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You need money now but you know that payday is still days or weeks away. What can you do to fill that short-term gap in cash?

If you don’t have enough money to pay emergency medical bills or unexpected expenses it might cause you stress and concern – especially if you don’t have the right amount of money.

Below we’ve discussed 7 different ways to earn fast cash today and also listed out some options to cut back on expenses, if you’d rather scale back your living costs instead of making more money. We also talk about how you can build out your emergency fund so that in the future you will be able to cover any short-term gaps in finances.

1. Sell Extra Electronics

An easy way to make money is to sell things at home that you don’t use anymore – a high-margin one is to sell old electronics. You might have just upgraded to a new phone and don’t realize that your old handset could be worth hundreds of dollars. Look for old laptops, mp3 players or gadgets to make extra money.

2. Sell Gift Cards That You Aren’t Using

Gift cards are increasing in popularity year by year and I’m sure most people have one or two lying around at home. You might have got a card for your birthday or Christmas for an outlet or store that you don’t like and so you’ve left it in a drawer. There are different companies that offer cash for gift cards where you can trade in cards in value from $15 to $1,000.

You won’t get the full value from the card but typically you get 85% of the value if you go to their in-person kiosks but a whopping 92% if you sell through their website.

3. Pawn A Valuable Item

Pawnshop loans offer a quick way to borrow money but they’re not the best way to make borrow money. But they are quick, and if you can’t repay them then they’ll just hold on to your item as collateral.

The benefit of this is that if you can’t repay your loan then there won’t be an impact on your credit score and you definitely won’t get any calls from debt collectors trying to get their money back.

There is also the option at a pawn shop to sell something outright – you sell them the item and then they try to resell it to their customers In this situation you won’t need to repay the money which is good if you need fast cash. The easiest things to pawn are instruments, jewelry, watches, firearms, and any electrical item that is less than 2-3 years old.

4. Look For Loans Or Assistance From The Community

Depending on which state you live in you might be able to find local community organizations that offer short-term assistance or loans to help with rent, your mortgage, or other emergency expenses. Local churches might offer loans at low rates to help you out in times of need. You should also check with nonprofit associations and local community centers to see if they can give out small loans.

5. See If You Can Get Forbearance On Your Bills

In some cases, your utility or cable provider won’t charge interest on late payments. If this is the case then it is worth asking them if they accept delayed payments. If they do then you can use the money you would have spent on bills and put it towards any emergency expenses that have come up. Before turning to high-interest debt try to explore your options with your mortgage or utilities providers to see if there are other options.

6. Request An Advance On Your Payroll

It doesn’t hurt to ask your employer if you can get a cash advance on your pay – it usually won’t cost you any fees or expenses and then you will pay it back through payroll deduction. Some organizations offer low-cost loans if their workers are having cash flow issues.

7. Loan Money From Your Retirement Account

You are able to take a loan against a 401(k) or an IRA but there are terms and conditions when doing this. You are able to borrow money from your IRA once a year if you then repay the money back within 60 days of borrowing. This is only if your employer allows 401(k) loans which not all companies do. You’re typically able to borrow as much as half of the balance of your account and up to $50,000. You will have five years to repay this amount.

If you can’t make payments for 90 days then it is seen as taxable income and so you will be taxed on it. Secondly, if you quit or lose your job then you’ll quickly need to repay the loan.

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