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Ask the Readers: How can I earn an extra $1000 per month?

Today’s question is from Pamela:

I am in a situation where I need to increase my monthly income by about $1,000 per month. We already eat as frugally as we can and try to buy only when something is on sale. We economize at home with utilities.

I don’t think there is much else I can do besides actually increasing my income from home. In addition to selling online, which I already do, what other work from home opportunities are there that would enable me to see a $1,000 increase in income in a short time? – Pamela

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  • Krista says:

    I have read most of the replies but not all, so if I happen to repeat someones suggestion, please forgive me. We needed additional income to help put our daughter through College but I wanted something that would be fun and exciting. I happen to be at a Premier Designs jewelry party for a friend of mine and loved the idea of being a jewelry lady and over 3 years later, I am still loving it! I only work when I want to, as much or as little and it DEFINITELY helps pay the bills. I am able to keep my kids in private school because of Premier! I paid back my investment in 3-4 shows and was making money immediately. I get paid the night of the show, so I have cash money in my pocket as soon as I am done. It has been a true blessing and I love every minute of it. If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and I would love to assist!

    You might also be able to find a part-time transcription at-home job for a doctor’s office or other facility to help with their backlog. I am betting there are a multitude of local companies that need someone to assist in this area.

    I hope you find what you need and good luck!!!

    • Susan says:

      I almost suggested Premier Designs myself. As my Premier Designs friend says, jewelry sells itself (and Premier jewelry is quite reasonable in price!) I like that it is a mommy-friendly company.

  • Faith Schofield says:

    I have been able to increase our family’s income by selling The Pampered Chef. It is so flexible, about 1/2 of our consultants are able to do this while working another job(shich being a mother is a fulltime job). I also have learned tons of time saving tricks for the kitchen. 🙂 I’d be glad to help you get started.

  • Susan says:

    I wanted to chime in one more time on this topic …

    There have been many suggestions to become a childcare provider in order to earn money. It’s a great idea, but I would caution anyone not to do that unless you are truly passionate about wanting to work with children. Don’t go into it just to make a few bucks. Don’t expect to just “feed them and read to them.”

    As a WAHM mom who pays top dollar for quality childcare, I expect my childcare providers to be 100% dedicated to the children in their care for the entire time the children are there. That means cooking meals for the children, not the family; cleaning the childcare areas and belongings, not family bedrooms and such. If the children are playing outside, the childcare provider must be outside playing with them. Transition times are the hardest for kids, so it’s especially important to be focused on the kids and not, for example, cooking dinner for the family while waiting for the children to be picked up at the end of the day.

    Also, I think it’s important that any childcare situation be a level playing field. If you have your own children, it’s their home, their toys, their mom. Children in your care need to be equals and not just guests in your home. You can’t favor your own kids, no matter how difficult that may be.

    Okay, off my childcare soapbox now.

    Other suggestions have been things like housecleaning, pet sitting, yard work and the like … I wanted to emphasize is that if you decide to take on something like that, don’t assume that you will be able to take your children with you. If you do, be sure to make specific arrangements for them. I fired a yard guy who brought his kids along and let them jump on my trampoline while he mowed the lawn. Uh, no! That is not a liability that I wish to take on.

    Okay, off that soapbox now. I hope Pamela and other readers looking to earn extra money have been able to pick up some useful ideas from this post. I’m not even looking to earn extra money and even I have some ideas that I think I may need to follow up on. 8)

    • Vanessa says:

      I second your comment.

    • Penny says:

      Totally agree.

      I have to be honest, it kind of makes me nervous that people are so cavalier about suggesting it. To me, childcare is like teaching – you don’t go into it solely for the money. It’s an incredibly demanding job.

  • Marlana says:

    Start with what you love to do and your passions. Babysitting was a great idea if you love to do it. Writing is a great idea. Do you love to write? You won’t like blogging 10 times a day if its not your passion, but if it is your passion, it might be fuel to keep you going.

    The sky is unlimited. Shoving people’s snow in the winter, cleaning buildings, watering people’s yard everyday, designing shoes, giving people massages (who can’t create a business that charges less than $100 an hour), teaching people to sew, cook, swim (whatever it is that you can do). Start a business selling (and delivering) pickles, tortillas, or salsa (well, maybe not in America — but my friends here in Thailand who started that business are doing HOT, but keep the concept the same. What are food that people LOVE to eat but can’t buy cheaply in America?) You could create T-shirts, or birthday cards. If you can cook any international food, start a cooking school!!! If you are an artist, do art camps all summer. (My sis and I would make over $1000 a month doing them as a kid.) Another great business is driving kids to lessons after school, or taking notes for special ed students at school. While those are not great SAH businesses, they might work if you team up with other SAHMs.

    I have worked for pearson grading the ACT and other high school tests, making $1000 from home. Then turned that into a business by tutoring people on the SAT. Oh, you could start a business homeschooling people’s kids.

    I would also look into a solid network marketing company. There are some network marketing companies that are not joke, and others that are over done (like Mary Kay — now there’s a dealer on every street in your neighborhood). You also have to believe in your product, and it takes time, but in the long run, you can be making a lot of money in the right company…Top Teir is another business model; I’ve heard its good because you don’t have to put time into selling yourself like NM, but I’m a bit skeptical and it requires money up front. But again, brainstorming and checking out your options is okay as long as you go into it in brainstorming mode.

    But I would also take the money I was making and invest it, rather than spend it. Say you make $1000 a month, save it, and start making 6% interest off of it. You are on a faster track to getting out of your rate race (lets face it, solo businesses can get stressful after a while, especially if you are tutoring in schools or driving kids around) than if you just spend that $1000 a month.

    Anyway, the reason the question is difficult to answer is that we all have different skills, but think outside the box. Suppose you have several children and don’t have time to teach 40 piano students, but you do have time to own a piano studio and higher other piano teachers to work for you. (A lot of college students don’t have a house or piano to teach from.) Do you live in a city with foreign students? You could start a language school?

    Good luck!!!!

  • Louise says:

    If you like couponing, I know of three folks (one who was laid off from work & needed income, one who needed to be a SAHM & one whose job took a steep decline in salary) who began doing this seriously. They take advantage of the great sales using coupons & then resell at a flea market.

    They make well over $1000 a month, more like $3,000 or more. Yet, this takes $s to get your initial inventory, time to find the right deals & get the coupons, the right flea market that has lots of folks coming in over the weekends. the right pricing on the items, etc. Takes some time, skills, & plenty of energy – but all three of the people I know are doing extremely well, especially in these economic times where folks are all looking for bargains.

    Everyone is not into couponing & folks don’t want to spend high retail prices, so a proper flea market site can do well.

    Not easy, but lucrative. Some folks do sell their overstocks at garage sales, but I’m hearing these flea market sites are better and don’t interfere w/the home life.

    It’s just an idea to consider – one man states he is still doing it even after he back to work full-time. He looks for deals in the evenings & works at the flea market on weekends. Works out times w/his wife – they have children too! Takes a couple working together to make this work – but they’re doing well now.

  • Antonella says:

    I’d suggest reading Many insights in how to turn an idea into a profitable one. No nonsense approach that I find very useful.

  • Lynn says:

    I think there have been some great suggestions here. I want to echo Susan’s comments about child care – doing so, particularly from home (where you don’t center and staff support) can be very exhausting and if you are presumably staying home for your family, sometimes a long day of providing quality care to someone’s children may leave you too tired for your own.

    Also, I would like to point out in my opinion, you need to allow your specific situation to guide what you need to do – solid suggestions probably need far more detail than we can gain here. For example, is the need for the additional $1000 a short term issue for your family – then maybe picking up some quick sitting jobs for friends will be good for you. If this is going to be a sustained situation, you may have to be looking for a more permanent solution – going back to school for a flexible outside the home job, getting an evening job (or job opposite when your spouse or family members/friends who can help you work) stocking shelves at a Wal-Mart, etc.

    If you can work outside the home somewhat, I have many friends who have done tax classes, such as those offered by H&R Block and other companies, they work almost every evening and on weekends during tax season – make a huge sum of money and then save it to sustain through other periods. This may work if you have someone who can be with your children in the evening.

    Also, from an experience a friend of mine had, she lived in a larger city and they seemed to be always struggling with the costs there – long term they ended up moving to a smaller area with family support and have much more financial security.

    I hope you are able to find something in the responses here that will help you, just remember to find the most realistic solution for YOUR family.

  • AM says:

    My mom and I started selling home party stuff to make extra cash, since we both work over 40 hours a week out of the home. (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple etc.)
    We host all the party’s ourselves at our own homes. We never have to go anywhere so child care is not an issue.
    We have fun making money and get a ton of free product that we can resell for even more profit!
    Just a thought…

  • Megan says:

    I saw a couple people on here talk about direct sales, and I love it! I’m a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts. I would say if you are thinking about direct sales, look around and see what are the options. I love purses so Thirty-One is a great fit for me, I could not sell candles or skin care since I do not use either one. The great thing about direct sales is that you decide how much you want to work. I currently only do 4 parties a month (I make an average of $125 from each party).

    Of course there are start up cost, Thirty-One is $99 to start, but it is worth it when you are making a thousand dollars a month or more!

  • Denise says:

    I started selling Usborne books, mainly because we needed the money and I could get good quality books for my children. I have found it to fit great with any schedule and it fills those financial gaps we had and I get to meet new people all the time.

    I would definetly look into a home based business it is great!!


  • Lauren says:

    I just skimmed the answers and child care looks like one of your better options. While some people have success on ebay and etsy, I have heard of more people not doing that well. The same is true with surveys. I tried that once but found it to be a waste of my time.
    I also like the tutor suggestion. I have talked about making $1000/mo with my husband and know how I would do it. I would teach a class at a community college. It pays about $3000/semester ($1000/mo for 10 hrs/wk). However, I have an advanced degree in math. Do you have anything like this? You could make some good money both as a teacher and a tutor with a degree. However, I would not necessarily encourage you to get a degree just for this.

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    Something I didn’t see here yet:

    Teaching classes through a community college or community ed!
    Small colleges and universities often fill “holes” (i.e. teaching one class a semester or a very specialized area) with Adjuncts – contract faculty who teach a specified number of classes for a specific period of time. Pay ranges from about $3000 to $10000 per class per semester, depending on the institution. It is taxed, but the school handles that for you. I have a colleague who stays home with her daughter during the day and teaches one class per term, 2 evenings a week when her husband is home. She stays after class for 2 hours each of those nights to work on her course prep and then does the rest while her daughter is napping. For one term a year she teaches a 1 hour per week community ed class where childcare is available for her daughter.

    Tutoring was mentioned before and that’s a great idea too – particularly in areas like science and math when people are studying for SATs, ACTs, MCATs, LSATs, and AP tests. Going rates here are about $20 per half hour or $30 for the full hour.

    Hope that’s helpful!

  • dana says:

    When I was growing up my parents had an evening job cleaning offices. I would get a % if I helped out. Made some extra $$ each night.

  • Maria says:

    I had always dreamed of having a home-based business. I kept praying about it a little for several years. One day I realized I had already begun my business–teaching piano. And then I realized that my husband could also teach piano, though his specialty is voice.

    We’re from rural Kansas. Rates for lessons are pretty low here, but my husband and I make $20 per hour of lessons (which does not include time spent shopping for piano books, emailing parents, etc.) If you’re in a city, you can probably charge a good bit more.

    With teaching several classes at our local Christian school, my husband is able to fill most of 3 days with piano, voice, and theory lessons. We have done very little advertising, but our studio continues to grow every year. We never would have imagined we could make that much of our income from teaching.

    If you could teach 25 students, that’s $1000 a month, with 12.5 hours of lesson time per week. We especially love to have homeschooling families, because they fill in the daytime slots.

    I also have taught preschool music classes, half an hour of singing and music games and listening activities in my living room.

    I’m continually surprised and blessed that even in Kansas’ generally-mediocre economy, parents continue to spend hefty chunks of money to have their children learn music.

    • Stephanie says:

      I have also been giving music lessons in my home. I have a BS in music ed. I went from working full time to staying home with our son.
      We had him in a good daycare, but he was always sick. He would pick up anything that came his way. When I looked at the money for daycare, DR visits, and time missed for his sick days; I was only clearing about $150 a month!!!!
      I started teaching music lessons during the times and days that worked best for my family. I make more than $150 a month now and I get to stay home with our son 🙂

  • Melinda says:

    I have been working from home for 4 years now. It is possible to make 1,000.00 per month working from home, but it is not an easy task to find a job fast where you will be making a steady income of that amount. In 4 years I have found one job where I was making that much, but it was a temporary contract job.

    It is very helpful to keep a positive attitude when you are looking into working from home because it takes many people 1-3 years before they find something that is steady that they enjoy doing.

    I did online tutoring for over 3 years and it only took me 6 months to find that job, it was the first work from home job that I had. The best website out there to find legitimate at home jobs is

    Hope this helps 🙂

  • Kristin says:

    Do you have any skills where you could market yourself for kids’ birthday parties? Be a clown, a magic act, face painting, puppet shows? I don’t know…just trying to think of things that haven’t been offered yet. Probably couldn’t make $1000 but every bit helps…

  • There are so many great ideas here!!! What a wealth of info!
    One thing that many people do is the childcare, but if you are struggling with that, check into watching people’s children in their homes in the evenings. I used to do overnight childcare, where I took my youngest child or even the younger two and worked from 7 pm-7 am. for a night nurse. I put the children to bed, and woke them up and fed them and got them ready for school. Then I went home and took care of my family. I know my sister works as a babysitter for well off people, she goes in the evenings and is there sometimes until late on the weekends, but makes a couple hundred in two nights. She works hard, but it is worth it for her. Sometimes people are willing to have a reliable babysitter, that they will let you bring a younger child with you, or your husband is home with the children.

    Another idea is being a tutor for homeschoolers. Homeschool moms do a ton of work to homeschool, and sometimes are willing to pay for once a week tutoring for certain subjects. My sister also used to tutor at the college, just putting her name on a list, and people came to her home or she met them at a coffee shop for a couple hours. Again, not high pay, but every bit helps.

    If you live in Amish country….advertise to be a driver. You fix an rate by the mile or drive, and they will pay a lot of money to be driven places. This helped us survive in a hard time. I used to drive Amish as well as my mom and dad.

    Check into local part time jobs- the library often has jobs that are only 15 hours a week, split up, it is not too bad and can make some extra money.

    House cleaning… can charge $15-20 an hour for this in most areas. Go and talk to builders or apt. building owners and let them know you are available for cleaning empty houses or apts. after people move out. They are always looking for dependable people to clean, who do a good job.

  • Katie says:

    We’re in a low-income community (of grad students with families) in a higher-income area (off-campus), and MANY moms I know support the family with part-time and work-from-home jobs. It helps that the student-parent has a more flexible schedule than most around here, but here are some of the things we do:

    *babysitting at the Y (she brings her children with her)
    *housecleaning & light cooking (can bring her children when she needs to)
    *editing papers for students, especially students for whom English is a second language
    *teaching piano lessons
    *working a full-time job that allows a significant number of hours to be worked from home (the woman I know does technical editing, but there are many jobs that require only some hours in the office)
    *nannying (my sister also did this, found her job through a website, and worked after school with two upper-elementary aged kids while she was a college student)

    Our school posts part-time and unusual job offerings all the time. Is there a school near you where odd jobs like these might be posted?

  • Melodie says:

    Something we are hoping to do this year is house a couple of foreign exchange students who attend our local Christian school. The pay, after the expenses of extra mouths to feed and house, will bring in about $500 – $900/month extra for us. This will be a huge help to our family, since we are one of those families who have already cut everything but absolute necessary living expenses, we clip every coupon we can, we DIY just about everything we can figure out ourselves, and we have already sold or have been trying to sell everything in our house worth selling and are still struggling to make ends meet. My husband is already working three jobs and I am homeschooling two in kindergarten while chasing after a two year old, so I can’t work either in or out of my home for pay at this time.

    • Two of my sisters-in-law have taken in foster children. One has 7 of her own children, and because she had the space, she was approved to take in a family with 7 children (this is the 4th large family she has had). It’s a lot of work writing the reports about each child every single day (plus feeding everyone!) but it has been a huge help to both her and my other sister-in-law (who has 8 children and takes 2-3 foster children–usually babies and toddlers–at a time). Ir can be very frustrating, and it requires a car (they spend a lot of time driving them to required appointments and visits) but it is working for them right now.

      My husband just works one job, but often from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm; he’s self-employed, and since home prices have declined by 65%, his income took a huge hit (by about 95%). I have 6 children 9 and under, so I know what you mean about the time. Your plan sounds like a great help to your family!

  • I made the choice 16 yrs ago to be a stay at home Mom when I was pregnant with my first and decided to join Avon Products as an Independent Sales Rep to help with the family budget. I still do it part-time 20-30 hrs a week and make $1000 a month while being at school functions, Girl Scouts, and all the doctor visits that come with having 2 kids in braces and a disabled husband.

  • Megan says: (freelance work) It has worked great for me for the past couple of years. I started low, but have really worked my way up and make more than I did working outside of the home. Best of luck!

  • Judy says:

    I have a question for the ladies who do Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Tupperwear, Scentsy, etc. After you have a few parties with those you personally know, such as family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, church friends etc… how do you find more people to continue to come to your parties and purchase things? I’d like to do something that that, but frankly, I have a small circle of people I associate with and while they may buy something here and there, they aren’t going to buy loads of makeup and kitchen products every week. What am I missing here? LOL

    • It amazes me how many people I come across each day. The store, bank, pharmacy, school, doctors offices, church, neighbors, friends, online! When I host a show, the host invites everyone she can think of…men and women, young and aged….because EVERYONE eats! Then some people at that party wants to have their own party, and the at that show there are a few people that wants to host their own show…..the circles branch out!

    • Angie says:

      Hi Judy! I’m a Tastefully Simple consultant. I chose this company because I love the food, I love to eat, I love to entertain. Also, once people get addicted, you end up with repeat buyers. With Pampered Chef and Tupperware and the like, once you have what you need, you don’t need anything else. The goal at all of my parties is to rebook a party… either the hostess or some of her friends. Everyone will be inviting people different than the ones that you already know, so its broadening you out already. Your goal as a consultant is to ASK EVERYONE if they want to 1) purchase anything, 2) be a hostess, 3) become a consultant. Not asking if an immediate NO. Tastefully Simple is very easy to sell, fun to eat and use. I love that I can make my own schedule, take time off when I need, the quarterly minimums to stay active are low, initial start-up cost is low, etc. If you’d like more info, please email me at almartin606 at excite dot com, and I’d love to help you out. You can also check out for more info. Hope that helps!

      • pc mom says:

        Angie, I have to disagree to an extent with you. I am an upper level director with the Pampered Chef. I have been with this company for almost 6 years now. I started it for the same reason that the origional poster did, I needed money and I needed it QUICK! I worked M-Sat with another business that I owned. I needed to do something that could work around that schedule. I did parties on Sunday afternoon only. In my first three months I made over $2500 total. Now I do about 2 parties a week and I make an average of $3500-$4000 a month. That is more than I was making in my corporate job!

        Judy, candy is right, you have to talk to people everyday. It is a very fun job and everyone eats and if you can teach them to prepare healthy -budget friendly meals in less than 30 mins, you are not only offering them great products, but a great service as well.

        You can NEVER have too much Pampered Chef! We update our catalog twice a year. This fall will be our biggest new product launch ever with over $800 in new items!!! If you are interested I would love to share more with you. Message me at Hope this helps. 🙂

    • Merrilee says:

      I experimented with Mary Kay for less than a year, and was given excellent advice from a friend who was very successful at it: do whatever your director tells you to do. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) I realized that I was not a sales person nor a business woman. But in my opinion what separates the hobbyist from the business person is their desire and willingness to take risks and not take things personally, which is probably correlated to one’s personality. One of the neatest ideas I heard of was targeting corporate businesses which purchase “holiday” gifts for their employees. You come up with 3 gift options based on price ranges they are looking for, and meet with the president or person who makes purchasing decisions to show them your options (think gift baskets/bags). Depending on the products you are selling, you may need male/female ideas. This could potentially generate a lot of sales without the party atmosphere that some people aren’t comfortable with, and might find you new business if you put your contact information on everything you sell. (So the gift-recipiant can contact you directly for more product.) Plus, (getting permission and) leaving a current catalog at public places like doctors offices and coffee shops can find new leads beyond your immediate circle. Many people want to buy with no pressure and no strings attached, and a catalog and website is great for that. But like I said, I’m no business woman. I just give lots of free advice. 🙂

  • Alex says:

    I am a nurse and work full time at a hospital. I know that many of our medical transcriptionists work from home (I THINK around $8-$9 an hour but I’m not completely sure). You would need to take a short class on medical terminology. Basically doctors dictate verbal reports from the hospital and they are typed up remotely to be filed on the chart. My goal is to be able to stay at home at some point and I had thought I might look into this more if I need to when the time comes. Hope it helps!

    • Deb says:

      Make sure you do look into it really well. I had to have a 2-year certificate from a medical transcription course before I was hired as a transcriptionist. For such a technical job, the pay is not that great for newbies — 3 to 7 cents per line based on type of transcription: either editing speech recognition files (3 cents) or straight transcription (7 cents). Most newbies I see can do around 150 lines per hour, just a little over $10 an hour. Not that great IMO. The first couple of years is hair-pulling frustrating until you know what you are doing. Most of the doctors have foreign accents which can be challenging in itself not to mention the grammar, spelling, formatting, and medical words and terms you have to know. Your work gets checked, and depending on the company, you can get dinged on your earnings for mistakes you made. This is technical work that requires excellent grammar and spelling. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a grammar geek. Also, check for a clinic or hospital that hires locally. It’s good to get into a place that has benefits and pays hourly instead of a pay by the line scenario.

  • Carol says:

    Are you a good cook? How about offering lunches to local businesses at great prices.

    Do you coupon and save as much as you can on groceries? I also know that some people coupon and then sell the stuff that they get for free on craigslist or at garage sales.

    $1000 a month is a lot of money and my thought is that you would have to combine a bunch of this stuff.

    I like selling on e-bay even thought there are fees I like the ease and the fact that I don’t have to personally deal with people and have people come to my house to get stuff. I get stuff on clearance at Target and sell it on e-bay. You have to get a great deal though (75% to 90% off) and you have to learn what sells. Also the smaller the better to keep the shipping costs lower and make the item more appealing.

    Good Luck!!!

  • Kerry says:

    I know this is weird. I have friends who do this and say they make good money. Sell your breastmilk.

    • Awesome. How would one get involved in such a business? I’m laughing at the idea, and yet I’ve donated plasma before for cash. Why not!? 🙂

      • Kerry says:

        I have no idea how they got started. Maybe someone else will see this who knows more about it than I do that can answer that question. I won’t even consider it because I personally have so many issues breastfeeding/pumping. I would research it first because I’ve heard some people buy it for fetishes and I would hate for my milk to go to that.

  • S says:

    Would working in the evening be a possibility? I work two nights a week while my husband watches our kids-it isn’t perfect, but it helps a little bit and we still have other evenings to do things together.

  • Corrina says:

    I have a different take on babysitting that I didn’t see here. If you live in or near a large city, chances are there are some babysitting services that contract with local hotels to provide sitters for guests, conventions, special dinners etc. You can babysit in hotel rooms for guests or in group settings also. You can choose to accept or decline jobs, so it works well for someone who doesn’t always have the same availability. Do a Google search in your area or call a few hotel concierges and ask what services they use.

  • LeG says:

    You might could look into having a newspaper route. Depending on your husband’s schedule that could take care of what you need and still be home in time to make waffles!

    • Lily says:

      Be very careful with paper routes. Some companies are down right criminal in how they treat their carriers.
      I worked for the same company for many years and they gradually reduced my pay, manipulated the checks to disappear amounts of money and eventually, before I left had taken nearly 250/month from me.
      Some states (Idaho for example) Do not actually allow paper carriers legal rights as employees, no matter what the business model of the company that hired them is.

  • Suzanne says:

    My grandmother was a clown for years and made great extra mad money for herself. She was booked every weekend.

    I own a photography portrait business (this supports us full time with my husband working full time with me, and we have five kids) we frequently get asked to do event photography, like for parties etc. We usually don’t work weekends as this is our time with our kids or we will shoot an occasional wedding, but that is a high dollar day for us. So little things like parties and stuff we refer to high school kids who enjoy photography as a hobby and would like to make a little extra cash. You don’t need expensive equipment for this, a half way decent point and shoot digital camera and an understanding of its features will do just fine. Just to capture the event, take pictures of all the guests or set up a quick photobooth with a backdrop. Quick editing and burn the cd. This could be for family reunions, going away parties, kids birthday parties etc… any hostess will realize the value of this to not have to think about it themselves and know that it is covered for them. Charging between $100-$200 for a cd of images is quick and fun. By having a business card with you at the parties word can travel fast.

    Another thing we get asked to do, and we have accepted, but had our teenagers do to make money is doing slideshows for graduation parties. You only need a scanner and a cheap slideshow program and a dvd burner. Offer to do them for anniversaries, christmas presents, graduations, weddings. Again charging $150-$200 for just scanning their pictures in. You can also create a book of these images after they are scanned. Order from a company like mpix or even costco.

  • Suzanne says:

    My grandmother was a clown for years and made great extra mad money for herself. She was booked every weekend.

    I own a photography portrait business (this supports us full time with my husband working full time with me, and we have five kids) we frequently get asked to do event photography, like for parties etc. We usually don’t work weekends as this is our time with our kids or we will shoot an occasional wedding, but that is a high dollar day for us. So little things like parties and stuff we refer to high school kids who enjoy photography as a hobby and would like to make a little extra cash. You don’t need expensive equipment for this, a half way decent point and shoot digital camera and an understanding of its features will do just fine. Just to capture the event, take pictures of all the guests or set up a quick photobooth with a backdrop. Quick editing and burn the cd. This could be for family reunions, going away parties, kids birthday parties etc… any hostess will realize the value of this to not have to think about it themselves and know that it is covered for them. Charging between $100-$200 for a cd of images is quick and fun. By having a business card with you at the parties word can travel fast.

    Another thing we get asked to do, and we have accepted, but had our teenagers do the work to make money is doing slideshows for graduation parties. You only need a scanner and a cheap slideshow program and a dvd burner. Offer to do them for anniversaries, christmas presents, graduations, weddings. Charging $150-$200 for just scanning their pictures in. You can also create a book of these images after they are scanned. Order from an online company like mpix or costco.

  • For extra money for traveling I tutor through this company Wyant ( List my name if you sign up Shana Junior. I tutor one person, one hour a week and make $78 a month for just that one person for the 4 hours a month. It’s free to sign up and you just take a few quick test online for subjects you want to tutor in and get a background check. The students sign up through them and all you have to do is reach out to the students and sometimes they reach out to you. You pick your hourly rate and until you tutor over 20 hours, you keep 60% of the income. (e.g. If your hourly rate is $30, you make $18 of it). After you have tutured more than 20 hours your take home pay increases. The students prepay the company, so there is no issue when it comes to getting paid. You can have your check mailed or have direct deposit. It’s very easy and good for extra money. I have been tutoring through them for almost a year now. I strongly encourage you to sign up. Even if you only do one student you will make great money. In my case I only do 1 hour a week, but if you tutur for a few hours a week you would make way more each week. I also do surveys through PineCone Research as suggested by Money Saving Mom and the $3 from the surveys build up quickly:) Best of luck!!!

  • I went from teaching full-time to 1/2 time this year to spend more time with my 2 year old. To help make up the difference in paychecks, I decided to start selling Thirty-One products. It is a christian-based company that sells personalized bags and accessories. While I started out slow, I am now making enough each month to make our car payment. Also, I have also only had 2 actual selling parties. People usually just ask for catalogues or have online parties. It has been a huge blessing in my life and I’ve met a ton of great people. If you are interested, look at and take a look at the catalogue and the “Join my Team” link. Good luck!

  • Tracy says:

    $1000 a month is a lot! I’m not sure any single “side” income stream will cover the full amount but there are 2 things I can think of that might help mentally:

    1: break it into smaller “bites”. $250 per week seems so much more achievable, well it does to me at least.

    OR: $250 per “side hussle” per month. So you could aim to earn $250 each from babysitting, selling homemade items, mowing lawns and blogging (ideas off the top of my head and just examples).

    Another idea is to offer a housekeeping or child-minding service a few afternoons/evenings per week or on Saturdays. I know many mothers need help in their homes to clean, prepare a meal or to supervise homework etc.

    Often families are willing to pay someone to feed pets while they are on vacation. Advertise in local vetenerary offices or by putting flyers into mail boxes/posters on poles in your neighbourhood. People are often willing to pay extra if you go twice a day and open/close drapes, turn lights on and off etc to create the illusion of the house being occupied (for safety reasons).

  • Have you thought about renting out a room in your house? Maybe a college student or an exchange student? This would provide solid income of about $500-$700 a month and most students are gone a lot. You might be able to rent it out for storage for someone as well.

  • Nichole says:

    Hi, not sure if anyone mentioned this (too many comments to read them all), but If you can write, you can check out writing companies. I work for Demand Studios and try to write a few articles a day. They pay twice a week and you can write as much or as little as you like. They pay about $15 per article, unless you have a certification or special training and can write for specialty site, then it’ll be $20 to $25 per article. But you can see how the $15 can add up if you can get numerous articles done per day! Just something to consider and further research! Good luck!

  • I’ve noticed this a few times in the comment above, but sometimes you don’t have to DO the job, you just have to offer to coordinate others who do. For instance, my brother-in-law is a bartender, and people are always asking him to recommend other good bartenders. So he’s thinking of starting a business that is the place you would go to find good bartenders for parties and functions. He’s the middle man. Another friend teaching lifeguards, and then also supervised a pool company, so a lot of people come to her looking for lifeguards. So if you have good connections in a certain field, maybe you can be the “middle man.”

  • Brandi says:

    I agree with the paper route suggestion! When I was in middle school my 2 brothers and I had a paper route. Our area offers a free paper once a week with all the sales flyers and basic community events to anybody interested and that’s what we delivered. One day a week it would take the 3 of us one hour (an hour and a half is someone was cranky and moving slow) to deliver the papers and another hour to prefold all the papers the night before. I don’t remember the exact amount we made but I think it was close to $75 split between the 3 of us. I work full time now and am actually the bread-winner in our family working over 40 hours a week outside the home but still think this type of option is doable for anyone even with full time employment . I would recommend this to anyone who’s teens are looking for work too because it gets them away from t.v. and up and walking for a few hours a week! Check your area to see if they have a flexible route like this if you’re interested.

    • Charlotte says:

      I did this with my sister and brother too! Our town had a twice weekly shopper and at one point we had about 4 routes, all adjacent to each other, that we’d divide up. None of us were able to drive so our parents had to take us into town to do this, but it was only twice a week and we could usually find someone to cover for us if we went out of town for a week, which I’ve heard is more difficult with a daily route, but also I believe our paper had subs who were on call and could do it for us for a fee.

  • Jimi says:

    There are free items on craigslist that often can be resold for a profit. My niece does this as well as childcare. She also takes in foreign students. The allotment given for their keep helps pay the rent. She sells her photographs, models some and is a mystery shopper, too. People also pay her to plan their weddings and other parties.

  • average guy says:

    I don’t think this was mentioned… and it definitely will not bring in $1000/month. But just another way to add a few extra dollars once in a while… and if you had a few once in a while things, et could add up…

    If you live near a college that has a psychology department, or even better has a graduate psychology department, the students are always running psychology tests and need subjects, and you can get a few dollars for only a few minutes of time. I did it some years ago when I lived in another city.
    Just roam the halls of the psychology dept once a month and read the postings on the bulletin boards. Or get friendly with the department receptionist if there is one.

    You get to either take some tests, or watch some designs on a computer screen, or they try to see if you remember what you just saw, etc. No pass or fail, just your time and attention for a little while.

    You could branch out into yucky things like test new medication, but I wouldn’t go that far. But someone might…

  • Merrilee says:

    I can’t believe I actually read through all the comments! My eyes are punky now. Two things:
    1) Regarding childcare. I did it for a couple of years, and in some ways began resenting it because I felt sometimes like I wasn’t having the kind of quality time with my own kids as I would have liked, I was bothered by how the moms were spending even less time with their own kids, and it would get tricky when discipline issues came up. I finally decided I would only do it as a ministry and not for money–just ask mom to provide snacks, which was mostly good until I began feeling a little unappreciated when my services were the equivalent of a bag of chips and some juice boxes. So now I mostly swap with a friend on a favor by favor need, and I still haven’t found my money-making niche. Yet.
    2. Someone mentioned face painting. One summer my kids’ school held a special event and they hired a face painter. Honestly, her skills were not great; she could paint a butterfly and a snake, and she didn’t have many colors or options–great for kids–keep it simple. But when she pulled away in her Jaguar an hour later, the teacher I stood beside said they paid her $100, we all joked that we were in the wrong profession!

  • Charlotte says:

    I’ve read all the ideas but I also thought of something a friend did to earn money in college. It’s surely not for everyone, or even most of the readers on this site, but maybe it will help someone.

    Bartending. Several of my classmates did this while attending a small Christian college and the guys studying to be pastors found it to be an easy way to practice evangelizing and their listening skills while earning a lot of money on the weekends. My friend worked there with her then fiance and they each made about $500/weekend, enough to keep them from needing student loans and allowed them to save up for their wedding. They did all their studying during the week and worked 4-5 hours each Fri, Sat and Sun.
    Just an idea.

  • i really enjoyed reading everyones comments with so many great suggestions I will be challenging myself on too. I have been in the same boat myself for several years. I am a self employed hairstylist so I can make up my own hours to fit my girls (ages15,11, and 3) schedules. but I was still coming up short. I hate selling retail products because I don’t feel comfortable pushing alot of products on people so I checked out various companies to fit with the salon. I went with Just Jewelry 2 years ago and never thought I would so in love with it. I thought I would just keep it in the salon for my clients and after they started seeing it they were asking to hold parties and take catalogs to their friends, families and work. And it just took off from there. What I like most is that I didn’t want to committ to a company that required to sell a certain amount and it had to be affordable unlike all the other companies (not that I don’t love there pieces). So I went with them. It is straight 50% the minute you sell, if you don’t sell a thing all year you still remain a consultant, And the bestest part is everything is between $12 and $26. There is about 2000 consultants across the US and Canada so I felt comfortable because it is not saturated with consultants everywhere you turn.

    I am a busy busy mom so I fit what I can in to my schedule and if I know I need extra money that month then I book parties to make it up. It is very easy to earn the extra money you need when you need it and it is all about how much time and effort you allow. It is your own business and that is why I love it. Everyone has there own interest and there is a company out there that would fit everyones taste. I would explore your options for direct sales and really look at the costs, quotas, ratios. Good luck finding the extra income you need, Everything always works out 🙂


  • Have you ever checked into doing Freelance work through third party websites like Freelancer, Odesk, iFreelance? There are literally hundreds of job opportunities through these sites. I found my niche through writing, editing and research. The main reason I love this avenue is that your work schedule is completely up to you as long as you meet deadlines.

    These websites usually offer jobs in a wide range of options: web design, graphic design, virtual assistance, editors, data entry, crating forms (quizzes, games, etc.), architecture, interior design, and many more.

    It usually takes a while to get your foot in the door, because you won’t have a “portfolio” until someone is willing to hire you. I think I applied for about 15 jobs before I landed my first one. However, once I was able to get high ratings I was able to take on more work.

    Another tip, is when starting a blog, if you can grow your readership fairly fast, you can make money by reviewing products. You can sign up through web sites that allow you to bid on these reviews or you can submit your review requests to different companies. Also, many major web sites that have blogs are always hiring new writers. It may not pay much, but you could make a little cash by offering to update blogs on a regular basis.

    Another idea in relation to a tough economy, is that many businesses can’t afford the average 9-5 employee. If you offer to work from your house for a much smaller amount, they may be willing to hire you. My cousin does this and she makes a nice side income!

    If you combine several online or work from home pursuits, you can create multiple streams that will eventually level off. It took months for me to figure that out, but now I’m able to stay home and enjoy what I do.

    Hope you find the right solution soon!

  • If you’re able, you can donate plasma. I know folks who are paid $55 per week to donate. That can add up quickly… if you are able to do it consistently. Check it out:

  • Rebecca says:

    I am finishing my master’s in library science, and am taking a class that explores indexing as a career field. It is contract work, working from home, for publishers/database vendors. I never knew this field was out there, and there is a lot of information and training available on
    I never knew this field existed, and there is a shortage of indexers precisely because not many people know that it is a career. I think it actually sounds fun!

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