….nope, not for free. Just thought I needed to put that disclaimer straightaway
If you suddenly find yourself in need of cash in the area of $500 to pay off a debt, take advantage of a great sale, or just treat yourself to something nice, then you will be glad to know that there are ways to going about getting it. Legit ways, mind, not the kind of get-rich-quick schemes that a lot of scams are made of.
I myself have resorted to doing side hustles to get myself some extra cash for different reasons. Today, whenever I find myself a little short on cash, I go back to the tried-and-tested methods of raising it on my own so I won’t need to dip into our savings or get a loan for it. I want to share some with you, and hopefully, you will find them useful, too.
Clear out your closet, basement, and garage
...specifically, declutter to earn a buck! Call it spring cleaning with a lucrative purpose. I do it and encourage the rest of my family to do it too because it’s doubly beneficial: we get to have more storage space for new stuff, and we get to sell gently-used second-hand items that other people actually want and need!
eBay and Etsy are just some of our favorite go-to online selling platforms for the more unique and craftsy items we have kept in storage. A big percentage of the clientele in these sites are made up of collectors and “thrifters” - those who are always on the lookout for unique bargains that come from certain eras or are reminiscent of their childhood days or a good period in their lives. If the item you’re selling is truly unique, rare, and in good condition (like my wife’s sterling silver jewelry set), eBay ’s bidding platform can raise its value several times than its original worth!
But for other practical and useful stuff, there are actually online apps to help you sell them like I’ve written in this article about decluttering. Books, electronic items that can still be used (record players are especially big with collectors nowadays!), and athletic equipment can fetch you hundreds of dollars if they are still in great condition.
Participate in “sharing economy”
You know how Lyft and Uber and other ride-sharing platforms are being touted as great examples of sharing economy jobs? Because the potential for earning here is really good! As a disclaimer, I haven’t signed up to either one of them as a driver because I have yet to meet certain city requirements to be one. Also, I have quite a number of home-based jobs I need to juggle, so being a ride-sharing driver is on the back burner, for now.
But talking to a number of drivers when I was a passenger made me realize that it’s quite a good gig, with Lyft in particular even allowing drivers to get tipped by satisfied clients. There are weekly bonuses and referral bonuses, plus drivers have been paid out $200+ million in tips!
If you don’t have the navigating skills and don’t meet the other requirements of ride-sharing, however, there are other ways to participate via the sharing economy. If you have a spare room, loft, or entire guest house, Airbnb can help you rent it out as a host and earn some money from it! Depending on its condition, your location, and how long the renter will be using it, you can actually make enough to cover a significant amount of your monthly expenses like utilities and groceries!
Now if you have a spare car that isn’t getting regular usage, why not try renting it out via Turo? It’s like the Airbnb for cars, and it offers benefits that promise to outweigh those of a traditional rental car. For starters, clients can choose the kind of car they like without worrying about steep rental prices. As for the hosts, Turo offers $1 million in liability insurance and makes sure that your car is protected against physical damage!
Turn to crowdsourced sites for jobs
Instead of a full-time or long-term employment, I go to “short task” sites that don’t require the kind of commitment that the former ones demand. My wife introduced me to Fancy Hands, a site looking for US-based virtual assistants to perform small tasks like scheduling, text messaging, researching, purchasing, etc. I am normally skeptical of virtual assistant jobs, but this one just makes it a pleasant experience for both client and assistant. Plus, you can do it in your free time without worrying about long-term commitment!
Amazon Mechanical Turk or mTurk is also a fave go-to crowdsourced site of mine for when a specialized need is required which I can fulfill. I especially like auditing user-uploaded images or videos as a way to moderate content because it’s easy, interesting, and I get an idea of what sites consider appropriate or not. There are a host of other interesting tasks on here too, which is why I always keep mTurk on my list of quick money-making methods!
As I’ve mentioned before, these tasks and earning methods are some I’ve tried (or at least referred and highly recommended to me by friends), and have worked for me satisfactorily. Now, I am in no way guaranteeing that you will get rich by performing tasks on these platforms, but based on experience, they do make a significant contribution to monthly grocery and utility bills - which helps my family a lot!
Have you ever need money and needed it fast? What methods do you usually employ as side hustles to earn extra cash quickly? I would love to learn from your experiences.