In this day and age it is very difficult to run a household on one income. In fact, our world makes it nearly impossible with how much they pander to the double-income families. This article is meant to show you exactly what I have done to bridge that “nearly impossible” task to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) while also being a work-at-home mom (WAHM) to contribute to the family income – all with the goal to give you ideas to help you do as much – or as little – as you want to do to follow the same journey. Read this post to the bottom to read about my #1 way of bringing in extra income, which is currently 90% of my SAHM income. This is a gold mine for anyone!
In addition, this is a long post because I did not know how I could condense my current money-making tasks into a short summary and it be helpful for you. So there is a lot of information. But I have tried to make it as clear and helpful as I could in one post. Read the post carefully and follow the steps and it will be a very rewarding read. In addition, by reading this post, you can earn an easy $35 right away (and no online surveys).
The desire to be a SAHM is increasing dramatically every year. For decades, women tried so hard to find jobs and work outside of the home that this shift of wanting to be back home is the returning paradigm and it’s a tough road to get there once we left!
However, the idea of being a SAHM also seems to come with a stigma that we just sit around home all day. I can attest to you that this is rarely the case for any mom with any number of children.
Whether or not mom is bringing in income, she’s one of the hardest working members of the family, never getting a break, always on call, etc.
When my days get tough, I have often said to myself that “how nice it would be to leave and go to work to get a break.” Although I want to be home, it doesn’t mean that it is automatically covered with ice cream and chocolate pie. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done.
But it is even more difficult when you have a large family living on a one-income budget. Even if you are a perfect budgeter, it is nice to have a little bit of wiggle-room, vacation money, build savings, etc.
That’s why I love to find ways that I can use my “free-time” to make extra money.
Now the thing is, I am bringing in an average of $3,500 a month, but my working-at-home-journey did not start that way. I have built my opportunities over time and things have changed a lot in the many years of trying. And, even after what I share with you today, I hope that I can continue to grow and expand my opportunities so that I can bring in even more for our future.
There are also many things that have worked, some that worked temporarily, and others that have worked long-term. But regardless, I love being creative with my time with the result of helping the family economy in such a meaningful way.
There are many ideas I would gladly repeat, but on the other hand, many I would not touch with a 10-foot pole ever again. It’s honestly what makes the adventure of finding work-at-home jobs that much more exciting – the intrigue and suspense of not knowing if a new idea will be the next way to earn extra income!
I have done A LOT. But before I start sharing I want you to know that this is not my comprehensive list of what I have done but the list below are my current endeavors. For an idea of what I have done in the past and over 130 ideas to get the ball rolling for you, you can see the list of Over 100 Ideas To Earn Extra Income HERE and those few marked with a * are also ones I have done in the past that could be a great opportunity for you as well.
How I currently bring in an extra $3,500 per month (listed from the smallest to largest contributors and factors)
I get paid to “shop.”
What I mean by that is not a mystery shopper situation (I have applied for those but they have never worked out because they seemed to stop offering opportunities about as fast as they started). I am talking about apps for in-store grocery shopping and rebate sites for online shopping these days that pay you a small amount to do your regular grocery shopping and online shopping. They are shopping rebates. And they are fabulous because you take a picture of your receipt afterwards and receive money back on your purchases. I don’t change the way I shop or what I plan to buy, but many of the rebates apply to what I am buying. My favorite app for this is Ibotta because they allow me to buy “any brand of milk, cheese, produce” etc. and get paid for it. Most of our grocery shopping items are fresh items and this works well. My favorite online rebate spots are TopCashBack and Ebates, both of which just require a click to receive the rebate. It doesn’t bring in a lot, but $20 or so dollars per month. There’s also no reason to not double up on apps like Checkout51 and more. Get paid twice as much!
How much does it cost to start getting paid to shop?
Nothing. Period. They are free apps and websites. If you are buying anything in the store or online start today to receive money or 2-15% of your purchase back in cash back rebates for simply clicking or taking a picture of your receipt with your smartphone. $20 extra dollars per month is $20 extra dollars and takes me less than an hour per month.
How Do I Start (plus get $30 in Sign-Up Bonuses – $10 through each link below)
Simple. Register and then download the Ibotta app using this link HERE. When you do so, you will also get a free $10 from joining through the link provided after you redeem your first rebate. So $10 in your pocket right away just from reading this post. 🙂 Then just log-in before you go shopping and select which cash back rebates you would like to take advantage of. I can even do this while in the grocery store.
Second, register for both TopCashBack and Ebates. You also get cash back rebate bonuses of $10 for registering and completing your first rebates! Then before you make any online purchase check the compare the cash back rebates being offered by each and shop with the one giving the largest return for that merchant for that day.
And as a note, you can earn additional cash back from all of the above by referring friends. So a little extra cash in your pocket.
I Get Paid To Search The Internet
Yes, I get paid to do my normal Google searches, just doing them through Swagbucks. This is one thing I have done for 7+ years. I bring in enough to virtually pay for Christmas each year. That means I am bringing in around $50 per month. It didn’t start off that high, but has built up to that point. Sometimes I make a lot more too! It doesn’t take me a lot of extra time, in fact none after the few minute registration and set-up. I just do all of my internet browsing through them instead. We talked about this in more depth HERE.
How much does it cost to start getting paid to search the internet?
Again, another BIG FAT ZERO! It’s free to sign-up and anyone can. There are no requirements. I know people that pay a bill or two a month with the income from this, occasionally pay for a road trip or small vacation, pay for their baby diapers, pay for part of their groceries and more with the money they earn through searching the internet through Swagbucks.
How do I start (Plus $5 Sign-Up Bonus)
It simply requires signing-up through this link HERE, which only takes a few minutes. And by using the provided link, you will also receive an immediate $5 sign-on bonus. Then each day, log-in through Swagbucks before you start doing anything online, even get paid for going to Facebook! The pay you receive is in the form of gift cards – generally Amazon gift cards for my Christmas spending. They have gift cards to virtually everywhere. We’ve talked about it in more detail here. Again, $50 extra per month is $50 extra per month and this one does not take extra time after the initial 5-10 minute set-up. This is also another spot where you can earn even more by telling your friends and if they sign-up, you get a referral bonus.
I get paid to write articles for websites.
I am currently writing articles for two websites that each pay me $50 per article. I write 4-6 times per month and generate $200 – $300 extra per month. One website is a home decor business that runs a blog as the information shared in a blog keeps their content relevant, current and fresh. The second is a financial products and services site, that also has a blog for the same reason as the home decor site and many other businesses out there that maintain blogs to keep their business current and fresh online. I am not talking about blogs, I am talking about businesses that have a product or service to sale, but also have blogs on their websites to have closer communication with their customers.
How much does it cost to begin writing for businesses blogs?
Again, the answer is nothing.
How do I start.
This one is a bit more challenging for just anyone, but anyone can write for a site if they have the skills, knowledge and passion about a subject. The difficulty is that there are many more writers than available paid writing jobs. So you do need to somehow stand out. I was actually sought out for writing for these businesses websites because I already have an online presence through this site here and my active social media accounts. But, it is something you can see and pursue as well.
TheWriteLife has provided a helpful list of several places online that you can find and apply for online writing jobs.
In addition, a great way to start is by joining Fiverr HERE and grabbing some easy writing jobs for $5 each. This builds your reputation fast and is often a quick $5 at a time. Most writing jobs for the $5 would take about 15-30 minutes, producing at least $10 an hour to start. Read a reader review regarding Fiverr HERE.
Selling items around home or upselling used items I buy for cheap.
This one is a consistent project as there is always something to sell from furniture, clothing, home decor and many items that we are finished with including baby items, books and movies (which I sell to Amazon HERE) and many other items. Also, nearly year round, but especially in garage sale season, it is very easy to find items that are being sold for a great price that I can easily turn around and resell (what I call upselling) and upsell on Facebook groups, our local classifieds, etc. This is not a consistent income, but whatever time I put in is generally returned and not wasted time. Sometimes I am able to put a lot of time in and other times not so much. We’ve have talked about this extensively in other articles and in our ebook How to Find $1,000 in 30-Days HERE. With this particular method of selling, eBay is a great outlet as well. I have sold on eBay for several years and was making several hundred dollars consistently each month. But I have currently moved away from this and just do occasional selling via local classifieds and on Amazon because the last point in this article is giving me a much higher return on my time investment. But the last item on this list did not start producing a big income for the first several months, so this was a great in-between opportunity.
How much does it cost to sell my used items or to upsell?
This is a more difficult question to answer because you can start for free by selling items around your home and then reinvesting the money in other larger and pricier items being sold at garage sales. Or you can determine how much you can invest initially and get started and then reinvest a portion of your profits to build your inventory. But a word of caution, don’t build your inventory faster than you are going to sell because you will end up with a lot of junk on your hands. Take it step by step.
How Do I Start?
Well, honestly, you are going to love this! What if I could tell you that you start by completing the Decluttering Challenge here on our site and then turn around and sell some of the items that you discovered during the challenge. So getting your home cleaned out and making money at the same time? It is a double YES! Then, I have a spot located in my basement and garage for items I find while garage saling and even thrift store shopping that would be a good upsell item. I try not to store these for long because that will get into another mess. Our ebook HERE also has a section on upselling items that may be helpful.
Selling handcrafted items.
Selling handcrafted items is one of my favorite ways to bring in extra income. It is an opportunity for fun with my girls, my mom, my grandma and my sister. It is a joint family effort and so much fun! We enjoy the crafting time together and the opportunity to sell together. It’s been great for our girls as well. This is a seasonal job with high and low times, but in the high times, it’s great! With those high and low seasons, some months we don’t do anything and other months we are selling nearly every weekend. When we sell, we make a decent amount, which is great!
How Much Does it cost to sell my used items or to upsell?
Again, this is going to be a lot or a little based on what you are making to sell. We make jewelry and accessories from denim. But instead of buying denim by the yard, we upcycle old and used denim jeans that we have collected from our own collections or that we buy from the thrift store. This is our main expense. The tools and other items needed are low in our case. But I would say that we spent around $100 to initially get started with handcrafting accessories and jewelry from denim. We also had many tools on hand between all of us from past crafting experiences, otherwise it would have been more to start completely from scratch. The second big expense is the outlet used to sell our handcrafted items. This means the craft booth rental fees that can be from $10- $80. So the reinvestment expense is pretty high for this endeavor. This is the only route we have pursued for this particular craft, we hope to start selling on Amazon soon, but I don’t have experience yet to speak to this.
A picture from our Instagram account from one of our family handcrafted jewelry booths!
How Do I Start
Well, this particular “job” has been around classically for a very long time. For the most basic level of starting, just begin by researching and practicing creating handcrafted items. Then find craft shows, fairs, and other similar type events that you can rent a booth for the day of the event and set-up shop. You will need to get a tax ID from the state you live in and it is also a good idea to use a phone app that allows you to accept debit/credit cards that are pretty easy to use by connect a card swiper jack to your smart phone through SquareUp or ProPay (which also allows you to call in and no phone jack CC card swiper needed, although they have that option too). You could have a cash/check only booth, but in this day and age, having the ability to take a credit card will greatly reduce your chances of selling. However, it is still achievable. You can also sell your items on Facebook through a page a you setup. It’s a great outlet for the creative types. We have not tried Etsy, but many swear by it. This is more of a hobby that makes a little bit of money, but if I was committed to a more full-time job in this regard, I would consider Etsy – but we have heard the fees are quite high, so not a great fit for a hobby/crafting business. It really needs to be a serious crafting business.
Blogging – My #1 source of SAHM Income (about 90% of my total income)
Blogging is now my #1 money-making effort. I put most of my time and effort into this aspect of being a SAHM and the reason why is because this is and has been having the highest conversion rate of anything I have done yet. Meaning, the more effort I put in, the bigger the pay check. The other tasks are great, but it doesn’t change a lot with the time I put in. I have consistently brought in $2,000-$5,000 per month over the last couple of years. My average monthly income in 2016 already is $3,250 from this ONE source. I write about things I love: frugal living, recipes, tips and my passions. Sharing my passions has brought in a nice income for our family. Who knew!?!
I certainly did not start out blogging to make money, but to help others live a frugal, debt-free life with the tips and tricks we have learned from the school of hard knocks and our journey in paying off $100k of consumer debt quickly. But the fact that we are is a huge blessing.
And if I have learned anything in this world today, I know that EVERYONE has a story to tell. Blogging is the outlet to tell your story and it could very well become a full-time income for you one day.
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Blog?
That’s the great news. It doesn’t take a lot, which makes it one of the most affordable business ventures. In fact, there are only two things you really need: a domain name and a website host. You can cover this for 3 years for around $125 and that is all you really need. Sure, there are other things you could have like a fancy design to make your site look professional and a myriad of other products for bloggers – but you don’t need any of this for a time (the default templates and themes are perfect for someone starting out). In fact, don’t get those additional items until you have started and have begun writing for a few months so that you can justify those expenses when the time comes. And when that time comes, those additional expenses will be vital to turning your passion for sharing into a business. But in the beginning those are the only 2 actually needed things to start.
And the better news is that they are the more affordable parts of running a blog, which is great news because it does take a few months before you can start earning an income.
You can get a website host for only $3.49 per month through Bluehost. We like Bluehost because they are very affordable and family friendly. And, there is no need to go out and spend money on a domain name because hosting through Bluehost also gives you a FREE domain name registration for a year!
How Do I Start?
Starting does not need a complete list of know-how and a complete series to begin. In fact, I would recommend not starting a blog that way, but if you truly want to make money, just start writing as that is the core and the basis of your blog. You’ll find out the adage is true that “Content is King” as that’s exactly what you really need to run a business! Start now and start today. Then we can help and guide you into how to turn what you’ve created into a huge passive, extra income gig (and who knows, could become a full-time gig too).
If you have a passion, idea, life-experience, unique circumstances, expertise in any topic of any kind….you can start a blog. That’s all you need to start. Well, that, a host and many posts. You can literally write about anything! Just take your passion, hobby, expertise, where you live, whatever you do and write about it. There is nothing off the table.
The ONLY thing you need to do right now is to get your domain name (website name) and host. That’s it. The BEST thing to do is to sign-up through Bluehost where it will only cost you $3.49 per month to run your website through a special sale through THIS LINK HERE (this link gives you 50% off!). We have secured this super low price for our readers who are budding online entrepreneurs. You’re welcome. 🙂
They provide you with a domain name as well. Once you sign-up, they will walk you through the set-up of your site so that you can start writing and sharing. DO NOT DO anything else or buy anything else as you will not have what you need or be overbuying because there is nothing else you need right now. Just keep it simple and affordable!
So how do I make money blogging?
It’s multi-faceted and multi-fold, but I will give you a general idea and then we will start diving in deep to help our readers earn money off of sharing their passion and ideas online in upcoming articles (you will know about these articles by requesting our free online money making newsletter here)
- Ads – This is the basis and surefire way that any site can make money. Nearly every blog that you visit has ads of some kind, most starting with Google Adsense. How much do you make on ads? Well, it depends and we can dive deep into this in a later post, but as a general rule, it seems the average is around $4-$5 per 1,000 pageviews. So if you have a site that gets 10,000 pageviews a month, you can make around $40-$50 in just ads per month. We currently receive around 300,000 pageviews per month, which means our ads generate around $1,200-$1,500.
- Affiliates – Our ad income is pretty consistent. That’s a pretty measurable income. Affiliate income on the other hand is not so easily calculated, but you have the potential to make far, far more. What is an affiliate? It’s basically a company like Amazon that you sign-up to share a product from their site and if anyone clicks on your link to Amazon and purchases, you make a small percent of the sale (6.5-8.5% as an example). So if you end up selling $100 of items on Amazon and you make 7% = $7. If $1,000 of items sold through people clicking on your link then you would make 8% = $80. See how that works? You can even make a commission on talking about how much you love Amazon Prime (which we do) and the other services that Amazon offers. This is just one example of thousands of affiliates that are out there – but by far the most popular and profitable for most blogs and websites. This briefly explains how affiliate sales work. And we would recommend signing up for Amazon’s affiliate program ASAP. It is the first affiliate program to be a part of because they have everything and everything at a very low competitive price so no matter what you are talking about, you can refer people to the item on Amazon and potentially make some money too! But note, any time that a blogger is promoting an item or product, there is an extremely high chance that they are an affiliate with the company selling that product and so it is a great way for you to support these small businesses.
- Sponsors – This is another way that many bloggers earn money. Plain and simple – sponsors! It takes time and site growth to get to the point where you can earn from sponsored posts or sponsored ads, but it is a viable source of blog income in due time. We will talk about the ins and outs of this in another post. But you have to have a blog with some great, consistent content before you can even start to do this.
- Selling your own products and ebooks – Having a blog is a great outlet if you have anything to sell. It is like a store, but online for the whole world to find and shop from. We have some of this on our site in our store.
There are some other ways as well, but these are the 4 main ways to earn money while blogging. The ads and the affiliates are ways that a blogger can earn money from the start! The others come with time.
If you are interested in starting a blog, all you need to start is your domain name and your host. You can do that through Bluehost HERE for $3.49 per month and you get a free domain name. They will walk you through how to set-up your site.
With this list of 6 things, I must say that’s a HUGE PAY INCREASE for a SAHM! It’s a huge blessing. But it has also required a bit of work too, so I am thankful that blogging, which started out as a passion and goal for others to stay out of financial difficulties, has proven to be a good income too!
How do you earn extra income from home?
Now that you have stuck around and read this very long post, I hope you have gained some new insights into modern day SAHM income opportunities (and your quick $35 above and your new website that you are going to share your passions through).