A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Need Extra Cash? 19 Ways to Make Money Fast

These simple (and quick!) tips for how to make money fast will have you counting cash in no time!

Mixed Race man taking money out of wallet
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Quick money-making ideas

With inflation reaching record-high levels, making ends meet can be a challenge—even with a full-time job. It’s times like these when knowing how to make money fast comes in handy, especially if you might end up short on rent or need a few extra bucks for the holidays. From selling clothes online to renting out your space, these side hustles and quick-turnaround opportunities will get you paid almost instantly.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more money tips, humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.

Little Havana, Miami, Florida, Woman giving guided tour Domino Park
Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images

1. Give local tours

Average pay: $22.85 per hour, plus tips

Requirements: Must apply and pass a background check

If you live in or near a popular city or tourist destination, you have a lucrative opportunity right outside your front door. Many tourists are happy to pay for someone to show them around the area and provide interesting knowledge and local flavor. In fact, many independent tour guides hosting through Airbnb charge upwards of $20 per person per hour (or more).

To get started, apply to be a guide with a tour-booking platform like Tours by Locals, or sign up to host an experience through Airbnb. And don’t be afraid to think big when creating your customized tour. Whether it involves exploring a haunted hotel or biking up a mountain, the more creative and exciting your experience sounds, the more bookings you’ll score—and the more money you’ll earn. It’s a good way to bulk up your “sinking fund,” aka money you set aside for future expenses, like a vacation or new car.


2. Get handy

Average pay: $110 per month

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years of age or older and pass a background check

It has never been easier to make money fast by picking up manual-labor jobs around the neighborhood—from mowing lawns to washing cars and cleaning gutters. Sites such as TaskRabbit will connect you with locals who need someone to perform the occasional task or errand in exchange for payment. It’s a win-win situation: They check an item off their to-do list, and you earn quick cash.

After you register your account and TaskRabbit approves your profile, you’ll pay a $25 fee and can start accepting jobs. You will be paid immediately through direct deposit after each task.


3. Spring into cleaning

Average pay: $100 to $2,000 per month

Requirements: A PayPal or bank account if you’re selling online

Taking an afternoon to organize and clean your living space is just one of the fast and easy ways to find extra money hiding in your home. Brick-and-mortar consignment shops and used bookstores will pay you cold, hard cash for gently used (or new and unopened) clothing, accessories and books. If you need other ideas for how to make money fast, try listing your items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for local pickup to get cash on the spot.

Alternatively, you can sell old stuff on websites like Poshmark or ThredUp to earn serious cash for unused items gathering dust in your home. Successful Poshmark users can make up to $2,000 in a month selling their gently used items on the site.

Stack of Laptops And Tablets Ready For Recycling
Elena Popova/Getty Images

4. Trade in old electronics

Average pay: Varies depending on the item and condition

Requirements: A PayPal or bank account if you’re selling online

Your outdated clothes and unwanted books aren’t the only sneaky moneymakers hiding in your home. Items such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, iPods and even fitness trackers can fetch top dollar from online buyback services like Decluttr and BuyBackWorld.

Selling your old gadgets online is easy: Just fill out information about the item, including its condition, and the site will give you a quoted price. Once you accept the price and send the item through the mail, you will receive payment in your bank or PayPal account.

You can also list old electronics for local pickup on eBay, Facebook Marketplace and other online selling platforms. Nearby buyers will be able to offer you cash in exchange for the items. Just beware of common scams on Facebook Marketplace before posting your wares.


5. Become survey savvy

Average pay: $25.95 per hour

Requirements: Varies by site; most sites have a minimum age requirement, which ranges from 13 to 18

Wondering how to make money fast with minimal effort? You can make quick money just by surfing the web! The MySurvey website will pay you to share your opinion via online surveys. While the average survey pays only 50 cents to $1.25 each, new surveys are available each day, and each one takes less than five minutes to complete, so small pennies can add up to big bucks in no time. In fact, ZipRecruiter estimates that online survey takers make up to $31.06 per hour.

Young delivery woman delivering groceries at house
Maskot/Getty Images

6. Make food and grocery deliveries

Average pay: $23.49 per hour, but varies based on demand and tips

Requirements: Must be at least 21 years of age or older, pass a background check and have dependable transportation, such as a car, bike or scooter

If you’ve been searching for how to make money fast, it’s high time you cash in on the booming food delivery service economy. By delivering groceries and takeout for apps such as Instacart, Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash or Amazon Flex, you can get paid per delivery and even earn tips. Setting up an account is easy, but prepare to wait a few days for the company to process and approve your background check.

If you need the money you’ve earned right away, consider each service’s payment schedule. DoorDash will transfer payments daily or instantly for a fee. Uber Eats also pays its drivers daily, while Instacart delivers payments weekly and Amazon Flex pays twice a week.

Amazon Gift Card
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

7. Sell unused gift cards

Average pay: Varies, depending on the gift card value and store

Requirements: A bank or PayPal account

With resale sites like CardCash, you can turn those unwanted gift cards into cash. Simply enter the store name and amount on your gift card to find out how much it’s worth. While you may not recoup the full value of the card, earning even a fraction of the value is better than letting it gather dust in a drawer. CardCash will pay you via check, direct deposit or PayPal once you enter the card’s number and pin. You can also try selling your gift cards on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or eBay to earn a little more for the card’s value and get quick cash too. As you learn how to make money fast, be aware of ways you could lose it just as quickly. Keep an eye out for gift card scams, which could put you and your hard-earned cash at risk.

Woman taking nature photographs outdoors
MoMo Productions/Getty Images

8. Post photos for a profit

Average pay: Up to $10,000 per month

Requirements: Must own the necessary rights to the images you sell

Amateurs and professionals alike can post and sell their photos as prints, T-shirts, phone cases and more online at Fine Art America. Assuming you already have some original photos on hand, it takes only a few hours to create a profile and upload your images to the site. Once the purchases start rolling in, Fine Art America will transfer payments to you on the 15th of each month, after the 30-day return window for the purchase expires.

Shift to an abundance mindset and start your own business—snap some shots of your children’s sports games, recitals or school functions, and sell them to local parents who want a memento of their child’s experience. If you already have connections in the community, you will be able to quickly launch your business and receive payment in cash.

Vermont Home by Simo Design
Joe Schmelzer/Getty Images

9. Rent out your room (or even your couch!)

Average pay: More than $13,800 per year

Requirements: Must be 18 years of age or older and obey any rules on renting your property as issued by your local government, landlord, homeowners association or board

If you’re hunting for quick ways to make money, look no further than your own home. Thanks to sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, you can cash in on your spare bedroom by renting it out to vacationers who pass through your city. Create a listing and start accepting reservations the same day. All you need are solid furnishings, great photos to show off your space and permission from your landlord or city.

Not sure how to get started? Scott McGillivray, host of Income Property on At Home with Family Handyman, shared his top tips on how to turn your spare space into a revenue source with the Family Handyman team.

Directly above view of a man working on laptop in coffee shop, personal perspective view
Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

10. Test websites and apps

Average pay: Rates vary, depending on the test type

Requirements: Must be 18 years of age or older and have a PayPal account as well as a mobile or desktop device with a microphone

Techies with a little extra time on their hands can get paid to visit websites and apps, complete sets of tasks and share their experiences via UserTesting. To become a UserTesting contributor, take 15 to 20 minutes to fill out a form confirming your device meets the system requirements and share basic information, like your name, postal code and PayPal email address. Once you receive an acceptance notice, you can start testing sites and apps—and making money!—right away.

Father and son playing guitars together
John Fedele/Getty Images

11. Teach your talent

Average pay: Up to $28 per hour

Requirements: Some educational requirements may apply; may need to be enrolled in or have at least a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university

Even without a whiteboard and desk, tutoring is still an easy way to make money. After all, becoming a teacher requires little more than a space and a willing student. You could offer music lessons to young musicians, provide test prep for college hopefuls or tutor local students in school subjects in which you have expertise.

Launch your tutoring career and start earning money by creating a profile on Tutor.com or advertising your services at local schools and community centers. Start booking students and you can get paid in cash after each tutoring session.

Woman unloading laundry from white washing machine
brizmaker/Getty Images

12. Clean clothes

Average pay: $20 per bag, plus a $3 service fee and tips

Requirements: Must have laundry equipment (like a washer and dryer), a reliable vehicle to pick up and drop off deliveries, and a smartphone with internet access to download and use the app

Good news, laundry lovers! With LaundryCare, you can earn quick money to pick up, wash, iron, fold and deliver laundry for clients in your area. Simply apply and create a profile on the service’s mobile app, then you can start receiving and scheduling orders and accepting payments right away. At $20 per bag, plus a service fee and tips, you will earn hundreds of dollars by doing a week’s worth of laundry. Bonus: You’ll get paid through the app and can cash out payments any day of the week at your convenience.

Oregon county government vehicle painted to encourage voting
UCG/Getty Images

13. Place an ad sticker on your car

Average pay: $50 to $400 per month

Requirements: Must drive a car and have a valid driver’s license and car insurance

Wrap your car in ad material, and you could earn up to $400 per month via Free Car Media. After submitting a few bits of information, including your vehicle type, where you live and your daily commute length and time, the service will pair you with an advertiser who will pay you to slap a sticker on your car and continue about your daily routine. An advertisement on your rear window typically pays $50 or more per month, while wrapping your entire vehicle can net you up to $400 a month. Just keep in mind that keeping stickers on your car can kill its resale value, so don’t forget to remove them before putting your vehicle on the market.

Group of dog walkers working together
LuckyBusiness/Getty Images

14. Walk or care for local pets

Average pay: $43 per hour

Requirements: Must pass a background check

Believe it or not, dog walking is one of the best-paid side hustles in the United States: You can make up to $43 per hour, or $23,000 a year. Pet owners will hire walkers and sitters through sites like Rover, and all it takes is creating a profile and passing a background check. But if you need ideas for how to make money fast, avoid extra fees and skip the paperwork, you can offer to walk or watch your neighbors’ pups while they are at work or out of town.

Shoveling Snow from Sidewalk
terminator1/Getty Images

15. Start a snow-removal service

Average pay: Up to $75 per hour

Requirements: None

Got a snow blower and a few hours to spare? The next major snowstorm in your area could be a money-making opportunity. Word has it that you can make big bucks by offering to remove snow from neighbors’ driveways and sidewalks in the winter. According to HomeAdvisor, the going rate for sidewalk snow removal is $25 to $75 per hour—as long as you’re willing to bundle up and knock on a few doors. Once you’ve made a name for yourself in your area, learn how to negotiate higher rates and bring in even more through this side hustle.

Christmas Lights
Fotomicar/Getty Images

16. Install Christmas lights

Average pay: $1.25 to $3 per linear foot of lights

Requirements: Might need installation gear, such as ladders and light clips

Putting up Christmas lights for neighbors, family members and friends is another seasonal job that can rake in hundreds of dollars almost instantly. According to price-comparison site Thumbtack, most installers charge $1.25 to $3 per linear foot of lights, plus double that price for lights on a second story. Wrapping outdoor trees with lights can cost $60 to $1,200 each, depending on the tree’s size. And don’t forget about the removal fees, which cost about half the installation fee. All these services can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per season in cold, hard cash.

Caucasian man driving car
Inuk Studio/Getty Images

17. Rent out your car

Average pay: Varies based on demand and location

Requirements: Must be at least 21 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license and own a car that meets maintenance and safety requirements

The car sitting idle in your garage or on the street is an untapped resource for fast cash. Sure, you could trade in your car, but you could potentially earn even more by renting it out. Services such as Getaround and Turo connect you with people who will pay to rent and drive your car for a few hours or days. It takes only about 30 minutes to set up an account, and you can start renting your car as soon as your account is reviewed and approved. Turo pays via direct deposit within three hours of the rental’s stop time, while Getaround issues payments via check or PayPal on the 15th of every month.

woman making jewelry

18. Turn your hobby into a business

Average pay: $45,000 per year

Requirements: Must be 13 years of age or older and own the rights to the merchandise sold in your shop

If you have an eye for design, create homemade crafts to sell on Etsy. The site features wares ranging from clothing and jewelry to home decor and toys, all sold by vendors and crafters around the world.

If you frequent garage sales, thrift stores or flea markets, you can buy knickknacks on the cheap, spruce them up and sell them again on Etsy for a profit. Once you have the merchandise to sell, opening your Etsy shop is easy: Simply post photos and descriptions on the site to get started. It can be a fun (and rewarding!) option if you’re looking to make money fast.

woman handing her credit card to cashier

19. Adjust your spending habits

Average savings: About $1,500 per year

Requirements: None

Let’s face it: Your frappuccino addiction is burning a hole in your wallet. In the spirit of the time-honored saying “a penny saved is a penny earned,” nix an expensive habit and watch the savings roll in. Avoid eating out for a week. Stop buying things you don’t need for a full month. Or give up smoking entirely. (Bonus: That last one will help you save on health care too.)


  • ZipRecruiter: “How Much Do Online Survey Taker Jobs Pay per Hour?”
  • HomeAdvisor: “How Much Is the Cost of Snow Removal?”

Brooke Nelson Alexander
Brooke is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for Reader's Digest. She's a two-time Emmy-nominated reporter with nearly 10 years of publishing experience, and her work has been recognized by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.