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30 Ways to Get Money Fast

By , March 8th, 2012 | 7 Comments »

cash money
I read an article the other day that said that 60% of Americans can’t come up with $1,000 in an emergency. While the real answer to this problem is to practice better savings habits over the long term and to avoid debt and overspending, there are ways to come up with money fairly quickly in the event of an emergency. The one thing you don’t want to do is revert to short term loans or to use credit cards. While these might solve your short term problem, they will create much bigger problems down the road when the exorbitant interest rates cripple you. (As an aside, I saw a TV ad the other day advertising some short term loan place and, when I squinted to read the fine print, I saw that the interest rate was 124%. The ad says, “Yes, the money is expensive…” That’s an understatement. That’s the kind of interest rate you can never dig out from under.)

Note that many of these tactics won’t result in money in your pocket today. It’s almost impossible to get money in one day without resorting to loan sharks or illegal activities. Also, few of these will generate large sums of money all at once. You’ll have to implement several if you want to see results. However, most of these tips can have more money in your pocket within a month.

Sell Your Stuff

Yard sales, Cragislist, websites/stores that sell secondhand merchandise (like SecondSpin.com for CD’s and DVD’s or GameStop for video games) and eBay can be great ways to unload your excess stuff for cash. You can also go the route of consignment sales or pawn shops.

Return Things

If you have any purchases that you haven’t opened or used yet, take them back immediately. The cash or credit on your credit card will help.

Sell A Car

If you can get by with one car (or none), sell it and pocket the cash.


If you have old electronics that won’t sell, try trading them in. There are several stores/websites that offer trade-ins or take backs for cash or gift cards.

Cancel Any Planned Vacations

If you’ve paid deposits, cancel your vacation and get your deposits back. You can rebook later.

Ask For Help

If things are really bad, ask for help from your church, family, friends, food banks, or government assistance programs. Don’t abuse the generosity, but such programs are there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to get you through.

Collect Any Money Owed

Send in any rebates that you have lying around, cash in any points at rewards and survey sites, and call in any debts owed by family, friends, or people you’ve done work for.

Cash Out Credit Card Points

If you have accumulated credit card reward points, turn them in for cash, statement credits, or gift cards that you can use on essential expenses.

Get Lost Cash

Check to see if you have any unclaimed money you have forgotten about at your state’s unclaimed property office, from old pensions or from forgotten US Saving bonds to see if you have any outstanding money owed to you.

Sign up with Mechanical Turk

Mturk.com from Amazon.com lets you take on simple tasks for small amounts of money. Take on tasks that interest you.

Get A Part-Time Job

Take on any part-time job that you can. Look for special events or other dates that require businesses to hire a large number of people for a short period of time.

Do online survey/reward sites

You can earn some money in your spare time by doing surveys and other tasks.

Sell Any Grown-Up Toys

No, nothing disgusting like that. If you have anything like a camper, jet-ski, vacation home or boat, sell it. If it’s paid for and the emergency is dire, don’t quibble about the price, just take what you can get.

Sell Other People’s Stuff

If you see usable stuff sitting on the curb for the trash man, pick it up and sell it yourself. You can also try dumpster diving at places like colleges and apartment complexes. Frequently people toss good stuff rather than move it.


You can get paid for recycling your cans and other metal. Pick up cans you find and add to your savings. Return cans and bottles for the deposit if your state offers this perk.

Sell Your Gold

Jewelry you no longer wear or mismatched pieces can be turned into cash.

Send Kids To Work

If the kids are old enough to hold a part-time job, send them to work. They can at least pay for their own “fun” that way.

Look For Spare Change

There are a lot of places to find lost money. If you find pennies in the parking lot, pick them up. Check your car, sofa, clothes pockets, old purses, and desk drawers for forgotten money, too.


If you have a skill or talent that others will pay for, do some side work for extra money.

Do Odd Jobs

Ask your neighbors if they need cars washed, house sitting, dog walking, cleaning services, yard work, manual labor, or basic handyman services. Hire yourself out for any odd job that will pay.

Look For Sign-Up Bonuses

Banks sometimes offer bonuses for moving your assets to them. It can be a bit of a hassle, but not a bad way to make a quick $50 or more.

Go To A Temp Agency

Many offer jobs for night and weekend work. Take whatever they have that you can do after your regular job ends.

Sell Your Body

Your plasma, hair, eggs/sperm, and other body parts can be worth money.

Cash In Savings Bonds

If you have saving bonds lying around, you can cash them in. You’d be surprised at how many people have these tucked into drawers gathering dust, thanks to gifts from Grandma.

Sell Gift Cards

If you have any gift cards that you can’t use, sell or trade them for ones that will help with your essential expenses.

Make FSA or HSA Claims

Don’t wait until the end of the year, go ahead and get your money back now.

Check Health Insurance Plan

Check your health insurance plan for any rebates that you’re entitled to. Some reimburse wellness materials like gym memberships or weight loss programs. If you’re paying out of pocket, check and see if you can get the money back.

Ask For A Raise

It might happen and it never hurts to ask. Even in this economy you might get it if you’re a valuable employee.

Get Back Anything You’re Entitled To

If you replace your car battery yourself, be sure to take the old one back and get the core charge refunded. Get price adjustments on items that go on sale within the store’s specified time frame. Get your security and utility deposits back when you move. Don’t leave any money on the table.

Do Medical Testing

If you are healthy, drug companies need you to test their new drugs to make sure that they don’t have any adverse side effects. Some people make a full time income participating in drug tests and medical trials

If You Must Borrow, Consider a Peer to Peer Option

If you have exhausted all your other options and you have absolutely decided that a loan is your best option, avoid high interest credit card advances and payday loans at all costs. These choices are used only by the poor, desperate and ignorant.  In contrast, peer to peer lenders like Prosper.com and Lending Club.com have become increasingly popular because they offer loans to Joe and Jane average at modest interest rates. Of the two options, Lending Club is probably the strongest due its faster loan processing times and lower costs.   If you are going to get a loan at Lending Club, feel free to use this link.

There are plenty of ways to find some extra money in a hurry. You may not be able to find all you need in one day, but you should be able to find some extra money without resorting to loan sharks.

(Photo courtesy of epSos.de)

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  • ceejay74 says:

    Love this down-and-dirty list. I will keep it in mind in case I (or one of my friends) has a sudden financial emergency.

  • mariposaman says:

    This is a good list, I am sure some of the members have some other ways to scrounge up some quick cash. Be careful of the dumpster diving or roadside finds you do not find furniture with bed bugs which are an epidemic these days.

  • Linda says:

    Another way to make money is to make jewerly. It takes less than one hour to make a beautiful necklace and earrings. The amount of money you make depends on the beads you use. Or you can just make your own for less than half the price you would pay in a jewelry store.

  • aftab says:

    The list encourage me a lot. I will discuss with my subscribers and friends about this.I will keep it in mind.

  • jahid says:

    I dont think none of this is good for me……..


  • TotallyMoney Blog Carnival # 58 – The Joneses Edition « Skint in the City says:

    […] Here, Saving Advice shares the scary statistic that 60% of Americans can’t come up with $1000 in an emergency. Luckily, they’ve got plenty of ideas on how to raise cash fast should you need it. while I wouldn’t go as far as selling a body part – one of the suggestions – the rest make good sense to me. […]

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