Life happens, and sometimes that means you’re short on cash when you need it most.
What can you do when your wallet is empty, your credit cards are maxed out and your checking account is empty, but you think to yourself, “I need money now”? Work your way through this list of 25 ways to make money in the next hour.
In addition to things I can do when I need money now, I’ve included ways to quickly borrow money and cash in on things around the house, plus a few tricks to get friends to help out while helping them.
There is just one rule: Each method must make it possible to put cash in your hands in the next 60 minutes.
Every minute counts, so let’s get started.
1. Sell Your Gold and Silver
You can turn your silver and gold coins and jewelry into cash very quickly. As suggested in my previous post on selling your gold and silver, avoid places that advertise constantly. They typically offer the lowest prices, plus mailing in your items will take much longer than an hour. Try a local coin shop first.
2. Do a Quick Job for Family or Friends
Your family or friends want to help out, right? So find something you can do for them in the next hour, for a fair wage. For example, offer to rake the yard or clean their windows for $20.
3. Drive With Uber
If your family or friends don’t need a sober ride, someone will. Signing up will take more than an hour, but if you’re already a driver, Uber now has an instant pay option, so you can cash out up to five times a day.
3. Use TaskRabbit
If friends and family turn you down, see what you can find on TaskRabbit. Someone near you might need a ride to the doctor right now or want you to check in on their pets.
(Want to learn the secrets of the most successful Taskers?
4. Presell Your Labor
Maybe friends and family don’t need anything done right this moment, but they may need your babysitting or garage-cleaning services in the future.
Use your computer to make a certificate good for an hour of your labor, and print out a dozen copies. Sell as many as you can for $10 or $15 each — or whatever you can get.
5. Find Your Lost and Hidden Cash
In a previous post I reported on cash and valuables hidden in your home, but that was about what others have left behind. You might have your own forgotten stashes. For example, my wife recently found a $20 bill under the insole of her shoe. She had put it there for security while traveling overseas.
Look through your dresser drawers, files, clothing and anywhere else you might have put away some cash for emergencies. While you’re at it, dig through your couch cushions and car glove box to gather up any loose change that might be hiding.
6. Flip a Freebie
Selling Craigslist freebies is another great way to make a profit because you get the items for free. To accomplish this in an hour, go to the free section on Craigslist and look for things that are close to you and easily sold immediately. Generally, these will be things you can sell at a pawnshop or metal items you can sell, which brings us to the next item on the list…
7. Sell Scrap Metal
I rounded up all the scrap metal in my garage and took it to a recycling place a mile from my home. My bundle of wire, bags of soda cans and a few old aluminum window frames netted me only $13.60, but I had to do something with that junk anyhow.
Copper and aluminum are the most valuable metals you’re likely to find. Collect and sell your family and friends’ scrap metal too, perhaps offering to give them half of what you get.
8. Sell Your Clothes
Some secondhand clothing stores pay cash for “gently used” clothes. For example, check online to see if there is a Plato’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange near you. Brand names usually fetch the most cash.
You can also use an app like letgo. Here, you’ll upload a photo of your clothing item — or possession — and market it to local buyers. You can meet up and exchange the item for cash.
9. Sell Gift Cards
You can sell your unused gift cards online, but you won’t get the cash in the next hour. To sell your cards quickly, you need to turn to friends and family again. If the cards are for stores where they typically shop, they might be happy to buy a $50 card for say, $40.
10. Sell Your Neighbors’ Junk
I sold a junk-picked table for $50 last year, and cashed in on a few other items retrieved from a dumpster. But it looks like I could be doing even better — this guy makes a six-figure income dumpster diving.
Look for items you can quickly sell at a pawnshop, recycling center or used furniture store. You can also resort to those marketplace apps, like letgo.
11. Return Your Purchases
Have you bought anything in the last couple of months that you haven’t yet used? If you still have the receipt, you can probably get a refund. Return policies vary, but some stores are pretty generous. For example, Walmart’s refund policyallows up to 90 days for most items.