Here at Money Under 30, we’ve written about the life-changing benefits of developing side hustles—a part-time source of income that’s in addition to (and independent of) your day job.
A common objection we hear is: “I can’t work a part-time job or start a business because my family takes all my time.”
Nearly 29 percent of mothers claim stay-at-home status along with two million fathers doing the same. This means that there are a lot of families in the United States trying to survive on just one income. (And if you’re a single parent, it’s even harder.)
If you’re a full-time parent and want to earn additional income to pay off debt or bolster your savings, you probably can’t get a part-time gig at Starbucks or Target.
It’s not a bad idea for one parent to take a late night job, but it might lead to one parent feeling left out, while the other is overwhelmed by handling everything on their own.
You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice time with your partner and kids in order to increase your income. What you do need are some side hustle ideas that are truly flexible and keep the family together.
While not every job is best done as a team, and not everyone will find it easy to be business partners with their life partner, it’s well worth your time to consider some opportunities that will help you meet your financial goals while keeping your priorities in line.
Selling homemade items on Etsy
Perfect for crafty folks, those who are good at graphic design, or love antiques. Etsy is an online marketplace where customers find beautiful hand-made items.
Minky Gifts is a family run business and the couple were able to use their profits to pay off debt and has since made it their primary source of income.
Amy Gabriel is another mom-turned-entrepreneur who started sewing lip balm carriers to ease the financial burden of her husband going back to school; now the job she started while working part-time provides 75 percent of the family’s income.
You won’t get rich quick by blogging, but you can turn a passion into a potential income stream by writing about it on a consistent basis.
Perhaps you and your partner were avid tennis players in your pre-kid life. A blog helping busy parents find ways to fit physical activity into their lives may be just the thing for you. Maybe you were a teacher before you added stay-at-home mom to your resume and would love to share tips about school readiness and how kids can beat summer brain drain.
The keys to a successful blog are having a niche topic on which you can become an expert, and writing consistently until you have an audience.
Monetize your site with products you create, affiliate links to things you love, and sell ads to businesses you recommend to earn passive income day in and day out.
Providing childcare in your home
Many parents love in-home daycares because they offer a smaller child-to-caregiver ratio and are competitively priced. As a bonus, your little ones get to be home with you so you can earn money without the usual child care expense that most working parents have.
Each state has different requirements for the number of children you can have, the number of hours, and at which point you need a license. Adding in several educational components like reading, basic phonics instruction, math, and simple science experiments, will help you stand out above others who are offering similar services.
If you’re not ready for the commitment of running an in-home daycare, consider a drop-off babysitting service on evenings or weekends.
Reselling items on Amazon
Who wouldn’t love to load the kids up, armed with a credit card to buy toys, books and clothes that can be resold at a profit?
Cliff and Jessica Larrew of The Selling Family have been practicing retail arbitrage, snatching up deals at brick and mortar stores and reselling them on Amazon for a profit. Their success has allowed them to leave the traditional workforce and be at home with their young son. They make a big shopping trip once a week and then package and send items in to Amazon as they have time throughout the week.
Hosting exchange students
If you’ve got an empty room or two, consider reaching out to local schools and universities to see if they need hosts for exchange students. Feeding an extra mouth and washing another person’s clothes won’t take much time and the cost will be covered by the fee that you get for taking on this task.
You may have to go through a background check and submit paperwork, so this would be best if you think you’ll do it long-term—hosting a student each year. As a bonus your family gets to learn about another culture, language and foods! Find opportunities by doing a Google search for “hosting international students” or contacting your local schools.
With a little creativity, and help from your partner, it’s quite possible to earn money on the side while without feeling like you’re neglecting your family. You just have to know where to look.