“I’m screwed,” you think as you open your laptop and frantically type “how to make $1,000 fast” into Google.
You just realized rent is due Monday, but so are your student loan and car payments. Now you’re down to your last few dollars and your paycheck doesn’t come for another week.
If this has happened to you, you’re not alone. A 2019 GOBankingRates survey found that over half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. It’s stressful when an emergency happens, your savings account is depleted, and you need to come up with money immediately.
Fortunately, there are plenty of legitimate ways you can make $1,000 fast.
17 Legal Ideas to Make $1,000 Fast
If you need to make money fast, there are plenty of ways to earn money on a flexible basis.
1. Sell your stuff
Another way to earn money when you desperately need it is to sell stuff you no longer want or need, like that guitar your parents bought you in tenth grade that you never learned to play.
If you live on a busy road, this one is easy – just set up shop in front of your home on a Saturday morning and wait for the yard sale shoppers to stroll in. For more remote locations, post on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and Facebook Marketplace to get the word out.
If yard sales aren’t an option, expand your market with the help of the internet. Decluttr will gladly take your old books, technology, and CDs. You can manually enter the barcode for your items or scan them with the Decluttr app. It’ll tell you the total payout and you can send in your items with the company’s free mailing label.
2. Drive with Postmates
Delivering food for Postmates can be an easy way to make $1,000, especially if you’re a good driver and have plenty of free time at night and on the weekends.
Since Postmates allows workers to deliver food by driving, walking, biking, or using a scooter, you don’t need to own a car to earn extra money with this side hustle. Every city has its own average rate, and your individual earnings may vary depending on location, demand, and time of day.
You can learn more in our Postmates review.
3. Rent your car out when you’re not using it
When you’re at work, spending time with family, or sleeping, your car just sits in the driveway. So why not put it to work?
With Getaround, a car-sharing app, you can rent your car to drivers when you’re not using it.
Like Uber, the company covers drivers with a premium insurance policy. It also handles the logistics of renting out your car so you don’t have to deal with scheduling and handing over the keys. How fast you can make money with Getaround depends on the demand for rentals, the market rental rate for your car, and how many hours you can rent it per week.
Getaround estimates that most cars in the United States sit idle an average of 22 hours per day. If you can rent your car for 25 hours a week at $5 an hour, that’s an extra $500 a month, not including any fees or expenses.
4. Get cash back on your shopping
An easy way to put money back into your budget is by saving on purchases you already make. You can do this through clipping coupons, using a cash-back credit card, or using a browser extension or app.
CapitalOne Shopping automatically searches the internet for coupons and applies them at checkout, helping you easily save money. Users also earn loyalty credits for shopping with partner retailers. These are rewarded as a percentage of your purchase and can be redeemed for gift cards to places like Amazon and Walmart. You can learn more about how it works in our CapitalOne Shopping review.
Note: CapitalOne Shopping compensates us when you get the CapitalOne Shopping extension using the links provided.
You can earn even more money back by using it with other apps and browser extensions like:
- Ibotta: A grocery and shopping rebate app; you can get a $20 new user bonus after redeeming your first rebate.
- Dosh: This is a cash-back app that will give you $5 for each card that you link.
- Rakuten: Another big cash-back site/app; it’ll give you $10 after you spend $25.
- InboxDollars: A market research site that gives users a $5 signup bonus.
5. Get paid to take surveys
You’ve probably seen ads for paid surveys or market research studies and thought they seemed like a scam. Fortunately, they’re not. In fact, there’s a huge market for consumer data that companies can use to improve their products and increase sales.
That data comes from real consumers. These companies want to know what you think about the products and services you use every day, and they’re willing to pay you for it. Some companies, like Swagbucks, will pay you just for signing up.
Swagbucks is a reputable survey and rewards site that offers a $10 bonus for new users. You can earn points when you take surveys and redeem them for gift cards to popular retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Target.
Check out our Swagbucks review for more information on how to earn money with the platform.
6. Host guests with Airbnb
If you have a spare room in your house, then Airbnb could be the perfect side hustle for you.
It doesn’t require a ton of work or planning to get started as an Airbnb host. Simply create an account, set up your listing, and start booking stays. Your earning potential depends on where you live and how nice of a space you have to offer. The nicer your room or house, the more you can make.
You can also charge more during holidays and big events in your area, like football games, festivals, and concerts. If you live in a busy area, you can easily make $1,000 in a week or less with Airbnb.
If you don’t have space to rent out or you want to earn even more with your Airbnb listing, you can also host an Airbnb Experiences. These are unique and memorable activities for visitors to your area. It could be a backstage tour at an aquarium, a brewery tour, or a guided hike on a local trail.
Related: How to Make Money as an Airbnb Host
7. Get paid to tutor
If you like working with kids and have flexible hours, consider tutoring from your home to earn some extra money. VIPKID hires tutors from the US and Canada to teach English as a second language to children in China.
VIPKID tutors make between $7-9 for each 30-minute session. Because VIPKID focuses on teaching children in China, work hours may vary. I used to be a VIPKID teacher myself, and my shifts were often 6am to 10am Eastern time.
8. Create a course
Even if you’re not a certified teacher, you can still make money teaching kids and adults. Thanks to platforms like Outschool and Teachable, you can create on-demand and live video courses teaching anything from cooking, to knitting, to graphic design and piano.
How much you earn on Outschool and how quickly depends on the price you set and how much marketing you do. If you already have a social media following or newsletter subscribers, you can advertise your course to them, helping you hit that $1,000 mark faster.
9. Write for others
Bloggers can make a lot of money, but it takes time to build up a site and audience from scratch. If you want to earn money writing faster, consider freelance writing for others. You don’t need a degree in English to make a living writing, but you do need solid writing skills.
Take Holly Johnson for example. Holly is a mom of two who makes more than $200,000 a year while writing full-time. She created a course, Earn More Writing, to help writers begin a freelance writing business even with no professional experience. It might take you a few weeks to find your first paying client, but once secured, it’s an effective way to earn money fast.
Want to see how we built a profitable blog?
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- Getting the exact steps we took to earn our first $1,000 blogging (and beyond).
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10. Earn extra money as a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants provide administrative and technical support to businesses. You can decide which tasks to offer based on your experience and preferences.
A few common virtual assistant tasks include email management, social media management, and customer service. For more inspiration, here are 150+ tasks you can offer as a virtual assistant. The services you offer and how you package them are entirely up to you.
Many small business owners prefer hiring virtual part-time help as opposed to full-time salaried employees because it’s more cost-effective for the company. That means there are plenty of opportunities for you to make $1,000 fast without leaving your house.
11. Offer freelance services
Many companies are turning to freelancers to help with a variety of tasks including bookkeeping, managing Facebook ads, writing blog posts, and building websites. Whatever your skill set, someone out there will pay you for it.
You can get started by creating a profile on Fiverr. Sellers can offer a variety of services ranging from $5 to $995. You can offer cheap prices at first to build a portfolio and then raise your rates once you’ve collected some client testimonials. With the right skills and some diligence, you can make $1,000 fast (even in a week or less) from freelancing alone.
12. Pet sitting
Pet sitting pays instant cash, and if you love animals, it’s a relatively easy gig for anyone who needs to make $1,000 fast.
Rover makes it easy to find clients and build up your new or existing pet sitting business. You can choose whether you offer in-home stays, doggy daycare, or just daily drop-ins. All you need to do to get started with Rover is complete a brief application and complete your profile.
You can set your own rates, how many clients you have, and which breeds you care for. You can even offer to watch cats or other pets to earn extra cash.
13. Let Trim create room in your budget
Trim is a simple app that acts as your own “personal financial manager.” After you link your bank account to the app, Trim will sift through your spending habits, find subscriptions you might want to cancel, negotiate your cable bill, find you better car insurance, and more. Plus, Trim is free.
While it’s not directly helping you earn money, it can help you spend less over the next year.
14. Become a bartender or server
For people with previous experience, server jobs are usually pretty easy to land, and you get to bring home cash at the end of every shift. Even if you don’t have previous serving experience, you might be able to find a few less-busy shifts or work as a bar back or hostess.
Bartenders and servers at busy or up-scale restaurants can make a few hundred dollars in tips alone on a Friday or Saturday night. Your earning potential also depends on where and when you work (nights and weekend shifts bring in the most).
15. Offer to help friends and family
Turning to friends and family for money isn’t easy; but that’s what a support system is for — to support you when you need it. You don’t have to beg for money. Just ask around and see if anyone in your circle could use your assistance.
Know an entrepreneur? Ask if they need help with their business.
Friends with kids? Offer to babysit. You can also clean houses, mow lawns, fix equipment, chop wood, or shovel driveways and sidewalks.
Chances are someone you know could use help with something and they’ll be willing to pay you for it.
16. Negotiate a pay raise
Most of us probably feel like we are overdue for a pay raise.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a bump in pay — and you feel like you deserve one — it might be time to finally ask your boss for a raise. If you work full time and get a raise of $1 per hour, that will increase your yearly income by $2,000.
It’s not fast, but it will add up over time. Once you figure out what your net increase per paycheck will be, adjust your budget and start automatically transferring that amount to a savings account. After a few paychecks, you’ll have the beginning of a solid emergency fund.
17. Get a second job
If you’ve been able to negotiate with your landlord or other creditors and have a few weeks to come up with the extra cash to pay your bills, consider going the traditional route and getting a second job. Anything from a few hours a week in a retail store, to working overnight stocking groceries, to temping in an office on your days off can add to your budget.
If childcare is an issue, consider taking an at-home second job like working remote customer support for Amazon, doing data entry, or transcribing audio files.
You can search job sites like FlexJobs and ZipRecruiter to find jobs in your area, or you can ask at your current job if there are any extra tasks you can do to earn extra money. You might also want to see if overtime is an option or if you can switch shifts and earn the shift differential.
Try to Prevent This Situation in the Future
Trying to pull together money for bills or emergencies at the last minute can feel difficult and stressful. To prevent it from happening again or falling into the payday loan trap, there are a few steps you can take.
- Open a separate savings account. If you don’t already have one, consider opening a savings account at an online bank with higher interest rates, sign-up bonuses, or rewards for diligent savers. If you prefer a traditional bank for your savings, open your account at a different bank than your primary one. This will make it more difficult for you to withdraw the money; you might even forget you have it.
- Automate your monthly savings. Automating your savings takes the control out of your hands and ensures your savings goals are met every time. To do so, all you need to do is set up a fixed transfer for every payday and your bank will automatically withdraw that money and deposit it into your linked savings account. It’ll be an adjustment at first, but eventually, you’ll get used to not budgeting for that money.
- Have a budget (and stick to it). If you don’t already have one, it’s essential that you create your budget. It’s not the most exciting thing to do, but having a solid plan in place can give you peace of mind. Check out our guide on how to make a budget for help getting started.
Although these strategies can’t guarantee that a financial emergency won’t happen, they can help you prepare for one. And if putting $1,000 in a savings account seems impossible right now, start small. Add $10, $20, or even $100 when you can. Over time, it’ll add up and you’ll have a comfortable savings account.
Making $1,000 Fast is Possible, But You Need Long-Term Solutions
It might seem overwhelming, but it’s possible to make $1,000 quickly if you know where to look. The best way is to combine multiple strategies so you’re not relying on one method. If you have a lot of stuff to sell, post it online. If you still need money, move on to selling your services, delivering food for Postmates, or another side hustle that can help you make money quickly.
Once you’ve made your $1,000, consider if you want to keep any of these side hustles going. You may decide to start a small business or keep that second job. Having multiple options will make it easier to earn $1,000 the next time you need it.