Can she earn enough working at home?
Jobs for Single Work-at-Home Moms
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
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I'd like to find a work-at-home job that would support my two-year-old daughter and me. Daycare is eating up my paycheck, so I wouldn't need to make a lot to be ahead of the game. Can anyone suggest work-at-home jobs that are good for a single mom?
Be Your Own Boss
I have done various work-at-home jobs since my kids were little. I'm still doing them since we started homeschooling. The first at home job I did was in home daycare. It was only a supplementary income for me, so I watched two little girls in addition to my own kids. If you need more income, you can get more kids, but you also need more space. I wasn't "certified," but I did the job for a friend who trusted me.
Then I moved on to eBay sales. I started by selling my kids outgrown clothing. It was helpful, but I soon learned I could shop garage sales and thrift store, and turn the items over on eBay for a profit. Storage was a bit of an issue as clothing is bulky. I used a corner of my daughter's room for my bins and shipped from my kitchen table. It wasn't pretty, but it was functional.
Now I sell craft supplies on Etsy and eBay. It's strictly a numbers game I have found. You will have to start small and build before you can make a steady paycheck. I started with a small inventory of many items to fill my online store and then a minimum of half of my income went back into inventory until I was able to build it up to a steady paycheck. I did a lot of research on the best online sellers. I buy most of my items from wholesalers. You will need a decent camera to take pictures, good research skills, and some place to store your inventory and shipping supplies. I have a few bookshelves plus some closet space for my storage. My craft supplies are small thankfully.
I've never gone for the home businesses where you work for someone else. I'd rather line my own pockets than a business owner's pockets. I enjoy being my own boss!
Found Three Options
I've seen three types of work that are "real," pay well, and not scams. One is setting up a daycare center in your home. Even taking care of a few children can pay nicely, especially if full-time. Be aware you will need to be licensed in some states.
The second is with a call center. I worked for one as an RN and they encouraged us to set up a home office and work remotely. You would need someone to watch your own child, however, while taking calls unless you took a night shift, for example.
Third, I've worked in corporate positions that allowed work-from-home/telecommuting for some percentage of the time, but not 100%.
Virtual Customer Service Rep - There are several companies who hire home-based workers to take customer service calls. You probably don't realize it, but when you call a company's customer service, that person may be working from a spare bedroom in her home. One of these companies, Alpine Access, currently employs more than 7,500 work-at-home customer service agents around the country that take in-bound calls (no outbound or cold calling) for companies like J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-Flowers and the IRS. You can learn more and apply online at AlpineAccess.com.
Another company, LiveOps.com, offers the same type of opportunity; however, call agents operate as independent agents, developing and managing their own businesses. As a call agent with LiveOps, you will be self-employed for tax purposes.
While the typical hourly rate for virtual consumer service reps is $9, agents can earn up to $20 with incentives and bonuses, depending on talk time and performance.
Mock Juror - There are websites that will pay you to sit on mock juries. You can earn fees ranging from $10 to $60, depending on how much time is required. Be sure to read all of the disclaimers and details before agreeing to sit on a focus group: ZapJury.com, Trialpractice.com, eJury.com, OnlineVerdict.com.
Survey Taker - If you have a little spare time and want to save up a stash of cash, there are trustworthy sites where you can get paid for taking surveys. Just remember this rule of thumb: Never respond to a site or opportunity that requires you to pay a fee upfront to get started. Check out these sites: your2cents.com, www.npdor.com, surveysavvy.com, acop.com, viewpointforum.com, ePoll.com, greenfieldonline.com, mysurvey.com.
Kay in WV
The first thing that comes to my mind is to take in a couple other kids. Childcare pays very well these days! It allows you more time with your child, as well as possible peer companionship for your child. It's a win-win if you can swing it.
Nancy in Wheaton, IL
Article That May Help
I wrote this article and think it could help this stay-at-home mom in need of a job. Find it here.
How About Pet-Sitting?
There aren't a lot of work-at-home jobs available that pay a living wage, but you could do babysitting/daycare or pet-sitting. Put up notices on Craigslist, in grocery stores, on church bulletin boards, etc. Pet-sitting tends to be in demand for weekends, vacations, and holidays. I did this when my child was small and it gave him the opportunity to experience a pet without having one. Sometimes we would have a dog at our home, and the owners said that the dog was much more relaxed when they came back.
Assess Your Strengths
Being a stay-at-home mom is wonderful, but if you need to have income while doing so, there are a few options. Assess your strengths, and from those, choose which income method you prefer.
Sewing for folks always is a good option but beware of short deadlines. If you sew or knit, perhaps you can make items that would be popular and would sell on Etsy. These are usually not your common everyday things and you ship them yourself. Be careful of what type of delivery service you offer, so you are not stressed too much with deadlines.
Some companies offer work with computers, which you could probably do while your child rests. It is profitable but be sure to verify hours or quantity they demand.
The other alternative is give daycare service for one or more children while caring for your own child. Perhaps you should stay close to your own child's age when taking in children. By doing this, your craft times and day trips would be enjoyable to the same age group. Check to find out what the guidelines are in your area. Some items then become write-offs on income taxes if a person is registered as a daycare provider in some states and provinces.
I have a friend who looks after school age children before and after school. It's usually only an hour or two per day and requires her to see them off on the bus and be waiting for the bus on their return. This can be profitable. My friend provides an after-school snack each day, which requires a little preparation. The children she cares for belong to school teachers. Therefore, she has no one to care for in the summer, so her family plans are more flexible. This does require a person to be organized enough to have her own child up and ready to go early in the morning.
Take the Next Step:
- Visit the TDS library for more on working from home.
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