If you are here because you need ideas on how to make money fast, you are in luck.
In this article, I provide several legitimate ideas on how to make $500 quickly within a day, or several days, and definitely within a week.
People need extra money for various reasons. You may need cash to pay for an emergency or to cover shortfalls in your 9-5 income.
You will be surprised by how many Canadians are $200 away from being able to pay their bills. In the U.S., only 39% of Americans said they were able to afford a $1,000 emergency expense according to this study.
How To Make $500 Fast: 21 Easy Ways To Make Money
Whether you need to make $500 or $1,000 fast, these legit money-making ideas can help.
1. Deliver Food Orders with DoorDash
If you have a driver’s license and access to a car, you can deliver food orders in your city and get paid.
One of the best food delivery apps in Canada and the U.S. is DoorDash.
DoorDash drivers choose the hours they are available to work and get restaurant food delivery orders via the app. You get a base pay and keep 100% of customer tips.
Assuming you earn close to the top pay range of $25 per hour, a week’s worth of hustle could get you $500 or more.
In addition to DoorDash, you can increase your earnings by also making deliveries with similar services like UberEats, Postmates, and Instacart.
Related: Best Food Delivery Services To Work For.
2. Work as a Proofreader
Grammar cops can earn a decent living by working as proofreaders. This gig is perfect for people who find it easy to detect errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
It is also perfect if you are looking for an online job you can do from home.
Proofreaders earn up to $40 per hour and you don’t need to have taken specialized training to work in this field.
You can find jobs online using freelance job portals like Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr.
If you want to start a part-time or full-time proofreading business, consider taking this proofreading course for all the right tips.
3. Take Advantage of Bank Promotions
Need $500 today for free? Bank promotional offers are a good place to start.
Banks often advertise offers when they want you to sign up for a new chequing (checking) or savings account.
For example, you may get a $300 bonus offer to open a chequing account and keep it open for a specific length of time. They may also require you to set up direct deposits or online bill payments.
Here are some current bank promotions in Canada.
Always read the fine print to ensure a bank promo offer does not have caveats that make switching your banking not worth your time.
4. Take Online Surveys (+Bonuses)
Paid online surveys are some of the easiest ways to earn extra cash; however, they often don’t pay much.
If you have time on your hands and don’t mind sharing your opinions, you can make money with survey sites.
Legitimate surveys you can try include:
- Survey Junkie: Free to join and offers tons of surveys on a daily basis.
- Swagbucks: New members get a $5 bonus and there are multiple ways to earn on the site.
- Pinecone Research: You earn at least $3 per survey completed which is one of the best earn rates for a survey panel.
- Daily Rewards: Also known as InboxDollars in the U.S., this survey website gives new members a $5 bonus and lots of opportunities to earn cash rewards.
Here is a list of the best survey sites in 2021.
5. Become a Shopper with Instacart
When you work as an Instacart Shopper, you are paid to pick and buy groceries for online shoppers in the store.
If you have a vehicle, you can work as a Full-Service Shopper, and deliver the groceries to the customer’s door.
Instacart Store Shoppers work when their schedule allows it and their weekly pay in Canada is approximately $777 as per Indeed.ca. You can earn even more as a Full-Service Shopper depending on your availability.
You must be at least 18 years of age and be able to lift 40lbs to qualify.
Related: Instacart Shopper Review.
6. Earn Cash Back On Purchases
Cash back apps can help you cut your expenses and reach your goal of $500 in your wallet. When you make everyday purchases online or in the store, a good cash back app can earn up to 2% or even more.
Some of the ones I use in Canada are:
KOHO (Canada): This free reloadable prepaid card and app pays 0.50% on all debit purchases. It is not a credit card so you won’t incur interest fees or get farther into debt.
When you sign up for KOHO and use the promo code CASHBACK, you get a $20 bonus.
Rakuten (U.S. & Canada): For online purchases, Rakuten has partnerships with more than 2,500 retailers in Canada and the U.S. Visit the platform prior to shopping at your favourite retailer and get discounts/cash back up to 10%.
New users get a $5-$30 welcome bonus after making their first purchase. You can redeem your earnings using PayPal or a cheque in the mail.
Drop: This cash back app automatically tracks purchases made using your linked bank cards and you earn points you can redeem for popular gift cards. New Drop users get a $5 bonus, and the service is available in both Canada and the U.S.
7. Start a Blog
You can make money by starting your own blog. While you won’t earn money overnight, a blog can continue to make you money for a long time after it is established.
I have a detailed guide on how to start a blog in six easy steps.
8. Tutor Others Online
Online tutors can easily make $500 fast online. These days, there are so many subjects you can teach people online and get paid to do so. There are students of all ages looking to learn about music, math, art, science, algebra, and languages.
You can also teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to kids abroad, especially in China.
A popular online platform for teaching the English language is VIPKid. VIPKid teachers get paid up to $22/hour.
Other online tutoring sites to find teaching jobs include:
- Magic Ears
- Course Hero
Related: Best Online Tutoring Jobs.
9. Become a Pestsitter
Petsitting is one way for kids or teenagers to make $500 fast… and adults too. Sign up with Rover to find pet sitting jobs in your area.
The app is free to join and it connects you with people who need pet-sitting services in your area.
Gigs you can get on Rover include:
- Dog walking
- House sitting
- Dog boarding
- Dog daycare
Rover dog walkers can earn $20 for a 30-minute walk. Learn more in this Rover review.
10. Sell Crafts on Shopify
It is easier than ever to start an online store using a ready-made platform like Shopify.
Shopify offers customizable themes and drag-and-drop builders that make it possible to begin selling within hours.
By using drop shipping, you don’t even need inventory and you can sell merchandise directly from the manufacturers to the final consumer.
If you are good with craftwork, you can sell various arts and crafts through your store or opt for popular e-commerce items such as clothing, electronics, beauty products, digital products, pet food, jewelry, and more.
Shopify has more than 1 million stores. A basic account costs $29 USD per month and you get a 14 days free trial.
11. Play Games Online
If you are into online games, you can make money in your spare time.
The Mistplay app has the top loyalty program for mobile gamers. To get started, download the app to your Android device and start earning rewards for playing new games.
You earn points (units) and can redeem them for Google Play gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Visa prepaid cards, or cash via PayPal.
Other free online sites that pay you to play games are:
How To make an Extra $500 Fast
Practical ways to make an extra $500 even if you are without a job include:
12. Work as a Freelancer
Freelancers can connect with individuals and businesses worldwide who are looking to get work done.
Popular freelance job marketplaces to begin working as a freelancer include:
How much money you make depends on your skillsets, demand for these skills, and your availability.
There are thousands of gigs available including web design, video editing, proofreading, translation, transcribing, voiceovers, virtual assisting, bookkeeping, logo design, social media management, etc.
13. Monetize Your Hobbies
Those things you do in your leisure may actually be worth money when you need $500.
For example, if you are a good writer, you can make money writing for blogs, magazines, or your local businesses.
Photography sessions for a birthday or wedding can easily fetch you more than $1,000. You can also sell your crafts on Esty, Amazon, or eBay.
If you are a social person with a significant social media following, you can make money by using affiliate marketing to sell products through your social media accounts.
Here are 17 hobbies that pay in 2021.
14. Donate a Body part
Sounds iffy, but you can make money by donating or selling your body parts/fluids.
Plasma donors can earn up to $400 per month, and women can earn thousands of dollars from donating their eggs.
15. Refer Others
Businesses pay you to refer others to sign up for their services.
If you already use a service product that has a referral program, copy your unique referral link or code and share it with friends and family.
In most cases, you and your referral get a bonus – WIN/WIN!
Cashback apps that have referral programs:
Investment apps with referral programs:
16. Save and Invest
Consider developing a habit of saving and investing for the future.
This is a great way to create passive streams of income and you may be surprised to learn that you can get your finances to a point where your interest income or dividends exceed $500 every month.
Automate your finances such that money leaves your chequing and goes into your savings account or investment portfolio.
Moka is a spare-change investing app that rounds up your purchases and invests the difference.
You can also use Wealthsimple to invest in low-cost ETFs at a low fee. They manage your portfolio and take care of rebalancing, dividend reinvesting, and more. Plus, you get a $75 cash bonus when you invest $500 or more.
17. Rent Out a Room with Airbnb
Rent out extra rooms in your house on Airbnb. The platform is free to join and they offer hosts a number of tools and resources to make funding a guest easy.
Also, you get coverage for up to $1 million USD for property damage protection.
If you live in a busy city or tourist location, you can make good money renting rooms on Airbnb.
For example, based on an estimate online, I could earn up to $1,375 CAD per month by hosting one guest in a private room in Toronto.
18. Sell Unused Stuff
Take stock of your belongings and consider selling unused stuff like clothing, electronics, books, phones, furniture, computers, etc., to people who want them.
You can advertise for free on online classifieds like Kijiji or Craigslist, or on platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Decluttr. You can also have a yard sale if you have even more things to sell.
You’d be surprised at how quickly you can raise $500 from all that stuff you have lying around.
19. Work Some Overtime
Ask your employer if you can pick up a few extra shifts. Perhaps they may even consider giving you a raise if you have been going above and beyond at work? It is worth asking.
Consider looking for a part-time gig to quickly raise an extra $500. This could mean working evenings or weekends for a while.
20. Find Unclaimed Money
These cheques may relate to unclaimed GST/HST payments, child benefits, or tax refunds.
If you live in the U.S., you can check for unclaimed monies at unclaimed.org.
21 Rent Your Car
Rent out your car using a car-sharing platform like Turo. It is straightforward and Turo provides up to $750,000 in liability insurance.
As per their website, you can earn an average of $620 per month by sharing your car wherever you don’t need it.
Get more details in this Turo review.
How To Make $500 Today
By combining the options above, you should be able to make $500 within a week or less.
If time is not on your side and you need the funds right now, you could take out a personal loan. The interest rate you pay on the loan will be dependent on your credit score and history.
If you can hang on for a week or more, you can avoid having to take on more debt for hustling hard!
Read our other resources for making money or starting a business: