How can I make money fast?

posted by in Making money

There are lots of ways to make money, but just how fast is the payoff?

Many of the so-called quick money-making tips out there seem like scams, or are dependent on you having lots of free time. However when you’re struggling financially there are a few ways to earn extra cash quickly.

The key questions for you to consider when you’re needing to make money are:

  • How long will it take to do the ‘work’?
  • How much money will you make?
  • How quickly will you get paid?*

Let’s take a look at some popular money-making tips and how likely it is that you’ll get prompt payment…

*Please bear in mind that we can’t guarantee when you’ll receive money for attempting any of the following money-making tips, and we don’t endorse any of the links provided. The timeframes we’ve given are estimates.

I need to make money today…

Flog unwanted gadgets, CDs, games, books and movies

Now that most of what we read, play, watch and listen to is digital, there are probably quite a few gadgets, CDs, games and more that you could sell for a few bob.

Computer Exchange (CEX) and Cash Converters are always on the lookout for things such as phones, laptops, DVDs, games consoles and games, among other things. If you’re curious about how much you’d get for trading your unwanted gadgets in, you can check the ‘we buy’ value for hundreds of items on the CEX website, or get a valuation in the ‘Sell’ section of the Cash Converters website

If you take these items to trade in-store both will give you a payment straight away. Please be aware however that how much you get depends on the condition the items are in. It’s worth giving your DVD case, phone or laptop a quick once over before you trade it in, to make them shine a bit more Remember that both will stores require ID to verify your identity.

If you don’t need same-day payment, it may be worth comparing what you’d get for trade-in value between CEX, Cash Converters and the online trading website Music Magpie. With the latter you can register the items you want to trade online, and then arrange free postage for your stuff.

Can you think of any other tips for ways to make money today? Post them in the comments below.

I need to make money this week…

Apply for emergency funding

If you’re dealing with a cash crisis (by that we mean you’re unable to buy food or other essentials), you may be entitled for emergency assistance. Read our page on emergency help with money and food for more information.

Review websites and apps for cash

UserTesting.com pays people to review all kinds of websites. Each review takes around 20 minutes and can earn you $10 (around £6.50) that’s paid into your PayPal account.

Become a taskrabbit

Through Taskrabbit you can connect with people who need same-day assistance with all manner of things including odd jobs around the house, running errands and assembling flat pack furniture.

You’ll need to go through a quick ‘orientation’ once you register, which is why we recommend allowing at least a week before you aim to make any money through it. However, it seems the rewards are numerous once you get started. New members can get £10 added to their first task with the promo code WELCOME. If you refer a friend, you can get a £15 bonus when they sign up and complete their first task (they’ll get a £15 bump too).

Do the washing and ironing

If you have busy friends, family or neighbours, chances are they regularly fall behind on housework. Why not offer to wash and iron their clothes for cash? Put a notice up in your local café, or ask on Facebook, and see who bites!

Hire out your belongings

Do you have electrical items that someone local might find handy? Rentmyitems lets you rent out items like hoovers, sewing machines, camping equipment and even games consoles. Once you’ve added your items, promote the listing on Facebook.

Write travel reviews

Did you know you can make money by writing about your travel experiences? Check out this article on the American site The Write Life to find out more.

Give Google a piece of your mind

By answering a couple of questions through Google Opinion Rewards you can quickly make some money to spend in the Google app store.

Be aware that you’re looking at getting between 6-40p per survey, and you have to have your phone GPS switched on as Google bases its surveys on your recent locations. The surveys are quick to fill in however, and the credit quickly mounts up to spend on things like films, music, apps and audiobooks in the Google app store. This article from Techgears tells you how to make the most of Google’s nosiness.

Can you think of any other tips for ways to make money this week? Post them in the comments below.

I need to make money this month…

Become a deliverer

Delivering parcels and leaflets can be a great way to get paid, get fit (or drive), and get out and about. Check out Gumtree for delivery opportunities in your area or try asking local pizza joints or taxi firms if they need any help promoting their services.

Become a mystery shopper

What can be better than being paid to shop? Last year Save the Student editor Ruth Bushi wrote about how to get started with mystery shopping.

Donate unwanted clothes

It’s pretty shocking how many items of clothing end up in landfill. As much as 95% of the clothes we throw away could be worn again. H&M collect clothes and textiles of any brand, in any quality and any condition. What’s more, they’ll give you a £5 voucher to spend in store for each bag of material that you donate (limit two bags per day).

Marks and Spencer’s have a ‘schwopping’ scheme where you can earn 50 Sparks points each time you donate clothes at one of their branches. It’s not money technically, but if you don’t have an H&M store nearby, you can still save up Sparks points to spend at M&S. Also, every M&S item of clothing that’s donated will get you a £5 M&S clothing and home voucher (I saved some up to buy my Mum-in-law a present at Christmas).

Sell stuff on eBay or Amazon

There must be a reason why these two websites have been around for such a long time. They might be the best way to sell your unwanted items to people all over the world. It can be a bit of a faff to sell stuff online, so make sure you read our guide before you get started.

Rent out your spare room

As long as you’re comfortable with letting someone stay in your house, renting out a room can be a reliable extra form of income.

A couple of years ago, the government introduced the Rent a Room Scheme. If you let out furnished accommodation in your home to a lodger, you can earn up to a threshold of £7,500 per year, tax-free (this is halved if you share the income with a partner or someone else). Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

When deciding how you’re going to rent your room out, there are a couple of options available. You could:

  • Find a lodger via Spareroom
  • Rent out a room to holidaymakers via AirBnB
  • Rent a room to business professionals during the week via com

With all of these options, it’s best to check with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) whether you’re exempt from paying tax or not.

I don’t mind when I get paid…

Use cashback websites

If you shop online every now and then, you can easily earn some extra pennies though cashback websites such as TopCashback and Quidco. We recommend not being too fussed on when you get paid if you do this, as some retailers can drag their heels a bit with paying your cashback

Incidentally, both Quidco and HotUKDeals have online voucher codes that you can use to save money on online purchases.

In conclusion…

What we’ve learned over the years (and indeed through writing this article) is that while there may be an abundance of money tips, there just aren’t that many that are practical in an emergency.

It may seem glaringly obvious that selling your stuff is the best way to get same-day cash (we agree!), but earning extra income does seem to depend a great deal on patience and time. Anything you do to boost your income ultimately comes down to what’s practical for you.

If you’re ever in a real pinch for essentials, help is available. There are local food banks that can help, and organisations such as your local council and Turn2Us may be able to provide financial assistance. Assistance can be limited though.

Putting some pennies aside in an emergency fund is something that we strongly recommend. Find out how you can start your own emergency fund.

For more money-making ideas check out our Weird Ways to Make Money series. There’s also some information on how to increase your income on our website.

Please note, all self-employed income must be declared to HM Revenue and Customs.

Do you have any other quick ways to make money? Let us know in the comments.

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 8 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games, watching anime, reading and creative writing in her spare time (currently writing a Young Adult fantasy series). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She's also written comics and graphic novels for the animated series Regular Show.

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