Set a Goal
Know how much you want to make, what you’ll use it for, and when you want to have it by. Having goals will not only help you reach them faster, but you’ll also know when to stop so you can get back to investing in your long-term wealth.
Paying off a credit card, getting current on bills, or saving $1,000 are good examples of goals you can reach quickly. Saving for the kids’ college tuition or paying off your house are goals you should consider using longer-term methods to achieve.
Choose the Right Methods
There are methods for making money that have the capacity for high earnings but typically won’t produce that level of income until months or years in the future. Alternatively, you can find survey sites that’ll pay you within a few days, but the earning potential is low.
When choosing the right methods to make money fast, you’re ideally looking for something in the middle — moderate levels of income that can be achieved within a few weeks. Here are a few examples of fast money opportunities that hit that sweet spot.
Find Something to Sell
You might literally be sitting on the extra cash you need right now. To make money fast, find something, or some things, to sell.
Choose items that will sell for more than just a few dollars such as furniture, electronics, and collectibles. Facebook Marketplace and eBay are great places to list items, but you might need to wait days or even weeks for the right offer and payment.
If you have old phones, CDs, DVDs, games, books, or LEGO® to get rid of, try selling them to Decluttr. You can easily scan or enter the item’s barcode and instantly see what Decluttr will pay you for it. Shipping to them is free and once they receive your items, you’ll get paid the next day.
Related: 18 Best Selling Apps to Sell Stuff Online (and Locally)
Offer Your Services
Everyone has something to offer, and chances are you can find a place to offer it online. There are a variety of websites that make finding service-based jobs like babysitting, housesitting, and house or office cleaning jobs much easier than it used to be.
One example for dog walkers is Rover. Rover connects pet owners with dog walkers and pet sitters on its website and app. This is a great way for animal lovers to make money fast. If you’re interested in making money by walking dogs, you can sign up to dog walk for Rover. You’ll start getting paid as soon as two days after your first walk.
Rent Your Space
When my husband and I purchased our home, we had three bedrooms and two bathrooms but only two of us. Since our room was in the back of the house, we decided to supplement our income by renting out the front room on Airbnb.
Airbnb is a convenient side hustle because the main time commitment is cleaning your house. And if you live in a travel destination or near a university, there’s usually a big need for short-term rentals.
If you’re not sure you could handle strangers in and out of your house so frequently, consider renting a room long-term. You’ll have more control over who’s there, how long they stay, and you can skip furnishing the room yourself.
Use Skills You Already Have
What are the skills in your arsenal that make you unique? Take a minute to think about your degrees, past work experience, hobbies, etc. and try to find a job that incorporates them. Here are a few options:
Freelance writing. If you’re good with words and can make a deadline, then freelance writing is a great way to make quick money. Aim to specialize in one or two topics you have personal or professional experience in and become an expert in them. This will help you get higher-paying clients.
Web development. Building a website no longer involves starting from scratch with long lines of complex code. If you want to make money online designing websites, you can do it relatively quickly and find online tutorials for your code questions.
Virtual assistant. Even if you don’t feel like you have any special skills, you can still make fast money online as a virtual assistant. A few common tasks include bookkeeping, research, data entry, and managing emails. You might have to be available during certain hours of the day, but all the work is remote so you can do it from anywhere.
For more ideas on monetizing the skills you already have, search the internet for online jobs. You might find sites already hiring for jobs you didn’t know existed.
Ask Your Boss
Want to know how to make money fast without finding a new side gig? Start with the place you already work. Volunteer or ask your boss if you can work overtime. Federal law regulates that nonexempt employees make time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a week.
Also, negotiate for a raise. If you’ve exceeded the scope of the job you were hired for or it’s been more than a year since your last raise, start the conversation with your boss. Ask what you need to do to get a raise, and explain why you think you deserve one.
Remember that W-2 employees pay fewer taxes on their earnings than independent contractors, so making more money at your full-time job is always a smart move.
Narrow Your Focus
At first, you’ll probably try a lot of methods to make fast money online. You may be tempted to keep all of your side hustles because they’re all profitable. But once you figure out which gig is best suited for you, drop the ones that aren’t.
If you focus on the one or two most profitable side hustles, or the ones you most enjoy, your potential to make money from those will be higher than if you worked 10 online jobs.
Track Your Time
Still trying to figure out what to stick with? Track your time to see which jobs are making you the most money for the effort you put in.
If side hustle A brings in $100 for 6 hours of work and side hustle B brings in $75 for 2 hours of work, don’t look at the $100 payout and assume you should stick with A. When you track your time, you can see side hustle A brings in $16.67 per hour while B brings in $37.50 per hour.
Since you want to get as much value for your time as possible, this is a good exercise to determine which side hustle to keep. Download a free desktop or mobile app like Clockify to start tracking your time and see which of your side hustles is most profitable.
Treat your side hustle like a business and you have the opportunity for quick cash whenever you need it. That means even in months you don’t necessarily need extra cash, you should still maintain a minimum level of effort to show potential clients you’re still around.
Staying consistent with your side hustle doesn’t mean sacrificing your long-term wealth-building. There are situations where having a quick way to make money online can help your long-term goals like in the event of job loss.
Fast Money Isn’t the Same as Easy Money
There are plenty of real ways to make money fast. Avoid scams and time consuming low-paying gigs. Be willing to put in the work and you won’t need to stress about any unexpected expenses. If you follow this list of dos and don’ts, you should be bringing in extra money in no time.