How To Make Money Fast Real Ways To Make Money Quickly


At some point, everyone needs a little extra money. Maybe you need to pay essential bills or cover a surprise expense. Your dog gets sick, your roof starts leaking, you’re closing on a new home — the scenarios are endless, but the situation is common: You need money fast.

Waiting for a traditional pay cycle might not always be possible, and thankfully there are ways to make money quickly, efficiently and (most importantly) legally. As you embark on these side hustles, staying on top of necessary taxes is essential. The following insights, ideas and advice can set you on a path toward fast cash and new revenue streams.

9 side hustles to make quick cash

1. Sell your things on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

If you want to make money quickly, sell the things you already have: old clothes, electronics, collectibles, books and other knick knacks taking up space in your garage or attic. You might consider a yard sale or garage sale to declutter your storage space; however, with the internet you can quickly sell those things online on platforms like eBay, Poshmark, Craigslist, Etsy or Facebook Marketplace. Remember, you might need to ship items to their buyers. Those shipping fees can eat into your overall profit, so do the math before accepting any offers.

  • Time to set up: A few hours
  • Time to make money: Days or weeks
  • Requirements: Account on the selling platform of your choice (Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.), valuable goods

Related: 18 Ways You Can make money Right Now

2. Take online surveys

Taking online surveys can make you money in hours — or even minutes. Sites like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks allow people to join their programs, then take surveys in exchange for cash prizes or gift cards. The upside is that by completing a handful of surveys, you’ll soon have some spending cash in your pocket. The downside? It’s not much money — a couple dollars per survey, depending on the platform. It is, however, an easy and mindless way to earn money while multitasking, and all you need is a smart phone or computer — no college degree or elaborate setup necessary.

Most online survey sites pay you cash back bonuses or unused gift cards. Others have “cardcash” systems where you must use the extra income at that site. Keep this in mind, as it could indicate a scam or prevent you from being able to cash out your money.

  • Time to set up: Minutes
  • Time to make money: Hours
  • Requirements: A computer or smartphone

Related: How Online Surveys in Market Research are Driving Change

3. Pursue side gigs on freelance sites

Freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr are job posting boards. If you have a skill you can translate into freelance labor, such as programming, graphic design or writing, you can use these sites to find freelance gigs and earn money quickly. The setup is easy: Make an account, then bid on available jobs from prospective clients. If you’re chosen, complete the work to the client’s specifications and get paid. Do a good enough job, and you’ll earn a positive reputation, leading to more work.

The most successful freelancers do it as their primary career, earning decent incomes while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of working on their own schedules. And depending on your niche, you can develop online courses, land gigs as a virtual assistant or become a regular contributor for online publications.

  • Time to set up: Hours
  • Time to make money: Days
  • Requirements: Skills and qualifications for freelance work, a computer, any necessary software

Related: Freelance Writer – Entrepreneur

4. Pet sitting and dog walking

Apps like Rover and Wag provide excellent opportunities to make money fast, particularly if you’re an animal lover. By pet sitting and dog walking, you can earn income in less than a day. Make a profile, add photos of you and some furry friends and start booking clients. Depending on your availability, you can opt to walk dogs during the day, in the evening or whenever clients need you.

These services also provide opportunities to look after pets (generally cats and dogs) for extended stays — when owners go on vacation or are handling an emergency, for example. Remember, though, it might take time and successful jobs as a pet sitter before you can start making a good amount of money.

  • Time to set up: Hours
  • Time to make money: Hours
  • Requirements: Pet sitter app, a smartphone, pet supplies (such as leashes and bowls), a love for animals

Related: 7 Quick Ways to make money Investing $1,000

5. Babysitting

Babysitting can be just as rewarding as pet sitting and just as profitable, if not more so. The big difference? In most cases, parents vet their babysitters much more carefully than their pet sitters. Because of this, you can’t rely on an app like Rover for babysitting. Instead, you’ll need to develop a reputation as a trusted sitter in your area, then apply to job boards, like, or get referrals from your current clients. It might take some time to build up a client base, but once you do the money comes quickly: Many parents require fast babysitting solutions on short notice (if there’s a family emergency, for example).

If you keep your schedule open, you can respond to those babysitting requests as soon as they pop up, making some extra cash for playing with kids, feeding them meals, taking them on walks or to the playground and making sure they go to bed on time. The right temperament (patient but energetic, fun-loving but firm) is essential for success in this field.

  • Time to set up: Days
  • Time to make money: Varies
  • Requirements: A mobile phone, good communication skills, patience, fondness for kids

6. Become a tutor

Whether you’re a math whiz or grammar aficionado, you can help local students with schoolwork as a tutor. Start by reaching out to your own network — family, friends, colleagues, neighbors — to gauge demand and find early clients. Maybe it’s your eighth-grade neighbor struggling with pre-algebra or a family friend studying for the ACT. Your classroom knowledge can help them learn new concepts and test-taking strategies.

You can also join online tutoring platforms, such as Chugg Tutors or, and teach students from your own home, on your own time. These sites take a cut of your earnings, so while they do provide added flexibility, they can be less profitable for tutors.

  • Time to set up: A few days
  • Time to make money: Hours
  • Requirements: Good grades, subject-specific expertise, a laptop

7. Host guests on Airbnb

Airbnb is a popular app for homeowners and investors — and for good reason. It allows them to rent out real estate they don’t use and provide travelers a place to stay. Maybe your apartment has a free bedroom or you own a second property where no one lives. Take some nice photos of the space, list your house rules and start booking guests to earn passive income.

Airbnb hosting isn’t without its struggles and potential pitfalls, however. You need to prepare the property for guests and provide a clean, safe and comfortable space for them. This means having everything on hand for a nice stay: bath towels, shampoo and body wash, coffee, clean bedsheets, etc. Be sure to check local zoning laws, too, as localities have increasingly clamped down on short-term rentals.

  • Time to set up: Days
  • Time to make money: Varies
  • Requirements: Second home or spare room to rent, Airbnb account, extra home supplies to ensure a comfortable stay for guests

Related: Top 10 Home Business Ideas

8. Drive delivery

Delivery driving is one of the easier and more attractive side gigs because it relies on owning just two things: a vehicle and a smartphone. When you become a delivery driver, you can work for many different rideshare and food delivery apps — such as Lyft, Uber Eats, Instacart and DoorDash — and earn money any hour of the day.

You’ll drive to and from restaurants, drop off food and accept new jobs on the app. This does take time to set up, however, as joining these companies is a fairly traditional process. You should expect to submit a resume, sit through an interview and submit to a background check. That could take several weeks to complete, so don’t expect to become a delivery driver in a single day if you need cash fast.

  • Time to set up: Weeks
  • Time to make money: Hourly, once employed
  • Requirements: A car, a smartphone, good communication skills

Related: 44 Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Money in 2023

9. Do odd jobs

There’s a good chance people in your local community need a variety of services, including home repairs, grocery shopping for elderly people, groundskeeping, yard work, housecleaning, house sitting, furniture repair, junk removal or snow shoveling. Many of these jobs are just waiting for an appropriately skilled (or equipped) person to come and tackle them. You can be that person.

Advertise around the neighborhood and sign up for Taskrabbit, an app for home service bookings — anything from mounting a TV to deep-cleaning a home. Doing odd jobs is an excellent way to earn money quickly, because most of them pay you as soon as the job is done. Given that most of these tasks can be completed in a matter of hours, if not sooner, you can make quick money in no time.

  • Time to set up: Hours
  • Time to make money: Hours
  • Requirements: Handyman skills, tools, an app profile

How to handle taxes and side hustle income

Before you start hustling for fast money, it’s vital to stay on top of your tax responsibilities. The last thing you want is a massive bill come April, so setting aside money throughout the year is essential. There are both income and self-employment taxes to consider, and it’s wise to consult with a tax professional.

Do you need to pay taxes on side hustle income?

In short, yes. According to the IRS, self-employed individuals are required to file an annual return and pay estimated quarterly taxes if they make more than $400. If you’re making any significant side hustle cash, you’ll have to pay taxes on that income. Many full-time employers deduct taxes before checks ever hit your bank account, but as a freelancer or self-employed worker, your clients will almost never withhold federal income taxes. That means you’re on the hook for that money.

How do I set aside money for taxes?

One easy way to avoid a surprise tax bill is to set up a savings account and set aside taxes as you make the money. Do this through your preferred bank, and use this account solely for tax purposes. Otherwise, leave it alone.

How much should I put in my tax savings account?

As a general rule, it’s safe to put somewhere between 25% and 35% of your side hustle income into this tax savings account. This should cover income taxes, in addition to the self-employment tax, a 15.3% tax that covers Social Security and Medicare costs. You’ll most likely be paying taxes quarterly, so keep this account flush with enough money to cover those.

What about side hustle expenses?

The nice thing about being self-employed is your ability to expense business-related costs that you can write off for taxable income. An easy way to keep track of this is by setting up a checking account, using it only for expenses. This keeps business costs separate from personal purchases, so when it comes time to file, you can easily add up your expenses and deduct it from your annual income.

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