When you need money fast, you have several options. You could sell a bunch of stuff, refinance the house, or borrow money from friends or relatives. Or, you could look into something much simpler: getting a side gig. (See also: 13 Ways to Make Money Online That Aren’t Scams)
Side gigs are not exactly second jobs, because they come with a lot more flexibility and leave you in control of your hours and commitment. But, they can still be invaluable sources of income when you’re really in a pinch. If you’re ready to start bringing in some extra money, quickly, here are some great places to start.
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft
If you have a car, and you don’t mind adding some extra miles, driving for either Uber or Lyft is a great way to earn extra money in a very short amount of time. As a driver, you can set your own schedule and work on your own time. You could even sign up to drive up for both services. Uber drivers can earn between $13 to $30 an hour, while Lyft drivers can earn anywhere from $8 to $25 an hour. (See also: How to Earn Extra Money Driving for Uber or Lyft)
2. Rent out a room in your home with Airbnb
This isn’t for everyone, but if you have a guest room, or can find a way to make one in your home, you can rent out the space on Airbnb. Some people do this seasonally, and others rent their space year round. It can become very lucrative, especially if you live in cities that experience tourism surges throughout the year. Some people have made up to $60,000 a year from Airbnb. (See also: 5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb)
3. Become a mystery shopper
If you are out and about a lot, you can turn that into a profit. Mystery shopping is something that happens daily around the world in thousands of stores. The idea is to help businesses improve their experiences, and they are willing to pay for genuine feedback. While you may only earn $5–$20 per store, it can really add up. In 2013, one person made $14,000 in one year. (See also: Check Out These 5 Legit Mystery Shopping Gigs)
4. Become a “tasker”
There are other sites offering similar gigs, but TaskRabbit is the leading provider of small services right now. The idea is simple enough; you make yourself available to do small tasks, and the site matches you with people who want things done. It could be hauling large items, assembling furniture, cleaning, yard work, or even small repairs. You set your own rate, your own hours, and your availability. You could do it on weekends, mornings, or evenings. The site takes roughly 15 percent to 30 percent of the advertised rate. For example, if the customer sees $100/hr, you would get between $70–$85 for the task. It all depends on the type of service. So far, taskers have loved the experience. (See also: 4 Ways to Make Money Doing Household Chores)
5. Sell things on eBay
Start with items you have laying around the house that you just don’t need any more. You might be surprised at the money you can make just by putting these things up for sale. If you’re not sure how to price something, do a quick search on eBay’s “sold listings” to see what an item’s typical selling price is, and then use that as a template for your own auction. You can easily make a few hundred dollars in the first week alone. (See also: 11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay)
6. Take online surveys
How does an extra $250 per month sound? Well, it’s achievable by taking online surveys in your downtime. Some survey sites offer just a few dollars for a lot of work, so make sure you do your research and sign up with companies that are known for reasonable payouts. (See also: Can I Really Make Money Taking Surveys?)
7. Dog walking or pet sitting
If you’re an animal lover, dog walking and pet sitting is another quick and easy way to raise some extra cash. Many dog owners just don’t have the time (or the energy) to walk their dogs, and are more than happy to pay someone else to do it. The money is excellent, with the average walk paying $1 per minute, according to Angie’s List. If you walk a few dogs at once, you can bring in $40–$60 every morning for just a half-hour of work. Similarly, you can make money pet sitting. Angie’s List reports around $50 per day for pet sitting. (See also: Get Rich Walking Dogs in 9 Easy Steps)
8. Cook meals for people with Feastly and EatWith
This concept has been called the “Airbnb for dinner” and it’s really starting to take off. If you have a knack for cooking, but don’t want to work in a kitchen or open a restaurant, then Feastly or EatWith could be just for you. The basic idea is that you cook a meal for a group of strangers, usually at a place where you host. The strangers get to share an exciting meal with a group of new people, and you get to show off your culinary skills and make a nice profit. EatWith states you can make up to $700 per event, and Feastly says you get around 88 cents on the dollar for whatever you charge.
9. Participate in clinical trials
How far are you willing to go to get some money in a hurry? Well, every year hundreds of companies require human guinea pigs to test the safety of their products. By the time the trials come to humans, they have already undergone some rigorous testing, so the chances of making you sick are slim. But, there’s still a chance, so know this going into it. However, you can make some serious money from this kind of side hustle. Some clinical trials pay as much as several thousand dollars. (See also: Making Money From Clinical Trials: Worth the Risk?)
10. Rent out your friendship
Are you a people person? The life and soul of the party? Then you should rent out your friendship with RentAFriend.com. The pay is not great, usually $10 an hour or less. But, you’re making money doing things most people spend money on. From going to movies and amusement parks, to nightclubs and bowling, there are a lot of people out there who just need a friend for the evening. You could be that friend, and earn a tidy sum at the same time.
11. Become a background artist
Also known as “extras,” these actors are used to fill out the scenes of TV shows and movies so that everything looks as true to life as possible. There is usually work to be found in almost every state, although it’s not always glamorous. Background artists are paid on a sliding scale based on what kind of performance is required, whether you’re in a union, and if you speak or not (if you do, you get more money). Check out Backstage.com for more information. (See also: Look Ma! I’m on TV! Life as a Background Actor)
12. Officiate weddings
Did you know that almost anyone can become ordained to officiate weddings? And, in many cases it costs absolutely nothing to get the credentials you need. Once you get the legal authority to perform weddings, you can then hire yourself out. The average cost to preside over the ceremony and read the vows comes in between $300–$500 per wedding. Do one of these every weekend, and you’re looking at up to $2,000 extra every month for very little work. Of course, you have to be a good public speaker, and love weddings.
13. Tutor students
Do you have a particular area of expertise that would be useful to a student? From math and science, to music and foreign languages, parents across the country are always looking for people to help their children advance in school. You can advertise your services on a site like Craigslist, and meet your clients at local libraries or their own homes. You can easily make $15–$30 per hour, or more. You can also make money as an online tutor.
14. Model for art students
Art models do not have to be Greek gods. Most art colleges would actually prefer a range of body types, because students need a wide variety of models to hone their skills. To become an art model, understand that you will be stripping off in front of strangers who will be staring at every wrinkle and blemish. So, you should be very comfortable in your own skin. You also have to realize that you could be holding some poses for up to an hour (although you will be allowed to take short breaks). If this all seems like no big deal to you, then apply at a local art college or night class, and you can easily make $20 per hour, or more. (See also: 8 Freelance Gigs Anyone Can Do to Make Extra Money)