10 Unusual Ways to Get Money Fast

by Emily Guy Birken

We could all use a little extra cash. But between working your full-time job, family time, and all your other commitments, who has time to work a traditional part-time job? Luckily, there are plenty of off-the-wall ways to make money that you can fit into your schedule. Here are some of the weirdest ways to fatten your wallet. Perhaps one of them will be the perfect second revenue stream for you:Get Money Fast

1. Selling yourself

I’m not talking about the world’s oldest profession—but legally selling body parts can net you some pretty good money quickly.

For example, women (or men!) with very long hair can generally earn anywhere from $300 to $900 dollars per cut for selling their hair. Hair that is untreated is worth more, and generally the price goes up with length. Buyandsellhair is a (slightly creepy) website where you can post an ad to find a buyer for your hair.

2. Selling your bodily fluids

Selling plasma and other bodily fluids is another tried-and-true way to get “free” money. While the amount you earn from plasma donation varies from center to center, you can generally anticipate earning around $30-$50 per donation, and you may donate your plasma up to twice per week.

3. Becoming a medical guinea pig

Finally, if you’re willing to be a medical guinea pig, there are plenty of studies that need human participants. Check out gpgp to find a study being conducted in your area, or visit your local university website to see if they are offering any opportunities.

4. Harvesting scrap metal

Many recyclable metals, such as copper, have been at or near record high prices over the last few years. If you have some old metal items laying around, you may be able to turn them into cash. We can only recommend recycling items you own, however. An increasingly disturbing trend is stealing electrical wiring from homes, often those in foreclosure. Unfortunately, it is incredibly dangerous and can be fatal.

5. Selling your space

If you live in a major metropolitan area where parking is a premium, or near an event location, such as a concert hall or sporting arena, consider renting out your parking space. An added bonus is that having to park your car in a less convenient spot means you’re less likely to use it for every errand, saving you gas.

If you own your home, you may consider taking in a boarder. The extra cash can help you with the mortgage payment, and it’s nice to have company. Do be sure to draw up a lease, just in case company becomes a crowd.

6. Earning money through freelancing – one job at a time

ODesk and Elance are both online marketplaces which unites freelancers and other contractors with business owners and others who need a specific task accomplished. The jobs can be as small an individual photo editing job, or something as large as designing and building a mobile phone app, a website, or other large tasks. Some examples of available work include photo editing/graphics design, web edvelopment, Virtual Assistants (VA), freelance writing, and more.

7. Selling your time

We’ve all heard about internet sites that pay you to take surveys. But there are so many more options available to you if you have the time. One of the most well known is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website. This site offers fairly trivial tasks that machines would have trouble accomplishing. Each task earns you pennies, but you can withdraw your pay once you’ve earned $10. Some other websites that will pay you for your time:

  • Ejury needs people to sit on virtual/mock juries so that lawyers can prepare for the real deal. If you’re a fast reader, you can zip through the documents and present your mock verdict for a cool $5-$10.
  • Cloudcrowd offers data entry, editing, and image processing tasks in exchange for anywhere from $0.01 to $30.00 per task. This is a perfect online job for students or people a lot of downtime from their primary jobs.
  • Clixsense is not for the faint of heart, but it can earn you money in exchange for nothing but your time. This site pays you to look at advertisements for 30 seconds at a pop. The amount you earn is very low (from $0.001 per view to $0.02 per view), but if you’ve got the time and the ability to handle the boredom, this could be a great way to earn some extra cash.

8. Selling your wares

If you’re a crafty individual and you haven’t yet heard of Etsy, now is the time to start selling your crafts online. The quirkier, the better, since the Etsy marketplace seems to skew towards the types of crafts you can’t find anywhere else.

If you’re a great amateur photographer, consider selling your photos to stock photography sites like Pond5, which also allows you to sell music, videos, and sound effects. You earn 50% of the price of each sale—which range from $2 to $5. This could be a great way to make a hobby pay some extra cash on the side.

9. Selling items to the masses

If you live just down the street from a major stadium, cash in on the huge number of fans who troop past your door by selling the sorts of things people always need: bottles of water, cans of soda, snacks, or even umbrellas. Even if you don’t have a perfectly situated home, consider selling these items to motorists in the next traffic jam or to festival- or concert-goers in the parking lot of major events. Just be sure to check the laws of your state beforehand.

10. Selling on Craigslist

Craigslist is a great forum for buying and selling a variety of items, and if you need some quick cash, then Craigslist could be a good way to clear some closet space and pad your wallet. Here are some tips for selling items on Craigslist, and another set of tips for seling your car on Craigslist.

No matter what your situation, there are creative ways for you to make money. What’s the weirdest way you’ve ever earned extra cash?


Published or updated October 31, 2016.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Money Infant

I must be unusual because I have already taken advantage of 3 out of the 10 on your list. I still remember donating plasma when I was in college for beer money, when I was a kid I collected and sold newspapers for recycling and later cans as well. And now I make part of my living freelancing. All in all this is a good list of unique opportunities to make some side hustle cash.


2 Sean H

Great article! I’ve been doing a HPV study over the last 3 years. I go like twice a year and make 75 bucks each time I go. And I am only there for like 30 minutes each time. Pretty cool.


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