Coronavirus and Your Money: A Financial Guide to the Crisis

20 Ways to Make Money Fast If You Lose Your Job

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The coronavirus is eroding many Americans’ sense of financial security. Across the country, citizens are facing lost jobs and lost wages, leading to a record number of unemployment claims. A recent LendingTree survey on coronavirus and money found that almost half (47%) of respondents say the pandemic is affecting their paycheck right now.

How to make money fast during the coronavirus outbreak

It’s important to make a budget and manage your money well in a cash crunch, but just cutting back won’t always cut it. If you’re in immediate financial need, here are some options to bring in some extra money:

  1. Find out how to file for unemployment. To find out if you qualify, check the unemployment help information available at USA.gov. Click on your state on this U.S. map of unemployment resources to find out how to apply where you live. A new federal economic stimulus bill expanded unemployment relief for citizens, so even if you didn’t qualify in the past, you may be eligible for some assistance now.
  2. See which jobs are available near you. LinkedIn posted a list of companies that are hiring right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Companies range from national pizza chains to medical supply companies and include Amazon, CVS, Dollar Tree and Walmart. You can search LinkedIn with the hashtag #CoronaVirusHiring or #NowHiring. Safety is key, however, so be sure to follow COVID-19 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect yourself, your family and your community.
  3. Check with your area grocery stores. They may not appear on a national list, but some local grocery and other stores are hiring temporary workers to stock the shelves at night to meet extra demand due to coronavirus stockpiling.
  4. Shop for the homebound. Home grocery delivery is becoming more popular as more people stay at home. In fact, Instacart announced it plans to hire 300,000 more shoppers during the crisis.
  5. Deliver meals. Many restaurants are allowed to offer takeout during the coronavirus crisis, and takeout meal delivery services are staying busy. Sign up with a service such as DoorDash, GrubHub or Postmates to make extra money. Some of these companies are now offering “no contact” delivery to keep workers and customers safe.
  6. Homeschool kids online. Do you have teaching or homeschooling experience? Network in your community to find parents with kids in the same grade. Then run a “home school” virtually using Slack, Zoom or similar tools. (Check your state laws first.) Parents trying to juggle remote jobs and homeschooling may gladly pay for a break.
  7. Become a tutor. Even if you aren’t able to manage a full school, being a whiz in a certain subject can have its benefits. Consider becoming an online tutor so you can earn money from home and set your own schedule. Get started by networking virtually with parents in your local community or applying to sites such as Skooli or Tutor.com. You can also create and offer your own online class through a platform like Udemy. You can monetize just about any skill, from internet marketing to planning birthday parties to (yes, really) animal communication. If you’re musically inclined, consider teaching guitar or other instruments via video chat — people may have more time on their hands to learn now that they’re stuck at home.
  8. Sell your stuff. You’re likely homebound, so now’s a good time to start sorting old clothes or cleaning out the garage. While having a traditional garage sale is not a great option during the pandemic, you can opt to sell your stuff online through consignment websites like ThredUp or furniture resale sites like AptDeco. It’s a temporary solution, but it may give you some much needed cash on hand.
  9. Pause your subscriptions. Now’s a good time to reevaluate all the subscription services you’ve signed up for over the years. Yes, you’re at home more, but do you really need three streaming channels? Products like clothes and personal care items delivered to your door can also take a backseat.
  10. Become a virtual assistant. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses need virtual assistants to do tasks such as bookkeeping, checking and responding to emails, managing calendars and performing online research. Get started by asking your network, posting in social media groups for business owners or applying with a VA company such as Belay or Equivity.
  11. Teach English online. Schools and individuals around the world are always seeking teachers for English language lessons. Some companies will hire English speakers with a bachelor’s degree and no certification or experience in teaching English as a foreign language. The basic requirements: a computer with a webcam, a headset and a high-speed internet connection. Get started by applying with a company such as SayABC, Qkids, VIPKid or join iTalki.
  12. Go freelance. Are you good at graphic design, internet marketing, translation, web design, writing or WordPress set up? Put your skills to use on a freelance basis, charging per project, per hour or per month. You can join a freelance site such as Freelancer or Upwork to create a profile and apply for posted freelance jobs. Or you can put the word out to your network or contact companies directly to offer your services.
  13. Do customer service from home. Many companies are searching for customer service representatives who can answer questions, process orders and solve problems via phone, live chat or email. Get started by checking job sites such as LinkedIn and ZipRecuiter for remote or online customer service positions.
  14. Manage social media. Solopreneurs, influencers and big companies all need to stay active on social media in good times and bad. And many lack the ability (or the staff) to manage their channels. If you enjoy coming up with fun ideas for posts, monitoring activity and responding to comments, you can find work as a social media manager. Get started by checking job ads, applying with VA companies like Belay or advertising your services directly to entrepreneurs and companies.
  15. Spruce up home exteriors and gardens. Do you live in a location where you could safely offer outdoor services such as lawn mowing, gardening, fence painting or window washing? Many people are looking to fix up their home exteriors so they can enjoy their outdoor space but lack these skills (or the time to do these tasks). You can collect money via PayPal or another payment service so you never need to interact directly with customers. Get started by posting on your neighborhood Facebook page or Nextdoor group.
  16. Sell digital printables. Think about what you’re good at doing, then use your knowledge to make and sell printables. You can make a printable meal planner, cupboard stocking checklist, fitness diary, debt tracker or even a piece of art that others can print and hang on their wall. Sell your printables to your friends or on Fiverr or Etsy.
  17. Do user testing. User testing helps provide feedback on how apps and websites work so companies can make improvements. Join UserTesting.com to become a tester and get paid $10 to $60 per test.
  18. Become a transcriptionist. Can you type quickly? Earn extra cash by transcribing audio files for businesses and individuals. Get started by signing up with a company such as Rev.com or TranscribeMe.
  19. Redeem your credit card points. Do you have a stockpile of credit card points you were saving up for a dream vacation? In these tough times, you may decide cash in the bank is worth more than a possible future trip. Consider cashing in your points for a deposit into your bank account.
  20. Sell your gift cards. Do you have unused gift cards sitting in drawers around your house? You can sell those cards online at less than face value to put some extra cash in your pocket fast. Check sites such as Cardpool and Raise.

Whether you’ve lost your job or you just need extra money now, there are ways to get quick cash to fill the gaps in your budget. Use these ideas to get back on your feet and get funds flowing into your household.