Unusual Ways to Get Money Fast

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unusual ways to make moneyWould you sell your hair to raise cash?
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…

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:

1. Taking Surveys

Have you ever wished someone would pay you for your opinion?

With a little time to kill and access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can cash in on your valuable opinion, all while watching Netflix on the couch.

Some of the best survey sites include:

These sites pay you to answer surveys, watch ads, and sometimes play games, in exchange for points redeemable for cash or gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon.

Making money couldn’t be easier.

Sign up free with SwagBucks

2. Rideshare driving

Ridesharing is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative side hustles out there. Download an app and hop in a Lyft yourself, and you’ll see just how easy it is to hail a ride.

As a driver for these types of companies, you book riders in your area through an app, complete your assignment, and get paid for your services.

Simple as that. And if you aren’t too keen on transporting strangers, you can drive for companies like GrubHub, Uber Eats, or Postmates to deliver food or groceries. Or deliver packages with Amazon Flex.

Say you don’t want to deliver anything but have a vehicle sitting idly in your garage. If that’s the case, you can rent your car out with services like HyreCar.

There is money to be made behind the wheel, whatever your preferences.

Learn More about Lyft

3. Rent Out Your Space

Whether it’s a vacation home you only make it to a few times a year or a guesthouse or spare bedroom you don’t mind sharing, short-term rentals have never been more popular.

Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and FlipKey are a few of the most popular rental sites. You set the prices and standards and can accept or decline guests within the app or website of your chosen platform.  Renting out your space is a great way to make more than a few bucks here and there, and you can remove your property if you decide you no longer wish to rent the space out.

It’s an excellent way to pad your income on your terms.

4. 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.

5. 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.

This is an easy way to make money. All you have to do is show up and then sit there while they do all of the work. There are some donation centers that will offer special “coupon” that will actually give you $5 or $10 more for one visit.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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 happen to own a home close to one of these major areas, you can actually let people park in your front yard and driveway. Selling spots for $20 can easily net your $100 just by letting some cars sit in front of your house for a couple of hours.

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 the company becomes a crowd.

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

ODesk and Elance are both online marketplaces which unite 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 development, Virtual Assistants (VA), freelance writing, and more.

Freelance work is an excellent way to make some extra money on the side. In fact, a lot of people find that they end up making more money as a freelancer than they do with their full-time job. If you have any skills or hobbies that can make you money on the weekend, you can easily earn thousands of extra dollars in your free time.

10. 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.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk 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.

11. 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. Etsy is one of the best places to sell your homemade goods. You can sell just about anything on Etsy, and there aren’t many related fees. One of the best parts of Etsy is that if you need to take a break from your second job, all you have to do is close down your Etsy shop until you’re ready to start back.

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 ranges from $2 to $5. This could be a great way to make a hobby pay some extra cash on the side.

12. 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.

13. 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 selling your car on Craigslist.

If you don’t have any experience with Craigslist, you should know that you can sell ANYTHING on Craigslist. It’s one of the best places to get rid of your old junk and put extra money in your bank account.

In fact, you can even advertise your skills and services for freelance on Craigslist as well.
Selling your old junk helps kill two birds with one stone. Not only are you getting rid of your old stuff, but you’re making money while you do it. Plus, using the site is going to be a lot less work than having a yard sale several Saturdays in a phone.

Bottom Line

These are only a few of the thousands of different ways that you can earn extra money on the side. More than likely you can’t simply walk into your boss’ office and demand a raise, but there are a few simple ways that you can earn a couple of hundred bucks every month. Regardless of how much you earn with these tips, every dollar helps, and all of it will start to add up.

One of the best ways to earn some side money is to use more than one of these tips. It’s easy to double up on these tips. For example, while you’re waiting to give blood every month, why don’t you work on some of the virtual jury assignments? You can make $50 in less than an hour, and if you continue to do that every week, you’ll find yourself with an extra $400 every month.

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?

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About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a freelance writer and mother who loves to share tips on managing the family budget and other personal finance tips. You can find her musings on parenting and life at The SAHMnambulist.

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  1. Money Infant says

    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.

    • iuginictrunk says

      I do dog-walking and pet-sitting on the side, part time. It is a very fun way to make travel money and slow months will earn me 150-200 bucks and my busiest months get me up to $1200.

      As for other tips, all I can say is “a penny saved is a penny earned”. If you are running out of ideas to make money, start saving. Some quick “low hanging fruit” tips to save some quick cash include – switch to MetroPCS or Boost for cellphone (I only pay $20/month), switch auto insurance to Insurance Panda ($25/month), and start using GasBuddy (saves me like $100/month at least. I drive a lot).

  2. Sean H says

    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.

  3. Bearded Money Guy says

    Ha! This is the best article I’ve read all day, hands down. I was expecting a post about online business opportunities, or start a blog of something – but this was entertaining and practical.

    My personal favorite was #1 on your list – “selling yourself”. I’m not sure anyone would want my graying 40+ year old hair, but who knows?

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Matt says

    Really great post. These techniques are really great. Its not the normal ways that other blogs always list.

    If you are still young, I would recommend umpiring in baseball. IN the lowest stage around me umps earn 25 dollars for a 2 hour game. That is really good. Also the more years you do it, the more games and the higher pay you can get.

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