I need money now
Updated April 30, 2023

I Need Money Now: 27 Legit Ways To Line Your Pockets Today

Side Hustles

We may receive a commission if you sign up or purchase through links on this page. Here's more information.

As most people will agree with you, sometimes payday can’t come soon enough. It could be an impromptu trip that your circle of friends just came up with, and apparently skydiving can’t wait. At some point we all just find ourselves screaming “I need money now!”

Lucky, we’ve got you covered. Whether your friends convinced you to get in on that timeshare or that doctor tells you “it’s only a sprain, but here’s the bill”, we’ve compiled a list of ways to pull in money that won’t take weeks or a degree.

Good to Know: If your friends are planning a trip, you may want to check out how to save up for that with a little forward planning. However, if you’re mumbling to yourself “I need money now, I’m tired of instant ramen”, then see which of the 27 ways we’ve laid out best accommodates you.

1.  Give Your Opinion for Cash

If you’ve ever found yourself Googling “I need money desperately”, there is a good chance that you’ve pulled up a list of various survey sites, with multitudes of tag lines along with the promise of fortune. While we can’t attest to all of the sites, we do know of a few that will legitimately pay out for your opinions on a variety of topics, instead of just selling off your data.

Our top contender in the online survey world is SurveyJunkie.

How to Get Started

  • Create a profile on their site
  • Fill out as much information as you can
  • See which survey suits you
  • Accrue points by taking surveys
  • Cash in the points for cash.

How Much Can I Make?

  • While it would be incredibly difficult to get rich by taking surveys, it can be a nice little addition during your down time.
  • While the average survey will net you around $1-$2, it’s the volume of surveys that will determine if this is a viable solution for you.

Pro Tip

Fill out the form as thoroughly as you can, because the more information SurveyJunkie has to work with, the more likely you’ll match a survey.

2. Rent Out a Room

This may either have been on the top of your head or it could have slipped right past you, but that spare bedroom is a goldmine.

Airbnb has been around for over a decade, and has grown into a real industry, seeing over six million users a year use the service to travel around the world. You can get out of the “I need money now” funk by listing your spare room with the other 800,000 on the site.

How to Get Started

  • Sign up on the site
  • Write a detailed description of yourself/property
  • Take a nice picture of yourself
  • Make a nice video of your pad
  • Verify your Airbnb profile
  • Add references to your Airbnb.

How Much Can I Make?

This is tricky to answer because of all of the variables involved.

  • How large is the space
  • What are the prices listed near you
  • Are you offering any amenities
  • Charging fees for late check out.

There are multitude of ways to calculate how much you should list your space for, but the best bet is to price it around the same as other equivalent nearby listings.

Pro Tip

Be honest with your listing, if you’re a half hour away from the city center, then you’re a half hour away from the city center.

People will be more grateful for the honesty, and more apt to leave a positive review, then if you promise them a five minute walk, and they end up dragging five suitcases ten blocks.

3. Share a Ride

Well, we’ve covered room-sharing, it’s inevitable till we came to ride-sharing. If you have a car that’s in decent shape and pretty good knowledge of your neighborhood, then you might want to try your hand as a Lyft driver.

Good to Know: The company has been around for the better part of a decade, and is only gaining steam. The perks of this side gig is that you can pick it up whenever you have some free time, you just turn on the app.

How to Get Started

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Pass Lyft’s free, online DMV and background checks
  • Use a smartphone
  • Meet your city’s vehicle age requirement
  • Have at least four doors
  • Offer five to eight seats, including the driver’s
  • Have a US driver’s license for at least one year
  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Submit a photo of yourself.

How Much Can I Make?

The amount you make as a Lyft driver can vary, depending on your availability, but the range is generally within $10-$17/hr.

Pro Tip

You can maximize your salary by focusing you availability in Hot Spots and during the Peak Hours.

4. Drop Off Some Food

So you can try your hand as a courier of people, but if you’re the shy type and human interaction isn’t one of your most favorite things, then try being an on-demand food courier.

DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service that can save you from griping to your friends or parents with the subtle hints you’ve been dropping by saying “I need money now please help!”

  • To become a deliverer for DoorDash, you just need to reside in one of the more than 600 cities across North America.
  • As a deliverer, you wait for someone to place an order on the app, and all you have to do is pick it up from a restaurant and deliver to the customer. The app handles the rest of the transaction.

How to Get Started

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Cannot have any major violations in the last 7 years (DUI, Reckless Driving, Homicide or Assault, Driving with a suspended license, failure to stop or report and driving with a license that is suspended or expired)
  • Cannot have more than 3 incidents in the last 3 years (minor traffic violations)
  • DoorDash conducts background checks on all of their dashers
  • Dashers can use bikes, scooters, motorcycles, or even walk.

How Much Can I Make?

DoorDash’s dashers will on average make $10/hr, unless it’s a busy holiday seasons, then it can go as high as $25/hr. DoorDash states that if you don’t make $10 an hour, DoorDash will pay the difference.

Pro Tip

Try and stack the orders to get out as many as possible, however, keep in mind that the orders have to be delivered in sequence that they were received.

5. Rent Out Your Extra Car

Now it’s time to round out the sharing platforms. If you have an extra vehicle sitting in your driveway, might as well put it to work. Similar to the Airbnb concept of sharing an unused room, Turo is an app that lets you share your unused car.

Turo can be found in 5500 cities around the U.S. and abroad. Turo offers a $1 million insurance policy for its users. The way it works is when a potential client is interested in your car, the owner receives a notification. This is the point where they can view the applicant and see if they’re a good fit. If everything checks green, then they arrange a meet up.

How to Get Started

  • Own an extra car
  • Valid registration and ownership
  • Valid personal insurance
  • 2004 or later model of car
  • Less than 130,000 mileage
  • Should be a car, van or SUV. Motorcycles, limousines, RVs, passenger vans or cargo vans cannot be listed on Turo.

How Much Can I Make?

The amount of money you make will depend almost entirely on your vehicle and how long it is rented for and for how much.

Current estimates from Turo renters suggest they make anywhere from $400-$600 a month.

6. Take Out a Cash Advance

This is probably the least desirable method of getting ahold of cash today. Many credit cards will allow you to take out cash against your credit card at an ATM.

Pro Tip

This should be the last resort as you can end up paying cash advance fees adding up to more than 20% of what you withdrew.

7. Attempt Day Labor

So, you need money now, and you have no job and bad credit? You can always try day labor. While this is definitely not the easiest route, you can make some money without the need for technical skills quite readily. Generally, you can find these jobs on a bulletin board like Craigslist, or if you’re personable you can try hanging around the front of a hardware store.

Warning: Just be careful, you never know who is going to pick you up and if you get injured, the hirer isn’t liable for your medical bills.

8. Save While Shopping

Sometimes one of the easiest ways to have more money in your pocket is to just spend less. Now, we’re not asking you to make sacrifices, but instead just be smarter with where you spend your money.

That’s where Rakuten (formerly Ebates) comes in. Rakuten is a free website and app that gives you up to 40% cash back from thousands of online stores.As we said, this shouldn’t be a sacrifice because Rakuten lists a veritable cornucopia of popular stores for you to choose from.

Good to Know: If you find yourself making purchases online, then Rakuten can help you get cash back from Walmart, Disney Store, Old Navy, and a ton other stores.

Pro Tip

Cashback sites generally don’t let you double dip on sales, however, Rakuten will actually give you the heads up on a great deal.

9. Save More While Shopping

Continuing with the theme of saving while shopping, you can always double down with Ibotta.

Ibotta is becoming one of the most used shopping apps in the U.S. Since 2012, Ibotta has paid out over $200 million in cash back rewards. Similar to the above entry, Ibotta includes some of the top retailers to provide you with some of the best cash back offers.

Pro Tip

Don’t forget you need to upload your receipt in order to redeem your offers.

10. Sell Your Excess Stuff

So you are looking around and are trying to find a place for that brand new couch you have your eye on, but all of your old useless stuff is taking up to much room. Well, instead of dreaming about that new couch that is out of your price range, pay for it now with all of that “useless stuff”.

Decluttr is an app that lets you put your unwanted stuff to good use in the form of cold hard cash. Decluttr will take a variety of things off your hands, like:

  • CDs
  • DVDs & Blu-Ray
  • Games and consoles
  • Books
  • Smartphones

How to Get Started

  • Scan the barcode of your item
  • Get an instant quote
  • Search through their database for your item for a quote
  • Submit your entry
  • Decluttr sends you prepaid postage
  • Drop it off at UPS
  • Profit.

Pro Tip

After Decluttr receives your package, they send you cash via:

  • Check
  • Direct deposit into your bank
  • PayPal deposit.

11. Recycle

I know what you’re saying, “I need money now, please help!” If you’re in extremely dire straits, then you can always look to recycling. Depending on the state, you can submit most aluminum and glass bottles and cans for five cents per pop. While this isn’t going to break the bank you can bring in a good $10 for a garbage bag full of cans.

Pro Tip

It doesn’t have to be cans, it can be any type of scrap metal, from steel to copper, depending on the market will determine what you can get out of it.

12.  Sell Your Old Phone/Electronics

While we covered Decluttr earlier, that is one of the many venues that you can find for your old stuff.

Many different platforms exist for peer-to-peer purchases. Facebook Marketplace has really gathered steam and you can find a buyer for that old smartphone for a decent price on the site.

Pro Tip

When making a description of your item, try to insert a personal story, as it has been found that a tale attached can increase the sale price versus a point by point technical breakdown.

13. Become a Personal Grocery Shopper

Don’t mind the freezer aisle, then look at InstaCart. This is grocery delivery service, that hires personal shoppers to pick up food from a local store and deliver the produce to a customer.

How to Get Started

  • S. driver’s license and an auto insurance policy
  • Criminal background check
  • Smartphone with the Instacart app
  • 18 years old (21 years old concerning certain states)
  • Be able to lift at least 30 pounds

How Much Can I Make?

According to Glassdoor survey many Full Service Shoppers report and average of $10/hour.

Pro Tip

You get a pay increase as an In Store Shopper but you need to be at one store the whole shift.

14. Sell Your Fluids

You may think it’s come to the point that you need to sell a kidney. Well, you don’t have to take it that far, but you can sell fluids. You can try your hand at either sperm or eggs, but that is usually a longer commitment to the process and you need to be in tip top health. You can try blood, but this exchange normally ends with a cookie instead of cash.

Good to Know: The real money is in plasma. If you contact your local plasma center, you can generally walk away with up to $50 after a 30 minute process.

Pro Tip

You can donate more than once a week! Saving a life and get some cash while doing it seems like a great deal.

15. Become an Avon Rep

If you have an eye for style and know a thing or two about makeup, then you may give Avon a shot.  Avon reps sell beauty products, household goods and personal care items to their own network (usually meaning your friends and family). A positive note to this side gig is that it can easily become a career.

How to Get Started

  • Sign up online through Avon’s website
  • Interview with a corporate representative
  • Pay the starter kit fee to get started (around $25 for materials)
  • Start your online training.

How Much Can I Make?

Avon publishes an annual report with the previous year’s sales and earnings. According to the Avon site, the earnings are listed as:

  • All new reps earn 40 percent commission on sales
  • Beauty sales between $0 – $149.99 – 20 percent commission
  • Beauty sales between $150 – $299.99 – 30 percent commission
  • Beauty sales between $300 – $499.99 – 35 percent commission
  • Beauty sales $500 or more – 40 percent commission
  • All fashion and home sales earn a 20 percent commission

Pro Tip

While selling Avon can help to get you out of the “I need money now” phase, it also host a plethora of other benefits, such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Discounted Internet services
  • Scholarships
  • Vacation Destinations.

16. Ask Family for a Loan

This may be the easiest and simultaneously the hardest thing on this list. You might have a general idea as to whether or not your family can actually afford to give you a loan, but going up to them with hat in hand may be a quite uncomfortable discussion.

If this is the method that you are choosing, just keep in mind that unless they are using a digital bank or digital escrow service, you may not be able to get the money the same day.

Pro Tip

If you tell your parents that you’re going to pay them back, at least attempt to, even if they handwave the loan.

17. Inspect Payday Loans

This option is only on this list, because it is a way to get money fast, otherwise this is more of a cautionary tale.

Good to Know: To go through the motions of getting a loan from one of this institutions, keep in mind that according to Consumer Finance:

“Many state laws set a maximum amount for payday loan fees ranging from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. A typical two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of almost 400 percent. By comparison, APRs on credit cards can range from about 12 percent to about 30 percent.”

If this is your only respite, then know that you’ll need a proof of employment, such as a payslip.

18. Try Out Freelancing

This one may not payout immediately, but it’s possible to get lucky and get a gig right away. If you’re walking around with a talent, then you might as well exploit it for cash. There are plenty of freelancing sites and apps to choose from, so it really just comes down to choosing them all.

While each site has its own gimmick, the process is usually the same.

How to Get Started

  • Sign up on the platform
  • Right a thorough description of yourself
  • Peruse through equivalent profiles to find out how to price your skills
  • Finalize the profile
  • Let the world know that you’re open for business on social media.

The amount you can make and the turn around on payment is 100% tied to the skill you’re providing. If you’re an illustrator, you can generally push at one or two commissions a day depending on what’s being asked for.  If you’re a freelance coder, then you might get more per gig, but each gig will take longer.

Pro Tip

Be as professional on these platforms as you can, and you’ll quickly differentiate yourself from the pack.

19. Try Out as a Courier

A quick way to get cash is to try your hand as a courier. Postmates is an on-demand courier service than can help you to get your head over water.

Postmates uses an app to send independently contracted couriers to pick up products from a variety of stores.

How to Get Started

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a valid driver’s license and access to an insured vehicle (or bicycle)
  • Pass a background check performed by Postmates.

How Much Can I Make?

Most Fleet members net around $10/hour.

The calculation is based on:

  • Each completed pickup
  • Each completed drop off
  • Per minute rate for your time spent waiting at a pickup location
  • Per mile rate for the distance
  • Peak business hours (called blitz)
  • Tips can be anywhere from 5% to 20% (built into the app).

Pro Tip

To get the most out of Postmates make deliveries during the peak hours to get the most bang for your buck. (Generally 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m).

20. Pawn You Memorabilia

So you needed cash yesterday, but somehow you received a day’s grace. If you’re in need of quick cash you might think about pawning that coin collection. The downside of going to a pawn shop is that they know you’re desperate, but the upside is that you can generally buy back your item with a ticket.

Pro Tip

The best bet when going down this road is to dig through your basement and pawn the stuff you had already forgotten you owned.

21. Sell Your Pictures

This is also one of those side gigs that you can’t control when you get paid but if you have a decent eye for photography then you can cash in fairly quickly. When most people think of a professional photographer, they think of weddings and fashion shoots, however, there is a lot of money to be made with stock footage.

You can find buyers at Shutterstock and other image hosting sites.

22. Check the Couch Cushions

This is actually a serious entry, aside from finding some potato chips from the paleolithic era, I actually found $20 stuffed between the cushions. Assuming that it wasn’t mine to begin with, then that is a great return!

23. Turn those Pennies into Bills

While this isn’t technically making money, if you have a jar full of coins, you may be overlooking their real value. Some banking branches will offer a coin counting machine that takes small percentage to give you your cash in paper bills.

24. Play a Slots App to Win Money

Long Game is a free banking app that lets you play games for real money.

How to Get Started

  • Deposit money into your Long Game account
  • Earn interest on deposits (This is your money, like any bank account. Long Game does not charge fees on the money you put in, and you can withdraw it at your leisure.)
  • Earn coins depending on how much you have saved in your Long Game account.
  • Use coins to play slot games
  • Prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000,000

25. Invest in Stocks

You might be wondering how investing in stocks puts cash in your wallet now, but hear us out.

  • Using an app called Acorns puts the power of receiving dividends on stocks in your phone. All you have to do is shop through the Acorns app.
  • You free money deposited into your dividend stocks just for shopping with the Acorns app at no extra charge.

How to Get Started

  • Tell the app your age
  • Set your financial goals
  • Shop through the app to get dividends on stocks.

So if you’re shopping online already, you might as well try and own a piece of the company you’re buying from.

26. Get Paid for Your Normal Activities

You’re already standing in line playing games on your phone, you might as well sign up with Swagbucks and receive a $5 sign-up bonus.

You can use this app to make money whenever you’re not running to another one of these side gigs.

How to Get Started

Make money with the Swagbucks app, by:

  • Watching videos
  • Taking surveys
  • Getting cash back on online purchases
  • Playing games on your phone
  • Using the Swagbucks search engine

27. Walk the Neighborhood Dogs

This is any animal lover’s dream. Get paid to hang out with adorable pets!

By using the Rover, you can walk dogs, do little drop-in visits, or even just house sit with a pet, with the potential of making over $20/hour. On top of that, if you’re accepted into their program, you can even claim a $20 bonus!

Wrapping Up

While some of these entries should be a last resort (we’re looking at you payday loans), you should be able to break out of the “I need money now” mind set and jump into the making money now mode.

Have you found and creative ways to get cash today? Let us know in the comments!


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

Back to top  
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments