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So you need to learn how to make 400 dollars fast, huh?
Maybe your car brakes melted (been there).
Maybe you need to cover a pesky insurance deductible.
Whatever your reasons, you’ve got options.
Nowadays, there are more ways than ever to earn $400 fast online and offline — whichever fits your fancy.
But before we dive in, here’s what NOT to do…
Table of Contents
- How to NOT make $400 fast
- How to make 400 dollars fast online
- How to make 400 dollars fast offline
How to NOT make $400 fast
Don’t let internet “gurus” fool you.
As much as I love content creation — starting a blog, Youtube, podcast, etc. — it is NOT fast money.
These endeavors take time, patience, and dedication before you see a penny of profit.
This is true for almost any kind of passive income setup. If you want to know how to make $400 fast, you’re better off focusing on active income.
There are three main ways to earn money fast, both online and offline:
▶️ Trading time for money
▶️ Selling your stuff
Let’s take a look at each.
How to make 400 dollars fast online
Online work rocks.
It’s perfect for traveling digital nomads and people who enjoy working on their own time at their own convenience.
It’s also perfect if you just want to pull in extra money from the comfort of your lazy boy.
1. Freelance writing
If you type quickly and enjoy writing, freelance writing is a great way to make money fast. It’s one of the best online freelance jobs for beginners.
There are several paths to success.
To get your foot in the door ASAP, find yourself a decent-paying content mill.
The rate is usually two to three cents per word. I pay my quick-fingered writers three cents per word, and they say it normally equates to $10 to $15 per hour.
You can’t be a perfectionist here, though. If you are, that hourly rate torpedos.
The cool thing about starting with a content mill is you’ll learn the ins and outs of creating blog posts that are search engine friendly — all in a low-pressure environment.
Once you master these skills, you can move on to bigger (and higher-paying) freelance writing work.
How long will it take to earn $400 freelance writing?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average pay for a freelance writer is $30 per hour.
Keep in mind, that this is the average rate, not a brand-spanking-new-beginner rate.
At the average rate, you’d hit your $400 goal in less than 14 hours, or a couple workdays.
If you have to find your first clients and are working at beginner rates, tack on a couple extra days.
This all assumes you are at least an average writer — for example, could you write something similar to this blog post?
If you’re willing to stick with it long-term, freelance writing can turn into a lucrative career path.
For the past couple years, I’ve earned a full-time income freelancing working far less than full-time hours.
To learn the best way to find clients fast and earn your first $1k online, grab my free course below ⬇
Keep in mind, writing is the only way to earn money freelancing.
If the idea of writing gives you the heeby jeebys, check out these other easy freelance jobs you can do as a beginner.
2. Become an online friend
Believe it out not, you can get paid to talk to people on the internet.
It’s quick and easy to get started, and there are several paths you can take.
Check out these guides next to learn more about each:
Now, there are some safety precautions you need to take, like never doxxing yourself to strangers or handing out personal information.
But if you play it smart, it can be a unique way to earn from your couch.
To start, all you need is a computer, a webcam (optional), and a microphone. Some methods only require a smartphone.
How long will it take to earn $400 chatting online?
The best part of this side-hustle is making a real human connection with people who need it. We’re all human beings and we all need social interaction.
Many of these platforms say their users make $30 per hour, which translates to less than 14 hours of your time.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you earn sales commissions by recommending a product or service to others online.
When you join a company’s affiliate program, they give you a special link you can share with others.
If people click your link and make a purchase, you earn a commission at no extra charge to the buyer.
Sometimes these are also called “referral programs” or “refer a friend” programs.
For example, my favorite travel rewards credit card has one of these programs. And as of writing, if someone signs up for the credit card using my link, I earn 25,000 bonus points (worth at least $250).
When it comes to credit cards, “normal” people (i.e., people who aren’t able to refer truckloads of new customers) can usually only join the referral program if they have the card themselves.
But apart from credit cards, there are plenty of other products that do not require you to own them.
But if you’re recommending it, you really should at least have some experience with it!
Another cool thing about affiliate marketing is that sometimes you can earn money by simply getting people to sign up for a free trial.
Free stuff usually doesn’t take much convincing!
One example of this is a free month trial of Skillshare — a platform with a bunch of online courses that teach you awesome skills that you can use to earn money online (so sign up…it’s FREE!)
How long will it take to earn $400 with affiliate marketing?
It all depends on what product you’re recommending and how many interested people you have to recommend it to.
If you’re trying to earn a 5% commission on a $10 product, it’s going to take forever.
But if you recommend more lucrative products — like credit cards or online courses, programs, and events — you may only need to find one or two buyers to reach your $400 goal.
Affiliate marketing is most powerful when you have built up an audience — like a blog, Youtube, or social media following.
But you can also tap into your current network or find groups of people who may be interested.
By the way, if building an income with blogging sounds interesting to you, a good place to start is this free course.
That is an affiliate link — see what I did there? 😉
Proofreading is kind of like freelance writing’s little cousin.
The pay isn’t quite as good, but the work is easier.
Instead of creating content from scratch, all you have to do is read through and make corrections.
Proofreaders generally focus on grammar and spelling mistakes, while editors — who earn more — focus more on structure, fact-checking, writing style, and flow.
That said, proofreading has a lower barrier to entry, which makes it an option to earn $400 fast.
How long will it take to earn $400 proofreading?
The average pay for a freelance proofreader is roughly $20 per hour, but that depends on how fast you work.
If you can cough up 15-20 hours of your time, that’s a decent way to make 400 dollars fast online.
This all assumes you’re already a grammar freak and know what to look out for.
You can practice by proofreading this article, I’m sure there are plenty of grammar mistakes!
If you’re interested in proofreading but don’t know where to start, I’d suggest a grammar textbook or this free proofreading course.
5. Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant is a VERY broad job description. You’re basically someone’s assistant that works on digital tasks they need help with.
Those tasks can vary widely from client to client.
They might even vary with the same client depending on the projects they’re working on.
General, entry-level virtual assistants focus on simpler tasks like organizing inboxes, scheduling meetings, and data entry.
But you can also create or repurpose content (ex. Podcasts into blogs and social media posts), manage and grow social media accounts, become a Pinterest manager, or oversee ad campaigns.
The possibilities are near endless.
But as you can imagine, the more value your service provides to a company (and the harder you are to replace), the more you can charge.
How long will it take to earn $400 as a virtual assistant?
Virtual assistants are in high demand. And the time it takes to hit $400 depends on the skills you have to offer.
(If you don’t think you have skills or lack confidence, check out these free and paid virtual assistant courses).
Since there is so much variance in job descriptions, average pay data also ranges — usually around $25 per hour in the United States.
That means with a full-time VA gig, it’d take two days to hit your goal.
After that, there’s plenty of room to gradually level up both your VA skills and income.
6. Teach/tutor English
Looking for how to make $400 fast online with no skills?
Here’s one way to do it — assuming you speak English.
Students and professionals all over the world are willing to pay to learn English.
You can earn as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified teacher.
Depending on the TEFL program you choose, this may or may not be “fast”.
You can also get paid to practice English online with students — no TEFL required.
In this case, you’re more of a tutor for people with a decent grasp of English who just need a practicing partner.
Naturally, you won’t make as much as a fully certified teacher, but you can start earning faster.
It’s also a great way to dip your toes in the water to decide if you want to commit to a more comprehensive TEFL program (here’s the one I took, btw).
How long will it take to earn $400 teaching English?
The average pay for this “casual chat” kind of work falls around $10 per hour with no credentials.
But if you get a TEFL certification, some companies pay $20 per hour or more.
And if you eventually build a name for yourself and find your own private clients, you can charge significantly more (especially if you target business people or kids from wealthy families!)
But let’s reign it back into the present. With zero experience, you could earn $400 in roughly one work week, assuming you’re able to fill your schedule with students.
7. Sell Etsy printables
Many people don’t realize you can design nifty printables using Canva (a free and easy-to-use graphic design software), sell them as a digital product on Etsy, and earn money.
That’s right. Etsy is not just for selling custom hand-knitted pot holders anymore!
There is a bit of a learning curve and you have to choose a digital product that sells well on Etsy, but many people are making a respectable passive income with this strategy.
As with all forms of passive income, it requires initial upfront effort, and the money comes later on autopilot.
So if you need to make 400 dollars fast, you probably shouldn’t depend on printables alone. But it’s a great potential long-term strategy.
How long will it take to earn $400 selling Etsy printables?
It’s impossible to predict how fast you’ll earn on Etsy. There are too many variables.
But the internet is packed with sellers making hundreds to thousands in passive income per month (usually dependent on the effort they put in).
One of the best places to get started is this free eBook. It teaches the best types of printables to create each month of the year to take advantage of trends and seasonality.
8. Snag an online job
It’s 2022. Freelancing gigs are not the only work you can find on the internet these days.
Many employers are moving to fully remote or partially remote work.
That means you can use your existing skill set to find the work you want.
There are several websites you can use to browse and apply for the work, including giant job sites like Indeed (sort by Remote), or more niche sites like FlexJobs.
How long will it take to earn $400 with an online job?
If you live in the United States, don’t waste your time applying, training for, and working an online job that pays you less than $15 per hour.
At that point, you’ll be better off flipping burgers at Mcdonald’s (which actually isn’t a terrible idea if you need $400 ASAP!).
If you have any marketable skills, look for work paying at least $20 an hour. With this strategy, you can earn 400 dollars with an online job in 20 hours — a few days of work.
And if you don’t have any marketable skills, I’ll refer you back to that free membership to Skillshare.
Seriously. Take all the courses you can cram into the free trial, and you’ll end with skills that can make you good money.
How to make 400 dollars fast offline
Online gigs aren’t the only way to make money.
If you want quick cash, here are ideas you can do in your town, your home, or with your personal items.
9. Sell your stuff
Most of us have way too much crap laying around the house. But one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
Go through all your belongings and make a list of items you don’t need for survival.
Do these items bring you joy daily? Do they make your life significantly better?
Speaking as someone who has basically lived out of a suitcase for the past six years, most of the stuff you own is not necessary for your survival or happiness.
And if you’re willing to part ways, it could allow you to make $400 in a day, or even an hour!
How long will it take to earn $400 selling your stuff?
You can sell your stuff without even leaving your driveway by having a yard or garage sale.
Post more expensive items on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
It takes time to take photos, write descriptions, and answer requests from buyers, so only post items online that are worth the effort.
Depending on the stuff you’re selling and the prices you set, you could feasibly make $400 in an hour.
There are people in the world, both men and women, that find chores to be therapeutic.
Mowing lawns, fixing leaky faucets, and building fences bring them joy.
Fortunately for you, most people are not like this. Most people would happily pay someone to magically take chores off their plate.
How long will it take to earn $400 as a handyman?
The average pay for a handyman in the US is just shy of $20 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter.
This varies by the difficulty of the tasks, and there are plenty of people on handyman apps charging much more.
But to start, expect it to take 20 hours to hit your $400 goal.
There are a few ways to earn money behind the wheel.
The two biggies are Doordash and Uber (or their competitors).
Doordash is a food delivery service. You pick up people’s food at a restaurant and take it to their location. Uber is much the same, but instead of delivering food, you transport people.
In either case, you typically use your own vehicle, pay your own gas, etc.
The good news is the tax writeoff is nice — over fifty cents a mile.
How long will it take to earn $400 driving?
Uber earnings are tough to predict due to the many factors involved (location, surge pricing, number of rides, distance between rides, gas prices, etc.).
But Salary.com pegs the average earnings between $15 and $22 per hour.
That means, similar to many other jobs on this list, you’re looking at roughly 20 to 25 hours of work.
12. Referral marketing
Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools for any company. That’s why there are so many influencers running around.
But referral marketing is more than just promoting your favorite meal replacement shake with your friends and coworkers.
You can also find referral marketing opportunities with service providers like roofers, chiropractors, dentists, etc.
The higher the lifetime value of a new customer, the higher they can afford to pay you.
Similar to affiliate marketing, you should stick to referring services you know, trust, and have good experiences with.
Another form of referral marketing is referring employees to fill open positions at companies (AKA headhunting).
For higher-up roles, it’s not uncommon for companies to pay thousands of dollars to the person who refers the candidate they hire.
How long will it take to earn $400 with referral marketing?
Depending on the size of your network and the types of referrals you’re looking for, you could make $400 fast — like, in a day or less.
Once you find (or set up) a referral program, all you have to do is make the connections. You’re the matchmaker.
If your network isn’t that large, you can search for good matches online — Facebook, LinkedIn, forums, etc.
13. Rent everything
It’s normal to feel attached to your stuff, even if you don’t use it much.
When selling everything isn’t always the best option, you can earn money renting it out.
Whether that be a spare room, your RV, a car, bikes, a parking space, storage in your house, or camping supplies — heck, you can even rent out advertising space on your vehicle with a car wrap!
There are tons of opportunities to put your stuff (and space) to work for you.
To get started, check out sites like:
– Turo (your car)
– Outdoorsy (your RV)
– Airbnb (rooms in your house)
– Neighbor (your storage space)
– CurbFlip (your driveway or parking space)
– Craigslist, RentNotBuy, Fat Llama (pretty much anything else)
How long will it take to earn $400 renting out your stuff?
This all depends on what you’re renting and the demand for it.
The good news is, that renting your things doesn’t require much time on your part, so you can easily do it while working on other projects.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered—where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).