I have been a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom for 20 years. My husband and I have seen some financially lean and some financially prosperous years. The early years, when we both worked, I could pretty much buy what I liked. I just used a credit card.
Then, we decided I should stay home to raise the babies and our salary was drastically lowered. After a few years, chasing debt, not the children, kept us busy.
During this time of getting free, I helped my husband by working from our home, using a combination of the 10 tips I am sharing with you. In 5 years, we went from being $33K in debt to $0K in debt, because we budgeted and I helped pay bills with my alternative incomes. (In fact, this week, I’ve made $443.85.)
I still use each of these 10 means of making extra money (not always all at the same time), only now we save it. I primarily use #s 1-4.
(All the pictures are of the closet I keep my Stuff-To-Sell in)
- eBay:: Go through your clothing, toys, linens, electronics, home decor. Anything sells on eBay if it’s priced right! Now it’s easier than ever to list, get paid, and ship! When I first started selling a decade ago, I had to: know html code, take pictures, have the roll developed, scan the pictures, do back flips. Now, the time I spend per average handling each item, from closet to shipping counter, is about 10 minutes.
- etsy:: Etsy’s selling rules are these: if it is handmade, vintage, or something to make a craft with, you can sell it on etsy. My shoppe consists of vintage and antique finds that I purchase for resale at thrift stores, estate/yard sales, and flea markets.
- Amazon:: Anything sells on Amazon, too. I primarily sell books. Enter the ISBN # in the search, find the average fetching price for the condition of the book, enter a few descriptive words, and viola! I’m done! Amazon is by far the easiest place to sell, as they have a database for every item’s product code that instantly describes every item that you have ever thought about listing.
- Craigslist:: Stuff that is too large to sell on eBay (anything bigger than say, a laundry basket). Items like: shutters, furniture, lamps, tables, artwork, and our last car! There are rules of safety that you should follow, found HERE, but I haven’t had any issues yet.
- Bartering:: Trade your time, talent or treasure with someone else’s. I realize that this doesn’t sound like a way to raise cash, but through the years, I’ve also learned that NO $ out of pocket, is as good as $ coming into the pocket, especially if the trade is something both parties need. Here are some actual barters I’ve done: A week’s worth of dinners for a sofa slipcover. A bathroom mirror for a highchair. A carpet cleaner in exhange for babysitting. A friend gave me a whole set of ironstone dishes. In exchange, I ran a day’s errands for her since their household had only one car and her hubby had it that day.
- Yard Sale:: This is a no-brainer. Or is it? I love Yard Sale Queen.com for all the practical and money-making tips provided.
- FaceBook:: Yes! I have sold things through FaceBook! Take a picture of said item, upload it, add a small description, the price. The best part is, if you have an issue with selling on Craigslist and strangers coming to your home, this way you usually know the buyer. (Just don’t post an “ad” for that special “heirloom” that your Mother-in-law gave you last Christmas. She will find out. Don’t ask me how I know.)
- Flea Market:: Calling, reserving a booth, pricing, gathering everything, loading it into your vehicle isn’t as easy as a yard sale, but the boost in the number of potential buyers is worth it. The Flea Market Directory lists most flea markets by state, city, and contact information.
- Child Care or Babysitting:: My next door neighbor sat on babies for years. While her children were young, she kept a few children the same ages. Then, when her children started school, she only kept a few children after school. I homeschooled, so I watched infants that slept a lot. When they became mobile, my time with them was up. I also babysat for couples that occasionally needed a date night.
- Consignment Shops:: Selling housewares or clothing this way is my least favorite, as it cuts into my profit, but if you don’t have the time for any of the above 9 ideas, consigning is perfect for you. How to Consign.com is a helpful resource if you need to turn your cluttered closets into cash.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but as I wrote it, I couldn’t help but think of Proverbs 31, where we homemakers are instructed to: research and find ways to make a profit. Verse 16 says, “she considers a field, and buys it. With her earnings she plants a garden.” Also, “…she always works hard. She knows when to buy or sell,” verses 17 & 18.
Are there a few things you could do or sell to help your husband and household today?
For more home making ideas, please come visit me at my place Goodbye, House! Hello, HOME!