A friend recently came to me with the following question:
“If you had to make $2,000 fast, how would you do it?”
While I normally advise people to take a long-term view when it comes to generating income and building wealth, there are certainly times in life when you’re in a financial crunch and you need to earn some money quickly.
I told my friend that there are a few different options, depending on how fast he actually needed the money. If he needed it within 48 hours, there were some short-term tactics he could pursue. But if he had a little more time – like a couple weeks – then there were some longer-term tactics at his disposal.
In this post, I share several short-term and slightly longer-term ways to earn $2,000 fast.
How to Make $2,000 in Under 48 Hours
Here are some realistic ways my friend could obtain $2,000 in under 48 hours:
1. Ask family and friends.
The most obvious way to get your hands on $2,000 as fast as possible is to simply ask friends and family. While it can be awkward to ask for money from people closest to you, this is often the fastest way to actually obtain money if you don’t have any. To make this conversation easier, you could offer to pay them back with interest or you could offer to perform some tasks/chores around their house so that you can at least earn some of the money upfront.
2. Withdraw money from a savings or retirement account.
Another obvious way to get $2,000 quickly is to simply take it from your savings account or retirement account if you have money available to withdraw. Keep in mind that you’ll pay a penalty when you withdraw money from your retirement account if you’re below the retirement age, but this is still a viable way to access money you already have saved.
3. Overdraw your credit card.
Another way to get money quickly is to simply overdraw your credit card. This absolutely isn’t something you should do if you can avoid it, but it is a realistic way to spend money quickly that you don’t have. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay high interest rates for doing this and your credit score can get dinged if you don’t make your repayments on time.
4. Get a pawnshop loan.
To get a pawnshop loan, you need to give something valuable to the shop, and in exchange they’ll give you a loan for a certain amount. Interest rates on these types of loans are typically fairly high, but they’re better options than payday or title loans. Check out this helpful article by Nerdwallet to get a better understanding of the ins and outs of Pawnshop loans.
How to Make $2,000 in Under 2 Weeks
The problem with many of the above options is that you’ll have to pay interest, penalties, and other fees. While they’re realistic ways to make $2,000 fast, there are much better options to pursue if you have a couple weeks to spare.
Here are some realistic ways you can make $2,000 in under 2 weeks.
1. Sell stuff you already own.
One of the best ways to earn money quickly is to sell stuff that you already own. This could be a big thing like your car or small things like headphones, speakers, and other devices. There are several different ways you can find people to buy things that you own:
- Advertise on Facebook Marketplace: This is a great option because you can reach a huge audience of people looking to buy things within a certain radius of where you live.
- Advertise on Craigslist: Similar to Facebook Marketplace, you can create a post on Craigslist advertising something you want to sell and people within a certain radius of you will be able to see the post and potentially reach out to you.
- Use decluttr: This is a free platform that allows you to sell cell phones, tech devices, DVDs, games, books, and other things easily. You simply list your item on decluttr, receive a valuation for, ship it for free, and get paid.
2. Flip items for profit.
If you don’t already own stuff that you can sell, then one option is to simply buy things for cheap and flip them for a profit. The nice things about this option is that you don’t need any credentials, licenses, or certifications. All you need to do is buy an item for a low price, then resell it for a higher price.
Flipping items for cash also offers the following benefits:
- If you don’t have any items laying around your house that you want to sell, you can go to thrift stores or garage sales and find all kinds of stuff that you can easily flip for a profit.
- You can flip items for a profit whenever it’s convenient for you. Whether you have free time in the mornings, evenings, or weekends, you can flip items whenever works best for your schedule.
While it’s possible to flip pretty much any item, it’s a fact that some items tend to be more profitable and easier to sell than others. Check out this article if you’re looking for the 30 best items to flip for a profit.
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3. Rent your car.
In most cases, a car is not an asset. It’s something that you buy that depreciates in value over time and produces no recurring income for you. However, you can make money from your car by enlisting it on a car-sharing platform like Getaround.
The idea is simple: you list your car on their platform as available for other people to rent, and you get to decide when it is available. This can be a nice way to earn some extra income during the times or days when you know you won’t be using your car yourself.
4. Earn money with dogsitting.
One of the easiest side hustles that anyone can start is dog sitting and dog walking. Hands down the best way to get started with this side hustle is by joining Rover, a platform that connects you with people in your area looking for some help with caring for their dogs while they’re on vacation or while they’re at work.
The best part about using Rover is that the clients they help you find are often eager to use your services more than once. This means you only need to land a few repeat clients to boost your earning significantly. Get started with Rover here.
5. Earn money with food delivery.
Another one of the easiest side hustles that anyone can start is food delivery via an app like Postmates. With Postmates, a customer puts in an order, you receive the pickup and drop off location details, and then you receive payment upon making a delivery. It’s incredibly simple to get started, you can work as much or as little as you like, and you’re given the option to cash out instantly. Get started with Postmates here.
6. Get a temp job.
Another realistic way to earn money quickly is through getting a temp job. Unlike long-term jobs that only pay you every two weeks or every month, you can receive earnings from temp work immediately. Also, temp work agencies often hire people straight away so you don’t have to go through a long process just to find some work.
7. Post an ad as a repair person or handyman.
Another way to earn some cash quickly is to post an ad as a repair person or handyman on a site like Craigslist. People who are looking for some help with odd jobs around their house or around their yard can see these ads and reach out to you for help. Best of all, you’re likely to get paid cash for this type of work.
8. Sell knowledge.
Another way to earn a quick buck is to sell knowledge. Whether you’re knowledgeable in a specific skill like programming or a subject like statistics or a foreign language, more than likely you can find someone who lives near you that is looking for your exact expertise. You can post on Twitter, Facebook, and Craigslist to advertise your services. Best of all, you can often charge $40+ per hour if you possess rare knowledge in some area and get paid in cash.
9. Donate plasma.
Another realistic way to earn some extra income fast is to donate plasma. It’s not uncommon for facilities to allow you to donate twice per week at $50 per donation.
Whether you need money within 48 hours or if you have a couple weeks to spare, there are many ways to earn some extra money quickly. Keep in mind that some of these options involve you paying back interest or a loan in some way, which could put you back even further financially over the long haul.
Weigh your options, determine what will work best for you, and get moving. There’s money all around you if you look hard enough.
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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