Many people are looking for jobs that pay cash in today’s economy. When emergencies happen, people living paycheck to paycheck can’t afford to wait until payday. They need the money now to pay their bills and put food on the table. Others may need a second job to supplement their income.
Whatever the reason, if you’re wondering where you may find a job that pays cash nearby, here are 101 legitimate job ideas (sorted by industry).
What Are Cash Jobs?
Cash jobs are any work paid in cash (or PayPal and e-transfers) instead of through a traditional paycheck. They are typically short-term jobs and are hired on an as-needed basis, such as freelance work, side hustles, and gig jobs.
These jobs offer a lot of freedom and flexibility, especially if they are online. While the pay is not always great, they can provide a convenient and quick way to earn extra money.
As a teenager, there’s a good chance one of your first jobs paid cash. Casual jobs like babysitting and mowing lawns are a good way to gain work experience or save up for college.
Are Cash Jobs Legit?
Let’s be clear – there is nothing wrong with being paid cash to do a job. It only becomes a problem if you don’t report this income to the government.
In the US, for example, if you earn $600 or more from one client in a year, the client must send you and the IRS a 1099-MISC form. Earnings under $600 are still taxable. You are responsible for reporting it on your income taxes and can face penalties or charges if you don’t.
The Pros and Cons of a Job That Pays Cash
A benefit of getting paid in cash is being able to immediately use the money you’ve earned. You don’t have to wait for a paycheck. You can pay bills, buy groceries, or put gas in your car right away.
It can be easier to manage your money using cash. Having tangible bills in your wallet lets you see exactly how much money you have. You can’t overspend when your wallet is empty.
Cash jobs are inconsistent, which is a big drawback, but knowing you have another way to make ends meet can make you feel financially secure. However, you may make a lot of money one week but nothing the next.
These jobs don’t come with other benefits like health insurance or retirement savings either.
5 Things To Consider Before Accepting a Cash-paying Job
Is It a Legitimate Business?
Most importantly, make sure that the business is legitimate. There are a lot of job scams out there, and it is not worth risking your safety for a few extra dollars.
Do You Need a Contract?
People may try to hustle or take advantage of you. It’s always a good idea to get agreements in writing, even if it’s just in an email or text message. This way, both parties are clear on what to expect, and there is less room for misunderstanding.
You may need a more formal contract outlining the scope of work, timelines, deliverables, and compensation for larger projects.
What About Taxes?
As mentioned, you need to know the tax implications of being paid in cash. Depending on the amount of money you make, you may be required to pay taxes. Keep records, invoices, and bank statements to make the process easier.
How Fast Do You Need The Money?
Some jobs will pay you immediately, but others will take some time. Using a platform like Etsy or Upwork means you are subjected to their payout threshold and timelines. If you need cash now, then a job that doesn’t pay you until next month probably isn’t going to work.
Do You Have The Right Equipment?
Avoid taking a job requiring you to spend money upfront. It will only put you in a worse financial situation. Use what you already have, and slowly invest in tools or equipment as you grow.
Where Can I Find Jobs That Pay Cash Near Me?
The best place to find work that pays cash will depend on the type of work you do and where your potential customers are.
For example, you can sign up to work with places like Uber and GrubHub and accept nearby gigs. Or, you can hang flyers around your neighborhood to advertise your pet-sitting services. If you go earn online, however, it doesn’t matter where your clients are physically located.
To find cash jobs, search online job boards. These websites allow you to search for job openings in your area and filter the results by type of job, pay, and other factors.
Classified websites, such as Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace, are also great places to search for positions that specifically mention cash payments. While there, place your own ad offering your services and have the clients come to you.
Another way is to ask around. Local businesses may be willing to pay cash for help with “odd jobs.”
Don’t forget to ask for referrals. As long as you deliver quality work, referrals and testimonials from satisfied clients can help you attract even more work in the future.
Arts and Entertainment Jobs
If you have a knack for designing and creating, turn your skills into cash! You can design graphics for businesses or create your own unique products to sell online or locally. From jewelry to paintings to hand-crafted furniture, there’s no limit to what you can sell or license your designs.
- Design logos, graphics, marketing materials, and signs
- Paint, draw, illustrate, or animate artwork
- Engrave or etch items
- Create custom jewelry
- Sell hand-made goods like sculptures, figurines, and candles
- Create digital downloads and printables
- Design and print T-shirts
- Build furniture
- Start 3D printing
There are plenty of jobs where musicians can get paid cash for their talents, ranging from performing at weddings to teaching and composing. While some musicians may shy away from these opportunities, others see them as a great way to make extra money.
Musicians can typically charge by the hour or by the event. Composers can find freelance work writing music for commercials, film, television, or online content. Or, if you’re looking for more passive income, license your music and collect royalties.
- DJ for weddings and dances
- Perform in a band
- Busk or perform for donations
- Tune pianos and other instruments
- Create and sell stock music (e.g., DistroKid)
- Freelance compose or produce music
Performing and Acting Jobs
Like musicians, put your creative talents to use and get paid by performing at parties, local events, and online. As an entertainer, you can get paid to sing, dance, or do magic tricks at parties or festivals. If you’re good with kids, you can also work as a birthday party performer or children’s entertainer.
- Teach choreography or dance classes
- Become a clown, magician, mascot, or hypnotist
- Host theme parties and trivia nights and charge a cover fee
- Voiceover acting and narrating
- Model clothing, make-up, or hairstyles
- Read palms and tarot cards
Photography and Videography
If you have an eye for composition and a talent for capturing great photos, you can make cash by capturing memories for people. While you’ll need to invest in some equipment, you can sell your photos and videos to stock image companies and work as a freelance photographer or videographer.
- Photographer or videographer for weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries
- Portrait photography
- Commercial photographer for products or real estate companies
- Drone photography or filming
- Editing videos
- Digitize videos or photos
Writing and Editing
Are you a wordsmith with strong detail-oriented skills? You can find work writing or editing content for bloggers, academics, businesses, and more.
- Proofread documents, articles, and books
- Do research or fact-checking
- Write resumes
- Write grant proposals
- Edit legal documents
Business and Administrative Jobs
If you’re good with numbers, many people and businesses can use your financial expertise and are willing to pay cash for it. You can work as a financial planner, budget analyst, or tax preparer. You can also offer your services as a consultant to businesses.
- Bookkeeping, accounting, or payroll processing
- Tax services
- Review business plans
- Become a notary, mediator, or arbitrator
- Serve legal documents, including divorce papers and subpoenas
- Transcribe audio
- Complete data entry
- Be a translator if you are bilingual or multilingual
Coaching and Teaching Jobs
People love to learn new things and are always searching for ways to improve their lives. As a result, the coaching and teaching industry is booming and needs new talent. No matter your skills or experience, you can earn money teaching it to someone else.
- Tutor students throughout the school year or for the SATs
- Teach fitness classes or create custom workout plans
- Sell lesson plans
- Lead workshops on subjects you are knowledgeable about
- Coach and teach sports
- Offer career coaching or life coaching lessons
Food and Hospitality Jobs
Food and hospitality jobs can be a great way to earn quick cash. As a bonus, many of these jobs also get tips. This extra cash can add up to a significant amount over time.
- Set up and tear down for events
- Serve drinks as a bartender
- Give local tours
- Get ordained and officiant weddings
- Sell your baking or fresh produce at a farmer’s market
- Decorate cakes
- Be a private chef or caterer
- Deliver food (e.g., DoorDash, Postmates)
- Drive people (e.g., Uber, Lyft)
Home Care and Personal Services Jobs
Busy people need help caring for their children, pets, homes, and themselves. That’s where home care and personal services jobs come in. Many of these roles will pay cash at the end of the gig, making them a great go-to when you need money urgently.
- Clean houses
- Be a companion or respite worker for the elderly
- House sit or pet sit
- Walk dogs
- Tailor or mend clothing
- Offer weight-loss coaching or nutrition planning
- Cut or style hair
- Do make-up, manicures, and pedicures for weddings or special occasions
- Be a personal shopper (e.g., Instacart)
- Run errands (e.g., TaskRabbit)
- Organize people’s homes
- Become a licensed massage therapist
Labor and Construction Jobs
Our homes and vehicles require regular maintenance and repairs. There are many things that individuals can do on their own, but other tasks need help. These jobs require physical labor and may only be seasonal. Each requires different skills and knowledge, so you must know what you are doing before you start to stay safe.
- Paint interiors or exteriors
- Install or remove wallpaper, drywall, or tiles
- Repair appliances and equipment
- Fix cars
- Assemble furniture
- Install everything from appliances to sound systems
- Complete woodworking projects
- Do odd plumbing and electrician jobs
- Landscape and mow lawns
- Shovel or plow snow
- Clean pools
- Powerwash decks, patios, and sidewalks
- Clean windows and gutters
- Help people move
- Offer junk removal and dump runs
Rent Your Belongings
There are plenty of different things that people only need for a short time, making the rental market profitable. Renting isn’t limited to real estate but includes a wide variety of items and services. There is a rental business for almost anything imaginable. Some things you can rent out for cash include:
- Vacation home (e.g., Airbnb)
- A spare room
- Your garage or parking space (e.g., Neighbor)
- Your tools (e.g., Sparetoolz, Rent My Equipment)
- Musical instruments
- Your vehicle or RV
Although selling items has already been mentioned, it is one of the easiest ways to make quick cash. If you’re in a bind, you can sell things from around the house that you no longer need. Or you can treat it more like a job by collecting items and flipping them.
- Sell your crafts, cooking, or baking
- Flip or sell your unwanted quality clothes (e.g., Poshmark)
- Promote products as a brand ambassador
- Collect books and sell them to a used bookstore
- Chop firewood and sell it
- Flip antiques, collectibles, electronics, etc.
- Sell scrap metal
As technology advances, so does the demand for those who are up-to-date with the latest gadgets and programs. If you’re passionate about technology, don’t be afraid to turn your passion into profit.
- Fix computers, cell phones, or other devices
- Make websites
- Test websites (e.g., UserTesting, IntelliZoom)
- Help people or companies recover data
- Set up home theaters
More Ways To Earn Cash
Although these aren’t really jobs, they still count as ways to easily earn a little cash:
- Sell unused household items online or at a garage sale
- Return bottles and cans
- Participate in clinical trials and focus groups
- Answer online surveys
- Use cashback apps
All of these ideas are legitimate ways to earn cash. Depending on your skills and interests, you can find one or more that fits you. Once you start, you may be surprised at how easy it is to make money.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.