Cash!!! This is certainly one thing you and you need it now—whether you are dealing with a mountain of unanticipated medical expenses, recently lost your job, or had a hurricane or other natural disaster strike your home. The bulk of us, regrettably, are caught completely off guard when a financial emergency suddenly arises in our daily lives.
You are not the only one if you discover yourself in this predicament. According to FEMA, one-third of American families have no savings at all, and around six out of ten homes encounter at least one financial catastrophe year.
Meanwhile, a Federal Reserve survey from 2021 found that more over 30% of Americans would not have enough cash on hand, savings, or a credit card that was paid off at the following statement to handle an unforeseen $400 bill.
Where do you go if you need rapid cash to pay for an urgent bill? These are seven shrewd methods to raise funds fast without ruining your budget.
- In an emergency, you might be able to raise cash by selling personal items online, such as clothes, electronics, or books.
- If you want to get extra cash, think about taking up odd jobs like dog walking, yard maintenance, or babysitting.
- If you’ve moved around a lot, the state can owe you unclaimed property.
- In most cases, taking money out of your retirement plan or borrowing from it would result in a 10% penalty in addition to any taxes due on the distribution.
- It’s advisable to draft a contract outlining the conditions of any loans you take out from friends or family.
1. Sell Off Your Property
Is there a diamond pin you hardly wear, your mom’s engagement ring, your dad’s Rolex, or something else in the corner of your jewelry box? What about treasures hidden in your closet, like your great-aunt’s fur coat that you inherited or an elegant bridesmaid dress?
ThredUp is one website that is prepared to pay cash for your clothing; to learn more about the selling procedure, click on “The Clean out Process” in the Help Center. You may also try listing your clothes for sale on eBay.
Selling off recent-model media (DVDs, CDs, books, and games) and electronics (big-screen TVs, tablets, phones, laptops, and game consoles) on marketplace sites like Swappa and Decluttr can also be a quick way to earn some extra cash.
You can also try advertising in your neighborhood newspaper, peddling these pieces to friends and relatives, and posting them on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and X platform (previously Twitter).
The kind of clothing, electronics, and media you’re willing to sell will determine how much money you can easily make—hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars.
2. Accept Odd Tasks
Try selling your services if you don’t have any valuable stuff to get rid of, especially if you’re unemployed and have some free time. You may start a local dog-walking service or babysit and/or pet-sit for friends.
The national average hourly wage for a babysitter is $17, according to ZipRecruiter, while the average hourly wage for pet sitting is $14. PayScale estimates that dog walkers can make an average of $15 per hour.
If you’re not fond of working with dogs or children, you may volunteer to clean cars and mow lawns for neighbors, or you could offer to take an elderly neighbor’s aunt to her doctor’s appointments. Alternatively, if you want to drive, you may become an Uber or Lyft driver.
The pay for rideshare drivers in 2021 will vary depending on where they reside, but it will likely start at $14.65 per hour in San Antonio, Texas, and go up to $19.44 in the Bay Area of California, according to Gridwise.
You may also offer to paint and fix your sister’s run-down fence, or do food shopping for your older friends or busy people. You could manage to scrounge together a few hundred dollars in a single weekend, depending on how many projects you take on and how much you charge for each one.
Try applying for jobs on websites like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, or Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr if you don’t know enough people who need work done.
When unforeseen expenses, such as medical bills or job loss, arise, an emergency fund can act as a buffer. When at all possible, try to set away money to begin one.
3. Find Your Misplaced Cash
Although it might appear a little strange at first, this advise is serious. A Bloomberg news study from 2016 states that Americans discard over $61.8 million worth of coins in the trash annually.
That’s a lot of cash stashed away in paint cans, couch cushions, and piggy banks all throughout the country.
To find every hidden coin, search the entire house. Take the treasure trove to your neighborhood bank or credit union once you’ve found every single penny. While some banks may require you to count and roll your own change, others may offer their customers free change counting services.
Checking the unclaimed property website in your state is another method for finding “lost money”. You might have money (a mailed check, for example) for any state you’ve lived in that just never arrived.
These monies must be retained by the state, which also discloses who is owed what amount. You’ve essentially found additional “loose change” once you follow the rules to claim the funds.
4. Put Together a Garage Sale
As they say, what’s trash for one is treasure for another. Even though they are labor-intensive, garage and yard sales can yield a respectable profit for certain vendors.
To draw in as many people as you can, make sure to promote on Craigslist, Facebook (if you have a local group), your local newspaper (both print and online), church bulletins, and neon signs with black letters in strategic spots.
5. Draw Money from Your Retirement Accounts
For larger quantities of money, the first four stages may not be sufficient. That’s when it makes sense to check your 401(k). In most years, if you’re younger than 59½, you pay a 10% penalty for withdrawing from your 401(k). However, there are periods when it may pay to do so.
In addition, the 10% penalty may be eliminated in certain circumstances, such as when unreimbursed medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your modified adjusted gross income. Borrowing money from your 401(k) is a better option if you can manage it.
If you have an IRA but no 401(k), that could be a source of income, particularly if it’s a Roth IRA. Though there are a few situations when you can take low-cost retirement distributions, traditional IRAs offer more options.
6. Give away your plasma
We are now discussing the more drastic options. In many different medical procedures and fields of study, plasma is an essential resource. From Octapharma Plasma Inc., a company that gathers plasma to create life-saving therapies for people worldwide, donating plasma is like donating blood.
Following blood collection, plasma is extracted from your blood by cycling it through specialized machinery. The remaining components of your body are then securely returned to it through a procedure known as plasmapheresis, while your plasma is gathered in a container.
Reports differ on the amount you can earn, and it will be contingent upon several circumstances. For every donation, you might earn anything from $20 to $60. The Octapharma Plasma website states: “In general, the more weight you have, the more plasma we can gather, and the longer it takes to donate it. The sum of money that both new and recurring donors contribute illustrates this.”
7. Take Out a Loan from Family or Friends
This is the last option because it truly ought to be the last one. Although borrowing money from friends and family could seem an easy solution, there may be unfavorable outcomes. Your relationship may suffer if a loved one extends you a financial loan, particularly if you don’t repay them right away.
A Psychology Today article claims that unpaid debts may cause animosity between the lender and the borrower to persist. It’s usually better to draft a contract if you intend to borrow money, specifying when you will start repaying the lender and whether interest will be charged.
How Much Should I Set Aside for Emergencies?
Here is where different financial advisors may have varied responses. A minimum of three months’ worth of living expenses is suggested by some, but others err on the side of caution and advocate as much as six or twelve months.
If you were to move to a place where the cost of living is higher, consider how your emergency savings objectives would alter.
Where Should My Emergency Fund Be Kept?
You should keep your emergency fund liquid and in a secure location. The most sensible place to start is with a savings account because of this. In addition to offering the flexibility to take money out as needed, high-yield savings accounts provide the potential to earn income.
Make careful to save these funds in a reputable financial institution; you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need the money in an emergency but can’t get it back.
What Effects Does Selling My Own Property Have on My Taxes?
Technically, every profit you make on something you own is taxable as income. In the end, how long you owned the good would determine your tax rate.
Particularly if you sell items for less than what you purchased for, keep track of everything you sell. A tax expert can help you navigate the tax ramifications if your losses can occasionally be greater than your taxable earnings.
You’re not the only one who finds themselves in a tight spot financially when something unexpected happens. The great majority of Americans lack sufficient cash reserves to cover unforeseen costs.
The worst thing you can do in this situation is take out a payday loan, which will have extremely high interest rates, or increase your credit card debt.
Fortunately, you may generate money rapidly without ruining your finances by using a variety of clever strategies.
Whether you decide to borrow money from friends or family, sell some of your possessions, or take on odd jobs, one thing is certain: as soon as you get over this financial setback, you should start saving for an emergency fund.