Three ways stay at home moms can make money
While every parent’s choice is individual, some moms decide to stay at home with their children in their early years.
For some this decision is easy – their partner is able to cover their household expenses on their salary or business alone. But for other families, their choices are more limited. And if the mother does want to stay at home with her children, she needs to find a way to earn money while doing so.
Luckily today the internet gives us far more employment and business opportunities than were available to stay-at-home moms in the past. Modern technology means that we can do many jobs working where we choose – and sometimes in the hours that suit us too.
This can mean working in the day, while our children are at school, or in the evenings while they’re asleep.
So what choices are open to mothers at home with their children who need to earn money? One solution is a remote job. Again, these are more plentiful today. With a remote job you’ll have an employer and set working hours, plus a guaranteed salary.
But while the guaranteed salary is reassuring, you may not appreciate the restrictions that come from employment with young children. Indeed, your decision to stay at home with your children may have been based partly on having the freedom to be with them and be spontaneous if you fancy a day out, or your children are sick and require your attention.
If you’d rather not answer to a boss at the moment, your other alternative is to set up your own small business, or use your skills to turn freelance. You could become a virtual assistant, a tutor, or a freelance writer using websites like Upwork.
You could also work freelance jobs while your children are at school using your car. These can include doing errands for people via Postmates, DoorDash, or TaskRabbit. Or transporting passengers for Uber or Lyft.
The reality is that there are many ways stay-at-home moms can earn money. And to inspire you, we’ve chosen three money-making ideas that use your skills.
1) Become a tutor
There always students who need help with their studies – providing you with an income opportunity if you have the skills or knowledge they need.
There are a plethora of services out there that connect students and tutors, such as Wyzant, Tutor.com, Revolution Prep, and CourseHero. And the best part is that you don’t need to be a certified teacher to use these services. If you have a relevant Bachelor’s Degree, or (in some cases) are able to demonstrate your proficiency in a subject, you can be eligible to tutor a subject.
There are several advantages of being an online tutor. And one of the biggest (especially for moms who want to work around their children) is that you can set your schedule, rates and more.
So what do you need to do to be a successful tutor? There are a few things you need to do. Firstly, make sure you are applying for jobs within your specialist subject area. After all you need to ensure you have genuine knowledge to share – plus if you are interested in what you are teaching you’ll enjoy the work more, and your students will get more from the experience.
Another important thing you need to understand is that your profile on your chosen tutor site is all about selling yourself. Your photo should be professional, and your text needs to convey how you can help, and why a student should choose you. (You can use some of the most popular profiles on the site as a template for writing your own.)
When you start tutoring, encourage your happy students to write reviews, as this will help you get more students and more regular work. Setting your hours is critical, too. Understand that most students in grade school all the way through high school will need help after school, but college students have more flexible hours, as will students who are home-schooled.
Your rate should be competitive as well. But if you get to the stage where you’re turning away students because you’re so buys, it might be time to raise them!
One handy side benefit of tutoring is that by helping other students with their classwork, you’ll find it much easier to help your own children with their homework.
2) Work as a virtual assistant
If you’ve ever spent time working in an office, you know how important it is to make sure all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed – and often this is the responsibility of a secretary, personal assistant or office manger.
However, you don’t need to physically be in an office to work in this role. A virtual assistant (also known as a VA) is someone who fulfils the responsibilities of a traditional assistant, without actually being in the office.
Instead, they work from home – sometimes in the hours of their choosing. There are several requirements of being a good assistant, but the key is having excellent time management and organization skills.
The reason why virtual assistants are so coveted is because they generally work on a freelance basis, and the things they do – organizing calendars, booking meetings, setting up travel arrangements, and other things making the lives of professionals so much easier.
Some virtual assistants specialise in general admin, whilst others use a broad range of different experiences to specialise in specific, in-demand areas. They can either specialise by skill set (for example event management or technical skills), or by type of client (company executive or small business owner). The more in-demand your skills are, and the greater and more valuable your experience, the more people will pay for your services.
Getting started as a virtual assistant is not too difficult. You need a few basic things, such as a computer, reliable internet connection, and good organizational skills. These include the ability to quickly schedule things, take calls, and work a calendar, such as a shared Google Calendar.
There are several places you can find work as a virtual assistant the you’re first starting out and need to build your client base. These include Upwork, FlexJobs, Remote.co, Freelancer.com, and ZipRecruiter. Once you build a client list, working as a virtual assistant can give you a reliable, steady income and enable you to work in hours that suit you, for example while your children are at school.
3) Work as a consultant
If you are a mom who has worked in highly skilled fields like accounting, law, medicine, or marketing, you can consider selling those skills as a consultant.
The good news is that as a consultant you don’t usually need to physically turn up in an office every day; most of your work can be conducted remotely. This is a great way to leverage your expertise without having to leave home, and work in the areas that you are passionate about and excel in – all while helping people.
Getting started as an online consultant is relatively simple. There are a few places where you can find consulting work, such as Clarity.fm. This is where potential clients go for professional advice in a forum, similar to a phone call.
And one of the best parts of the work is that, with Clarity.fm for example, you are paid by the minute. This puts the onus on making sure you are efficient with what you do – if you are then you’ll gain more clients. JustAnswer is another place where clients post questions and you can answer them – it is another easy way to make money using your expertise.
Photos by Marissa Price and Matt Ragland