Are there legal and ethical ways to make money fast? Of course there are, but they're primarily short term solutions. Use them for to raise some money quickly, but don't think these are get-rich-quick plans. With that in mind, here are a few ways to make some money fast.
Sell More of Your Time
I like this plan the least, but it is one of the most reliable. Simply work longer hours at work, or get another job. As a way to make money fast it has the added benefit of taking away time you might otherwise use spending more money. So take those shifts from other employees, stay late at work (if you are paid hourly), volunteer for holidays, and so on. If you don't like this plan, keep reading...
Sell Your Time for More
This is a slightly better way. To sell time for more money, do one of three things. Look for a higher-paying job, negotiate a raise (this works best after the first option), or get paid for what you produce, if you are a productive worker. This last one could mean getting paid by the piece in some jobs, or getting paid commissions in a sales job.
Arbitrage Based on Your Expertise
What is arbitrage? Buying low and selling high in markets that have pricing inefficiencies. Suppose a used car of a particular model and year normally sells for $4,500 - and you know this. Watch for an opportunity to buy this car for less, and you can resell it for a quick profit. I know people who regularly make $1,000 to $3,000 per vehicle buying and selling cars out of their front yard.
It's not about cars, though, but about the principle. Where is your expertise - what can you put a price on and find a buyer for? I knew someone who regularly bought used restaurant equipment for half of what others were paying. Even engagement rings and dogs are "turned" for a profit in this way.
If you have no cash saved for this plan, get a credit card advance. Paying $100 in fees and interest is unimportant if you make $1000 buying and reselling a coin collection, right? No credit? Get a partner. If my friend who knows boat prices ever tells me he can get a $5,000 boat for $3,000, I'll put up the money for half of the profit. I love making hundreds of dollars in just weeks just by playing with money - and others do too.
Flip a House or a Contract
Essentially, you offer a low price for a home (often a fixer-upper), and put in the offer the right to assign the contract. You also put a clause in there letting you cancel the contract if you can't get financing - your risk-free way out.Then you find an investor who will buy the contract from you for, say $8,000 (he expects to make even more when he fixes and sells the home).
Your risk? Mostly time. I have known people who have done this repeatedly, making as much as $20,000 at a time. Education and experience helps a lot here, because without it you can waste a lot of time - your own and other's.
More Ways to Make Money Fast
Sell your things if you aren't using them, or if you just value more the other things you'll do with the money.
Have a business? Sell accounts receivable. The buyers call the process "factoring." I have a friend who often has $15,000 owed to him by various clients, and is always facing cash-flow problems. He could sell these accounts receivable tomorrow to raise cash, but I don't tell him. They do sell at a discount, after all, and this constant reducing of long-term income to raise short-term cash can be a bad habit to develop. It is a way to raise money fast, though.
Cut your expenses. Cancel the movie channels. Buy a cheap used car for cash and get rid of your car payment. list every single thing you spend money on, and find ways to spend less for half of them. If you are surviving now, and can spend $500 less per month, you can bank that money and effectively make money fast.
Use whatever you've got to make money fast. Have a home? You could rent rooms. If you are single, you could rent a room instead of an apartment, and bank the difference. Extra time? Start a business on the side. If I want to make more money fast, I can mail an offer to my lists. Of course, this is because I put in the time to build my internet business, which brings up an important point.
If you think you'll start a business today and be rich in a few months, you're probably doomed to struggling forever. It's not that it's impossible. Take away a rich man's last penny, and chances are he'll have more money than you three months later. But this is because he has spent years learning about money, and making contacts.
Some of these ways may seem too mundane. Perhaps they are, but then, how much do you want that money? If you were to move to a cheaper apartment, get a raise, work Saturdays, sell your unused things, and buy and sell something for a profit once each month, you could bank a lot of money relatively fast. Enough to start a real business for longer-term wealth building.
Ironically, those looking for ways to make money fast and easy are least likely to make it. Opportunity seekers chase easier ways instead of making strategic plans and commitments. You can use these ways to make money fast, but don't think you'll attain real wealth without some kind of commitment to learn do what is necessary.