If you need money fast, there are legal, easy ways to shore up your finances. The opportunities may be right under your nose.
Step 1: Earn cash quick Earn cash by doing odd jobs in the neighborhood. 50-year-olds and kids alike can wash cars, mow lawns, pull weeds, babysit kids, or haul garbage for fast money.
TIP: If your condition is dire, select valuable or collector's items to sell on internet sales or auction sites to make money fast.
Step 2: Generate income online Generate income online by testing products, doing surveys, signing on to do mystery shopping, or reading e-mails outsourced by companies too busy to read them. Read the terms and conditions, which can vary, to avoid delays in payment.
Step 3: Give lessons and do repairs Teach people from home. Give online computer lessons for beginners, if you're qualified, or give music lessons to raise funds. Perform oil changes and small repairs, or teach someone how to do their own.
Step 4: Take in boarders Take in boarders, being careful to draw up a lease agreement to protect yourself in case you have to evict them.
Step 5: Write articles Write articles as a freelancer for several web sites that want content of all sorts and will pay small amounts that add up quickly. Choose how much you'll work and how often.
Step 6: Conduct a yard sale Rid the house of old books, valuables, electronics, furniture, clothes, bikes, and old sports equipment and sell in a yard sale.
Step 7: Raid accounts Cash in an insurance policy or siphon some from an I.R.A. account. Read and abide by the rules to limit the penalty and taxes that will likely be due when withdrawing.
TIP: When you're completely tapped out, scavenge for bottles, coins, or discarded metal to sell.
Step 8: Volunteer or sell blood Volunteer for medical tests for a small fee. Sell your blood to a blood bank, or sell your sperm to a sperm bank.
FACT: In 2007, 154 million people worldwide received micro loans. In the United States, nearly $100 million in micro loans were provided to 13,000 clients in 2007.