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Would you like to increase your income? {Help me with my next book!}

I’m excited to be in the thick of working on my third book right now… and I think some of you are going to be pretty interested in the topic. And I’m spilling the beans today because I’m going to be asking for your help in the writing process this time around.

Well, not exactly your writing help, but in the next few months I’m going to be coming to you all fairly frequently with questions, quick surveys, and requests for you to nominate women for me to profile or interview in my book. You all are an amazing resource and wealth of wisdom and I can’t wait to hear you ideas and suggestions and answers to the questions as I go throughout this writing process!

So, what am I writing on? Well, in a nutshell, I’m writing a book on how women can increase their income and use that income to make an impact while at the same time maintaining a healthy balance of priorities.

I’m really, really, really stoked about this topic. Judging from the many emails I’ve received over the years, it’s something that many you are interested in. Not only that, but because I’m the girl who has made just about every mistake in the book and learned a lot from failure, it’s a topic that resonates so near to my heart.

My goal in this book is to empower you with practical ideas for not only how to start a business or find a creative way to make a part-time income, but to also challenge and inspire you to think how you can make a difference with that income — whether that’s to help your family get in a better financial position, to be able to fund a charity you believe in, to give generously to a cause you’re passionate, or whatever that looks like for you and your family.

What Do You Think?

So, with that said, as I’m still shaping the book’s message, I’d LOVE to hear from you:

Do you want to increase your income? If so, what are your greatest struggles when it comes to trying to increase your income? What do you feel like is holding you back?

Share your answers to these questions in the comments — or shoot me an email (crystal @ moneysavingmom.com) with your thoughts.

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138 Comments

  • Elena says:

    I would love to increase my income to be a WAHM! I have had a successful career for 20+ years, but have been unemployed for a year. I have 3 kids at home. We are “making it,” but struggling with one income. My kids love having me at home rather than going to before and after-school care.

    My obstacles are:
    1. Lack of self-discipline with unstructured time.
    2. Lack of energy (older mom, anxiety/depression)
    3. What I see as a saturation of party-type/direct sales opportunities, and therein, the difficulties with having moved to a new community far away from family and close friends, and basically being an introvert.

    Crystal, you have really opened my eyes since I first “found” you about a year ago. Thank you so much for your blog, your books, and sharing yourself with us!

  • Brittany says:

    I would love to increase my income. I currently don’t make an income as a stay-at-home mom to three kids ages 3-½, almost 2, & 5 months. I would love to figure out something I can do online to bring in an income to increase our giving, but I’m just not sure where to start and what to do!

  • Ashlee says:

    I think my biggest thing is trying to start out earning that extra money while I’m already working a pretty stressful/tiring full-time job. I teach Pre-K and there is no room for growth (I’m as high as I can go without switching over to administration–which I don’t want to do). My husband and I want to have kids within the next few years, and I want to stay home with my kids when we have them. I’m looking for a way to gradually transition out of working at the preschool and start working from home so that when the time comes, I can still contribute to our income. I just honestly don’t know how to do it. I’m SO tired at the end of the day (having a class of sixteen 5 year olds by your self all day wears you out!! I LOVE it, but it’s TIRING!) and have no energy to put into trying to start a business or new at-home job. Plus, I’m usually working on stuff for my class when I get home, which seems more important at the time (although not in the long run). I’ve heard “horror” stories of people working like maniacs to start a successful blog or business while still working a full-time job throughout the week until the blog/business has gained enough income for them to quit the first job and I just don’t know if I have the energy for it! But, at the same time, I want to make it happen! I’d love some tips for situations like that. 🙂

  • Leona says:

    I would love to earn extra money. I have no clue where to begin. I take care of a 1 yr. old and a7 yr. old which I home school. Plus I take care of my elderly mother w/ dementia. My husband & I take care of her 12 acre property and house which leaves us w/ little spare time after. I’ve tried to earn a little money through survey/points on line, but don’t seem to get anywhere very fast. I don’t feel that I have any skills that would be marketable either.

  • Amy B says:

    I “retired” from working as a nurse in January, and I was thinking of ways to increase our income (and give me something tangible to have, because sometimes being a SAHM mom makes me crazy 🙂 I have two kiddos, two and 9 weeks.
    In January I started a shop on Etsy, making and selling items for home decor and weddings. It’s VERY part time right now, but as I continue I hope to start making more money!
    I love the idea of having a little wiggle room in our budget to save for vacations, kid’s college, and extra mortgage payments!
    Right now I have a hard time devoting a whole lot of time to developing new products, as my kids are so little and need a lot of attention, but I’m loving having something of my own and something productive!
    (A friend of mine taught me a lot–she has a SUPER successful supply shop on Etsy, and works pretty much FT and makes a FT income. And has three boys under 6. So it can be as big as you want it!)

  • Amanda says:

    I would love to have an additional income to pay off debt. If I could pay off my debt I could have my possible dream job of staying home with my child. I love my career but I love my daughter 100 times more and want nothing more than to be able to spend more than just 3 hours a day with her during the week. Depending on how I was making the additional income it would be great to still make it while staying home with my child so we could have some savings and “fun” money. I just don’t know where or how to begin to make additional income from home in order to make my dream possible.

  • sandysue15 says:

    I *SO* want to be a stay at home mom to my 2 daughters (ages 7 and 9) but I am the breadwinner. My husband hasnt had a raise in 10 years so it doesnt look like his pay will ever increase. If I could find something working from home making $500 or so a month, I could probably swing it (with a lot of sacrifices), but I am not a sales person and direct sales (pampered chef, mary kay, etc) are just not for me. I feel trapped and cry a lot on my way to work, but….I have to do what I have to do to take care of my family.

  • Beth says:

    It costs me more for after-school care for my school aged children than i would make for those two hours. Plus the cost of gas to travel to a job, update my wardrobe, and even if I packed my own lunches = loss of money at end of month. Or I would make less than $200 a month, and that’s not worth the 10 hours a day i would be away from home.
    The cost of good quality craft materials makes it too expensive when i factor it all into a craft item.

  • Michelle says:

    You can make money while staying at home with your children. When my children were small ( I have 8 children) I would pick up items at yard sales and Goodwill and resell them on Ebay. Now I have a source where I buy items wholesale and resell them. I can make more money the faster I buy and resell but I only do as much as I can without neglecting the family. Like summer time when they are home from school I don’t buy but just make money by selling what I have left.

  • I would love to monetize my blog to help increase our income, but I am struggling with whether the time involved in blogging for money is worth the investment. I am a registered nurse and I can make a substantial part time income with only working a day a week opposite my husband’s schedule, but blogging has been a fun hobby for me. My husband is in a job that he hates and has a desire to write and I have a dream to be able to come up with some time of home business that we could use to bring him home at some point in the future.

  • Amanda says:

    I would love to have income coming in because currently I have been looking for a job for two and a half years with no good results!
    My greatest struggles are start up costs and potential time wasted if the jobs I want I don’t get hired for them because of lack of experience and skill. Also, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis that has developed badly in my wrist, hands and feet since I have been out of work so the potential job opportunities are now so much more limited since most job require you to stand for part or all of the time I’m at work. What is holding me back most is when I tried to work a job similar to the one I previously had but after two days and 15 hours of standing I had a strong limp that required a cane after 30 minutes of walking. So now I am left with limited options on where I can work with such limited experience and physical limitations.

  • Angela says:

    Trying to work from home or find work to do at home is really hard. I operate a home daycare and my husband’s work schedule involves him working really late hours. Home daycare requires a lot of time and energy. I just love the people who think that I’m just the babysitter and it’s not a real job. I wish someone would tell Revenue Canada so I wouldn’t have to report all my expenses.

    I have tried looking for other work that would go around a school schedule and his job schedule but have found nothing. We also currently have one vehicle. I have people tell me, “Sell Avon or some other marketing thing.” It’s great if you’re a salesperson, if not, it doesn’t work. Surveys are good once you do them for a while-but always compare the rewards.

    Time and energy are the biggest obstacles. It’s a balancing act that constantly requires list making to keep everything in check. If I ever lose my mind, I’m toast.

  • Julie says:

    I would definitely love to increase my income! My husband and I are working on starting our own business (an app brainchild of his born out of necessity when he noticed a need for it at his current job). But there are definitely things that hold us back: we’re dependent on discretionary income to pay contractors. We’re dependent on those said contractors upholding the time and financial agreements of their contracts.

    More than that, we have to balance our time between our faith, family, and current employment. Our children need us to do more than just sit at a computer all day.

    I’ve thought of starting a blog, but something that holds me back there is fear – fear that I’m starting too late in an already-saturated market; fear that I don’t have anything worthwhile to say/write; fear that I will regret something I put down for everyone to see; fear that I won’t be able to adequately balance home schooling, blogging, and family life.

    With all of that said, we are moving forward as much as we can with these ideas, because even though it is hard and scary at times, giving into fear will never achieve the goals we’ve set!

  • Abby from Belgium says:

    Dear Crystal,

    wow! Hope research and writing process is going well! Oh I love to get my hands on that book! Thanks for writing it. I am currently a sahm with lots of dreams to become a wahm or …. and even as a Flemisch christian/reader of your blog/website the book might come in handy.
    Just wanted to let you know.

    As always: many blessings from Abby from Belgium x

  • Jen Hen says:

    This is very timely for me because I have been trying to bring in some extra income for extra-curricular activities and have failed miserably at it. I would be very interested in this subject.

  • Laura says:

    My dh and I have come to the decision that I have too much on my plate to start a business right now. That said, I wouldn’t mind taking low-stress steps to be ready for an at-home business one day. I know I can work on the website now. My business idea also requires me to learn some new skills, so carving out time to work on those things would be useful.

    So I guess what I would like to see is some ideas for how to make progress towards that goal without really launching the business — ways to squeeze out little chunks of time when you’re already maxed out, skills that you can learn ahead of time, and any other little things you can do to start to set yourself up for a smoothly running business in the future.

  • GLORIA MARCH says:

    I’M DEFINITELY IN NEED OF INCOME AND PREFER STAY AT HOME INCOME SINCE I LIVE ALONE AND WOULD LIKE A MEANS OF BEING SELF SUFFICIENT. SO LOOKING FORWARD TO OPPORTUNITIES. I HAVE NUMEROUS YEARS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE. EXCELLENT WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC AND I LOVE TO MULTITASK.

  • Vicki Baker says:

    Hi, Crystal! I am a 43 year-old mom and preacher’s wife of 16 year-old Elizabeth, and 18 year-old Michael, and 2 years ago, I opened my own hair salon and spa. We had a lot of money (or so it seemed!) to open it up, and we thought it would be a no-brainer to make ends meet while my husband finished up seminary school. I figured we could hire in 3 girls to do hair, while I did the facials and waxing. We couldn’t hire anyone, and we had depended upon the commission or booth rent from them to help us make it until my part of the business could support us alone. We closed our doors after only 5 months, and after two years’ absence from the beauty business, I am now working for ULTA as an aesthetician. I am only working part-time, and I am desperately trying to find another part-time job to make the bills until my husband graduates in December.

    It isn’t a question on what to cut out of our budget; I am simply not working enough hours to pay for everything, even as low as our bills are, it just isn’t enough. I worked at home before ULTA, making $9 an hour, but I was stuck in my son’s bedroom because it was the quietest room, 8 1/2 hours a day, staring at a wall, while going through *extremely* hard training, and still not being comfortable with the systems I was trained on, having people scream at me because their phones had been turned off, or their bill was too high. I hated every minute of it, but I still believe there must be something out there I could do to make enough to do the job I love at ULTA, and still be home some with my family.

    My struggles are not knowing a lot of people to sell things to, such as Pampered Chef, Tupperware, etc. and also not wanting to be stuck in a room by myself all day. I only need about $500 a month to make our bills, and anything you can suggest would be great! I have tons of customer service experience, and no money to start up a job. Several possible jobs wanted start-up costs, and I simply don’t have the means to pay someone before they pay me! 🙂

    If it could be something that has a good balance of work, and family time, it would sure help. I don’t want to ignore my children constantly while trying to pay bills until my husband graduates. He lives in another town during the week, and comes home on the weekend. We are looking forward, after 3 1/2 years, to him graduating in December!

  • Julie says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I “found” you back in early 2014 as I was searching for a budget friendly P90x diet plan. I laugh a bit at this because I had no idea what an impact that little Google search was going to make! I have been on one of those journeys where the Lord seems to hit you from every direction with relevant challenges and learning and people who are going through the same thing, etc. Anyway, that’s a long story and I won’t go into here but one of the paths that I’ve been going down is paying down debt. My husband and I are Financial Peace graduates but we have never made the necessary changes to live “gazelle intense”. We are not bad with our money, just unintentional. Due to a change in my husband’s employment, we had to get serious over the summer just to survive. It has been an amazing testimony of God’s provision and has inspired me as to how much less we can live on! That being said, I would LOVE to increase my income so that we can get through this debt payoff faster. I teach music lessons and have for about 13 years now. My studio brings in a good income during the school year but the summer is very lean and hence, very stressful. I have four children at home (9, 7, 4, 2) which makes it difficult to enlarge my studio. Because of the nature of what I do, the more “successful” my business, the more actual time I have to spend away from my family. So, I feel that I am rather at an impasse. I need a way to generate more income without adding crazy amounts of hours of teaching time. Does this make sense? I’ve toyed with ideas of blogging and curriculum writing, etc, but I get very stuck on where to begin and how to keep myself accountable. I’ll be excited to read your new book! Thank you for your heart of ministry in such practical ways! I would love to hear any suggestions you might have. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your kind encouragement and for sharing your thoughts here! I truly appreciate it!

      • Rita M says:

        Crystal, my tip is not so much how to make money, but for single and working families, a tip on how to save a little on babysitting. My friend and I both work outside the home, and our girls go to our parish Catholic school. We would really get frustrated when we could not find a sitter for scheduled or unplanned school days off. One day, I had the idea to ask to have a request placed in our school bulletin asking for older students, who are responsible babysitters, to call if interested in babysitting for several kids on the school days off. They could work as a team, and split the pay between the two. We had two great girls, that we knew, answer our plea. My friend and I called it our ‘babysitting co-operative’, and we even made rules such as rotating each others homes as the place the kids would be babysat, planning menus and purchasing items as evenly as possible, or making the meals alternately, and sometimes the babysitter would come to our homes the night before and spend the night, and all the kids had a sleepover and didn’t have to get up early. As our kids have gotten older, my oldest daughter can stay at home as the ‘sitter’, i pay her, and my friend brings goods, or vice-versa if my daughter stays at her home. It really gave us peace of mind, and we could plan it out through the year, so less stress!

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