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22 Ideas to Make & Save an Extra $10,000 Fast (in Just 3 Months)

Whether you need to buy a car, pay off credit card debt, or save for a mortgage down payment, an extra $10,000 wouldn’t hurt.

But what if you don’t have time to save up for years? What if you need the money ASAP?

Turns out, there are many ways to make $10,000 fast. They require work. You won’t get rich overnight. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, that extra ten grand is well within your reach.

22 Ways to Make $10,000 Fast

What does it mean to “make money fast” anyway?

Are we talking a week? A month? A year?

With the following strategies, you can make an extra $10,000 in less than three months. In some cases, you only need to choose one method. Other times you may have to bundle ideas together.

It all depends on your dedication and willingness to hustle. If you go all-in with some of these strategies, you could reach your goal within weeks.

Anyone can hit the jackpot and get rich overnight with speculative cryptocurrency or stock market investments, but those aren’t safe bets.

Instead, we focus on low-risk money-making opportunities you can do outside your full-time job. Each income stream is subject to taxes, so don’t forget to factor those in as well.

1. Sell Your Stuff

Take a look around your house and garage. What haven’t you used in the past three months? Is there anything you wouldn’t miss if you sold it?

The drawer full of old iPhones, the fancy treadmill collecting dust, the Jet Ski parked behind your garage that you take out once per year — selling these nonessentials is one of the easiest ways to earn $10,000 fast.

The process is simple:

  1. Snap photos showing the product at different angles.
  2. Write a compelling description including all the details a potential buyer would want to know.
  3. Post your items on online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay.
  4. Respond to messages to arrange the sale.
  5. Sell the item in person or ship it.

Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace work well for items of any size. If something is easily shippable, you can reach potential buyers outside your region by listing on eBay or adding a shipping option in Facebook Marketplace.

If your house is full of valuable items you’re willing to sell, you could hit $10,000 in a matter of days. If not, you can combine this idea with other side hustle strategies to reach your goal faster.

For more tips, see our guide on how to turn clutter into cash.

2. Offer Freelance Writing Services

You don’t need to be Shakespeare to make good money with freelance writing. Any halfway decent writer can do it.

Freelance writing commonly involves writing blog posts for companies to publish on their website. But it could also include any type of written content that a business uses, from emails to brochures to e-books.

You don’t need a degree or any special qualifications to become a freelance writer, but writing experience helps. And if you have expertise or connections in a certain field, it’s easier to get your foot in the door and charge more.

If not, start from scratch and work your way up the totem pole. It’s easier than it sounds.

First, you need a few writing samples to show off your chops to potential clients. Then, search for jobs on freelancing platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to land your first few projects. Better yet, reach out to your network to see if anyone can connect you with someone who needs writing help.

If you start with gigs paying $100 per project, you need to complete one project per day for 100 days to reach $10,000. It seems like a lot, but the more you write, the faster you become.

As you build your portfolio and gather testimonials, you can increase your rates with every new client you land. Stick to it, and you can gradually trade up those $100 projects for $1,000 projects. At that point, making an extra $10,000 is doable in a matter of weeks.

For more help getting started, read our tutorial on how to become a freelancer.

3. Freelance Other Skills

If writing isn’t your forte, you can freelance any skill or service others need help with. This could be:

  • Photography
  • Graphic design
  • Consulting
  • Translation
  • Voiceover acting
  • Illustrating
  • Modeling
  • Programming
  • Tutoring
  • Personal training

If it’s a service people pay for, you can freelance it. That said, if the goal is to make $10,000 fast, choose a high-demand service you already know how to do. Learning a new skill from scratch takes too much time.

Similar to freelance writing, the easiest way to get your foot in the door and gain experience is to first offer your service to people you know.

You can find jobs on popular freelancing websites.

4. Create an Agency

The agency model is similar to freelancing but without an income cap.

As a freelancer, your income maxes out with the number of projects you can fit into each day. If you create an agency and outsource all your projects, you limit your income only by the number of deals you can close.

Because you are the middleman, your goal is to maximize margins. That means offering a premium service to your clients, then hiring freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr willing to do the work for less.

Popular agency services include search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design, and custom animated videos.

These services all have high perceived value, but you can outsource them affordably.

For example, if you charged a business $2,500 for an animated video and outsourced it for $500, you’d only need 10 sales to reach your $10,000 goal.

5. Rent Out Your Home Space

If you don’t mind jamming your house full of strangers and their stuff, renting your space can be an easy way to boost your income.

According to All The Rooms Analytics, the average Airbnb private room in the U.S. cost $64 per night in 2020. Not bad for a room that normally sits empty.

If you’re willing to experience temporary discomfort to reach your income goal faster, you could rent out your whole house and live in an RV while you boost your income.

In 2020, the average rental price for a U.S. home went for $193 per night. To earn $10,000, you’d only need to spend 52 nights renting your home and staying in your RV or on a friend’s couch.

Before accepting guests, see our guide to renting out a room in your house legally.

Hosting guests isn’t the only way to earn with your property. With Neighbor.com, you can rent your empty basement to a small business needing inventory space. Or turn your backyard into a parking lot for RVs and boats.

Recently, we were hunting for long-term storage for our camper van in Los Angeles, where the average 10-by-20-foot parking space cost $254 per month. We found one listing with six vehicles jammed into their small fenced-in backyard.

At $254 per month per vehicle, that’s over $5,000 in three months. Combine that with an Airbnb rental, and you could make $10,000 and barely lift a finger.

Other than checking people in and cleaning, renting your space isn’t time intensive. That means you can combine it with other side hustles to rack up your income even faster.

Renting space is most lucrative in big cities where demand outweighs supply. But people need storage in small cities as well. And if you offer a lower price than traditional storage units and parking garages, you can make a healthy side income.

6. Drive for Uber or Lyft

Driving for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft is one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash on the side.

All you need is:

  • A smartphone
  • An eligible car
  • A driver’s license
  • Personal insurance
  • A clean criminal record
  • A relatively clean driving record

Rideshare earnings are complicated to calculate. They depend on your location, the number of hours you work, the time of day you work, surge pricing, trip lengths, and tips. Then you must factor in driving expenses like gas prices, car maintenance, and insurance costs.

To give a rough estimate, Glassdoor pegs the average Uber driver’s salary at $16 per hour. At this rate, if you buckle down and drive seven hours per day for three months, you’d hit $10,000.

Even if you only squeeze in a few hours of driving per day, you can still generate a hefty chunk of change moving you closer to your financial goals.

7. Rent Your Car to Rideshare Drivers

Don’t let your extra vehicle sit unused collecting dust. Instead, put it to work for you.

Companies like HyreCar and Turo connect car owners with rideshare drivers who need a car.

Your earnings depend on your vehicle, location, and how often you rent. But HyreCar claims the average user can earn up to $12,000 per year renting their vehicle.

Although it’s not instant riches, renting out your car is an easy way to make an extra $10,000 per year or more. You could also combine it with other side business ideas to reach your goal faster.

Or you could take it a step further. Knowing that each $12,000 car you buy could pay for itself in a year, you could scour Craigslist for good deals, and buy a fleet of cars to rent out. With a fleet of four cars — each generating $1,000 per month — you could hit $10,000 in less than 90 days.

8. Rent Your RV to Campers

Ever since the pandemic threw a wrench into international travel, camping exploded in popularity.

If you have an RV that sits unused most of the year, you can make a lot of money renting it out on platforms like Outdoorsy and RVshare.

Your earnings depend on your location, rental demand, and the size and condition of your RV. But according to RVshare, you could earn up to:

  • $60,000 per year for a Class A motor home
  • $30,000 per year for a Class B motor home
  • $38,000 per year for a Class C motor home
  • $22,000 per year for a fifth-wheel trailer
  • $22,000 per year for a toy hauler (an RV with a “garage”)
  • $22,000 per year for a pop-up camper

Of course, you still have to pay for RV maintenance, insurance, and any financing and storage costs. But if you already have an RV sitting outside, these are expenses you pay anyway.

Both Outdoorsy and RVshare let you list your RV for free and take a small cut of your rental earnings.

If you feel uneasy about letting strangers drive your RV, you could also park it next to your house and rent it out on Airbnb.

9. Deliver Packages and Food

If you don’t like the idea of carting strangers around as a rideshare driver, you can also earn extra cash with your car by making deliveries.

The Amazon Flex program allows freelance drivers to deliver packages in their spare time. Amazon reports that most delivery drivers earn between $18 and $26 per hour, and the program is currently available in over 50 U.S. cities.

All you need to start is a driver’s license, a smartphone, and a mid-sized or larger vehicle.

You can also inch closer to your $10,000 goal by delivering food for UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub.

Food delivery pay rates vary by location, tips, and in-app promotions. According to DoorDash, Dashers earned an average of $36 per hour delivering in California’s Bay Area in January 2021. But don’t expect these earnings everywhere — the overall average rate is $16 per hour, according to Glassdoor.

Despite the variance, making deliveries is a flexible way to squeeze more earnings into your free time each day.

If you can’t decide which platform to deliver for, see our guide on working for DoorDash vs. GrubHub.

10. Take Advantage of Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage involves buying underpriced products, then reselling them for a profit.

It can take many forms but commonly entails searching for clearance deals at retail stores, thrift stores, and wholesale websites, then reselling them on Amazon or eBay.

To succeed, you need to flip items with high demand and proven margins. Both these factors are easy to determine with a quick product search on Amazon.

Many retail arbitrage sellers stick to items that cost between $10 and $40. This sweet spot allows sellers to buy inventory in bulk but still earn enough margins to make it worth their while. That said, the higher your margins, the fewer flips you need to reach $10,000 in profit.

Car flipping is an example of arbitrage with high margins. To make $10,000, find five undervalued used cars on Craigslist that you can flip for $2,000 profit each.

Retail arbitrage can be risky, especially when you’re learning the ropes. If you mistakenly invest in a product with low demand, your capital freezes with inventory that’s hard to sell.

For more tips on how to get started, read our full guide to making money with retail arbitrage.

11. Earn Commissions Through Referral Marketing

Many companies offer referral marketing programs that pay you for every new customer you bring in their doors.

It’s a win-win for everyone. The new customer gets their problem solved. The company gets business. And you get a cut of it.

To make $10,000 fast, you’d have to promote high-value services. For example, Renaissance Roofing Inc. offers $100 for every referral customer who spends over $2,500 on a roofing job. If you set up referral agreements with companies offering high-ticket services across various industries, you can hunt for people who need those services.

You essentially work as an informal salesman working on commission. The more referrals you generate, the faster you hit $10,000.

12. Earn Commissions Through Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the digital version of referral marketing. It involves a unique tracking link you use to promote a product or service. If someone clicks and purchases through your link, you earn a commission.

Because you don’t need to directly interact with your referral, affiliate marketing is easier to scale.

For example, you could create a YouTube channel and post videos reviewing products you love. Add your affiliate link to the description, and anyone who watches your videos could turn into a potential referral, whether you know them personally or not.

Commissions add up fast when you promote high-ticket items, especially digital products that offer generous commission rates. For example, if you promote a $1,000 online course that offers 50% affiliate commissions, you’d only need to get 20 people to sign up through your link to hit your $10,000 goal.

Affiliate marketing is easier for bloggers, podcasters, and social media influencers who have followers and subscribers to promote products to. It’s one of the most popular ways to monetize a following.

But if you work hard to connect with potential referrals, you don’t need an established audience to earn with affiliate marketing.

13. Teach English Online

If you’re a native English speaker, there are millions of people around the world who’d be happy to hire you.

The easiest way to start teaching is through platforms like VIPKid, Education First, Qkids, and Palfish. Requirements vary from platform to platform, but commonly include:

  • A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification (you can complete through Premier TEFL)
  • A Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • Experience working with children
  • Nationality from certain English-speaking countries

Some platforms only require you to be a native speaker. For example, you can teach English on SkimaTalk without a degree, TEFL certification, or experience with children.

That said, the more qualifications you have, the easier it is to find better-paying opportunities. Investing in a comprehensive TEFL training program also sharpens your teaching skills, which your students appreciate.

Your pay rate depends on the platform you use and any bonuses they offer. Teaching through VIPKid, you can earn up to $22 per hour. If you ramp up to a full-time teaching schedule, you’d tally $10,000 by the end of three months.

Even teaching a few hours per day pushes you to your goal. And because many platforms target Chinese children living in the China Standard Time zone, you can squeeze in your part-time classes early in the morning before starting your day job.

Once you gain confidence, you can earn even faster by recruiting private students directly and cutting out the middleman.

To discover the best websites to look for TEFL jobs, read our guide on how to make extra money teaching English online.

14. Teach Your Skills Privately

Teaching English isn’t the only way to trade your skills for cash. What else do you know how to do that others would pay to learn? Cooking? Art? Photography? Tennis? Graphic design?

All it takes is a handful of students to scale to $10,000. You can teach online through Outschool, in person, or both.

One of my fitness fanatic friends needed some extra cash, so he started giving group exercise classes in a park for $10 per class. He’s a fun guy, and the classes were a hit. After a month, he was running a pair of hour-long classes per day with 15 students each. That’s $300 per day for two hours of work. Fast forward three years, and he now runs a successful gym.

The easiest place to find your first clients is your current network. If you’re a charismatic teacher, like my fitness friend, your classes might even grow on word-of-mouth alone.

15. Create an Online Course

Private lessons are a great way to trade your knowledge for extra income, but there is a limit to the number of students you can fit in each day. To scale, organize your knowledge into an online course.

With an online course, you don’t need to be present to earn money. It requires front-loaded effort to create, but after that, you earn passive income in your sleep.

And with platforms like Teachable, you can create and sell professional-looking courses without any special tech skills.

If you earned $200 per course sale, you’d only need to find 50 buyers to reach $10,000.

For some, finding buyers is the most challenging part. Creating an online course isn’t a build-it-and-they-will-come type of deal. You have to market yourself.

If you don’t have an audience to sell to, you can borrow someone else’s audience with similar interests. For example, if you create a training program that helps athletes increase their vertical jump, you could drum up business by:

  • Offering a free sample of your training to high school sports teams
  • Sharing vertical jump tips on a podcast that targets athletes
  • Creating YouTube videos with free tips

Find creative ways to put yourself in front of large audiences of potential buyers.

You can also offer your online course as a lower-priced alternative to one-on-one coaching sessions.

16. Open an Online Store

With today’s technology, opening an online store is easier than ever, requiring no advanced technical skills.

With an online business, your customer base isn’t limited by geography. You can sell your products worldwide.

The trick is getting in front of those customers. Without a physical storefront to draw people in, an effective marketing plan is essential. Without it, nobody knows you exist.

You can choose a DIY marketing approach and sell products off your own website or social media channel.

Or you can open your store on a platform that already attracts millions of shoppers, like Amazon or Etsy.

If this is your first rodeo, it’s easiest to test the waters on a proven shopping platform, even if it means giving up a slice of your earnings.

One popular online store model takes advantage of the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service. With the Amazon FBA model, you list your products on Amazon and store your inventory at their warehouses. Whenever someone buys, Amazon fulfills the order and ships your product.

Starting an Amazon FBA business requires a fair amount of upfront work including market research, product sourcing, and a product launch plan. But because Amazon does most of the heavy lifting, it can be relatively passive income once everything is up and running.

Your earnings depend on your margins. For example, if you pocket $15 per sale after accounting for all expenses, you’d need to sell an average of 7.4 units per day for 90 days to earn $10,000.

17. Start a Manual Labor Side Hustle

If making money online sounds too technical, you can also make $10,000 the old-fashioned way — with your hands.

Finding manual labor gigs is easy with platforms like TaskRabbit and HomeGuide, which connect handy people to clients who need help with projects around the house.

For example, on TaskRabbit, the average painting project pays between $118 and $200. Many freelancers offering painting services charge $50 per hour or more. If you took on a $150 task after work each day, you’d make an extra $10,000 in less than 70 days.

TaskRabbit pockets 15% of the project fee, so if you feel confident about finding your own clients off-platform, you can earn even more.

And you don’t need special handyman skills to earn as a manual labor freelancer.

For example, the average dog walker charges $20 per 30-minute walk, according to HomeGuide. Imagine becoming a neighborhood’s go-to dog walker, going on four 30-minute walks per day, walking three dogs at a time. Not only could you earn over $100 per hour, but you’d also save a trip to the gym.

18. Offer Virtual Assistant Services

A virtual assistant (VA) is a digital sidekick for busy business owners. As a VA, you can either offer generalized or specific services.

General VAs take basic tasks off their client’s plate, such as email inbox management, data entry, file organization, and document formatting. These are tasks anyone can do with basic tech skills.

Specialized VAs are experts in one specific aspect of their client’s business, like SEO, Pinterest, graphic design, or social media.

Businesses with multiple virtual assistants may even hire a Head VA to manage them all.

Pay as a VA depends on the skills you bring to the table. The more unique value you offer, the more you can charge. According to ZipRecruiter, the average work-from-home virtual assistant earns $32 per hour.

By logging in a few hours of work on nights and weekends, you can make a sizable dent in your $10,000 goal.

It’s one of the most flexible work-from-home jobs you can do without any special skills. If you know your way around an email inbox or Word document, you can find a VA job.

To learn how to get started, see our guide on how to become a virtual assistant.

19. Donate Your Fluids

If you don’t mind parting with your plasma, sperm, or eggs, you can donate them to make money fast.

Pay rates for plasma donations depend on the donation center and current promotions, but new donors at BioLife Plasma Services can earn up to $900 in their first month donating twice per week.

As a qualified sperm donor, you can earn $1,000 per month or more depending on the sperm bank you work with.

And women can hit $10,000 with just one egg donation cycle.

Bright Expectations, a private egg donor program, offers $8,000 to $10,000 per cycle. The exact timeline varies depending on the company you use. But with Bright Expectations, it takes two to three months and six to eight doctor appointments.

20. Volunteer for Clinical Trials

You can earn surprisingly well volunteering yourself as a human lab rat.

Paid clinical trials and medical research studies base their rates on the risk involved. Expect higher pay for treatments that are less understood.

Clinical trials can be hard to find. Most require you to have a certain medical condition that the researcher is trying to cure. Use the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation search tool to find clinical trials you qualify for.

That said, other paid research studies need healthy test subjects. For example, NASA runs studies paying healthy astronaut-like individuals to lay in bed for months at a time to study the effects of weightlessness.

If you speak German and want to make $13,000 from bed, NASA is recruiting participants for their next 30-day bed rest study in Germany.

For more paid clinical trial ideas, see our full guide on ways to make money with medical research studies.

21. Invest in Real Estate (Roofstock, Fundrise, etc.)

You might think investing in real estate requires significant capital, housing market knowledge, and risk.

That’s not always true.

If you don’t have the time or know-how to hunt for properties, you can use real estate crowdfunding sites like Streitwise or Fundrise.

Fundrise pools investors’ money to buy real estate assets. As an investor, you earn through dividends and the growth of your shares. It allows you to start investing passively in real estate with as little as $500. Because it doesn’t take any time on your part, you can combine it with other active side jobs.

If you’d rather invest in something more tangible, you can find turnkey rental properties on platforms like Roofstock.

Roofstock takes all the hassle out of finding an investment property. No need to go out searching for deals or spend time working on fixer-uppers. You can tour properties — many of which already have tenants — from the comfort of your home.

See our guide comparing Fundrise vs. Roofstock for a closer look at these platforms, including potential earnings for each.

22. Lend Money to Others

Banks make their money lending money, and so can you.

One of the easiest ways to start is through peer-to-peer (P2P) lending networks like Prosper or LendingClub.

These networks connect you with individuals and businesses looking for loans. You can review each project, assess the risk, and contribute as little as $25 to the loan pool.

That means instead of putting all your eggs in one basket and lending $1,000 to one person, you could divvy that $1,000 up among 40 separate loans to minimize your risk.

Each P2P lending network has its own set of requirements, loan types, rates, fees, and minimum investments. You can find these details in our Prosper review and Lending Club review for those two popular platforms.

Your earnings depend on the loans you choose to invest in. The riskier the loan, the higher the potential rate of return. While yields vary, Prosper reports a 5.5% average historical return on their loans. This includes the 1% annual service fee they charge on all outstanding loan principles.

To bypass fees and keep all earnings for yourself, you can skip the P2P networks and find people to lend to directly. For example, I lend money to a well-connected relative who uses the money to fund higher-yielding investments.

As with any unsecured loan, this is risky, so only lend to people who you trust to pay you back.


Final Word

With some hustle and grit, there’s no reason why you can’t make $10,000 in three months. And the more legit money-making strategies you combine, the more time you can shave off the process.

That said, if you’re on a tight timeline and need $10,000 immediately, see our step-by-step guide on how to get a personal loan in a matter of days.

Mitch Glass
Mitch Glass is a "homeless" personal finance writer. He covers real estate, fintech, insurance, and retirement—all while working from Airbnbs around the world as a digital nomad. In his spare time, he runs the Project Untethered blog and Youtube channel, helping other aspiring nomads take the plunge.

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