Staying calm is key when you are completely broke and need to make money fast. Brainstorm as many honest, healthy and legal money-generating ideas as possible. Focus on your ultimate goal. You can take several approaches to raising quick money without putting yourself in greater debt or compromising yourself in unacceptable ways. Look around and you may find many items you own and legitimate skills you have that can help you make quick extra cash.
Determine how much money you need and how fast you need it. Be realistic when it comes to the approach you take to raise the money you need. Set this goal and begin working toward it. If it helps, write down any idea you can think of for generating immediate cash. Does anyone owe you a few bucks that you may be able to immediately collect on? Can you turn to your employer for an advance on your next paycheck? Is there a friend who has always wanted to buy a certain item off of you that you're now willing to sell him?
Have a yard or garage sale. Clear your home of items that could fetch a few bucks. Set up some tables outside or in your garage on a nice day and put items out for sale. Keep prices low. "Anything you hope to sell for more than $25 or $30 probably has better chances on Craigslist," writes Mae Anderson for MSN Money. Invite everyone to come shop at your sale by posting signs around your neighborhood and sending emails and status updates to your friends and relatives online. If you don't have a lot to sell, commission items from your friends and neighbors. Suggest they let you sell their items in exchange for a small cut of the revenue.
Sell a larger item online. Do you have furniture, computer parts, tools or a vehicle you're willing to sell? Post these and other bigger-ticket items for sale on Craiglist. Promote your item on Facebook and Twitter. Ask friends to help you find a buyer.
Offer to do odd jobs in exchange for advance payment. Reach out to friends, relatives, church members, neighbors and social media contacts with offers to do yard work, painting, babysitting, house cleaning or minor repair work. Agree on a price with your client and ask for partial or full payment up front. Write up a simple agreement that you and your client sign if it will make your client feel better about paying you before the work is done. Above all, be sure to keep your commitment to do the job.
Get creative. Approach your landlord with an offer to do work around your property in exchange for a reduced rent. Offer to drive an elderly neighbor to appointments in exchange for gas money. Even recycling items such as unused gift cards or outdated cell phones can bring you quick cash.