13 Legitimate Ideas For How To Make Money As A Stay At Home Mom
Ways To Make Money From Home For Moms
Becoming a stay at home mom often means sacrificing half of your family’s income. For many families this means barely reaching or not being able to maintain the household budget. As a result, many moms are left looking for ways that they can continue to make money from home while devoting their time to their children. Finding legitimate work like this can be tough. If you’re a mom who is looking then you know the anxiety and stress that can come with trying to figure out how to help provide for your children’s needs without sacrificing the ability to stay home with them.
When I first made the decision to stay at home after our oldest daughter was born, my husband and I didn’t know how we were going to make it financially. Because of the financial strain that we experienced without my income, I began searching online for ways to make money while my daughter napped (and actually tried out many of the options below). We didn’t make our budget for quite some time until I stumbled across some information about blogging, which was a game changer for us. In blogging I found both a hobby that I am passionate about and a way to make a consistent income from home. It took hard work, persistent dedication, and a bit of a leap of faith, but I now make a notable income doing something I love while still being able to devote my time and attention to my children at home.
No one way to make money from home is right for every mom, but if you are searching for a way to earn additional income for your family without returning to work outside of the home, then this post is for you! I’ve listed 13 legitimate ideas to explore below with additional resources for each. With each idea I’ve also listed some of its pros and cons to consider. It’s my hope that these suggestions can help you find an option that works for you and your family!
1. Start A Blog
Of course I list this one first, because this is how I make money as a stay at home mom. If you enjoy writing, graphic design, and don’t mind learning some technical know-how, then blogging may be a great option for you! There is a significant learning curve to blogging and you have to patient to begin seeing return on your work, but you can also make a relatively passive and sizable income from it.
- No income cap – I know bloggers who make 5-figures a month or more! If you work hard with a blog your earning potential is almost unlimited.
- Flexible work hours – You can run a blog whenever it suits you to do so! Unless you incorporate sponsored content into your blog, you don’t have to answer to any outside party – so you can work in the middle of the night, during nap time, or even take a week or two off if you need to focus on your family or other priorities. You have to put work in to succeed, but you can do it on your own terms.
- Very low start-up cost – Blogging costs VERY LITTLE to jump into. You simply need to purchase hosting for your site. As you grow a blog more resources are typically required but by then you are also earning more income to accommodate the expenses.
- Ability to customize to your strengths – You can publish a blog on any topic you choose, so it’s easy to coordinate your site with a hobby, passion, or subject area in which you have specific strengths or knowledge.
- High learning curve – Blogging comes with a pretty high learning curve – everything from how to use different software platforms to SEO and graphic design. If you don’t want to invest time learning to start making money from home then blogging may not be the best choice for you.
- No guaranteed earnings/wages – You can absolutely earn a lot of money blogging. However, there is also no guarantee that you will earn any! If you can’t get your blog off of the ground it’s possible that you could earn nothing from it. Even if you do get a blog to earn somewhat consistently you can never be certain that your earnings will continue. Income from a blog is highly dependent on traffic – which fluctuates.
HOW TO START: Check out my post on how to start a blog to make profit here. I’ll walk you through exactly how to set up your site so that you can begin to earn money with it!
2. Join A Multi-Level Marketing Network
If you love re-connecting with old friends, connecting with new people, spending time on social media, and supporting a product that you are passionate about, then joining a multi-level marketing network may be a good option for you. Multi-level marketing organizations include companies like Mary Kay, Beachbody, Amway, LuLaroe, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Usborne, and more. If you’ve ever been invited to an online or in-person party centered around a product, then it was probably a multi-level marketing organization! With the right skill set and a passion for the product you can make very good money with a MLM company. Just remember that not many make it really big, you have to put in hard work, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
- Flexible work hours – A lot of success with multi-level marketing depends on reaching out to people and networking. With all of the digital platforms to help you connect with people today, you can work any time of the day that suits you!
- Very low start-up cost – The start up cost varies for every multi-level marketing organization. However, they are often not substantial. Many companies require you just to pay a small start-up fee to receive some product samples and/or resources.
- Immediate support team – Unlike a lot of other start-up options that leave you to figure everything out on your own, when you join a multi-level marketing organization you immediately receive the support of a team to help you get started and grow your business! Because of the way that multi-level marketing companies are structured, all of the members of your team will be eager to help you and see you succeed. If you don’t consider yourself a business-savvy person, this is a huge benefit. (It’s a huge benefit even if you do consider yourself business-savvy since you gain tried and true advice from others experienced in the exact same position with the exact same product that you are trying to sell.)
- Provided marketing resources & business plan – In addition to gaining an immediate support team, many multi-level marketing organizations also provide marketing resources and a business success map (or plan). Instead of starting from scratch to create these things yourself, you are spring-boarded into your business with high quality marketing materials, best practices for how to use them, and a plan for how to succeed in your business.
- Required order limits – Every multi-level marketing organization has different rules and requirements to remain a partner with them. Some of them may require a certain size of order to be placed in a certain time period. Be sure to understand all of the ordering and partnership rules of an organization before partnering with them, as you could end up losing money if you are unable to grow your business at a rate that keeps up with their requirements for ordering.
- Inability to customize business plan – While it is a big benefit to receive ready-to-use marketing materials and a business success plan, it can also be a draw-back because you are often unable to create these things with full flexibility for yourself. If you like to have complete freedom to market your business with your own materials and according to your own strategy and plan, then joining a multi-level marketing organization may not be a good fit for you.
- Direct marketing to your personal network – Many multi-level marketing organizations start off your plan for success by having you reach out to your current network. This means they will often have you reach out with a soft sales pitch (or have you connect with the intent to later pitch) to your closest friends and family. If you don’t feel comfortable talking up your business with your friends and family and potentially asking them to support it, then a multi-level marketing organization may not be the best fit for you.
HOW TO START: First, you have to find a product you love enough to sell to others! You can find an extensive directory here of direct sales companies to consider joining. If you find one that’s a good fit, visit their website for instructions to sign up and sell.
3. Sell Handmade Items
If you are at all crafty then selling handmade items could be a fun way for you to make some side income or build a business from home. Especially with online platforms like Etsy who are ready to help you sell, setting up a store to market your own creative pieces has never been easier. You can also sell handmade items through your own website or at local craft fairs or makers markets. Creating your own pieces to sell can be time consuming, but if you genuinely enjoy crafting you may find that it’s as much a fun hobby as it is a way to make money!
- Ability to enjoy a hobby or use a skill – If you really enjoy crafting or have a specific skill for creating items, then you may find that making money selling pieces that you create is actually just as much fun as it is profitable.
- Flexible work hours – If you are selling handmade items you can work on them whenever it suites you to do so – as long as you meet any timing commitments that you promise to customers!
- Established online marketing platforms – Having online marketing platforms already in place to help sellers of handmade items is a huge benefit! When you begin to sell through a platform like Etsy you enjoy immediate access to their market AND you benefit from their administrative features like tax calculating, email access, and more.
- Hard to scale income – Selling handmade items will always have a cap on the amount that you can earn – unless you can continue to increase your price per product as you grow your business. You can only earn about as much income as the amount of items you can make in a handmade business. It doesn’t mean you can’t earn a notable amount, but it is not as easily scale-able as options like blogging, joining a MLM organization, or becoming a social media influencer.
- Significant Administration – While online marketing platforms for crafters like Etsy help you with a lot of administrative items, you will likely still need to package and ship products, manage ordering supplies, and more if you sell handmade items. With large order volume this can turn into a significant amount of administration that may be time consuming.
HOW TO START: The first step is to produce enough products to create a store-front. The amount of items to do this will vary for different types of handmade items, but once you have enough to market your business you can use a site like Etsy to create an online shop or just begin marketing to friends and family through social media.
4. Become a nanny
If you love children and feel like it wouldn’t overburden you to manage more than your own clan, then becoming a nanny might be a great way for you to earn money while home with your kids! Places like Care.com are full of parents looking for caregivers for their children and many are willing to have you watch their children at your own home. This can result in additional income for you and playmates for your kids. Not every set of kids will be good fits for each other and/or for you, but with a good fit watching a few extra kids alongside your own can be a great way to make some extra money without adding an evening or weekend time commitment to your schedule.
- Requires no extra working hours – If you nanny children during hours of the day when you are already caring for your own children, you are not required to work any of your recovery or family time hours in the evenings or on weekends, etc.
- Can detract attention from your own children – Taking on additional children can detract from the amount of attention that you are able to give your own. This is where finding the right balance and fit with the kids you are watching is important.
- Typically not high paying – While you can make notable income from watching other children alongside your own, it is typically not substantial and has very little room to increase without adding on extra hours of work.
- Hours are not flexible – Typically, being a nanny does not allow for very flexible hours of work. Parents need you to watch their kids when they need the coverage, so you are not free to work “at will” like some of the other options out there for stay at home moms.
HOW TO START: You can create a profile for yourself on a reputable website like Care.com for parents to find and consider using you as a nanny.
5. Become A Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is increasingly popular in the current business culture. If you like the idea of flexible online work but don’t feel the drive to start your own blog, business, or MLM marketing branch, then becoming a virtual assistant might be a good fit for you! There are MANY bloggers and online business owners looking for assistance with their administrative tasks, graphic design, social media involvement, and more. With very minimal training you can equip yourself as a virtual assistant to help an online entrepreneur achieve success in their field.
- Helps you build a professional network from home – Instead of building something on your own without any team or partner to bounce things off of, as a virtual assistant you get to work with clients and get to know their needs and businesses.
- Flexible working hours – As a virtual assistant you can often work on projects or administrative tasks whenever it suits you to do so. However, this could vary depending on who is hiring your services and what their specific needs are.
- Guaranteed hourly or project based wage – Instead of taking a gamble with the income ebb and flow of running your own business or blog, as a virtual assistant you are promised to receive your hourly or project-based wage, whether the business you are helping meets their profit goals or not.
- Income cap at the amount you are able to charge per hour or project – While it is nice job security to know that you are promised your hourly or project-based wage whether the business you are helping makes their goals or not, it is also a drawback that your earnings are capped at your hourly or project-based rate. If the business you are helping explodes with profit and success, you still get paid just your promised rate.
- No creative liberty to make something your own – If you are creative and like to build things for yourself you may find it frustrating as a virtual assistant not to be able to build or do something the way you would choose to do it in your own business.
- Less autonomy – Unlike some other work at home options for moms, as a virtual assistant you do have clients or “bosses” that you have to answer to for your work.
HOW TO START: You can find a really helpful breakdown about what is involved to become a Virtual Assistant in this post. She also offers a step by step course to help you get started offering your services.
6. Teach English Online
If you have a passion for teaching children or love culture or language, then teaching English online might be a great way for you to make money as a stay at home mom. Some programs require a teaching degree to join, but there are some that just require a bachelor’s degree in any field of study – so you can qualify even if you have never taught before!
- Consistent and guaranteed hourly wage – Since you typically work for a company when you teach English online, you have the benefit of counting on the hourly wage that they commit to pay you.
- “Clock in” and “clock out” hours – Unlike some other online work from home options, when you teach English online you can put in your work hours during designated times and disconnect during the rest of the day.
- Fulfillment of working with students – As any teacher will tell you, there is a unique fulfillment in working with students and seeing them develop and learn. When you teach English online you enjoy the benefit of knowing that you are impacting a life and helping a child to learn and better their future.
- Often set hours for work – You may need to be online and teaching with devoted attention for specific hours of the day when you teach English online. In some instances this may be very early morning or late night hours due to time differences with international students.
- Income cap at your hourly wage – While it is a benefit that you are guaranteed your hourly wage when you teach English online, it also means that you don’t have the ability to strive for more profit return on your time like you can from some of the other work at home online options.
- Can be fired – Since teaching English online is typically something you do for an established company, you can be fired from the job if you do a poor job, neglect to be available when required, etc.
HOW TO START: There are many companies that will pay you to teach English online. The first step to get started is to choose one that is the right fit for you. This post provides details on over 20 different companies and answers a lot of FAQs about how to get started and what it’s like to teach English online.
7. Freelance Or Start A Business To Offer A Professional Service
If you have a specific skill set that can be marketed as it’s own service or business, then becoming a freelancer or starting your own business might be a great option for you! Even if you were just an employee of a larger organization in the past and don’t think you have a marketable skill set – you might! Think about what you did for your company and whether any piece of it is something that clients or other businesses may pay someone to do for them. You can freelance almost any service including management consultations, writing, graphic design, analytical services, tech services, and more. If you have a professional degree and offer a service like counseling, nutritional consultation, etc. then that can also be a great opportunity to start your own business that you can run on your own schedule and terms!
- Total control of your work load, business direction, etc. – When you are a freelancer or run you own business you have to answer to your clients and meet their satisfaction with your services, but you don’t have to answer to anyone for how much work load you take on, what long-term direction you want your business to take, what methods or software you want to use to complete your work, etc.
- Ability to increase income with experience or quality of work – The more years that you offer your freelance services or run your business the more you will refine your skill set. Most likely, this will allow you to be able to increase how much you charge for your services over time.
- Fulfillment of using a skill you are trained in – You won’t feel like you are wasting a degree or valuable experience if you are channeling it into a freelance or professional service business!
- Flexibility to make hours what you want them to be – When you own your own business you can make the work load and hours what YOU want them to be. This may mean refusing certain clients or jobs at times, but it is your decision to make.
- All administration falls on your shoulders – There can be a lot of administration when you offer your own freelance or professional service. Be sure you consider how much time and effort that will require before jumping into building your own enterprise.
- It often takes time to build a client base – Starting your own business and/or building a client base can be very difficult. It often takes significant time to establish yourself.
- Often high start-up expenses – This can vary widely depending upon what service you are offering, but keep in mind that starting your own business can require significant initial expenses.
- It can take a lot of time and resources to promote your services at first – Because it can take a long time to build an established client base, it can also take a lot of time and resources to try to promote your business to build that client base. This can cause burn-out or be an unexpected financial burden if it’s not planned for.
HOW TO START: This will vary significantly depending on the type of freelance business you are starting. You can find some really helpful tips to consider here. Starting a freelance business often begins with creating a website, defining your purpose and goals, establishing your services and pricing, and then promoting your business to reach clients so be sure to check out my posts on those topics as well (linked above).
8. Become An Online Transcriber
If you like work that doesn’t require a high degree of deep thought and you are detail oriented, then you might enjoy work as an online transcriber! As a transcriber you simply type out the contents of audio clips and format them. Companies will typically pay you per audio minute or project completed, though it is dependent on who you are doing the transcribing for.
- Very flexible working hours – Most companies will pay you to transcribe per audio minute or project completed. Therefore, you can work on your transcribing as your schedule allows it – as long as you meet the deadline for each project that you take on!
- Doesn’t require any strategic planning, administration, or management – Transcribing is one of the few online ways to make money that doesn’t require you to have a business plan, promote yourself, or handle much administration.
- Quick and low-cost training – There are relatively low-cost training programs for transcription available online.
- Typically not a high paying field – Transcribing can pay reliably, but it is typically not a very high paying field.
- Need to have a quiet environment and be able to devote focused attention to work – It can be a challenge with children at home to find enough quiet time to sit and devote yourself to transcribing work.
- No creative liberty – If you like to put a little bit of creative thought into your work, then you may grow frustrated with the data-entry like nature of transcribing.
HOW TO START: Be wary of online companies for quick transcription. Many of them pay VERY poorly and you will burn out before you can build any income from your work. You can find some really helpful insight from a former online transcriber as well as some course recommendations to get started on the right foot here.
9. Become An Online Tutor
There are many companies looking for qualified individuals to become online tutors for them! Every company is a little bit different, but typically if you have a bachelors degree and can pass one of the companies’ proficiency tests for a specific subject, then you can become an online tutor for them! If you have specific training or credentials in a certain subject matter, then online tutoring may be an even better fit for you.
- Little to no start up costs – Every company will have different equipment requirements and/or fees associated with them, but typically the expenses to start tutoring online are very minimal.
- Guaranteed wage – Since you are not running your own business as an online tutor, you have the security of a guaranteed hourly or session-based wage.
- Inflexible hours – Every company will be different, but in most cases as an online tutor you will need to commit to a specific time or blocks of time to be available for your students.
- Income cap – While you may be able to earn a little bit more per hour the longer you are an online tutor, you will likely not reach a significantly higher income level tutoring no matter how long you do it.
- Inconsistent demand for your work – Summer breaks from school, students reaching proficiency, and other factors may make the demand for online tutoring inconsistent.
HOW TO START: Every online tutoring company has different procedures for getting approved to start tutoring with them. You can find a list of some of the sites that offer online tutoring jobs here to explore their requirements.
10. Give Music Lessons At Your Home
If you are a talented vocalist or instrumentalist of any kind, you can make money simply by giving half-hour to hour long music lessons out of your home! Many students seek individual lessons to refine their voices or instrumental skills. Teaching private lessons can be a fun way to continue enjoying your own musical passion while also fueling that of another.
- Ability to share a passion – If you have enough musical talent to be teaching music to children, then you probably also enjoy singing or playing your instrument! Teaching lessons is a profitable way to continue enjoying your own hobby or passion.
- High wage per time spent – As a private music teacher you can often charge a premium for your time since you are teaching a very specific skill.
- Consistent income – Most student who take private music lessons will take them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, so you are able to plan on the income that your lessons each week will bring in.
- Need focused time to dedicate to students – If you have children at home, it may be difficult to find time to be able to give focused attention to a student or students.
- Inflexible hours – When you teach lessons, you are committed to working your scheduled hours. You may be able to rearrange a lesson here and there, but you can’t work around the chaos of any given day like you can with some other work from home options.
- Demand may ebb and flow – Students may desire fewer lessons over summer breaks, they may decide to discontinue their pursuit of music, they may decide to cut private lessons to devote more time to a sport, etc. There are many reasons why you may experience ebb and flow to the demand for private lessons if you teach music.
HOW TO START: To get started giving music lessons out of your home, you just need to advertise yourself! Try contacting some local schools to see if you can receive referrals from teachers or be permitted to hang flyers in their music wing. You can also use social media to try to connect with interested students or parents. Do everything you can to make your qualifications clear such as listing credentials, past musical involvement, or references.
11. Work Remotely For An Established Company
Companies like Amazon, Apple, Hilton, and more hire employees to work online from home. These positions often pay hourly and you enjoy the security of working for a reputable company while also enjoying the perks of doing so from home.
- Consistent paycheck and possible benefits – Since you are an hourly employee, you can count on a consistent paycheck and maybe even benefits from your company.
- Management and team to support you – Working for an established organization means that you have the support of coworkers and a management team, even though you are not physically in an office with them.
- Minimal to no start-up expense – Companies may stipulate specific technology or software required to work remotely for them, but there are likely not significant start-up expenses to taking an online job for an established organization.
- Inflexible hours – Since you are working for a company, you have to work the hours that they require of you to maintain your job and income.
- Need focused time to work – Depending on the specific online job that you are doing, you will likely need to be able to devote focused time to your work which may be difficult if you are also caring for children at home.
- Income capped at per hour or salary earnings – You can only earn as much as the company you are working for is willing to pay you.
HOW TO START: Find a company that’s hiring! You can find a great detailed list here of organizations that frequently hire remote employees.
12. Start A Reselling Business
If you have the space to store items at home and don’t mind people coming and going to drop things off or pick things up, then starting a reselling business might be a great fit for you! You can purchase items yourself at auctions, thrift stores, or yard sales and resell them with online listings, you can resell used items for others and keep a percentage of the profit, or you can do both! There are a lot of ways you can structure a resale business out of your home.
- Completely flexible hours – Most of your work load will be creating online listings for items, which you can do whenever it suits your schedule!
- No income cap – If you are really skilled at finding bargain items to resell you can make more money! You can also make more by increasing the volume of items you purchase and resell (or resell for others).
- Completely self-owned – You don’t have to answer to a boss or management team when you run a resale business. You have the flexibility to niche down on the items that you want to sell and make your business into whatever you want it to be.
- Requires deadlines & meeting customer expectations – While you can do the bulk of the work creating listings and dealing with administration on your own schedule, you will have to meet deadlines for shipping to customers or be available for pick-ups according to their needs.
- Heavy administration required – There can be a lot of administration required in a resale business due to creating online listings, responding to customer questions, processing payments, tracking income and expenses, and more.
- Inventory space likely required – You need space to store all of the items that you’re reselling! If you don’t have spare room or garage to do this with a resale business might not make sense for you.
HOW TO START: If you’re starting a reselling business with items you purchase yourself to sell, then you can get started by attending local auctions, visiting thrift shops, or going to yard sales. If you want to help others resell items to earn a commission you will need to market your services (social media is a great place to start). Once you have items to sell you will likely want to create accounts on Ebay, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, or another online site that enables you to list items for sale.
You can find some helpful tips to keep in mind before starting a resale business here.
13. Become An Influencer
What mom doesn’t love social media? If you enjoy social media and can gain a high enough following on one or more platforms, you may qualify to become an online influencer. As an influencer you can earn money by promoting products or services on your social media platform(s). Essentially, you become an advertiser for companies that want to reach your following.
- Completely flexible hours – As an influencer, you need to maintain your social media presence and meet brand requirements for posting about their products. You can do this whenever it suits your schedule, especially with all of the online social media schedulers available.
- No income cap – In many cases, the bigger your following the more you can charge to promote a brand, s0 as your following grows your income can also grow!
- No start-up cost – There is no start-up expense to become an online influencer, though you may find in your journey to become one (or after you’ve become one) that you desire a better camera and/or photo editing software.
- It takes time to become an influencer (and no guarantee!) – If you set out to become an online influencer, there’s no guarantee that you will become one and, unless you already have a very large social media following, it can take a significant amount of time to achieve a large enough following to become one.
- You must maintain your social media presence – As an influencer, you can’t drop off the face of the earth on social media, so you need to be committed to maintaining your online image and presence.
- You must be willing to share your personal life with a public audience – Most likely, you can’t build a large social media following without relating with your followers and showing some vulnerability. This means that you have to be willing to share some of your personal life with a public audience.
HOW TO START: To become an influencer you need to build your social media following and then focus on connecting with brands. You can find some really helpful tips for how to build your audience and network with companies to promote here.
Becoming a stay at home mom in today’s society is HARD – especially financially. Don’t despair if you haven’t found the right option to bring in extra income from home yet – one of these options may be exactly the one for you!