Photo by Diego da Silva
You’ve seen the ads floating around the internet. Usually in places like your Facebook sidebar or in pop-up ads on popular sites. Deceptive text shouting promises like: “Earn $6,000/week from home! It’s easy! Sign up here! “scammyfineprintprintblahblahblah”
To those I say a big fat “Pfffffftttt, yeah right!”
A few years ago, I was constantly seeing those dumb ads, and every time I saw one I’d sigh wistfully, wishing there really was a legitimate way that I could earn some money without giving up on my desire to be at home with my kids.
Long-time readers here at R+H know that money has been super tight over the last few years as we have gone through hubs’ flight training to become a commercial pilot. He has been employed as a flight instructor (you know – the guy teaching the future pilots of your commercial flights in airlines around the world how to fly…) but it pays abysmally. Absolutely shamefully, really. Most flight instructors are young, unmarried guys who don’t have a family to support, because it is next to impossible.
So… he quit that job last fall, and has landed fortuitously into a contract consulting job in aviation safety (fancy way of saying that he’s working on a pilot safety website on a government grant). He’s also doing audio-visual tech stuff part-time at a large church in the city.
Things are better now. Still tight… but waaaaay better. I know from experience that somehow, in some way – things get better. Whether that be in heaven or on earth – tough times won’t last forever, and for that I am grateful.
As we emerge into a new season and phase of life, I have been pondering the way that every dollar counts.
It’s still fresh for me – the counting out change from the change jar to buy bananas before the next payday… the invitation of a meal shared with friends and knowing that it would give relief to your shrunken grocery fund… the tears of frustration at not being able to stretch the dollars quite as far as you’d like, and making difficult decisions on what to forgo.
I know that there are so many in that boat today. So many of you, dear readers. So many parents sacrifice a lot of financial security in order to stay at home with their kids. So many of you wish that there was something that you could do on the side – in the cracks and corners of your days and evenings and weekends that would earn enough extra money to give a little room to breathe. Something flexible, home-based, and (dare we wish it?) enjoyable.
I have tried a number of different income-earning ventures over the years:
- Ad manager for a large blog (in charge of procuring and implementing advertising revenue for the site)
- Digital graphic design (not my niche, but I can make nice-looking, simple images)
- VA work (virtual assisting – like an administrative assistant, but working remotely)
- Blogging (this site!)
- Babysitting/daycare (I had my niece 4 days/week for a year)
- Photography (I’ve been hired a handful of times to do family photo shoots. My skills are basic, but decent enough to get some nice shots.)
- Social media assisting (again, working with bloggers)
- Moderator for webinar panel discussions
- Placenta encapsulation
All of the things I’ve done have been extremely flexible and most have been temporary. Blogging is currently my “side job” here, and I have discovered over the last 1.5 years that it is most definitely a passion of mine. I kind of always knew that I loved writing… and now I know that I really enjoy the entrepreneurial/business side of it as well.
Let’s be honest: being self-employed and working from home isn’t all flouncy pens and steaming cups of tea in bed… but sometimes it is. And it’s glorious.
I recently asked my Facebook followers if any of them had any money-making side ventures, and the response was amazing. So many responded with an incredibly diverse array of ideas that I knew I just had to share them here. I decided to link up some of those that responded to the thread, so you’ll see some R+H reader business links below in the list.
If you’re interested in finding a way to earn money from home, you can use this list as a jumping off point to research which type of opportunity might be right for you. There are so many possibilities!
(Disclaimer: money doesn’t start rolling in after just a little effort. These ideas obviously take dedication, perseverance, and hard work. Some of these ideas need certain qualifications – but many need none.)
Money-Making Ideas for Stay-at-Home Parents:
- Blogger (holla!)
- Making and selling lotions, soaps, and other bath & body care products (check out this awesome page: Homebody Co., or this one: Purely Essential)
- Running an online fitness studio (like Fit2B!)
- Selling home or health products as a company rep, also usually known as a multi-level-marketing company. Jamberry Nails (check out another Jamberry rep here, and a third here), Thirty-One Gifts, Mary & Martha, Zeal for Life, Juice Plus, Steeped Tea, Avon, Nerium International, Scentsy, My Premier Designs – jewellery, Origami Owl, Younique Beauty Products, Norwex (and another reader who sells Norwex), Lilla Rose Hair Accessories, Wildtree Food Products, Radiantly You – body care products, Avon Products, Plexus Slim, Nikken – wellness products.
- Selling essential oils as a company rep (DoTerra, Young Living, and there are others if you do some research to see the options. Readers Ashley, Heather, and Krissa also sell DoTerra.)
- Design and sell digital sewing patterns
- Elderly care (A reader said: “I do full time home share for a 60-year-old woman who is autistic. She goes to a program 5 days a week and I assist her with food, showering and dressing and some hygiene. We are very thankful because it enables me to stay home while bringing in a full time income.”)
- Run a farm share program
- Sewing and weaving (Kaitlin of Butters and Bubsie says: “I do headbands, soother clips, lovey blankets, burp rags and most importantly I weave baby wraps.”)
- Make and sell knit/crochet/etc. goods (check out this cute page, or this website - she also does wall murals for people!)
- Health consulting – “I am a trained homeopath in my career before I had children and so I do some phone and online consulting to assist people with their health issues.” Another reader said: “…and I just got certified to be a Dr. Sears Health Coach! Super excited about that!” This reader at Baby Kale Health is a family holistic health coach. Another health consulting type of business: Nutritional therapist.
- Virtual Assisting
- Advertising Manager (for a large blog – a growing field!)
- Yoga Facilitator
- Customer service - My friend has an Amazon business and I do customer service from home for her.”
- Social media consulting – “…I also do some Pinterest consulting work for bloggers. It still blows me away that I can get paid for playing with Pinterest.“
- Freelance writing (like CG Marketing Pro!)
- Sewing – “I sew for people…preparing for craft shows at the moment.”
- Managing consignment sales – “I manage a twice-a-year consignment sale for our local parents of multiples club.”
- Teach dance classes
- Placenta encapsulation (Check out my Placenta Encapsulation tutorial here on the blog)
- Sell antiques and paint furniture
- Hula hoop maker/instructor
- Make and sell baby headbands and blankets
- Make and sell handmade jewellery (check out these cool ‘tree of life’ necklaces! And this one: Four Little Lady Bugs, making teething necklaces and girly accessories.)
- Web design
- Make custom wooden furniture
- Pet sitting
- Image and Influence Consultant with FanTABulous Women.
- Substitute teaching
- Photography (Shelley said: “I’ve had my photography business for 6 years. I shoot weddings and on evening and weekends do portrait sessions so I can stay home with my kiddos and homeschool them full time during the week! My business gives me a creative outlet plus helps with the finances, and I am very thankful for it!”)
- Baking/cooking (this woman sells her cakes locally – and they look DELISH)
- Sell flower arrangements
- Sell excess garden produce to neighbours
- Sell eggs from your backyard chickens
- Start an online shop selling items you love and are passionate about (Check out Delia’s Pantry: “I try and make if affordable for every one to have access to organic herbs spices and teas …and a few other things”, Primal Kitchen Company, selling fermentation/pickling supplies, Country Bums – a cloth diaper shop, Deborah & Co – a clothing company for girls/women)
Have you ever made money on the side while being at home with your kids? What would you pick from this list?