Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom (or dad) or working part or full-time, you can probably use a little extra money to finish projects around the house, save for college or retirement, or maybe even for a well-needed vacation. I know it can be difficult to save when budgets are tight, so I’ve put together a list of 32 realistic jobs that just about anyone can do to bring in extra money.
It’s always been important to me to be available to my kids while they’re still young and living at home. Although it’s been a weight on our budget at times, it’s always been worth the creative struggle to fit in a paying job around taking care of them.
Over the years, that’s meant working part-time jobs while they’re in school or working from home so I can make my own hours. As a result, I’ve had the chance to research and work at many different types of jobs in order to supplement our family’s income.
Designing a job around my busy life meant being a creative entrepreneur. So this list consists of entrepreneurial jobs where you control and set your hours and your rate; but it also means you’ll have to be disciplined and work hard.
Once you decide on a freelance job you’d like to start, continue reading to the bottom where I then tell you how to find customers.
Freelance Writer: Magazines will pay up to a few hundred dollars for a well-written, first-print article. I once made $300 submitting a first-hand account of a successful school fundraiser to PTO Today. Make a Living Writing has a great list of magazines and websites that pay you to write.
Blogger: For people that love to write everyday, blogging has become a very popular way of making money. Start a blog and then sell advertising space or sign up with ad networks. Be aware, thought, that this is not an overnight success and can sometimes take years to get to the point where you’re actually making money from it.
Personal Assistant/Conceirge: Busy business men and women often need an extra set of hands to handle their personal errands (grocery shopping, dry cleaning pickup & deliveries, holiday shopping, etc).
Virtual Assistant: Many small businesses just need an office assistant on occasion (one a week or once or twice a month). Type letters, pay bills, file, or mail direct mail letters.
Tutor: Are you a math or science wiz? Do you speak a second language or love history? Then Moms are looking to hire you as a tutor.
SAT/ACT Prep Tutor: Getting into college has become incredibly competitive over the past 10 years. If you understand the structure of the SAT and ACT tests, can analyze and breakdown the questions, and aced these exams yourself, you could be a good candidate for being a test prep tutor. The going rate for for a test prep tutor is between $50 and $120 per hour.
Babysitter: Families of young children value a good babysitter. The fact that your a Mom yourself could work in your favor. Sign up to be a babysitter on Care.com.
House Sitter: Offer to watch a family’s home while they travel. Go over daily, turn on and off the lights, and collect the mail.
Pet Sitter / Dog Walker: If you love pets, you could do this. Walk, feed, and give them water. You can also sign up on Care.com or other similar sites to be a dog walker or occasional dog sitter when families travel.
Night Nanny: Parents of twins and triplets need their sleep and an extra set of hands. Put your name in with a few local hospital maternity wards.
Driver: A busy mom with several children can often use an extra driver to get the kids to after-school activities or sports.
Eldery Care: Seniors want to be home but often need an extra hand during the day with daily tasks and errands.
Seamstress: If you can sew and own a sewing machine, then hem and repair clothing and make curtains and pillows.
Launder & Iron: If you have a washer, dryer, and iron you can be a laundry service. Many people that live in apartments or those that don’t have the time or desire to do their own laundry and ironing will pay for this service.
House Cleaner: Vacuum, dust, do the dishes, and straighten the house.
Server: Be an extra set of hands to the hostess throwing a party. The going rate for servers is $20 per hour plus tips.
Janitor: Businesses hire people to empty the trash and vacuum after hours.
Hair Cutter / Barber: I save a ton of money cutting my kids’ and my husband’s hair. A small $60 investment in barbershop clippers has saved hundreds of dollars in haircuts over the years. If you’ve mastered this skill, you could go to people’s homes and give family haircuts.
Chef or Baker: Ready-made meals has become an internet craze in the past year. Prepare and freeze meals for busy families. Bake cupcakes for birthdays. Decorate & deliver special occasion cakes. Bake cookies to sell at your local farm stand.
Painter: Painting houses takes a small team, but painting a room in a home or a piece of furniture is something one person can handle.
Artist: If you’re a decorative painter, paint murals or custom canvas artwork.
Photographer: Take family portraits, baby pictures, or even weddings depending on your equipment and skill level.
Party / Wedding Planner: When my kids were young, I would plan the most elaborate themed birthday parties. A busy mom would pay to have someone handle every piece of the planning, decorating, shopping, and cleaning up.
Car Detailer: Vacuum, dust, wash windows until the cars are meticulously clean, inside and out.
Wallpaper: Putting up wallpaper is a skill that people will pay others to do.
Gardener: Maintain flower beds, weed gardens, harvest and wash the fruits and vegetables that come from garden.
Lawn Mower: Mow the grass, rake, weed.
Tree Trimmer: Trim bushes and small tree limbs.
Gutter Cleaner: If you have to get on a ladder for any job, it’s always a good idea to work with a friend. Clear leaves and debris from gutters.
Window Washer: Wash windows from the inside. Remove screens and wash those also.
Woodworker: If you have the tools, the workshop, and the skill, you could help a homeowner repair a cabinet door or put up crown molding.
Newspaper Delivery: Contact your local newspaper to get your own newspaper delivery route.
Deciding what you’ll do to make that extra money is easy, it’s marketing yourself and getting customers that’s the hard part. So how do you go about finding customers? Here are a few low-cost suggestions:
Social Media: Post your services on your Facebook wall. List it in your Facebook “About” page. Tweet about it to friends. Send personal messages to your friends on social media letting them know what you do and ask them for referrals.
Hang Flyers: Ask local businesses if you can hang a flyer on their community bulletin board. Senior centers, churches, barber shops, libraries, and grocery stores are all good places to start.
Signs: Place a sign in your front yard.
Local Newspaper: Place a small ad in your local newspaper.
Press Release: Newspapers may not print your advertisement for free but if you write up a press release they’re likely to print it as a featured news articles. Just be sure to give it a newsworthy spin such as… Local Mom Enjoys Helping The Elderly Stay in Their Homes Longer; or Former Harvard Grad Prepares Students for the New ACT Test.
Referrals: Always do the best job you can and people will naturally spread the word about you.
Finally, remember to choose a job within your skill level and means, work with friend if possible, be careful, stay focussed, and do whatever job you choose to the best of your ability.
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