Easy Money: How to Get Money Fast

Sorry to disappoint you 80’s comedy fans, but I’m not talking about the Rodney Dangerfield flick from 1983, Easy Money.

I’m referring to you and your finances.

How can you get cash quick if you needed it badly?

Let’s say some unfortunate event happened and you needed a large sum of cash immediately (within a day or two).

You’ve got no time to actually get a job to earn or make extra money.

How could you get some easy money?

Here are a few ways, listed somewhat in order of risk to your finances. I definitely don’t recommend all of these ideas. But, hey, when times are tough and you need money fast, who am I to judge?

How could you get some easy money? Here are a few ways, listed in order of risk to your finances. I definitely don't recommend all of these ideas. But, hey, when times are tough and you need money fast, who am I to judge?

Return Things

Made any purchases recently? Received any gifts? Gather up your receipts and take some stuff back for a refund. Even if you don’t have a receipt, some stores will take things back as long as you show your ID.

Sell Some Stuff

Use Ebay for small and unique items. Set no reserve, and a one day auction, and let it fly. Use your free local Craigslist for large or generic items. This helps avoid any shipping costs too. Local Facebook groups are really popular now too.

Consignment Shops

For clothes, especially nice ones, it might make more sense to use a consignment shop. Gather up all of your unused clothing and sell them for quick cash at a consignment shop.

Sell Some Gold and Other Metals

Don’t use one of those Cash4Gold type places. Just go to a local jeweler and pawn shop to get the value. It may take a bit longer, but you will get a more reasonable price.

Here are several more ideas like the one’s above in a post titled, 15 Ways to Make $200 Quick.

Now for a few moves that require a bit of risk.

Raid Your Emergency Fund

This is what you’ve been saving it for. Go to the well. Don’t have one yet? Learn to build an emergency fund for next time you’re short on spending cash.

Cash Out a CD Early

If times are tough, consider cashing out any CDs you have, even those that haven’t matured. You’ll likely lose any money you’ve earned with the CD, that is unless you have a no penalty CD from Ally Bank. See a current list of the best CDs online.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Sites like Prosper and Lending Club will allow you to requests bids for your loan. Your loan will take a few days to get funded. But the rates can be better than credit card rates.

Personal Loan

A bank or local credit union sometimes have small personal loans they are willing to do. I used one of these back in my 20s to build my credit score. Having an income source, and a balance in your account will help to ensure you qualify. Check out Fiona to compare interest rates from potential lenders in 60 seconds or less.

Tap Your Home Equity

If you have equity built up in your home, take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC). These rates can be better than other places, and the principle is going right back into your home. But using these funds to afford excess consumer spending is simply moving in the wrong direction with your finances.

Credit Card Cash Advance

If you have a credit card, they will likely offer you a cash advance option. These can be costly because of the interest rate, but they are a quick method for getting cash in your bank account. Look for a card with a promotional interest rate if possible.

Borrow from Your 401K

Most employers allow this. While it completely goes against your original intentions for that money, taking a loan from your 401K is an effective way for getting a large sum of money fast. Just make sure you are aware of the rules (i.e. what happens if you’re fired?).

Loans from Friends and Family

I think this is one of the last places you should look for funds. With so many other places to find funds, what risk harming personal relationships.

Payday Loan

And last, and certainly least, the payday loan. Don’t use this method for quick cash unless it is the last place you can find money on earth.

LendUp offers a better alternative to payday loans. Get $100 – $250 loans with declining rates over time, free education and the opportunity to build your credit history where available. LendUp is committed to improving the lives of its customers. They succeed when you succeed, not when you go deeper into debt.

Apply to LendUp in as few as 5 minutes and receive an instant decision. Good credit is NOT required!

Did I leave anything out? How would you get quick cash?

About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. These are quick fixes and great tips to earning fast cash.

  2. Sounds like good ideas for a great  temporary bailout , and raising some funds. Thanks for the tips.

  3. MoeAnderson says

    Thank you so much for these great suggestions!  I have been looking for some ways to make some extra money.  I have been looking for bids for my job as well, but it is always nice to have some extra money.

  4. you right don’t use the pay day loans ever , they will ruin your credit and also they won’t make no effor to give you an extention even if you tell them you will pay them more. I had the worst experience I coudn’t pay them on the date I was suppost because my car broke down and i have to use the money to fix my car , what a horrible experience and besides their interest should be ilegal but here in USA it is just about business not about people .

  5. Financial Bondage says

    Work several jobs, many hours as you can. Works every time. Although it many not be fast.

    Here is an idea if your a manual labor type worker. Try labor ready. They pay daily. Meaning you work today and get paid today. laborready.com

  6. I’ve than this peer -to- peer lending before, and it really make sense…
    Beleive it ,, It doubles or even triples the amout of your money.

  7. Christopher says

    Another route might be to give plasma. Years ago I got paid $20 each time I ‘donated’, not sure what it goes for now. Takes about an hour.

  8. Stay at Home Mom CFO says

    I don’t know if you can do it anymore because of all the recent law changes but when payday was 2 days away and I had a cash emergency I could intentionally overdraw my checking account for up to $200. You take the $30 overdraft hit but I remember a couple times not being able to make it to pay day and going to the ATM at my bank with a $1 balance and being able to get $200. Not recommended of course, but better than a payday loan.

  9. Tutoring. Everybody is good at something. I made about $100 a week tutoring local students at math billing $30 an hour.

  10. In my book the 401k is sacred and should not be tapped lightly. I’d also steer away from loans unless there in no other choice. Better to sell your junk, or tap your savings.

  11. @Evan – Didn’t know about that one. But it sounds all kinds of bad. Thanks.
    @Mrs. Money – You know I considered listing that one. Can you get the money quickly, I wonder?

  12. Mrs. Money says

    Donate plasma?! LOL

  13. Tax Free Loans from Cash based life insurance policy