Need a Quick Buck? It’s Easier Than You Think

We’ve all been in a jam for cash or dying for the iPad 2 or that new bag. If only we could magically be hand-delivered an extra a hundred—or five hundred dollars—overnight and be able to afford all the material things we crave and still have leftover money to eat as well. Unfortunately, being young in a time where there are no jobs means we have to get creative about making ends meet and paying off debt.

While saving and budgeting are always options, they only provide for a more long-term result. And sometimes there’s something you need to have right now.

We’re lucky we have online tools and services that make quick commerce and moneymaking a task that is only limited to your imagination.

For the sake of safety and convenience, I’ve compiled a list that puts aside selling body parts or gambling at the casino, to make some quick money using the Internet, some moxie and a little work.

Put it on Craigslist

If you haven’t yet used Craigslist, for finding apartments or buying miscellaneous goods, then get out of that hole you’ve been living in. The online classifieds site took the world by storm in 2006 and has broken down the impasses for people to sell their goods and find jobs that were normally in the paid-for classified sections of newspapers. And for the cash-strapped 20-something out there, Craigslist should be a godsend.

If you have a unique talent, advertise what you’re good at as freelance or as a side job.

Craigslist is a great place to work ads, since its free, and find quick employment, though the trade off is you’re opening yourself up to spammers and competing with hundreds of other applicants.

If you have unused, yet still valuable, items lying around your apartment, sell them on Craigslist. Etsy, eBay, and Bonanza,  are other sites with e-commerce channels that allow users to sell and trade their wares.  It’s a quick way to “trade in” what you don’t need and get fast cash for what you want.

Sell your free time

An easy, stay-at-home way to make fast cash is through online focus groups or surveys.  Sseveral companies, such as Find Focus Groups, GreenBook, or Amazon Mechanical Turks offer money for your time online and all you have to do is sit in front of your computer for a few hours – as if you don’t do that already.

If you’re feeling a little neighborly you can always try out Taskrabbit.  The social marketplace matches tasks with “runners” who then complete those tasks. Examples include collecting kids from school, walking a dog or painting a house. All you have to do is bid on those tasks with a price you think is fair.

So far, Taskrabbit exists only in Boston and San Francisco, but it’s gearing up to expand. “We’re really empowering people to sell their free time and their special skills and services,” saID Taskrabbit CEO and founder Leah Busque after the company raised $5 million for a nationwide expansion.

Going for broke

You can always return unused items to retailers – especially that $300 new laptop bag that begged you to purchase it. Most stores have a return policy, and if you’re still feeling unsure about a recent purchase, this is a good way to make that money back and give up feeling buyer’s remorse.

For what its worth, saving, budgeting and working hard should always be the go-to options. But, in these unforgiving economic times, sometimes you just need a little extra.

What do you think? Have you ever gotten cash quickly in a creative way? Tell us in the comments!

Victoria Solomon I'm a graduate from Simmons College and currently a marketing coordinator at Allen & Gerritsen in Boston. I love hiking, creating websites, finding the best burritos, and tweeting—anything related to social media. You can find me at and

View all posts by Victoria Solomon

13 Responses to “Need a Quick Buck? It’s Easier Than You Think”

  1. josh

    i need cash fast and i dont have cash to make cash im dead broke and really need money please help

    • Wesley

      Check out my youtube channel. I post different ways to make and save money. Just youtube search WBOaks

  2. pierson

    josh, ill start off asking if you have a truck. or a good buddy whose in the rut with you have one? if so, I will list 10 jobs that will earn you some $ no later than noon Monday. in the mean time have you sifted and rooted through your couches etc? and if all else fails, my third idea off the cusp would pay you depending if your city or rural an average of $250-300 but you have to stand in line…disgusting I know

  3. Juan

    Ok i jux quit my job i have a home studio but wat would b da fastest way to start makn money dat way

    • blake

      Easiest way is to post an ad on craigslist start small and charge by the hour dor recording sessions. Theres a lot of artist out there looking for a decent studio. I just started my studio about a week ago and I have 5 people with appointments @35 $ an hour. Not bad to start off with.

  4. Quick buck | Learndoteach

    [...] How To: Make a Quick Buck Safely and Legally | The Next Great …Jun 3, 2011 … If you are stuck in a bind and looking to make some quick cash. Here is are some solid tips and tricks for you to make extra money. [...]

  5. Chadwick Polson

    You could suck dick to make a quick buck or hold a sign up that says “I will let you kick me in the head for $20.

  6. Kofi

    You can check out if you want to make an extra buck while saving on your cell phone bill…
    I was actually looking for a way to make an extra buck immediately then I found this and I’m now doing the opposite of what I intended… : )

  7. jamie

    if your an arty person you could make and sell paintings or collages to order and buy the materals from amazon as they’re very cheap approx £50 buys brushes,paint,canvas,buttions and glue
    that is six to twelve pieces each make £20-£50 so totel is £120-£600

  8. jamie

    also the porn industry is a high payer and you could let them use your house or be part of the action so you can make any thing from £500 for a still image shoot per day
    £750-£3000 for being part of the movie action every day
    as much as £5000 a day for the use of your house as a filming zone and they will clean the place professionally as well to boot


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