What do you do to make a little extra cash - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this is an appropriate place to post this.

 

In the interest of improving our financial well being I'd like to find a way to bring in a little extra cash. Will you brainstorm with me?

 

My talents are many but I'm a master of none. lol

I knit, crochet, sew (clothes, dolls, baby carriers, aprons etc. some upcycle),  I make crafty waldorf inspired play sets, weave baskets, bake allergy friendly and gf, make raw snacks, cook traditional/paleo/primal, and garden well. I would love to get into the farmer's market ring but don't know where or how to get started, looking at the market web sites would be a good start. lol

 

What do you do to make a little extra cash?

 

 

 

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#2 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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Our local farmer's market runs on Wednesdays and allows people to set up a table for $5.  It's a very small town, though.  I have no idea what it would be like in bigger markets.

 

I used to buy and sell books for extra money when we lived in a big city.  I would scour thrift stores, garage sales, and used book stores and find books I knew sold well online.  This included certain series paperback books that were out-of-print but have "die-hard" fans, textbooks in decent condition, and older and specialty cookbooks.  I would generally make about $150 - $200 a month doing this - once I factored in all costs, such as gas, and I would say it was about 5 hours a week of work.  I don't know if by now Amazon Marketplace has totally killed this opportunity, but I enjoyed it as a "part-time job."  It was a bit like going on a weekly treasure hunt.  :)  My best deal was finding a Trixie Belden book for $1.75 at a used store and selling it for $85.  (Don't go rushing out looking for any or all Trixie Belden books!  Only the last five or so in the series sell for that much.)

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#3 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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I used to teach aerobics classes.  That paid a little, but was fun and kept me in shape.  

 

Bigger money came from teaching a weekend long yoga class.  I didn't set it up, but filled in for someone who was injured.  

 

I also taught a week long art camp for kids.  Lots of fun, but exhausting!  I have never worked so hard in my life.    

 

My local Arts Center is always looking for teachers.  I have thought about teaching a knitting class, but have been too busy to do it.

 

I have had several people ask if I would care for their infants/kids.  


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#4 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nicely done Jenn1970!

 

I hadn't considered books but have considered making garage sales/thrift/habitat restore a regular visit and start redoing furniture, etc. I have some clever ideas for my own home and I think I could make a buck or two if I could find a way/place to sell such items.

This would require a significant commitment on my part, a schedule change would be in order to allow for the time spent hunting.

This is why I've considered my using my craft talents as there isn't the leg work hunt involved. I can get good prices on materials online.

 


Ruthiegirl-

 

Your experiences are inspiring!

I've considered caring for others children but my friends who do so have warned me not to. lol

 

 

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#5 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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To echo Ruthiegirl, have you looked into possibly teaching? That's something I forgot to mention.  For about a year I taught crochet classes through a Jo-Ann's craft store.  (Unfortunately I no longer live anywhere near them!)  It actually paid pretty well for something I only did one night a week.  I taught mostly beginner classes, though sometimes someone would sign up for the more advanced ones.  I met some very lovely ladies that way, as a bonus.  :)

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#6 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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I ended up being a part-time/full-time substitute teacher.  Definitely part time is much easier on the stress level, but there is not much of a commitment and you can pretty much pick and choose the days, classes you want to do based on what is available.  Right now its become necessity for income but when it was optional I loved it.

 

I also take things we don't need to the kiddie resale shoppe or the used bookstore for $$.  This is great yard sale season and a little effort pays off in my area.

 

 


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#7 of 64 Old 04-18-2012, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not certain my skills would qualify me for a teaching position. Maybe I need to be a little more sure of myself, I'd be concerned I wouldn't be able to pull it off. lol

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#8 of 64 Old 04-19-2012, 12:24 AM
 
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This is for bigger cities, but market surveys are great! I made between $50-$200 extra dollars a month, plus samples of food, body products, etc through signing up for market surveys. The best ones are the in-person ones, where you go and give your opinion on something. You can find leads on craigslist, or googling in your area. Be sure they're not the scams that ask you for money to participate. I also write articles for textbroker.com and do some database work for a local lawyer.  

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#9 of 64 Old 04-19-2012, 12:43 AM
 
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Sell things via craigslist, ebay, or consignment and re-evaluate the budget often and frequently to find ways to save more each month.  


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#10 of 64 Old 04-19-2012, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casha'sMommy View Post

I've considered caring for others children but my friends who do so have warned me not to. lol

 

I haven't actually done it either.  It puts a weird strain on relationships and I just don't have the patience to deal with it.   

 

 

And thinking about this, I seem to have a laundry list of part time jobs. 

 

I have had summer jobs waiting tables, I have cleaned houses, worked at farmer's markets.  I worked on a vegetable farm for a while.  I picked fruit when I was in high school and living in California.  That was decent money if I worked fast.  

 

I sold plasma once when I was much younger.  That was a crappy way to make money, but worked in a pinch.  

 

My neighbor paid me $2000 to remove the asbestos from her basement.  I had just done my basement and had a respirator and gear.  Asbestos removal normally runs $10,000 or more, so she was happy to pay me and I followed the same guidelines as the pros.  

 

I went to college and worked as an engineer before having kids.  Now that I need to go back to work, I have no interest in engineering.   I could do it sure, but I would be gone for 10 or more hours a day with a long commute and working in a corporate field.  After paying commuting costs and daycare, I would probably make very little money.   

 

So, with 4 kids in tow, I think about starting my own mini-farm.  I think about hosting yoga weekends.  I think about buying land and starting a pick-your-own style farm.  I think about teaching classes on permaculture.   There are so many things I am interested in -- just need to find a way to make money doing them. 

 

 

 

I guess that is the trick.  Hone in on one of your talents and give it a go.  You like to craft and make things -- find a craft/art sale and just commit yourself to doing it once.  It will be scary, but do it anyway.  You never know what may come of it.  

 

 

 

 

 


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#11 of 64 Old 04-19-2012, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I were talking about this last night and he likes the idea of redoing furniture and he's interested in participating in that as well.

I think I may consider the farmers markets as well if I can meet the requirements.

 

Thanks for all the input ladies! I'm rather enjoying this thread. lol
 

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#12 of 64 Old 04-19-2012, 08:15 PM
 
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Check out Etsy.com as well, since you said you do some sewing/knitting/etc. It can be a little time consuming and overwhelming, but if you view it as a hobby, it can be a fun way of bringing in a little extra money. And if you have a good eye for things, you can buy at garage sales and then resell on E-bay. I love the idea of redoing furniture! I'd put ads on craigslist and maybe even make some business cards (you can get them for free at vistaprints.com) to pass out to friends and family.

 

Good luck! And thanks for starting this thread--lots of fun ideas so far. 

 

 


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#13 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 03:00 AM
 
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I printed business cards for doing work in sewing and put them at several different craft/fabric stores that allow business owners to leave them.  I have made some extra money from doing curtains, dresses, and other sewn items.  I also sell on etsy.com and have sold several "vintage" patterns that I never intended to make and other hand made items.  Etsy requires diligence and constant stream of new items to keep people looking your way, but I am part of a team on etsy where there are people that live off of or definitely supplement their income through using that site to reach customers.


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#14 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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Quote:
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I printed business cards for doing work in sewing and put them at several different craft/fabric stores that allow business owners to leave them.  I have made some extra money from doing curtains, dresses, and other sewn items.  I also sell on etsy.com and have sold several "vintage" patterns that I never intended to make and other hand made items.  Etsy requires diligence and constant stream of new items to keep people looking your way, but I am part of a team on etsy where there are people that live off of or definitely supplement their income through using that site to reach customers.

Is this team something you can share the info on joining or participating in?



For extra money, I do seasonal work-from-home jobs like 800-flowers at Mothers Day time or Popcorn Factory at Christmas time. Those are hard to get but if you keep trying you may luck out.

Since we just moved to a bigger city, lately I have been doing Mystery Shopping. I did a couple grocery store price audits (just looking up the price of items at the store and then entering it on the website) and I got $12 in free groceries plus $8 in cash for my time. I also have done two papa johns shops which was free pizza plus cash. This isn't much but the free pizza/groceries was nice and the cash I set aside for fun money when out with the kids!

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#15 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 06:04 AM
 
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I'd encourage new mothers who want to make a little extra cash to start WRITING.

 

I'm a NY "traditionally" published author in other genres, but I just self-published a "mommy memoir" that's bringing in a nice (but small) steady income. The opportunities for self-publishing are huge now that Amazon.com and Smashwords.com have made it so easy to put out a book. You can  write to your tiny niche audience (mothers in upstate NY with special needs kids, for example) or to a larger audience. It's not just money--it's a wonderful experience.

 

If anyone is interested in more and wants help with where to get started, feel free to contact me. diana@dianaholquist.com

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#16 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've considered writing and have a couple of ideas, just don't really know how to get started. I'd started reading a little bit online last week but my computer was taken over by a two legged monsterwinky.gif
 

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#17 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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I'd encourage new mothers who want to make a little extra cash to start WRITING.

I'm a NY "traditionally" published author in other genres, but I just self-published a "mommy memoir" that's bringing in a nice (but small) steady income. The opportunities for self-publishing are huge now that Amazon.com and Smashwords.com have made it so easy to put out a book. You can  write to your tiny niche audience (mothers in upstate NY with special needs kids, for example) or to a larger audience. It's not just money--it's a wonderful experience.

If anyone is interested in more and wants help with where to get started, feel free to contact me. diana@dianaholquist.com

Hi Diana, I sent you an email! That is very nice of you to offer to help people smile.gif Thanks!

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#18 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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http://www.etsy.com/teams/list has a search capability.  I live in Michigan and I am a member of an active EtsyWMI team (etsy west Michigan), Trade-a-holics (where I swap items with others who create things I want that want something I make), and a "Just Sewing" team.  These are the teams I am most active in, but you can search for whatever niche you fit in - SAHM, WAHM, furniture maker, crocheter, knitter, etc.  There is a team for everything and if one doesn't exist you can make one.


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#19 of 64 Old 04-20-2012, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had no idea about the teams! Thanks for the rec!
 

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#20 of 64 Old 04-23-2012, 05:49 AM
 
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Thanks everyone who was interested in writing. I sent individual replies, but also posted general info on my blog... http://www.dianaholquist.com/blog.htm 

 

I'll do a series of posts this week: getting started, the business of writing, the craft of writing, my personal story....

 

I hope it's helpful. There's so much great info we can share as mothers and there is an audience out there.  Good luck!
 

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#21 of 64 Old 04-24-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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I work at our local health food store one day a week. My husband is a teacher, so he is around to watch the kids on the weekend. I work Saturday and Sunday is our family day.

It is only about 70 bucks a day, but in a month that is pretty helpful. In addition we get 20% off of groceries, so it helps in two small ways.

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#22 of 64 Old 04-24-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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I know it wouldn't be for everyone, but I do respite (generally, that means overnight, specialized babysitting for special needs kids) through my state Dept. of Developmental Disabilities. The licensing process was very simple (compared to the foster care system, which I have also done). And the pay is great: something like $250/day. It is very intensive - generally an entire weekend is dedicated to the child(ren). My own kids are teens, so their needs are different, and they enjoy participating in some "kid" activities. Although I am paid through the state, I am not a state employee. There is a serious need in my area for more providers - I would imagine that is a common situation.
 


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#23 of 64 Old 04-25-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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mamarhu-I imagine it takes a very special person to do what you do. I have a special needs dc and have friends with special need dc who use respite care and I know what you mean to those families.

 

This thread has really got me thinking about lots of really cool ideas.

Thank you all for your inspiration!

 

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#24 of 64 Old 04-30-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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i take some kids on the weekend only one kid at a time alway older then 10 (im a mom of 3) and te state pays me for it, its easy and helps keep my kids entertained. i also have a small cloth diaper making/sewing biz on etsy and facebook 

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#25 of 64 Old 05-01-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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I always found it really hard to resell things. I'm not sure if it's lack of luck or skill or my area or what but I've struggled to even consign my kids clothes so that never really worked out for me. I could never quite figure out the couponing thing either. If you can do either of these I know there's so many money to be made/saved. 

Are you just being modest about your knitting and crafting skills? Beginners that you teach are not going to know/care if you aren't a super duper award winning expert. You don't have to do it through a store. I know someone who teaches yoga out of her home. Do you belong to any moms groups or book clubs or anything where you could see if you could round up some interest? 

Is this mostly for fun or do you really need some extra cash? That would determine a lot too. When I really need the money, babysitting and/or getting a traditional out of the home part time job that I can work opposite hours from dh so we don't have to pay for child care has always worked best for me.

Good Luck!


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#26 of 64 Old 05-01-2012, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Clothing resale hasn't been very successful for me either but I buy most of my kids clothes from resale so I'm not all that concerned about what I spend on their clothes. Shoes? Well, that's another matter.

I wish I could coupon! I do use them from time to time on things like toilet paper or a store coupon, the spend enough and you'll save a little kind of coupon. Beyond that we can't really coupon. We buy all our meat from a farm, same with eggs, eat only raw dairy, and fresh veg. There is very little possibility for coupon savings where our groceries are concerned.

 

ilovemygirl- I likely am being modest and probably can knit better than I'm letting on but I am self taught and don't do everything by the book so I feel a little less than confident I could teach effectively.

The extra cash isn't something we need to survive but we have a lot of medical bills and I'd really like to be able to pay them off faster. We spent all our savings over a three year period where dh did not have reliable employment and was out of work more than he was working. We survived but now we're trying to catch up so the extra cash is needed but not do or die.

A job outside of the house is not likely going to work as dh's travel is varied in schedule, length, and distance, I could never be reliable. DH's in town schedule isn't any better, I never know when he's going to have to work late. DH works in auto racing and he leaves a couple days before the race and doesn't arrive home until a day or two after the race. If the driver crashes his car or there's mechanical problems dh is the one fixing it which requires extra hours at the shop in town. He works a regular full day when they're in town and stays late if there are extra things to do like body repair or mechanical repair. There have been times when dh hasn't been home at all during normal waking hours, he's even been known to sleep at the race shop. This is why I'm looking for something less than typical for myself, something I can do even if dh is working so much he decides to just sleep at the shop.

 

When I read threads like this one I find myself wishing we could all be sipping tea or coffee in some lovely cafe just chatting about these things that come to mind.

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#27 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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One of the ways I get extra cash is to take surveys online for cash (they send you a check in the mail whenever you want to "cash" out). I would love to refer any of you to the survey site b/c if you start earning with it, I earn for every dollar you earn. If you're interested pm your email and I will shoot you a referral. Thanks!!


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#28 of 64 Old 05-02-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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Other ways I make extra cash:

 

- Babysit for my neighbor's kids occasionally

- Take online surveys through a few different sites

- Edit papers for college students

- Judge high school debate (also called "speech and debate" or "forensics") tournaments - usually are hosted on Saturdays from 7am - 5pm. They will feed you yummy lunch. You can usually stay as long or as short as you like, and they pay $8/round. You just have to be a high school grad. Pretty sure they have these in every school district all over the nation.

- Proctor tests like ACT, SAT, Teacher licensing tests (a one day gig)

- If I have the principal, I occasionally open checking accounts with bonus incentive coupons (like a couple hundred bucks) and then close them after the required period has passed (6 months). Nice way to get a little boost with no risk (ie vs. investing)

- Swagbucks -- I earn $5 amazon gift cards every 20 days or so


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#29 of 64 Old 05-03-2012, 03:05 AM
 
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What is swagbucks?


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#30 of 64 Old 05-03-2012, 05:48 AM
 
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It's an online search engine that also offers daily polls, special offers, surveys, and videos. You get awarded "SwagBucks" for searching, taking the daily polls, entering a swag code etc. It takes about 450 Swagbucks to cash in for a $5 Amazon gift card, but there are other rewards too. I just PMed you.

 

There was a thread about this a while back in this forum as well as some other ones, check them out here.


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