The Bottom Line: Get Started

No matter where you are in life – or where you hope to be – earning more money is the ticket to the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Once you start earning more money, you’ll gain control over your life in ways you never thought possible.

You might have to fail a thousand times to make it happen, but you’ll eventually realize the secret most wealthy people already know – that earning more money is your ticket to freedom.

It won’t always be easy. The bulk of successful entrepreneurs and side hustlers don’t get rich overnight. The majority of the time, you have to experiment with more than one money-making venture before you can decide your best path to building real wealth.

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Bonus: Look for Odd Jobs on Craigslist

Need money today? Don’t forget to check your local Craigslist “gig” section for odd jobs. You can snag jobs that range from cleaning, help with moving, lawn care, and so much more. 

The cool thing about Craigslist gigs is that they are typically small jobs that you can easily do in a few hours or a day and earn some extra cash.

All of these types of jobs should be paid upon completion and some will pay very well.

4. Start Delivering Food

If you have a car, you should start considering food and grocery delivery services. You’ve probably heard of Uber and Lyft already, but maybe driving passengers around isn’t your thing.

The cool thing is that delivering food and groceries is a service that’s continuing to grow, and you can earn some quick money without having to drive people around.

Another growing one is doing grocery shopping for people via Instacart!

While it usually takes longer than an hour to get cleared for delivering or diving with Uber or these other services, once you’re cleared, you can start at an hour or less each day.

Even if you don’t have a car, you can potentially deliver food and groceries using a bike or scooter depending on your city.

To get started, you can sign up with one of these major services:

About the Author

Morgan Quinn is an experienced personal finance writer and her work has appeared on WSJ.com, Huffington Post and Slate. She is also the former Managing Editor of Mint.com.

9. Deliver Food

Opportunities to deliver food have been taken to a new level thanks to app-based devices. There are numerous food delivery apps such as Postmates, Uber Eats, and DoorDash that are a great way to make some extra cash without requiring you to work for a food establishment.

With the flexibility to select when, where, and how much you want to work, food delivery apps make it possible to make quick side money.

14. Money-making strategy: Become a personal training

If you understand fitness, you could be a personal trainer. People pay good money for personal trainers, if only to have someone keep them on track towards their goals. You can add value while also helping yourself financially.

This could also break off into nutrition and assisting people with meal plans, and so on. You could solicit clients in your local gym, but depending on where you live, you might need some certification to do this (not to mention the gym’s approval). You could also use a site like FitnessTrainer to advertise your services.

Related: This Entrepreneur Lives in the Back Room at a Gym While Building His Business

17. Wash or Detail Cars

Offer your services on Craigslist or reach out to

Offer your services on Craigslist or reach out to local dealerships to see if they have any opportunities available. Most dealerships rely on car washers to spruce up their cars for showrooms to intrigue potential buyers, so you might find part-time or full-time work washing, waxing, and detailing their cars.

21. Money-making strategy: Give blood

You can \make around $20 to $50 per donation of blood, depending if your blood type is rare or common. You can also donate plasma. Different states have different minimum requirements that must be paid when people donate plasma.

Plasma donations help people who are fighting Leukemia and other immune disorders. This is a bit more complicated and involved than donating blood but you won’t get much more than donating blood.

6) Part With Your Plasma

Now we're getting to the more extreme options. Plasma is a valuable resource used for a variety of medical treatments and research. Donating plasma is similar to giving blood, according to Octapharma Plasma Inc., a company that collects plasma used to create life-saving medicines for patients worldwide.

Once your blood is drawn, it's cycled through special equipment that separates plasma from the other parts of your blood. Your plasma is then collected in a container, while the other parts are safely returned to your body in a process called plasmapheresis.

Reports vary as to how much you can make, and it will depend on a variety of factors. You could make between $20 and $60 for each donation. According to the Octapharma Plasma website, "Generally, the more you weigh, the more plasma we can collect, and the longer it takes to donate it. The amount of money new and returning donors make reflects this."

Fast Money Options to AVOID

When you need money FAST, it can be tempting to borrow money questionable lenders or earn cash in illegal ways. But more often than not, this leads people into an even worse situation than where they started.

Here are a few methods you should definitely AVOID for fast money:

  • Illegal Activities: With so many legitimate ways to earn fast money, why resort to crime!? The penalties and risk are not worth the money, no matter how easy it seems.
  • Payday lenders: Payday loans are short term, unsecured loans that are easy to qualify for and give you quick cash. But the downside is the interest on these loans can be upwards of 400% APR! No matter how bad your need is for fast money, avoid borrowing at high interest rates or you may be caught in an uncontrollable debt cycle.
  • Credit card cash advance: Some credit cards offer cash advances, allowing you to take out money at an ATM with your credit card. But these also have exorbitant fees and high interest costs.

All in all, borrowing money is not a sustainable way to generate quick cash. Instead, focus on earning money using the skills and resources you already have available to you.

2) Take on Odd Jobs

If you don't have any high-value items to unload, you can try selling your services instead—especially if you are out of work and have time on your hands. You might babysit and/or pet-sit for friends or start up a neighborhood dog-walking service. According to ZipRecruiter, the nationwide average hourly wage for a babysitter is $17 an hour, while pet sitting pays an average of $14 per hour. Dog walkers can typically earn about $15 an hour, according to PayScale.

If you're not up for dealing with dogs or kids, you might offer to mow the grass and wash cars for people in your neighborhood, or drive a neighbor's elderly aunt to her doctors' appointments. Or, if you enjoy driving, you might sign up to be a Lyft or Uber driver. According to Gridwise, rideshare drivers' earnings in 2021 depend on where they live, but range from $14.65 per hour in San Antonio, Texas, to $19.44 in California's Bay Area.

You could also grocery shop for busy friends or older adults, or offer to repair and paint your sister’s dilapidated fence. Depending on how many jobs you take on and how much you charge for each task, you could scrape together a few hundred bucks within a single weekend. If you don’t have enough people who need work done, try signing up for jobs through websites such as TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, or skills-based work in Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr.

An emergency fund can provide a financial cushion to help when unexpected costs, like medical bills, or loss of a job, occur. Try to set aside money when you can to start one.

Conclusion

Making money online can help you earn some extra side hustle money, but it can also help you escape your 9 to 5 job so you can become a full-time entrepreneur. By brainstorming online business ideas and choosing to start an online business, you gain more financial freedom, improve your financial security, and inch closer to living life on your terms.

If you're looking for more online money making ideas, don't forget to check out Shopify's post on 25 Easy Ways to Earn Money From Home

It really is possible to earn a living online if you work hard and stick with it. So, which side hustle will you try out first?

Avoid These Sources of Immediate Cash If You Need Money Now

Sometimes what seems like the simplest or easiest solution comes with the most risk. Before using crowdfunding or opening up a new credit card, make sure you carefully weigh those against the benefits.

Payday lenders

Using a payday lender seems like the most effective way to get cash when you need it. The process is simple, locations are easy to find and accessible, and you’ll walk out with money in hand.

However, the interest rates can be 400% APR or more, and the repayment term is short, making it difficult to pay back the money you borrowed without having to take out another loan.[1]

It’s easy to find yourself perpetually indebted to the loan company. If you truly have no other option besides a payday loan, do whatever you can to pay back the initial loan by the due date to avoid getting trapped in the payday loan cycle.

Borrowing against your retirement

While you can borrow against your 401(k) for a tax-free loan, it’s generally not a good idea. This comes with a large opportunity cost.

When you take out money from your retirement account, you lose any compounding interest and your contributions decrease, along with any possible company matches. If you do borrow against your 401(k), make sure you fully understand the repayment options and consequences.

Taking out a second mortgage

Taking out a second mortgage or home equity loan or line of credit isn’t the worst option for getting money now, but it is something to consider carefully.

By borrowing against your house, you’re using the equity in your home as collateral, impacting your home’s resale value. Second mortgages can be expensive thanks to things like appraisals and fees, and if you don’t pay your loan, you risk losing your home to foreclosure.

Although interest rates are generally lower than credit cards, make sure to carefully weigh if this is the best option for getting quick cash. Proceed with caution if you go this route.

Opening up new credit card accounts

Like payday loans, opening up a new credit card gets you access to funds instantly. It’s a simple process that you can usually complete online, and you’ll immediately know your credit limit.

It can be a practical option, especially if you have a plan to repay the money, but it can also be a dangerous one if you rack up a huge balance. You don’t want to end up in a more precarious financial situation than when you started.

Make sure you read all the fine print, especially if your new card comes with a 0% introductory APR. If you don’t repay the balance before the offer expires, you may be charged extra back interest. If the card comes with a cash-back bonus, find out if it applies as a statement credit or a deposit into your bank account.

Borrowing from family and friends

Asking friends or family for money can be a humbling experience. It’s difficult to admit being in a financially vulnerable position, and it’s even harder to ask for help. If you have generous friends or family members, they might be willing to provide you with an interest-free short-term loan.

If that happens, both parties need to understand the repayment terms and other conditions. You need to make sure you’re fulfilling your obligations to them and not engaging in frivolous spending. Be sure that borrowing money from them won’t negatively impact your relationship. If you have any doubts, don’t ask.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Lending Money to Friends and Family is a Bad Idea

Crowdfunding

GoFundMe or other crowdfunding platforms may seem like a good idea for getting money when you need it, and it prevents the embarrassment from asking friends and family directly. However, it comes with many of the same risks.

You may open yourself up to criticism, comments, and insults about your financial situation and you as a person. If you have a strong community and support system and are aware of the possible backlash, then crowdfunding may be an okay option.s

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