I have always believed that one of my job responsibilities as a stay-at-home mom is to save as much money as I can to help my family. While I’m doing the cooking, cleaning, and chauffeuring around the city for my four kids, I always look for ways to keep money in my wallet. However, in addition to saving money, I also look for ways to make money.
Adding to the financial bottom line for my family, no matter how small that contribution, is important to me. It is not necessary. It is not required. But putting something into the bank account, instead of just taking it out, makes me feel good. After looking at lots of options over the years, here are my favorite five ways stay-at-home moms can make money without paying for childcare.
1. Sell at consignment sales. All those bins of your kids’ clothes that are cluttering up the back closet can actually make you some money. Check out the mom-run consignment sales as well as the local consignment stores and read up on their rules. Some let consigners keep up to 80 percent of the profit. For others, it might be as low as 25 percent. Selling at consignment does take some work, but well-made, gently-worn clothes priced affordably will sell…fast. Possible income: $300 per year ($100 profit at three sales).
2. Babysit. The last thing many moms want to do is to add more “mom” duties to a day, but sometimes those are the things that work. And think about it, you are already wiping noses and passing out snacks, would it be so bad if you did it for one more? Also consider marketing yourself to your mom friends for their weekend date nights. Most moms would love to have a responsible sitter they know and like watch their kids! Possible income: $400 per month (eight babysitting sessions at $50 for four hours).
3. Sell things on eBay. Everyone has items lying around the house that have value. Why not get set up on eBay and sell them to someone who wants them? Electronics, baby equipment, and big ticket toys and clothes are good sellers. If you are into jewelry making, sell your pieces online! Be mindful of shipping costs and eBay seller rules and you’ll be fine. Possible income: $100 per month (five $20 items).
4. Become a childcare worker. Unlike babysitting at your house or a friend’s house, working at a childcare center, like at a gym, a few hours a week is a little more stringent, but the wages can add up. Many times you can bring your child with you! Also, check out churches, moms groups, and businesses who offer childcare. You could be the perfect person for them! Possible income: $400 per month (10 hours per week at $10 per hour).
5. Use your pre-baby skills. Perhaps that means using journalism skills to write for an online media outlet. Or, use editorial knowledge to become a proofreader. Or maybe it’s offering to write resumes, press releases, or marketing copy. You can even start a blog and look into ways to monetize it. Writing not your thing? Just use some of the skills you honed prior to your baby-making stint on a freelance basis. Sewing, cooking, cleaning, accounting work, tutoring, and decorating are all skills that can bring in money if advertised well. Possible income: $400 per month (four $100 projects).
It is not easy to fit one more thing into the already busy day of a stay-at-home mom, but it can be done. Staying up late, getting up early, or working during nap time may be necessary. The potential income from just these five suggestions is $1325 per month! All these little things add up and since you are adding money into your accounts, be sure to stay organized financially, too, with an app like Manilla.com. (Its time-saving services are especially great for moms.) What would you do with an extra $1000 or so each month?
Maria Smith is an on the go “stay at home” mother of four kids under the age of 7. In her pre-baby life she was a TV producer at The Oprah Winfrey Show. She loves writing, traveling, and finding fun things and places for moms to do, have and go. Maria has been featured as an expert on ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, HLN, and in Ladies Home Journal, Women’s Day, and The Nest. Maria blogs at MamaliciousMaria.com and is a freelance writer for several parenting, health and wellness, and travel websites.
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