Our readers often ask us ‘How can I make money whilst stuck at home with the kids?’, or they want to know what type of jobs can be fitted around school hours.
Well, we have some good news – there are loads of ways for stay-at-home mums and dads to make some extra money… try our top five methods for making money if you’re a stay-at-home parent.
Moneymagpie’s Top 5 Ways For Mums to Make Money:
- Make money at your computer
- Make money from your home
- Make money from childcare
- Make money from offering a service
- Make money from hosting
1. Make money at your computer
A handy little earner is completing online surveys in your spare time.
You won’t necessarily make oodles of cash, but if you have 15-20 minutes to spare once or twice a week, why not spend that time making some money?
Sign up online to the following survey sites, which pay you for giving your opinions:
- Nielsen Online Panel
- Valued Opinions
- The OpinionPanel Community
Some sites will offer you freebies or vouchers for every survey you take, others will offer you small amounts of cash – but note that this will only be paid when you hit a certain threshold, perhaps £50.
You can learn much more in our article on online surveys.
Use cashback sites
Cashback sites are a little-known money-maker and can work when you buy pretty much anything online – groceries, insurance, electronics and much, much more.
Search for what you need and buy it through the cashback site and you’ll get back a percentage of what you spend.
Read our article on cashback websites for much more information, including details on many of the leading sites.
Become a virtual assistant (VA)
As a virtual assistant you’ll be carrying out administrative jobs for a company, but all from the comfort of your home.
Typical tasks include making and taking phone calls, sending emails, transcribing and a variety of other everyday office activities.
The main requirements are that you’ll need to be confident with computers and to have a great telephone manner. Learn more in our article on how to become a VA and check out iceni-it.co.uk for further information on getting started.
A specific type of VA is a medical secretary. Companies such as DICT8 will pay you to write up medical notes, your earnings determined on a ‘per line’ basis.
Online competitions are everywhere, and the fact that many people ignore them means that there’s a pretty decent chance of winning.
They’re typically pretty quick and easy to enter, and offer a chance of winning prizes such as cash, exotic holidays, spa breaks and (our favourite) luxury food.
Many competitions are so easy because companies just want your email address, so think about setting up a separate email just for competitions.
Others competitions can be much more inspiring, tapping into your creativity with things like art, writing or photography. Find out much more in our dedicated article on making money from competitions.
Lend to your peers
Peer-to-peer lending is a rapidly growing market, with sites like Zopa cutting out the middle men (the banks) and allowing individuals to lend direct to borrowers.
Returns for lenders can be more attractive than with regular savings rates, while borrowers can often find cheaper loans than from other sources.
Some of the bigger names in this industry such as RateSetter, Funding Circle and Zopa are now very well established, but there are many others which allow specialisation in all sorts of areas, such as property crowdfunding.
Lending your money through peer-to-peer sites involves more risk than leaving it in a bank or building society as it won’t be backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – many see peer-to-peer lending as a half-way house in terms of risk and reward, lying between cash savings and stocks and shares.
Rent out your parking space
If you have a driveway or a garage that you don’t use and live in an area where parking space is in demand, you can rent it out and make money from doing nothing at all.
Parking is more desirable in London and you can charge a lot more than anywhere else, but if, for example, you live close to a large football ground you could charge a premium on match days.
Read our article on renting out your driveway for more information and, if you want to register your parking space, then go to JustPark– you can advertise your space for FREE (they make their money from taking a percentage of the rent you make).
Rent out a room or spare space
If you have a spare room, think about taking in a lodger – you can make up to £7,500 a year tax-free (as of the tax year 2016-17). Read more about the things to consider in our article on renting out a room, or use Gumtree or Spareroom to advertise.
Airbnb is another option if you’re happy to take in the occasional holidaymaker, but you don’t have to fill your spare space with human beings.
People are prepared to pay to leave their goods in storage space, which could be a spare room, attic or garage.
Set up a B&B
This is the ultimate work-from-home job. While it certainly involves hard work, it can still leave you with lots of free time, too.
If you’re one of those people who loves children, and you’re at home all day anyway looking after your own, this might be the job for you.
As long as you don’t have a criminal record you can be a childminder and, if you’re on your own, you can look after a maximum of six children at a time.
It’s typical to charge per child, per hour, and the amount will vary based on the ages and where you live.
Our article on how to become a childminder should give you all the information you need.
Become a doula
Anyone who’s a mother can be a doula – these are women who have had a child of their own and are hired to assist new mothers.
Think of a doula as a parenting ‘expert’; they can do anything from helping with cooking and cleaning to looking after the baby and providing tips that only a real mother can give.
They’re often brought in before the birth and continue to help out through the pregnancy and in the first few weeks afterwards.
Make money from cooking
If you’re into your cooking, you can make money from your culinary skills. Most obviously, you can make edible goodies to sell – which can actually earn you a tidy sum.
Our guide to making cakes, jams and sweets shows you where you can find places to sell your produce. You could even start up a small business if the demand’s there.
Another option is to host a cooking show in your own home. Websites such as The Pampered Chef recruit stay-at-home consultants to perform cooking demonstrations in their own kitchens, using their products.
Become a tutor
You could earn extra cash as a home tutor – there’s demand for a range of subjects and levels, usually on a one-to-one basis. This could be at your home or the student’s.
Check out the London’s Learning website for details on tutoring in the capital, or agencies like Personal Tutors for more information on nationwide options.
For more information on who to contact and how much you could earn, have a look at our article on earning money as a tutor.
Become a proofreader
If you’ve got an eye for grammar and detail, you can earn decent money proofreading manuscripts from home – the rate you can earn at will be determined by your level of experience.
Doing other people’s laundry
There are people who would appreciate you doing theirs and who are willing to pay per load. However, you’ll have to be good at ironing and quite quick at it to make any real money.
You can either set up your own business collecting, washing, ironing and delivering, or sign up with an agency which can organise delivery to your door.
Make money from arts and crafts
If you’re good at arts and crafts, there’s money to be made from your hobby – sites like Coriandr and Folksy are crying out for people like you to sell their handmade goods online.
These sites normally take a small commission of any sale you make (usually around 2-3%) but in return give you a virtual shop for your goods.
Hosting a product party
Companies from The Body Shop to Ann Summers are looking for people to host product parties at their home, while cosmetics parties are always popular.
Become an Avon lady
An Avon lady is someone who distributes and sells products from the Avon catalogue.
You can buy them at a discounted price directly from Avon, and sell them on at the full price to make your profit.
If you know a lot of people that already regularly buy from Avon then it could be easy money.
If you’re a talented salesperson, so much the better, although it really is a job for anyone.
You can do this in your spare time, or as a full-time job.
Take a look at our article on being an Avon lady for further information.