Use these easy ways to make money in less than a week and avoid the payday trap
I love talking side hustles and starting an online business but sometimes you just don’t have the time. If you need money in a week, you don’t have time to get a side job or wait for your business to start making money.
That’s when you just need something you can start today, start making money immediately and without the long-term obligations of a traditional job. Unless you’re planning on working your new gig for a few months, you don’t want to be tied down to a job just to get you out of a one-week cash problem.
For times like this, you need a short-term answer and I’ve got seven creative ways to get the money you need in a week or less.
These aren’t the kind of long-term ideas you can grow and they won’t make you thousands but they will help pay the bills quick when you’re in a bind.
Craigslist Flipping for Quick Cash
I think Craigslist flipping is probably the most obvious though it’s going to be more work than the other ideas.
Craigslist is like an online garage sale with a lot of people just trying to get rid of their stuff regardless of the price. You can use that to your advantage if you know how much something is really worth.
This one could actually make money the same day if you’re quick about getting things listed and answering emails. Make sure you save all the pictures from the original listing so you don’t have to take new ones yourself. You can copy/paste the item description from the original manufacturer’s website for a quick turnaround.
One drawback to Craigslist flipping for fast cash is that you’ll need a bankroll to get started. It might not be a big deal if you’re buying small, inexpensive items. If you’re planning on flipping electronics though, it might be tough getting started.
Some tips to make your Craigslist flipping scheme a success:
- Stick to one group of items like furniture, collectibles or electronics. You’ll learn quickly how much everything is worth and how much you can make on a flip.
- Stick to lower-price items that can be sold quickly. You might make more flipping a car but it will take longer than a week to resell.
- Consider buying on Craigslist and selling on eBay. It may take longer but you’ll get higher prices by selling to a broader audience.
Meal Cooking and Delivery
This is one of my new favorites, not just for quick cash but also as a longer-term side business. Think about it. How many times have you said, “Let’s just order out,” because you didn’t feel like cooking?
The average family eats out or orders take-out three times a week to avoid cooking. Odds are there are several families on your street right now that don’t want to cook tonight. If you’re planning on cooking something for your own family, why not just make enough for three or four families and charge for meal delivery?
The average meal costs less than $5 per person but you can easily charge $12 to $15 each to cook and deliver. With almost a $10 profit per plate and $30 per family, cook for three families and you’ve got a profit of almost $200 in just two days.
Of course, this one means you need to know how to cook but that’s what the internet is for. Tell your neighbors you’re cooking enough for three other families and it’s first-call, first-served.
Get a Peer-to-Peer Loan in Less than a Day
This one isn’t quite the free money idea like the others but you can get a p2p loan for up to $40,000 in less than a few days. I can’t think of any other way, creative or otherwise, that can get you as much money so quickly.
Peer-to-Peer loans are no different than traditional bank loans. Instead of the bank selling your loan to an investor after it’s made, the p2p platform connects you directly with an investor that funds your loan.
That usually means lower interest rates compared to credit cards and certainly lower than payday loans. Since there’s no penalty for paying your loan off early, it’s a good idea to make extra payments when you can and save on interest.
Knowing where to apply for a personal loan means knowing which websites will accept borrowers with your credit score. Some sites like PersonalLoans.com and BadCreditLoans specialize in low credit scores and debt consolidation. Other sites like SoFi and Lending Club may require a higher FICO score but offer lower rates.
Some tips to get a peer-to-peer loan in less than a week:
- Have your documents ready to verify employment (pay stubs) and address ready just in case. They aren’t always needed but it’s the biggest cause for slowdown when they’re requested.
- Ask for only as much as you need and for the shortest-term loan you can afford. Shorter-term and smaller loans will come with lower rates.
- Loans for debt consolidation are the most popular and the most often approved.
- Consider applying for a p2p loan on several websites. The soft-pull of your credit won’t hurt your score and it will make sure you get the best rate available.
Find Unclaimed Money
Three years after moving from Iowa, I got a notice in the mail about unclaimed money. Looking into it, I ended up finding over $586 that was sitting with various agencies. From recovered stock dividends to misfiled fees and property taxes, it was a big chunk of change.
It used to be that you would need to search different databases for each state to find unclaimed money. Now you can do it all from unclaimed.org including a multi-state search.
It’s a free service to use and can connect you to the individual state bureaus where unclaimed money is usually held. Any found money will be returned to you, usually by check. It might take a few weeks but this is the easiest money you’ll ever make.
AirBnB for Fast Cash with No Work
I haven’t had a roommate for 15 years but there was a time that I paid my entire mortgage off people renting rooms. This was before AirBnB but it’s no different, maybe even easier.
You can use AirBnB to find out what similar rooms charge each night and, if you want to get someone in quick, price yours just below that point. If your offer is competitive, you can easily get someone to move in within a week and give you the money upfront. Even a short-term stay of a few days can be a few hundred dollars to pay the bills.
This one can be a good way to make some quick cash because you can always take your room off the website when you don’t want to rent it out. You might decide it’s so easy that you look for a long-term tenant that will help pay the bills for months.
Sell Plasma Twice a Month
Not sure I could do this one but if you don’t mind needles, you can make up to $100 a week selling your plasma. Most blood centers will pay between $50 to $100 a visit and you can go in every other week.
The payout is immediate and all you do is sit there. You blood is pumped into a machine that separates the plasma. Then the blood cells are pumped back into your body. It all takes less than an hour.
It’s an odd experience the first time you try it because the blood is pumped back into your body slightly cooler. For those that need money fast, it’s an easy way to make $100 in an hour.
Rideshare for Fast Money in Your Car
We’re not just talking about being an Uber driver here. You can use your car for all kinds of creative ways to make money in a week. Uber and Lyft usually take about a week to do background checks on applicants but you can be an Uber Eats driver in just a few days.
The average rideshare driver makes just under $20 an hour but don’t forget some of that has to go to gasoline and maintenance on your car. In all, it’s a pretty easy way to make $15 an hour even if you’re not getting much in tips.
Notice that nowhere on this list of creative ideas to make money in a week did you see payday loans or check advance stores. Besides the fact that neither is very creative, they’re horrible ways to get the money you need. Both come with deceptive fees that add up to 300% and higher interest each year and trap you into a cycle of debt. Use these seven ways to get money within the week and avoid the payday trap.