Even a small emergency fund of $500 will cover most incidents like an emergency room copay, new tires, or an unplanned heater repair. To get started establishing an emergency fund, you can use any of the methods above or use a service like Trim to find room in your budget to add to your savings. You can also use our emergency fund calculator to see how much you need to save each month to establish your account.

Become a babysitter if you are good with children. There are websites that will connect you with people who need a babysitter. To get hired by people who do not know you, it will help to pass a CPR class, or to have a special talent or expertise for entertaining children. However, you might be able to make money more quickly just by babysitting for people you know, or by having friends refer you to others who need a babysitter.[14]
The original "Make Money Fast" letter was written around 1988 by a person who used the name Dave Rhodes. Biographical details are not certain, and it is not clear if this was even the person's actual name. The letter encouraged readers of the email to forward one dollar in cash to a list of people provided in the text, and to add their own name and address to the bottom of the list after deleting the name and address at the top.[1] Using the theory behind pyramid schemes, the resulting chain of money flowing back and forth would supposedly deliver a reward of thousands of dollars to the ones participating in the chain, as copies of their chain spread and more and more people sent one dollar to their address.
Lastly, if you have a few pieces of furniture you no longer want, you can list them on Craigslist. If it’s a desirable item, it’s very likely that someone will come pick it up the same day you list it and give you cash for it. Make sure to take pictures of your item for your ad in a bright, sunny room. Stand back far from the item and zoom in. This is better than trying to get a detail shot. You don’t need a fancy camera to sell items quickly. You just need a simple camera and a lot of sunlight to get the job done.

What I found was that I could make decent money just by filling out online surveys for an hour or so, everyday. It was surprisingly easy since I could do them while chatting on Facebook or after my kids went to bed, so I figured I would give it a month and see how much I could earn. At the end of the month, I was so excited when my first check came in the mail for $638.28!


A tireless advocate for financial abuse survivors, Jana spent over a decade working in the social services sector after obtaining her Master's in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware. Since making the switch to freelance writing and editing Jana has worked with a number of high-profile websites including The Penny Hoarder, ChooseFI, Frugal Rules, The Dollar Stretcher, and more. She also works closely with The Plutus Foundation, where she served as the Director of Grants and Programs for four years.
Use your skills to do day labor. Post an ad online or on a bulletin board offering to do odd jobs or sign up with an employment agency that specializes in temporary work. You can also go where other day laborers meet and wait for employers, such as building contractors, landscapers, homeowners and small business owners. Common odd jobs people need day laborers for include:[11]
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