Thursday, November 08, 2012

5 out-of-the-box ways to earn extra income

ways to earn

A sweet stay-at-home mama wrote to me last week asking if I knew of ways she could make extra money while staying at home with her kiddos. I’ve been blessed to be able to stay home with my little ones over the past 9 years, and even more blessed to be able to bring in some kind of income while staying home, so I’m really excited to share a few things that might work for you all too! I definitely know every dollar made or saved counts when you have only one income. :)

Here are my five favorite out-of-the-box ways to earn extra money without working more than a handful of hours away from home:

1. Become a fitness trainer.

It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you like working out and being around people, fitness training might be just the job for you. It allows you to generally choose your hours {if you want to be home before your kids wake up, you could teach a 5 a.m. fitness class}, and it’s a great way to make sure you get your exercise. I love teaching group fitness classes!

You have two options to do very part-time work contractor work in fitness: you can either become a personal trainer, or you can be a group fitness instructor.

You can get a general certification to teach or do personal training, or find a specific program you like to teach to a group. I teach two Les Mills group fitness classes: BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT, and I’m also certified in PiYo.

If you like group fitness, attend your favorite classes regularly and get to know your instructor- most often they will be more than willing to tell you how to become certified or what you need to do to start teaching classes at your local gym.

2. Offer a date night service.

Rather than babysitting all week long, you could stay home with your family and work only a few hours at your house on Friday and Saturday nights by offering a date-night sitting service. Put the word out to your friends at church, take reservations, and set a price like $5 per kid, per hour, with discounts for multiple children. {Check your state laws about short-term babysitting- I believe every state has different rules on certifications.}

I would personally LOVE to have a sitter I know is always open for a weekend date night. :D

3. Sell your artistic talent.

Do you paint? Can you draw on the spot? Become a part-time artist, like my talented friend Lindsay. You could do portraits for friends or even offer face painting at birthday parties, and get paid by the hour or a set rate per party/event. You could also do art for your friends’ homes in their colors. I would so do this if I had a single artistic bone in my body. :)

Can you arrange flowers? Become a weekend florist from your home. You could sell affordable Valentine’s flowers in the month of February alone, or do weddings on the weekends. You could be very affordable to start with to build your portfolio- let them buy the flowers and add a fee to arrange them to keep your costs down.

{And I’m totally stealing some of these ideas from watching my friends from church: Lindsay, Laura, and Alison. They have all of these abilities and businesses in one family- art, flower arranging, and decorating. They are an amazing family!! In fact, Alison had these wedding flowers left and sent them home with me last Sunday! Aren’t they BEAUTIFUL? I love them! They are talented, I tell you! :D}

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4. Do social media consulting.

Are you a Twitter ninja? Do you know the ins and outs of Facebook pages? You could help local companies set up their online presence in social media. Set up accounts for them and show them the ropes for a fee, or become their social media presence behind the scenes, and post their events for them from home. You could work for a flat fee per month to post x number of times per day, or set a per instance rate.

5. Shop for your friends.

If you’re a thrifting pro, you’ll find your friends will often tell you they wish they could find the steals you did. Tell them you can do their shopping for them! Ask them what they’re looking for and then keep your eyes peeled. When you find it and they like it, add a percentage you’ve previously agreed on {like 25%} to the price of your score.

It’s a win-win! They saved the time and you found them the deal, still for much less than the price of retail. Most people I know would gladly pay a fee to not go thrifting. Just saying. :)

No matter which direction you go, the best way I find to make extra money is by offering a service to others. Services are low investment, and usually just require your time and effort, rather than a ton of money up front.

What are your favorite ways to make money on the side without being away from home for hours?

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