How to Make Money Fast

Catastrophes befall everyone and even the best prepared sometimes find themselves in need of cash for car repairs, emergency plumbing services or hospital expenses. Use creativity to make some fast money when you find yourself suddenly, painfully short. Pile on two or three methods and you will not only take care of the emergency but also build a small fund for future emergencies.

Stage a garage sale with anything you have in the house that has not moved or been used in two years. Clear the driveway, get $20 in change and set out items as early as you can on Saturday (dedicated garage sale shoppers start cruising before 7). Sell broken items for parts; take any offer after 11 am. To increase sales, begin on Friday or even Thursday. Buy cans of soda, ice them in a cooler, and sell for 50 cents.

Organize the family to make money on the side. Economists call this the informal sector: babysitting, dogsitting, housesitting, mowing lawns and running errands for people in your neighborhood who then pay you in cash. Look for notes posted at the local grocery store or nearby thrift shop. Ask around; sometimes people have chores they mean to do and would be happy for you to haul trash or pile branches for cash. Or maybe they know someone who needs your services.

Resolve to halve your grocery budget for this month, pocketing the difference. Many strategies can help you save temporarily on food: Diet for a week, make everything yourself (buying just basics such as milk, eggs, flour and vegetables) or shop the pantry. Most people keep a stash of food in their pantry.

Work a local event like the annual county fair or other festival taking place over a weekend or two. Such events often pay low wages to people to set up displays, sell food or direct traffic. Not elegant, but it will make you some money and you need few abilities to qualify.