How to Make $500 Fast in 2021 (Realistically)

Here are 22 realistic ways to make $500 fast in a week or less. These fool-proof ways can get you $500 dollars in just a few days.

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Wondering how to make money fast online? We put together a huge list of 22 realistic ways to make $500 fast that can really make you money.

According to BusinessWire, the online outsourcing market is projected to grow to $16 Billion by 2021. Millennials, especially those in the age group of 20-25 years, form a large part of this outsourcing market. Hence, it comes as no surprise that nearly 80% of students work part-time and about 50% of millennials have side jobs or what we like to call them, side gigs.

Freelancing has increasingly become a popular option in the last decade, with students and working professionals alike. Here are a few reasons why side hustles have appeal to the Y-Generation:

the percentage of americans working freelance or part-time jobs chart
Side jobs or the “second job” is a concept that has been branded by the millennial generation is continuing to grow. Image Source: Rev
  • Opportunity to earn an additional source of income, which can be used to offset the financial pressure due to student loan debt (a 1.5 Trillion crisis) and lifestyle upkeep.
  • Develop and hone a skill set
  • Productive use of time

Besides the regular 9 to 5 clocked hours, some millennials design websites, some become tutors and some others run odd errands to make a few extra bucks on the side. In fact, the gig economy, characterized by independent contract jobs, has been growing at a faster rate than payroll employment.

According to a report by CNBC, the number of independent contractors has increased by 27% more than the traditional clocked-hours employees in the last 2 decades. If you want to take complete advantage of the opportunities existing in the gig economy, below are some of the best ways you can pursue to earn an additional income. We’ve recently covered how to make $100 fast, but is making $500 fast possible?

Hint: it is.

These opportunities are broadly divided into 3 categories:

1. Make $500 Fast With Specialized Jobs (click to skip ahead)

2. Quick Ways to Make $500 Fast Online Without Investment (click to skip ahead)

3. Easiest Ways to Make $500 Fast From Home (click to skip ahead)

How to make $500 fast with specialized jobs

If you ever thought to yourself “How can I make $500 fast?”, then you come to the right place.

This set of specialized jobs require a certain level of refined skill set. Establishing yourself as an independent contractor in this category requires a greater deal of time and effort, but you can be sure of a lucrative payoff and making $500 fast in 2021 and beyond.

Before we go any further, you need to know that these quick and easy ways to make $500 fast can even become a substitute for your day job.

So what kinds of jobs to make $500 fast can you expect in this category?

According to a report published on LinkedIn, here is the list of the most in-demand skills in the market right now:

  • Cloud and distributed computing
  • Statistical analysis and data mining
  • Web architecture and development framework
  • Middleware and integration software
  • User interface design
  • Network and interface security
  • Mobile development
  • UX/UI Design
  • Data Presentation
  • Storage systems and management

So how do you brand yourself in the above fields?

1. Make $500 fast by developing and refining your skill-set

how to make money online without paying anything

Since you will be working on real-time projects, you cannot work with novice skills.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an excellent way to strengthen your knowledge on a host of subjects.

These courses are conducted by tier-1 universities, professional internet groups, and industry experts and are the most cost-effective way to gaining expertise in a particular subject as you get access to industry-best resources and training for a fraction of the cost than what is offered through others sources.

Most of them are free with a paid option for a verified certificate. For example, here are some courses that you can refer to establish yourself as a freelancer in the above fields:

You can also find several useful courses on:

By investing in your skills and redefining them, you can start making $500 fast with ease.

2. Make $500 fast with internships

make $500 fast with internships

Gaining some level of practical experience in the form of internships is recommended before you start off as a freelancer.

Accept projects/internships even in cases of low or no pay because having a good mentor in the initial phase of your career can be a really good pay-off.

Apart from the learning curve that an internship provides, there are chances of your internship transitioning into a full-time job.

3. Make $500 fast by freelancing

non phone work from home jobs

Freelancing is a great way to gain some practical experience in your interested field.

As a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients at the same time. Freelancing projects are a great way to build your portfolio and pick up on a multitude of skill sets. You can take up a few projects for free initially, to get on your references and build work samples for your freelance portfolio.

Once the word is out about your credibility, you can set a price chart and take up projects according to it. You can find excellent freelancing projects on Fiverr, UpWork, and Craigslist.

Quick ways to make $500 fast without investments

In case you do not have the time to invest in learning a specialization, you can opt for generalized job-roles. These are ways to make money online without investment.

The payoff is comparatively lower than those found for specialized profiles, but the skill-set can be developed pretty quickly.

Here are a few alternatives that you can explore to make $500 fast:

4. Money-making strategy: virtual assistant

jobs that pay weekly

A virtual assistant is a self-employed professional who is hired to provide administrative, technical, or creative help to clients through online mediums.

There are a ton of companies that hire virtual assistants, so this is a sector where the demand for freelancers is extremely high.

You can also pick up Virtual Assistant jobs from sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer and earn some money online quickly.

5. Money-making strategy: online surveys & market research

how much does care.com cost

Yes, you do get paid to give your opinion!

However, your feedback should be detailed and honest as you are judged by your content quality here. Market research companies now pay you to watch tv and test new products and services.

The best survey apps are ones that have lucrative payoff options, pay on time, and have a ton of offers available.

You can earn anything from $1-$100 per survey. Here are some trusted survey companies that pay you in cash via PayPal:

  1. Survey Junkie: Make $25 fast in your spare time from home to take online surveys, participating in Focus Groups, and trying new products from your favorite brands. Join Survey Junkie Now
  2. Swagbucks: Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more to earn real money. Join Swagbucks Now to Get $10 Free
  3. Branded Surveys: Is known as one of the best paid survey site. Take paid surveys anytime and anywhere via PC, Laptop, Tablet, Cell Phone or Mobile App. Join Branded Surveys Now
  4. InboxDollars: Has so far paid its members over $40 Million. Watch videos, take surveys, shop, and more. Join InboxDollars Now and Get Free $5

Here is a good resource if you want to make money with online surveys:

6. Money-making strategy: user testing

User-testing is a research conducted by firms to improve their customer experience.

Businesses are willing to shell out quite a few bucks to understand if their product/service effectively satisfies the customer demand before officially introducing it in the market.

You can register yourself as a user tester and literally get paid to test apps and websites.

7. Money-making strategy: online tutoring

If you were the go-to person in college for doubt-clearing, you might have an excellent side-career as a tutor. This is also an excellent side hustle for teachers to make $500 fast.

Due to the competition level, tutors are high in demand for STEM subjects. Subject knowledge, a desire to teach and working internet connection is all you need to establish yourself as a tutor. Here are a few sites that can help you set-up your online tutoring career:

8. Money-making strategy: blogging

how to start a blog on wordpress

Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to make money without much risk.

In fact, full-time bloggers are known to earn as high as a 6 figure income with a single blog. Blogging is the top choice for those wondering how to make money because it looks deceptively simple.

However, that is far from the truth. Maintaining a successful blog is a very scientific process that requires content writing and marketing skills of the highest order. However, if you dedicate your time to it, it can pay off big.

Don’t already have a blog set up? You can start-up in a matter of minutes. If you want to get started on your blog now, take a look at our free blog starter guide to get your site set up in less than 15 minutes. If you use our exclusive link in the post, you can get a domain name for free and our exclusive discount price of $2.95/month for hosting.

9. Money-making strategy: translation

The current market size of the global languages industry is around $40 billion and it is expected to keep growing cumulatively every year. The best part is, although there are various translation-related applications, automated translation is not considered to be completely reliable by publishers.

There is a continued demand for translators especially in the areas of website translation, transcripts, and foreign language education. Here is a list of the most in-demand translation languages

  1. Chinese
  2. Spanish
  3. Japanese
  4. Portuguese
  5. German
  6. Arabic
  7. French
  8. Russian
  9. Korean
  10. Swedish

Here are a few resources that can help you transition into a translator:

10. Money-making strategy: referral programs

side hustles for men

According to research by the research company Neilson Holdings, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product/service when it is referred by a friend.

Now, that is a statistic that companies like and this is precisely why companies across all sectors and sizes have been implementing referral programs.

From an organization’s perspective, the ROI of referral programs is lucrative and hence they are willing to invest in a decent incentive plan for the referring sources. A lot of savings and money apps offer pretty good referral programs that you can check out.

11. Money-making strategy: stock photography

The growth of E-commerce and E-learning industries has been a catalyst in the transition of photography from a hobby occupation to an off-beat profession. Almost every company has an account on stock photography sites like ShutterStock, Getty Images, etc. to fulfill their imaging needs.

There is a high demand for HD images to support E-commerce products, blog posts, articles, and E-learning modules.

If you have always pursued photography as a hobby, maybe it is time to start thinking about it commercially. There are a few sites where you can sell your photos online which we covered in this post on how to sell photos online.

12. Money-making strategy: editor

Believe it or not, companies and people are willing to pay huge bucks for proof-reading and editing reports, proposals, advertising copies, and other such documents. In fact, certain freelance proof-reading is known to pay $17 per hour!

If you happen to have a background in human resources, you have an added leverage. You can take up a resume and cover-letter editing projects as there is a huge job-seekers’ market out there.

Easiest ways to make $500 fast from home

This is a set of offline jobs that do not require formal or corporate skill sets. Rather, it is more dependent on time commitment, soft skills and the resources available to the student. These are ways to earn money online without paying anything. Here are a few options that you can check out:

13. Money-making strategy: renting out a spare room

airbnb hosting guide

This is an awesome opportunity to make $500 fast with your extra space. There is enough profit in renting out a spare room to help you cover a quarter of your monthly costs. If you are not looking for a full-time room-mate, you can list out your house on Airbnb for specific time-periods.

Fun-Fact: In Washington, the average home rental rates for December touched $1,576 per week! We also have a full guide on how to become an Airbnb host here.

14. Money-making strategy: catering

This is one of the easiest best side hustles to get into since a majority of the event managers are understaffed. You can also easily accommodate a catering gig into your schedule, as parties are generally held during the weekends and during the holiday season.

15. Money-making strategy: baby-sitting

According to UrbanSitter, babysitters are known to make $15.71 per hour. It is a good idea to babysit for family and friends as a beginning. You will be able to gauge if you have the required patience and aptitude to deal with kids.

Also, trust is an extremely important factor for parents while hiring for babysitters. By starting off with your friends-family circle, you will be able to earn reference and experience letters which will give a huge credibility boost for your profile.

By starting off with your friends-family circle, you will be able to earn reference & experience letters which will give a huge credibility boost for your profile. Or you can find babysitting gigs on Care.com, UrbanSitter and SitterCity.

16. Money-making strategy: driving for Lyft

Lyft is an excellent opportunity to put your driving license to use. It is an ideal gig as Lyft allows you to set your own working hours and get paid instantly. According to a blog post in Ridester, full-time drivers can reach around $800 per week, after expenses.

Not a fan of having to drive people around to make your $500 fast? You can also discover other ways you can literally get paid to drive.

17. Money-making strategy: handyman services

A handyman is someone who is skilled in tackling “fix-up tasks” like repairs and maintenance work. Handyman work includes gardening, plumbing, electric and mechanical repairs, etc. Apart from making a few extra bucks, you also save on taxes. Fun fact: The Penny Hoarder recently covered a story on a self-employed handyman who earns $30,000 a week!

18. Money-making strategy: dog walking

This one is for all the animal-lovers out there! Dog-walking has 3 lucrative benefits – You get to spend time with your four-legged friends, you yourself get some exercise and you don’t have to pay taxes! You can learn how much you can make walking dogs on Rover in our recent post (Hint: it’s possible to make $500 fast with this strategy).

19. Money-making strategy: medical studies

Being a human guinea pig is not a bad idea after all, especially if you can earn up to $15,000 per project (Some clinical trials do shell out that kind of cash!) Research and clinical trials test the effect of drugs and medicines to determine their efficiency. While the money may look lucrative, one must do thorough research before nominating himself/herself for a study regarding the safety measures and side effects. In case you want to explore this option, here are some resources you should check out:

20. Money-making strategy: event anchor

If you were a regular participant in elocution and debates, anchoring/hosting events is an opportunity to put your speaking skills to use. To start off, you can register yourself with your local event management agencies and put the word out on social media.

21. Money-making strategy: brand ambassador

This is suited to students with people, sales and marketing skills. A brand ambassador is an incentive-based program, where students are paid to promote a particular brand on campus. Tasks can range from wearing company merchandise, getting registrations or social media promotions.

  • Campus ambassador opportunities are posted on job and internship sites like LinkedIn and Indeed.com

22. Money-making strategy: hosting a meetup

finance blog ideas

Organizing meetups are a great of meeting new people and earning money on the side and is one of the best side hustles. The task is simple: Create a community of like-minded people and charge them a membership fee for each community event.

  • Meetup.com is globally the most popular website for finding & creating meetups. They make starting, running, and organizing groups and events easy. The Meetup platform provides “Organizers” with the tools they need and access to millions of people actively looking for events and activities for a 1-month or 6-month organizer subscription fee.

Do you need to make money fast?

The best side hustles to make $500 dollars fast are not limited to just making extra money. In the current skill economy, they are a great asset to your resume!

In fact, you might actually find your career calling and there is a possibility of a side gig turning into a full-time online job.

The only thing stopping you from making $500 fast is yourself. So keep pushing and learning new ways to earn money online and off.

Have you tried any of these ways that teach you how to make money online fast or make $500 fast? Tell us in the comments section below!

Brian Meiggs
Brian is the founder of Gigs Done Right and has tried every side hustle under the sun. He teaches people just like you how to make money in the gig economy and has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover and more. He normally shares the latest news, videos, and topics for gig workers so they can earn more money in the gig economy.

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Here’s how to earn quick money online without leaving home. These resources can help you to make money online fast.

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