How to Make Cash Today
If you’re reading these words, you need money and you need it fast. Maybe you need to pay rent, buy meds, pay your student loan, or fill your stomach to fight another day.
Whatever your reasoning, the good news is that it’s never been easier to make quick cash. With that in mind, here are some things you can do to pick up some extra money.
25 Ways to Make Cash Today
Here are the top 25 ways that you can make cash today.
- Take online surveys
- Sell your unwanted stuff
- Find jobs on TaskRabbit
- Pet sitting
- Shop on Instacart
- Deliver food
- Teach English online
- Drive for Lyft or Uber
- Scour Craigslist for odd jobs
- Teach as a substitute teacher
- Slash your bills
- Liquidate investments
- Visit a pawnshop
- Be a street performer
- Sell your clothes
- Cash in credit card points
- Bartend or wait tables
- Monetize your network
- Try temp work
- Rent your space on Airbnb
- Monetize your car with Turo
- Rent your garage
- Sell your car
- Get a personal loan
1. Take online surveys
If you’re looking to make good money today, online survey sites and market research companies can be tricky. That’s because paid online surveys often require you to spend a lot of time and effort before you can cash out. Many also only offer gift card payouts.
That said, some survey sites, like InboxDollars and Survey Junkie, do provide quick cash turnarounds. Plus, some offer generous signup bonuses just for getting started. Poke around and try to find surveys online that you can use to make cash today.
Learn More: Check out the best survey sites
2. Sell your unwanted stuff
Most people have a bunch of unnecessary items just sitting around. A lot of this stuff could be easily sold online. Or if you want cold hard cash today, consider throwing a garage sale.
Not only can you earn some extra cash selling these items, but you’ll also be clearing out space in your home.
When’s the last time you actually played your old Nintendo 64? It’s probably been a while. While you’re at it, stop pretending you’re going to watch any of the DVDs on your shelf within the next decade.
You’re better off selling these things—along with your old laptops and cell phones—on a site like Decluttr or eBay. Then you can cash out your extra money to your PayPal account while this stuff still has some resale value.
Learn More: Best selling apps for 2021
3. Find jobs on TaskRabbit
Let’s say you’re handy with tools. Or maybe you have a knack for interior painting or furniture assembly.
If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. You can make money with these skills on TaskRabbit. Somewhere in your neighborhood, a community member has fences that need to be painted and grass that needs mowing.
Download the TaskRabbit app, create a profile, and list the services you’re good at. You don’t need any experience or credentials for small jobs, just a willingness to help and a drive to make money.
If you need quick cash, TaskRabbit is definitely worth checking out.
If you’re good with children, babysitting is one of the best side hustles.
Think about all the people in your network who could use a night off from their kids through the help of a sitter. You could be that sitter, earning money to watch Disney movies and eat kid snacks!
Head over to Care.com, a site that connects caregivers to people in need of assistance.
If you’re responsible and great with networking, you may be able to line up a few steady-paying gigs and pocket a few hundred in real money each week.
Learn More: Care.com Review
5. Pet sitting
Not everyone is great with kids. Some people are better suited for working with dogs and cats, and that’s perfectly okay.
People in this situation should look into pet sitting. Try the same strategy: Contact pet owners you know to form business connections. Once you’ve got a few clients, expand your business using a platform like Rover.com, an on-demand pet sitting and pet care site.
Learn More: Best Petsitting Jobs for 2021
6. Shop on Instacart
If you’re low on cash, you’re probably also low on groceries and need to go to the grocery store.
You can earn a few dollars in the process using the Instacart app. Simply sign up for Instacart, and people will pay you to shop for items throughout the grocery store.
All you have to do is sign up, and you can get paid to shop and deliver groceries to customers. Make a few of these trips, and you’ll earn enough money to pay for a week’s worth of your own groceries. It’s a no-brainer if you need quick cash.
Learn More: Instacart Shopper Review
7. Deliver food
After you’re done cruising around delivering groceries, keep the cash flow going by using delivery apps like DoorDash, Grubhub and UberEats.
These apps are handy because they can provide access to a variety of restaurants in your area. It’s also a great way to make money late at night from people ordering midnight snacks like pizza and wings.
You can also expand your horizon and go beyond food, delivering items like office supplies and even alcohol through the Postmates app. If you want to deliver more alcohol, Saucey is an on-demand booze service. You can be the hero at someone’s home gathering and keep drunk drivers off the road at the same time.
Learn More: Best Delivery Apps to Work For in 2021
8. Teach English online
The internet is full of people looking to learn English.
People who have a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) certificate and a college degree should consider teaching English as a part-time job. Check out sites like VIPKid and Magic Ears to get started.
9. Drive for Lyft or Uber
If you enjoy driving around town and chatting people up, consider driving for Lyft or Uber.
You don’t need any prior professional driving experience. All it takes is a reliable car in good condition, a valid driver’s license, and a clean driving record.
If you check these boxes, download the Lyft or Uber app (or both!) and apply today.
Keep in mind that it usually takes between one and ten days to get officially approved to drive for rideshare services. So you may not be able to get cash today if you’re signing up to drive for the first time. But you can make extra cash in the very near future. Why wait?
10. Scour Craigslist for odd jobs
You can find all sorts of jobs on Craigslist, from washing dishes to mowing lawns and repairing cars. You might also find a blogging gig or other positions that let you work from home.
Users can also advertise their services, but this generally doesn’t get as good of a response.
One thing to consider about Craigslist is that it’s highly competitive. You have to assume at least ten other people will apply for a job. As such, you have to respond quickly and professionally to get results.
In addition to Craigslist, you may want to look into sites like Fiverr and Upwork, platforms designed to match freelancers with jobs.
Disclaimer: Craigslist is like the Wild West of the internet, and as such, is full of scams and crooks. Be careful out there! That said, it’s also a potential gold mine for earning money if you need to make quick cash.
11. Teach as a substitute teacher
Check your list of contacts to see if you know any teachers or school administrators. School systems are always short on substitute teachers, and if you’re willing to be a good role model for a few hours, you may be able to earn a few bucks by subbing in a local classroom.
Substitute teaching is not all that hard. You just have to follow the lesson plan and maintain a professional demeanor in the classroom. This is a good way to make $50 to $100 of easy money (depending on how well-behaved the students are) in one day, or maybe even more. But you’ll have to wait a few weeks for your paycheck to clear.
12. Slash your bills
They say a penny saved is a penny earned.
How much are you spending each month on bills and subscription services that you’re barely using? It might be a substantial amount.
If you’re short on time, consider using a service like Truebill to cancel unwanted subscriptions automatically. Or do it the manual (and free) way by going through your bank statements and canceling services one by one.
You could probably wipe out $50 to $60 per month just by canceling unwanted subscription plans like Netflix and Hulu, putting cash back into your pocket.
Learn More: Truebill Review
13. Liquidate investments
Here’s an unusual one for the cash-poor with strong investing habits. Take a look at your investment portfolio for potential stocks or bonds you can liquidate.
For example, you may have a brokerage account with a stock that’s overperforming. It may be time to sell that stock and reduce portfolio risk in the process. Or you may have some savings bonds that have matured and need to be liquidated.
Transferring investments into cash isn’t the best thing to do. But if you need money and you’re in a bind, it’s better than taking out a loan. Just be smart about what you liquidate and watch for fees like foreign transaction charges and capital gains taxes.
14. Visit a pawnshop
The pawn shop will inspect the item to make sure it’s working and give you an estimate. At that point, you can either decide to swap the item for cash or keep it and try to hawk it online using a site like Craigslist or eBay.
The nice thing about using a pawn shop is that you don’t have to worry about shipping the item to a customer or dealing with collecting digital payments. Usually, it’s a quick cash transaction.
15. Be a street performer
For a true musician, there’s nothing more rewarding than playing your instrument for an audience. Gifted musicians should pack up their guitar or violin and head down to a local street corner to play some tunes.
Just keep in mind that some cities have laws and licensing fees concerning playing music in public (also known as busking). You may need to stick to a particular area or fill out a permit to play music in public. Check the rules, or you could risk getting fined or even arrested in certain regions.
Depending on the foot traffic where you’re playing and how good you are, you can easily make $10 per hour or more. Plus, you get to do what you love!
16. Sell your clothes
Take a look in your closet. Chances are you have a lot of clothes you don’t really need anymore.
If you’re looking for a quick payday, visit a local second-hand clothing shop and see what you can get for your unwanted items. Generally speaking, these shops are looking for name-brand and designer clothing.
You can also look into selling your threads on ReRuns, eBay, or Etsy, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for those payments to come in.
17. Cash in credit card points
Log into your online credit card account and check the rewards you’ve been generating. If you’ve been using your card for a long time, you most likely have points just waiting to be cashed in. It’s basically just unclaimed money, waiting to be used.
If you really need the cash, it might be time to redeem those points and pay off your credit card balance. You can then put purchases on the credit card, effectively using it like an emergency fund.
18. Bartend or wait tables
Restaurants are almost always looking for bartenders, waiters, and hosting staff, especially if you have some prior experience working in the food industry.
If this line of work catches your interest, make a list of top restaurants in your area. Throw on your best interview outfit and show up to the restaurants in person (ideally between the lunch and dinner shifts, when managers tend to be less busy).
You might just hit it off with the restaurant owner. And who knows? It could lead to a same-day shift if you’re lucky. Even if they aren’t hiring right now, they might keep you in mind for when business picks up.
When you wait tables or bartend, you could make hundreds of dollars in cash on a busy night, just from pouring drinks, serving dishes, and chatting with guests about the day’s events. For many, working in a restaurant is the perfect side hustle.
19. Monetize your network
Every young professional—yes, even you—should have a robust LinkedIn network with at least 500 or more connections.
Visit LinkedIn and check out your connections. Do you have a particular skill you want to monetize? Let people know that you’re looking for work in that particular area (e.g., graphic design, social media management, and so on). This could lead to immediate work and potentially a full-time gig.
20. Try temp work
Staffing agencies are always looking for highly qualified individuals ready to start working immediately. You can potentially land a gig at a leading retailer working as a temporary employee during a holiday season. If you’re lucky, you can get a job that same day or in the same week.
Wake up early in the morning and contact a staffing agency like Robert Half. Give them a copy of your resume and arrange a meeting with an advisor.
21. Rent your space on Airbnb
There’s a big advantage to having a house or apartment with a spare bedroom, as you can rent your space out on a site like Airbnb.
If you keep a tidy home, this could be one of the easiest ways to put some extra money in your pocket. You don’t have to do anything except rent your place, find another place to stay in the meantime with a friend or family member, and then sit back and rake in cash.
This is a great idea for people who often travel for work or leisure. You can make a few hundred or a few thousand dollars just by opening your house to strangers and doing the laundry after they check out.
Learn More: How to Make Money with Airbnb
22. Monetize your car with Turo
Turo is the leading person-to-person (P2P) car rental app, which lets car owners rent their cars to other folks who need a set of wheels.
If you own a minivan, SUV, or pick-up truck, someone may need to rent your ride for just a few hours so they can make a trip to IKEA. All you have to do is hand them the keys and get paid.
Or maybe you have a neighbor who needs a car for just a few hours to visit a relative. This person can then book your sedan in the app and pick up the keys from you at an agreed-upon time.
If you’re interested in Turo, simply download the app, create a profile and listing, and you’re good to go.
Learn More: Turo Review for 2021
23. Rent your garage
People often use their garages to store their own stuff. However, you may be able to make some money by renting it to other people.
Consider clearing out your garage and offering a parking space to someone in your community or on a platform like Neighbor. There are many car owners who don’t have a parking space where they live, who might be interested in renting your garage space on a monthly basis for a reasonable price.
If you have the extra space, this could be one of the easiest ways to bring in $100 or more per month.
24. Sell your car
Many of us are driving a lot less today and working from home. You may also have car-free options available for getting around town like public transportation or rideshare services. When you stop to think about it, you may not have any use for your car! (Unless of course you decide to make quick money driving for Lyft or Uber.)
If this is ringing a bell, visit Kelley Blue Book and see what your car is worth. Then, start contacting local dealers or consider listing your car for sale on a site like Craigslist or Facebook. You might be in a position to sell your car today, possibly racking up a few thousand dollars in the process.
At the same time, you’ll be able to cancel your car insurance and avoid throwing money away on maintenance, gas, and property taxes. It’s not fast cash, but it’ll benefit you in the long run!
25. Get a personal loan
Taking out a personal loan should be your last-ditch effort to get money. Just don’t make it a habit, and be sure you’re in a position to pay it off on time.
There are a variety of sites today offering loans for consumers, and you don’t have to have a great credit score to secure one. Granted, you’ll pay a high interest rate, but it can provide quick access to capital.
If taking out a loan is the only way for you to get the funds you need, some legit providers we recommend are SoFi, Marcus, and Rocket Loans.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make money fast?
If you need extra cash, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and work for it. Use the above-mentioned ideas to make money online or in your community. You may need to get creative or be willing to take on jobs that you wouldn’t normally do otherwise.
Not everyone has the time or ability to start a lucrative side hustle or launch a freelance business as a designer or social media consultant. Freelancing looks easy, but it actually takes some time to get started.
But take our word for it: You can definitely do it!
What should I do with my extra cash?
Use the money you bring in wisely. Pay off any debt or outstanding bills you might have. Once you’re out of debt, it’s time to save money and build up a solid emergency fund.
After building up your emergency fund, consider starting investing and building up your personal finance strategy.
The Bottom Line
Let’s be honest: there’s nothing fun about needing quick money to buy groceries or pay off credit cards and student loans. But the reality is that we’ve all been there… myself included.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to get fast cash into your bank account. Explore the gig economy and look for things you can do in your spare time to bring in extra income.
At the end of the day, there are many strategies for making money online and working on your own schedule. There’s only one question remaining: Which one will you pursue first?