Sometimes you just need money – fast!
I’ve written a lot about how to make money, from survey sites to selling T shirts. There are lots of great ways to make genuine money online. But some of these can take weeks – or even months – before you receive the money in your account.
What to do if you need cash now?
If you need to know how to make money fast, I’ve collected a few of my best ideas for you. While these might not be long term solutions, these are all ways you can earn cash or funds paid into your PayPal or bank account the same day.
Don’t panic – there are lots of legit and safe options to make money fast. Good luck!
Sell your stuff
When you need to come up with some extra money, I recommend starting by having a look around your home for things to sell.
You could be surprised what you can sell second hand. Obviously bigger-ticket items are things like furniture or tools, but even cheap clothes and toys can be sold on for cash, and it all adds up. I’ve even seen things like old cardboard boxes for sale!
But if you need quick cash, you don’t have time to wait for a 10 day eBay auction. Look for ways to sell locally for cash.
If you’re selling items related to a particular theme or hobby (e.g. baby goods, sports gear) you could try advertising in any relevant local community groups, either online or put up a sign in a meeting place.
There are also marketplace apps such as Shpock or Mercari, but these aren’t as reliable as they don’t have so many users yet, so maybe keep these as a backup option.
Sell your services
Can you do any chores or odd jobs for friends, family or neighbours?
Here are some quick and easy services you could offer:
- Dog walking
- DIY, painting, handyman skills etc
- Gardening, weeding, mowing lawns
- House cleaning
- Washing cars
- Laundry, ironing
- Assembling flat-pack furniture
- Help with packing/moving
- Mending/darning clothes
Ask around, post on Facebook, advertise on Gumtree or local community sites, knock on doors or put flyers through letterboxes.
There are some apps for selling services such as Taskrabbit, but payment is through the app so it will take longer (and of course the app takes a cut). If you need money fast, it’s best to do something cash in hand and sort it out in person. (If you’re worried about the legality of this, see my note below on taxes.)
Round up your loose change
Are you one of those people who saves up all their pennies in a drawer or piggy bank, and never takes them to the bank? You could be surprised how much they add up.
Or maybe you know someone else who has a hoard at home. Offer to save them the trouble of doing it themselves and cash it in for them for a small share.
Go to the bank rather than a Coinstar machine (the machines take a fee).
Also have a rustle around for cash that might be hiding around your home – old wallets or handbags, the pockets of clothes you haven’t worn in a while, the glovebox of the car. You might even get lucky and find a tenner in an old birthday card or envelope you’ve tucked away?!
Fast-paying money making apps and survey sites
I am a big fan of money making apps and survey sites. The only problem is that some of them have a high payment threshold, and it can take weeks to see your money.
The sites below all have low or no payment thresholds and these are your best options if you want to earn money online fast.
Note: you will need a PayPal account for most of these but you can open an account instantly. Officially it takes 3-5 days to cash out to your bank account but I’ve found I’ll generally get the money the same day. Don’t bank on this though, and allow a few days to get your money just in case.
Curious Cat is a survey app that lets you cash out to PayPal after you reach 100 points (£1). You get about 30 points just for signing up and putting in your details.
Citizenme is an app that pays you instantly to PayPal for very short surveys! Usually just 10p at a time, but it all adds up.
Qmee pays you to search the internet and click on their special listings (adverts). They also have survey sites. You can cash out at any amount, but the pay is low and you will be limited how much you can make. The surveys are a quicker way to make money than relying on paid search
Swagbucks is a well known money making website and app where you can earn for various tasks including surveys, watching videos, and even surfing the web. It has a £5 payment threshold but they usually have an offer where you get £3 for signing up so you could cash out pretty soon.
Job Spotter is another app that pays well, pays out very quickly and you can cash out at any amount (no minimum payment threshold). The only downside is that it pays in Amazon vouchers, not cash, but you could probably find someone to buy it off you.
Prolific is my favourite survey site because it’s the highest paying, and you never get screened out half way through!
The only downside is that it has a slightly higher payment threshold of £5 (with a fee deducted) or £20 (with no fee). But since it’s so well paying, you can meet that pretty soon if you keep on the lookout for new surveys.
Look for hidden cash equivalents
If you urgently need money, now is the time to have a think about any less obvious sources of money you might have.
For example, do you have any gift vouchers that you’ve been saving up? A gift card (or even cash) that you got for a birthday or Christmas and tucked away for a rainy day? Even if the gift card isn’t the most useful thing in the world right now, you might be able to sell it onto a friend for cash value.
Also, this is the time to use up any loyalty points you have on store cards. Tesco and Boots in particular are very generous, so if you have a loyalty card, take it into the shop and ask a member of staff how much your points are worth.
It’s not quite the same as making extra cash, but if money is tight right now then putting your loyalty points towards your weekly shop is a good way to free up some room in your budget.
Do I have to pay tax?
Remember, if you’re going to be making extra money regularly, you need to register with HMRC as self employed and declare it (even if you already have another job).
But luckily since April 2017 there’s a new rule that allows you to earn up to £1000 from trading or property income without having to declare. So if you’re literally only planning to make a small bit of cash to see you through to payday, you should be alright.
Please note I’m not an accountant or tax advisor so you should check things out yourself with HMRC or a professional if you’re in any doubt! It’s also recommended that you keep a record of all the money you make, in case you get audited or if you do go over £1000.
(Oh – but if you’re matched betting to make extra income, no need to register or declare that at all. Even though it’s not gambling, the cash you make comes under the umbrella of ‘winnings’ – which are not taxable in the UK 😉 )
Make money fast – you can do it!
I really hope this article is useful to anyone who needs to make money fast.
As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do to make some extra cash quickly to see you through to payday or through a tight spot.
Most of these are just short term solutions, so once the pressure’s off, if you are ready to think about longer-term money making opportunities, take a look at some of my other articles for inspiration:
- Ways to make money online in the UK
- How I made an extra £1,000 in 12 weeks
- Job ideas for stay at home mums
- Ways to earn extra cash for Christmas
- How to earn £1,000 per month in extra income
By the way, if you are completely broke and worried about feeding yourself or your family, I recommend this excellent article by Skint Dad. Sadly a lot of people have been through this situation but you have more options than you might think.
And if you are struggling with debt, I recommend the excellent Debt Camel website for free practical advice.
If you have any more ideas for making money quickly in a tight spot, please share in the comments!
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