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20 Ways to Help You Out When You Desperately Need Money

20 Ways to Help You Out When You Desperately Need Money

We’ve all been there. You’re between pay checks, running low on cash and then disaster strikes and you need money–now. Or you get paid on Friday and find yourself broke on Monday. You have too much integrity or are too scared to rob a bank…but the thought has crossed your mind.

Don’t fret! I am here to help.

20 safe and legitimate ways to get money fast

Below is a list 20 perfectly legal and legitimate ways to get your hands on some cash in a pinch. Some of the ways are more suitable for some than others but the list will provide you with options and more importantly get you to generate your own creative ideas on how to increase your cash flow.

Keep in mind that these are short term solutions. The real solution to your money problems is proper money management and planning (a.k.a. budgeting). Learning to live below your means, delaying gratification, eliminating debt and reducing your dependency on credit are the keys to financial freedom.

If you need money today…

1. Pawn or sell something

If you’re REALLY in a pinch, you may need to pawn or sell that prized possession you’ve got stashed away. Your desperate situation may call for you to have to part with that old comic book collection, your grandmother’s antique pearls or china or that coin collection you’ve had since childhood. I do advise that you think long and hard before making this decision. Once it’s gone–it will be incredibly difficult to get it back and your desperation will ensure that you probably won’t get what the item is actually worth.

Another option is to dig through your closets, and basement for stuff that may still have some value such as an old DVD or video game collection, your 10-year-old’s baby clothes, a toddler bicycle, that espresso machine ( or juicer) that you only used once.

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There are tons of apps[1] that let you snap a picture of your stuff and post it online immediately.

2. Sell an old cell phone

Almost everyone has an old smartphone lying around that still works. You decided to upgrade from that perfectly functional phone because it was the chic thing to do. Now the old phone is just laying around collecting dust. Sell it! If you need money today check out the website ecoATM. This site allows you to safely sell and recycle your old phone. They also pay cash for old tablets, iPods and MP3 players.

3. Sell your clothes at a local consignment shop

If you have quality designer clothes or furniture you no longer want or need go ahead and sell it outright to a consignment or thrift shop. A lot of consignment shops will buy your items outright eliminating the consignment fee and the wait for your items to sell. You won’t get top dollar this way but you will walk away with some cash in hand.

4. Borrow from a friend or family member

This is the one method most of us want to avoid. However, you can receive the money the same day using apps such as PayPal. Keep in mind that borrowing from a loved one takes humility and sincerity. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT borrow from friends or family if you have no intentions of repaying the loan or if you know you cannot meet the terms of repayment[2]. This is the quickest way to ruin a relationship. Proceed with caution.

5. Sell your plasma

You can get paid for your plasma. Most donation centers will pay you anywhere from $25-$50 for it. The best part about selling plasma is that most places will allow you to sell it up two times per week.

**Quick note: There is a difference between selling your plasma and donating blood. You do not get paid for blood donations so make sure you distinguish between the two and are clear with your request.

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6. Get A Cash Advance

This is a bad idea! I do not recommend this unless there is a life and death situation and you have a plan for quick repayment. Some credit cards offer the opportunity to take out cash against your credit limit. Please understand that the terms of repayment are going to be MUCH different than the terms for regular credit card purchases. Between the fees for accessing the money and the jacked up interest rate, it is not unusual for you to end up spending $1,000 for an $800 cash advance. It’s simply not worth it.

If you need money in 7 to 10 days…

7. Sell your clothes online

Selling your clothes is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make money fast. The clothing resell industry has become very trendy and is reportedly a $16 billion dollar industry[3]. There are hundreds of online apps, websites and avenues to get your clothes sold. Some apps and websites even pay the shipping costs for you.

8. Sell your junk online

Websites such as Craig’s List, Amazon, Ebay, and the list goes on, are great and cheap ways for you to sell your junk. You can resell ANYTHING these days. If you bought it, chances are there is someone out there who will pay you for it. These sites take time as you have to ship items, items have to be verified and then you are paid. Payment on these websites usually take seven to ten business days.

9. Sell your unused gift cards

Sites such as Cardpool, Raise and Cardcash will al low you to resell your unused gift cards for slightly less than face value. You can get you money in as little as two days and even quicker for e gift cards. It’s a quick, easy and painless process.

10. Become an Uber/Lyft Driver

If you have some extra time on your hands–just a few hours a week would do it–and live in or near a populous area, driving for Uber/Lyft is a very lucrative way to make money fast. It is also a great long-term side hustle. Uber drivers can make as much as some full-time jobs if they work in the right area. You could earn $100 mark in as little as five hours per week.

11. Sell your sports/concert tickets

Got season tickets or concert tickets? Sell them. In some cases you may not get face value for the tickets but you can recoup a good portion of your money. For really popular events–such as play off games or marquee performances–you can make well above the ticket face value. If you’re that desperate for money, missing a concert or the big game isn’t that big a deal.

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12. Do odd jobs

Babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting, cutting grass, house cleaning, walking dogs and other odd jobs around the neighborhood are great ways to get some quick cash in your pocket.

13. Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks

Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks are websites that pays you cash (very small amounts of cash) to perform various tasks such as watching videos, commenting on ads, taking surveys, shopping and the list goes on and on. You will not get rich using these website, but you can earn a couple extra bucks by spending a few minutes (or hours) online. The websites requires you to bank $30 before you are paid.

If you need money in 30 days…

14. Negotiate with your creditors

If you need money to pay bills or debts, call your creditors and try to negotiate. Explain your situation and request an extension or make arrangements to pay a portion of what you owe. Most creditors will work with you. Their primary goal is to get their money. They are willing to wait a few days or take a portion of the payment in lieu of you not paying them at all.

15. Get a part time job

Look, I get it. You are already overworked, under paid and stretched thin as it is. But a part-time job isn’t forever. It’s only temporary. If you can work long enough to avert the crisis and then establish an emergency fund, you won’t find yourself in this predicament again. You may have to deliver pizzas in the evenings or work retail on weekends but anything worth having requires work. We live in the age of the side-hustle and in the era of multiple streams of income. This is one bandwagon worth joining. The more you do now, the less you have to do later.

16. Become a Secret Shopper

Secret shopping is the perfect side hustle for those who love to shop, stay-at-home moms and anyone who loves good customer service. Mystery or secret shoppers are independent contractors posing as “shoppers”. You are paid to visit your local stores and shops as a regular customer and report back on various aspects of your experience. A word of caution! This industry is full of scams. Be sure to check out the company reviews online or stick with companies that are tried and true[4].

17. Garage/Yard Sale

There is nothing like a good ‘ole fashion yard sale to generate additional pocket money. I’m talking about the kind where you search every nook and cranny of your house and completely de-clutter and purge all of the items that are not absolutely necessary for you to live.

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When planning the sale, make sure you advertise in your local area and also blast it on social media. A great thing about these sales is that anything that does not sell at the physical location of the event can be sold online. A great place to sell leftover items is on the Facebook Yard sale page.

18. Conventional Loan

This is an option–just not a good one. By taking out a loan, you are compounding your money problems in lieu of fixing them. However, if you feel you must take out a loan, experts suggest visiting your local credit union. Many local credit unions are getting into the short-term loan game and offer rates far superior to pay-day and other short-term loans. You do have to be a member of your credit union in good standing. Credit unions offering short-term loans work with those with poor credit and offer better rates, terms and conditions than other short-term lenders.

19. Become a Virtual Assistant or Bookkeeper

Virtual assistants provide a wide range of services to individuals, organizations or companies, but they do it virtually in lieu going into an office. It’s an excellent work from home opportunity and one of the most cost-effective ways of making money online. Rates for providing virtual services online could range from $10 an hour for simple data entry tasks to hundreds of dollars an hour if you have a highly specialized skill or expertise. You can work for a company online such as Upwork, Elance or Problogger or you can work as an independent contractor.

20. Rent out a room or become an Airbnb host

Got extra space? Rent it out. Getting a roommate is a great way to cut cost and save money fast. As with anything, make sure you do your research and due diligence when it comes choosing a roommate. If you live in or near a high tourist area, working with a service such as Airbnb is a great way to get a steady stream of qualified guests. They vet your potential guests for you and provide you with referrals.

Everyone needs some cash from time to time. The ways listed above are fairly quick and easily accessible ways to get a hold of some extra cash. The best way to avoid these money crisis is by living modestly and well below your means, saving for emergencies and following a budget.

Reference

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Denise Hill

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Last Updated on April 23, 2019

How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

Stretch goals are a lot like physical fitness. When you adopt a physical sport such as running, continual practice leads to increased stamina, growth and progress.

While commitment to the sport improves performance, true growth happens when you are stretched beyond your comfort zone. I know this from personal experience.

For years, I was an avid runner. I ran with a variety of running groups in the Washington, D.C., area and in Columbus, Ohio, where I lived prior to moving to the nation’s capital in 2011.

While I was initially fearful about slacking off on my exercise habit when I moved to D.C., running enthusiasts in the area provided continual motivation, inspiring me to lace up my shoes day after day. Much to my surprise, many of the area’s running stores (including Pacers and Potomac River Running) boasted running groups that met in the mornings and evenings. So, it was relatively easy for a newcomer like me to connect with like-minded peers.

I was never a particularly fast runner, but I enjoyed the afterglow of the sport: being completely drained but feeling a sense of accomplishment; setting and reaching goals; buying and wearing out new tennis shoes. The sound of throngs of feet pounding the pavement in semi-unison is still enough to bring tears to my eyes. Yes, I sometimes tear up at the start of races.

Of all the groups I ran with, the Pacers Store group that met on Monday nights in Logan Circle boasted the fastest runners. I met up with the group week after week only to be the slowest runner. It was difficult to muster the courage to get up every week and meet the group knowing what was waiting for me: sweating and watching the backs of fellow runners.

Each time I joined the group, I was stretching myself without even realizing it. Instead of feeling like I was transitioning into a better running, for a long time I felt I was torturing myself.

Then something remarkable happened. I went for a run with a different set of runners and noticed my time had improved. I was running at a faster pace and doing so with ease. What was once uncomfortable for me I now handled with ease.

The reason I was becoming a better runner was because I was taking myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself physically and mentally. This example illustrates the process of growth.

Fortunately, we can create situations that stretch us in our personal and professional lives.

What Is a Stretch Goal?

A stretch goal – as authors Sim B. Sitkin, C. Chet Miller and Kelly E. See detail an article “The Stretch Goal Paradox” in Harvard Business Review[1] – is something that is extremely difficult and novel. It is something that not everyone does, and it’s sometimes considered impossible.

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In general, you establish stretch goals by doing things that are difficult or temporarily challenging.

For instance, when I was first promoted to a senior communications management role, I knew I needed to beef up my relationships with media personalities. I set a goal to once a month book a day of media interviews in New York City – which is home to many media outlets, including SiriusXM radio, CNN, NBC News, HuffPost, VIBE.

This was a huge goal because it meant not only identifying the right people to meet with but convincing them to meet with me and my team. While I didn’t end up meeting the goal of doing a full day of media interviews in New York City, I met more people than I would have met had I not established the goal and instead stayed in the comfort of my D.C. office.

It is important to note that just because you establish a stretch goal doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the goal each time. However, the process of trying is guaranteed to provide some level of growth.

The Importance of Creating Stretch Goals

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to assess where you are excelling and where there is room for you to grow. I typically start the year by creating a yearlong strategic plan for myself.

I think about the things that are necessary to do and things that would be cool to do. I assess the people I should know and think through how to meet them. Then I ask myself if the goals are realistic and what would need to happen for me to achieve them.

Over time, I have learned that there are five things I can do to set stretch goals:

1. Get Outside of Your Head

If I exist within the confines of my imagination, I imperil my own growth and creativity.

If I examine my accomplishments and celebrate them in isolation of others’ accomplishments, my vantage point is limited.

I want to be comfortable with what I accomplish, but I also want to be motivated by watching others. In some respects, stretching is about expanding your network of friends, associates and mentors. These are the people who will propel or slow your growth and development.

Since two are better than one, I always value being able to share my progress with others, seek feedback and then map a plan for success.

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2. Focus on a Couple Areas at a Time

When setting goals, it is important to focus on a couple of areas at a time. Most of us are only able to focus on a few things at a time, and if you feel you are unable to tackle all that is before you, you may simply disengage.

I see this in so many areas of life:

When people get in debt, if they believe the debt is insurmountable, they refuse to look at incoming bills for fear of facing down the debt. Unfortunately, many businesses go awry when setting stretch goals.

In “The Stretch Goal Paradox,” Sitkin, Miller and See note:

“Our research suggests that though the use of stretch goals is quite common, successful use is not. And many executives set far too many stretch goals. In the past five years, for example, Tesla failed to meet more than 20 of founder Elon Musk’s ambitious projections and missed half of them by nearly a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

Goal-setting is like a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t all need to happen at the same time, and pacing is extremely important if you want to get to the finish line. It is better to focus on a couple goals at a time, master them and then move on to the next thing.

3. Set Aside Time Each Year to Focus on Goal-Setting

When I was a managing director for communications for the Advancement Project, I spent the first part of every year facilitating a communications planning meeting.

The planning meeting began with the team members assessing the goals the team had established in the preceding year, and whether those goals were realistic or not. If we failed to meet certain goals, we broke down why that happened. From there, we brainstormed about possibilities for the current year.

For instance, one year we set a goal of pitching and getting 24 opinion essays published. This was audacious because no one on the eight-person team had the luxury of focusing exclusively on editing and pitching opinion essays to publications around the world. We would need to focus on pitching in between the rest of our work.

We hit this goal within the first eight months of the year. Remarkably, in total, we ended up getting 40 opinion essays published that year, which was an indication that our original goal was too low. We upped the goal to 41 the next year, and amazingly, we hit 42 published opinion essays or guest columns.

From this experience, we not only learned what was feasible, we also learned the power of focus.

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When we focused as a team on getting the commentary on our issues out in the public domain, we were successful. The key in all of this is that there was a ton of discussion around which goal we’d pursue and why.

Equally important, as a manager, I didn’t set the goals alone; the team members and I established the goals collaboratively. This ensured buy-in from each individual.

4. Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Model to Set Realistic Goals

S.M.A.R.T.

is a synonym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. For the sake of this article, the realistic portion of the acronym is most important.

While you want to set audacious goals, you want to ensure that they are realistic as well. No one is served by setting a goal that is impossible to accomplish.

Failing to meet goals can be demoralizing for teams, so it’s important to be sober-eyed about what is possible. Additionally, the purpose of setting goals is to advance and grow, not depress morale.

For instance, my team would have been discouraged had I begun the year asking it to pitch and place 40 opinion essays if we didn’t already have a track record of placing close to two dozen essays.

By using the S.M.A.R.T. formula, we were able to achieve all that we set out to do.

5. Break the Goal up into Small Digestible Parts

I am a recovering perfectionist. As a writer, being a perfectionist can be counterproductive because I can fail to start if I don’t see a clear pathway to victory.

The same is true with goal-setting. That’s why I join Lifehack’s fellow contributor Deb Knobelman, Ph.D., in noting that it is critically important to break goals into bite-sized chunks.

When I had a goal of doing daylong media meetings in New York City, I had to think through all the barriers to achieving that goal and all the steps required to meet the goal.

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One step was identifying which reporters, producers and hosts to engage. Another step was writing a pitch or meeting invitation that would capture their attention. Another step was thinking through the program areas I wanted to highlight and the new angles I could offer to different reporters.

Since reporters want to cover stories that no one else has written, I needed to come up with fresh angles for each of the reporters I was engaging. An additional step was thinking through who from my team I’d take with me to the various meetings.

I was clear that, as a talking head, as public relations reps are sometimes called, I needed the right spokesperson in order to land repeated meetings with different outlets.

A final step was thinking through what I needed to bring to each meeting and which reports, videos and testimonials would buttress our claims and be of interest to media figures.

As I walked through what was needed to bring my goal of doing daylong meetings to reality, I realized that not only was the idea within reach, but I was excited to tackle the challenge.

From that point until now, I have learned to break down goals into smaller parts and tackle the smaller parts on the path to knocking the goal out of the park.

The Bottom Line

These are my recommendations for setting stretch goals, and there are a ton of other resources to support you in the workplace and in your community.

For instance, LinkedIn’s Lynda.com platform has a wonderful suite of leadership development videos, including ones on establishing stretch goals. This is a paid resource but may be worth the investment if you lead a team or want to invest in tools for your own growth and development.

Featured photo credit: Avatar of user Isaac Smith Isaac Smith @isaacmsmith Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: The Stretch Goal Paradox

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