Finance

Resources

Shortest delay in receiving funds:

  • If you just need a few bucks quickly, ask family/friends/neighbors if you can cash in their recyclables. It costs them nothing and saves them a trip. You could make a decent amount, if you ask enough people and tell them your situation.

  • Active Hours has paycheck advances with no fees or interest, for hourly workers and Uber/Lyft drivers; you will need a checking or savings account to use this.

  • If it is your first time donating plasma, you can make up to $50 for your donation that same day (check-in the first time can take up to four hours, but it's much quicker in subsequent visits).

  • Want to help a friend with a cash infusion, or have your friends help you? Have a plasma party: If your friends are short on money, but want to help you, organize a group and head for your local plasma center. Your friends can loan you the money they make from donating their plasma (or vice-versa for the benefit of one of the other friends), and you'll have the benefit of enjoying a new experience together. (Fantastic idea from /u/sugarlamb!)

  • Keep an eye out for moving trucks or even go to a college area or elsewhere that you know people move in and out frequently; often they'll source local unloading/loading help for cash on the spot.

  • Try a local pawn shop if you have any items of value. Your items secure the loan; if you repay it, you get your items back – if you don't, they sell the items to recover the money lent to you. Don't pawn something you don't want to lose, if you're unsure about repaying the loan.

  • WallaPop app gets your items sold locally and gets you cash fast.

  • Reddit's own Borrow provides low-interest peer-to-peer loans; must pre-qualify and meet karma requirements.

Medium delay in receiving funds:

  • If you have higher-end business clothing, formal wear, and outer wear, Google for a consignment store near you that gives a cash advance for your items. If you have none of your own, ask family/friends if they have any suits or formal wear that you could have that they might no longer be wearing, and would be willing to donate to you for this.

  • Talk to your HR department about borrowing from your 401(k). It's low-interest, and you repay yourself. Be aware that the drawback is that if you leave your employer before you've repaid the loan, it may come due all at once.

  • If you think you can dig out by next spring, temporarily increase the number of dependents you claim on your withholdings (talk to HR department), which will give you more money per-check right away. This may cause you to owe more at tax time, so don't forget to change it back when you are past the rough spot.

  • Amazon's Trade-In Program lets you ship items to them free of charge, and pays you in gift cards for what you send. If you have tons of no-longer-used DVDs/books/games sitting around, it may not net more than $1-$2 per item, but it costs you nothing and you get Amazon credit in return that can be used to purchase grocery items, clothing, toiletries and other necessities. They can be expensive, but their Prime Pantry (more info) is a decent deal, and here are some tips on finding some good food deals at Amazon. To make even more with your used items: If you're more savvy about selling, you can sell your used items directly on Amazon, often for more than they'll pay for trade-ins; simply search their site for your item, and on the right-hand side, it will have a box that reads "Have one to sell?". Click it to initiate the process.

  • There are many online opportunities on the Employment thread. Some of these pay out every week for your services.

  • Modest Needs helps with grants for one-time, specific financial needs (car repair, short on rent this month, etc.). You must complete the application process, but the money you receive does not need to be repaid.

  • Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and financial assistance.

Longer delay in receiving funds:

  • Consider selling items (jewelry and electronics do best) on eBay or CraigsList. Don't have anything to sell? Find free items on CraigsList or visit yard sales at the end of the day, offer to haul away their unwanted items for free. Some of it will be trash, but some will be salable if you offer it at a different price.

  • Clean out your closet, then offer to help clean out your friends' homes/closets in exchange for salable items they might be willing to donate to you (or split the proceeds from, with you). Sell what you find on Craiglist, Ebay or a yard sale.

  • Prosper provides low-interest peer-to-peer loans.

  • Temporarily get a second job (either for yourself, or a non-working family member; fast food places are hiring all the time). Also consider hiring your specialty services (plumbing, dog walking, lawn mowing, etc.) to others locally in your off hours. There are many online opportunities on the Employment thread that can give you extra income over time for various tasks, as well.

  • You can generally make between $180 and $350 per month if you donate plasma twice weekly. The visits take around 45 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how busy it is when you go. You will lay on a reclining lounger and watch movies during the procedure.

  • If you have a car you aren't using, you can rent it out on a monthly basis and make some extra cash.

  • If you have the space, see if there is anyone on CraigsList in your area who is looking to rent a room. Transactions of this sort can be complicated and can involve legal issues, so educate yourself before you jump into this.

  • Get paid to run your weekly errands – with apps.

  • IDAs are savings accounts that are for low- and moderate-income families. They provide matching funds to every dollar you save from earnings, up to a certain goal you set, at which time you can withdraw all of the funds. There are programs that will match anything from 100% to 300% of what you save.

  • Unclaimed Money – Legitimate site for state governments' offices that handle unclaimed money.

Special circumstances:

  • If your flight was cancelled or delayed within EU or US in the last 3 years, you may be entitled to up to $800 in compensation. More at this link.

  • Depending on what products you have purchased, you might be eligible for participation in some class action settlements.

  • If you or someone you know has been the victim of certain types of crimes, check Google for "Crime Victim Compensation [for your location]" to see what is available to reimburse expenses.

  • Co-Abode is a program that pairs single mothers for housing and child care, so that they can share income against expenses and help each other get ahead, providing new opportunities for themselves and their families.


Articles and Tips

  • new: A new online bank called Aspiration has no minimum balance, and you can opt out of fees completely by just choosing $0/month at sign-up. It's a pay-what-you-want business, but a bank. Totally fee-free, wow! You can even use ATMs for no fee (other banks may still charge a fee to use their ATMs, but Aspiration does not charge an additional fee). Minimum deposit to open an account is $10, but even if your balance goes to zero after that, there are no charges.

  • I Need Money ASAP! – General money-generating ideas site.

  • 37 tips to survive on minimum wage.

  • Annual Credit Report is a legitimate site where you can obtain each of the credit bureau reports once per year, at no cost to you. Spread them out by rotating through a different one every 4 months, and you can keep pretty close tabs on your overall credit situation and avoid nasty surprises.

  • Financial Planning Resources has worksheets and more to help you get on track. Personal Finance sub will help get you on track with budgeting, and also will answer with additional ideas and resources if you have an unusual financial situation. Don't forget to check out their wiki!

  • Student Loans sub can help give practical advice and information about your student loan debt options.

  • Steps to take when you find yourself in a financial crisis.

  • If you get a debt collection on an old debt, be sure to demand a Letter of Debt Validation on it. Also, in many states, debt is no longer enforceable starting 5-6 years after the last activity.

  • If you suspect you're a victim of identity theft, you can keep it from destroying your finances by requesting a 90-day hold on your credit.

  • Is this a scam/did I just get scammed? These Redditors can help answer that.

  • If you've bounced a check at your bank, especially if it's the first time (or the first time in a very long time) call them. Be apologetic and nicely ask if they can waive the fee; often they will, which prevents a cascade effect with other items hitting and returning for NSF (and piling on fees). This also works well when you're late with the rent, or a utility payment, or any other situation that is not a common one for you.

  • Avoid payday loans at all costs. They are the biggest scams on the planet, and almost nobody survives financially once they take the first one on. The interest will crush you, and – worst of all – they are among the few kinds of debt that are not dischargeable by claiming bankruptcy. It is nearly impossible to get out from under these insidious quick-fix nightmares. Ways to Work offers low-cost (8% for 30 months) loan programs for those in need if you have exhausted other resources and meet their qualification requirements (not available in all areas). They will lend up to $6,000 in some areas; in others, they assist with vehicle purchase or do matching savings grants for education. Save time with their pre-qualification self-test.

  • This author was unemployed for 6 months, then held only a temp job for the next 9 months, and still paid off $50k/debt in 2 years. Read her success story here (spoiler – lots of online money-making).

  • Apply for property tax abatement if you are renovating your home or purchasing a home in a qualified area; the abatements can last for years.

  • How to get more money out of Social Security.

  • If you are diagnosed with cancer, depending on the type and stage, you may get fast-tracked to receive SSDI.

  • Tax exemptions and credits for families.

  • Buried by student loan debt and having trouble finding a job? Give the Army Reserve 2 weekends a month, and 2 weeks a year, and they will repay 15% of your student loan debt every year, for your 6-year term of service – plus, you get a paycheck. Other branches (Naval Reserve, Marine Reserve, Air Force Reserve, National Guard, Air National Guard) have similar programs available.

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