The internet has numerous ways for people to make money. This can be extremely helpful when you’re in a pinch and need cash right away. If you’re wondering how to make $20 now, the following list has you covered.
$20 may not seem like much. However, even just $20 can help someone buy food for a week or keep their gas tank full enough for them to get to work until their next paycheck. Plus, it’s important to remember that every little bit of money you can get, helps.
Not to mention, some of the extra money making options available today (like the ones listed in our “How to make a dollar a day” post) that not using them would be like leaving free money on the table.
The following sites and ideas we list are the most recommended ways to earn $20. By the way, a lot of people use the same sites to earn an extra $100 to $1000 a month online. So, there is room to grow as far as how much you can earn.
All of these sites are tested and approved, and we’ve researched each one to make sure they are legitimate.
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How to Make 20 Dollars Fast
Here are legitimate & practical ways you can get 20 bucks in your bank account quickly.
Play Test Sites and Games
This is a fun way to make an extra $20. Companies will actually pay you to playtest their sites or games while being recorded.
Do you have a smartphone? If so, you can join this company and playtest mobile games. Each session lasts about fifteen minutes. You get paid $9 per session, so you’ll need to do three sessions to get $20.
This site is a bit hard to get in because the payout is so high, but if you can join them, it’s a great opportunity! You get $60 for testing a website or app while you record yourself. They give you a list of tasks and you do them while speaking your thoughts out loud.
Take online surveys
One of the main ways people make money online is through survey sites. There are tons of sites out there that let you do it.
Before listing our favorite sites, here are some pros and cons of surveys.
The main benefits of survey sites are:
- It’s easy work
- Can be done while watching movies or shows
- Doesn’t usually require anything extra
Some downsides are:
- You may have to join multiple sites to earn $20
- Takes a lot of surveys to earn substantial money
This site allows you to earn between $5 to $18 per hour by filling out surveys.
You get $5 when you sign up. You also get points for doing other things like answering quizzes, shopping online, and watching ads.
This site has been around for a long time and is very reputable. Some of their surveys pay as high as $50.
The downside is it can be very hard to get into a survey because so many people want in.
If you have been around paid surveys for a while, you probably remember MySurvey and GlobalTestMarket. Well, those two survey panels have merged and are now called LifePoints. They have a lot of interesting surveys available. For every survey, you earn points that you can then redeem for cash through PayPal and gift cards such as Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks and many others.
The only survey site that pays $3 for every single survey you take. This is a must join site if you want quick and easy cash.
If you ever wondered how to get 20 dollars in 5 minutes, this is your best bet.
You earn points for taking surveys, shopping, watching videos and more. You can then redeem your points for gift cards from over 300 different stores including Amazon, Target and Walmart. The best part about this site is that you get paid instantly. Redeem your points for any gift card and within seconds your gift card code will be in your email. Can’t get any faster than that.
Take on small gigs
Small jobs, such as freelance gigs, usually don’t take long to complete and can be a great way to make extra cash on the side. There are lots of apps and sites for you to get started, such as the ones listed below.
This app lets you find local small jobs you can do. They are part-time jobs that are meant to be side hustles for extra cash.
If you like having variety in your work, this site is good for that. It trains you to do various types of tasks that clients want to be done. Then, you get to pick and choose which jobs you want to work on.
Task Rabbit is a job forum where you can get small one-time jobs locally. They have lots of tasks you can do, such as:
- Furniture Assembly
- Personal Assistant
Most jobs only require you to do something once, which means you’ll probably make your $20 in just a day.
Dolly is a website where you can offer to help people to move in exchange for about $15 an hour. You need to be strong and capable of physical labor. If you’re capable of that, then this is a good spot to make over $20 in just two jobs or less.
Earn money from home by doing medical transcriptions. Set your own hours and work when you want too.
Get paid to write book reviews
Are you someone who likes to read? If so, this is a good option for you.
Review companies pay you to read books and write honest reviews of them. So not only do you get paid to read, but you also get a free book out of the deal!
Pay ranges differently for each site, so make sure to read carefully when signing up for an offer. Here are a few sites to check out.
For your first review, you will just be given the book for free. After that, if your review is well written, you will be eligible for the paid review jobs. Most payouts currently range between $5-$60 per review.
Each review only has to be about 300 words long. Plus, you get your books for free!
Reviews are about 350 words and are due two weeks after you are assigned them. You have opportunities to review books of all genres.
If you are a woman who has had a career in writing, academia, or journalism, this is a good site to check out. The pay rate is $100 per published review!
Each review on this site can be, at maximum, 175 words long. The pay is $15 per review, but if your review is rejected, they’ll pay you $5.
Tutor English online
Teaching English online is a great opportunity. If you are someone who has had prior teaching experience, you already have a good idea of how to do this. However, even people who haven’t taught before can give it a try.
Check out our article on online tutoring to learn more.
Childcare and Eldercare
Earning $20 is easy if you get in the business of childcare or eldercare. Typically you can make more than that in just one night from just one client. Most jobs only take a few hours to do.
Check out the site Care.com to learn more and find jobs in your area.
Use shopping apps
Shopping apps are less about making money and more about earning cashback. However, those extra rebates can really add up.
We recommend signing up for as many as possible and scanning your receipts with multiple apps to earn the most money.
You get a $10 bonus when you scan your first receipt. Then, you get $5 for every friend referred who scans a receipt. If you can convince two of your friends to sign up, you’ll have your $20 right there.
Rakuten (Previously Ebates)
You get a $10 bonus for signing up, plus you earn more from cash-back offers, coupons, and promo codes. They also have a friend referral program that earns you more cash.
Want to save money on gas? With this app, you get 1% cashback on all gas receipts that you take a picture of.
This one doesn’t even require you to take pictures of receipts. The app scans your emails for any online purchases you’ve made, then instantly gives you a rebate if any prices have dropped since you bought that item. Talk about easy cash!
Check out our in-depth Paribus review.
Walking Dogs & Pet Sitting
Do you love pets? If you do, this is a great opportunity. With the Rover app, you can make money by watching dogs or taking them out for walks. Most jobs can earn you $20.
This takes more effort than a simple survey but, if you love pets, you’ll definitely enjoy it more.
There are so many freelancing sites out there, but its important to not waste your time on the ones that don’t receive a lot of clients.
If you are a writer, graphic designer, videographer, or artist, these are the sites you’ll want to check out:
You can take on whatever projects get offered to you and set your own schedule. Great if you want to have a side hustle you can do on the weekends.
Drive & get paid
Do you have a reliable, nice car? Can you drive? If so, these ideas are for you.
Food delivery is becoming extremely popular these days. Lots of people want to order food from their favorite restaurant, only to find out that delivery isn’t an option.
This is similar to food delivery, but its instead for groceries. People who can’t get to the grocery store for whatever reason hire you to deliver their food. For this job, you need to be reliable and work fast.
You’ve probably heard of these apps before, but if not, here’s how it works. People contact you through the app and ask for a ride to where ever they need to go. If you decide to give them a ride, they’ll pay once you drop them off.
It only takes about two or three jobs to make $20. The main downside is that your car has to be clean at all times.
Sell your Stuff
If you really need money right away, the best way to get cash is to quickly sell things you own. Look around your house and see if there’s stuff you never use. You’d be surprised at how much you might be willing to part with. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Sell your unused Gift Cards
You can also sell this stuff on other resale sites if you want. However, remember to always factory reset things like phones and computers so your personal information can’t be found on it!
Want to clean out your closets? There are so many places online you can sell clothes.
Here are our top articles on where you sell clothing to get the most money:
- 9 Best Places to Sell Your Clothes Online for Cash
- 12 Best Places to Sell Men’s Clothes for Cash
- 21 Best Apps to Sell Clothes Online
For this idea, you just need a decent camera, editing skills, and a basic understanding of photography.
Here are some sites you can sell on:
Tip: don’t have anything you can use to edit photos? No problem. I recommend the free alternative to Photoshop, Photopea.
For other items that don’t fit into any specific category, try these sites:
Sell gold and silver
This is something that can be hard for people to do but ultimately might have too.
If you have any silver or gold jewelry that you can part with, you can make some fast cash that way.
Is it the best use for the jewelry? No. But it can at least help you out when you’re in a pinch.
Check your local pawn shops to get the most money out of your stuff.
Check out your local plasma donation center to see if they will pay you for donating plasma. You usually get $20 to $50 per donation. How often you are allowed to do this depends on the center and your health needs.
Sell lesson plans
This is one of my favorite sites out there because it helps teachers! If you’re a teacher, you can use Teachers Pay Teachers to sell your lesson plans. You set your own prices and get paid every month of someone had bought your lesson plans.
Have a yard sale
If you’re reading this during the summer, or in a place where the weather is nice, consider having a yard sale! Sell all the old junk you don’t want and make some decent spare cash in just a weekend.
You can advertise it for free with signs or on Facebook Marketplace.
Extra Ways to Earn 20 Dollars Quickly
The following ideas don’t fit in the categories above but are still good ways to make $20 or more.
This company will pay you money for letting them put advertisements on your car. This is a super passive way to earn cash!
Rent out a spare room
This obviously won’t work for everyone, because I know everyone doesn’t have a spare room in their house. However, if you do, consider renting it out with Airbnb. You can easily make a couple hundred dollars just for a few nights a month.
You can get $50 a year just for downloading this app.
They monitor your internet usage on your computer or phone. However, all the data they collect isn’t associated with your name and is only associated with your demographic.
Play games with MistPlay
Earn cash just for playing mobile games. How does it work? Here’s how:
- Step 1 – Install one of the games MistPlay is offering
- Step 2 – Play that game to earn points.
- Step 3 – Redeem your points for free gift cards.
It’s free, fun, and easy to do while you’re doing something else.
Clean Your House
I know, this sounds like a weird suggestion. However, you’d be surprised just how much cash might be lying around your house that you didn’t know about.
- wallets you don’t use anymore
- purses you stored away after getting bored of them
- those jeans on the floor you haven’t washed in weeks
- the cup holders in your car
- jars where you dropped change
- even under your sofa cushions
Every little bit adds up, plus it’ll help you tidy up the house too!
Redeem your coins
Okay, now that you’ve thoroughly searched your house for all that loose change, it’s time to redeem it. Check out this article of ours to learn where you can go to get those coins into cash.
Make sure to carefully check any fees a machine might have, as some of them can be as high as 11%.
Things to Avoid
Sometimes when people need cash right away, they do things they end up regretting later. Lots of companies like to prey upon people by giving them deals that are too good to be true, then charging them lots of fees and getting them into debt.
Here are things we recommend you don’t do while trying to get your hands on extra cash.
Don’t take out loans! Payday lenders love to present desperate people with loans that are easy and fast to get. However, what most people don’t realize is that the interest rates on those loans are nearly impossible to pay off.
The last thing you want is to solve a small financial problem by making yourself an even bigger one. If you have to pay 200% interest on every payment you make, is it really worth it?
Borrowing against retirement
If you have a 401k, you might be aware that you can get a tax-free loan using it. However, this is actually a terrible idea.
You see, when you take money out of your retirement account, you lose your compound interest. It also lowers the amount of money you’ll have when you retire. This can severely mess up your life in the future, and even hurt your chances of retiring.
A second mortgage is basically borrowing extra money for your house after the first loan you made. While this isn’t the worst financial decision you can make, it does impact your future and needs careful consideration.
A second mortgage can impact your house’s resale value. It can also impact your ability to move in the future. If you can’t afford the payments, you risk losing your home permanently.
These are all terrible things that you don’t want to find yourself dealing with. So, please be careful before making a big decision like that.
Let’s say you already have a credit card but you’ve reached the credit limit. Don’t make the mistake of opening up a second credit card to borrow through.
The problem with this is that you may find it much harder to pay off multiple bills like that every month. If you miss payments, you’re likely to end up facing really bad interest rates that will make your loan even harder to pay off.
This can lead to a snowball effect, where a small debt will roll into a much larger one that you won’t be able to pay off.
Borrowing from people you know
It’s hard to admit that you’re facing financial hardships. You might even be embarrassed to ask for money. It’s important to remember that financial burdens can happen to everyone and that it’s not something to feel ashamed over.
That being said, make sure you really need the money before asking friends or family for help. Don’t ask for money if it is for something frivolous or fun — such as a vacation or concert tickets. This can seem immature and hurt the relationships you have with the people you are asking for help.
If you do end up borrowing from friends and family, make sure that you all understand the repayment terms.
This is a similar problem that can occur when it comes to crowdfunding. At first, it may seem like a good idea to use sites like GoFundMe to get spare cash. One great benefit to these sites is that you don’t have to ask someone directly for help, which helps eliminate embarrassment.
However, you also have to understand that putting your financial situation up for everyone to see can be very personal. People can, unfortunately, be very judgemental about why someone is asking for help.
If you do decide to use a crowdfunding site, make sure your page is well written and addresses the concerns and reasons why you need help.
Now that you’ve read this article, all you have to do is follow through on some of these sites and start earning cash. Keep testing these different ideas until you find the ones you really enjoy doing.
With so many options out there, it’s easier than ever to make $20 right now or within 24 hours. Heck, with some of these, you could earn an extra 20 bucks almost instantly and have that 20 dollar bill deposited in your bank account the same day.
You might be surprised to find yourself wanting to continue these as habits for years to come!
Have you tried any of these ways to earn extra cash online or locally? Are there any other tips you like to share for when you’re in a tight spot and need $20 urgently?