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Money is something that just about anyone could use more of these days, right? Thankfully, we’re living in a day and age that offers resourcefully minded people more options than ever before. Whether you’re looking for some quick and simple ways to help make ends meet when you’ve got bills coming up or seeking something with the potential to turn into something larger, the following are some excellent ideas to help you make, save, or generate money fast.
1. Start investing today. Far too many people tend to think of investing in stocks as something they’ll do “someday” when they have more cash. However, the fact of the matter is, it’s never too soon to start investing. Consider looking into your options with a reputable online stock broker like the brokers ranked at Zanda.com.
2. Get into data entry. We’re living in a day and age that is full of opportunities for people with a skill or a passion that would love to try freelancing on for size. Data entry is a highly marketable service that many companies outsource to people that can telecommute. Check Craigslist or online job boards for leads.
3. Consolidate or pay off debt. If you’re in a position to actually pay off some of your high interest debt, you should definitely do so. You could save a fortune over time for sure. If you’re not yet in a position to pay your debt off, consider consolidating some of it to save a little extra cash that would normally be absorbed by high interest rates.
4. Organize a garage sale. If you’re like most people, you most definitely have some items collecting dust around your house that someone else could get some good use out of. Organize a garage sale and kill two birds with one stone – get rid of some unwanted junk while making some fast cash.
5. Sell your old cell phone. Did you know that those old cell phones you have sitting around in a drawer somewhere are actually worth money? You may be able to sell them back to your service carrier or to a third party retailer that specializes in repurposing old cells. This money making method is perfect for people who like to upgrade to the best phones often.
6. Sell some old collectibles on eBay. As with your old cell phones and your garage sale items, you can make some excellent fast cash by selling off any collectibles or antiques you have sitting around. Some items fetch a pretty penny from dedicated collectors that frequent sites like eBay, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars.
7. Consolidate your change. That extra change you have hiding under your sofa cushions or taking up extra space in your wallet could be worth a lot of money if you consolidated it all and cashed it in at the bank or via that Coinstar machine at the grocery store. It could certainly be worth a few free groceries.
8. Turn in your printer cartridges. Did you know that quite a few office supply stores will give you store credit in exchange for your empty printer cartridges? You could shave some money off your next cartridge purchase and help the environment at the same time.
9. Rent out a spare room in your house. Not everyone actually uses all of the rooms in their house. If that sounds like you, consider renting out one of your extras to a local or a student looking for an affordable place to live for a while.
10. Rent your car. Are there entire days of the week where you don’t use your car? Are you going out of town soon, but not taking your car? You might be able to rent it to someone who could use it through a service like RelayRides or Getaround.
11. Rent a parking spot. Yes, you can rent just about anything for a little extra cash, including an unused parking spot on your property. This is an especially hot option in bigger cities and other places where parking spaces are scarce. Put it up for rent on Craigslist and see what happens!
12. Sell to locals on Craigslist. Speaking of Craigslist, you might want to look around for items you don’t want or need anymore and put them up for sale to interested locals. This is an especially great option for people looking to sell bicycles, furniture, housewares, and other similar items.
13. Complete some returns. Have you made a purchase recently that you really didn’t need after all? Do you have any items you’ve been meaning to return to the store, but haven’t yet? Consider digging up that receipt and taking the items back so that you can use the cash in other areas of your life.
14. Become a mystery shopper. Did you know that you can actually get paid to shop? It’s true! Market research firms and multiple companies will pay you to assess the performance of their employees and their establishments in exchange for cash. It’s fun and easy!
15. Get paid to garden. Are you a gardening enthusiast that loves to dig in the dirt? Do friends always tell you they wish they could bottle your green thumb? Consider offering your services as a gardening tutor, tutorial maker, or landscaping service provider to other people in your area that would love to learn to do what comes naturally to you.
16. Become a property manager. If you are looking for a new place to call home, then why not consider becoming an on-site property manager for an apartment complex? You can also work for an independent property owner that lives out of town and needs someone to keep an eye on things in exchange for rent-free living accommodations.
17. Become a care-taker or living assistant. Does your community have a high population of elderly that could use a little assistance? Are there people in your neighborhood that are ill or have recently been in the hospital? Consider earning a side income helping out with chores like grocery shopping, cleaning, or cooking.
18. Refinance your mortgage. Could you stand to rearrange some things when it comes to your mortgage? These days are seeing the lowest mortgage interest rates to come along in years. Consider speaking to your bank about your options. You could wind up with a lot of extra cash in your pocket.
19. Use credit cards that offer rewards. Credit is a huge part of how we live our lives these days. Make sure you’re using a card that offers you cash back, airline miles, gas credits, or other rewards for using them the way you normally would. Even small rewards can really add up over time!
20. Ditch your cable. If you’re like most people, your cable bill is probably among the highest of your utility bills. Over the course of a year, cable bills can add up to some serious dough. Consider relying completely on services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime for your television and movie viewing needs instead.
21. Sell your scrap metal. Do you have any scrap metal or junk automobiles lying around that you could sell to your local salvaging yard or the salvage yard in a nearby town? It can be worth a lot of money – hundreds of dollars, even.
22. Recycle your plastics and aluminum. Although you won’t get as much from recycling aluminum cans, bottles, and other similar items as you would by selling scrap metal, you can still make some great cash over time if you do it consistently. It’s a great way to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle as well.
23. Switch service providers. Not happy with the way the bill for your phone services, internet service, cable service, and so forth just keep climbing over time? Make sure you’re really getting the best deal out there by checking out what the competition has to offer.
24. Get smart about your tax returns. Are you sure you’re getting as much money back on your tax refund as you could be every year? Make sure you’re claiming all of the write-offs you’re entitled to and taking advantage of as many loopholes as possible.
25. Start a home business. Not every business has to start big. Look for little ways to make a little extra money working from home doing small tasks like walking dogs. At the very least, it will be a great way to make a little extra cash temporarily. However, you may wind up with a booming business on your hands as well.
26. Get a part-time job. Although this may not be the absolute fastest way to make extra cash, don’t underestimate the value of a possible part-time job. Moonlighting at a bar, a café, or a retail establishment could be a great way to make steady extra cash over time and meet some cool new people.
27. Explore seasonal work. If the holidays are coming up and you could use a little extra money to pay for Christmas presents, look into the temporary seasonal options local establishments might be offerings. You could wrap presents, help out at a shop, or even play Santa.
28. Get crafty. Do you absolutely love spending your spare time doing things with your hands or creating one-of-a-kind items? Consider opening up an Etsy shop or selling a few pieces on consignment locally. People are always looking for unique gifts or novelty items and crafts are hot right now.
29. Make fast, simple money online. Do you wish you could make a little extra money online, but don’t feel like you have a sought after, specialized skill to market? Try exploring an option like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk set-up. You can get paid to do simple, easy tasks for that aren’t easily automated.
30. Explore emergency assistance. If you’re truly in dire straits to the tune of not being sure if you’ll be able to feed your family, check to see if you’re actually eligible for local emergency assistance. You might be able to get cash, free groceries, and free services that you sorely need, but can’t afford.
31. Explore cashback websites. Did you know that there are tons of sites out there that will actually give you cash back in exchange for shopping online the way you normally would? Try signing up for an account at a site like eBates and watching the cash add up over time.
32. Don’t forget rewards malls. Remember that rewards credit card we mentioned a while ago? If yours comes with access to a rewards mall, then make sure you don’t forget to check it out for items, services, and discounts you and your household could really use.
33. Think about temping. If a standard part-time job or a work at home business doesn’t really sound like your speed, why not consider temping? Temping is a great way for dedicated, naturally helpful people to make excellent money helping local businesses fill in the gaps in their workforce.
34. Consider medical testing. Do you happen to live near a university or a medical research center of any kind? You can get paid to be part of medical studies or to help test drive new medications. Participation in some medical tests can really pay quite well.
35. Tap your life insurance. While it’s true that your life insurance policy is supposed to be a safeguard for your relatives against the future, you can actually tap into it early if you’re in need right now. Check with your insurance provider to see what might be possible in the case of your policy.
36. Clip coupons. While a lot of people might consider clipping coupons from sites like DealBase to be a throwback to their grandmother’s day, it’s important not to count them out when you’re tight on cash. The savings can really add up over time. You can find online versions of coupons, too!
37. Redeem rebates. The same can be said for rebates as well. Make it a point to stay on top of rebate offers that might come with products you buy anyway. Stay in the know as to whether or not the stores you go to offer price match discounts.
38. Look into the possibility of a flexible savings account. Does your place of employment offer its workers FSA options? If so, you could be taking advantage of money-saving perks like prescription coverage, tax advantages, and much more. Ask your employer about your options today! You might be surprised at what you’ve been missing out on.
39. Request a raise. Are you long overdue for a raise at work? It might be time to ask the boss directly for one, as not every employer will offer you one first. Be polite and prepared when it comes to explaining why you really deserve an uptick in your income. Getting the raise will make saving money much easier!
40. Become a flea market flipper. Flipping works for a lot more than real estate. Are you good at refurbishing used items and think you could resell them to interested customers for a profit? Consider acquiring free or low cost second hand things from Craigslist or the thrift shop and going to town.
41. Become a talented pen. Have people always told you that you really have a way with words? Have you always enjoyed the act of writing? Consider hiring yourself out as a freelance writer. You can get paid to write web content, resumes, articles, blog posts, and more.
42. Look into graphic design, too. Are you better with visuals than you are with written words? Do you know your way around Photoshop or consider yourself to have a knack for graphics? You can pick up some sweet gigs designing logos, flyers, packaging, web graphics, and more.
43. Look into catering. Do you love to cook? Do you really know your way around a kitchen? Are you a real whiz at making sandwiches, cupcakes, cookies, and more? Consider becoming a small-scale caterer or speaking to local restaurants about carrying some of your baked goods. You can even put together and sell gift baskets if you’re into making the right items.
44. Put on your tutoring hat. If you were considered the class brain or the school whiz kid, why not go into business as a tutor? The world is full of kids and parents that would be happy to pay someone to help them cram for the SATs or do better at algebra.
45. Get into affiliate marketing. Lots and lots of companies offer enterprising individuals opportunities to become part of their affiliate programs, including giants like Amazon. Consider using your existing web audience or marketing skill to peddle a few products and cash in today.
46. Get paid for your opinion. Are you the sort of person that always has a unique opinion on the movies and television shows you watch or on the books you read? You could be earning good money for reviewing products and media that you use anyway. You get to help people make purchasing decisions to boot.
47. Put your photos up for sale. Are you one of the thousands of people who loves to take photos? Are you actually good at it? Consider taking and selling stock photos through a site like iStock. People pay top dollar even for shots of everyday items that are easy to find and photograph.
48. Take surveys. Most of us have heard that you can make some extra cash taking surveys online in your spare time. Well, if you choose the best websites and are consistent about doing it, you really can make some fantastic extra cash. Give it a try!
49. Take part in market research. Have you ever wondered how advertisers figure out which direction to take a given ad campaign? Market research! Consider signing up to be part of a focus group or contacting a market research firm directly to ask about possible opportunities.
50. Host and exchange student. Did you know that you and your family can actually get paid to host a foreign exchange student? Not only is this a great way to make extra cash that your household could really use, but it’s a great way to meet a fantastic new person and enrich your life culturally as well.
51. Help someone have a family. If you’re healthy and otherwise desirable as a candidate for fertility-related services, you can get paid to donate sperm or eggs. You can also be paid to become a surrogate. Naturally, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great thing to consider for the right person.
52. Sign up for a car service. Ever thought that you would make a great taxi driver? These days, you don’t necessarily have to officially licensed in order to do exactly that. Consider signing up for a service like Lyft or Sidecar for a chance to essentially freelance as a professional driver.
53. Apply for a payday loan. If you need cash quickly because of an emergency situation, but you aren’t eligible for any other type of loan at the moment, then you might want to look into a short term payday loan to help ends meet until your next check rolls in. Associated fees can be high though, so consider this option with care.
54. Pawn something. Pawn shops can be another great way to get fast cash if you’re really in a pickle. Bring in your items and put them up as collateral on an instant loan. If you can pay the loan back according to the terms, you can get the item back. You can also simply let the loan expire and allow the pawn broker to keep your item.
55. Consider selling roadside. Do you have an ingenious idea for a product, service, or item you could successfully sell to people right from the side of the road? Bottled water on a hot day perhaps? Maybe flowers, produce, or even food? Choose a safe location and set up shop offering people the gift of convenient items for a reasonable price.
56. Consider scalping some tickets. Maybe you’re pressed for cash really badly at the moment, but you suddenly remember you have great seats for the upcoming Lady Gaga concert or the next Lakers game. Consider reselling your tickets to someone else. You can always catch Katy Perry the next time she’s in town, right?
57. Put your body parts to work. If you’re looking for immediate cash, try selling blood or plasma. You can also sell off your breast milk or your hair. Not only is this an excellent way to make some quick cash if you need it, but you’ll be helping people as well.
58. Babysit, pet-sit, or house-sit. If you’re good with children or animals, you can easily make some cool cash offering your services to neighbors or friends in need. Housesitting is also a great way to augment your income while helping people in your community that could really use the assistance.
59. Go dumpster diving. You’d be surprised how many perfectly salvageable items people just throw away every day. Some people have made a hobby out of dumpster diving for goods with resale value. Others have turned it into a lucrative business. Why not give it a try?
60. Hit the casino. Naturally, gambling should be a last ditch effort kind of solution to your money problems, as they can easily make them worse. However, if you have a terrific poker face or a real knack for table games, it could be worth a shot if you’re super desperate.
61. Look for ways to boost your credit score. You should be looking for ways to clean up and maintain your credit score anyway. However, improving your credit score can also be a great way to save yourself money. Get yours in shape and consider contacting your creditors or lending agent about lowering your interest rates.
62. Rehabilitate real estate. Is there a family home or other property you’re responsible for that you don’t have any plans to live in? Why not consider rehabilitating it and putting it on the market. Real estate is always valuable, especially when properties are embellished with gorgeous improvements.
63. Consider telemarketing. Do you love to talk on the phone? Are you absolutely awesome at selling and dealing with people? Consider approaching a telemarketing or bill collection company about freelance opportunities. These industries are always looking for more good people that can really deliver.
64. Be an online travel agent. As we’ve touched on in some of the above options, there are quite a few jobs that can easily be done on a freelance or long-distance basis online these days. Being the best online travel agent is one of them! Definitely something to consider if you have a real skill for spotting great deals on Expedia and similar sites.
65. Tend bar. Lots of people would love to consider taking on a part-time job, but they can’t choose something that conflicts with the full-time gig they already have. Bartending is a great solution. Plus, it’s fun and it can be lucrative to boot.
66. Resell food items. College students have been doing things like picking up pizza, burgers, or other items and reselling them at a profit closer to home for years. If you see an opportunity to do the same at your own dorm or apartment complex, this might be one to consider when you need a few extra bucks.
67. Get paid to deliver referrals. Some companies (cable service providers are good examples) will pay people to send them referrals. Many people work for employers that will do the same. Research some of the options that would be a good fit for you and your situation.
68. Think about becoming a tour guide. Do you live in an area that’s packed with interesting spots and places of historical interest? Do you know more about your city than average? Consider offering tourists and locals alike guided tours of key places in your area. You just might wind up with a great business opportunity on your hands.
69. Get in the game. Every city has sports leagues, both for children and adults. Every game needs a reliable umpire or referee. Look into what it would take to become one for the local leagues in your town. It’s an easy, fun way to make cash while being part of something you already enjoy.
70. Become a more creative home cook. Groceries are responsible for a lot of cash outflow in the great majority of households. Scour the internet for creative ways to utilize some of the items that are already taking up space in your cupboards or freezer. You may be able to avoid going to the grocery store altogether this week.
71. Sign up for a paper route. Yes, people do still read print newspapers and people definitely still get paid to deliver them. If you don’t mind getting up early to run your route before heading off to your day job, you could earn an extra $10,000 a year.
72. Help out at the community pantry. If you’re having trouble feeding your family, but you’re not eligible to take advantage of associated services yourself, consider volunteering at a food bank or community pantry. Many places will allow you to take home food in exchange for helping out.
73. Eliminate unnecessary insurance or features. Go over your credit accounts and other service contracts to see if you’re paying extra for insurance or extra features you don’t really use or need. You’d be surprised at how much cash you can save by trimming the fat here and there.
74. Do odd jobs. Remember when you made a fortune in extra cash as a kid by mowing lawns, doing chores, or cleaning gutters for your neighbors? You can do this as an adult as well. Snap up opportunities to collect cash in exchange for doing things people are way too busy to do for themselves.
75. Become a virtual assistant. Lots of companies can’t afford to keep full-time assistants on staff or don’t have the work space for them. Consider becoming a virtual assistant, either for an individual company or via a third party company that specializes in outsourcing such services.
At the end of the day, temporary or permanent cash flow problems don’t have to be the end of the world. Exploring your options and getting creative can not only mean an end to your financial woes, but present you with exciting new opportunities to boot! For even more ideas for how to make money, especially as a young adult, please check out this great article from GirlZone. And for the rest here's some great business resource links.