I Need Money Now!
We’ve all seen those movies where the protagonist needs to generate a lot of money in a short time.
Take Dodgeball, for instance, where the protagonist needs to come up with $50,000 for his gym’s mortgage or his rival across the street will buy the gym out from him.
The protagonist ends up pulling together a ragtag team to compete in a dodgeball tournament for a massive cash prize, enough to cover his mortgage and keep his gym (no spoilers here, don’t worry).
In real life, you probably aren’t short $50,000.
But any occasion where you’re short on cash can be quite stressful.
Fortunately, you don’t have to win some giant competition to earn cash when you need it. Check out our list of ways to earn cash if you need money now.
How To Get Cash When You Need Money Now (23 Ways)
Earn Money With Your Car
Your car might depreciate with each mile, but you can turn it into a cash machine by signing up for one of these services.
Uber is one of the biggest ridesharing companies out there. As a driver, you’re responsible for picking up passengers when they request a ride and safely delivering them to their destination.
One of the best perks you’ll get as an Uber driver is the flexibility. You get to clock in and clock out whenever you want. No schedules, no set hours, none of that.
As for pay, exact rates vary by location, but the base earning potential is pretty good. However, several factors can drive up the rates, putting more money in your pocket.
A huge example of this is “surge” pricing. When Uber’s in high demand in certain areas, rates will increase to compensate. This tends to happened during large events or on Friday/Saturday nights around the bars in big cities.
Uber will also raise rates for inclement weather; if your car is good in the rain or snow, your earning potential just went up.
To top it all off, Uber drivers can earn tips from their passengers for good service.
Oh, but you’re probably wondering if you have to wait for some “payday” to access your Uber earnings.
Not so! Uber sends you a special debit card that allows you instant access to your funds. If you need to come up with $50 within the next few days, complete enough Uber rides and the money’s yours!
Uber also has Uber Eats, Uber’s food pickup and delivery service. Although there are more steps involved (picking up, confirming, and delivering orders), your potential pay is higher.
They even let you ride a bike if you don’t have a car!
Delivery driving isn’t just limited to employees of the business doing the delivering; tons of services have cropped up that hire delivery drivers to fulfill all sorts of customer orders.
Grubhub is among the most well-known. Grubhub drivers accept orders right on their phone, then they grab the order from the restaurant and deliver it right to the customer’s door.
Glassdoor has stated that Grubhub drivers earn about $12/hour, all things considered. That’s not bad for an easy job that keeps you on the move and earns you money fast.
Gig economy services have expanded beyond just grocery shopping, car rentals, ridesharing, or food delivery.
Now, you can earn money for completing all sorts of odd jobs by signing up for TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit connects Taskers (you, the money earner) to people who need various odd jobs completed.
Some jobs are your simple labor jobs, like yard work or helping people move. However, there are tons of unique jobs on TaskRabbit such as holding a spot in line for somebody.
There are plenty of “conventional” gig economy tasks on there as well, such as grocery shopping or delivering items.
If you have plenty of free time, need to earn money, and want a diverse set of earning opportunities, TaskRabbit fits the bill pretty well.
Turo is the Airbnb of cars. The service lets users rent out their cars to other users for a daily rate. It’s primarily used by travelers looking to avoid boring rental car companies, making it an excellent choice for people who live in tourist destinations.
Turo can be especially lucrative if you have a fancy or highly sought-after car. For example, you might have a convertible sports car. You can get a ton of cash out of that, because EVERYONE wants to drive a convertible sports car (especially on vacation).
No worries if you don’t own a high-end Mercedes-Benz. Some more “common” vehicles, like family minivans, are highly sought after by families going on vacation. Such a high-demand means there’s never enough vans at rental companies to go around, giving you room to charge more money.
Turo isn’t just used by travelers, though. Perhaps someone needs to haul a bunch of stuff, but they only own a tiny sports car.
They might look around on Turo for a pickup truck they could rent to help haul all that stuff that needs hauling.
If you have a brand new car that’s popular at the moment, you’ve got your own Turo market: Turo renters may want to rent your car to get a full test drive experience without all the headache of going to the dealership and being sold on something at every turn.
If Turo was the Airbnb of cars, then Shipt is the Uber of grocery shopping. Shipt customers can place orders for groceries from their favorite store on the Shipt app. As a Shipt shopper, it’s your responsibility to complete these orders in an accurate and timely manner.
Like Uber, you get to “clock in” whenever you want by accepting an order through their app.
Shipt claims you can make between $16 and $22 per hour, but they actually pay by the order; the assumption is that each order takes about an hour.
Customers can also tip their Shipt shoppers on the app, and tips have been known to be pretty good.
All in all, the most attentive Shipt Shoppers can earn a good amount of business by walking up and down store aisles.
Instacart is an excellent alternative to Shipt. They offer both “on-demand” style shopping where you can pick up orders when you feel like it, but they also let you set a fixed weekly availability if you’d like.
Unfortunately, not all cities have both. Some only let you set availability, while others only let you accept orders as they come.
However, Instacart does add whichever method isn’t present when they feel the time is right, so sit tight and your city might soon have both.
This slight inflexibility is outweighed by other aspects of Instacart, though.
First of all, they pay better than Shipt if you exclude tips. Rates vary by market, but Instacart shoppers generally earn a bit more.
Joining Instacart is much, much easier than Shipt as well.
See, Shipt has a strict interview process. They’re looking for a narrow range of answers in their interviews; if your answer don’t fit what they want, they may reject your application; you’ll then have to reapply in 60 days.
On the other hand, Instacart has no formal interview process. You just download the app, give them your signup information, then they send you your card. Once you get the card, you can go shopping for pay!
Earn Money By Freelancing
You don’t need to make a career out of freelancing to earn some quick cash now. Sign up for these sites to earn some money completing freelance projects.
Fiverr is a freelancer marketplace that lets you create your own “gig” as if it were a product and sell it to clients. You start out charging $5 a gig, but you can rapidly increase your rates as you gain experience and gather positive feedback.
You can succeed on Fiverr with nearly any gig as long as you sell yourself well. Common gigs include
- Date entry
- Virtual assistant
- Graphic design
- Web design
Unfortunately, your Fiverr earnings take about 3 weeks to clear upon client approval of your work. Don’t rely on Fiverr earnings if you need the money this week.
They have a free plan and a Premium plan. The free plan should be plenty if you’re just looking to earn some quick cash, but if you want to freelance on a regular basis, the Premium plan might be better.
Your funds do have to move through a few stages before they’re yours, though; this can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks depending on the type of job and client responsiveness.
Earn Money By Taking Surveys
We hardly consider taking surveys to be “work”. You can earn money taking surveys during your commute (unless you drive, of course), during commercial breaks, or even if you’re just bored out of your mind.
Let’s see some of the best survey apps to earn money now.
Swagbucks users can take surveys to earn points, called Swagbucks. These Swagbucks can be redeemed for cash or various gift cards when you earn enough of them.
Now, surveys are the main attraction on Swagbucks, but they aren’t the only earning method. Swagbucks users can also earn through
- Online shopping – Swagbucks has partnered with a ton of companies to offer cashback in the form of Swagbucks. Shop directly at your favorite stores through Swagbucks to earn points!
- Watching videos – Users can earn points by watch videos on all kinds of topics, such as food, fashion, entertainment, news/current events, and more.
- Playing games – Yep, Swagbucks users can get paid to play games on their site!
- Discover – This area has all sorts of miscellaneous offers from Swagbucks partners. Most of the offers involve signing up or paying for something, but Swagbucks will pay you thousands of Swagbucks for doing so. If you were going to sign up for one of these deals, might as well do it through Swagbucks!
- Surfing the web – Believe it or not, Swagbucks users can earn just by using Swagbucks as their search engine! You can also install the Swag Button browser extension which will alert you to Swagbucks offers it detects in your search results.
Oh, but you need money even sooner? Swagbucks regularly gives out $5-$10 signup bonuses.
Something to think about if you need money now.
SurveyJunkie builds on the “make money by taking surveys” model by analyzing your profile and matching you to surveys more relevant to your demographic. Because of this, you’re less likely to be “unqualified” for the survey, increasing your chances of earning money.
On top of that, you can influence products and industries you care about, rather than taking surveys about things you have no interest in.
However, some surveys you aren’t qualified for slip through the cracks. No worries: SurveyJunkie still rewards you with a few points for your troubles.
11.) Opinion Outpost
Opinion Outpost has a ton of surveys you can take to earn points. Similar to SurveyJunkie, it’ll ask you several demographic questions and then match you with what it deems are relevant surveys based on your answers.
But each survey you take isn’t just earning you cash today; each survey you complete also gives you an entry into their quarterly cash prize giveaway.
Every quarter of the year, Opinion Outpost gives away $10,000 to a lucky winner.
All the more reason to start taking surveys on Opinion Outpost like they’re going out of style.
Earn Money by Tutoring Online
Knowledgeable and/or passionate about a certain academic subject? Turn that knowledge into quick cash by helping others learn the subject and earn better grades!
12.) Chegg Tutors
Chegg is an online learning platform where students can upload and share their notes, homework solutions, and other educational materials to help their fellow students learn.
They supplement their massive library of learning materials with their tutor program.
Tutors earn a whopping $20 an hour, which is equivalent to a $40,000 annual salary. Not bad!
Chegg doesn’t require a set number of hours; tutors essentially have complete control over their schedule.
And since it’s all online, you can tutor students from anywhere as long as you have a laptop and a WiFi connection.
To become a tutor, you do have to at least be enrolled in a 4-year degree program.
But that means even broke college students can take advantage of their education before they even graduate and start earning some good cash helping fellow students.
Wyzant is a tutor marketplace, rather than a tutoring site. As a marketplace, it works like Upwork does for freelancers – you get to set your own rates and availability.
Being a marketplace also means you get to negotiate one-on-one with your clients. You can hash out all the details like meeting method (in person or online) and meeting frequency.
Wyzant provides its tutors some simple business management and scheduling tools as well so you can spend less time doing admin stuff and more time earning money tutoring.
Samespeak provides supplementary English learning experiences to students in countries where English is not the official or primarily-spoken language by hiring coaches to converse with students in English. Their biggest markets are China, Japan, and some Middle Eastern countries.
Coaching sessions are a half hour each and pay $10. Do the math, and you’re earning $20 an hour to have conversations with people.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an easier way to earn money now.
Earn Money by Renting Your Space
Got an extra room? Rent it out and earn some extra cash!
Airbnb makes renting out your place easy. If you work hard enough on the platform, you could have a consistent enough income stream to pay part of your mortgage or rent!
If you want to make more money, consider renting out your whole place. You can stay with friends or family while you do this.
Just make sure to comply with all local laws as well as your lease agreement or homeowner’s association. All that money you’re earning will quickly be rendered moot if you have to pay a bunch of penalties.
Sell Old Stuff to Earn Money
Declutter your house today for some quick cash. Spend a day scouring your house for items you no longer use. You’ll be surprised not only at the amount of old junk you have, but also how much some people may be willing to pay for said junk.
16.) General Selling
There are several sites where you can sell basically anything:
- eBay – People seem to buy anything on eBay. You could earn more than you think from your junk on here. Keep in mind the fees, though.
- Craigslist – People do everything on Craigslist, but selling old stuff is one of the most common activities. Just remember to stay safe. If you ever feel uncomfortable about a situation, go with your gut feeling.
- Facebook Marketplace – Facebook Marketplace is basically a less anonymous Craigslist. You can see people’s profiles, making it a safe option for people who don’t trust Craigslist.
17.) Selling Electronics On Gazelle
Got an old smartphone or tablet? Gazelle will pay you for it, and they make it quite easy.
First, you search for your type of device (such as iPhone 6) on their site. Select it, answer a few questions regarding the device, and you’ll be quoted a price. Upon your acceptance of their offer, they’ll send you a box to ship your phone if your offer is over $30.
Gazelle has an extremely thorough 30-point inspection process carried out by tech-savvy professionals to estimate your phone’s value.
Once they approve your device, they’ll process your payment electronically within 3-5 business days. If they find your device’s condition doesn’t match what you said, they’ll propose a revised offer. If you don’t like the revised offer, they’ll send your phone back to you and even pay for shipping.
Now, even if you wipe your device of your data beforehand, you might still have that worry at the back of your mind.
Don’t worry; Gazelle’s professional use Department of Defense-approved software for destroying any and all sensitive data on your device in case you failed to wipe your device clean.
Everyone’s gotta clean out their closet once in a while. You can make some easy money fast by selling your clothes.
You can earn a good chunk of change depending on the type and brand of clothes as well as where you go to sell them.
For example, designer items will naturally earn good money wherever you go. However, you’ll want to go somewhere that caters to buying and selling designer items if you want to sell your own more quickly.
Poshmark is a great place for this. They only deal in designer items, so you know your customers will be able to afford them. All you do is list your items, your price, and some pictures, and wait for someone to buy them.
Upon selling your clothes, Poshmark pays your shipping and sends you a shipping label. Drop your clothes off in the mail, and you’ll be paid within 3-5 business days of your clothes arriving to your customer.
If you can’t find a place to sell your clothes, you might be able to get charitable tax write-offs for donating to a place like Goodwill or Salvation Army.
It’s not cold hard cash right away, but it’ll make your life easier during tax season!
Books can earn a pretty penny, especially if they’re older and in good condition. Even if you just have a bunch of less valuable books, bring them to a bookstore and cash them in.
Not all bookstores are buying books all the time, though. Make sure to call ahead and see if they’re buying books.
Other Ways To Earn Money Now
These methods of earning money now didn’t fit any other categories, but they’re excellent methods nonetheless.
20.) Sell Your Plasma
Your blood plasma can make you money.
See, plasma is used to create therapies for several rare and/or chronic diseases and disorders, as well as burns and shock.
Plasma donation centers pay donors $20+ per donation, which tend to take about an hour. You do need to pass a fairly thorough screening during your first visit for obvious reasons, which will make your first visit take a bit longer.
Once you’re able to donate, they pay you by issuing a debit card and load your earnings onto that card.
Thus, selling plasma is one of the quickest ways to make extra cash once you’re able to donate regularly.
21.) Redeem Your Credit Card Cashback Points
Take stock of all your credit cards to see how much cashback you have sitting in the tank. That’s free money just sitting around, so redeem it immediately!
If you’re worried about your credit card balance, credit cards usually let you apply your points directly to your balance, skipping the cashing out step.
22.) Craigslist Labor Gigs
A lot of people on Craigslist need things done today and they’re willing to pay someone to do it for them. You can find these gigs in Craigslist’s Labor Gigs section.
Most jobs in this section are very short-term, usually involving only an hour or two of work. For example, a lot of people need help loading and unloading heavy objects when moving.
Because these jobs don’t take long, the person will probably pay you immediately upon completing the task, making this one of the quickest ways to earn cash when you need it.
Likewise, there’s a section for creative jobs on Craigslist. Here, individuals or businesses hire artists and other creatives to complete short, one-off projects. If you consider yourself a creative, this is a good place to check out.
23.) Credit Card Signup Bonuses
Credit cards routinely pay out bonuses to new users if they spend X amount in a certain time-frame after opening the card. Some are as high as $500!
However, a few caveats:
- Don’t spend excessively just to get cashback nor to get the signup bonus (although there’s a caveat to this caveat below). The cashback you earn won’t outweigh the debt you incur. Use these cards for purchases you would’ve made anyways.
- Don’t open a ton of credit cards at once. Too many hard inquiries at the same time can do decent damage to your score.
If you do have a new credit card already and are close to earning the bonus, it may be worth it to spend a little extra to reach that bonus if you desperately need money now.
Just make sure to do the math and see if the bonus earnings will outweigh both the expenses you needed to cover in the first place and the extra debt you incur.