No matter how much you plan, sometimes you just find yourself in a financial pinch. Let’s say you suddenly need some car repairs and you find you’re $200 short and need cash fast. How can you make 200 dollars in one day?
Sell Your Stuff
Unless you are extremely minimalist, you probably have some stuff you can get rid of. List some items on online sales sites, such as Craigslist or other neighborhood sales lists. You’re looking to make money quickly, so remember to price your items to move.
If you have a lot of smaller items to get rid of, consider setting up a yard sale in your front yard and put up a few handmade signs on the well trafficked roads in your area. Posting about these online can also help. Maybe your neighbors have some stuff they’d like to get rid of and would be happy for you to sell them for a cut of the profits.
It’s not unusual where I live to see people with tables setup in their front yard selling household items, and they always have people show up. Yard sale shopping is a huge thing, and people are always looking for a great bargain. So make sure your items are priced appropriately, and if someone makes an offer, seriously consider accepting it.
I don’t know about you, but most of what I know about pawn shops comes from Pawn Stars, where people are selling their items to the pawn shop owners. But did you know that you can use pawn shops to get a personal loan?
It works like this: You need money, so you take an item down to the pawn shop to be used as collateral. The pawn shop holds on to your item and gives you the loan, usually for a very low interest rate. When you return and pay back the loan, you get your item back. Pawn shops are actually very well regulated, so these aren’t seedy, underhanded transactions. Instead, this is a great way to get a short term loan when you are hard up for cash. Nearly 80% of all pawned items are eventually redeemed by their original owners, meaning that people are able to pay off these loans.
Of course, to get a good loan, you will need something to pawn, so take a look around and see what you have of value. It is always a risk that you won’t be able to pay back the loan, so think twice before pawning something of great personal value.
Offer Your Services
While you likely have a lot of skills to share, if you’re looking to make money quickly, think simple. Yard work is often an easy way to make money. Knock on your neighbors’s doors and see if they need their lawns mowed, leaves raked, or snow shoveled. It helps if you show up with your own equipment, of course. People are often willing to pay cash for easy lawn services. Maybe you can offer to walk dogs or wash cars. (If you’ve got a friend or family member willing to help monitor your yard sale, you might be able to also wash cars while people shop.) The small amounts definitely add up. Make sure that you don’t price yourself out of a job – remember, you’re not trying to set up a company, you’re trying to make a certain amount of money in a quick amount of time.
Don’t forget to utilize online services and social networks for this as well. Put yourself out there as being willing to work and you might be surprised who takes you up on it. While I might not normally be looking to pay someone to rake my leaves, if I know a friend needs to make some quick cash (but wouldn’t take a gift or loan out of pride), I’d happily hire them to come rake. It allows me the opportunity to do something else with my time and I can help out my friend as well.
Be creative. What can you do? What skills do you have to offer? Get out there and hustle.
Credit Card Cash Advances
Some credit cards offer a cash advance, meaning that you can use your credit card like an ATM card and borrow cash from your credit limit. If your credit card offers this option, you should absolutely look into the rates before you decide to borrow. There is usually a fee for the withdrawal, either a flat fee ($5 or $10) or a percentage of what you borrowed. Then there are the ATM fees. Finally, interest typically begins accruing on cash advances immediately. With a regular credit card purchase, you don’t start accruing interest right away, which is how you can buy on credit, pay off the purchase on the statement date, and never pay interest. Not so with cash advances – that interest starts to accrue on day one, so even if you pay it off when your statement comes due, you will still owe an interest charge.
Payday loans are certainly not my favorite. These are very high interest loans. The name “payday loan” means that you can get a quick loan and then pay it back when you get paid, maybe within two weeks. But unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t able to pay back the loan that quickly. I personally think that a payday loan should be your last resort, because of the high risk of ending up in significant debt due to the high interest rates.
I did a quick check of the cost of a $200 loan in California. If you can pay back the payday loan in 14 days, you will pay $35.29 in fees and interest. Not bad, if you can get your hands on the money in two weeks. But if you can’t, that APR is a whopping 460%, so the longer you wait, the more you will owe. If that loan gets paid back a month later, you suddenly owe another $100+ in interest! Definitely an absolute last resort.
Borrow from a friend
I never recommend mixing friendship and money. It’s a dangerous spot to be in, and it can lead to hurt feelings and ruined friendships. I always say that when it comes to friends and money, you should always think of it as a gift and not a loan, because you might not get paid back and you have to be ready for that to not ruin the relationship. But if you are desperate, reach out to a friend, hat in hand, and ask for help. They might not be willing to loan you the full $200, but might give you some of the cash. We’ve all been in tough situations, and while I might not have $200 to spare right now, I might just have $20 in my wallet that I can hand over.