Work-at-home ideas for everyone from stay-at-home moms to retirees

Earn Money without Leaving Your Home

by Diane Bergman

In this day and age, many families unable to manage on one income find themselves considering how to bring in the extra money to make ends meet. Many stay-at-home moms wonder how to make extra money while raising their children full-time and managing the household. Here are several of my favorite legitimate ways to fatten the piggy bank without leaving home. Many of these ideas could work equally as well for a retiree as a mom!

Do you love exploring different cultures and dream of traveling all over the world to meet new people from faraway lands? How about inviting them to your house instead? You can take in foreign exchange students and be exposed to different cultures right in your own home.

My sister has been sharing her home with Japanese exchange students several times a year and loves every minute of her time with them. In fact, she has such a good time enjoying the company of the students that she was offered a job to teach students several times a year how to speak English, which she jumped at the chance to do. She is doing something she loves and getting paid for it. This is what we all strive for.

Related: Side Gigs Well Suited for Retirement

Or you could provide a service that everyone dreads doing, ensuring that someone will most definitely hire you. One of the most unpleasant tasks dog owners would gladly pay someone else to do is cleaning up dog poop from their yard. Once you are established with regular customers (believe me, you will have regular customers), you could extend your services to include dog walking and dog sitting for pet owners.

Earn Money without Leaving Your Home

Another pet service idea came to me when I couldn't find anyone to take care of my budgies when I wanted to go visit my sister for a week. I am sure I'm not the only bird owner who would love to find a fellow bird lover willing to bird sit while I go on holidays. You would be providing a service that would bring peace of mind to worried pet owners who want what is best for their beloved birds. You would simply open your home to your feathered guests, making sure they are fed and cared for. How easy is that?

Related: Easy to Start Pet Businesses

Now, if you are someone who likes to iron, how about taking in ironing? It's a time-consuming chore that a lot of people are happy to avoid. You could have customers drop their ironing off in the morning and they could pick it up that evening. You could also offer to mend clothing and sweaters. I provided such a service when my son was a baby and had only two customers, but I made enough money to manage. My customers had tons of clothes for me to iron. One client was very impressed when I was able to mend her favorite sweater, which she thought she would have to throw out. It only took me a few minutes, but she paid me for an hour's work.

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An idea for those who love children and social events is to organize birthday parties for the children of parents who want their child to have a birthday so special that they will never forget. So if you are the mom famous for her children's birthday parties, this might be a great way to earn money for you.

If you are considered an expert in a particular area such as crafts or art, how about offering classes from your home for children? An artist could have a Saturday morning art class or a seamstress could teach sewing or someone could teach traditional crafts, such as rug hooking, knitting, or embroidery.

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A pleasant job for those of you who love to bake is to offer baked goods to order in your community. An area worth exploring is to offer specialty cakes for children on restricted diets. Nowadays, so many children are allergic to milk, eggs or peanuts and you can find allergy-free recipes in the library. After all, every child deserves a birthday cake.

Now, if you love to make art or crafts, perhaps you should consider selling your handiwork at flea markets or through consignment shops. Many people make a living as artisans and you can too. I have supplemented my income by selling baby blankets and teddy bears that I have made. The trick is to make sure there is a market for your particular craft.

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For example, while selling my teddy bears, I noticed one table buzzing with people. I went over to take a look and discovered a stunning display of small pictures of pressed flowers arranged in a pleasing fashion. The material must have cost her next to nothing, and by the end of the day, she was sold out. So make sure you visit a couple of flea markets and craft fairs to get an idea of what people are interested in buying.

Related: Side Gigs That Can Make You Extra Cash

Start your business is as simple as placing an ad in your local newspaper or community newsletter or online on a site such as Craigslist. How far you expand is up to you and your needs. If you are creative and flexible, there are many ways to bring in extra money without leaving your home. Now you can create a budget you and your family can live with. Good luck!

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Reviewed February 2018

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