Need to Make Money Fast? Explore These Proven Methods

FT Contributor
A magnate attracting lots of cash.

If you’re looking to make money fast, there are a few methods you can use to fatten your pockets. Some of these money-making strategies can even be completed in the comfort of your own home. With a little motivation and information about proven money-making methods, you may be able to earn some cash to help with your expenses.

Some of the money-making methods in this guide are fun and fast, while others may involve more effort and dedication. Check out how you can earn a few bucks quickly to get back on your feet.

Table of Contents

Fast Ways to Make Money

Sell Unused or Unwanted Items

Clear out some space in your home and generate cash at the same time. Take the time to sort through your:

  • Clothes.
  • Video games.
  • Music, such as CDs or vinyl records.
  • Collectibles.
  • Furniture.

Make a pile of the items you don’t want and sell them locally or online. You have several websites to choose from that can help you list these items for sale. Larger items, such as furniture, may be easier to list locally so a buyer can come pick them up. A website like OfferUp allows you to post item pictures and a description on your listing for potential local buyers. However, keep in mind your audience will be smaller on a local selling site, so it may take longer to sell your items.

You can also use a website like eBay to auction off your items online. Sometimes an auction-style listing results in a bidding war and the sales price increases exponentially. However, keep in mind you’re competing with other sellers, so your item needs to be attractive to buyers if you want to incite a bidding war.

Short-Term Investments

If you have a little money, you can make it work for you through short-term investments. These are also often referred to as “temporary investments” because they’re meant to be cashed out within three months to a year. While the goal of short-term investments is to generate a quick return, some are riskier than others and may not always earn you fast cash. A few of the most common short-term investments include:

  • Government bonds: These are bonds you can invest in that are backed by the government. While these bonds are stable and you’re guaranteed to at least get your money back, they’re not considered an aggressive investment so you generally won’t see a huge profit.
  • Money market accounts: Similar to a savings account, you won’t deal with any risk by investing your money in a money market account. The interest rate is higher than a regular savings account, but usually won’t generate a big profit unless you can deposit a large sum of money and leave it there for a while.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): If you have a sum of money you don’t plan to use right away, putting it into a CD can earn you more interest than a regular savings account. While the interest rate is higher, these accounts have less flexibility than money market accounts, so you should only choose this option if you don’t need access to your money any time soon.

While short-term investments may not earn you a ton of cash, they’re a way to ensure the money you have is working for you.

Micro Jobs

While some side gigs or part-time jobs require extensive work, there are some additional work opportunities that are relatively easy and can earn you fast cash. These side gigs are often referred to as “micro jobs” because they don’t require a big commitment. You aren’t necessarily employed through a micro job, but you act more as an independent contractor.

Most micro jobs simply provide you a small fee for completing a simple task. Mechanical Turk is a popular website for micro jobs. When you create an account, you can choose from any number of short, quick, and easy tasks to complete for compensation, such as taking a survey. While the compensation is usually only a dollar or less per task, it can add up fast if you’re able to complete these tasks quickly.

TaskRabbit allows you to complete jobs in your area for money, such as assembling a table or cleaning a bathroom. Each job has its own rate, so you can choose the tasks you want based on the pay offered. Once you sign up for the site and provide information on your skills, you can begin snagging small local jobs that will earn you fast cash.

Donating Plasma

If you’re looking for an easy way to put extra money in your pocket, consider donating plasma. Blood plasma is the clear liquid part of your blood that contains water, antibodies, protein, and some enzymes. To donate your plasma, go to a donation center where they draw your blood, remove the plasma, and inject the blood back into your body. Your plasma helps people with certain blood diseases, such as a blood clotting disorder.

The amount you’re paid for your plasma varies based on your location and the company you choose to do business with. You may experience side effects from this procedure, such as dehydration, dizziness, fainting, or light-headedness. In order to donate blood plasma, you must meet certain eligibility guidelines, including being at least 18 years of age and weighing over 110 pounds.

Clinical Trials

If you’re willing to participate in medical studies that could lead to potential side effects, you could earn fast cash for minimal effort. There are many paid clinical trials available through research institutions, labs, and clinics. Sometimes these trials pay generously, but the compensation varies by study and organization. Each medical study has its own eligibility requirements, so you won’t qualify to participate in all trials.

Before you sign up to participate in a clinical trial, review what’s expected of you and the potential side effects it could cause. Decide if the compensation is worth it before you commit to participating in medical studies that could have lifelong negative effects on your body.

Seeking Financial Assistance

You may be able to seek financial assistance through other resources. If you qualify, you should explore these other potential sources for quick cash:

Government Benefits

Government benefits can help you pay for your expenses and necessities, such as food or insurance. Fill out the government benefits questionnaire online and you’ll be provided with a comprehensive list of government benefits programs you might be eligible for.


If you’re in a financial bind, you could create a crowdfunding campaign to ask friends, family, and other donors to provide you with financial support. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe allow you to create online fundraising campaigns. You can share your campaign on social media and through other outlets in an attempt to attract donors. To be successful, you must be able to attract attention to your campaign and convince donors that it’s a good cause.

Scholarships and Grants

If you’re a student, you may qualify for scholarships or grants through the federal government. To learn if you’re eligible for federal money for school, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and provide details on your financial situation. After submitting this form, you’ll be informed if you qualify for financial aid.


Microloans are small business loans issued through a nonprofit organization or an individual and not through a financial institution. If you’re an entrepreneur who needs fast cash for business-related expenses, a microloan may help. The eligibility requirements for a small loan of this nature are usually less strict than they are for traditional loans. However, a microloan isn’t money you’ve earned, so you’ll need to pay it back, usually with a high interest rate.

Being Watchful for Scams

If you’re hunting for fast and easy money, you’re bound to encounter a few scams along the way. It’s important to protect yourself from fraud by:

  • Being skeptical about free trial offers: Research the company and the offer before you sign up for anything or give payment information.
  • Not depositing checks and wiring money: A common scam is to have you deposit a check, then wire money back to a contact. However, the bank takes days to learn it’s a fake check, long after you’ve already wired money from your account.
  • Talking to a person: Before you provide payment information online, call the company and talk to someone first if something doesn’t seem right.
  • Doing online searches: Find out more about a company by searching for past client reviews and information before you engage.
  • Not paying upfront: If you’re being offered help with debt, your taxes, or a loan, don’t provide your payment information for upfront fees.

While scammers are out there, legitimate ways to earn quick money do exist. By exploring these fast money-making opportunities, you can earn cash quickly with a little time and effort.

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