In the days before emergency funds are fully established there will come a time when you need to generate some quick cash. In a worst case scenario you may need the cash to pay a utility bill, a medical bill, or even your mortgage. In a real emergency, every little bit of cash helps, and here are several ways to raise cash quickly.
1. Take a “day laborer” job. Check out the classifieds for listings looking for day laborers. Often times contractors are looking for people to do some type of manual labor for a short duration, even as short as one day. It could be cleaning up a job site on a new build, or tossing bricks up to guys on a scaffold. You’ll probably earn minimum wage, or only slightly better, but for a couple days work you could clear $100.
2. Sell Your DVD Collection on Ebay. Seriously, how many of those DVDs do you really watch repeatedly? I can count on one hand the ones I would want to keep, but the rest could be sold and I’d never miss them.
3. Work surveys at CashCrate. I’ve been a member of CashCrate for nearly two years now, and still work surveys for extra grocery money. It may take a while to get to $100, but hitting the minimum payout can easily be done the first day. Talk up CashCrate to your friends and family and have them sign up under your name, as the real earning opportunity is in the referrals.
4. Ask neighbors if you can mow their lawn. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “landscaper,” you could easily mow, edge and blow a couple yards for your neighbors on a Saturday morning and make $100. You’d be surprised how many people will take you up on the offer just to take a week off from yard work!
5. Hold a yard sale. One of the faster ways to raise cash is to hold a yard sale. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on advertising. Simply buy a few pieces of brightly-colored poster board and a fat magic marker. Write “YARD SALE” in bold letters, followed by the times and your street address. Place the signs at major intersections to draw traffic. For other ideas read more tips for a successful yard sale.
6. Sell gold jewelry. Thanks to the recession gold prices are still running high. If you have some gold jewelry sitting around that you rarely wear, it might be worth offering it up to broker such as Cash4Gold, who will give you cash in exchange for allowing him to melt it down and resell it for a profit.
7. Be a medical guinea pig. Medical research facilities and universities will pay participants to take part in trials, surveys, and other types of research. Tread carefully here; some trials could have negative medical consequences, while things like surveys and sleep studies don’t seem so bad.
8. Donate plasma. Most cities of any size have a donation center that will offer $25-$35 for a donating plasma. And depending on your medical condition you may be able to donate up to twice a week.
9. Redeem your credit card rewards. Even if you are like me and you haven’t used credit cards in a while, but are working to pay them off, chances are there are some rewards points accumulated from past spending. Contact each credit card company and ask about your rewards balance. Redeem what is available in the form of cash (check from company), or a gift card to a store you can buy some household essentials (Walmart, Home Depot, etc.).
10. Sell your books online. Services like Cash4Books.com will provide an online quote for your books and even add a little extra for the trouble of shipping. Books that don’t sell here may sell at sites like Amazon.com marketplace (a great place to sell textbooks) or eBay.
11. Take something valuable to a pawn shop. Musical instruments, computer equipment, jewelry and sporting equipment in good condition all sell well at pawn shops, and owners are more likely to give you cash for these items.
12. Sell company stock. If you currently participate in an employee stock purchase plan at work, consider cashing out if you are in need of cash. Company stock is not well-diversified, and often the cash could be put to better use, even if it is simply reinvested with a broader diversification.
13. Ask to work overtime. With unemployment running high, and little budgeted for new hires, you may be able to work a little overtime if demand justifies it. Talk to your boss about working some extra hours and you should have a little extra in your next paycheck.
14. Gather up loose change. If you are like me you probably have a couple stashes of loose change – on top of your dresser, in the cup holder of your car, and the cracks between sofa cushions. You can either roll the coins in wrappers provided by your bank, or visit a Coinstar machine in your area to convert the coins to cash. Coinstar charges a fee for cash payouts, but you can get an Amazon.com gift certificate for your full balance, which could be used to buy just about everything under the sun.