Thousands of my students learned how to make money fast (without leaving their couch) and earn quick, repeatable income starting from day 1
If you need to learn how to make money fast, the last thing you want is to do meaningless tasks for low pay, learn a new skill that could take months or spend money out of pocket to make your first dollar.
How fast do you need to make money?
1. Negotiate your bills
The awesome thing about negotiations is you can do it with practically every service you pay for. That includes the fixed costs you pay each month. This is a great way to make money right now.
- Credit card rates and fees
- Gym fee
- Cable fee
- Cell phone fee
- Car insurance
With a quick phone call, you can get these costs lowered, putting more money directly into your pocket.
Because the dirty secret is that most of these companies rely on thousands of people to zombie walk through their payment process. That’s why your cable company seems to jack up rates every year. They know you’ll likely just shrug, throw it away, and carry on with your day.
By calling these companies and asking one simple question, you open the door for more money in your pocket. Just remember two magic phrases:
- “Times are tough.”
- “Is there anything you can do for me?”
The key is to be nice. Be cordial and ask them what better plans they have to offer you. Nothing’s going to get you shot down quicker than getting angry and screaming, “HOW DARE YOU SCREW ME OVER WITH THESE PRICES. I WON’T STAND FOR IT. GIVE ME fewer FEES … uh please?”
If you mess up or things don’t go as planned, don’t worry. Hang up and call back. You can always play around with a few phone calls and see what works best.
When you get to the customer retention department, restart the sequence. This is when you pull out your competitive intel on the other services being offered.
If Verizon is offering something for $10 less, tell them that. That’s $120 savings/year right there. But you can do more.
You: Listen, you know times are tough and I need to get a better deal to stick with you guys. You know and I know that your customer acquisition cost is hundreds of dollars. It just makes sense to keep me as a customer, so what can you do to offer me this plan for less money?
Notice that you didn’t say, “Can you give me a cheaper plan?” because yes/no questions always get a “no” answer when speaking to wireless customer service reps (or anybody whose job it is to get you off the phone and out of their hair as soon as possible)
Instead, ask leading questions. You also invoked the customer-acquisition cost, which is meaningful to retention reps. Finally, it really helps if you’re a valued customer who’s stuck around for a long time and actually deserves to be treated well.
If you want an even deeper guide on how to make money by saving, check out my Save $1000 in a Month Challenge.
2. Negotiate your rent
I’d bet that rent is your biggest expense. Save $100 on your rent and that adds up to $1,200 a year with ONE conversation. Or you could collect 24,000 cans and recycle them. Your choice!
Of course, you can’t just say, “I want to take $200 per month off my rent!” You have to be ready to offer something in return.
What does your landlord really want? Tenants who are making money for them, of course. But dig deeper and you’ll find there’s a lot more you can offer. The goal is to give them something you don’t care about in exchange for something you do.
Here are a few things many landlords will happily lower rents for:
- Prepay months in advance
- Sign an extended lease
- Offer to extend the termination notice from 30 days to 60 or 90 days
- Offer to give up your parking space if you don’t have a car (the landlord could charge another tenant for an extra space)
- Promise not to smoke in the apartment (this will save the landlord money when you move out)
- Promise not to keep cats even if they’re allowed (another cleaning expense for the landlord)
- Make a deal for referrals if they have low occupancy
If you know what you want and you know what they want, the chances of succeeding in your negotiation increase significantly.
NOTE: If you want to make your home (or anywhere with WiFi) your office, make sure you check out my article Working From Home: The Essential Beginner’s Guide.
3. Make money fast selling on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace (or whatever site you want)
A few years ago, I was skeptical when it came to selling things on eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, or any other online marketplace. Can you really make money doing that? But then I tested selling a few things online… and I ended up making money. Quite a bit actually. $1,000+. We ALL have things laying around the house that we can sell. Maybe…
- There’s a pair of nice shoes in your closet that you never wear
- In your attic, you have some old baseball cards collecting dust
- You recently upgraded your laptop and don’t know what to do with your old one
If you want help figuring out how to do this successfully, I’ve written about how to successfully sell items on eBay in this blog article.
How to Make $1,000 – $5,000 this month
1. Negotiate your salary
I LOVE salary negotiations!
With just a five-minute conversation you can make thousands more and, what’s better, the gains add up year after year.
This one of my favorite ways to ways to make money through a single conversation. It’s essentially quick money that — unlike taking surveys or selling your body to medical studies — gives you a LOT of money over many years.
Learning how to make more money via salary negotiations is simple — though it’s going to take a little bit of work on your part:
Step one: Find out! Use sites like PayScale.com, Salary.com, or Glassdoor.com and get the salary range for your job and location.
Step two: Give the heads up. Let your boss know you’re preparing to discuss salary with him or her. I cover how to do that in the 14-minute video below.
Step three: Use the Briefcase Technique. Before even stepping foot into the room, use my tried and true Briefcase Technique. This is something my students have used THOUSANDS of times for IMMEDIATE gains in salary. This is a surefire way to make the most money you can from a job.
Now, two big roadblocks might arise.
First, if you’re not good at your job, there’s no amount of negotiating that will help.
That’s why I love salary negotiations. Not only is it a good incentive for you to work harder and become a Top Performer, but you also stand to gain a lot of money from the hard work.
FACT: Doing a good job at work 10x’s your chances of making more money.
But if you’re going through your job just HOPING you’re doing a good job, you’ll be forgotten when it comes times for raises — and you won’t earn more.
Just like great companies get inside the heads of their customers, Top Performers figure out EXACTLY what their bosses want and optimize their strengths accordingly.
Tie everything you do to whatever goal is important to your boss and remind them often. This is how people become indispensable.
Second, your company might tell you that they simply don’t have enough money to give you a raise. Get around that stonewall using the systems I outline in the video below.
Once you have all of your prep ready, you’re good to go. But if you’re a weirdo overachiever like me, you can also check out my complete guide with scripts, more videos, and common mistakes here.
Negotiating your salary takes a bit of upfront work, but just ONE conversation can be worth thousands. It’s one of the easiest ways to make money.
The best way to make money fast is not to reinvent the wheel and to leverage the sources of income you already have. So the next time someone tells you to get more money by cutting back on lattes or by picking up loose change, grab them by the shoulders, and shake them for me.
Be sure to remind them that you’d have to skip out on 1,370 lattes in order to save $5,000 (or they can just get a one-time raise).
2. Change your job
Should you change jobs? Change industries? How do you know whether to stay put or to take a risky move that will result in more money? By using the Bezos Regret Minimization Framework.
Ask yourself: Which will you regret more 20 years from now: Staying in your current situation or trying something new and failing?
And remember: the more responsibility you have, the more money you can command.
3. Find your first freelance client
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There is a limit to how much you can save, but there is no limit to how much you can earn.
Finding a new job or changing careers takes time (we’ll get to that). But in the next few days, you can set up your first side hustle and make money fast.
The best part: Freelancing is a skill. That means you can get BETTER at it with time.
And once you get your first paying client, it’ll be easier to get more clients and make more money.
First thing: So many other websites will tell you to troll for freelance gigs on places like Fiverr or Mechanical Turk. These places work if you want to compete with people all over the world in a race to do the most work for less. No thanks.
Look at what you’ve already got. 95% of jobs can translate into some sort of side gig. Ask yourself:
- What do I enjoy?
- What do I do with my free time?
- What do people ask me to do because I’m so good at it?
People are very bad at identifying their own skills. They’ll say things like, “I dunno … I guess I’m good at writing and communication, and, like, general organizational skills…” AMAZING!! HERE’S A $4,000/MONTH RETAINER!!! (Sorry, won’t happen.)
Repeat this over and over: People pay for solutions, not your skills.
For example, I was on a webcast where I was suggesting ways for people to earn money on the side, and I mentioned that I hate cooking, am not good at it, and would love it if someone cooked for me.
I got an email later that night from someone who said, “Ramit, I can help. I can teach you everything you need to know over one weekend, and you’ll know 3-5 great dishes to cook.” I appreciated the offer, but wrote back, “Thanks for the offer! But you don’t understand. I don’t want to learn — I want someone to do it for me.”
Again: People have problems. And they want solutions.
They don’t care what you’re “interested” in. Are they too busy to organize their closets? Do they need someone to help them redesign their website? Maybe they want someone to teach their kid how to play the flute.
Start off by assessing the skills you use every day at home or at work.
Typically, you can break these down into two areas:
- Skills. These are things you have the expertise and knowledge in (e.g., languages, coding, copywriting).
- Passions. These are things you love to do in your free time (e.g., playing musical instruments, volunteering to take care of animals, genealogy work).
Take some time right now to write down 10 – 20 ideas of different skills and talents you have.
After you’re done, let’s take a look at an example of this in action. Maybe your list looks like:
- Do a little PHP coding
- Organize systems
- Automate complex processes
- Project manage
- Create technical documents that can be understood by lay audiences
- Lead a team
Now ask yourself: Which of these skills can solve a specific problem? Brainstorm those out. Don’t censor yourself — put everything down.
- I could do some PHP coding, but I’m not the best.
- I could help businesses automate and streamline their income-generating processes. Vague, but okay.
- I could manage projects and lead teams towards deadlines/organizing. This is super vague, any 22-year-old college grad would say he could do the same, and it doesn’t take advantage of my specific skills. Skip this.
- I could be a technical writer and help companies demystify their technical-support documents. I could even rewrite the technical portions of their websites to make them more comprehensible to normal people, especially companies in the consumer energy field. Very promising, especially since I follow a few of these companies online.
Each of these individually is a potentially viable freelance trade – can you pick one and do it? The answer should be YES/NO to each. Put “YES” if even remotely feasible.
- PHP coding: YES
- Automate systems: NO (too vague for me to know where to start)
- Project manage: NO (too vague)
- Technical writer: YES
Excellent. Now you have a list of skills that might potentially be profitable.
[NOTE: You can find remote technical writing jobs here.]
Optional: Combine skills together to make a more compelling, more niche offer.
You can often charge more and help clients more by packaging offers. In this case, it’s not very relevant, since technical writing and PHP coding are pretty different. But one of the people who helps on IWT pitched me to do video editing + marketing. Perfect fit. I hired him.
Next step: How can you prove to people that you’re knowledgeable enough for them to pay you?
The first thing I do when evaluating someone is look at their portfolio and past clients. At least half of potential hires don’t have this section. Easy solution! I move on to someone who does.
- For our systems engineer, can he point to a PHP project he did on the side?
- What about a sample of technical writing where he turned something very complicated into something totally palatable?
Last step: Start finding clients. With your offering in place, it’s time to find potential clients. Sure you could randomly print business cards or set up a blog. But before doing ANY of that you need to make sure you have something people want.
– Identify your clients. Who are they? What are their hopes and dreams? How old are they? What do they do? Are they married? How big is their company? (More on getting your first 3 clients here.)
– Reach out directly. Lots of people set up a Twitter account and wait for the world to come to them. DON’T DO THAT. Once you’ve identified your potential client, email them directly.
This email script has generated thousands of dollars for my students and can help you connect deeply with your potential clients and begin a relationship that can lead to your first paying client.
How to make $10,000+ THIS YEAR
1. Start an online business
Identify worthwhile ideas, and turn them into online businesses. There’s no question that if you really want to make more money, starting an online business is one of the best ways to do it. It’s also a great way to find freedom and self-worth.
When I first started out, I had way too many interests. Psychology! Writing a book! Marketing! Spicy salsa! OMG how can I turn all of those into a business?? Should I create a website on the psychology of spicy-salsa eating and how it relates to improving your business marketing?? OMG IS THAT IT?? AM I A GENIUS??
No, you are horrible. But that’s NORMAL when you’re starting out. Do you realize that identifying profitable business ideas is a skill? It’s not something you just dream about, then one day it falls from the sky. You learn the frameworks and psychology of deciding which ideas will work…and which ideas are not worth your time.
(As an example, this still happens, even now: Just recently, I spent 4 months working on a business idea with my team, spending a huge amount of time and money, until we ultimately concluded it wasn’t worth it. We shelved it away and I wrote an email to the team, telling them, “We can’t figure out how to make this work. We’ll re-look at it in 2 years.”)
You don’t have to spend all that time and money — but you will learn how to identify which ideas are worth pursuing.
I want to show you some examples of business ideas that seemed crazy…but actually, work. Here are just 3 examples of successful online businesses
- Larry Law Law (https://larrylawlaw.com): Tutors law school students. Revenue through courses and tutoring.
- Find Your Inner Happy (https://findyourinnerhappy.com): Advice for highly emotional, sensitive people. Revenue through ebooks & coaching.
- True Wellth (https://www.truewellth.org): Vegan health tips and recipes. Revenue through guides and courses.
Those are examples of how you can take your interests and turn them into an online business. And there are literally tens of thousands of other examples.
The seven best ways to make money fast are:
- Negotiate your bills
- Negotiate your rent
- Sell stuff on eBay, OfferUp, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
- Negotiate your salary
- Change your job
- Find your first freelancing client
- Start an online business
But there’s still one of my favorite methods to make money we haven’t covered…
The single best way to make money — automatically
Most people will focus on the little things. Not you — if you do the above you will be ahead of 95% of your peers. Everything above is a repeatable SYSTEM and not a one-and-done tactic.
With that in mind, I put together a special bonus for you.
In this 11-minute video, I’ll show you how you can create the perfect system to automatically take care of your money every month.
This is the single best way to earn money, save money, and invest money into your Rich Life.
No more panicking if you have enough in your checking account to pay the bills — it’s my gift to you. This system took me 10 years to perfect and it’s being used by thousands of my students successfully.