5 Ways To Make Quick Cash

by Gary Foreman

DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Suffering from a cash crunch? Here are a few tips to infuse some extra money into your bank account.

Cash crunch! Most of us will face it at one time or another. An unexpected bill or loss of income puts us into a position where we need a quick cash infusion. When you face one of those times, try one or more of these quick cash solutions.

1. Sell some stuff.

The first solution is the obvious one. Sell something. Think beyond the simple yard sale. Fortunately tools like Craigslist and eBay make it possible to get good prices for better items.

The trick is to find things that are worth more than a few dollars. Pretend you’re going to be on the Antiques Roadshow. Do a little internet research on items that you think might have value. When it’s time to sell, remember that collectibles will do better in a virtual auction. There are more buyers to compete for your item. Heavier furniture or other items that would be difficult to ship should be sold locally.

Don’t limit yourself to internet sales. Consider specialty stores for some items. Electronics and tools might do well at a pawn shop. Your local jeweler could be interested in the broach you inherited from Aunt Agatha.

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2. Look for money you are owed…

Another source of quick cash is to look for money that’s due to you or that you can borrow.

You were probably asked for a deposit when you began utility service on your home. If you’ve been consistently on time with your bills, they may give you your deposit back. Call the utility to find out.

Check for “unclaimed property.” We live fast-paced lives and move often. Because of that, we can unintentionally leave behind deposits, small accounts, and refunds.

According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, 1 in 7 people have unclaimed funds out there. More than $3 billion is returned to consumers annually. You can find out more about searching for unclaimed funds here.

3. …Or borrow money.

If your cash crisis is likely to be short-term, consider changing your deductions to reduce income tax withholding. You will have to pay back the “loan” when your taxes are due next April, but it will increase your take-home pay until then. Ask your HR department how it works.

If the problem is longer term, you might want to consider borrowing from your 401k plan. The law and most plans allow you to take a loan and repay it over time. Interest rates are governed by law, but generally they aren’t very high. The biggest drawback is that the whole loan becomes due if you leave or lose your job.

Have you overspent your way into debt?

Make a plan to get back out. Get How to Conquer Your Debt No Matter How Much You Have and create a debt payoff plan personalized to your budget and lifestyle.

4. Find an additional income source.

If the crisis is big or not temporary, your only solution may be adding an additional income source. There are a number of ways to accomplish that.

One option is to take on a second, part-time job. Even if the pay is low, you’ll have a steady, predictable income source. You may find some type of online work you can do from home.

An option that may have more upside is to start a side gig. Perhaps offer a skill you have to friends and family. Whether it’s sewing or carpentry, letting people know you’re available should generate some work for you. You won’t know from week to week how much you’ll make, and you will need to check with your local government to see what licenses are needed. But if you can find enough work, you’ll make more if you work for yourself.

5. Take in a roomate.

Another cash source doesn’t require an additional job. It just takes a little sacrifice. Taking in a roommate is a serious step, and you will change your lifestyle. But, it can be a good regular source of income. Depending on where you live and your home, you could score hundreds each month.

Whatever your cash crunch, try these ways to bring a little extra into your account this month.

Reviewed September 2023

About the Author

Gary Foreman is the former owner and editor of The Dollar Stretcher. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and has been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, Credit.com and CreditCards.com.

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