18+ Ways to Make $500 Fast

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to (or wanted to) make money fast? Like as in yesterday? Your furnace goes out? Or, you get a chance to take an awesome weekend vacation with friends or loved ones?

Maybe, you’re just a little short on cash and want to have a cushion between yourself and payday? Here are some ideas for making a few hundred dollars fast.

When it comes to increasing your income, you’ve got a lot of options. We’ll divide our ideas into categories that will make it easy for you to find the money-making options that are best for you.

Table of Contents
  1. Make Money from Promotions
  2. Make Money with What You Have
    1. 1. Sell Your Stuff
    2. 2. Rent Out Space on Airbnb
    3. 3. Rent Out Your Parking Space
    4. 4. Rent Out Your Storage Areas
  3. Make Money Doing Side Hustles
    1. 5. Download the Steady App
    2. 6. Tutor Kids or Adults
    3. 7. Deliver Restaurant Foods or Groceries
    4. 8. Become a Freelance Writer
    5. 9. Start a Graphic Design Side Hustle
    6. 10. Become a Virtual Assistant
  4. Make Money Around Town
    1. 11. Become a Handyman (or Handywoman)
    2. 12. Start a Cleaning/Organizing Business
    3. 13. Work as a Pizza Deliverer
    4. 14. Take Care of Pets
    5. 15. Work as a Babysitter
    6. 16. Get a Job as a Server
    7. 17. Get a Retail Job
    8. 18. Do Lawn Care/Landscaping Work
  5. Summary

Make Money from Promotions

Companies are always competing for your business, so there are ways you can get paid to open a bank account or get a new credit card.

We have a frequently updated list of the best bank promotions, some of which are worth hundreds of dollars.

If that’s not appealing, or you can’t meet the direct deposit requirements, you could always get a new credit card. Wells Fargo has a few bank promotions, but one of their best offers is their Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card. You get a $150 cash bonus if you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening. You can read more about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Card here.

You also get unlimited 1.5% cash back credit card on all purchases with no limits and the card has no ($0) annual fee.

Learn more about this card and others

Finally, there are a lot of stock brokers who will give you free stock just to open an account:

Make Money with What You Have

There are a couple of ways you can make money using what you already have. Try these ideas on for size:

1. Sell Your Stuff

If you’re like most people, you’ve got closets and drawers full of stuff you don’t use or need anymore. Why not sell it fast and get some cash? Here are some ideas for websites you can use to sell your stuff.

SellCell

If you have electronics to sell, your first stop should be SellCell – they will compare prices from multiple buyers (including some of the ones listed below). This can save you a lot of time comparing prices.

More importantly, they’ve secured deals with some sites to add a bonus on your trade-in or sale – sometimes 5-10% more than what you’d get directly from the site.

Decluttr

Decluttr helps you sell your CDs, DVDs, video games and more (and super-fast at that). All you have to do is go to the Decluttr website and enter the IMDB numbers of the items you want to sell.

You’ll get an immediate quote for each item. If you like the offer prices, go ahead and box up your stuff and send it to Decluttr with their free, printable shipping label.

When your shipment arrives, they’ll confirm the contents and pay you via Direct Deposit, PayPal, or check.

Craigslist or Letgo

Both, Craigslist and Letgo, will help you sell your stuff locally. Just list your items, add some photos, and wait for buyers.

When using local selling sites, you usually meet in person with the buyers and get cash on the spot. Bonus: Craigslist and Letgo are free–you won’t pay any fees for listing or selling on these sites.

eBay

eBay can be a nice way to sell your stuff because you reach a worldwide audience. More potential buyers may result in faster sales. Taking great photos and writing an accurate and thorough description will help your listings get more attention.

eBay does charge fees for selling on the site; keep this in mind when you choose your listing price. Check out these additional apps for selling stuff online.

Sell Furniture

If you have furniture that is taking up space, consider selling the furniture to free up some cash. There are plenty of options these days for selling your furniture.

2. Rent Out Space on Airbnb

Okay, renting out space on sites like Airbnb and VRBO isn’t really selling your stuff. It’s more like renting your stuff out, but it can be a great way to make some quick cash.

If you’ve got an extra room, unused finished basement or other space in your house, you can rent it out to travelers. People, often, like staying at residences as opposed to hotels because it’s usually cheaper and it’s often more inviting.

Creating an account on Airbnb or VRBO is pretty easy: just share the details about your space, your location, and add some great pictures.

The rental site you use will take a portion of your income as a fee, so be sure to remember that when you set your prices.

3. Rent Out Your Parking Space

Do you have parking spaces available in your driveway? Why not rent them out through a service like SpotHero?

It’s easy to do; just list your available space on the site and get paid monthly for all rentals. This is a great way to make fast cash if you live in an urban area that’s close to businesses and event centers.

4. Rent Out Your Storage Areas

If you have space in your basement or garage that’s going unused, why not rent it out to people who need storage space? You could even rent out space in your yard for people to park boats and other large items.

Websites like Neighbor let you list your available storage spaces for rent. People like to rent personal storage space rather than a commercial storage space because it’s cheaper. Also, there will be less traffic coming in contact with the items they want to store.

Neighbor charges renters a service fee on top of your space rental fee, so you won’t pay to list your storage space with Neighbor.

Make Money Doing Side Hustles

Not interested in selling your stuff or renting out your space? We’ve got a great list of side hustle jobs you can do to make money fast.

5. Download the Steady App

Side gigs offer up a great way to earn extra cash and a convenient, and free, way to find flexible work is using the Steady app. They boast over two million members that are earning an average of $338 in extra income a month.

Steady isn’t just a gig finding app – it’s way more – it’s an app that has a built-in income tracker that can link to your finances and gig platforms to offer customized recommendations. It also has benefits, including the ability to offer emergency cash grants, loan refinancing, and more. The income certification was especially helpful during the pandemic to facilitate unemployment benefits

Read our full review of the Steady app for more details.

6. Tutor Kids or Adults

Do you have a gift or an interest in teaching others? Several online tutoring companies will pay people to teach online courses.

You can teach others to speak another language or teach common subjects such as math, English, and science. Some tutoring companies have requirements such as teaching degrees, while others do not.

Depending on the tutoring company you choose, you can teach at all different hours of the day or night. The pay can be great too. Sites like VIPKid pay up to $22 per hour for tutors.

7. Deliver Restaurant Foods or Groceries

Maybe you want more variety than just delivering pizza. Why not work as a deliverer for people who want to order restaurant meals or groceries?

Companies like DoorDash hire Dashers to deliver goods to people. It’s kind of like the Uber of food delivery. People place orders, and then DoorDash advertises the job and the pay rate to all of its Dashers in the area. We even have a comprehensive guide on how to earn the most with DoorDash, written by someone with 5,600+ orders under his belt.

The first one to take the job gets the money. You typically get paid weekly for being a delivery driver, and you can earn tips as well.

Also, if you want to deliver groceries, Instacart is one of the best platforms for that type of work.

8. Become a Freelance Writer

I started freelance writing in 2013 as a way to pull in some extra cash. Today, I support my four kids, largely, via freelance writing.

If you’re a good writer and are willing to provide great service, you can make a career for yourself as a freelance writer. Find work by creating a profile on sites like Contently or Upwork.

Or, reach out to your favorite blog owners and ask if they need writers.

9. Start a Graphic Design Side Hustle

If you’ve got a gift for graphic design, you can use it to make some extra money in several different ways. For example, you can create designs for t-shirts on sites like CafePress or Redubble.

My oldest daughter has been doing this for about four years now. She gets a tidy little check from Redbubble a few times a year.

Another way you could use your graphic design skills is to help people create websites. You’ll upload a theme and logo to help them start their business or personal website.

A third option would be to create printable wall art and sell it on a site such as Etsy. You’ll need to advertise to get sales, but if you create great art, you’ll build a loyal following.

10. Become a Virtual Assistant

Are you good at support-type roles? Try working as a Virtual Assistant! Companies and individuals everywhere seek out people to help them manage their personal and business lives.

You can work helping a self-employed business owner manage his or her business tasks. Another options is helping blog owners ensure their sites are publishing fresh content regularly.

There are a variety of jobs for virtual assistants, from social media management to calendar scheduling and more. Pay varies depending on the client, but it’s not uncommon for Virtual Assistants to make hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.

Make Money Around Town

If you’re not interested in online side hustles, why not earn some cash right in your city or neighborhood? Here are some ideas.

11. Become a Handyman (or Handywoman)

Are you good at fixing stuff? How about starting a handyperson service? You can go it on your own and advertise your services on sites like Craigslist.

Or you can become a Tasker for a site like TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit lets Taskers choose the jobs they want to take. They handle the money part of it; you just show up and do the job.

12. Start a Cleaning/Organizing Business

I have a friend who works as a cleaner/stager for a local real estate team. When people are getting their houses ready for the market, this real estate team hires Faith to clean, organize, and stage their homes.

She makes good money ($25 an hour) and her clients love her. After all, who doesn’t get excited about having a cleaner, more organized home?

Advertise your services on sites like Craigslist and by leaving business cards around town.

13. Work as a Pizza Deliverer

Pizza delivery is a common side hustle in the personal finance world. I’ve read so many stories about people who delivered pizza to get out of debt super-fast.

The great thing about working as a pizza delivery person is that you can almost surely find a job today. People don’t stay in that type of job long, so companies are always hiring.

The hourly wage you’ll get for delivering pizzas may not be great, but the tips can be a huge income-earner – especially if you’re good with people.

14. Take Care of Pets

Do you like animals? There are lots of jobs you could do right in your area with pets. You could walk neighborhood dogs, or you could be a yard cleaner for dog owners (yes, people will pay you good money to do this job).

Another option is to become a pet sitter. People often want others to care for their animals when they’re at work or on vacation. One of my daughters makes $20 an hour watching the neighbor’s dog.

Not sure where to find work? Hand out flyers in the neighborhood, advertise on Craigslist or sign up and create a profile on a site like Rover.

15. Work as a Babysitter

If you prefer kids over animals, why not get some babysitting jobs? Chances are you know people with young kids–or have people in your area with young kids.

Babysitters often get paid $10, $20 or more per hour. Create a profile on Care.com to get more opportunities for babysitting jobs.

16. Get a Job as a Server

When I was younger, I worked as a server, both, in a restaurant and in a bar. I have to say, these were two of my very favorite jobs. Why?

First, I like interacting with people, and people are almost always happy when you’re bringing them food or drinks. I worked in an ice cream shop, so bonus points on the happy scale!

Second, cash. Lots of cash via tips. It wasn’t uncommon to make a hundred dollars a night or more, and that was thirty years ago! If you like people and like to stay busy, check with local restaurants and bars to see if they’re hiring servers.

17. Get a Retail Job

I did retail work for a few years when I was younger too. Retail jobs are usually readily available at just about any store. You can work as a cashier on the front lines, or work behind the scenes as a stock person.

The pay is pretty decent for the work you do, and many companies pay weekly.

18. Do Lawn Care/Landscaping Work

Do you like mowing lawns? Trimming plants? Shoveling snow? Why not start a landscaping business? There are a lot of busy people who would happily pay a fair rate for you to take some of these tedious jobs off their hands.

Advertise by delivering flyers in the neighborhood or post your services on Craigslist or Facebook.

Summary

Truly, there are dozens of ways you can make money fast–and a lot of it. If you’re willing to do a bit of research and put the time in, there’s no end to the ways you can rake in some extra cash quickly.

Have you tried any of the ideas listed here for making money? What are your suggestions for making money fast?

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

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