Interested in starting a blog and making money from home? I earned my first $200 within 3 months of starting Frugal on the Prairie then went on to earn a full-time income from home about 6 months later! If you're ready to get started, I have a step-by-step tutorial for setting up your domain and hosting here, which can be a headache to figure out by yourself if you've never done it before! I also highly recommend and use Bluehost for my hosting! (<---That's an affiliate link but girl, I never recommend something I don't love or use ;)
It's no secret that the daily life of a stay at home mom is hard yet incredibly beautiful. We change more diapers that we ever thought we would, but are also able to do what we love by staying home with our littles. Whether you stay at home, work full time, are married, single, dating, have children, or don't have children, there are learning curves to every monumental change in life. Making the transition from working full time outside of the home to staying at home certainly has its learning curve. This post is no judgment or statement on what you should or shouldn't be doing. I'm a firm believer that you should always do what feels right for you!
- How to Start a Blog So You Can Work from Home
- How to Make Money as a Freelance Proofreader
- Day in the Life of a Freelance Proofreader
I've been working since I was 15 and as odd as it may sound, I just love work! I'm constantly thinking of ways I can learn, grow my business, and financially contribute to my family.
When my son was born, we were blessed with the opportunity for me to stay at home with him. He is my absolute, number one priority. But once I got a handle on my daily SAHM schedule, I started to miss working and decided to try some money making ideas on the side.
Over time, I've had a lot of success with these ventures. It takes some hard work and mistakes, but here are the ways I've survived and thrived at side hustling.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Tips for SAHM's Working a Side Hustle
Take Care of Yourself
First and foremost, you need to make sure you're ready to take on the task of working a side hustle in addition to all of the other duties of being a stay at home mom. Are you finding enough time to eat a proper meal? Shower? Clean your home? Workout? Have some "me" time?
Take care of you before you take care of your side hustling or you'll burn out.
Wake Up Early
For the record, I was not born an early bird. I was a night owl for many years, but as a parent I just didn't have any energy left at the end of the day to put my best work-foot forward.
If you really want to rock your side hustle, you need to make time a priority! There's a meme floating around Instagram that says, "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce." This always makes me laugh but it's true!
I wake up no later than 5am every single morning and I've seen significant growth in my business productivity. I stay at home for a reason and I like to spend as much time away from the computer and bonding withmy son. This means I need to be working long before he wakes up for the day.
If you're looking for inspirational stories and advice, I highly recommend Hal Elrod's The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) and Laura Vanderkam's What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.
Brainstorm and Start Hustling!
What do you love? What are you good at? What kind of side hustle do you want to start?
I highly, highly recommend Ultimate Resource Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Mystery Shopping and Other Side Hustlesby Kristin Larsen if you're really interested in mystery shopping, panel studies, analytical studies (providing your internet search history for research) or cell phone app surveys.
She goes into detail about different types of side hustles, how you can get started, and who you should contact! That is a major bonus because there are so many questionable sites out there.
Kristin has over 15 years of experience as a mystery shopper and has also worked with many other types of side hustles. She spills all her secrets in her book and I can't stop going on about how great it is! She's a good friend of mine and was kind enough to share a FREE CHAPTER for all of you. You can download it here and then hop on over to buy it here.
Honestly, there are so many side hustle options.
- Selling on Amazon through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
- Panel Study Participant
- Cell Phone App Surveys
- Dessert Baker or Decorator
Personally I started my side hustle experience on Elance (now known as Upwork) working assignments like ghost writer, social media manager, virtual assistant, and many others. If the job felt right and the price was enough, I applied! Once I gained more experience I started applying for higher paying positions and eventually started my own freelance business as a virtual assistant.
Protect Your Personal Information
There are some fantastic opportunities out there to really kick up some dust with your side hustle. And then there are other, riskier opportunities.
For example, are you working with someone who requires some form of tax identification? Are you comfortable handing out your social security number?
If you're just starting your side hustle ventures, you can apply for an Employer's Identification Number (EIN) to hand out to anyone who requires tax identification. This number can be used to file your taxes. You can read more about it here.
A quick note about taxes: Depending on the country you live in and how much you make in a year, you will need to keep track of your income to see if you need to file taxes. For example, here in the U.S. you need to file taxes if your net earnings were $400 or more. You may not expect to make that much but you should always plan for success!
*I am not an accountant so please consult with a professional concerning your side hustle/tax concerns.
Open a Separate Account for Your Income
Open a bank account for all of your side hustle income before you receive a penny. It doesn't have to be a fancy account with any bells or whistles. Using a free checking account with your personal name will work just fine.
It's hard to tell what will happen in the future and I hope you never have to be audited. But if you are, having your personal and business cash flows separate will certainly make things a little more organized.
Ways to Get Your Name Out There
The secret (or not so secret) about working a side hustle is that the work does not come to you. You are essentially running your own small business and you need to go out there to find work. That is the beauty and the irritating thing about this kind of job. There is no 9-5 boss with a list of to-do's for you and a check at the end of the month. Your success or failure is directly related to the hard work you put into it.
Here are some of the ways, you can spread the word.
- Word of mouth
- Facebook mom groups
- Facebook posts on your personal page (Be careful about becoming spammy though!)
- Bumper sticker
- For writers/virtual assistants: Offer free services to other successful bloggers/businesses for a trial period. Impress them with your incredible talents and ask them to refer you to others or even hire you at the end!
- Hand out business cards or flyers to your local businesses or public libraries
- Cold call/email anyone you know may be interested in your services
Keep Track of EVERYTHING
Side hustles can involve a surprising amount of money. Perhaps it's thriving much more than you anticipated. If there's one thing you should take away from this post it's that you need to record every single penny. If you earn $10 from a small job, record it. If you spend $3 on office supplies (used exclusively for your work, of course), record it.
Your side hustle may turn into a large undertaking and you don't want to let a single cent slip through the cracks. My very first check from a side hustle was less than $30. Fast forward to now- I just recently publishedThe Beginner's Guide to Budgeting and it became an Amazon Bestseller! You never know where this path is going to take you.
Don't Forget Your Taxes
I started my little side hustles thinking I would bring in a small handful of "fun money" every month. One opportunity led to another and eventually I needed to take taxes into consideration. Don't let April sneak up on you with a large tax bill. A good idea is to start by setting aside 30% of your earnings per month.
Last, but not least, side hustling can be a lot of fun but it can also be a little draining. Be sure to constantly reevaluate if your current jobs or opportunities are stressing you out or helping you thrive.
Plans may or may not work out and that's okay. Just remember to always pursue the passions that work best for you and your family!