Last year, an article in The Atlantic showed what it’s like for Americans who can’t afford to pay for a $400 emergency in cash. The writer detailed his struggles to save for the unexpected. He shared what it’s like to not have an emergency fund in case something goes wrong.
He’s not alone – he and nearly half of Americans are in the same boat. Unexpected emergencies can cause a lot of stress if you’ve got a pile of bills and no savings.
That scenario is common, but fortunately, it is preventable. You can learn to cut expenses, live on less and save the difference.
And if you’re one of the millions of people who don’t have enough savings set aside, then you should consider finding a way to make money fast.
Fortunately, in this age of the gig economy, there are countless options. There are ways to scrape up enough money to last you during whatever crisis you’re going through.
Whether your goal is to find cash to fund an emergency or to pay off debt fast, we can help. Read below for our best tips on how to make $1,000 quickly in a week.
Ways to Make $1000 Fast
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Do you like the idea of driving people around? Are you friendly, outgoing and a safe and lawful driver?
If so, consider becoming a rideshare driver to earn some fast cash. Ridesharing companies arrange one-time shared rides on very short notice.
And Uber and Lyft both often have special bonuses drivers can earn if they fulfill a certain number of rides.
According to Uber, the average driver earns $25 an hour. But that amount is calculated over slow periods when you could be lucky to get one passenger. However, there are ways to increase your income as a rideshare driver.
Determine when the busiest times are in your city and drive only then to maximize your efficiency. Weekend evenings and nights are usually a safe bet, and rush hour can also be good.
If you have a big airport near you, then figure out when the busiest times are for drop-off and pick-up. Many people often drive for both services so they can take advantage of different surge times.
Plus, now that Uber has added tipping to its app, drivers can stand to earn even more money.
2. Sell What You Don’t Need
Unless you’re rocking the minimalist lifestyle, you probably have extra stuff laying around your apartment or house. If you’re like a lot of people, you have lots of things that you don’t need or haven’t used in forever.
A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. You probably have old cell phones, unopened books, long-forgotten DVDs. All those items represent dollars that you could be earning.
Compile everything in one space and then divide it based on the type of item it is. Clothes should go in one pile while video games can be in another.
Then determine the best place to sell your stuff. For example, sell large items on Craigslist, where you don’t have to pay for shipping fees.
Or maybe it would be best for you to sell your stuff online. For example, electronics, video games, and collectibles sell well on eBay. But make sure to be accurate on the quality, or you’ll get downgraded on your user rating.
And clothes can sell well on specialty sites like ThredUp and Poshmark, especially if you have designer threads.
Consider selling your CDs, DVDs and video games to a company such as Decluttr, especially if you’re short on time. Decluttr won’t pay as much as you’d get selling outright on sites like Craiglist. However, they do make it super easy to sell your stuff.
All you do is type in the barcode of what you’re selling, and they give you an immediate price quote. Once you accept their offer(s), print out a free shipping label, box your item(s) and send it out.
Decluttr will post a payment to your PayPal account as soon as they assess your delivered item(s).
Have a Yard Sale
For everything that doesn’t sell quickly, host a yard sale. Advertise for free on Craigslist and post signs around your neighborhood. Price items to sell, even if it hurts to see all your kid’s baby clothes sell for less than $1.
Anything that you don’t get rid of, you can donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. For those items, you can ask for a receipt to deduct the amount donated on your taxes. Another win!
3. Deliver Food
On the social media site Reddit, drivers theorized you could earn $1,000 a week delivering food with a company like Door Dash.
The consensus was that if you were driving about 10 hours a day and hitting every peak time (lunch and dinner) every day of the week, you could make $1,000.
Users said that the best way to maximize your deliveries was to use a motorcycle or a fuel-efficient vehicle. If parking is difficult or if you’re driving in LA-like traffic, your hourly rate could suffer.
Most agreed that you’d have to work between 50 to 70 hours a week to make it work. That probably isn’t sustainable for the long-term. However, if you’re in between gigs, this can be an easy way to supplement your income.
4. Rent Your Pad on Airbnb
If you’ve got a spare room or are going to be out of town, you can rent out your room or pad on Airbnb for some extra cash. How much you earn depends on where you live, the appeal of your neighborhood and the quality of your pad.
A two-bedroom loft in downtown Miami will net more than a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of Kansas. Visitors also pay more if they have total access to your place.
So if you’re still in town, you can make more by crashing on a friend’s couch for a few days while guests rent out your space.
You can increase how much you charge by allowing pets. Or by including appliances such as a washer and dryer and other amenities. You might be able to charge more at times depending on the season.
Holidays are prime times for visitors. And you can also charge more for festivals, sporting events, special weekends and more.
Gain more income via a good reputation by being extra responsive and polite to renters. Airbnb has a rating system that most people use to leave comments and share how they felt about you.
The higher your rating, the higher prices you can charge, and the more people will consider renting your space.
5. Search for Unclaimed Money
Unclaimed money is money that legally belongs to you, but that you haven’t claimed. For example, sometimes people request a tax refund through the mail, but it gets returned if you put a wrong address.
Or if you were being paid through a check by an old employer and left before you received your last one.
Unfortunately, there’s no central website where you can search for unclaimed money, but this US government site has information on the different types of unclaimed money and how to see if you have any.
If you do find funds in your name, it can take several weeks to access them because you’ll have to verify your identity. But you’ll be one step closer to getting money that’s legally yours.
6. Open an Account That Offers a Bonus
Ever get that pre-approved credit card offer in the mail that promises to give you 20,000 or 40,000 miles or points? If you’re used to a credit card that barely pays you 1% cash back, it might be hard to believe that you can actually earn real rewards.
But you can. Every major credit card provider has a few credit cards that provide huge bonuses when you sign up. However, you can’t just earn the points by applying for the card. You usually have to spend a certain amount within 90 days to qualify.
The highest bonuses range from $100 to $500. So if you are married or have another person in your household, you could easily qualify for $1,000.
For example, you can earn $500 with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® when you spend $3,000 in 90 days. The $500 will come as a statement credit on your account and can only be redeemed for travel expenses.
Also, banks and credit unions often have bonuses when you open a new account and fulfill other minimum requirements. For example, a new Chase checking account customer can earn $200 when they set up a direct deposit and keep the account open for at least six months.
Since many of these requirements only ask that you have a direct deposit of at least $300-$500 a month, you can open multiple accounts and earn bonuses at the same time.
7. Work as a Brand Ambassador
Ever see those people handing out free samples of chips or drinks at local stores, festivals or concerts? Those people are working as brand ambassadors.
They’re hired to work a few hours per shift to promote a local or national brand. Sometimes it’s handing out food samples, other times it’s trying to get people to fill out surveys.
Look for local brand ambassador groups on Facebook or Craigslist. Most pay between $10 to $35 an hour depending on the work involved.
Work comes on a first-come, first serve basis and you’ll often have little training beforehand. However, if you’re friendly and outgoing, you’ve already got a head start.
Note that many of these gigs ask for a couple of photo headshots beforehand. Shifts can last a couple of hours or all day. If you work five days at eight hours a day for $25 an hour, you can make $1,000.
8. Cash In Your Vacation
While most people love to take their paid vacation time, others would rather have the cash. Fortunately, some employers allow you to cash in your vacation time and work instead. If you decide to cash in your vacation time, you can easily get an extra $1,000 on your next paycheck.
If you earn $25 an hour and have seven days of paid vacation, you could cash it in for $1,400. You’ll still have to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes on those wages, so make sure to factor that in.
And you’ll have to be ok knowing that you won’t have any days off in case something happens.
This is definitely a risky move to take, so be aware of the pros and cons. Buying out your vacation hours means you might be without paid time off for the remainder of the year.
However, if you’re about to leave your job, then this can be a great way to transition to a new company with some extra change in your pocket.
9. Garage Sale Arbitrage
This sounds complicated, right? Well, not to fear, it’s actually pretty simple.
All you need to do is visit some garage sales this coming weekend. While you’re there, look for items that you are familiar with that you could potentially resell online for more money.
For instance, if you are familiar with the technology, look for electronics such as smartphones, home audio and computer equipment.
Let’s say you find a router that is marked $5. Next, find the model number on the router and look it up on Amazon. Then check to see what the lowest price a used one is selling for. When you look it up, you notice that it is selling for $40 used.
So all you have to do now is give the host of the yard sale a five spot and get back in the car. Then pull your phone back out and list it on Amazon (or similar site like eBay). You will have to pay some fees and shipping, but it is likely that you can pocket about $25 is this deal.
If you can hit a neighborhood or city-wide garage sale day, you have the potential to make even more cash. Try higher-end neighborhoods too. They’ll often have great deals at garage sales because people just want the stuff gone.
10. Take a Job as a Server or Bartender
Many restaurants are hiring servers on a regular basis. With these types of jobs, you can often start right away. While the hourly wage is low, the real money for servers and bartenders lies in the tips.
If you choose to work at a moderately priced sit-down restaurant or a higher end restaurant, the tips will be even higher. But the key to fast income here is in the great service you provide. People love good service when they go out to eat.
Listen and pay attention to what your clients are saying. If the cook makes a mistake, take responsibility for it. Fix errors promptly and apologize sincerely. Talk to your customers as if they were old friends.
If you work five nights and take home $200 in tips each night, you’ve got your $1,000.
11. Do Some Online Freelance Work
Do you have skills such as writing, editing or graphic design? If so, you can earn some quick cash doing freelancing work from home. Sites such as Upwork allow you to post your skills and services for others seeking out these types of services.
You could also approach blog owners about writing for their sites or helping them design better sites. Online job boards such as Craigslist also have frequent listings for freelance gigs such as writing.
I’ve been freelance writing for five years now, and I’ve never made less than $25 an hour. If you have a knack for some of the much-needed online freelancing services out there, you can make some quick cash.
12. Become a Tutor
Students from Kindergarten on up through college and later adulthood often need tutors. A person may need a tutor to help their child with math or science.
Or an adult hoping to gain citizenship may need someone to teach them the English language. Also, a parent of a young child may need someone to help their child with reading.
It’s not uncommon to make $20 an hour or more as a tutor. If you work for 50 hours in one week, you’ve made your $1,000. Advertise your tutoring services on Craigslist or Facebook.
You can work for an online tutoring company too. But the hourly wage likely won’t be as high as it would if you were freelancing.
13. Clean/Organize for People
I don’t know one person who doesn’t need some area of their home cleaned or organized. Advertise your services on Craigslist or Facebook to help you earn you some fast cash. Offer services such as:
- House cleaning
- Home organizing
- Deep cleaning/detailing cars
- Light lawn clean up and landscaping, such as mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, raking up leaves, etc.
- Cleaning windows
- Cleaning gutters
- Clearing out garages or basements
- Making a run to the junkyard
Charge what you’re worth and help people make their lives a little less cluttered in the process. And if they’re bringing valuable stuff to a thrift store, ask if you can take some items to resell for extra cash.
14. Babysit or Nanny
People pay decent cash to have responsible and trustworthy people care for their children while they’re at work or play. If you like kids and are good with kids, consider doing some babysitting or nannying.
You can make money fast if you book yourself during daytime hours while people are at work.
Babysitting nights and weekends can help you rake in some fast cash too. So will babysitting for multiple kids or families.
Hint: People will sometimes pay extra if they come home to a clean house and if the kids give you a good review.
15. Cut Your Expenses
When all else fails – or in addition to working to earn money – you can cut expenses to earn fast cash. Consider using on our Challenge Everything Budget even if it’s just for a short time.
For example, don’t buy groceries – eat what’s already in the house instead. Avoid all optional expenses such as eating out or entertainment. Bike, walk or carpool to work.
Cut optional expenses such as gym memberships and salon visits. Go through each line item in your budget and cut anything that isn’t an absolute necessity. You might be surprised how much extra cash you end up with after a week.
16. Give Advice
Yes, you really can get paid to give advice. Websites such as JustAnswer pay experts in over 700 categories to answer user-submitted questions. For instance, if you have a law degree, you could answer someone’s legal question.
If you’re an HVAC expert, you could answer someone’s heating/air conditioning question. Here’s how the site works.
- First, you start by signing up to be an expert in your category.
- Second, you go through submitted questions. Users will post their question and what they’ll pay to get it answered.
- Third, if you answer the question sufficiently, you get paid.
The pay can be really good because clients are still paying less than it would cost to talk to an expert in person. JustAnswer’s website says some experts make thousands of dollars per month on the site.
Note that you do have to be an expert in your claimed field. You have to possess some type of degree or experience in the field you want to be considered an expert in.
17. Do Gigs on Craigslist
Craigslist has a Gigs section that hosts all types of fast-money jobs. When you look in the Gigs section, you can find short-term jobs in areas such as:
Now note that as with all sites, there can be some weird stuff posted here. But there are also legitimate gigs that pay well. People need fast, short-term help, and are willing to pay for it. Here are some of the gigs that were on the Craigslist site in my area at the time of this writing.
- concession stand workers for a week-long event. Long days, $12 an hour paid in cash
- seasonal/holiday temporary retail jobs
- female liquor ambassadors for events: $30 an hour
- short-term construction work: $25-$35 an hour
- various driving gigs
- various handyman gigs such as painting or auto work: $1,000 per week
- computer coding and other work
I found jobs for people with many different skill sets on the site. I recommend checking your local Craigslist site to see what types of gigs they have that might work for you. Note that the larger the city you live in, the more gig choices there will probably be.
18. Work on TaskRabbit
Have you heard of TaskRabbit? They offer services to people who need help with a handyman or other tasks. Once you sign up to be a “tasker,” you choose the jobs you want to work and make a bid on them. After you complete your jobs, you get paid.
When I checked the tasks available in my area, most were running between $47 and $120 per gig. At that kind of pay, you could do between 10 and 20 gigs per week and hit your $1,000 goal.
Some of the different tasks you might find to do on TaskRabbit could include:
- furniture assembly
- cleaning projects
- organizing projects
- redecorating/remodeling projects
- electronics set-up type stuff
- helping people move/get ready to move
Remember that you get to choose which tasks you do, so there’s no getting stuck doing jobs you don’t want. Your bid includes a 15% fee that goes to TaskRabbit. So, if you charge $100 for a job, you’ll get paid $85.
TaskRabbit collects the money for the tasks and pays you directly. This means you don’t have to worry about collecting money from clients.
19. Moonlight as a Handyman
Another option for making $1,000 in a week is to moonlight as a handyman. The truth is that repair companies can charge a ridiculous amount of money for jobs.
If you have the skills to fix things on your own, you can charge clients less and pocket the money for yourself.
Example: This summer I needed my air conditioner replaced. Mainstream HVAC place wanted to charge me $3400 to have a bottom-of-the-line unit installed. I found a guy on Craigslist that would put in a top-of-the-line new unit for $2400.
Guess which option I chose? I saved $1,000 by choosing Craigslist guy. And Craigslist guy earned several hundred dollars for a day’s work. Craigslist guy is now my new go-to HVAC guy.
If you have skills like HVAC, electrical or basic home repair, consider advertising your services and see if you can make extra cash.
20. Work as a Virtual Assistant
Blog owners, business owners and sole proprietors look for virtual assistants to help them run their businesses. If you work from home as a virtual assistant, you could make decent money doing a variety of tasks.
Virtual assistants do tasks such as:
- Providing technical assistance
- Scheduling social media posts and campaigns
- Invoicing customers
- Handling accounts receivable
- Making phone calls
- Sending and answering emails and other messages
- Conducting research over the internet
- Proofreading and editing
- Making appointments
- Data entry
- Managing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts
- Blog management
- Graphic design
- Customer service
- And more
Businesses like to hire freelance virtual assistants because it saves them from having to have an employee. As a beginner virtual assistant, you might make between $12 and $15 an hour. However, as your experience grows, so does your pay.
It’s not uncommon for experienced virtual assistants to make $40 an hour or more. That’s $1600 per week if you do it full-time.
Look for jobs at online websites such as Upwork. Or approach blog or business owners to ask if they need someone to help them manage their workload.
Note that success in this type of work boils down to responsibility and efficiency. Well Kept Wallet’s virtual assistant, Kayla Sloan, founder of the 10KVA course, has a secure client in Well Kept Wallet. And that’s because we can count on her to do what needs to be done.
So if you’re responsible and efficient, you could make some quick cash doing short-term virtual assistant work. And if you like it, you could turn it into a full-time career.
The bottom line is, there are lots of ways you can make $1,000 in one week if you’re short on cash. Use one of these income avenues, or do a combination of two or more.
Give some of these a try next time you need some extra money in your pocket. I’d be willing to bet you’ll earn more than you expected if you try hard enough.
Which of these ways to make 1,000 dollars quickly are you going to try? Have you already tried some of these ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments section on our Facebook page.