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Making the decision to become a stay at home mom (SAHM) and go from two incomes to one is not easy. Oftentimes, it involves sacrifice and budgeting to make it work. When I made the decision to become a SAHM in February 2017, I did so with the expectation that I would try and make some money on the side, or side hustle, to help my family out.
Six months later, I am sharing what I have learned with other SAHMs.
Work from Home Gigs
- Appen: I work 1 hour a day as a Social Media Evaluator. It’s not much, but it’s all I can commit to as a SAHM of 2 under 2. They pay through direct deposit and the pay period is a full month. Appen is one of the few legitimate work from home companies around. Read more and apply here.
- Usertesting: test websites by voice recognition software where clients can hear recordings of you “the user” testing out their website. Pay is typically $10 for 15-20 minutes of testing.
Con-can only do tests when they become available, and you must qualify for said tests.
Usertesting records your computer screen and your voice as you speak your thoughts out loud when navigating a specific client website. You will need a quiet environment, but can pause a test at any time and come back to it later (I may or may not have to pause half the tests I take due to a shrieking toddler in the background).
They pay via PayPal, exactly 1 week after you complete a user test.
Learn more here.
Online Survey Sites
Online Survey sites are mostly a scam. Do a quick Google search and I’m sure you will find plenty of articles claiming how you can make several hundred dollars a month completing online surveys.
I suppose if you are a very underrepresented minority, then completing online surveys could be worth your time. As a thirtysomething Caucasian SAHM, I do not qualify for the majority of online surveys I attempt. What this means is that you waste 5-10 minutes taking a qualifying survey only to not qualify for the actual survey, which likely only offers a payout of 50 cents. So, in essence, you are doing work for free.
If you do sign up for survey sites, create a new email address, because you will be inundated with survey invitations. I’ve given up on doing online surveys unless they offer a significant payout. I recently completed a 1 hour web interview about pet food, which resulted in a $75 payout. Opportunities like that are few and far between. But I’d rather waste my time taking and failing to qualify for a $75 payout than a 50 cent payout.
*If you get an invitation from a survey site to join an online focus group community, I would take it, or at least look into it. I’m part of an online focus group community for McDonalds, and I receive Amazon gift cards every month for taking a few surveys. To date, I have made $40 in Amazon gift cards, and I enjoy being an insider, influencing future McDonalds products.
- Bzzagent: sends free products in exchange for Bzz via a Bzzreport review or social media review.
Pro-the products are full-size and often come with coupons for future products. Some of the free products I’ve received include: Sensodyne Deep Clean Toothpaste, V8 Energy drinks, and Edwards Smores Crème Pie.
Signup with Bzzagent here.
- Pinchme: Sends sample-size products in the mail. Must complete a follow-up survey after using the product samples. I’ve received cat food, dog food, tea, dryer sheets, etc. Signup with Pinchme here.
Grocery Discount Apps
- Ibotta: a grocery rebate app where after shopping, you can scan your receipt and product barcodes for rebates. Use my referral code to sign up here!
If you refer 3 friends, you get $30. Also, most of the time you can make $.25 simply for taking a picture of your grocery store receipt. Easy money!
I recently redeemed my Ibotta earnings for an Amazon gift card used to buy my kiddos a much-needed Water Table.
My son and stepdaughter adore this Water Table, and the dinosaurs add the perfect touch. The dinosaurs are soft and squirt water, so can be used as bath toys as well as water table toys.
Ibotta users can also redeem their earnings via PayPal or a selection of other gift cards such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.
Sell your Stuff
Over the past 6 months, my husband and I have made a few hundred dollars simply by selling our old stuff via Craigslist. Our extra spending money goes straight into our “vacation drink fund,” to be used to purchase Margaritas, Daiquiris, etc. without any guilt.
Some things we’ve sold include: baby stuff that we no longer need, such as a baby bathtub, playmat, receiving blankets, and misc. furniture. I also sold some maternity clothes I no longer need now that I’m done having babies.
*A good safety tip when selling your old stuff to strangers is to meet in a public place instead of your home. (We always meet at a nearby gas station to do our exchanges)
Gather up your Old Change /Piggy Banks and Convert it to Cash
After counting up all the change that has been accumulating in my husband and stepdaughter’s piggy banks, and my billfold, we have another $70.
Simply take all your extra change to the local Walmart or wherever you see one of those coin-counting machines, and bam, extra cash in your pocket!
Gardening takes a bit of prep work, but the outcome is worth it. This is the 1st year my family has had a garden . We no longer have to buy lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, carrots, and so forth from the store. There is also something super satisfying about eating your own home-grown fruits and veggies.
Look at the weekly sale coupons at local grocery stores and shop around. You can save money by purchasing different items at different stores. We tend to go to Sprouts for fruits, Aldi for general staples, and Walmart for the bulk of our groceries.
Readers: Share some of your favorite side hustles and money-saving tips. What works best for your family?
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