According to the Federal Reserve, about 40% of Americans wouldn’t know where to turn if they needed $400 for an emergency. A large number of people simply don’t have that kind of money set aside “just in case.”
If you’re one of these people and you need money now, you might not have the slightest idea where to get it. You might even think that you don’t have any options available to you.
But there are plenty of legitimate ways to get money fast when you’re in a bind. Here are seven of your best options.
1. Sell Stuff You Have Sitting Around in Your Home
Take a walk around the inside of your home and look at all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. If you need money now, you can get it by selling some of the stuff that you don’t use anymore.
For example, do you have hundreds of CDs or DVDs that are just taking up space at this point? You can turn them into cash by either selling them one-by-one or selling them in bulk to an interested buyer.
You can also sell things like computers, tablets, and cell phones that you don’t need anymore. You can get rid of clothes as well by putting them up for sale and selling them for cheap to get the money you need.
You’re likely surrounded by stuff that other people would pay good money for. Don’t pass up on the opportunity to sell it off.
2. Look for Unused Gift Cards and Sell Them, Too
Gift cards have turned into some of the most popular gifts for birthdays, Christmases, and other holidays. But unfortunately, an alarming number of people never get around to using the gift cards that they get from other people.
Believe it or not, about $1 billion worth of gift cards are given and never used every year. Do you have any unused gift cards sitting around in your home right now?
If you stumble upon gift cards that still have a balance, you can sell them on an online marketplace. You can also find websites that will take your unused gift cards off your hands and pay you cash for them.
3. Find Free Things and Sell Them for a Profit
Drive around your neighborhood on the night before your next garbage day and look at some of the things people are throwing out. You shouldn’t have to look too hard to find at least a few items that are not “garbage.”
From TVs to furniture, people throw out all kinds of things these days. If you’re lucky enough to find them out on the curb, you can take them if you want.
You can then turn around and find a way to sell them for a profit. If, for example, you find an old dining room table that has seen better days, you can fix it up and polish it before selling it on a marketplace.
You might be surprised to see how much people are willing to pay you for something you got for free.
4. Rent Out One of the Rooms in Your House
Is there a spare bedroom in your home that you’re not using at the moment? Instead of allowing it to sit empty, turn it into a steady stream of income.
Maybe there is someone moving to your area who wants to rent a room before committing to leasing an apartment or buying a house. Or maybe there is a college student who needs to rent a room for their next semester at school.
You can find someone to rent your room from you for a few hundred dollars each month. It’s an easy way to make money without putting forth much effort on your part.
5. Apply to Drive for a Ridesharing Company
Ridesharing companies are always looking for new drivers these days. Uber and Lyft, in particular, constantly compete for the services of new drivers.
If you have a car that’s on the newer side and a clean driving record, you can apply to drive for these companies. From there, you can drive as often as you want and make money whenever you have free time.
6. Look for Short-Term Gigs in Your Area
The so-called “gig economy” has taken hold of many Americans and changed their approach to work. Rather than working one main job, lots of people are piecing together a career by taking on a variety of different “gigs.”
You can find gigs on sites like Craigslist. If you have a free afternoon and need money now, you can get paid to do things like mow a person’s lawn or help a person move.
Look around for short-term gigs in your area anytime you need to get some money fast. You should be able to find quite a few gigs geared to your specific talents.
7. Take Out a Cash Advance
If you have a credit card in your wallet, it may offer what’s called a cash advance. It is, hands down, the easiest option for those who need money now.
You can take your credit card down to an ATM or bank and take out a cash advance on it. This will allow you to borrow money from yourself since you’ll be using your own credit card balance to take money out.
Find out more about how a cash advance works and how it can help you.
Need Money Now? There Are Lots of Ways to Get It
Just because you don’t have hundreds of dollars stashed away in the bank doesn’t mean you can’t cover an emergency cost. You just need to think hard about how you can do it.
Try doing one of the things we’ve mentioned here when you find yourself searching for a way to make money fast. They’re all terrific suggestions for those who need money now.
You can also find out how to start saving more money so that you always have some set aside for a rainy day. Read some of the articles on our blog to see how easy it is to do it.