In a bind? Need some fast cash? We’re talking here about small bursts of capital, not millions of dollars — enough to satisfy your monthly obligations or get that nagging creditor to stop calling you.
None of the 32 strategies listed here to get some money quickly will break the proverbial bank. Some are easier than others, but nearly all require very little to no capital. They are meant to get you through the difficult times.
Some of these strategies will require you to be in certain locales, while others are location-independent, but it all boils down to being resourceful. We’ve all found ourselves in a tight spot at one point in our lives or another, but to the person who’s committed, anything is possible.
Much of this has to do with mindset. When you lack money, scarcity thinking sets in. The scarcity mindset is negative and thinks that there’s never enough of whatever it is to go around. When you find yourself thinking like that, do everything in your power to move into an abundant mindset.
Our thoughts are incredibly powerful. We have upwards of 60,000 thoughts per day, many deep within our subconscious mind, much of which are repeated. We have to be stewards of our thoughts. Once you find yourself thinking negatively, you need to jar yourself out of that.
When you’re looking to make money fast, you’re often in a tough spot financially, even desperate to make ends meet, but everything that we have and everything that we become is partly born from our thoughts. Think and you shall become. Curate and cultivate the right thoughts if you want to live an abundant life.
The psychology of making money.
Regardless if you need to earn some fast cash or we’re just talking about making money in the grand scheme of things, there’s an important psychology that needs to be mentioned before getting into the strategies. If you study Freud’s model of the mind, you’ll discover the Psychic Apparatus. It’s the three-part construct in your mind that controls all of your behavior.
Those three are the id, the super-ego and the ego. The id lives deep within the subconscious from birth. It’s the source of our sudden and most instinctive urges. When you find yourself doing what you know you shouldn’t, blame your id.
The super-ego is formed later in life to balance the id. It forms and breaks off from the id through our upbringing, parental guidance and our sense of community and beliefs. People who are careful with their money can thank their super-ego.
The ego is the driver making the decisions. It decides between the devil (the id) and the angel (the super-ego) on either shoulder (yes, all those cartoons you’ve ever seen are partly true). We have voices in our mind, and it’s up to the ego to decide which one to fulfill. Its goal is to satisfy the id in some way while also attending to the super-ego.
Get-rich-quick schemes and fad weight-loss diets are naturally popular because they satisfy the id while also attending to the super-ego. The ego’s job is complete when it sees something like this. The appeal of “fast” stems from the innate desire for instant gratification, so beware of what seems too good to be true (they often are) when you’re looking to make money quickly. Be wary. Listen to the conversation deep within the confines of your mind and do your best to tame the proverbial beasts.
What are the best ways to make money right away? While a search online when you’re in need of some fast cash will produce millions of results, not all will be legitimate. It’s up to you to filter through the so-called noise. These 32 strategies will help put you in the black, even if it’s in a very small way. Once you are, resume planning and focusing on the bigger picture.
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft.
Companies like Uber and Lyft offer a great opportunity to make some quick cash. You’ll need a clean driving record, a fairly new car and the authorization to work wherever it is that you live. If you have all of those things, you can work when it’s feasible for you, whether that’s in the middle of the day during rush hour, or in the wee hours of the night on a weekend. The choice is yours.
2. Become a market research participant.
In college I participated in loads of market research. It’s fairly quick money for not a lot of work. Companies looking for consumers’ opinions on a variety of products and services put you in a room to garner your opinion. That’s it.
This often involves writing or stating your opinion, answering polls or surveys, or breaking off in a discussion group. The mechanics don’t matter much. The point is that you can rely on it from time to time.
3. Sell old books on Amazon.
Amazon makes it fairly easy to list and sell old books on its marketplace. You can make more than just a few bucks If you have pricey text books from college. Be sure the books are in good condition. You’ll get negative reviews if you attempt to sell books that are falling apart. Remember, add value where you can, no matter how small it might be and no matter how few people might readily notice it.
4. Sell, or resell, used electronics on Craigslist.
The market for used electronics is vast. You can use Craigslist to part ways with your old iPhone or your MacBook. You can grab a premium for these types of electronics. Some people even flip items by buying them and reselling them.
You could also use a website like Gazelle to sell your used phones, no matter what kind you have. Companies like that have made an entire business model out of buying used phones and refurbishing them. Either way, you can expect to get a fair bit of money relatively quickly if you have these items laying around your house.
5. Do tasks with TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit lets you tap into an existing marketplace of people looking for help locally with chores. The tasks aren’t always small. This platform (along with others) offers bigger tasks, such as home renovations, as well.
Amazon is getting into the task business with Amazon Home Services. The services listed there range from very small repairs to larger and more involved tasks that would take considerably more effort.
6. Deliver for PostMates.
You can earn some cash when you’re in dire straits by using PostMates, and you don’t even need a car, just a bike for deliveries in busier cities and downtown centers. I’ve used it often to get food from specialty places that don’t deliver themselves, but it can be used for many things.
PostMates states on their website that you could earn up to $25/hour doing deliveries. You could also earn some tips in the process so it’s a great option for people that are looking to do something in their spare time, similar to the big ride-sharing apps that are hogging up app stores everywhere.