There are many things I do when I need money desperately. This post will show you the best ways to get that much-needed cash when you need it the most.
Some of these ideas will involve taking a loan, working for the money, or selling something. You can do this when you need extra cash or an unexpected expense pops up, and you need quick money. When I need money right this second, I always come up to this list and review all the options, then choose one which suits best my particular needs at that moment. Maybe you should try it too.
You see, there are plenty of ways to earn money online. But, most of them require a lot of hard work and dedication. If you want to make money fast, you’ll have to put in the effort.
But, if you want to make money quickly, you’ll have to do more than just work hard. You’ll also have to think smart.
If you search the phrase “I need money desperately,” you will come across several articles showing you the best ways to make money. But not all the methods are legitimate. Again, some might leave you with bad debts that will affect your credit scores. However, you can still make money legitimately.
Below, I have compiled 37 ways to help you get quick cash legitimately. Some methods are simple, and others are challenging – pick one that suits your needs and your situation and run with it.
Online Work For Money
Making money online has never been easier, especially since most of us carry smartphones around with us wherever we go. These are my favorite ways to make money online.
1. Take Surveys And Get Paid
Taking surveys is an excellent way to make a little cash on the side. On your bus or taxi back home, answer a few questions, and you will have the money you need to take care of small bills such as a Netflix subscription.
The questions you answer can be about things you like, something you don’t like, and anything else in between. Mostly, they will be questions on products and services you have used before. However, they may also be about your habits.
You will not earn much, but it will be worth your time when you desperately need money.
To earn some money, some of the top survey websites include:
- Prize Rebel
- Survey Junkie
- Swagbucks – Swagbucks will give you an automatic $10 when you sign up.
- Inbox Dollars
2. Take Tasks From Online Sites And Get Paid
There are so many online sites that connect freelancers to clients. These sites allow clients to get help with simple tasks such as cleaning, moving, delivery, plumbing, mowing, and many more.
You can take on the task that matches your skills and get paid to complete the job.
You will earn based on the task you take up. Some tasks pay more than others. One of the most popular marketplaces for such tasks is TaskRabbit. The site connects you to clients in your local area, and you get paid for every hour you work.
Other marketplaces include Thumbtack, Takl, and Shiftgig.
You can also take gigs on Craiglist. Check the Gig section on the website. This section has creative work, day laborer jobs, housekeeping jobs, and writing jobs.
You will need to pick tasks based on your skill level, and you will get paid after you finish the job. Craigslist is one of the best places to look when you’re desperate for some extra cash.
3. Do Online Gigs And Get Paid
Did you know some people do online freelance work full-time? Forbes estimates that more than 57 million Americans are doing freelance work, and it pays them well.
Freelance and contract work are popular, and people do it to get quick cash. However, if you need money desperately, you can go on and get a job that pays you weekly or after every task is complete.
Many legit freelance sites include:
- and many more.
You only need to choose assignments that match your skill level.
You can write articles, transcribe, do voice-overs in your accent, design graphics, design websites, and data entry on these sites, among other tasks. Most of the tasks only take about an hour of your time so that you can easily do them in the evening after work.
4. Do Online Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is simple; market products or services and earn a commission when a customer buys the products or services. For example, people make money from blogs, YouTube, and social media by recommending products to others.
There are so many companies with a referral program. Most of these do not have strict entry requirements as long as you show you can market a product. The Amazon affiliate program is the most popular, but you can market the products you already use and make money without struggling to understand other products and services.
For instance, if you use Uber and Lyft, you can get into their affiliate programs and then market their services to friends and families. You will get paid when they sign up on Uber and enter your referral code.
From friends and family, you can market on social media and get as many people as possible to create an account for you to earn. However, if you want to do affiliate marketing long-term, you should consider starting a blog and marketing the products there.
5. Get Paid To Write For Online Publications
Did you know you can earn more than $250 for a single article? Your writing skills need to be impeccable, and you need to type fast to take on as many tasks as possible within a short period. If your writing skills are below standard, you can improve them by writing and reading more often.
There are online companies that will pay you well. For example, you can write web content for blogs online or write for online magazines. Some tasks are short, less than 500 words. Other tasks are long, say eBooks, that may take you a few days to complete.
Some of the most popular writing platforms include Text Broker, Writers Work, and Money Pantry.
The key here is to make sure you don’t just copy-paste from other sources. Instead, you should try to find original ways to present information. This means making sure you use your own words and ideas when presenting content.
This also means not plagiarising. If you’re going to use someone else’s work, make sure you give them credit where it’s due. This way they won’t sue you, and you’ll avoid getting into trouble with Google.
6. Dropship Online
Dropshipping is like marketing. Here, you look for affordable products online, market them on your blog, and sell them on behalf of the original retail store. The original store with affordable products will do the shipping and handle other logistics.
You never have to source products or even touch them physically. Instead, you need to have a website to list the products and market them. You can also use an eBay page from where you market and sell the products for free.
When a customer buys from your site, you open the online market where the product sells at a low price, buy it, and the store will deliver it to them as a gift. It goes as a gift because your customer should not see the original price of the item.
To be successful, you need to purchase the most inexpensive items all over the internet and then list them for sale on your website. A browser extension can help you search for such things. It will also look for coupons, promotions, and deals all over the internet for you.
7. Take Sign Up Bonuses
If you do not have an emergency fund and need money right now, you can take sign-up bonuses from organizations that promise them. For example, some banks and other financial institutions offer up to $500 as a sign-up bonus. You can take advantage of that and make some free money.
The only problem with these bonuses is that you may not get the money until you show that you are ready to start using the account you create. But, again, this is not recurring income, and you need to ensure that it will not be problematic for you once you get the sign-up bonus.
This is not a ticket to go for sign-up bonuses that casinos offer. These bonuses are the most lucrative, but you will be sucked deep into gambling before they allow you to withdraw the bonus amount. So, stick to other products and services other than gambling.
8. Become A Social Media Influencer
Making money on social media is not for those who need to make money instantly, but it can help you earn an extra income when you need it. First, you need to create an account with social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram.
Create content that your followers will enjoy watching and then watch as the numbers grow. Once you have a considerable following, you can monetize the account.
You can make hundreds of dollars every day by creating simple content. This may not offer you a quick solution to an emergency financial issue, but it can be a long-term solution to your future financial problems.
If you do it right, the earnings from social media are substantial that you may take it as a full-time gig. Brands will approach you to market their products, and you get paid for all the products you sell. If you have your own products or services, you will find it easy to market them.
9. Work As A Virtual Assistant
There are so many websites looking for virtual assistants. As a virtual assistant, you answer customers’ questions on behalf of the website.
You will have to study the products and services the site offers. At first, you may not know everything, and some questions will challenge you, but you will be well-versed with the client’s products or services after some time.
You can search for virtual assistant work on sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. Taking such tasks allow you so much flexibility as you work when you are available.
You can also take on other tasks such as data entry and transcription. These tasks are from corporations that do not want to keep a full-time employee for simple tasks such as data entry. If you have the skills needed, you can make up to $35 per hour.
10. Participate In Market Research
Market research is common among college students. However, it is for companies that need to know people’s opinions on their products and services. It is like a survey, but this is done in person.
You only need to give an honest opinion about the client’s products and services, and you will have some cash in your pocket. You may have to write your general opinion, answer polls, engage in surveys, or get in a discussion group.
The logistics do not matter as the company will take care of everything and all you have to do is show up. A simple online search and you will see several companies looking for participants in market research.
Focusgroup.com is one of the businesses looking for participants. You will not earn enough to pay off your mortgage, but you can take care of small bills.
11. Answer Questions Online
Sites such as JustAnswer are for people looking for quick information online. These sites are for professionals such as doctors, engineers, teachers, and lawyers to answer questions.
Most people asking the questions would have to pay a hefty consultation fee to get an answer, but that is not the case with JustAnswer.
The platform is resourceful for consumers looking for quick information. It is lucrative for professionals looking to make fast cash online. It is a way to make money during your leisure time.
You can search online for other platforms such as JustAnswer, sign up, and start making money.
12. Sell Photos Online
If you are good at photography, you can sell your photos on iStockPhoto and Shutterstock, among others. However, it would be best if you were a professional photographer as these sites only take the best pictures from the artists.
You need to be passionate about photography and have an eye for the best views. Further, you’ll need to convince people to cover their events such as weddings, engagement parties, and birthdays and tell them what happens to the photos.
You will need a good quality camera and the skills to make perfect shots with your camera. You may also need several other accessories such as a tripod and lighting systems. If you are passionate about photography, you can make good money.
If you do not have a camera already, this may not be a quick way to make money, as you need to invest first before you start earning.
14. Get A Salary Advance
Some companies give their employees a salary advance. If yours does that, you do not need to struggle to look for money from other sources
However, not all companies do this, and you will probably have to go to the bank. Most banks will give you an advance from your checking account as long as you have a debit card. Some, however, will only give you the advance in the form of a credit card.
Visit your bank today and enquire about the cash advance process and terms. Then, if they offer a cash advance, take one and avoid the hassle of a personal loan.
15. Take Out A Payday Loan (usually a bad idea)
When I need money desperately, one of the options I’ve considered is taking out a payday loan. Unfortunately, payday loans are not good. Most of the lenders have very high-interest rates.
Payday lenders prey on vulnerable people, and you do not ever want to be one of the people they prey on. However, when you need instant cash, a payday loan is one of the fastest solutions you have.
I still recommend that you go for a payday loan as the last option. Nevertheless, ensure that you have a plan to repay the loan so that you do not fall into the trap of loan sharks.
If you have the funds to repay the loan before the due date, pay and save yourself the trouble with these lenders. As an alternative, you may also wish to consider a payday loan alternative, like those offered by FastLoan UK. Fast Loan UK is one of the oldest short-term lenders around, and they don’t allow repeat lending – this makes great for a sudden short-term need, but prevents you from getting stuck in a constant debt cycle.
16. Borrow Money From Friends And Relatives
Some financial issues can be resolved with a single phone call to a close friend or a relative. For example, you do not have to go for a payday loan if you can borrow money from someone close to you.
However, your family members and friends will only lend you money if you consistently pay back your debts.
If you never pay back your debts, don’t ask for money from friends and family. The advantage of borrowing from friends and family is that you typically never have to pay interest. But, again, you may not have a timeline, and you can arrange to pay them after a few months when your financial situation gets better.
17. Use A Credit Card
Credit cards have high-interest rates, but they may be your only way out when you’re in a bind. There is no problem as long as you are using your credit card for emergency expenses.
When you use a credit card for unnecessary purchases or fail to make your monthly credit card payment, problems arise.
It would be best if you had a plan to pay off your card before the credit card company reports you to the credit bureau and your credit score is damaged.
You can also use the credit card to get a credit card cash advance or withdraw money from an ATM as you would a debit card. But, again, you need a plan to repay the cash advance you take from a credit card.
18. Sign Up To Make Deliveries And Make Some Cash
You will not make thousands of dollars for deliveries, but if you are making deliveries as a side gig, you could make enough to supplement your income.
You can make up to $22 an hour. So if you work for 40 hours every week, you’ll have a total of $880.
If you need money instantly, this method may not be ideal for you. The delivery companies will deposit your money in your bank within two weeks. If you have urgent expenses to sort, keep reading for a method that makes you instant cash.
Besides Instacart, other companies you can work for include Shipt and Doordash. You must be 18 years old or older, have a driver’s license, a valid SSN, a clean background, and be able to lift about 40 pounds.
19. Get Paid To Babysit
If you have some extra time on your hands, why not babysit and get up to $25 an hour. You could babysit while you do other things, such as watching Netflix or working online.
If you work for eight hours, you could walk away with up to $200.
If you work from home or are a stay-at-home mom, you can make some extra money without disrupting your schedule.
Some of the websites you can join for babysitting jobs include Urban Sitters, Car.com, Sitter City, Nanno, and Baby Sits.
20. Walk Dogs For Money
If you like dogs and have some spare time, Becoming a dog walker may be the perfect side gig for you. Top dog walkers earn up to $21 per hour to walk dogs. On average, a dog walker takes home $14 per hour. This is a great way to make money when you are free instead of playing video games.
As you walk a dog, you also get some exercise. However, you do not have to walk dogs full time – only do it when you need to raise cash quickly.
There are so many apps to help you search for dog walking gigs. Once you join one or more of these apps, you will get requests to walk a dog, and you can accept or turn down a request based on your schedule.
Some of the apps you can join include Wag, Rover, Dog Walk, and Pet Backer.
21. Garden For People For Money
Do you like gardening or landscaping? It is one of the things I think of when I need money ASAP. You can make a few bucks helping people with their gardens. You will not earn much, but enough to cover some pressing needs.
As a local gardener or landscaper, you will help people mow lawns, pull weeds, plant their gardens, and help with their garden décor. You can advertise your services online or through word of mouth through friends and family.
You need to have a clean record so that people can trust you in or near their homes.
Amazon Home Services allows you to search for these gardening and landscaping jobs. Create an account and start selling your products to the locals in your area. If you start making money through your services, you can create a one-page website and market your services even more.
You could earn up to $20 per hour doing these simple tasks. If you get overwhelmed by work, hire one or two people to help you perform the tasks. You only need to have free evenings or possibly weekends to get the job done.
22. Become A Home Organizer
The Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kando made organizing homes as a service very popular. Today, there are so many people looking for someone to organize their homes.
If you love keeping your space clean and organized, you can offer the same services to people and help them enjoy the psychological satisfaction of being in tidy spaces.
Several people will take you up on these services. You can advertise on social media or spread the word through friends and family.
Sites such as Care.com connect organizers with homeowners looking to have their spaces organized.
23. Decorate Homes For The Holidays For Money
You can earn a few bucks for decorating homes for the holidays. This is because there are so many holidays throughout the year, from Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Halloween, Fourth of July, and many more.
You will need to put up lights inside and outside the homes, decorate trees, set up holiday games, and so much more.
Find clients locally or use social media to find clients. Advertise through your local network, and you will have clients calling for your services. This is a specialty job, and there are so many options when you are ready to do such a job.
24. Sell Gift Cards You Never Used
If you have unused gift cards, why keep them in your house when you need money desperately?
You can exchange the gift cards with a friend or colleague for money or sell the cards online. Some online sites that accept gift cards include Rise, Gyft, and Gift Card Granny.
Gift cards will not give you thousands of dollars, but they may sort out a small bill that needs immediate sorting out.
25. Sell Clothes You No Longer Use
You do not need to keep clothes in your closet if you no longer need them. Check your wardrobe today, and if there are items you haven’t used in many months, it might be time to get rid of them and benefit while at it.
These clothing items might be shoes, belts, clothes, and hats, among others. Rather than have them fill your closet, make space for new clothes and have your closet well organized by selling the items you do not need.
There are several platforms where you can give up the items you no longer need. These include:
- Offer Up
- Facebook Marketplace
So post your clothes and wait for someone to buy them and make a few bucks.
26. Sell Items In Your Home You No Longer Need Through A Garage Sale
Do you have items you no longer use, yet they are cluttering your home and your garage? Someone else might need these items and help you sort out some bills.
A garage or “yard sale” helps you clean out your home, have more space in your rooms, and raise money for some bills.
You could raise more than $700 from a garage sale – it depends on the nature of items you have in your garage. You need to market the garage sale before you hold it so that you will have customers ready when you finally start the sale.
Market the sale on social media through family, friends, colleagues, and signposts and handbills. If the turnout is good, you will have a lot of extra money in your pocket.
27. Pawn Items
Pawning your items is never easy. However, there are times when you need to take desperate measures, and all you can do is pawn your items.
This old way of making money has continued to this day, and it gives people an easy way to get money. For example, if you do not have any savings and need to pocket a few hundred dollars, you can pawn some of your belongings.
If you use the money from the pawnshop to settle some emergency bills, it is perfectly okay. You will get your item back when you pay the money with interest. However, you may lose the item if you do not pay the money on time.
Only consider pawning your items in the event of an emergency. Perform a simple Google search for pawn shops near you, and you can go on and pawn out your valuables.
28. Sell Old Books And Old Magazines And Games On Amazon
Selling old books and old games is easy on Amazon. You only have to sign up and start listing your products.
However, you have to ensure that they are in good condition even if the items are old. If you get negative reviews for your items, you may not sell as much as you anticipated. If the books are falling apart, the reviewers will mention so in the review section.
If there are any defects with your books or games, you need to mention so in the product description section.
You can start by selling the old books and games you already have in your house. Later, you can buy old books in your neighborhood and resell them. If you have pricey college books, you will make a lot of money to take care of some of your bills.
29. Design And Sell Items On Etsy And CafePress
If you are good at designing digital and physical items, you can sell them online and get paid for them. However, on Etsy, you need to create physical crafts and sell them for good returns.
You only need to be creative and make items such as handmade mats, wall hangings, paintings, and many more. Then, create your store on Etsy and start listing your items.
If you are good with digital designs such as logos, you only need design software, and then you can start selling your creations.
You do not have to do everything yourself if you do not have the skills. Instead, you can hire a designer and be the seller. However, you will still need to understand the design process so that you can understand the client’s requests.
30. Be An Online Tutor
There are so many parents online looking for tutors for their children. You can prepare children for exams or teach them specific subjects such as math, computers, or science, among others.
You need to have a great deal of knowledge of the subject you want to tutor as students will rely on you to help them solve their math or science problems.
Sites such as Care.com and Indeed.com have opportunities for you to tutor local students. You can use these platforms because they are already established or search for clients locally or through social media.
You could market your services through word of mouth in your neighborhood. From there, you can homeschool the client’s children, or you can tutor the students from your home.
31. Become A Personal Trainer
Do you have experience with health and fitness? Why not use your skills and expertise to train people and earn while at it?
People are paying a lot of money for personal trainers who help them stay on track to meet their fitness goals.
If you are free most evenings, you can offer personal training services long-term. Unlike some gigs you’d take online, your clients will want you to be with them until they realize their goals have been met.
You could study nutrition and incorporate it into personal training to achieve results fast. You can market your services on social media or sites such as FitnessTrainer and then work with the clients in your local gym.
You may need some certification to work as a personal trainer, depending on where you live. You also need the gym’s approval to train clients on their platform.
32. Donate Plasma And Get Paid
I need money today, but I’m unemployed – I’ve heard this statement several times. So why not get into blood donation.
Plasma refers to the liquid part of the blood. You can sell it to make up to $250.
Plasma is the part of your blood that regulates your blood pressure. If you are between the ages of 18 and 69 and you are healthy, you can donate your plasma. You will receive between $20 and $50 when you donate your plasma.
When you donate the plasma, you help out someone in need, and you get a few bucks while at it.
There are several resources to help you get started. Check out GRIFOLS, Donating Plasma, and CSL Plasma. If you do not find this ethical, there are many other ways to make quick cash – keep reading.
33. Sign Up As An Uber And Lyft Driver
If you have time after work, you can drive for Uber and Lyft. You need to sign up on both apps so that you never miss a client. When you open the app, you will have several clients from the two apps. If there are extended periods when you do not have a customer, do other tasks like taking online surveys to earn some extra cash.
Uber and Lyft are safe and convenient, and this is why people choose them. You can create a schedule that allows you to be on the road at the busiest time of the day – when people are going to work or leaving work in the evening.
34. Rent A Spare Room On Airbnb
If you have an extra room in your home that you do not use, why not rent it out occasionally and make some extra cash? Airbnb allows you to rent out the space on your schedule compared to conventional renting which doesn’t allow you flexibility.
Regular rental leases mean you will not have access to your room for a long time. You will have to deal with a tenant for the duration of the lease. However, with Airbnb, you only rent out your room for weekends or when you are not home. You have numerous choices.
Start by signing up for Airbnb, and you will see what options you have to lease your home.
35. Rent Out Your Car
You can rent out your car when you are not using it. For example, if you are on holiday, there is no reason for the car to sit in your garage, and you need money fast. Some services allow you to rent out the car just as you rent out your room to Airbnb customers.
One of the best apps for this is Turo, which allows you to give out your car and get paid for it. You only need to create an account with Turo, have someone inspect your car and then start earning from there.
Most car owners have enjoyed renting out a car that would otherwise be sitting in the garage doing nothing from the reviews I checked out online.
36. Get A Car Wrap To Advertise Companies
Why not get a car wrap for your car and get paid to advertise. You don’t have to do anything more than drive your vehicle with a branded wrap. If you do not mind the car wrap, it is time to start earning.
You only have to agree to make your car a moving billboard, and you are good to go. Most of the companies will require that you have a clean driving record. You also need to have a reasonably new car. You do not have to pay any subscription fees to get started, but you will get a monthly income for the services you provide.
You may not earn much if your car is almost always at home. Companies willing to pay you for having a car wrap want you to drive enough to earn the spot to advertise.
37. Be Part Of A Medical Study
Being part of a medical study is risky, but some people do it anyway, not having any issues. You will work with the most brilliant doctors to develop medicine for other people. The drugs will have gone through several trials before they come to human trial, so you are sure that they are safe for you.
You may also never need to be part of a drug trial as you can engage in medical studies that study behavior or changes after a diet alteration over a long time.
You should be ready for side effects. Although the impact may not be severe in most cases, you must be prepared for the worst. Here, you will make money fast without putting in much work.
Where Do You Go From Here?
I recommend that you start by looking for the easiest and most legitimate way to make money without borrowing, taking a loan, or selling your valuables.
For instance, you can take small tasks online and earn money to settle some of your bills. If that is not possible when you need instant cash, you can consider other options, such as borrowing money from friends and family. These two methods are safe, and you may never have to pay interest or lose your valuables.
If that is not possible, you can sell items you no longer use through a garage sale or sell them online. Taking short-term loans should be your last option. Loans can get you into a cycle of debts that will be challenging to break.
Before you take any tasks online, research enough to ensure that the site you work for is legit. Your safety should come first regardless of the task you choose to undertake. If you are searching for emergency relief money from the government, look for local community centers.
The listed above shows you how to make money right now on the internet and how to make money offline.