21 Quick Ways to Get Cash When You Need Money Now

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Wondering how to earn money and thinking "I need money desperately," we put together a list of ways to make money online fast that can really make you money now.

Wondering how to earn money online fast and thinking “I need money desperately now?” We put together a huge list of 21 ways to make money online fast that can really make you money.

Did you know that the online outsourcing market is projected to grow to $16 Billion by 2021? Young adults, especially those in the age group of 20-25 years form a large part of this outsourcing market.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that nearly 80% of students work part-time and about 30% of working professionals have side jobs or what we like to call them, side hustles. Using side hustles has increasingly become a popular option in the last decade, with students and working professionals alike.

Here are a few reasons why best side hustles have appeal when you need money fast:

  • Opportunity to earn an additional source of income, which can be used to offset the financial pressure due to student loan debt and lifestyle upkeep.
  • Develop and hone a skill set
  • Productive use of time

Side hustles or the “second job” is a concept that has been branded by the millennial generation. Besides the regular 9 to 5 clocked hours, some people design websites, some download apps that pay real money, some tutor a subject and some others run odd errands to make a few extra bucks on the side.

In fact, the gig economy, characterized by independent contract jobs, has been growing at a faster rate than payroll employment. According to a report by CNBC, the number of independent contractors has increased by 27% more than the traditional clocked-hours employees in the last 2 decades.

If you want to take complete advantage of the opportunities existing in the gig economy, below are some of the best ways you can pursue to earn additional income when you need money desperately.

How to Get Cash When You Need Money Now

These are a set of money-making ideas that do not require formal or corporate skill sets. Rather, it is more dependent on time commitment, soft skills and the resources available to someone who needs money desperately. Yup, these are realistic ways to earn money around your town without paying anything.

Here are a few options that you can check out when you need money today.

1. Renting out a spare room

This is an awesome opportunity to earn a little extra income from your extra space.

There is enough profit in renting out a spare room to help you cover a quarter of your monthly costs or when you need money fast.

If you are not looking for a full-time room-mate, you can list out your house on Airbnb for specific time-periods.

Fun-Fact: Airbnb said hosts in Washington, D.C. earned $96 million last year, up from $82 million in 2017. The average Airbnb host in D.C earned about $10,000 in supplemental income last year according.

2. Catering

This is one of the easiest ways to get money since a majority of the event managers are understaffed.

You can also easily accommodate a catering gig into your schedule, as parties are generally held during the weekends and during the holiday season. You can generally find catering gigs on ZipRecruiter or Craigslist.

3. Take on babysitting gigs

According to UrbanSitter, the national average for 2020 is $16.75 per hour for one child (and $19.26 for two), up a bit from last year’s $16.43 average.

It is a good idea to babysit for family and friends when starting out. You will be able to gauge if you have the required patience and aptitude to deal with kids.

Also, trust is an extremely important factor for parents while hiring for babysitters. By starting off with your friends-family circle, you will be able to earn reference & experience letters which will give a huge credibility boost for your profile. You can find babysitting gigs on sites like Care.com and SitterCity in order to make money whenever you need it.

4. Become a DoorDash or PostMates driver

DoorDash and Postmates give you an excellent opportunity to put your driving license to use. It is an ideal gig even if you have a 9-5 job as both companies allow you to set your own working hours and you always get paid instantly.

According to a blog post in RestaurantDrive, a survey determined that the amount that DoorDash pays U.S. Dashers increased by 12.5% on average, and overall Dasher earnings (including tips) increased to an average of $18.54 per active hour. That’s higher than medium wage in most states.

Get started with DoorDash or Postmates

5. Handyman services

A handyman is someone who is skilled in tackling “fix-up tasks” like repairs and maintenance work. Handyman work includes gardening, plumbing, electric and mechanical repairs, etc. Apart from making a few extra bucks when you need it desperately, you also save on taxes.

Fun fact: The Penny Hoarder recently covered a story on a self-employed handyman who earns $30,000 a week. Not bad.

You can find handyman gigs on apps like TaskRabbit. Here’s how it works:

  • Register online and complete the registration form
  • Verify any identity verifications required
  • Start tasking by downloading the Tasker app and accept your first job to make money whenever you need it

6. Get paid to play with dogs

This method to get cash fast is for all the animal-lovers out there. Dog walking has 3 lucrative benefits: you get to spend time with your four-legged friends, you yourself get some exercise and you don’t have to pay taxes.

You can find dog-walking gigs on Rover. At Rover, you can get paid to play with dogs by joining the nation’s largest network of pet parents. You can your own schedule and prices. Offer any combination of pet care services. Set size, age, and other pet preferences that work for you.

Learn more from Rover here

7. Participate in medical studies

Being a human guinea pig is not a bad idea after all, especially if you can earn up to $15,000 per project (some clinical trials do shell out that kind of cash!).

Research and clinical trials test the effect of drugs and medicines to determine their efficiency. While the money may look lucrative, one must do thorough research before nominating himself/herself for a study regarding the safety measures and side effects. In case you want to explore this option you can use ClincialTrials.gov to find studies.

8. Rent out your car

What should you do if you need money now? Start looking at some of the items that you have that you can rent out, like your car.

Some people are turning their cars into a second paycheck by using apps like Getaround and Turo. With Getaround, you’re paid monthly and you can earn $1,000s per year actively sharing your parked car.

If you are interested you can sign up to get more information from Getaround here

9. Become a brand ambassador

This is suited to students with people, sales and marketing skills. Brand ambassador is an incentive-based program, where students are paid to promote a particular brand on campus (like Jameson liquor or Red Bull energy drinks). Tasks can range from wearing company merchandise, getting registrations or social media promotions. Campus ambassador opportunities are posted on job and internship sites like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter.

10. Teach English online

Teaching English online is a great way to meet new people and earning money on the side. By teaching online you have the ability to choose your own work-from-home schedule, an ability to bring your own teaching style to a custom-designed classroom and receive local, US and UK-based support and payments.

The task is simple: Sign up for a teaching company like Education First (EF) and get paid to teach English to people overseas. The requirements are basic, you just need a Bachelor’s degree from US or UK University, currently residing in the US or UK and have some prior tutoring experience.

Teachers with EF earn up to $20 per hour.

You can complete a quick application here to see start getting money fast by teaching English online.

11. Deliver groceries

Grocery delivering apps are on the rise with the rise of the coronavirus making people stay indoors now, according to Gigs Done Right. You can profit from this demand by signing up for food delivery apps like Instacart.

Instacart is the North American leader in grocery delivery. Their technology gives customers access to their favorite grocery stores like Kroger, Shaw’s, Costco, and Aldi so they can order groceries from anywhere. If you wanted to deliver groceries with them you can become a full-service shopper and earn around $20 per hour plus cash tips.

As an Instacart Shopper, you would receive these orders through an app on their smartphone, then shop and deliver groceries to the customer’s door. You can earn money quickly when you need and shop and deliver customer orders on your own schedule. Get to know your community by delivering to new and familiar areas.

You can learn more about delivering groceries with Instacart here

Other Ways to Get Cash Today Online

The ideas above are ways for you to get money relatively fast when it’s urgent. Here are a few alternative ways to get cash (through online methods) when you need it.

12. Freelancing

Freelancing is a great way to gain some practical experience in your interested field and get access to fast cash.

As a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients at the same time. Freelancing projects are a great way to build your portfolio and pick up on a multitude of skill sets. You can take up a few projects for free initially, to get on your references and build work samples for your portfolio.

Once the word is out about your credibility, you can set a price chart and take up projects according to it and always have a steady stream of income. You can find freelancing projects on Fiverr or Upwork.com.

13. Play game apps to win real money

There really are free game apps that you can download on the App Store or Google Play store that’ll pay real money.

So if you play games anyways, now you play them without wasting time or money.

So if you need cash now, consider downloading some game apps that pay:

  • Lucktastic: Lucktastic is a free and fun way to win real cash and prizes and earn rewards. Download Lucktastic (iOS only)
  • MISTPLAY: Mistplay is an excellent way to discover new games and make money. If you already play games while on the bus or while watching TV, you could be doing the same thing and making extra money with this gaming app. Download MISTPLAY (Android only)

14. Take online surveys

Yes, you do get paid to give your opinion. However, your feedback should be detailed and honest as you are judged by your content quality here. You can earn anything from $1-$50 per survey and get paid instantly through PayPal.

Here are some trusted survey companies that pay you in cash via PayPal:

15. Become a user tester

User-testing is research conducted by firms to improve their customer experience. Businesses are willing to shell out quite a few bucks to understand if their product/service effectively satisfies the customer demand before officially introducing it in the market. You can register yourself as a user tester by downloading apps like S’mores.

S’more (Android only) is a lock screen rewards app that allows you to earn points in exchange for us placing ads and content on your lock screen.

16. Get a free stock in the next 3 days

If you need money fast you can claim an offer from the popular Robinhood investing app. Robinhood currently has approximately 6 million users and they are currently offering new users a free stock like Facebook (worth $173.29 today), Apple (worth $270 today), or Microsoft (worth $163 today) .

Simply sign up through a Robinhood Promo Link and you will get 1 share of free stock to your account when your brokerage application is approved. You’ll be able to keep the stock or sell it after 2 trading days. You can then withdraw the money to your bank account after.

Click here to sign up and get a free stock (no deposit required)

17. Get money for scanning receipts

What do you usually do when you get receipts after buying groceries? If you’re like me, you usually crumble them up and toss them out.

I used to do that before I learned about the Fetch Rewards app.

Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. That’s really it. Free rewards on groceries on thousands of products every day, no matter where you get your groceries. Just scan your receipts and let them do all the work

Download Fetch for iOS or Android phones to get money today

18. Get translation gigs

The current market size of the global languages industry is around $40 billion and it is expected to keep growing cumulatively every year. The best part is, although there are various translation-related applications, automated translation is not considered to be completely reliable by publishers. There is a continued demand for translators especially in the areas of website translation, transcripts, and foreign language education.

19. Join referral programs

According to a research by the research company Neilson Holdings, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product/service when it is referred by a friend. Now, that is a statistic that companies like and this is precisely why companies across all sectors and sizes have been implementing referral programs.

From an organization’s perspective, the ROI of referral programs is lucrative and hence they are willing to invest into a decent incentive plan for the referring sources.

20. Sell stock photography

The growth of E-commerce and E-learning industries has been a catalyst in the transition of photography from a hobby occupation to an off-beat profession.

Almost every company has an account on stock photography sites like shutter-stock , getty images, etc. to fulfill their imaging needs. There is a high demand for HD images to support E-commerce products, blog posts, articles and E-learning modules.

If you have always pursued photography as a hobby, maybe it is time to start thinking about it commercially.

21. Become an editor

Believe it or not, companies and people are willing to pay huge bucks for proof-reading and editing reports, proposals, advertising copies and other such documents.

In fact, certain freelance proof-reading is known to pay $17 per hour!

If you happen to have a background in human resources, you have an added leverage.

You can take up a resume and cover-letter editing projects as there is a huge job-seekers’ market out there.

Ways to Pay for an Emergency When You Desperately Need Money Now

Don’t have an emergency fund and do desperately need money now? Here are some genius ways to pay for an emergency should you have an unexpected expense come up that you need money fast.

There are types of unhappy events in life that you can’t plan for. While the idea of having a specially dedicated emergency fund is always wise, it is often hard for you to plan for that kind of saving. Just because you haven’t saved for those types of costly emergencies, however, doesn’t mean you can’t find quick ways to get cash.

So, how can you pay for an emergency if you haven’t done the necessary saving and planning for them?

Luckily, there are a few options at your disposal should you come across an expensive personal or family emergency in the near future.

Use a credit card

One option at your disposal is to depend on the credit you have at your disposal thanks to your one credit card or multiple credit cards. The positive aspect of using your credit card is that the credit is already readily available to you, and you can pay for whatever you need quickly – that is, if you have enough credit available to pay for your emergency with.

The one thing to keep in mind, however, is that using credit cards to pay for emergencies can be quite risky for a number of reasons. First off, you run the risking of maxing out your cards. That means that you will use all the credit available to you on a given card. This will impact your ability to use your credit card going forward and will impact your credit score. Of course, if your health or safety is at risk, your credit score shouldn’t be a top concern so when maxing out your credit card is the only way out of a serious emergency, don’t hesitate to reach for plastic.

Another connected risk that comes with using your credit card to pay for a costly emergency is going into credit card debt. Credit card debt can spiral out of control quite quickly and will impact your financial future. Among other things, that could have a serious impact on your ability to pay for future emergencies should they arise.

Take out a personal loan

Personal loans are unsecured loans that are available to those who enjoy a good credit score and a history of responsible borrowing. With excellent credit, you can get a personal loan to pay for your emergency with an APR as low as just six percent. This is less expensive than most credit card interest rates and loans.

While they can be a relatively less expensive form of borrowing to pay for an emergency, you are still taking on debt, which can be a burden on your other finances going forward. If you need it, however, and you can qualify for a personal loan, it is definitely a viable option. Just make sure that you understand the terms of your personal loan so that you can dictate whether or not you will be able to pay for it once you have taken out the loan and put it towards paying for your personal emergency. If you’re financially responsible, a personal loan can be a great option.

Borrow from family or friends

One option that is always available to you is to ask your family or close friends to lend you the money in your time of need. This can often be a hard or embarrassing thing to consider, but if you are truly in need, this can be a viable option.

One major benefit is that friends and family are much less likely to charge interest on the loaned money and will be sympathetic to you and your situation if you struggle to pay it back within and timely manner. A clear downside of borrowing from relatives or friends, however, is that it can put a serious strain on your relationship, no matter how close you are to the person you are borrowing from. On top of that, if the person you ever borrow from should need money down the road, you may not be able to say no to lending them money in return.

It can be a difficult situation to find yourself in.

Home equity line of credit

A home equity line of credit or HELOC allows you to borrow money that you’ve already repaid on a mortgage and they are typically offered with variable interest rate loans. They can lead to large loans being available to you and allows you to be flexible with how you repay the loan in the long run.

The issue with redrawing your loan is that if you continue to borrow from the amount of money you have put towards your house, you will never actually be getting closer to paying off your loan. In fact, you can actually get further away from considering the interest fees you will be accruing over time.

Take out a car title loan

Another option available to you to find the finances necessary to pay for an emergency is to take out a car title loan on your car. This is particularly useful for individuals who own their car outright but do not enjoy the same kind of credit score that those who might opt to take out a personal loan enjoy.

Car title loans work by taking out a secured loan that is connected to the value of your car and the equity you have in that car. Typically, car title loans range from a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, but some lenders do advertise loans up to $50K.

There are many risks attached to using a car title loan to pay for an emergency, however. First off, car title loans are known to have very high-interest rates. Secondly, car title loans are secured loans that use your car as collateral. That means that if you fail to pay off your loan within the (often very short) repayment term, you run the risk of losing your car to repossession.

There are a number of options available to you if you should come across an unfortunate emergency that demands money you simply do not have. Whatever option is best for you depends on the nature of the emergency, the cost of it, and your options when it comes to taking out different kinds of loans.

It is important to do the research necessary to find which option is best for you. Hopefully, this list helps you get started.

Conclusion on Getting Money Now

The best side gigs are not limited to just making money when you need it. In the current skill economy, they are a great asset to your resume! In fact, you might actually find your career calling and there is a possibility of a side gig turning into a full-time job.

Have you tried any of these side hustles when you caught yourself thinking “I Need Money Desperately”? Tell us in the comments section below!

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian is the chief editor of Finance Write and is a personal finance expert who has spent the last few years writing about how Millennials can make smarter money moves. He has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN Money, AOL, Discover Bank, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Fit Small Business, Cheapism, SmartAsset, Bankrate, RISE Credit, AllBusiness, Cheddar, Commonbond, Niche, Rewire, Credit Donkey, Debt.com, and more. He uses the free Personal Capital app to manage his cash flow and net worth.


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