6 steps to make $1,000 fast

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man holding money at computer
Image Credit: Dreamstime

Are you facing a financial emergency and wondering how to make $1,000 fast?

Maybe you have a pet that requires emergency surgery. Maybe you had an emergency room visit yourself. Or maybe there’s a dead tree in your yard that’s threatening your roof and needs to come down ASAP.

Whatever the reason, the dilemma is the same: You’re in a pinch and you need to come up with a chunk of cash in a short period of time.

How to make $1,000 fast in your spare time

Before we can tell you how to make $1,000 fast, we first have to define what fast is. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to say a two-week to three-week window is fast.

We selected that timeline because it approximates a real-life financial emergency situation: You get hit with a financial bump in the road and maybe you deal with it by charging up a credit card.

Then after you catch your breath, you only have a short period of time to figure out a way to come up with the extra cash before interest charges kick in.

Of course, most people who need to make $1,000 fast are probably going to be working full-time already. So the opportunities listed below are all things you can do in your spare time.

If you do these six things below, the money you earn will add up to $1,000 in about two to three weeks, give or take a week.

Table of contents

  1. Donate plasma 
  2. Join a focus group
  3. Get paid to eat out at restaurants
  4. Pick up a food delivery gig
  5. Take some surveys online
  6. Sell some of your stuff 

1. Donate plasma

plasma donation

  • Side hustle: Plasma donor
  • Potential earnings: Up to $400
  • Running tally of earnings: $400

Need extra cash? Thousands of Americans are making money everyday by donating plasma. The process is similar to blood donation and takes about 90 minutes.

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Plasma donation centers frequently advertise special promotions for new donors. For example, Octapharma Plasma says new donors can earn up to $400/month when you donate with them.

Other big players in the plasma donation field you may want to check out include CSL Plasma and BioLife Plasma Services.

Best of all, your plasma donations are used to create life-saving medications. So this is one opportunity that benefits both your wallet and your heart!

2. Join a focus group

focus group participants

  • Side hustle: Focus group participant
  • Potential earnings: Up to $250
  • Running tally of earnings: $650

Do you like to share your thoughts and opinions on new products? By becoming a focus group participant, you can get paid to do so!

One of our staff members here at Team Clark recently made $250 in a one-month period by participating in focus groups through FocusGroup.com.

Getting started is simple: Just register online and then you’ll get emails with surveys to help you qualify for paid focus groups with Focus Pointe Global. Studies are conducted at the company’s 20 facilities nationwide and online.

While conducting research for this article, we saw four high-paying opportunities open in the metro Atlanta area:

Topic Age and other demographic info Pay rate
Pet products Pet owners 18-65 $75
Candy Women 25-45 $125
Toilet tissue 25-59 $150
Retirement 45-70 $150

3. Get paid to eat out at restaurants

woman eating food at a restaurant

  • Side hustle: Restaurant secret shopper
  • Potential earnings: Up to $50
  • Running tally of earnings: $700

Maybe you don’t like the idea of opening your mouth to share your opinion with a focus group. Well, how about putting some food into your mouth and getting paid to eat out at restaurants?!

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Market Force is one of the main players that will pay you to eat out at restaurants as a mystery shopper. Your job is to objectively let restaurants know how are doing and if their food is being prepared as it should be.

One of our team members who tried this service earned $42 after eating out at two restaurants in one month!  Market Force reimburses you for what you spend on the meal, and they pay you for your time and for your feedback on the dining experience. They even pay for your parking and tolls while you’re at the restaurant, if any!

However, there is one caveat: This service will take a while to pay you if you’re just getting started.

As with some other mystery shopping sites, Market Force pays monthly (the 15th of every month). That means if you do all your restaurants visits in the first few days of the month, you won’t see that check until the middle of the following month (about 45 days later).

Check out this video that explains the whole process:

4. Pick up a food delivery gig

now delivering with doordash sign at a wendy's restaurant

  • Side hustle: Food delivery person
  • Potential earnings: Up to $100
  • Running tally of earnings: $800

You’re probably familiar with Uber, where you can pick up extra cash by shuttling people around in your vehicle. But if you either don’t like the idea of having strangers in your car or your vehicle is too old to qualify, you may still be able to deliver food through Uber Eats or competitor DoorDash.

Let’s take a look at DoorDash. You sign up online with your email, phone number and zip code. Then the company does a background check on you. They’re mainly looking for arrests or criminal accusations that are pending or resulted in a conviction up to seven years ago.

You must have a valid driver’s license, insurance and a clean driving record. But DoorDash also provides up to $1,000,000 in supplemental commercial auto insurance when you deliver with them.

Additional requirements include:

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  • You must be 18 or older
  • No major violations in the last seven years
  • No more than three accidents or moving violations in the last three years

Fortunately, there are no age requirements for your vehicle when you deliver food. In addition to using your car, you can also deliver on motorcycle, scooter, bicycle or even on foot in select markets.

DoorDash says you can make up to $25/hour when you hit peak delivery periods. But you are actually guaranteed a minimum of $10/hour or they’ll pay you the difference.

So even if you did this just for 10 hours over a couple of weeks, you’d walk away with a minimum of $100 in your pocket — and that’s before tips. Best of all, DoorDash says you can get paid within a week when you start with them.

5. Take some surveys online

MTurk man typing on a computer

  • Side hustle: MTurker
  • Potential earnings: Up to $100
  • Running tally of earnings: $900

If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra money during your downtime, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) can be a golden opportunity.

MTurk is an online marketplace where you’ll find a variety of micro-gigs that you can do for a small cash reward. These mini-jobs, called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), can take anywhere from seconds to a few minutes or longer to complete.

Some examples of the tasks up for grabs on MTurk include:

  • Surveys for academic research
  • Identify objects in a photo or video
  • Transcribe audio recordings
  • Research data details

One of our staffers challenged himself to do 30 MTurk HITs in 30 days. He spent just 30 minutes a day each time and managed to earn $110! Read about his experience here.

6. Sell some of your stuff

woman holding phone with letgo app

  • Side hustle: Online seller
  • Potential earnings: Up to $100
  • Running tally of earnings: $1,000

If you’ve never sold any of your stuff online before, there’s no better time to start than when you need to figure out how to make $1,000 fast!

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Fortunately, there are a variety of apps and websites including the old standbys like eBay and Craigslist and newer players like Facebook Marketplace and Letgo to ease you into the world of selling your stuff online.

Let’s take a look at Letgo. To get started, just download the app for iOS or Android. Then you simply snap a picture of what you’re selling, enter the price and post it.

You can enhance your listing by adding more pictures and editing the auto-generated description. That will make your post more eye-catching and hopefully bring in more potential buyers.

Here’s a closer look at how Letgo works:

BONUS: Do a free search for missing money online

MissingMoney.com website screenshot

There are several sites out there you could search right now and possibly find unclaimed funds in your name!

Start by going to MissingMoney.com and punching your name into the database to do a search of available unclaimed funds across all states. (Note: Not every state participates.)

After that, you’ll probably want to head over to Unclaimed.org next. Unclaimed.org, which is part of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, works well if you live in a state that doesn’t participate with the Missing Money database.

If you do find missing money in your name on either site, there’s no fee to claim it. But the whole process can take several weeks, so don’t expect to get paid overnight!

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Final thought

Now that you’ve learned how to make $1,000 fast, the next step is to put your knowledge into practice. We know it isn’t necessarily easy, but with our plan as outlined above, you’ve got a road map to get there in just a couple of weeks!

Need more ideas to make cash on the side? See our long list of other legitimate ways to earn money here!

More Clark.com articles you may like: 

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