If you want to make money fast, you need realistic options. Maybe an unexpected bill came up, you lost your job, your car needs to be fixed, etc. Whatever the emergency is, you have options.
The ideas on this list run the gamut, from very fast money (selling things around your house), easy money (earning a cash bonus for opening a new checking account), to learning how to make money from home in just a couple of weeks (freelance jobs). There’s honestly something on there for everyone.
I don’t want to waste any more of your time — let’s start talking about quick ways to make money.
37 Fast Ways to Make Money in 2021
1. Deliver food for DoorDash
If you’ve got a reliable vehicle, driving for an on-demand food delivery service, like DoorDash, is one of the best ways to make money fast. DoorDash drivers average $15-$20/hour and keep 100% of their tips.
As far as fast ways to make money, this option is really flexible because you can choose the hours you drive and schedule them in advance or on the day you want to drive. DoorDash pays drivers weekly, and they also have a Fast Pay option if you want to cash out on the days you work. Fast Pay will charge you $1.99 to cash out your earnings early.
DoorDash has a few driver requirements, which are:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Access to a car, scooter, or bike in some cities
- Have a valid driver’s license number and auto insurance
- Social Security number if delivering in the U.S.
- Have a clean driving record
- Complete a criminal background check
If you want to earn money fast with DoorDash, the application process only takes a few minutes, and then it takes about a week to be approved to start driving.
2. Grocery shop with Instacart
On-demand grocery delivery services have blown up in the past year. It’s convenient for customers, but it’s a flexible way to make fast money -- and that’s what you are here for.
The most popular services are Instacart and Shipt. Shoppers earn $12-$20/hour and keep 100% of their tips. The delivery apps show your estimated earnings before you accept each order, and they also give you directions to and from the store and your customers’ homes.
Shipt and Instacart have similar driver requirements to DoorDash, but you’ll also be able to lift 40 pounds or more. Both services pay weekly, but Instacart offers Instant Cashout to get paid on the day you make deliveries.
3. Take online surveys
Taking online surveys is one of the easiest ways to make money from home. And yes, taking online surveys is 100% legit, especially if you take surveys through a reputable site like Survey Junkie.
Survey Junkie helps companies gain valuable market research so they can improve their products and services. Their surveys average 5 to 30 minutes, and you can take surveys from your phone or laptop.
Survey Junkie pays an average of $1-$5 per survey, but you won’t be matched with every single survey on their site. That’s because surveys are looking for market data from people who meet specific demographic requirements. That’s why I also recommend signing for multiple survey sites. You’ll qualify for more surveys, and that’s more money in your pocket.
Here are several other legitimate survey sites I recommend:
Taking surveys online isn’t going to make you rich by any means, but as far as fast ways to make money go, it’s one of the easiest options out there.
4. Earn cash back when you shop
Whether you shop online or in-store, you might as well earn money back on your purchase, right? Ibotta is an app that gives you cash back for shopping like you normally do. The most common cash back option is to earn a percentage back on your total purchase, and sometimes there are offers you can claim in the app for more cash back. Ibotta processes payments within 48 hours of earning your cashback and pays you via PayPal or Venmo.
The Ibotta app has partnered with 300 major nationwide retailers, like Target, Home Depot, REI, Domino’s Pizza, Glossier, Gamestop, and many more. You earn cash back when you visit and shop at one of its partners' websites through the Ibotta app. Or, you can shop in-store and upload your receipt.
5. Make money proofreading
Proofreaders are responsible for finding and correcting grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and misspellings. This is a great way to make money from home if you’re one of those people who quickly spots errors in menus, magazines, and books, and more.
There’s a lot of work out there for anyone who wants to learn how to become a proofreader. You can work for bloggers, content writers, online business owners, professionals, academics, authors, and more.
6. Become a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are a huge help to business owners like me. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without mine. They do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to keep a business running, like:
- Schedule blog posts
- Pay freelancers
- Manage my email inbox
- Stay in touch with sponsors and affiliates
- Run reports
- Keep track of my calendar
- Social media management
This is a great way to make money from home if you have previous experience in administrative support, human resources, project management, executive assistance, or customer service. This VA Success course can help you get started if you’d like to learn more.
7. Walk dogs or pet sit
Pet sitting or dog walking could be a fun way to make money fast if you like animals — okay, liking animals is a must for this side hustle. The amount you can expect to make varies based on where you live. You’ll be paid more if you live in an urban area, which can be around $25 per walk or $70 for an overnight stay.
You can leverage social media to get the word out to friends and family who are looking for help with their pets, or you can create a profile and list your services on Rover.
Rover connects pet owners with dog walkers and pet sitters in their area. You set your rates, choose your availability, and even list what kind of animal you are willing to work with.
8. Rent out your car
Renting out your car is like Airbnb, but for your car. One platform I highly recommend is HyreCar. You set your listing price and when your vehicle is available. The renters are all prescreened, and HyreCar offers insurance coverage if something happens to your car while it’s being rented.
This is a great way to make fast money from home if you’re not using your car as much these days, and HyreCar says you can make an average of $35/day. It’s recommended that you set about 10% of what you earn aside for maintenance and repairs.
9. Flip things for profit
Have you ever been at a thrift store or garage sale and seen something you knew was worth more than the price tag suggested? You can make good money buying things like that and then flipping them for a profit.
Melissa and Rob of Flea Market Flipper have built a full-time business flipping things. Recently they bought a welder for $100 and flipped it for $1,700. They even found two small gas tanks in a dumpster and sold them for $50 a piece.
Melissa and Rob have a free webinar that explains how they make a living flipping things, and you can sign up for it here: Flipper University Workshop.
10. Drive for Uber
If you want to make money fast with your car, driving for Uber is definitely worth considering. Rideshare drivers set their hours, and I’ve met a lot of drivers who genuinely love meeting new people and being able to side hustle whenever they way.
Uber’s application process is quick, and you’ll need to meet the following driver requirements:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Reliable vehicle that’s around 10 years old or newer
- Valid driver’s license and insurance
- Clean driving record
- Pass a criminal background check
You can start driving and making money as soon as your application is approved and you pass your background check, which takes about a week in total.There’s a lot to understand about rideshare driving before you get started, including that the average pay can be less than what rideshare companies advertise – it’s often closer to $10/hour. But I’m including it on this list of quick ways to make money because I’ve heard legit reviews from several rideshare drivers who really enjoy what they do.
11. Find a part-time job
When you need quick money, you typically look for out-of-the-box ideas. But don’t overlook the power of a traditional part-time job.
Part-time jobs might not be as flexible as some of the ideas on this list, but that doesn't mean they can’t help you make money when you need it.
One of my readers needed to find a way to make extra money fast and got a job delivering pizzas. He shared this post in my M$M Facebook group and said it’s not uncommon to average $17/hour once tips were factored in.
Besides delivering pizza, here are some more part-time jobs to check out:
- Working as a restaurant server
- Work the front desk at a gym (you’ll probably get a free membership)
- Customer associate at a boutique clothing store
- Barista (Starbucks is one of a handful of companies that offer benefits for part-time work)
- Work at a bookstore
- Local museums/theatre/zoo
- Golf shop attendant
12. Negotiate a raise at your current job
This is probably one of the most overlooked ways to make fast money, but it’s a solid option if you’re currently employed.I recently wrote an article that outlines how to get a raise, including how to tell if your company is in a financial position to give out a raise – important to consider in 2021! Learn more in 6 Smart Steps to Getting a Raise at Work.
13. Tutor online
Tutors can be a huge asset to students who are struggling in school or for those who are trying to gain an edge in specific subjects. Parents are willing to pay good money for quality tutoring. I saw this a lot back when I was still working as a high school band teacher.
Wyzant is an online tutoring platform that I highly recommend. Tutors set their own rates and schedules. You can make anywhere from $35-$100/hour tutoring online depending on the subject and your experience.
For teachers who want to find ways to make quick money or for anyone who excels at a specific subject, tutoring is a solid choice.
14. Make money fast selling old electronics
Do you have an old cell phone, video games you haven’t played in a while, or a DVD player that doesn’t get used anymore?
You can make quick money selling your gently used electronics to Decluttr. Decluttr is a website that buys previously owned electronics, refurbishes them, and then sells them online.
Decluttr buys phones, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, Apple products, laptops, Kindles, tablets, smartwatches, video games, and game consoles. They even buy LEGOs, textbooks, and children’s books.
It’s really easy to make money with Decluttr. You start by scanning the barcode on your item or searching through their database. They give you a valuation, and if you accept it, they will send you a free shipping label to send the item to them.
Once they receive it, they give it a quick look over and then pay you the next day via PayPal or direct deposit.
I decided to see what they would give me for my old iPhone 8. It took about 2 minutes to find my device, and I found that Decluttr will pay me a fast $120 for my old phone.
15. Sell your unused gift cards
I have a drawer in my kitchen that has a bunch of gift cards that are partially used, and there are some gift cards in there that I know I’ll never use. I’m probably not alone here. But, did you know that you can sell those gift cards to make money fast?
16. Make money on Amazon
This might be news to you, but a lot of the stuff sold on Amazon is actually sold by private third-party sellers. These sellers use something called Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), which means Amazon stores products, process payment, ships to customers, and more.
Amazon FBA sellers can be private individuals who start small selling what they have around their house and then turn it into a full-time business.
One of my readers has been selling on Amazon for about three years now, and they cleared $1 million in sales in 2020 alone. They started selling used books only, one they sourced from thrift stores and garage sales, and now they sell new products in all categories.
You can learn more about what Amazon FBA is, the best type of items to sell, and how to get started in What is Amazon FBA? | How it Works, Fees, and More.
17. Sell things on eBay
I have a reader who made nearly $85,000 in one year from selling things on eBay. That’s after they built their business, but selling on eBay is still a good way to make money fast because you can start by selling what’s sitting around your house.
Full-time eBay sellers will tell you that selling what’s around your house is the best way to start because you can get to know the platform before you make any big time commitment or invest any of your own money.
Curious about what to sell on eBay? Here are some of the top-selling categories:
- Car parts and accessories
- Antiques and vintage finds
- Collectible or rare books, comics, and magazines
- Sporting goods and work out equipment
18. Open a new checking or savings account
Banks often run promotions to attract new customers, and it can be a good way to make $100-$500 fast.
Offers constantly change — and they do expire — but here are some offers I found when writing this article:
- Chase Bank offers a $225 sign-on bonus for new customers who set up a Chase checking account. You are required to set up direct deposit to qualify.
- HSBC Bank will give new customers who can deposit $15,000 over the first three months of their new account a $450 promotional bonus.
- Huntington Bank gives new customers $150-$200 if they make a minimum deposit of $1,000 in the first 60 days.
Not ready to switch bank accounts? You can check with your current bank to see if there are any promotions when you open a separate account with them.
19. Flip furniture
Have you seen furniture sitting on the curb for big trash day? A lot of the time this stuff is still in good shape — it just needs a little TLC. This is a good opportunity for anyone who’s willing to put in a little time and effort cleaning things up, tightening screws, refinishing wood, adding new pulls or handles, etc.
Besides finding furniture to flip on the curb, you can also find flips at garage sales, thrift stores, and maybe even your own basement. Once you’ve freshened up the furniture, you can sell your flips on places like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
20. Sell your lesson plans online
Teachers will always hold a special place in my heart because I was a high school teacher before I started running this site, and my wife was an elementary school teacher. A great way to make extra money as a teacher is to sell your lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can sell nearly any kind of digital learning resource you’ve created, from lesson plans, worksheets, planners, and more.
The site sells resources from preschool to college-aged students in every subject you can imagine.
I just had my first kid, and now I truly understand how much stress goes into finding the right babysitter. You want someone trustworthy, who’s good with kids, is kind, etc. You’re willing to pay good money when you find the right person to take care of your kids.
Babysitting is a solid way to make money fast if you love working with kids. You can watch kids in your house, go over to a family’s house, or become a nanny. Word-of-mouth is a good way to get started, but you can find even more families if you list your services on Care.com. This platform lets you list your service, explain your experience, and more.
22. Get paid to pin
You know Pinterest as the go-to place to find recipes, workouts, crafts, DIYs, home design inspiration, and a lot more. But did you know that you can also make extra money creating pins and sharing content on Pinterest?
Pinterest virtual assistants work for business owners and leverage Pinterest’s massive platform to share content that grows their brands.
You’re not exactly getting paid to pin all day long as this job requires you to design pins, run analytics, create Pinterest ads, and more. I highly recommend checking out the Pinterest VA course from Kristin Larsen if you want to learn more.
23. Make extra money as a freelance writer
Freelance writers get paid to write blog posts, email newsletters, marketing campaigns, web copy, ghostwrite, do grant writing, write catalog descriptions, and a lot more. Freelance writers are needed for virtually every different kind of business, so there’s a lot of room in the online world if you want to make money from home as a freelance writer.
I know lots of freelance writers, and they love the flexibility of working remotely on their own schedule. It’s also cool that this side hustle can encompass so many different writing niches, so it’s never boring.
It never hurts to have some experience or knowledge in a niche, but your writing ability is your strongest asset. You can learn more in How to Become a Freelance Writer: The Ultimate Guide for 2021.
Freelance writers can make $1,000-$10,000 month
Learn how to start a freelance writing business writing — this is a side hustle you can grow into a full-time work-from-home job.Check out Write Your Way to 1K
24. Sell your clothes
Selling what you already have around your house is a fast way to make money. Start by digging into your closet to see what you’re no longer wearing. If you’re anything like my wife or me, you’ve got too many clothes and selling them online can help you make extra money while doing some decluttering.
One platform I highly recommend is Poshmark. It’s free to list on Poshmark, but they take $2.95 for sales under $15. There is a 20% fee for sales of $15 or more.
Another option is to sell your stuff via Facebook Marketplace or local buy/sell groups. It’s 100% free to sell on Facebook, but be safe meeting strangers to complete the sale.
25. Start a blog
Listen, blogging is not the fastest way to make money. But I’ve been turning a profit blogging for several years now, and I’m convinced it’s one of the best ways to make money (why I’m still bringing it up).
It took me six months to make $3 from my site, but it has opened doors that I never knew existed since then. I can travel more, spend more time with my family, and get paid to write about stuff I genuinely love talking about.
Blogging is a long game, but if you’re interested in learning more, check out How to Start a Blog — An Easy Step-by-Step Guide for 2021. There’s still plenty of room online for new bloggers, and you can start a blog for less than $3/month.
26. Do one-off gigs
One-off gigs are jobs that typically take a day or less to complete, and you get paid the day you complete the job. Many people don’t realize that these kinds of jobs are still out there, and they’re great, fast ways to make money.
The “gigs” section of Craigslist is one of the best places to find these jobs. I did a quick search in my area, and here’s a sample of what I found:
- Moving help needed for a single day, paying $35/hour
- Weekend Renaissance festival hiring workers
- Someone paying $200 for 5 minutes of work with a cherry picker or boom truck
- Stagehand needed for an upcoming music festival
Craigslist has a little bit of a bad rep, but you can find legit jobs. Make sure you get all of the details in advance, especially when and how you’re paid.
27. Refinance your debts
Refinancing is when you take out a new loan to pay off an existing loan. The goal is to get a new loan with better terms, especially a lower interest rate. This is one of the best ways to make money fast because it can significantly lower your monthly payments. There’s the potential to put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket every month.
Interest rates are historically low right now, so it’s a good time to check out this option. You’ll need a good to excellent credit score to qualify for the best terms.
You can refinance your mortgage or student loans. Refinancing student loans is generally better if you have private student loan debt or high interest rates on your federal loans. You can check out this guide to see if you’re a good candidate for student loan refinancing, and if you are, I recommend Credible.
Credible helps you find the best possible refinance for your student loans by making it easy to compare rates from top lenders. It takes just a few minutes to see which rates you qualify for, and Credible only runs a soft credit inquiry so comparing rates doesn’t affect your credit score.
28. Get a balance transfer credit card
Credit card debt takes a lot out of you. There’s the emotional toll of carrying that debt with you, and it’s just plain expensive. Balance transfer cards can be a good way to take control of your finances and start destroying your credit card debt.
Balance transfer cards come with 0% interest rates for 12-18 months, and the interest rate will jump up after the promotional period is over. You can make the most of these cards if you’re able to pay the card off during the 0% interest rate period.
Opening a balance transfer card can put extra money back in your pocket because you’re saving money on interest charges. Once your credit card debt is paid off, you’re saving even more money each month.
29. Open a rewards credit card
If you know you’re good with credit cards — as in you pay off the balance every month — rewards credit cards can come with a sweet bonus if you’re able to meet the spending requirement. The bonus can be anywhere from $100-$300, and there are also cards that pay travel rewards. These cards are points you can use for free or discounted airfare or hotel stays.
30. Make extra money watching videos
Swagbucks is an app with many ways to make money fast — earning cashback for shopping online, taking surveys, searching the web, and more — but they also pay you for watching videos online.
You’re not going to make a ton of money watching videos, but it’s easy, easy money.
31. Sell your stuff to a pawnshop
If you need fast ways to make money now, selling to a pawnshop will put cash in your pocket today. The most high-value items are jewelry, electronics, and weapons, but you can sell almost anything to a pawnshop.
Pawnshops aren’t going to pay you the full value of your items, but it’s fast money. If you’re able to take your time, you’ll make more selling your stuff on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Make sure you follow their seller’s guidelines for what you can and can’t sell.
32. Collect and sell scrap metal
If you have a track or trailer, you can drive around your city collecting scrap metal. You can find this stuff on large trash day, in dumpsters, behind buildings, and so on. You can check the prices online to find which metals are most valuable, so you can know what to look for. You’ll also need to search for scrap yards and recycling centers in your area to sell what you collect.
33. Wrap your car
This might sound a little extreme to some people, but you can make pretty good money having your car professionally wrapped with advertisements.
Carvertise is a marketing company that pays high mileage drivers to wrap their cars in ad decals. They pay around $100/month, and each ad campaign lasts a few months.
You’ll need a newer model vehicle with a factory paint job and to drive at least 30 miles a day to be considered. Carvertise hires professionals to wrap your car and take the decals off at the end of the ad campaign.
$100 a month isn’t a ton of extra money, but it’s passive because you’re not actively trading time for money. This gives you the chance to make some money while actively pursuing other ways to make money fast.
34. Get paid to do yard work
Mowing lawns, weeding, trimming bushes, raking, planting, etc. — you can make money fast by going around your neighborhood doing that kind of yard work. You can go door-to-door, hand out flyers, advertise your services on NextDoor, or use your social media contacts.
It’s not uncommon to make $20/hour or more doing yard work. Many people don’t like doing this work, but busy people like me pay to maintain our yards because we find our time is better spent on other things (like running this site!).
35. Home maintenance
Speaking of jobs that people don’t like doing — add shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, power washing sidewalks, etc. you can make $50/hour or more getting paid to help people around their homes. Again, you can advertise on social media platforms, neighborhood groups, or simply knock on doors.
The final word on quick ways to make money
I know what it’s like to be in a spot where you need money now. It can be extremely anxiety-inducing.
Fortunately, there are legitimate options if you need money fast. Selling things is probably always going to be one of the fastest ways to make money. If you’re interested in finding something that has greater long-term potential, I recommend delivering food, starting a blog , or freelancing.
Side hustles like I just mentioned can help you pay down debt and save for emergencies so you don’t find yourself in a tight situation like this again.
Does your car need a quick repair? Did your heater go out in the middle of the winter? Whatever your “oh crap!” moment is, there are ways to make $1,000 fast.
The first I recommend is selling your stuff. I mentioned a couple above in this article, like selling tech through Decluttr, but Facebook Marketplace is another good option. You can make same-day cash selling things to people in your area, but always be careful meeting people!
Depending on how much time you have to make money, delivering food for DoorDash or Instacart pays around $15-$20/hour and can be a way to make extra money even after your emergency is over. That will help you build up an emergency savings fund to avoid this situation in the future.
Selling your stuff is probably the fastest way to make money. You can list things for sale online, but if you are in a tight spot, you may even consider pawning things. I know that’s not ideal, but it’s an option.
Another option is looking through the “Gigs” section on Craigslist. I just checked my local Craigslist and saw listings for day laborers, movers, someone who needed to cut up a fallen tree, and a construction flagger.