How to Make Money Fast… and with not much Effort
When things are tough and money is low you start thinking about every single weird way of making money legally or not that you can possibly think of. Some of the plans that I’ve come up with on how to make money fast have included selling body parts and internal organs, auctioning my stuffed animal collection at school fun days (I was 25 by the way – still had my teddy bears though!), turning to armed robbery (I was REALLY desperate) and hacking the lottery (like I mentioned – desperate and needed to make money fast).
And the one thing that I discovered during those incredibly lean times is that suddenly every ‘Make Money Fast’, so called amazing and guaranteed offer looks incredibly appealing and completely logical. Despite the fact that it requires $xxxx to get started before you earn money and looks and feels like a scam in every sense. There were times that the only reason I didn’t opt in to some of these plans was because I didn’t have those however many dollars, and other times where my pure common sense reigned thank goodness!
But another thing I learned is that there are MANY ways of how to earn money and saving money, both immediate and long term, that are legitimate and don’t require some insane action on your part. So in order to save you some potentially embarrassing and often costly mistakes – here is what I’ve learned. These are only a handful of tips on how to make money fast and legally.
Perhaps, I’ll explore it in more depth some other time if you’re interested. I split them into three sections. Which suits you best will depend on how needy you are and/or how much time you can spare. Let’s start with ‘here and now’.
Make cash NOW! – about $100 IMMEDIATELY
Become a day laborer and do casual jobs
There are a number of day laborer outfits that pay cash at the end of the day so they’re a great way to make fast cash. Also doing casual odd jobs like mowing lawns, walking dogs and helping out at catering events are great one day jobs that can earn you fast cash. This requires nothing more than a visit to the park, a walk down the street or a Classifieds search which are all free. There are also a number of location based casual job sites (and smart phone apps) where people post a casual job they need done and you can offer your services, or else you create a profile and casual job providers choose you based on ratings and your location. Earning fast money is becoming a massive industry and with a little research, the possibilities are endless!
Sell your stuff
I do not mean sell yourself – I mean those things that have been lying around gathering dust for some time will most likely sell. You’d be surprised at the things people buy sometimes! But visit auction sites, pawn shops and those ‘We Buy Your Unwanted Goods For Cash’ shops. Just remember that your belongings are not worth nearly what you think if you’re using a site like eBay then keep postage low or your stuff might just carry on gathering dust and don’t EVER misrepresent your item. If it’s damaged – say so. Some people look for broken stuff so they can raid them for parts and so forth (sold 2 old phones and a remote control car that way!). Your trees (yes you can actually sell the trees on your property – who knew?), garden produce, scrap metal, and recyclable items are also good, fast cash earners.
Rent out anything you own
Visit Craigslist and search ‘for rent’, ignore all the property listings and you’ll see what people are renting out to all and sundry. Everything from linen to horse trailers are available and when people don’t want to invest in something themselves, they’ll try to rent it anywhere they can. If you own a car, search for lift sharing clubs where people pay for rides to anywhere and market it yourself. If you get 4 people going in the same general direction – EVERYDAY, all paying towards gas, how much do you think you’ll make? If you have a couch or a spare room then sign up on Couchsurfing.comair or AirBnB and rent it out. You can get some crazy characters stay at your place, but they always make for interesting dinner stories in following years! Just make sure you stay safe and don’t put yourself or your family at risk – EVER!
There are certain items that you have to buy every month, but if you shop smart you will save a few dollars every time you go shopping. Make a list, use coupons from sites like Discountrue.com, and DO NOT buy anything you don’t really need. My brother has a theory that as long as he always has a bag of rice in his cupboard he can survive for at least a month. And he’s not wrong – there’s a lot of ways to turn a bag of plain old rice into a complete meal! My choice is noodles, but you’ll probably have your own – rice is normally cheaper, though.
Spend Smart to Make Short Term Cash ($1,000 in 1-3 months)
Shop for cheaper insurance
Do not EVER cancel your insurance entirely. Murphy is an evil little man who waits for things like that and you will get robbed, have an accident or be a victim of Mother Nature. But there are literally HUNDREDS of insurance comparison sites and more insurance companies and brokers than you can shake a stick at. So shop around! Find out what changes you need to make to decrease your risk (install fire alarms, buy a low-risk vehicle, etc) to get a lower premium. Increase your deductibles and insure for EXACTLY what your home, belongings and vehicle is worth at CURRENT MARKET VALUE! A lower premium is not worth how much you’ll lose if you have to replace that insured item.
Keep track of your daily spending
If you own a smartphone or tablet then there are hundreds of apps that can help you keep track of what you’re spending on a daily basis, and on what. If you don’t own one then a pen and paper and an internet café will do the trick! Apps like MoneyWiz sync your accounts, transactions, bills and budget across devices so you can keep track no matter where you are. Meter Readings helps you keep track of your electricity usage and the cost. GoodBudget maps your spending needs into different categories and apps like VoucherCloud (there are MANY others!) are location based deal and discount apps that help you find deals on everything from clothing and food to travel and electronics closest to where you are. This is also where coupon sites come in handy, helping you to cut down on necessary costs. You can also cut down on entertainment, smoke less or switch to a cheaper brand and avoid those morning latte stops by making them at home! Also, keep track of your data usage – it’s unbelievable how much you can save on data costs if you stop playing those bandwidth-hungry games, YouTube a little less and only visit Facebook once a day.
Develop Long Term Cash Strategies ($10,000 within a year)
Try your hand at online freelancing
There are TONS of freelancing sites where people can get paid to do just about anything. If you have ANY kind of skill then look for a site where that skill can earn you money quick. Google is your friend when it comes to searching out marketable skills so just type in ‘freelance jobs’ followed by a specific job title or industry if you’re unsure that your job is freelance-friendly. I found jobs for freelance waitresses, and freelancers in the hospitality industry. I even found a site for freelance mechanics!
One of the best freelancing sites I happened to use is Fiverr, where you can sell just about ANYTHING for $5 (in time you can add extras to increase your earnings). Check out their ‘Fun & Bizarre’ category to see some of the crazy things people are selling!
Guru.com is ideal for anyone with any kind of degree as they have projects for everyone from programmers to attorneys. PeoplePerHour.com is easy to use, and the better your ratings – the more likely you are to earn. Simply Hired is another good portal and so is Authentic Jobs – they’re not exactly freelance sites per se, but by using filters you can find what you’re looking for.
If you can string a sentence together then freelance writing sites like ProBlogger, Freelance Writing Gigs and Text Broker are ideal. Pitch Me is one where you pitch ANY idea and if someone likes it, they hire you and pay to turn your pitch into reality. The one thing I’ve noticed (and it pains me to say this) is that you don’t always have to be very good with words or writing – I can’t tell you how often I’ve come across an article or site where the language is awful, the grammar is little better than second grade and I won’t even mention the topics.
So you can get started, stumble along and learn as you go. I used to be a freelance copywriter for a while, so I mostly know about freelance sites that cater for it, but there are many freelancing sites for particular industries and skill sets including web developers, photographers, artists, designers and programmers and more!
Hire a financial advisor
Ok, I can hear you say – ‘But Kathi, this is one of those tips that say you should spend money to make money.’ Believe me, financial advisors are not just for the super-rich and famous or people with multiple investments or major corporations anymore. The average Joe is learning that getting help from a financial advisor might just be their ticket into the big leagues, or at least out of that VERY deep financial hole they find themselves in.
There are a number of financial advisor sites with generic tips and advice to help, but actually hiring someone who can have a look at your personal circumstances and help you develop a long-term saving strategy is worth their weight in gold! Don’t just hire the first name in the phonebook, though – it’s always better to get an independent advisor because they aren’t restricted to selling only products from certain providers.
There are three different ways that advisors get paid – a percentage fee, and hourly charge and a fixed fee per service arrangement. Evaluate the costs of each, find the best prices you can and then choose which of them will best suit the type of financial advice you’re looking for. The first meeting or consultation is usually free, but make sure of this before you end up with a $300 bill in the mail!
So there you have 8 tips to get you started with your money saving and income increasing strategies. But my last tip is to search online and read any and every article you can find about how to earn cash quickly. Both online and in the real world. Whatever you do though, and this I beg of you – DO NOT sign up to ANY autobot trading plans, avoid pyramid schemes and if you find a pitch that looks interesting – search for scams, reviews and ‘is it legit’ articles about it.
Remember that scam artists have learned all the same marketing techniques as everyone else so they’ve set up websites with great rankings where they promote their product or service so DON’T rely on the first page of search engine results. Even Amazon sellers are paying people to post reviews on their products so take everything you read with a heavy dose of salt.
Dig deeper and if you see that a lot of the same phrases keep cropping up then you know that someone is getting paid to post something on their site. Read reviews, gather advice, search online and develop your own strategy because you now you best and you know what will work for you.
And don’t ever give up on trying to be financially successful. There are many people who have gone from nothing to everything, or even people like me who have gone from absolute rock bottom to just barely surviving to relatively comfortable (most of the time at least!). There is no such thing as a legitimate ‘get rich quick with zero effort’ scheme – it takes hard work, sometimes very long hours and more than a little luck to make it in this world.
But if you persevere then you might just be able to pay your bills every month, plan a vacation or two and maybe – just maybe – retire early!
BTW, if you have a tip you’ve tested and you know it works, I do encourage you to share in the comments section below. Perhaps your idea will become a life changer for a few of our readers.
Kathi Jacobs is a freelance writer, financial coach and author of a long list of articles on financial matters and a myriad of things to do with marketing and the world of finance.