“I need money desperately!”
Does this sound like you? Then you may be in a similar situation with the ~40% of Americans that couldn’t afford a $400 unexpected bill. The good news is there are things you can do when you need money desperately. Depending on how much money you need and how fast you need it, you can find ways to come up with the money.
Whether it’s selling items you don’t need or making money by taking surveys or answering questions for money, there’s plenty of ways to make money fast. Check out the below list of things you can do when you need money desperately.
22 things you can do when you desperately need money
Are you at the point where you’re thinking “I desperately need money?” Then you’ve come to the right place. Check out the below X ways to make money fast when you need it. Some things are easier and quicker than others so pick a few that work for you and get started.
Sign up for cashback programs
Did you know that you can make money on things you’re already purchasing? With apps like Ibotta and Rakuten, you can get money back on items you purchase every day. For example, Ibotta lets you make purchases at big-name retailers like Walmart, Lowe’s, etc., and earn points that can towards gift cards. All you have to do is submit your receipt and start racking up the dollars.
Of course, with these types of apps you have to spend money to make money. It’s important that you don’t buy anything extra just to make money back. Focus on buying the things you already need like groceries.
Take online surveys for cash
Taking online surveys is another way to make money easily. You can find surveys that will pay you for sharing your opinion with marketers who are trying to figure out how they can improve their products or marketing strategies.
Survey companies often let you take online surveys in exchange for cash, points, rewards, etc., which means you aren’t necessarily making money off of your purchases. However, you can cover those points into gift cards for places you’re already shopping which will let you save cash at those locations.
A few popular survey sites include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Inbox Dollars. Pick one and start making money today.
Donate plasma for money
Did you know you can get cash quickly by donating your plasma? Plasma donations are a legit industry with many companies paying top dollar. Companies like CSL plasma offer up to $1,000 dollars during your first month of donations depending on how many times you donate.
There are regulations on how often you can donate plasma and requirements you’ll need to pass before donating. Check out CSL Plasma’s donor page here to get more info.
Minimize your bills
Take a look at your recurring bills. This includes bills like phone, internet, and cable. Often, people are paying for services that they aren’t using. Can you downgrade your internet package to a cheaper one? If you have cable, are there any extra channels you don’t need? Many times if you just call up the company and ask, they’ll change your plan so you aren’t paying as much. Or try shopping around for cheaper providers. Many times your current provider will reduce your bill to keep you as a customer.
Minimizing your bills can include cutting out subscription services if you desperately need money. This includes any subscription that automatically bills to you like food, books, or gym memberships.
Freelancing is a great way to bring in cash when you need money desperately. You can start freelancing full-time or just work when you need an extra boost. Tons of sites will let you set up your profile for free and you can start looking for quick jobs to do.
Freelance websites like Fiverr and Upwork are great places to start. You can check out the job postings board or set up a listing advertising your services. Check out freelance jobs for data entry, tutoring, and transcription to get started quickly.
Write for money
Providing writing services is another great way to make some easy money. This includes writing articles or blog posts, rewriting existing content, and editing works written by others. If you are decent at writing, this can be a quick way to make money if you’re desperate.
A few popular sites that will pay you for your writing include Freelance Writing Gigs, Fiverr, and Upwork. Make sure you read the requirements which may include some topic research, word count, and structure specifics.
Become a virtual assistant
If you are good at organization, you can start working as a virtual assistant and make some quick cash. A virtual assistant will help busy people stay organized by taking care of tasks like editing documents, scheduling meetings, or running errands.
Virtual assistants are in high demand. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr will list current jobs available, the pay rate, the requirements, etc., so you can start working for people immediately.
Get paid to talk to people
Did you know you can get paid to talk to people? Some websites will pay you to talk on the phone with customers. This can be a good option if you’re looking to make money quickly with little effort.
Sites like Rent a Friend, Phrendly, and Chat Recruit are good places to start. Make sure you read the site’s requirements which may include a good internet connection, a test conversation, or simply getting familiar with their services.
You can read more about getting paid to talk to people here.
Sign up with a driving company like Uber or Lyft
If you have a car, then driving for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft can be a quick way to start making money. You can set your own schedule, so if you have a flexible day job, you can start driving for Uber / Lyft during downtime.
Many people are making money with these rideshare platforms, but there are also risks involved. Do your research and sign up today to start making money.
Deliver food with companies like DoorDash or UberEats
Similar to providing rides to people, you can also get paid to deliver their food. If you live in an area where there are popular restaurants, then signing up for DoorDash or UberEats is a great way to make some quick cash.
You will need to be at least 18 years old, have clean driving records, and pass some basic background checks. Use these companies as an opportunity to make money if you’re desperate for cash quickly.
Deliver groceries for money
You can also make money by delivering groceries for people. Instacart and Shipt are two companies that will pay you to deliver groceries to customers. These types of deliveries are fast and you can do them on your own time, so it’s an easy way to make some quick cash. Tips also tend to be better when delivering groceries as compared to regular food delivery.
Advertise on your car for money
If you drive a car regularly, then you can take advantage of the money-making opportunity to advertise on your car for companies like Carvertise or Wrapify. These companies will pay for you to temporarily place advertisements on your vehicle. Most of the time you get paid based on how many miles you drive, so only pursue this option if you plan to be driving regularly.
Pet sit for cash
If you are at home for most of the day, then pet sitting may be a good option if you’re desperate for money. People are always looking to leave their pets with someone they can trust, and you can use this opportunity to make some quick cash.
There are a few different websites where you can sign up for pet sitting. Sites like Rover and DogVacay will let you set your rates and requirements so you can choose the options that work best for you. Or try posting flyers in your neighborhood to look for work locally.
Have a garage sale or sell items on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
Selling unwanted items is a great way to make quick cash. If you have a bunch of old stuff lying around that you don’t want anymore, then having a garage sale is an easy way to get rid of it and make money.
You can also use social media to find people who are looking for the types of items you are selling. Sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great places where you can post pictures of your items for sale.
Sell clothes online
Sites like Poshmark and ThredUp let you sell clothing you no longer wear. You’ll have to post pics through the app with set pricing (or accept offers). Once the clothes have been sold you’ll have to ship them to the buyer promptly and collect your money. If you have a lot of clothes this can be a great option to make easy money.
Sell old phones and technology online
Decluttr is a service that lets you get money for selling old technology like cell phones and video games. You can sell DVDs, CDs, books, and other items to the site as well. Selling your old cellphones and video game systems for money is a great way to make cash quickly.
Get cash for unused gift cards
If you have unused gift cards lying around but you need actual cash, then you’re in luck. There are places online where you can sell your gift cards and get paid instantly. It’s a simple way to make money if you need something fast. Most of these websites like CardCash, ClipKard, and Raise won’t pay you the full amount of your card. Typically you will get a quote somewhere between 80-95% of the original value, so it’s best to only use this method if it doesn’t make sense to keep the gift card.
Start a blog
When you desperately need money, blogging can be a good source of income. However, this method typically takes longer to set up and see gains from. You’ll need to pick a host like SiteGround and begin setting up your site. This includes choosing a topic and beginning your research.
You can check out 6 types of blogs that actually make money here.
Rent out a room in your house
If you have extra space in your house, then you can rent it out to someone looking for a place to stay. Airbnb is the biggest rental site in the world, but there are others like VRBO which also let you list your space for free.
This is an easy way to make some quick cash if you have extra space. You can list your entire house or just a room or two depending on how much space you have.
Refinance your debts
Refinancing your debts can be a good way to reduce your monthly payments which will help you save more cash each month. The four most common types of refinancing options include refinancing your mortgage, your student loans, your car loan, and your credit card debt.
You can also check out bundling your debt under a lower interest rate which will help lower your overall monthly payments. You can find more info on consolidating debt here.
Ask for an advance on your salary
Before walking up to your boss and shouting “I need money desperately!”, have a one-on-one conversation with them about the possibilities of getting an advance on your salary. Depending on the boss and the company, this may be an option if you need some money quickly. Many employers are willing to work with you if you have an emergency come up. It never hurts to ask.
Get a loan
If you desperately need money you can look at getting a loan. However, it’s important to understand the terms of the loan you’re getting into. Many quick loans offer high interest rates or balloon payments if you can’t pay off the loan quickly. Do your research and make sure this is a valid option if you have to use it.
Is there a best way to get cash if you desperately need money?
If you’re desperate for money, there are plenty of ways to get money quickly. The best way to get cash quickly is to understand the different options and choose the one that works best for you. If you have unwanted items to sell then that can be a quick option to make cash. If you have time on your hands then check out freelancing or rideshare driving.
Things to avoid when you’re desperate for money
Avoid getting yourself into further money issues when looking for fast cash. Be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true. They likely are too good to be true. Only take out loans if you need them, don’t use these options as a way to make extra money on the side or for personal spending. That will only lead to more debt and financial issues down the line.
Read the fine print if anyone ever appears to be giving out money for free or for a low price.
How to avoid being desperate for money in the future
If you’re finding yourself unable to afford unplanned expenses as they pop up, then creating a budget may be right for you. Take a look at your expenses and see where you can cut back. Look at things like groceries, subscriptions, entertainment, etc.
Budget a small amount of money each month towards a savings nest egg. Your goal should be to save up to 3 months of your monthly expenses, but any amount will help towards unplanned bills.
The key is to analyze your expenses and start saving what you can.
Related: The Best Budgeting Tips for Beginners
Final thoughts on what to do if you desperately need money
“I desperately need money!”
Not anymore with these 22 different ways to make money quickly. Choose a few options from the list above and begin saving up the amount of money you need. Come up with a long-term plan to save up using budgeting. Many Americans can’t afford an unplanned expense, but with careful planning, you can get yourself out of that pool and away from financial distress.
Related: 9 Side Hustles for Moms that Actually Make Money