9 Ways I’ve Made Money as a Stay at Home Mom – this post contains affiliate links.
We’ve all been there. Money is tight and you’re trying to figure out how to pay the bills, buy groceries, and make it to the next pay day. This is the common story of roughly half of all Americans on a regular basis.
Another place many of us find ourselves in is wishing for something nice, but lacking the extra cash to make it happen. It can take so long to save for a vacation, new car, new appliances, a mortgage down payment, and other big purchases.
If you’re a stay at home mom not bringing in any income, a part time working mom wanting to bring in extra income, or a full time working mom who still needs more income to pay extra bills, get out of debt, or save for something extra, these 9 ideas are just for you!
Get Creative to Make Money
I’ll tell you that I am the full time working mom who needs extra income for extra things… medical bills and health insurance premiums, mostly. *groan* But in the past I’ve also been the stay at home mom who very much needed to make money for us to be able to, like… live. But with a little one at home and considering the cost of childcare, it just wasn’t reasonable at the time for me to work full time or even part time. I had to get creative.
You can do it too! You can make money to pay bills, buy groceries, pay for a vacation, buy clothes, save to buy a house, pay for your kids preschool tuition, and more! Here are some ways you can make this happen:
9 Ways I Made Money as a Stay at Home Mom
1. Secret Shopping
I started taking some secret shopping jobs in 2013. I can’t tell you the names of the businesses I’ve shopped, but you could guess very easily! Major fast food chain restaurants and grocery stores have mostly been my assigned projects.
Secret shopping sounds like a dream job, and it can be fun, but it does take work! You will likely have to pass certification tests to be approved as a shopper with different companies. When you are assigned a project you will probably have to read instructions and then take a test to verify that you understand the requirements of the shop. Completing the shop may take a little time and a lot of attentiveness to details that you would probably never notice as a regular shopper.
Make extra cash shopping at places you may already normally shop.
Flexibility – you can take assignments that work with your schedule.
You’ll be reimbursed (up to a certain amount) for items you purchase. This means some free groceries, products, and meals!
You may not be able to bring your children along for the shop, depending on the assignment.
You’ll need to have cash to spend on making the required purchase, which is reimbursed to you when you receive your pay for the project.
Please let me know in the comments if you know of secret shop companies that you can recommend, but here are a few legitimate companies I know of:
Caring for children in your home is an excellent way to make money while staying home with your own children. It is a lot of work and you must be diligent in so many areas (providing a safe environment, advertising your services, collecting payment, meeting kids needs while in your care, etc.), so this is not work that everyone can do. But if you have the energy to care for little children and the drive to work from home, it could be a perfect fit!
Be sure to talk with your friends who provide childcare to get tips on how to get started. Check out your state laws as they relate to providing childcare. (Read this great interview with a childcare provider.) Interview some parents to find out what the look for in a childcare provider. Make plans for meals, snacks, activities, daily schedules, special activities, holiday parties and activities, parent communication, and more.
Facebook is a very useful tool when it comes to getting odd jobs. I’ve done all sorts of little one time jobs to bring in extra cash. Put the word out on your Facebook page that you’re available for projects and be specific as to what type of work you can do.
Here are a few examples:
- Snow removal
- Date night babysitting
- Event help
- Yard work
Important note: please do not take jobs from strangers without solid references. If you will be going to someones home to do any work, it’s best to not go alone. I would prefer to do work for people I know and trust.
I started a blog in 2013, mostly because I was a lonely mom working from home all day with my 18 month old. I needed an outlet, so I started a blog (it’s this one that you’re reading now 🙂 )! What I didn’t know then was what an incredible blessing my little blog would become. (Click here to read about how I made almost $2,000 in December alone.)
If you are interested in starting a blog, here are some resources I recommend:
- How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul – I think some things in this book may be a bit outdated now, but overall it’s fantastic! This is the book that taught me how to make money blogging.
- Pinterest – Bloggers are so awesome and are always sharing about how they find success with their blog. I recommend this Pinterest board for TONS of free articles and resources to help you get started.
- Podcasts – Blogging podcasts are a goldmine of information! I suggest Food Blogger Pro Podcast (even if you don’t want to blog about food), Just Keep Blogging (oh so practical and encouraging!), and Simple Pin Podcast (all things related to marketing your blog successfully on Pinterest.)
- Facebook groups for bloggers – There are so many Facebook groups out there for bloggers! You can find support, information, and inspiration for your blogging journey. Now, I have to say that you will likely also find bad information, judgement, and stupid arguments. Just be careful about the groups you join and leave them SO FAST if they become nasty. My favorite Facebook group for bloggers is the Elite Blog Academy Group. You can only gain access to this group if you join the Elite Blog Academy, which I certainly do recommend!
Turning an Office Job into a Work-From-Home Job
When I was transitioning to being a stay at home mom, I talked with my boss to see if it would be possible for me to continue working part time from home. He agreed and for two years I work on my projects from home and communicated with the office via phone and email. It was such a lifesaver to be able to do this!
If you’re currently working and planning to leave, it wouldn’t hurt to at least propose the idea that you could continue your job or just parts of your job from home.
Virtual assistants are becoming more commonplace in the business world. There are agencies you can apply to work with who will then match you with the right boss.
You could also advertise your own virtual assistant services and go directly to people/businesses who may be interested. Cut out the middle man! You will need to be specific about the work you will provide, your rates (either hourly or as a package where you charge per assignment), and draw up an agreement.
Search Pinterest and Google for so many great tips on becoming a work from home virtual assistant.
Selling Used Items
When money is tight, go through your home and collect a box of items you don’t need anymore. Clean everything well and display them nicely to take good pictures. You can then post these pictures in Facebook selling groups or on your personal Facebook page. Be sure to include clear details, dimensions, and your asking price.
If an item is in absolutely brand new condition (still in original packaging), you can ask about 50% of the original purchase price. If an item is in great condition but not new, I would ask 25% or less of original purchase price. (Example: brand new in box slow cooker that originally cost $40 would sell well at $20 but a used slow cooker in good condition should be more like $10 or less.)
A great way to make consistent money selling used items is to become an expert thrift store and yard sale shopper. I again suggest you do some online research to learn what to look for and how to make money by purchasing used items and reselling them on Ebay, Amazon, and in Facebook sale groups.
As a stay at home mom in 2013 and 2014, I did some merchandising work on the side and I loved it! I became a part time rep with Baker and Taylor and spent about 8 hours a week setting up and maintaining stock on book shelves in Michael’s Craft stores. It was an enjoyable job that I could do one afternoon a week when my husband could be home with our daughter.
I know that direct sales (network marketing) is not for everyone. I can completely understand why! But it is certainly worth taking a look.
During a particularly difficult financial season a few years ago, I was able to make at least $500 extra a month as a consultant with Mary & Martha. I loved the products so much and so did everyone who came to the parties. It was surprising to me how well the little side business took off and I just don’t know what we would have done without that money back in early 2014.
If you already know direct sales isn’t for you, then there is no need to waste your time and money. BUT if you find a company that you love, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try! Be careful about investing too much money into the business (more than you make) and also be cautious not to alienate your friends by being too high pressure.
Use Your Skills
I encourage you to sit down and make a list of your skills. What do you do well? How can you make money using those skills? Can you bake and sell your delicious treats before holidays? Can you cut hair in your home one or two evenings a week? Maybe you could do grocery shopping and medication pick ups for elderly people? Perhaps you could write and sell articles online? Can you take family pictures in a local park once a month and make a few hundred dollars?
I hope these 9 Ways I Made Money as a Stay at Home Mom were helpful to you and you can see that the possibilities of ways you can generate income from home or on a flexible schedule are endless. Go for it!