It’s been 5 years since I officially became a stay-at-home Mom.
It was a dream that had been years in the making! My husband and I are working hard to make this dream of ours a reality for our children. Since he teaches at a parochial school, our budget is extremely tight. I know many of you can relate! I knew early on that I was willing to do whatever it took so I could stay at home. Over the five years (as I stayed at home and our family grows), I have learned a lot as I continue working to become a mom that makes money (from home) for our family.
It’s a passion near and dear my heart because I want to stay home with our children, yet I know how tight our budget it. We already live frugally. We don’t have any debt (other than our mortgage). Yet, we need to bring in more income so we can reach our other saving goals. That is where I come in as mom.
Moms today have so many opportunities! It is truly a blessing in the variety of ways that we can provide for our families. I don’t claim to have all the answers and my income is increasing slowly but surely.
That said, I am learning lots and I am making progress toward this goal. I want to take the time to share what I’ve learned so far in the hopes that it will encourage other moms who have that desire to earn extra income to support their family.
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Here are 9 lessons I’ve learned as I become a money making mom.
1. Every little bit counts.
I answer surveys, teach piano lessons, coordinate social media, create custom books and blog. I’m constantly trying new things and exploring different ways to earn money. Some things work (blogging and custom book orders) while others fail (my recent craft fair, for example). Yet, I keep trying because every little bit of income adds up! As my blogging and custom book businesses grow, I am able to scale back on other money making pursuits. For now, I continue doing whatever I can to earn our family money.
2. Maximize all the little pockets of the day and use them to earn money for your family.
I can quickly check email, search on Bing and Swagbucks and answer an occasional survey while watching the girls play in the morning. I blog during naptime and create custom book orders at early in the morning before the kids wake up. I don’t always use my time wisely but I’m working hard at it! (Speaking of this, The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner was a life-changing read for me.)
3. Learn what works for your family.
This is incredibly important! What works for me and my family may not work for you – and vice versa. My husband is a hardworking teacher who coaches in the evenings. I’m not in the position to go out and host parties like some do after the kids are in bed. However, I can blog during those quiet evenings and earn money that way! I teach piano lessons around the school calendar so I can enjoy summers off with my teacher husband.
4. Take note of what you enjoy and learn how to make money with those talents.
I’ve always enjoyed writing and saving money. The fact that I can combine both of these talents to encourage others? It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to earn money through blogging! That said, it’s not true of everything! No one is paying me to bake them homemade bread or my delicious buckeyes…yet. 🙂 I have a mom friend who has become a very successful Premier Jewelry consultant. She has an outgoing personality and loves sharing the beautiful jewelry she wears – without being pushy. Another friend is going on her third decade of selling Pampered Chef because she loves to cook and make other lives easier in the kitchen. Take some time to think about what you enjoy doing and how you can make money with those talents of yours.
5. Turning a hobby into a business takes time.
This was one of the most important reminders I took away from Crystal Paine’s new book, Money Making Mom. She has spent 10 years growing her blogging business (at Money Saving Mom) into what it is now. I loved how honestly Crystal shared her failures and setbacks in this book. Yes, there are the rare bloggers who earn a 5 figure salary in under a year, but those cases are few and far in between. Most of us have been working hard at building our businesses for years before we see a profit. We have to give it our all and put the time in to see the end results. (If you want to learn how I’ve built my hobby blog into a business on a budget – you can read more about my blogging journey and blogging tips here.)
6. Embrace unexpected opportunities.
I wasn’t expecting to add a new part-time job doing social media three years ago. I’ve learned a lot about it in these past years as I work with my blog. My name came up in conversation and I was offered a part-time job running social media for our Indiana District of the LCMS. It’s very part-time, with only 2 or 3 hours of work a week. There are 2 brief meetings I attend but I can and do bring the kids along to most of them. The rest I do at home on my own time. When you are approached with an expected opportunity, take the time to consider if this is something that fits your passion and season of life. That does lead me to the next thing I’ve learned.
7. Know your limits.
I could teach dozen upon dozens of piano lessons every week if I accepted every inquiry I received. I taught piano lessons for 15 years, but when Nathan started Kindergarten this Fall, I stopped teaching lessons. I wanted to be able to pick Nathan up from school every day. The income was a blessing but the time came to move on. I simply can’t do everything – and do it all well!
8. Reevaluate regularly.
What worked when I was teaching and pregnant looks different from now when I’m home with a 5, 3 and 1 year old. I know I will be re-evaluating when our fourth baby is born in March as our family grows again. All of my part-time jobs have flexibility for which I am thankful, but I will continue to evaluate and readjust as necessary. As my blogging brings in more income and when my custom book orders increase, I’ll scale back on other commitments. I continually evaluate how I am earning income for our family, and which business opportunities are best worth my time and talents.
9. Know your why.
I do what I do so I can stay at home with my children. That’s the most important why in my book. We waited a long time for our family and I don’t want to lose these precious moments with them. Yet, that’s not the only reason I blog. I blog to encourage other busy moms who are looking to simplify their life at home. I blog to share money saving ideas and resources and recipes and yes, lots of practical encouragement!
One of my favorite quotes from Crystal Paine is, “You were created to make a difference.” I want to make a difference to my own family – and to other families. I believe God placed us in this specific time and place for a reason. Let’s make a difference!
These are just a handful of the lessons I’ve learned in my quest to become a money making mom. If you are looking for more ideas, I highly recommend Crystal Paine’s newest book, Money Making Mom. In it, she shares lots of practical encouragement for different ways you can earn money for your family. Whether you work or stay at home, have young children or older ones, if you are interested in learning more about how to financial support your family, add Money Making Mom to your reading list!
Now, let’s continue to encourage one another! What do you do now – or have you done – to support your family financially? Do you have big dreams of doing more? I’d love to hear your money making dreams in the comments below!