Sometimes, you need money right away. As in as fast as yesterday. Here’s the catch, though. The road to good, fast money is not always paved with ease. There are, however, legitimate ways of finding an immediate cash flow.
If you’re in good financial shape, you might have an emergency fund you can use. But, what if don’t? OK, what about your savings? If you’re saving up for a down payment for a new car or home, this might be a no-no.
Wouldn’t your credit card work just as well? Sure. But, that might put you into debt. Besides, according to WalletHub’s Credit Card Landscape Report, the average credit card interest rate is 21.92% for new offers and 19.07% for existing accounts.
How about your retirement funds? According to financial services firm Fidelity, 2.4% of 401(k) participants took hardship withdrawals last year, up from 1.9% in 2021. According to Fidelity, that is the highest share of hardship withdrawals recorded. The share typically ranges from 2% to 2.3% each year.
What’s wrong with that? In general, the IRS allows hardship withdrawals for a limited set of reasons, including medical care, tuition for the employee or a family member, payments to prevent eviction or foreclosure, funeral costs, and expenses associated with repairing the employee’s principal residence. But, if the withdrawal doesn’t meet those qualifications, you may be hit with penalties, as well as having to pay income taxes. Also, that money is supposed to be for your golden years.
If you’re in desperate need of money, or even just want to get ahead, here are some ideas to make an extra dollar in an hour or less.
1. Sell the things you own.
I think this is the easiest and most obvious way to earn money in an hour. When it comes to sentimental items, it can be difficult to part with them. But, you don’t have to go there unless you’re really in a pickle.
Instead, go through your belongings and decide which ones you no longer need. There may be:
- Clothing that no longer fits.
- Unnecessary furniture.
- Books you’ve already read.
- Phones, tablets, and other electronic devices you haven’t used since upgrading.
- Your old workout equipment.
- High-end jewelry you no longer wear.
- Old strollers and clothing for babies.
- Items that you purchased for a hobby, but never followed through, such as musical instruments.
If you list your items online through one of these platforms or apps, you can earn money in no time:
- Facebook Marketplace
You could also take these items in person to local consignments, thrift, or pawn shops.
2. Take a pawnshop loan.
Speaking of pawn shops, you might want to consider a pawnshop loan. Bev O’Shea and Jackie Veling explain how this works over at NerdWallet.
“To get a pawn loan, you go to a pawnshop with something you own that you’re willing to leave as collateral,” they explain. “The staff assesses the item’s value, condition and resale potential, then decides whether to offer a loan.”
Pawnshops will lend you about 25% to 60% of the resale value, according to Nolo.com. Since quotes from pawnshops can differ significantly, shopping around is a good idea.
When you accept a loan, you walk away with the cash and a pawn ticket, which you will need to return your item.
“Because you left collateral with the lender, a pawn loan doesn’t require a credit check, but you must be 18 or older and show proof of your identity,” O’Shea and Veling add. “Pawnshops are in regular contact with law enforcement to avoid dealing in stolen goods, so the shop may require proof of purchase or ownership of the item.”
Depending on the store and location, you may be able to pawn different items. Jewelry, firearms, electronics, tools, and musical instruments are typically in high demand.
“You then return within the agreed-upon time, usually 30 days to two months, to pick up the item and pay off the loan (plus fees and interest),” they write. The fee will vary from state to state and can include storage and insurance costs.
The loan may be extended or renewed if you are unable to repay it within the original term. To recoup its loss, the pawnshop sells your item if you don’t repay the loan.
According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, the average pawnshop loan is $150, and it is repaid in about 30 days.
3. Resell unredeemed gift cards.
Are there any gift cards you haven’t used? They can be quickly converted into cash. CardCash.com and GiftDeals.com are two websites that allow you to do this.
You can sell your used gift cards with their respective balances at a slightly lower price than their retail value on both platforms. A Starbucks gift card can be sold for 4% less than its value, while a Lowe’s gift card can be sold for $6 less than its value.
4. Gather your spare change.
You’re not making money here, technically. But do you really want to carry a jar of quarters that weighs ten pounds?
Using a coin kiosk is a fast and easy way to change coins into cold, hard cash. For cash withdrawals, Coinstar charges a service fee of 11.9% and a transaction fee of $0.25. However, if you’re okay with those fees, Coinstar is a great way to get some fast money.
As an alternative, your bank may be able to give you cash for your rolled coins. However, some banks also have kiosks similar to Coinstar. However, for their customers, they won’t charge you any fees.
5. Scrap metal.
Recycling your cans and bottles is a great way to get quick cash, even if it’s not always easy to remember. Bring them to a redemption center near you and exchange them for cash. The amount you receive per can or bottle will vary based on your location. Usually, it’s just five or ten cents per can or bottle. It may not seem like much, but it can add up over time.
The more profitable option is to trade scrap metal for cash. For you to earn money from recycling aluminum cans, copper, steel, or copper. You may even make cash from old appliances. For example, over the weekend I took my broken washer to the scrap yard. I only made $15. But, that was $15 I didn’t have before.
However, to make real money you must determine whether the material is ferrous or nonferrous. In spite of their commonality, ferrous metals have a greater profit potential than non-ferrous metals. Searching for “scrap yards near me” is the best way to locate scrap metal recycling centers.
6. Donate plasma.
The process of donating plasma is similar to what you would expect when donating blood. This process can sometimes take up to 90 minutes. It’s possible, though, to do a plasma donation in about an hour if you find a quiet donation center.
A person will usually earn about $50-75 per appointment. However, plasma donation amounts vary based on where you donate.
New plasma donors can earn $100 with their first donation and up to $500 within their first month at a plasma collection center such as CSL Plasma.
7. Sell your hair.
This might seem a little out there. Despite this, high-end wigs and hair extensions are often made of human hair. The difference between synthetic and human hair is significant. It is more natural-feeling and more textured than artificial hair products, which is why many people prefer products made of human hair.
Several factors will influence the value of your hair, including its length, texture, and color. The majority of buyers prefer rarer colors, longer or thicker hair, and hair that has not been treated with salon chemicals or excessive heat.
If you are unable to find a local buyer, such as a salon, you can sell your hair on sites like Buy and Sell Hair, HairSellon, and World of Wigs.
8. Deliver food.
Do you own a car, bike, or scooter? In that case, delivering food and groceries for money is another way to make money in one hour.
There is one catch though. To start delivering food, you must first sign up for gig apps that pay you. However, you can earn money in just one hour or less by taking on various driving gigs once you have been approved.
The following apps are popular for food delivery:
- Uber Eats
The advantage of jobs like DoorDash and Uber Eats is that you can start working anytime from any location.
You can also cash out your daily earnings with both apps via instant pay instead of waiting a week to receive your money. Similarly, Instacart Shopper Pay can work pretty well if you know how to navigate a grocery store well.
Overall, gig economy jobs such as these pay well, and you can get paid quickly, which is always a bonus.
9. Handle packages.
When it comes to making deliveries, food delivery gigs are just the beginning. There are plenty of peer-to-peer delivery jobs out there that pay can pay you lickety-split.
Among the high-paying delivery jobs you can apply for are:
- Amazon Flex. For delivering packages, you’ll get paid $18 to $25 an hour.
- Roadie. In this gig job, you’ll be delivering packages to both individuals and small businesses.
- GoShare. You can make money delivering packages with a cargo van, a truck, or a sedan.
Often, you must apply for these jobs first, and it can take up to a week. In any case, if you’re an active driver looking for a way to make money in an hour, these side gigs are certainly feasible options.
10. Driver for Uber or Lyft.
Driving people around for Uber and Lyft is one of the easiest ways to earn extra money. I find the flexibility to be the most appealing benefit. When you have the time, turn on the app and start making that dough.
It is necessary to have an approved car and a clean driving record in order to qualify. Generally, this takes about 48 hours. Even so, there are many stories about Lyft and Uber drivers who are bringing home about $1000 a week.
11. Do odd jobs.
To make money in an hour, you can complete quick cash gigs close to home. The best part is that a number of apps exist to help you find odd jobs ASAP. TaskRabbit, for instance, lets you offer your services locally.
The following are some of the most popular gigs:
- Snow removal
- Gutter cleaning
- Window washing
- Junk removal
To increase your income, you can also use apps like Steady to find part-time jobs. Steady members earn an average of $5k more a year than non-members.
12. Search the Craigslist “Gigs” section.
Similarly, you can find daily work on Craigslist’s “gigs” section. A variety of tasks can be performed, from moving furniture to doing yard work for someone. Everyone can find a “gig” near them, regardless of where they live.
What makes these gigs so special? It is often possible to get the job done within an hour, and you can earn up to $100 or more for it. For example, I saw an ad for someone living in the Upper East Side of New York offering $100 to move a mattress. And, a lot of the gigs, such as dishwashers or servers, were paying $35 per hour.
View what’s available in your city, and if anything catches your attention, contact the poster for more information.
13. Return a recent purchase.
Did you spend a lot recently and the item is in good condition? By returning it, you’ll be able to get some cash back.
It’s better to have the cash in your pocket than the item collecting dust, whether it’s a new jacket or a video game you haven’t played yet. After all, returning something you don’t need is a better use of your money than spending it on something you don’t need.
14. Scan your receipts.
Customers can earn savings or cash back by scanning their receipts using receipt apps. Shoppers use these apps to search for offers or deals at their favorite retailers, then upload receipts showing the items they purchased. For qualifying purchases, shoppers receive cash back within 48 hours after uploading their receipts. You may receive cash back directly into your bank account or as gift cards, depending on which app you choose. Some apps reward users for certain purchases with points. A gift card or a cash payment can be redeemed with these points.
The market is flooded with receipt apps. It may be free or paid, depending on the service. There are some apps that require users to shop at specific retailers, while others simply award points for specific purchases. Several of these apps also offer money back on purchases made at restaurants and pharmacies in addition to items purchased at grocery stores and department stores.
Some receipt apps worth checking out are:
- Receipt Hog
Are you talented and live in a big city? Take to the streets and entertain for cash if this is the case.
The idea might work if there are enough people walking by to donate money, whether you play an instrument, dance, sing, dress like a mascot, or even do magic. Keyboard Kraz founder Chris Senner says he’s seen musicians making $500-600 a day busking in Los Angeles.
However, ensure you adhere to any local laws that may apply since every city has different laws.
16. Leverage sign-up bonuses.
A credit card sign-up bonus can help you earn money quickly. The trick, though, is to choose the right one. You should select a card with no annual fee and a minimum spending requirement of $200 or more to maximize your earning potential.
In the first few months after opening a cash-back credit card, most offer a $200 bonus if you spend $500 or more. When you open a credit card and charge regular expenses and bills immediately, you can earn money quickly.
It is your responsibility to pay off your credit card bill in full. If you carry a balance month after month, you’ll pay astronomical interest rates.
17. Rotate bank accounts.
If you use your extra money to earn a generous bank account bonus, you can earn a few hundred dollars with little effort. You can earn a bank account bonus by following these simple steps:
- It is required that you make a minimum deposit and leave it in the account for a minimum of 90 to 120 days before withdrawing your money.
- If you open a new account, you may have to set up direct deposits.
- Several bank account bonuses require you to use a debit card connected to your account.
Depending on how you meet the bonus requirements, your account can be credited with $100 to $300.
If you want some of this free money, check out these 15 sign-up bonuses you can’t ignore.
18. Search for unclaimed money.
It may sound too good to be true. But, you’ll probably only need 15 minutes or less for this one.
You can search the MissingMoney.com database for unclaimed funds across multiple states by entering your name. There are, however, some states that do not participate.
In case your state doesn’t participate, you can try Unclaimed.org. On this website, you can find information about the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
19. Inquire about payroll advances.
Your employer may be able to advance you cash, which you repay through payroll deductions. In addition, some companies offer low-cost loans to workers in need.
Another option is Earnin, an app that offers workers advances that they repay in a lump sum at no interest on payday. However, a voluntary donation is required, as is access to your bank account and work timesheets.
20. Borrow the money.
When you need money, borrowing it may be the simplest solution. In other words, you can always ask your friends and family to lend a hand if you are trying to earn money fast.
I don’t know what your social network is like. As such, think carefully about whether or not this is something you’re comfortable with and whether or not this amount is appropriate.
Alternatively, you can borrow $100 to $15,000 using platforms such as Zippyloan, which sends money within one business day. Cash advance apps can also be used to borrow money against an upcoming paycheck if this option doesn’t work for you.
In this category, you can find the following popular apps:
- Albert. This fee-free advance allows you to borrow up to $250.
- Brigit. Also like Albert, Brigit lets you get up to $250 fast.
- Dave. When you’re in a jam, this app can help you get up to $500 by tomorrow
Is there a way to get money immediately?
Selling your unwanted goods is one of the best ways to earn money immediately. If you have old electronics, unused gift cards and other items lying around your house, you might be able to make some quick cash.
It’s important to note that selling items is not the only way to make money rapidly. If you need money, you can use any of the options above.
What is a gig worker?
A gig worker can also be classified as a freelancer or independent contractor (also referred to as a contingent worker). In all three cases, the same thing is meant – a person who works for a number of clients on a short-term contract basis. Jobs such as these are called gigs.
Gig workers are not only differentiated by the term of their contracts. Aside from working short-term, gig economy workers do not receive employee benefits, retirement structures, nor are they covered by health insurance. As a result, they have to pay higher taxes at the end of the year since they can’t have their taxes automatically withheld.
In order to find work, gig workers typically use apps and online platforms where businesses advertise specific job openings. By using skills, experience, and minimum wage, they can find the perfect gig worker for the job.
In short, an individual who is hired for a set duration (gig) is referred to as a gig worker.
Is there a guarantee that I will make money in one hour?
In life, there are only two guarantees: death and taxes. In other words, making money is not guaranteed.
Nevertheless, I personally know people who have used the ideas above to make money in one hour. These gigs also give you greater control over your career and life because they are flexible. But, once you have extra money, you can build sustainable wealth through budgeting, investing, and reaching your savings goals.
What should I avoid when it comes to fast cash?
Below you’ll find a list of fast-cash options that you may not have heard of before. As always, there is a catch. Learn what you’re getting into if you must take this route.
- Payday loans. People with a bank account and a source of income can obtain a payday loan, which is repaid in a lump sum. A typical two-week loan comes with an interest rate of nearly 400%.
- Payday installment loans. It is possible to get a payday installment loan in person or online. It does not matter what your credit score is. In the long run, however, interest charges have a severe effect. With 400% APR, you would pay over $22,000 for a $2,000, 3-year loan.
- Credit-building payday loans. In most cases, payday lenders do not report on-time payments to credit bureaus, which could boost your credit score. If the borrower’s credit improves, some lenders reduce interest rates on subsequent loans. In spite of this, rates can still be exorbitant.
- Auto title loans. Short-term loans require you to give up your vehicle’s title as collateral in places where they are legal. If you fail to repay the loan, your vehicle can be seized.