I don’t know what your monthly finances look like, but an extra $50, $100, or $500 each month makes a huge difference to our monthly cash flow. When we were working hard at paying down consumer debt, I often made money with a side hustle or two that helped us put extra money toward our debt.
Whether you’re trying to crush your debt, build your savings, or invest for retirement, a good side hustle can really help.
With about 7% of fathers and 29% of mothers claiming a stay-at-home-parent status, one income families are common. As a one income family for the past 15 years, I can tell you a little extra cash each month can make a huge difference in a tight budget.
But one income families aren’t the only one’s that could benefit from a side hustle. For anyone trying to pay down debt, or simply get ahead financially, a side hustle can help propel them toward their financial goals even faster.
Everyone has skills and knowledge they can use for a great side hustle. Some require a little more imagination and/or time than others but, you can bet, there’s one out there that would work for you.
On that note, I will share with you the side hustles I’ve actually done over my years as a stay at home mom.
Sell “stuff” on ebay and Craigslist
Several years ago, I decided it was time to go through the clutter and rid ourselves of all the “stuff” taking up our space and time. We had a few “collections” of things given to us from parents when we left home, as well as our own things that had piled up. Much of this was easily turned into cold, hard cash.
Things I sold on include clothing (mostly dresses and shoes), John Deere collectibles, Christmas ornaments/decorations, books, coins, and other small items of value.
I did a little research on the items I was selling to determine if they would sell best on or whether I should just put them up for sale on Craigslist. I considered their ship-ability and checked ebay’s completed listings to help me make that decision.
Craigslist is great for selling anything, really. Obviously furniture goes over well on Craigslist, but I’ve also had great luck with toys, framed prints, bikes, exercise equipment, appliances and tools. With Craigslist, there is always the chance your buyer won’t show up but, in my experience, about 90% of the time people show. (Remember safety first – meet in a public place and take someone with you if at all possible!)
Flip yard sale/thrift store finds
Flipping found treasures from yard sales and thrift stores is something I discovered when I was selling our stuff. I used to frequent yard sales for kids’ clothing and I would often run across some very nice, name brand items at low prices, so I purchased them to resell on or Craigslist.
Some of my most memorable flips include a dress I paid 25 cents for and sold for $25, a snowsuit purchased for $10 and sold for $50, and telephone line tester purchased for $10 and sold for $150 (I didn’t even know what this thing was, but the guy at the yard sale assured me I’d turn a profit, and sure enough, I did!).
Sell handmade crochet hats
Though I’ve never opened an Etsy shop or made much money from this little hobby, I have sold my goods now and then for a little extra cash. Yarn can be expensive, but I can crochet a hat in about an hour and I profit about $10-15 per hat. Considering the time, this isn’t a great rate of return, but it is something I enjoy doing in my spare time. Plus, this hobby alone has saved me hundreds over purchasing gifts for people over the years.
Work as a Substitute Teacher Assistant
Once my kids were both in school, I applied for a substitute Teacher Assistant position at their school (I had no experience in education and no education degree, but the interview went well). The best thing about this job is I could go to school with my kids and leave with them when school was out. It didn’t cost me any extra gas and the schedule was perfect! I did make decent money from this side hustle, though my schedule was a bit unpredictable and some weeks I was working almost full-time. Overall this job was really a win-win!
Teach Community Education classes
I used to look through the community education catalogs and think the instructors must have a ton of experience and need professional licensure to be able to teach the classes. That is true for some classes, but I learned not all instructors need special training to teach at the community education level, just enough experience and expertise to be able to effectively teach it to others. (Do you know how to crochet, knit, scrapbook, take photos? Maybe you should consider this side hustle!)
When I started teaching self-defense classes for community education programs throughout my area, I didn’t even have my black belt yet (though I did have a certification from a self-defense program). I could charge whatever I wanted for the classes, within reason of course, and the community ed program kept either a fixed amount or a percentage of my proceeds, depending on the program. My profits really varied, mostly depending on how many people signed up for a class, but I sometimes got paid over $300 just from one evening class.
Clean house/House sit
Cleaning house and house sitting are both side hustles I’ve done through friends and family on an as needed basis. I liked these little gigs since I could typically take my kids along with me (though I admit, cleaning with kids in tow is sometimes easier said than done). I never really pursued this as a solid side hustle, but I know people who have done very well with both!
Babysitting/day care is a great side hustle for stay at home parents with young kids at home. I did it even when my kids were in school. I only took care of one child, but made a solid part-time income doing it and I could still get my errands and household chores done to boot!
Cook and bake for other people
For a short time (around the holidays), I would offer up my cooking and baking services to friends, family and my husband’s co-workers. I simply typed up what I was willing to make for them and how much I charged for each item. My husband’s co-workers were completely on-board and I was swamped with orders until the holidays passed. Even after I stopped advertising, I got requests and happily obliged.
Obviously, you’re here reading my blog as we speak, so you realize this is one of my current side hustles. Blogs have the potential to make money through advertising, affiliate links, ebooks, courses or products. Having a blog can also open up many freelancing opportunities.
I’m still a bit new to blogging, but have been at it long enough to see the income potential. What I can tell you is, though it’s more work than I ever imagined, it is one of the most rewarding side hustles I’ve ever done. The support from readers and other personal finance bloggers has been incredible and I love the connections I’ve made. Plus, I like to write and love that I can help others save more money and pay off their debt.
What could a side hustle do for you?
Overall, my side hustles have added up to thousands earned over the years. And every little bit helps, especially if you put it to good use!
If you are looking for a side hustle to bring in a little extra cash each month, first consider your expertise and strengths. What are you good at? What type of advice do people come to you for? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do a little research on your chosen hustle and give it a try! What do you have to lose?
What unique side hustles have you done? Your comments are welcome!
Here are some tools that I use myself that you may find helpful:
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