“Slow and steady wins the race” is an expression commonly drilled into every schoolchild’s head. When it comes to building a business or developing financial stability, there’s certainly lots of truth to that old adage.
But whether you’ve just been laid off from your job or you’re struggling to bootstrap your new startup, there are times when “slow and steady” just doesn’t bring in the cash you need to keep things running. If you’re long on ambition but short on cash, here are 10 extreme cash hacks that will see you through those tough times. Be warned though, they’re not for the weak or the faint of heart – be prepared to make some sacrifices.
10. Sell Your Possessions
When you need some quick cash, this is the first place you should turn to. You may be tied to some of your possessions, but at the end of the day, all you really need in order to survive is a steady meal, a roof over your head, some underwear, and possibly a shirt and tie – assuming you have a job. Otherwise, head over to your local pawn shop, craigslist, eBay, or that friend who’s always eyed your 72” flat screen or collection of designer handbags with a hint of envy – and turn your possessions into instant cash.
9. Live Homeless
Sure, sleeping on the street might not be a wise option, but just because you don’t have a house or an apartment to crash at, doesn’t mean you can’t get by for awhile without resorting to the ol’ pavement pillow. You can crash on a friend’s couch in exchange for some housework, sleep in your car, shower at your local community center, or find other creative ways to get by while you save up some cash.
There is even one story of a young startup founder who slept at his old school for months as he bootstrapped his startup, evading security guards by pretending to be a student pulling an all-nighter, until they wised up to his deception.
8. Do Jobs On Fiverr
Have a skill? No matter how useless it is, you might be able to turn it into a quick buck on Fiverr. Fiverr is a site that lets you offer any service for $5, and there are plenty of buyers. While that may not seem like much, it’s easy to do and can get you the instant cash you need to tide you over until times are better. Services can range from content writing, to graphic design, to pretending to be a hot girl on Facebook to impress someone’s friends. What would you do for $5?
7. Do Jobs On Mechanical Turk
Don’t have any skills? If you don’t have the minimal level of ability required to sell a Fiverr gig, have no fear – even a monkey can earn money on Mechanical Turk (no offense to any monkeys out there). Mechanical Turk is operated by Amazon and is designed to help companies, schools, and individuals crowdsource tasks – many of which are completely mindless. If you don’t have any skills to market on Fiverr, there are plenty of tasks on Mechanical Turk that you may be well suited for.
5. Do Random Landscaping Jobs Door To Door
Right at this very moment, there is probably a simply landscaping job you could offer to do in order to make some quick cash. Is it snowing? Go door to door offering to shovel people’s driveways – you might not even need your own equipment, since most people in snowy areas already have their own shovel. Is it fall? Offer to rake up people’s leaves. And no matter what the season, people will always need their grass cut. It might not be something you want to do in the long term, but you could literally walk out your door and come back with cash in hand – after getting a little sweat in your brow of course.
4. Be A Street Musician For The Day
If you play an instrument, grab you guitar case or violin and head over to the street corner for the day. You don’t have to be the most skilled musician to earn a few dollars this way, you just need to have passion. Keep in mind some cities require all street musicians apply for a permit before playing, so check with your local regulations before getting started.
8. Leverage Credit Card Debt
Remember when I said this list wasn’t for the feint hearted? Accumulating credit card debt is one of the worst consumer traps you can fall into. The average interest rate on a credit card is 19% – significantly higher than your average bank loan.
Still, if you’re strapped for cash, credit cards debt is still a lot cheaper than taking out a Payday Loan and less injurious to your pride than asking Mama and Papa for a handout (didn’t they always tell you, 10% of your paycheck in the bank, or for those entrepreneurs out there – you should quick this internet business stuff and get a real job!). Although you’ll never hear this from traditional personal finance guides, there are times in life where accumulating a little bit of credit card debt is potentially necessary if you’ve exhausted all other options. If you need to eat, have emergency medical bills, or you need the cash to keep your business alive for one more week until your clients pay their invoices, then dipping into your credit card limit may be a necessity. Just make sure to pay the debt back the second you’re able to, and don’t go out splurging on new Gucci sunglasses or a night on the town.
Now we’re really creeping up the desperation ladder, but no one said this would be easy. Some panhandlers are known to pull in up to 6 figures simply by picking the right corners at the right times, and using the right strategies to garner sympathy. Now, while we’re certainly not advocating this and we’re definitely not saying you should deceive anyone to get them to donate more money, but if you’re truly desperate for help, this might be a way to get the cash you need for a quick meal or a room for the night.
If this is too much for your pride or panhandling is illegal in your area, then don’t worry, there are 9 other hacks on this list for you to try out.
2. Do Craigslist to Ebay Arbitrage
While this hack isn’t quite as instant as some of the others on this list, this is a legitimate money earning technique that can potentially earn you a solid living for awhile. All you have to do is find items that are selling for cheap in your local area through Craigslist, and sell them through potentially higher earning channels like eBay. Heck, some people will find under-priced items on Craigslist, take some nicer photos, write some nicer copy, and resell them back on Cragslist for a profit!
1. Buy Up Used Books & Sell Them On Amazon
While this market is drying up fast as it gets more crowded, there are people out there making 6 figures simply by buying up used books at the local used bookstore, garage sales, and flea markets – and selling them on Amazon. With a little bit of good fortune, you could turn old books into cold hard cash in a matter of days.
But wait, you’re probably wondering why this is listed as an instant cash hack – don’t you have to be an expert in valuating old books to make money from this? Doesn’t that take years of practice and experience? Actually, the secret is that there is an electronic scanner that can scan UPC codes, which will tell you what the book is worth on Amazon and other book selling sites. Where can you buy this scanner you might ask? Nowadays, you can simply download an app on your smartphone, or just look for an electronic book scanner on Amazon.
This guest post was written by Simon you can get in contact with him and on his website.