I Need Cash Now, ASAP, Today (Ideally for Free): Here’s How to Get It

“I need cash now!” Maybe you are in need of some cash to make rent this month. Maybe you have your eyes on the latest piece of technology, but you just can’t swing it right now. Regardless of the impetus for your urgent need of money, there are ways to get it — and quickly.

Ways to Get Money Quickly Without “Working”

If the hours you already work are too long for you to take a second job or you’re having trouble finding work, there are some ways to earn money without seeking traditional part-time or full-time employment. You may be able to earn money using things you already have — like an extra room in your home, or household electronics you don’t use.

While the options listed below may help you make some extra money quickly, they won’t make you wealthy overnight. Though all of the opportunities listed below are legitimate, we’ve included any other potential downfalls of using these methods, so you’ll be fully informed. Beware of opportunities not listed here that promise enormous financial gain in a short amount of time; they are often scams, or don’t live up to the promised results.

Become an Airbnb Host

  • What it is: Airbnb essentially turns its users into hotel managers. If you don’t mind having a few strangers milling about in your home, this is potentially one of the easiest ways to make money without doing much work at all.
  • How it works: All you have to do is sign up, fill out a description of your residence, upload some pictures of the available space, and start accepting offers from guests. Much like Uber ride-sharing services, this business runs solely off of reviews; you rate your guests and they rate you as a host. Remember, your place of residence is considered the guests’ hotel room, so be sure it looks and feels that way. Make sure your listing is clear and detailed, so your guests don’t find any surprises when they arrive. Some hosts provide a complete guest room, while others rent out a smaller area of the house or apartment. (In big cities, people will pay considerable sums to sleep pretty much anywhere — even if the space you have to offer is the living room couch or even the floor). If you’re a friendly, welcoming, accommodating host, guests will leave you positive reviews, which will encourage others to rent your space.
  • How to get started: Make sure your house or apartment is guest-ready; then go to the Airbnb website and sign up.
  • How much you can earn: Typically between $20 – $150 per night; this depends on many factors including your location and the size of the space.
  • Other important information: Airbnb is especially lucrative for people who live near tourist attractions or in big cities. Some people can rent out even the smallest space for $100 – $200 a night in high-demand locations. If you live in a major city and host guests for just 10 nights a month, that could mean $1,000 earned from your empty guest room. Your earnings will be lower if you live in a smaller or more remote area, but can still bring in a bit of extra income.
  • Learn more about how to get your place ready to rent out with the following YouTube video, where a now-veteran Airbnb host will give you all the information you need to get started.
  • Tip: Never used Airbnb before? Before you become a host, you better be a guest first. You can use our referral link to get up to $55 toward your first Airbnb trip. Note that a lucky member of the FQF team will also receive credit toward their next stay when you sign up with our link.

Join a Sleep Study

  • What it is: You can get paid to sleep — as long as you don’t mind people watching you. Doctors and scientists who study sleep patterns need subjects, and they will pay people to participate in their research.
  • How it works: Cities with major research universities or large hospitals will generally provide the most opportunity for earning money this way. Studies may require some kind of screening process before you’re approved. When you’ve signed up for a study and have been accepted, all you need to do is get to the designated location; there you may be hooked up to machinery that will provide the data that the researchers need. Then, your only job is to slip into a little well-deserved REM. Be sure to follow all rules and requirements for the study in which you choose to participate.
  • How to get started: Perform a quick Google search for “Sleep Study Centers Near Me” or “Sleep Study Centers in [your city]” and find one closest to you. Sign up or request more information; confirm that you meet all the necessary requirements; then pack up your pajamas and head to the lab on your designated date(s). You can try the Clinical Trials website through the U.S. National Institutes of Health to search for a center near you. For this website, you can begin by typing “Sleep Study AND [your city]” in the search bar on the home page.
  • How much you can earn: Typically between $100 – $8,000 per study; each study can last from one night to several weeks. The compensation varies greatly depending on what the researchers need.
    • This sleep study center in New England pays some subjects up to $4,000 for participating in a three to five day study.

Take Online Surveys

  • What it is: Marketing research firms need to hear from consumers like you. These companies will pay to hear your opinions and experiences, so they provide online surveys that you can take (as long as you fit the qualifying criteria). You’ll get paid to offer honest answers to questions covering just about every topic under the sun.
  • How it works: Surveys can take anywhere from a few minutes up to half an hour, or even longer in some cases. Any time you’re sitting around watching TV, open up to your preferred survey site and take a couple surveys. This method won’t pay enough to make you rich, but doing surveys regularly can add up over time.
  • How to get started: Choose among the many survey sites out there on the web, register for a new account, find a survey you qualify for, and start answering questions. Some of the most popular and well-known websites include VipVoice, SwagBucks, Harris Poll Online, Opinion Outpost, and Springboard America.
  • How much you can earn: Usually around $1 – $5 per survey. (Note that many survey sites have a minimum payout threshold that you need to reach before you can claim your earnings.)
  • Other important information: Choose between the various survey sites carefully. Look at reviews from previous users to make sure the site has honest payment practices. It’s also a good idea check out the company’s FAQ, rules of participation, and payment policies before signing up.

Pawn Something You Own

  • What it is: Pawning an item is a quick way to get cash for items that you have sitting in your closet or garage. Basically, if you own an item that’s in demand at pawn shops and there’s a pawn shop nearby, you have all the necessary ingredients to get some cash right now.
  • How it works: Pawn shops are looking for items that they can buy from you and then resell at a higher price. You bring in an item, and if the pawn shop wants it and thinks that it will sell, they will offer a percentage of the item’s expected resale value. If you accept the offer, you hand over the item, and they hand over the cash. Here’s the catch: this isn’t really a payment — it’s a loan. You’ll be expected to pay back the loan, usually within the month. Interest will accrue, and interest rates can be high. If you’re unable to pay back the loan, it can roll over — with even higher fees — or the pawn shop will sell your item.
  • How to get started: Take a look around your house for what you can bring to a pawn shop. Some of the most in-demand items at pawn shops include tools, laptops, gaming systems, tablets, leather, furs, musical instruments, sports memorabilia, Louis Vuitton or other high-end designer clothing and luggage, and high-quality jewelry. Then run a quick Google search for “pawn shops near me” to find a pawn shop in your area.
  • How much you can earn: Pawn shops typically offer 25% to 60% of an item’s expected resale value. Remember that although you can receive cash on the spot, this is technically a loan — so if your item doesn’t sell, you’ll be on the hook for the original payment amount plus interest. Pawn with caution, but if you’re really in a pinch and need money today, it’s an option worth considering.

Suggested Article: Here’s What Pawn Shops Buy and How Much They Pay

Model for an Art Class

  • What it is: You can make money simply by posing. The catch? You’re usually posing naked. Many art classes need live models for students to study and practice drawing.
  • How it works: Art classes at the collegiate level are always looking for live art models; this helps the students to practice sketching complex 3D subjects. Professors or representatives of the school will post ads for art models, then invite the respondents on the day(s) on which they are needed.
    • How to get started: Find the nearest college or university; this is typically where you’ll find a need for live art models. Ithaca College in New York, University of Kansas in Kansas, UNC Charlotte in North Carolina, The Art Institutes in Florida, Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Washington are but a few places searching for art models.
  • How much you can earn: Usually you can earn between $15 – $25 an hour as an art model.

  • What it is: Plasma is a fluid in your blood used to transport nutrients and proteins to parts of your body that need them. There are many people who suffer from a plasma deficiency or have a condition that can only be treated with plasma protein therapies. Donating plasma allows those patients to stay healthy — meaning that plasma donation is not only a good way to earn some cash on the side, but you’ll also be providing a much-needed service for someone whose life might depend on it.
  • How it works: Find a plasma donation center in your area. Once you arrive, you’ll go through a screening process, which usually consists of a medical questionnaire and a brief physical exam, so the plasma technicians can verify that you’re healthy enough to donate. The technician will stick a needle in your arm, extract whole blood, separate out the plasma, and then return the remaining components to your body. The whole process typically takes about two hours for the first visit and one hour for subsequent visits.
    • There are qualifications to donate. You must:
      • Be 18 years or older
      • Weigh at least 110 pounds
      • Be in general good health
      • Have a form of identification
      • Have proof of address
      • Meet other health or lifestyle requirements that the plasma donation center imposes. (Check with the plasma donation agency where you plan to donate for more information.)
  • How to get started: Be sure you’re in good health and then find a plasma donation center. For your convenience check out our article listing sperm bank locations close to most (and what they pay).
  • How much you can earn: Most people can donate up to two times a week, each donation typically has a payout of $20 – $45. (Just think: one year of going twice a week would add up to about $2,080 – $4,680!)
  • Other important information: Keep in mind that plasma donation centers will typically pay you in the form of a prepaid debit card rather than literal cash. You may also want to consider donating sperm or eggs for money. The payout is much higher; however, the requirements can be stringent and the donation process is far more demanding. It takes much longer to be compensated for sperm or egg donation than it does for plasma donation, so these options may not provide cash as quickly as you need it. You may also want to see our article about if it’s possible to donate a testicle for money.

Easy Ways to Get Money ASAP with Small Amounts of Work


  • What it is: This is a website for people looking to find or become a caretaker. You can sign up to be a babysitter, nanny, house cleaner, adult caregiver, or animal caretaker.
  • How it works: Create a full profile that tells people who you are and why you’re qualified to take care of the things and people they love. It’s okay if you don’t have much experience as a caregiver, but it helps; be sure to highlight your achievements and qualifications just like you would on any resume. Invest in the background check (it costs $60), and if you can, only work with families who have also obtained the background check. Your safety is essential here, so it’s best to meet the families before you work for them — preferably in a public area.
  • How to get started: Sign up on the site and create your profile. Then, in the search bar at the top of the home page, type in your zip code next to “Near,” and you’ll be on your way to finding your first care job.
  • How much you can earn: Usually between $10 – $20 an hour, though it can vary depending on the needs of your client and/or the rate you decide to set.
  • Other important information: You can make your own hours, sign up for a one-time gig or a long-term commitment, and set your own rate. Most people charge somewhere between $10 – $15 an hour, but rates can range from $8 – $25 an hour. Our advice: figure out what you are worth (based on experience, qualification, education, etc.), pick a rate, and stick with it.

Find a Freelancing Gig That Offers Same Day Pay

  • What it is: Freelancing is a way to capitalize on your strengths and talents without the commitment of a typical full-time job. You can find freelancing jobs in an array of different areas, including editing, proofreading, creative writing, graphic design, coding, transcription, and remote clerical work — and you can do any of these jobs from the comfort of your couch. You typically make your own hours, charge your own rate, and set your own standards. Of course, you’ll need to comply with whomever you’re working for, but you can always turn down jobs that demand more than you wish to provide.
  • How it works: The requirements and workflow for any given project can vary greatly. Typically, you’ll respond to an ad that a client has posted explaining why you’re a good fit for their project. If the client hires you, you’ll work with them to agree upon a fee structure (either hourly or fixed price), communicate about the requirements and expectations of the project, and then get to work. Once the task is completed, you’ll submit the work to the client (which is usually as simple as sending a digital file). The client pays you your fee, and then you move on to the next project. The exact details of this process will vary depending on the platform that you use to find freelancing gigs (more on that in the section below).
  • How to get started: First, you’ll need to find a way to connect with prospective clients. You can do this most easily through a site like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. Register for a new account and set up your profile, which often includes providing a short biography, resume, profile picture, and/or a portfolio of past work. Once you’re all set up, you can search for the type of gig that you’re interested in and start applying for jobs that seem like a good fit.
  • How much you can earn: Anywhere from $5 – $1,000 or even more, depending on the project. The level of compensation depends completely on the length and complexity of the project, the level of expertise you can provide, and the budget of your client.
  • Other important information: Your success as a freelancer will depend heavily on your ability to set your own rate. Do some research on other freelancers in your industry to get a sense of the average rates that they charge; then make an honest evaluation of your worth in terms of experience, education, and level of skill, and set your rate accordingly. It can be tempting to accept a low-paying job just to have a job, but it’s better to hold out for something that pays you what you’re worth. Beware of employers who prey on beginners; for example, some clients will hugely underpay new freelancers simply because the clients know that beginning freelancers need reviews.

In Summary

If you need cash now, we’ve shared several ideas. From Airbnb to sleep studies to freelance gigs to plasma donation, there’s something for everyone. Check out our articles how to get money for free or how to earn $100 today for more ideas.

Remember to sign up for Airbnb too using our referral link for $55 off your first trip. Talk about free money.

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