Alternative Solutions for Income When Unemployed

In general, not having a job makes it hard to pay the bills, and just because you’re looking for a job doesn’t make it any easier to put gas in your car or keep those pesky collection agencies at bay. There’s no doubt about it, being broke sucks. The good news is that today’s high-tech world makes it a little easier to find alternative sources of income when you’re in between jobs and the bank of Mom and Dad has raised its lending standards. Behold, four legitimate ways to put money in your pocket almost immediately without knocking off a bank.


Tap Into the Sharing Economy

You might not have realized the extent to which you can keep cash flowing without benefit of an official job. Think creatively. Sometimes referred to as the “sharing economy,” come up with a list of services you can offer someone right now. If you live near an Uber or Lyft city (and have at least a little gas in your car), sign up to give people rides. With weekly payouts, this one will get money in your account quickly.

Other options are to list a service on You might be surprised the kinds of things you can do for five bucks. Web design, copywriting, and these types of “normal” services abound, but there are also people making five dollars to write someone else’s name in the sand and take a picture of it. If you have a spare bedroom in your house, put it up for rent on Craigslist.

Sell It

No matter how down and out you are financially, there’s a good chance you have stuff stashed in the garage or closet for which someone would pay money. Craigslist and Ebay are good options for this type of instant capitalism, but don’t overlook local sources as well. Most towns have a Facebook page dedicated to these kind of sales. You could meet someone local for a sale and literally have money in your pocket within an hour of putting up a listing.

Before embarking on a sale-a-thon, dig through your piles of stuff with an eye towards analyzing it from another person’s point of view. It might look like crap to you but could be gold to the eye of another beholder. The kind of stuff that sells well: tools, appliances, furniture, clothes. Don’t overlook potential treasure troves like old baseball cards!


Odd Jobs

You may have more time than money but remember that plenty of people find themselves in the opposite set of circumstances. Another word for odd jobs might be chores. These are the things that everyone has to do but nobody really wants to. You could mow or rake lawns, walk dogs, grocery shop, or clean houses. If you’re handy and have a few tools, so much the better. A handyman is worth his (or her) weight in gold.

How to get the word out that you’re available for odd jobs? Flyers are a good place to start. Jump on Facebook and list yourself in that local classifieds page we were talking about earlier. Let your circle of acquaintances know you’ll do anything for money (just kidding – have some standards) and let word of mouth do the rest.

There’s a Loan for That

You might think that being unemployed automatically precludes you from getting a loan. While that is normally the case with traditional banks, there are all kinds of alternative lenders who have sprung up in recent years. Let’s dig a little a little deeper into these things called an unemployment loans.

It’s counterintuitive. Who would make a loan to a person with no demonstrated ability to pay? The first thing to be aware of is that if you also have bad credit, it will be extremely hard to secure any kind of loan. Under these conditions, you best bet is to make rebuilding your creditworthiness a high priority.

Take heed that these types of loans, if you’re able to get one, come with high interest rates. The good news is that if you keep up with the payments, it will help rebuild your credit score. The best situation in which to take on a loan like this is if you have good short-term job prospects. If you don’t anticipate employment any time soon, it might be better not to take out a high-interest loan. Missed payments will hurt your credit even more and interest will pile up fast.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to sit at home staring at the wall just because you don’t have a job. Try a few of these ideas. Get a little money coming in. Motivation works best when it stays in motion. Even five dollars here and ten dollars there add up. Once you get used to creative thinking, you’re liable to come up with more ideas than what are listed here.