Maybe you’ve got soul-crushingly high student loans. Maybe you’re one missed payment away from moving back in with your weird uncle Vernon. Or maybe that big hairy guy with the eyepatch is going to twist your legs into a pretzel if you don’t cough up $2000 by Thursday night -- The point is, for whatever reason you need to get your hands on a big chunk of money, in very little time.
Don’t worry. If you follow at least one of the steps below, you will be able to save between $800 - 2,500 dollars this week with minimal effort. However, like most of the stuff I yell about it’s easy to do, but easy not to do. Taking a sexy photo shoot of your old sneakers just to flip them for 50 bucks might not seem like it matters, but the money adds up. If you skip a step, or don’t fully commit to scrapping for the whole week, you most definitely won’t make the money. There’s no substitute for doing.
So without further ado, here’s how you can save money fast.
If you’re serious about putting the money together, then craigslist is your best friend. While online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon are great for small ticket items, almost every family in the US (Even the hopelessly broke or unemployed) has at least $4,000 worth of old junk that would be perfect for craiglsist.
First, go through all your belongings, and ruthlessly put aside whatever you don’t need or what could retail for a high price. Electronics, appliances, and big ticket items like bikes and furniture are ideal for craigslist, so try to prioritize those first - you can get to the smaller stuff later.
Once you’ve got a nice pile going, search the item on craigslist, then post them at a slightly lower asking price than similar items or items like yours that have sold in the past. This isn’t a garage sale, but knocking 50 bucks off will help you get the money faster.
Make sure your pictures are well lit and attractive. If the item is dirty or used, spruce it up a little. If you absolutely don’t have time, post stock images. This will make a world of difference.
Lastly, once buyers start contacting you, be quick, and polite. Call them up if possible, and establish a rapport. This is a great time to practice your sales.
Using craigslist, you should be able to sell your appliances, old devices, especially nice clothes, and sporting goods at a considerably higher price than eBay or at a garage sale. Even if you don’t have much, you definitely have at least one very nice or expensive item (Couch, Iphone, designer bag, art, instrument) that you can part with for $400 or more.
2) Temp work (Shiftgig, Jobble, local temp agencies)
Temping is a great, no-entry cost way to put away some money. Just get on a temping app like shiftgig, or contact your local temp agency, and go do some work. Shift apps tend to have a crazy variety of events, so you could be doing anything from data entry to sales. Just be sure to pick shifts that are early or late at night, so you can still go to your day job or school. If that doesn’t apply to you, go ham for the week, and work as often as you can. Select jobs with higher pay (Think office or clerical work at $18 - $26) rather than shorter jobs with lower rates. Not only is this temping better paid than retail, but there’s less pressure since there are so many temp agencies, and if you don’t perform at your best for one agency or job, you can move on to the next. Plus, you can start tomorrow.
Note that for many of these you won’t even have a boss, or the work will be self-directed, meaning you’ll have time to do listen to something while you work, or multi-task. You probably spend a good chunk of the day listening to music or podcasts already - now you can get paid while you do it.
You’ll probably be pretty damn tired working two jobs, but temping’s saving grace is that it’s temporary. You can afford give up one week out of the year to work 16 hours a day if it means you save $1,000 right? Because this isn’t just income. This is money that goes straight into your bank account! That you’ll be saving, or using toward that big payment you absolutely must make. I’d say it’s worth it.
3) Local clothes exchanges(Buffalo exchange, crossroads) and local booksellers
I’m sure you have a piece of clothing you hate, or a book or textbook you’ve read 1,00 times. There’s most likely a local retailer that will buy it from you. Sure, you’ll probably get maybe ⅓ of retail price, but ask yourself how else you could get money from your beat up jacket or sociology textbook? Every little bit counts, and the $50 - 200 bucks you make from retailers could be the difference between Big Tony buying you a pretzel or turning you into one.
4) Ebay, Amazon, Etsy
The last stop is the most well know. While these are easy to use, there are already so many users that you’ll be less likely to make as much without experience. However, if you’ve got a bunch of smaller, vintage items, these sites are for you. Create a listing with a low asking price, and just wait for someone to bite. Odds are, at least one of your posts will get a response.
eBay is also great if you totally run out of stuff to sell in your home. You’ve run the craigslist circuit, and have zero junk lying around. Great! Now it’s time to hit the thrift store. Using the Amazon pricing app, look for items that have been marked down significantly, buy them, then sell them on eBay for a higher price. THis works great for sneakers and special vintage clothes. While you can make money at this, you’ll make less than the above and it’s more work, so save this for your end game.
There you have it. Four simple ways to pile up money this week that costs you nothing but time and a little hustle. I’ve used these before with absolutely phenomenal results, and I hope you all get as much out of them as I did. Leave your experience below in the comments, and happy junking!