Need Quick Cash? 7 Weird Ways to Make Money
Bank account balance in the single digits? Side hustles can provide a quick cash infusion to keep you afloat, but not everyone is cut out to be an Uber driver or able to pick up bartending gigs on the side. If you’re looking to earn more money, sometimes you need to get creative. Whether you need cash for a vacation or are trying to pay down debt, try one of these slightly weird ways to put more dollars in your pocket.
1. Become a friend for hire
You might have hundreds of Facebook friends, but when it comes to real-world connections, many of us are coming up short. One quarter of Americans have no close friends, a 2004 study found.
Enter Rent a Friend, an online service offering platonic companionship. If you’re willing to be someone’s hiking buddy or wingman, you can sign up to sell your friendship to those who need someone to hang out with. Friends for hire earn about $10 an hour, the site claims.
2. Serve on a mock jury
You may groan when you receive a jury summons in the mail, but there are times when serving on a jury can pay. Lawyers who want to do a trial run of their case sometimes hire mock jurors to listen to arguments and provide feedback.
Browsing the listings on your local Craigslist board may be the best way to land a mock juror gig, though some companies, like Dana Meeks Consulting, which conducts legal focus groups and mock trials in California, let you sign up online. Or register with Online Verdict, which pays you $20 to $60 to review legal cases at home.
3. Fake sick
That fake cough you perfected back in junior high could make you some cash. Teaching hospitals across the country hire people, known as standardized patients, to help train medical students by pretending to have a certain medical condition or symptoms.
As a fake patient, you’ll need to be able to convincingly mimic both the symptoms and the emotions of a real patient. After you meet with the student, you’ll provide feedback on their performance. You don’t necessarily need to be pro actor to land the part, which usually pays around $15 an hour, but you do need a “good memory, and excellent listening skills and concentration while being trained, interviewed and examined,” according to Drexel University’s College of Medicine.
4. Put an ad on your car
You can earn up to $100 per month if you’re willing to slap an ad on your car. Carvertise matches drivers with brands and then pays them to use their vehicles as mobile billboards. To be eligible, you must drive at least 25 miles a day, have a clean driving record, and own a 2005 model year or newer car with a factory-finish paint job.
5. Sell your old boxes
Don’t trash those old boxes from your last move. Instead, post them on Box Cycle. Just list your boxes and other moving supplies on the site for free, then sit back and wait for someone to buy your gently used cardboard. The site handles the transaction for you (and takes 50% of the selling price); all you have to do is be available to hand off the boxes to the buyer when they come to pick them up.
6. Make your Instagram posts pay
Your picture-perfect Instagram posts can make you money, provided you have a substantial following. An Instagrammer with 100,000 followers might be able to make between $5,000 and $10,000 a month, Brian DiFeo, the cofounder of The Mobile Media Lab, told The Pennyhoarder.
One way to make money on the social media site is to sign up with Popular Pays, which connects popular Instagrammers with brands who are willing to pay them to create content. To make serious cash, you’ll need 10,000 followers or more, but even those with as few as 500 followers may be able to earn free goods from local businesses in exchange for posts. Download the app to sign up.
7. Perform weddings for hire
Performing wedding ceremonies can be a lucrative side gig, and you don’t need any special training to do it (though being a good public speaker certainly helps). Officiants can earn as much as $500 per ceremony, according to the Universal Life Church, which provides quick and easy online ordination.
Laws vary from state to state, but in most jurisdictions, an online ordination qualifies you to perform legal ceremonies. Of course, you’ll want to check the laws where you live before you start telling people to say, “I do.” From there, it’s just a matter of finding happy couples who need your services. You might start out by performing ceremonies for friends and acquaintances. Once you have some experience under your belt, advertise on wedding planning sites or sites like Thumbtack.