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}


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?


  1. Great ideas! I help advertise for a wellness company (via. twitter, facebook, word of mouth) I get weekly pay for the referrals I generate, and even get paid on the ones they do! I home-educate my 4 children, and for fun I love to thrift/junk shop and sell some of the finds on my etsy vintage shop! God makes a way!!

  2. I love these. I didn't read the title well and when I got done I was thinking, wow, I love that these are such unique ideas...hence, out of the box! Haha. Great job. If I weren't working full-time I could probably do some social media consulting. It scares me to death though to think about putting myself out there and relying on that. I WISH I could do something artistic but sadly I'm not very good at anything like that!

  3. Well, its not really out of the box. But, l sell used books to www.bookjingle.com. I had tons of books just taking up
    space on bookshelves and I was able to send them in for cash! I simply complete dan order, boxed them up and I got my check about two weeks later. So, I made money and de-cluttered. Double score! :)

  4. I am a Wellness Educator and have a virtual whole food nutrition business that I am blessed to be part of while our 4 boys are in school. Love sharing about wholeness.

    1. I would love to get more information about being a wellness educator

  5. We clean on the side. The Lord opened up doors for us to have streams of income from making things tidy! :D He is good

  6. what great ideas! im staying home this year with my new baby and found a home school group that meets 2 days a week for encrichment classes. i teach kindergarten for 2 mornings and take my baby with me. the people involved with it are so family minded that having kids around is the point of it. i was a teacher before staying home, but not everyone that teaches there went to school for that. most are just moms!

  7. Great ideas! I sell the items I find at the thrifts on ebay. I also sell my crafts on etsy.

  8. How did you become a fitness trainer? I would absolutely love to do that!

  9. I have always loved to make bows and jewelry for my girls, so I opened an Etsy shop and love it! http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetbeanzBoutique I also sell the kids' clothing on Ebay once they outgrow it!

  10. Music lessons is what I do great. I'm a piano teacher and I teach from home!

  11. I recently started a small online store. I also do local craft fairs, and farmers markets. I make all of the products myself when my kids are sleeping. www.jubileebabyco.com

  12. I left a full time career to stay at home with mine:) I've been home for about 3 years now. I have a small T-shirt business on the side :) I am a wholesaler for a screenpritner. Love it! It lets me do the majority of work from home and it also helps supply my T-shirt fetish! I've also personal trained and worked as a group fitness instructor... but now we live so rurally... that it doesn't really lend itself to be a good option because of the driving time and distance. But I loved it! If you are looking for ways to bring in extra money- Ask the Lord to open the doors and show you ways :)

  13. There are also programs where you can host exchange students, though it doesn't usually bring in a big income, it's an amazing experience and usually for us the "room and board" the agency pays ends up covering our groceries for the month... anything not spent is earned, right? Plus you get new family "members" to enjoy! :)

  14. To make extra money, I sell Wildtree. I love that it's certified organic and that I'm feeding my family healthier dinners. I'm still able to stay at home with my kids and my freezer meal workshops are like my moms' night out once a week! It's the best job ever! Making extra money on the side is great too! www.mywildtree.com/cookermom

  15. I've been staying home with our children for about two years. I have compiled a list of things we do to make extra income. http://createartwithkids.blogspot.com/2014/02/two-years-staying-homebeing.html

  16. For a time, I sold books and other items on ebay. I was able to find most things at local garage sales and thrift stores and sell them for a profit. (Sometimes a very healthy profit.) I was able to source my items to sell and list them while my kids were in school or sleeping. On weekends we would make it a family fun-time going from garage sale to garage sale. My oldest caught the bug & bought & sold the things he was interested in -video games & movies. As a bonus, he got to play/watch them himself first.

  17. I contacted my old employer (before kids) and asked if they had any opportunities to help them from home. Luckily they did, most companies these days do everything online and it lends itself to working remotely. It really reinforces my mantra “Careful not to burn bridges, you might just need to cross back”.

  18. I would love to know how you go about setting up facebook for companies. That I can do!

  19. I have begun quilting/sewing from home. News is spreading by word of mouth... hopefully one day I can make enough to really make a difference in our income, but for now I'll do what I can to get provide extra. :) Just going in now to make a travel bag for a customer.

  20. I went to night school and first did anatomy and physiology as I wanted to be a massage therapist. I then completed a massage course and decided to do reflexology too. This was done while I was working full time and has no kids. It was so that once we has children I could work for myself and work part time hours. Just this year I invested in a gel nails system with lots of training and a high quality product. It was quite a big financial investment, but was worth it for sure. I now work at night, so we have dinner together as a family, and then I cwn leave for work soon after. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be home with my children in the day, and then work at night As a mobile therapist. Miss my hubby though, it can feel like ships passing in the night sometimes. Eventually I want

  21. lauraklebsch@yahoo.comNovember 12, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    It's so funny because I have totally been soul searching and have been thinking hard about fitness training and when I opened this it was #1. I work at a bank now and feel like I just want to go out in the world and make people happy. And I think helping people feel good in their own bodies would be an amazing life change.

  22. I work full-time for a large corporation from home. There is enough flexibility to make it work, though we don't have a picture - perfect home school life.


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