Everyone can use more money. But if you have no job, it takes self-discipline, courage and a dash of desperation to generate cash within eight hours of waking up. When your back is really up against the wall and you need to get cash in your hand today, here are 43 ways to make that happen.
1. Sell something. Just put a price on it and set it out on the front lawn. If it doesn’t sell by noon, lower the price. Have multiple items? Great! Put out a few and let lookers know you’ll hold a garage sale with many more items within the next 2 weeks.
2. Pawn something. You’ll get a fraction of its value, but if your need is severe, this is a good way to get instant cash. You can buy it back 2 to 4 months later.
3. Give blood. You can’t do this every day, but you can do it today. And they pay cash money.
4. Stop spending. Make immediate cash by stop buying items you buy daily like cigarettes, coffees and sodas. Every penny you don’t spend is the same as earning that penny today.
5. Take in a roommate. Got extra space? Pick a relative or friend you trust or advertise at the local college, bulletin boards, Craig’s List and classifieds. Charge your candidate a security deposit and first month’s rent today.
6. Use coupons like cash. Getting discounts on items you already plan to buy today is like earning free cash. Watch “Extreme Couponing” on TV or research coupon use online. Some people save (earn) hundreds of dollars a month. Find free coupons at newspaper recycling centers, hotels and restaurants.
7. Buy something cheap and resell it. Buy items at thrift stores, yard sales or classifieds and resell in your own front yard.
8. Create your own gift certificate. Instead of asking friends or family for a loan, offer them a day of labor in exchange for cash today. Write out a simple “gift certificate” for x-number of hours they can redeem sometime during the next month. Use the same technique and offer baked goods, prepared dinners, babysitting or other services.
9. Paint addresses on curbs. Buy a set of number stencils and a can of spray paint. Now knock on doors and offer to paint addresses on front curbs to help emergency vehicles and delivery people find the homes. Charge $5 to $10 each and watch the cash quickly add up.
10. Sell flowers. Purchase fully-bloomed flower plants at an inexpensive garden center. Buy attractive pots at thrift stores. Re-pot the flowers and charge at least twice what they cost you. Once that works, start growing your own flowers to re-pot.
11. Sell Drinks. Load up a cooler with ice, sodas and water and visit construction sites, sports fields and parks near schools. Sell the drinks for a dollar each which is nearly 4 times what they cost you.
12. Sell Snacks. Take your cooler of drinks and add a selection of packaged candy & snacks. Now start a daily route hitting all the construction sites in your area. Use your profits to upgrade your equipment, inventory and vehicle to make this a fulltime business.
13. Mow lawns/Shovel snow. Just start knocking on doors in your neighborhood and ask. Scared? Embarrassed? Go to a neighborhood on the other side of town. Take your equipment with you when you knock to show you’re ready right now. Work cheap until you build your confidence.
14. Wash windows at businesses. Same process. Just go in and ask. Businesses have cash in the register that could go right in your pocket. If they say no, offer to do the work in exchange for a product they sell. Or ask if they have other jobs you could do. Buy a squeegee and paper towels and you’re in business.
15. Clean-up. Walk neighborhoods and look for unkempt yards. Knock on doors and offer to clean up the entire mess for a flat fee. Cut the grass, trim the bushes, weed the flower beds or haul junk to the dump. If the house has a for-sale sign, call the Realtor and make the same offer. Realtors need curb appeal to help that house sell.
16. Paint. Walk your neighborhoods and look for homes, decks, fences, garages and sheds that need to be painted. Knock on doors and offer a flat fee to take care of the problem. Tell the local paint store you’re doing this as a business and get up to 20% off the cost of paint and supplies.
17. Babysit your neighbors’ kids. Daycare is first a matter of trust, and second a matter of cost. You can start doing this immediately on a short term (babysitter) basis and then use your good track record to expand to fulltime daycare.
18. Babysit (or walk) your neighbors’ pets. 60% of Americans own at least one dog or cat. Call friends, knock on doors and post flyers in pet stores, veterinarian offices, Laundromats and popular bulletin boards.
19. Build something. Are you handy? Build a dog house, bird house or craft item and put it in the yard with a for-sale sign. If the items sell well, consider placing them for consignment at local retail stores.
20. Bake something. Are you known for your amazing cookies or cheesecakes? Sell them to busy friends and neighbors.
21. Hold a car wash. Pull out the hose and put up a sign. If you donate some of the proceeds to charity, you can advertise that and do even better.
22. Hold a dog wash. This job is messy so you’ll find lots of takers. Use some of the proceeds to buy a good dog wash tub to make the job faster and easier.
23. Offer handyman services. Can you repair things? Scan your neighborhood for items you could repair and start knocking on doors.
24. Offer oil changes. Offer to change the oil and filters in cars at peoples’ homes and offices. You can do it cheaper and more convenient than the quick-change places. Start with your neighbors.
25. Cash in. Check your house for unused gift cards, items you can return to stores for refunds and your loose change jar. This could add up to significant cash.
26. Cook your own dinner. Buy ingredients rather than pre-packed food. You’ll save money and eat better. Saved money is earned money.
27. Drive. Slap a “Free Shuttle” sign on your car and drive to busy locations like malls, hotels and tourist attractions. Place a tip jar in the vehicle and give people free rides. Their tips will exceed your gasoline costs, providing you cash today.
28. Sell old electronics. Several places online purchase old cell phones, iPods, computers and cameras. Sell them online today!
29. Poop scoop. Offer feces clean-up to dog owners. $10 to $20 per yard adds up fast. Put happy customers on a regular schedule and you have a new side business.
30. Chop & sell firewood. Forest service firewood permits are $7 a cord but chopped and stacked wood sells for $150 - $175 a cord. Go sell a couple cords then get to work gathering and preparing it.
31. Start gardens. Many want a food or flower garden but don’t have the time or know-how to do it. Start in your own neighborhood and charge a fee to set up and maintain gardens for others.
32. Go fish. Enjoy aquariums as a hobby? Visit businesses and offer to provide, set- up and maintain an aquarium in their waiting room today. Charge a one-time fee and then charge so much per month to maintain it. Now go get others.
33. Plant it. Offices want attractive plants but don’t have the time to maintain them. Offer turn-key start and maintenance programs for a fee.
34. Clean Houses. Knock on doors and call friends and family until you get a “yes” today. Do the work, collect your cash and then expand your route to multiple locations.
35. Sell scrap metal. Visit the recycling centers and learn what they buy. Now go find it and bring it back for cash today.
36. Detail cars. Knock on doors and call friends and family to meticulously clean their cars inside and out. Pros get up to $175 per cleaning.
37. Bring out the band. Play an instrument on a street corner for tips. Grab a friend. Make it fun. There are no expenses other than your time.
38. Sell birthday histories. Buy a birthday software program online and sell “On This Day in History” fact sheets for peoples’ date of birth. Call friends and family until you get some sales. Then print the fact sheet, deliver it and get paid on the same day.
39. Sell astrology readings. Buy a software program online and sell the reports just like above.
40. Clean rain gutters. Got a ladder? You’re ready to earn cash. Just knock on doors and get to work.
41. Open a lemonade stand. Mix up your brew and set up a table just like the kids. Embarrassed? Put up a sign that says “Daughter Called in Sick.”
42. Stripe parking lots. Buy the supplies (striping machines and paint are cheap) and go door-to-door to businesses. The need is large and you’ll get lots of takers.
43. Clean construction sites. Visit construction sites and offer to clean and haul away debris in exchange for cash.
Mike Johnson is an energetic entrepreneur who can be reached via MikeJohnson.biz
Greg Maisel was a genius.
He was also a 16-year-old cashier at McDonald's. Working with him at the fast food restaurant across from our high school, I didn't immediately recognize him for what he was. That should have been the first clue that he was special, but instead I found it strange.Greg had an odd habit. While the rest of the crew walked to fill customer's orders, Greg ran. This simple, extra effort, soon proved him a very valuable commodity.
Since he got more work done than anyone else on the crew, everyone wanted him. If you were a customer, you wanted to be in his line. If you were a co-worker, you wanted him working right next to you. If you were a manager, you wanted him on your shift.
Greg's genius did not go unrewarded. He was scheduled to work the most hours. He was scheduled to work the best hours. He was given the days off he requested. Better yet, he earned the largest raises. All for running, while everyone else walked. Greg Maisel was a genius because he understood that classic truth - you reap what you sow.
To reap any rewards at work or in life, we must first put out our portion. Greg understood that to receive superior rewards, he needed to provide superior efforts, a simple formula that is made easier by the fact that so few people put out that extra push.
Whether he recognized it or not, Greg's habit of running added the additional benefit of compressing time. While it took the rest of us six months to earn a raise, Greg was doing it in one. While it took other kids weeks to make an impression on management, Greg had done it in his first five minutes. Greg made himself valuable to McDonald's by first becoming their most valuable employee. From that point on, Greg called the shots at work - and if he recognized his own genius - in life.
Running is merely an example of doing more than is expected. The greater your service, the greater your rewards. The universe works that way. I'm not sure Greg realized that consciously, but he certainly understood it subconsciously.
The world has a severe shortage of Greg Maisels, creating unlimited opportunities for the rest of us. In fact, I'll guarantee there's a shortage of Greg's type of genius right where you're working now. If your boss is like most, he or she is just dying to find a Greg Maisel to help shoulder the burden.
What are you waiting for?
Not all actions you take today can lead to cash today, but many actions will generate cash tomorrow and beyond. If you already have a job and need more money, the list below can generate one or more new income streams. If you have no job, the list below can get you earning money within a week and provide steady income sources that can last a lifetime.
1. Get a paper route. Most deliveries are needed in early mornings so you’ll be free for anything else by 6 am. This is an ideal second job that can be very lucrative. You just need a car and an alarm clock.
2. Deliver pizzas. Most deliveries occur after 5pm leaving the rest of the day open for other work opportunities.
3. Start an Honor Box. Fill a box with candy, snacks and gum. Price the items for twice what they cost you (buy in bulk). Set the box at your employer’s break room or a friend’s office. 90% of buyers will honestly pay in your collection box, leaving you a big profit. Now grow the idea to multiple locations.
4. Join a flea market. Rent a booth and start selling stuff you already own. Use some of that money to buy inexpensive goods at garage sales you can then sell for twice your cost. Think “American Pickers.”
5. Read Help-Wanted ads. Not just to find a second job but to find out what people need. Perhaps you can provide it as an independent contractor rather than a regular employee. They may pay on a piece-by-piece or per-job basis.
6. Give a class or presentation. Do you have a special skill or passion like painting, woodworking, Facebook, Farmville or cooking? You can charge to tutor individuals or charge admission for a class or presentation. Free rooms can be found at churches, community centers and libraries.
7. Run errands. Go to the local churches, senior centers and assisted living homes and offer to buy and deliver groceries. Charge extra for your time. This can branch into other errands and fee-based services.
8. Sell aerial photos. Rent a low altitude plane ride for $50 to $100 and take a couple dozen photos of farms and local businesses from the air. Now take those shots to the owners and offer to sell them a large framed print of the photo for $100 - $200. Sell just one and you break even, sell more and you’re making good money.
9. Guide your own tours. Start your own walking tour. Pick an area, learn the history and create a presentation that lasts 30 to 60 minutes. Advertise your schedule and charge $5 to $10 per person. Downtown tours, cemetery tours, night vision tours, ghost tours, wildlife tours, and bike tours are all opportunities for cash.
10. Give music lessons. Charge others to learn how to play an instrument you’ve already mastered.
11. Sell on eBay. Learn it. Photograph and post items for sale online, collect payments and you may just create a job working at home.
12. Sell old books on Amazon. Buy books at thrift stores for 50 cents and resell them online for a profit. Used books are big business at the Amazon.com network of vendors.
13. Clean homes and offices. Realtors, home builders, seasonal renters, busy homeowners and businesses all need home/office cleaners. Start with friends, neighbors and relatives and build a good reputation to add more clients. This can easily become a fulltime business.
14. Make & sell bumper stickers. Small machines are available cheap online. Clients can be local schools, sports teams, radio stations, political candidates & retailers.
15. Take pictures. A good camera and some skill can easily create money. Photograph sports teams, pets, babies, weddings, reunions, portraits, etc.
16. Start composting. Just like gardening, many people want to do it but don’t know how. Charge a fee to start a compost pile and train the customer how to maintain it.
17. Create and sell a coupon book. Charge local businesses $100 to place a “Buy One, Get One Free” coupon in your book. Print the book and have a school, sports or non-profit organization sell the books as a fundraiser. Charge them $5 a book and let them sell the books for $10 each and keep the profit.
18. Refurbish & sell antique furniture. Buy it rough, spruce it up and charge big bucks for the pretty result.
19. Make candles. Turn wax and your creativity into gifts that can be sold at flea markets, online, as fundraisers or on consignment at retailers.
20. Make Dinners. People are too busy but want good, nutritional meals. Find 10 good main course recipes that can be refrigerated or frozen and start selling your service.
21. Deliver restaurant meals. Tired of pizza? What if every restaurant delivered? They can’t afford to do it themselves, but they’d love you to provide the service. Charge the customer $5 more than the meal expense (and get tips too) and restaurants will be standing in line to use your delivery service.
22. Teach proper exercise. Are you a fitness nut? Teach others how to get and stay in shape. You can charge admission for hands-on classes, seminars and workouts.
23. Become a seamstress. Everyone looks better in clothes that fit. Many people need off-the-rack adjustments. Offer your services to local clothing stores who will then send customers to you.
24. Clean carpets. Start with a $300 carpet cleaner and build up to better equipment from there. Every landlord at apartments, mobile home parks and motels can use your service.
25. Train the use of Software. Become an expert on accounting, design, publishing, database or bulk-mail software and then sell your tutoring to small business owners.
26. Restore bicycles and scooters. Gas prices will only go up. Buy beat-up bikes and scooters at garage sales, city surplus auctions and thrift stores. Now fix and shine them up for resale.
27. Organize road rallies, scavenger hunts or running races. Charge an admission fee, sell advertising sponsorships and get paid to create fun events. Give a portion to a charity and gain more free publicity and help.
28. Coach others. There are many coaching programs online to teach you what you need to know. Now sell your services.
29. Refurbish RVs. Old trailers, pop-ups, fifth wheels and motor homes can be purchased very cheaply. Many people are now using them as fulltime dwellings or “extra rooms” for kids who visit or move back home. Cater to this market by buying cheap, refurbishing and selling for a profit.
30. Sell & set up dog kennels. The kennels are usually under $200 but the assembly is a bugger. Negotiate a multiple-purchase discount with a local vendor then sell and set up the kennels at individual buyers’ homes. Advertise at veterinarians, pet stores, mobile home parks and bulletin boards.
31. Deliver big items. Many businesses sell big items that need delivery. Furniture stores, thrift stores, lawn and garden stores, farm supply stores, etc. Charge a fee to do the hauling. Use the truck or trailer you already own and upgrade equipment as you grow.
32. Run a lunch wagon. Take the food and beverages to where the people congregate. Sporting events, construction sites, schools, parks and local events are great venues. The trucks are less expensive than you think and can provide a lifetime of income.
33. Sell ice cream. Same scenario as above but you get to take the winters off.
34. Become a virtual assistant. Become the secretary/assistant for multiple small business people all from your home. You can answer phones, type memos, do bookkeeping, set appointments, write sales letters or whatever they need. Charge each an hourly or monthly fee.
35. Sweep chimneys. The learning curve is short, equipment costs are minimal and you can charge $100+ per chimney.
36. Become a hair and nail stylist. Take the classes, get certified and start selling your services. Want to be unique? Put your business in a van and take your services to the customer.
37. Sell turn-key solar power sets. Many want solar power but have no idea where to start. Offer home and businesses owners turn-key set-up-and-go systems. Offer everything from small water heater systems to getting off the grid completely.
38. Sell & set up computers. Same as above. Think of how many tech-challenged people would like to use email or Facebook or digital photos or word processing but are afraid to start. Think senior centers, churches and shut-ins. Your turn-key set-up and tutoring will help them stay connected to relatives.
39. Offer pressure washing. The equipment is cheap and the need is universal. Sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and buildings always need cleaning.
40. Write resumes. Buy some software, train yourself and help others present themselves professionally enough to secure a job. Earn $50 to $100 for each resume while helping others.
41. Sell pumpkins, Christmas trees, fireworks, flags. Plan ahead for the holidays and set yourself up to sell these popular items at a roadside stand.
42. Become a landlord. Rent some space on a popular road and then rent booths to vendors for a farmers market, flea market or other activities. One big space earns profit by renting it out in smaller pieces that exceed the whole.
43. Inspect used cars. Charge a flat fee to inspect used cars for buyers before they sign the deal.
44. Start a handyman business. Most landlords are crying for good handymen who do good work for reasonable fees and respond quickly to calls. Market to homeowners too, but several large landlord clients may give you all the work you can handle.
About the Author
Mike Johnson has run and owned businesses since 1968. He’s managed $1 million to $60 million operations for McDonald’s & 7-Eleven. Mike’s been a successful serial entrepreneur who has started and sold multiple businesses. He has written and sold thousands of articles related to business and entrepreneurship. He has been rich, gone bankrupt and gotten rich again. Mike knows what it’s like to be so broke you don’t have money to eat.
He’s learned that the greater your financial self-sufficiency, the greater your financial security.
Mike has invested 10,000 hours researching the US financial system and is certain there will be no recovery before a massive collapse or reset. This booklet is written to help you survive and thrive during these difficult times.
Mike can be reached via MikeJohnson.biz