We’ve all been in a position where we’ve had to figure out how to make $500 fast. Or maybe for you it was $100, or $1000. Quick cash isn’t going to set you down the road to lock-term financial success, but it might be just what you need to get out of a bind.
The problem isn’t that you’re lazy, it’s that you just need a great idea to get you off to a head start. Every idea I’ve included here has been used by my or somebody I know to generate quick cash. This isn’t an exhaustive list, these are simply the best ways I know of to make fast cash to get out of a financial bind.
You have the work ethic so strap on your steel toes and lets get you some cash!
How To Make $500 Fast
Sell the skill you already have
You know how to do something, market that skill! If you’re a marketer (like me), you can offer marketing services on the side. Perhaps you’re in trades and can help friends do work around their house. Maybe you have some accounting or bookkeeping skills and can help people out with their taxes. Either way, you have something to offer. The easiest way to earn a fast $500 is to capitalize on the skills and contacts that you already have.
Some quick ways to find the jobs:
- Post an ad on Craigslist and Kijiji
- Offer your services on social media
- Print of an ad and bring it to local coffee shops or other places that have a bulletin board
- Phone close family and friends and ask them for referrals
Become a referral source for a realtor or business
Everybody wants more business, and they’re willing to pay for it. I know a realtor who happily hands out $500 checks to people who refer clients to him. It’s worth a chunk of his commission to get a sale that he wouldn’t have otherwise had. If you have some sales skills you can sell nearly any big-ticket items for a commission. Roof replacements, house painting, landscaping and furnace replacement are just a few types of businesses that will pay referral fees.
Negotiate a payment
Ok I get it, this isn’t technically earning $500 fast, but you can sure save a quick few hundred bucks by negotiating a payment. If you’re stuck under a big payment for a vehicle, boat, RV, furniture or electronics, try phoning them up and asking if you can defer your payment for a month. I did this years ago with a Ford financing payment when I was hard-up financially. They told me that they’re happy to work with people who phone and ask but take a harder line with those who just default on the payment. It’s worth a try!
Return something to Costco
I know, this just feels wrong but hear me out. Costco’s return policy allows for a return if you’re dissatisfied with an item for any reason. I recently returned a $600 television because I was not satisfied with the picture. I’m not suggesting that you be dishonest here, but if you’ve made a big purchase at Costco recently that you’re not completely satisfied with, you might consider returning the item and getting your money back. So long as you’re abiding by their incredibly generous return policy, you’re good.
Sell an item for somebody else
If you know somebody that is considering selling a big-ticket item such as a boat or RV, you can offer to sell it for them for a commission. You need to agree with the owner on a commission rate as well as the lowest price they’re willing to sell for. After that, you take care of the listings, returning emails and phone calls as well as test-driving, mechanical inspections and eventually, close the sale for a commission. I know a retired fellow that earns all of his expendable income this way.
Sell something on Ebay
Admittedly I’m a late comer to the Ebay thing. I sold a couple of Snap-On wrench sets this year that I was not able to offload locally. To my surprise, I was easily able to sell them for double what I’d been offered on Craigslist. If you have a unique, high-value item you should try selling it on Ebay. If it doesn’t sell, you’re only out a couple of bucks for the listing.
Sell rustic wall-art or furniture
A friend of mine has recently started selling screen-printed wall pieces. They’re in a basic, 1×2 painted white frame that has that ‘rustic’ look. He’s made $800 in a couple of months outside of his full-time job. Pallet art, rustic country furniture, it’s all really popular right now and you can capitalize on the trend. There are lots of stories out there of people buying cheap furniture, painting and sanding it to look rustic and selling it for four or five times what they paid. If you can sand and paint you can make a good profit.
Buy a lot of furniture/appliances
After our son was born, I took paternity leave to support my wife who was battling PPD. During this time I bought and sold appliances to make some extra cash. It’s not an original idea, I picked it up from Ryan at ReCraigslist. I can say from experience that if you have access to a truck or a van, you can easily make $500 per week buying and selling appliances. You will need a little liquid cash to buy up stock. Clean the machines, test them out, repair if necessary and resell.
Hauling is a lucrative business, just ask the guys at 1-800-Got-Junk. There’s a lot of money in it. We had to renovate our place last month and I paid a guy $320 to haul away the carpet, old cabinets, flooring and other miscellaneous junk. It was a big truck load but it only took him about an hour to load it all and the dump fee would have been around $80. Not bad for a morning’s work. If you have a truck, try advertising on Craigslist to pick up hauling jobs. Find a way to stand out from the pack. You can offer an incentive for each job like give the customer a $20 Starbucks card or something like that.
People hate cleaning gutters. I’ve been a person for a long time and speak from experience here.. Wherever there’s a job nobody wants to do there’s an opportunity. Many gutters are full of leaves and junk and overflowing when it rains. If you have a ladder and a vehicle you can get started. This is a great service because like painting or mowing, you can sell it door-to-door.
Sell your electronics
If you really need the cash, consider selling your electronics. You can come up with some really quick money this way. Many used phones and tablets still sell for the better part of a thousand bucks. The same is true for Ipods, stereo receivers, cameras…you get the idea. You can always buy the stuff again when you’re in better financial shape.
I love this hustle as it takes little more than a vacuum, wash brush, some soap and an eye for detail. Professional detail shops will charge more than $300 for a full detail including shampoo. You can easily charge $100-150 for a wash and interior detail in most areas. Make sure to watch a few videos on how to do a thorough job first!
Post that you’re looking for a couple of days work
Leverage your connections! Most of your friends will want to help you out if you’re looking for work and are willing to do anything. It definitely takes a bit of humility but if you can stomach it, post on social media that you’re looking for some extra work and list the things that you know how to do. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you out when you want to work for it.
Rent out a room
If you have an extra room or garage, consider renting it out. In larger cities you can usually get at least $500 for a room or garage. It doesn’t have to be a long-term arrangement. You can try taking in an exchange student as well. That pays fairly well where we are. I have family that usually has a Chinese student living with them and it’s been a great experience for them to get paid to share their lives with interesting new people.
Downgrade your car
If you need cash badly, you should be willing to at least consider putting your vehicle on the chopping block. Downgrading your car can be an easy way to make some fast cash without working evenings. Remember, when things pick up a bit you can always upgrade your car again. There’s no shame in doing what needs to be done!
Any one of these things along can easily net you a quick five hundred bucks. You can try combining a few of them to earn even more cash.
What have you done to come up with quick cash. Let us know in the comments below!