Six ways parents can make extra money from home
By Katherine Hargraves
There’s no doubt about it: kids are expensive! No matter how good you are with money, or how thrifty you have been, making a little bit of extra money can go a long way.
If you aren’t ready to go back to work just yet, or you’re looking for flexible opportunities while your baby or children are still small, why not think about ways you can make extra money from home?
From starting a side hustle to pet sitting, here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Look for freelance opportunities
If you’re ready to hustle, using your skills to go freelance is a great way to earn some extra cash without going back to full-time work. Test the waters and reach out to some of your contacts, or let your social networks know you’re doing some freelance work — you never know what could happen. As your own boss, you can choose how much work you take on. Plus, employers are becoming more flexible, meaning you can work on your own terms!
If going freelance isn’t for you, but you have excellent computing skills, you could look into becoming a virtual executive assistant or an outsourced typist. Love social media and have some experience managing business pages? Many companies outsource their social media accounts, so why not start small and build up a social media management business? The best part is, there are heaps of tutorials online to get you started.
2. Have a wardrobe/spare room cleanout
These days, resale is the new retail. Reselling has grown in popularity in recent years as we try to be more eco-friendly. Think baby items you aren’t using anymore, like capsules, cots and even swaddles. Check out Marie Kondo’s art of tidying and then sell, sell, sell!
Once you have your items ready for sale, you can hit up a local market or try selling online. If you have a lot of stuff, a market stall or garage sale is a great option (just be ready for the early morning bargain hunters!). Alternatively, why not try selling on Gumtree or eBay?
3. Try your hand at neighbourhood pet sitting
Love pets? Why not try pet sitting or having a doggy daycare at home? If you already have a dog that you walk every day, you could walk your neighbours’ dogs too for a little cash.
In many areas, an hour dog walk can earn you more than $25 cash per dog. Do some research to find out the going rates, and then use social media or neighbourhood flyers to build up your little business.
4. Earn vouchers through loyalty programs and surveys
If you’re a parent in Australia, make sure you have signed up for Tell Me Baby’s rewards program. Every time you review a product that you have tried, you can earn up to 300 points. And whenever you reach 2000 points, you can claim a $20 Coles, Kmart or Target voucher or a $25 voucher to spend in the Tell Me Baby shop.
While you are at it, see if you can find some paid survey opportunities. Many research companies have panels of people they send surveys and polls to in return for gift vouchers. Most surveys don’t take more than 10 minutes to complete, and you can do them from your laptop or mobile.
5. Start an online business
Do you have a crafty hobby or love creating things? It might be time to start that side hustle you’ve always talked about. These days it’s easy to get started with an Etsy store to sell your handmade goods.
If you aren’t into craft, perhaps you’re an expert in a certain topic and have some great advice to share in an eBook. Or you could start a digital business using your skills in graphic design, writing or even marketing for small businesses? Having your own online business is a great way to earn extra money, sans office politics. In fact, many mums are so successful they don’t have to go back to their old job.
6. Start a blog
Finally, why not start a blog? If you love telling stories or are passionate about a particular topic, blogging could be a great option for you. These days, the paid blogging world is very competitive but still provides a great outlet for many mums.
If you grow your audience, you will be able to attract sponsors for your posts or paid product opportunities, but what’s most important here is that you have some fun along the way.