Want to make some extra money on the side without taking on a part time job or being tied down to a client? Do you want o be able to make that extra money quickly?
You've heard of money making ideas like starting a blog or starting a business, but those ideas take time. While they have great long term potential to earn extra money, sometimes you need to earn that extra money fast. And it can be hard to find ideas where you can actually do that.
Maybe you have a bill coming due, or you're looking for some extra cash pretty quick to do a fun activity. No matter what the reason, you need to remember that there are ways to make money quickly. And if you like quick money, make sure that you check out our guide to How To Get Free Money (yes, potentially $1000s).
However, when it comes to quick money, you should know that it's not great money. These ideas are real, they work, but they won't make you a millionaire by any means. They will help you close a small gap in your budget or earn a little extra when you need it.
You can also check out our 10 Best Money Making Apps if you want mobile access to making money!
1. Fill Out Online Surveys
If you have just a few minutes, you could spend it filling out online surveys. There are multiple sites that will pay you to do so and it’s very easy. All you have to do is register, and start filling answering questions. Typically these are online market research surveys for big brands. Some companies even pay you just for installing an app or playing a game!
Some of the most popular online survey sites include:
- Survey Junkie – Earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Click here to sign up.
- Swagbucks Surveys - Swagbucks now offers a survey section and you can get $5 just for signing up.
- Opinion Outpost – Earn cash for filling out surveys.
- Fetch Rewards - Earn giftcards by filling out surveys and tasks on this app. Click here to sign up.
- Branded Surveys - Fill out surveys and earn cash and giftcards.
- Special offer for 18-24 year olds: PineCone offers unique high paying surveys for just your age group. Check it out here.
2. Test Websites
Website testing, in my opinion, is one of the more fun ways to make decent money fast.
Website owners often want unbiased critiques of their website usability which is where website testers come in. Website testers will browse a website and record their thoughts of the usability and design. As the tester you get paid pretty well for your opinion!
With UserTesting.com you can earn $10 for testing one website which only takes about twenty minutes. Payments are made daily via PayPal beginning seven days after you complete your first assignment.
3. Dog Sit Or Baby Sit
Notice the order of operations there? Hahah. Anyway, if you have some time (like less than an hour), you can sign up to dog sit or baby sit for people near you.
If you're a pet lover, check out Rover! It's an app that connects you with people looking for dog sitters, house sitters, and even dog walkers. It's super simple to sign up and get booked for gigs in your area!
If watching children is more your thing, check out Sittercity. You can sign up in minutes to be a baby sitter in your area. You do have to clear a background check, but that's quick - and then you can start getting gigs nearby. One of the best things to do is be available for last minute needs - they pay well and can likely work around your schedule.
To get started, check out these services:
4. Start Delivering Food
If you have a car, you should start considering food and grocery delivery services. You've probably heard of Uber and Lyft already, but maybe driving passengers around isn't your thing.
The cool thing is that delivering food and groceries is a service that's continuing to grow, and you can earn some quick money without having to drive people around.
Another growing one is doing grocery shopping for people via Instacart!
While it usually takes longer than an hour to get cleared for delivering or diving with Uber or these other services, once you're cleared, you can start at an hour or less each day.
Even if you don't have a car, you can potentially deliver food and groceries using a bike or scooter depending on your city.
To get started, you can sign up with one of these major services:
5. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards
It seems like the older I get the more gift cards I get – a lot of them are for places I never even go to! While I appreciate the gesture I also don’t want to let those gift cards go unused. Luckily there are tons of places where you can cash in unwanted gift cards.
If you need money on the spot you can now sell your unwanted gift cards at Coinstar machines. Just look for the special kiosks, scan your gift card, and you’ll instantly get a cash offer.
We recommend you check out CardPool to sell your giftcards. They have the best prices, and they typically offer a bonus if you select an Amazon giftcard in exchange.
Bonus: Look for Odd Jobs on Craigslist
Need money today? Don’t forget to check your local Craigslist “gig” section for odd jobs. You can snag jobs that range from cleaning, help with moving, lawn care, and so much more.
The cool thing about Craigslist gigs is that they are typically small jobs that you can easily do in a few hours or a day and earn some extra cash.
All of these types of jobs should be paid upon completion and some will pay very well.
Earning a little money on the side doesn’t mean you have to take on a part time job. Instead, be creative. There are literally hundreds of ways for you to make money fast without selling your soul or chaining yourself to a desk.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.