The timing has never been better for moms to earn substantial money while staying at home.
Through technology and the use of the internet the possibilities of money made from home have grown exponentially.
Really? Should You Even Work From Home?
You want more time with your kids, or like many moms, you need to find a way to generate added income.
For some moms, being home for the sake of children is crucial, but they find they also need to do some adult activity to stay sane. A totally separate portion of life is emotionally and mentally good for you.
You may want to add wiggle room in the budget for extras like decorating, or lessons for the kids, or an occasional night or weekend out with no guilt about money spent!
Working from home may conjure up daydreams of an idyllic situation.
Just imagine -
working in your pajamas or T-shirt and shorts
enjoying a relaxed second cup of coffee instead of running out the door
Checking off various household chores during your workday
earning plenty of money without any office drama
If that’s your only picture of a work-at-home lifestyle, you may need to adjust your perception just a bit.Although there are many advantages, you’re also going to have to put real effort and planning into the venture to make it work.
Which Home Jobs Work Best For You?
Are you in a season where you can only fit in something that’s low-key, with a minimum of time and effort?
Or a moderate commitment because life is somewhat predictable at this point?
Or are you hoping to ramp it up to a higher level of time and effort - with greater potential income?
We’ll look at all three.
Low-key, with minimal time and effort
Paribus is a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases.
Here’s their explanation:
“Enjoy shopping online as you normally would.
Paribus monitors prices
Paribus tracks your confirmation emails (for items you purchased) and watches for price changes so you don’t have to.
When we detect potential savings, we let you know and help you get money back.”
Also, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus helps you to get compensated.
Rakuten is another online shopping platform where you get money back from your purchases - (formerly called Ebates). They offer cash back as well as deals and shopping rewards on a huge selection of products and services.
Rakuten has already earned its 12 million members in the U.S. over $1 billion in cash back at their favorite stores.
Ibotta is an app offering lots of cash-back offers and rebates from hundreds of stores like Walmart, Target, Amazon, Aldi, PetSmart, and Trader Joe’s.
Download the app, find cash-back offers on your desired products, go shopping, then scan the items’ barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt after.
You can also pay directly from the Ibotta app using their newest feature, “Pay with Ibotta,” to get instant cash back on your purchase at a number of national retailers. It’s quick, and secure.
Fetch Rewards is comparable but it’s even simpler.
Scan your grocery receipts after you shop. You’ll get points for thousands of different products when they’re on your receipt. You build up points, then trade them for your choice of hundreds of rewards.
Gift cards to Amazon, charity gift cards, beauty products, electronics, entertainment, and more. You even receive 2000 Bonus Points when you scan your first receipt.
What about actually earning money for little-to-no effort?
Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel advocates making your Internet usage count by participating in research to improve products and services you use online. They collect anonymous data, not personal.
Register your devices, install their app, browse like always, and earn rewards. Active members receive sweepstakes entries for registered computers, and earn points for participating with a mobile device, up to $50 per year. Nielsen also gives away $10,000 each month in prizes.
There are opportunities to earn even more rewards by registering more devices and staying with them longer.
InboxDollars is a website that will pay you to participate in online activities: surveys, watching videos and TV, redeem free food and grocery coupons, paid shopping and more.
It’s not going to line your pockets with money, but it’s easy and for most activities they pay you in cash or gift cards. You’ll even get $5 for starting, and signup is quick.
Bread is another company that will pay you for doing surveys. You share your opinions, and they deposit cash into your account.
You can cash out through PayPal when your balance is at least $5.
Acorns is an easy way to enter into investing. If the very idea of investments make you nervous, this is a super-easy and painless way to get started.
Many believe they don’t have enough money to get into investments, but this is a way to work around that issue. Their tagline is “Invest your spare change. Anyone can grow wealth.” Forbes commented about Acorns that Investing is now made for everyone.
Acorns takes your spare change and any extra you want to add and puts it in an account that is then invested for you. They offer other services too along with sound financial advice.
Lucktastic’s website is unique. It declares Lucktastic is a free and fun way to win real cash and prizes and earn rewards. You download the app for use on smart devices and tablets (but not computers.)
You’ll spend quite a bit of time watching ads, most of which are for other apps, before you can play a scratch card. This is how the app creators make their money. Lucktastic is 100% free to play.
This means there are no in-app purchases that would give some users an unfair advantage over others. Every user has an equal opportunity to win big or small.
Only players in the U.S. are eligible to play and win. Incidentally, all cash winnings above $600 are reported to the IRS.
goBaby is for parents who may have extra baby/toddler gear sitting around unused at the moment. It’s similar to AirBnB but is for cribs, strollers, carseats and more for traveling parents.
Instead of hauling all the necessary gear on the airplane or in the car, parents can find someone like you to rent these items to them.
BabyQuip is another side gig like goBaby. You earn extra income when you join the community of providers to help traveling families by renting and delivering baby equipment to them.
Paid tasks may easily fit into your day-to-day schedule. Consider doing errands and odd jobs for others. Here are three possible sources:
TaskRabbit lets you register to earn money by helping people with their everyday to-do lists. It works like this:
TaskRabbit notifies you of potential jobs nearby
Select the one you want to complete
Confirm details with your Client
Complete the work and submit your invoice
Gigwalk is another way to earn a little spending money or even a significant amount of income.
Download the app, register your account by answering basic questions and providing an email address. Link your PayPal account to get paid. (All payments are made through PayPal.) Add your PayPal email to your Gigwalk account in the app settings menu.
Find and complete assignments in your area. You can apply for Gigs through the map or Gig List. After being accepted, follow the Gig instructions and submit your work directly in the app.
A moderate investment of time and effort
Maybe you have a particular amount of money you need to earn each month or a particular purchase you’re planning for. You’re not looking for full time work, but want to bring in needed extra income.
Your kids might be at school during the day, or you have time to work during the evening hours.
Certain seasons of the year or weekends include a bit of free time. You’re looking for varied ways to supplement the family income.
Provide one of these 6 valuable services:
Host a traveler through AirBnB. Pretty much everyone is familiar with how this works. Hosting even once in a while can add significantly to the family budget. Create a listing for free.
Host at the pace you choose, set your rates, and choose your booking requirements. AirBnB guides you every step of the way. When your listing is published, guests are able to contact you.
Before accepting a reservation request, you get to know potential guests.
Ride-sharing might be a good fit if you own a car made in 2007 or after. You could try driving with Lyft. The demand for drivers has grown rapidly, and the old practice of getting a taxi has become far less popular than in the past.
You need to be at least 21 years old with a year or more of driving experience. You also need to pass a background check. You can pick your hours and how frequently to work.
Uber works the same way. You decide when and how often you drive, get paid quickly, and get lots of support from the company.
Maybe driving isn’t your thing, but you’re pretty good at getting around grocery stores, Shipt may be the perfect fit. Delivering groceries with Shipt’s grocery-delivery service is similar to Uber.
You just choose an assignment through their mobile app. You’ll receive a detailed grocery list, put the items to your cart, pay through the app (the buyer’s money, not yours) and then deliver the groceries to the requester.
It can be as busy or infrequent as you choose.
Instacart is another grocery service that enables you to save people loads of time. You shop at stores like Whole Foods, Aldi, Costco and many others, deliver the food, and get paid.
Although not available everywhere, an app called Postmates pays you to pick up takeaway or fast food, alcoholic beverages, or groceries for customers. You can cash out right after each delivery.
Doordash is much the same. You help busy people save time by delivering food to them. You’re an independent contractor, so you set the hours you choose and work as much as you want.
You earn a $6 fee for each delivery, plus 100% of any tips you receive. Some say they earn up to $25 an hour.
You do need an insured vehicle or a bicycle, and smartphone, be 18 or older, and have a valid driver’s license. You should be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
Are you a dog lover, comfortable around animals? Rover’s website connects pet owners and dog sitters. It means having an extra dog spend time in your home. Y
ou create a profile about experience you’ve had with dogs, set your prices and when you’re available. Dog owners contact you to make arrangements and you make some extra money.
Fetch! provides even more options for pet care and sitting, with the same flexibility of schedule. One feature they emphasize is their ongoing support - they book your appointments, provide you with insurance and have years of experience.
You may want to try selling items. A totally different approach for making extra income is by selling rather than providing a service.
Etsy is a wonderful platform for creative people. The site enables you to reach loads of shoppers and build your own brand using their marketing tools. Customers can easily search for exactly what they want.
Etsy charges very low listing fees, no additional monthly fees, allows for secure transactions and automatic deposits.
What about stuff you no longer want or use, like that lamp your great-aunt gifted you and it’s been boxed up in storage ever since? The videos and games you’ll never play again? You need an app like Letgo.
List anything rapidly - just snap a pic, set your price and list. It’s hard to believe, but Letgo is totally free and doesn’t charge a commission. Craigslist and Ebay are other avenues you may want to try.
The Decluttr app does the same thing but targets the selling of tech and textbooks. Who doesn’t have old CDs, video games, DVDs, cell phones and other tech products taking up room in drawers and boxes?
The plus with Decluttr is that you can scan a barcode for an item and get an immediate quote. Accept it, and send the product in - no listing or auction involved, and free shipping is the norm.
What sometimes happens when using any of these selling sites is an “Aha!” moment - stumbling upon a niche that earns good returns - the concept of buying to resell.
Lucrative side businesses get started when a particular category of products turns into a passion. Find the right niche, and you might want to become an Amazon affiliate. There are hundreds of training courses on how to do this.
One surprising way to earn money - and lose weight too.
This may be one you’ve never heard about. Healthy Wage uses cash prizes to make weight loss and fitness fun and effective.
You make a personalized bet on your own weight loss and can earn considerable prize money if you meet your goal. Both individuals and teams can participate. Participants who achieve their goal in the agreed timeframe win the prize.
You can play with their Prize Calculator all you want without commitment. They’re a health and wellness company that provides weight loss/fitness challenges with cash prizes.
Healthy Wage is known for:
pushing public discussion on health incentive issues
launching programs that use a combination of cash prizes, financial commitment, social motivation and positive peer pressure to achieve weight loss and fitness at corporate and consumer levels
having an impact on the growing obesity epidemic and helping to get people moving
The company was founded in response to academic research at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania. They found that cash rewards increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs.
Ready for a significant investment of time and effort (with more income)?
You have time to invest, you want to avoid working in an office, but aren’t sure where to find substantial work that can be done at home.
Making the jump to full-time or in-depth specialized work requires more effort and time. It’s possible you’ll either need prior experience or some training, or both.
It will be worth it though. You’ll likely earn more money and create a stable ongoing source of income. Expect your business to start somewhat slowly but to grow over time.
What exactly does that mean? It’s working as a writer, designer, performer, technician, or artist, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc, instead of working on a regular salaried basis for an employer.
Thanks to the internet, there are all kinds of ways to freelance. One area that’s growing exponentially is writing.
Do you have some area of expertise that could be put into an article?
It can be a past job experience, a hobby, a strong passion or interest, or a gift that others recognize you have developed over time.
Parenting, travel, cooking, a particular area of technology, how to repair or restore articles, music, art, financial topics are examples. Sharing lessons learned in a challenging time of life are always popular.
One freelance writer explains that getting paid to write these days is less about credentials, degrees or who you know, and far more about being motivated, resourceful, and knowing where to look for work. He expresses that writing is the engine that drives all businesses.
He’s correct, writing is a valuable skill in this day and age. Blogs, websites, social media - they all require words that connect with readers. People literally get paid to write about everything.
One course to get you going is 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.
It’s the perfect guide to help:
Lay the foundation for your new freelance writing business.
Establish your new business - whether to use a pen name, what type of business entity to pursue, tracking financials, setting rates, invoicing clients, using contracts, drafting your bio and writing resume.
Decide what types of writing to focus on
Find paying work - including approaching your natural market, online writing sites, job boards, and learning about cold pitching.
Send your first and next pitches
Build out your writer’s website - where to display your portfolio, perfecting your five “must-have” pages, growing your blog and collecting your first few testimonials.
Figure out your writing process — systematically coming up with new ideas, construct excellent blog posts, learn formatting hacks, how to source sources and everything you need to know about photos.
Start promoting your new business
Plus helpful tools to grow your business — including ones to help you write better, run your business more efficiently and pitch as much as possible.
Don’t forget to pitch article ideas to magazines, blogs, or websites aimed at moms! No doubt you’ve had ample experience that can help others following your same path.
If you enjoy reading blogs, this Beginner’s Guide can help you to start your own. No technical skills needed, and you can get started right away. There are people who want to learn from your thoughts and experiences.
Write and sell an e-book. It’s astounding how many books have been added online in recent years! There are scores of ways to publish and promote ebooks.
It’s far easier and cheaper than the old process of seeking out a publisher, or the expense of printing your own copies (which may or may not sell.)
If you don’t want to commit to writing, but can pick out grammar and spelling mistakes easily, look into becoming a proofreader. The main purpose of proofreading is to make sure there are no errors - spelling, grammatical or typographical. It requires a keen eye.
Do you have great handwriting, or a steady hand and the willingness to practice? Calligraphy is still in demand. People pay well for handwritten addresses on invitations or for other formal affairs.
Bookkeeping or data entry can earn you some steady income too. If you’re good with figures or details and can exercise care to be accurate, you can learn to do this.
One example is Bookkeeper Business Launch. It walks you through the steps of starting your own business that allows you to set your own hours. Their aim is to take you from "No Experience To Thriving Bookkeeping Business Owner."
They’re advertised as the only bookkeeper business training that teaches you to bootstrap a 100% virtual bookkeeping business from scratch.
Another growing sector is to become a Virtual Assistant.
Not exactly sure what that means?
Entrepreneur.com explains that most virtual assistants are contract or freelance workers who do their jobs from home and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary.
Skills that are highly marketable for VA’s include:
Communication skills to work with many different people online, like your clients, their customers, and associates
Great computer knowledge
Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
Friendly phone etiquette and email protocol
Sharp and discerning about the Internet, software, and social media
If that sounds a bit intimidating, no worries. You can take a Virtual Assistant course to get prepared.
If you love kids and have an appropriate living situation, parents are willing to pay well for safe, dependable Home Daycare. Look up what your state’s licensing laws are regarding at-home daycare here or here to figure out if it’s a good plan for you.
You can start an online tutoring business to teach English as a second language, or to be a translator, if you know another language.
Gengo translation services give you a flexible schedule because their global platform is active 24/7. Gengo emphasizes you can work whenever you want, from wherever you want, with thousands of projects to choose from each day.
It’s also a supportive community, with feedback from professionals, and a connection with other translators to give advice and share ideas. You can work on a PC, tablet or smartphone.
Wyzant.com is similar. You create a free professional profile which can include photos, videos, and student reviews to showcase your qualifications and experience.
Unbabel also allows you to work any place, anytime. All you need is an internet connection and phone or laptop. You edit AI-generated translations to ensure they’re accurate and native-sounding.
Payments post to your account as soon as you’re done translating.
Depending on your skill set and interests, you can find courses on learning to do graphic design or animation for websites. Power Point presentations are valuable to employers also.
You can also create a Udemy course to teach others, and you don’t need a degree or experience teaching to do this. If you have something to teach that interests others, you can create a video course at home and earn profit from each person who takes the course.
And last but not least, Disney devotees have a special niche to consider.
If you’re a self-styled expert on Disney parks like the clever mom who started Marvelous Mouse Travels, you’ll love her work-at-home opportunity - a travel agency specializing in Disney vacations.
Work-at-home agents around the U.S. are independent contractors, earning commissions and bonuses. The pay depends on the amount of work invested, but you can decide how much time you want to devote to it.
You have to be familiar with Disney parks, and will need to fill out an online application.
Uncovering Your Perfect Work at Home Gig
Rewards for moms working at home can be fabulous when it’s done right. One Inc.com contributor, Christina Desmarais, investigated the ways people have learned to successfully work at home.
Moms who aspire to do the same will benefit from these 8 tips in particular:
1. Make a list of what needs to get done every day and make sure to do it. That way, even if you’re interrupted, you know what needs to be done by the end of the day. Make the list the night before or early in the morning.
2. Use the cloud. You can log in from anywhere and never need to worry about having files with you. Make use of free or inexpensive communications technology. Today there are countless tools available for keeping in close communication with office mates.
A few to try include Hipchat for group chatting, Trello or Asana for project management, Expensify for tracking your expenses and submitting expense reports, and Sqwiggle, which keeps your webcam turned on so your co-workers can see you at your desk all day long.
3. Get dressed. You really need to keep a regular routine, and shower and dress every day just like you would if you were going to work. You’ll take your work more seriously and be motivated to get going. It reminds you and anyone else who’s around that you are actually working.
4. Don't let friends stop by. Ask them to call first - if you aren’t available, you don’t answer the phone. Use lunch as a time to meet if you want but if they show up at your house during hours you’ve designated as work, politely tell them you’re working. You need boundaries.
5. Get out of the house at least part of the time. Sometimes it helps to separate personal time and work time. Coffee shops and other places have Wi-Fi, or you can use your cell phone as a hotspot.
6. Even kids can get used to the parameters you set. Making a stoplight for family members is one genius idea from John Meyer, CEO of a Florida-based work-at-home call center company.
Hang or tape colored construction paper on your office door. "Tape the red light up when you cannot be disturbed and the green light when it's OK to come in. Yellow means to check first." He says, "Kids understand the message and enjoy playing along."
7. If you’re working from home regularly and for the longterm, invest in creating a comfortable office, especially the chair you’ll be sitting in. If you’ll be on the phone a lot, you may want to buy a noise-canceling headset with a mute button. The perception that you’re in a (quiet) professional office can be an advantage.
8. Stay out of the kitchen. "This is sort of the dirty little secret of telecommuters, but it's like the freshman 15 all over again. I shudder at the thought of how many times I opened the fridge that first year. It was just constant snacking," says the president of a NYC-based marketing and communications firm.
"So you need discipline to get done what you need to get done; the discipline to avoid the kitchen; and the discipline to kick your drop-in friends out."