payday loans

5 Alternatives to Payday Loans

Here are 5 alternative sources for cash to consider before using a payday lender:

1) Earn Cash By Being Neighborly

Most of us are overworked and often overwhelmed -– and that includes the people who live right near you. If you can help out someone who lives nearby, that’s not just being a good neighbor, that’s also a financially savvy move. Let’s say you have great culinary skills. Find out if you can regularly cook or go grocery shopping for a neighbor. Someone elderly, sick or shut-in would welcome this help –- and pay you nicely too.

Maybe you’re not an ace in the kitchen, but you’re handy around the house. Then why not make some cash helping your neighbors relieve their stress and their workload? Provide an extra set of hands around the house and earn money for any of these tasks:

-Mow a neighbor’s lawn/clear debris from their yard ($15 to $20 flat fee)
-Shovel their driveway ($15 to $25 flat fee)
-Wash their cars ($10 to $15 flat fee)
-Clean their house ($20 an hour)
-Walk their dogs ($10 an hour)

By the way, now is not the time to be too proud to do some extra work for a neighbor. First of all, all honest and legal work is good work. And besides, you’re broke and you really do need the money, right? Finally, if it were me, frankly I’d be way more embarrassed to have a neighbor see me going into a payday lending store than I would be to offer a neighbor a helping hand.

2) Offer to Babysit or Tutor Someone’s Kids

Ask any mother you know -– single moms and married women alike –- if they could use a break now and again from the kids, and you’re likely to get a resounding: Yes! As mothers we love our children, of course. But it’s a real help when we get a babysitter to take over for a few hours. Regularly-scheduled help is even better.

If you’re not cracked up to babysit someone’s kids -– and by all means, only offer if you actually like children! –- then maybe you can use a special talent or knowledge you possess to tutor a young person. Kids want and need special help or lessons in all kinds of areas, and many parents are willing to pay for that help.

Tutoring areas in demand include: reading, writing, math, science, sports, playing musical instruments and so on. Helping a child makes you a mentor, and gets you paid in the process. And by the way, you don’t have to be a whiz in any of these areas. As long as you’re proficient in a given subject or activity, that’s usually just fine for elementary or middle school-age children.

3) Sell Stuff

You’d be amazed at how much cash you can raise quickly just by selling stuff you no longer want, need or use. Have a garage sale and unload household goods, furniture, electronics, toys, clothing and anything else someone else is willing to buy. Alternatively, donate items to charity and get a tax deduction.

4) Adjust Your W-4 Tax Withholdings

If you’re getting a big income tax refund from the government each year, you are squandering a precious financial opportunity. The IRS reports that the typical tax refund check currently tops $3,000. If you routinely receive tax refunds, instead of giving the government an interest-free loan, get your money now. Go to your HR office at work and adjust your W-4 withholdings so that your employer takes less money out of your paycheck.

After adjusting your W-4 form, you’ll get cash -– perhaps as much as $250 a month –- put back into your very next paycheck. Check out IRS publications 505 and 919 at www.irs.gov to learn how to properly adjust your withholdings so that you don’t take out too much money and end up owing taxes.

5) Squeeze Money From Your Residence

Whether you rent or own, getting a roommate or housemate is another way to pull in cash –- and it’ll be a steady stream of dollars to help you pay the bills.

If you can tolerate having an extra person around, there’s probably no shortage of people willing to pay to live in your spare bedroom, attic or basement — especially anyone who’s been through foreclosure and can’t rent or buy a new place. If you’re a renter, however, before you take in another renter, just make sure you’re not violating the terms of your rental contract by letting someone else live with you.

As you can see, there are lots of options available to those in need of quick cash. So no matter how tight things get, if you can avoid it, stay away from payday loans at all costs.
Read: Alternatives to Payday Loans When You Need Cash Fast


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