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21 Legit Ways To Make $500 Fast in a Week or Less (2023)


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If you are here because you need ideas on how to make money quickly, you are in luck.

In this article, I provide several legitimate ideas on how to make $500 fast 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

When you need to make $500 fast, these legit money-making ideas can help.

1. Deliver Food Orders

If you have a driver’s license and access to a car, you can deliver food orders in your city and get paid.

Two of the best food delivery apps in Canada and the U.S. are DoorDash and Uber Eats.

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 maximum pay range of $25 per hour, a week’s worth of hustle could get you 500 dollars or more.

In addition to DoorDash, you can increase your earnings by also making deliveries with similar services like Uber Eats, Postmates, and Instacart.

Become a Delivery Driver With Uber Eats

Uber Eats is one of the best food delivery platforms available in thousands of cities worldwide.

You can sign up to become a delivery driver with Uber Eats if you have a valid driver’s license, a 2- or 4-door car less than 20 years old, proof of vehicle insurance, and are at least 21 years old. You will also need to pass a background check.

You can deliver as many or as few hours as you want on your schedule and cash out earnings easily. You also keep 100% of the tips you get. This side gig is a great way to bring in extra income.

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 by Caitlyn Pyle for all the right tips.

3. Take Advantage of Bank Promotions

Need to get 500 dollars fast 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 $400 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 daily.
  • 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 earning rates for a survey panel.

Here is a list of the best survey sites.

Although surveys won’t help you make $500 fast, they are one way to get extra cash on the side.

5. Become a Petsitter

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.

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-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 up to 5% cash back on debit purchases. It is not a credit card, so you won’t incur interest fees or get farther into debt.

You get a $20 bonus when you sign up for KOHO and make your first purchase with the card (use our CASHBACK referral code).

Rakuten (U.S. & Canada): For online purchases, Rakuten has partnerships with more than 3,500 retailers in Canada and the U.S. Visit the platform before shopping at your favourite retailer and get discounts/cash back up to 10%.

New users get a $30 welcome bonus after making their first purchase of $30 or more. You can redeem your earnings using PayPal or a cheque in the mail.

Ampli: Get the cashback app developed by RBC, one of Canada’s largest banks, and earn cash back rewards when you shop at multiple retailers in Canada. New Ampli users get a $5 bonus after connecting their bank account.

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.

Related reading:

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.

A blog offers various ways to make money, including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and reviews, podcasting, direct product sales, and more.

8. 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, and you can get started here.

9. 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
  • Qkids
  • Wyzant
  • Tutor.com
  • Study.com
  • Course Hero

Related: Best Online Tutoring Jobs.

10. 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 hourly pay in Canada is $16.29 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.

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 on your Android device and earn 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:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Fiverr
  • Toptal

How much money you make depends on your skillsets, the 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 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 2023.

14. Donate a Body Part

It sounds iffy, but you can make money by donating or selling your body parts/fluids.

Examples are:

  • Sperm
  • Plasma
  • Eggs
  • Hair

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 with 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:

Survey apps with referral programs: Swagbucks, LifePoints, Branded Surveys, and PrizeRebel.

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 $25 cash bonus when you invest $500 or more.

For cash, you may need access to in the short-term, earn some interest by keeping it in a high interest savings account such as EQ Bank Savings Plus.

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 several 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 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 everything 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 gone 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

The Canada Revenue Agency recently advised that Canadians had over $1 billion in uncashed cheques! Check your CRA online account to see whether you are one of the “lucky” ones.

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 depend on your credit score and history.

If you can hang on for a week or more, you can avoid taking on more debt for hustling hard!

Read our other resources for making money or starting a business:

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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1 thought on “21 Legit Ways To Make $500 Fast in a Week or Less (2023)”

  1. Gravatar for Jeremy

    In item #9, change “Pestsitter” to “Petsitter”. Though “Pestsitter” may be more accurate in some cases. 🙂

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