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Warning: This post is only for people who want to get money and make it happen with little barrier to entry. This is truly how to make a $1 out of 15 cents

If you are just willing to be creative, there is money all around you. Would you be surprised if we told you that you could start your own business and make money fast by collecting cans?? Collecting cans will give you free money ( at least 5 cents/can,) and it only requires time and effort. 

Now you might be screaming, wait Nadia and Nicole do you want me to become a garbage picker??! Although there is nothing wrong with garbage picking ( it’s an honest way to make money and limit food waste – look up freegans), we realize it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There are many ways to collect enough cans/bottles without getting dirty. You can offer to recycle cans for a few local businesses, collect the cans/bottles from your own use, ask your friends to leave some aside for you, or you can make a deal with your school, etc. you get the point.     

We’re aren’t asking you to become a professional can collector. We only want you to collect as many cans/bottles that you will need to fund one of the businesses below. Each of these businesses can be started with less than $12 and some hustle.  The money you get from collecting cans/bottles will be your SEED money. To get you started, here are three businesses where you can make $100 – $500 fast with no money outside of the SEED money you get from collecting cans. 

1. Start your own bottled water vendor business 

The way this business can be used to make money fast is quite simple.  You first collect just enough cans to cover the cost of 1 case of water and a disposable cooler.  In NYC, you can get a case (32 ) 16 oz bottled waters for around $4 and a disposable cooler for $4 for a grand total of $8!  

Second, freeze the case of water and then put them in the cooler when it’s time to sell. Find a good location with a lot of foot/car traffic. Your job now is to sell each bottle of water for at least $1. If you sell the entire case, you will have made $24 ($32 – $8).. 

Now, how do you turn this into a $100 – $500 business? Easy, you just take $4 out of the money you made and reinvest it into your company by buying another case or water. You are now making at least $28 in profit every time you sell a case of water.  Sell 20 cases of water and you will have $500. Depending on the location and your selling technique, you can make between $100 – $500 fast. Based on our conversations with some outdoor vendors, you might even make $500 in less than a week! We met some guys in downtown Manhattan who were making $1500 a day. Laugh or cry now, your choice lol.

2.  Collect cans to start your own balloon animal/figure business

To start this business you just need to collect enough cans/bottles to purchase a pump and high quality balloons. On Amazon, you are able to purchase a kit for $11. 

While you are waiting for your kit to arrive, watch some YouTube videos and learn how to create 5 different types of balloon designs. We suggest learning 2 for girls, 2 for boys, and 1 neutral. 

Once you have your designs and kit, practice at home and take pictures of your work. Pick your best pictures and print them out. Then create a sign that displays them and the service you are advertising. 

Next pack up everything and find a location (park, grocery store etc). Set up shop and either sell each design for a dollar or say you accept tips (people usually pay more than a dollar when you ask for a tip) At either pricepoint, kids will beg their parents to buy and the parents have no real reason to refuse. You’ll make money fast, trust us!

What’s great about this business is that everything is lightweight so you are mobile. If the first location you choose is not successful, hop on public transportation and find a new spot!  Reinvest the money you make to create business cards and offer to do birthday parties. Learn more shapes and if you really want to step your game up, get a friend to learn how to face paint to bring in more clients. Here is a youtube video to get you started:  Make a balloon sword

 3. Designing Websites for local businesses and schools

To start this business you just need access to a computer or a smartphone (more difficult to do this on a phone but still doable), $2.99 and youtube. Ask around your neighborhood, friends and family to see if someone is in need of a website (personal or business). Tell them you are willing to create a beautiful website for them for $150 if they write the content or $500 if they want you to write content for them. Give them a timeline of 2 weeks (can easily be done in less than a week, but give yourself some wiggle room.) 

Next, create a domain name and select a hosting service online for $2.99. Make a wordpress account on and select a theme for the new site. Look at videos on how to tweak the theme you have chosen and viola – you have a site. Since most of the heavy lifting has been done by the theme, it takes very little effort to create a beautiful site. 

These 3 businesses are simple, make money, and only require sweat equity to start. Remember, if you can fill a need, you will make money. The idea doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, it just has to work. If you want to think long term, save your money from these businesses and self fund your way into another business venture. Try these out and let us know how much money you make! We’d love to hear your stories. 

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