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18 Ways I've Earned Rent Money When I Was Broke

Nothing motivates your hustle more than the prospect of an eviction notice.
18 Ways I've Earned Rent Money When I Was Broke
Image credit: camera obscura | Getty Images
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s an interesting world out there. In the past five years I’ve gone from being worth millions to being broke to being worth a millions again. There's been more than one month where I didn’t have enough money to pay rent. There are times you need money, and need it quick.

With a more connected world, there are more opportunities to make money doing micro jobs and taking advantage of constantly evolving opportunities. Plus, globalization has opened the door to add value for people well outside of your immediate proximity.

Here are 18 quick ways I’ve made money to pay rent when money is tight:

1. Teach a skill that you've mastered to others.

If you are a talented musician, athlete or you have other desired skills, you could get paid to teach others. You could either become a freelance teacher or look for a service that helps match you with clients. This is an opportunity to make some serious money, improve your teaching ability and help others. Do not underestimate all of the time you spent as a kid playing the piano or learning to do backflips.

I’ve been able to scrounge up $100 teaching math to neighborhood kids. This could turn into a longer gig as well.

Related: To Rapidly Enhance Your Business, Stop Selling and Start Teaching

2. Drive for Uber and/or Lyft.

There are a few prerequisites you have to meet to become a driver. Assuming you are 21+, have been driving for three years, have a clean record and a nice enough car, though, you can make serious money driving for Uber or Lyft. You can be a driver for both at the same time, and can drive at whatever hours you want.

It took me about a week to be all setup to drive. So it’s not an overnight money situation, but it’s a quick way to make some money for bills. Most of the time money is deposited very quickly, often the same day.

Related: 5 Lessons Learned From the World's Greatest Uber Driver

3. Put a room in your house on Airbnb.

There are inconveniences that come with being an Airbnb host, but it is quite easy to do so. As long as you have a room to spare in your house, you can rent it out for extra money. Plus, it could give you an opportunity to meet and connect with interesting people.

It took about three weeks for me to get setup, actually host guests and see money in my bank account. It can happen faster but that’s about the timeframe it took me.

Related: Essential Tips for Being a Successful Airbnb Host #TravelHosting

4. Build a social media brand.

Social media is quickly becoming the world’s most powerful platform for generating revenue and reaching an audience. While the ecosystem is becoming more and more competitive, there are a number of tools you can leverage to stand out.

I’ve personally used this Instagram automation service to help me accelerate my growth quickly and gain new followers. It is important to invest in generating high quality content such that you develop loyalty among your fans before you begin to monetize.

I now can earn a few hundred bucks quickly by pushing brands out online. Pro tip: Make sure to always disclose with #ad in the message.

Related: Profitable or Popular? Make Hashtags Work for You

5. Go through your old things and sell them.

You likely have books, clothes and other novelty items lying around that you no longer use. Spending a few days to go through those things and list them on Amazon, eBay or other sites to make some extra cash.

Related: Why Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' Believes in 'the Power of Broke'

6. Pickup jobs on Fiverr.

There are countless tasks on Fiverr that you can pick up. None by itself is a large amount of money but doing many tasks, though, can add up to a nice chunk of cash.

Money comes a few days after the task is completed. Most are cheaper tasks with demanding customers but can really start to add up. One month I paid all my bills from just working on Fiverr at $5 per gig that I did.

Related: 5 Ways Fiverr Jump-Started My Life as an Entrepreneur

7. Dog walker/sitter.

You can do this on a neighborhood level or use a service to find clients. Walking or sitting for dogs tends is minimal effort for extra cash. Plus, if you like animals, what is better than getting paid to spend time with them?

I recommend starting small, say $1-2 per hour and working your way up once you have stable clients. It’s not much, but it can start to add up over time plus give you enough money to make bills.

Related: 49 Ways to Make More Money Online (or Offline) This Year

8. Take advantage of credit card deals.

There are countless credit card deals that are always popping up. Managing multiple cards is not the most fun, but it can yield you significant benefits. Be on the lookout for these deals. Some require that you spend a certain amount on the card within the first few months, and others have yearly fees. If the money that you are getting is greater than your costs, though, they can be a great use of time. Plus, if you are spending a certain amount of money anyway, you might as well do so on a card that will give you the maximum benefits in return.

Related: What I Learned by Spending $650,000 on My Credit Card Last Month

9. Go thrift shopping and resell the best items.

People turn in some awesome items to thrift stores. Going through the stores to find good deals is both fun and rewarding. You will likely find some items you can resell for a nice profit, and you might even find some cheap things to keep.

Related: Why It's Nearly Impossible To Stop This Amazon and eBay Scheme

10. Proofread

You can get paid to proofread articles, books, and journals today. You have to be meticulous and able to stare at a screen for a while, but it is nice and relaxing money in return. Sites like Freelancer can help you find clients to do the proofreading for.

Related: 10 High-Paying Jobs You Can Do on the Side

11. Do surveys and studies.

Services like Mechanical Turk will pay you to take surveys, and there are always listings to get paid for participating in studies. The work can be a bit monotonous, but it is typically a mindless way to make money.

Related: 18 Ways You Can Make Money Right Now

12. Keep your email receipts.

You can make money today simply by not deleting receipts that come via email. Earny automatically scans your email for old receipts and matches what you paid to current prices. When there is something being sold for less money, now, they will help you get the difference back.

Related: 32 Proven Ways to Make Money Fast

13. Take advantage of your data.

There are services that will give you money just for offering access to your data. For example, Nielsen gives money away just by letting them install a software on your computer that tracks your habits. It might feel scary to give others access to this data, but in many cases, it will have zero impact on you.

Related: Of Course 'Free' Services Sell Your Data

14. Make a bet to do something that will improve your life.

If you have a goal you are trying to accomplish, make a bet with someone that you can do it.

This could be a great way to lose weight or pick up a new talent. It will incentivize you to actually do so, and you will be able to make some money for your efforts. Keep track of this in your calendar app.

Related: Warren Buffett Just Won a Million-Dollar Bet

15. Be a mystery shopper.

You can get paid to pose as a regular customer for services like pizza delivery. Mystery shoppers are how companies test their customer service, and, in return, you can will get paid. You have to find the right deals, but doing so offers another effortless way to make money.

Related: Why Work Only From Home? Here Are 17 Jobs You Can Do From Anywhere in the World.

16. Become a search engine evaluator.

You can make $12/hour evaluating search engine accuracy. Despite how good we think Google is, they still make mistakes and are willing to pay people to find them.

Related: 7 Poisonous Beliefs That Make You Desperately Unhappy

17. Sell your trash or recycling.

There are countless companies that will pay for your empty cans and sometimes even your trash. You are going to be creating the waste anyways, so why not take advantage of it?

18. Approach companies for consulting services

If you have a skill that you think you can help businesses with, then approach them about it. Many companies, even successful ones, struggle in a variety of different areas. If you know what you are doing and can demonstrate that, you could make some serious money helping a company out. This could especially be the case for companies that do not have enough money to hire more people full time but have enough to pay a one-time fee for a project or service. Hot topics today include SEO, digital marketing, and design.

Ready to take your making money to the next level? Here is a quick self employed guide to help you get started.