If you need to raise emergency money fast, you're not alone. Many people are in need of ideas for generating quick cash to cope with car repairs, medical bills, and other unexpected expenses.
How to Raise Emergency Money Fast
What is the best way to get money fast? The answer to this question depends upon how much money you need and what resources you have available. However, you do have a few different options to consider.
Selling unwanted items is an easy way to raise money in a hurry. Having a yard sale in your neighborhood is the most obvious choice, but you may be able to get a better offer by selling some of your items online. Here are some methods to try when you need to raise emergency money fast:
- Craigslist is a good option for selling larger items such as furniture or major appliances. Since it operates on a local basis, the buyer can come pick up the item and you won't need to worry about shipping charges.
- Amazon buys used books, video games, DVDs, and electronic items in exchange for store credit. Then credit can be used on practical items such as nonperishable food, diapers, cleaning supplies, and clothing. A postage paid label is provided for shipping.
- Powells will buy books for cash, although your offer would be 50% higher if you accepted store credit. A postage paid label is provided for shipping.
- Sell Video Games pays cash for used video games and video game systems. A postage paid label is provided for shipping.
- Gold Cash will give you money for your unwanted gold jewelry. A postage paid label is provided for shipping.
When you donate blood, you get cookies and juice. When you donate plasma, however, you can earn a bit of extra cash. Places such as Aventis Bio-Services, Biolife, PlasmaTech, and PharmaPlas will pay for plasma donations. To be eligible, you must be at least 17, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be able to successfully pass a short medical screening. The process takes between one and two hours. Payment varies according to the company you select and the special promotions they are offering, but is usually between $20 and $50.
Get a Part-Time Job
Temp agencies can be good places to sign on with for a quick infusion of cash. Many have job assignments that are only a day or two long. Some may involve clerical work, but most will be working in a warehouse, factory, or retail store. For the majority of positions, no previous experience is required.
If you don't have any luck at the temp agency, try posting fliers in your neighborhood offering your services for various odd jobs. You could raise emergency money fast by:
- Mowing lawns
- Shoveling snow
- Dog walking
- Providing transportation for elderly people who are unable to drive to doctor's appointments
Avoid Payday Loans
Payday loans are a tempting offer when you're broke and need a quick infusion of cash. Unfortunately, this is usually the worst way to take care of a financial crisis. Interest rates on payday loans are astronomically high, even compared to a credit card. For example, a $100 payday loan with a $15 finance charge essentially has a 390% interest rate. In comparison, a credit card is likely to have a 10-20% interest rate.
Aside from the high interest rate, the biggest problem with a payday loan is that you're addressing a financial crisis by adding to your expenses. While selling items online generates additional income, taking out a payday loan simply gives you an extra week or two before you have to deal with the problem. Many people find that they end up taking out a second payday loan to cover the first loan, which traps them in a vicious cycle of debt.
Start an Emergency Fund
Once your immediate crisis has passed, make it your goal to begin an emergency fund. Having money saved for unexpected bills keeps you from panicking and having to resort to desperate measures to earn money. Financial expert Dave Ramsey suggests having a $1,000 fund for this purpose, but this will vary depending upon your income and typical expenses.