Between changing diapers, scrubbing sticky fingers, wiping runny noses, putting away toys (because stepping on Legos hurts), dealing with temper tantrums and toting Junior from school to practice to his pal’s house, being a mom is exhausting.
Sure, kids are real joys for the most part — many parents maintain they wouldn’t have it any other way. But you might find yourself all too often strapped for time, money and sanity.
We’ve got you covered on one of those fronts: money.
How to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom
Just when it feels like the last straw might break, here’s how to make money as a stay-at-home mom, without getting a full-time job…
1. Wait. Don’t Delete All Your Emails
Product prices constantly fluctuate online — especially on Amazon.
Because we all seem to have the worst timing ever, it’s bound to happen: You buy an item, and the price drops soon thereafter.
But as a mom, when you need something, you need it, and you certainly don’t have the time to monitor Amazon’s erratic pricing behavior.
Lotus, the mom behind Mommy to Max blog, put it best:
“But, who has the time to track whether the price has fallen after you’ve made a purchase? Or whether you’ve found the lowest price for a product that you’ve just purchased? I sure as heck don’t. (Not to mention the time and energy involved in requesting said options.)”
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.
2. Take a Picture of Your Grocery Receipt
You’re not taking a picture to immortalize it — that would be torturous since grocery bills always seem to end up expensive — but to earn money back.
The Ibotta app houses tons of cash-back offers from more than 340 stores, including Walmart, Target, Publix, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.
Ginny from The Simple Moms blog wrote about the app. She’d earned $117 in rebates — without cutting coupons:
“I recently stopped my newspaper subscription because I just plain don’t have time to do the coupon clipping. 3 kids under 6 years old makes my brain mush and life busy. The Ibotta app is my coupon alternative and has simplified my life.”
It’s easy, too. Just download the app, find cash-back offers on your favorite products, go shopping, then scan the items’ barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt after.
Some recent rebate examples include $5 back on select Huggies products from Sam’s Club, $2.50 back on Similac infant formula from Walmart and $2.50 back on a case of Bud Light from Target (in case you’re that stressed…).
3. Strike Up a Work-From-Home Business
Working from home is a great way for moms to earn extra money, especially when you work for yourself.
It might sound impossible, but plenty of online programs will walk you through the steps of starting your own at-home business — one that’ll allow you to set your own hours.
Bookkeeper Business Launch is one such course, and Amy McLaughry shared her experience with the program with Anywhere & Anytime, a blog for stay-at-home moms. She said:
“I get to choose the hours I want to work, where I want to work, and how much I want to work. I can work while the kids are in school, and then be done for the day when they get home, I am always home for dinner and can make a good dinner for my family, and I can always put my kids to bed.”
4. Let This App Work in The Background
This is passive income at its finest: downloading an app and getting paid to do so.
Granted, the app tracks your behavior in some sort of way (like ShopTracker), but the data won’t get spilled to your friends — just research.
Here’s one app you can download now: Nielsen Panel. If you have a PC or laptop, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50 a year to keep this software on your computer and browse the web like you normally do.
Kelly Land, over at Money Making Mommy, downloaded the Nielsen Panel to her iPhone, and she’s thinking about downloading it to other devices, too. She writes in her blog:
“…you can earn up to $50 a year PER DEVICE. So — I’m thinking because I use my phone, computer and laptop regularly — that could mean $150 for me per year by just doing what I do every day without any changes at all.”
5. Drive With Lyft Between Carpool Shifts
If you’re a stay-at-home mom and want to make some extra money on your own time, ride-sharing might be a good fit.
Try driving with Lyft.
Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.
We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.
6. Sell Off Those Old Movies (or Annoying Video Games)
You can get paid to sell your kids’ old CDs, DVDs, video games, cell phones and anything techy.
This might be especially useful for those of you with older kids who have flown the nest — but left everything behind.
We suggest downloading the Decluttr app. Crystal Paine, from Money Saving Mom, says it’s super easy:
“Decluttr is quick and easy to use, and I love that they offer instant pricing on your items,” she says. “Unlike other sites, there aren’t any listing, auction, or PayPal fees.”
7. Write What You Know (Mom Stuff)
Writing is a valuable skill nowadays, so if you know the tricks of the trade, you could make some extra money freelancing, which you can do while the kids nap.
Tap into your interests. You could get paid to write about anything — travel, cooking, technology, personal finance. You can also take notes from these 11 women freelancers, whom Elna highlighted on her blog, Twins Mommy. Each of them have found different ways to make money at home as a freelancer, if you want to get really creative.
Of course, there are tons of parenting publications out there, too, which are looking for first-hand experts (you). For that, we put together a list of six parenting blogs and magazines that pay up to $700.
8. Put Away Some Money in Investments
Do you want to start investing but think it’s not for you? Or that it’ll take forever to build a portfolio? (Whatever that is, anyways…)
Acorns is an easy way to get started. Plus, you’ll earn a $10 sign-up bonus.
Digital Mom Blog wrote about the app and how easy it was to save.
Here’s what she said:
“In the last few months, I’ve saved over $500. How Acorns works – it rounds up your purchases and deposits the money into a separate account, which then is invested. This is effortless micro-investing. This isn’t meant to be your only way to save, but it offers a great solution for saving for Christmas, vacation or what have you.”