Thursday, October 11, 2007

Arm chair money for moms

Here are my Top 5 ways stay-at-home moms (or working moms) can earn extra cash. These take a little effort, but it's really helped with making ends meet -- like when you have to buy two pair of shoes for some cute toddlers I know.

1. eBay -- Yup, you've read it before, but have you tried it? Look through everything you have and list it. I sold some leftover special baby formula from almost a year ago online and made $100. When I know we'll need some extra money again, I have at least two more things to list in that range, including the old co-sleeper that hardly got used thanks to my failure to be able to breastfeed. (don't want to open up that can of worms, again.) And, for those large, more bulky items, try Craigslist in your local area. I sold an old poker table a couple months ago, and am now about to sell an old ceiling fan as well. And, I don't have to leave my house because buyers pick up the items.

2. Teach: OK, you have to leave your chair for this one, but much of the work can be done in your office chair. I'm teaching a very basic writing class right now two hours a week. But, if you are good at photography, beading, sewing or knitting -- or whatever -- you can easily find a community education program to teach through near your house. There are many where we live through our city, neighboring school districts and through the local community colleges. To make it even more interesting, you could gear a class to fit your old profession so you feel like you are still in the game. It tweaks the old mind, too. Plus, you get to leave the house and talk to adults once a week!

3. Write essays: There are numerous sites online these days who are buying people's essays. Uncommon Ties is one, but there are many, many more. If you are interested in learning about these, e-mail me. I will be getting a list together in the next couple weeks.

4. Sell books and CDs: This will not make you rich, but it can deepen your pay pal pocketbook, if you have one, which you will if you sell on eBay. It's also a great way to get rid of things, but you have to be very, very patient. A book I listed on months ago just sold for .75 cents, plus shipping. I might make a dollar. Not much, and maybe not worth the hassle for Da! to have to mail it, but it's at least leaving the house. Plus, one down and nine more to go for a great, cheap bottle of wine!

5. Complain: This is something I do not do very much but when a can of green beans -- the only kind my girls will eat -- turned out to taste more like a gallon of salt, I had no choice. I called to complain. Duh. Now I'll get some coupons in the mail. Every time I've ever called a company with the slightest comment or complaint I've gotten coupons in the mail. What do you say? Worth trying? I say yes. I'm going to start calling one company a week that I really use a lot. That said, there are also lots of online promotions where you can print out coupons for the things you love.

Number six should be blogging, but I am not making nearly enough in ad revenue to exploit that option. When I do, though, I'll be sure to share.

How about you? Do you have any great ways to make some extra money? Please share.


Midwest Mommy said...

I started doing #5 since staying home and it has been wonderful. I never realized companies would listen if you had a problem. I often email and I have gotten some coupons too.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Blogging is my favorite. I'm not making much, but I paid for my daughter's birthday -- and by Christmas I should have enough for a few presents. It's more work and pays less than eBay, but it doesn't feel like work -- it feels like free money! :)

bella said...

I am a big ebay and seller. I love feeling like my old, unused or junk turns into cash.
You can also make a pretty quick 100 bucks being in focus groups.

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

Let me know more about that essay list when you get it all together if you don't mind!

I really need to consider eBay for my kids' outgrown clothes.

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