$20 bucks may not seem like a lot of cash to some people, but for others it can be the right amount to get you by until your next paycheck… or the next $20 you can scrounge up.
That $20 could cover a few cheap lunches, give your gas tank enough mileage to last the week, or even help you pay your Netflix and Hulu bill. Some folks can even stretch that $20 and make a few meals for dinner.
Below I’ve identified 30 different ways you can earn $20 bucks right now. In some situations you may even luck out and earn more.
1. Take Online Surveys
Taking online surveys may not sound like the most fun way to earn some cash, but it is a great way to make side cash with minimal effort.
Not all of these are just about taking surveys, some of them you can earn points just from searching the web or watching a video.
Some of the top survey sites with the best earning potential are:
- Survey Junkie – My personal favorite survey site that allows me to earn anywhere between $5 – $18 per hour.
- Ipsos – There isn’t a registration bonus, but ever 100 points is the equivalent of $1 and you can cash out with as little as 500 points.
- SwagBucks – $5 registration bonus.
- Pinecone Research – Earn a minimum of 300 points per survey, which is equal to $3. You can expect to take at least 1 – 2 surveys a week, so it might take a full month before you reach $20, but you can cash out your earnings any time.
- Zap Surveys – Download the app and get a guaranteed $6 on your first survey. Once you reach $25, you can cash out via PayPal.
- MyPoints – $10 registration bonus and tons of ways to earn points.
2. Use Shopping Apps
Individually, some of these apps won’t get you your $20 instantly, but they all do work to give you extra cash, which we have to admit will always come in handy. Here are a few awesome shopping apps just to get started:
- Ebates – Get $10 for signing up and earn from cash-back offers, coupons, and promo codes. You can even get as much as $25 for referring a friend.
- TopCashback – Get $10 for signing up.
- Ibotta – Get $10 for signing up with promo code qFTVA and scanning your first receipt. Get $5 for every friend referred and take advantage of monthly bonuses. You can cash out as soon as you reach $20 in earnings.
- Trunow – Get $2 for signing-up with promo TOF19 and get 1% cash back on all gas receipts that you take a picture of.
- ShopTracker – Registration Bonus: $3 after linking your Amazon account
3. Sell Your Gift Cards
Some of you may have been given a gift card for your birthday or at Christmas and never got around to using it. If it’s not a gift card you ever plan on using, you can opt to sell it to friends or family at a cheaper price.
For instance, if the gift card is priced at $50, you can sell it for $40. And just like that you will have made double the $20 you may have needed in the first place.
4. Become A Sitter
Another great weekend or evening job that will let you make a fast $20, would be to offer your services as a sitter. There are several sitting options you can choose from.
You can opt to watch someone’s dog, cat, ferret, or whatever animal they have for a set fee. Rover.com is a great site to look for jobs such as this.
Babysitting is another option. This type of work is always available as parents may be looking for a date night or a chance to get away for a bit. Care.com is a good place to start looking for sitting jobs. It’s also a good source for pet sitting jobs and elderly care jobs.
Finally, if watching an animal or child doesn’t interest you, you can always choose to house sit. Check out mindahome.com for some available house sitting scenarios in your area.
5. Sell Old Electronics
Those random videos, DVDs and CDs cluttering the storage space in your entertainment center can finally go to a new home and for a price too.
Apps like Decluttr and sites like Gazelle, will gladly accept your used merchandise and pay your for them. You won’t make as much as you spent on the items, but at least you’ll be earning something and clearing up space as well.
6. Sell Plasma
There are plasma donation centers that will pay you cash for your generous donation. Depending on where you live and where you donate, compensation prices will vary. In general, you can expect $20 – $50 per donation and you can do this every few days or weekly, depending on how you feel.
While donating plasma isn’t dangerous, you can experience minor fatigue and dehydration afterward.
7. Sell Your Photography
Taking pictures and selling them will probably never get old. Companies, families, and individuals will always be interested in photos, whether they are generic landscapes for an office space or something cool and funky for a bedroom wall.
You can check out sites like Foap and DeviantART as places to sell your art. With Foap, you can earn $5 for every one of your photos that they sell. That doesn’t seem like much, but with just 4 photos sold, you’ll have easily made $20. ShutterStock is also a great choice
Similarly, DeviantART lets you upload your own photos and market yourself for your customers and you keep your own profits. You get paid when someone clicks and downloads your work.
Both sites also accept videos and digital art if photography isn’t your forte.
If you’re hoping to earn $20 right now, but not necessarily spend it, then using investment apps can help. The investment apps below are great for the new investor or those people who can’t commit to investing a large amount of money up front.
They’ll take the guesswork out of investing and you’ll be saving money without even trying. Some of the top investment apps to check out are:
- Acorns – $5 bonus for registering as a new user. Click here for a thorough review.
- Swell Investing – Use code VOTE50 for $50 bonus.
- Worthy – Works by investing your spare change into a peer powered portfolio.
9. Use Money Saving Apps
Saving money isn’t always easily done, but that is where handy savings apps come in. I’ve listed three of my favorites below, but this article is a good source for others as well.
- Digit – Digit works by analyzing your spending and automatically saving money for you daily.
- Trim – Trim is an awesome app that can work to help lower your bills (by negotiating prices for you), give you text alerts when you’re overspending, and even offer cash back bonuses.
- Mint – Mint connects with your bank and monitors your transactions. The app will shape a budget for you, so you can see how much you are spending and where.
10. Check Your Pockets, Couch Cushions and Shoes
I’m sure plenty of us are guilty of shoving a $5, $10 or even a $20 into a pair of jeans for a night out and then forgetting all about it. Hopefully you didn’t make the mistake of washing those jeans…though the cash would probably still be okay…maybe.
Sometimes an easy way to get the money you’re needing is to go through your own stuff. Dig through jeans pockets, coat pockets, couch cushions, drawers and even lift the sole of your shoe (some people store cash here when they travel internationally).
You might just luck out and find some cash you didn’t even realize was missing.
11. Collect Spare Change
While you are digging through those jeans, jackets, and couch cushions for money you may have misplaced, don’t forget to collect any miscellaneous coins you may find along the way.
Couch cushions are notorious for gobbling up spare change from you and your guests. Set a jar to the side somewhere and randomly drop in your spare change as you find or receive it. You can later cash out at a CoinStar and come out with more money than the jar of coins may have hinted at.
P.S. Don’t be afraid to pick up those random dimes and nickels you see while out and about. It’s dirty, but it’s still money.
No, I’m not encouraging you to hit up the casinos and try your luck at the slot machines or Blackjack tables. Though, that would potentially be a nice way to make an easy $20…if you’re willing to part with some money in the first place.
Instead, a safer option would be to check out an app like Lucktastic. Lucktastic allows you to play free scratch games online. Simply download the app, register and start to play.
You can cash in for gift cards and there is a daily chance to win $5,000 or $10,000. As the name suggests, it’s all about luck, but it’s a fun way to earn some money.
13. Pawn Items
This one isn’t always a fan favorite, because let’s be real, something about heading to the pawn shop makes you feel as if you’ve hit rock bottom. But pawn shops can actually be beneficial when you’re looking for an quick $20.
If you have something of value lying around the house, chances are you can make some money off of it at the pawn shop. Plus, even if you pawn the item, you have thirty days to get the item back, though you will have to pay interest.
14. Sell Scrap Metal
Who knew you could make a profit off of what most would consider junk. Scrap metal is still worth something, especially aluminum and copper. In most states, you can expect to get over $2 per pound.
So gather those old wires sitting in your garage and start stockpiling soda cans. You can even hit up friends and family for their scrap metal too. When you have a decent load, head to your local recycling company or search for a specific scrap metal buyer in your area.
15. Offer to Do Tasks for Friends and Family
A great way to make cash on the spot is to offer to do menial tasks for friends and family for a flat fee of $20 (or more depending on the task).
This could be mowing the lawn, washing their cars, raking up leaves, or assembling an Ikea entertainment center. Chances are they’ll appreciate someone taking the extra work off their hands and you’ll appreciate the extra money in your wallet.
16. Work Freelance
Freelance work is an awesome side hustle. I have a friend who works as a personal trainer, but also does freelance graphic design work for her clients.
If you have special skills, try seeing if there’s anyone interested in someone working on an assignment per assignment basis. Some freelance options are graphic design, photography, web designing, copy writing and several others.
You can also check out Fiverr and market yourself as a freelancer. You can start as low as $5 per gig and would just need to land 4 gigs to make $20 right now.
Similar to volunteering to perform tasks for friends and families, TaskRabbit allows you to snag jobs for the people you don’t know.
With TaskRabbit you can find pretty much any kind of job that needs to be done around the house, from electrical installations to painting the walls of a basement.
Once you sign up and pass the background check, you’ll need to sit through a two-hour orientation session before you can work as a Tasker.
From there, you get to select your own jobs and rates, with 15% going to TaskRabbit to cover their fees.
Similar to TaskRabbit, Thumbtack lets you find various jobs in your area, based on your skill set. You could find jobs cleaning houses, helping someone move, or helping someone with repairs.
The only downside to Thumbtack is that they do charge you for leads, i.e. a customer who has seen what you have to offer and wants to learn more. You’ll only get charged once per customer, but it is something to be aware of. The charge amount will vary based on the cost of the job.
Becoming a Gigwalker is as simple as downloading the app and registering with all your basic information, plus your education level, occupation, and PayPal info. After that, you can start searching Gigwalk for jobs in your area.
Applying for a gig doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it, so it’s a good idea to apply for several at once. Gigs can vary, from checking out a restaurant and evaluating the service, to perusing a store to see how well their inventory is stocked.
Most gigs will pay anywhere from $4-$12, so landing a few at once will get you $20 that much faster.
20. Sell Stuff Off the Street
While I would never encourage someone to dumpster dive, you can actually find some pretty cool items discarded in there. Or alongside of the road.
Similarly, you can peruse the free section of Craigslist and try to grab anything that might have some resale value.
21. Sell Used Textbooks and Books
If you’re college days are over, you should start thinking about selling your old textbooks. And unless you’re actively trying to grow your home library, you can start thinking about clearing some space and selling your old books as well.
Sites like halfpricebooks.com and half.com (this is basically eBay) allow you to sell your books. They generally want recent bestsellers and collectibles, but will accept other books if they are in good condition. They’ll even accept your old CDs and movies.
22. Drive for Lyft
If you own a car, then a great way to earn a quick $20 or more, would be to become a driver for Lyft. With Lyft you get to keep 100% of the tips earned and you have a chance to make more money during peak hours.
As a Lyft driver, you could end up averaging about $18 an hour if you work peak hours. One weekend of work for a few hours will give you that $20 you needed fast and leave you with extra.
23. Sell Your Gold and Silver
Chances are some of us have some nice jewelry we’re holding on to but not wearing or using. If the item doesn’t hold any sentimental value, than you can opt to sell your gold and silver for some cash. This could be anything from earrings, to necklaces or watches.
When selling your gold and silver, always choose to go with a local buyer versus online. Going local ensures you get your money that much faster and likely in cash too.
24. Open A New Credit Card
Opening a new credit card is a great way to take advantage of sign-up bonuses. Several credit card companies offer you cash if you spend a certain amount of money in a specific amount of time.
While this is a good way to make extra cash, just be careful not to completely overspend so that you don’t end up struggling to pay off your credit card debt. Here are 3 credit cards that offer excellent sign-up bonuses:
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card – $500 sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. (If you can, throw your monthly rent on there to help).
- Capital One Quicksilver Card – $200 when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – Earn $150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
25. Work As a Virtual Assistant
Not a lot of us may have the skill or patience to work as a Virtual Assistant, but if you are that kind of person than it’s a perfect way to make money on the side.
A Virtual Assistant is someone who will provide administrative and business support services to a company or individual. VANetworking.com is a wonderful site to find the right virtual assistant position that is a good fit for you.
26. Cook and Get Paid
That’s right, you can have people pay you to cook meals and host dinners. If you are someone with skills in the kitchen, then Eatwith is worth checking out.
Eatwith allows you to post events, create menus and share your culinary skills with people from around the world, whether visitors from out of state or neighbors down the street.
This is a great side job for someone that wants to meet people and share their passion for food. Hosts generally get paid within 48 hours after the hosted event.
Working as a brand ambassador is a fun side hustle for anyone who is energetic and friendly. As a brand ambassador you are essentially representing the brand and trying to sell their product.
There are always companies, especially newer ones, out there looking for brand ambassadors to help get their products to a broader audience.
To start small, you can check in with your local grocery stores to see if they are working with a specific brand at the moment. Sometimes you’ll see brand ambassadors in the liquor aisle, pouring samples for store shoppers. It’s easy enough, so why not give it a try.
28. Street Perform
Performing on the streets of your city or town takes both guts and talent. If that’s you, then grab your guitar, violin, or even a tuba and take to the streets. And it doesn’t have to only be playing musical instruments, you could pretend to be a robot or even a clown…though musicians probably make more money.
Street performing is an excellent way to collect cash on the spot. It could take a few hours to get enough dollar bills collected, but by the end of your set you should definitely be able to earn $20 bucks, if not more.
You can make an easy $10 via PayPal for every 20 minute video you watch through the website UserTesting. UserTesting pays you to visits apps or sites and perform a series of tasks, and share your thoughts out loud (so yes you’ll need a microphone handy).
Doing this twice a day can make you an easy $20 in under an hour! That’s $100 just after five days of sharing your thoughts. There’s no harm in trying it and the earning potential is great, that’s assuming you meet a certain demographic and criteria, but you’ll only find out by signing up.
30. Borrow From A Friend or Family Member
When all else fails and you literally want $20 right now, then your best bet is to ask a friend or family member if you can borrow $20 and offer to pay them back during your next payday.
Chances are they’ll be happy to help and may even decline your need to pay them back. Don’t forget to do something nice for these generous friends and family members from time to time, and don’t make it such a habit that they feel taken advantage of.
Hopefully one of the tips on this list will get you the $20 you need. If you try any of them out, let me know in the comments below. Good luck and happy earning!