We’ve all had those moments in life where we think “How the heck am I going to pay for that?” The personal finance geek in me cringes when I think of the few times during college that I didn’t have enough in the bank…a very small emergency fund for a slightly larger problem like all 4 tires needing to be replaced at once. In my case, I asked my parents for help. But I know some of my friends in similar situations looked into alternatives like going to a car title loan company, selling their stuff, or taking out short-term loans.
Making Money Fast
If you need to make money fast and rather avoid owing it back, here are some ways to make some cash in a few days or less:
- Sell stuff – it’s an oldie but goodie. My blogging buddy, Ashley, has written the course on how to sell stuff on Facebook. I bought DVD’s in bulk for less than 50 cents each and resold them for $2-$5 each.
- Sell services – babysitting, pet sitting, tutoring, arts and crafts (this one is not for me since I suck, but for anyone who doesn’t, lol), labor like lawn care, etc. I usually bring in about $100-$150 a weekend for pet sitting.
- Craigslist Gigs – You can find all sorts of one-time gigs on Craigslist like sign spinning, modeling, handing out flyers, etc. You can bring in $8-$10 an hour for most of the gigs. I made a whole list of summer job ideas I found by looking at Craigslist for a few hours.
If you can’t make enough money to cover whatever emergency popped up, remember to try to negotiate down the amount owed as nicely as you can. In college, I frequently got small amounts discounted from all sorts of places by just being honest and asking for help. Discount Tires took off 20% from the 4 new tires I needed and gave me a free new tire to use a spare.
Prevent Future Dips into Borrowing
If all else fails and you do need to borrow money, start looking at long-term options to ensure you won’t have to take more loans in the future.
- If you are in a job that has ways to climb the career ladder, start working towards the position further up that you want and could help you financially.
- Second jobs. If you like the job you have or just can’t climb up further, look into side jobs that fit you. If you don’t have a lot of extra time, concentrate on jobs that are flexible or could be worked into the little time you have. Weekend and holiday jobs like being an Uber driver may be a good idea for you. Or maybe you can make custom furniture a few hours in the mornings or evenings or weekends – time around the rest of life.
- Downsize. If you simply can’t earn more or cut expenses further, than you need to look at your lifestyle and downsize in some way. Smaller home or apartment. Look into public transportation. Give up personal space and rent an extra room to someone else. There are millions of ways to live less expensively…even if they are less comfortable.
Overall, it’s a balancing act. Your lifestyle, your expenses, your emergency savings…you have to take very realistic looks at your situation and truly analyze your priorities and what you are willing to do to avoid future money problems. It’s always on us to cover our financial butts, right?