9 Ways to Get Cash Fast

It’s happened to all of us, there’s just not enough money to pay the bills AND put food on the table this month. Hey, things happen. You need cash fast, what do you do? Here are some ideas to raise fast cash to get you through.

Please remember that not every option is going to be available or appropriate for everyone. You know yourself and it’s always a good idea to raise money before borrowing money.

EARN SOME EXTRA CASH

-Sell some stuff. A yard sale can bring in quick cash and declutter your home. Craigslist is another option and if you don’t mind paying a fee give eBay a try. Sometimes this will hurt, you might not want to part with that 2nd vehicle, but it’s a lot less painful than having your power shut off.

-Sell your gold. I’m not really sure how this gold selling thing works but I see ads for it all of the time. You can learn more here.

-Pawn shops will buy your stuff. They might not pay as much as the alternatives but it’s generally a safe and sure thing. I recommend selling to pawn stores, not pawning. Pawning an item is expensive and the majority of people who pawn things never get them back. Consignment shops are another option, some will buy your items outright while others will pay you when the item sells.

-Find a temporary caregiver job. If babysitting, housesitting or petsitting is up your alley post a free ad on Care.com and Sittercity.com. For a few bucks extra you can purchase a background check, or you can offer to get one when you find a possible job. I live in a touristy area and there are a lot of one and two night jobs available and they pay pretty well.

-Clean houses. In my area you can make upward of $15/hour cleaning homes. I have a friend who does nothing but clean vacation rentals, she makes $50-100 per house and gets to keep all the food, clothing and souvenirs left behind. You can find housecleaning jobs on Craigslist and Care.com.

-Donate your plasma. My husband swears that twice-weekly donations were the only way he was able to eat during his college years. Your local blood center can give you more information.

BORROW SOME CASH

-Payday Advances should be used very carefully but can provide a small amount of money in an emergency. I hesitate to present this option but I’ve found that if you need a small amount of money quickly it can be one of the cheaper choices. At the time of this writing (February, 2012) the current fee on a payday advance at Amscot in Florida* is 10% plus $1 IF you pay it back on time. This means that a $100 payday advance will be repaid at $111. This is usually cheaper than adding debt to a credit card and much cheaper than an overdraft/NSF fee.

If you are not 100% sure that you can pay the loan and fee back in the allowed time (usually 10-14 days) DO NOT TAKE THE MONEY. The longer you wait to pay the debt back the higher your fees are and a simple $100 loan can end up being $300 in a matter of weeks.

*I don’t know what the fees are in other states or companies, do your research and read the fine print.

AVOID THE SAME PROBLEM NEXT MONTH

-Adjust your expenses. Lose the cable, land line, eat out of your pantry (or visit a food bank instead of the grocery store), stop buying meat for a month, turn your air conditioner off, etc. It won’t raise you any money but it will make next month’s bills easier to pay. I know these are big sacrifices but it’s worth it when you see how much less you have to pay next month (and I know, we once went an entire YEAR without internet!)

-Ask for assistance. Call your utility companies to see if you qualify for assistance or a payment arrangement (if you make an arrangement stick to it or they won’t let you do it again and they will still cut your power off!) Don’t take no for an answer until you’ve talked to a real person. Apply for food stamps. Check out your local churches. Find a local Catholic Charities, a large organization that provides a wide array of assistance to anyone who needs it. Call your local United Way chapter as they can tell you where to find help with food, clothing and paying your utilities.
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