Top 31 Ways to Make $20 Instantly
You’re looking to make $20 — and you want to do it as fast as you can.
Here are 31 ways to get your hands on $20 quickly.
Best Ways to Make $20 Fast
- Take paid surveys
- Get cash back with Ibotta
- Shop on Instacart
- Drive for Uber or Lyft
- Freelance on Fiverr or Upwork
- Trade on Robinhood or Schwab
- Make items and sell them on Etsy
- Take jobs on TaskRabbit
- Sell unwanted tech items on Decluttr
- Deliver items on demand
- Rent your car on Turo
- Rent your living space on Airbnb
- Take care of pets
- Sell designs on Amazon Merch
- Listen to music
- Transcribe audio
- Work as a virtual assistant
- Answer questions
- Sell friendship on RentAFriend
- Sell firewood
- Get paid to use your phone with Slidejoy
- Sell your old stuff
- Work in customer service
- Teach an online course
- Work as a tour guide
- Make money gaming using Mistplay
- Sell your car
- Cash in your savings bonds
- Pay off credit cards
- Take out a loan
1. Take paid surveys with Inbox Dollars, Survey Junkie, or Swagbucks
Taking online surveys from sites like Inbox Dollars, Survey Junkie, or Swagbucks is an easy way to earn money, which you can cash out via check, PayPal, or in the form of gift cards to retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
Most sites offer instant signup bonuses that range from $5 to $10, so if you sign up for a few of those, you have $20 right there.
To be clear, many survey sites are scams, but the above examples are legit. In addition to taking surveys, you can get paid to watch videos, test new products, participate in focus groups, and for a variety of other online tasks.
2. Get cash back with Ibotta
Basic household necessities like food and household supplies can drain your budget.
Good news: You can recover some of these costs using Ibotta, which puts money back into your pocket when you buy everyday items.
At the time of writing, Ibotta is offering up to $20 in welcome bonuses — meaning it’s a great way to instantly drum up cash.
3. Shop on Instacart
Get paid to shop for other people’s groceries using Instacart.
Here’s how it works:
- Customers place grocery orders online
- Instacart pairs them with shoppers
- Shoppers goto to the chosen store, handpick the items, and pay for them
- Shoppers then deliver the groceries to the customer’s door
The more effort and care you put into selecting grocery items and communicating with the customer, the better tip you are likely to get. Do a few trips in a row to increase your earnings during your free time.
4. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Car owners have a unique opportunity to get paid to drive with rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.
These services essentially turn your car into a cab, giving you the ability to pick up passengers in your spare time and drive them around town to various destinations like the airport, the bank, or work.
Just keep in mind that services like Uber and Lyft take a cut of whatever you bring in. If you don’t want to fork over a commission every time you pick up a passenger, consider forming direct relationships with individuals on the side, asking for referrals, and working as a private driver instead.
5. Freelance on Fiverr or Upwork
Freelancing is tough work. However, if you have the patience and skill, you can join the legion of bloggers and graphic designers that make money freelancing on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
Depending on your skillset and area of focus, you can easily earn $20 per hour as a freelancer.
6. Trade on Robinhood or Schwab
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t treat the stock market like a carnival game. Instead of throwing your money into random companies hoping for quick gains, you should think long-term and invest in solid organizations with proven track records of success and solid dividend yields.
That said, the people who invested in GameStop using discount brokers like Robinhood or Schwab laughed all the way to the bank — especially those who got GameStop as a free stock before it exploded in value. At least for a little while.
Trading stocks for fast gains is incredibly risky. But it can sometimes produce quick cash if you happen to get lucky. Just use caution when investing, or you could lose a significant amount of money very quickly.
7. Make items and sell them on Etsy
Another place where creative professionals can make a quick buck is Etsy, an online marketplace for wares of all types, from potholders and earrings to T-shirts and even digital products.
Etsy is great because it saves the step of designing and managing a website. Etsy does all the heavy lifting on your behalf, giving users an online marketplace while also providing marketing support and directing traffic to your store.
A popular trend that many Etsy sellers have started to capitalize on is selling printables or digital downloads. With this strategy, you create the product once and sell it as many times as you want with no need to worry about shipping or fulfillment.
To start selling on Etsy, you don’t have to get accepted to post items. You just need to create one product in order to open your shop. It’s free to join, although users do have to pay some sales and advertising fees.
8. Take jobs on TaskRabbit
Chances are your neighborhood is full of people who need help completing everyday tasks like assembling furniture, painting walls, setting up or clearing patios, and mowing the lawn.
One way to connect with individuals and find side jobs is through the TaskRabbit app, which offers a safe and convenient way to get paid for handiwork services. Taskers can easily make $20 or more depending on the job and location.
The great part about using an app like TaskRabbit is that you don’t have to work with the same person twice if you don’t want to. However, you can also form personal connections and receive steady work if you do a good job.
Add it all up, and TaskRabbit offers a lot of flexibility to work on your own terms.
9. Sell unwanted tech items on Decluttr
Everyone has an electronics graveyard buried deep in their basement or closet. This is where you send old television screens, smartphones, DVDs, and video game systems when they are no longer needed.
Turn this pile of dust-collecting electronics into cash by selling them to Decluttr — a company that pays for unwanted tech items and even provides free boxes and shipping.
Decluttr wipes electronics of old data and either recycles them or sells them in their online store.
10. Deliver items through Postmates, DoorDash, and GrubHub
Postmates, Grubhub, and DoorDash provide platforms that enable you to connect with local businesses and consumers and deliver items on demand.
Working for these delivery apps is similar to driving for Uber or Lyft, except you don’t have to pick up any passengers. The apps connect you with local opportunities and compensate you for successful and timely deliveries. You can get paid for deliveries and earn tips.
Again, these services charge commissions and fees. Keep track of how much you’re losing in commissions when driving for these services, and consider partnering with local businesses directly to earn more money.
11. Rent your car on Turo
If your car spends most of the day sitting in a parking space, you should strongly consider putting it to use on a site like Turo, a leading car rental app.
All you have to do is list your car and connect with local community members who need transportation for work or personal reasons. For example, someone may need to borrow a pickup truck to transport a large item.
Posting on Turo is generally safe, as you have visibility into who is renting your car and what they’re using it for. The site also lets you set rules like whether smoking or eating in the vehicle is allowed and provides insurance to protect your property.
12. Rent your living space on Airbnb
It’s also possible to make money fast by renting your living space on Airbnb.
This is something you can do if you’re a homeowner or if your landlord gives you the option to sublet your apartment. The amount you charge generally depends on the location and quality of your living space.
Head over to Facebook and take a look at your friends list. There is a strong possibility at least a handful of people have young kids and need a night off.
Consider sending messages to people who fit this description, letting them know you love working with kids and you’re looking for extra work. Some people may just be looking for an excuse to have a night away from their kids and may take you up on the offer.
If you show up on time and do a good job you could land steady part-time work. Pay is typically under the table too, which means quick cash.
Another way to land babysitting gigs is through sites like Care.com.
14. Take care of pets
Taking care of pets is another great way to earn extra income. By providing basic pet services like walking, feeding, or simply visiting with animals during the day, you can get paid to spend time with animals and help out their owners.
Pet care requires patience and a genuine love of animals. It also requires people skills and being able to work with pet owners who may have specific demands or instructions for their pets.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in doing, check out Rover to find gigs.
15. Sell designs on Amazon Merch
Having artistic talent is a gift that you should not waste. Yet, oftentimes artists fail to turn their ideas into cash because they lack the means to put their artwork onto everyday objects like mugs and hats.
One way to get around this challenge is through Amazon Merch, a site that lets you post your artwork and connect with buyers. Any time someone uses your design, you can receive a royalty. It’s a fast and easy way to put your artwork in motion and start generating income with your ideas.
And if merch isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to make money on Amazon.
16. Listen to music
Most consumers pay a monthly service fee to a streaming provider like Spotify, Amazon, or YouTube to listen to music.
Did you know you can get paid to discover emerging artists and provide reviews?
For example, Music Xray is a platform that artists use to share new music with listeners and get feedback before publishing tracks. You can get paid to listen to and rate music across multiple genres.
If you’re a music buff, why not give this a whirl?
17. Transcribe audio
People with sharp listening and typing skills should consider transcribing audio for businesses and professionals.
Most companies today are using automated transcription services to turn things like audio interviews, podcasts, and customer calls into text form. However, these services are not always accurate and require editing.
As such, there are many opportunities to turn audio into polished and legible text. You can make money transcribing raw audio or editing existing text.
18. Work as a virtual assistant
In the past, office assistants needed to be on-site. These days, most companies are operating remotely and using virtual assistants to help with daily administrative tasks.
It’s possible to work as a virtual assistant on a flexible basis, taking on jobs as an independent contractor. Some assistants also choose to work part-time.
Consider working as a virtual assistant if you’re highly organized, capable of multitasking, and good about following through on tasks and paying close attention to details.
19. Answer questions
Internet users often head to sites like JustAnswer or Quora to ask questions on a variety of topics — and they often rely on community members for responses.
If you’re qualified in your particular field (for example, if you are a mechanic, teacher, lawyer, or doctor), you can bring in extra cash by answering questions on JustAnswer.
The site pays each time you answer a question.
20. Sell friendship on RentAFriend
Not everyone has a strong network of friends to rely on. This can be problematic and damaging for mental health and well-being.
One site that helps people who need friends is RentAFriend, which lets you hire friends from just about anywhere.
That means you can get paid to be someone’s friend for a few hours — doing things like playing golf, working out, shopping, or attending sporting events.
21. Sell firewood
If you happen to live in a wooded area, you may have an abundance of firewood laying around that you can sell for cash to people in your community.
First, do your research to learn what kind of trees are on your property. If they are the types that make good firewood (i.e., hardwoods like oak, maple, or hickory), then it’s time to fire up the chainsaw.
If you aren’t sure how to handle a chainsaw and have no experience cutting down trees, maybe skip this one.
22. Get paid to use your phone with Slidejoy
If you’re like most people, you reach for your phone at least 1,000 or more during the course of a week — checking for messages, emails, sports scores, financial updates, and more.
That’s a lot of usage. And, believe it or not, you can actually get compensated for it.
Slidejoy is an app that pays you for simply unlocking your phone. All you have to do is install their app, and view their news feed or promotions on your lock screen. You’ll see things like shoes or clothing, instead of a blank screen.
Using a service like Slidejoy can produce around $20 per month just for accessing your phone. You don’t have to buy any products or ask others to sign up either.
23. Sell your old stuff
Take a look around your house and scan for unwanted objects like old bookshelves, dressers, sofas, or kitchen equipment. Then consider listing them on a selling app like Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor.
This is a great way to free some space and liquidate unwanted materials in the process. It’s a win-win.
24. Work in customer service
Large companies often outsource customer service positions to at-home agents. You can get paid to answer phones, emails, webchats, and social media inquiries from customers.
Customer service jobs tend to pay hourly. Companies typically provide training and may require you to stick to certain protocols or scripts.
Either way. this is a great way to make real money — especially around the holidays, as companies often tend to hire seasonal customer service reps to handle the busier times of the year.
25. Teach an online course
People who are skilled in certain areas like teaching English, art, or music should consider teaching online courses.
If you decide to work for an English teaching site like VIPkid, you’ll need to meet their prerequisites. However, you don’t need any certification or prior experience to set up a course.
Think about an area where you excel and consider putting together a training course based on your expertise. If you’re thinking about trying your hand as an online teacher, another site to explore is Udemy.
26. Work as a tour guide
If you live in an area with heavy tourism like New York, New Orleans, or San Francisco, you could make some extra money by working as a local tour guide.
You can either partner with a tour agency or launch a business and offer your own custom tours. This is a great way to earn extra money and meet a variety of interesting people in the process.
27. Make money gaming using Mistplay
Mistplay is an app that lets users earn gift cards for playing video games. There is also a loyalty program that pays $5 for every 1,500 points that you rack up.
If you like to play games, Mistplay is one of the only and best ways to get paid doing just that.
28. Sell your car
It may be time to take a hard look at your vehicle and think about selling it. If you’re working from home full-time and you don’t drive often, you’re probably losing money on your car.
It’s easier than ever to get around today, thanks to rideshare services. You could also get around town for free by walking or biking. And when you need a car for a long trip or busy week, you could always rent one for a short period of time.
As an added bonus, selling your car could give you an opportunity to repurpose your parking space or garage. You could rent it to someone else, or if you own a garage, turn it into a home office or creative studio.
29. Cash in your savings bonds
Round up any unused savings bonds that you have from when you were young and check to see if any have matured. You may be able to make some immediate cash just by cashing them in at the bank.
Just keep in mind that you will likely have to pay taxes on your bonds’ earnings when you redeem them. However, this could provide instant access to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
30. Pay off credit cards
It may seem counterintuitive to make money by paying off credit cards. However, if you’re in heavy debt, paying them off is one of the best things you can do to improve your financial situation. Once you do, you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments, allowing you to invest and save money again.
Focus on tackling the card with the highest interest rate first. You may also want to consider consolidating your credit cards by taking out a loan with a low interest rate.
31. Take out a loan
Some situations call for immediate access to cash, and there’s no way around it.
For example, you may lose your job and have nothing in savings, making it impossible to pay rent or put food on the table. In this case, you may not have the means to go hours or days without money.
In this situation, you can potentially take out a personal loan to make ends meet. Just remember that any time you take out a loan, you’ll have to pay back the money with interest. Failure to do so could damage your credit score and result in relentless pursuit from lenders.
And keep in mind that if you’re desperate, you’re probably not going to get a very good interest rate, meaning your debt could quickly spiral out of control as you struggle to make even the minimum payments. Treat loans as a last resort. But use them if necessary to pay bills or cover emergency expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is a strategy that people use to make money on top of their normal day job. For example, a side hustle can be anything from walking dogs to building websites, to cleaning houses.
All types of professionals have side hustles, from entry-level workers who are just starting out to those with the highest-paying jobs in their fields.
Can you make money on Rakuten?
Rakuten is a leading cashback website that rewards you for shopping in its network of over 2,500 participating retailers. You can earn cash back just for making everyday purchases. Not bad!
What is passive income?
Passive income involves making an initial investment in the form of money or labor and benefitting from that investment with recurring payments or royalties. It’s money that you don’t have to work for consistently.
For example, you might write a book and receive royalties over a 30-year period. Or, you might put together an online course, or purchase a rental property, that provides a steady stream of revenue for years.
Are sign-up bonuses worth it?
Banks, credit cards, and survey sites often offer sign-up bonuses for new accounts. For example, you may receive $200 for opening a bank account and keeping your money in there for a certain amount of time.
Sign-up bonuses can be worth it, but don’t sign up for a new bank account or credit card only to get the reward. Make sure you actually like the bank and understand the terms and conditions.
Is Nielsen legit?
Yes. Nielsen is a leading market research company that pays customers to participate in surveys and studies. For example, you can get paid just for keeping their app open on your cell phone so they can collect consumer data. Nielsen is a trusted company, and it’s definitely not a scam.
Are stimulus payments free money?
Kind of. Stimulus payments aren’t completely free because the federal government needs to pay for them, and that money comes from your tax payments. However, stimulus payments aren’t treated as taxable income. So, while they aren’t technically free, they aren’t directly taxable.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, is it really worth focusing on making just $20?
Most likely, your efforts are better spent thinking about ways to bring in $20 each hour, or each minute.
Never forget that your time and skills are valuable. In the digital age, if you’re motivated to make money, you should have no trouble finding ways to do it. And once you invest that money, it can work on your behalf day and night.
So get to it! The harder you work now, the sooner you’ll get to financial freedom.