12 Easy Ways to Make $500 fast

Many Americans work multiple jobs and still struggle with debt, and many live from paycheck to paycheck. One in every four people has no emergency fund at all.

When a financial crisis hits, they find themselves scrambling for cash.

If this sounds familiar, here are some ways to earn $500 fast.

12 Side Hustles to Earn $500

Many Americans, probably most, need more money. After all, 51% of us have less than three months’ worth of emergency savings, and 56% couldn’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense. If anything goes wrong, we’ll need money fast.

If you’re working, your first option will be to ask for more hours or ask for a raise. The labor market is tight, and employers want to retain their people, so if you have a good record at work, you have a good chance of success. 

If that doesn’t work or you’re self-employed or out of work, you need a side hustle. Here are some options to consider.

Work for a Ridesharing Company

How long will it take to earn $500? It depends on the market, but you can probably make $500 in your first week if you work a standard full-time 40-hour week. You can make even more in a high-demand market.

If you have a car, a driver’s license, and a good driving record, you can apply to drive for Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing services. You and your vehicle will have to meet some requirements, but if you can do that you’re good to go.

The ridesharing company will connect you with the customers, set the rates, and collect the payments. All you have to do is drive and get paid. You set your own hours, making this a flexible side hustle.

Food Delivery Services

How long will it take to earn $500? It depends on the market and demand, but in a busy location, it’s possible to earn $500 a week.

Food delivery services exploded in popularity during the pandemic and have remained popular. Services like UberEats, Grubhub, and DoorDash always need delivery staff.

Food delivery services are less picky about the type of vehicle you use since you aren’t carrying people. Many food delivery workers use motorcycles and even bicycles, dramatically cutting fuel and maintenance costs.

You can earn $15 to $20/hour delivering food during peak hours, but you’ll have to remember that most orders come during a limited time of day. You can’t expect to work 8-hour days!

Personal Grocery Shopper

How long will it take to earn $500? It will depend on how many jobs you can complete and variables like the time of day.

Services like Instacart use personal shoppers to select grocery items to fill customer orders. These shoppers contact the person making the order and may adjust orders due to availability or quality.

Instacart shoppers need to be over 18, eligible to work in the U.S., have a recent-model smartphone, and be able to lift 50 pounds. You can set your schedule but earn more by working during high-demand hours.

There are other employers in the market, though Instacart dominates the space

Dog Walking or Pet Sitting

How long will it take to earn $500? It will depend on how many jobs you can complete and variables like time of day, but it’s possible to earn $500 over a week.

If you love dogs or other pets, you can turn that passion into a profitable side hustle. Services like Rover and Wag connect you to clients seeking pet sitting, pet boarding and pet walking services.

You can set your available hours and preference for pet types and sizes. Most services offer insurance and various support services, including veterinarian support. Most services pay per pet, so you can add to your income by handling several pets simultaneously.


How long will it take to earn $500? If you charge $20 per hour, you’d have to spend 25 hours babysitting. 

Babysitting is a traditional side hustle for young people, but there’s a demand for sitters of all ages. Services like Babysits or Care.com can help you find clients, but many sitters start out working for friends or family and spread their networks from there.

Babysitters are always in demand but trust is a key element in finding work, so your best source of referrals will often be satisfied clients. It’s not always an easy job and you’ll need to learn to handle kids (basic first aid skills are good as well), but if you’re good with kids you can earn quite a bit.

Become a Nanny or Home Caregiver

How long will it take to earn $500? The wages vary but average around $20 per hour.

This is more of a regular job and can require a significant time commitment, though part-time employment is often available, particularly to cover someone else’s time off. Care.com offers child care, elder care, and housekeeping positions, and once you gain experience, you can advertise your services locally.

Again, trust is a key part of getting regular work, so your past clients will be a key resource when it comes to finding new work. Give quality service and word of mouth will be your best advertisement!

Teach English

How long will it take to earn $500? Wages typically range from $10-$15 per hour.

If you’re a native English speaker, you already have a professional skill in demand in much of the world. Services like Preply, VIPKid, and Cambly link you with students worldwide. You set your schedule, and the service handles payments.

You’ll have to consider time zones (many students are in Asia or the Middle East) and you’ll need reliable internet and a quiet, undisturbed place to work. However, this can be a very satisfying part-time side hustle that could even lead to a new career.

Repair Broken Screens

How long will it take to earn $500? At $50 per screen repair, you’d have to replace 10 to earn $500.

If you’re willing to start with some training, repairing mobile phones is a solid niche with continuous demand. Broken LED screens are a constant problem, and there’s always someone looking to have one fixed.

Phone repair courses are available online – some free – and many areas have face-to-face classes. You’ll need to invest in tools and some old phones to practice on, but once you’re set up phone repair can be a lucrative side hustle.

Start a Freelance Business

How long will it take to earn $500? It depends on your skill set and experience, but experienced freelancers can earn $500 a week. 

Do you have a skill that’s in demand? Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork specialize in linking service providers with potential customers. Writers, graphic designers, and web developers are always in demand, and the range of marketable skills is wider than expected.

Start by taking inventory of your skills and browsing freelance work platforms to get a sense of what clients are looking for. Once you’ve identified your niche, you’ll need to construct an appealing profile and start actually applying for jobs and projects.

It takes time and patience to get established, and most freelancers cope with many rejections in the beginning. Once you establish a work portfolio and get positive reviews, freelancing can earn money and even become a full-time career.

Handyman Work

How long will it take to earn $500? At $50 an hour, you’d have to complete 10 hours’ worth of jobs.

People need work done around their houses. Some of that work requires specialized skills like plumbing or carpentry, but it’s often as simple as moving furniture or cleaning up bathrooms and kitchens.

Sites like Taskrabbit link service providers with potential customers. You can review the site to see what projects are available in your area. If any match your skills you can get to work. You can also advertise on Craigslist or local social media groups.

Work as a Virtual Assistant

How long will it take to earn $500? 23 hours at an average salary of $22 an hour.

Virtual assistants handle the same jobs as any executive assistant: scheduling appointments, making calls, arranging travel, managing files, etc. The only difference is that virtual assistants do these jobs from their home.

Websites like Belay and VaVaVirtual Assistants specialize in linking virtual assistants with clients, and many virtual assistants find work on platforms like UpWork and Fiverr.

As with most freelance work, getting started can take patience and effort. You may have to take some jobs for less than you’d like to build experience and a list of references. Once you have some experience, it will be easier to attract clients and you can raise your rates.

Offer a Unique Service

How long will it take to earn $500? It will depend on the job, but you should easily be able to earn $500 in a week.

The first step in looking for a side hustle is assessing your skills. The more skills a job requires, the higher the pay is likely to be, so you want to make the most of what you can do.

This doesn’t just mean work-related skills. If your jobs have left you with marketable skills, you have an obvious basis for a side hustle. If they haven’t looked closely at your hobbies, interests, or just your life experience. You’re likely to find skills you didn’t know you had.

Once you’ve targeted your unique skill set, you’ll need to sell it. How you do that will depend on the skill set involved, but you’ll need to be creative and use standard and outside-the-box methods. 

Take Advantage of What You Already Own

If you need to make $500 fast, your first step should be to look around you. If you have assets that can be sold or rented, that can be a fast way to get the cash you need.

Sell Your Books, CDs, Tech

Books, CDs, or gadgets that you aren’t using may be treasures to someone else. A quick internet search will give you an idea of what items are worth. You can sell your tech on Decluttr, books and music on Half Price Books, and almost anything on Craigslist

Use Your Real Estate

If you have extra space in your house or apartment, you have a side hustle waiting for you. Rent out your space on Air BnB or VRBO

Rent Out Your Car

If you have an extra car or don’t need it all the time, you can rent it out using Hyrecar or Turo

Rent Out Your RV

Many people want to use an RV occasionally but don’t want to buy one. If you own one, rent it out through Outdoorsy for extra income.

Store Other People’s Stuff

Storage space is in demand all over the country. If you have a secure space, you can fill it with other people’s items and earn money in the process! Neighbor bills itself as an “Air BnB for storage” and can help you find clients.

Rent Out Your Pool

If you have a pool, use Swimply to rent it out to individuals or groups by the hour or day. Be sure to read the liability paperwork.

Donate Plasma

It sounds unpleasant, but this is the simplest way to earn some immediate money. Plasma centers usually pay lucrative bonuses for first-time donors, and you are paid with a cash card before you leave the donation center.

For example, Bio Life is currently offering up to $800.

READ MORE: How to donate plasma

Sell Your Used Clothing or Shoes

If you’ve piled up more clothing, shoes, or bags than you can use, sell them on Poshmark, Mercari, or eBay for fast cash. Some users turn this side hustle into a full-time job!

READ MORE: How to sell shoes online

Sell Home Items You No Longer Need

Got a full house? If you have furniture, appliances, or other items to dispose of, list them on OfferUp or your local Craigslist or social media groups. You can also try selling them on social media sites like Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor and other hyperlocal platforms, You can make money and clear space at the same time.

Sell Crafts Online

If you’re creatively inclined, consider selling handicrafts on Etsy. Browse the platform to see what sort of products are being sold and for what prices. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Do Errands and Other Small Jobs

If you think you have nothing to sell, remember that time is a valuable resource for many people. If you have extra time, you can effectively sell it by performing errands or small jobs for others. Market your services on social media or start with friends and personal contacts.

Sell Your Gift Cards

Do you have gift cards for stores where you don’t regularly shop? You can sell them on sites like Cardcash, ClipKard, or GiftCash. You won’t get face value, but you may be able to get 75% to 80% of face value in a cash sale.

Other Legit Ways to Earn Quick Cash

There are many ways to earn cash online. Most of them will not earn you $500 unless you put a lot of time in, but they can help you toward your goal.

Complete Online Surveys

You can fill out surveys online and earn money. You won’t earn a lot, and you may find that you aren’t eligible for many surveys. Try survey-specific sites like Survey Junkie or Opinion Outpost or more general sites like Inbox Dollars or Swagbucks.

Watch Videos

You can get paid for watching videos. You won’t get paid much, but you can watch while doing something else. Try sites like Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, or MyPoints.

Play Games

Game developers will sometimes offer cash incentives to help their games build buzz. You can locate offers through sites like Inbox Dollars or Swagbucks. The popular Monopoly Go app regularly offers ways to earn $40+ simply for playing the game. There are dozens of offers. Just choose a game that fits your interests and start playing. Be sure to make note of any progress deadlines or qualifications before you start.

READ MORE: Games that pay real money

Use Amazon Mturk

Amazon Mturk is a crowdsourcing marketplace for outsourcing processes and jobs. There’s a vast range of work available, from highly specialized skilled jobs to work that anyone can do. Review the site for a sense of what it can do for you.

The Bottom Line

When you need $500 fast, it can seem intimidating. But in some instances, if you have the time or skills, you can earn that much in a week or even less, particularly if you live in an area where services are in demand.

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