How to make $100 today

So I’m just chillin when I get this text message from my buddy Tim Sykes:

…instead of just emailing him back, thought I’d make a post about it.

I didn’t speak with him on the phone about this, and have no idea what he’ll be presenting on The Today Show, so I thought I’d make my own criteria based on what I THINK he is requesting.

I’m presuming he’s asking how a person of average ability can make $100 in 24 hours in a legal way without many resources, specialized knowledge or abilities.

Remember, you can see how much money you will make by evaluating the amount of service you give to others. Since $100 is a small sum of money, these are all usually small-scale jobs that only provide a marginally important service.

So here we go:

1.) Selling bottled water
I’ll start with this example simply because I’ve proven this can make money in The Bottled Water Experiment and Part Deux. If you don’t partner with a homeless guy like I did, the profits could easily be $100 on a good day. In one of the undocumented attempts of this experiment Barry The Bum made $60 by himself in one day, and would have made $100 profit if half the money didn’t go to me.

2.) Painting curb addresses
I pseudo-tried painting curbs and found out it wasn’t all that hard. It may take some trial and error testing at first, but in a day a person can easily make much more than $100 in a day. In fact one of the readers of this blog (a college student) makes $80,000/year doing this very thing. At $25/house making $100 in a day should be simple.

3.) Manual labor for a store
I’ve personally seen and spoken to bums on the street who do this from time to time: help out a store in exchange for cash. Often stores with have a very messy back-room area or trash area in the back. If you’re willing to clean this area up, the store manager wouldn’t mind hiring you for a small fee. Usually the bums I’ve seen get these small jobs are employed to break down boxes that are being sent for trash or recycling. Glamorous? No. But asking around at a few local businesses if they can part with $100 in exchange for your services can work. Keep in mind they’re going to want to pay you low as possible, lower than $8/hour.

4.) Selling goods from your state surplus store
When something gets confiscated or lost at a state building or airport, it all ends up at your state Surplus Store. I did an experiment to see if I could sell confiscated stuff from the airport and it worked. Selling these goods over eBay obviously wasn’t a one day affair, but perhaps you could get lucky, find some good stuff and sell it at a pawn shop or flea market.

5.) Pawn or Ebay your stuff
Self explanatory. You got junk, trade it for around market price for cash or PayPal funds. This isn’t really “making” money, so I’m not sure if this will qualify for Tim’s list.

6.) Power washing driveways and houses
I’ve also actually performed this a long time ago (unfortunately it went undocumented). I borrowed a power washer from a friend, rolled it around a neighborhood and asked people if they wanted their driveway power washed. My only cost was $2 worth of gasoline, and you can power wash a driveway for $45, and a house for well over $100.

7.) Mow lawns.
This one’s pretty obvious.

8.) General help wanted post
Post an ad on Craigslist in the “Gigs” section or alike saying something along the lines of, “Hard working, general help for one day. Will do anything (legal) for 8 hours. Price $100.” I’ve seen posts like this on Craigslist, and based on my experiences from finding ANYTHING on Craigslist, it’s highly likely you can find someone who needs some general help for the day.

If you have some special talents, abilities or skilled set of knowledge, you probably stand an even better chance of #8 working. If you know how to setup Quickbooks for a business, or are good with computers etc. you can post those qualifications (and command a higher price).

9.) Experiments on college campuses
Go to the psychology building of many college campuses and scout for flyers boasting “get paid for research.” I used to participate in these experiments if I had some free time. They usually pay between $10 and $25 for an hour or two of your time. This suggestion is more wishful thinking than the others. Yes, it COUULLDD make $100, but it’s unlikely you’ll make more than $30 in a day (if you are even lucky enough to catch an experiment taking place on a certain day).

10.) Bum it….creatively
I’ve always wanted to try this out, and would LOVE to see it done. Make a big ass card board sign that says “NEED $100 FOR (insert purpose here)” and then draw one of those fundraiser thermometers next to it. Stand on corner and basically fly the sign like bums do.

I never give money to bums, but would probably toss a few bucks someone’s way if they had a sign that said “Need $120 more for rent” and showed their progress through the day. Whenever someone gives you money, use a Sharpie to bump up the amount on the sign. After the bottled water experiment I got to know a lot of bums and see who gives what at the street corners, and sincerely think this suggestion could make $100 quicker and with much more ease than any other suggestion! Artist rendering of what it might look like:

Anyhow, there you go Tim; my suggestions for how anyone could make $100 in a day.
-Nev