The Modest Wallet is a free digital publication delivering its readers simple personal finance solutions. We regularly partner with brands that have products and services that will help our readers. Some of the links in this post are from our partners. How we make money.
Sometimes you need cash right now. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to you if you’re in urgent need of cash. While most of the options suggested in this article are on the Web or are attainable through the sharing economy, there are quite a few offline options as well. So, without further ado, we’re proud to give you 35 ways to make money right now!
Simple Ways to Make Money Now
We get it. Sometimes you need to make extra money right away to cover an unexpected emergency. The good news is that there are legitimate ways you can make money in just one day.
Paid Online Surveys
Paid online surveys remain one of the most popular ways to make money immediately. They’re super simple to find and complete, they have plenty of payment options, and they’re available to virtually everyone.
To complete online surveys, simply find your favorite survey site, fill out a profile, and complete the surveys you’re invited to.
You’ll need to watch out for a few potential issues if you choose this option. In particular, it’s common on survey sites to be sent surveys you don’t actually qualify for because of specific demographics or some other restriction. (For example, a site will send you surveys that are only available to men between the ages of 18-24, but you’re a 30-year-old woman.)
However, you’ll typically be told that you don’t qualify for these surveys at the outset, so you won’t have to spend time on the surveys that don’t apply to you.
There are plenty of survey sites to be found on the Web, but our top picks for paid survey sites are Branded Surveys, Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. They’ve been around for years, so we can tell you with assurance that they aren’t a scam. They have plenty of survey options. And they both use PayPal payouts if you don’t want the gift cards they offer.
Cash back on your groceries can go a long way towards filling the need for immediate cash. After all, saving money is as good as making money!
Ibotta is one of the best grocery cash back programs in the grocery rebates category, with options to save both online and offline, plus fast PayPal payouts.
Ibotta has partnered with a ton of participating grocery stores, and the service available across the United States. You can refer friends for additional cash back, to earn bonuses, and even develop streaks that let you increase the money you make from the app. It’s definitely worth a try.
Get Paid to Watch Videos
It doesn’t get any easier than watching videos for money. InboxDollars lets you do exactly that. While they offer several different ways to earn money immediately (like signing up for paid promotional emails, playing games, and doing surveys), watching videos is probably the simplest thing they have going on the site.
The videos you’ll watch are basically advertisements that are a bit longer than typical ads. You won’t be paid a fortune (your earnings will average out to a few dollars an hour), but watching videos can be a great way to monetize your downtime in the evenings or on weekends.
Get Paid to Read Emails
A company called Vindale Research will actually pay you to receive promotional emails. It’s easy to sign up, and even easier to participate. You just create an account, fill in your demographic and consumer details, and sign up for the paid email option.
You should be aware, however, that you’ll probably receive a lot of emails, which can get on some people’s nerves, so many people decide to create a new email account just to contain promotional emails. If you’re signing up for more than one paid promotional email service, doing this will help you keep your personal emails separate from your paid ones.
Search the Web and Earn
Everyone conducts web searches, whether their search engine of choice is Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or some other search engine. Why not get paid for those web searches?
A service called MyPoints offers a free Yahoo!-powered search engine that pays you a small amount of money every time you conduct a search.
This might sound suspicious at first. After all, why would anyone pay you to search the Web? But it actually isn’t sketchy. MyPoints keeps track of what you’re searching for and uses the data to market to you and to other people (using aggregated data). In effect, they’re paying you for your personal info. While that might turn some people off, others will be just fine with the idea.
Refinance Your Student Loans
Student loan interest can be a financial ball and chain.
But you don’t have to live with the interest rate you’re currently paying. A company called SoFi aggregates and offers student loan interest rates from thousands of different financial companies. You simply go to the site, create a quick profile that includes your debt and demographic details, and see what options are available to you.
As with all debt, your options will be more attractive if you have a good credit score and a low number of risk factors.
Refinance Your Debt
Student loans aren’t the only kind of debt that can be refinanced. Many people choose to refinance all kinds of debt, whether it’s credit card debt, mortgages, business loans, or anything else.
Refinancing essentially means that you take out another loan to pay an existing loan. The terms of the new loan are usually more attractive than the terms of the loan that’s being paid off. The new terms are usually available because of an improvement in your financial situation or a change in the larger debt market.
A company called Earnest is a great way to access this kind of refinancing. They offer a wide variety of loans on personalized terms.
Lower Your Bills
Spending unnecessary money on bills is like giving money away. On the flip side, saving money on your bills is just as good as increasing your paycheck.
Many people don’t realize the huge amounts of money they lose every month by overpaying for things like phone service and entertainment subscriptions. It can add up to hundreds of dollars per billing cycle, or thousands of dollars per year.
Trim is a company that helps you reduce how much you’re paying to service providers by keeping an eye out for service interruptions, negotiating with utility, phone, and cable companies, and using AI to scan your accounts for unused services.
How much or how little you use Trim’s services will be up to you. But if it’s been a while since you’ve looked at what you’re paying for your monthly services, you can be sure that Trim will save you at least a little bit of money. Check out our Trim review to learn more.
Earn Cash Back
Rakuten is a fantastic cash back app and site that helps you save money on your everyday purchases. They have a ton of partners that offer deals through their portal.
Functionally, Rakuten works a lot like other cash back apps like Ibotta. There’s one major difference, however — Rakuten only pays out quarterly. So, if a financial quarter just ended, you may need to wait up to three months before you see your first PayPal deposit.
We actually don’t mind the quarterly payments. They establish a regular schedule and ensure that the deposits are reasonable when they land in our PayPal accounts.
Make Money by Scanning Your Receipts
If you’re looking for a great app to combine with your cash back apps like Ibotta and Rakuten, ReceiptHog lets you scan your grocery receipts for points that can be redeemed for PayPal deposits.
ReceiptHog is a fun little app that lets you earn bonuses for referring friends and buying specific, featured items. The points will add up quickly (and every dollar you save buying groceries is like an extra dollar earned).
As we mentioned earlier, apps like ReceiptHog are fantastic add-ons to cash back grocery apps. You can make money twice in one trip! And if you combine that with a rewards credit card, you’re earning points three different ways for everything you buy.
Delivering food for a delivery app service can be a great way to earn extra money immediately, and DoorDash is one of the best options for making additional cash.
Assuming you have reliable transportation and a smartphone, and you can pass a basic background check, you can probably qualify to deliver food for DoorDash.
While you won’t get rich, the money you earn from delivering food can mean having more money at the end of the month or even socking a bit away in savings.
Similar to delivering takeout, delivering groceries can be a great way to make some money after your regular job. In fact, some people deliver groceries full-time.
Two companies, in particular, are leaders in the grocery delivery space: Postmates and Instacart. Postmates delivers virtually everything you could ask for, including groceries, office supplies, and alcohol. Instacart is more focused, offering only groceries for delivery to clients.
To qualify to work for Instacart or Postmates, you’ll need a car (or, in certain neighborhoods in densely populated cities, a bicycle) and a smartphone. You’ll also need to be able to pass a background check.
(Editor’s note: On July 6, 2020, Uber announced that it had purchased Postmates for 2.65B in stock.)
Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions
Unused and unneeded subscriptions cost Americans a fortune every year. Truebill and Billshark services use a combination of artificial intelligence and human review to examine your accounts and determine if you’re signed up for anything you’re not using.
By canceling unwanted subscriptions to publications, software, and the like, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars per month and dramatically increase your financial wellbeing. While you could probably do the work yourself, the fact that you haven’t done it already suggests you might need a hand. And that’s where Truebill and Billshark come in.
Drive People Around
The sharing economy has created an explosion in gig work. Driving people for Uber or Lyft was one of the first ride-sharing jobs. It can also be lucrative, with the best drivers bringing in between $20 and $30 per hour.
If you like to drive, have a clean driving record, and own a clean and serviceable car, you’ll likely qualify to drive for Uber or Lyft. It can be difficult to get requests initially, since you won’t have any five-star reviews to bolster your profile. But if you provide great customer service on a regular basis, you’ll soon see your business take off.
Sell Your Clothes
Clothes can lead to a lot of clutter — really fast. That’s why the people at Poshmark offer to buy your used clothing.
You won’t make a fortune (especially for non-designer and generic brands that are a bit dated) but selling your used clothing on Poshmark certainly beats having the clothes sit around in your closet, taking up space.
You’ll need to be aware, though, that not everything you send to Poshmark will be purchased. They’ll examine each piece of clothing and determine if, and how much, you’ll be paid for the item. (The newer, the better.)
Consider a Personal Loan
Sometimes the money-earning options available at a given time just won’t meet your needs. If that’s the case for you, it may be time to consider a personal loan. Personal loans can be a great way to even out your cash flow and squeak through a lean time in your life.
You’ll need to use them with caution, however. Thoughtless or excessive use of personal debt can quickly become unmanageable as debt servicing costs (interest and fees) rise along with your debt load.
If you are convinced that a personal loan is right for you, you may want to take a look at a few different companies, like SoFi, Upgrade, and Prosper. All of them either aggregate data about third parties willing to lend to someone in your specific circumstances, or they offer loans of their own.
Redeem Your Credit Card Points
Credit card points can add up quickly. And sometimes we forget about them. If you haven’t checked your credit card point balance in a long time, now might be the perfect time to do so. You may be surprised how many points are waiting for you.
Many rewards credit cards offer a cash-back option that’s a super simple way to get value from your points. And rather than buy something you don’t need or want with the points, you can just convert the points to cash, sent directly to your bank account. You don’t even have to bother with PayPal!
Redeem Your Recycling
This idea is so simple it’s almost cheating for us to put it on the list. You’ve undoubtedly thought of this yourself already. So why not redeem your recycling?
This idea works especially well for people with sheds or garages (where the recycling can pile up over a couple of months). Load the recycling into your car or truck (or ask a friend if you can borrow their vehicle if you don’t have the right wheels for hauling your stuff) and take it on over to the depot. You’ll be surprised at how much money you get in return.
Sell Unwanted Stuff
Owning a bunch of stuff you don’t want can drag down both your mood and your finances. Not only does unnecessary stuff clutter up your home and office space — it also requires money to maintain and store.
Why not sell it all on Decluttr? Decluttr is a service that buys gently used electronics, books, games, and movies, and more.
You simply go to their website, enter the info about the item you want to sell, and you’ll get a quote. If you choose to accept it, they’ll send you a box and a shipping label, and you send it away. If the item is what you said it is (and the condition of the item matches your description) you’ll get paid. It’s that easy.
Redeem Coins for Cash
You’ve probably seen Coinstar machines at your nearest Walmart or grocery store. These big green machines accept your loose change and pay you in cash. It’s really that easy.
Be aware that you won’t get the entire value of your coins back in cash. Coinstar keeps about 12% of what you put into the machine as a fee. (They have to pay for those big heavy machines somehow, right?)
But if you don’t have the time or inclination to roll up your pennies and head over to the bank, a Coinstar machine might be just the solution you’re looking for.
Redeem Gift Cards for Cash
If you’re like us, you’ve got gift cards lying around and collecting dust. That might be because you don’t buy from the businesses the gift cards came from. You also may not have time to shop in those stores, or maybe you just plain forget about putting them in your wallet when you go out.
Like with Coinstar, you won’t get the entire value of your gift card in cash. However, if you’re looking to recoup at least some of the money that’s locked up in the card, give these businesses a try.
Rent Out Your Car
Using your car in the sharing economy isn’t limited to driving people around or delivering food. You can actually rent out the car itself to qualified renters.
Two companies, Turo and GetAround, offer platforms that let you rent your car to people who need wheels. They take care of all the insurance headaches and guarantees. All you need to do is make sure your car is clean, full of fuel, and available where and when you say it will be.
If you find that your vehicle is regularly just sitting around unused, Turo and GetAround can be great options to bring in a little bit of extra income fast.
Rent Out Your Room
By now, everyone’s heard of Airbnb. Turning the hotel industry upside down, Airbnb offers users the ability to rent out a room in their home, or their entire home, at a rate they choose.
Airbnb offers great insurance and guarantees in case you get a less-than-ideal guest, and its platform is extremely user-friendly.
If you decide to go this route, be aware that you’ll need to offer stellar client service. Profitability on Airbnb is driven by user ratings, and you’ll be out of luck if you get too many poor reviews from guests.
Rent Out Your Stuff
Like the Airbnb of, well, stuff, Fatllama lets you rent out your items for a fee to strangers on the internet. While it might sound sketchy, Fatllama actually offers great insurance and protection against theft or damage.
The items that tend to do well on this site include high-end photography and videography equipment, musical instruments, and other electronics. (Basically, anything expensive that people might need for only a day or two.)
Use a Pawn Shop
Pawn shops are interesting. While they have a mixed reputation, there are reputable pawn shops out there that will treat you fairly and give you excellent value for the items you bring in.
You will want to be careful, however. Some pawn shops will lowball you intentionally, hoping to capitalize on your lack of knowledge about a valuable item or take advantage of your need for immediate cash.
The items that tend to do really well at pawn shops include compact, lightweight, and valuable goods, like jewelry, instruments, and electronics.
Have a Garage Sale
A good, old-fashioned garage sale can be a great way to raise money for yourself. If you’re like us, you have a ton of items just lying around collecting dust that might be of value to the right person.
The great thing about a local garage sale is that it’s a direct-to-consumer plan. There are no middlemen to eat away your profits, or shipping fees to pay. Virtually all the money you make will stay in your pocket.
Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to price your items fairly low. When people think “garage sale,” they think “cheap.”
Run Errands for People
TaskRabbit is like Uber for everyday errands. Clients on the site will outsource all kinds of everyday tasks like grocery shopping, lawn cutting, house cleaning, and more. As a “Tasker,” it will be your job to get these tasks done for your clients as quickly and painlessly as possible.
As with all of these web- and app-based gigs, great customer service is essential. You’ll need to keep those five-star reviews flowing in to keep the jobs coming.
Sometimes it can seem like people care more about their dogs than their children. You can take advantage of that phenomenon by pet sitting in exchange for cash.
If you don’t want to do all the marketing yourself, you can get on an app called Rover that will connect you with locals who need pet sitting or walking services. That way, you can focus on the animals and leave the advertising to the app.
Babysitting has been profitable work for people who need quick cash. While it may be a gig associated with teenagers, there are plenty of adults who make a pretty penny babysitting. That’s especially true for those who have special qualifications or skills, like educational designations or the ability to work with children who have special needs.
Sittercity is a great marketplace to offer your baby sitting services.
See Also: 30 Best Gig Economy Jobs That Pay Well
Sell Your Skills
Creating an online course is hugely popular these days. That’s for good reason. A successful online course can be extremely lucrative and provide long-term, passive income.
But it can be challenging to create your own course from scratch. That’s why many people rely on platforms like Podia to help them get from idea to fully-completed course with a minimum of effort.
Using Podia allows you to focus on your idea and coursework while leaving the technical details to the software wizards.
Freelance at Upwork or Fiverr
While you could go it alone and put up your own website, Upwork and Fiverr will take care of most of the marketing for you. All you do is create a profile to showcase your skills, and do your best to land your first all-important clients.
Once you’ve got a few positive reviews under your belt, you’ll find it gets a lot easier to attract new clients to your soon-to-be bustling freelancing career!
Sell Your Photos
If you have a talent for photography, there can be a real payday in it. The sky’s the limit in this wide-ranging and lucrative career. You can become a full-fledged photographer, taking photos at weddings and other events, or you can sell your pictures on websites like Unsplash and Pexels.
Microtasks are exactly what they sound like: small jobs that you can complete quickly. You can make some decent pocket money by stringing together a lot of microtasks.
The king of microtask providers is definitely Amazon Mechanical Turk. This site allows you to complete surveys, categorization tasks, and other simple, fast assignments to earn money.
You won’t earn a fortune, but it’s enough to monetize your downtime when you’re not otherwise occupied.
House cleaning is a tough, but necessary job. If you find you have the outstanding work ethic needed to stick to this vocation, you can make a reasonable amount of money cleaning houses.
We’ve found that it’s best to market your services to home-based businesses and upscale residences. Both of these demographics are likely to have more disposable income and will pay a premium for reliable, quality service.
Become a Handyman
Not everyone can fix things. If you’re good at repairs, there’s definitely money to be made. Don’t underestimate the value of being able to quickly repair a household appliance or a wobbly table. People will pay a premium for polite, prompt, and reliable service that resolves their problem.
Like with house cleaning, consider targeting small and home-based businesses through your marketing. These clients often have a greater need for on-call repair service, and they’re willing to pay more for it.
I Need Money Now FAQ
You’ve asked us quite a few questions about how to make money immediately, and we’ve included the most commonly asked ones right here.
How Much Can I Make in a Day?
You can easily make over $100 per day with some of these ideas. In fact, if you possess a particularly lucrative skill and sell it on Upwork or Fiverr, it’s not unheard of to make four figures on a good day.
What is the Fastest Way to Make Money Today?
Online surveys and signup bonuses on a variety of apps and websites will likely net you a profit the fastest.
How Can I Get Free Money Now?
There are so many options, it’s easy to lose track. Signup bonuses, cash back rewards, online surveys, and online freelancing are just a few of the ways you can make virtually free money immediately.
Make no mistake— if you find yourself in need of money right now, your best bet is to turn to the Web for solutions. The internet has ushered in myriad ways to make money quickly that didn’t exist just a few years ago.
But the Web isn’t your only option. There are also offline solutions that may work best for you and your schedule, depending on the kind of services you can offer.
Always remember that making money is all about offering value. Find out what you’re best at and what people want the most, and provide that service. You’ll be happy you did.
Download our FREE
"Side Hustle Handbook" eBook
Learn the best side hustle strategies so you can multiply your income sources and fast track your journey to financial freedom