How to Earn Fast Cash – 8 Creative Ways to Save and Make Money Quickly

Most of us will have been in the sticky situation of needing fast cash at some point in our lives. Even with a steady income, unexpected costs can occur and completely scupper your good intentions. Budgeting is often a really effective way to prevent financial emergencies from rearing their ugly heads, but they are not fool-proof and sometimes a cash boost is what’s necessary.

Of course, as a short-term loan provider, we offer one solution to this problem. Borrowing a small amount of money from a responsible lender – which ensures you can make the repayments before approving your application – could be one way out of a financial fix. However, we accept that some people prefer to stay debt-free and others might struggle to find a loan that’s right for them. In these situations, there are alternative ways to access cash quickly. Here are some of the more creative ways to find the cash you need to fend off that financial emergency without borrowing.

1. Ask for a salary advance at work

One of the first places to look when you need money quickly is your employer. If you’ve never asked for an advance on your salary before, and you’ve been in your current job for a while, your boss is likely to consider your request for some or all of your next salary upfront. 

Before asking your boss for an advance, take the time to put together a well-worded email or letter so that the request is in writing. It’s not such a great idea to ask in person as this can appear too casual. Providing you make the request politely and explain that it is a one-off, and even provide some details about why you need the money, you may be surprised how willing your employer is to help you out. 

It’s worth remembering, though, that if you receive your salary early, it has to last you even longer than usual. Therefore, some extra budgeting will be required to prevent a similar cash shortage from occurring next month.

2. Borrow more money on an overdraft

Overdrafts are really useful facilities when you need extra cash to tide you over temporarily. If you don’t have an overdraft already, you can call your bank or apply online. If you are accepted, the money is usually available to spend within 24 hours. 

An affordability check will be carried out and you are unlikely to be accepted unless you have a steady income. Interest is payable on balances in most circumstances, so be sure to clear the overdraft each month if you can and keep your overdraft borrowing to a minimum and avoid being charged. 

If you go over your overdraft limit you are likely to be charged extra, perhaps each day you are over your limit, so bear this in mind when considering this option.

3. Sell something to earn money

Selling unwanted clothes, books, homeware or toys can be a great way to generate some extra cash if you’re having a tough month. Here are our favourite ways to sell your unwanted items:

  • Garage sale or car boot sale
  • Online auction sites like eBay
  • Online marketplaces such as Gumtree, Preloved, or Facebook Marketplace
  • Online media purchasing sites, like Musicmagpie
  • Electrical/phone recycling sites such as Sellmymobile or Mazuma
  • Gold and silver purchasers – high street and online
  • Games retailers
  • Dress agencies – high street and online retailers that will sell/buy your unwanted designer clothing

4. Make cash online

Although the cash might not be quite as immediately available with this one, you can make money with a few nifty online tools. Providing you’re happy to share your information and aren’t squeamish about keeping your personal consumer data to yourself, you can make money simply by downloading apps, for example. 

Paid surveys  – get paid cash to fill in online surveys

AttaPoll allows you to earn money by filling in surveys. You can track your earnings through the app and take payments as Bitcoin, through PayPal or you can even donate the money to charity! 

Market research  – make cash completing surveys online

Ipsos Mediacell tracks your media consumption and uses it in market research projects. It pays £20 in Amazon vouchers (great if you desperately need cash to buy particular items) and a further £10 per month simply for having the app on your phone.

Paid search service – browning the web? Why not add this to your money-making strategy?

Qmee.com allows you to collect cash rewards simply for searching the web. You have to instal an add-on to your browser and away you go!

Provide paid reviews – make fast cash by giving your opinion

Some services pay you to review websites and apps and will reward you instantly through PayPal for each review you undertake. Check out UserTesting.com for product review jobs. If you’re into music, you might enjoy working for Slicethepie, which pays users to listen to songs and review them.

5. Got some free time? Consider joining the gig economy to make a little extra cash

Doing a little extra work to make money is easier than ever

The likes of Deliveroo, Uber and UberEats are always on the lookout for new riders and drivers and you can earn decent money pretty quickly providing you meet their criteria. You will need a smartphone and a bike to get started as a delivery driver and you’ll need to be willing to put the time and effort in, like any job. But the rewards can come quickly if you dedicate yourself to the task.

Renting a room out or take in a lodger to make cash

If you have a spare room in your home, why not rent it out on Airbnb? You’ll have to pay a small fee to become a host and invest a little time and effort in getting your listing up and running, but you could be earning cash within the month if you apply yourself. 

6. Become involved with crowd-sourced work to make extra money

You can now access basic low-paid work online, that you can do at home any time you have a free moment, through apps like Clickworker. This app allows you to opt into helping out with tasks like data entry, form filling and other basic manual tasks in exchange for cash paid straight into your PayPal account, ready for you to withdraw whenever you need extra cash fast. 

Although the work can be dull, it is extremely flexible and can fit around your other life commitments really well. If you have more specialist skills, such as writing or administrative experience, you could sign up to a service like peopleperhour.com, where individuals and businesses that need specific jobs doing advertise the tasks and workers bid for the work. If you can write and are accepted, Copify allows you to opt into online writing jobs and get paid right away.

7. Switch Bank Accounts – make money for doing very little

The introduction of the Current Account Switch Guarantee, which obligates current account operators to take care of switching within seven days, has taken the hard work out of switching bank accounts. And what’s more, is there is often a cash reward. Check out this table put together by Which? It sets out the best switching deals currently available. You can earn as much as £100 simply for switching over to a new account and the money comes pretty fast.

8. This could be the best time to save money by reviewing your bills

Lastly, earning money isn’t necessarily the best way to boost your income in the short, or long term. You can seriously improve your financial situation right away by changing your utility providers or by doing without certain media packages you’ve been paying over the odds for. Take the opportunity to compare providers and offers and find the very best deals for your needs. You might be surprised how easy it is to save hundreds of pounds each year, which, of course, means extra money in your wallet right away.

These are just a few of the many options you have if you are short of cash this month, and some are certainly more time-consuming than others! Borrowing can solve your problem quickly,  but it comes with risks and you will almost always pay interest, so it will cost you. Earning cash in creative ways can prevent you from needing to borrow to make ends meet.

Looking for a direct lender loan on a realistic payback schedule?

Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Representative Example: Borrow £400 for 4 months, four monthly repayments of £197.48. Total repayment £597.48, interest rate p.a. (fixed) 255.5%. Representative APR 939.5%. Compare Moneyboat loans.

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