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Our readers often ask us how they can make money whilst stuck at home with the kids or what type of jobs can be fitted around school hours.
If you too would like to make some extra cash while looking after your little ones, we have some good news – there are loads of ways for stay-at-home mums and dads to make extra money. Whether it’s monetising your time, space or skills, try our top five methods for making money if you’re a stay-at-home parent.
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, you might as well make some money out of it.
Sign up online to the following survey sites, which reward you for giving your opinions:
Some sites will offer you freebies or vouchers for every survey you take, others will reward you with small amounts of cash – but note that quite often this will only be paid when you hit a certain threshold, for example £50. Read terms and conditions before you sign up.
You can learn much more about this way of earning extra cash in our article on online surveys.
You might not have heard of those, but cashback sites are a solid money-maker. They are handy 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 a percentage of what you spend back. It’s basically free money.
Read our article on cashback websites for much more information, including details on many of the leading sites.
Hiring online help is a fast-growing business – it’s estimated 1.8 billion people will be using virtual assistants by 2021. If you choose to go down this route, you’ll be carrying out administrative jobs for a company, 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. Not a bad deal given VAs tend to be paid a minimum of £25 per hour.
The main requirements are that you’ll need to be confident with computers and have a great telephone manner. Learn more in our article on how to become a VA.
It’s worth noting there’s a specific type of VA – a medical secretary. Companies such as DICT8 will pay you to write up medical notes, and your earnings are 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. Many people do it professionally (there’s even a name for it – comping) and it’s estimated that in the UK there’re as many as 30,000 competitions running at any one time. You might as well take your chances.
Online competitions are typically pretty quick and easy to enter, and they offer a chance of winning prizes such as cash, exotic holidays, spa breaks and (our favourite) luxury food.
Competitions are often easy because companies just want your email address, so you may want to think about setting up a separate email just for this purpose.
Others competitions can be much more inspiring, tapping into your creativity with things like art, writing or photography. Find out much more in our article on making money from competitions.
Peer-to-peer lending is a rapidly growing market. Sites like Zopa cut out the middle men (the banks) and allow individuals to lend directly to borrowers. It’s a hybrid way of saving and investing money, but it’s yet another source of extra income you can easily try at home.
Returns for lenders can be more attractive than with regular savings rates, while borrowers can often find cheaper loans compared to 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.
If you have a driveway or a garage that you don’t use and you live in an area where parking space is in high demand, you can let it pay for itself. Rent it out and make money from doing nothing at all.
Parking is more desirable in London and you can charge a lot more there than anywhere else, but don’t feel discouraged if you live elsewhere. 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, go to JustPark– you can advertise your space for free. It’s very easy to set up – you advertise your spot, drivers book it and you watch the money come in. One thing to bear in mind is that the site makes money by taking a percentage of the rent you make.
If you have a spare room, think about taking in a lodger – since 2016, you can make up to £7,500 a year tax-free. Read more about the things to consider in our article on renting out a room. Once you’re happy to rent out your space, use Gumtree or SpareRoom to advertise for free.
If you’re not sure about having someone around full-time, you might want to check out Airbnb. It’s a great solution for when you’d prefer to take in the occasional holidaymaker. Alternatively, you can also make money – and expand your horizons – by hosting foreign students. We’ve got this topic covered in our article here. But you don’t have to fill your spare space with human beings.
Many people just need somewhere to put their stuff. They are prepared to pay to leave their goods in storage space and that could be your spare room, attic or garage. It’s yet another effortless way to make money and websites such as Stashbee can help you get started.
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. Find out more about running your own b&b from our top tips-packed article.
If you love children and you’re at home all day looking after your own kids anyway, this might be the job for you.
As long as you don’t have a criminal record, you can be a childminder. If you’re on your own, you can look after a maximum of six children under 8 years at a time, although the rules are different for babies – you can normally only look after one at a time if they’re under 1 year old.
It’s typical to charge per child, per hour, and the amount will vary based on the ages and where you live.
Childminding UK is full of tips on this topic and our article on how to become a childminder should give you all the information you need.
Anyone who’s a mother can be a doula, also known as a birth coach or birth companion. 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 sharing tips that only another mum 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.
If you’re into your cooking, you can monetise your culinary skills. Selling edible goodies seems like an obvious solution and it can actually earn you a tidy sum.
With the rising popularity of artisan goods and websites selling handmade things, there has never been a better time to make money out of your gourmet produce. Our guide to making cakes, jams and sweets shows you where you can find places to sell your edible goods. If things go well, you never know where cooking could take you – you could even start up a small business if the demand’s there.
Another option is to start your own cooking or baking blog and while it might take a little more work, you could be the next Deliciously Ella. Other creative ways to make extra income through food is becoming a recipe writer or starting off a supper club – learn more about it from our article.
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 – or even online.
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. You can also advertise your tutoring services on local ad websites such as Gumtree.
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.
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.
The Society for Editors and Proofreaders hosts regular meetings across the country where you can network, get training and gain opportunities to advertise your skills to local businesses. That could lead to more work – and more cash.
Do you sometimes feel that you’re not appreciated for all the washing and ironing you do in your household?
There are people who would appreciate you doing theirs – and who are willing to pay per load.You’ll have to be really good and quick at ironing to make any real money, though. There’re different ways of deciding on what your fee may be – some people charge by the hour while others by weight.
You can either set up your own business collecting, washing, ironing and delivering, or sign up with an agency, such as All Ironed Out, which can organise delivery to your door.
If you’re the creative type who is good at arts and crafts, there’s money to be made from your hobby. Sites like Etsy 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 they give you a virtual shop so you don’t have to set up and promote your own website.
Companies from the likes of The Body Shop to Ann Summers are always looking for people to host product parties at their home. . And no wonder it’s a popular sales strategy – word of mouth is the most powerful influence. Hosting a party is often as easy as filling in a form online and gathering a few friends – the brand’s local consultant will do the rest. Find out more from our article on product parties.
If you’re into beauty, it’s easy to join a cosmetics company such as Oriflame or Avon as an independent rep. 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.