35 Easy, Realistic Ways to Make Money in Just One Hour

Woman with cash after making money in just one hour

If you've been feeling financially strapped lately, you're not alone. It's estimated that Americans are facing $16.9 trillion in debt that about 340 million people share. This could be debt in the form of credit cards, student loans, missed payments accruing late payment fees and several other things that seem to be hitting your wallet harder than ever.

So, if you've found yourself thinking, "I need to make money now," and wondering about legit ways to make some quick cash to pay off debt—or even to squirrel away for a rainy day—we get it. This is why we spoke with several finance educators and money experts about how to make money in one hour or less.

Some of these clever, easy side hustles (that you can start today) even allow you to earn $$$ in your pajamas from the comfort of your couch while you're online or just scrolling your phone. Talk about fast! It doesn't get any easier than that, now does it?

Related: 50 Ways To Save Money

35 Easy Ways to Make Money in One Hour

1. Drive for Lyft or Uber

"It’s easy to apply and awesome that you can work whatever hours you want, says self-taught financial educator and She Wolfe Of Wall Street founder Amanda Wolfe. "I used to make upwards of $75+ in an hour on a busy day!"

Related: 'I Tried Out the Cash Envelope System for 30 Days and Saved $500 for a Summer Vacay All Thanks to One Important Step'

2. Deliver food

With so many options available like Instacart, Grubhub, Doordash and Uber Eats, it's easier than ever to get cold hard cash, according to Wolfe.

"If having people in your car makes you uncomfortable, you can always opt to grocery shop or deliver food to people instead and it's another great option where you can work whatever hours you want," she adds.

3. Sell your stuff

Wolfe recommends taking photos of things you no longer want and posting listings on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp to make quick money—especially if someone picks it up that day. After all, it's a win-win to declutter and put money in your pocket, as she says!

Related: 5 Money Moves That Will Bump You From Lower Middle Class to Upper Middle Class, According to Finance Experts

4. Walk dogs

"Sign up with Rover or Wag to walk pups," suggests Wolfe, who says you can do this during a lunch break, before work or after work. "People are always looking for good people to take care of their fur babies."



5. Donate plasma

Although Wolfe notes this isn’t something you can do all the time, it’s a fast way to make easy money and also help someone else.

6. Put your skills to good use on Upwork

"This freelancer site allows you to make money proofreading someone’s paper, writing a resume, editing videos, creating an Excel spreadsheet, etc.," says Wolfe. And if you do a good job, you may even get repeat work. She personally vouches for the site, saying she always hires people from there.

7. Teach a language

Wolfe is partial to italki—a language learning platform where people can practice conversational skills in another language. "English speakers can set a rate they want to charge and people can hire you to practice speaking English with them (or any other language you may speak!)"

Related: 'Financial Feminist' Tori Dunlap Shares the #1 Money Rule She's Following in 2024

8. Tutor

Love teaching others? Sign up to be a tutor for kids who might be falling behind in certain subjects. Whatever your area of expertise is, you can help others understand it better and make a little cash at the same time. Bonus: Many tutoring sessions can be done over Zoom to save you a commute.

9. Pawn something

Long before there was Facebook Marketplace, there were pawn shops and they still exist! They'll also give you quick $$$$ for jewelry, coins, electronics and other collectibles while sparing you the FB back and forth.

10. Babysit

"The hours between school being out and parents getting home from work can be tough to manage," says Wolfe. "You can help out a parent and also make some extra cash by offering child care in your home or theirs."



Related: 10 Best Babysitting Websites & Apps

11. Become a secret shopper

Love to shop? Wolfe can't recommend this sneaky side gig enough. "Mystery shoppers, or secret shoppers, are independent contractors hired by companies to evaluate their business— things like their customer service, cleanliness, etc.," she explains, adding that some work can be done on the phone or online, so you may not even need to leave your house.

12. Ref a local sports game

For the more active folks, Wolfe likes to suggest reffing games in your area so you can get outside, get some steps in and collect some cash at the same time.

13. Trade credit card points for cash

"Maximize your credit card benefits by taking advantage of points that you earn from making everyday purchases," says The First Gen Mentor Giovanna “Gigi” Gonzalez. "Most credit cards offer opportunities to trade in points for cash, travel deals or even for gift cards to major retailers."

14. Look into odd-job opportunities

According to Gonzalez, quick money-making opportunities can exist in your very own community so scour neighborhood message boards where people might post the need for a last-minute task.

15. Turn into a task rabbit 

Speaking of tasks, this oldie-but-goodie site features all kinds of random ones you can do for cash, like yard work, assembling furniture, painting or hanging artwork.

Woman holding money<p>iStock</p>
Woman holding money


16. Invest!

"Investing is one of the easiest ways to make money with very little effort," shares Gonzalez. "There are several apps (such as Ellevest and Robinhood) that can be linked to your bank account and automatically invest a predetermined amount regularly, that way you never have to think about it."

17. Participate in market research studies

"Keep an eye out for local market research firms or online platforms that offer paid research studies," advises Kortney B. Murray, financial educator, public speaker and the CEO of Coastal Kapital LLC in Sarasota, Florida. "These studies may involve focus groups, product testing or interviews, and can often be completed within an hour. The compensation varies but can be lucrative for your time."

18. Detail someone's car

Murray says all it takes to start a mobile car detailing service is a few basic car cleaning supplies. "Advertise your services through local ads or on social media," she suggests. "With efficient planning, you can complete a car detailing job within an hour, earning cash on the spot." A DIY car wash is another way to get your kids involved and have fun at the same time.

Related: 19 Ways To Save Money on Your Shopping at 55+

19. Sell your clothes

Poshmark is a great place to unload all those threads in your closet that you never wear—and make money doing it. "Take clear photos of your items, write brief descriptions and set competitive prices to attract buyers," says Murray.

20. Moonlight as a crowdworker

"Platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk or Clickworker offer micro-tasking opportunities where you can complete simple tasks like data entry, categorization or content moderation, shares Murray.

"These tasks usually take just a few minutes each, allowing you to complete several within an hour and earn money," she explains.

21. Try your hand as a handyman

If you're skilled at simple repairs or a pro at fixing things, Murray says you should offer your services as a handyman for quick jobs in your neighborhood.

"Advertise your availability through word of mouth, flyers or online classifieds," she recommends. "With clear pricing and efficient work, you can earn immediate payment multiple times a day."

22. Take photos

Leverage your photography know-how by offering your lens to anyone who needs professional-level snaps, in a snap. Murray says it's simple enough to advertise your services locally or online through platforms like Facebook groups and social media. Then, conduct photo sessions lasting an hour, charging an hourly rate for your time and knowledge.

23. Rent your parking space

If you have a premium spot you pay for in a garage or on a busy street, rent it on apps like ParkLet or JustPark when you go out of town, during big sporting events or parades to make a few extra bucks.

24. Learn AI

Even if you're unsure about AI, it can serve as another avenue to help pay the bills. Platforms like DataAnnotation need people to train AI chatbots, assist with writing and editing or take on coding-based tasks. The best part? You can make money on your own schedule and they pay via instant transfers on PayPal.

25. Manage a community

With the rise of self-made influencers comes the need for help growing their communities. That can entail everything from replies to comments and questions via DMs or liking and commenting on similar accounts to expand reach. This can all be done on your phone, so look into companies like Bark and Hivebrite, which always need social media managers.



26. Fact check or proofread someone else's work

Platforms like Fiverr connect freelancers with people and companies in need of proofreaders, fact-checkers and speedy transcribing pros, according to Murray. "Create a profile highlighting your expertise and set a price for your services," she recommends.

27. Mow a lawn or water plants

Have a green thumb? Put it to good use watering a neighbor's plants while they're away or mowing their lawn while they're at work. Lawn care services are pricey! Cut out the competition by offering lower rates and gaining more clients over time.

28. Turn gift cards into cash

We all have that unused gift card we've been hanging onto forever. If you're never going to use it, flip it! GiftDeals and CardCash make trading gift cards for cash quick and painless.

29. Rent a room (or your whole house) on Airbnb

Do you have extra space in your home that you hardly use? A sizeable finished basement or garage you could turn into an Airbnb rental with a few small tweaks? You don't need to rent out your whole house (although that pays more) when people are sometimes just looking for a bed to rent for a night in a popular city or town. Keep this in mind when hotel prices spike during holiday periods, school graduations and spring break.

30. Earn cash back

Although you can't expect a huge payday with cash-back apps like Rakuten, Ibotta and Fetch Rewards, every little penny counts when you're short on pennies. These apps let you link your credit and debit cards, and then earn rewards you can trade in for cash or gift cards when you reach a certain level.

31. Make YouTube videos

Already making reels on the regular? Get into YouTube next. The YouTube Partner Program pays for highly-viewed videos and will cut you a check once you start racking up the views on shorts, live streaming and long-form videos.

33. Play a video game

You know the saying "all work and no play?" Well, this money-making move allows you to do both. Websites and apps like KashKickBingo Cash and Cash Giraffe pay you to play games, test games and provide feedback, which could be become highly lucrative especially if you're used to winning.

34. Lean into affiliate marketing

If you have a blog or growing social media presence you could be earning money while you sleep, all by recommending products you already use and love and use. Sign up as a publisher to be a part of affiliate networks like Shopify, Amazon Associates, eBay Partner Network and Pinterest, then watch as the money rolls in overnight.

35. Sell books

It's common knowledge that bookstores will pay top dollar for rare, 1st edition tomes but did you know they'll also pay for new or second-hand books like textbooks, novels and cookbooks? Visit local shops to ask about their payment policies or visit nearby college campuses to buy books at the end of the year, to sell to freshmen coming in the following semester. Amazon Marketplace also buys books in various conditions.

Next: 100 of Our Best-Ever Budgeting Tips