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.
I’m not going to waste any more of your time – let’s start talking about quick ways to make money.
23 Ways to Make Money Fast in 2021 – Make $500 This Month
1. Deliver food for DoorDash
One of the best ways to make money fast right now is making deliveries from restaurants. DoorDash drivers (or Dashers, as the company calls their delivery drivers) earn around $15-$20/hour delivering food.
This is a really flexible way to make money fast 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, but they also have a Fast Pay option so you can cash out sooner. Fast Pay will charge you $1.99 to cash out your earnings early.
You will need to meet the driver requirements to sign up, 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
It only takes a few minutes to apply to drive for DoorDash, and it takes about a week to be approved to start driving.
2. Grocery shop with Instacart
Grocery shopping is another one of the best ways to make money fast in 2021. More and more consumers are opting for the ease of ordering their groceries from an app and having them delivered straight to their door.
That has created a need for more grocery delivery drivers, and Instacart is one of the top on-demand grocery delivery services. There are two options to make money with Instacart:
- Full-service shopper: You take orders in the Instacart app, shop for them, and then deliver the groceries to the user.
- In-store shoppers: You shop for orders in-store and stage them for pick-up or delivery.
Working as a full-service Instacart shopper is the most flexible option, and you can make around $12-$20/hour. Instacart pays drivers weekly, or you can use Instant Cashout to get paid on the day you make deliveries.
Instacart has similar driver requirements as DoorDash (see above), and it also takes about a week from when you apply to be hired on to start driving.
3. Make money fast from 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.
4. Take online surveys
Taking online surveys is one of the easiest ways to make money right now. 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.
You won’t be eligible for every single survey you try because companies are often trying to survey specific demographics of people. But the more information you add to your profile, the more surveys you’ll be matched with.
Survey Junkie, like most survey sites that pay fast, pays in points that convert to cash. You can make an average of $1-$5 per survey.
Taking surveys online isn’t going to make you rich by any means, but it’s one of the easiest ways to make quick money.
5. Earn cashback when you shop
Whether you shop online or in-store, you might as well earn money back on your purchase, right? The Ibotta app makes this one of the easiest ways to make money fast.
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.
The most common cashback option is to earn a percentage back on your total purchase, and sometimes there are offers you can claim in the app for more cashback.
Ibotta processes payments within 48 hours of earning your cashback and pays you via PayPal or Venmo.
6. 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?
Raise and Cardpool are two online gift card marketplace where you can sell your unused or partially used gift cards. You get paid via PayPal, check, or direct deposit.
7. 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.
8. 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
9. Drive for Uber or Lyft
If you want to make money fast with your car, driving for Uber or Lyft is 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.
There’s a short application process if you’re interested in driving, 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.
10. Complete tasks on TaskRabbit
You can make money fast by doing quick tasks on TaskRabbit. Some of the tasks are small, like raking leaves, but there are big tasks too, like deep cleaning someone’s house. Other popular tasks are putting together IKEA furniture, running errands, grocery shopping, and small household repairs.
There is a $25 registration fee to create a profile on TaskRabbit, but you keep 100% of what you charge for each task.
In your profile, you list what kind of services you offer, where you’re willing to work, how much you charge for each service (you set your own rates), qualifications if applicable, and your weekly availability.
Potential customers contact you via the app, and you get paid within 3-5 days after you’ve completed a task.
For a low commitment side hustle, as in one that you can pick up and earn through whenever, doing one-off jobs with TaskRabbit is a great way to make extra money in 2020.
11. Test websites
Testing websites is when you visit websites and use apps, record your session, and then answer a series of questions about your experience. The goal is to help companies create a better user experience, which is why they’ll pay you for your time and insights.
UserTesting.com is one of the most reputable testing sites, and they pay $10 for each 20-minute test you complete. All you need is an email address to sign up, and you’ll also need to complete a sample test before you are officially approved.
12. 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.
13. Walk dogs or pet sit
Pet sitting or dog walking could be a fun way to make money if you like animals. 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.
14. Get your car wrapped
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.
15. Manage Facebook ads for businesses
Managing Facebook ads is offering digital marketing services to small business owners either in your area or online. You create ads, target the right audience, help manage leads, and help the business owner leverage Facebook’s massive reach.
I started running Facebook ads for small businesses after I quit my teaching job to run this site full time. I had zero experience when I started and learned everything as I went with the help of YouTube videos and online how-to articles.
You can make around $1,000-$1,500/month per client running Facebook ads. After just a few months of running ads, I was out-earning what I made as a teacher and only spending 2-3 hours a week on each client’s ads.
Small business owners still need affordable and effective ways to tell people about their business. Facebook’s robust ad platform offers advanced ad targeting capabilities so business owners can get the most out of their ad spend.
I’ve put together everything I learned about Facebook ads into a comprehensive course to teach you everything you need to know to make money online running Facebook ads.
The Facebook Side Hustle Course teaches you:
- How to use Facebook’s ad platform
- What kind of businesses need these services
- How to find those business owners and get them to say “yes” to your services
16. 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 since then it has opened doors that I never knew existed. 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.
17. 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 change constantly – and they do expire – but here are some offers I found when writing this article:
- Chase Bank is offering a $200 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 is giving 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.
18. Rent out your car
Renting out your car is like Airbnb, but for your car. One platform I highly recommend is Turo. You set your listing price and when your vehicle is available. Turo prescreens customers offers up to $1 million in liability insurance and coverage in the event of theft or physical damage.
Turo pays you 65% to 85% of the trip price, and they have a Carculator to tell you what you can expect to make with your car.
Renting your car out is a passive way to make money fast, and listing it on HyreCar is another option. HyreCar is specifically for renting your car to rideshare or food delivery drivers, and you can expect to make around $30/day on average.
19. Find a part-time job
When you need quick money, you typically look for out-of-the-box ideas. But don’t overlook the power of a traditional part-time job.
Part-time jobs might not be as flexible as some of the ideas on this list, but that doesn't mean they can’t help you make money when you need it.
One of my readers needed to find a way to make extra money fast and got a job delivering pizzas. He shared this post in my M$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
20. 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.
They made $16,000 in November of 2020 alone.
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.
21. Rent out your basement or driveway
Here’s another passive way to make money fast: rent out your garage, driveway, attic, basement, or any other space that’s sitting empty at your house. Neighbor is a platform where you can list storage space – kind of like Airbnb, except for stuff instead of people.
Neighbor is appealing for customers because it can be 50% less to rent space from a private individual compared to what self-storage units cost. And for those who want to make extra money, it’s very little work on your end.
What you can expect to make depends on where you live and what space you’re willing to rent. Here are some estimates throughout the U.S.:
- Garage in Houston, TX – $1,110/year
- Driveway in Seattle, WA – $2,124/year
- Basement in St. Louis, MO – $1,650/year
- Garage in Pittsburg, PA – $1,944/year
22. Start a freelance business
There are now over 57 million freelancers in the U.S., and more and more businesses have started outsourcing to freelancers. Freelancing is an extremely flexible way to work, and if you have a marketable skill, you can make money fast by finding freelance work on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.
Here’s an idea of the kind of freelance work you can do:
- Freelance writer: Write for online new sites, content marketers, bloggers, write emails, sales copy, web copy, ghostwrite, and more.
- Virtual assistant: Online business owners like me need virtual assistants (VAs) to help us keep up with our day-to-day business tasks. VAs can get paid to do email inbox management, schedule blog posts, edit articles, manage online forums, handle billing and payroll, run reports, communicate with clients and customers, and so on.
- Pinterest virtual assistant: This is a niche VA role that helps business owners create a more active and engaged presence on Pinterest, which helps drive traffic to their sites.
- Web developer: There’s a growing need for web developers who can work in coding languages like Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, etc.
- Transcriptionist: Take audio or video files and turn them into text documents. You can make money as a general, medical, or legal transcriptionist.
- Proofreader: If you’re good at spotting punctuation and grammatical errors, freelance proofreading is a really flexible way to make money online.
- Bookkeeper: Bookkeepers manage payroll, billing, keep track of business transactions, and prepare reports. You do not need a background in accounting to work online as a bookkeeper.
You can make money faster by leveraging an existing skill (the less time you spend learning something new means the faster you can start earning money).
However, there are freelance skills like writing, proofreading, web development, UI/UX design, and digital marketing that are in-demand enough that may be worth learning. Spend some time checking out each option to see if it’s the right fit for you before spending a ton of money on classes or education.
23. Negotiate a raise at your current job
This is probably one of the most overlooked ways to make quick 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.
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, Facebook ads, 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 also another really 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 so you can 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 really 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.