How to Pay Down $100 Worth of Debt This Week
We could all use an extra Benjamin to pay off a debt or put into savings this week. The problem is, money doesn’t rain down from the heavens or grow on trees. Alas, we have to earn it one way or another — but, as it turns out, that may not be as difficult as you think. To line your pockets with an extra $100 within seven days, check out these reliable ways to make extra cash starting right now. (See also: 25 Ways to Save $5 This Week)
1. Enlist the Help of eBay
I don’t like to keep things in my home for which I have no need, so when I decided to install bag hooks in my office area to keep my backpacks off the floor and chairs, I had to remove a dartboard and cabinet to make room. I could have listed it on Craigslist — I would have listed it for about $50 on the site to move it fast — but I decided instead to put it on eBay.
The barely used dartboard and cabinet netted $132 on the auction site, much more than I would have gotten for it on Craigslist, but also more than I originally paid for it. That’s the great thing about eBay — what you make is determined by how much bidders are willing to pay. What you have may be worth more than you think. Listing items of value, especially name brand items, could turn out to be a boon.
2. But Don’t Discount Craigslist
While my dartboard was better suited for eBay, items that are too cumbersome to ship — like appliances and furniture — work well on Craigslist to bring in fast cash.
My husband and I decided to sell our living room air conditioner recently because it didn’t have enough BTUs to properly cool our living area. I listed the unit on Craigslist for $90 and within a few days, I had a buyer. Unlike eBay, I had to haggle with the guy, who eventually brought me down to $50, but the unit is out of my house and the money is in my pocket. Win-win.
3. Stop Dining Out for One Week
Eating out adds up — whether you’re grabbing a quick lunch or having a three course meal with friends. To keep more money in your bank account that you can use to pay down a $100 debt, put yourself on a strict no-eating-out schedule. This goes for any type of food and drinks you normally buy during your daily routine, including coffee, snacks, and alcohol. Eating at home for one week won’t be the death of you, and you’ll be happier once you’ve accomplished this feat since you’ll be able to pay off a debt.
4. Open Your Home to Tourists
Short-term vacation rental sites have become more and more popular over the years because tourists are looking to cut costs on their vacations.
My husband and I rent out the guest bedroom in our home on a regular basis, which helps bring in a substantial amount of disposable income. I understand that this may not be your thing, but it might be worth looking into if you need to make a few bucks every now and then. My nightly rental rate in New York City is about $75 right now due to the winter, but it goes up to $99 per night during peak times. You’ll have to figure out what works for you, but you can reasonably expect to bring in at least $100 from just two nights of hosting. And it’ll be the easiest money you’ve ever made.
5. Pick Up a Few Quick Gigs
Search through the Gigs section on Craigslist to see what short-term jobs posters are seeking to fill. There’s usually need for dog walkers, house cleaners, and other non-arduous tasks that can earn you approximately $30-$50 per gig. Just be safe using Craigslist. It’s a great way to find extra work, but caution should be exercised.
6. Work Overtime
If you have a job where you get paid hourly, pick up an extra shift or two or offer to work overtime. Many employers try to stay away from overtime, so this may not be an option, but it never hurts to ask.
7. Count Your Change
Most of us have some kind of container in which we keep loose change. Depending on what kind of coins you toss in there, you could be sitting on a significant amount of cash without even knowing it; dimes and quarters add up quickly.
Count out what you have and wrap it up. Once everything is neatly packaged, take it to the bank in exchange for bills or deposit it into your account.
8. Ask for a Loan
If you’re in a real crunch for money, it may not be a bad idea to ask a friend or family member for the $100 you need. This should be a last resort, of course, and you should offer to pay the loan back with interest, but, sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Just don’t make it a habit.
How do you make extra money when you’re in a financial bind? Let me know in the comments below. And if you're ready to get serious about paying down debt, join The Debt Movement.