Research suggests 60% of Americans don’t have enough cash in their emergency fund to cover an expense of $1,000 or more. If you’re part of that 60%, you may be looking for some ways to make some quick cash to cover an unexpected expense or build up your emergency fund. Here are three ways you can make some extra money quickly.
Sell Stuff You Don’t Need
You probably own something of value you can part with. If you have a life insurance policy, consider a life settlement. Selling your life insurance policy can net you some quick cash and save you some money by eliminating your monthly premiums.
If you’ve still got your old cell phone, television, laptop or video game system, consider selling them at an online auction site or pawn shop or even having an old-fashioned garage sale. If you bought tickets to a concert or sporting event when times were better, consider selling them on StubHub. Unused gift cards can also be sold for cash online.
Pick Up a Side Gig
If you need more cash than you can make by selling your valuables, consider a side gig. You could go the traditional route and get a part-time job or sign on with a day labor company. Or, you could try out one or more of the many side gigs that have become popular in recent years.
If you have a car, you can make some cash as an Uber or Lyft driver, or even rent your car out. If you’d rather make deliveries, consider becoming a professional grocery shopper with Instacart or delivering food through Doordash or Uber Eats.
If you have an extra room or you can crash with friends or family, consider renting out your space on Airbnb. You can also tack on a few dollars by doing micro gigs, such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or filling out paid surveys.
Borrow the Money
Taking on more debt should probably be your last resort, but for large expenses, it may be necessary. Friends and family are probably the lowest cost option. However, you may wish to avoid potential pitfalls by making sure everyone is on the same page about repayment terms. A written agreement may be a good idea to avoid any potential disputes down the road. If that doesn’t work out, you may want to check with your bank to see if you can get a line of credit or a personal loan.
Your employer may be willing to give you an advance on your salary or a short-term loan that you can repay out of your check. If you have a 401K, you may be able to borrow against it, though be aware that there could be penalties involved. As a last resort, you may wish to consider higher-cost options, such as payday loans or cash advances from your credit cards.
Dealing with an unexpected expense can be stressful, but fortunately, you have a lot of options when it comes to raising cash to cover the shortfall. A little know-how and creativity can help you get back on track and build up your emergency fund for next time.