With inflation still raging and a possible recession on the horizon, millions of people are looking for ways to make money fast and pad their incomes. According to a recent QuickBooks survey, 65% of respondents who plan to start a new business in 2023 said they’d continue their day job, and 66% said they wanted to start a business to boost their income amid inflation.
“Today’s economic environment is anything but stable. Having a side hustle not only helps to pad your bank account and bolster financial security, but brings along psychological benefits,” says Christina Curtis, founder of Curtis Leadership Consulting, an executive coaching firm in Denver. “Having more income for that rainy day brings about a stronger sense of courage and willingness to take calculated risks that can advance your career.”
However, you don’t need to invest in launching a major business to reap the benefits of extra side income. Leveraging technology to take on small jobs and tasks can help you earn extra cash quickly.
How to make money fast
Consider these options if you’re looking for ways to make more money that don’t require a large startup investment or specialized skills—and result in quick cash.
1. Become a rideshare driver
If you have your own car and it meets certain qualifications, you could join the ranks of rideshare drivers and make money for giving customers rides around town. It only takes a few days to get approved to drive, in most cases. And both Uber and Lyft pay every week, though getting paid even faster for a small fee is possible.
As far as how much you can make, it depends a lot on where you’re located, the trip fare, any promotions taking place, and whether your riders add a tip. According to The Rideshare Guy, most Uber drivers will make around $15 to $20 per hour.
2. Make deliveries
If you want to earn money driving but aren’t interested in making awkward car conversations, you can make deliveries instead. Apps such as DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub, and Instacart focus on delivering fast food, groceries, and other items, with a similar sign-up and payment process as ridesharing.
Shipt is another app that pays you to do shopping and/or pick up and drop off packages to customers’ homes. Workers earn an average of $25 to $35 per hour and are guaranteed at least $16 per hour. You can get paid weekly or daily.
3. Help others with simple, everyday tasks
For those who are particularly handy, offering your services to people who need tasks done around the house is another way to make money fast. You can rely on word of mouth, or sign up on a platform like TaskRabbit, which connects Taskers with customers who need help putting together Ikea furniture, mounting TVs, cleaning, and more. Plus, you can set your own rates and keep 100% of your earnings, including tips (a small registration fee may be required to get started). Most people are approved to start tasking within four business days.
4. Pet sit
House and pet sitting can be a good way to make money fast, especially if you enjoy spending time with animals and have a flexible schedule. Again, you can rely on referrals and word of mouth to find paying customers, though it may take time to build up a network.
To speed up the process, you can sign up for an app such as Rover, which allows you to set your rates and select the type of pet care services you offer (such as walks, overnight stays, etc.) and then connect with customers and get paid through the platform. Payments show up in your account two days after completing a service. Additional tips are available after 24 hours.
5. Sell clothes and accessories online
Want to make money fast and clear out some closet space? Multiple online consignment stores allow you to sell clothes, shoes, handbags, and more.
Poshmark, for instance, lets you set up an online closet where you showcase items for sale. Brand names and well-designed posts featuring high-quality pictures, detailed descriptions, and competitive prices will likely sell faster. Once a sold item reaches its destination, funds are released to your account within three days.
Similar services include Mercari, ThredUp, Depop, and The RealReal. But you don’t have to stick with consignment stores; services such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist also allow you to sell your belongings without a middleman, though it may take more time to vet buyers, and you may receive more lowball offers.
6. Sell unused gift cards
A 2022 study by CreditCards.com found that 47% of Americans have at least one unused gift card. So if you have gift cards from holidays past collecting dust, consider selling them online at a discount for cash.
Raise is an online marketplace where you can list your gift cards for partial value and users can buy them. Once a sale is made, a 15% fee is deducted and funds are directly deposited to your PayPal or bank account. If you don’t want the burden of finding buyers, a site like CardCash will pay you upfront for your gift cards (up to 92% of their value) and resell them.
7. Earn a bank bonus
If you’re looking for a one-off opportunity to earn extra money, consider opening a checking or savings account that offers a new customer bonus. It takes little effort, and can result in an extra $200 or $300 in the bank. Remember that to qualify for a bonus, you may be required to make a minimum initial deposit or keep the account open for a minimum period.
8. Take surveys
When you have extra time, you can make a few bucks an hour by filling out surveys, quizzes, watching videos, and more through sites such as Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, and Google Opinion Rewards.
Survey Junkie, for instance, lets you earn virtual points for answering surveys about products or participating in focus groups. Those points can then be redeemed for cash. The company notes that you won’t get rich or replace your full-time job, but it is an opportunity to share your opinions for a little extra cash. You can earn as much as $40 per month by completing three surveys daily.
9. Trade in old electronics
There’s a good chance you have an old smartphone or tablet sitting in a drawer somewhere, no longer being used. To make money fast, consider selling it to a buyback service such as ItsWorthMore, Decluttr, Gazelle, or Trademore, where you can trade in old phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and more. The amount you get paid depends on the exact model of the item and its condition.
Gazelle notes that once it receives your item, the transaction is processed in a day or two, and as long as the model and condition are confirmed during the inspection, the payment is processed within three to five business days. Amazon and PayPal are the fastest ways to get paid. Similarly, Trademore pays out within five business days of receiving and confirming the item, via PayPal or a virtual Mastercard gift card.
10. Host a yard sale
A yard sale is a great way to declutter your home and make money same-day, in cash, by selling unwanted belongings to neighbors. Sites such as YardSaleSearch.com, GarageSaleFinder.com, and eBay Classifieds can help you get the word out.
To ensure a successful sale, put items out in an organized fashion. Start early on a Thursday or Friday, around 6:00 a.m., to catch the crowd of people dropping their kids off at school. And don’t put a price on anything—you’ll save yourself some headache by letting customers come to you with their best offers.
11. Rent a parking space
If you live near a major attraction, such as an amusement park or stadium—or there’s a major event happening near your home, like a parade—you can make quick money by renting out your parking space for the day. Maybe you don’t have a car, and that precious parking real estate could generate daily cash.
If you aren’t sure how to find a tenant, consider a service such as CurbFlip or SpotHero, which let you rent out your driveway, parking space, or garage. These sites take a fee but also vet drivers, allowing you to manage payments within the platform. Just be sure that you aren’t violating any lease or homeowners association agreement terms if you list your parking spot.
12. Rent out your car or RV
After plummeting during the pandemic, the cost of renting a vehicle has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Global car rental prices are predicted to rise another 6.8% in 2023, according to forecasts by CWT. In turn, affordable car-sharing services are gaining popularity.
If you don’t mind strangers driving your vehicle, you can rent it when you’re not using it. Turo, for example, allows you to rent your car and even offers a calculator to see how much you could earn based on your vehicle. After your first completed trip, payment is made within three business days. Subsequent trips pay out three hours after the trip ends.
Recreational vehicles have also been incredibly popular since the pandemic. Outdoorsy is a similar service that lets you rent your RV to travelers. Payments are automatically deposited to your bank account 48 hours after a guest begins their trip. However, it can take your bank another three to five days to process the payment.
13. Find out if you have unclaimed property
It might sound like a scam, but there is a real possibility that you have unclaimed property being held by the government, such as an old bank account, insurance policy, dividend check, etc. Finding it is one way to make money fast. Each state has its own database of unclaimed property; to find out if you have money waiting to be claimed, check the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ directory.
14. Test out websites and apps
You don’t have to be a tech expert to get paid for user testing. As long as you have a device with a working microphone and a PayPal account, you can make money for visiting websites, apps, or digital products, completing a set of tasks, and sharing your thoughts.
One site that facilitates paid user testing is Usertesting.com. After completing a 15- to 20-minute practice test, you’ll find out if you’re accepted in a few days. The amount you can earn depends on the test type, but you’ll always see the pay range in your dashboard. Payments are sent to your PayPal account after seven days. Sometimes, customers may send you a bonus for completing longer or more complex projects.
15. Do laundry
Not everyone has the luxury of a washer and dryer in their home, or the time to do laundry for a busy family. Maybe you do. If so, you can make money by doing laundry for others.
Laundry Care is an example of an app-based wash-and-fold service that lets you do laundry from home and pick up and drop off orders for customers. The typical order is two bags, averaging 15 pounds each. You get paid $20 per bag, plus a service fee of $3. You can also perform other services, such as ironing, which is an additional per-item payment. Customers can also tip you, and you keep 100% of that amount. Payments can be cashed out at any time and deposited into your bank account in one to three business days.
16. Put ads on your car
Another way to make money with your car is by allowing companies like Wrapify, Carvertise, and Nickelytics to put their ads on it. These services will pay you each month during a campaign for adding a decal, sticker, or wrap to your car that promotes a product or service.
Wrapify, for example, pays around $180 to $452 monthly, depending on the coverage level. Carvertise says it pays $450 to $1,500 per campaign. And Nickelytics says most of its drivers earn between $175 and $250 per month, though some campaigns may pay up to $500. All these services pay out monthly.
Starting a side hustle might sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of ways to make money fast don’t require much time, investment, or equipment. It’s up to you how much time you want to dedicate to earning a side income, whether 10 hours a week or 10 minutes once.
Just be sure that however you choose to make money, you put those funds to good use. Earning side income is a great way to pad your emergency fund, pay off debt, or start investing.