50 Ways to Make a Fast $50

Cartoonist Allen Saunders long ago expressed one of life’s greatest truths: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

No matter how carefully you plan, money can run a little short at times. Maybe your child needs new shoes. Maybe your car broke down, or maybe you just want a night out on the town. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself needing extra cash, there are plenty of ways to earn it — now more than ever.

In the video below, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson shares some of the ways you can supplement your income. Check it out and then read on for 50 ways to make an extra $50 in just a few minutes or a few days.

Perform tasks

  • TaskRabbitThis site connects you with local people who are willing to pay you for a wide variety of tasks, everything from light carpentry to picking up takeout food.
  • Agent Anything. The “agents” are university students who perform tasks. “For the last two years, we’ve provided errand-runners for working moms, beta testers for startups, temp workers for small businesses, and street teams for major corporations,” the site says.
  • Zaarly. This is another site that matches people with local folks who will pay to have tasks and errands performed.
  • FiverrWhat would you do for $5? Write a love letter for someone? Attempt to eat a tablespoon of nutmeg on video? Market your service on this website for $5 or more.
  • Amazon’s Mechanical TurkYou can make a few bucks performing one of the many tasks available at this site, like writing product descriptions or selecting the best photograph for a product.
  • MiNeeds. If you have a marketable skill or profession, you can subscribe and the site matches you and others in your field with a person who needs the service performed. You compete for the work.
  • UserTesting.comYou can earn quick cash by looking at someone’s website and figuring out what might be confusing for the average user.

Sitting

  • House-sitting. When friends or neighbors go out of town, offer to keep an eye on their house, pick up the mail or water the plants. Don’t know of anyone leaving? Try an online job portal like Mindahome.com.
  • Baby-sitting. Baby-sitting isn’t just for teenagers. Sites like Sittercity and Care.com can connect you with a gig.
  • Pet-sitting. What’s better than playing with a puppy? Getting paid for it. You can start with friends or family, or sign up for a national service like Fetch! Pet Care.

Selling

  • Garage sales. Garage sales are a great way to declutter your home and earn extra cash. Some cities require a permit for yard and garage sales.
  • Consignment shops. Clothing consignment stores accept like-new clothes, shoes and accessories. When the item sells, you get a portion of the proceeds.
  • Used book stores. Stores like Half Price Books buy used books for cash.
  • Used entertainment stores. You can sell used video games, DVDs and even CDs to local resellers, or online through sites like SecondSpin.com.
  • EBayYou can auction off practically anything you own at the grandfather of all auction sites.
  • Craigslist. You can sell anything from shoes to cars. You’ll probably want to meet with the buyer and get paid in cash.
  • Amazon You can also sell gently used (or new and unopened) stuff on Amazon. Fees start at 99 cents per item.
  • Bonanza.This is a marketplace for both used and new items. You can set your own prices, and they’ll collect a small fee for anything you sell.
  • Half.com. This eBay-owned website is a good place to sell textbooks, other books, DVDs and other small items.
  • Gift cards. Have any gift cards you’re not going to use? Sell them to a reseller like Cardpool or CardCash.
  • Old phones. Sell your old smartphone to a site like Gazelle or NextWorth.

Renting

  • Rent a room for a few days. You can rent out a room (or even your couch) to vacationers via sites like Airbnb. Note that local regulations might prohibit this type of activity.
  • Make your home available. If you’re going to be out of town for a while, rent your house to someone else and earn some cash. Or perhaps you have a second home you can turn into a vacation destination. Sites like HomeAway can help you find guests.

Arts and crafts

  • Craft fairs. If you’re crafty, you can sell your wares at local craft fairs. Check FestivalNet.com for upcoming events in your area.
  • Etsy. This is a marketplace for artists and crafters where you can sell everything from paintings to knitted scarves.
  • RedBubble. If you’re an artist, RedBubble can turn your work into posters, T-shirts and stickers. You do the designing; they do the selling and shipping.
  • Society6. It works like RedBubble but has different options, such as tote bags, throw pillows and laptop skins.
  • DeviantART. You can sell photography, classic prints and digital works. Another site, ArtFire, accepts both arts and crafts.
  • Jewelry Wonder. If you make jewelry, this site can connect you with buyers.

Find it

  • Claim lost money. Possibly the easiest way to make money is to check out Unclaimed.org to see if any state where you’ve lived is holding money you’re owed but haven’t received, like old paychecks, rebates or refunds.

Sell body parts or participate in research

  • Sell blood plasma. A local blood bank or hospital may pay for your plasma.
  • Participate in medical research. Medical researchers will pay you to participate in clinical trials. Check out ClinicalConnection.com.
  • Sell your hair. If you have long hair that’s not dyed, you can sell it for a fee on sites like OnlineHairAffair.

Manual labor

  • Mow lawns. All you need is a lawn mower and customers. Start by asking your neighbors.
  • Shovel snow. If you live in a cold climate, offer to shovel driveways and walkways for a fee.
  • Clean gutters. In the fall, offer to clean out your neighbors’ clogged gutters.
  • Clean pools. If you know the best way to keep pool water sparkling, this can be a lucrative gig.
  • Clean houses. Know any busy parents? They’d probably be happy to pay you to clean their house.
  • Be a mover. If you have a truck, offer to move friends for a fee.
  • Wash cars. My neighbor washes almost every car on the block once a week for $10 a pop. He can do the whole block in an afternoon.
  • Paint. Some people hate to paint. If you don’t, offer your services.
  • Scoop poop. Offer to keep pets’ yards clean. This is particularly lucrative when spring arrives.

Be a researcher

  • Surveys. There are plenty of survey-taking scams out there, but there are some legitimate companies too. Check out MySurvey or SurveySpot.
  • Marketing studies. Marketing firms like Concepts Consumer Research and retailers often test their products on a panel of paid consumers.
  • Secret shopping. Secret shopping is also rife with scams, but there are legit companies out there offering cash for evaluating a business. Check out the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. You’ll need to get certified, but they have job listings.
  • Gigwalk. If you have a smartphone, you can earn extra cash through the Gigwalk app by doing small jobs like mystery shopping, testing apps, or taking photos.

Use your talent

  • Caddy. If you love and understand golf and think you’re up to the task — which can be physically taxing — being a caddy can net you some decent money.
  • Music teacher. If you have musical talent in an instrument or voice, offer lessons.
  • Tutor. If you are particularly knowledgeable in a certain subject, you can likely find a student who needs help. Check out WyzAnt.com, where you can set your own prices (keep in mind they do take a cut for their service).
  • Google Helpouts. You can share your special knowledge and charge for it via Google Helpouts, which will be available soon.

Have you come up with other ways to make some cash in a flash? Share your ideas on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Ahfly

    Read the fine print before you involve yourself! I didn’t check out anything except Zaarly and this is a part of their agreement “You grant us an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, worldwide license, with rights to sublicense through multiple levels of sublicensees, to reproduce, make derivative works of, translate, distribute, publicly perform and publicly display in any form or medium, whether now known or later developed, make, use, sell, import, offer for sale, otherwise commercially exploit and exercise any and all such rights, under any and all of your intellectual property rights related to the Content in any manner we choose.”

    Seems like there must be better ways to sell goods and services out there that doesn’t involve giving away one’s rights.

  • Tommy Clark

    honestly go for the best alternative out there 5spot.ca period way better

  • Rachelle Maxey

    Pls send me news letters for fee

  • Rachelle Maxey

    I put for free

  • Keely

    I have found the best way to make extra money is by buying used books at
    thrift stores, garage sales, library used books sales and clearance
    racks at local books stores. You can pay anywhere from 25 cents to a few
    bucks and turn around and sell them to a book buyback site for a few
    bucks up to hundreds of dollars.The site I use to sell used books is http://www.bookjingle.com because they have great prices and excellent customer service.

  • Maya McDavid
  • Jim

    Great article,

    Another great way to make money are paid surveys.I know many people think they are scams, but that is not true.There are many legit surveys.Legit surveys never ask you to enter your credit card information and SSN.And they never want you to pay any fees.Scamers want you to pay them fees to join.

    Here is a list of trusted surveys:

    EliteSurveySites . com

    You can join them without any worries.if you join more companies, you will be making more money.I promise you that.