52 Smart Ways to Make Money in the Next Few Hours
Making money in a matter of hours has never been easier thanks to the web and our smartphones. Pick one of the 52 ways to make extra money in hours and start enjoying the financial freedom you deserve.
Do you find yourself hustling to make ends meet between paychecks?
Want money immediately?
If you could use some help finding innovative ways to make a quick extra buck, you're not alone.
Everyone, even those with a steady income and stable living situation, can stand to benefit from increasing their earning power.
We're here to help and we've got the most comprehensive, clever, and creative list of quick money-making tips below with 52 smart ways to make money in the next few hours.
But it's worth asking, why do so many of us feel pinched these days?
Living in a consumer culture during an age of FOMO, it's easy to feel like we're missing out, that we need to spend to keep up, and that no matter how much we strive for financial freedom, we're always coming from a place of less than.
But it's not always so rosy on the other side.
Most people don't post photos of their late credit card statements on Instagram or update their status on Facebook to announce they've eaten eggs for dinner for the third night in a row.
Meanwhile, financial insecurity affects millions of Americans.
A survey by the Federal Reserve found that 43% of middle-class workers would struggle to scrape together even $400 for an emergency expense.
Another survey by the Brookings Institution asked individuals if they could come up with $2,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense.
The survey found that a little more than 25% could not, and another 19% could do so only if they pawned possessions or took out payday loans.
And the problem is getting worse.
A survey from Personal Capital found that a stunning 40% of millennials don't even own a single retirement savings account at all.
The inability to save while facing a mountain of debt is a serious but not hopeless problem.
Turning all of that around can sound daunting but earning money and then saving it is pretty simple.
Not to mention, it's just plain smart to diversify your income streams and hone your skills and talents.
Whether you're feeling flush, making ends meet but waiting for Social Security to kick in, or living paycheck to paycheck—everyone could always use the extra cash.
Even if you feel overwhelmed by your current financial situation or hopelessly behind on saving for the future, it's never too late to start hustling your way toward financial freedom.
And if you're financially solid and want to maximize your income with a side gig but feel pinched for time, there are a surprising number of quick money-making methods all around us, all the time.
Sometimes it just takes a little imagination to open your eyes and see the opportunities right under your nose.
Just imagine what some extra cash could do for you—from helping you to pay less interest, to getting out of debt faster, investing in retirement, or simply saving for a big ticket item or for a memorable experience on your bucket list.
A little can add up and go a long way.
So pick at least one of the quick money making tips from the list below and watch the extra cash and increased financial freedom roll in.
There Are Four Broad Categories for Making Extra Cash
Though some of these categories may overlap in several instances, there are four broad categories for amping up your cash flow, based on your time, talent, and resources.
Instant gratification income. Regardless of where your talents lie, how much time or capital you have, these are fast one-offs that nearly anyone anywhere can pursue to make an extra buck in less than an hour.
Service-based income. Identify the resources you have at your disposal—a car, a drill, a few hours each afternoon during peak dog walking time, and add some hard work to maximize your active income by offering a service.
Creative-based. Love cooking, have a talent for writing, or an eye for calligraphy?
Put your natural talents and interests to work.
Creative, part-time jobs that let you put your passion to work can also be a fulfilling supplement to your full-time job.
Passive income. With passive income, you can make recurring profits by putting objects and resources you already have at your disposal to work.
Some effort is required up-front to set up recurring income, like royalties from selling stock photos or profits from renting out camping gear you only use once a year, investing in crowdfunded real estate, or peer-to-peer lending.
But after the initial setup, you can sit back, relax, and watch money trickle in.
You can also sign up as a consumer insight participant, earning money or prepaid debit cards for things you'd do anyway, like buy groceries or play video games.
Instant Gratification Ideas to Earn Money Fast
1. Ask for a raise! First things first. Before you take on a side hustle, don't let your current work go undervalued.
Many people get shy about asking for more compensation at work, but if you do your research, voice your goals, and can point to past benefits you've brought to your job, your hard work and dedication will often result in success.
And what's the downside?
The worst your boss can say is "No."
2. Empty the piggy bank. This is almost too easy, but if you have a coin jar at home don't let it collect dust!
Cash it in at your bank, where you can put all those nickels and dimes to work.
Many banks will provide this service for free to customers.
Just find out if they require you to put your coins into paper rolls first (which many banks will also provide for free).
Or, bring them to your local Coinstar machine.
The storefront cash-counting service charges a 10.9% processing fee but it's still instant cash you didn't have in your bank account five minutes ago.
Shannyn Allan, who blogs about clever money-saving strategies at FrugalBeautiful.com, says the average person can easily save $1,300 in one year by dropping spare change in a mason jar.
3. Switch banks. Been banking with a local institution in your hometown?
After cashing in those coins, consider moving some funds to gain more dollar signs directly in your account.
Many banks, especially credit unions and online banks, offer a generous bonus for opening an account or signing up for a new debit card with them.
4. Find lost, hidden cash. Comb through your house for forgotten stashes of money.
(Maybe you shoved $20 in your suitcase for emergency purposes last time you were traveling or stashed a check from grandma in your sock drawer for a rainy day.)
Then search online—every state comptroller runs an office of unclaimed funds, tasked with returning lost or forgotten money to rightful owners, from old paychecks to forgotten savings bonds and inactive stock balances.
The state of New York, for example, returns $1 million dollars every day.
You may have money waiting for you.
Visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators' database tosearch in every state you've ever lived.
5. Sell bottled water at events. Set up shop outside of a music festival entrance or sporting arena, and sell water bottles for $1 a pop.
Spend $4 on a pack of 40 at Sam's Club, make $40 and collect the 5 or 10 cents per can or bottle when you're done.
6. Do odd jobs for friends or family or create a voucher. Joe Cocker didn't sing about getting by with a little help from his friends for nothing.
Your loved ones want to help out.
So figure out something you can do to help them for a fair wage.
For example, offer to rake the front yard or polish the floors for an Andrew Jackson.
Or, sell them a voucher for a future task.
Print out certificates for $20 for an hour of your time toward any household chore they need.
7. Do odd jobs for a wider circle. If friends and family turn you down, see what kind of odd jobs you can pick up on Taskrabbit.
Users will pay you to do all sorts of assistant-like errands from waiting in line, to picking up dry cleaning and building Ikea furniture.
Taskers set their own rates (anywhere from $20 to $150 an hour depending on the task) and some go on to gig for the service full time, pulling in $6,000 a month.
You can also sign up at Fiverr, a virtual marketplace for those hiring out tasks and jobs, and make $5-$10 for small jobs that can add up to easy money.
8. Sell DVDs, CDs, and books. To sell your old movies, music, and books, find local buyers at used bookstores or pawn shops.
Don't expect more than a dollar or two for each one.
If you have textbooks, which can be more valuable, try the closest college bookstore or list them on Amazon or Craigslist.
9. Flip free items. Hit up the Free section on Craigslist or head to your local dump to find perfectly good or slightly damaged items that you can sell for a profit.
Ryan Finlay, who blogs at ReCraigslist, once made $700 on his most profitable day on Craigslist.
And if you're the handy type, chances are you can fix up busted appliances, like how to turn free dryer into $200 in this tutorial.
10. Sell gold and silver. If you've ever seen a neon sign advertising Ca$h For Gold, the dollar sign instead of the letter "s" says it all: Turning silver and gold coins and jewelry into cash is a guarantee.
Just bring your jewelry to an appraiser first and make sure you're not melting down an antique that could net much more than the melt value!
11. Sell your dollar bills. <> 'Wait, what? I'm trying to make dollars, why would I get rid of them?'
Because collectors will pay anywhere from $100 to over $2,500 on rare serial numbers.Check the serial numbers on your dollar bills here.
12. Sell your clothes IRL. Secondhand stores often pay cash for used clothes.
You don't want to show up with a bag full of sweaters only to find out they've moved on to warm weather clothing.
Get there at opening to avoid long appraisal lines, and if you have a thick skin, hang around to watch as an associate picks through your belongings and decides how much they're worth.
Brand names and vintage duds in good condition will command the best prices.
There's no haggling, so be strategic about what you decide to lug to the store.
13. Host a yard sale. Grab whatever you don't sell at the thrift store, go through your household stuff, and hold a yard sale or garage sale.
Have some small bills on hand to make cash and consider accepting Venmo or credit card payments through Square to increase your customers' willingness to part with their money.
Bonus: Get friends and neighbors to kick in their unwanted stuff, market it as a multi-family sale and keep a percentage of the profits.
Get more pro-tips from Cassie Johnston, a food and lifestyle blogger at Wholefully.com, who once made $1,549 in an epic yard-sale she hosted.
14. Sell clothes and other items online. What you don't sell in person, consider listing online.
You'll also find buyers for your old phones and other unused devices on sites like Gazelle.
And never underestimate the immediacy of Craigslist, where you're more likely to get a bite from a local buyer for a quick sale.
Who knows, if you have an eye for what sells, it could turn into a serious sideline.
Former marketing manager Alexandra Marquez told Business Insider that she was able to give up her corporate job to make $5,000 a month reselling thrift store clothes on Poshmark.
15. Take online surveys. Work from the comfort of your couch and make money online by answering surveys from sites like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, and more.
You can make up to $250 a month.
16. Test websites. Click around a website, and get paid.
Sites like UserTesting pay up to $30 per hour to visit websites or apps by completing tasks and recording your opinions.
17. Serve as an online juror. Attorneys often pre-try cases for mock juries before they go to trial to get feedback on the effectiveness of their legal strategy.
Review facts, evidence and answer questions from the comfort of your own home in order to submit your verdict.
E-jurors can make money online to the tune of $10-$60 per case.
Check out these seven companies where you can sign up.
18. Participate in a research study. Many graduate schools post paid research opportunities online where you can make anywhere from $10-$30 an hour for participating in studies.
Look for listings in the psychology department, which tend to feature simple, non-invasive studies.
19. Sell your hair. Did you know you can sell your hair to be made into wigs? Sites such as World of Wigs and BuyAndSellHair.com will buy your hair for $3-$5 an ounce, as long as it's at least 12 inches long.
20. Return stuff. Still have that dress you bought for your cousin's wedding hanging in your closet with its tags still attached?
Return policies vary, but if you still have the receipt, you can probably get a refund.
For example, some of the best include Target and Walmart, whose refund policies allow up to 90 days for most items.
And some stores including Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters place no time limit on returns.
My wife went through our kids' closets, and found clothing and toys never used, and returned things to Target in exchange for a store gift card.
That's money right back in your bank account when you think about it.
21. Collect debts. When all else fails, call in your chits.
Maybe your friend owes you for dinner a few weeks ago.
Or your brother hasn't yet paid you back for the Mother's Day gift you went in on together.
Pick up the phone and dial COLLECT.
Consider offering an installment plan or forgive some of their debt in exchange for immediate payment.
Service-Based Income to Earn Extra Money
22. Give rides as a driver with Lyft and Uber. Take advantage of your car, truck, or van and earn money driving people around on your own schedule.
Ride-sharing is a great part-time job for those who want to take advantage of their hours during nights or weekends to save up money for gifts, school, or a vacation.
According to Uber's national study, 80% of its drivers are on the road fewer than 35 hours a week across 20 of their largest markets, and more than 50% only drive between 1 and 15 hours each week.
Being a driver can also be a great solution for those looking for a flexible full-time opportunity.
On average, full-time drivers make $40,000 annually after expenses.
23. Tutor. Impart your knowledge on those who need it and work as a tutor.
Whether it's for a middle school kid needing help with math, or on an online site like Chegg, use what you know to make money.
On average, tutors make $17 an hour.
25. Babysit. If you enjoy childcare, further your passion for developing relationships with families and children by babysitting.
Depending on your experience, you can make between $15,000-$22,000 annually, and even more as a nanny.
Reach out to friends with little ones to let them know you're available or join an online babysitting jobs clearinghouse like Urbansitter.com.
26. Be a delivery person. Use your bicycle or car to deliver items to people in your neighborhood.
Postmates is a company that offers delivery-on-demand for its users' requests.
Driving in Postmates's fleet can earn you up to $25 an hour.
27. Walk dogs or pet-sit. If you have a flexible schedule, love canines and being outdoors, start off walking dogs for friends and neighbors or offer your service on sites like Wag and Rover―essentially an Uber service for dog walks.
You can earn up to $1,000 a month or even more if you offer pet-sitting services.
Set your rates low to attract new clients and build from there, responding to messages quickly, booking the majority of requests you get, and taking photos from every walk-in order to get repeat clients and good reviews.
28. House-sit. Put the word out to family, friends, and neighbors that you're available to house-sit (and water plants, pick up mail, etc.) while they're away.
29. Clean/Organize. Are you a neat-nik?
Offer to help your friends edit their closet, organize their files, or give their home a spring cleaning.
Brand new organizers can command $40-$50 per hour.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average wage for house cleaners is about $14 per hour, depending on your area and the type of cleaning job you're tackling.
30. Wash cars and change oil. Offer to give friends' and family members' cars a wash and wax or thorough interior detailing.
Know how to change oil?
Offer your grease-monkey services at a discount from the commercial lube places, which charge between $20-$55 and cost a national average of $46 with conventional oil.
31. Do yard work. No matter the season, yards always need upkeep!
Knock on your neighbors' doors and offer to mow lawns, rake leaves, plant bulbs, or shovel snow.
32. Model for art classes. Approach art studios, colleges, universities, and recreation centers in your area that offer life drawing classes and check out ArtModelTips.com for a list of legitimate drawing classes that hire art models.
You don't have to have a perfect physique but the job can be demanding, requiring long hours, holding still for periods of time and in some cases, posing nude in a roomful of strangers.
But classes constantly need new figure drawing models and you can earn $20-25 an hour for multi-hour sessions.
Just be sure to listen to your gut and don't fall for online scams.
Morgan Rush at Bizfluent advises meeting with new clients with a trusted friend prior to the appointment to check out the workspace and get a feel for the artist.
If anything about the situation seems creepy or unprofessional, pass on the opportunity.
Creativity-Based Income to Boost Your Earnings
33. Freelance writing. Use your writing or eye for grammar mistakes to benefit your wallet.
The average freelancer earns more than $39,000 a year.
35. Calligraphy. Use your good penmanship to your advantage, addressing invitations, writing table numbers and placement cards, or creating custom signs for weddings and events.
Start with projects for friends, promoting yourself on social media and work your way up to approaching your local stationery store for any in-house needs or selling your calligraphy on Etsy.
Full-time calligraphers can make anywhere from $27,000-$100,000 a year.
36. Cooking and baking. Capitalize on your inner chef or baker and put your talent to work creating soufflés and cookies for parties and holidays, or cook meals for those too busy to cook for themselves.
If you just take special orders you can earn between $200-$400 a month.
You can also be a chef for hire or host dinners in your own home through Feastly.
37. Busk. Take your performing talents to the best stage of all—the street! Whether you're a dancer, singer, or musician, cash can add up quickly if you pick a prime location to set out your tip jar.
In New York City, the founder of the Subway Talents performance series says performers can make anywhere from $20-$80 a day.
If you're lacking a talent, you can always "perform" as a character. Put on a clever getup or superhero costume and charge a dollar to each person who asks to take a photo with you.
Just make sure to get the right permissions to set up shop, or even better, ask a friend or relative with a highly-trafficked location if you can perform on their private property.
38. Be a tour guide. Use your passion for your hometown to excite tourists and give city tours for extra cash.
You can become a Vayable Insider and earn up to $100 an hour or sign up to be an Experience Host through Airbnb, and curate specialized experiences like a tour of the best bakeries or a guided hike up your area's most scenic trails.
Work independently and set your own price, averaging around $100 but reaching as high as $270 for more immersive experiences.
Passive Income to Help Pay Your Bills
39. Rent your parking space. Renting your parking space can earn you an extra $10-$50 depending on where you live.
Live near the ski slopes?
Parking rates can be $35 a day, so charge $5 less and sell your spot.
Live near a sporting arena?
List it on Craigslist, make a sign, and attract customers.
40. Sell lesson plans. Teachers Pay Teachers is an online website where educators can share knowledge and expertise with one another.
Teachers can sell original educational materials from posters, to lesson plans, to games they've already created anyway for their full-time job and earn cash while seeing their hard work go towards good use beyond their own classrooms.
Since its founding, over $330 million dollars has been paid out to teachers for materials ranging from $3-$200 each.
41. Crowdfunded real estate. You might not be able to afford to buy that townhouse quite yet, but you can invest in real estate for a minimum of just $500.
A company called Fundrise does the work—through their starter portfolio, your money is split up among several private real estate projects around the country.
You can see exactly which properties you are invested in while earning money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation in the value of your shares.
42. Peer-to-peer lending. You can also put your money to work by investing in peer-to-peer marketplaces that match up borrowers and lenders faster and more cheaply than banks.
You'll likely need to make a $2,000 investment to participate.
Should you be interested, fund only the safest graded loans (A-grade or AA) before investing in riskier returns.
Upstart and Funding Circle are two newer platforms worth checking out, as well.
43. Sell stock photos It takes some work up-front to shoot, edit, and then upload quality photos, but as your work sells, you can watch the royalties roll in.
Some places to try selling your photos include 123rf.com and shutterstock.com.
Once approved as a contributor, your photos will earn micro-payments each time the website charges customers for your images.
Most sites start their image pricing at just $1 for the smallest size, with costs increasing with image sizes.
Photographer Michael Zwahlen, who made $1,254.93 in four months selling photos on EyeEm.com, says there are three keys to stock photo success: Avoid logos and brands, take the time to edit every image, and be selective.
Also, it's better to upload fewer high-quality shots covering a wide variety of topics than a huge quantity of shots on the same subject.
44. Rent out your. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO are very popular for unique travel experiences.
Rent your home, or a portion of it to earn easy money and interact with people from all over the world while you're at it.
Depending on where you live, you can make anywhere from $90-$300 a night and earn enough money to defray your mortgage or subsidize your own vacation.
Plus, it's easy to get your payments sent straight to your bank account via direct deposit.
45. Rent out your car. The sharing economy has come to the auto world with Turo and Getaround, services that allow owners to rent out their vehicles when they're not in use, sort of like an Airbnb for cars.
If you have an extra vehicle car you don't rely on every day, you can put a dent in car payments and use your vehicle to pay for itself by earning hundreds of dollars a month—even more if you have a luxury car or vintage whip.
Car-owners set their prices and earn 65-90% of the trip price depending on the insurance protection package selected
46. Rent out your bike and other sports gear. Spinlister lets you rent out your two-wheeler when you're not riding it. (They also list surf, ski, and snowboard gear.)
Equipment is insured up to $10,000 and renters have to sign a release of liability so you don't have to worry about someone getting hurt while using your gear.
Angie Nelson at TheWorkAtHomeWife.com says she makes about $150 a month renting out her fleet of four bikes.
And at Loanables, you can rent your sports gear, from kayaks to car toppers, which can earn you $75 for a week rental.
47. Rent out your musical equipment. Sparkplug is a site that links up musicians with those in need of specific instruments or practice studio space.
Rent your bass or your amp and earn anywhere from $10-$570 a day depending on the gear.
48. Refunds for purchases. Shop and earn money back by downloading apps like Paribus and Ibotta.
They link your receipts from merchants like Costco, Best Buy, Target and more, paying you the difference if there is a price adjustment on purchased products.
Refunds vary with purchasing habits and items.
49. Buy groceries and get rebates. Using the Ibotta app, download digital rebates.
Simply shop for certain items at the market and take a photo of your receipt and the barcode of the item.
Earn anywhere from 50 cents to $3 in rebates per item.
Earn $10 for signing up.
50. Share what's in your fridge. The Nielsen Consumer Panel (NCP) offerspoints for scanning the barcodes of the items in your fridge.
You must be willing to answer questions and give your opinions on a panel.
Earn points and exchange them for rewards.
51. Play games online. InboxDollars pays you to test out games online.
You earn cash and make $5 for just signing up.
Purchase token packs, play games, and earn 18% cash back for every dollar spent.
Games pay around $3, and with over 12,000 game options, you have opportunities for a lot of cash.
52. Make money during your commute. Leave your house early for your daily commute and make money with the peer-to-peer delivery service, Roadie.
Deliver items on your way to work or to the gym and make between $8-$50 for local deliveries.
The longer the distance the more money you cash out.
Making Money in a Matter of Hours Has Never Been Easier
As you can see, with the web and apps, there are as many ways to be enterprising as your creativity and hustle can imagine.
Your earning potential is unlimited.
And with all those earnings comes the financial freedom and stress-free life that you deserve.
Go out there and maximize it!
Have a good tip for making quick cash?
Let us know in the comments below!