Frugal Living | Reader Questions

How To Generate Cash Money When You’re Broke

Share to...


earn cash

Earn Cash Money If You’re Up For The Challenge

There are some ways to earn cash money when you’re broke but don’t expect it to fall into your lap. 

With spring around the corner, there will be opportunities to make cash rather than shovelling snow and praying to win the lottery. 

Today I want to talk about some of the easiest ways you can earn cash money including making cash online.

Cashing out the Cash Money

The first thing someone does when they are broke is finding every possible source of cash they could have.

A friend of ours who was strapped for cash went as far as cash in her RRSPs so she could pay off debt.

This was a serious matter for her as she was going to lose everything if she didn’t pay her bills. 

I don’t recommend going this route if you don’t have to however depending on a few factors such as age such as this might be an option.

If you are under 30 you’ll have a far better chance of getting back into investing leaving many accumulation years as opposed to being close to retirement age.

Tracking Expenses

Staring at your online bank that is in overdraft with no money to buy a loaf of bread is beyond depressing.

Related: Getting Help At Your Local Food Bank

I have a friend who sends alerts to his smartphone each time a purchase is made or money is debited.

Like most people in his situation, he’s terrified of something going wrong and not having the money to pay his bills.

Related: How to track your expenses

He monitors his cash savings like a hawk but deep inside he’s depressed about his financial situation.

I’m sure many people can relate because it’s just so expensive to live with so many price increases.

Renting a 2 bedroom apartment in the Greater Toronto Area can cost you upwards of $1300-$2000 and up.

You’re lucky if you can find something for less.

Rent money alone could eat up one minimum wage income leaving little to nothing for the basics of life. 

Forget about putting money into retirement savings if you’re pinching dollars and coins. 

Time To Move To Save Cash Money

If you find that you do not have enough cash to budget with you may have to ask yourself if it’s time to move.

Alternatively, if you have an extra room or couch you could always rent it out for cash.

One thing to keep in mind is if you are a renter you may not have the option to rent a room. 

Related: Turn your passion and skills into earning extra money

Keeping yourself in a state of debt denial until you are faced with consequences isn’t going to help you.

If you’re trying to forget about the debt you owe eventually it will catch up with you. 

Lots of people try and push debt aside or even filing their income tax in hopes the problem goes away. 

Unfortunately, if you want to pay off debt and you’re broke you may have to consider some non-favorable options to you such as

  • Cashing in your RRSP’s or other investments (talk to your advisor)
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Selling your house
  • Moving apartments
  • Taking on a new city with low-priced living costs. moving
  • Considering a second or third job
  • Starting a blog or website that you can monetize but still takes a while to generate money

All of the above can be extremely overwhelming to just about anyone in this position.

If you’re reading this right now and you’re strapped for cash don’t give up until you’ve explored all of your options.

In the end, bankruptcy or consolidating your debt may be your only way out.

Once it’s over though, it’s over but it hangs around for many years to come.

What you must do is go on with your life trying to build up your credit without incurring any debt.

Reader Question

Dear Mr. CBB,

I’m broke most months after paying our bills and buying groceries and I was wondering if you had any simple ideas to help me generate cash money so I can try to catch up with paying off debt faster?


Christine H.

Hi Christine,

Thanks for your question. I could suggest to you many ways to earn extra cash every month but not all of them will be immediate.

Starting a blog is a great way to earn as much money as you want but it might take you a year.

If you’re looking for cash now that option might not work for you.

Below are 6 simple ways I came up with to earn cash that I hope might help you.

There’s no easy answer except to think about a service that people need and offer it if you’ve got the time and skills.


Walking neighbourhood kids back and forth to school in the morning and when school is done is a great option.

You’re never too old to babysit and there are parents who need out of the house, away from their kids and some time away from their spouse or partner.

A babysitter can make cash and many times you might be babysitting when the kids are asleep.

This is like making money while you are sleeping but keeping one eye open because you’re holding down the fort.

House sitting is another great cash job that you might be able to find in your neighborhood.

We’ve helped our neighbour many times feeding his cat while he is on vacation.

No cash changes hands for us but if you get you on well with your neighbour who needs assistance you can earn simple cash money.

Also, if you are a homeowner there are some services such as Red Leaf hosting international students. 

You do not have to claim this on your income-tax either which is great. 

De-clutter Your Home 

This is what we have done since the beginning of the year as we have too much stuff in our house.

Related: The KonMari way to organize your home

So far we’ve made back some great money selling our son’s toys and our clothes.

Some got donated and more expensive pieces we sold.

Remember your scrap and items might be someone else’s treasures.

We removed clutter in our bedroom that we haven’t used in 6 months – year and either made cash money or donated.

You’ll be amazed by how much you have and the amount of stuff you never use.

Spending Too Much Eating Up Cash Money

Also, consider whether you are spending too much money on stuff that it just keeps accumulating.

Your monthly budget should give you the numbers you need to figure that out. 

Most of our problem stems from getting free stuff or stuff handed down to us from family, friends and even neighbours.

Some may be projects that have been left unfinished as well.

Finish them up and sell them.

For example, I have a kid’s table in our garage that has sat there for 2 years.

I need to refinish it so we can either keep it or sell it. We got it free but can easily sell it for $30 when it’s complete.

Keep in mind that time and expenses are involved too. Buying paint, sandpaper, chalk, and stain costs money that you must factor into the price.

Buy and Sell To Earn Cash Fast

This is a huge industry especially if you want to make cash fast.

Invest your time at second-hand shops looking for deals that you can re-sell for more money.

Another friend of ours makes time to earn cash on the side with a skill she fell in love with.

She is not debt-free and is supplementing her income so she can pay her mortgage off faster.

Another cool thing she does is finds free stuff on the curb that can be turned into money.

On many occasions, she’s found lovely wood pieces of furniture.

She’s sanded them, stained them or chalk painted pieces, and made hundreds of dollars on something free or she paid minimal money for.

Good negotiating skills go a long way too when you go this route to earn cash on the side.

Skilled Side Jobs 

  • Cut grass, landscaping, etc.
  • Fix cars, plumbing, construction, electrician, etc.
  • Freelance Photography
  • Vegetable gardening- grow and sell
  • House cleaning
  • Tutor family or neighbourhood kids if you are qualified to so
  • Teach cooking classes in your home
  • Organize someone else’s house
  • Freelancing by writing for other blogs or working in the background

Related: 16 Ways To Make Extra Money With Your Home 

Reworking Your Monthly Budget

I probably sound like a broken record but for new readers to CBB, it’s important to always look at your budget.

If you aren’t using a budget there’s your first mistake.

Related: Our 10-Step Mini Budgeting Series For Beginners 

Get a budget started for your monthly finances so you know where you are spending every nickel and dime.

You will want to know this even though it may seem silly to you.

It will benefit you in the long run.

Once you have this information after 2-3 months of budgeting you should see where the money is going.

Take a hard look at your budget categories and ask yourself;

  • Can I live without this?
  • Can I reduce this cost?

Negotiations To Lower Costs 

Just yesterday we called Rogers and re-negotiated a better deal for our home phone, cable, and internet services.

We were able to reduce the cost by $10 a month because we weren’t using our home phone efficiently.

Instead of paying $19.99 a month, we pay $9.99 a month after negotiating and working toward getting rid of it.

Related: How To Get A Deal With Rogers Communications

A mere $10 may seem like a chump change to an outsider without money problems but huge savings to someone else.

Over the course of the year that $120 savings can go towards paying off debt.

That’s only one example.

Do What Is Right For You To Earn Cash Money

Should you claim your cash as income earned?

Probably, but I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do as that’s your obligation to the government.

Earning cash seems to be the route that best suits people who are out of money, need money fast, hobby enthusiasts, retirees, or those who want to pay off debt faster.

Discussion Question:

  • What have you done to earn cash? Have you paid someone cash for a service they provided you?
  • Please share your comments in the comment section below.

Do you have a story or a question you’d like to share on CBB? Email me at

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Related articles

Image courtesy of




Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Almost every one of us has to face some difficulties in life. I am sure many people have related themselves to the story. Definitely many people have to pay a big amount of their salary or income in rents and they are not able to save for their retirements or emergency situations. Buying a home is either not in their budget as they don’t have that much amount pay. In such situations buying a home on loan with a down payment can be great. Once you own a perfect home in your budget at a right place you can contact a mortgage broker as they can provide you the amount for home purchase on best mortgage rate from the right bank or lender as they professionals have best contacts and deals. Instead of paying rent now you have to pay for your mortgage and you have your own home. An expert mortgage broker will listen and understanding your financial situation and will provide the best advice for your home purchase.
    There are many people who have a similar situation like Christine and I must say Mr CBB you have given some very good options to her. To get a cash amount one can also start creating handmade items and sell them online on third part sites to get a good amount. Using your talents and ideas to earn cash is a good way to start.

    1. Sorry I’m late responding by a couple of years but I’m working my way back as I update my posts.
      Thank you so much for takin the time to leave this excellent comment on the blog. A friend of my wife makes seasonal crafts and posts them on her Facebook page for sale. It’s her little side hustle and she’s good at it. Mr.CBB

  2. I’d say go online and look for a side hustle. There are actually more chances of generating cash from answering survey to freelancing jobs. All you have to have is willingness and perseverance all the way from looking for a side hustle to doing it.

  3. A good idea this time of year is preparing taxes. If you know someone elderly that finds it difficult to get out they will value someone who will come and do their taxes there. Or even go and pick up their papers, do the taxes and then drop off. Family and friends might pay you too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.