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20 Ways to Make $500 Fast

make money through promotions

A friend of my mom always says, “Five bucks is a lot for folks who don’t have it.”

Whether you are trying to make extra cash or simply trying to scratch together enough to keep yourself fed, there are ways of quickly making a few dollars when you really need to, so I decided to take a look at a few in my comprehensive guide on 20 Ways to Make $500 Fast! Starting with…

Make Money Through Promotions

make money through promotions

Some companies are willing to give you some money for something simple like opening a bank account.

There is a constant stream of new promotions relating to bank accounts and credit cards. A simple search online should easily yield results. You might have to do some searching to find one that goes into the hundreds of dollars, but it is possible.

Another option is stockbrokers, many of which are willing to give you some money or stocks to invest if you simply open an account with them.

1 Sell Your Stuff

It’s not often you find someone living with exactly what they need and nothing more or less. Truthfully though, most of us have got boxes and drawers full of things we no longer use or need. Selling these is a great way of earning good money fast.

There are plenty of platforms that you can use to sell your stuff, depending on what it might be, such as…

SellCell

If electronics are what you’re looking to sell, then SellCell should be your first stop. This website can be seen as the center of a web that stretches out across the Internet in order to get you the best deal. Using this website, you can compare prices from different buyers to get the best price. 

SellCell also has a bonus system. They have secured deals with some of the other websites to include a bonus on your trade-in value which means you could get around 5 to 10% more than you would on other sites.

SellCell

Decluttr

This is a bit of a niche website, but it can help if you have got a bunch of old CDs, DVDs, and video games lying around.

All you have to do is enter the IMDb numbers on the website’s database. You will immediately receive a quote for each item on the list, and if you agree with the prices, you can start boxing up the stuff and send it off to Decluttr using their printable shipping label.

As soon as your box of items has arrived, they will confirm the contents, and you will get paid via direct deposit or PayPal.  

Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

If you are looking to get rid of your stuff locally, then Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are two of the best options.

All you have to do is clean up your items, take some nice photographs, list them on the website, and wait for buyers. Usually, when a buyer is found, you will meet them in person and exchange the item for cash. The biggest benefit to using these platforms is that they are free.

eBay

eBay is one of the world’s biggest online trading platforms. With eBay, you are able to reach a global audience. This is especially useful if you are selling collectibles like celebrity memorabilia. 

Something to keep in mind about eBay is that they charge fees for the use of the site. Keep this in mind when determining your listing price.

eBay

Furniture 

Furniture is something that you can always make money with. If you’ve got pieces of furniture that you know are desirable and are not being used, then you should consider selling them to make some quick cash.

There are plenty of websites where you can sell furniture only, and there are also plenty of general trading platforms that you can use. 

2 Rent Out Space on Airbnb

Next on my rundown of 20 Ways to Make $500 Fast, this is another great way of making some quick cash without actually having to invest any first.

If you’ve got an extra room, basement, or loft that you aren’t using, you can rent it out to travelers. Modern travelers often prefer to stay in local residences rather than hotels or commercial accommodations since it is cheaper and offers a more “homely” experience.

Creating an account on Airbnb or VRBO is fast and easy: Take some good pics, upload them, and share the details. Presentation is everything, so try to make your ad attractive.

The rental platform that you use to post will likely take a portion of your income as a fee, so make sure to take this into account when you set your prices.

3 Rent Out Your Parking Space

Perhaps you have a parking space or spaces available in your driveway? These could be a source of income just waiting to be exploited.

Simply register your parking spot on a site like SpotHero, and wait for a response. This could be a great way to make cash, especially if you live in an urban area close to businesses and shopping centers.

Rent Out Your Parking Space

4 Rent Out Storage Spaces

Maybe that unused basement, garage, or empty lot could be used to store vehicles or personal items from a recent move. 

Much like accommodation, modern users are more likely to try out someone who is renting out storage personally, rather than the commercial route. This has to do with the fact that it is usually cheaper, and there is also less traffic whenever they want to access their items. 

One of the most popular platforms is Neighbor. Start by creating a profile and listing the spaces you would like to make available. Many of these platforms will charge the renters a service fee on top of your rental fee.

5 The Steady App

Side gigs are a great way of earning a little bit of extra cash while maintaining work hours. The Steady App is one of the most popular platforms for this, with over two million members that earn an average of $350 a month.

The app is more than just a platform for finding extra work. There’s a built-in income tracker that links to your finance and gig platforms, in order to make customized recommendations based on your info and location. 

There is also a range of benefits, including a feature that can offer emergency cash grants, refinancing on loans, and more.

6 Tutoring Kids or Adults

Have you got a gift or passion for teaching? 

There are various online tutoring companies that pay people to teach online courses in a variety of subjects. You could do something as simple as teaching a language, or help with basic subjects like maths, English, science, and history.

Some platforms will require a form of qualification or experience, but there are just as many that require no qualification or previous experience. Your payment will vary depending on the work and the platform you choose to use. Sites like VIPKid offer up to $22 an hour for their tutors.

Tutoring Kids or Adults

7 Deliver Groceries or Food

If you own a vehicle and you have some free time, why not try and earn extra income by delivering groceries or restaurant meals?

There are plenty of online platforms, like DoorDash, that you can use to make your services available to people. DoorDash is kind of like an Uber service for food, and anyone can register to become a “Dasher.” When a customer places an order, it is advertised to all the Dashers in the area. The first person to accept the delivery job will get the money, payment is made weekly, and Dashers earn tips as well.

If delivering food is not really your thing, then you might want to try a service like Instacart. This is essentially the same type of work, but you will be delivering people’s groceries instead of their meals.

Sound interesting? Then find out How Much Does DoorDash Pay?

8 Become a Freelance Writer

If you are a competent writer and have a flair for language, then doing freelance writing is one of the very best ways to earn extra cash. You can start by advertising your skills on social media platforms, as well as job-finding sites like Contently, or Upwork. Likewise, you could try reaching out to small businesses, new websites, or blog owners to find out if they have the need for a good writer.

For more info, check out our guide on How to Become a Writer.

9 Start A Side Hustle in Graphic Design

If you have a talent for design, or you have always wanted to dabble in the area, then there has never been a better time than now.

You could create designs or logos for T-shirts using sites like CafePress or Redbubble. I have a friend who started creating designs for Redbubble a while ago, and she gets a nice little cheque from them every few months. 

Start A Side Hustle in Graphic Design

Or websites…

Another area in which design has become all-important is websites. You could make a very decent side income by designing and uploading website themes for other people to make use of when they start their websites.

A third way in which design can help you generate extra income is by creating printable wall art and selling it on a website like Etsy. You might need to spend some money on advertising your designs, but if you create good art, then you can easily build a loyal following.

10 Become A Virtual Assistant

If you are well suited to support roles, then becoming a virtual assistant can be a great way of earning money fast.

The list of jobs for a virtual assistant is essentially limitless. From social media management to organizing schedules and performing daily administrative tasks, you never know. Your payment can vary depending on who you work for, but it is not unheard of for part-time virtual assistants to make hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month.

Find out more with our guide on How to Become a Virtual Assistant.

11 Become a Local Handyman/Woman

Are you good with your hands? You could start a handyperson service in your area. If you prefer to work independently, you could advertise your services on different social media platforms and on sites like Craigslist. Alternatively, you can join an online platform like TaskRabbit. 

TaskRabbit allows you to choose the kind of jobs you would like to take, and they handle all the finances; all you have to do is show up and do the work.

12 Open a Cleaning or Organizing Service

Offering your services as a cleaner/stager is another way by which almost anyone can earn extra income. For example, you could become a cleaner/stager for a real estate agent. When they have new properties that need to be made ready for the open market, you could be hired to clean and organize all of them in time for the showing.

Payment will vary depending on your client, but some folks have reported making as much as $25 an hour. You can start by advertising online, as well as promoting yourself in your local area, using word-of-mouth or flyers.

Open a Cleaning or Organizing Service

13 Delivering Pizzas

Delivering pizzas might not be the most glamorous or fulfilling way of earning an income, but it remains a reliable way of making some extra money when you need it. Almost everyone I know worked part-time as a pizza delivery person at one point or another in their lives, and it helped them in their time of need.

Two reasons why delivering pizza be seen as a practical solution to earn extra income: Firstly, it is a job that anyone with a driver’s license can do. Secondly, since most people work part-time, there are regular vacancies which means you can always find work. The pay might not be great, but if you’re a people person, you could earn extra cash through tips. 

14 Pet Sitting or Dog Walking

Next, on my list of 20 Ways to Make $500 Fast, if you like animals, then there are a couple of options open to you for making some extra cash in your neighborhood.

Lots of people make money as dog walkers. Others make money as yard cleaners (yes, people are really willing to pay good money to have their yards cleaned).

Folks are always looking for someone to take care of their animals when they are away on holiday or going away for a business trip. I once made $25 an hour watching my neighbor’s dog while he was away.

Start by advertising on social media and sites like Craigslist. There are even dedicated platforms like Rover to help you find clients in your area.

For more info, check out our in-depth Pet Sitter Job Description.

15 Babysitting

Childcare is a service for which there has always been and will always be a need. Chances are you know someone who has young ones that need looking after. If not, then there is likely to be a couple or couples in your area who are in need of a babysitter every now and then.

The payment for babysitting can vary, with some babysitters getting between $10-$30 an hour. You can advertise your services on teh different social media platforms and on sites like Craigslist. There are also dedicated platforms like Care.com where you can advertise your services.

16 Become a Server in a Bar or Restaurant

As a younger man, I worked as a server in a bunch of restaurants and bars for extra money. I even did a stint behind the counter in an ice cream shop. For anyone looking to make an extra income, I can recommend being a server for two reasons:

First off, you get to work with people and develop skills that will stand you in great stead later in life. It also helps to develop a sense of job satisfaction since it makes you feel good when customers compliment you on good service.

Become a Server in a Bar or Restaurant

Secondly, you can make good money if you work hard. Popular barmen/ladies and waiters/waitresses often get good tips. If you go the extra mile for your customers, you could make a hundred dollars or more a night. 

Start by making a short CV and handing it out at the local bars and restaurants in your area.

Sound like fun? Then take a look at our Server Job Description.

17 Get a Job in Retail

Working in retail is often seen as a “dead-end” job, but this is definitely not the case. Hollywood actor, and CEO of Aviation Gin, Ryan Reynolds, used to work a job in retail. It is a great environment to learn a good work ethic and acquire skills that can be useful in the future.

Retail jobs are always available, so all you have to do is start looking online or asking around at your local stores. You can work the cash register at the front, or you can work behind the scenes organizing and managing the stock.

Retail jobs don’t pay the highest salaries, but the pay will still be pretty decent for the work you do. Many companies pay weekly, although there are some that pay monthly salaries.

18 Lawn Care/Landscaping

Would you rather work outdoors? If you like working outside with your hands, then why not ask around if you could do yard work for folks in your area? This can include mowing the lawn, watering and trimming the plants, shoveling snow, etc. Everyone likes a nice-looking yard, and most folks are willing to pay for one. 

You can post your services on social media and Craigslist, plus you can also hand out flyers in your neighborhood.

19 Get Paid for Selling Plasma

As strange as this sounds, it really does happen. If you can handle needles, have a few hours to spare, and would like to help save some lives, then selling your plasma is a great way to make good money fast

There are companies, like CSL, who pay up to $1000 or more to favorable donors. There are some requirements that you’ll have to meet, but generally, if you are between the ages of 18-75, your weight is at least 110 pounds, and have not had any tattoos or piercings done in the last four months, you should qualify. 

Get Paid for Selling Plasma

If you meet the requirements and become a donor, you will receive a reloadable debit card which will be used for your payments. The payment averages around $50 to $100 per visit, but as mentioned, it can be a lot more if you are a favorable donor in the right location. 

For more info, check out our guides on How to Donate Plasma and the 10 Highest Paying Plasma Donation Centers in the US in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Whether you do it online or in your local neighborhood, there are plenty of opportunities to make an extra buck when you’re in a pinch. The options I’ve listed are but a few of the multitude of options out there, so just keep searching till you find the one that will work for you!

All the best with quickly refilling the bank account!

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