How to Find Fast Cash: 35 Ways to Pay for the Unexpected

How to Find Fast Cash

Everyone needs to know how to find fast cash from time-to-time to pay rent, pay off credit card debt, or pay for any number of unexpected expenses. In fact, according to the latest Federal Reserve survey, about 52% of respondents indicated that they haven’t set aside an emergency fund that would get them out of an unforeseen financial crisis. So, if any financial disruption occurs, they would have to borrow money or find a way to generate extra income fast. Both options will only add to the stress.

Short-term financial goals, such as an emergency fund covering three months of expenses, are necessary to help you prepare for unexpected events and costs. The money from this emergency fund provides a cash-cushion, so you don’t have to sell belongings, take out a loan, or ask friends and family for help. But building an emergency fund takes time, patience, and extra money. To help you start building your emergency fund today, here are some useful tips on how to find fast cash and boost your income.

1. Negotiate Your Bills

Get free money by negotiating bills for services you pay for every month. For example, you can reduce cable fees, credit card fees, car insurance, and more. You can free up a bunch of extra cash in your monthly budget by contacting companies and asking them to lower your costs. 

Have you ever wondered why cable companies seem to jack up costs every year? It is because customers think that they have no other choice than to accept their payment terms. You can call them and say that you’re thinking of switching to another company, but if they lower your bill, you might stay with them. Many companies appreciate loyal customers, so you might get the cost reduction you want. 

In addition to calling and asking for a better plan, you can also shop around, compare prices, and switch to a more affordable provider. Consider Trim, for example. Trim is a free online tool that acts as your financial manager. It will help you reduce your cable, internet, and phone bills, find better car insurance, analyze your spending, and more. It will help you see the larger picture so you can potentially make money fast and get out of debt.

2. Negotiate Your Rent

Your rent is probably your most significant expense. Imagine if you could save only $100 a month, that would add up to $1,200 a year! Talk to your landlord and ask about rent reduction. Keep in mind, however, that you will likely succeed in your negotiation if you have something to offer them in return. For example, your landlord might happily lower rent if you sign an extended lease. You could also prepay months in advance or give up your parking space if you don’t have a car. Any reduction is automatic savings for your emergency fund.

3. Pawn Your Valuables

Consider pawning something valuable, if you need fast cash. Even though pawnshop loans are not an ideal way to borrow money, they are better than calls from debt collectors or ruined credit scores. If you want your item back at some point, you will need to pay back the loan with interest. If you cannot repay the loan and interest, then the pawnshop simply keeps the item you used as collateral. Another option is to just sell your item outright to the pawnshop.  

Also Read: A Beginner’s Manual to Consolidating Your Credit Card

5. Borrow Money from Friends and Family

Nobody likes asking friends and family for money. But this is your best option if you need cash quickly or if you have bad credit. Your friends and family probably won’t charge you interest, which means you’re borrowing money for free. Moreover, they will be accommodating if you are a bit late with a payment, which is something that lenders wouldn’t do.

If you are going to borrow money in this way, make sure that both you and your friend or a family member are clear on the loan terms. No amount of money is worth a good friendship or family bond.

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5. Invest from Acorns

Acorns is an online investing app that helps you get started with investing. It puts your money into investments and enables you to grow your savings over time. It works by rounding up the spare change from your everyday purchases. For example, if you spend $2.64 on a soda, Acorns will invest 36 cents in the stock market. You pay $3 in total.

Once you open an account and answer a few questions, you can start adding to it. No minimum investment is required. Acorns offer a $5 signup bonus for new customers.

6. Make Fast Cash Using Cars

Drive for Uber or Lyft

Companies like Uber and Lyft give you an excellent opportunity to earn some extra cash by matching you with people willing to pay for a ride. The average Uber driver is said to make about $19 to $21 an hour.

You need to meet their minimum standards, such as having a clean driving record and a relatively new car. You also need to get a permit to work in your area. If you meet their criteria, you may end up driving people in a couple of days. You can work during rush hour in the middle of the day, or work on weekends in the peak hours of the night. You determine your schedule and availability. Also, a Lyft driver will instantly get a $300 bonus after completing their 100th ride.

Also Read: Health Insurance 101 Guide

Share Your Car

If you don’t have time to drive people, consider renting your car to other people when you’re not using it. Getaround is a car-sharing service that will help you earn fast cash. As a car owner, you can make $5+ per hour just by sharing your car. You don’t have to worry about your car getting damaged because the company offers owners a $1 million insurance policy. 

Advertise on Your Car

Earn extra money by advertising on your car. For example, Carvertise is a platform that connects brands and companies with drivers. Depending on your driving habits, the company matches you with a brand and then wraps your car with their ad. They pay you every month for driving around and advertising in your car. To qualify, you need to have a driver’s license, a clean driving record, and a reasonably new car.

Wash and Detail Cars

People have busy lives, and cleaning their cars is not a priority. Put your hands to work and earn extra money. Car detailing could be your “side gig” that will help you pay off your debt. You don’t have to have a permanent location to do this job. You could be a mobile car washer and detailer, and earn as much as $50-$100 an hour. If you want to go mobile, start with your neighborhood. Hand out fliers or try cold calling. Who knows? Car detailing might turn into a real business.

7. Find a Day Labor Job

Day labor work is an excellent solution for people who need speedy cash due to unemployment. Being a day laborer is a unique opportunity for experiencing a variety of different jobs, which can help to decide on a future career path. You can find a day labor job by visiting a local day labor agency in your city, such as Labor Finders or People Ready. Make sure you compare agencies because some offer medical insurance while others don’t.

8. Rent Out a Room on Airbnb

Do you have a spare bedroom or a couch? If so, you can make quick cash by renting it out to travelers on Airbnb.

Airbnb is an online platform that offers rooms, couches, or whole houses for rent to travelers who are looking for an affordable price and a more personal touch. This site can provide you with a steady stream of qualified renters and pay you $100 per week, or $400 per month, depending on where you live. By listing a room on Airbnb, you are advertising to millions of travelers who use the site. You set your rates and manage the booking via payment processing and scheduler. Repeat customers and great reviews can help you earn extra money as an Airbnb host.

9. Rent Out Your Garage

Speaking of renting parts of your house, consider renting out your garage to someone who needs shelter for a car. You could earn $100 per month, depending on factors like location, access, heating, manual or powered doors, etc. Also, if you don’t use your basement, you can rent it to someone who needs temporary storage. However, before you start, check if it is legal to rent out a basement in your living area.

10. Rent Out Your Stuff

Many people earn extra money by renting out their unused belongings. Whether it is a camera, bike, drone, kid’s toy, or musical instrument, you can earn about $50 a week or up to $3,000 a month by renting your stuff on Fat Llama. You can list your item within a minute. Name it, upload a photo, and set your price. And you don’t have to worry about the protection of your items because they offer an insurance-backed guarantee.

11. Get a Roommate

Do you have a spare room in your apartment or house? If so, get a roommate, and make money fast. A roommate can help you cut your rent in half, as well as other bills like utilities, cable, and internet.

12. Open up a New Bank Account

Some banks, such as Chase, offer a signup bonus ($200) to customers who open up a new checking account. The catch is that you need to set up a direct deposit to get a bonus or put a certain amount of cash on deposit. If you were thinking of going to a bank anyway, it is an effortless way to make some extra money.

Moreover, after you get that checking account bonus, don’t miss a chance to score another bonus by simply having a high yield savings account.

How to Find Fast Cash

13. Deliver Groceries and Food 

Make extra money by delivering food, drink, or groceries to people’s homes. You can use Postmates to deliver a meal from a restaurant that doesn’t deliver itself, for example. And you don’t even need to have a car; you can make deliveries on your bike and earn up to $25 per hour.

There are also other delivery app jobs that pay $15 an hour on average. The rate of pay depends on factors such as the miles driven for delivery, the size of the grocery order, and the store where the goods are purchased. If you do a great job, you could even earn some tips!

14. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

Statistics say that $1 billion in gift cards go unused every year. If you have gift cards that you’re not planning to use – perhaps you have a Starbucks gift card, but you aren’t a coffee drinker – you can sell them for cash. There are many ways to sell and trade your gift cards online, from dedicated marketplaces and websites to forums. With Cardpool, for example, you can earn up to 92% of the gift card’s value. 

15. Sell Old Mobile Devices

Get extra cash today by selling your old cell phone on one of these sites:

Getting your money might take a few days, however, because you’ll need to ship the phone. Another quicker way to get cash is by using an ecoATM kiosk. Find an ecoATM in your area and place your phone in the test station. The machine will examine your phone and its condition. Following this initial diagnostic, it will automatically scan the resell market and offer you a price based on its current market value. If you agree to the price, an ATM will pay you immediately. In addition to smartphones, ecoATMs also accept MP3 players and tablets.

16. Sell DVDs and CDs on Decluttr

You probably have tons of CDs and DVDs you never listen to or watch. Why don’t you sell them and make some quick money? Decluttr is a platform for buying and selling tech, including CDs, DVDs, games, and even LEGOs.

After you set up an account, you will enter the bar codes of things you want to sell. Then, they will tell you how much they’ll pay you for each item. If you agree to the prices, they will send you a free shipping label. When you receive it, you put it on the box with your stuff inside and then bring it to the nearest shipping store. They will pay you the day after they receive your stuff. And, they won’t charge any extra seller fees.

17. Sell Old Books and Games on Amazon

Make money fast by listing and selling your old books, games, and devices on Amazon. If you have old textbooks from college, you can make more than just a few bucks. According to Amazon’s textbook buyback page, you could get as much as 80% of the purchase price back. Just make sure that the books are in good condition. If there are any defects, make sure you are upfront about it.

Also Read: These Are the Best Roth IRAs, Uncovered

18. Sell Used Tech on Craigslist

When it comes to electronics, one of the best places to sell it online is Craigslist. You could also sell technology and gadgets on eBay, but some items are hard to sell here, and there are eBay and Paypal fees. You can sell your old iPhone or MacBook on Craigslist for a high price, without incurring fees. Some people buy used items and resell them for their regular job. They’re like modern, online antique dealers!

19. Sell Clothes on ThredUp

Selling your old clothes could help you make quick cash and help you declutter your home at the same time. ThredUp is an online company that buys specific brands of clothing and then resells them. They send you a prepaid bag, you fill it up, and send it back. They will take pictures and sell the items for you. Just know that ThredUp doesn’t pay much, and they accept only a limited number of brands.

20. Sell Your Hair

Have long, healthy hair? Selling your hair is an easy way to earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the buyer and the hair quality. Visit OnlineHairAffairHairSellOn, or other listing sites to sell your hair online. Write up your listing with information on the length, color, and texture. Be sure to add quality photos to promote your luxurious locks.

21. Hold a Yard/Garage Sale

If you have a yard and stuff to sell, then consider having a sale to make extra income. You can advertise your sale on Facebook, Craigslist, or just post signs around your neighborhood. Try to group similar items, clearly label the prices, and have plenty of bills and coins to make a change.

22. Take Out (or Refinance) a Loan

Personal Loan

Relieve your debt load by taking out a personal loan. If you have good credit, some lenders can fund a personal loan in a day. But, if your credit has seen better days, you need to find a lender that not only delivers cash quickly but also accepts poor credit. Just be sure to avoid any lender who charges exorbitant interest rates. 

If you decide to take out a personal loan, one of the best places to find one is a credit union. Some credit unions may lend to you despite lousy credit because personal loans can have more favorable loan terms. You can also get a personal loan through an online lender. Some online lenders have strict credit requirements and offer lower low-interest loans. Others offer high-interest loans and do not require good credit scores.

Cash Advance

You can take out a cash advance on your credit card from an ATM. The amount you withdraw is added to your credit card balance in the same way that a regular purchase would be. The downside, however, is that you will be charged cash advance fees, higher interest fees around 30%, and other ATM fees. Therefore, taking out a cash advance on your credit card will cost you more than using your card to make a purchase.

Payday Loans

In addition to credit card cash advances, there are also short-term loans without a credit check called “payday loans.” These fast cash loans are advances on the borrower’s next paycheck that are due on their next payday. You have approximately two weeks to repay the loan. With payday loans, you do not pay smaller payments each month, but instead, you repay a single lump sum. These types of cash advance loans do not cost any fees, but the size of their payments is something most people find stressful. A payday loan can be an excellent short-term financial solution, but be careful because they can turn into a long-term fiscal problem.

Title Loans

Consider taking out a title loan if you need cash fast. It is a short-term no credit check loan that requires an asset as collateral. The borrower’s car, truck, or motor vehicle is used as collateral. The most common type of title loan is a car title loan. Since there is collateral, you can borrow more with title loans than you could with payday loans. However, the downside is that the lender will most likely lend you only a fraction of your vehicle’s actual value. You need to repay the loan, or the lender will repossess your car.

Installment Loans 

Installment loans are similar to regular personal loans. The difference is that these bad credit loans have much higher interest rates than regular loans. You pay them back in a series of smaller payments for months or years. Their payments are affordable. The best thing about these loans is that you can save money by paying ahead of schedule and improve your credit score by paying it back on-time.

Refinance Your Student Loans

Student loan refinancing could save you money. If you have a high-interest rate that is above 6% and you have multiple student loans, you could benefit from refinancing. The lender can offer a longer-term loan with a more manageable monthly payment. There are many refinancing options out there, regardless of credit score. 

Suggested Reading: 11 Best Prepaid Debit Cards to Check Out Now

23. Borrow from Your Life Insurance

If you have cash value life insurance, also known as permanent life insurance, you can borrow against it. But you have to repay it, or otherwise, the company will subtract the money from the policy payout when you die.

24. Ask for a Raise

Asking for a raise can help you quickly generate additional income. If you have worked for several years without a raise, your chances are likely favorable. If it’s too early to ask for a raise, your employer might pay more money for more responsibilities. 

25. Walk Dogs

If you love animals and experience caring for them, then why not work part-time by signing up as a dog walker or pet sitter on Rover? It is one of the largest networks that connect dog owners with dog walkers. If you qualify, you could earn $20 to $40 a night for walking dogs. You can either stay at the owner’s house or host them in your home. If you do a good job, you will get positive reviews, which can help you make even more money in the future.

Of course, you do not have to sign up on Rover to walk dogs. You could advertise your services online or ask your neighbors if they need help.

26. Make Money by Taking Photos

Sell Your Photos Online

If you have an artistic eye, you can generate a passive income by selling your photos online. Sites like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto are a central place for posting and selling your photos. These sites pay between $3 and $50, or more, for breathtaking, funny, and original images. It’s a great way to make cash by just doing what you already love to do.  

Become a Weekend Photographer

If you’re passionate about photography, you could earn extra money by soliciting people who need photographers for their wedding, engagement, child’s birthday, or any other special event. With some experience and a good camera, you could turn this side hustle into a real money-making business.

Take Selfies

Did you know that you can make money by taking selfies? There is a company called Pay Your Selfie that will pay you to take pictures of yourself in various locations. Pay Your Selfie is a market research company that works with brands that want to improve their products and services. Instead of answering questions about your lifestyle and shopping experiences, you complete a survey by taking a selfie.

They will give you tasks that pay anywhere from 20¢ to $1 for each picture that gets approved. The jobs are easy overall and quick to do.

27. Become a Mystery Shopper

Earn quick cash, as well as free items and services by becoming a mystery shopper. There are hundreds of agencies that pay you to visit shops and restaurants, and then provide honest feedback on their performance. If you are just starting in the business, you might make as little as $8-$10 for a simple assignment. Their pay can go up to $100 or more for challenging projects. You will get the money 2-4 weeks after you complete the mystery shopping. Check the MSPA Americas site for legitimate gigs.


Earn extra money by recycling bottles, cans, and other containers. Ten states and Guam have beverage container deposit laws or bottle bills. Depending on the type and volume, you can earn anything from two cents to 15 cents. You don’t have to recycle bottles and cans just from your house. You can collect them at work, from friends and family, or during local events. If you put in time and effort, it will pay off.

In addition to beverage containers, you can also recycle scrap metal for money, such as copper, steel, and aluminum. You can even turn used car batteries, old electronics, and used ink cartridges into cash.

28. Give Plasma Blood

Donating plasma is another strategy to earn money fast. It’s a process similar to giving blood, where they separate plasma from the blood. They take plasma and collect it in a container, and return blood to your body. 

According to the FDA, you can make up to two donations within a week. You will get paid $30 to $40 per donation, which means that you could earn about $400 a month.

29. Sign Up for Clinical Tests and Trials

People make thousands of dollars by participating in clinical tests and trials of new drugs, devices, and medical interventions. No particular skill or education is required. Payouts vary depending on the invasiveness and duration of the procedures. You might earn a few hundred dollars for trying out a new allergy medication to thousands of dollars for tests that involve overnight stays and additional visits over several months. Visit and find trials that might fit you.

30. Deliver Food with Uber Eats

Delivering Uber Eats food has become very popular for a few reasons:

  1. You can make $8 to $12 for every hour of making deliveries, and up to $20/h in bigger cities. You can get same-day payouts up to 5 times a day if you set up Instant Pay. Otherwise, you get paid weekly 
  2. Delivering food with Uber Eats is flexible. You can earn money on your schedule and deliver by car, bike, or scooter
  3. You can do all this while exploring your city

31. Run Errands 

If you have spare time and specialized skills, you can run errands for busy people to make money on the side. If you are talented at assembling furniture or tiling a bathroom, you can complete all these tasks through TaskRabbit. This online platform is unique because you can offer any task or errand you can think of. On top of your pay, you can earn tips. They will notify you about tasks that pop up nearby. You choose what tasks you want to take and when to take them. The pay is good, and you set up your schedule, which is one of the reasons why many Taskers have built a full-time business using this platform.

32. Get Paid to Shop with Ibotta

Ibotta is a cash back app that enables you to earn cash back every time you shop online or in-store. You can do that too when you pay for purchases right from the app through Pay with Ibotta feature. When you pay straight from the app, you get instant cash back on your entire purchase. If you’re buying in the store, you can get cash back by taking a picture of your receipt or linking your loyalty account.

Moreover, if you tell three friends about Ibotta, you can make an additional $30. They give new users a $10 welcome bonus when they sign up.

33. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending

Peer-to-peer lending is a system that matches the borrower with lenders that are willing to fund their loans. So, if you have some money, you can use it to make even more money. 

You, as a lender, act in place of the bank and earn interest that is typically higher than your average savings account. A service like Lending Club will help you connect with borrowers with good to great credit scores. It is the world’s largest online credit marketplace that helps you earn extra money by investing in a range of loans. With Lending Club, you:

  • Make an initial deposit to open an account with as little as a $0.01
  • Can invest as low as $25 or as much as $20.000
  • Get average returns of between 5.06% and 8.74%

The entire transaction happens online, so there are no awkward face-to-face meetings.

34. Start a Small Business

If you are passionate about baking, sewing, cleaning, painting, makeup, or pretty much anything, then you can monetize it. Start a small business and earn quick cash. Depending on the type of business, you can do it in your spare time.

How to Find Fast Cash

35. Find Fast Cash Online

Find Gigs on Fiverr

Fiverr is a marketplace where you can sell services online. Even though the default price is $5, depending on the skills and services you provide, you could earn some serious cash. They pay for:

  • Business promotion
  • Social networking
  • Writing and translating
  • Audio or video clip creation
  • Editing services
  • Web design 

Start an Online Course

There are many different kinds of online courses out there. People make passive income through online classes by sharing their knowledge with others. From parenting to tutoring to email marketing, you can share your knowledge and skills with people from all over the world. You can try signing up at Udemy, an online teaching marketplace. You create an online video course on anything you want and get paid as users purchase your course. 


You can earn free cash online by using the InboxDollars search engine instead of Google or Bing. They pay you for surfing the web. In return, they learn more about your searching habits that will help some companies to understand consumers better. This is one of the easiest forms of passive income, even though it might take a bit longer. You also get a free $5 bonus when you sign up.

Start a Blog

Blogging is a simple side hustle that may even turn into a successful business. You do not need much money to get started. You only need to pay the hosting fee. HostGator might be an ideal host choice, especially if you are not tech-savvy. Salaries for bloggers vary widely. Freelance bloggers can make anything from under $10 a post to $100 or more. If you’re passionate about a subject and you have decent writing skills, you could become a pro blogger and earn much more

Take Paid Online Surveys

Survey Junkie is an online site that will pay you for your opinion. Their goal is to understand their clients better, and thus provide a better customer service experience. Many of the surveys take less than five minutes to complete. Other reputable survey sites include

Sign up for any of these websites and start making cash for watching movie trailers or scanning the products that you purchase. Some companies will even send you their products to try so that you can answer questions on them.

Payouts vary. Most surveys will pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and you can even get surveys over $5 each if you qualify.

Affiliate Marketing

If you are a website owner or your social media presence is good, you can start making money through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is promoting products, services, and offers online, and earning a commission for it. However, generating traffic to make decent money might take a while.

Partner with brands through the Awin platform and start making money online. After you sign up, check their offers and listings to find advertisers to promote. Choose your affiliate link and share it. If someone purchases through your link, you make a commission.

Write a Kindle eBook

You can write and publish an eBook with the Amazon Kindle store, and start earning passive income for years to come. You can download the app on almost any device and get access to a vast global market. You can sell your eBook for up to $6.99 and get 70% of the sale.

When writing an eBook, you need to focus on value, write non-fiction, and make it short. Many popular eBooks are less than 55 pages. Choose a common problem like How to Earn Extra Cash, and then write a short book that people are willing to pay for on the Kindle store. Also, make sure your cover design stands out and encourage readers to leave a review.

Start a Podcast

If you are passionate about telling interesting stories and you are a great conversationalist, why not start a podcast? As you build your audience, you will attract advertisers and sponsors and make more money. To find out what’s currently popular, search iTunes charts, Google Trends, and other podcast research sites.

Launch a YouTube Channel

If you love the spotlight and you would like to entertain people or share your knowledge, consider launching a YouTube channel. YouTube is the third most-visited site in the world and a great place to make extra money online. You can offer affiliate products on YouTube or sell your own, and earn money from advertising tutorials or videos. The more viewers you get, the more money you make.

Proofread Documents

If you are passionate about grammar, punctuation, and spelling, you could earn extra money by proofreading documents from home. Transform your passion for words into a successful proofreading business with Proofread Anywhere. A great thing about proofreading is that you can do it from anywhere. Sign up for a free workshop and learn how to make money as a proofreader.

Buy and Sell Domain Names

Earn extra cash by buying popular, yet undiscovered, domain names at the lowest prices possible and then resell them. It’s “digital flipping!” You can purchase domains on Namecheap or GoDaddy for as little as $2.99 per year and resell them at far higher prices. For example, the site was sold for $1.75 million in 2010. The best way to sell your domain name is to list it on websites that specialize in domains such as Flippa.

Make Your Move

As you can see, there are countless ways to generate extra income for your emergency fund. From useless junk and outdated technology to hard work and specialized skills, extra money is just waiting for you. So, stop stressing about money, and put your time and energy to more productive use.  

If you know other tricks to make money fast, please let us know in the comments section.  


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