To make a long story short, it's halfway through the month and I don't know if I'm going to have the money for rent AND still pay the rest of my bills/debts AND eat. Yes, I do have a full-time job. No, I don't want to ask my social media friends to Venmo me (yet).
I know there are broader issues at work here, but what can I do to get through the next two weeks without sinking into more problems?
Ship's on Fire
You sailed to the right place! First thing to do:
This nationwide free hotline is confidential and will connect you with social service organizations in your area. They can point you to fast fixes as well as helping you enroll in assistance programs you qualify for -- like rental assistance, help with medical bills, etc.
One thing you should definitely hook up through 211 is immediate food aid. Then divert your grocery savings to the Rent Fund.
While you're making phone calls, also call your utility companies and see if they have hardship assistance or payment plans. Cancel or pause subscriptions so there are a few less bills to worry about. Want to get hyperlocal? Visit your library -- chances are, churches and other community organizations post on the bulletin board and you won't even have to talk to a human to find out where to get resources.
Get extra cash in your hands within a week.
You've got two weeks, right? So let's explore some quick, flexible ways to make a couple bucks without getting another official job (not saying you can't do that too, but you mentioned that you already work full-time). These might not pay your entire rent, but they can help you bridge the gap with a tank of gas or some small necessity purchases.
Meal delivery services like UberEats or DoorDash -- safer than ridesharing because you don't have to put a stranger in your car. I've done UberEats before and it wasn't an amazing experience, but I could cash out to my PayPal account within a couple days. If you decide to do this longterm, contact your car insurance company about using your car for business purposes. But just to get through the next two weeks? Meh....
Survey Junkie -- No car? No problem! If you're reading this article, you have internet access and you can use it to create a Survey Junkie account. Then you can experience the "thrill" of getting paid very small amounts to take surveys. The payout threshold is $10, to PayPal. You will need to upload a picture of your ID to get it, which is why there is still $10.31 sitting in my Survey Junkie account. Meal delivery is surely a more lucrative use of your time, but Survey Junkie doesn't require leaving the house.
Donate plasma. Read this article to learn about different plasma donation centers with locations all over the country, and/or Google "plasma donation near me." Depending on your health, schedule, and proximity to a collection site, this could be a worthwhile hustle.
Sell some stuff (other than plasma). Music gear, collectibles, vinyl, DVDs.... This is not the time for eBay and the like, because even if your items sell in time, the payout might not arrive in time. I've had the best luck selling directly on my newsfeed; Facebook Marketplace's shipping feature can give you an even broader reach. Craigslist is another option, but beware of scammers and consider meeting strangers at a SafeTrade location near you. Don't see your town on that list? Call your police department and ask if they provide this service. There's also the pawn shop option too; you'll probably get half the money (or less) than what you would get selling directly through a social platform, but it's cash in hand.
Online Advice Not to Bother With:
There are plenty of blog posts out there titled something to the effect of "88 Easy Ways to Make Cash Fast" -- the only problem is, 87 and a half of those ways are wastes of time. Here are a few popular ones that aren't going to help you right now:
Fiverr: As a new seller, you won't get your payout fast enough.
OnlyFans: Any money you make is held as "pending" for eight days; then it moves to your earnings section, where it can be transferred. There's a $20 payout minimum, so to make the two-week deadline, you'd need to have the ball rolling pretty fast. But also... Sex work is a big decision that can have unintended consequences. Don't make it under duress.
Cash-back apps: Normally I'm a huge fan of these, but you have to spend money to make money. Not helpful in this situation.
Any kind of "start a blog or YouTube channel" advice: If you can spend hundreds of hours producing content and then wait a couple years, you might one day receive an Adsense payout. But it won't yield any profit in two weeks.
I hope these suggestions help you get through a stormy period and put some fires out. Definitely start with that 211 call and see where it takes you. You didn't mention what kinds of debt you have or what your schedule and obligations are like, but perhaps put debt consolidation and a part-time job on the list of things to investigate next month.
There is help out there and your situation will improve. Just push through these couple weeks!
Smooth Sailing Ahead,
To learn more about budgeting, band finances, and more, order Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials in paperback and ebook formats: https://amzn.to/3lCsFdq
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