Studies show that up to 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. So, when unexpected expenses happen, panic soon follows.
If you’re in this situation, know that there are options. Good options.
Options that don’t involve turning to destructive high-interest loans. Ideas that can help you avoid debt and change your financial future.
When you’re desperately wondering how to make $1,000 fast, here are eight different strategies (with 27 different ideas) you can try.
How To Make $1,000 Fast
Strategy #1 – Selling What You Already Own
You could have $1,000 lying around and you might not even realize it.
You probably have items you don’t need or want anymore that could be lucrative to you if you sold them. Maybe you got a china set for your wedding that isn’t your style – you can sell it instead of letting it collect dust.
Most people have things they could happily get rid of and never think twice about losing. When you need extra cash ASAP, there’s no faster way of getting it than by selling something.
You can have your money in 24 hours. And it can be a relief to free up the extra space by letting go of your unused belongings.
If you’re in need of quick cash, here’s where to start:
- Sell your car: If you live in a metropolitan area, you might be fine without a car. If you live in a more rural area without public transportation, you could sell your current car and buy a cheaper one. That could free up more than $1,000 for you.
- Sell other higher end items: Consider selling things like televisions, collectibles, jewelry, furniture, or sports equipment. You can repurchase them (or items of similar value) for the same price later on if you need the money temporarily.
- Yard sale: To sell the rest of your stuff, such as clothing, used kids gear, books, tools, etc., have a yard or garage sale. If you’re committed, you can set up a yard sale in as little as a day. Have your sale on Saturday when most people are off work.
- Thrift store: Another option, best for selling brand-name clothing, is to find a thrift store near you that will pay you in cash.
In general, the best way to sell items fast is through sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. If you have more time and an item is rare (like a collectable) or in high-demand (such as a cell phone) consider selling it on eBay.
Strategy #2 – Sell a Service
If you’re brainstorming about how to make $1,000 fast, don’t forget about offering freelance services. Anyone with marketable skills can earn money quickly this way.
Think hard about what you’re good at. Think of any compliments you’ve been given over the years. What do people say that you excel at? Find your niche and start a freelance service.
Freelancing is a great way to earn extra money fast online. And the best part is that you can make the hours flexible, so it fits in with your lifestyle or current job.
Here are some examples of the top money-making services you could offer:
- Proofreading. If you’re great at spotting the errors you notice while reading the newspaper or online articles, you’re a natural proofreader (even if you don’t know it yet). Many freelancing sites, including Upwork, have job opportunities for proofreaders. See: How to Become a Proofreader & Earn $45/Hour Working From Home.
- Become a virtual assistant. An excellent virtual assistant first and foremost needs to be a problem solver. If you have a knack for making someone feel like you’re making their life easier by taking some of the stress off of their shoulders, you’ll do well as a virtual assistant. This is a great choice for self-starters who can work independently without asking too many questions. Even if you already work full-time, there are many virtual assistant positions open that offer very flexible hours.
- Freelance writing. If you have a gift with words, you can make a lot of money quite quickly. Put together a portfolio and look online at job sites for writers, such as Upwork. You can get started immediately. Freelance writing was one of the more lucrative side hustles I’ve ever tried. The last year I worked as a freelance writer, I was able to earn over $100 an hour.
See also: How to Get Your First Job on Upwork
Strategy #3 – Broker a Service
So many people out there aren’t handy at all. They’re willing to pay for those hands-on types to do the work for them. People in every city are looking for people to handle projects for them, and if it can come from a single contract, that’s even better. It saves them time and effort from having to shop out multiple projects.
Let’s say you’re great at putting up siding, but you aren’t wonderful at putting in new windows. Maybe you have a friend who can handle the windows while you focus on what you’re good at.
You can offer your services as a package.
Here are two options worth considering:
- Become a local contractor. A great place to drum up business is by starting with your friends. You might have friends looking for cheaper alternatives for home renovation products than they can find when calling the companies in your area. If the project is too big for you, hire some hard-working friends to help you with it.
- Become a digital contractor. This approach worked for me as a writer. Although I had a lot of experience writing articles, design work was my weakness. So I teamed up with a talented designer. We were able to offer full-service website design work, which helped increase my hourly rate. It became a one-stop shop for people in need of those services.
Strategy #4 – Join the Gig Economy
The gig economy is a growing industry that offers a creative way to make money. It’s a peer-to-peer way of getting goods and services.
Sharing assets like this can be a good deal for both parties involved – one can earn some money for their assets (including their time) and the other side gets a reliable service.
- Drive for Postmates. If you have a good, dependable car, and you work weekends delivering food and other items as a Postmates courier, you can easily make $1,000 in your first month as a driver.
- Rent out a room on Airbnb. You don’t have to live in Hawaii to make a killing by loaning out a spare bedroom on Airbnb. Even if you live in a rural area, you can do well with this. People come home all the time for visits with their friends and family, and often need a place to stay. If you live in a hot vacation destination though, you’ll do even better for yourself with Airbnb.
- Find odd jobs on TaskRabbit. If you’re good at the things that make some people want to tear their hair out, like furniture assembly or mounting televisions, check out the website TaskRabbit.
Strategy #5 – Ask For More Hours
Need to make $1,000 fast? You might be able to do it within a month at your regular full-time job if you ask for more hours.
For a lot of people, it can make the most sense to start with their regular place of employment when they need extra money. They already have the contacts in place and they’ll get a simple yes or no quickly.
You’ll know in one day what your answer is.
- Asking for more hours: If you can get overtime, you’ll whittle away that $1,000 goal fast. Even if your boss can’t commit to giving you enough hours for an extra $1,000, you might be able to get half of that. Then, if you add in one other strategy from this list, you’ll be able to make that full amount in no time.
- Asking for additional projects: Your department might not need any help. That’s when you can ask about any other options, whether it’s in a different department or adding value so your boss can give you a raise. Be creative and open to any ideas suggested by your boss. Ideally, you’ll talk directly to the decision-maker so you’ll get a quick answer.
Strategy #6 – Get a Second Job
With a second job, you’ll have a whole other paycheck coming in.
If you can find a $15-per-hour job, you’ll need to commit to about 20 hours a week to earn $1,000 after taxes in a month.
One nice thing about getting a second job instead of asking for more hours at your current workplace is that you’ll get more variety in what you’re doing.
I won’t sugarcoat it: working a second job is going to be hard. You may feel tired and like quitting sometimes. When that happens, remind yourself that it’s only short-term. You can get by for a month or two with a hard schedule.
- Find a FlexJob. FlexJobs provides leads on legitimate online jobs for a variety of careers and skill levels. There are more than 50 career categories on FlexJobs. You can browse jobs for free, but there’s a $14.99 monthly fee to gain access to application details. However, I’ve negotiated a special rate for readers of The Ways To Wealth — just use the code WEALTH when signing up and you’ll save 30% on your membership.
- Delivery jobs: If the idea of delivering food appeals to you, you can get a job with Postmates. As I mentioned above, it’s a food delivery service that lets people choose which foods they want from a restaurant and have them delivered to them whether they’re at home, at work, at a park or wherever! (Read our roundup of the best food delivery jobs for more options.)
- Commission-only sales job: If you’re great at sales, you’ll be able to find a part-time job with local businesses. Whether you’re a telemarketer or you’re showcasing items in a storefront, making a sale will pad your wallet fast.
Strategy #7 – Sublease Your Apartment/Room
Offering a sublease isn’t for everyone. But if you need money badly, you can get your money in a month or two, depending on what your rent is.
With a sublease, you’ll move in with a friend or family member who can give you free lodging for a while. Then you’ll rent out your apartment to someone else who needs a temporary place to stay.
Note that you need to check your lease before employing this strategy, as subleasing is sometimes forbidden or subject to landlord approval.
Strategy #8 – Small Wins
Success in personal finance often comes down to small wins.
While small wins may not allow you to make $1,000 in a day, they’re momentum builders.
Saving $20 here. Making $25 there.
This is a big step, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
What are some easy things you can do today to start building momentum?
Here are seven ideas to try:
- Get a bank account bonus. Many local banks offer a sign-up bonus for opening a new savings account. To find out which local banks are offering a bonus in your area, check out Fiona, a free banking search engine.
- Cash-back credit card rewards. If you’ve accumulated a lot of credit card rewards, cash them in today. While the value is never great exchanging points for cash, if it helps you stay out of debt, it’s worth it.
- Fiverr. Fivver allows you to do small tasks in your spare time. Popular options include graphic design, managing social media, data entry, and market research. You’ll be glad to hear that you can earn more than $5 per gig (despite the site’s name), and some of the top workers on Fiverr earn six-figures a year.
- Rakuten. Rakuten allows you to earn cash back for your online purchases. While you may not be planning on buying anything shortly, they also offer a very generous referral program, giving you $25. Try sending out an email or posting on Facebook about Rakuten to friends and family, with your referral link. There’s also a $10 sign-up bonus after you make your first purchase.
- Online surveys. Online surveys are great to earn a few dollars per day. Make sure to sign up with legit sites like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. We ranked the best survey sites based on user reviews, and these two came out on top. Both allow you to withdraw cash via PayPal.
- InboxDollars: InboxDollars is one of the more popular money making apps. It allows you to get paid to take surveys, watch TV, and more.
- Trim your subscriptions: Trim is an app that helps you automate money saving tasks like negotiating your cable bill, internet, and phone bill. See our complete Trim review.
You need the money fast, and you’d rather borrow it than earn it by following one of the strategies we’ve discussed. If that sounds like you, borrowing is a viable option. But you need to keep in mind that there are good and bad ways to borrow money.
Be smart about your borrowing so that you don’t regret it later.
Skip those high-interest payday loans. They can leave you trapped in a cycle of financial hardship.
Let’s look at better borrowing options for you.
Strategy #1 – Do a Balance Transfer
We’ve all received those balance transfer offers in the mail for our credit cards. If you haven’t used one before, they’re straightforward and a good deal if used correctly.
You’ll transfer a balance from one credit card to another, or you can use the offer to get cash or pay off another loan, such as a car loan. You’ll be given a low-interest introductory rate on the money. That length of time will vary, but many offers range from six months to a year.
Once the introductory period is over, you’ll begin paying higher interest. That’s why you want to knock out as much of that debt or loan as you can before that happens. And remember, don’t rack up more debt in the meantime if you free up one credit card by transferring a balance. You want less debt, not more.
Strategy #2 – Home Equity Loans
If you have home equity, you can tap it. Those interest rates are much better than you’ll get with a personal loan.
In my opinion, home equity loans are best used for things that will increase the value of your home, save you money on interest, or increase your earning ability. So, things like making smart home improvements, pursuing a college education, and paying off high-interest debt all might be circumstances in which a home equity loan makes sense.
Strategy #3 – Take Out a Personal Loan From a Reputable Company
If you don’t have enough home equity for a loan, personal loans are still a better alternative to payday loans. It’s something that should be used cautiously – I wouldn’t take out a personal loan to take a vacation, for instance. You’d be paying for that trip long after it was over.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind with personal loans is that you’ll get a better interest rate if you have a high credit score. If you don’t, the rates can get up there. Make sure to look at several companies online, and even at your regular bank, before making a decision.
Strategy #4 – Take a Loan from a Family Member
This is an option, but it should be handled responsibly and carefully. You don’t want your loan to get in the way of the relationship you have with your family member. Offer to pay a reasonable amount of interest for the loan.
If you pursue this method of getting a loan, you should take your repayment responsibilities just as seriously as you would if you had taken a loan from a bank.
Strategy #5 – Refinance a Loan
While you’ll need a decent credit score, consider refinancing current loans to save money. While you can do this with a home or auto loan, you can save money refinancing your student loans as well.
Strategy #6 – Use a Cash Advance App
There are a number of new apps that will provide an advance on your next paycheck, either for a very small fee or for no charge at all. While you should still avoid taking out a cash advance unless you’re in a truly dire financial situation, these are safe payday loan alternatives that come without the shockingly-high interest rates.