By: David Bakke
As a stay-at-home mom, you may rarely find yourself with much free time. After the kids finally go to sleep and everything is done around the house, you're probably ready to call it a day and hit the sack. However, if you're looking to contribute to your household financially, there are plenty of ways to bring home some additional income while still managing all your responsibilities.
1. Complete Online Surveys
Although completing online surveys certainly won't pay the mortgage, it's a relaxing way to bring in some modest income. Some of the better paid websites include Global Test Market and Opinion Outpost. Keep in mind that this industry is rife with scammers - look for sites that are 100% free and require no cash outlay whatsoever. Each survey typically pays between $2 and $3 and takes about thirty minutes. No need to worry about timing ñ you can fill them out whenever you have a few spare moments.
2. Sell Your Stuff
This is a great way to de-clutter your house and put some cash in your pocket at the same time. Start by gathering unwanted items you think someone else may have a use for. Don't set the bar too high; you may be surprised by what other people are willing to buy. A few good suggestions include college textbooks, digital cameras, and cell phones. Open an account on eBay or Amazon and you're ready to go. Just be sure to package all your items securely and ship fast to cut down on customer returns.
3. Extreme Couponing
The amount you can save by extreme couponing can be shocking. With "double discount" days offered by many markets and grocery stores, purchase a couple of copies of the Sunday paper to increase your savings. Mark your calendar for big sales, and time your coupon use accordingly. Although you won't be earning income, you can save enough to put an extra $100 or more back in your budget each month.
4. Make Money Doing the Things You Already Do
Whether you're an expert babysitter or a fantastic cook, if you market your services, you can make money doing things you already do. For example, if you're looking after your children all day, think about offering an informal babysitting service for another family in need. Your children can have someone new to play with, and you can earn a little extra cash. If you're out at the pharmacy or picking up the dry cleaning, make some extra money running errands for others. Since you're already performing these activities, you won't spend any more time than you normally would.
5. Start Your Own Business
The possibilities here run the gamut. Consider launching a consulting business in an area you know well, or look into a re-selling business based on your experience selling things online. If you're talented with writing, you can earn money composing articles for blogs or magazines. Also, if you have a particular online ability such as web design, you can market your expertise on websites such as Freelancer, Guru, or Elance.
To make room for some of these money-making activities, time management is key. Consider consolidating your errands, and reducing your Internet surfing and television time. Generating income as a stay-at-home mom is a great way to better the finances of your household, but you can't succeed unless you appropriately budget your time and energy.
What other ways can you think of to make money as a stay-at-home mom?
David Bakke is a contributor who provides tips for saving and making money, budgeting, and living financially free for Moneycrashers.com.
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