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The 12 Best, Easiest Ideas for Earning Cash

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 13:51:28-04

We've all been there—short on cash to pay our bills, without a paycheck in sight. Or, if we haven't been there, we know someone who has. But thanks to technology and social media, all you need is a little creativity to score some dough (ethically, of course) so you can make your landlord happy. Ready to pay the rent or some other time-critical bill? Here are the best 12 ideas, from our own experiences and other personal finance blogs, that just about anyone can consider:

1. Take Some Surveys

Have an opinion or two about a consumer product that you'd like to share? If so, Survey Junkie is the place to go to take surveys, and earn points you can put toward rewards cards or PayPal payouts. writing photo

2. Open a High-Yield Savings Account

Opening a high-yield savings account is a smart move if you want the easiest possible way to earn interest without investing, simply by putting cash into a bank account. While rates vary, you can earn roughly 1 percent with these types of savings account. Because interest is deposited monthly, you'll start to reap benefits almost immediately.

3. Sell Your Plasma

If you want to make fast cash (up to $70/week, according to one report) and help others in a meaningful way, consider donating your plasma. Caveat: At most place, you must be at least 110 pounds, 18 years old, and in good general health.

4. Join A Focus Group

Research companies are eager to find people in specific age and income ranges to share their thoughts on everything from food and beverage products to politics. Based on some of the focus groups we looked at, you can make $75 to $350 (usually in the form of a Visa gift card) to share your opinion. To learn more about upcoming focus groups in your area, visit the Find A Focus Group.

5. Call 211

If you truly need rent money within the next few days, call 211, United Way's free hotline. You'll be synced with a professional who can tell you about programs that offering rental assistance, subsidized housing and housing vouchers. phone photo

6. Become a Driver

Driving with a service like Uber or Lyft for just a few hours a week is an easy way to pick up extra cash—whenever it's convenient for you. It takes seconds to fill out an application. Check out Nerdwallet's handy guide on ride-sharing income to see how different services compare. Uber photo

7. Sell Your Textbooks

You no longer have to lug your heavy biology and chemistry books from undergrad to the campus bookstore to get much-needed cash. Try a service like Bookscouter, which lets you type in your book’s ISBN, and, seconds later, see a list of book-buyback companies that want to pay good money for it. Just click "Sell Now" when you see the right offer. books photo

8. Have A Party

In cities like Brooklyn and Boston, it's not unheard of to throw a party intended to solicit contributions from helpful friends. As long as you provide a few perks (like booze and snacks) and things to do (games like Twister), you could throw a cool shindig and earn some extra funds in the process. party photo

9. Crowdfund Your Rent

Crowdfunding your rent is also on the rise, especially in high-rent cities like New York, according to reports like this one. The most lucrative campaigns are the ones that come from those who need funds the most, according to reports. So if you really need help, this may be the route for you.

10. Become A Tutor

Are you an expert wordsmith, or do have a lot of patience with preteens? If so, you might have the chops to make some seriously good cash as a tutor. As we reported earlier, you can tutor online without having to leave your house—and make $20 or so per hour—thanks to sites such as Pearson, and Chegg.

11. Sell Your Old Clothes

If you have an eye for fashion and a penchant for keeping apparel in mint condition, head to your local consignment shop or online consignment sites such as Tradesy, ThreadUp and even eBay to swap your gently used garments for good money.

12. Become a Secret shopper

You may think getting paid to shop is too good to be true, and sometimes it is. But there are lots of legit gigs, which pay around $25 to $50 to visit a store, gym or other place of business and report on your experiences. Find them through America’s Mystery Shopping Providers Association. shopper photo

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.