Updated January 31, 2021

How to Make $500 Fast and Easy

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Broke? You can't afford to waste time. Here's how to make $500 fast (without donating plasma).

© CreditDonkey

Financial emergencies have the worst timing.

It's like your car battery knows to die right after your loan payment is withdrawn.

Unfair? Definitely.

But these things just happen. The good news is that you have more options than you think.

Below is a list of tried-and-true methods to earn a quick $500—whether you need it next month, this week, or today (yes, really).

How to Make $500 Today

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Right now you may be thinking, "$500 in a day? Really?" And yes, it's possible. Below are just a few ways to earn $500 today.

Best ways to make $500 fast:
  1. Sell old tech with Decluttr
  2. Move clothes and accessories with Poshmark or Etsy
  3. Sell furniture with Facebook, Craigslist or Letgo
  4. Make quick cash with a Yard Sale
  5. Find unclaimed money with the NAUPA

1. Sell Old Tech on Decluttr

Your PS4 served you well, but now's the time to pass the torch (or game controller) to someone else. That's where Decluttr comes in.

Decluttr claims you can sell your old tech (and lots of other items) for up to 33% more than other resale sites. They'll even buy back CDs, DVDs, and LEGOs, making it easier to reach that $500 in just a day.

Decluttr pays for your items just one day after they arrive via PayPal, direct deposit, or a mailed check.

How to Make $500: A combination of game consoles, collectible LEGO sets, and functioning PCs or TVs can easily net you $500.

2. Sell Your Threads on Poshmark or Etsy

As reliably as the seasons change, so too will your clothes go out of style. It's inevitable. So, instead of hauling your clothes to the consignment store (where your profits are at the mercy of the store employee), set your own price and sell it on Poshmark.

Poshmark lets you list your items for free (with photos and a detailed description) so other fashion-minded folks can buy it up.

On the other hand, if you have clothes or accessories that are vintage or especially kitschy, Etsy is a great place to list them.

How to Make $500: Well-maintained bags, shoes, jewelry, and outerwear can earn you nearly $500. Just remember that Poshmark takes 20% of your sale and Etsy takes 5% plus a $0.20 listing fee, so price your items with that in mind.

Poshmark: $10 Sign Up Bonus

Sign up using your friend's username as referral code. New accounts created with a referral must be associated with a unique identity in order to be eligible for credits.

Avoid selling anything on Poshmark that would fetch less than $10. Poshmark takes a flat $2.95 fee for sales under $15, and the returns simply aren't worth it.

3. Sell Old Appliances and Furniture

Look—you bought that primo, state-of-the-art juicer with the best intentions. But if it's been living in your cupboard untouched, then you know what to do. Below are 3 resale sites or apps where you can make $500 bucks today.

For all these sites, selling a combo of furniture or electronics is the easiest way to earn $500.

  • Craigslist
    Take a minute to Google "weirdest Craigslist finds." If people are finding buyers for their old tires and life-sized wax figures, you can surely sell your coffee table.

  • eBay
    As one of the first websites of its kind, eBay has earned its status as a household name. If you're selling something unique, chances are your prospective buyers will start their search there.

  • Facebook Marketplace
    Instead of waiting for buyers to come to you, go where they already are. That's exactly what Facebook Marketplace can help you do. List items, set your own price, and attract buyers near you. No shipping necessary.

  • letgo
    If you're on your phone more often than not, then letgo may be your best bet to quickly list items and connect with buyers close to you. List your items for free, snap a quick photo, and buyers will ping you directly on the app.

If you'd rather not part with your stuff, consider turning your unused gift cards for cash. Check out Cardpool to get up to 88% of your card's value.

4. Make Quick Cash with a Yard Sale

The first "yard sales" occurred in the 1800s. The main reason they've stuck around? A yard sale is relatively easy to put together and a super-quick way to earn some extra cash.

Consider these tips to maximize your earnings:

  1. Group all like items together
  2. Start your sale on Friday (instead of Saturday)
  3. Offer water or baked goods, if you can

How to Make $500: The average yard sale earns $500-$1,000. Ask friends and family to add their items to the mix. You'll have to split the earnings, but it'll get you further overall.

Have you ever found something amazing at a yard sale?

If you want the profit of a yard sale without the permits, petty cash or threat of bad weather, there are few money-making ideas easier than this next one.

5. Find Unclaimed Money with the NAUPA

According to Consumer Reports, over $1 billion in cash is floating around completely unclaimed. And a slice of that may belong to you.

Multiple sites let you search for unclaimed money that may belong to you or a family member, using the database maintained by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

All you typically need to search for unclaimed money is a name (either a full name or just a last name). Be aware that there are some scam sites out there claiming to be legit. If a site ever asks for upfront payment to search for cash, don't use it.

How to Make $500: Better your chances by searching multiple sites, which comb over inactive bank accounts, uncashed dividend checks, insurance policies and more:

For those with less "sell-able" stuff on hand, the next section explains how to rent, repair, and recycle your way to $500.

How to Make $500 in a Week (or Two)

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If you've got a little more time to spare, your options are even better. Don't miss this guide on earning $500 in just a week or two.

Best ways to make $500 in a week:
  1. Repair Broken Phones or Computers
  2. Deliver Take-Out with Postmates
  3. Babysit with Care.com or Sitter
  4. Rent Out Your Spare Room with Airbnb
  5. Recycle Valuable Materials with Earth911

6. Repair Broken Phones or Computers

A lot of us have that one friend who hoards old computer parts and likes toying around with tech just for fun. (If that's you…can you fix my printer?)

You can make a good chunk of change by fixing laptops, broken phone screens, and more. Advertise your services to your personal network and be sure to ask for references.

How to Make $500: Charging $20 to repair a broken phone screen and $100 to fix a console or laptop can add up to $500 if you leverage your friend group to find more clients.

7. Deliver Take-Out with Postmates

If Ben Franklin were alive today, he'd probably say three things are inevitable: death, taxes, and our dependence on food delivery services. Luckily, you can profit off that last one.

If you're at least 18, have a smartphone, access to a car, and can pass a background check, Postmates is a great option.

How to Make $500: We'll be honest—it'll take some hustle to make $500 in a week on Postmates, but it's definitely possible.

Postmates claims you can make up to $25 per hour, plus 100% of tips. If you put in several hours a day and accept high-cost orders, your chances are better.

Postmates

Deliver with Postmates

8. Babysit with Care.com or SitterCity

Some people really love kids! For everyone else, there's a babysitter. If you have family or friends that are long overdue for a date night, offer to babysit and they'll be forever grateful.

You can even maximize your earnings if you're CPR certified or a good cook.

If you don't know how much to charge, refer to the rate calculator on Care.com. And for tips on creating an appealing babysitting resume, check out SitterCity.

How to Make $500: Babysitters get paid an average of $17-$20 per hour (even more for 2+ kids), so you'd have to babysit at least 25 hours over a couple of weeks. Get some referrals from friends and you'll have a list of clients in no time.

9. Rent out Your Spare Room with Airbnb

You don't need a flashy pool house or vacation home to earn cash with this method. If you have a spare bedroom (or even an empty bed), sites like Airbnb and VRBO let you host your space for free and connect you with travelers from all over the world.

These sites verify all guests' identities and encourage them to create a profile so you can know who you're hosting.

How to Make $500: If you list a spare room for $40/night, you can make $500 in a little under two weeks. Remember to account for fees when pricing your space.

How to make $500 fast online:
  1. Get paid to take surveys
  2. Virtually tutor students across the globe
  3. Advertise your professional skills for a fee
  4. Find refunds with Paribus
  5. Join an online research study

10. Recycle Valuable Materials with Earth911

There's far more to recycling than just bottles and cans. If your hobby or profession gives you access to other materials that you can safely and legally take for recycling purposes, you can earn a fair amount of money.

Items like scrap metal or car parts can be surprisingly profitable. Refer to sites like Earth911 to find recycling centers for these and other items.

Remember to check for specific requirements to ensure the recycling center will accept your items. You may have to clean or prepare any recyclables prior to bringing them in.

How to Make $500: Scrap metals like copper and brass earn anywhere from $2 - $4 per pound, so set aside a fair amount before bringing it in.

Have a big home improvement project coming up? Mitigate some of the costs by recycling any copper that you come across. Copper can be found in plumbing, insulation and roofing, but only collect these items if you can do so safely.

$500 in a week can really help. But if you'd prefer extra cash every month, consider the list below for a potential side gig.

How to Make $500 in a Month

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A month may seem quick, but it's just enough time to net you a cool $500. Don't miss out on these money-making ideas below.

Best ways to make $500 in a month:
  1. Rent out Your Car with Turo
  2. Teach English Remotely with VIPKid
  3. Freelance with Fiverr
  4. Share Your Opinions with Vindale Research
  5. Rent out Your Parking Space with Pavemint
  6. Rent out Appliances or Sports Gear with Fat Llama
  7. Run Errands with Instacart or TaskRabbit

11. Rent out Your Car with Turo

If you're like most people, you use your car only 2-3 hours per day. The rest of the time, it's sitting in your driveway collecting bird droppings.

Turo enables you to rent your car out when you're not using it. People who need transportation find your car listed on the Turo app and ping you to reserve it.

Guests are also verified by Turo to ensure you're renting to responsible drivers.

How to Make $500: Rent your car from $5-$10 per hour, or $20-$50 per day.

Hesitant to let others drive your car? Regular ridesharing is always an option. Try out Uber or Lyft to start earning.

12. Teach English Remotely with VIPKid

Being able to teach is an invaluable skill, and it can earn you a chunk of change if you are willing to put the time in.

VIPKid is just one of several online teaching sites that connects English teachers to students all over the world. And don't worry—an English degree isn't required. Any bachelor's degree, reliable internet access, and a headset are all you need.

VIPKid is 100% legit and hires teachers after thorough vetting and an online interview.

How to Make $500: Most teachers make $15-$20 per hour, so you could earn $500 in a month by teaching 6-7 hours per week.

Not everyone is cut out for teaching. If you'd rather work with clients than kids, the idea below is your golden opportunity.

13. Freelance with Fiverr

Even the savviest businesspeople have a weakness—bad grammar, poor spelling, social media, and software illiteracy. Fortunately, their shortcomings are your golden opportunity.

If you've perfected a professional skill, think about offering your services on freelancing platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. Create an account, including a few references from co-workers or friends, then add samples of your work to attract potential clients.

Don't forget to price your services with the site's fees in mind, which can be up to 20%.

How to Make $500: If you charge just over $12 per job, you'll need to complete around 50 jobs to earn $500. Put in the time and you can get there by month's end.

Besides money, what's the primary reason you'd consider freelancing?

14. Share Your Opinions with Vindale Research

If I got paid for every opinion I shared (solicited or not), I'd be at a beachside resort right now. While that scenario is still just a fantasy, you can certainly get paid to share opinions about specific things.

Vindale Research is one of many companies that pay people to share opinions about specific brands and products. With every opinion you share, brands can then fine-tune their marketing campaigns to appeal to buyers like you.

How to Make $500: Vindale pays anywhere from $0.50 to $75 for a product testing or survey, so it would take a while to reach $500. Your best bet would be to sign up for multiple research sites to stack your earnings and get you to $500 faster.

Below are some additional product testing and research sites to choose from.

Best sites that pay for your opinions:
  1. Respondent: Get paid to be part of a panel
  2. Fieldwork: Get paid to participate in research studies
  3. Pinecone Research: Get paid to take surveys or test products
  4. Opinion Outpost: Get paid to share your opinions and thoughts
  5. American Consumer Opinion: Get paid to complete research projects

15. Rent out Your Parking Space with Pavemint

In a large city, it's estimated that cars release around 2.5 million tons of CO2 per year just while they look for parking.

Yikes.

Want to help decrease that number and make a little cash at the same time? Rent out your parking spot.

Pavemint, or "the Airbnb of parking," can help you do just that. List your parking spot (residential or business) for an hourly or daily rate and watch the cash add up.

How to Make $500: If you rent your spot for just $6 per hour, you'd need to rent it out for roughly 20 hours per week to earn $500 in a month. List it for $30 per day and it'll take just two weeks.

16. Rent out Your Stuff with Fat Llama

It's a tale as old as time: You buy an exercise machine intending to get in shape from the comfort of your home. After two months, it's draped with clothes hangers and used to air-dry your laundry.

But all hope is not lost! Your dust-covered machine can still come through for you—if you just rent it out.

Enter: Fat Llama. List your unused belongings for free and rent it out to people near you. Sports equipment, appliances, photography gear—you name it.

How to Make $500: Earn $75-$100 in a week if you're renting out high-value items like specialty tech equipment or small appliances, getting you to $500 in a month.

To earn $500 even faster, list multiple items on the app.

17. Run Errands with Instacart or TaskRabbit

If you have a little more time to spare, assisting people with simple errands or tasks can add up to $500 fast. Apps like Instacart and TaskRabbit connect people who need assistance grocery shopping or simple handiwork tasks with those who are willing to help (for a price).

If you're interested in grocery shopping, check out Instacart. If you consider yourself especially handy, TaskRabbit is your best bet. Sign up for free and start taking jobs in just a day.

How to Make $500: Instacart shoppers can earn roughly $11 per hour, while TaskRabbit helpers can earn up to $22 per hour. You can get to $500 in roughly 6-12 hours per week.

18. Get Paid for Surveys, Video Watching & More

Paid survey work can sound like a scam—and in some cases, it is. (So be careful!) Luckily, you can check out these 3 legit survey sites to earn cash.

Looking for other paid survey opportunities? Lucky for you, the internet has no shortage of survey sites. Below we've highlighted some favorites.

Best Paid Survey Sites

Not in too much of a hurry? Keep reading to learn how bills, blog posts, and books can gradually earn you $500 or more.

How to Make $500 in a Couple Months

So, you need $500 fast. But not that fast. Below are your best bets for earning and saving $500 in just a couple months.

Best ways to make $500 in a couple months:
  1. Invest wisely (& earn a free stock) with Robinhood
  2. Save on Purchases with Honey or Paribus
  3. "Trim" the Fat
  4. Leverage Price Adjustments
  5. Start a Blog or YouTube channel
  6. Sell Back Pricey Textbooks with Chegg

19. Get a Free Stock (and then some)

Trading in the stock market can turn a small upfront investment into a decent chunk of change. With investing apps like Robinhood, you'll even get stock on the house, just for signing up.

The free stock is chosen for you randomly, but like any stock, it has the potential to grow. Plus, if you decide to keep investing with Robinhood, trading is 100% commission-free.

How to Make $500: This depends on your stocks, but if you happen to get lucky with the free stock you get for signing up and choose your other stocks wisely, you could earn $500 in a few months.

20. Save Big on Purchases You Already Make

When you're short on free time, the next best thing to a side hustle is a few strategic money-savers. Don't miss these two money-saving apps that make your purchases work harder for you.

  • Honey is a browser extension that automatically checks over 30,000 online stores for coupon codes (even e-commerce giants like Amazon). Honey's price history tool also helps you avoid overspending on frequently discounted items.

  • Paribus connects to your email to search for purchases you recently made. If it finds that the store recently discounted the item you just bought, Paribus then files a claim on your behalf to get you a refund. Just keep in mind that they'll keep 25% of the refund they find for you.

21. "Trim" the Fat

We've all done it: You sign up for a 30-day free trial of a cool new service, only to forget about 3 weeks later. And of course, you're still being charged.

Trim, referred to as your "personal finance assistant," will help you reclaim your precious dollars. The app connects to your bank accounts, reviews your account activity, and enables you to easily cancel what you don't use. They'll even help you lower your bills.

How to Make $500: You can save $500 in a few months with Trim's subscription management and bill negotiator services. In fact, Trim says there's an 85% chance they can lower at least one of your bills.

22. Leverage Price Adjustments

Ever bought a pricey pair of jeans, only for it to go on sale two days after you bought it?

Here's a secret you may not know: Most stores you already shop at honor price adjustments. If you've purchased something from their store and it went on sale later, you can contact the store and get refunded the difference.

How to Make $500: A few months of diligent price adjustment searching can easily net you $500, especially if you just made a big purchase. (Just don't go out of your way to buy things only for the price adjustment later.)

Have you ever taken advantage of retail price adjustments?

23. Start a Blog or YouTube Channel

OK, this isn't exactly a low-maintenance endeavor. You'll have to put the time in. You'll need an incredible hook. But if you get it right, you could earn $500 just from advertisements or affiliate programs like Amazon Associates.

Plus, if you give it a little more time, it could even become your job.

Consider a user-friendly platform like WordPress and try writing about a subject you're actually interested in (this makes it easier to keep it up in the long run). Use social media, network with other bloggers, and be persistent.

How to Make $500: Affiliate links on your blog or channel could earn $10-$40 per month; combine that with sponsored posts and ad revenue and you could get to $500 in just a few months.

Starting a blog or YouTube channel is definitely a time commitment. The last item on our list could be the perfect passive option you're looking for.

24. Sell Back Pricey Textbooks with Chegg

While you can sell your old textbooks at any time, you'll score a bigger payout if you wait 'til the end of the semester (or year). Sites like Chegg make it easy to sell back your old textbooks, which you can list for free.

If you have big science, math, or business textbooks that are in good condition, you're in the best position to earn big. But don't forget about smaller textbooks or novels, either.

How to Make $500: Most used hardcover textbooks sell for $15-$75. You can make $500 if you sell 10 books at an average price of $50.

Whatever you do, don't sell your textbooks back to the university bookstore. They typically offer less than 30% of what you paid. And haven't they got enough of your money?

What Experts Say

CreditDonkey interviewed a career development expert to answer readers' most pressing questions:

  • Is it a good idea for students to have side hustles?
  • How can people focus on making money as an immediate goal while still keeping long-term career goals?
  • What advice do you have for someone with a hobby or passion that they want to turn into a business?

Here's what he said:

Bottom Line

Earning $500 fast can seem daunting. But getting started is the biggest hurdle to jump. After that, you're well on your way.

To find the best method for you, consider:

  • Your timeline (when do you need $500?)
  • Skills you can utilize (tutoring? babysitting?)
  • What resources you have (a spare room, a car, etc.)

Before you know it, you'll have that $500 and maybe even a new hobby or sustainable side hustle.

Write to Holly Z at holly.zorbas@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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