I Need Money Desperately! 17 Ways To Get Emergency Cash

Are you constantly saying: I need money desperately?!

Sometimes you need emergency cash, and you need it now! Try some of these ideas to get quick cash when you desperately need money. 

Ideally, every person would have an emergency fund or a working credit card to put expenses on when they need money desperately.

Real life doesn’t work that way.

While you are working on getting your $1,000 Emergency Fund set up, then you can still run into situations where you need money desperately or need more emergency cash than you have on hand ($1,000 seems like a lot, but when a real emergency happens it is really not that much).

Many ideas to cover emergency expenses don’t really help if you need money today.

For example, you can try doing affiliate marketing, but it will take months to get any money. Even working overtime probably won’t get you enough cash quickly to cover an unexpected expense.

When you desperately need money, you can be tempted to seek a short-term loan. While family members or credit unions may offer you a loan, be careful to stay away from payday lenders who offer payday loans.

Payday loans are predatory loans with extremely high-interest rates, often marketed to those with bad credit, that will make sure that you never repay or get out of the cycle of owing money.

If you need money desperately, try some of these ways to get emergency cash instead.

Do you need money desperately? If you are stuck and need emergency cash and can’t wait for a paycheck or a side hustle to start taking off, here are some ways to get money quickly.

I Need Money Desperately: 17 Ways To Get Emergency Cash

Drive for Lyft or Uber

The application is quick and easy, and you get paid weekly. You also have the benefit of working around your own schedule.

Teach Something

Have a unique skill or passion? Create and sell an online course. There are plenty of websites available that make getting started easy! You make the curriculum and set the price. Teachable and Thinkific are both great starting points. You can also work as a tutor to help students with their schoolwork.

Sell Jewelry and Precious Metals

Go through your old jewelry, see if you have any mismatched or broken pieces containing gold or silver, and sell them at a place that buys coins & precious metals.

You may not want to sell your sentimental pieces, but you can probably find items that you have no use for anymore. Selling them will get you some much-needed cash flow. If you can’t find a broker to buy them, you can pawn them or try to sell them on eBay.

Offer To Clean up a Neighbor’s Garden or Mow Lawns

Knock on some doors, hang up some signs, or post on neighborhood groups that you are willing to cut back perennial plants, remove dead annual plants and weeds, rake, mulch, and get the garden ready for winter or summer for a flat fee.

This can be an opening for other jobs- if they are looking for someone to clean something else out or other odd jobs, this can be a great way to get some emergency cash when you are desperate!

Write Articles or Blog Posts

Good writing is in high demand, and you will get snapped up if you offer your services at a discount. Sell a bunch of articles or blog posts to make a quick buck.

If you think there may be a moment when you will need money quickly, network and find groups to sell your freelance writing services to before you need the money immediately. Even if you don’t have a network in place, hop onto social media and offer your services.

Sell Your Stuff

Have a look at everything you have in your house. Whether it’s old clothes, books, or even old cell phones, you’re not getting any benefit from them if they’re lying around and not being used. Try selling them.

See if there is any furniture you can part with for a price. You’ll be surprised how much you can get for your old junk! There are many platforms to sell your used stuff, but if you need emergency cash quickly, try posting it on neighborhood chats and groups or Craigslist- you will get cash in your hand more quickly.

You can look around for some unused gift cards and try to sell them for a discounted rate to someone who wants them.

Do Tasks With an App

Often, you may find yourself needing money now or quickly. And fortunately, there are a few ways to get cash pretty fast these days.

One way is to make money doing tasks via the gig economy. Apps like TaskRabbit, Instacart, Handy, Rover and many others allow you to find quick jobs that will pay you. It’s not money that will let you retire, but a quick way to make a few bucks.

Switch Bank Accounts

Another way to get free money fast is to switch bank accounts. When most people think of sign-up bonuses, they think of credit cards and don’t realize that many bank accounts will offer you a few hundred dollars to make the switch as well.

Whether it’s a checking account or savings account, if you haven’t looked at your other banking options in a few years, it’s probably worth a look now!

Rent Out Your House

Whether you own or rent a house, consider house hacking to generate rental income to get some quick cash. Two quick ideas to consider: Rent out a room in your house, get a roommate, or rent your house on Airbnb when you know you’ll be away from home.

Your house or apartment can be a money-making machine if you do it properly. If you have somewhere safe to stay, consider moving there (if they’ll have you!) and get some extra cash in a few nights or a weekend.

It can be worth it if it means sleeping on your friend’s cash or in your parent’s basement. Tell them: I need money desperately- can you help me out?

Do Odd Jobs

Everyone is always looking for the next app or website to make a few quick bucks, but one of the best ways to earn cash fast is by simply trading your time for money.

There are always tons of opportunities to make an extra $200 or more in a day. For example, you can offer your services by raking leaves, cleaning gutters, or washing windows in your neighborhood. You can also look on sites like Craigslist for simple jobs you can do in a day, like assembling furniture or moving boxes.

You can see which of your neighbors have a pet and offer to do pet-sitting or dog-walking. You can babysit for some quick cash if you know someone with children.

Use Your Special Skills

You can make even more money if you have special skills or equipment. I recently needed to move a refrigerator from one house to another but didn’t have a truck, and the cheapest quote I got was for $100 to move it 5 miles! Using what you already have and getting a little creative, you can always find a way to make some quick cash when you need it.

Sell Plasma

If you live where they allow you to sell plasma, you can donate your blood and get some money for it. There are places that give you cash, but some give you gift cards or prepaid cards. You can then sell those to someone for cash.

Sign Up To Do Food Delivery

Food delivery apps through Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Instacart have been one of the highest paying (at times $50/hour) quick cash opportunities! This is one of the best ways to make money during your spare time or if you are in school and you need to make some quick cash.

Lower Your Interest Rate

Reducing your interest payment is the fastest way to keep more cash in your pocket. The Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates across the board.

Make sure you take advantage of it by refinancing your personal loans or student loans. This is particularly applicable if you are one of those who have an average student loan debt amount of $37,172 and a monthly payment of $393.

Do Transcription Jobs Online

If you want to work from the comfort of your home and determine your own hours, transcription jobs may be perfect for you. You can make some extra money on top of your regular salary or treat it as a full-time job. It’s entirely up to you!

Transcription jobs have a very low barrier to start; all you need is computers and internet connections. Within days you can start to earn some extra cash. You can pay off more debt, save for retirement, or have extra room in your budget.

Flip Products From Craiglist and Other Places

Jesse describes here how he flips MTG Cards on Craiglist. You can do the same, or if you are a little handy or creative, you can flip bigger products such as furniture or toys.

You can go to garage sales or estate sales and get things for very cheap and then spend some money fixing them up and sell it for more than you paid.

Go towards the end of the day to a garage sale, and you may be able to get some excellent deals.

It would be even better to find something while dumpster diving or if someone is giving away something for free. Take an old chair- clean it, sand it, screw it back together, and you have a great thing to sell with little outlay.

Stand Outside a Park

No- this doesn’t mean what you think it means! I saw someone do this, and I was amazed at its genius, although I haven’t done it myself.

A man came to the park with a toolbox and some extra bike parts. In no time, he was raising seats, taking off training wheels, adding kickstands, oiling bikes, and changing tires- all for cash.

It’s a quick and easy side hustle, and you can advertise by hanging up flyers indicating when and where you will be. A few hours of work, some nice cash, and some delighted kids! Yes- you need money desperately, but you are doing a service simultaneously, which is a nice bonus!

Write for Listverse

Are you good at writing? Listverse pays writers $100 for writing lists of things. All you need is a computer and a PayPal account. Write up a list or two and send it in. You get paid upon approval. It’s that easy!

Get Cashback

Sign up for cash-back websites like Swagbucks, Ibotta, Rakuten, and TopCashback.

I admit- this won’t get you tons of money quickly, but you can get a little bit of money back on purchases you are already making- when you are in desperate need of money, then every single bit counts!

Do All the Online Surveys

Again, this won’t make you the big bucks, but if you need money desperately, then you can take some surveys when you have nothing else to do- on the bus, waiting in line, and during any other downtime.

Check out the best survey sites here!

You can make even more money if you combine this with another side hustle (doing surveys while waiting for your food delivery order to be ready). The best way to make money is while you are already making money!

I Need Money Desperately!

I think most people have been in a situation where they need money desperately. Life happens. Hopefully, these ideas will help you when you need some emergency cash.

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

6 thoughts on “I Need Money Desperately! 17 Ways To Get Emergency Cash”

  1. I love the idea of dipping in an out of easy cash sources when needed or on a schedule. Thankfully there’s a lot of ways to do it with just a phone or a laptop.

    At the very least it can keep some expenses ticking over long term, e.g. web hosting.

  2. These are awesome ideas! Some of them were new to me so thanks for sharing! One of my favorites is getting the bank account sign up bonuses. I’m making a few extra thousand this year just by moving my emergency fund from bank to bank.

  3. This is a helpful article for anyone in need of some quick cash. While my wife and I now have a 12-month emergency fund and won’t need to resort to any of these ideas, we did have to once upon a time.
    The most helpful one I can think of that we used was renting out a room. We did this in our first house, and it helped tremendously. We were very young, making minimum wage, and barely able to cover our expenses.

    • That’s great! I hope that people will find these helpful and then be able to move to a stage of a life where they won’t need these ideas any more.

  4. The Standing outside the park one had me interested. That is some great way to make a bit of money. The man is just using his skills. Being able to fix things, and help people out.

    This is a great list of items to make money quickly. I love it! Thanks for sharing these.


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