You work 40 or more hours per week and you can’t even remember the last time you took your kids on a real vacation.
You sacrifice huge amounts of time with your kids to earn an income to support your family, but you still struggle to pay your bills on time.
You know the financial experts talk about getting out of debt and creating a “rainy day” fund, but you can barely scrap together enough money to survive the sunny days.
You have a heart for giving and would love to generously donate your money to a cause that is close to your heart, but you can’t figure out how to add even more expense to your already underfunded budget.
Maybe you could get a higher paying job, but it would come with more hours, more travel, more stress, and less fulfillment. You’re constantly trying to balance the pros and cons of a new job, hoping that you’ll find that magic position that can pay a living wage, provide the flexibility you need as a working mom, and still be an enjoyable and fulfilling career.
You’ve scrimped and cut back and couponed more than you ever thought possible and you still can’t seem to get ahead. You wonder how families with only one income can possibly survive.
Most of the people I know are living paycheck to paycheck. They recognize that life on the other side of student loans and credit card debt could be so much lighter and fuller, but there seems to be no end in sight to this dark tunnel of never enough money at the end of each month. They feel desperate, suffocated, and hopeless.
The financial experts are always suggesting people cut back, reduce expenses, and save, save, save. All of which is very valid advice. But what if you already cut the cable bill, lowered the phone plan as much as possible, downgraded to cheaper vehicles, and spend hours meticulously looking for deals and cutting coupons? There is nowhere else to cut back and you still can’t get ahead.
The answer: you earn more money.
Simple, right? Of course not. That’s why everyone you talk to is in the same boat as you. If you can find a higher paying job it comes with trade-offs to your time and family that just aren’t worth it. You could add a second job, but the minimal income you can make delivering pizzas or waitressing tables on the weekends isn’t really worth the sacrifice of all that time you could spend with your kids, your husband, or maybe just catching up on sleep.
What if you could earn more money on your own terms and your own time table? What if you found a way to do something you already love and enjoy doing and earn some extra money while you’re at it?
You could become an entrepreneur. On the side, after hours, on the weekends, you could start a business that brought in more money for your family. It would take a lot of focus, hard work, and determination. You’d probably have to make a few sacrifices of your free time and maybe your family time, but you would get to decide what you sacrifice, how, and when.
Maybe your kids will get a few extra hours of daddy time a night or two a week so you can work on your business. Maybe you work your business after they are in bed or in the early morning hours. Maybe you give up some of your mindless social media and TV time. Maybe you decide that it really doesn’t take you an entire hour to eat your salad at work and you start using your lunch hour to plug away at your entrepreneurial journey.
It will take some creativity. It will take some hard work and passion. It will take some trial and error, and will likely involve a few failures. But think for a moment about what could be possible if you had a little more money at the end of the month to put toward that credit card, or tuck into your emergency savings fund, or hide away in a vacation fund.
The trick with any money making endeavor is to discover an opportunity that meshes together your passions and your skills with something that will actually provide an income. There are dozens of things you like to do, and you are likely skilled in several diverse areas, but don’t just jump into something because you enjoy it or because you are good at it. You need to make sure that it meets all three criteria, you like it, you know it, and you can profit from it. To get those creative juices flowing, here are a few tried and true business ideas that are helping other working moms breathe a little easier on bill paying day.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
1. Arts and Crafts
Maybe your idea of a perfect evening is to unwind at the end of the day with some yarn and your knitting needles. Or maybe you love to fill your weekends sewing dresses, costumes, and blankets for everyone in your life. Or maybe you enjoy creating your own jewelry, developing original concepts and crafting beautiful pieces that always bring in a slew of compliments. Or you might love taking pictures, you have a natural eye for photography and your Instagram is a hopping place. Maybe you love spending your weekends in the kitchen baking up beautiful, tasty treats. Why not take your love for your hobby and earn some money from it? You could participate in local craft fairs, sell your items on a website like Etsy or the new Handmade at Amazon, or you could even start your own website and online business to sell your creations.
2. Shopaholic with a purpose
If you are a skilled bargain hunter, you can easily put that into good use by developing a business selling your bargains to people like me. I hate shopping and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Which means that I wouldn’t know a bargain if it hit me in the face. Not that I spend exorbitant amounts of money on things, but I don’t understand coupons, I can’t stand sorting through the jumbled racks at discount stores, I never look at sales flyers, and if I can find it online for what feels like a reasonable price, then that’s where I’ll buy it.
Whether you love extreme couponing or searching the racks of your local discount shop, you can turn around and resell your finds on sites like Ebay and Amazon to the lazy people of the world like me; and make a decent profit while you’re at it. Bonus, if your kids aren’t terrible in the stores, you can bring them along while you “work” and never miss out on time with them while you are working this job.
When you were little you were always writing stories or reading books and absorbing more knowledge. Now, you love journaling and writing down your thoughts. Maybe you’re constantly daydreaming stories that may never be written, because you tell yourself you’re not actually an author. What if you could use your love and skill for writing and turn it into a side income? What if you could publish one of those books that you’ve dreamed up in your head?
The internet is a tremendous gift for writers. There are millions of people online, looking to read what you have to say. Your job is to write it and get that writing in front of your readers. And you can do it in a way that could bring in some extra income for your family. You could self-publish ebooks on Amazon, Audible, or your own website. You could freelance write for a variety of websites and online magazines. Or you could start your own blog and earn money through affiliate partnerships, advertisements, or product sales.
Are you good at graphic design? Do you understand coding and programming languages? Do you design websites at your day job? Are you good at internet marketing? Do you know how to design an iphone app? If you have technical skills, there are thousands of people online looking for your expertise to help make their dreams a reality. There are also many websites out there to help you connect your technical skills with the people who need them. (Elance, 99 Designs, Fiverr, and many more).
5. In Person Businesses
If the internet is not your thing, don’t think that all hope is lost. There are many options still available in the face to face world that could bring in some extra income without the full limitations of a traditional job. You could offer up your services for dog sitting or baby sitting. Maybe you could plan children’s events for your neighborhood that would be fun for kids and give moms and dads a night without the kids. You might also consider doing some cleaning for businesses after hours or a couple families on your day off. You could offer up your services as a personal shopper, interior designer, or home organizer. There are also numerous opportunities both online and in person for tutoring, teaching classes, or offering life coaching sessions.
6. Direct Sales/Network Marketing
These days you can find a direct sales company for just about any type of product you can imagine. You can take your passions and interests combined with an existing product available through a direct sales company and make a fantastic income. Whether you are interested in candles and fragrances, jewelry, cleaning products, essential oils, supplements, knives, fitness products, nail wraps, kitchen accessories, body wraps, skin care, makeup, or children’s books, there is probably a network marketing company available that can help you create a business and make some additional money. Always ask lots of questions and fully research any opportunity to make sure you understand the requirements, the compensation plan, and the quotas to make sure that it fits with your life and needs.
I know this list only briefly touches the full range of possibilities available for making some extra income without a traditional job. My hope is that this list inspires you to think creatively and consider what kinds of opportunities might fit with your current life stage and interests. You probably won’t become a millionaire overnight, you may not solve all of your problems, but if a little extra income would relieve some of the stress you feel so that you can truly enjoy your life, then it might be worth looking into.
Crystal Paine, the founder of MoneySavingMom.com has just released a new book called Money Making Mom. If you are feeling the pull to start researching your options for ways to bring some extra income into your home, I encourage you to check out this new book. I have already read it and found it is a tremendous tool for inspiring creativity, researching and brainstorming, and most importantly developing an actionable plan to start your own money making business. Crystal walks you through her experiences and the stories of many others to help you discover a business opportunity that can help you support your family and fulfill your dreams.
This book will help you learn how to:
- Define what financial freedom looks like for you and your family
- Discover your talents, passions, skills, and knowledge areas
- Brainstorm and discover the right business option for you
- Develop a business action plan with intentional steps to get you going
- Overcome inevitable obstacles and keep moving through failed attempts
- Market and grow your business
- Change your perspective from simply making an income to changing the world
This book is a business development manual for busy moms who want to maximize their impact and income without sacrificing their family or their sanity in the process. It’s even available as an audio book on CD if you prefer to “read” on the go, just click to get it here.
Your turn: What can you do to help earn more money for your family? Have you tried any money making opportunities in the past? What would a little more money at the end of the month do for your family?