Even if you overcame financial issues caused by the pandemic, the last few years have made it difficult to “get ahead.” The statistics show that time and time again, consumers are struggling to make ends meet due to much higher prices across the board. A recent report by PYMNTS and LendingClub showed that 60% of American consumers have had to cut spending due to high inflation over the last 12 months.
That said, there’s another way to make ends meet that everyone can try. I’m talking about all the different ways one can earn money in the very short term, say, one hour.
25 of the Best Ways to Make Money in One Hour
By spending time on any number of side hustle ideas and money-earning opportunities, people can have extra cash to spend on utility bills, groceries, and everything else their family needs.
But what are the best ways to earn money in one hour? It depends on the work you want to do and whether you wish to harness your unique skills.
With that in mind, I created this list of the 25 best ways to make money in one hour to give you some ideas.
1. Deliver Food for Cash
If you have a safe and reliable vehicle and want easy cash, picking up a food delivery gig is one of the best options. I’m talking about driving for Doordash, UberEats, or Postmates, all of which let you pick up food and drink orders for regular consumers before delivering them to their homes.
These apps require you to use your car and gas, but you can easily earn $20 per hour or more depending on the gig and the tip amount. Best of all, the work is fairly easy, and there’s a ton of it to go around.
You could also deliver groceries using apps like Instacart or Shipt. These grocery delivery gigs offer similar work and pay, except you head to grocery stores and shop for items based on a specific list sent ahead of time.
2. Deliver Packages with Amazon Flex
If you want a delivery gig but prefer not to deal with the food industry, you could also deliver packages through a platform called Amazon Flex. According to Amazon, Flex drivers typically earn $18 to $25 per hour, although actual earnings will “depend on your location, any tips you receive, how long it takes you to complete your deliveries, and other factors.”
The best part is that the gig is flexible since you can choose when and how long you work. According to Amazon Flex, you must sign up for the job, get approved, and reserve a block of time you want to deliver packages. You get paid based on how much work you do, so you can use this gig to earn a little or a lot.
3. Rent Out Your Car
Do you have a car you aren’t using regularly? Maybe you walk or take a train to work or work remotely and never leave your home during the workday at all.
In either case, you can rent your car out to others using a ride-sharing app called Turo, provided your vehicle meets specific requirements. While you can rent out nearly any vehicle on the platform, you’ll earn more daily if you have a premium vehicle like a Porsche, a Jeep, or a Tesla.
How much can you earn renting out your car on Turo? In many locations, rates range from $50 to $150 per day, although your earnings will depend on where you live and how much demand there is. You’ll make more money if you live in a major city or close to a busy tourist area.
4. Drive for Uber or Lyft
If you have a newer car in good shape and want to make some cash driving people around, an hour is more than enough time to do it with platforms like Uber or Lyft. Both apps make it possible to earn $25 per hour or more, although your regular pay will depend on factors like demand in your area and tips you receive.
Many benefits come with driving for Uber or Lyft, including not committing to working certain hours or even specific days of the week. When you’re ready, you turn on one or both apps, and you can earn money in one hour or over several hours.
5. Shop with CashBack Apps
If you want to earn some money fast while shopping online, the following cashback apps make this a possibility:
Shopkick is a loyalty rewards app that lets you earn rewards when you shop online with more than 80 retailers. Instead of cash back, however, this specific app rewards you with gift cards based on how much you shop.
MyPoints lets you rack up points at more than 2,000 major retailers, including Walmart and Amazon.com. This app lets you earn rewards when you shop, but you can also take surveys for cash and get a $10 cash bonus just for signing up.
Rakuten (formerly eBates) is another popular cash back app that makes it easy to earn money quickly when you shop with more than 3,500 major retailers. You can earn money with Rakuten using your regular computer or the company’s mobile app, and your cash back is awarded to you by check or by PayPal.
Like MyPoints, Rakuten offers a $10 cash bonus when you sign up and spend at least $25 at a participating retailer.
6. Churn Bank Account Bonuses
If you have some money set aside and want to earn a few hundred bucks with minimal effort, you can use your extra cash to earn a generous bank account bonus. Earning a bank account bonus requires a few easy steps:
- You’ll need to make a minimum deposit and leave it in the account for at least 90 to 120 days.
- You may need to set up direct deposits to the new account.
- Some bank account bonuses require you to use a connected debit card a certain number of times.
You can get anywhere from $100 to $300 added to your account if you meet the bonus requirements.
For example, SoFi lets you earn a bonus of $50 to $250 when you open a SoFi bank account and set up a qualifying direct deposit. Bank accounts from SoFi come with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
Here are some other generous bank bonuses worth checking out.
7. Earn a New Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus
You can earn money quickly with a credit card sign-up bonus, although choosing the right card is important. To maximize your earning potential, select a card that lets you earn $200 or more with a low minimum spending requirement and no annual fee.
Fortunately, many cash back credit cards offer a bonus of $200 when you spend $500 or more within the first few months of account opening. You can earn money quickly by opening a card and immediately charging regular expenses and bills.
Note: You need to make sure you pay your credit card bill in full, or you’ll end up paying an exorbitant interest rate each month you carry a balance.
8. Watch Dogs Using Rover.com
If you love dogs and want to make easy money caring for people’s pets, consider creating an account on Rover. Rover lets you create a profile and set limits on the type of pets you want to watch. You can also set your availability and work only on the days you want.
While the amount you can charge for pet care on Rover can vary based on where you live, most caregivers charge $40 or more for each overnight stay they complete with a pet. You can also use Rover.com to set up doggy daycare or pet walking gigs. In some cases, you may even be able to watch multiple pets simultaneously to raise even more cash.
9. Walk Dogs with Wag.com
Another app that lets you find dog walking gigs is Wag.com. With Wag!, you can create a profile and select the type of work you want. From there, you can walk dogs or pet sit overnight for cash.
Wag! works much like Rover.com. Both platforms let you choose from different types of pet care gigs, and both come with built-in insurance that protects you from claims if something goes wrong while a pet is in your care.
10. Take Online Surveys
If you want to earn money in an hour with almost no effort, taking online surveys is one of the best ways to make this happen. Each paid survey site does things differently; some offer payouts for watching videos or shopping online.
The best online survey sites include:
Remember that some online survey sites pay you with PayPal transfers, while others only offer gift cards to major retailers in exchange for your work.
I like Survey Junkie in particular since you can redeem your points in several ways, including transfers to a PayPal account, a bank transfer, or gift cards.
11. Freelance on Fiverr or Upwork
If you have some online skills, you can earn money by marketing your skills and picking up freelance work on apps like Fiverr or Upwork. While you can offer just about any service on these platforms, some of the most popular skills that translate to gig work include:
- Graphic design
- Voice over work
- Social media work
The rates you can charge may be low at first (even as low as $5 per gig on Fiverr), but you can ask for higher pay as you complete more jobs and receive positive reviews and feedback.
12. Become a Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant makes a ton of sense if you have some basic online writing, editing, and design skills and want to earn money quickly and from home. Virtual assistants can easily demand $25 to $50 per hour or more, and they perform a range of tasks that can include things like:
- Data entry
- Email management
- Customer service
- Graphic design
- Website management
- Social media management
- Technical support
To find virtual assistant gigs, reach out to people in your network to see if anyone is looking for help. You can also create a profile on the following platforms, but keep in mind that the pay may be on the low end of the scale until you get some experience:
13. Become a Freelance Writer
Becoming a freelance writer is another way to earn cash in your spare time. While your income will vary based on your experience and the type of work, it is usually feasible to make at least $20 per hour for your first set of gigs.
Experienced freelance writers earn much more than that, with some commanding per-gig pay that works out to $100 to $200 per hour or more.
To find starting freelance gigs, you should create an online portfolio and get some work (with a byline) under your belt. From there, you can begin looking for paid work via platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and FlexJobs.
14. Clean Homes for Cash
Cleaning homes is another way to earn money in an hour or even on an ongoing basis, depending on how much work you want. There are also several ways to go about this gig. For example, you can reach out to people in your neighborhood to see if anyone needs help. You can also create a profile on Care.com, which you can use to find cleaning gigs as well as other types of home-based work.
The good news about creating a platform on Care.com is that you can pick your own gigs and set your own rates. You can also create a profile that lets people who need help find you based on your location and requested pay rate.
15. Find Other Home-Based Gigs
Care.com is also a great place to set up a profile for caregiving. For example, you can use the site to find babysitting gigs and senior care jobs, tutoring work, daycare, and pet care jobs.
Once again, we like this platform since you can look for jobs or create a profile and let the work find you. You can also set your availability and rates to work only when you want and for your desired pay.
16. Rent Spare Space at Neighbor.com
Do you have some spare space at your home and don’t mind renting it out? This could be:
- Some empty attic space you’re not using
- Garage space or a parking space
- Storage space for a boat or an RV
- Empty lot
You can use a platform called Neighbor.com to rent out your space every month. Neighbor provides insurance that can protect you if someone’s belongings are damaged or stolen when in your care. Plus, Neighbor.com handles all the communication and paperwork, which helps make the process as painless as possible.
17. Sell Stuff You Own
Another way to earn money in one hour involves taking an inventory of your belongings and deciding which items you no longer need. Maybe you have:
- Old workout equipment you’re no longer using
- Electronics like phones or tablets
- Furniture you don’t need
- High-end clothing or jewelry
- Books and supplies
You can quickly earn money by listing your items online, using Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist.org, or eBay.
18. Test Out New Products
You can earn money quickly from home by testing products or answering detailed survey questions on the following platforms:
One of my favorite options is UserTesting.com, because it’s easy to sign up and start making money. Becoming a contributor on UserTesting.com is free, and you get paid for each gig you complete via a transfer to your PayPal account.
19. Sell Your Old Clothes
Do you have gently used clothing and accessories you want to unload for extra cash? If so, you can head to your local consignment shop to sell your items or sell your items online through eBay or Poshmark.com.
Poshmark.com is one of the most popular platforms for this type of online resale, and it can help you fetch higher prices than you might get elsewhere. You can use this platform to sell clothing, belts, purses, shoes, jewelry, and more.
20. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards
Both platforms let you list your used gift cards and their respective balances at a slightly lower amount than the retail value. For example, Starbucks gift cards are frequently sold for 4% less than their value, while you can sell Lowe’s gift cards for $6 less than they’re worth.
21. Pick Up Easy Gigs
Maybe you want to try different jobs for cash, such as putting together IKEA furniture or hanging pictures on the wall. For task-based jobs, check out Amazon Mechanical Turk or TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit lists the most popular jobs on their platform:
- Furniture assembly
- Moving help
- Home repairs
Best of all, you can select jobs based on your availability, how much you want to get paid, and the type of work you’re willing to do.
22. Donate Plasma
Donating plasma is not the most glamorous way to make extra money, but it can help you earn some cash within an hour or less. You can find places to donate Plasma using the website DonatingPlasma.org, and all you have to do after that is show up and sit still for a few hours or less.
How much can you earn donating plasma? It depends on where you live and the centers that offer this option, but you may be able to make $100 for a first donation and $50 for subsequent contributions.
Based on how often you can donate plasma, it’s possible to use this side gig to earn an extra $500 to $900 per month.
23. Become a Handyman
If you’re skilled around the home, consider offering the following services to others:
- Hanging holiday lights
- Hanging interior lights and fixtures
- Basic home repairs
You can use an app called ThumbTack to create a profile and let the work find you. Not only is Thumbtack free to use, but the customer picks you, and you get access to customer support.
The platform also makes it easy to request and receive payments, which is why you’re doing the work in the first place.
24. Invest in Digital Real Estate
Next up, you can consider investing in digital real estate. Digital real estate includes the blog you’re reading right now or any of the following examples:
- A domain name you can buy and resell
- Mailing lists
- Niche websites
- Affiliate websites
- Assets and land sold in the metaverse
- eCommerce stores that sell physical products
- Membership groups that require a monthly or annual fee
- Mobile apps
You’ll need to know what you’re doing to earn money in this field, and it also helps to have a certain amount of online skills if you want to monetize any of these assets to their fullest potential.
Be aware that earning money online takes time. You can make money fast, but you’ll have to lay the groundwork to get to that point.
25. Play Games On Your Phone
Finally, you should know that you can earn money by watching videos or playing games on your phone. This strategy may sound far-fetched, but it’s true!
You won’t earn much money watching videos on your phone, but platforms like InboxDollars do make the process incredibly easy. You can earn a $5 cash bonus just for opening an account with InboxDollars and getting started.
The Bottom Line
There you have it, our list of ways to make money in an hour. I recommend spending some time deciding which options are right for you. You can try several ideas to see which fit your lifestyle, then stick with the gig that makes the most sense for your personality and financial goals.
Either way, you should be able to use at least one of the strategies on this list to start earning money quickly. Once you get started, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
Cited Research Articles
1. PYMNTS/Lending Club. (2022, September). New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report: The Inflation Edition. Retrieved from https://www.pymnts.com/study/reality-check-paycheck-to-paycheck-inflation-consumer-spend-expenses/