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40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money

40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money

Being a stay-at-home mom or dad is a full-time job, but it doesn’t pay a full-time paycheck. This makes it difficult for some one-income families to earn enough money to pay for things they need, let alone grow their savings. Good news is, there are ways to earn money without leaving the house or sacrificing your time with the kids. These opportunities enable you to make some cash while your children are at school, asleep, or even while they’re home and wide awake!

Keep in mind that working from home requires self-discipline, organization, and focus (here are my favorite books on getting it all done with less stress). It’ll take a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for you, and you must be driven to keep going even when you feel like giving up, or if others question your decisions. But the effort is worth it. I know this because I’ve been working for myself since 1996, and it’s rubbed off on my son, who recently started experimenting with ways to earn money from home; without interfering with his school or activities! If you have a teen looking to make some extra cash, check out this list!

So without further ado, I present to you the big list of flexible ways for stay at home moms and dads to earn extra cash on the side… or if you’re really motivated, earn a full time income!

Make money by flexing your creativity:

1. Make Money With Your Blog

Just about everyone’s got a blog now, right? Heck, I have more than I can count with both hands! But for good reason… it’s where I make most of my hands-free income from affiliate commissions, Google AdSense, and sponsored advertisers. You get to choose what your blog is about, when to write, what products to promote, and what types of ads to feature. Have you been curious about starting a food blog? Maybe a parenting blog? How about a marketing blog? Or a fashion blog? The possibilities are endless and getting one set up is easy as one, two, three! Check it out!

2. Affiliate Marketing

Did you know that you don’t even need to have your own products or services to earn a hefty paycheck? This is the beauty of affiliate marketing. You promote other people’s stuff and when someone buys, you collect a cut of the sale price! That’s it. No need to carry an inventory, deliver the product, or provide support to the customers! Where do you promote affiliate products? On your blog, social media, articles you write… pretty much anywhere! Here are some popular networks that offer ad links to earn some cash from:

  • Rakuten Linkshare – My favorite network. You can promote popular brands such as Starbucks, iTunes, and Walmart, as well as products offered by smaller companies
  • Amazon – They’re tied with Linkshare as my favorite network. You can promote books, audio books, video games, clothing, kitchen tools, even car parts! You can earn up to 10% commission on majority of what’s being sold on their website! They pay their associates like clockwork, which I love.
  • Clickbank – Their online marketplace contains tens of thousands of products to choose from, and you can earn commissions as high as 75%!
  • JVZoo – Huge variety of products to promote; from business, cooking, and education, to foreign language, gambling, and travel!
  • Shareasale – These guys have over 3,900 merchants to promote from including: Beachbody, Zazzle, Craftsy, Juleep, and Weebly. They always pay on time too!

3. Sell Custom T-Shirts

Teespring allows you to create & sell custom t-shirts with zero hassle, zero upfront costs, and zero risk! You design and promote it, and they produce and ship it! Great for reunions, sports teams, clubs, and parties!

4. Listen to Music for Cash

If you listen to music all day like I do, you’ll love this program. All you need to do is listen to unsigned bands and artists online and submit a review at Slicethepie. Active users with high reputations are earning an extra $50+ per month for just 5-10 min a day listening to some aspiring music talents. It may not seem much, but stick it in a savings account and that’s $50 more than what you had before!

5. Set Up an Online Store

You can now profit from your own online store from the comfort of your home, and setting it up is extremely easy! Many people make decent part-time and full-time income with online storefronts. Here are a few of my favorites:

6. Get Paid for Freelance Writing Work

Elance has thousands of job listings available for freelance writers. If you love writing and are able to provide unique articles and content, this could be a perfect fit. There’s a husband and wife team who runs their freelance writing business on the site, and they’ve made over $468,000 in the last 12 months. Check it out!

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7. Sell Articles for Cash

If you have a knack for writing articles on various topics, this is for you. All you need are writing skills, unique articles to submit, and a Paypal account to receive payments! Check out ArticleSale.com and Constant-Content.com to get started!

8. Have a Garage/Yard Sale

How about having an good ole fashioned garage sale? Advertise it on Craigslist and make some extra cash clearing out all that clutter!

9. Find and Post Odd Jobs on Craigslist

Local peeps are looking for help with things like walking their dogs, clearing out their email inbox, landscaping, and house painting all the time! Do a search at Craigslist and you’ll surely find a job you can easily earn cash from in your spare time. If you don’t see anything that’s right for you, post a service of your own.

Make money by selling what you have:

10. Sell Your Old Books

Do you have books laying around, collecting dust? BooksCouter.com helps you sell your books for the highest price by comparing prices from 58 book-buying sites so you can quickly find who will pay the most for your books. Once you’ve found the right buyer, you choose how you’d like to get paid, download a free shipping label, and send your books out!

11. Sell Crafts, Trinkets, Graphics, and More

Become an Etsy seller to earn money for your crafts. It takes less than 30 minutes to get setup and going and costs just 20 cents to list each item for 4 months. But open a shop now and your first 40 listings are free!

12. Sell Your Closet

Have like-new clothes you no longer wear? Turn them into cash with thredUP. For items listed under $60, you get paid as soon as they’re processed, and items over $60 are put on consignment and paid once they’re sold. All you need to do is pack up your clothes and ship (they even cover the cost of shipping!).

13. Sell Your Photos

You no longer need to open a studio to make some extra cash as a photographer. There are plenty of sites looking to buy digital photos. Of course, the better you are at it, the more money you will make, but it can be nice passive income. I have friends who have earned a few hundred dollars for a single photograph! Here are some of the more popular photo buying sites to check out:

14. Sell Your Old CDs, Movies, and Games

Declutter will pay you from a few cents to over ten dollars for your old CDs, movies, and games. If you need to clear out your space of old items you no longer use, you might as well get paid doing it!

Make money by doing simple things:

15. Get Paid to Shop Online

You earn cash back just for shopping like you normally would with Ebates.com. Can’t get easier than that! Join free now and receive $5 cash.

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16. View Text Ads on Your Phone for Cash

FreeEats.com pays you $1.00 to register and 25 cents (or more) for most messages. Payments are deposited straight to your Paypal account. Registration is a cinch and you can stop at any time.

17. Offer Any Kind of Service for $5 on Fiverr

You can sell all sorts of things from logo designs and resume writing services to writing breakup letters and pranks calling a friend. You have to check out their marketplace yourself to believe what people buy on there! Create your $5 gig (tack on a few “add ons” and earn even more!) on Fivver, promote it, and start earning some real cash!

18. Get Paid to Try New Products

Companies pay top-dollar to have users try their products and services for free! Simply complete free offers and Cashcrate pays you!

19. Get Cash Back by Scanning Your Receipts

We all buy groceries on a regular basis, so why not get back some extra cash from it? Ibotta makes it simple. Shop for products at your favorite store (Over 146 supported stores including: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Walgreens!), scan your product barcodes, submit a photo of your receipt, and get cash back within 48 hours! Online rebates are also available from stores including: Macy’s, Sephora, Nordstrom, and The Body Shop.

20. Become a Field Agent

Get paid to do various tasks around town for clients. Assignments at Field Agent usually involve checking prices, scanning barcodes with your mobile phone, and conducting surveys. Your earnings vary and depend on the assignment and locction. For example, one listing offers $9 for 4 pictures of any products in the toothbrush section at your local Target, while another pays $5 for one picture of a $19.99 & under game display from any Toys “R” Us.

21. Get Paid to be a “Looker”

Perform tasks both online and off for WeGoLook clients who need an item verified by taking photos, videos, or other custom tasks. Tasks can pay from $25 to $200, depending on the project. You must have a smartphone to complete each job and pass a criminal background check.

22. Become a Mystery Shopper

As a Market Force mystery shopper, you’ll get paid to eat and shop for free at your favorite brands. Mystery shoppers are independent contractors posing as “shoppers” paid to visit local brands as a regular customer and report back on various aspects of their experience for market research. You set your own schedule and it’s free to sign up!

23. Get Paid For Taking Selfies

It’s true! Stylinity is a new site that pays you to take selfies of your outfits! It’s simple. You sign up, take selfies of your outfits and tag the photo with the product info. When other users click to buy any of the items you’re wearing, you get paid! Signup for free right now and get a $10 bonus!

24. Get Paid to Complete Simple Tasks With Your iPhone or Android

Download the Gigwalk app and start making money right away in your own neighborhood. I registered for an account and the first gig I received paid $8 to take 20 photos of several different bags of Cheetos sold in a local store. That would’ve probably taken me about 10 minutes to do. I’ve read that some others have gotten gigs taking photos of restaurant menus and street signs. The more gigs you complete, the more “Gigwalk Streetcred” you earn. This helps unlock higher paying jobs, which can pay up to $90!

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25. Get Paid to Type

As a SpeakWrite typist, you take one hour shifts where you simply type out spoken audio. You set your own hours and from the comfort of your own home. Fast typists can earn upwards of $15/hour!

Make money by using your knowledge and skills:

26. Get Paid to Host a Dinner

Do you have impressive cooking skills? EatWith gives you a platform to showcase your creativity by connecting you with locals and travelers from around the world! You set your rate per guest, choose the time and dates, and indicate the number of people you are ready to invite. You are the boss!

27. Get Paid to Help People Learn a Language

Teachers on Italki set their own prices, teach only when they’re available, and work from home! And you’re not limited to only English. They’re also looking for people to teach Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish and more. You’re free to focus on teaching because the service handles scheduling, marketing, payments and so on.

28. Teach an Online Course

Transform your knowledge and expertise into an online course and get paid well for it! You can teach anything you like… from computer programming and Photoshop tricks, to creating mobile apps and expert photography! You set the price! Here are my favorite sites that offer online courses:

29. Get Paid to Test Websites

Companies as well as individuals (myself included) routinely look for feedback on the usability of their websites. And now you can make money doing just that! My favorite service, UserTesting pays their testers $10 for every 20 minute session they complete! Click here for a list of sites where you can create an account and start earning cash right away.

30. Write Product Reviews for Cash

Do you always have an opinion about everything? Well, now you can make some extra cash sharing it! Epinions.com and ReviewStream.com are two sites that will pay you to write product reviews.

31. Tutor or Give Lessons

Are you fluent in another language, a math genius, talented chef, a gifted harpist, or a professional skateboarder? Whatever you’re a pro at, there’s always someone out there who could use your help! Advertise your skills on Craigslist and make some extra cash doing what you’re already great at!

32. Get Paid to Share Your Opinion

Earn cash and rewards for taking surveys! It may not make you a millionaire, but that’s extra cash you can earn for just a few minutes of your time! Here are three sites I’ve successfully registered to report back on this article, and have earned a few bucks already:

  • Swagbucks – There is no limit to the amount of Swagbucks you can earn, and they can be redeemed for gift cards to just about anywhere.
  • Opinion Outpost – They offer rewards via Amazon or iTunes Gift Cards or cash deposited into your Paypal account. Plus every entry enters you into a $10,000 quarterly prize draw!
  • Vindale Research – Review products and take simple online surveys. They pay up to $75 per survey/review!

Make money by helping the world:

33. Rent Out Your Car

Make extra cash renting out your car with Turo! Perfect if you have a second car that’s usually sitting in the garage. Even better… get paid for renting out your car while you’re away on vacation! You control the price and availability and you decide who rents your car. Your car is covered by their $1,000,000 liability policy during every rental, covering any damage to or theft from your car, with no out-of-pocket expenses. Each renter is thoroughly screened for your safety.

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34. Rent Out Your Driveway or Garage

I had no idea my driveway could be a source of income! If you have space in your garage or driveway, JustPark might be for you. Listing your parking space is totally free, and you choose the dates your space is available, as well as the amount you would like to receive per day, week, and month.

35. Rent Out a Room in Your Home or Apartment for Cash

Listing your space on Airbnb is free. You set the price, your availability, and reservation requirements for your guests. You can also set custom prices to earn more during popular travel seasons! You can review each potential guest’s profiles and the reviews they’ve received to help you accept a booking only if you’re 100% comfortable. Their support team is available 24 hours a day, and every eligible booking is covered by their Host Guarantee at no additional cost to you.

36. Get Paid for Being a Friend

Whoever said money can’t buy friendship has never heard of Rent a Friend! I’m not even kidding. You go to their website and offer your friendship for $10 to $50 per hour. You set your own price and what types of activities you’re available for! The website clearly states that it is NOT a dating site, but a service offering companionship; someone to show you around an unfamiliar town, for example.

It’s not something you can really do from home, unless what you’re offering is home-based, such as teaching your “new friend” to bake or scrapbook from your home (not something I’d personally recommend). However, earning money to show someone the best local restaurants for a few hours or helping them shop for gifts isn’t such a bad way to make extra cash while the kids are at school! Some users claim to earn over $2000 a week full time, and others who just work on the weekends and make $500.

37. Drive People Around for $35/hour

That’s how much you can make with Lyft, a service that eliminates the need to use taxis. You drive your own car, set your own working hours, and earn $35 per hour.

38. Drop Shipping = No Inventory and No Overhead

This is such a simple and cost effective solution for bringing in some extra cash. I’ve personally tried this in the past, and will probably have my teenage son experiment with this too! Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a product to sell online, like Ebay (let’s say it’s a computer mouse that costs you $2)
  2. Mark up the price and list it for $15
  3. When it’s sold, you send the drop shipper your buyer’s information, including the $2. You keep the remaining $13!
  4. Drop shipper ships it directly to your customer!
  5. Rinse and repeat!
  6. Here’s a big list of drop shippers for a huge variety of products that you can search through!

39. Babysit

Yes, I know you have kids of your own, but look at it as getting paid to host a playdate! You’re a terrific parent and a wonderful caregiver, so if this is something you think you might enjoy trying, why not get paid for it? Advertise your babysitting services for free on SitterCity and Care.

40. Recycle Your Old Mobile Devices

Did you know that you can actually get cash for your old cell phones? You know you’ve got a couple hidden somewhere. I dug up an old iPhone, a couple of Motorolas, a Nokia, and a Blackberry… let’s see what you can find! Check out how much your ancient phone is worth on Gazelle!

There you have it! This list should be more than enough to keep you busy making money! Happy earning!

More by this author

Carmen Sakurai

Mental Declutter, Stress Management & Burnout Prevention Coach. Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed & No Energy? Let's Talk!

35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life 40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money 20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject 24 Signs You’re An Introvert- Not Shy 10 Compassionate Ways to Support Loved Ones Suffering from Depression

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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