Stephanie Osmanski | 

34 Easy Ways to Make $500 Fast — Who Can't Use More Cash?

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Between paying bills and saving where you can, money can feel spread thin at times. Having a little extra cash on hand — say, $500 — could really help bolster those times when the budget‘s feeling extra tight (like, when you’re trying to find cheap milk to cut back on groceries). How to make 500 dollars fast? We have 34 ways for you to consider.

Before you balk at the idea of working even harder than you already do to make this cash, some of these ideas don’t require leaving your home. And others will actually help you declutter. In that case, it’s a win-win.

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How to Make 500 Dollars Fast? 34 Ways to Consider

1. Sell clothes, handbags, and shoes online

a person taking photos of an outfit

Perhaps the easiest way to make $500 fast is to sell one luxury handbag on an online marketplace like Poshmark, ThredUp, or Mercari. Of course, not all of us have a vintage Chanel bag laying around (although we all know you could get much better money for a vintage Chanel). However, more than likely we have a few gems in our closet that are worth listing online. Clean out your closet and pay extra attention to standout pieces like shoes and bags. If you sell only five items for $100, you’ll get to that coveted $500 point in no time!


2. Rent out your home

Airbnb’ing your personal space is not for everyone, but if you’re willing to, renting out your home might just make you a quick buck. It’s a great option for anyone with a vacation home or additional property; cash in on that investment by renting it out — if only for a weekend!

Rates depend on location and the number of bedrooms, but you really can make bank in just a few rentals.

There’s another option, too. isn’t just for renting out your home for a weekend; instead, it gives renters an opportunity to use a space on your property — like a garage, shed, property, storage unit, etc. — for a fee. Maybe it’s a car, a boat, or moving materials, but either way, as a host, you’re protected by up to $1 million in liability insurance.

Depending on the space you have to rent out, you should be able to make $500 in as much as five months, if not before then.


3. List furniture on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has an excellent reputation for listing good deals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make decent money from a seller’s point of view. Furniture is a particular hotspot on FB Marketplace. If you have a shabby chair, something new that doesn’t fit in your house anymore, or extra outdoor furniture you’re willing to part with, FB Marketplace can be an easy outlet for making some moolah quickly.

When you sell something like a couch, desk, bed frame, or fridge, you could make $500 (or more!) in just one transaction. But if you sell a few smaller items, we estimate you could make $500 in as little as one month depending on who bites.

Can’t say goodbye to any of your furniture? No problem. Lots of people use FB Marketplace to sell other items, too, like plants (yep — live plants!), equipment, vintage items, and even decor.

Related: How Does Facebook Marketplace Work? Here’s How to Use It


4. Put your old wedding decor up for sale

So you got married. Whether it was one year ago, five years ago, or 15 years ago, there’s no reason to hold on to that, “Reception This Way!” sign, faux greenery garland, or 600 battery-operated candles. Sell your wedding decor (and clean out your garage or attic in the process) online on an aforementioned platform like FB Marketplace or even Poshmark.

Of course, prices (and how much you can make back) vary depending on what decor you have. But a quick glance at FB Marketplace in our area has us seeing listings anywhere from $10 to $1,200.

Another option is to rent it out. Make your own little wedding rental business by repurposing your own decor and renting it out to clients for a by-day fee. Got one of those popular peacock chairs that everyone wants for wedding and baby showers? Bam — $200 a day! Did you buy a champagne wall for your ceremony? Make that $300 to rent. Cashing in on the wedding industry? Now that’s a quick way to bring home some extra bacon.



5. Trade in tech devices

A person taking an iPad pro out of a shipping box with another Apple product inside.

Don’t offer up your phone as a sacrifice, but say you have an old laptop or an iPad you never use. That’s good money! Will you make back what you paid to the cent? Probably not. But it’s still worth cashing in on it if you’re not using it anyway.

And don’t worry, old laptops are still viable because they won’t be resold as is necessarily. But they’re still useful for their individual parts. By selling just one device, you can make as much as a couple hundred bucks. A well-cared for, recently-bought tablet could get you at least half of what you paid for it. If you’re not using it anyways, that could make it worth your while.

Check out Decluttr, Amazon or Apple Trade-In, Best Buy, ItsWorthMore, and BuyBackWorld.


6. Open an Etsy shop

Want our advice? Pick a crafty trade that’s fast to make and cheap to ship. That means no candles, heavy vintage items, or body scrubs/lotion. Some of the most efficient and successful Etsy makers sell vinyl stickers, collectible stamps, or even downloadables, like downloadable .PNG art, .PDFs, or even art for your Samsung Frame TV.

The key is to price things low (like $3.99, $4.99, $5.99) and then offer discounts of 10% to 15%. It doesn’t seem like a lot up front, but since the file downloads directly to a buyer’s device, you don’t have to do much work at all! That means no shipping fees or additional prices to running your downloadable business.

If you share your new gig on social media, it’s totally realistic that you could make about $100 per week. Maybe more!

If you’re choosing something that needs to be shipped, however, like stickers or stamps, have price points make sense for how much you put into packaging and shipping costs. Otherwise, you’ll just break even or even lose money, and no one wants that.


7. Sign up to be a dog walker

A person walking a cute dog

Maybe you’ve used Rover before as a way to pick a pup-sitter or a dog-walker for your own pet. Well, now might just be the perfect time to sign up on the other side of things as a sitter or walker yourself.

Pros include spending time with animals and the ability to set your own rates.

To pet-sit or dog-walk, you have to be at least 18 years old and able to use the Rover app to manage notifications. You get paid 48 hours after each walk, so the payments are pretty timely. However, Rover keeps about 20% for things like processing costs and 24/7 support, so you end up with 80% of your earnings.

Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty: how much can you really make as a dog-walker? As is the case with most things, it’s dependent on location. If you live in a metropolitan area, we’ll put it bluntly: you can make bank. New York City, Hoboken, and other highly populated cities where most people work during the day are hot spots for dog-walkers.

Still, in general, you can expect to make anywhere from $10 to $30 per walk.


8. Have a yard sale

Sometimes there’s nothing as tried-and-true as a good old yard sale. Of course, how much money you’ll end up with at the end of the day varies widely. If you’re pedaling some quality items (rather than junk), you could find yourself with anywhere from $100 to $1,000 in the cash register.

Yes, that’s quite a big range, but here’s a pro tip to getting the most bang for your buck from a yard sale (literally): First, plan your yard sale and promote your yard sale as much as possible. Second, start on Friday, not Saturday morning.


9. House sit

We’ve all heard the too-good-to-be-true stories of a teenager who got the opportunity to house-sit for a too-cool mansion for a weekend. But believe it or not, there is some truth to this trope (although probably not for a teenager).

House-sitting sometimes comes with the added responsibility of also sitting for a pet. But in some cases, it’s just watching the house. Check out TrustedHouseSitters (note that this one requires a membership fee of $129/year), House Sitters America, and House Carers.

Most sitters charge anywhere from $25 to $100 a night, depending on location and duration.


10. Take online surveys

a woman looking at the survey junkie app in the app store on her iphone

Sure, you’ve heard this one a thousand times, but there’s actually some validity to making money by taking online surveys. Branded Surveys, Survey Junkie, and LifePoints are excellent starting points for those new to survey-taking.

Most of the surveys you’ll be taking have to do with providing product feedback, and payouts are usually fast with the help of PayPal.

Since you can make up to $45 per survey, you could earn $500 with just 11 surveys.


11. Donate plasma a few times a month

It’s no rumor: you do, in fact, have a valuable monetary asset in you, and it’s running through your veins. Offering up your plasma can earn you anywhere from $20 to $100 per donation, but lots of centers offer incentives for first-time donors. Some donors report making anywhere from $500 to $900 in the first few months.

Not keen on donating plasma? Red Cross and other blood donation centers will often run different incentive campaigns like Amazon gift cards and such.

Related: How to Make Money Donating Plasma


12. Launch an online course

Do you have a specific skill set that others might benefit from? Ambiguous question, sure, but whether it’s cooking, writing, gardening, calligraphy, public speaking, or something else, there’s someone out there willing to learn from you.

Anyone can make an online course and sell it. There are plenty of free platforms that help you to do so: Fresh Learn for Master Class, Thinkific, Kajabi, Teachable, and SkillShare (which offers one free month).

How much you can charge for a course depends on what skill you’re offering and how in-depth your course is. What appears to be average, though, is about $500 per course. This includes unlimited questions, feedback, and support.


13. Sublet a room or basement

While it’s possible to rent out your home on Airbnb or pay a fee for dedicated parking or storage space, it’s sometimes more feasible to just sublet. If you have an additional room or a basement, it could be worth $500 a month — easy!

Using Vrbo, you can pre-calculate how much subletting your room would go for by inputting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, plus your home’s location. Rates vary by area (and of course, by how much space you’re offering), but if you’re willing to deal with a housemate for a bit, you could rack up $500 in just a few months, if not one!



14. Negotiate monthly utilities

This might take more time and effort on your part, but negotiating your monthly bills and utilities could make a huge difference. Will you get a $500 refund directly deposited? Probably not. But in the long run, paying less for utilities can definitely bolster your budget. Try apps like Hiatus, Mint, Rocket Money, or Trim.

According to Trim, you can save as much as $640 per year, but it, of course, depends on what you already subscribe to, what you’re paying, and if there’s interest or penalty fees. Some brands will also negotiate monthly payments, put you on payment plans, or negotiate interest on your student loans. All of that can make for a decent amount of savings.

Also be sure to check your phone, email, and Apple settings for any automatically renewing subscriptions you might have forgotten about. That can save you as little as $1.99 a month, but over time, that adds up.


15. Write a paid subscription Substack

Substack e-newsletters might just be the new podcasts, but similarly to #12 on this list, skills and ideas are meant to be shared. Writing skills aside, someone out there might pay for your knowledge, whether that be in the media industry, recipes for cooking, product reviews, or musings on any topic your heart desires.

To get started, you can always sign up for Substack and offer a free membership for readers. When you have a bit of a following and are ready, upgrade to paid subscriptions, setting your own monthly and annual rates.

Typical monthly fees for a paid Substack subscriber are about $7; annual subscriptions can be anywhere from $50 to $70. For anecdotal reference, the writer of this article launched a PR-focused Substack called Pitch, Please, charged these exact prices, and hit the $1,000 mark within two months of going paid.


16. Monetize your social media

A phone displaying the TikTok app laying on a pile of cash.

Easier said than done, right? The good news is that you don’t have to be an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers in order to monetize your social media. The key here is cashing in on affiliate links, whether you have 100 followers or 100,000 followers.

Sign up for Google Adsense for monetizing websites or LTK for making a commission on product recommendations. You can promote these links right in your IG Stories now that Instagram launched a “link” option for all!

How successful you’ll be at monetizing your social media depends. You know, Cristian Rinaldo makes $2.3 million per sponsored IG post, but it’s important to set your expectations (a little) lower than that — LOL.

With about 2,000 Instagram followers and not posting on a daily or weekly basis, we’ve seen LTK users make $600 over a 9-month period.

But that’s just a small taste of what it could be. It might not be Rinaldo-level cash flow, but some of LTK’s most successful users have reported up to $20,000 in income per month.


17. Create quote art on Canva

Here’s a fun anecdote for you: writers of KCL know an amateur artist (artist is a strong word) who took a quote from Tiger King, made it into a .PNG on Canva, printed it out, and posted it on TikTok. Well, the video went viral and people in the comments started begging to buy it. She charged $1 per .PNG and in a matter of minutes, made $100.

So long as you’re even remotely versed with the basics of the user-friendly Canva, you can very easily create and design inspirational quotes onto a .PNG. Just like with tip #6, you can offer these artworks as downloadables so you don’t have to upcharge for things like shipping fees.


18. Use Missing Money

Before you freak out about putting in your Social Security Number, Missing Money is totally legit. This website is affiliated with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), and it’s simple to use. Input your name, and Missing Money (formerly will search for cash you’re owed but haven’t claimed. This could be anything from uncashed paychecks, refunds on things like utilities or deposits, or inherited money from relatives who’ve passed.

After searching your name, claims could be less than $25, less than $50, less than $100, or undisclosed. Once you claim an asset that’s been unpaid, you’ll get an email with next steps and additional information.

If you’re owed money, even if it’s $5, why wouldn’t you cash in on it?


19. Try Workers Owed Wages

Workers Owed Wages operates in a very similar way to Missing Money in that it’s a money-finding platform. It searches by employer. If a past employer of yours owes you money from a paycheck, Workers Owed Wages, which is sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Labor, will find it and then you can take the next steps in claiming it.


20. Make a claim at Treasury Hunt

Another option is filing a bonds claim with Treasury Hunt. In order to get back money with the Bureau of Fiscal Services, you need to know what it is you’re claiming and filing for, whether it’s lost, stolen, or destroyed U.S. savings bonds.


21. Search Veteran Unclaimed Funds

A man in a military uniform looking at a cell phone.

If you are a veteran or have a direct relationship to a veteran (like the spouse or child of a veteran), you may be owed insurance funds you haven’t yet claimed. This claim goes through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs under Unclaimed Funds. It could be anything from National Service Life Insurance, Veterans Special Life Insurance, Veterans Reopened Insurance, Service-Disabled Life Insurance, or United States Government Life insurance program.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Unclaimed Funds search doesn’t include money from Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance policies from 1965 on.


22. Test out products

You don’t have to be a professional to test out products and give companies feedback. Plenty of brands want observations from actual consumers in lieu of the pros, similar to how companies want survey feedback, too.

Sign up for product-testing companies like American Consumer Opinion (points that convert to PayPal cashouts), JJ Friends & Neighbors (prepaid Visa gift cards), ($10 via PayPal per 20-minute survey), McCormick & Company (between $10 and $30 per hour). All of these (and more if you do your research) will ship products to your home so you can test them out. Some also have options to take 10-minute surveys on advertising campaigns and idea generation.

Now, you won’t get paid sight unseen, only if your review is used by the company. Some brands will only pay you in product, though, so be sure to read the fine print if it’s only gift cards or cash payouts you’re looking for.

Depending on how many review surveys you take and products you test out, it could take as little as 16 product reviews to get you to that $500.


23. Transfer savings to an online bank with a higher APY

Switching up your savings situation can really benefit your bank account in the long run. By transferring your savings to an online bank with a higher APY (that’s annual percentage yield) , you could make significantly more in interest. All while doing nothing else differently.

Other perks of online-only banks may include sign-up bonuses or other kinds of rewards depending on how much you deposit or save over time.

If you’re not sure where to start, look at online banks like CIT Bank Savings (4.05% APY), Synchrony Bank (3.75% APY), SoFi (3.75% APY), Barclay’s Online Savings (3.40% APY), Ally Bank (3.30% APY), and Aspiration Spend and Save (3% APY).

Will you make $500 immediately? Of course not. But in addition to doing some of the other make-500-bucks-quick tips on this list, placing your savings with a bank that yields the most interest is a wise way to passively make more money.

After all, your savings are earning interest anyway. You just might as well earn the most possible.



24. Take advantage of cash back

A hand holding an Amazon Prime Visa credit card and a Whole Foods receipt.

Listen, we’re all spending money anyways. What’s most important is that you’re doing it in the wisest way possible. Whenever you buy anything (no, seriously, literally anything) you should consider points, value, and cash back.

There are a few different ways to do this: using an Amazon Visa at Whole Foods or for Prime purchases or paying for travel with credit cards that have travel incentives, or redeeming specific credit card offers.

Will you immediately make $500 to deposit in your account? Definitely not. Will it be worth it after a few months of shopping this way? Absolutely. Plus, at the end of the month or maybe at the end of the year, you’ll get a statement with an overview of how much you’ve saved using these tools.


25. Drive rideshare

It seems like everybody drives rideshare these days. While it may not be as lucrative as it once was when the industry had less competition, picking up a few hours with Uber Drive, DoorDash, or Lyft can earn you some quick cash. Sometimes you’ll drive people, other times you’ll drive food around, but you’ll always make a few extra bucks.

There are some applications to fill out and requirements to meet, but once you do, you’ll basically be an independent contractor with the ability to make your own hours, drive where there’s high demand for cars, and take advantage of things like Surges or Boosts.

In terms of how fast you can make $500, it’s pretty fast (especially in comparison to some of these other options). While we can’t guarantee that driving rideshare will be enough for you to quit your day job, making $500 in as little as a week is 100% doable.


26. Sell steel and/or metal

It may surprise you to learn that there’s another hidden gem lurking in your garage and backyard: metal!

While steel isn’t the most valuable of metals, it can still be cashed in along with other kinds of metals, including household appliances. Scrap yards will pay big bucks for your metal scraps: anywhere from $0.25 to $0.50 a pound.

If you’re looking for the most significant conversion rate, it’s undoubtedly found in copper. The type of copper changes the price, but if you’ve got a bit laying around, it’s worth seeing what it’s worth. Other high-yield metals include brass, silver, aluminum, and stainless steel.

While selling metal will only get you to the $500 if you have, like, a lot of metal to trade in, it’s still a viable option. Plus it a) cleans out your space of excess scraps and b) puts a little change in your pocket.


27. Share your RV

Room, house, and storage rentals are highly coveted (and big money-makers at that), but in the same vein, so are RVs! Yep, believe it or not, people want to rent RVs, and they’ll actually pay good money for it. After all, those who want to travel but don’t have their own RV will save money by renting one rather than buying.

According to RVShare, renters can make up to $22,000 per year, but it depends on how often you rent it out and what you charge. You can think of it as Airbnb or VRBO but for motorhomes, and just as you can make good money renting out rooms, apartments, or homes, it’ll probably only take one booking to get you to $500. Consider that credit card bill paid!


28. Recycle

Cashing in cans and other recyclable items may have a bit of a stigma, but money is money. Everything from plastic and glass to aluminum can be recycled for profit. You’ll also be doing a service to the planet.

According to LoadUp, recycling usually gets you anywhere from $0.05 to $0.10 a bottle, but that also varies by state. In California, for example, you can only cash in 50 cans or less for that $0.05 per bottle price. But if you have more than 50, you’ll earn $1.60 per pound. So going by that per pound model, you’d need around 313 pounds of cans to earn $500 in the Golden State.


29. Grocery shop with InstaCart

woman from instacart delivers groceries to door

If you’ve ever used InstaCart before, you probably didn’t think twice about the person on the other end of the app. We mean the person who literally shopped the order for you. Becoming someone’s InstaCart grocery shopper is relatively easy and requires very little on your end. All you need to do is be 18 years or older and be able to lift 30 pounds. That’s just one piece of the puzzle you can get paid for though; if you also have a car and are able to deliver that grocery order to the buyer’s doorstep, you can make even more.

Anecdotally, some people have reported making up to thousands of dollars in their first few months. According to Upper Inc, shoppers earn a minimum of $111 per day during an 8-hour shift.

So if you work eight hours a day for five days, you’ll get to your goal of $500 in an average work week.


30. Hang up holiday lights

While it may be a little off the beaten track, the easiest way to make money is to do something else that other people can’t do. For example, hanging up holiday lights. Come the holidays, not everyone feels comfortable getting up on a ladder and stringing LED bulbs across their roof. In fact, it’s such an unpopular Christmastime errand that people are willing to pay big money to have someone else do it for them. This usually falls into the laps of landscapers, but if you do it at your own house, what’s to stop you from doing it at someone else’s?

Of course, you should only take on this job if you can do it and do it safely. But if you’re well-equipped to handle the task, you could make up to $1,000 per job. While it depends on the location and the size of the roof as well, Forbes estimates the highest paid job is about $1,200; the lowest, $100; and the average throughout the U.S. is $420.



31. Be a gigwalker

An app called Gigwalker may just change your life. On this app, businesses put out requests for little jobs here and there, otherwise known as gigs. This could be anything, as Gigwalker works with several different industries including website and mobile app testing, restaurants, software and AI, consumer brands, consulting and market research, and insurance and real estate.

A gig may take you five minutes or it may take hours. What you make from each gig depends on how much time you devote to it — anywhere from $3 to $100 or more, according to their site.

This option really lends itself more to a gigger who lives in a densely populated city. That way, you can walk from gig to gig, performing as many tasks as you have time for. For communities that are more spread out a) you’ll need a car and b) the gigs will be fewer and farther in between leading you to c) it’ll take much longer to make $500.


32. Tutor students

Tutor helping student with schoolwork at home

Students everywhere need tutors! Whether that’s tutoring in English as a second language, SAT Prep, or even the standard school subjects that everyone has to pass. To find students who need to be tutored, both nearby and virtually, you can sign up for Bark, which doesn’t take a commission from your earnings.

Working as a tutor relying on word of mouth is usually the most effective in terms of longevity, but it can also be the hardest way to get off the ground.

If it’s specifically ESL you’re interested in teaching/tutoring, you can go through VIPKID, which connects native English speakers to children in China. Sessions are one-on-one, 30 minutes long, and payment is $18/hour on average (though it ranges from $14 to $22 depending on experience).

In terms of how quickly you could earn $500, you can likely do it in as little as 30 days so long as you dedicate 28 hours that first month. But if you’re unable to put that much time into this side hustle, you’ll make $500 as soon as you’ve taught 56 classes.


33. Rent out your car

Just when you thought you rented out all the property you possibly could, HyreCar comes into the mix. Right now, HyreCar exists in all 50 states, with a higher density (and more demand) in big cities like New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, Tampa, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Las Vegas.

Here’s how it works: you simply rent your car to other drivers when you’re not using it. Instead of rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft, you don’t have to drive the person around; they drive your car themselves.

We know what you’re thinking: will this drive up my car insurance? According to HyreCar, the answer is no. HyreCar has insurance coverage that the renter of the car is responsible for, so you’ll get out of most squabbles scot free.

Not to mention, the opportunity to make money with HyreCar is pretty astronomical. The average car owner who uses HyreCar makes $14K a year renting out; that means you can make that $500 (and then some) in two weeks. In fact, it means you can make $500 every two weeks!

The profits received from HyreCar may just allow you to buy a new car altogether.


34. Sign up to be a virtual assistant

Businesses are always looking for virtual assistants. Much like an in-person assistant, VAs handle email inboxes, manage social media accounts, and deal with customer service issues. However, VAs can do it from the comfort of their own home.

Being a virtual assistant, however, is a little like starting your own business. You may have to put more into it up front and run the ship like it’s your own rather than relying on a third-party platform to get you going. You can always check out freelancing platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.

On average, virtual assistants get paid between $18 and $35 an hour, but you can set rates per project, too, using $100 per project as your baseline.

That should get you to your desired $500 mark pretty fast.

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