Are you living within your means and using a budget to help you track spending and cut costs — yet find you’re still struggling to make progress on your financial goals? Do you need to make $5,000 fast in order to pay a big bill or set up a rainy day account?
Let’s face it: You try to spend wisely and live frugally. But the fact is, sometimes pinching pennies just isn’t enough.
If you want to keep making big progress towards financial success, it’s time to think about earning extra money.
How to make $5,000 fast
It may sound like a daunting task, but it is possible to make $5,000 fast.
We tend to think of things in yearlong cycles of 52 weeks, but it doesn’t have to take a full year to earn $5,000. You can do it in less than 12 months by working an extra few hours a week — or even faster than that if you dedicate more time to it.
But here’s a word of advice before you get started: Don’t try to go to broad when it comes to developing a side hustle. Narrow your focus and stick to what works for your life and your current time commitments.
Finally, keep in mind that all figures about potential earnings you see below are before tax.
1. Start driving
- Job title: Uber of Lyft driver
- Potential earnings: $12.66/hour
- Work 8 hours a week for 50 weeks to earn $5,000
Money expert Clark Howard tried his hand at both Uber and Lyft. He drove for 4.5 hours around metro Atlanta and made $57 before tax.
That works out to be an average of $12.66/hour. That means you’d have to work 395 hours over a year — or about 8 hours/week for 50 weeks — to gross $5,000 before taxes.
Read all about Clark’s driving experience here.
2. Turn the pictures on your phone into money
- Job title: On-demand photographer
- Potential earnings: $50 to $75 per picture
- Sell just two pictures (at $50 each) per week for 50 weeks to earn $5,000
Great news if you’re a shutterbug! A whole host of players out there will let you turn the pictures on your smartphone into money.
For example, Snapwire is just one of several apps that lets you accept commissioned tasks — called requests and challenges — from brands and ad agencies to shoot certain subjects. Or, you can submit your own portfolio of general interest pics for sale.
Snapwire takes a nothing from the sale price on requests and challenges and a 50% fee on portfolio pics that sell.
The average photo in the requests and challenges category sells for anywhere between $50 and $75, according to one recent review.
Other similar services to check out include:
3. Pick up a work-from-home job
- Job title: Home-based agent
- Potential earnings: $15/hour
- Work one eight-hour shift (or two four-hours shifts) each week and you’ll earn $5,000 in just 42 weeks
Running all around town to shoot pictures or picking up strangers in your car and having to make small talk may not be your cup of tea.
If you prefer something a little more sedentary and predictable, you could try picking up a work-at-home job. While there are many varieties of this type of remote work, some of the most common are customer service and virtual call center gigs.
Home agents earn anywhere from $8-$20 per hour, but you can figure $12-$15 per hour as a good average.
You’ll have to pass background and credit checks for many of these jobs and practically all of them will require you to have a dedicated landline telephone that you only use for work.
Amazon, in particular, does a lot of hiring for work-at-home jobs. Bonus: The e-commerce giant just increased its wage to $15/hour for customer support roles.
In addition, we’ve got a frequently updated list of work-from-home jobs for other major companies right here.
4. Wrap your car
- Job title: Become an advertiser on wheels
- Potential earnings: Around $415/month for a full wrap on a standard suburban-to-metro area commute
- Drive 12 months as you normally would and earn $5,000
Wrapify will pay you for advertising companies on the go by covering your vehicle’s exterior in a branded wrap.
Once you’re wrapped, you just drive your normal commute in your vehicle. Drivers get paid by the mile based on a visibility formula that factors in time of day and areas of heavy traffic that you pass through.
For a full wrap, you can make between $264 and $452 a month, according to Wrapify’s website.
Partial wraps earn less — in the $200 range per month. Want to wrap just a panel of your vehicle? Expect to make around $84 – $140 every 30 days.
Carvertise is a similar service, but they usually pay only about $100 a month.
As a general rule, you must have a car that’s no more than 10 model years old to work with any of these services.
5. Perform odd jobs
- Job title: Handyman or jack of all trades
- Potential earnings: $10/hour
- Work 10 extra hours per week for 50 weeks and earn $5,000
Opportunities to perform odd jobs around your community for a little extra cash are abundant.
If you want to pursue this route with a modern twist, hop on TaskRabbit and sign up to perform odd jobs in your area. Tasks include anything from housecleaning to running errands, and you’ll earn an hourly rate for your work.
Again, it’s hard to nail down exactly what you need to do to reach the $5,000 in extra income. It depends on what odd job you perform and how much you charge for it.
If you worked for $10 per hour, you would need to work about an extra 10 hours per week throughout the year to earn an extra $5,000.
If that sounds like a lot, consider the fact that the average American watches five hours of TV per day.
Most people do have the time to devote to earning a little extra money. It’s just a matter of deciding to work for it.
6. Sell your stuff (or someone else’s)
- Job title: Garage sale guru
- Potential earnings: Varies
- If you can pull in $100 a week orchestrating garage and estate sales for others, you can earn $5,000 over 50 weeks
Many people have whole houses full of stuff they no longer want, need or use. While you can’t reasonably hold a garage sale every week at your own home, you can start with one big sale and see how far you get.
Once you’ve cleared out your own items, consider helping other people you know clear out their own homes. After you get a few successful jobs under your belt, think about positioning yourself as an organizing consultant like Marie Kondo.
You can offer to collect the stuff that clients no longer want and spend your time hosting a yard sale in exchange for a percentage of the total profits.
Or, consider “flipping” big ticket items that you can pick up from Craigslist or Goodwill on the cheap.
It’s amazing how a little TLC can transform old and discarded pieces of furniture — and how a little work to restore an old piece can bring in a tidy profit.
7. Teach others
- Job title: Tutor
- Potential earnings: $50/hour and up
- Lead 100 tutorial session (2 per week for 50 weeks) to earn $5,000
A great way to give back to your community and make a little extra money at the same time is to teach a skill or specialized knowledge that you know to other people. You get to share something valuable with the people around you, and you can receive compensation for your time.
Teaching others in order to earn extra money can take many forms, including:
- Hosting a class, lecture, seminar, or webinar
- Writing for written or online publications in a field you know a lot about (i.e. gardening, mechanics, fitness, etc)
- Creating your own website and blog to share this knowledge, which you can monetize through advertising, sponsorships, and hosting your own online courses. You could even sell your own ebooks.
Remember, you don’t have to try all of these. Building a website or blog isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and requires a lot of hard work before you start seeing a monetary payoff. But they’re ideas to consider.
Tutors can make upwards of $50 per hour, and teachers who can host an educational workshop of some kind could make $150 or more per student who attends.
Freelance writers charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per article depending on experience, and bloggers can easily make full-time incomes from their efforts (but this usually takes a few years and a lot of unpaid work upfront to achieve).
There are a lot of options here when it comes to making $5,000 in a relatively short period of time. Figure out what makes the most sense for your life and then go for it.
You’ll have to get creative and be confident. But if you set out to experiment with one or more of these ideas today, you’ll be on your way to making extra cash this year shortly.
If you just want some general advice on how to bring in extra money — without meeting a certain dollar goal — check out our frequently updated article on 22 easy ways to make extra money right now!