If you’re saying this sentence a lot, it might be time to reevaluate. But most people find themselves in this situation at one point or another, so it’s also helpful to know what your options are.
So how can a motivated person make an extra buck? Let's break down some ways to earn money, in a pretty fast manner. Because when you find yourself saying this, chances are it's not because you need money in the future – you need the money right now.
How To Earn Extra Money
The first thing to remember is that you can almost always go out an earn money. There are tons of ways to do it, depending on how much you need, how much time you have, and what you're willing to do. For example, you could:
- Cash out rewards. Credit card holders often have rewards sitting around unused (I recently discovered I had 23,000 Delta Skymiles – enough for two round-trip flights). Make a list of every credit card account you’ve had and log in to see if you have rewards collecting dust. You can often redeem these for cash or a statement credit.
- Sell gift cards. If you’re like me, you have one or two gift cards in your wallet with money on them. You can sell gift cards online through giftcardgranny.com or cardpool.com. You’ll only earn about 90% of the gift card’s total value, but it’s better than not using those cards at all.
- Find unclaimed money. One of the best ways to get easy money is by finding money you already have. Unclaimed money includes deposits, tax returns and other forms of money that are legally yours. Think of it as finding loose change under the couch cushions – but on a larger scale. You can go to missingmoney.com to search for your name. The process to verify and receive your claim can take several weeks, so don’t rely on it for quick cash.
- Ask on Social Media. Sure, it may be embarrassing to post your financial status on Facebook – but you never know who may have the perfect opportunity for you. I’ve made great money by dog sitting, helping people move or doing data entry – all gigs I wouldn’t have gotten if people didn’t know I was looking. You could also give sites like GoFundMe a chance.
- Find a profitable skill and monetize it. The best way to earn good money is by using a skill you have that others don’t. For example, someone on Reddit recently posted that they make $500 a month by fixing other people’s bikes. Write down every talent you have and ask your closest friends and family what you can offer them. Start by posting on Craigslist, Upwork or Fiverr and build a resume with testimonials.
- Sell plasma. Back in college, I sold plasma for $20 a pop. It was easy money – sit in a chair for an hour and try not to move your arm too much. You got paid bonuses if you donated a certain number of times – some people claim you can earn $300 if you go as often as possible. And there are other types of bodily fluids you could sell as well…just saying.
- Find stuff to recycle. Honestly, go to a local park or the beach and find bottles and cans. This isn't glamorous and it won't make you rich, but you can earn some money to buy food or essentials if you spend some time doing it.
The important thing to remember is that this list is almost endless. There are so many ways to earn more money, you just have to do the work.
Why You Need Money
Now that you have plenty of ideas on how to earn money, it’s time to analyze why you’re in this situation. Is it because of an emergency that came up? Or do you often find yourself strapped for cash right before payday hits?
Whether this is a new experience or a constant struggle, you need to be proactive rather than actively stressed out. Money stress leads to bad decisions, like taking out a payday loan, putting expenses on a credit card and taking a job you hate.
Examine your cash flow and see how much you’re spending compared to how much you’re bringing in. If you’re spending $1,600 a month and only earning $1,700, you can stop wondering why you always feel broke. It may be worthwhile to track your spending consistently to see where you’re wasting money – and then cut back.
What are some thing you have done when you needed extra cash?