Making Money Fast
December 19, 2003 10:44 PM   Subscribe

Besides stripping, or selling everything one owns, what's a good way to make a lot of money quickly- without any capital?

P.S. $3000 would be a lot of money to me.
posted by drezdn to Work & Money (18 answers total)
Many people in need of cash come to Korea to teach (if they have a degree in anything at all, no experience necessary), and save at least US$1000 a month, and much much more if they teach illegal private lessons.

That said, most of them leave Korea broken, shattered husks, dull-eyed and forever filled with a hatred for children.

I spend so much time moaning about how Korea needs to tighten up its EnglishMonkey slave trade a bit, and here I am recommending it. Ah well.

Most schools of any repute (and they are very few and far between) will pay for your plane ticket over and back if you complete a year contract. Many people can't hack it and do bail out after a few months and a few grand in hand, which makes the vicious circle even more vicious. Anyone who ends up, like me, staying here for any length of time usually gets out of the 'hagwon scrum' as soon as possible.

The Korean Job Forum at Dave's ESL Cafe will give you all the info you need, if you're considering it, and the Korean jobs board at his site is the best resource for finding work cold (at least 10 new jobs a day are posted, generally). Good jobs are fairly scarce at the moment, but there's always a million openings at the private kiddie schools.

Also : beware recruiters. They are an evil lot, and very few people have positive experiences with them.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:53 PM on December 19, 2003

Start spamming people.

And then, run from the hords of people brandishing flaming implements of death. ;)
posted by cheaily at 11:03 PM on December 19, 2003

But, seriously... I don't think there's any great (or legal) way of making a few quick dollars without unloading some posessions. If there were, we'd all be doing it.

The quickest way, depending on what you want the money for, would be to take out a small loan at your favourite bank. The only problem with that is that you're left to re-pay it afterwards.

Are you employed? Find a way to cut down your own personal expenses, even if just for a short term to get the money together. Give up any vices you may have (I stopped drinking/smoking for a few months and saved ~$200/week), and start saving a bit more each pay cycle.

If you've got time, scour thrift shops for memorabilia and other junk... clean it up and sell it on Ebay. I know someone making $20,000/year doing that.
posted by cheaily at 11:10 PM on December 19, 2003

Also, I notice you're in a band.

If you're willing to trade in your self respect, you could try doing covers at your local teenie club. ;)
posted by cheaily at 11:12 PM on December 19, 2003

I've done most of the above, but now have few possessions left to sell, and am not in a position to borrow money.

While the teaching English idea interests me, I'm not really able to move for a while.
posted by drezdn at 11:16 PM on December 19, 2003

Well, you know, you could try working.

I know, I know, I sound snide.

But I doubt you're really busting your ass like those women you read about in supermom stories, who worked three full-time jobs to put bread on the table and clothes on their kids backs, instilling lifeskills of study and hard work into their children, who then go on to graduate Harvard on a scholarship and dedicate their lives to saving others' lives.

Anyway, $3000 is less than a year's work at ten bucks a day, which shouldn't be all that difficult to accomplish. Even the lowest-paying part-time job should have you reaching your goal in only a few months.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:35 AM on December 20, 2003

Move to MI, sit by the highway, and collect bottles and cans for the 10 cent deposit.
posted by adampsyche at 7:10 AM on December 20, 2003

A few suggestions, from the more realistic to the wild:

a. Try the multiple jobs approach - don't know what your skills are, but you can waiter, bartend, temp, consult (if you have been b-school or have good technical skills of some sort or design skills) (in 1992 I tried this and inadvertently saved up a couple thousand bucks; it helps to eat lots of beans and rice and live in a dump)

b. Start a freelance consulting business on the side - did you design your band website? Can either be a website design business or just a design business... Create a portfolio and then telemarket or mail all the businesses in your local area and ask for the marketing department and offer your freelance skills. Esp. in the microsite area you might be able to offer something great. Charge 5,000 per website, 1000 per microsite, 500 per design job and you will be priced very competitively. Alternatively, offer to work the first 4 hours free and 50 dollars per hour thereafter

c. You are in a band, you must play some instrument. Post signs every where saying you offer lessons to bratty kids. Do this ESPECIALLY in high end malls, supermarkets, near prep schools. Charge 10-20 bucks an hour. Also, depending on your education, you could offer to tutor kids in: a. academics (math, science, english) or b. how to get into a good college (if you went to reputable college that kids desparately want to get into - may have buy some books and talk to some admisssions folks so you really know what the kids need to do)

d. You are a good looking guy. If over 6ft, clean yourself up, get a friend to take a bunch of headshots, and send them out to modeling agencies. See if you can get a couple of gigs.

e. Take said headshots and take some more scruffier headshots and start combing the entertainment websites. Try to whore yourself out to some reality show or Real World MTV or something like that (height won't be as important for this option; but the odds are against you)

f. Find out if the folks on Jerry Springer get paid (isnt THAT the eternal question?) . If so, get your girlfriend to sleep with your brother. Or mother. Then go on Jerry Springer so she can tearfully tell you that she is moving into your mom's house as her lesiban lover and that your dad is moving in with you.

g. Learn the MIT counting system, find an Indian reservation, and play lots of blackjack. Apparently a bunch of grad and undergrad students did this and made a couple of 100 grand each. Not sure I believe it, but there are notorious rumours. Check them out (and remember not to booze and gamble - that how the CASINO makes money).

h. Lottery tickets

Best of luck!
posted by zia at 8:21 AM on December 20, 2003

Go to Alaska, get on a boat and go crabbing or fishing. It's dangerous as hell, but usually very lucrative. I'm sure some people here have done it and may have some pointers.
posted by vito90 at 9:23 AM on December 20, 2003

Apparently a bunch of grad and undergrad students did this and made a couple of 100 grand each. Not sure I believe it, but there are notorious rumours

I just read this book about how a crew from MIT worked the Vegas blackjack tables (and still does, apparently.) But you have to be a math whiz.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:17 AM on December 20, 2003

a) psychology studies from nearby universities. Here in Boston MIT pays around $10/hr for point and click decision making, $70 for a fMRI or MEG scan while looking at pretty pictures.

b) for bilinguals of Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, or Arabic, check out the UPenn Linguistics Mixer study. It's a lot of fun to talk to people you don't know about random topics, plus they pay.

c) craigslist odd-jobs. Focus groups especially are fun and fast money. Moving buffens and pays well.

d) teaching, in reverse. Do ESL private lessons, editing for foreign students.

Part of it's just commitment. I saved up $1600 in 3 months for a trip by doing a) and c) and putting the money aside as "my money" to spend on what I was saving it for.
posted by whatzit at 1:29 PM on December 20, 2003

Basic construction/building site work pays about as well as anything for a walk-up job, if you don't mind doing the work. Big sites are usually open longer hours, and more days of the week, and often have overtime. Or, check local community notice boards etc. (at food markets, libraries/bookstores, coffee shops, etc.) for people who offer building/landscaping/decorating/demolition services, etc., call them up and ask if they need help.

Then work as much as possible, and spend as little as possible.
posted by carter at 2:55 PM on December 20, 2003

Try tree planting or other silviculture work (brush clearing, spacing, etc.). I'm not sure how it works in the USA, but in Canada you can go out into the bush for a few months and make a pretty good amount of money, especially if you don't drink it all away. Doing it for a second season can be extremely profitable if you're good. It's really hard work, but also a lot of fun. This site has tonnes of information about silviculture work in Canada.
posted by Emanuel at 5:12 PM on December 20, 2003

Further to what whatzit said, medical trials. You can make a few bucks from being pumped full of new untested (that's what you're there for) drugs or wearing new cosmetics.
posted by wackybrit at 7:22 PM on December 20, 2003

- medical research
- buying and selling drugs
- theft and/or mugging
- hitman
- pimping your gf
- extortion
posted by carfilhiot at 8:02 AM on December 21, 2003

Oh, and quasi-illegal cash jobs out in the boonies. There are a lot of people out in backwoods Colorado (and places like that) who are throwing up houses made of straw bales and the like, who will pay reasonably well for a bit of labor here and there. If you read a few travelogues, you get lots of ideas like this, as many people just make money on the road.

My favorite, in this regard, is Walking Tom, as he had to take a number of jobs along the way, as his trip was unfinanced. He hasn't updated in 18 months though, so watch out ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 5:20 PM on December 21, 2003

well, if your a guy you could try donating sperm (i've always wondered how well they pay). If a girl you could donate eggs (plenty of cash, but i hear it's risky for having kids in the future). Plus the bonus is that you'll have a ton of kids running around who will ask for money from you in 20 years.

The best paying/perhour vs amount of knowledge necessary job i've ever had was doing room service in a hotel, you take the food to the room, they tip on the already 15% gratuity items, and then you leave (pretty sweet as compared to regular waiting tables). Plus it's a good workout.
posted by NGnerd at 6:11 PM on December 21, 2003

donating sperm is a long long process.

word to the wise: six month minimum for you to test through, and then you only get through if you're especially virile.

doesn't pay that much either.

i've looked into it.

not neccessarily a number one option.

but fun, i'm sure.
posted by fishfucker at 7:24 AM on December 22, 2003

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