Avoid predatory payday loans and look at frugal and creative ways to come up with quick cash.
Do you want to make some quick cash fast?
Maybe your emergency fund needs a boost.
Or there’s not enough to cover an unexpected expense you have right now.
Maybe you’re trying to get out of debt.
Or maybe you’ve set yourself some exciting financial goals and you want to supercharge your savings.
Whatever your reason, there are ways to raise funds without relying on predatory payday loans.
How to Find Extra $$$ fast
Does $1,000 sound like a lot of money to come up with in a pinch?
Yep, it does for me too.
But when we break it down into bite-size amounts, it’s a little easier to manage.
Instead of looking at it as $1,000, think of it as finding $100…ten times.
$100 feels a bit more doable. It’s easier to focus on that small amount. And once you’ve got your extra $100, focus on making another one.
Here are 6 ways to find extra cash this month. For fast results, use them all!
1. HAVE A NO-SPEND MONTH
It can be surprising how much we fritter away on stuff we don’t really need. All those small expenses – they add up!
According to ASIC’s Money Smart website, the average family spends:
- $267 per month on clothing and footwear
- $122 per month on alcohol
- $36 per month on books and magazines
- $128 per month on restaurant meals
Based on these average spending figures, a no-spend month could potentially save you $553. And that doesn’t include spending on recreation!
How do you do a no-spend challenge? Check out the article: Get into the Frugal Habit with a No Spend Challenge for tips on how to do a successful no-spend challenge.
2. SLASH THE GROCERIES
According to the same infographic, a family spends on average $280 per week on groceries. That doesn’t include things like cleaning products, nappies and toiletries.
Assuming your spending is average, if you reduce your grocery spending by just $80 to $200 a week, even if it’s just for this month, you’ve found an extra $320.
Add that to the average no-spend savings and you’ve already got $873.
How do you slash your grocery bill?
First, have a plan. Work out exactly what you need to buy for the week. Don’t forget to factor in work and school lunches now that you won’t be buying them as part of your no-spend month.
If you can switch to Aldi. It’s amazing how much you can save.
Eat cheap (but still healthy) meals for a while.
3. NEGOTIATE YOUR BILLS
A few quick phone calls could save you hundreds of dollars. You might not get the cash in hand immediately, but the short amount of time you spend this month negotiating your bills will pay you dividends for months to come.
According to research conducted by QUT and Heritage bank, Australians are paying $11.6 billion dollars more than we need to, because we don’t look around for a better deal on our phone, internet, mobile, utilities and insurance bills.
A quick phone call could save you hundreds of dollars. And if you’re negotiating monthly bills like phone or net, then you can pocket the savings immediately.
There are 4 steps to negotiating your bills. They are:
- Know your current usage. How many texts or calls do you make a month? What’s your data usage? What’s your insured value on your car? Your extras? Your excess? What’s your current electricity usage per month? Knowing your current usage will make it easier to compare companies and plans.
- Compare companies and plans. Canstar is one of the best independent comparison websites in Australia.
- Call your current provider and negotiate a better deal based on your usage and your competitors.
- Switch and save if you can’t negotiate a better deal.
Here’s the important part: work out how much you’re saving on each bill and physically put that amount towards your debt repayments or savings when you come to pay the bills, instead of frittering that money away.
Saving money on your expenses is the easiest option to find extra cash, but there’s only so much you can do to save. If you’re still looking for extra money, you need to find ways to increase your income. Here are three easy ways to make more money fast.
4. SELL YOUR CLUTTER
The quickest, easiest way to raise some extra cash fast is to sell your clutter.
We all have it, lurking at the back of cupboards gathering dust.
Selling your stuff is super quick and easy thanks to phone apps for Gumtree (Craigslist for Americans), eBay and Facebook. Simply snap a picture of what you want to sell, upload it to your favourite sales website, price your listing and you’re done.
You could be easily selling your clutter without hassle during the ad break of your favourite TV show.
Alternately, if you have a whole bunch of stuff to sell, hold a garage sale and get rid of it all at once.
5. NEGOTIATE A PAY RISE
When was the last time you asked for a pay rise?
If you’re a woman, probably never.
But I bet you deserve one!
A wage increase on work you’re already doing is an easy way to make extra money and will have a long term impact on your finances. A $2,000 a year pay rise now will mean an extra $10,000 over the next 5 years. Plus, it will also mean more superannuation at retirement.
For step by step strategies on negotiating a raise, check out this ultimate guide to negotiating a wage.
Here are the crib notes:
- Ask your boss: ‘What do I need to be doing to get a raise?’
- Do that and more.
- Research what other companies are paying for the same role. Have a range in mind.
- Show your boss you’ve done what was required. Don’t assume your boss will just notice.
- Ask for the raise. Don’t wait for an offer.
Don’t think this is just for salary earners. I once negotiated a wage increase working in retail on minimum wage using a similar strategy. I demonstrated that I was doing the work of a person on the wage scale above mine. And I asked for a raise.
What if you really can’t negotiate a pay rise?
An alternative is to moonlight with a part-time or casual job. If you’re raising extra cash to pay off debt or reach a short term financial goal, think of this as a temporary season in your life rather than a long-term necessity.
6. Start an Easy Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle sounds like a lot of work, but it’s as easy as sticking an ad on the community noticeboard at your local Woolies or local community Facebook page.
This is exactly what I did when I started an ironing business to supplement our income a few years ago.
I made $60 a week ironing in front of the telly in the evenings. Easy income. No experience or upfront investment necessary.
How much quicker could you pay down your debts or save an emergency fund if you were earning an extra $50-$100 or more a week?
Other easy side hustle ideas include:
- Garden maintenance
- Junk mail delivery
- Dog walking
- Garbage bin cleaning
- Handyman work
- Face painting
- Party entertainment
- Flipping second-hand goods (more tips here)
- Freelancing on Fiverr (+ a Case study: How one Fivver seller earned enough cash to buy a house)
- Selling your crafts at the markets
Let all your friends on Facebook know you’re starting a side hustle and ask them if they know anyone who needs your service. Ask them to keep an ear to the ground for you in case they come across anyone who does need your service. Word of mouth advertising is the most effective form and it’s totally free.
You can also post ads on community notice boards as I did, or take out a small advert in your local paper.
And the last tip: there’s no reason why you can’t do more than one side hustle.
Finding some spare cash is easier than you think, especially if you have a house full of stuff you can sell online. With just a little bit of effort, you can come up with some cash quickly and avoid predatory payday loans.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.