Financial experts agree that you need an emergency fund stat.
And while they disagree on exactly how much — Dave Ramsey says a flat $1,000, while Suze Orman says 8-12 months of expenses — here’s a stat that would make them cringe: Only 38 percent of Americans have enough money to pay for “unexpected expenses, such as a $1000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair.”
That’s according to new research by Bankrate.com, which says the rest would try to borrow from friends and family (16 percent) or run up their credit cards (12 percent). Only 3 percent said they’d try “something else,” although they didn’t define it.
So Debt.com is. Check out our graphic for ways to make a quick buck, and get the details below…
1. Sell your hair
It’s easier than it sounds. Go online to sites like these and create a profile, including details like how often you wash your hair and whether you smoke or drink. A good head of “virgin hair” that’s never been highlighted or colored can fetch hundreds of dollars.
2. Donate your plasma
You can’t sell your blood, but you can sell the part often used for research purposes — plasma. You can make up to $200 per month, depending on where you donate. CSL Plasma has a location finder so you can find donation centers around you, and they compensate you with prepaid Visa cards. They also have a “donor loyalty program.” No kidding.
3. Sell your clothes
There are resale and consignment stores like Crossroads Trading and Plato’s Closet in locations across the country that will pay you cash for your gently worn clothes. If that doesn’t work, you can also sell them online through shops like ThredUp or on Instagram.
4. Sell your sperm
There are some qualifications: You have to be male, between 18 and 35, be disease-free, and be willing to make a six-month commitment to forgo sex and masturbation. But if you pass all the tests, you can make between $50 and $200 “per specimen.”
5. Have a garage sale
Old books, old movies, old video games: Get rid of all your junk and make some money at the same time. Before the big day, make sure to check out the best ways to advertise your sale.
6. Crowd-fund an expensive bill
There are plenty of crowd-funding sites out there to choose from, including GoFundMe and Indiegogo. Do your homework before picking one — some, like Kickstarter, only give you the money if you meet a specified goal. While crowd-funding a bill may not be the most popular way to generate money, it has definitely been successful in the past, especially if you can be funny about it. Two words: Potato salad.
7. Ask people for money
The old-fashioned alternative to crowdfunding. If you don’t have 10 friends and 10 family members, try other places: like church, and your neighbors, and the street corner. (Well, maybe as a last resort.)
8. Sell old stuff at a pawn shop
Before you have that garage sale, check to see if any of your old stuff is valuable. Just be aware that pawn shops rarely offer you the full value of what you’re selling — they’ll offer less than what they think they can get for it.
9. Participate in a NASA bed study
OK, this isn’t that quick — but we are talking about substantial money. (One guy who wrote about it made $18,000.) If you think “staying in a bed tilted slightly downward to mimic gravitational pull for months on end while the government studies my body” sounds worthwhile, you’re a great fit for NASA’s studies. You can sign up here.
10. Sell “handmade” furniture on Etsy
Etsy is a “marketplace where people sell and buy unique goods.” A lot of talented people make a living on it, but so do people who buy cheap furniture and slap a new coat of paint on it. Then there are the “false vintage” sellers who mark up mass-produced items by hundreds of dollars.