay for more than $50,000!
Land a freelance gig
Are you highly organized? Consider becoming a virtual assistant. A grammar snob? Check out freelance writing jobs. Got a knack for design? Consider offering your services on a freelance basis. Handy around the house? You can get paid to help people in your neighborhood.
A freelance gig can be a highly rewarding way to apply your talents while working on your own time. Even if you don’t have experience, there are plenty of sites that can help you earn some extra cash for your skills, and there’s no lengthy application process — you can get started right away.
Look around these sites for ideas and opportunities:
Offer your services to friends, family, and neighbors
It’s likely you know someone with a busy schedule who could use some extra help with chores, errands, baby-sitting, or pet-sitting. Let the people close to you know you’re available to lend a hand. If they don’t need your help right away, consider selling coupons for future services. This way, you’ll have access to the cash you need now.
Share your extra room or backyard
If you’ve got an extra bed or enough space in your garden for a tent, you can make a lot of extra money listing your space on Airbnb. It’s free to list your space, and it can be incredibly lucrative. Earn up to $1,465/month* hosting in the U.S.
*Estimate based on several factors – check out details.
Host a rent party
Rent parties started in the 1920s in Harlem as a way for people to raise money to pay their rent. They would often include music, dancing, and (then illegal) alcohol. Friends, family, and neighbors would buy tickets to attend, and the money would go toward the host’s monthly rent.
Prohibition may have ended, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a party in the spirit of the tradition; people still need help paying their rent, after all. Tell your friends to don their flapper attire, set up an open mic, or ask someone you know to play music — and charge $10 a pop for entry.
Download apps that pay
- Sweatcoin: Get paid to walk
- Ebates: Earn cash back
- Ibotta: Earn cash back
- Swagbucks: Get paid to take surveys and more
- Fronto: Get gift cards for viewing ads on your phone
- Mobee: Get paid to mystery shop
Ask for a raise (or to work more hours)
If you already have a job, consider asking for more hours or a raise. If you know you’re a valuable asset to the company you work for, make sure your boss is also aware of your contributions. Check out some of our tips on how to ask for a raise. Alternatively, you could ask your employer for an advance on your next paycheck, especially if you’ve encountered a financial emergency.
Let’s get serious for a minute
Now that you’re full of great ideas on how to solve your current financial obstacle, let’s talk about the future. In order to prevent emergencies from wreaking havoc on your finances again, consider why you’re broke in the first place.
It’s possible you could need a little extra help budgeting and setting aside money in a savings account. If you have unpredictable hours and pay, be sure to budget based on your baseline income. Look for areas where you can trim your budget, from cutting back unnecessary expenses like dining out to shopping at second-hand stores.
And, in the end, you may find these methods of earning extra cash can go beyond a temporary quick fix. Many of these endeavors could become ongoing weekend side jobs that supplement your income so you’re prepared for uneven pay or emergency expenses.
You might even enjoy using your talents and skills to bring in extra dough so much that it won’t feel like work.