No matter how well you plan for your financial future, there are emergencies and unexpected developments that demand you to raise cash quickly. If you don’t have the capital on hand to cover the expenses, you could turn to a personal loan, but it may be in your best interest to try and raise cash instead.
Looking for Things to Sell?
These are some of the most commonly available (and most profitable) things for you to sell when you need cash:
- Scrap metal. First, you might be able to sell scrap metal. Metal is available in a wide variety of goods and commercial products, including cars, bed frames, and old pipes. Different metals come with different rates of return; for example, ferrous metals are usually common, and not worth much, but aluminum, copper, brass, and bronze may help you earn a decent yield.
- Old electronics. Check your home to see if there are any old electronics you can get rid of. For example, you might have an old smartphone that you never ended up recycling or a gaming system that hasn’t been used in years. Electronics tend to sell for reasonably high prices. If you can’t sell them to a consumer as a used product, you can have them recycled to gain access to rare metals like gold.
- Arts and crafts. If you’re good with your hands, you might be able to sell some of the things you create. There’s practically no limit to what you could sell on a site like Etsy or eBay; for example, you could practice woodworking and create furniture or custom jobs, or you could learn to knit and create fashionable pieces of clothing.
- Advertising space. If you have a car or another piece of property that gets significant attention, you may be able to sell advertising space. Companies are often willing to pay several hundred to several thousand dollars to get their ads seen.
- Furniture. If you have any pieces of furniture merely taking up space in your home, you may be able to sell them for cash. List them in a classified ad or try to sell them on an online marketplace; you may be able to pick up a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the quality and shape of the piece you’re selling.
- Thrift store finds. If you’re willing to put in some extra time, you may be able to practice “thrift store flipping,” a process that involves picking up great deals at local thrift stores and reselling the items you find for a profit in some other channel or outlet. It’s hard to tell what’s valuable and what’s not, so make sure you develop a solid strategy from the outset.
- Gold and jewelry. As you might imagine, pieces of gold and jewelry tend to have a high resale value, and it’s fairly easy to find a buyer. Look around the house and see if there’s anything you don’t wear anymore; if you find a few worthy pieces, you could generate a few hundred dollars or more.
- Plasma and reproductive cells. If you’re willing, you may be able to sell biological materials for cash. Many blood donation centers are willing to reimburse donors for blood plasma, which can be separated from the other blood in your body. If you’re male, you may be able to sell your sperm cells to a reproductive clinic. If you’re female, you may be able to sell your eggs—which can fetch a significant price.
- Home space. If you have some extra space in your home, you may be able to rent a room. Finding a long-term tenant and getting a security deposit and upfront rent could be an easy way to raise some quick capital. Listing your home on Airbnb could help you generate income consistently over the next several months.
- Freelance work. You could also sell your services to people who need them. Depending on your field of expertise, you could sell your photography services, drive people semi-professionally, or just offer to clean houses or run errands for people. There are many good side gigs to choose from. In fact, there are some services that you can just sell and others will perform the work for you, the affiliate.
Establishing an Emergency FundOnce you dig yourself out of this situation, it’s a good idea to develop an emergency fund. That way, you won’t have to scramble to raise money the next time you’re in a situation like this. Reduce your entertainment expenses and try to save money on basic essentials like groceries, or pick up a side gig; then, set aside whatever you can on a monthly basis (even $50 a month is a decent start) until you have a few thousand dollars to meet your emergency and unexpected needs.