How to Quickly Pay the Bills


I recently posed an open question to a few social networks and received hundreds of interesting responses.

I’ll republish the best of them for everyone to see at some point, but first I thought I’d ask YOU.



Ready? Here’s the question.

Let’s say you were short on cash and had to make an extra $300-500 in the next 30 days. You can’t rob a bank (or do anything else illegal), and you have no access to an existing email list or website. What do you do?

Now it’s your turn, and you can answer in the site comments below. I’d love to hear how you’d solve this problem.

Oh, and to make it fun: I’ll pay a $100 bounty on Thursday afternoon to the person who posts the best idea as chosen by our small crew of biased judges. There are no set criteria as long as you answer the question in some fashion—it’s totally up to you.

So … how do you earn the extra money?


Travel Note: I’ve just arrived in Asia after a 16-hour flight, so I’ll be sleeping while many of you are commenting. It will take a while to post all of the comments, but check back in a bit if yours doesn’t go up right away.


Image: LON Studios

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  • Q.T. Getomov says:

    Run a raffle. Presuming you have something of limited value/appeal it’s easy to get dozens of people to pony up a buck or two for the chance to win it. You can price the tickets at considerably less than the value of the prize as the lower the price the more tickets you’ll sell. As the time of the draw draws nearer, accelerate your sales pitch to get more and more desperate gamblers to buy your super crazy value tickets. If you make a good job of it you should get many times more than the value of the prize, use a portion of this as seed money to buy another prize and repeat.

  • Kay says:

    1) go to internet cafe and sell stuff on ebay
    2) weed out albums, computer games and DVD’s I don’t need, walk to CEX and sell them
    3) go to every pub/bar in the local area and see if they need any short-term staff – even cleaning staff
    4) put up advert in local shops for my cleaning services/dog walking/babysitting services
    5) drop leaflets on cleaning/dog walking/babysitting through doors of neighbouring houses
    6) ask friends and family for a loan
    7) busk on a street corner/in a tube station
    8) check all the payphones, ticket machines in stations and vending machines in the area for any loose change
    9) answer ads in the local paper to be a guinea pig in a drugs trial (don’t buy the paper, just read it in the newsagents and jot down the information)
    10) borrow the money from the bank

  • Mattias Kesti Östergren says:

    I’d repair computers finding customers by posting flyers on local notice boards.

  • Allie says:

    Win 3 to 5 $100 bounty questions like this one.

  • Tim says:

    If I needed to earn a few hundred extra dollars a month, I’d go work for a pizza restaurant and deliver pizzas. If I worked five nights a week for a month (20 nights), I’d need to make $15-25 a night in salary and tips.

    I have no idea what a pizza delivery person makes per hour, but if I delivered 15 orders a night I should be able to earn at least $15 in tips alone.

  • Tom Ewer says:

    I’m suffering a lack of creativity – the only thing I can think of is to get a part time job! How very sensible of me…

  • Eric D. Greene says:

    Sell things you own but don’t need or use anymore on craigslist

  • Heather Allard says:

    I’d go through all my comments and emails, find the folks who’d asked me for help and then contact them with a limited time consulting offer. 🙂

  • Karen says:

    I would go to local churches and offer my services as a singer for weddings and funerals. You finish making that amount in 3 gigs or so.

  • Si Hui says:

    Charge people $15 and above for one hour of your time to do anything for them (anything legal, of course). For $500 that comes out to about one hour of your time a day, and slightly more on weekends.

  • Farnoosh says:

    Too many fun and funny responses. Well, I just finished creating an all-video based product that took all of 10 days and is on par if not higher in quality from my other products and this is what I learned: What I know in terms of smart habits, energizing exercises, breathing techniques, can be completely new and extremely useful to others so for that extra income:
    1) Look at your own skills and think about what others always ask you how you do or achieve etc.
    2) Decide on that skill of choice and create an instructional outline of how you would teach that to others.
    3) Create a few clean, polished, and clear short videos based on that and make them extremely personal and let your passion shine.
    4) Ask friends/peers to review them during pre-release to give you feedback and if it’s very positive and awesome feedback…. then…
    5) Package your videos and sell them on your website or blog. (If you do not have a website or blog, set one up, you can set one up just for a single product and ask a friend to help you – give them a copy of your product for free).
    In short, share your passion and make it useful and earn an income from it.

  • Kathy Southern says:

    I’d offer my services for a fee. But WAIT! Not THOSE services. I mean doing things like babysitting kids, waxing cars, doing yard work, cleaning houses & pools. Folks are always looking for people to do those type of things because they dont have time to do them their selves. If I really needed extra cash that would be the quickest way to get it AND it might get me a few good contacts in the process (as well as some good exercise!). 🙂

  • Matt says:

    This is actually quite relevant for me right now, since my family had a bunch of unanticipated expenses and I’m trying to bring in an extra few hundred dollars this month. Here are some things I’m doing:

    – Working overtime – I don’t always have this option, but I do this month. I’m trying to take advantage of it.

    – Selling things I own – I know I own a few things I don’t use much that are worth some money. I plan to sell at least a couple on Craigslist.

    – Selling a skill – I’m pretty good at repairing bikes. Right now I have 2 bikes that friends are paying me to tune up (in the past I’ve also accepted an exchange of skills/services). I also have 1 bike I’m selling (again on Craigslist) that I bought inexpensively and fixed.

    Between those 3 things, I should earn at least an extra $500 this month – potentially more.

  • Mary says:

    The best way I see it is to make (in my case, sew or handstitch) some cute stuff – sock dolls, plushie teddy bears, funny characters, then go to any crowded place like town square and make small doll performance (or show) there, selling little hand-made actors as mascots and souvenirs. 🙂

  • Kath in VA says:

    The first thing I thought of was to dust off my clarinet and play in front of Metro stations for tips. Since I haven’t played in, oh, 20 years, people might pay me a lot of money to stop. 🙂

  • AJ Parker says:

    Focus groups! (seriously) have made as much as $400 a pop just for my humble opinion on stuff…Research and Development Depts. in companies pay quite nicely for your thoughts and ideas…

  • Jen says:

    Do other people’s homework for money…(did it in malaysia…it paid the bills and replenished the travel funds)

  • Quan says:

    Start performing in the subway with a monkey and music box and see if I could make money off of people who feel sorry for me. Or panhandle in the streets, washing car windows and selling water bottles during heat waves.

  • Aideen says:

    I’d head to the park near my house and tote my camara. I snap professional looking photos of the kids and dogs running around the park and sell them for a small price. My guess is I would have to work 2-3 days in the park.

  • Jessica says:

    1. Put up a cool project idea on Kickstarter with a 2 week time limit to raise $500.

    2. Talk about said idea w/ everyone I meet, and ask if they would be willing to make a $5-10 contribution in cash on the spot. If they say no, hand them a Kickstarter flyer and tell them to check out the awesome video I made about the project. If they say yes, thank them for their gift and give them a flyer to the Kickstarter page, and invite them to learn more about the project.

  • Jamie matthewman says:

    I would offer my coaching services to inspired folk like you for free, and if you found value in the services I provide I’d ask you to pay me what you think is fair a fair price. I would suggest that serving people is really the nature of wealth creation. And if that’s something that’s of interest please get in touch 🙂 I would love to be of service to you.

  • Matt says:

    Go to a gas station, buy several 24 packs of bottled water. Go to your nearest Sports venue, stand outside with a cooler and charge 2-3$ per bottle. Plenty of money within 30 days.

  • Pat Fuller says:

    I’d set up a booth at the river front in Peoria, IL. It would look like Lucy’s in the Charlie Brown cartoons. I’d offer advice for $5.00 a pop. It would be fun and I’m sure I’d meet a few “interesting” people along the way. I have a friendly face and surely 60 people would be interested in hearing what I’d have to tell them.

  • Nick Kizirnis says:

    1). Meditate, do yoga, anything to clear your head. Then clear the house — Ebay, Craigslist, garage sale. It’s all gotta go!
    2). Look for someone in your general vicinity who is dire need of help on their website, preferably WordPress, and no coding please, we just need to get the thing up and running asap. 🙂
    3). It’s going to have to be playing on the street corner because the gigs I booked don’t happen until the following month.
    4). Get a lot of sleep in hopes of dreaming up a great idea, and at the same time avoiding reality.
    5). Sound pathetic so you’ll help me out and send me the bounty.
    6). Try to get a part-time job in an unbelievable hurry due to interview process and delay getting that first check. Should have thought of that a few weeks ago. Damn.
    7). Launch a successful blog with awesome affiliate links and excellent affordable ebooks. Whoops, not enough lead time.
    8).Beg from family and friends. Tell them it will not happen again, but do not swear to it.
    9). Mow lawns. C’mon it’s August, who wants to cut their lawn in August?
    10) Admit you have a problem. Call those you owe and try to make some sort of arrangement. Then get back to the options above.

  • Geoff Rushton says:

    I’d go to the nearest big city, find a big public space, put a hat on the ground in front of me then sing really badly and flail around like an idiot, people would be sure to feel sorry for me or pay me to go away!
    Repeat each day for the next 30 days.

  • Ian says:

    I have used this before. There are many thrift shops all over the place. Just go into 2 or 3 and set up a deal with the owner. Everyone has something sitting around in the basement or garage. If you do not just drive around the neighborhood and you will see things that people throw away everyday. Make sure you make it shine before you take this to the store. Most owners will take your product and sell it for you.Price it well below what it is worth and it will sell. Give the owner 20% for selling it. This worked well for me and I even now drop off items I find on the street and turn it into cash. Please let me know if anyone tries this.

  • Andrea says:

    I’m a former math teacher. With a bit of hustle I can make $300 – $500 tutoring in a month. Particularly since it’s currently August and the next round of SATs are coming up.

  • Anna Luiza Rech says:

    Ok, here’s my idea and to me that is also a way to have fun (shame I’m away from home and can’t put it into practice right now).

    I would tell my friends about the situation and organize weekly dinner parties for them for a month. We’d all share the costs and have fun, I would prepare the food and get a little profit over the total preparation cost from each of them. If I got 10 people to join and each one paid an extra $10 over the cost of the meal each week, at the end of a month I would have made $400 while cooking (which I really enjoy) and having a good time with my friends! Also they would feel great for knowing they are helping me and would enjoy some very lovingly prepared foods- everyone wins!

  • Mike says:

    Run a cheap bodyweight fitness class for 4 weeks at $10/wk. 10 people would equal $400.

    And that’s only 1 session. Make it a morning/afternoon/evening thing and that extra $300-$500 is made in no time.

  • christiano says:

    Tell as many people that they can win 1000 dollars by paying up 100 dollars. Use what you collect to pay up one winner and remain with the rest.

  • Kat says:

    this recently happened to me. I made money by:

    – Hosting donation only yoga classes at a friends house. She prepared some appetizers and drinks and I taught the class to a bunch of acquaintances, creating a fun relaxing evening. I put out a donation jar and made $70.

    – Sold books to local bookstore.

    – going to missingmoney website and filling out claim form

    – Helping a friend who has serious ADD and organization issues clean out and organize her study.

    – Helping a friend with house repair projects that I can do – ie painting.

  • alyce kirk says:

    Post an ad announcing ‘branding yourself for career growth and position in an ever-changing landscape’ seminar for $25.00 per person. Tout the benefits of taking stock of your personality, your skill set and the value and benefits your bring to relationships.
    I could easily get 20 people.

  • Melanie says:

    i would call up all my mom friends and say that i am offering to sit any and all kiddos on the upcoming friday nights from 6-11 for 5 bucks an hour per kid. i think i could make a few hundred easy.
    if i didnt have a house/yard, i would offer to sit at some kid-type place like chuck e cheese instead.
    if i didnt have any mom friends, i wouldnt do this because asking random people if i could watch their kids would be creepy.

  • Austin Bishop says:

    Troll the “gigs” section on Craigslist to match someone’s need with your skills. Especially if you have creative talents (e.g. graphic design, photography, copywriting) it’s easy to make quick money doing something you enjoy. The beauty of this is that some of these gigs will lead to more consistent jobs with that customer, generate referrals, and build your portfolio. I’ve done this with photography–it’s a terrific way to make some supplemental income.

  • Annie says:

    I would:

    ~ tutor kids…in any subject except math =)
    ~ coach kids or grown-ups in soccer or tennis
    ~ teach a running clinic
    ~ run a playgroup for preschoolers
    ~ be a short-term professional organizer (in people’s homes and offices…even organizing their computer files)
    ~ sell my articles to a magazine
    ~ set up a stand on a busy corner and sell my photos
    ~ take on some subsitute teaching jobs
    ~ rent out parking spaces in my yard. (I live near a train station and could entice many commuters by offering rates cheaper than those offered by the town.)
    ~ get a job delivering flowers

    Thanks for this prompt. I’ve been looking for a way to earn some extra money this really jumpstarted my thinking!

  • Joshua says:

    I’d put up a challenge on a gym notice board. I would need to repeat this till I’ve got to at least 20 gyms. It would be a “who could lose the most weight in 30 days” challenge. It costs 10 pounds/dollars to enter and I measure you when you sign up. The winner wins 500 pounds/dollars at the end of the month. For this to work I need 100 people to enter. Thats 5 people from each gym. In order to get the ball rolling and generate some publicity, I would ask the gyms if I could do a free 20 minute presentation on the “5 best ways to lose fat”. I would then condense the presentation into about 500 words and send it out to all the local newspapers in an attempt to get it featured. I would also create some noise on all the gyms forums, online notice boards and other local health forums. And finally I would enter the competition myself 🙂

  • Amber says:

    1. Consider your current expenses. List all of your current regular monthly bills and analyze which ones could use a little optimization.
    a. Monthly bills –analyze your bill and call the phone/cable/etc company to negotiate a better price based on your loyalty or look at your bank how much ARE they charging in monthly fees, etc.
    b. Consolidate credit to the lowest interest rate
    c. Is there something that you could cut back that you spend regularly? For example, I did not give up lattes but rather it is a treat each Friday instead of 3 or 4 times a week.
    d. Pay yourself first is always a good habit

    2. Garage Sale or eBay ……
    a. Everyone has too much junk. Sell it and even if you can’t sell donate it, you will feel better without it.
    b. You may have heard of a clothes swap, is there another type of swap you could hold?

    3. If you have extra time you can offer your services in short order (a hobby, personal concierge, cut grass, shove snow, gardening, babysit, clean houses, clean cars, etc.)
    a. You can set up a website for free (weebly or others). Check out the offers because it may also include free advertising.
    b. May need to invest in business cards
    c. If you already have a network this is great but if not this could take more than a month before you see money roll in and it may require some investment. Just because you build a website does not mean people will drop by.

    4. Freelance or gain a contract position, for example if you have a skill editing, translation, finance stuff, etc you could browse websites like to find work

    5. Similar to Travel hacking but perhaps call it Life Hacking, keep your eyes open for offers where you receive money as an incentive. For example, opening a back account you may receive $25 for doing so. Buyer Beware though!

    Good question!

  • Lindsey says:

    Wow. Sell your stuff? such novel ideas… 🙂

    If I was in a real pinch for $ and had a legitimate reason (like needing to pay for medical bills and not just wanting to hop a plane to fuel my sense of adventure) I would set up a account and sent it to relatives and close friends with an earnest plea for WHY I needed this money. That’s assuming I haven’t done this too many times before.

    Other than that, I’d babysit some kids for a few days, take on some freelance copywriting projects at the $35 hour rate instead of $65 hour rate (volume at a lower rate can work wonders).

  • Martha Christie says:

    For me, I would hire out my services (strictly business of course, I’m a virtual assistant) for 10 hours per month at my currently admin rate of $40 per hour.

    This would make me $400 for just 10 hours of work, with an added bonus that the person who hired me would be saving 10 hours or their time so they can re-focus their energy into other areas of their business i.e. increasing revenue.

    It’s a totally win, win situation for both me and the person who hires me 😉

  • Theresa E. says:

    Well, I’ve been in that situation and at the time I sold things on Craigslist and Ebay. Also grabbed gigs (whether an ad I posted or responding to someone else) from Craigslist whenever I could. When I was in college, and having bought my books (sometimes acquiring them for free), I would almost always re-sell the books and either got most of my money back or profited from the books. It’s always been pretty basic, easy things that would land me a few extra hundred to work with for the month.

  • maldorora says:

    1. stop eating out or drinking out. some of us spend $200+ week just doing that. you can live on simple staples (esp if you cut out meat, even temporarily), water, and vegetables. You can eat cheap and healthy if you stay away from the frozen foods section, but if you are really in a pinch, you can find ok options there too for <$10/day.
    2. negotiate with utilities companies. usually they can make a payment arrangement and this can buy you some extra time (1-2 weeks) to come up with the money, without damaging your credit or incurring late fees. cable/internet will usually allow you to pay a partial amount too, but this may incur a fee.
    3. look for 1-shot gigs on craigslist. you might find yourself moving props for a film shoot, setting up tables for an event, or doing a one-off bartending or catering gig. While each may only earn you $10/hr, you usually can leverage contacts to find other gigs.
    4. if you don't want to deal with selling things on ebay or craigslist, try a consignment store or resell place. Some consignment shops are willing to pay you a lump price up front than the traditional % when sold.
    5. don't pay for cable tv.
    6. buy essentials at dollar & discount stores.

  • Diwa Gacosta says:

    Raising funds to pay bills just sound too familiar! Everytime I have to (even if I don’t actually but from the joy I get from it), I turn to my best buddy — ebay Philippines. Just last weekend, I’ve just cleaned my closet and shoe cabinet, sorted my stuff – clothes and sky-high shoes, took photos, edited them, and posted them on ebay…. I have 4 days to go before the bidding ends. Right now, I’m praying that the bidding would be really good. I’m targetting to at least get $150 to give to a non-profit I support. I’ve done this before and I gained over $500 plus acquired complete baby products from cribs to bottles for my baby at very low prices. Ebay’s my super best friend!

  • John says:

    I would rent out my home, & live in my campervan for a few weeks / months.

  • Sandy R says:

    Bookmark this comment thread and come back here and select the best fit suggestion for my current circumstances. Or throw a party at my local watering hole, sell tickets, have door prizes and incentives provided by the restaurant (they would be in) and celebrate the fact that I have an awesome community no matter what hardships I face in my life.

  • Helene says:

    Actually I think the easiest way for my family would be to revisit our budget and save the extra money instead of earning some more. I would for example do the NZ$21 Food Challenge and that would save us NZ$300 in two weeks already. I would look at other expenses such as hairdresser and clothes and cut on them. With the extra money saved I would put them in a special bank account for maximum interest. And voila!

    All the other ideas given by the others were valuable though and I will take good note of them 😉

  • Stefanie says:

    A friendly face and willingness to work can do wonders.

    I’ve exchanged a weekend working at a winery in Virginia for plane tickets, swapped out a few hours of working at a cafe / coffee shop for baskets of fresh produce, and (rather than swelter in my a/c free apartment) have had enjoyed several air-conditioned summers while house sitting for vacationing friends.

    Put another way, define your skills and use your friends. 😉

    I haven’t had a traditional full-time job with benefits for several years, but I have been doing loads of interesting work. I’ve been paying the bills by doing the grunt work other people opt out of (I’ve dabbled in caregiving for the elderly over the past several years) and learning and refining skills (marketing and graphic design).

    There are so many resources, if you just make yourself available!

  • Bettina Silverman says:

    Research history of your town. Research and script some stories/legends/lore about your area. Your base will be the downtown area – or any historic area in your town. Place an ad in Craigslist/local free paper offering hour history or ghost walking tours. Either ask a coffee shop to set up a tour guide meet-up area or meet customers at a central location. Cash basis only. You’ll also receive tips. Place flyers at local hotels. Put your heart and soul into your presentation. People love enthusiasm and tip accordingly. Make sure you aren’t breaking any city codes. If someone else is doing walking tours – find another location or other days of the week to do it – don’t compete – find another niche. At beginning of tour inform guests not to jaywalk and to please watch their step.

  • Thea says:

    1. Make a promo CD and pass it around to local hotels and venues to see if they need a DJ
    2. Since I’m a yoga teacher, I would also go around to local hotels, resorts, yoga places and see if they need a teacher
    3. I also cut hair, I would let everyone I know I make house calls.
    4. Be a nude model for an art college class
    5. Be a secret shopper

  • Elizabeth Williamson says:

    Go to a street corner with cardboard signs. But instead of writing cliches like hungry or homeless, write witty one-liners or uplifting quotes. Have a bucket that encourages donations if you made the folks walking by smile.

  • John says:

    I would gamble recklessly on the world’s money markets. If I make loads of money quickly doing this, then great. If I lose loads of money I will simply persuade the government to give me what I have lost after informing them that I am “too big to fail.”

  • Katie says:

    As inspired by Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones, I would set up a table in a busy area of town or at a big outdoor event, and offer to write one page of stream-of-consciousness original creative writing inspired by any topic the client chooses, for a couple of bucks and in a few minutes. They get an original piece of creative writing (think about it- other than some of the more lyrical letters directed at you, how many pieces of original creative writing do you get?), and you get their money PLUS a lot of writing practice time. Perfect for a creative writer like me. I’m moving to Greenwich Village in a few weeks and I plan on doing this in Washington Sq Park and Union Sq as writing practice whenever I feel a bit of writer’s block. So excited! Very interesting post as well, Chris. Time limits + financial need force us to get creative.

  • Betsy Talbot says:

    Just about everyone can easily make $300-500 by selling their crap. We made this practically a part-time job during the 2 years before our long-term travel started. We sold something every single week on Craiglist, basically setting up a Craigslist store in one of our rooms. People don’t haggle when they know you are selling to travel the world, so we got top dollar for everything we sold.

    What we found was that as your material load gets lighter your mind becomes more open to other possibilities. We found other ways to make/save money as we went along, eventually extending our travel budget from 1 year to 5 years. No small feat!

    This is definitely not a strategy you can use long-term (because you will eventually run out of stuff), but the process of getting rid of what is no longer useful to you will also free up your mind to consider other ways to live/work that are useful to you, which will help make more money in the long-term.

  • patrick says:

    I can think of a number of things to do for a 30 day period to bring in quick money.

    I’d choose something that has room to grow so that, over the 30 day period, I could develop the idea and make it viable as a long-term thing. That seems to make the most sense, right?

  • Ryan says:

    I would sell all the stuff I don’t need on Ebay. That way your making money & minimizing your life! I recently listed my whole cd collection on Ebay & made £350 in 10 days! Ive literally gone through my whole room & now people are giving me things to sell! If you don’t need it SELL IT!

  • Dan says:

    Easy But Painful: Put up adds on craiglist and the local radio “trading post” selling my woodworking tools. I could raise the required amount by just selling the table saw and planer. The beautiful part is that I bought the tools used from auctions & classifieds for the same price I’d sell them for. There wouldn’t be a dime of depreciation lost. The downside is missing my tools but I’d have to start saving again.

    Awkward but Profitable: Get the hedgetrimmer out of the shed, throw it over my shoulder and start knocking on doors offering to trim hedges. I think the real key is be honest. “Hi, my name is Dan and I need to earn some extra money to pay an unexpected bill.” At $20/house, it shouldn’t be too hard to find 25 customers over 4 weekends. Cold calls aren’t fun but they can be effective.

    The Honest Answer: I’d write a check from my emergency fund account. That’s why it’s there. I haven’t had a $500 emergency since I was 22 and freshly married. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of hustle.

  • Susan V says:

    I believe Money is ‘energy’ and I firmly believe in the ‘Law of Attraction’…..when I’ve desperately needed money, I’ve given out more…in forms of tips, donating to charity etc….and money always finds a way of coming back to you multiplied many fold if you give with the right intention.

    And you’re always shown a way to make or get money if you can trust in the providence of the universe and then miracles happen…your creative mind kicks in and genius ideas prop up out of nowhere….and so Ask and it is Given!

  • Ryan says:

    Just seen you said no websites or email! Dam Thats my idea down the drain!!

  • suelin says:

    hand draw some large signs and position them in high traffic areas so people know i have items for sale. then organise excess/extra stuff i do not want or need and offer for sale at low prices – i get rid of excess baggage and make a few bucks towards the bills.

  • Susan V says:

    Clean out the garage, house, attic, etc. and sell it at a flea market or auction. Take scrap metal to recycle for cash.

    Contact all the friends I’ve given free marketing advice to and offer services for payment–if not for them, ask for referal.

    Host online marketing event for small business and advertise on LinkedIn, blog, Facebook, etc.

  • Shari says:

    I’m a designer, so I could just do some extra freelance work, but I’m a big fan of selling old furniture on Craigslist for some quick cash OR re-vamping old furniture to make it much nicer and selling it for even more!

  • Amber says:

    As a writer, I’d polish one of my WiP’s, prettify it with InDesign and ask one of the artists at for a cheap (maybe even free) cover art. Then I’d sell it online, promoting it as hell through all social medias.

    Or I’d offer to work for a small company to be their social media manager, setting up and updating their social media accounts.

  • Abigail says:

    I would sell things I owned and look into getting a part-time job delivering pizza at night.

  • Michal P says:

    I would whore myself out to as many women as I could.

  • Mickey Seiler says:

    Lets face it, there are so many items we own that are seldom, if ever, used. These include books, clothes, electronics and more. Search your area for second hand stores that may be willing to purchase some of these things from you. It’s a good place to start. Then, hold a garage sale with whatever is left. Find a space that is highly visible by passing traffic. People still love to browse and buy from garage sales. Not only will you accumulate $300, you’re sure to make David Bruno very proud.

    p.s. And you can always enlist your significant other in manning a cookies and lemonade stand! 🙂

  • Henly says:

    Hmm.. nothing illegal huh? Man, that rules out 99% of my ideas =)

    Ok, let’s get creative…

    1) For the Internet Marketer: Sign up for a Yahoo Answers account. Go look for questions directly related to consumer/shopping, and add your affiliate link to Amazon in the answer. So if someone is asking for the best Nikon camera, post a link to a Nikon camera in the link. Cameras are a good niche since selling 1 of them yields $20 or so bucks as commission.

    You can duplicate this for other sites like Mahalo Answers, Amazon Askville, etc. Since you don’t have access to an existing site, the key is to LEVERAGE other sites.

    2) For the Writer: Do freelance writing arbitrage. There’s a great number of English speakers in the Philippines. Get gigs and outsource them to these people. Let’s say you can get $10 per 1000 words. I’m sure there are people in the Philippines that can do that for $5.

    3) For the Slightly Shady: Announce you’re having a party to celebrate a “promotion”. Invite everyone you know, and tell them at the end you’d appreciate a $20 donation to “cover” the costs. I know people who pull this off and you have no choice but to pay.. you can’t say No in front of everyone.

  • Kristen Sloan says:

    Start selling stuff!

  • dean dwyer says:

    Community Building/Coaching

    This is an idea I have been thinking about for the past few weeks and it would be in response to filling a gap that forums don’t provide.

    If you have solved a problem that others would want (mine is body transformation) try this.

    1. Offer coaching services to a group of 5 with the idea of creating an exclusive support system (that they could continue when your offer expires)
    2. Set them up on a private Facebook group so they could ask questions, help each other etc. This is NOT accessible by the public.
    3. Use your email auto-responder to provide a daily lesson for say 1 week…I am thinking 30 days for my idea.
    4. They read/do the lesson, comment on it in FB forum and interact with other 4. They can also upload photos or videos as well. (you moderate forum-is great for people who are excellent commenters…you shine with the feedback you provide)
    5. Could tie it together with a group Skype call at the end.

    Price varies depending on offer & length of time offered for.

    Possible uses:
    *social media training
    *blog set up
    *cooking classes (for families, particular diet)
    *how to make extra $500 in 30 days

    Tagline: Community sells!

  • Tyson says:

    It just so happens than I have many friends who are interested in the same things I am interested in, photography. These friends are also on Facebook. I would post a few affiliate links to products that I genuinely enjoy. I would do this all month like “Tysons Favorite Things” (thanks Oprah). The affiliate commissions would add up quick. Hopefully I could make my goal. If not I would also do a little consulting or guest posting for photography related WordPress blogs. There are awesome blogging opportunities over on the Problogger job board. I like these options because they are not location based. I am still free to wander 🙂

  • RAVEN says:

    Since you said “in the next 30 days,” and it is currently the height of lawn-growing season, here is what I would do. I would load the lawnmower in the back of the truck and go door to door (where the lawns are tall) and tell them I will mow their lawn for $10 (or $15 or $20 depending on the size of the lawn, what the market will bear and what they are paying their current mower if they offer that info) right now. Lawns need to be mowed every week or two, so with repeat customers, I would only need about 15. I would also say that I was once a professional landscaper (for two whole summers!) and I will make their lawn look the best they have ever seen it. PS. I am retired so I have time to mow lawns.

  • RenegadePilgrim says:

    1) Re-read rules
    2) Don’t use email or website
    3) Use a phonebook and let my fingers do the walking
    4) Call local hospitals, nursing schools, medical schools, public schools, private schools
    5) Offer to teach CPR/First Aid classes (I am an instructor on the side) to students or teachers
    6) Make $300 for every 6 students I teach

    Hmmmm, maybe I should be doing this more often…..I could make enough money just teaching two or three CPR classes a month over a period of a year to travel for another year…..

  • Mary says:

    I could make easily that much with a couple weeks of pet sitting. Around the holidays, I could make thousands in a couple weeks.
    If you like animals, it really is the most flexible, rewarding, easy way of making extra money.

  • Fran says:

    Teach your gift to others. Whatever it is, there are lots of folks eager to learn to cook, garden,draw, paint, sing, write, walk, run, do yoga, tai chi, care for children, meditate, or….!? Put the word out in an email, and get ready to celebrate and share for a donation or set fee. Your reward will be so much greater than $500.

  • Gemini123 says:

    I would use the Dave Ramsey and sell anything that I no longer needed and have an old fashion garage sale. It is amazing how much momey one can make on these affairs if one is organized.

  • Melissa says:

    Rent out a room in my house as a short-term let. Because it is short term I would be able to ask for more than the local going rate of $400/month for a room. And because it is short term, I wouldn’t have to live with the person for very long. Easy $500/month with just one post on Craigslist!

  • Andreas says:

    – offer tourist guide services at the local hotel or airport
    – offer car rides to elderly for errands and doctors appts. (post at Church)
    – offer course help/tutoring at a local school/college
    – Sell cold water or popsicles at the beach or on a hiking trail (self made…)

  • Mark says:

    Here’s what’d I’d do to try and raise the extra cash:

    KISSING BOOTH- Every weekend I would set up a booth in a busy section of
    the city, Toronto, (provided its still the summertime) and charge a buck per
    kiss. Whether I kiss both women AND men depends on how much money I
    made and how close it is until the end of the month.

  • Rob says:

    Don’t sell your stuff, RENT IT OUT! Put up a sign in your local area to rent some of your tools, sewing machine, anything that I’d say would cost more than $100 for someone to buy. Tools are a big thing, pressure washers, that sort of thing. Then your not selling your stuff, but continuing to make money off something that is already a sunk cost.

  • Ruth says:

    I’d walk or run, giving 50% of the profits to the charity of choice. Get fit, raise money for the month, and the charity benefit too. My sister ran a half marathon for the blind and raised money really fast.

    I’m a handwriting analyst with a good reputation and would offer everyone I know on FB, etc to get a personalized inexpensive analysis on CD (or email via MP3 to cut costs further) for only $20 per person and also suggest it as a gift certificate. I know I could rustle up at least 15 people.

    I’ve also cooked at friends houses for dinner parties. I show up with all the food and cook it all for a fee to cover food and my work. It’s a winner. Guests get out of the kitchen, mingle with cocktails with old and new friends, it’s stress-free for them and there are no dishes afterwards. It’s usually successful and they want it more than once and their friends often want the service too.

    I’d sell other people’s stuff on ebay and take 50% of sales.

    I’d sell a book I created (and did nothing with) that shows diabetic people how, what and when to eat. I had it approved by a dietician at a hospital who said she would buy copies for her clients.

  • Caroline says:

    I would email/call up my contacts (former clients, friends, family, acquaintances) and ask if their resumes could use an update/a polish or a translation, along with a solid introduction letter that can be easily repurposed for job applications.

  • Tracy@HappyDaisyAZ says:

    What a fun question – interesting to read responses so far.

    I would take my camera to the park (I’d brinig my own kids too both to use as assistants and so that I don not look like a nut job) and offer to take portraits of people’s kids (or the people with their kids – mom’s are never in the picture!). I’d give them my card – which shows the url of my photography blog. At $15.00 per digital image, I could easily email them a proof online and send them a Paypal $ request that afternoon.

    Of course it’s hellishly hot here in AZ right now and no one in their right mind is at the park after 4:47 a.m., so I’d try to put this whole plan off till fall.

    Of course if I was that desperate, I suppose I could always sell the camera equipment and live a very nice life off that $ as well!

  • Melissa says:

    With my current job I could work some extra overtime, but not everyone would have that option. If I was desperate for the money I could sell a couple high value items like my bike or my saxophone. If it wasn’t a desperate need for the extra money I would look around my house for other (less valuable to me) items to sell, maybe post a few hand-knit items on Etsy, scour sites like eLance, Guru or 99 Designs for quick and dirty web design work or look for a short-term retail gig that requires no experience.

  • Sarah Russell says:

    Honestly, I’d head over to the Problogger Job Board and respond to a few of the postings there. I’ve been doing that for the past few months, and it’s put *much* more than $300-500 in my pocket lately 🙂

    But if I’m being creative, I would develop a website called the “Bad Boss Sale” where I would share the story about how I’m trying to get out of my day job because of a frustrating situation with my current boss, list items from around my house for sale and hope that the unique story would help me sell my crap for more than I’d get selling it on eBay or through a garage sale.

  • Caroline says:

    That’s an interesting question, i think i will think about all the “bankable skills” i have outside Internet and will try to sell them to people such as cleaning houses, do food-shopping for old people, waxing women, ironing clothes, baby sitting, teach french, help kids with their homework…etc

    I will go knock on people’s doors in my town and probably post some posters and flyers in local shops to advertise my services! 🙂

  • John Liddle says:

    $300 in 30 days? $10 a day. Easy. Cut lawns, clean windows, do odd jobs, get the shopping for old ladies, trim hegdes. Any laboring task will earn you $10 in no time.

    The challenge would be to make it all in one lump. Download some public domain material, put it on CD, tidy up the format, print nice labels, photograph the neatest copy, write a promotion blurb and sell them on eBay. “All the novels of Jane Austen on a single CD – yours for $10 + postage”. My guess is that you’d net your $300 to $500 in your 30 days and then some.

  • Halona Black says:

    I’d put up a paypal link on my blog asking for some cash to pay the bills. Then I’d start selling stuff on craigslist.

  • Ellen says:

    Funny you should ask. My partner and I just spent a few days over the last 30 re-organizing the basement and garage. This past weekend we had a yard sale, and made a little over $500 from the stuff we decided we did not need.

  • tbrett says:

    I would make of list of the skills that I use for my full-time job & see if there is any overlap with a need from those in my personal & professional network. I currently work planning programs & special events for the public in my hometown. Being a government employee has been rough waters for the past few years: furlough days, lay-offs, pay cuts and more have significantly impacted my income. wen I was notified of my furlough days–12 unpaid days–I polled everyone in my network to see if they or their workplaces needed an event or project manager. Just by ASKING, I learned that someone did in fact have a 2 week project for me to work on. I was elated–as was my landlord, the electric company and Sallie Mae (the student loan gods to whom i owe my soul and future earnings)! The rate of pay was greater than my pay at my day job–I was able to make up for my lost income. So I say, inventory your skills and ask everyone you know in your personal/professional network who can give you some work–and get you the extra cash that you need!

  • Anne says:

    Yart sale. Yard sale that includes art.
    I live on a street with regular Saturday yard sales so no need to advertise.

  • Tekla says:

    I would sell plasma, which can be up to $250 a month. I would also do micro tasks- similar to what Amazon Mechanical Turk offers. If you push for that $10/day, you can make the $300 easily.

  • David says:

    I’d do what I’m doing as we speak: look at my passions and expertise, choose a specific area and write on it in the form of an e-book. Offer free downloads of a summary, sell the e-book for a modest price, and create an audio version. Shoot short videos to build a buzz leading up to the launch…then, SCADOOSH!

  • Myra says:

    When I am short on cash, I am a fan of resale and slave labor. If I have a flea market booth at the time, I clean out the garage and ask all of my friends and family to donate their “junk” to stock my booth. During that month, I usually clear at least $300 after paying my booth fees. The flea market is attended so I do not have to be there. While the booth is making money, I will sell larger or more valuable items on Craigslist, Ebay, or Etsy. If I’m really hurting for cash, I will refurbish computers (mostly Dell 6000 laptops) and a local electronics store will let me sell the computer off their shelves for a small commission. When I had a lot of books and DVD’s to sell, I used If I still needed money, I would offer to wash cars, do yard work, clean garages–all the really gross tasks that people REALLY didn’t want to do and would pay good money to have done. If all else failed, fire sale in the front yard! (Fire sale, yard sale, same thing. lol)

  • Vago Damitio says:

    Lots of the suggestions above only work in the USA or other western countries. I can’t have a garage sale in Morocco, no one reads craigslist here, and the shipping costs for ebay make it very impractical and unprofitable.

    In addition, many of them presuppose that you are at your home base and have all your stuff. You can’t have a yard sale when you are on the road or traveling.

    Here are a few things you can do:

    Option A:

    1) Go to and search for ‘wtb’
    2) Apply to every seeking native English speaking writer gig
    3) spend all my free time writing writing writing

    You don’t have to be a professional writer. You just have to be able to use spell.
    checker and write clear sentences. BTW – the article arbitrage (using Filipino or Indian writers) mentioned above is clever, but what will you do when the purchaser refuses to pay you because the article is badly written?

    Option B:

    Take a walk through the area where there are hotels, guesthouses, and tourist stuff and speak with the owners/managers about social media, blogging, web dev – most of these people have things they need done and will pay you something to do it – if you can figure out what they need (set up a facebook page, set up a blog, set up a twitter, explain what SEO is etc)

    Option C:

    Read everything you can about the area you are in and then go to couchsurfing and offer to do a historical walk/talk/hike etc for $5 per person at a venue of your choice. If you want to really maximize it, include a set lunch, negotiate the cost with the owner and raise your price higher so you make a profit…then you can make it just a meetup with the cost to cover peoples own food

  • stacy says:

    I’d hang out at hotels and offer visitors personalized tours. I love to travel and I teach so combining the two and making a little cash should be no problem.

  • Luisa Perkins says:

    I would go around to local cafes and sell my delicious scones. A batch of a dozen costs me about $3.89 to make, so if I sold the scones for $1.00 each, I’d make a profit of $8.11 per batch. Places around here sell scones for a couple of dollars each, so the cafes would profit, too.

    They really are delicious.

  • Cash says:

    I can sit on a bench in the park in my undies with a sign saying “Nothing to wear” and an empty cap to collect the money 🙂

    I can play online poker – freerolls and cheap buy-in tourneys and some cash tables to make the 300-500.

    I can also always sell my phone and buy the cheapest one instead (temporarily):D

  • Stepan says:

    Sounds cool :).

    1) Tutor High-school kids in a topic of interest.

    2) Teach English if you’re in a foreign country ( Particularly effective in South Korea).

    3) Buy candy or drinks at a Grocery store and sell them close to a School or a Club respectively.

    4) DJ at clubs if you know how.

    5) If you have web chops, tell your hostel you’ll spruce up their website and get them traffic online for free lodging(300-1000 dollar value!)

  • Diana Welsch says:

    I’ve done this and I don’t see it mentioned yet. I live in an apartment complex in a nice neighborhood and someone moves out at the end of nearly every month and pitches all sorts of great items beside or in the trash bin. Good stuff that can be reused, recycled, or re-purposed…I fish the stuff out, clean it up, and sell it on Craigslist. 100 percent profit. I’ve sold everything to a hand crafted clothing chest to tools and bikes. It’s amazing what people will throw away…especially when their car gets full!!!

  • Denise says:

    I would read people’s tarot cards. At $30 for 30 minutes, I often get more requests than I can handle. The requests for readings only come from word of mouth – I never advertise.

  • Chris says:

    I’ve needed to earn extra money each month because my salary hasn’t cut it. So, I started mystery shopping for various companies. I usually make an extra $500 or so per month doing audits, evaluations, and mystery shops. It also offers a unique chance to visit small towns in the middle of nowhere that you wouldn’t otherwise experience. Wait until the jobs are bonused towards the middle and end of the month to maximize earnings. Schedulers become more desperate as the deadline approaches. Create a route of 8-10 shops you can do in 3-4 hours.

  • S.Ou says:

    Yes, without internet access, looks like this is an exercise for earning money the old fashion way…

    1. I would say the easiest way is just to go to family and friends and just borrow from them, since you know you will have money to pay them back.

    2. Cleaning up stuff from your apartment and organzing a yard sale seems to be a good way to go. The other benefits from this exercise maybe that find money that you tucked/tossed away a while back (happened to me…)

    3. As many have mentioned, get a parttime job that pays hourly. I agree with Tim that the easist job to find the delivering pizzas or chinese take out. I’ve done it, on weekends you can make anything between 50~200 bucks easy.

    4. Kissing booth by Mark…. hmm…. that might work! Has someone been watching southpark lately? lol. Still, best idea I have heard all day!

  • Bob Jr says:

    I am in this situation. I have sold a number of items on craigslist. The key is not to set a price. All offers that have come in have been higher than what I would post them at. This is minimal time and effort as well.

    As a musician, busking works well. I also have my CD available to “give away” for a donation. People seem to give more when they get something in return.

  • Lucia says:

    I’m a designer, so a good option would be to set up a shop at a print on demand website (Zazzle, Cafe Press, etc.) ,upload a bunch of my designs on their products, then build a website and use it to promote my shop.
    Also if you’re a good writer, you can write articles to sites like Squidoo and earn some extra money. You can also write a “how to” ebook about something you’ve knowledge of, and sell it.

  • Kathleen Faulkner says:

    I would hold a garage sale and also ask those who owe me money to pay up.

  • Trevor says:

    Open a new checking account at Chase ($150 bonus) and Citibank ($100 bonus). I’d make that extra $50-$200 as a silver, spraypainted street performer, dressed as a robot. This would be my reminder that I can use my creativity– rather than being a robot who punches a clock– to earn my extra cash.

  • Becky Blanton says:

    Having been homeless, and now working 40 hours a week on my own books while shunning traditional $$ methods, I know I can raise rent in a few days. In the past I have raised $250 to $1,000 in a matter of 2-3 days, dozens of times in my life in order to pay for car repairs, food, etc. I can tell you 85-95% of these suggestions won’t work. Theory vs practice. Been there, done that. The least sexy and complicated ones (lawn mowing, garage sales) are your best bet, but there is something even better. I would suggest you ask your readers to accept the challenge of raising that much money in 30-days, then detail how they did it and offer a prize of $500 and the inclusion of the details in your next book to the top three reports.

  • Thomas Le says:

    Im working on sports betting. Sure its a risk, but limited by knowledge and research.
    This past week and a half i made 1.6k AUD on sports betting alone.

    Its something new im venturing even thoug i love all sports since birth i reckon.
    A project im working on. Still in the work, as i am building up my database.

    Honestly, if you want a risk but you dont have much outlay for shares or a high interest account, this is a great chance! TAX FREE!!

    If you need some more info let me know.

  • Robin says:

    Organize a ‘transformational happening’. Limit it to 25 people for $25. They can come as anything they want, whatever life form or none life form speaks to them, animal, opposite gender, queen, alien whatever. Keep back $400 and throw the rest at ordered in pizza, beer wine etc. The challenge is to write a brief prose or poetry explanation of why they came as they did. Vote for a winner and give them $100.

  • Stephanie Holcombe says:

    Plant flowers and have a U-Cut sign out front! In the hot deep South, I’ve done this with sunflowers. They are hardy flowers, drought resistant and dramatic in look once they’ve bloomed. If the U-Cut option is not available, then cut them yourself and place a bucket full at the end of your driveway w/ a box for donations. I’ve done this in Mississippi and opening the box to find money is oh so fun! It is even greater because it requires very little to no extra time for me — other than the initial planting. They sell themselves!

  • Karen says:

    I’d go straight to my travel journals (I have several years’ worth) and write a few travel articles. Before I get told that there are no travel markets that pay up front and have a quick turnaround, I’ll share a some faves I’ve sold articles to that fit the bill – Transitions Abroad, Boots n All and the Matador Network.

  • Jenny says:

    I’d first go through the monthly budget and see if I could make cuts somewhere. Once I knew how much I needed to cover, I’d go through my house looking for items I don’t need anymore and sell then on craigslist/ebay/kijiji. Whatever didn’t sell, I’d organize a street yard sale on my street and try to sell as much of the left over as possible. If I was still short after the yard sale, I’d hold a dog grooming service in my back yard, with 50% of profits going to an NGO and the rest to me, to pay my debt (this would be made clear on the sign announcing the charity grooming.)
    Finally if I was still short, I’d get a temping job in the bartending field and work weekend events, using the tip money to pay off the balance and make extra so as to not end up short the next few months.

  • Ryan says:

    Pick up some web design consulting work in the evening($55 per hour), drive limo on weekend for bachelorette parties ($200 a night plus tips), cut back on unnecessary spending(dining out, save average $10 a day), bike to work (save $50/week in gas),

  • Stephanie says:

    Like the good planner that I am, I’m already prepared for the day that I’ll need to scrounge together $300-$500 on short notice. 🙂 I would take advantage of the market research I’ve done over the past year and ask my list of interested friends, family and acquaintances if any of them are still on the market for a commissioned painting. I charge $300-$500 for each piece, and ask for an upfront payment of 1/2 the cost of the painting.

  • Antony says:

    Interesting stuff to read through. Most people are suggesting to offer sale of either a service or a good. This would require others to buy your product or service – which is really dependent on others, & unless you’re already doing these things mean outlaying MORE money on advertising/fuel/time etc and then waiting a while (maybe a month) before you even get your first bite. Instead of selling or working more (time is money) – why not change what you do. Turn off the electrical appliances and lights you don’t need, & leave the car at home (walk or if you have it – take the bike when you don’t need to drive) and you will save that $500/month. Read books like Neil Strauss’ ”Emergency” – the chapter on survival simulation will change your perspective on how simplification is not only better for your soul but your wallet too.

  • Anthea says:

    I think my most effective approach would be to put up a website advertising resume writing services and then put ads on craigslist and contact local employment centers to drum up business. Maybe put up fliers on the library message board…

    I’ve been doing resume re-writes for friends for several years now, so I have a bit of a portfolio, but I’ve been too chicken/apathetic to act on the idea of making it a side business. Maybe it’s time to start. 🙂

  • Karen Sonntag says:

    To earn $300-500 in 30 days with no email or website access, I would first trade in my 2002 Ford Focus and purchase a late 90’s pickup truck. Next I would take the money earned from the trade-in (roughly $250) and post an ad in the local paper. Several ads actually, one would advertise hauling junk away. The other would be a chick with a truck ad, a discount moving service for small moves. Next I would apply for a taxi license and stencil TAXI on the side of my truck, along with my phone number. The cost of the license, insurance, and ads would burn through the $250, however, with all these services offered, I’m confident I’d earn at least $500 in one month.

  • Gail Cassidy says:

    I have an unused $1,200 recumbent bike which I would sell on Craigslist. I also have broken pieces of gold jewelry that I would sell while the price of gold is so high. Those two moves should earn me more than $500 in the next couple of weeks.

  • Anna says:

    Prepare some baked goods (cakes, biscuits, sandwiches made with homemade bread) at home and sell them from a basket during mid-morning in offices. Have made a fair bit in the past from selling cupcakes from the office kitchen.

  • Trans-Americas Journey says:

    Sell a Kidney. Not illegal in many places and you’ll have plenty of spending $$$ left over.

  • Mon says:

    rework the budget, you’ll kill yourself over working especially for a cheap price. haha *learned that from experiences 🙂

  • Dwayne says:

    I see that many had offered the same advice I had intended. Funny thinking along the same lines today. How do I make 300 to 500 extra dollars without eBay, or Craigslist. My website is new, too. As read over the suggestions offered it hit me. Just 300 to 500 would disappear so fast, it would be as if I never had it. So instead of trying to make the money online, I will curtail my daily expenses. I am sure it can be done online. I don’t know any.

  • Erin says:

    – Baby Sitting – It always rakes in the bucks in a short amount of time. You can easily make $10 p/hr and could make easily $300 – $500 in a week if you did it full time.

    – Dog walking – Always another huge money maker. Seems like it would be the same amount as baby sitting.

    – Purging old items via sale of some sort

    If I were really creative I would get together some of my more artistic friends to create an art show called “The Art of the Deal” and have them create pieces of art under that objective (roughly 100), set up the art in my house as the “gallery”, advertise via FB & Twitter, and then sell sell sell! The pieces would go for no more than $10 – $20 per item and wa-la!

  • Rich says:

    1. Do some extensive research in the morning and determine which companies stock you think will perform the best in the foreseeable future

    2. Draft a short report detailing why you believe the stock price of the company will increase along with a disclaimer and print several hundred copies

    3. Purchase a cardboard sign and a Sharpie, and create a hand made sign that says “your donation gets my stock pick”

    4. Stand at a busy intersection holding the cardboard sign, distributing your report in exchange for donations.

    5. You will collect $500 in about 3 hours plus or minus

  • Neil says:

    Window Cleaning

    You need:
    – A ladder
    – A washer
    – A squeegee
    – A few rags
    – Bottle of simple liquid dish detergent
    – A bucket

    Knock door to door in an affluent neighbourhood and offer to wash all their outside windows for $125 bucks or inside and out for $200. They will be delighted to pay this.

    Mix a squirt of detergent with water. Dip your washer in, lather the window, squeegee it away. Wipe the water away with a dry rag. Repeat. Keep track of the clients you service and call them next year. You can upsell them by offering to remove the junk from their gutters or any other yard work you may be good at.

    Stay safe and enjoy the money!


  • DJ says:

    I would buy 2 cases of bottled water at Aldi, and then sell bottled water for $1 each outside of kids’ sport practices and at festivals where people are hot and thirsty this time of year. Sell out those cases in about 3 hours, that’s $16 an hour–in 3 days of working 8 hours each, I have earned over $300.

  • Kara says:

    I am a massage therapist. If I needed an extra $300-500, I would talk to some grocery stores or businesses to see if I could set up to do chair massage at their office/wherever for $1/minute for the employees. Benefit of being paid for my work and advertising at the same time. I usually get a few regular clients out of chair massage, which I earn $45/hour each time they book with me. It would add up quickly with just a small amount of extra work.

  • Austin L. Church says:

    Chris, if I needed $500, I’d start by looking around my house for stuff that my wife and I don’t use that much. Once I had a few items, I’d sell all that stuff on eBay. The summer after graduating college, I supported myself and did quite a bit of traveling simply by selling stuff on eBay. Dishes and fishing gear both had excellent profit margins. I’m about 60% finished with a book on the subject: selling the stuff you don’t use on eBay, “buy back” your own time, and use it to do your art, whatever that is. Once I’d sold my own stuff, I’d sell my eBay selling service to friends and family for a 50/50, or 40/60, split. Then, I’d move to Craigslist and focus on fly fishing gear.

    Simply by writing honest descriptions, taking great pictures, answering any and every question, and offering prompt delivery, I’ve been able to earn 15-20% more than comparable auctions without getting negative feedback even once.

    I could make that first $500 in a week then use it as seed capital for the rest of the month.

    I know eBay isn’t the sexiest answer, but it certainly works.

  • @marihuertas says:

    I’ve actually been considering this as I transition my career work, so I have an answer ready to go.

    I’m based in Chicago, so I would teach a class through @dabblehq. You write up your own class description, set up the date, time, and place, and teach to a group of people who sign up through their site.

    They charge $20, and you, as the teacher, get half. So if I taught two classes to 20 people, I’d have the money easily in a week or two. And I could talk about educational tools, web design, social media, online presence … lots of possibilities there.

  • Monica Ray says:

    I just recently came across a website that allows you to rent out a room in your home, just like a B&B. People even rent out their couches.

    Ebay and Craigslist are also great ways to earn some extra money and you can declutter your home at the same time.

  • Dominic says:

    Flea markets. Take anything you can carry that’s not broken or nailed down. Sell the random clutter of life at ridiculous prices to give people those deals they go there looking for, and your table will be cleared in no time.

  • Anne says:

    Lovely ideas! I especially like the “Lucy” booth 🙂
    I would rent out my flat during the Octoberfest and in the meantime would try and get a cat-sitting job in a posh house by a lake somewhere.While there, I would paint the pretty flowers in the garden and sell them to the house owners when they come back. That’d be fun-and then after two weeks I’ll be glad to be back from fairyland in the real world.

  • Hutch says:

    Buy as much gold as possible then raise the debt ceiling.

  • Maria says:

    Apply what you’ve learned through reading this post/the comments – should make you $ 6.000, 6.300, 6.600, 6.900, … [still counting]

  • Sherri says:

    I would pick one or two of my more expensive toys that I hardly use and sell it on Craig’s List or Ebay. I know I have at least a few things that I hardly use and I really should have gotten rid of awhile ago!

  • charlino says:

    The best suggestion I could give to someone who needs $300-$500 fast, has no email or web site access is to begin by looking around. My husband taught me that there is plenty of money laying on the ground, but no one is willing to pick it up. For example, drive around town for about an hour and see how many hub caps you can pick up (here they go for $5-$10 each.). Ever walk through a parking lot and not see loose change lying on the ground? Pennies and quarters add up. All people need help of some sort. Grocery delivery, gardens weeded, lawns mowed, junk organized, homes cleaned, etc. If one is confident in their work, has good references, and shows up when they say they will, $300-$500 is easily obtainable.

  • Vincent Wagner says:

    The first step, to determine the own remarkable talent. Some people may be skillful in writing, painting, photography, teaching, presentation, or making a lot of good ideas. These are all good to be mold into some glamorous things to make wealth.

    The second step, looking for the social resources, such as friends, colleagues, etc., try to collaborate with them.

    The third step, to create actual things and create wealth. Even a framework of good ideas can make the incoming opportunities. But the key is the negotiation ability, to sell the creation at a good price.

    Such as one of my close friend who is a lecturer in productivity. He has made a great community full of the most active people.

    In my own case, I am a painter, so I can publish a combination zine of graphics and art appreciations with friends or myself. It will available on Internet with a trial and a full version by purchase.

    Although in this period, it is alright to find other job, or to sell superfluous stuffs away. However I think, rather than consuming time, I prefer to be in a more sustainable way of life through creating good work. When the concept has become a symbol, it is representative of a success.

  • Ipat Luna says:

    Spring cleaning/Garage sale with several twists
    1. Speed bidding. Will squeeze into two hours as many items as I can.
    2. Location. Not the garage. Set up a table after church during a sports event, or at the park on a weekend,
    3. Each item will have a story on a card attached to it.
    4. Items also on ebay, people there have to beat the bids online.

  • rani says:

    I think a yard sale is a great idea, but if anyone is like me, I hate having my own yardsale! Something about having a bunch of strangers bargain over something for a measly 50 cents! So with thirty days to make an average of $400…..I would go to local businesses in town and offer an array of services to do on contract…..paint windows, make and pass out fliers, clean, drive, basically anything particular to that small business that they need and will help them and can afford to pay on short term time limit. The other thing I would do and have done, is take my massage chair out and offer to do 20 minute chair massages for $15: that’s roughly 27 massages..get in a busy area, do about 7 per week and we have made our average, while giving people a bit of rnr!

  • Leah says:

    What a great discussion!

    I live on my 33′ sailboat in Mexico for half of every year, so I would offer to host a couple for a romantic sailing weekend, meals & margaritas included! I think I could charge $300 for that?

    Or maybe a “cruise & learn”, where I taught basic sailing skills? Sailing seems to be one of those activities that lots of people are interested in learning, but are not quite sure where to begin. Since I absolutely *love* being out on the water, this would be a fun way to share my passion & maybe make a bit of extra money too!

    “The cure for everything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the ocean” – Isak Dinesen

  • Ana says:

    eLance, Problogger and odesk have immediate gigs available. Start with those three and Google for the rest. Due to the nature of your site, I believe the methods used for the extra money need to suit anyone living anywhere — and travelers, too.

  • Drew says:

    establish enticing ponzi scheme

  • Nick Vivion says:

    I would throw a rent party, just like in that play of the same name! :-D.

    I’ve done it before, and it works well: grab some burgers, buns and booze and send out the alert. 10 bucks at the door gets you food and drink, have 75 people over, and you can cover your expenses as well as raise the cash!


  • Vinny says:

    Sell an idea! Ideas are free to think of. Think of something cool or an innovation to make something better. Then get on the phone and convince companies its great and license your idea to them. You make a lump sum in the beginning as an advance payment and receive royalties as long as it’s being sold. A good tip is to make a nice looking 1 page sell sheet that you can send. Also, contacting a manufacturer so you know how much it will cost to produce. Protection for the idea comes in the form of a Provisional Patent for $110 and give you 1 year protection but these aren’t always needed for small novelty products.

  • Lois says:

    I did this just last month to pay some unexpected vet bills:

    1) sold wedding rings from a previous marriage
    2) sold spinning wheel and spinnables
    3) sold some old coins I’ve had since I was 10
    4) sold some collectibles on eBay
    5) sold a necklace I bought in Italy on my 50th birthday

    The total was more than $500 but it started a trend – now I prowl my living space daily looking for more stuff to sell 🙂

  • steph says:

    I would organize a weekend long “day camp” for kids with educational/fun activities and advertise at local mom consignment shops, in the newspaper, at local playgrounds, and other kid “hot spots”. Running Friday night, Saturday day, Sunday day, parents would hop at a chance to drop their kids with a young professional with kids/programming background and have an entire weekend to themselves! It would be easy to clear $500 depending on interest- more kids would just require hiring a college student or two to help out. If there wasn’t enough interest in the first weekend, I’d run another session to hit the $500.

  • Duckienz says:

    You know what. I am so in this situation at the moment. My fiancee, who was our income earner, has left his job to follow his dream. My business is just starting to take off but an extra few dollars would help a lot. I am in a cleanse mode at present so I am going to take all the extra stuff I have and sell it on Trade Me (New Zealand’s version of Ebay). Clutter cleared and cash made. Excellent.

  • John Sherry says:

    Sell your skills on an online auction (and create a site where other people can literally sell themselves how they want (not for rude or illegal stuff) on any subject) based on their abilities or hobby skills. Get it SEO maximised and on all the social media networks and soon you’ll have one mega business and can quit cubicle paycheck work. Oh, and the name – Auction Circus is a domain available. First to grab it wins!!!

  • Leah says:

    My husband and I had this situation when we first bought our house & I was 6 months pregnant with our son. He had just lost his job, but happened to have a box truck, so we printed up a few cards which he handed out to all the local furniture stores, antique dealers, etc. offering his services delivering furniture. It worked so well he had to get a business license, insurance, etc and it is now his full time job. If you are willing to do work (labor especially) that other people don’t have time for or don’t want to do, you can make a few hundred the first week easily.

  • Drew says:

    keep track of the money that you spend carefully. Trim the fat where you can and you will find the extra cash. If you’re already living barebones then you’re not totally SOL. It just means you have to work harder. Get a group of friends together and offer to clean out peoples houses/garages for free. They can pay you whatever they feel is appropriate and you can keep whatever is removed. Recycle and repurpose what you can for an additional profit.

  • Margaret says:

    I would clean out my storage space and hold a Y-art Sale. I would price the the artworks (anything older than 6 years) above the cost of materials but way below value. Any art-making materials and tools I no longer use would also be included. Invitations would be sent out to my mailing list and I might advertise in the local paper AND to people listed in the local arts registry. Probably would also invite a few friends (for $15.00 each for promotion) to participate (along with their mailing lists). Of course we would have cookies and lemonade.

  • Maari Casey says:

    I’ve done this every other month or so just to keep testing new ways to make some extra $. Here are a few.

    1- Go through your stuff, mostly for me it’s old computer stuff, cords, mouses, plugs, old software, etc. Dust it off, take a great photo and post it on ebay. (Note: make sure you check sites to get a good estimate of what it’s worth)

    2-Look at Craigslist for quick jobs, logo wanted here, business card there.

    3- Go through my bank account and see what I can do without (Maybe cut the gym for a month, or forgo eating out for a few weeks)

    4-Go through old coat pockets (seriously I usually average $15-$20

    5- Coinstar some change or, roll your own to save the service fee

    6-Set-up an Etsy account and get a craft going ( I make jewelry out of found stuff *free. I also have a little graphic design store on there, another way to get logo work)

    7- Check in with old clients to see if they need any help ( it helps to calm the nerves and feel like you’re doing something, but also they can lead you to someone else.)

    8-Make every night an Iron Chef in your house. (Save $ on food by seeing what you can make out of what you have in your pantry.)

    Breathe. You will get through this.

  • Amanda says:

    Get a job teaching English in Korea. If you have a bachelor’s degree from an English-speaking university and your native language is English, you can get a job there! They’ll pay for your flight out there and sometimes even for your housing. This way, you’ll make way MORE than $300 to $500, you’ll meet new people, experience new cultures, and you’ll have awesome travel stories to share. I know people who did this and paid off their student loans or credit card debt in a year. I did it and I highly recommend it!

  • Suzi says:

    First: Respond to and win the bounty on this question
    Second: Find anything I have not used or do not need and pawn it/sell it
    Third: Cut back on any spending that is not necessary
    Fourth: Collect any debts due to me
    Fifth: go to a payday cash or somewhere and borrow the money. IF you pay it all back w/in a month there is no interest (and you can reborrow it again if needed) Wicked evil circle but sometimes necessary.
    (Medically I can not work two jobs and I already have a full time job)

  • Amy Gray says:

    I live in Oregon,there are many u-pick farms here, and often flowers are available for .10 cents a stem or less if you cut whole buckets. I would borrow $100 and pick as many flowers as that would buy-5 buckets or more. Then I would make beautiful arrangements and put them in .10 cent jars from Good Will. Then I would buy an all day bus ticket and I would sell my arrangements for $5 or $10 each to anyone going to work, or to visit a friend. I would give flowers away if people were interested but cash free. I would ride the bus all day on a loop- stopping at my house to pick up more arrangements (I even have the bouquet holder boxes with long handles.) Eventually I would earn what I needed.

  • Jen says:

    Unlike a lot of people, it seems, I don’t have a lot to sell – I’m not a collector of anything so my house is pretty sparse. However I do like the ‘extra job’ idea, so there are two things I would do.

    First, I’d see if I could find a job selling drinks on a golf course. You know the ‘juice cart’? One summer in university I got a job driving a golf cart around a course with beer, liquor, mix, juice, coffee, etc. I made a lot of money in tips (especially on men’s night) which I could put directly toward these financial woes. The added bonus is that it was a lot of fun – I had a blast. The fun would help me forget about my woes, focusing my attention on other positive things, which would help alleviate anxiety and attract more positive things into my life.

    The second thing I would do is offer my help as a public speaking coach. I really enjoy being in front of a crowd telling a story and I’m pretty good at it (most of the time). So I would post signs in libraries, on Toastmasters websites, etc. offering fee-for-service personalized public speaking help.

    If all else fails I’d pay a little less this month towards my upcoming Antarctica trip & pay a little more the next two months.

  • Alex Humphrey says:

    I would start by calling every wedding photographer I know and offering them a commission for every engaged couple they refer to my pre-marriage money coaching.

    Then I would grab a bunch of stuff and sell it at half-priced books or in consignment.

    Then I would call up the local little leagues and offer my services to the different baseball, soccer, and football little leagues. I would take the photos for free and sell them to the parents.

    I think I could make 300 bucks from all of that. Probably more.

  • Kim says:

    Since I am a former hairstylist, I would pull out my cutting shears and have a “salon marathon.” I would gather my friends to help me make it a big event where I would cut/color/style hair for 24 hours straight with music and light snacks. To make it more fun, I would have a raffle of some sort. For instance, client # 25 will receive their service for free or a free bottle of shampoo or something.

  • Tracy H. says:

    Day 1-Decide on a workshop that has mass appeal (for your area-friends, family community) and can be offered based on your current knowledge base. Test ideas by asking a few people to see if they like your ideas & would be willing to sign up. Price it reasonably like $20 -$25 for 2 hours. Day 2-Find a cheap or free space-like church, library, friend’s studio, etc. Then create a colorful flyer. Offer a deal if they sign up early like a free ebook or a few bucks off. Have someone else check for spelling, missing info, etc. It would be nice if the workshop location is one where people there would support you by posting your flyers and signing up. Day 3–Hit the streets with your flyer, email a version, post on social media (Facebook), bulletin boards, give friends/family stacks to pass out for you. Market your workshop EVERYDAY. Day 4-Start preparing your powerpoint, speech and handouts. Collect workshop fees from those who sign up early to get some funds in now. Ask your friends who are coming to please pay you now since you need startup funds. If you charge $25 for a 2-hour workshop and 22 people come, you make $550 minus your space fee and handouts.

  • Katie R. Ann says:

    Here’s how I would make more than 300 dollars in 30 days…I’m fantastic at giving massages. Head and Neck rubs for 15 minutes, full body (an hour) for 38.00. I also am quite skilled at palm reading for which I charge 14.00. All I need would be a high traffic area, (probably the Mall of America).

  • Robert says:

    Back in the day whenever I needed to raise extra cash quickly this approach never failed me.

    I went to Central Park, or Carl Schurtz Park, in NYC, looked for people walking their dogs, introduced myself as a responsible, caring and professional dog-walker with references (at a reasonable rate – usually $20/hr.) and asked them if they needed the same.

    If they didn’t, I gave them my card and simply said “if your situation changes, or if you know of anyone who needs a dog-walker, please let me know, I’d be happy to give you a finder’s fee, okay?”

    If I did that with 20 people a day, 7 days a week, that’s 280 people I spoke to in two weeks time.

    A favorable 1.2% rate of response (the standard in Direct Sales is a favorable response of around 2%) means that at the end of two weeks I had 3 customers…or around $600 in extra cash by the end of the month.

    $20/hr. X 3 customers = $60/day X 5 days in the week = $300/wk. X 2 weeks remaining in the month = $600/mo.

  • Rachel says:

    What can you do when you don´t have anything left to sell? Comments and suggestions welcome. My partner and I just moved and went through the process of selling extra possessions before we left.

    I think for me the best option would be go to the local universities and community college offering my services as an editor/copywriter or Spanish tutor. Make a simple poster where you can tear off contact information. Also I would post on Craigslist. These services would be more apt for Sept-Dec than August.

  • Henrietta says:

    Lots of great ideas. You said no website or email list – does paypal, eventbrite, facebook, amazon count?

    First, I’d sell my books. I downsized to a smaller apartment last year, and i have 600 or so books. 2 nights ago my sister accused me of being a hoarder. I’m sure my babys, er, books could get my $300 or more if I sold them on Amazon. And it’d be no problem parting with them. No, really.

    More likely, I’d give a class. I’ve done this just recently – give a 1 day seminar on something that I can charge $100 for, say being a Gmail Ninga, or How to teach an Engaging Workshop and get at least 5 people to sign up by using paypal, eventbrite, facebook twitter and family to spread the news/get paid. I’d teach it at my huge, gorgeous dining table to avoid renting a space.

  • Stephanie O says:

    A guy has been periodically knocking on doors in my neighborhood with a bucket and squeegee in hand, offering to wash the exterior windows of the house. My house has a lot of windows – he charged $40 and it took him about an hour (he is meticulous!). He’s washed my windows twice now, and I always tip him another $10 because I admire what a great job he does and his initiative. And I love looking out of my crystal clear windows.

  • David W. says:

    I’ve found myself actually looking to do just this… I plan to quit my office job and come up with more creative ways to make money. And I’ve already gotten a few pre-orders of these… so I may be finally on to something!

    So far it’s been good for groomsman gifts, but I just made some new ones out of cigar boxes that are even cooler! I can’t wait to see what else I can come up with!

  • Emily Wenstrom says:

    My fallback cash flow is usually applying my professional skills as a writer — so my first instinct is to brainstorm a bunch of article ideas too good to pass up for niche publications, which pay higher. But that extra money doesn’t pay for a few months usually, when the article is finally printed.

    If I needed immediate cash flow, maybe I’d try something like starting a coffee delivery service for office employees within my downtown area. Online order forms, availabe for any coffee shop within walking distance (there’s five). Nothing like a condensed audience hooked on an addictive substance.

  • Kris says:

    I can help people Style-to-Sell their home(s) … and can do it LIVE (in the Chicago area, or fly-me-in), or via Skype (if they show-me-around via laptop). I charge just $150 for a generous hour, and can help them make so much more with sell. I’d love to help 3+ people each month ease the stress of selling! After all, buying a house is an emotional experience, so I help ’em kick-it-up a notch.

  • Tony Elam says:

    This is all relative to your time, your value, location, and how others need what you have. Some may look at this and say I can’t do any of those things, as I don’t have the talent, time, or treasure to make $500. I would consider what are the questions I should ask myself to make a few extra bucks. I suggest something like this.

    1. What can I cut from my expenses? (basic)
    2. What can I sell as a one off, one time only deal to cover a need? (basic)
    3. What are my possessions do I have that I could leverage to provide value to others short term? (lawn mower to cut grass, shovel to remove snow.)
    4. What are my core values and skills that I could offer that I could to others that are unique to me? (guitar playing, accounting skills, sales abilities.)
    5. Is this really a short term or long term problem that needs to be corrected. If short/medium term, a pizza job, or tipped job might gerate some cash for a “stop gap” type problem. If long term then question we need to generate some short term cash, but transition into long term solutions. Don’t keep delivering pizza’s so you can go buy and make payments for a new car.

  • Shane says:

    You know what I’d do? I’d find out something that I knew well and sell that knowledge by holding a “class” in my local community and letting people pay what they want based on the value they received. You would be surprised how effective it can be. This accomplishes two goals: I’m making money and helping others. That’s a win-win.

  • Misty says:

    I actually had to do this awhile back, because my hours were cut and I had to figure out a way to pay my rent before I got evicted. The first thing I did was sit down and brainstorm what skills I have that are worth paying for. Then I sent a message out to my network (Facebook, friends, family) explaining the situation and letting them know that I wasn’t looking for charity, but for work that needed to be done. I also looked on Craigslist for small jobs meeting my skill set. I managed to make more than my goal (I think I ended up with something like $1000 through these venues, in the end).

    Here are some examples of things that I did:
    1) Sold homemade soap (I was learning to make homemade soap at the time because the store-bought stuff was irritating my skin.)
    2) Photo restoration
    3) Freelance writing off Craigslist (mostly rewriting articles for SEO purposes)
    4) Tutoring a college friend who needed help with a paper.
    5) Cleaning houses

    The trick, if you’re in dire straights, is to realize that the most important thing is cash flow, and sometimes the least obvious thing is the most lucrative. (I made the most money with the writing job. Second most was, believe it or not, selling soap.) You can worry about the value of your time after you have the funds to pay your rent. 🙂

  • Nina says:

    I would tweet on Twitter and Google+, post and hand out flyers in-person to tourists, biz travelers in each hotel, hostel, restaurant, and when people are offloading tour buses. I would promote myself as a personal tour guide for $30 for one person for a half day tour, $40 for 2 people for a half day tour, and $60 per group (3 people) for a half day tour. If business was good, I would do night tours as well.

    So, if you passed math class, the most I can make in one day is $90 per day. Best case scenario, I get instant tweets, customers book right away, and my hustle pays off. I would only have to work a minimum of 3.5 days to earn the extra cash and enjoy my earnings for the next 26.5days, keep working to build a stash, keep working so I can enjoy at least 2 weeks of chillaxin, or travel to my next destination.

  • Lars Lofgren says:

    Since I do Freelance Marketing, I’d pitch one of my previous clients on a new project.

    But that’s too easy. Let’s assume I don’t have a client base. I’d follow these steps:

    1. Figure out which of my skills a target market is willing to pay a premium for.
    2. Generate a list of 200 leads in my target market. (Trade Journals, BBB, LinkedIn, company websites, etc)
    3. Cold email the 200 to qualify leads.
    4. Offer a free consultation to those that respond.
    5. Pitch a $500 project that can be done in one to two weeks.

    With a 200 leads, I could probably finish $1500-2000 worth of work within two months and easily hit $500 inside of 30 days.

    Week 1: Generate leads, send emails, schedule consultations.
    Week 2: Consultations and pitch projects.
    Week 3: Finish Projects.
    Week 4: Send invoices.

  • Eric Walton says:

    I purchase used vintage mechanical watches, restore them and sell them on Craiglist. You can easily make $100+ with each transaction doing this if you know the value of what you’re buying (many don’t know the value of what they’re selling).

    With the economy as it is people are rediscoveringg the value of quality craftsmanship right now and appreciate these older wristwatches. These can be maintained for a lifetime of use vs. throwing a cheaper watch away and buying a replacement.

  • Nate says:

    Play poker. I just made $545 last night. Obviously I could lose (probably not). In that case I’d have to work twice as hard to come up with the $500 in the 30 day dead line. Not a problem.

    Like pretty much everyone else said, sell stuff. It’s really that simple.

    Eventually I’ll run out of stuff to sell. So it couldn’t really be a full time job, but I could easily sell a few grand worth or stuff, and with the proceeds buy one of these cheap houses on ZILLOW. Then fix the house up on credit, and resell it for a profit. Do that a few times, and make some decent jack.

    Advertise on Craigslist and the local rag as a consultant. Specifically physical. Teach people tactical shooting skill and self defense. Also offer advise on securing property and preventing break-ins. I could run maybe a 4 hour class on a Saturday and easily charge $50-$100 a head. Any takers?

    Offer fitness classes, and diet plans. A different thread of the consultant idea, I guess.

    When all else fails offer to let people punch me in the face for $10 a shot. I’d probably stop at $300 if I had to go this route.

  • Darlene says:

    I got a few ideas:

    1 – put a listing on Kijiji (canadian version of Craigs list) renting out mybig RV that’s sitting in my yard. Take it on a trip or rent it as a room sitting right there. It’s also up for sale and that would do the trick and then some.
    2 – list a room in our house for short term lease also. Get a student or business traveler that needs a room for a few weeks and charge $600 a month. A friend does this and almost always has a guest at $650 a month. Furnished room, linens changed weekly, room dusted and vaccuum weekly. If they want meals, charge them another $10-15 a day.
    3 – put a notice on facebook that my photography tutoring services are available. I do that now and get about 2-4 hours a week at $75/hr. Don’t need many to make $500.
    4 – join a network marketing company (MLM) or work the one I’m in now harder. New sign ups get bonuses and $300 is easy to get by adding say 6 new people to my team. I don’t think anyone has mentioned this idea yet and Robert Kiyosaki (the Rich Dad Poor Dad guy) says that’s how he’d start now if he had to start over. Low overhead and start up fees.
    5 – put a sale on my fine art prints on facebook and Kijiji.

  • Nathan says:

    This might not be quite true to the question, but I am a big fan of re-evaluating my regular bills every couple of months and eliminating/reducing services that I am paying too much for. For example, I recently looked at my cell phone bill, assessed the minutes/data/texts I was using, and then lowered my plan to the level that covers my actual usage. Unlimited texts sounds awesome, but if you are only sending 800 per month, well maybe you only need the 1000 text/month plan. I just saved $30/month yesterday by doing this.

    I would also eliminate cable/satellite TV, and home phone. That right there should be close to $300 for the month depending on your current options. The best part is, this isn’t $300 for this month only, you just made yourself $300/month FOREVER.

    When I really need cash (accept no substitutes) and I’ve already squeezed my monthly bills, I do this: first I post on Facebook to tell everyone I know that I am available for odd jobs (fixing computers, babysitting, help with yard work, etc) and wait for responses. If you have a network of 100+ Facebook friends you will definitely get some bites. After that, I go on eBay and sell off items I am no longer using.

  • Kris says:

    Well, what I do is called Manifesting! I tell the ‘Universe’ what I need and relax, knowing, as in the past, something will come up. Sometimes within the hour I will get a phone call from one of my clients who need my coaching services and voila! I have the extra money I need coming in in the required time…Ask and it is given.

  • GlobalMargaret says:

    Selling things is fine, but you are still at a loss… Sell things that are otherwise FREE to you.

    1. Go to the dump. Find lamps, clocks, dishes and especially wood furniture that is in good shape but outdated / ugly, a quick sanding and a fresh coat of varnish can work wonders. Bring them to a consignment shop or sell them on craigslist. If you make them super cute you can put them on etsy!
    2. Pick wild locally growing wild flowers to sell as bouquets at the farmers market. Some old canning jars as vases and a few feet of ribbon can go a long way during tourist season.
    3. Face painting at the market. Charge $1 or something cheap enough that everyone will come and hopefully leave money in your tip jar.
    4. Ask a friend who is bar tending if you can play a gig on Friday or Saturday night advertise live music, might even help to get a few musician friends in on it if they are willing to share the profits, pass the hat.
    5. Drop internet / cable for the month (there is an extra $100 that I would be paying otherwise and I’m bound to be more productive without face book to distract me)

  • Steven says:

    Start a blog and ask your readers. Soon there will be a hundred pretty good ideas on how to make a quick buck.

    But the Raffle idea that was first wasn’t a bad one. I got tired of reading all of the others.

  • cynthia says:

    i live in the okanagan, which is beyond beautiful and is inhabited part-time by wealthy folks from one province over: alberta. if i needed to make $300-$500 extra this month i could easily package up a housesitting, care-taking + maintenance, and gardening package and pitch it to some of these parttime residents. property insurers are on my side (exclusions on policies when homes have been vacant for more than 7 days) and who wouldn’t want to show up at their summer home whenever with everything beautiful and ready to go? i could name 5 people right now who would be interested.

    or…i would say yes to some documentation and training work that i have been avoiding. but girl-friday sounds a lot more fun today.

  • Cynthia Wylie says:

    First of all, money is never much of a problem for me. I always seem to have enough. Mostly I think because I always believe I will have enough. Because I am a successful entrepreneur, people always ask for my advice and feedback. I love giving it away for free but if I really needed the money, I could charge for it.

  • Kate Courageous says:

    1.) I’m a runner, so I’d contact locally owned athletic stores and ask them to sponsor me, with my promises that I’d run through downtown San Francisco, during morning rush hour when everyone’s getting coffee, wearing their brand. I’d have to commit to a certain number of miles per week to get decent sponsorship, so there would also be the win-win of keeping me really in shape.

    2.) Find out when a professor at a local college is giving an important essay, and then stand outside the classroom to offer tutoring to dejected students as they leave the room.

    3.) I actually did this one, once, and it resulted in getting me a $750 photography job: Stand outside of a restaurant and take photographs of people’s hands, or a quick portrait photograph that I’ll put in a Flickr album. Give my card to every single person who receives a photo–I can photograph probably 50 people in one hour, plus have a conversation with them, and everyone knows someone who needs a photoshoot.

  • Magdalena says:

    I’m experienced Physio and Manual Therapist so have very useful skill set that I could use in different areas of private sector but additionally (putting myself outside my comfort zone) I would:

    – sub-let my room to tourists visiting London (and move in with family or friend)
    – stop using tube and start cycling to work, what would safe me with UK public transport prices prox. £100 pm
    – rent a table in car-boot sale or farmers market and sell freshly made fruit salads and juices

    Best regards!

  • stew says:

    i took no email/internet/web site literally, going old school for starters,
    -mow 10 lawns for $35-$50 each
    -do a couple of local radio or tv commercials
    -call local radio stations for fill in work
    -clean 10 homes for $35-$50 each
    -hold voice over workshops at local college
    -play guitar or juggle on the street

  • Steven Peterson says:

    Try Gigwalk ( They pay $4-7 for you to walk around your neighborhood and verify business information and take panoramic photos of the business locations. If I were to do this in my neighborhood I’d earn $500 in roughly two days.

    Crowdsourcing is a great opportunity for people willing to do small units of work, and $300-500 is not a very hard amount to earn (via Gigwalk, Amazon Mechanical Turk, or other similar services).

  • Katrina says:

    1) would go to the hostel that I was staying at and use the computers there (I tend to stay where they have computers and wifi) or if they do not go to a cafe and look at where I can cut some of my spending.
    2) sell either on Craigslist or find a place that I can take my stuff to and see if they would let me sell my stuff at their yard sale
    3)put an advert for paper editing for primary and secondary schools
    4)look for live in nanny positions (I have years of experience and many pay for accommodations, food, and possibly to travel with them so that would be free as well).
    5)go to the different international sections of the unis and post tutoring info.

  • Sharon says:

    I’ve never tried it, but I hear that the guys on the street corner with their cardboard signs, “Will work for cash,” end up making a few hundred a day. Hmmm, not bad for a day’s work.

  • Maria says:

    I would take out money from my IRA. Having a stash set aside for my old age won’t help me much if I’m homeless and living under an overpass at the end of this month.

    Alternately, I’d go downtown and tell people I needed money to buy tampons. No, wait, I told the woman who tried that on me to go away, so I’ll stick with my first plan.

  • Catherine says:

    Lots of people have mentioned selling things on Craigslist, but, since I try to be minimalist in what I own, I can’t easily part with anything. If I were to sell my desk, for example, I would need to buy another one eventually.

    I do think that Craigslist could be the answer for quick cash though. I could run to goodwill, find some tired pieces of furniture, give them some paint and TLC, and turn around and resell them for a profit. Painting furniture is tedious, so people are willing to pay for having the job already done. For that amount of money, I’d only need to makeover 2 or 3 quality pieces of large furniture. I do have fun transforming things, so I would have enjoyed myself, made the $300-$500, and documented it all (including the money making aspect) on my blog where that type of project would fit right in.

  • Cheryl says:

    Assuming for the sake of this exercise, I am able to sell what I’ve already produced, I would call my closest friends and ask them if they would host an art event at their homes. I would provide wine and goodies, and have my current work (I’m an artist) for sale. I would most likely combine this with a fun do-it-yourself art activity as well to make it a fun evening for all. I would ask for costs to be covered by donation for the evening event…so essentially there are two sources of revenue here: artwork sold, and donations for participating in the evening art activity. A third source might also be to create extra “kits” for the activity for people to purchase and take home if they wanted to be able to continue the creative process on their own. To keep the fun continuing, I would offer a free pair of earrings (or some piece of my work) to anyone who would also like to host an event in their home for their friends. So all hosts receive a gift from me of my original work for their trouble.

  • Kelly says:

    Although I do have a website it’s under construction and not yet used for generating clients for my freelance business.

    To make an extra $300-500 in 30 days I would write a simple but personal email and send it to 25 people each day through Facebook, LinkedIn and my email list. I’d aim for $10 hour/minimum and 2 hours/night would be $600 if I had enough business (fewer hours/more income) if I priced it above $10/hour.

    “Hi friend, I’m sending this to you individually because I have a personal request to make. While I’m reaching out to many people this is not a mass email so you can reply and your message will come just to me.

    Here’s the deal, I need to earn some extra money this month and I want to earn it by helping out my friends first before I sell my soul to McDonalds.

    I know we may not live very close but here are some ways I can help you out:

    If any of these things would help you out, please email me and let me know how much you would pay for this work. I really appreciate it and if you know someone else who would like a short term virtual assistant who does great work pass on this email!



  • Kanami Anderson says:

    Just over two years ago I was coming out of a depressing winter short on cash (at least $500) and also in dire need of a vacation from my life. Instead of putting a trip to Hawaii or Mexico on my credit card I decided to get a little creative. I bought a plane ticket to Tokyo (about $800) just in time for a busy holiday called “Golden Week”, went up into the mountains, worked twelve rafting trips (I am a whitewater rafting guide), earned $1300, payed off my plane ticket, and then had $500 remaining for week of vacation alone in Japan before coming home to work for the summer!

  • Momekh says:

    What an interesting question; really gets the creative juices flowing.

    OK, so I am assuming that if I have no access to my website or my email list, I don’t have access to the Internet at all. For me, this sets me back – but not as much (also, I am not ‘earning’ yet from my blog/email-list, just building it up for now!).

    But, 300 to 500 bucks in 30 days; I would make a list of ‘skills’ that I have, and then the next day, ask my friends (I am hoping to still have them!) and acquaintances of what ‘they’ want. Then I would spend a day just figuring out how my ‘skills’ can be used to provide a ‘service’ or a ‘product’. As it is for 30 days only, I would give preference to providing a service rather than a product (other wise a product is long term and more ‘advisable’, generally speaking!)…

    By day 7, I figure, I would be ‘marketing’ my services/products (maybe someone needs a website, a logo design, a few articles written up, some SEO done – or for offline, maybe someone needs project management advice on starting or running their own projects).

    The FIRST thing I’d tell is that I need 300 to 500 bucks and that’s why I am ‘offering’ my services. Honesty goes a long, loong way.

  • Jenny Blake says:

    I’ve done this before — the first time I could see that I would be unable to pay off my credit card bill in full a few months after I graduated college. I call it the…

    Craigslist as Extra Income Dartboard Approach
    1. Browse the services section (“lessons & tutoring” is a good subset within services to start with).
    2. Keep a list of any services that sound fun to you (and that you might be qualified to do), like tutoring or dog walking (keep it legal!)
    3. Bookmark or copy posts you like into a separate document. Note what you like about them (clearly written, interesting to read) and how much people are charging for these services.
    4. Narrow your list to two or three things you would be willing to try. Write a post for each of those areas.
    5. Post and wait to see if you get any responses! Try a variety of major cities if your work can be done over the phone (WordPress tutoring for small business owners, for example)

    With this strategy, I posted ads for babysitting, personal organizing and HTML tutoring for small business owners (it was 2005). I only got bites on the tutoring, and I ended up turning it into a side business that made me over $1,500 that year.

  • Gaia says:

    Kay (way above at top) is correct. A true hustler indeed! Selling books at the local used book store will work, too.

  • Nate says:

    I’ve thought that if I ever lost my job, and was desperate to earn cash in a short amount of time, I would try this idea:

    Buy a box of donuts with a note attached saying, “Nate Warden, is willing to clean any disgusting discarded foreclosed home for donuts.” Then leave my card along with my price range and other details.

    I’d deliver my donuts with my note and business card to area banks and real estate offices that are looking to clean up any abandoned or foreclosed houses.

  • Maggie Dodson says:

    My idea is still the same as the last time I posted it.
    I’d take a fold-up table and two fold-up chairs, all red. and hang A3 signs from either side of the table saying – GOT A PROBLEM? I CAN HELP YOU * £2 for 5mins. A tall thin pole with a colourful flag stuck to my chair would also announce my presence.
    I would need 10 customers per day to make more than the requisite £500, less if I didn’t translate the dollars into sterling. In London, in summer, I’m sure I could find 10 customers per day, sometimes more and if I went into the nightclubs as well I reckon I would clean up!
    This is a time-consuming plan but there are bonuses, four of them. I might actually help some people plus I would hear amazing stories, meet some very interesting people and have a few extraordinary tales to tell later, anonymously of course. What a month!

  • Melody says:

    Ironic that I should get this email now. I am facing losing my job. I don’t have a car. I don’t have a house to rent out. I sold most of my stuff a few years ago, so there’s very little to sell. Most of the ideas presented here so far (busking on streetcorner, selling water at a sports event, throwing a party and charging or raffles) require permits where I live. You can still do them, but if you get busted, you’ll be fined.

    Yet I do not feel scared or daunted.

    So far, my plan is to go in several different direction. Teaching computer and internet skills to seniors because I am very patient and tolerant. I have posted everywhere I can (can you believe that the library will not accept postings from individuals and that the community centre has to vet all postings?). No matter. I simply asked for permission at the community centre and will create a business card to look “official” for the library.

    I haven’t seen anyone suggest phone sex yet. That would be mostly the ladies who would do that. Don’t judge, it might be fun. You can work from your home, set your rate and hours. You still don’t have to do anything you aren’t comfortable with – it’s your business after all. You can say that you’re all talk, no action. LOL! is a site for anyone with knowledge or skills to sell. All you need is a phone line. Many times the going rate is $1.99/minute. If I think of more, I’ll post again.

  • Alaster says:

    I’m an artist, so I’d take about 3 pieces of posterboard/inside-out cardboard boxes and draw quick portraits in sharpie on two and a price list on the other one, then sit around in the market all day drawing pictures on printer paper for 5-15 USD each. Works much better in real life than on deviantart.

  • Bob Casper says:

    The question implies making the money on the Internet starting from scratch without a website. Online money-making has been kind of hit-or-miss for me, so if I needed that income to pay bills I would do something more reliable – sign up with temporary agencies and do temp work for a couple weeks at $10 per hour.

    If I needed the $300 in addition to my full-time job paycheck I would do simple web-related services for people on or another freelancing site.

  • Adenike says:

    I sent an image of a pastel drawing I made to a friend, who then asked how much the drawing was. I’d never sold or thought of selling a drawing before. I told him I didn’t know and that pastel drawing is hard to ship. I asked if he’d be interested in a print of the drawing, and he said yes. While preparing the print, I thought, why stop with this one print, why not make more and offer it to more people. I composed a letter in which I told why I made the drawing and how I made the print. Then, I suggested how much the recipient of the print should send if the recipient wished to encourage me to keep on making art. I sent a print to a friend, different from the first friend, and to my sister. Last night, my sister emailed me that she received the print, that the print is beautiful, that she’s getting the print framed, and that she’ll be sending me an “encouragement fee.” And I thought wow! this is totally doable. My daughter thought that I was cornering people into sending me encouragement fees. No, no, I said. I’m sending work that I have beautifully made to people I care about. They should consider themselves privileged to have my work. I could make $300/30 days this way, I think.

  • Rebecca McCormick says:

    Paint house numbers on curbs. When my son was 7 years old, he wanted to earn $1,200 for a trip to Disney World. We didn’t have anything but a box of latex gloves, two cans of spray paint, a set of stencils, a receipt book and some change in a fanny pack. In six weeks, he earned $1,280, five dollars at a time. That was 20 years ago.

    At our current home, we’ve had three entrepreneurs over the past 10 years who’ve painted our number on the curb. (I can’t resist hiring them, probably because I have a soft spot for young men earning money for their projects.) The biggest difference is they now use reflective paint, for which they charge $10. Each “job” takes about 10 minutes, including collecting the check.

  • Felix says:

    Here is something I actually did during my student years.

    I walked into the city park and picked up tree seeds. I went to a supermarket and bought exotic fruits and got the seeds out and dry them.

    I packaged them in small portions about 10 – 25 seeds per pack and sold them on ebay for $1.50 to $3.50 and mega-packs for $9.99.

    Customers usually bought for $6 on average to save on shipping. This turned out to make me between $400 to $600 per month.

  • Lisa Flick says:

    Every day create a small piece of artwork, any medium, any style, on a blank sheet of paper (or fabric, cardboard, wood, etc). Frame your work using [clean] sticks or wood laying around your house…or if you’re willing, buy small wholesale frames. Then, either start a shop on Etsy, or take collections of your pieces to several different coffee (or other eclectic) shops around town and ask if you can put them up for $10-25 a piece (price depends on the materials used). Do this for 30 days and watch your stuff sell!

  • SKY says:

    That would be a MOST excellent question for the United States Government and our National Debt! If they could follow through, perhaps they could get us out of the mess they created.

    In all seriousness, I’d teach as many yoga classes and offer yogaFLIGHT ( sessions as possible. Might take me a week of hard work, but i think I could do it, if I had a venue (a park, community centre, etc) and billboards in health stores or Lululemon (or whatever) to advertise!!

  • Giber says:

    Hey Chris,
    Great thinking exercise.
    Given the circumstances that you’ve provided, here’s what I would do:

    1. I would quickly identify a nice little niche market and a particular need within this segment of the population.

    2. Create a quick little info product within several days. For example: I would create a tutorial, report, manual, guide, ebook, or e-course to be delivered digitally. I would rather use video or audio to create my products, since I find this to be the fastest way for me. If I had some extra money (which I’m assuming we don’t), I would go the extra mile and get my products transcribed by a cheap service.

    3. I would identify the “top dogs” or the “connectors” (obviously those who already possess a nice list), that relate to my market.

    4. I would get in touch with them via email or phone for several different reasons:
    a. Possibly request an interview via skype or email and create my product out of this.
    b. Create a possible joint venture. Since they have the list, I would just do a bit of parasite marketing here.

    5. Create some marketing videos and distribute online.

    Easy money and I could probably get more than $500 within 30 days.

  • Sparky Firepants says:

    First, I would enter a blog contest for $100…

    Ahem. Here’s what I said on your Google+ post:

    I would offer my services to local businesses for $50 a pop (limited time offer). For example, I could visit them (or call) and offer to create an ad, banner, sign, or spruce up their web graphics for a one-time-only fee of $50, if done in less than 30 days.

    It would use skills I have, introduce me to local businesses, and net me a handful of testimonials from people I helped directly. Oh… and with 10 clients, that’s $500.

    I’ve done something similar to this online and it brought in much-needed cash, quickly.

  • Natalie says:

    I don’t have extra stuff to sell so I’de cut my hair and sell it to a wig maker again. Last time I got $1,000 but it was much MUCH longer so i guess it would be around $500. If I wanted a little more, there is a fair/festival in town next weekend and people have to park a long way from the fair ground and then carry all their stuff back. My friends bicycle has a 2 seat cart on the back. I could charge people 2$ coins for rides to their car

  • Laura says:

    When my husband and I were first starting out on our own, we found ourselves in this exact situation. My husband went door to door installing peep holes.

    I made fliers for our impromptu “HomeSafe” business. My husband already had the tools & know-how. He’s a professional handyman, so that helps…but really, anyone can install a peep hole.

    He spent about $40 at Home Depot buying two each of 3 different kinds of peepholes at Home Depot (low end, mid end and super fancy ones). Then he drove through one of the nicer areas of town with older homes. He offered explained the safety concerns about not having a peephole in your door and offered to do the install for them for $30 + the cost of their chosen fixture.

    Knocking on doors sucks, but even after all of our costs, he made $150 the first day he did this and another $150 the next day.

  • Aamir says:

    Get some fruits and vegetables from a farm (especially new for a season) on low rates and drive around your town or setup a stall outside your home to sell them at a little less than market rate. Pretty good margins these veges and fruits have.

  • Darren Haines says:

    Sell my car and buy a camper van, then move out of my apartment and into the van. This will save me from paying $900 per month.

    btw: this is what I am currently doing.

  • Elli Vizcaino says:

    I would offer my premium web design services at a special discount. Go around to local businesses with my offer and promote on social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

  • Chad LaFarge says:

    Donate Plasma
    Have a Garage/Yard Sale
    Offer in-home child-care (many areas allow up to 5 kids with no license)
    Reduce cable channels, phone service, mobile service to minimums (don’t forget reducing costs, folks)
    Grow a beard ($42 for SIX blades?!? Okay, I know that’s reducing expenses twice.)
    Answer blog posts for cash
    Mow Lawns
    Haul Rubbish
    Offer Handyman Services
    Shop for the Elderly for 10% over cost plus gas
    Deliver documents for Real Estate Agents

  • Sara Stroman says:

    I would throw myself into what I am good at-my art- I’d take my inventory of paper and create cards on a whim (without planning or strategizing), grab a table and a chair and sell them with a smile on the street. I’d even have demonstrations to show people what I’m doing and offer them the chance to make their own card (with a donation, of course!).

  • Trina says:

    Start working on #35 of my Reality Check List to practice minimalism and start selling my stuff … big items first such as living room set, old desk, washer and dryer from old house that has been in storage for two years. That should equal about $600 and I get to accomplish something in the process.

  • Allison says:

    If I wanted to go the mentally lazy but physically demanding route, I’d pick up some soccer games to referee. I average about $45/game so I’d need 7 to hit your minimum and 12 to hit the max. I can do 4/day on the weekends and 2/night on weekdays so it wouldn’t be a problem.

    Conversely, if I wanted to go with something that requires more mental hustle but less physical hustle, I’d sell fundraising plans to small non-profits. I’ve worked as a fundraiser for several non-profits and it’s basically the same bag of tricks for every organization. I’d evaluate the non-profit then choose the appropriate tricks for them to try and create strategic recommendations. In my experience, most people at non-profits don’t want to get out there and actually ask for money so they spend a lot of time and money faffing about to avoid their fears. People like that love to spend money on things like strategic recommendations (don’t all businesses?).

  • James Cornell says:

    Leverage my expertise in sales for free (2 hr seminar). Provide high value free information. Then if they want more in depth content for a fee offer it or provide 1 on 1 coaching there after. The upfront information needs to be really really good. Ask for a donation afterward if you want. Say if this is valuable to you what is it worth? Get 3 clients at $50 bucks an hourt 2 sessions each boom $300 bucks.

    Up front costs are virtually zero being that marketing can easily done on a ton of social platforms. Locate a space for free, like a church, a large room in a library, a home, a Starbucks. May be too much upfront work but the payoff could be much higher.

    First always give then receive.

    Though if you needed money even faster and are not willing to give free information, I would highly recommend downsizing your materials items. I was able to make around $1500 dollars selling jackets, knick knack items, a couch, Playstation 3, CD’s, books, a bookshelf, shoes, clothing at Buffalo exchange.

    If you have a trade, offer it for free to someone in exchange for 3 leads to people that need your services.

    I am a strong believer in giving first, seeing things come back to me.

  • Kate says:

    Well with no violence or internet and depending on location I think the best way to earn some extra cash is to do what most people do in LA and actually go out and find someone that needs extra help. Most people are willing to pay you 20 dollars or so if you help them paint or sell fruit and at least this way your trading something for something else and not asking for a handout. So that’s what I would do just a lot of extra jobs to make up the cash and if it came down to the wire there are a lot of options, but I suppose a lot of people always forget the best resource you have that you can trade for money is your time. Isn’t that how it works anyway? It’s either that or go try to dig up coins on a beach somewhere.

  • Jan says:

    Call a rich aunt or uncle. (If anyone has one that would like to adopt me, please let me know. I’m very adoptable!).

  • Lee Ann Monat says:

    Run a sale on my Etsy page…and or offer “free” gifts in exchange for donations on my website.

    And/or win $100 here! 🙂

  • Yannick says:

    Borrow double the cash needed from credit card using those check @ 0.99% and place half of them on a 2% banking account. Ok, you don’t really win money but you win time to find another solution.

  • Andrew Wilson says:

    If you have any kind of income, any at all, the easiest way to save a few hundred dollars—and I mean crazy easy, is simply not to spend it. It requires you to do absolutely nothing. I learned lots of things while earning my PhD, but one absolute take-away is long, drawn-out life of glorious privation. It is freedom itself.

    My wife and I saved 15k toward an adoption over 2 years while pulling down graduate stipends. Most recently we shocked ourselves after a two-month hike (it was a kind of work, so my wife was being paid) by coming home to more money in the bank than if we had stayed home. Somehow simply not being in the usual spending routines broke some habits that had slipped away as we exited our PhD programs.

    Perhaps I’m a freak, but I find not spending money almost as thrilling as spending it. There are others who would get all active, but I’d rather go passive. Call it a kind of financial hibernation.

    There’s no end of money-saving advice, and it’s all good and very long term. But here’s a few that will put you into the right frame of mind for the temporary state or torpor:

    1. Eat your pantry bare. I bet there’s two weeks to a month of food in there. And if you add a bit of green matter, you’ll be no less healthy for it (well, I haven’t see your larder). This is probably at least $100 here, perhaps more.
    2. Don’t go out to eat. And the corollary: plan for when you will be out and still be hungry or thirsty. Most people do not eat out because the food tastes better, they eat out for the convenience. Coffee at home: $0.10. Coffee at Starbucks $1.80. Nothing more to say.
    3. Wash your zip-lock bags: If you’re earning lawyer salaries, this is stupid. But even if you are, washing your bags will reinforce that every thing you bring home from the store is less money for the future. If you can’t stand it after a month, well you’ve saved $5.
    4. Don’t upgrade anything. We all have that stray spoon, that outdated stereo, the cludgy cell phone. Well, keep them, and save what you would have otherwise spent to match your image to some marketing board’s goals. Congratulations, you’re thinking for yourself!

    These will do for the short term, and you’ll easily have $100 and perhaps much more after 30 days. Then you’ll be prompted to do some arithmetic, which will get you thinking in years and decades. Holy crap, I’m a millionaire!

  • andrea says:

    1. Offer an extra session of one of my e-courses.
    2. Create new coaching/consulting packages out of existing material. (I’m surprised at all of the different ways I’ve thought of to do this – and how much people like this, because I can tailor it right to exactly what they need.)

    These ideas have made me much more than $300-$500 but more money is good too, right?

  • Martin says:

    I would arrange four sunday-events for kids between 8 and 13, it could be anything fun, like old-school playing games outside. Then I would market it to parents, taking $30 from each. I would get 10-20 participants each time and in average earn about $1800.

    Does it matter that I’m from Norway and average salary per hour for basic work is $20?

  • Jennifer says:

    Okay, I would not actually do this because I think it would get me killed. But it’s an insane idea and what the hell:

    Get a giant bell, of the Salvation Army ilk.
    Make a sign saying “Need $500. Will stop ringing the bell and go the hell away when I make $500.”
    Pick a street corner, put up the sign, ring the bell, see what happens.

    (This brought to you by (a) me hating those damn bells, and (b) a story my ex told me of how he supposedly bought a bell off someone to shut him up.)

  • Sandi says:

    I would start something called “Help.” I would help local women clean and cook for parties, family dinners, special occasions, etc. People may not feel like doing all the work, but still want it to seem like they are serving good, wholesome food, and not something from a caterer. And have a tidy house. I also would have a garage sale. I also would look around for potential freelance writing and editing work.

  • Katie says:

    Plan to shave my head (I’m female). Tell family and friends about my situation, and ask them to pay for me to either shave my head, or not to (my mother would certainly pay for me not to (: ), and explain that any donations over $500 will go to the St. Baldrick’s foundation, and hair-shaving will take place at a public St. Baldrick’s hair shaving event. Then, at the end of 30 days, whichever “side (‘shave’ or ‘don’t shave’) won, do that. 😀

  • Candace Blase says:

    I would go back to work for the Airport Shuttle and make that much for sure in tips -having fun listening to people’s travel stories and getting to know interesting people. The down side of my idea (for others) is that you have to have a special drivers license to drive for the Shuttle and that takes some time (mostly paperwork waiting) to get. But, once you have it The Airport Shuttle is a great way to have fun making money.

  • Sarah Lewis says:

    Realistically, I’d probably get some oDesk gigs or run a local workshop teaching blogging or social media skills.

    More interestingly…

    I’d invest in some basic, inexpensive materials (to be specific: square wooden dowels, furniture nails, toy wheels, magnets, and sealable plastic bags). I would cut the wood, create a detailed, friendly instruction sheet, and package everything up into “build your own train cars” kits.

    People are searching for these online, primarily to use as activities/favors at little boys’ birthday parties, and nobody is selling them. Because of the market, it would be easy to package them by the dozen and sell them with a markup of $20/set. 25 kits = $500.

    To promote, my first step would be to get them on Amazon (using their Fulfilled by Amazon program to keep effort in line with profits). I’d then create a simple (but nice-looking) website promoting the product, and then post (tasteful) links in the many forums where people are looking for them. Further promotion could include forums focusing on toys, birthday parties, boy toddlers, etc. How much of that I did would depend on whether I was generating sales quickly or not.

  • Daisy says:

    Wow! These are creative ideas, all right. Mine is less creative, but needs a bit of training. Are you a licensed teacher? Substitute. You’ll earn every penny of your combat, er, teaching pay. In some states you’ll need a teaching license; in others, a college degree. It’s something to check out before you need money, but when you do, it’ll be handy!

  • Rick Shaffer says:

    Set up a raffle among your FB friends where each of them pays you $10 to play, and the pot is whatever size is big enough so that there is an extra $300-500 that can go to you. Sure, at $10 per ticket, you would need more than 100 FB friends to play to make it interesting.

  • DeAnna D. says:

    I would donate Plasma. You can make close to $300 in a month, and if I got my fiance to donate as well we could easily come up with $400 at least. It’s a small exchange of time (twice a week, about an hour each) and the plasma goes on to help people which is a great bonus. This is something that is useful in a pinch but not something that you can do long term for an extended period of time. (something about vein scarring) So if I had 30 days to come up with $300-$500 donating plasma would be a good go to.

  • Kat Mayerovitch says:

    Get out all my board games. Host a board game bonanza at 7 different coffeeshops, 7 different nights of the week. Charge a $5 cover to get in, just like going to see a band. Only most bands don’t have Twister.

  • Shirley Showalter says:

    I’d teach a class either with adult ed. university support or at a local church or civic center. I’d call it “Telling Your Signature Story” and charge $99 per person for a one-day seminar featuring a nice catered networking lunch. I would market via social media and my friend network. I would make at least $1,000 profit, and I would advertise it as a fund-raiser for a good cause (promising 20 percent of profit and then over-delivering on the gift). This arrangement not only solves my immediate money need, it also sets up the economy of abundance, benefiting as many people as possible.

  • Gena Johnson says:

    I would dress up real cute, (this would work best if there was a holiday coming up for a theme) and say have a different sexy costume every day I do this:

    ~I live in a college town, and my brother and I used to sell hot chocolate and hot cider right outside family housing areas. Everyone walks in this town, and since it snows here 9 months out of the year, this would be super fun!
    ~In summer months like now, I would set up my vendor booth the same only wearing a slinky bikini and selling Popsicle and water to college students.
    ~Junk food sells real well with college kids too! 😉

  • Stephan says:

    I would deliver pizzas. It’s an easy job to get on this side and when I used to do it I made around $200 on a Friday or Saturday night. A few days of work and you would easily have the cash you need.

  • kori says:

    Rent out any extra space (including your couch if necessary) with airbnb.

    Think of all the places where you are a regular and/or loyal customer. Go to them and see if they need any help or are willing to pay you for any kind of work. example: I manifested destiny on the honey booth at the farmer’s market, and once the bee man counted out my sales, he kept me on as a regular employee and started paying me commission.

    Ask your landlord and/or other people to whom you owe money if you can work in exchange for part or all of it. This will not put cash in your hand, but it will save it from leaving your bank account, therefore making it available for other needs.

    ps loved reading these responses. good ideas all around.

  • Kim says:

    Back a few years ago I was a single mom who actually needed to make about $400 extra a month. I didn’t want to leave the kids for any more time than I already did working the old day job. So I got myself a paper route. Every morning we would all get up and jump in the car. I drove and put rubber bands and/or plastic bags on the newspapers and the girls would deliver them to the doors of our customers. It worked well for us and I recommend it to other single parents as a great way to bring in some money without sacrificing family time.

  • KJ says:

    None of these ideas are inspiring me…. and most are not keeping to the rule of “no internet.”

    I hope Chris publishes a few of the best answers to share with the rest of us, if there are any to be weeded out in this bunch. Good luck!

  • Kathy Brown says:

    I would go to anyone who would let me get apples from their trees (or even windfalls) – bake up a bunch of apple pies and sell them at the farmer’s market. Ten a day for four days would net me at least that much.

  • Aaron says:

    If I had 30 days to earn this, I would probably go set up a table at the local driving range – and offer to videotape people’s golf swings and give them a few helpful tips along with it. I’d also have my laptop with – so I could quickly burn them a copy of the swing and sell each recording for $30/each. With the average price of lessons going for $50 and up – this will be a bargain and I will have my $300+ in no time.

  • dan! says:

    I would start with anything that I could part with and go door to door asking if I could trade for something BIGGER or BETTER. After a few days dedicated to asking, I’d have either something worth the amount needed, or multiple items that I could sell for the amount needed. Easy.

  • bri says:

    1- voiceover job (I applied for one today, booked it and got paid $100–for saying 5 words, sitting at home in my pajamas)
    2- find $20 under the bed
    3- borrow $40
    4- recycling…$10…they should pay people more for recycling!!
    5- pitch some booze at a liquor store through a promo company= $75 for 3 hours
    6- return clothes that you still haven’t taken tags off of let alone worn! you know you do this!!

    that’s $300 right there:)

  • liesje marie fennimore says:

    I love to clean windows… If I was really needing extra cash I would go door to door and offer to clean windows for reasonable rate and HOPE to not have doors slammed… 30 days at ten-fifteen-or 20 dollars per day I am sure I could make $300-500 just in my small town…..

  • Dan says:

    Put a letter in 200 realtors mailbox’s in my area advertising sign placement for them, so they can focus on their clients instead of driving around placing “for sale” signs in front yards. Hoping 10 (5%) go for it in a week, charging $10 per house would net $100 in a week. 4 weekends would make $400!

  • Kay says:

    I’m actually in a similar situation now – I need $800 a month to pay for grad school – I’m looking into selling everything I own including my eggs (exactly like selling sperm but I could make thousands depending on location and the characteristics that they’re looking for).

  • Rosa Maria says:

    I would make a few batches of my awesome black bean burritos and sell them to coworkers, neighbors etc.

    1lb black beans – cook in crock pot overnight.
    2 packs of 10ct flour tortillas
    whatever cheese you can find, cheddar, jack etc
    salsa or hot sauce

    heat some oil and pour in black beans and mash up.
    put beans on tortillas add a little cheese and salsa or if you dare lots of hot sauce.
    fold a little on the ends to keep the black goodness in and roll the other side.
    cut in half and price them for $2.00.

    Bring them in on a Friday when your coworkers get paid and watch them disappear in 10 minutes!
    add some cookies and lemonade and charge 5.00

    cost of ingredients about $25.00
    profit $75.00!

    do this every Friday for a month and you could have over 300.00 cash!
    I have actually done this to help raise money for charities, so if you want to make more just give a percentage to a charity and people are even happier to buy more from you!
    Tired coworkers get fresh food delivered to them. They feel good because they eat good food, and knowing that they also helped a charity is food for their soul. Everybody wins!!

  • Eddie says:

    I’d call up all my friends and family and ask if they could spare 10 bucks, tell them what account details are so they can transfer the cash straight away. 50 friends = $500
    But lets say that after two weeks only 20 friends can spare $10, that’s only $200

    After that first two weeks I’d then call up more friends and offer to do odd jobs for the last two weeks of the month, at $20 per hour. I’d start with friends that have kids. So, in order to get another $300 that would only be 15 hours work at $20 per hour.

    $500 found!

  • Diana Jackson says:

    This is SUPER EASY- In one day you can have a yard sale and sell all the junk (which may or may not be junk) that you barely ever use lying around in your house. You can even invite a friend or neighbor to sell their junk too and split the profits, however if you are looking to make more money for yourself, go it alone!

  • Jodi says:

    I’d offer high tech support to low tech people!

    1. Go around to local boutiques in town and offer to set up their Facebook business page. Offer extra small fee for taking digital photo of business or their product.

    2. Offer to take flattering profile pictures of friends and local business owners with my iphone, upload to their Facebook page and/or LinkedIn page.

    3. Create a HOW TO USE YOUR IPHONE class, $15 for 15 minutes. Set up private lessons at the local coffeeshop.

  • Jessi says:

    Go to Bingo! A $15 investment might turn into $700 at the end of the night.

  • DeAnna D. says:

    Organize an end of summer last trip to the zoo! Take friends and coworkers kids to the zoo on a Friday and a Saturday for $10 bucks (plus the price of admission) a kid, 15 kids each day would be $300 and a fun time at the zoo. Or do smaller groups over two weekends! Parents get a day to themselves and I get to share my favorite place with some kiddos.

  • September Amyx says:

    I can’t believe how many people haven’t said a word about getting a temporary job. Maybe I’m not understanding this website enough! My fallback would always be to wait tables somewhere, because I could earn that much money in 10 five hour shifts, and that’s exaggerating how long it will take! 20 years ago I was making an average of $40 a night. The other very quick earning temp jobs are pizza delivery and valet parking. I also made very good money working on my own schedule with office and receptionist temping for an agency. Again, 20 years ago I was working for $10 an hour at a staff agency, when minimum wage was barely to $4 an hour! So if it’s doubled, and I sure hope so, $20 an hour on days you choose to be available, your requested amount could be made in 3-4 days at the most.

  • Jenny Shih says:

    Host a yard sale. You can advertise it in the local paper by stopping in at the office. Put a sign at the end of the street. Haul out your junk and you’re guaranteed at least $300, maybe even $1000+ within a few hours. It doesn’t matter what skill you have, anyone can have a yard sale.

  • Matt Kuhn says:

    After reading this I walked to the beer store and came across a man who fully embodied the spirit of this post. He is a mid 50 year old polite and kind street person. He sold me a book of clean jokes for a dollar. The book is actually just standard printer paper stapled on the fold. Looks like it would use half an 8×10 for each book, so about ten cents or less cost. So 90 cents profit. Wouldn’t be hard to sell a few hundred of those while going to and fro in your day, an passing along good clean jokes is an added bonus.

  • Charles says:

    This is list crazy! So many good ideas.
    Basically I guess you just turn whatever hobby you have (and are reasonably proficient at) and see how you make some sort of product or service that people would be willing to pay for.

    So I’d probably just bboy on the street for change and sell whatever art I had lying around.

  • saba says:

    Make use of your qualities, your any skill through which you can earn money.For example, photography etc. You can decide it better how can you earn money in a better way.I think it’s a much better way to make use of your abilities by which you feel ease & can do work heartly & calmly.In this way you can enjoy & earn money because you will have interest in that.Because only one’s abilities can help one in difficult time.

  • Katie says:

    Pick wild berries and sell them. Think blackberries, huckleberries, etc.

    Go to garage sales and buy gold/silver jewelry that is being sold for cheap, than sell it for scrap. You do have to know what you are looking for here, but at one garage sale the other day I turned $4 into $60 this way. You might not get to $300, but you can part of the way.

  • Clare says:

    Go to a public library and look through a book on bar tricks or slight-of-hand magic . Use the tricks you’ve learned to ‘entertain’ various people at various bars, with the “I bet you $5 (or $1 or $10) I can…(whatever the trick is)”. Depending how much you wager and how many people you bet with, you should be able to make the money required within a month (being female, and having bar patrons who are somewhat tipsy helps enormously).

  • jennifer elizabeth says:

    I’ve thought about my answer all day! Wouldn’t ya know it’s an idea that came to me about 3 weeks ago. An idea I’ve just been sitting on.

    In a former lifetime, not too long ago, I was a fashion designer based in Downtown Los Angeles. My second home was the fashion district. An area consisting of 100+ blocks. Many of the stores on these blocks are filled with cheap crap you’d find in Walmart. BUT if you look hard enough there are lots of hidden treasures next to the crap!

    So to raise $300-500 in 30 days I’d offer a 3 hour walking tour of the fashion district. Pricing would be $30 so I’d only need a minimum of 10 people to make my quota in one day!

    I’d advertise the tours to freshman fashion design students at FIDM and other LA based design schools. I’d also hit all the local hotels concierge desk and let them know of my service as well. And since I don’t have access to an email list I’d be sure to contact all my friends (who are shocked when I tell them the earrings I’m wearing are from the fashion district) and ask them to spread the word about my tour!

    Thanks for posing such a thought provoking question!

  • Michele says:

    Have just completed a Reiki course, so whilst I would normally now go out and give all my friends a free Reiki session, instead I would tell them that my rate is $50 per hour – but for one month only, I’m offering a 50% discount!! And if I needed the money, then it would be for a ‘reason’ that I’m sure I’d gladly share with them, and that they would gladly support, so would probably get me a few extra ‘clients’ for the monthly special offer. That would take me 20 hours to raise the $500 in 30 days – job done. I would also finally get my butt into gear and sell off the hundreds of CD’s I have here, waiting to take to the second hand store.

  • KW says:

    Ah, simple! U buy 4 cartons of Newport 100s, specifically, from a southern state like GA or SC, @ ~$40 ea. Then, sell them as loosies @ 3 for $2 (in NYC. Preferably @ Jamaica Center).
    4 cartons = 800 cigarettes
    @ a promo price of 3 for $2, you’d make ~$533.33. Subract your ~$120 investment, and you’ve profited ~$413; ~3.5x your initial investment. &, @ Jamaica Center, it’d be *no* prob going through 4 cartons as loosies within a week. Ghetto?, yes. lol But, lucrative 4 the short-term?, indeed.

  • Gary says:

    Very easy: Go out and grab one or more of the gazillion part time jobs available to transient/traveller types: car wash detail guy, moving company helper, construction (painting, clean up, laborer,) restaurant waiter, waitress, or dishwasher…, the list goes on and on. $500 in 30 days is a piece of cake.

  • garyjense says:

    Organize a raffle in which you source the prizes from local businesses who would be willing to donate products in return for the publicity. Then pick a location with high foot traffic to set up a booth to sell tickets. You can also sell on foot but a booth helps because you can showcase the prizes more effectively. Also, you can use social media simultaneously to sell tickets. In fact, there are apps you can set up so people can buy tickets online on facebook and such. I’ve participated in two entrepreneurship contests in which you had to make as much money as possible with only two hours of time. Using this strategy, I’ve won both times. I made $600 the first time and just over $1000 the second time. It cost me nothing out of pocket to organize and only a few hours of time.

  • Liz Mahoney says:

    When Robert Louis Stevenson was running short on dosh, he set his unconscious mind to work overnight. Before retiring, he asked for a saleable yarn and dream entire plots of blockbusters like The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that still resonate today.
    To get a certain amount of money within a deadline, get busy and make your intentions clear. If you write for a living, ask your subconscious to dream up the story (possibly a better chance with non-fiction) and who to market it to.
    You will probably have to hustle to get paid within 30 days, but the main thing is to believe you can do it: well, why not?
    Rule number one: there are no rules. You make the rules. The example above applies just as easily if you mow lawns.
    Rule number two: stick with the winners. Don’t listen to doomsayers.
    Rule number three: sweet dreams!

  • Andres says:


    Let’s say I just found this GREAT investing opportunity and I need the cash within the next 30 days. Say real state deal, stocks, art, one of the cool ideas posted here, etc… If Im’ investing in something I KNOW is gonna put money in my pocket, I’d definitely go for the bank/friend-family loan.

    If I’m just a spoiled brat and am going to spend it on that spectacular travel to Osaka, yeah I’d probably sell the stuff I have, throw a party to raise funds, play at bars 4 nights a week, teach drum lessons, rent my drumset, stop going out that much, “borrow” low amounts from lots of friends..I mean, using my skills and getting rid of the things I don’t use would get me the money in time.

    Anyways, what I want is to get those 500 (and more) consistently, every month, without having to over-work, and still going out and having fun and all that stuff…so yeah, Investing is the way.


  • Kurtis Smith says:

    Step One: Pray and present my need to God.

    Step Two: Tithe at least 1/10th of all the money I have left to my local church or other such God-driven cause.

    Step Three: Pay off as much debt as possible with the rest of my money.

    Step Four: Pray some more about the need, confess my faults, and thank God for allowing me to help distribute His money for His cause.

    Step Five: Watch God answer my needs in incredible ways while I continue to use His money in the best ways possible toward good causes.

    P.S. My wife and I worked through these steps once when we were in financial trouble because of debt and God incredibly provided the over $10,000 we needed to pay off the rest of our debt before the month was out. True story.

  • midnight fapper says:

    I’d talk to a couple mechanics/garages with a decent set of tools and offer to pay them for some space and the use of their equipment.

    Then I’d run an ad on Craigslist offering motorcycle repair.

    That would easily net $500 in two full work days (16 hours in total).

    In fact, I’ve done this countless times in the past when I needed to raise quick cash (although I do have my own set of tools, making an arrangement with someone wouldn’t be an issue).

  • Dawn says:

    Street Perform!!
    You can be a human statue for little cost if you get a gold/silver shirt to wear (this is if you are talentless) If you play an instrument, do theater, do poetry, find a creative way to do this (mix it in with the statue thing for more $$) Learn to juggle quickly (Youtube has great tutorials), juggle for people for some coins… anything interesting, entertaining or funny & you can get people to donate a few bucks here and there. $10 is the least I have made in a day (do it for 30 days and you win!) I now make $300 in 3 hours.

  • Rasheed Hooda says:

    I have used this method several times with amazing results.

    I simply close my eyes and describe the purpose for which I want the desired sum and the amount I am seeking. Then I sit with the thought. Sometimes for a few seconds, other times for “I don’t know how long, but my butt was numb from sitting on the floor.”

    When I get the FEELING that it is done, I let it go and within a very short time, usually a day or two, something unusual happens and I get the money. I’ve had someone buy a domain I owned, that I didn’t even have for sale for $2000. And most recently, I had a fender bender, a small “mishap” that resulted in $250 cash flow from the insurance company’s payment for the damages minus the deductible, after getting the van fixed by a reliable body shop.

    Works every time for me. 🙂

  • Suzi S says:

    First thing I’d do would assess the skills I have that can provide value to someone and that there’s a market for.

    Knowing I’ve dabbled in giving horse riding lessons in the past, I’d start there & market to local 4-H clubs that have kids interested in horses, but don’t have their own. It could either be individual lessons or group lessons or even a day camp. Do two day camps with 5 kids at $40 each, that’s an easy $400. Well, not easy, but still a quick way to bring in some cash.

  • Raven says:

    Pray. Meditate. Know that all things come in time, and all things pass. Don’t stress the 30 days. Do what you do best.

  • W says:

    Offer translation or copywriting services for the places you visit. English is not a first language for many countries. However, they advertise to English-speaking tourists. You could rewrite their ads, posters, banners, menus etc in exchange for food or cash.

  • Sal says:

    I would break up my herb garden and set up at the Saturday Farmer’s Market downtown selling medicinal herbs and my acrylic paintings- I’d use signs advertising healing for body and soul. Guess that would make me a GlaxoKline traitor- er, trader.

  • Laura says:

    Sell plasma! Get a job stripping. Be a nude model for an art class or photographer. Sell stuff on ebay.

  • Nana says:

    Depending on what kind of bill, you can always call before the due date of the bill and ask for an extension. I know my cell phone, electricity, and gas bills let me do that. In the meantime, tune into your skills and see if it can make you some money. Or, I’ve gone on Craigslist and found event jobs and done those for a day or two. They usually pay about $150/event or more.

  • Sarah says:

    1. Offer some small group tours of Prague’s literary pubs and cafes (I had a column in the English language newspaper here for several years in the early ’90’s and wrote the first English language pub guide to Prague in ’91, so I can legitimately claim some expertise.) Advertise on various tourist and expat oriented sites and in English-language newspapers.

    2. Give lectures for tourists and long-term residents on various themes- Literary Prague, The First Protestants, The City Libuse Saw (legendary Prague), Bohemian Glass, Wanderings in Bohemian Paradise (karst country)…

    3. Video the lectures and offer them over the internet.

    4. Offering a personalized gift service – give me some parameters and interests and I’ll not only find and send a suitable gift but do a short video on the shop where I got it and telling you a little about its unique characteristics. Prague or Morocco – your choice. (Hey, maybe I can fund my Morocco trip this way!)

    5. If I were in the States I’d offer computer services- setting up wifi networks, teaching them how to use Skype or Ipad to talk to children, etc. to people in my parents’ retirement community.

  • Rhonda says:

    Make breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and cookies. Take to places of business. Carry these around in a nice basket and wrapped in plastic wrap and sell for $3.00 – $5.00 each item. Each day take orders for the next.

  • Jennifer says:

    1. Sell stuff you have not used in the past year or so.
    2. Make use of your talents. Ex. If you’re an artist, create artworks and sell them.
    3. Trade stuff with people. (like that guy on Craigslist who started with a paperclip and ended up with a house)
    4. Borrow money from family/friends

  • Darlene Chrissley says:

    Rent out a room to a student. Park my car and take public transit for the month. Offer some short term laser coaching sessions to people who are working on something exciting and need to bust through a block. Offer to mentor students working on their coaching certification exams. Spend a day on the phone and email reconnecting with old clients who have hired me in the past. Pass on some of the most interesting things I’ve read or seen on the web lately to people I know who would value them but don’t spend as much time browsing as I do. Take an idea I’ve always wanted to develop and make an offer to a forward looking prospect to develop a pilot with them – ask for a deposit towards development.

    Thanks for asking.

  • christine counelis says:

    I have done this a couple of times in the past, and had tag sales (or garage sales as some parts of the world call them) to clean out my trash, which turned into someone else’s treasure. Got my long desired sooooft leather couch from the proceeds of a semi permanent floating tag sale. Met lots of nice people too, and had a great month of weekends giving away and trading off the excesses of living in one place for a little too long. No matter what was left at the end of the day, if I left it outside, it was gone…hopefully to a good home, in the morning. So I earned and learned lots more than the cash. Though the cash was motivating, the returns in memories and serandiptious meetings lasted a lot longer.

  • Nami says:

    I would go to local shops/businesses to sell ads on my car.
    I would secure just 2-3 shops for $150 – $200 a pop and ask my friends to design and paste ads on my car for free (I would beg if I have to).
    And I would drive around town like the google map car!
    All while buying and delivering groceries to senior people or busy moms($50/month and secure 5 – 10 people).
    Two birds with one stone!


    I would check my pantry for stocked up snacks and challenge neighborhood kids to sell them. I would tell them I would name my next puppy dog or next business after whoever sells the most snacks. May not add up to $500, though.

  • Isabelle says:

    Evaluate the skills I have. Offer consulting, classes, and ebooks.
    Help others make money too. 🙂

  • Annette says:

    I already make that much (or more) by selling Avon. I am in their network marketing with 60+ representatives in my downline. I make a percentage of their sales and I get recruiting bonuses. I made $1000+ in one month on bonuses alone! (Check out my webpage if you want more info. I can recruit within the US.) If I needed an additional $300-$500 in a month, I would step up my sales and recruiting efforts.

  • Matt says:

    Here’s a fun idea from the book “Ohne Geld bis ans Ende der Welt: Eine Abenteuerreise” (roughly: “Without Money to the End of the World: An Adventure Trip”) by a German fellow who traveled pretty extensively, starting with no money.

    One way he a made a little money was with a few pillows and a sign that said something like “Pillow Fight Me! Only $1!”

    I’ve never tried it, but I’m keeping it in mind in case I ever need to scrape together a few extra dollars, especially while traveling. It could also lead to some fun and interesting interactions with the locals 😉

  • cesar says:

    I can pawn something, y can wolrk as carpenter or welder (i work in that many years ago) in any place they need one, i reapir computers so i can make some phone calls and see if needed, i have some pices of art made by myself (i scluplt a little) i can sell these, and i have no remorses to work in anything honest por a few pesos or bucks (i´m from mexico)

  • Darby says:

    Pay the casino a visit.

    I manifested $200 on a craps table from a $100 bet on the pass line after intending a $100+ win (so that was like a $100 bonus) and getting my confidence and vibration up. Do that a few times, or more likely

    I would earn $75.00 consistently at blackjack – without counting cards! I wonder what would happen if I counted them? So I would have 30 days to play 6 hours of 40 minutes worth of blackjack? no sweat!

    Bonus: Learn and do day trading! I would recommend doing alot of paper trading to get the feel, but it doesnt seem hard!

  • Joe says:

    Most housing communities have mailboxes that all look alike. After a couple of years of weather, weed wacking, etc. the paint on the mailbox posts could definitely use some sprucing up.

    I would go door-to-door promoting a mailbox spruce up special charging $10 to apply a fresh coat of paint. I’d also offera no risk money back guarantee to help close the deal. 🙂

    There are approx. 300 homes in my neighborhood alone. Not to mention, the nearby communities. A paint brush and a couple buckets of paint is all it would take. At $10 a pop, it wouldn’t take long to reach your $300-$500 goal.

  • Kevin says:

    Get a phone book. Visit every old folks home in it. Ask if they would be willing to hire a musician for a 1 hour performance for $100-$150. Finding 3 such gigs in a month would not be difficult. Broaden your reach to other venues (eg. restaurants & coffeeshops) and you could be done quite quickly.


    Ask a friend to host a house concert for you. They invite ~20 friends over, charge $15 or $20 at the door, and voila!

  • Laurie V says:

    Assuming you have an income, I would look at ways to maximize this by cutting back on expenses for a month.

    – I got a friend who makes a lot of spending money by detailing/cleaning cars. Most of his business is by word of mouth. I’d do something like that. I clean houses on the side already, so I’d just advertise more.

    – I just started building furniture, and I already have a couple people interested in building something for them. I’d give them a call and tell them I’m available now for custom work.

    – I also knit, and could make quite a few easy projects to sell quick like hats, dish clothes, etc. There’s always craft fairs and etsy.

    – I sell kitchen supplies through a home-based selling business. I would just market a little harder during that month- hit up a public place with catalogs and contact info.

    You may ask, why don’t I just do this stuff now? Because my free time is worth more to me than money at this point, but if push comes to shove, I could pull it off.

  • Selena says:

    Become an epicure consultant – eat and socialize while earning income!

  • David says:

    I would write a blog that asks my audience to submit entries for how to ‘make an extra $300-500 in the next 30 days.’ I’d offer a bounty of $100 for the ‘best idea as chosen by our small crew of biased judges.’ I would then filter through the hundreds of entries I receive and utilize the most creative to raise the needed funds. I’d take in $400-600, distribute the $100 prize and have the money I needed to ‘pay the bills.’

  • PT says:

    -teach any subjects in demand to high school students that you can find.
    -write papers/do homework for lazy college kids (and you get to learn about new things too).
    -go through all the social network (linkedin, craiglist, job boards) for short-term jobs.
    -offer writing articles for some college websites, local newspapers (if you know how to pitch in your topics, it’s an easy earn)
    -selling books, cds, clothes, purses on ebay and amazon.
    -sell snacks at school or your work place. In fact, if you can cook, make things like cheesecakes or sushi. You don’t have to pay for rent like restaurants so your profit is sure higher.
    -if you are a student, try going back home for a few days and all your relatives will give you some money “to go to school.”

  • Tony says:

    I’m with Jamie Matthewman. Free is the ticket to wealth.

    I’d asses what I know and can teach. Then I’d offer my services for free on CL. I’d only ask to get paid what people think my service is worth.

    It would take some weight off my shoulders, while simultaneously motivating me to do the best job I can, because I’m literally EARNING whatever the customer decides to pay me.

    Make sense?

  • Carmen R. Sonnes says:

    I am a Visual Artist (Acrylic Painter, Mixed Media, & Collage) and my artwork is typically 30″ x 40″ and priced in the range of $600 to $2000. I would create ten to fifteen small works, say 8″x10″ or a bit larger and offer these for $50 to $75 each.
    I would contact every one I can think of and tell them this is a one-time-deal cause I need some cash fast.

  • Gary Larson says:

    I would do what my son did. He found a busy street corner in the city and played his guitar and sang for people, with his guitar case open for donations. You could have a sign that says “college fund” or something. He made over $250 in just one night.

  • Lia says:

    I’d rent my house/apartment for the month for that amount, or if I have a spare room. I’d either sleep at a friends or sleep on the couch (that part would be disclosed to the renter). I’d most likely make it even more attractive, since $500 a month for a room might be steep in some areas, so I’d offer to cook for free delicious meals and provide company at meal times (myself) because meals are better with company and new conversation 😉 Special diets welcome as I have experience with vegan, gluten free, and allergy free recipes 😀 I might actually go for this idea now…..

  • greg ryan says:

    I’m a filmmaker. I’d put up flyers offering to document 1 week of a person’s life for $150 and they’d get a 30 minute DVD of their existence on the planet. I could do three of these before the end of the month.

  • Sid Emory says:

    It is possible to sell your plasma for up to $320 dollars a month. By going twice a week and a husband and wife both participating it would be easy to gain at least $500.

  • Darlene says:

    So here’s an update! I posted an ad for our room for rent and just rented it for two months today and $1200!!! So if that counts, I actually DID it! And it didn’t take 30 days, it only took two!

  • Donna says:

    I’d buy a dozen blank white scarves from Dharma, do some quick hand painting and dying of them, and offer them on my ArtFire site at a sale price that would yield the amount of money I need, no matter what % discount that was on my usual price.

  • Beky says:

    Start busking!

  • Katie McCaskey says:

    Ask the invisible blue rabbit.

    By this I mean, I’d look closely at what is around me. What opportunities exist in my immediate surroundings that are overlooked by others?

    Within 60 feet right of where I stand this moment there are visible:

    + landscaping needs
    + cleaning needs
    + elder care service needs
    …and resell opportunities, just to start.

    It takes looking at your surroundings with a new perspective.

  • Amelia says:

    I would harvest fruit from abandoned orchards around the area, or public fruit trees, or ask people who have fruit trees whose fruit is dropping and then create value-added products from it, like pies, or jams, or leathers, and sell them at farmer’s markets, or through kijiji ads.

    failing that, if it was not fruit season (which is it right now, where i’m at in Canada) I would offer people a bundle of 6 massages (because I am also a masseuse, but any skill could work) for $250 which is a steal, and then sell two of those bundles, and do the massages later. $500 easy up front and work later, which gets you through the hard time.

  • Kristine Voss says:

    I am currently working as Mom, however I am a licensed hairdresser. I am not working in a salon but I freelance from time to time. My specialty is color. While I am gifted in that profession, it is not currently where my passion lies…. but, I can easily bring in $100-$150 pp in about 2-1/2 to 3 hours(for each person), if I put it out there.

  • Christopher says:

    Call the Karma Police and cash in on my investiments of compassion and trust.

    You see… I’m a horrible business man. But I’ve managed to hit my one-year anniversary as a chiropractor with positive income.

    This is a surprise because I treat patients for free (friends and family tell me to stop this, but I can’t help it). I’m in three networking groups where I offer volunteer my services or lend a non-judgemental ear. I look people in the eyes when they are telling me about their bad day. I spend hours every day loving with kind words anyone who needs them.

    This policy I created of loving people first has paid off with a strong, dependable network of people who care about me.

    Never eat alone, right?

  • Clara Mathews says:

    I would offer my services as an errand runner/concierge to people living in assisted living and senior living facilities. Many of them are not able to drive, so I would pick up medications, groceries, do their shopping, etc.

    There are several high-end, luxury assisted living properties in Dallas and the residents would easily pay $25 or more for someone to drive them to the beauty salon or take their dog to the groomer. With effective time management, I could do errands for multiple clients and make more than $100 per hour.

  • Joshua says:

    1. Start a fundraiser. Create a simple, cheap, yet good looking website. Pull on those heart strings and make it look good. Your proceeds go to helping the needy, and less fortunate (aka yourself).

    2. Become a high end escort. This is not prostitution, but for the upper class. Many of them need a partner on their arm when they go out to events where they will be seen by others in their industry… and if you do a good job, they may get a bonus or promotion. All meaning you can make some good money!

    3. Offer to be a test subject for a drug/pharmaceutical company. They can have some negative side effects, but some will pay well!

    4. Go around the neighborhood and collect every can, bottle and recyclable container and turn it in for cash!

    5. Start a website where others can watch you during the day. It can be sexual, or just interesting things you do during the day. If it’s interesting, you can make a lot!

    7. If you are young, and relatively good looking? put up a sign and a collection as if you’re homeless. (make sure to dirty up your face first and do this in an area you do not visit or hang out in)

    Do some or all of these and you’ll make money in NO time!

  • George Mihaly says:

    This is a twist of something I did in college:

    Step 1-Find a college town close to you (State Schools Preferred)
    Step 2-Get a list of fraternities at that school
    Step 3-Contact the presidents of the top 3 largest fraternities and express interest in cleaning their fraternity houses free of charge in exchange for all recyclables (preferably after Thurs.-Sat. nights)
    Step 4-Redeem recyclables for cash
    Step 5-Go back to step 1 and repeat until you’ve earned $300-$500
    Step 6-Party with your new friends using excess cash found while cleaning fraternity houses (inebriated youth tend to misplace valuables)

  • Billie Jo says:

    I would do a dare for money on my dare blog. I would set up a link to pay me on Paypal, and once I got to a set amount ($500) then I’d do a spectacular dare! If it was something that cost money, like skydiving, I’d figure that amount into the amount needed for me to do the dare. Then I’d video blog the event!

    I’ve also thought about selling my four leaf clovers. I have a knack for finding them, and I have a stockpile of about 200. I once found 17 of them in five minutes. I figure I could find 300 of them in a week and sell them, pressed and laminated, for a buck or two each.

    My last idea is to go to local college campuses and coffee shops and post signs offering my editing services. Editing services online are pretty pricey, and I could charge less than they do. If I charge $3 per page, and I can do about five pages an hour on average, then I’d be making $15 per every five page paper, and I’d have to edit twenty papers to get to $300.

    I love this post of yours! It’s fun to read everyone’s comments, because there have been many times when I’ve been in this situation and it’s hard sometimes to remember that you have more resources than you think.

  • penny says:

    Sell drinks outside concert halls this summer.
    Or sell my frequent flyer miles.

  • Tristan says:

    Great seeing how these all add up! I’d post an ad online and a few in the area, and do some private tutoring in Spanish or Japanese. That way I can do what I enjoy, and 10 hours @ $30 per hour gets me to Chris’ target. 🙂

  • Barbara Elkins says:

    I make extra money by watching what fruit or veg is in season and reasonably priced then I make jams, chutneys, pickles, filling up empty glass jars I have saved. Then take them to the local farmers market. People love home made stuff like this and it’s not that hard to make as most imagine. Lemon butter is particularly popular.

  • Chris says:

    I would take advantage of my various travel points – hotel, airline, etc. Hotel might be the easiest, because I can go to a local branch. Offer to book someone’s hotel room, using points, for a discounted cash fee. For example, if the hotel were charging $100 a night, I’d offer to book someone a room for $85 using my points.

    Same thing with airline miles, although that could be more difficult logistically. Could work out though – go to the airport and look for people trying to book a last-minute flight. Then purchase a last-minute flight using miles and charge them a discounted cash price.

    Quick $$!

  • Ben says:

    I’d start by getting in touch with all the creative people I know who aren’t all that tech savvy and asking them if they wanted help with the technical stuff.

    So for example I know some great photographers with large photo libraries, I’d ask them if they wanted me to manage their selling some of their library as stock photos (e.g. istockphoto etc) either for an up front fee or a share of the money they made.

    Expand this out to music, drawings, arts and crafts and $500 doesn’t take too long, AND you’re helping someone else to make money at the same time.

  • olga says:

    3 ideas:
    1. Organize a cupcake sale at a friend’s café. Cupcakes are still very new here in Spain, there is a lot of interest. At 2.5€ each, selling 100 I’ll make about 350$. Minus costs, I’ll make about 250$.
    2. Take advantage of the cupcake sale and sell a cupcake baking class. At 50€ per person I need just 10 people to make 500€, 710$.
    3. Once you start baking cupcakes, you need all kind of material: boxes, piping bags, sugar decorations… I think I could make another 250$ just selling that to the people taking the class.
    One more idea:
    4. Use the cupcake sale to sell cupcakes by supscription. Selling 5 1-month subscriptions for 50€ each I would make another 250€ (350$)
    P.S. Yes, I already know how to bake cupcakes :-))

  • Evonne says:

    Create your own currency. My partner and I successfully did this and worked within Revenue Canada guidelines.
    Briefly here’s what we did. We needed to raise $16,000 for a new business venture. We didn’t want to create debt load so we printed our own currency. The only stipulation on the currency was that it not be reimbursed from 3 months. The first $200. we gave away to trading partners (other businesses). We encouraged them to use this currency to buy our product, but to also except it from other friends who frequented their businesses. When people bought something from us at the farmer’s market (we are potters) they were encouraged to take our currency as trade. After 10 years in business some of the currency still trickled in. So this was really a goodwill loan over 5 years no interest paid, done completely without internet or facebook, but word of mouth, and a community willing to invest in each other. BTW we freed up $3800. of hard currency is the first year. ( You can also call them gift certificates not currency, depending on your tax system in the US)

  • John R says:

    I have a phillips & flathead combo screwdriver, a crescent wrench, teflon tape, and a cheap kit of 100 mixed rubber faucet gaskets. I then would print some cheap business cards online and go business to business or house to house offering to fix leaky faucets on the spot for $10 each or $5 each for 5 or more. My selling point is that they will save 5 times more over the year in their water bill than they invested in the repair today. $300 in one week with an honest effort.

  • Powerbroker69 says:

    Take a skill that you are very good at, write a few pages about it, and teach others the same skill in a workshop. 3-4 hour workshop, A few pages of handouts of practical ways for them to apply it to their lives post your workshop, charge a flat fee of $25-50 per person, offer a post workshop 1 on 1 tutorial for $100. Public libraries will charge a nominal fee for one of their rooms, public schools charge nominal fees, your local community club(s) usually has rooms to rent for a small fee as well, your local church, etc. Advertise in coffee houses, your community bulletin board, supermarket, laundromat, etc. It might start off small, but it can grow into something great!

    Other ideas:
    1. Lemonade stand (right next to the train station after the suits get out of work and have that long walk home)
    2. Clean houses/offices
    3. Clean out your closet and take your unwanted clothing to a consignment shop. (both you and the owner split the profit)
    4. Or, clean out your closet and have a garage sale, post it everywhere for maximum exposure.
    5.Get a part time job at a “day labor employment agency”. You get paid the same day you work. Bring steel toe shoes though!

  • Shay says:

    After months of unemployment, I made over $1,000 by inviting friends to an “Estate Sail” (pun on my dream of sailing away) in my home this spring. I dug out everything I didn’t need anymore, priced it, and arranged it nicely around the downstairs areas of my house. Also, I made some snacks and opened up the few bottles of wine I had on hand, to make it a real party. Friends–and friends of friends–came, noshed, drank, met, and bought, bought, bought! I cleared drawers, closets and shelves of knick-knacks, jewelry and other unnecessary items. My friends were happy with their great deals, had fun meeting each other, and some were even extra-generous with prices. I had fun, too.

  • Bill Denyer says:

    It is hard to believe that so few respondents failed to read carefully the parameters of your question. It’s tempting to blame that error on the technological age in which we’re living but beyond that, I’m amazed.

    I believe I could raise funds by updating the resumes of friends and colleagues – or teaching critical reading skills. (Ouch!)

  • Dave says:

    First – I would mow 5 lawns for $20 each (this is what my rate was 15 years ago so I think it’s a fair estimate for today). I could knock this out in a weekend easily.

    Second – I would take that $100 from lawn mowing and open up an online checking account that has a sign up bonus with minimum deposit. Googling “checking account offer” immediately returned several options with $100+ bonuses. So that’s an instant doubling of the first $100.

    Third – open up a 2nd account that has a minimum initial deposit (or first 10 debit card uses) bonus with $200 from the first account.

    Finally – Use the debit card from the second account to buy 8 separate orders of $25 worth of US mint $1 coins (can only be done with a debit card now) and redeposit the coins when they arrive. Then repeat 2 more times until the 10 debit card use minimum has been met and the bonus is posted.

    That’s $300 from about 5 hours of physical labor with most of the money requiring listtle work . Then I’d take it to casino, put the money on red, and cross my fingers (j/k).

  • Mel says:

    Not to product plug (as I am not affiliated with this at all), but Task Rabbit is an alternative to CL’s ‘ETC’ category of picking up random work. It doesn’t serve all cities, but a good way to link up with people who need help doing random chores.

  • Andrea says:

    Hmmmm… I would join a multi level marketing company. That way, I would either end up making the $300-$500, or failing miserably and feeling very enthusiastic about it.

  • Amber says:

    Write a handful of freelance stories for one or two local papers.

    For freelance reporters they usually pay between 7-10 cents a word.

    So, for about 7,000 words you could make your $500 AND get to know your local community. Win, win!

  • Dan says:

    I would sell my 1995 Ford SHO sitting in my driveway.

  • Mike Choi says:

    This is an interesting question, it doesn’t have a lot of detail other than the fact, you can’t leverage your existing network and it has to be legal.

    With that all said, I’m going to make the following assumptions:

    1. The $300-$500 is a one time payment of debt to somebody rather than a reoccurring event.
    2. You want to make the money as fast as possible or with little time involvement in your part

    This leaves us with:
    -Rather than sell stuff, it’s better to return your store bought items for the full retail price, this option is the quickest way to recover any previous spent money
    -rent out a spare room in your house, this is by far the quickest and easiest way. Not everyone has a house that they can rent out though.

  • Ana says:

    To the cupcake person in Spain:

    I’ll go one step further: I’m from a city in the U.S. where everybody from 4 generations back has grown up on cupcakes made by a company called Tastykake (spelled that way). Tastykake has been around for most of the last century into this one — but only in the Philadelphia area and environs. If you were to stop an American on the street in Spain, unless they were from this area specifically, they’d likely never have heard the name.

    I happen to be moving to Spain within the year (it’s my lifelong dream). Now I know before I go, I’ll be taking a little drive to the Tastykake company headquarters here in Philadelphia and making a deal to ship a certain amount of their classic chocolate cupcakes to areas in Spain where they can be sold and I’d make a handsome profit — far more than the $500 that was suggested.

    I didn’t realize before how popular cupcakes have become in Spain! Of course, homemade is far, far better than Tastykake. But for the convenience of having cupcakes you don’t have to make … I’d just as soon become a distributor of cupcakes in Spain!

  • Rich says:

    As a pastor, one thing I could try is calling all the area funeral homes to let them know I’m available to help with funerals for those families who don’t have a pastor. If they need me for 3-5 funerals, the money’s raised.

    That might not be my first choice, but it popped into my head, and I figured you probably haven’t heard that one before. 🙂

  • Ana says:

    I mentioned that the brand Tastykake was available only in its home area of Philadelphia. Actually, the cupcakes and other small cakes they make are available in grocery stores in other areas, generally on the East Coast. So again if you meet up with an American in Spain, if they’re from California, where I lived for 16 years, they probably will never have heard of Tastykake or the Tasty Baking Company, now merged with another but still in Philadelphia.

    I’m still gonna try to market them. In a country where the product is new, and they taste very good for store-bought little cakes, I’m gonna make some money!

  • Leon Miller says:

    First, I would sit down and take an inventory of all talents, skills, opportunities, experiences that I have received. Then I would see this as an opportunity to grow.
    I would rearrange my thoughts, to see opportunity that works with my environment.
    I would look for an opportunity that is either under my nose or a few feet away. I would realize that opportunity is all around but what limits my reach is sight and self. I always say with any amount of money that I currently do not have this statement. It’s not that it’s impossible to make but given my current outlook it is impossible to make.
    Next I would find who responds to this opportunity. Then I would learn why. Create an environment based off of what I have come to know. Find out where the people who will benefit hang out. I would place my environment in their path of travel.

    They,would learn why I do what I do, how I do it, and what the benefit is for them.

    I use to be a caricaturist for private events. So $500 could be made in less than 2-5 hours. Depending on how much you charged an hour. Why take 30 days to make $500? It’s all about perception, never about circumstances.

  • Lucinda Ponte says:

    I’d go back to being a bartender in South Beach, Miami! Keep the stories going and the drinks flowing and VOILA! $100.00 min by the end of the night. Do that twice a week and by the end of the month, you’re in black! Miss Writer

  • Malte says:

    329 responses make the answer easy.
    Sell the ideas that came up to people that need to make an extra $300-500 in the next 30 days.

  • Brandy says:

    Don’t know if I’m too late to win the bounty, but I thought I’d try anyway.

    I’m living this at the moment. And the catch is: I’m 8 months pregnant. Got to be careful (and creative) about the services I offer when I could pop at any moment.

    Here’s what I’m going to do:

    1st: sell stuff on Craigslist. No super innovative, but it works just the same.
    2nd: sell writing services on my blog. This is where things get interesting. I have a smallish blog. And I’ve never sold anything on it – yet. I’ve been letting it grow. Buut, I need some moolah and I like to experiment. I can write my ace off and people know it. Going to offer copywriting and poetry (a la the bum in Before Sunrise) with crazy quick turn-around. If 10 people buy copy at $50 a pop, I’m so there.

    Thanks for this post, Chris – the ideas sprouting in the comments – a garden of amazeballs!

  • Alain says:

    A more affirmative, sustainable, and skill building option would be to slightly re-frame the question “to make 300 to 500 dollars in 30 days” for someone else. Many non-profits have expanded to include for-profit arms. In Portland Elders In Action, a service organization working with seniors in the tri-county area, has developed an Elder Friendly business directory. Businesses pay 200 to 400 dollars to be vetted for Elder Friendliness and included in the directory. When I do community outreach I inevitably capture a few new businesses for the directory, generating 400 to 800 dollars every month. The “ask” is so much easier when you are reaching out for someone else and it doesn’t have to be as formal as what I described – simply canvassing your tribe to help someone in need.

  • Tara/Startup Freelancer says:

    I would make weekly raw food feast for 1o friends and charge $30/head. After expenses, it would net a little over $500 for the month.

  • Emily Ann Brown says:

    Last month, I actually had to do this very thing. My husband went through our bank statement and discovered we spent over $1,000 in groceries — quick runs to the grocery store for ice cream and other nick knacks quickly added up, and we didn’t even realize it! We made a decision to come up with a reasonable budget of $500 for groceries and stick to it for the entire month of July. Thankfully, through discipline, sticking to a grocery list each week, and getting creative with leftovers, when July 31 came around, we had managed to stick to our $500 spending goal last month. Thereby saving $500! My idea doesn’t involve selling homemade wares or finding a side gig, but it turned out to be one of the easiest ways for our family of three to save (or earn, depending on the way you look at it). Just look at where you can shave costs in your everyday spending.

  • Paul Carlson says:

    One of the best posts ever. Well done, everyone!

  • Mrs Grimble says:

    Here’s another UK-specific suggestion. Buy a copy of Private Eye magazine (or go to the website) and place an ad in the Eye Need section of their classified ads. You can ask for money / donations for anything – I’ve seen ads saying things like “Wastrel needs money for wine & women, already have song.” I have no idea how successful these ads are. It will cost you £30 or so; might be worth it, if some drunk/mad/stoned rich person is reading!

  • Antonio Castro Jr says:

    I would create a website called “Beggar” where people would tell their problems and aks for some help. Crazy idea, who knows?

  • Wyman says:

    I am a little surprised that so many are still trading time for money.

    Create a new product that fits your list and make them an irresistible offer via webinar, report or mp3 audio.

  • Janele says:

    I would take what money i do have and use some of it to make stickers. On the stickers i would make sure that they said something fantastic and/or inspiring. I would use a quote that has inspired me every day like ” If it looks like im free, its because im always running.” Or something fantastic like ” Rock is dead, long live paper and scissors.” Then i would go out to a big music festival or street fair and sell the stickers for just a little bit more then i made them for but ask for donations and email addresses because if you like them i would make more and personalize them for you. So potentially i could make my 500 bucks and start a new small business that i would enjoy. If i didnt make my money back oh well then im still screwed lol but hey i had fun trying. And because i wrote this post i now have a new idea so Thanks Chris!!!

  • Sam Breach says:

    I was doing a similar thing to Emily Ann. I need to reduce the monthly outgoings because of my partner’s continued unemployment – the savings have run dry and so now all the bills are on me. It’s tough paying for all the rent and all the bills when you are used to paying only half. I found I could save over $350 a month if I cancelled some subscriptions to things I really don’t utilize enough to make it worth their cost. So I am going to cancel the gym I rarely go to, start parking on the street around the corner instead of paying for a spot on the lot next door, get rid of the air card subscription which I hardly ever use, revoke membership to the foundation whose lectures I never attend and cancel the magazines I just flick through without really reading. We already got rid of the cleaner. I was actually shocked at how much money I wasting and how quickly all these little things add up.

  • Trevor Pirtle says:

    What do I need to come up with $300+ for?

    Cell phone bill? Ditch the phone
    Internet access? Go to Starbucks/internet cafes
    Housing? Move out to an organic farm (wwoof)
    Food? Go on a water fast (or see above)
    Car? Use public transportation

    Instead of wasting time on money making methods that will only help me in the short term, I would reduce my expenses and invest my time into my long term dreams and goals through writing and marketing my website.

  • Victor Reynolds says:

    I use my photographic skills and do property photography for and Fastsnap. I also troll craigslist at times. I also ply my photo skills for others as well.

  • Chas says:

    I found $20.00 on the sidewalk and made a mistake on my taxes- the Feds sent me a check for
    $766.51- I guess those fall under ‘The Law of Attraction’.

  • Dede says:

    I would go around the neighborhood and sell raffle tickets for lawnmowing for the WHOLE summer. Lots of people would pay $10 for a chance to have their yard mowed all Summer. Only one person would win, but you could sell as many raffle tickets as you wanted. I would only go to a close neighborhood so I wouldn’t have to drive very far each week to do the mowing for the winner. Only need a mower and some gas. This could be repeated as needed, as long as you make sure you allot the time it would take for the lawn.

  • Greg says:

    Awesome posts by all! I wonder if anyone took up on the idea of becoming a consultant, as stated in the 09/2011 article “The Instant Consultant”. Since I read that article, it has been bouncing around inside my head. I haven’t attempted that one and was curious if anyone else had.

    In response to this thread, I posted a flyer in super markets, a small FREE ad on Craigslist, and sent an email to my 200 or so friends – I announced that I would clean up there computers and guaranteed they would see an improvement in over-all performance and speed. I used FREE tools available online, spent about 2 hours on each computer and earned $150 plus for 5 days in a row. I did have one really bad system and I had to let an antivirus run all night, but the tool was free and ran from a web site so it was not noticed by the virus until it was too late and the virus was removed.

    Would I do this as a business? Probably not. I lucked out because people brought and picked up their computer, paid cash, and I already knew about the software tools and how they worked. If I can do it, anyone can.

  • Ana says:

    Greg, I was curious: Was that $150 you made from one day’s work or all 5 days combined?

  • Greg says:

    Hi Ana,

    That was $150.00 USD per day. Two of those days I broke $170.00. Since that week, I gained a small group of about 26 families who have me do an annual cleaning and tuning of the family-owned computers. I also do a little user training when they purchase a new computer with new operating system. I currently do it just to earn spending money. I hope that helps. My total earnings during my experimental start-up week was $805.00. Not too bad considering I didn’t think it would work. I mentioned that I learned that this type of work isn’t what I would really like to do. I’m not quite sure what I do want to do. I just know computer cleaning and tuning is not it. Thanks for asking.

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    aгeа Ꮪtamfогɗ, Ԍгееnwіcһ, Wеѕtрߋrt, Dariеn, Ԝеѕtοn, Fаiгfiеlԁ, аnd Ⅿіlfoгⅾ іn Ꮯоnnᥱctiϲᥙt.

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