Updated: Jan 2
Being a stay at home mom can be a tough gig. In fact it is a full time job in and of itself! And with it comes a lot of misconceptions around money and the stay at home mom lifestyle- for some families, sure, they can live comfortably on one income either by increasing their partners earnings or by scaling their living expenses back. But for others having extra spending money or an extra stream of income can help ease the feelings of financial instability and uncertainty.
It's not uncommon for many women that make the choice to stay home with their children and also worry a bit about future financial security - especially if you plan on being out of the job market for more than a couple of years. Having a plan and even creating a secondary source of passive income can give you a lot of peace of mind and sense of security knowing that you have money to fall back on if life starts to hand you lemons.
Building a side hustle is not only a great way to afford being a SAHM but can be rewarding and give you your feelings of independence back. There are many reasons stay at home moms want to pick up extra work in their free time. So how can stay at home moms make money? Its not always as easy as applying for a job and going in on your part-time schedule, but, there are many ways you can build a income for yourself -you just have to find the right fit for you.
Lets dig more into how to find and start a new side hustle that will fit into your life as a busy mom!
Assess how much money you want to make
Sure, we'd all like to open our laptops and in 2 months be generating $10,000 a month in income by basically doing freelance work in our spare time in-between our yoga workouts and massage sessions...you know while the nanny is taking your kids to school and tending to their temper tantrums! But that's unlikely (I know because I've investigated this theory thoroughly lol) It can be an overwhelming process to figure out just what type of side hustle can work for you when you're already juggling little ones at home! So before you go all in, ask yourself what do you want from this? Are you setting out to make a few extra bucks of spending money? Or for a whole new stream of income that can legitimately support your lifestyle and possibly your whole family some day? Thinking about this from the jump will help you narrow your focus and keep you from spinning your wheels with feelings of overwhelm.
Take an inventory of your skills
After you're clear on just what you really want to be chasing (i.e. the money), take a hard look at your skill set. Can you leverage any of your natural skills into a side hustle? Are you great with learning design concepts? Can you develop new skills easily - maybe take some inexpensive online courses to develop a soft skill that you can leverage as a service.
But, don't worry if you're really questioning your skills -there are many options as you'll see below that will allow you to work from home even with little to no experience.
Ask yourself how you'd like to help people
Another way you can develop a new side hustle is really thinking about how you can help others. There may be something you can offer to businesses or people in your community that comes very natural to you, or is in your wheelhouse of skills. Can you learn photoshop or have worked as a graphic designer? That's a marketable skill that many businesses need. Do you have any industry licenses or certifications? You can leverage that. Are you thrifty with money, have a degree in finance and want to help people get out of debt ... people need that more than ever right now (btw that's how Dave Ramsey got started and look at him now). Places like Upwork can help you find customers for the services you'd like to provide, and can help you get connected to others that can help grow your skill set or help you outsource other necessary things that may be out of your scope of work.
Sometimes its hard to dig deep down and find a perfect niche, below are some specific ideas that you can start up fairly inexpensively and quickly so you can get your dream hustle up and running.
1. Private Franchising
I think of private franchising as a business in a box. They get a bit of a bad wrap due to their association with illegally operated MLMs, and yes, it is multi - level marketing but not all are taking advantage of their recruits. Often times the products created by private franchise companies sell themselves because they are created with such high quality. If you think of this endeavor as a sales job in your spare time, work on getting leads, attend product shows to market yourself, and host parties you will thrive in this business - it shouldn't be hard drumming up sales pretty quickly especially with companies that already have a lot of credibility. With private franchising you will need to hustle and plan giving it a good 3 years of effort before seeing any real steady income stream, as with anything that's worth doing your success will depend depend on your capabilities, effort and goals.
Here are a few big and more reputable names in this industry:
Norwex - If you like the idea of selling high quality eco-friendly cleaning products that require cleaning with just WATER! yes. water. then this is such a fun company to work with.
Tupperware- A very well known and established company that carries a large catalog of high quality storage container options as well as other kitchen retiled products.
Pampered Chef- If you love to cook and think doing home parties demonstrating the many kitchenware products they carry then this is for you.
Color street- In the beauty arena, color street has a diverse line of stick on nail polish. they are easy to tote around, easy and straightforward to sell and people typically know what they are getting.
The downside to private franchising, is that you have to be mindful of what this business is all about. You may not have free reign to advertise products as you see fit. You may not always be able to get credible properly trained "upline" but that's okay as long as you see the limitations from the beginning and know what you're getting into.
2. Secret Shopping
I've done this in the past - I found it a little bit thrilling as a secret shopper. For those that haven't heard of it before, you typically sign up with a company and accept offers to go out to a store make a purchase (that usually gets reimbursed later) and tell the company all about your experience. Sometimes you will have things to look for specifically, and other times you won't. If you're interested in something that gets you out of the house this is a fun way to make a few extra bucks.
3. Selling Products Online
You don't need a ton of experience or skill to sell products via Etsy, Amazon or Ebay. It can be as easy as creating a product, outsourcing a product you designed or selling products through a 3rd party supplier- you can decide based on your skill set. The bulk of this job will be listing your products, preparing them for shipping and making sure you can fulfill your orders in a timely manner.
Designing your own product: Do you have a passion for crafting, knitting scarfs, personalizing keepsakes, making custom headbands or puzzles for kids?
Selling Digital Art: If you have a flair for creating cool new contemporary art, you may want to check out the digital craze of selling NFT. NFT's are akin to digital collectable cards but with a flair, and before you give me the big eye roll here - there are some that are actually selling for millions! Yes millions! So pull out Microsoft paint, or your best photo shop skills and get creating.
Drop-shipping Product: There is a place for everyone in this game, if you don't consider yourself the creative type who barley knows what a sewing needle is used for then selling something that is already on the market for a small profit may be a fun endeavor for you. Many manufacturers are open to drop ship sellers! The key is just finding what you'd like to sell. This could be a great stream of income for you and even an opportunity to get your feet wet in the online retail world without making a major time and financial investment.
4. Selling Photos
There is a huge market for stock photos! A quick search on UberSuggest shows a 110,000 search requests a month for the term 'stock photo' - what does that mean? That people are looking for good stock photos! If you're good with your camera, and enjoy taking photos you can hop onto this trend and make money online with your favorite hobby.
ubersuggest - stock photo volume search as of fall 2021
Have a creative flair? Target many different types of photo ideas and pair up with companies like Shutter stock to sell your unique images or venture out on your own and build your own website on Wix. :)
Writing can be so lucrative! Writing is something that we ALL learn and can do to a certain degree. You don't need to be a master of the English language or a wiz with words... If you find writing enjoyable then dig down and find a good niche for yourself to thrive in, and work on developing your current skill set.
Freelance Writing: If you're looking for an ongoing gig providing content for others- freelance writing may be for you. You can find job boards on Upwork or even hooking up with Elna Cain who specializes in helping people with their writing careers.
Blogging: Do you want to showcase your own work and content ideas? Write on issues that you are passionate about, maybe starting a blog is your jam. Blogging can be a great way to make passive income if you have the drive to create content long term with no reward for at least the first 6-12 months.
Technical Writing: Typically involves writing processes, procedures or professional documents in a professional setting. This type of writing is mostly straightforward and lacks creativity, so if you cringe at the thought of coming up with creative content this may be a great choice if you have decent writing skills.
Transcription: Typing out voice recordings in a timely manner and getting paid for it - basically sums up transcription. You can take the time to get licensed to be a legal transcriptionist or you can find your way to contract your work independently for a larger organization that advertises these services. There is a lot of opportunity to find your place within the transcription field.
6. Buying & Selling Securities (stock)
This can be a great way to create passive income. Although you will most likely pay a bigger tax rate if you flip stock frequently (less than 1 year). However, if you leverage purchasing mutual funds/index funds with another way to make money and let it grow, time is on your side. As you grow your money in the market you can either spend your dividends (money that the fund gives you periodically) or pull from your investments as needed. This is also a great way to create security as a single or stay at home mom...and in the case of any family or personal emergency having a nest egg that continuously grows can be a lifesaver and even provide an additional source of income if you need it.
The downside, the way I see it, is that the market fluctuates, its not always on the up and up - if you view investing as a long term solution to financial security, and take profits sparingly, as it grows you will set yourself up for the most success and future financial freedom.
7. Delivery services
There is such a huge demand for making peoples lives easier by way of delivery - there probably isn't anything you can not deliver in your free time to earn money. From rides to groceries the opportunities seem to be endless. Here are just a few delivery service companies you can check out and get started with fairly easily.
Uber: A company that allows private ride hailing and as expanded to offering delivery services. You sign up on their website, register your car and tax status for payment and fulfill rides for people as requested through their app on your own time.
Lift: Another variation of Uber. Their business works very similarly in respect to picking people up and delivering them at their desired destination.
Door Dash: Food and grocery delivery service. Sign up online and fulfill shopping requests at the grocery store and deliver the order in a timely manner to the client.
Personal Shopping: A little different than door dash, personal shoppers sometimes work with high end clientele that are too busy to shop for themselves or like the convenience of someone going out and doing all their clothes and food shopping. You can personalize this more if you develop your own niche and find clients independently through advertising - there is big income potential in this field.
8. Digital Products
Etsy has gotten a lot of traction in the graphic design and digital product business! And as I touch based on above there are many types of digital products you can market, it will just depend on your creative abilities and marketing. there is a market for digital products and services like: custom graphic design logos, digital presentation services, custom websites, custom invitations for parties or weddings - even photoshopping peoples existing photos could turn a neat profit. I'd bet if you can dream it, digitally create it, people will want it.