1-Get A Payday Loan
If you’re responsible with your money and know that you’re facing less than two weeks of a cash short fall, borrowing $300 today in return for repaying $345 in two weeks may be a good idea. If you’re the sort of person who has a continual spending or money management problem, this is the dumbest thing you could possibly do.
If you do feel like you have no other choice than to visit one of these establishments, make sure to take along proof of employment, which can be tricky if you’re self-employed, but it’s still possible — just bring lots of documentation. Obviously, regardless of your work situation, take along a photo ID like your driver’s license.
Sure, given the payday lending industry’s reputation, it may not feel like the best road you can take. But it’s a perfectly legal one. I’m still trying to figure out why payday lending is perceived as such a worse option than plastic, with its universal defaults and variable interest rates that can also, if handled improperly, destroy your credit.
2-Tap Into Your Life Insurance
Yes, you did buy that life insurance for a reason and you may have family members who would desperately need the proceeds in the event of your untimely demise. But if things are getting desperate now, you may be able to turn that policy into cash. And, no, you don’t have to die to do it.
If it is “whole” or “universal” life (a type of insurance you buy to last your “whole” life and your heirs get the payout even if you live to 104), you pay higher premiums, but the insurance has a “cash value” that you can tap any time. All you have to do is call your life insurance company to access the money. It won’t be much if you’ve only had the policy a few years, but at least you won’t be paying premiums anymore. This is an option that you should only take if you are still fairly young and healthy, really desperate for cash and can’t afford the premiums anyway.
Depending on how long you are expected to live, you can sell your policy for between 30% and 80% of the face value of your policy — an amount that will be much higher than the cash value of a whole or universal life policy.
If you are interested, you can read some general information on viaticals from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and peruse information on the website of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), a trade association for this industry that also provides lists of viatical settlement companies by state). General rules are to get quotes from several investment companies and watch out for high commissions.
3-Find An Online Gig
The Internet is a great place to make some extra cash, or at least that’s what all the pop ups I got last night said! Thankfully Amazon offers a legit method of raising some extra coin online for completing mundane tasks.
To start you just need to sign up with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program, where companies post tasks that machines cannot easily do, but that are relatively simple for humans. You can choose an assignment, and, on completion, are credited with payment to your Amazon account. This money can be withdrawn once you accumulate $10. However, these payout amounts are much lower than the many online ad programs or survey sites which greatly increases the chance that you’ll eventually see the fruits of your labor. As I check out the current HITs which I qualify for I find over a hundred of them, ranging from free up to $7, but most seem to measure in cents.
If you have a lot of time or you feel comfortable “turking” on your employer’s dime then this program could be a good way to make enough money to bankroll your entertainment needs or cover groceries for a week. While this is a relatively easy way to earn money, the time and effort needed to reach a reasonable amount holds this back from being an amazing opportunity. This is a good deal if you aren’t easily bored and you have the ability to quickly handle simple tasks. But for most people, you’ll start off full of gusto and end up with 28 cents in your account.
You can read more about temporary online gigs and crowdsourcing: College Student’s Guide to Making Money Online
4-Sign Up For Medical Tests
Most large universities have ongoing medical research projects evaluating the efficacy of new medicines and treatments. As part of this evaluation, they often need ‘volunteers’ on which to test these medications. Since the pool of willing volunteers is limited, cash compensation for the volunteer’s cooperation is sometimes provided, ranging from a few hundred dollars up to four figures.
The National Institutes of Health has 300 studies that need volunteers. The Rochester Clinical Research is looking for healthy volunteers to test vaccines. Just Google medical test volunteers for more.
Most studies are looking for reasonably healthy people. And, of course, this could be hard-earned money. The fact that you are a guinea pig means that there is at least a slight chance that, through you, the researchers will discover negative consequences of the medicine or treatment. On the upside, you’ll probably receive a free physical.
5-Sell Your Body Parts: Plasma, Hair And Breast Milk
In a truly free market economy, you’d be worth a lot of money in organs alone — selling a kidney or lung could solve your money woes. However, the government and our sense of propriety permit you to only cash in on plasma, hair and (maybe) breast milk.
You can legally trade plasma for cash in the U.S., the fluid in which your blood corpuscles and other tiny bits circulate through your blood system. In most larger cities, there are clinics that will pay you up to $35 or so for some of your plasma, which you can donate twice a week. The process, which involves taking blood, draining off the plasma and returning the remains to your system, takes around half an hour to an hour. To donate, you’ll need to be relatively healthy and drug free.
The hirsute can also make some quick cash by selling off their hair. Hair must be at least ten inches long, and uncolored. Well tended (not over-shampooed or sun damaged) hair is worth more. Web sites such as The Hair Trader serve as a market for those looking to sell or buy hair. Sales announced on the site range from several hundred to over a thousand dollars for a generous length of tresses.
Finally, some mothers who find themselves with an overabundance of breast milk have taken to offering the extra for sale on the Internet. However, the trade, of questionable legality and fraught with health issues, remains rather clandestine and we can’t recommend it, even in a pinch.