If you’re thinking, “I need money now,” you’re not alone: Making more money is one of the top personal goals for people this year.
Whether you need to reel in your spending or you just want to get ahead with your finances, consider picking up a side gig for extra cash flow. Become a virtual assistant, work as a human billboard or put your unique skills to use to earn more. If you’re wondering, “How can I make some quick cash?” keep reading.
Top 10 Ways To Make Money Fast
Are you wondering, “How can I make money right now?” Whether you’re looking to make hundreds or thousands of extra dollars in a short time period, here are 10 gigs you can take on to make easy money and fatten up your wallet quickly.
- Earn $15 an hour
If you enjoy the bustle of serving food, catering is a flexible and good-paying job. Most of the assignments take place in the evenings and on weekends, so you can keep your day job.
You can find catering side gigs on Craigslist and Indeed or try calling local catering companies. Workers in the catering business make about $15 an hour depending on position and location, according to data from PayScale.
2. Online Survey Taker
- Earn up to $16 an hour
It’s not the most exciting side hustle, but there is money to be made filling out online surveys. Many sites like InboxDollars and Swagbucks allow users to earn cash and gift cards. You can also contact the Columbia University Center for Decision Sciences to sign up for online research studies that pay $16 an hour.
3. Human Billboard
- Earn up to $20 an hour
You can start your own human billboard side business for $20 an hour, according to The Penny Hoarder. Human billboards are people who hold signs that promote everything from new home developments to tax prep services.
4. Virtual Assistant
- Earn up to $28 an hour
Rather than hire full-time employees, many companies and small-business owners employ virtual assistants to help out with day-to-day tasks.
You need to be flexible and prepared to take on tasks like scheduling, accounting, data entry, project organization and even social media management depending on company needs. Virtual assistants can work part time and make anywhere from $10 to $28 per hour, according to PayScale.
- Earn more than $5 per project
Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers looking to build experience and their portfolios. From logo design and animation to editing and voiceover work, you can find tasks suited to your skills.
Prices start at just $5 per project. Once you accumulate feedback, referrals and experience, you can start charging much more, however. Some people have taken their Fiverr gigs full time and make as much as $900 per project, according to The Penny Hoarder.
6. User Tester
- Earn $10 per assignment
If you have 20 minutes to spare, you can make a quick $10 on UserTesting. The company pays people to visit websites and apps, complete sets of tasks and give opinions on the experience. You’re essentially being paid to provide feedback and record audio of your reaction to an ad, product or website.
To start, you’ll only need a computer, internet connection and microphone. Not bad for a sweet online side hustle.
7. Mystery Shopper
- Earn up to $25 per shopping trip
Many stores pay individuals to pose as customers and provide feedback on aspects like cleanliness and customer service. These “mystery shoppers” are paid a fee and reimbursed for any purchases made. A typical salary ranges from $8 to $25 per shopping trip, according to The Penny Hoarder.
Mystery shopping is a popular way to make money on the side, but there are scammers out there who take advantage of the system. Never pay to join a mystery shopping company — it’s supposed to pay you.
8. Pet Sitter
- Earn more than $250 a month
Love animals? Sign up to watch pets while their owners are out of town. Pet sitting sites such as Rover.com connect pet owners with sitters for a cut — 15% to 20% — of the sitter’s earnings paid by client users, according to Los Angeles Business Journal. At Rover, part-time pet sitters make about $900 a month, and sitters who work just a few times a month can make about $250, according to the New York Post.
9. Ride-Share Driver
- Earn more than $350 a month
Driving for Uber or Lyft is one of the hottest side hustles out there right now. You can pick your own schedule, earn as much as you need and even rent or lease a car through the ride-share company. You can also use your car to work as a part-time delivery driver for Amazon Flex.
The average Uber driver makes $364 a month, The Street reported.
10. Errand Runner
- Earn up to $7,000 a month
Sign up for TaskRabbit and you can make extra money on the side doing other people’s chores and odd jobs like mowing lawns and building Ikea furniture. You get to choose the jobs you take.
TaskRabbit does charge a $25 registration fee, but if you become an elite tasker, you could make serious cash. Jamie Viggiano, vice president of marketing for TaskRabbit, told Money that roughly 10% to 15% of taskers earn $6,000 to $7,000 a month.
How To Build Sustainable Wealth
Once you’ve made extra money, you should focus on setting yourself up for long-term financial success. The two main ways to do this are to invest, which grows the wealth you do have, and budgeting, which ensures that you stay on track with your financial goals.
To put it simply, when you invest, you give money to people and organizations in exchange for the money they earn with this funding. There are many different types of investments — including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit and real estate — and they each come with varying levels of risk and potential for reward.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to investing, take time to set your investment goals, figure out how much you can budget for investments, choose your investment types based on your risk tolerance and choose a platform to invest with. You might opt to invest through a traditional or online brokerage, depending on your budget and the amount of assistance you want. You should diversify your investments and rebalance your portfolio regularly to ensure that it’s staying in line with your risk tolerance and your goals.
Creating a budget allows you to clearly see how much you are earning compared to how much you are spending, as well as to set goals for spending and saving. The first step in creating a budget is calculating how much income you are earning each month after taxes and calculating how much you typically spend on each of the following expenses each month:
If you find that you’re spending too much in one category, figure out ways to cut back.
One popular budgeting rule to help you figure out how much of your income you should be putting toward different expenses is the 50/30/20 rule, popularized by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. With this rule, 50% of your income is put toward needs, 30% is put toward wants and 20% is put toward savings and paying down debt.
How To Save Money
Saving money on your everyday expenses is the best way to keep your spending in check and have more money left over to use toward paying down debts, padding an emergency fund or investing. Some ways to save money fast include enacting a no-spend day, week or month; opting for generic goods over name brands; canceling unused subscriptions; and shopping with a cash-back credit card.
More From GOBankingRates
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- 22 Side Gigs That Can Make You Richer Than a Full-Time Job
- Best Savings Accounts
- 27 Most Lucrative Side Hustles for People Over 50
Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.