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How to Make $500 Fast (And Without Burning Out)

In this article we will talk about how to make 500 dollars fast – that is, in one day, one week, or one month.

I’m fortunate enough to feel that $500 is not a lot of money.

Life, however, is fickle. And with the state of our economy today, financial trouble can blindside anyone. When funds are tight, people look towards payday loans or pawnshops.

But taking debt is always harmful. It should be your last resort. That’s why it’s important to know how to make money quickly

How to Make 500 Dollars Fast

The following ideas will help you build active or passive income streams, so you can earn $500 fast.

1. Pet-sitting or babysitting

One of the best uses of your time is to earn money doing things you love.

Rise of the gig economy over the past decade makes odd-jobs really easy to get. Today, you can find lots of decently-paid “sitting” type of opportunities online.

Care.com is one such site. Here, you can find babysitting gigs at an average pay of $21 per hour. The best thing about this kind of work is that you can put the kids to sleep and use the time for your own purposes. 

Alternatively, go to Rover.com for pet-sitting contracts. You typically earn anywhere between $14 to $29 per hour. By walking dogs, you’re getting some exercise in while you earn money. For me, it’s a great deal.

Either option will let you meet your $500 goal by working for about 25 hours in total.

2. Selling off stuff online

We amass lots of junk through our lives. Everybody has piles of old toys, DVDs, baseball cards and other collectibles lying around.

A good way to earn some quick cash is to sell off this stuff on eBay.

Collectibles, especially, are lucrative in this sense. Serious collectors often dish out ridiculous sums for rare items.

3. Blogging and content writing

Blogging and content writing are good, easy ways of making money while sitting at your desk. Today, you have multiple options where you can earn money while building a reader-base —  

  • You can take advantage of the Medium Writer Program. When your application gets accepted, your stories will be monetized. You’ll earn a payout based on the amount of time Medium members read your post. Top writers make about $1000 per month on average.
  • A similar option is Newsbreak: a digital platform for independent journalists and creative writers. They launched the Newsbreak Contributor Network to pay creators for their efforts. The system assigns a rating to your story. 

4. Sell your knowledge

When you share knowledge, you help others while reinforcing your own expertise. As our infrastructure transitions to the internet, selling knowledge has become as easy as the push of a button. 

Depending on your financial goals, you have two options — 

Sell courses on Gumroad

You can sell a wide variety of digital products on Gumroad. This platform is exceptional because they don’t charge any monthly fees

You can create a course simply by compiling the material in PDF format. Once this is ready, all you have to do is to create a listing on the site. 

And here’s the icing on the cake: you get to set the price. You can sell the course at a nominal rate like $2, or even for $100+. When the product is live, it becomes a permanent source of passive income for you.

Become an online tutor

If you prefer a more direct approach, consider becoming an online tutor on VIPKID

This is a rapidly growing platform that lets you take live classes at your own schedule. Each class takes 25 minutes, and you can schedule as many as you want per day. 

The starting salary is about $7 per class. They offer other incentives like referrals, which boosts the pay to about $14.

Going by this trend, you’d need to teach for about 20 hours to meet your $500 goal.

5. Fill out online surveys 

You can earn quick cash by filling out online surveys. These apps are awesome: you get to use your idle time productively!

Streetbees and Survey Junkie are two such popular platforms.

To me, Streetbees is especially interesting. They call their surveys “stories”, and have you describe your day. You can answer questions about :

  • How your day went
  • You hopes and fears regarding the current geopolitical landscape
  • Your spending habits 
  • And more

Each story takes less than 5 minutes, and pays about $5. By completing 10 surveys per day, you’ll reach your $500 goal within 2 weeks.

6. Become a VA

As entrepreneurship rises, so does the demand for administrative work. 

Most new age CEOs and content creators are looking to automate their business. They want to outsource repetitive tasks like sorting emails and writing website content. 

Virtual Assistants fill this niche. Essentially, they take care of the busy work. It’s a nice, easy way to earn side-income.

The average VA salary is $18.89 per hour. As you establish yourself in the field, your earning potential increases. The highest rated VAs earn in excess of $40 per hour.

Establishing yourself in this field lets you:

  • work remotely, permanently,
  • live in a developing country, and take advantage of exchange rates,
  • work less than 5 hours per day, and
  • be able to live like a millionaire, save and build wealth simultaneously.

7. Sell short stories to podcasts and online magazines

You can exploit another branch of creative writing to make easy money — sell short fiction to podcasts, blogs and online magazines

  • Escape Artists is a podcast group that caters to genres like horror, fantasy, sci-fi and general YA. They welcome original fiction in the form of stories, poems, and novellas. The payrate is $0.08 per word. 
  • Alternatively, you can explore magazines like Clarkesworld and Asimov’s. Both are sci-fi focused, and offer competitive payrates of up to $0.12 per word. 
  • You can even find blogs that pay. An interesting option is Proem. They have recently launched a fiction contest, with a first prize of $100. They also accept general submissions throughout the year. 

I did an in-depth take on these ideas last year. You can read it here.

8. Sell your art and craft

Artists can easily earn money by selling products on Etsy. They have a huge demand for printables, T-shirts, sculpture and woodcraft. The price is at your discretion. 

You can create a line of products on Etsy, and permanently earn passive income from it.

Alternatively, photographers can sell stock images on Shutterstock. This platform accepts — 

  • photos,
  • music,
  • videos, and 
  • illustrations

You earn a commission on each item sold. The rate starts at 15%. As your sales increase, so does your Shutterstock “level”. The commission rate depends on this level. It caps out at 40% for the highest “level”. 

Top contributors make $5.80 with each image. Going by this trend, you’d need to sell about a hundred photos to meet your goal.

Recommended read: How I Built an Online 5-Figure Business While Working Full Time

9. Ask for a raise

Although this is obvious, most of us overlook the option of asking for a raise. If your request is approved, you’ll start earning extra within a few business days.

Of course, there are caveats to this approach. Your greatest hurdle will be the general apathy corporate employers show towards their employees.

For this to work, you need to be working at a progressive environment. Don’t hesitate to switch companies if this isn’t true for you. Once you have this, go ahead and ask for raises based on your performance.

Remember, you earned this. Now all you have to do is ask.

10. Cryptos and NFTs 

For investors with a healthy risk-appetite, cryptos and NFTs are attractive assets. They have explosive growth potential, and allow you to invest in small, speculative amounts

The two best ways of making money through this asset class are — 

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Crypto platforms engage in crowdfunding through ICOs. Its stock market analogue is the Initial Public Offering concept.

Through an IPO you gain partial membership of a company in the form of shares. ICOs, on the other hand, get you a stake in the blockchain network by allotting cryptocurrency tokens

NFT Staking

NFT Staking is similar to term deposits in banking. After buying an NFT, you can hold it in your DeFi wallet. You will earn an Annualized Percentage Yield as long as you keep it. 

And finally, never forget that all crypto investments are extremely risky. Do thorough research, and only play with money you’re prepared to burn. 

Final Thoughts

So, which was your favorite method of earning 500 dollars fast? Let me know in the comments. 

I hope this information will be useful for you. Good luck on your journey to financial independence!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash