What to do when you need money now? 14 Ways to Get Cash Quickly

Finding yourself short on cash can be stressful and overwhelming. When an unexpected expense pops up or your paycheck doesn’t stretch as far as you need it to, you may wonder where to turn for quick financial help. Though the situation seems dire, there are ways to get fast cash infusions to tide you over. This guide covers smart strategies for what to do when you urgently need money.

14 Ways to Get Cash Quickly in 2024

1. Take stock of what you have

Before scrambling to borrow money, take an honest look at your finances. Tally up any cash you have on hand or sitting in checking and savings accounts. Make a list of assets like jewelry, electronics, musical instruments or other valuables you could sell for immediate cash. This gives you a baseline to understand how much you need to raise.

2. Reduce spending to the bare minimum

Slash any non-essential spending to free up cash flow. Stop dining out, going to movies or paying for streaming services. Forego new clothing purchases. Halt automatic transfers to savings accounts if possible. Evaluate recurring bills to trim extras like a higher-tier cable package. These cuts may seem difficult but can add up to meaningful savings each month.

3. Ask for help from family and friends

Don’t be afraid to reach out to relatives or close friends for financial assistance if you’re comfortable doing so. Offer to sign a loan agreement if it makes them feel better. Accepting money from loved ones can feel awkward but is often interest- and payment-free. Just be sure to pay it back as soon as possible.

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4. Clean Out the Closets and Have a Garage Sale

Gather up household items, clothes, toys and more that you no longer use. Resell them through an online platform or host a garage sale to drum up fast cash. This works best for turning a profit if you price items to sell.

5. Drive for a Rideshare Platform

Apps like Uber and Lyft allow drivers to collect fares from passengers. You can drive when it fits your schedule. Though income fluctuates, rideshare platforms provide payments weekly rather than making drivers wait for a monthly paycheck.

6. Pick Up Odd Jobs Like Dog Walking or Tutoring

Tap into gig work like walking dogs through an app such as Wag or Rover. Tutor students in academic subjects you know well. Clean houses, babysit kids, mow lawns or do other temporary jobs needing little experience.

7. Donate Plasma

Plasma donation centers pay roughly $50 per donation, sometimes more for new donors. Payment happens immediately after you give plasma. While you can only donate twice per week typically, this adds up to regular infusions of cash.

8. Take Out a Payday Loan as a Last Resort

Payday lenders provide immediate access to emergency money but charge excessively high fees, leaving borrowers in deeper debt. Only use payday loans as an absolute final option and educate yourself on the terms.

9. Pick Up Overtime Hours or a Side Gig

Ask your workplace if overtime hours are available to bulk up your next paycheck. Or apply for short-term jobs like retail holiday work on top of your regular job. Juggling multiple income streams brings in more immediate earnings.

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10. Sell Valuables at a Pawn Shop

Pawn shops offer cash for valuables like jewelry, musical instruments, electronics and collectibles. While you won’t get top dollar, they buy and loan money quickly in a short appointment. Items held as collateral can be repurchased later.

11. Trim Household Expenses to the Bone

Reduce non-essentials like dining out, entertainment, subscriptions and new purchases. Look for room in your budget to cut back on groceries, insurance and other recurring bills. These sacrifices free up disposable income.

12. Apply for SNAP Benefits

Government assistance programs like SNAP (food stamps) help cover essential living expenses during periods of financial hardship. Local non-profits also administer emergency cash grants and rental assistance in some areas.

13. File for Unemployment Payments

Losing your job triggers eligibility to claim unemployment benefits. Once approved, weekly government payouts offer partial wage replacement while job hunting. Calculate what you might qualify for in your state.

If you’re ever caught desperately needing quick access to money, plenty of options exist. Weigh both ease and risks connected to loans from private companies versus aid from personal networks and nonprofit resources. With flexibility and creativity, you can secure necessary funds through a difficult stretch.

14. Consult a credit counselor if necessary

Finding yourself in sudden financial turmoil can be alarming. But numerous options exist for accessing money quickly, from borrowing from family members to qualifying for government aid. Weigh both short and long-term impacts when deciding which route works best for your situation. With prudence and planning, you can recover and regain stable financial footing.

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When cash flow issues strike, it’s easy to feel hopeless and overwhelmed. But taking a breath and exploring sensible options for bridging the gap often reveals workable solutions. Whether selling valuables, slashing expenses or qualifying for assistance programs, viable avenues exist for raising emergency money. Approach the situation pragmatically rather than panicked. Create a plan, ask for help and take it one step at a time. With resourcefulness and dedication, you can power through until your finances stabilize again.


What are the fastest ways to get money when funds are low?

Some of the quickest options are borrowing from family or friends, selling items, driving for a rideshare service, donating plasma or taking out a small personal loan. These can provide cash in hand within days or weeks.

Are payday loans or cash advances advisable for fast money?

Payday loans and cash advances allow access to funds immediately but charge exorbitant interest rates. This type of financing should only be used as an absolute last resort.

What government programs can help if I’m facing financial hardship?

Options like unemployment benefits, food assistance (SNAP), Medicaid, TANF and local non-profit grants can provide either direct cash aid or help cover living expenses. Those facing difficulty making mortgage payments can also look into forbearance.

Is it better to use credit cards or take out a personal loan?

Personal loans typically have lower interest rates and predictable monthly payments. Credit cards should only be relied on sparingly in emergency cash situations and balances paid off quickly.

Where are the best places to cut spending when trying to free up cash?

Start with dining out, entertainment, subscriptions, new clothing and extras like salon visits. Consider downsizing housing, insurance or other major recurring expenses if possible. Minimize use of credit cards as well.

MK Usmaan