Realistic Ways for Real People to Get Cash Fast

When things are tough, sometimes you need some fast cash to get you through. These are some methods I and my friends have used in the past. Just remember, that when you are desperate, There Are No Sacred Cows! If you have to eat or feed your family, or pay a bill before they shut something off, you do what you have to do.
  1. Get an advance on your paycheck. This assumes, of course, that you have a job. Most employers won't allow this, but some will allow you to get small amounts from time to time. Some restrictions may apply.
  2. Sell or pawn your jewelry. I cannot tell you how many times my father pawned his college ring to buy groceries for our family. I personally am about to sell all the jewelry I bought for myself. I do have some family heirloom pieces I will keep.
  3. Have a yard sale. Most of us have a ton of stuff around that we don't need anymore, or that is not serving any useful purpose. Other people will buy it, simple as that.
  4. Put your clothes and other useful items in a consignment shop. No hassle of a yard sale here, and it's a nice way to sell some of your nicer items you aren't using anymore.
  5. Sell your furniture. I've done this, sold it all and went onto Freecycle and got some more. Some of it was actually nicer than what I had just sold.
  6. Sell your electronics. Most guys are electronics freaks. Do you really need that $3000 surround sound or that $5000 HD Big screen t.v.? No, you don't. sacred cows!
  7. Rent out a room in your house. This, of course, depends on whether you have an extra room. But if you have two kids who can bunk together who are taking up two rooms, they may just have to sacrifice to save the family. Hey, it worked for the Waltons, it can work for you.
  8. Run errands, clean house, or do yardwork for friends and neighbors. Most of the time, we have a friend or two who has a little more than we do. Instead of jeopardizing the friendship by asking for a loan, give them something of value for their money. My friends and I have helped each other out like this many, many times.
  9. Babysit. Moms are always looking for someone to keep their kids while they shop or have some "me" time. Do it cheaply. Keeping kids overnight is very profitable, and easy, because they're asleep. Plan to give them breakfast, though.
  10. Sell your pets. O.K., this may be the supreme sacrifice, but those buggers are expensive to feed. If you have a few too many pets anyway, selling them to someone who will love and care well for them isn't such a bad thing to do. I have three cockatiels I'm trying to sell right now. Anyone interested?
  11. Sell your toys. Do you need a Wii, or do you need to pay the mortgage payment? Does your kid actually need all those video games he never plays anymore? Do you need that ATV that is just sitting in your garage? Even if you are using this stuff every day, you may still have to sacrifice to survive. If the six people I grew up with could share a bathroom, your family can share a computer. Remember, it's just stuff, and you were alive before you had it, and you won't die if you sell it.
  12. Cook for people. If you're a good cook, you may just have a small business opportunity on your hands. I once had a friend who cooked and froze meals for busy executives. She would fill up their freezer with a week's worth of homecooked meals for a hefty fee. A less lucrative idea may be to make some fresh sandwiches every day and drive to construction sites to sell them to the workers. Baking and selling cookies made Mrs. Fields rich, and ice cream did the same for Ben and Jerry. Never underestimate the power of a home cooked meal.
  13. Wash cars. Put a sign in front of your house advertising that you will wash and detail cars by appointment. I've made a few bucks quickly this way. Call around to see what other places are charging, and charge at least 25% less.
  14. Write online. I have to include this one, because it's actually a really good way to make extra money pretty fast if you're good at it. There are sites out there that advertise for freelancers, such as You won't get paid premium prices, but you'll get your money into your PayPal account quickly. If you have a little more time, sites like will buy articles, and usually deposit your pay into your account within 10 days to 2 weeks. You can use these places to get some extra cash while you're registering and writing for sites like They pay much better, but they only pay once a month. Using all three sites can get a steady flow of extra cash going for you. Don't forget about those blog posts or articles that nobody ever read. You'd be surprised how many people are wanting something just like it. You can post them on sites as "usage only" and make a few bucks on something that is just sitting around doing nothing for you.
We all pray that we will never have to use these tips, but in today's economy, there is no way of knowing when the worst will hit.


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