When you need money fast, you need realistic choices. Fortunately, you have more legitimate options than you might realize. The ideas on this list are proven ways to make money in one hour, and many of them can become long-term side hustles so you never feel the pinch again.
16 Best Ways to Make Money in One Hour
Learning how to make money in one hour doesn’t have to be hard, and we’re kicking off this list with the most effective options to put cash in your pocket in one hour or less.
1. Deliver Food
Food delivery is one of the best side hustles right now because you can start and stop as you need to make extra money. If you’ve got an hour and want to make money, you simply open the delivery app of your choice and grab a delivery.
There are over a dozen different delivery apps to choose from, and our top pick is Doordash. It’s currently the largest delivery service in the U.S., and you can deliver groceries, takeout, convenience store items, and more.
DoorDash drivers are required to be at least 18 years of age, have reliable transportation, and pass a criminal background check. You can start the registration process today, and it typically takes about a week to be approved.
Learn more in How to Become a DoorDash Driver in 2023.
DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90-day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
2. Sell Your Stuff
If you want to learn how to make money in one hour for a true emergency, this is the best option for most people. You can start right now by looking around your house to see what you’re willing to part with.
You can make same day cash selling:
- Jewelry or valuables to a pawn shop
- Furniture, home decor, exercise equipment, and clothes on Facebook Marketplace
- On-trend clothing and shoes to consignment shops like Plato’s Closet
- Baby and children’s clothes and toys to places like Once Upon a Child
- Sports gear and exercise equipment to Play It Again Sports
Local buying and selling apps can be a huge help too — think: OfferUp, VarageSale, Letgo, and 5miles.
3. Walk Dogs
Busy professionals and parents of young children often need help keeping up with their dog’s exercise needs, and that’s why you can make anywhere $25 to $40 an hour walking dogs. You can connect with neighbors to see if they need your services, post about it on social media, share your services on NextDoor, or list your services on a pet-specific app, like Rover.
Rover is designed with pet owners in mind, and you create a profile, list your availability, the types of pets you’re willing to work with, and set your own rates. There is a one-time registration fee for new pet care providers.
Learn more in our full Rover App Review.
Getting paid to babysit isn’t just for teenagers, and you can make anywhere from $10 to $20/hour. This is a great way to make money in an hour if you have neighbors, friends, or family who want to get out of the house without their kids for a few hours.
This can become a long-term side hustle if you’re able to provide regular childcare services, like driving kids to and from school, after school care, or nannying for infants.
Besides word-of-mouth, you can also share your services on social media or list them on Care.com. This platform is designed to connect parents with caregivers in their area.
5. Clean Up Your Neighbor’s Yard
This is more of a seasonal job, but you can make money in one hour with lawn or yard care services. In one hour, you can make money raking, weeding, edging, trimming, weed whacking, planting, mulching, mowing, etc.
Going door-to-door is one way to find clients, or you can post in neighborhood apps, like NextDoor or local Facebook groups. This could turn into a long-term side gig if you establish a good relationship with each of your clients.
6. Do Odd Jobs in Your Neighborhood
Beyond yard care, think about the other types of one-off jobs you can do in your neighborhood. You can make money in one hour by:
- Cleaning gutters
- Power washing
- Doing simple home repairs
- Mounting TVs
- Carrying heavy boxes or furniture in and out of homes
Those are just a few of the options, and this is really a great opportunity to get out in your neighborhood and talk to people about what they need help with.
7. Take Online Surveys
As far as making money in on hour, surveys aren't the highest-paying option. But we still want to share it with you because it’s a legitimate way to make a few bucks in an hour.
The best survey sites are free to sign up for, and they pay you to answer questions about how you use and perceive different products and companies. Your answer becomes part of valuable market research data that companies use to create better offerings.
There are lots of survey sites out there, and our top recommendations are:
- Branded Surveys: Get paid $1 to $3 per survey, and you’re paid in points that convert to cash or gift cards. Read our full Branded Surveys Review to learn more.
- Survey Junkie: Make $1 to $3 per survey, and earn points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards. Read our full Survey Junkie Review to learn more.
8. Clean Houses
Cleaning houses is hard work, and it’s why people are willing to pay $20+ per hour to have someone come and clean their house. This is hard work, and it takes the right kind of person to scrub someone else’s toilet.
If you don’t mind scrubbing and dusting, you can list your services on local apps, social media, or go to well-off neighborhoods in your area and advertise your services.
9. Donate Your Plasma
You can make between $30 to $60 donating your plasma, and the process takes one to two hours total. Plasma is an incredibly important medical resource, given to people experiencing burns, severe trauma, or shock.
There are some requirements to donating plasma, such as:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- Weigh at least 110 pounds
- Pass a medical exam and medical history screening
- Test non-reactive for transmissible viruses
- Consume enough protein
Even More Ways to Make Money in One Hour
The following options require you to lay a little groundwork before you can make money in one hour, but they’re generally higher-paying options.
For anyone who’s highly organized and good with numbers, bookkeeping is an excellent side job, and you can make $20 to $40 per hour.
Bookkeepers don’t need a degree in accounting or hold a certification to find good clients, and most work virtually these days. Modern bookkeepers use intuitive software, like Xero or Quickbooks, to do the majority of the work for you. You, as the bookkeeper, are setting up the bookkeeping system and keeping it updated for your clients so they can make informed financial decisions.
Interested in bookkeeping?
Our Brilliant Bookkeeper course teaches you everything you need to know to start bookkeeping, from how to do it to landing your first clients.
Proofreaders are paid to find and correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and they make in the range of $20 to $40 an hour.
They work remotely for authors, journalists, academics, medical and legal professionals, other freelancers, bloggers, and more. This is a great way to make money in an hour if you cringe when someone doesn’t understand how to properly use a semicolon.
Want to get paid to proofread?
This FREE seminar teaches you the five steps to becoming a well-paid proofreader.
12. Freelance Writing
For anyone who loves telling stories or explaining things, freelance writing is a great way to make money on the side of your job. It takes some time to build a client base, but once you do, you can realistically expect to make an extra $500 to $5,000+ per month.
Most freelance writers aren’t paid hourly, rather they’re paid by project or word, but the hours you spend writing pass quickly if you enjoy writing.
You can learn more about what freelance writers do and how to get started in How to Become a Freelance Writer in 2023.
Make $1,000 to $5,000/month as a freelance writer
Learn how to grow your writing skills, establish a niche, land clients, and expand your business.
13. Run Facebook and Instagram Ads
Digital marketing is a fast-growing field, and in one hour, you can make money setting up and running advertising campaigns for small business owners. You’ll need to learn about their business, offer, and audience, but this is a very flexible side hustle you can do from home.
Facebook and Instagram are two of the best platforms for small business owners to reach new customers, but most business owners don’t have the time or knowledge to run effective ad campaigns — that’s why they’re willing to pay someone to do it for them.
No, you don’t need a degree in advertising or marketing either. Facebook and Instagram have intuitive platforms you can learn on your own. Or you can jumpstart your business with the Facebook Side Hustle Course, where you’ll learn a proven system for running ads and landing clients.
14. Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants (or VAs) are an integral part of running a business because they help with behind-the-scenes tasks, like:
- Inbox management
- Project management
- Data entry
- Preparing reports
- Content creation
- Event management
Working as a virtual assistant is incredibly flexible — you can pick up a little work when you have an extra hour to make money.
This is a great opportunity to leverage a background in human resources, executive assistance, customer service, or project management. And VAs make in the range of $20 to $40/hour.
Fast track your VA business
15. Deliver Packages
Package delivery is a very active job, and depending on where you work, you can make $20 to $30 per hour.
If you want something with a lot of flexibility, try Amazon Flex, Roadie, or GoShare. You can schedule your working hours to fit with your schedule.
But if you want something with more structure, UPS and FedEx are great part-time jobs.
16. Freelance Services
If you want to learn how to make money in one hour, freelance work is an excellent option because it leverages existing skills and generally pays well. Many freelancers have built full-time careers with their work.
Besides some of the freelance options we’ve already discussed, you can also work as a freelance:
- Web developer
- Graphic designer
- Video editor
- Podcast editor
- Interior designer
- Sales manager
- Email marketer
Those are just a few options, and you can learn more about getting started in our Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2023.
Final Word on How to Make Money in One Hour
You can do a lot within one hour, but which option you choose will come down to how much time you have to get started. If you need money ASAP, selling your stuff or doing odd jobs around your neighborhood might be the best options.
But if you want to transition your need for fast cash into a full-time gig or long-term side hustle, delivering for Doordash or many of the freelance options we discussed are great options.
Food delivery, selling your stuff, walking dogs, or doing one-off jobs are the best ways to make $100, and you might even be able to make $100 or more in one day.
There are lots of ways to make $20+ an hour, from food delivery to freelance work. Both of these options are flexible alternatives to part-time jobs because you can schedule your own hours and make money on your own time.