DH and I are trying to come up with a 2 year plan to drastically reduce our expenses. He would like to change jobs. Right now he has a very physically demanding job. We would love for him to be able to cut back to 4 days/week instead of 5 or 6 days/week that he currently works. We are both hard-workers and have a variety of skills relating to construction, welding, DIY, etc. Ideally, we would like to do something together so that the entire family could spend more time together. If that is not possible, DH is more than willing to work at something himself. If we could bring in about $2200/month, that would be good. We are open for any and all suggestions that would realistically provide a fairly stable income. Every idea that we have had so far is good as a supplemental income-not for a sole income. We wouldn't object to doing more than one thing, but we don't want to always feel "strapped". We currently live frugally and know how to make a dollar stretch. We want to work smarter, not harder. I feel that everyone here at Mothering are a resourceful bunch and would have some good ideas. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
Multiple sources of income would be more secure than a single source, actually--you just need enough of them going at once. Maybe he could gradually cut back on working days as he phases in various other sources of income?
We could use a welder to come to our house and fix the railing on our front steps!
With so many skills, teaching them to others could be another source of income.
There are an awful lot of bland, blah, cookie-cutter houses around--a huge disconnect between what people envision as a home-ly house and what the builders actually built. If you could use your skills to creatively and frugally bring some life into houses like that, you'd be making the world a much better place. (Bringing multiple skills and family workers together to provide a unique and needed service.)
It's the "dirty, difficult, and dangerous" jobs that pay the most.
I actually really agree with Vaske about the home makeover thing. You could do some specialty service of bringing every day to upscale. I know for example, one tip I've seen make a huge difference in making a home look "upscale" is painting interior doors black, or adding baseboards and crown molding. You could check out Pinterest for ideas that you could put into "packages" to sell people. You could also market this service around tax time and encourage people to use their refunds for it. For us, that's the time of year we are able to do bigger "luxury" things.
One of the things I do on the side (that makes pretty decent money) is dyeing wool roving for spinners. There is some start up cost but it really is worth it, especially if you start selling wholesale to yarn/fiber shops in bulk.
Also, my dad has done some welding for friends repairing/attaching things to boat trailers and the like. Your husband could just spread the word around that he is willing to do little welding jobs, and see what comes up.
For the home makeover thing, there is really a wide scale to choose from: small freestanding things like garden furniture and custom lampposts to making over a whole house. I'd start small and see what sells profitably, and especially take notice of what people start asking for. Small businesses need a lot of flexibility starting out, because often no one knows yet what the market really wants.
Do you live near a school? (Elementary or middle school). You could do before- and after-school care to bring in a little money.
My Dp and I are wanting to do the same thing. There is a blog/group I found about it called Mr. Money Moustache, if you google it I'm sure you can find it. Tons of helpful information over there.
I've made my part of our family's income during the last couple of years working as a Virtual Assistant. I give businesses and organizations administrative support from home, and I am able to do it (mostly) on my own schedule. If you google "Virtual Assistant", you can find more information, but it's been a solution to a big problem for our family for a long time. Good luck, mama!
Are you familiar with the "Unjobbing" Group here on MDC? Many families have cobbled together unique and creative income sources, outside or beyond the regular job market.