How to Make $500 Fast

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Looking to make some money quickly? You’re in luck!

There are plenty of different side hustles and ways to make money now, and this article will cover several realistic options that you can implement starting today.

In a previous article, I wrote about How to Make $100 Fast. The methods covered in today’s article are intended to give you the potential to make a little bit more, to help you make $500 fast. If you’re looking for more money, please see my article How to Make $1,000 Fast, which covers some different options.

Most of the methods covered in this article can be used by anyone, although there are a couple of methods that do require specific skills.

13 Ways to Make $500 Quickly

1. Delivery Driving

Working as a delivery driver for companies like DoorDash is an excellent way to make money quickly. You can sign up as a driver and the approval process usually takes a few days. Once you’re approved, you can start making deliveries right away to earn money.

It requires no particular skills and just about anyone can do it.

While working as a rideshare driver Uber or Lyft is a popular side hustle, working as a delivery driver offers a few specific advantages. First, Uber and Lyft have specific requirements that your vehicle must meet in order to be eligible. If you have an older car, it won’t qualify. DoorDash has no requirements related to your car, so any car will do.

Second, you won’t need to have strangers in your car when you’re working as a delivery driver, which is something that many people don’t like about rideshare driving.

In addition to DoorDash, other options include Uber Eats, Postmates, and Amazon Flex. See our comparison of Uber Eats vs. DoorDash vs. Postmates here.

Getting to $500 by Working as a Delivery Driver

Your compensation from driving for DoorDash will include base pay, promotions (like Peak Pay during the busiest times), and tips. If you were to earn $15 per hour, you would need to work 33.3 hours to reach $500.

2. Get Paid to Be a Shopper

Shopping is usually associated with spending money, but did you know that you can get paid to shop?

While mystery shopping is a side hustle that sounds fun to a lot of people, the opportunities to make good money as a mystery shopper are somewhat limited. The better way to make money is to get paid by people who are unable or too busy to do their own shopping.

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that is looking for workers. They offer two different options:

  • Do the shopping and make deliveries using your car (independent contractor)
  • Do only the shopping in the store with no deliveries (part-time employee)

Both positions at Instacart come with flexible schedules.

One of the things I love about this side hustle is it’s a legit way to make money that requires no real experience. With just a car and a smartphone you can start making money.

Make Money by Shopping for Groceries
You can work as an Instacart shopper and start earning money quickly. You'll have the option to get paid to shop for groceries, or you can choose to do the shopping as well as delivery. Either way, you can set your own hours!

Getting to $500 as a Shopper

Instacart says shoppers can make up to $25 per hour. Let’s assume that you can make $18 per hour when you are just getting started, and with no experience. At that rate you’ll cross $500 within 28 hours or work. Depending on your availability, you may be able to achieve that within a week or two.

3. Take Online Surveys

I mentioned online surveys as an option for making $100 quickly, and I’m also listing surveys as an option to make $500 because there are plenty of opportunities. There are a lot of different survey websites, and if you join several different sites you can find more opportunities quickly.

Taking online surveys is generally not the highest-paying side hustle, in terms of what you can make per hour, but one of the major benefits is that anyone can do it.  Anyone can sign up to survey sites and start making money almost right away. You don’t need to leave home, and you can take the surveys whenever it is convenient for you.

A few survey sites that I recommend checking out include:

There are also several sites that allow you to make money by doing a variety of other things, in addition to taking surveys. You can also make money by doing things like watching videos, downloading free apps, playing games, shopping online, and more. The more you do, the more you’ll earn.

These sites include:

Getting to $500 by Taking Surveys

If all you are doing is taking surveys, it can take a month or longer to reach $500. My advice would be to use surveys in combination with one or more of the other methods listed in this article.

If you’re looking to make $200 or so from surveys, you could probably make this happen within a week or two. Then use one or more of the other strategies to make enough to reach $500.

4. Transcription

If you have some typing skills, becoming a transcriptionist is one of the best ways to start making money quickly. There are a lot of websites that offer transcription work and you can see our list of the best transcription jobs here.

Most transcription jobs will involve working as a contractor and you’ll have a completely flexible schedule. In most cases, you can work as much or as little as you want, and you can choose the hours that fit into your own schedule.

Most websites that hire transcriptionists will require you to pass a basic practice typing test before you can start working, but once you’ve passed the test, you can start taking work right away. You could sign up today and start making money within a few days.

Getting to $500 with Transcription

The hourly rate that you earn will depend on how quickly you’re able to complete the work. Most jobs will be paid per audio minute or per audio hour, but it will take you more than one minute to transcribe one minute of audio. As a result, it’s hard to say how much you’ll earn per hour of work because it can vary.

Let’s say that you’re able to earn $12 per hour with transcription work. At that rate, you would need to work almost 46 hours to earn $500. The good thing is, there is plenty of transcription work available, so you won’t be limited in terms of how much you can do.

5. Have a Yard Sale

Hosting a yard sale is a proven way to make extra money, not to mention that it can also help to declutter your house. If you have a few specific items that you want to sell for extra money, you can use selling apps and sites like Craigslist, Letgo, or the Facebook Marketplace. However, if you’ve got a large number of things to sell, a yard sale can be the more effective method.

While it does take a little bit of work to get everything together for the yard sale, you can still pull one off pretty quickly. We all have some things lying around the house that we could live without, and the yard sale is a great way to make money from those things that you don’t need.

A lot of neighborhoods have community yard sales, and scheduling your yard sale during one of these times can lead to a lot more people seeing the things you want to sell. But if you need money quickly, you don’t need to wait for a community yard sale. Some simple signs will usually attract plenty of people. You can also look for local Facebook Groups that will allow you to publicize your event.

→ Related reading: What Can I Sell?

Getting to $500 with a Yard Sale

Depending on what you are selling, it’s possible to reach $500 in just a day or two. My wife and I had our first yard sale this year (my wife actually did all the work), and we made between $400 – $500 in one weekend. We didn’t have any big ticket items, so if you do have some things that will bring a higher price you can do even better.

6. Flipping Furniture

Flipping furniture is one of the best, and most under-appreciated, side hustle opportunities. It’s pretty easy to find free and low-priced furniture by shopping at yard sales, flea markets, Craigslist, and the Facebook Marketplace.

The same furniture that you can pick up for next to nothing can be re-sold for a nice profit after something as simple as a few coats of paint. It doesn’t require any specific skills (there are free YouTube videos that show how to paint or re-finish furniture), and it’s completely flexible. Work on this side hustle whenever you have the time or need some extra money.

A furniture flipping side hustle could be something small that you do from time-to-time, or you could grow it into something bigger. If you want to learn the ins-and-outs, see my interview with Virginia about how to flip furniture for profit.

One of the keys to making money as a furniture flipper is to find the right pieces of furniture. You’ll want to get solid wood furniture in order to give yourself the potential to make a nice profit.

Getting to $500 by Flipping Furniture

The amount of money that you can make flipping furniture depends on a few different details, including the specific type of item that you’re working with. But making a profit of $100 – $250 per item is a pretty realistic goal, even if you are just getting started. Those items will typically require a few hours of work.

If you were to make just $250 profit per item, you could reach $500 by only flipping two pieces of furniture. You could probably find those two items today or tomorrow by browsing Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace, or by going to some yard sales.

Most furniture flips only require a few hours of your time and you’ll have the money as soon as you make the sale, so it’s possible that you could make $500 in the next week or so.

7. Become a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

There are other awesome service-related side hustles that involve working with pets. Two of the best options (and you could offer them both) are walking dogs and pet sitting.

A lot of dog owners don’t have the time in their schedule to walk their dogs as often as they’d like, and others have physical limitations that make it hard for them. Many of these people are willing to pay others to walk their dog. This is a great way to get exercise and make money at the same time! And, of course, if you love animals this is a good side hustle for you.

Likewise, pet sitters are always needed, so there are plenty of opportunities there as well.

You may be able to find clients through your own personal network or classified sites like Craigslist, but there are also some other valuable resources. Rover and Wag are both popular sites where you can create a profile as a service provider.

Wag is focused on dog walking, but Rover is a great place to offer other services as well, like pet sitting and doggy day care. According to Rover, offering boarding (overnight care) for dogs or cats is the best way to earn money. They say sitters who offer boarding earn more than double providers who do not offer boarding. See How to Become a Pet Sitter for more details.

Care.com also has a category for pet care, so you can create a profile there as well.

Getting to $500 with Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

Rover claims that their providers in up to $1,000 per month. Like cleaning houses, providing pet care services is a good side hustle for getting repeat clients and making money in your spare time, but it’s not the most lucrative side hustle.

8. Be a Babysitter

Working as a babysitter is one of the oldest side hustles around, but still a great opportunity. There will always be parents who need someone trustworthy to watch their kids, so there will always be work for babysitters.

According to SitterCity, the average rate for a babysitter in 2017 was between $12 – $13, based on caring for two children.

Aside from the constant need for babysitters, there are a few other things to love about this opportunity:

  1. Many of your clients will give you repeat business
  2. Your business will grow by word-of-mouth (parents love to talk about anything related to their kids)
  3. If you’re responsible for kids after they’re in bed, you may have some downtime

Of course, there are a lot of different ways you can go about finding work as a babysitter. The best option is word-of-mouth, so tell all of your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers that you are available. Most parents prefer to hire someone they know, or someone that comes recommended by a friend.

Websites like Sittercity, Sitter.com, UrbanSitter, and Care.com all allow you to create a profile and list your availability. People looking for a babysitter will find you on these sites, and it can be a great way to pick up some clients.

Getting to $500 as a Babysitter

At $12 per hour, you’ll need to work 42 hours to reach the goal of $500. If you need money quickly, you should probably combine babysitting with another side hustle to make the money faster. If you’re looking for a steady source of extra money, even if it is not a huge amount, babysitting can be a great option.

9. Clean Houses

Cleaning houses, or offices, is another great way to make extra money. You don’t need any particular skills, and you can start making money very quickly.

It’s also a flexible side hustle. You can do it on a small scale with just a few clients to make a little extra, or you can make it something bigger by taking on more clients. You can even outsource some or all of the work if you want to.

There will always be a need for cleaning services, and many of the clients you pick up will provide recurring work with weekly or monthly appointments.

Like many of the other service related side hustles, you can get started by checking with your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to try to find your first few clients. Or try Craigslist. There are also other local advertising options. My wife found the lady that cleans our house through an ad in a local magazine that has ads for restaurants and different types of service providers.

Care.com is also an excellent resource for finding clients. You can create a free profile, list your services and your hourly rates, and people in your area can hire you.

Getting to $500 by Cleaning Houses

The typical hourly rate for cleaning houses will not be as high as some other types of services. According to Care.com, the average rate for housekeeping is $13 per hour. At that rate, you would need to work 39 hours to reach the goal of $500.

If you’re looking for a side hustle that can provide on-going work and money-making opportunities month-after-month, cleaning houses can be a good option. If you need to make the $500 quickly, you may want to combine this with another side hustle.

10. Perform Tasks

There are a lot of different types of tasks that you can perform to make extra money. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is one of the best places to find these opportunities like research, surveys, content moderation, and more. These microtasks make it easy for just about anyone to earn money online.

Once you register with Mechanical Turk you can browse through the Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) and choose any that interest you. The tasks are generally simple and pretty quick to complete, so you’ll probably complete many different tasks.

Clickworker is another site where you can find work doing tasks like correcting texts, research, and categorizing. Just create your free account, fill out your profile and complete an assessment, and you can start working very quickly.

You’re not going to get rich with the types of microtasks you’ll find at Mechanical Turk and Clickworker, but this is a good opportunity to find paying work to make some extra money in your spare time.

There are also some survey sites that allow you to make money from several different types of tasks like watching videos, downloading apps, and trying different offers. Sites like Swagbucks, MyPoints, Cash Crate, and Inbox Dollars all offer these opportunities.

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Getting to $500 with Tasks

The amount that you make with tasks can vary greatly because the pay is based on the task and is not an hourly rate. However, if you do calculate the hourly rate it will not be anything impressive.

This is a good opportunity for easily making some money from your spare time, but not as a full-time job. On average, you might make around $7 per hour with these tasks. At that rate, you would need to work more than 71 hours to reach $500.

The best approach would be to do some tasks here and there, and combine that with another option on this list to get you to $500.

11. Use TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is an app that allows you to make money with a number of different tasks, but this opportunity is a lot different from Mechanical Turk or Clickworker. While Mechanical Turk and Clickworker focus on online tasks that you can do from your computer, TaskRabbit provides you with opportunities to make money in your local area.

Popular categories for taskers on TaskRabbit include handyman, cleaning, delivery, moving, furniture assembly, and personal assistant. Regardless of your skills, there is probably something you can do to make money here.

With TaskRabbit you can work around your schedule and set your own rates. The app shows money-making opportunities in your area and you can select the ones that you want to complete.

Getting to $500 with TaskRabbit

The amount that you make will depend on a few different factors, including the type of work/service that you offer. From browsing TaskRabbit it seems like the taskers are paid a reasonable rate, which is good.

Let’s assume an average rate of $20 per hour. At that rate you would need to work 25 hours to reach $500.

12. Do Other People’s Laundry

Laundry Care offers a laundry service to people who don’t have time or aren’t able to do their own laundry. They also offer an opportunity to make money for people who will do the laundry. This is a pretty interesting opportunity because you can make money from home with a flexible schedule… and you can start making money right away.

As a provider, you’ll choose your own schedule and accept clients in your local area. Laundry Care will handle all of the invoicing and payments so you don’t have to.

To work with Laundry Care you’ll need to be at least 21 years old, be available daytime hours, have a washer and dryer, have a reliable vehicle, and have a smartphone and internet access.

Laundry Care providers work as independent contractors and get paid $19 – $20 per bag of laundry (each bag holds about 2-3 loads). Payments are made weekly by direct deposit.

You’ll also be responsible for pickup and delivery, but you have control over the size and location of your service area.

Laundry Care currently operates in about 40 metropolitan areas, with more locations being added. If it is not currently in your area, you could try to find clients on your own by posting to Craigslist or checking with friends, family, and neighbors who may be interested in your laundry services.

Getting to $500 with Laundry Services

If you become a provider for Laundry Care and you make $20 per bag of laundry, you would need to do 25 bags of laundry to reach the goal of $500. One of the nice things about this side hustle is that most of your clients will bring repeat business. If you have only 5 weekly clients and you wash 2 bags per client each week, it would take you 2.5 weeks to make the $500.

13. Charge Electric Scooters

Here is another side hustle opportunity that requires no specific skills or experience. If you live in an urban area you can make money by charging electric scooters.

Scooter rentals are now popular in many cities, but the scooter batteries need to be charged. This is where the money-making opportunity comes in.

You can register to be a charger with companies like Bird and Lime. You’ll use your own vehicle to collect scooters that need to be charged, and then charge them at your own house or apartment. Once they’re charged you’ll drop them off.

It’s as simple as that, and you can make money pretty easily this way. This side hustle is also flexible and could fit with just about any schedule.

Getting to $500 as a Scooter Charger

The amount that you make as a charger can vary a little, but in general, it’s around $5 per scooter. At that rate, you would need to charge 100 scooters to make $500. Kevin from Financial Panther has made over $700 in a month from charging scooters (see my interview with Kevin about how to make money charging scooters).

If you need to make money quickly, you’ll probably want to combine this method with some others, rather than relying only on charging scooters. But since it is such a flexible side hustle and doesn’t require that much time, it’s definitely something that you can fit into your schedule.

Conclusion:

There are plenty of different ways to make money quickly. In this article, we looked at 13 options with the specific goal of reaching $500. If you want even more ideas, be sure to check out my article on How to Make $100 Fast.

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