Even those of us that are the best budgeters in the world sometimes need to raise cash quickly. There could be a multitude of reasons – everything from a change in personal circumstances to an unexpected household bill. To be blunt, sometimes you just need to get your hands on some cash quickly, and the need to do so can be quite daunting. It can feel like quite an isolating experience too, especially if you don’t feel you can talk to people about why you need the money.
Here are my top three ways to get your hands on money quickly.
1. Sell, sell, sell
Most of us have things sat around the house that we don’t want or need anymore. It used to be that there were only a couple of ways to sell on unwanted things, but nowadays there are so many different ways of doing so, meaning that it’s so much easier to find the right person to buy your unwanted stuff. Not only do you have the auction sites that we all know and love, but places like Facebook now have buying and selling groups that can be quite focussed to a particular niche. So, if you have a load of memorabilia from an old interest, then that might be the way to go.
When it comes to things that we all have lots of lying around at home – namely books, CDs and DVDs – it can be so time consuming to sell them all separately – and it doesn’t always work out that well in terms of the return that you get on them. Instead you could try selling them as a bulk lot, or use one of the apps that are now out there to sell items like these. All you need to do is scan the barcodes to find out how much they will pay you for each item, and then when you have a box full you print off a label and either drop it off at a local collection point or a courier will come and collect it from you.
2. A short-term loan
If you just need the money to fill a gap then it’s worth considering the quick loans that are available on the short term market these days. As long as you read and carefully digest all the information provided it can be that a short term loan is the right way for you to fill a gap in your finances. They really should only be used when it is a case of cashflow timing problems. When you quickly need the money to pay off one thing, yet you know that there will be cash coming in soon to settle the bill in full. You certainly shouldn’t be looking at a quick loan to pay for something like a holiday!
There are a few common criteria for payday loans and these are usually things like:
- Living in the UK
- Employed and earning at least £500 per month
- A working bank (debit) account
- Working mobile phone and email address
If you meet all these criteria, and you are sure that a short term loan is right for you, then often lenders can have money with you on the same day.
3. Casual work
When I was at university casual work was the way that I funded my life for four years. With university lectures, lab sessions and other things to work around I found that having a regular part time job just didn’t work for me. Instead I did a mix of casual work which usual paid reasonably well cash in hand, and also meant that I had a variety of work stories that I could use at dinner parties for years afterwards!
Being at university in London there were loads of hospitals and medical research centres around who were always looking for subjects for experiments. I never got as far as taking part in any medical trials or anything like that, but instead I did things like allow people to put electrodes on my head and study what my brain was doing whilst I looked at photographs of famous faces as part of some research into a condition that some people have where they can’t remember faces at all. I did listening tests to provide a baseline data set for the university’s audiology department and was even paid to help tidy up the desktop on an old academic’s desktop computer as he’d got it in a bit of a mess! I did plenty of promotions work too. Lots of getting up early in a morning and getting the last night bus to a train station and then handing goodies out to morning commuters on their way to work. It paid really well and also meant that I was finished by 9am and back in lectures by 10am.
Once you’ve found a route in to casual work it can be quite lucrative. Companies are often looking for staff to fill gaps at large events like festivals or sporting events and you can be doing anything from collecting rubbish to serving food. Being flexible is key though as the more flexible you are to fit in with what an employer needs the more likely they are to become one of their favourite people to call.
As well as formal employers you can also look at doing things like taking in ironing, doing a spot of gardening, handing out leaflets, even sewing name tapes on school uniforms! These are all things that I’ve seen people offering to pay for on local mums’ Facebook groups in the last year. Use your imagination and your skills and you never know what might make you a quick bit of cash.
Just remember that anything you make needs to be declared on your tax return, but that can be sorted out in slower time once you’ve got the cash you need.
Coins image from Shutterstock