Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.
If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!
Guest post from Lindsey of Faithful Homemaking
When I was trying to earn money to buy a DSLR camera, I came up with the idea of hosting a “home preschool” once a week so my friends could get a break from their kids. I feel that most of the moms I know are over-worked and under-paid and could use a morning off!
This option has a dual-purpose of earning some extra cash and blessing your friends at the same time. An added bonus is that you don’t have to leave your kids or your own home to do it!
I chose Friday mornings as the mornings I’d offer Mom’s Morning Out to other moms. This is what worked best for the friends I was marketing my services to. I just committed to do it for four weeks, since I was only aiming to earn enough for a short-term goal of buying a DSLR camera.
Fridays may work for you, or, with the holidays coming, there are other times that would be prime options for a kid’s group. Such as offering to:
- Watch children on Black Friday so their moms can shop?
- Watch children the day or two before Thanksgiving Day while many moms are cooking up a storm?
- Host a Christmas-ornament-making party for kids on a Saturday in December so parents can wrap gifts at home?
- Offer to care for several kids every other Friday night so all your friends can go out for Date Night with their spouse?
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in trying, here are some things you’ll want to decide upfront:
How many children will you accept?
First, decide how many kids you can handle without going crazy. My limit was 8.
If you want to partner with another mom or two and invite more kids, go for it! I typed up a flier explaining to my friends what I would be doing and said that only the first 8 kids to sign up for each session could come.
Some kids were able to come to all 4 playgroups and some were only able to come to 1 or 2.
How long will each session last?
Decide on a time limit that works for your schedule. I recommend between 2 and 4 hours for a Mom’s Morning Out.
If you are doing a special event, like watching a bunch of kids on Black Friday, it could be an all-day thing; just don’t wear yourself out!
What ages will you accept?
You can choose to offer your services to kids of all ages but it won’t be as successful if you have babies in the mix. If the kids are similar ages it will be easier to get them interested in the games and activities you have planned.
I catered my playgroup sessions towards preschoolers.
What will you do?
I chose four themes, one for each Friday, to make up a month’s worth of Mom’s Mornings Out. Some theme ideas that are always a big hit with the kids are: dinosaurs, baking, race cars, princesses, nature, books/reading, the solar system, cowboys and cowgirls, helping the needy, etc.
If you are doing one in the pre-Christmas season you may want to do a different Christmas craft with the kids each time. During one play session, I had the kids help me package hats and gloves for a shelter and make Christmas cards for the homeless.
Once you have your theme idea, begin to build on it. Choose a healthy and inexpensive snack that fits your theme. Find books at the library on the topic. Find a Bible lesson or character lesson that would go well with your theme. Plan a game or two.
It’s very important to plan ahead so you have lots of fun things to occupy the little ones. In addition, give the kids plenty of free-play time as well where they can play with blocks, legos, dress-ups, dolls, cars and one another.
What will you charge?
First of all, it’s probably best to go with a suggested donation instead of a fee, due to different laws regarding daycare regulations and childcare licensing. Bartering is a great way to go, too!
Do your friends have a skill that you need? Maybe one friend could take your Christmas photos for you, one could cut your hair, one could crochet some hats for you to give as gifts, or one could bake you some holiday goodies which you can share with your neighbors.
If you’d prefer getting money, ask around to see what the local daycares and preschools are charging per child per hour. Adjust your suggested donation for doing playgroups depending on what the parents can afford. Remember to add in the cost of craft supplies and snacks, too.
I did my Mom’s Morning Out playgroup for just one month (four Fridays total) and was able to earn around $150 towards my camera for about 15 hours of work (charging a fairly low rate to bless my friends). My kids and their friends had a lot of fun and my friends got a little time to themselves!
If one of my friends offered this service to me, I would definitely sign up at least one of my children for this!
Lindsey blogs at Faithful Homemaking. She loves planning theme birthday parties for her two girls and two boys that have included: ballerinas, tea parties, teddy bear picnics, cowboys, cowgirls, a wet n’ wild water party, monster trucks, motorcycles, and ponies.