All about the challenges of Midlife Finance

Ten Ways To Get Cash….FAST!

come up with cash fast
We all need a hand sometime.

Sometimes you’ve got to come up with money quickly.

     Maybe it’s the plumber, who insisted on being paid for that clogged toilet. (Too bad — if you’d checked Youtube instead of calling the company, you might have been able to fix it yourself for less!)

     Or Daughter fell during a midnight bike ride, and chipped her tooth. Filling and fixing at the dentist: $350. (This happened to us a few months ago.)

     Perhaps it’s something sort-of urgent: your cellphone gave up the ghost. You could afford to replace it with another basic model — but you’re dying to get an I Phone, instead. Maybe model 5. 

     Can $150 magically float from the sky, and land at your feet? Will a couple of Ben Franklins surface in the gutter, rain soaked and waiting? Probably not. But there are other ways to come up with extra cash in a short time period. For purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on paying for an I Phone. In Ebayland, it will cost you somewhere between $150- $500. 

*Get a loan. You’ll find plenty of sources and suggestions in this earlier MLF post, including parents, credit unions, peer to peer borrowing from Lending Club or Prosper — and even advances.  Take a look.

*Sell something. Look around — are there books, furniture, videos and CDs you’re not using? Hold a garage sale — or put the larger items on that bastion of free trading, Craigslist. (It’s also an excellent source for finding some of the other tips in this list. Check under “Jobs” and “Gigs.”)

*Get an advance on your tax refund. Ouch, that costs extra. Better yet: Utilize your personal tax prep software and get your taxes finished and submitted early, if you’re expecting a refund.

*Sell your blood. Plasma goes for good prices nowadays, and your body regenerates it quickly. Or volunteer for a paid medical research study.

*Do market research. For pay, that is — especially if you live near a big city. Plenty of companies are looking for people to participate in focus groups on everything from cars to candy bars. I participated in a taste testing for a major burger restaurant — twice. After sampling juicy burgers, we all waddled out stuffed, with a $50 gift card in our pockets. Oh, the horror.

*Rent your vehicle out. A truck comes in handy for deliveries or moving — a car for longer trips. Worried about an insurance risk? Earn even more by including your services in the bargain.

  Side tip:   Florists and fruit bouquet companies often need extra delivery drivers on important holidays like Christmas and Mother’s Day. A cousin made $200 on Valentine’s Day this year by delivering more than 45 cookie bouquets and boxes of cupcakes…in less than 6 hours. 

*Get extra work. Temp agencies, Craigslist one-time jobs, dog sitting (Rover.com is a great place to start), writing or editing jobs. Can someone use an occasional substitute? (I’m not talking about just teaching, either.) Babysitting, housecleaning — even something basic like earning can earn extra $$ toward your goal.

*Spend less in the first place. Can you make do with a cheaper version — Model 4, perhaps? Find it on sale, or get a discount? Get by without it for a little while, while you earn more? Every penny you save is less you have to come up with.

*Buy it without extra costs. Items purchased out of state (like Amazon, for instance), generally don’t require sales tax. (Some states charge it, regardless. Be sure to check.) Try for free shipping, too.

*Stretch out your payments. One of the best ways to do this is Paypal’s Buy-It-Now program. You get the item; Paypal pulls a set amount from your account until it’s paid for. No fees, no interest — assuming you’re making sure you’ve got extra every month for the payment. But coming up with $50 or $60 a month for 4 or 5 months is a lot easier than shelling it out in one lump sum.

     For future needs, give yourself extra peace of mind by beefing up cash reserves. Use one or more of these 50 tips to save a few (or more) dollars each month. (More ideas are here, too — don’t skip the comments.) They’ll come in handy for the next time you need money — fast.

7 Responses to Ten Ways To Get Cash….FAST!

  1. Nice list. You’re right about “refund anticipation loans” and their rancid brethren being very costly. Almost as bad as payday loans! Best to avoid both if it all possible.

    On renting your car: A growing version of carsharing is called “peer-to-peer.” You sign up your car for the P2P carsharing network and then other people in the system can rent it short-term. You get a nice chunk of the revenue. Turn your car into a profit center instead of a cash drain!

  2. I didn’t see on the list ‘have a bit of a financial cushion to begin with’ on the list. I am not a bit one for having an emergency fund (even if people build it I think it should be about $1500) but it is either that, having a large monthly positive cash flow or a loan – the other options are smart but they can take time to enact.

  3. Great list of ideas! Another way to increase your cash flow is to change the number of exemptions on Form W9 if you received a tax refund greater than $1000 last tax year. You won’t get a refund come tax season but you will increase your take home pay.

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