Need Money: How To Make Quick Money in One Day

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Maybe you need money now, but your paycheck isn’t hitting your bank account today. Or maybe you’re just interested in learning how to make quick money in one day.

From poker to predatory loans to bank robbery, movies often depict some horrible ideas about how to make fast cash.

However, making quick money — even today — is possible with a little ingenuity, creativity and/or elbow grease.

In this article, I’ll give you some ideas on how you can make or find money right now.


Table of Contents


Make Money Fast by Selling Things

Make fast money by picking up free stuff from Craigslist.

Free stuff: Whether it’s furniture left on the curb, or something you find in Craigslist’s “free” section, local Facebook groups or even dumpsters (there’s a TLC show about it!), there are plenty of places where you can find and pick up items for free. You can turn around and sell the items for cash.

Clothes, shoes and accessories: You can make nice money selling your fashion items, especially if you buy upscale brands and your things are relatively new. Try thredUP, Tradesy, Poshmark and many more.

Electronics: I sold my phone through Gazelle earlier this year. But there are many other options. Amazon, Apple and Best Buy will buy a wider range of electronics, including computers. ItsWorthMore and BuyBackWorld are options as well.

Collectibles: These come in many forms — art, baseball cards, Hot Wheels, old stamps — but the premise is the same. If you need to make quick money in one day, dig these out of storage and figure out what they’re worth. EBay is one place to start.

Unused gift cards: If you’ve got a wallet full of gift cards you haven’t used, exchange them. Websites such as CardCash.com and others will send you money via PayPal, direct deposit, a check or new gift cards. Keep in mind they pay less than the value on your card.

Photos: Are you a good photographer? You may be able to sell stock photos to sites like Getty Images, Adobe Stock, 500px, Shutterstock, Alamy and more.

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Hair: Believe it or not, you can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars by selling your own hair. Usually your hair needs to be longer than 10 inches and not styled or treated. Many of the most popular sites (HairSellon, BuyAndSellHair.com) also require you to pay a listing fee.

Additional Items To Sell

  • Gold/unused jewelry
  • Books
  • Furniture
  • Scrap metal
  • Concert or event tickets (sell instead of attending)

Fast Ways To Make Money Online in One Day

You can get work online quickly. However, in many instances, the money may not hit your account for weeks, even if you start earning today.

Make sure you review when and how you can cash out if you’re going to look into one of these options. There are some great opportunities here, but if you really need money today, these may not be the best solution.

InstaGC: The “GC” stands for gift card. There are a ton of task-based internet sites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) that pay you to perform piecemeal, remote, online tasks. But InstaGC seemingly allows you to get paid, well, instantly. If you need money today, that’s a good thing.

Swagbucks: This is an online rewards program. You earn points by filling out surveys, watching videos, signing up for free offers and more. I’m including this company because you can cash in your points for rewards once you accumulate the equivalent of $1, and you can get paid cash via PayPal when you reach the equivalent of $5. Swagbucks also advertises a sign-up bonus of $10, although it does come with conditions.

Complete internet tasks: Like MTurk, Clickworker, Appen and Upwork are just a few other examples of popular online “tasks for money” sites. However, it may take time to get cleared to work, perform the tasks, earn enough to get paid and process your payout.

Fill out online surveys: The same holds true for this category in terms of timing and payments. Popular companies in the space include Survey Junkie, Toluna, Inbox Dollars, Opinion Outpost and more.

Listen to music: Get paid to listen to music and offer feedback. You’re not going to get rich doing this, and you’re not going to get much immediate cash. But perhaps you can sign up, play some tunes and start earning while you’re going through the other options in this article. Try slicethepie and PlaylistPush.


Found Money: How To Use What You Have for Quick Cash

Cash in your change: Whether you have a piggy bank, a swear jar, a desk drawer or a car cupholder full, you probably have coins sitting around. Consider asking for change rolls at a bank and depositing it, or using it to pay for something rather than giving away a percentage to one of those grocery change sorting machines.

Cash in your credit card points: Many credit cards will let you convert your points into cash rewards. If you need to make quick money in one day, that’s an excellent option. Think about other potential rewards points as well. For example, I could walk into 7-Eleven today and use my loyalty points for free food and/or drinks.

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Return a recent purchase: If you’ve recently bought something you don’t really need, and you need money now, you can return it for a refund. Depending on store policy, you may get store credit or you may get your money back.

Airbnb is a great way to make money now.

Get a roommate or rent out a room. Do you have an extra bedroom in your house, condo or apartment? Consider renting. Make sure that you think through whether you want a written agreement and whether you want to run a background check. If you rent on a service such as Airbnb, you can get paid as soon as 24 hours after check-in.

Use Paribus: Paribus can find and potentially get you cash back on purchases you’ve already made. The company scans your email for receipts. If, say, you didn’t get the best price, or if you paid for 48-hour shipping and the package didn’t arrive on time, Paribus can attempt to get compensation on your behalf.

Sell your bills to collectors: If your paper money has an unusual serial number, you may be able to cash in with collectors through CoolSerialNumbers.com.

How To Make Quick Money by Cutting Back

Everyone has bills to pay. If you eliminate or reduce those, you may find yourself with a pocket full of cash that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Some ideas:

  • Downgrade your entertainment: Cut out Netflix, for example.
  • Shop for discounts on your insurance or see if you’re paying for coverage you don’t need.
  • Look for a less expensive cell phone plan.
  • Refinance your mortgage or student loan debt. You may even be able to renegotiate what you owe to your credit card company.

How To Make Quick Money Outside Your Home

Sweaty jobs: Perhaps this sounds hard (and boring) compared to making money in just a few clicks online from home. But it’s the easiest, tried-and-true method for making quick money in one day. Are you willing to move furniture, clean gutters, mow lawns, paint, clean houses, clean cars, pull weeds … anything like that? Great. Ask your friends and family if they have any work for you. Post flyers or signs in your neighborhood. Scour Craigslist for gigs.

Sell plasma: If you’re not squeamish about needles, this is a way to make fast cash. Try CSLPlasma.com or DonatingPlasma.org.

DoorDash: I became a Dasher, started on a Sunday and got paid on Monday. This delivery service pays most drivers weekly. But if you start on a weekend, you can get paid within days. You can also see how much money you’ve earned immediately and you don’t need to hit a certain level of pay in order to trigger a payout. There may be other gig work that pays out just as fast, but I can include this one from experience.

Recycle for cash: Depending on what state you live in, you may be able to earn money by recycling items like bottles, cans and empty ink cartridges. Earth911 is a good website to locate recycling centers near you, but you may have to search Google to find out your state’s rules and rates.

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Focus groups: You’ll find a range of payout timelines and rates if you look into these. There are also sometimes medical studies. In any event, you can make pretty good money in small batches of time via focus groups, sometimes quickly. Some sites to check out: FocusGroup.com, Respondent.io, 20|20 Panel and Probe Market Research.


Things To Avoid When You Need Money Now

If you need cash fast and you’re deciding on how to make quick money in one day, it can be tempting to take shortcuts.

However, in many cases, those “shortcuts” can cause you even more problems. If you need fast cash, taking what little you do have and risking it all, or going into further debt, is a bad idea, even if things turn out OK at the end of the movie Rounders.

Avoid things like this if you’re trying to figure out how to make quick money:

  • Taking out a high-interest loan such as a payday or auto title loan
  • Charging items or taking cash advances on high-interest credit cards
  • Trading equities
  • Betting or gambling

Consider Building an Emergency Fund

Perhaps you’re in a great financial position, and you’re looking for fast cash just because you like making money.

But if you need to know how to make quick money in one day because you’re in a difficult financial position, consider working to build an emergency fund once you’re able to do so.

“Oops” happen in life, money expert Clark Howard says. We all face unexpected expenses at some point. That’s why setting aside some savings that you can access when you need it is a great idea.

Start by saving even a tiny amount and work toward increasing the amount over time.

If you feel you’re not in a position to save anything, review your finances. Make a budget and find ways to cut out unnecessary expenses. That way you can avoid being in a situation where you need fast cash in the future.


Final Thoughts

Whether you want or need to make some cash right now, there are plenty of legitimate ways to make quick money in one day. If you’re in a tight financial spot, you also may want to review your long-term financial plan. Make sure you’re saving and working on building an emergency fund so that you’re in a position to make money fast because you want to — not because you need to.

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