Making the decision to stay at home to care for your family does not have to mean that you will never earn an extra "dollar". Yes, for most of us it usually means sacrifices and being very intentional about spending and saving, but it doesn't have to mean you can never help out financially and add to the household income. I love staying at home (and I'm SO grateful for the opportunity to do so), but let's be honest here, I miss getting a pay check ; )
I am not reinventing the wheel here, it just requires a little thinking outside of the box. Just because you have chosen (or are thinking of going in that direction) to avoid a 9-5er, doesn't mean you have to be the "penniless princess". I just wanted to suggest some ideas that maybe some of my fellow stay-at-home moms haven't thought of. Here are a few ideas that might spark an opportunity for you to earn some extra pocket cash:
You know the saying, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". Sell items that you don't want or need on Craigslist, eBay or have a good ole' fashion garage sale. You would be amazed at what people may be looking for! This is a great way to to down size, which means less time and energy spent on maintaining stuff.
2. Put your talents to work:
Do you have any special skills that could be earning you some extra cash?!
My undergraduate degree is in Spanish and I am bilingual. Therefore, on occasion, I am able to translate documents for companies and organizations right from my own home.
Are you a cleaning or organizational fanatic? Why not help someone who may be a bit domestically challenged or who is short on time? P.S. could you add me to your list ; ) ?! Can you iron? I know someone who pays a lady to iron their clothes. Maybe you haven't used your cosmetology or salon talents in awhile. Photography skills? Wedding planner? Video editor? Writer - maybe it's time to write that book/ebook ?! Dog walker? Cat sitter? Cake decorator? Knitter? Seamstress?
Starting a small business is easier than you think...not to mention the flexibility and the write offs that come with it.
3. Learn a new skill and get paid for it:
I have always enjoyed working out and going to the gym. Several years ago, I had the realization that I could actually be getting paid to do this?! I took a certification course in group fitness and began teaching classes (aerobics, spinning, cardio-kickboxing, etc). I was paid to show up and work out (a good incentive to show up for class). For an added benefit, we never had to pay for gym memberships because I was on staff. Woo hoo! I look forward to starting this again soon!
Do you have above average ability or knowledge in an academic area? Are you a Math whiz? English major? I have had the opportunity over the years to do private and group Spanish tutoring and lessons. This is a fun way to meet new people, earn some extra cash and help someone improve in an area in which they need a little help. Put your smarts to work and help a struggling student!
5. Put your artistic ability to work:
Are you blessed in the arts? Maybe you can sell your crafty work on Etsy or eBay?! Have you thought about offering private or group music lessons? Voice lessons?
6. Nanny or babysitting:
This is not limited to high school students. Many working parents would like their children to be in a home environment (maybe someone they already know and has children) who can care for their children before and/or after school or during the day. We have recently began doing this ourselves. A friend of mine is working a few hours outside of the home each week, and her daughter comes to our house once a week. My girls love the extra new face around and another "student" during our school time. It is working well for everyone involved.
7. Maximize your time online:
Maybe it's time you started that blog and shared your wisdom with others online?! There are possibilities to earn money by having your own blog. You may have also read my posts about earning online "digital dollars" by searching through Swagbucks. It really couldn't get any easier. (If you are new to this idea, read here.)
Let's also not forget about Ebates. The place to go if you shop online. Once again, I'm not telling you to spend money to earn money, but if you buy staple items (ink, diapers, photos, etc.) or do regular shopping online (birthdays, Christmas, clothing) then you could be earning rebates for doing just that.
8. Become a consultant:
There are so many businesses out there that you can become a consultant for. Their specialty is helping you to help them, which helps you and them ; ) You know what I'm talking about.... Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Tastefully Simple, Premier Designs Jewelry, etc. There are so many to choose from. I would suggest doing this not out of pure drive for extra money, but for your belief in a product. If you are passionate about a product, why not promote it! I have seem many women become successful at these and have a blast doing it.
In summary, the opportunities and ideas are endless. It just takes a little creative thinking and some passion to come up with ways to earn some extra cash while being home with your precious little ones. I hope this has helped motivate you to use your gifts and talents to possibly help fill your family's piggy bank.
Do you have any creative ideas for us stay at home/work from home mommies? Please share! : )