I’ve worked outside the home. I’ve also stayed home with my kids.
Right now I’m working part-time from home and this is currently a great balance for my family. I first started earning a small income from home at the encouragement of a close friend, and now I want to be that friend to you! Because really, who wouldn’t like to have a few extra dollars in their bank account?
If you’re considering working from home, keep the following tips in mind:
1) Avoid businesses that have a buy-in cost.
You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to begin making money from home! Signing up for oDesk or Elance is completely free. Listing things on Etsy or eBay is also free. Cleaning houses? You guessed it – free!
If you dream of one day having your own craft store, start small by making and selling things from your home first, without the overhead cost of rent or employees. You can save up until you have enough money to open a shop someday if you’d like.
2) Don’t fall for scams.
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And nearly every work-from-home business opportunity that has a start-up cost is a scam. Read this article for really helpful tips about finding legitimate work-from-home opportunities.
3) Do something you enjoy.
If you hate sewing, than starting up an Etsy business probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you love to decorate cakes than you might want to look into decorating special occasion cakes on the side.
Maybe you’re not sure what you’d enjoy doing. If that’s the case, think back to your childhood – what did you do for fun? Did you love to garden, scrub windows, write, or bake when you were a kid? Those would be great starting places.
4) Don’t use friendship as leverage to make money.
Not everyone will agree with me about this point, but I personally really dislike being invited to a “party” only to find out later that I’m expected to buy something while I’m a guest!
Remember that not everyone is familiar with the product you’re selling. So if you want to have a sales party, make sure to be very upfront about the type of party you’re hosting as you’re inviting people.
Likewise, if you want to sell a product that you enjoy in a friendly and casual way, that’s great, but be careful not to pressure others into purchasing from you.
5) Be realistic about what you can do.
If you have three kids under the age of four or if you homeschool your seven children, then spending a lot of hours working from home may not be very doable.
Instead, consider a temporary job or a minimal hour work-from-home opportunity if your finances really need a boost. Or focus more on frugal living if you haven’t already. That way you can reduce expenses instead of needing to increase your income.
6) Don’t neglect your most important priorities.
“The Lord will never ask you to sacrifice your priorities (your relationship with Him, your husband, and your children) to follow your passion.” Sandy Ralya
7) Set – and keep – regular work hours.
Find good times to work. For many work-at-home moms, ideal work hours are early mornings before the kids are up, in the afternoons during quiet time, and a few evenings a week after the kids are in bed.
8 ) Stay legal.
If you work for someone else, make sure to fill out tax forms and check to see that taxes are being withheld.
If you choose to go into business for yourself, set-up a separate bank account for your business income and expenses. Reserve money for tax payments. Consult your accountant to find out if (and how) you need to set up an official business.
Track all income and expenses – the fabric you buy so you can sew a skirt to sell on Etsy is coded differently than the coffee you purchase for a potential client. Your accountant can help you to understand the differences, but in the meantime make sure that you’re tracking every penny you earn and spend through your business.
9) Keep a positive attitude.
In spite of the best planning and preparation, sometimes things will just go awry. The kids will have bad attitudes (sometimes you will too), the house will be a mess, and work deadlines will be looming.
When that happens choose to regroup and complete a home blessing hour if possible, then give the kids a snack and turn on a movie so you can have some time to focus.
Update your resume. It may come in handy when you’re applying for different opportunities!
Always be willing to learn and grow. Listen to advice from others. Whether you’re a writer, chef, seamstress, programmer, or medical transcriptionist, continually work to improve in your field.
Six work-from-Home Job Ideas:
1) Write and publish an eBook.
2) Become a medical transcriptionist.
Ask friends who work in a doctor’s office or visit doctors offices in your area. Read more about how to get started as a medical transcriptionist here.
3) Be a Book Keeper.
Many offices have a remote employee who does billing and book-keeping. If this is something you’re comfortable doing, ask around.
4) Become a Virtual Assistant.
5) Clean Homes or Offices.
My mom did this for a few years when I was growing up and the income and flexible schedule were a blessing to our family! I helped her on occasion and it was a great learning opportunity for me as well. Details about getting started house cleaning are here.
6) Work on oDesk or Elance.
Let’s Close with Advice from the Work-at-Home Experts:
Anita Fowler from Live Like You Are Rich has an amazing series about earning money as a stay-at-home mom. Anita isn’t just giving generic ideas, either – she’s actually interviewing women who are doing those jobs so that she can get the how-to scoop for her readers!
So far Anita has ten different work-from-home opportunities listed and she’s planning to update her page weekly until she has about 25 different jobs posted. (She even featured ME in two of her articles!) I particularly love the advice Alison Moore Smith gives in Part Two of Anita’s series:
“Find something you genuinely like to do — and perhaps would do just for fun — and find a way to make money at it.” Alison Moore Smith
If you’d like even more income-earning ideas, check out some of the articles from Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. She has a plethora of income-earning ideas as well as an entire series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas (which has great ideas and tips for any time of year!).
What tips or ideas do you have about working from home?
Money Management Series
Part One: Can You Afford to be a Stay-At-Home Mom?