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Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom: Introduction

As you probably know if you've read here with any consistency, my husband and I tend to be out-of-the-box thinkers. We don't like to be confined by the status quo.

Many people think of an 8-5 job as their family's primary or only source of income. We, on the other hand, only see Jesse's job as an attorney as one of our sources of income. And since the time we've been married, we've been on the lookout for additional creative ways to increase our income.

When first started trying to come up with things we could on the side,
we really had no idea where to start. Neither of us had much experience
or training and we racked our brains to come up with ideas. We read a
lot of books, researched many different things online, spent much time
learning from those who were much more experienced, and started trying
things. We had a number of total flops and a number of business attempts which will forever be listed in our "hall of shame" (most of these were my bizarre ideas!).

By the grace of God, though, we refused to give up–in spite of failure. Little by little, we started finding things which actually worked and we began to see some fruit from all of our labor. Over time–and with lots of research and effort!–we've found quite a few things which really can contribute a significant source to our income every month. These side incomes have not only
allowed me to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but they have also enabled us to be able to save a significant portion of money towards paying cash for a home.

I often receive emails from women who feel in a desperate situation financially. My heart goes out to you as I well remember how hard those beans-and-rice days were. But the things I've learned over the past six years of have my own businesses have taught me one thing: no matter what situation you are in–even if it seems very dire financially–you can get creative and find some simple ways to decrease your outgo and increase your income.

When there's a will, there's a way. Don't give up hope! It's a whole lot of work, but it can be every bit worth it!

**************************

I've received many, many requests on the subject of earning money from home recently so beginning next week, I'm going to share my own personal journey to becoming a work-at-home mom in a series here. I'll be talking about things I've learned along the way, and will also share a plethora of ideas of things you can do to earn from home. I hope it can be an inspiration and help for those of you who are interested in working from home.

As part of this series, I'd also like to include guest posts from those of you who are work-at-home moms. If you are interested in being featured as part of this series, please email me for further details.

Do you have any specific questions you'd like to see addressed in a series on working from home? If so, please email me or leave a comment on this post. I can't guarantee I'll be able to answer it, but I'll do my best to address it in this series.

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124 Comments

  • audra pawelek says:

    sounds great. can’t wait to read. i love your post.

  • Olathe mom says:

    I, for one, would love to hear a humor post on some of the failed ideas. 😉

  • Wendy says:

    This is great!!! I’m excited and cannot wait to read your posts!!!

  • I do some freelancing at home for ehow.com in addition to working a full time job and I have a DD who’s almost 3 and hope for another soon (I just had a miscarriage).

    My questions about transitioning to full time work from home:
    1. how to manage time while also caring for the kids and not running yourself ragged?
    2. How to prepare for the taxes- do you prepay quarterly? Are you incorporated?

  • Stefanie says:

    I recently lost my job and am a “play-at-home” mom now. We do ok on hubby’s salary, especially with me now being a Coupon Queen lol. I will be looking very forward to this series, as I have been racking my brains trying to think of something I could do on the side. So in advance, Thanks!! I know it will be a great series!

  • emily holweger says:

    This couldn’t be more timely as I just finished praying for God’s will on this very topic!

  • Carmella Dennin says:

    Very excited to hear more!

  • Can’t wait to learn from your experience. We have a plan, but it means I’ll be working until the house is paid for…could be 10 more years! That’s way too long.

  • Marrisa says:

    Thank you so much for starting this series. I know there are a lot of us stay at home moms out there that are looking for way to work at home. I look forward to future posts!

  • Rachel says:

    thanks for your post! my husband and i are maybe a bit like you and your husband in that we dont want to fit into a mold. my husband is starting a law practice soon and i would love some thrifty ideas for advertising. 100’s to 1000’s of dollars a month to advertise in the phone book really disheartened me. maybe other readers might have some ideas worth trying out.

  • Savanda Hodge says:

    Thank you for sharing…can’t wait to get inspired!

  • Cari Griffin says:

    I am very anxious to read your series! Thanks for taking the time to post about it!

  • Julia says:

    Just what I have been looking for! I have looked into some of the “work-at-home” stuff online, but all of them have seemed like scams. So I haven’t tried any of them, not knowing who to trust. Knowing that you have been through the Dave Ramsey seminars and that you are christians, I think you are the REAL deal. Thanks for all your hard work. I look forward to reading and researching what you’ve found works. Thanks again!

  • I am looking forward to hearing about your journey. I too have always looked for creative way to make money, and/or save it for my family. I enjoy staying home with my children, and hope to be able to do so for many years to come and not have to worry about money.

  • Cortney says:

    i’m definetly looking forward to this series. If you could incorporate it in this series or in the future write a little about balancing working at home, being a wife, mother, and also a homeschool teacher amoung other things I would love that. Thanks!

  • amy says:

    I’d love to see you address how you schedule your computer time. I am able to work from home, part time for the company that I worked for full time before my son was born (3 years ago). I’m expecting another baby in December and just feel like I’m not balancing my computer time with the rest of my “home-work” responsibilities.

    While the extra income is nice, I’m not sure at what point I decide that its not worth it. The new baby coming REALLY has me considering this a lot!

    I don’t know how you do it with three. 🙂

  • Erica says:

    Ooooooh! I am so very excited!

  • Shelby says:

    I’m so excited. I’ve always wondered – do you have more than 2 substantial streams of income – coming from your husband’s job as an attorney and your blogging? I can’t wait to read whatever you have to say on the topic. You know what your talking about.

  • Holli Justice says:

    I have worked from home with a well known direct sale company for 2 years. It has allowed me to continue to be a stay-at-home mom. Yes, it is work. It isn’t just a “sign up and you’ll be successful” fix. But I love it and am actually making enough money to pay for the groceries and pay down some debt. It has been a blessing from God for our family.

  • Amy Ellen says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I think this series is a great idea. I wonder, since you will be homeschooling more and more as the years progress (and, possibly, as the number of children in your family increase)… do you forsee having to scale back on business? Would you mind sharing your long term business goals with us? As in, will you take breaks or curb your business efforts? Or do you have plans to balance it all?

    Thanks, Amy Ellen

  • Jennifer says:

    My husband & I are trying to transition into this mode and I can’t wait to here some ideas from home. We are following Dave Ramsey and are trying to get our debt paid up so anything would be a great help towards that goal.

  • shannon says:

    I also can’t wait to read this series. I was laid off from a teaching job in May, six days before I had my first baby. My husband makes less than I did teaching, so needless to say, on just his salary and with a new baby (and living in a major East Coast city), times are very tough. I have been investigating working from home, but like Julia above, I am scared of scams so that has prevented me from acting. I have put out ads for tutoring but no one has responded… I think times are tough for a lot of people! I am looking forward to hearing some ideas for working at home that are practical and realistic! Thanks!

  • Meagan says:

    I’m getting into teaching online. Most schools offer Associates degree programs and several larger schools don’t require a teaching degree; just significant experience in your field. It’s a great idea for someone who is recently laid off. They do require a Masters degree to teach at the Associates level. It is time-consuming, but gets easier as you usually teach the same courses over and over. It’s fun, though, and I like being a part of the online schooling “movement,” mostly because I feel as if I’m really helping people who want to better themselves through education.

  • Gena Layton says:

    I am really excited about this series!! I KNOW it will inspire many moms and you are helping so many families–good job and thanks so much for all your hard work to help all of us!!

  • Mandi Gurnsey says:

    I am really excited to read your series. I am a work-at-home mom too and was always trying this and that to get our standard of living more comfortable. Three years ago we felt led to start a new venture and now we are well on our way to total freedom (we only have our mortgage left, and only 9 years at that, if we can keep ahead!). Dave Ramsey has been a source of great wisdom and practical advise for us too, and we are livin’ like nobody else now, so we can live like nobody else later! lol! We live way out in the boonies so there are no regular walmart (3hrs away), target(2.5 hrs away), and walgreens(3 hrs away) trips to help get free and discounted items. But I have learned some secrets about small town living that make it possible to live on a $20-40/week grocery budget, too! Thanks for what you do to inspire us moms to go above and beyond the extra mile!

  • LeAnne says:

    I am really excited for this series! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. Our plan is for me to be a stay at home mom when we start having children. We’re thinking about starting that process within this next year so I’m very curious to hear ideas of being home and bringing in some additional income.

  • Wow – look at the response you’re receiving within minutes of posting. This will be what many women need to hear.

    Working at home on and off for the last ten years, it has been a journey, for sure. I have some of those “hall of shame” stories and the fact you mentioned that cracks me up. But any good business person will tell you that needs to happen to really make yourself into a seasoned entrepreneur. Don’t “they” recommended 4-5 different streams of income? We’ve been talking about that a lot as well with in my extended family – all entrepreneurs who’ve made a killing and then lost it…made a killing and then lost it. Hopefully, we’re all on the upside of that now. 🙂

  • Summer says:

    I wouldn’t mind contributing. I run a self taught blog design business, sell things on etsy and ebay and receive many items for free for doing blog reviews.

  • Lynette Bledsoe says:

    I too am interested in what you have to say and am looking forward to your posts. I work part time as Christian Counselor and my husband works full-time outside the home. We have four children, three of them being teen boys who eat everything and then some. I am looking for something to supplement my income and would enjoy working from home.

  • Gena Smith says:

    This is an answered prayer. I really need to make money from home. I’ve tried several home based businesses, but it was difficult to do because I had to do “parties”. I would love to be able to work directly from home. Thanks for doing this. Your blog is a blessing and I can’t wait to read more.

  • Patty says:

    Please write ASAP.. I used to work before my son was born, hes 7 months now. My husband just was laid off and is working whatever he can. God bless him but baby full time is not something he can handle right now. I would really like to do something at home but dont want to get caught in scams and such. Cant wait to read what really works! and doesnt 🙁 Thanks for saving my family so much money these last few months…

  • Penny says:

    I am excited to see this. Newly wed, and new baby on the way, I am not stoked about the idea of finding affordable/quality daycare (that will also have the routine I’d like for my child in infancy as far as sleeping and eating scheduling), but we’re a couple hundred short each month (thanks to healthcare) if I quit working. *sigh*

    Anywho–hope you’ll show me a new approach to try!

  • Jessica says:

    Crystal – this sounds like a great series. I am always interested in the information that you share with us readers. And – I think you must feel great ALL the time to be able to pull off all the many things that you do!

  • I’m really looking forward to this! We have a work-at-home idea in the works for me, so hearing from you about the “yay’s” and the “oops” of home based businesses should be great!

    Thanks!

  • Julie says:

    I work from home as a direct seller (Tupperware) and would love to write a guest post about direct selling.

    I’m really looking forward to this series!

  • Kari says:

    Like the others posted before me, I am really looking forward to this series. Hubby and I are trying to transition me into being a stay-at-home (I’ve got 87 more days) and I’m really looking forward to it, but I would love to bring money into the house as well – feel as though I were contributing in a more monetary fashion.

    Thanks in advance! I know I’m going to learn a LOT from you.

  • julie says:

    I’m looking forward to this series. Before our son was born, my husband and I decided I would not go back to work until our son was in school full-time. I was a teacher, so if I go back to that kind of job, I will be home when our son is home. That’s two years away, and I don’t have any desire to return to the regular work force. A work at home situation sounds great.

  • Erin says:

    I’m excited about this series! I’m a huge proponent of multiple sources of income for a family. My husband and I have a business I work from home, and he has a day job. Both incomes our a huge blessing to our family. We are praying for God to open some other doors and give us new ideas for a new business so we can start saving and giving more money.

    I’ve never commented on you page before so I just wanted to say thanks for being such a blessing to me and my family. You have taught me so much this past year!!

  • Aimee says:

    I am very lucky to have a work-at-home job in my profession. This allows me to use my college education and training and be home most of the time with my kids. Though I have been doing this for three years, I still have a hard time juggling work and the kids. Do you have any tips on getting your work done AND spending quality time with the kids when you are home? I try to spend some time with my husband in the evenings after the kids go to bed and sometimes have a hard time squeezing everything in.

  • Christina says:

    Great idea! I would love to hear about taxes and health insurance (maybe from a guest poster who is self-insured). My husband is about to become self-employed, and our plan is for me to become a self-employed contractor next year (working with my current employer). Taxes and insurance are the big unknowns for us–how and when to report taxes, how/where to find insurance and what types of plans are best.

    On the topic of insurance, I’d REALLY like to hear if any moms have had babies on individual plans? I’m having a hard time finding a policies that covers more than $2,000 of it, unless we’re willing to go Kaiser.

  • l p says:

    WOW WOW WOW !!! What a great idea! I am sooooo exited and can’t wait to read it. Thank you so much and bless you.

  • Melissa says:

    Can’t wait to read this. I would love to know how you juggle your time. It seems to take most of my time to clean, cook and take care of the kids. It is hard to find time to also do a home business and have time to spend with my husband.

  • We, too, have found many creative outlets for increasing income and keeping the outgo to a minimum. Women can be such a helpmeet in this area and encouragement to their husbands by making all he brings in go as far as it can and finding ways to make extra monies on the side~their are numerous possibilities.
    With the jobless rate at almost 10%~wouldn’t it be wise for women who are bringing in secondary incomes to be able to come home, find creative ways to stretch or create wealth from home, thereby opening up some of those jobs for primary “bread-winners”. We have learned through a 35% paycut in the last year, that we can live on less and even prosper by changing the way we thing. You can do it!

  • Heather says:

    I would love a stay at home job, so my question is what do you do, and where to you find real work instead of the rip offs that have you buys a package and basically don’t help you are all!

  • Rebekah says:

    I’d love to guest post. I work at home with one main, full time job, and a variety of other income sources. What I do would be appropriate for people with certain “marketable” skills (I have a teaching license and music background, but can apply it to other industries as well) or even people without the training (since I do some of the things open to anyone).

  • Jaycie says:

    As a blogger, the one thing I’d love to learn more about is great ways to balance time blogging/working with time with family. This is always the hardest challenge it seems—keeping up with it all and not “dropping the ball” on anything. 🙂

    You are a true blessing!! Looking forward to your series. I’m always looking for new ways to get our house paid off as soon as possible so we can just “live” and give back even more than we already do.

    Jaycie

  • Meghan says:

    I LOVE this aspect of your blog, this really seems to be one of your niche’s and its quite useful to us who need some words of wisdom. Looking forward to it:)

  • Amy Keenan says:

    I would just like to know where you find the time with three small children and all you do.

  • Kim says:

    I’ve been a work from home mom working in direct sales/management for almost 5 years. I would be happy to share information on this type of business, the good and the bad, as well as how to evaluate whether or not this type of business is right for your family without promoting the company I work for. I’m a strong believer that this type of business can be a blessing for the right person at the right time of their life. Unfortunately too many people jump without looking and end up with a bad experience.

  • Angela says:

    Some information for Christina who was asking about having babies with individual insurance plans…it can be done! My husband is a pastor and does carpentry on the side and so he has always been considered self-employed. We have five children ages 12 years down to 6 months. When we had our first born, we were in one of the “share” programs where members contribute to each other’s medical bills. With the other four (and several other babies that we lost), we have been with Kaiser. Our portion has been anywhere from $3000 to $7000 with each baby. All I can say is that if the Lord allows a conception, He will provide for the baby. It has taken sacrifice on our part (we still live in a very small house, drive older cars, and buy second hand), but I wouldn’t trade my precious children for all of the money in the world! Doctors and hospitals will set up payment plans for you and as long as you consistently pay each month, they are very understanding. We have about $200 left on our bills for our 6 month old’s birth. (Yipee!) I know that individual policies are not ideal, but this is our family’s only option and it is how the Lord has provided for our babies. Once you hold that little one in your arms, you don’t care how much he costs–he is priceless! Hope this helps.

  • Julie Jansen says:

    How wonderful! We, too, have hoped to find ways to bring in more income during these hard times. I have an idea, but am not sure how to implement it. I would love to benefit from your experience! Thank you so much!

  • Nancy says:

    I am so looking forward to this!!!

  • Crystal, I am really looking forward to this thread each week. I am a stay at home too, and have been since my first daughter was born. Before that I worked for CVS’ headquarters in every aspect of the company from making their signs in advertising to flying state-to-state taking over other pharmacy stores that CVS acquired.

    I gave up a lot of money, but NEVER once regretted it.I have never gone back to work since the day I had my first daughter. The wonderful days of being with my girls cannot ever be put to a price tag.

    Through a lot of prayer, and trust, and thinking of what we could both do to live on one income, we’ve managed, and then some to bless others with.

    An example of this is when I wanted to buy some Stamp’n Up Supplies, but knew that the price of the stamps were not in the budget. I became a demonstrator, and started earning one stamp set at a time. I did classes at local libraries and was paid $50 a class. Family and friends bought from me, and I earned more stamps and supplies.

    I no longer sell Stamping UP but have enough supplies and paper stock to last a very long time. My girls and I make ALL our own greeting cards…further savings, and it cost me nothing out of our budget.

    I’ve sold Avon, tutored in reading, and on and on goes the list. Now I have my wonderful BLOG!! I love blogging and I cannot tell you how rewarding it has been to meet you, and others like yourself.

    You are such an inspiration to me, and to others. I want to share one more thing: The reason I blog on how to be Frugal is to “INFLUENCE” as many families as I can to live on one income and allow he mom to stay home if possible…or to give up that part time job or overtime so that mom and dad can have more time with babies and young children.

    Like yourself, I hope to give others the tools they need t be the mother, wife, and friend on a “shoe string budget” and HAVE FUN on their journey!! That is why I NAMED MY BLOG “FRUGAL LIVING AND HAVING FUN” The “Having Fun” has a double meaning. 1) Because it is fun to be frugal and to see how many different ways you can use BEANS!! etc.
    2) And Because a simple LIFE is FUN and freeing, and there is nothing like walking out of a grocery store with $70.00 worth of stuff for $12.00 like I did last week.

    God Bless you…Thank you for EVERYTHING!!

    DEb @ Frugal Living And Having Fun.

  • Chris says:

    Medical transcription is a great way to work at home. There are both national and local companies that you can work for. I know some people can do this with small children but I have done it since my child has been a little older and more independent. I personally think it would be extremely hard to do with infants or young children unless you just worked a few hours and could do it while they were sleeping. Transcription is one of the best ratios for the cost of schooling versus the income, since you can make a very good income from it, but it isn’t as expensive as most other college degrees.

  • Melinda Trotter says:

    Can’t wait to read these posts!!

  • Angie says:

    I’m excited to hear about what you have found that works.

  • Nisha says:

    Thanks so much…I enjoy when you talk about your experiences of working from home. They are so inspiring. I look forward to it!

    -Nisha

  • Marie says:

    I currently work and would love to stay at home. Right now we need my salary, but if I could do something to bring in a little extra income, that would be awesome. I am Leary of things I have found on the internet since you never know whether it is a good deal or not. We are working to get ourselves out of debt, and the plan is for me to stay home after that, but I would love to find ideas that would enable me to do that sooner. Thanks for doing this post and I look forward to reading it!

  • Maria says:

    Wow!!! Thank you so much, can’t wait to read everything. I love your post.

  • I am looking forward to this series. I started out with a home based business when my oldest was 2. He’s 16 now and we’re added three more children along the way. My husband also has his own business and there is so much that children can learn alongside two businesses. Our kids have ventured out on their own, too, with lawn mowing, leaf raking, and even herb selling. I’d be glad to contribute a post along the way!

  • Christine Apolenis says:

    I just can’t seem to figure out what your daily schedule must look like. Could you give us an example of what a typical day and typical week look like? By the hour? How do you care for young children, keep up a house, laundry, cooking, etc….AND work from home????

    Thanks!

  • Heather says:

    Our 4th child was born on a “individual” plan (not through my husband’s work). $4200 deductible, but we knew that ahead of time, so we were able to budget for it. Sure, we could have gotten a plan with a lower deductible, but then the premiums would have been MUCH higher. You have to choose which you prefer: doing your own budgeting/saving or letting the insurance company do it for you. And now this way, any expenses for the rest of the year are covered. It stings a bit, but that’s the way it goes! Does drive me crazy though, when I hear people complain about paying just a few hundred dollars for their baby bill! But they’re truly paying more, as their employer must pay them a lower salary to compensate for the cost of the insurance! Well, I know there are other factors involved, but don’t want to get off topic or controversial . . . . Also insurance options vary depending on your state.

  • Erika says:

    My comment is for Christina also; our second child was born while we’ve been covered under an individual insurance plan. (My husband is self-employed and I’m a SAHM mom so that’s all we have access to.) Since we’re in Florida we have BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, and it ended up costing about $7000. to have him. I had a $1500 deductible and then we paid 50% of all the rest “approved” charges. This was even for a c-section birth. Unless our circumstances change, our next child will be under this same plan, hopefully in the next year or two. Our best friends are expecting next month and they have individual policies as well and are not rich. Don’t worry, try to put money aside, it can be done–I promise!

  • Courtney says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing how other women balance kids and working at home. I’ve been a work-at-home mom for 11 years (I do bookwork for the businesses that my husband and I own). Now that my kids are older and in school, it works out great. When they were little, it was very stressful. Looking back, I really regret trying to do too much and being so frazzled during those baby and toddler years. If I could do those years over again, I would just concentrate on being mom.

  • Shannon R. says:

    I have been a stay-at-home mom for a few years. I have worked part-time for a law firm in town about 20 hours per week. I have recently signed up with Rodan & Fields. I have been with the company for 1 month and have tripled my start-up costs of $395. There are women who have been in the business for 5 months making $4,000 – $5,000 per month. It is a great opportunity to own your own business and truly work from home. There are no parties involved. If anyone is interested:

    http://srichardson.myrandf.com/

    Good luck.

  • Jean says:

    I have been out of work for a little over 6 months now and am getting very depressed by not being able to find a job. I am 54 and have worked all my life. I live with my son and a roommate but only my son is working right now. Unemployment helps but it is not very much. I would love to know how to make some extra money at home so I am looking forward to what you have to say and I hope that I will be able to learn from you.
    Thank you Jean in Ca.

  • Jennifer Leonard says:

    I’d just like to mention the survey places like pinecone research…I know it’s not a full time income, but for someone looking for any help they can get, its wonderful. Not only do you get paid, but you also get to try new products for free! I joined thanks to a friend’s invite a couple of months ago and I enjoy it so much!

  • kriket says:

    this couldn’t come at a better time! I am quitting my day job in January (that feels good to say!) to WAH! I’m nervous but exited!

  • Amanda says:

    I would love to work at home. Becaus we had just move to Fl and I’m trying to go to school and my hubby is wroking sooo many hr. That we have no time to spen with one another. It would help out so much. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  • I am so excited about this series. I’m definitely needing ideas. Thank you, I can’t wait! =)

  • Erika says:

    I am very excited to get inspired. I am a single mom and I would love to learn how to make extra money to put away for my duaghters education. Thanks for taking your time to help others.
    Question: Is there are any sites out there that are lagit to find grants for women?
    Thanks again!!!!!!!

  • chantel lloyd says:

    I’m so excited about this series! I am always on the look out for ways to bring in income, while staying home with my kiddos.
    Thanks for sharing from your tried and true experiences.

  • Heather Clark says:

    I am so excited and cannot wait to read these upcoming blogs of yours. I am sure they will be filled with invaluable information. We are a struggling family financially, and I am a struggling stay at home mom..Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom with the world 🙂

  • jennifer says:

    Yay! I used to be an ebay powerseller and have sold pampered chef. I’ve picked someone’s extra green beans and sold those at farmers markets, as well as making chocolates and selling those at fairs.I definitely will be reading these posts! I also have friends who have ‘no idea’ where to start the work at home journey so I will be sharing with them too!!
    I am interested in getting the rest of my math degree and doing something in that field from home, a more ‘conventional’ job while still at home, but I’m afraid I’m too spoiled with my ‘out of the box thinking too!!

  • Kelly says:

    I have recently be reading about at-home jobs. I am a bit confused because I don’t know who to trust. Many of these jobs seem like scams. My question is how do you determine the legit jobs from the scams? Also, any recommendations on useful resources online to get started with an at-home job? Thanks for your help.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m really looking forward to reading this series! In just the few short months since following your blog regularly, I’ve been able to make a little bit of income from eBay and Craigslist by selling the free things I bring home from my shopping trips. My husband is thrilled that I can get something for free and then turn around and make money from it! And every little bit helps! Thanks for all you do!

  • WilliamB says:

    I hope you’ll have some ideas for stay at home fathers as well.

  • Sam says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been floundering for a while now, looking for a way to supplement while balancing being a SAHM. I don’t even know where to start. Looking forward to your series. Love your website. Keep it up! Been following you for a year now, Miss Thing! Oh, one question, what do you do with a really busy boy while you are trying to get anything done? Anything. This third one is really throwing me. Eats wallpaper. Ugh.

  • Karen says:

    Can’t wait to hear about working from home ideas!

  • Angie says:

    I, too, am really looking forward to this series! I’m due with our 2nd child in March, and I plan to quit my “regular” job and stay home, but am looking for ways I can do something from home to contribute to our income. Thanks so much for starting this!

  • Angie says:

    I have two little ones, and have enjoyed being home with both of them this last year. I was teaching in CA, but then we moved back to KS and I have not got a job. I know I can sub and might do that a little bit, but I would love to stay at home and make some money too. I can’t wait to see what you have.

  • Calee says:

    It all depends on the individual plan too–I had a baby of an individual HMO with Blue Cross CA– we paid $250 for each night in the hospital up to $1000 each for me and baby–turned out to be a great investment since baby was in NICU for 2 weeks and racked up a 90K bill. We paid $1500, now I highly recommend people have low out of pocket maxes for childbirth–you never know and if we had to pay 10, 20 or 50 percent, it would have been a nightmare.

    Now my husband and I work from home and due to my daughter’s health history she can’t get an individual plan so we have a business plan–you only need 2 employees (him & me). We switched to Kaiser a few months ago to cut the monthly cost in half, we now pay $350 for all three of us each month and have great coverage. I’ve only had a minor appointment at our local Kaiser office, but I’ve been impressed so far.

    I’m not an insurance expert, but I’ve done quite a bit of research into this–if you want a longer post with ideas for people, I’d be happy to put something together.

  • Heather says:

    Christina,
    Do you qualify for Cobra in the short term?
    We are grateful to have qualified for 18 months of Cobra through my husband’s previous employer. We pay the monthly cost of the cobra, but it is far cheaper than any other plans out there!

  • Amanda says:

    Love your blog! I am interested in a reputable business where I can work from home with my children age 10-12-14 as a tool to learn work ethics, be together and save for college. I remember as a young girl helping a friend coalate papers in her basement. Her family used the money they made as a family for vacations. I have searched but seem to find what looks like scams. Any ideas for a company that hires out simple work we could do as a family? Thanks

  • Andrea White says:

    Hello, I am a stay at home mom and I love it. Sometimes it is a little challenging to be a one income household but it is so worth it to see my children growing up with me here:) I am a coupon queen, survey queen, ebay queen..lol:)
    I also to make extra money sell Just Jewelry which is a home party plan business and I am loving it. As someone else said this is not a quick get rich idea but I am growing a downline and really making some decent money in a small town in Maine.. You really have to look for something that everyone can afford now a days if you are going to go into the home party plan business.. keep this in mind.. With Just Jewelry no item is over $38.00 so everyone is just loving that they can treat themselves and not break the bank doing it.. All these things I listed take work to make money but it is worth every moment of staying up late to get things done to be home during the day.. Cant wait to read your series.. Take care and God Bless. Andrea White:)

  • Adrian says:

    Crystal, you continue to be a blessing to so many! Thanks for the laugh about the failed attempts. I work in direct sales but also have a full time job. My husband is not working right now and takes care of our kids. One person posted a really good post on direct sales not being for everyone but may be a saving grace for others. If you do a series on direct sales, I would love to discuss opportunities with the company I work for. Also, when you think about starting businesses, a good topic would be around creative ways to get the starter income for some of these “great ideas” and ideas that require minimum starter income. Keep being a blessing!

  • Trixie says:

    Great topic, Crystal. I always love what you write about entreprenurial ideas.

    My husband and I own 3 businesses. My husband is fully self employed and I am partially, but still work full time + I am on track to earn 1/3 of my annual salary as an employee for someone else on just one of my businesses. This is so exciting, because when I get to near 100% I will be able to stop being an employee!!!

    It is so rewarding and empowering to be the one generating your OWN business revenue and not someone else’s.

    Trixie

  • Katie says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I work from home and have several businesses with my family – all mostly internet based. I can’t wait to hear what you are going to write as my biggest problem is managing my time. I end up working most nights till the early hours of the morning or juggling weekends so that I can have computer time. I don’t earn a massive amount but it is a good significant second income and without childcare costs, Most of all, I do something I enjoy and can see the fruits of my hardwork. I would strongly recommend (if you are wanting to work from home) to join up with a friend as it can be hardwork and demoralising sometimes especially when things go wrong!

  • Ashley says:

    I can’t wait to read! I’ve alway’s wanted to be a stay at home mom but I haven’t been able to because we will need some sort of income. I am really excited to read what you have to say.

  • Be says:

    I would love to read more about this subject. I am looking for a job that I can work at home to subsidize our current income to pay off some bills.

    If possible, can the participants provide what type of jobs they are doing and let us know if there are still opportunities available with his/her company. Thank you.

  • Jackie M says:

    I do not have any kids but have been working from home for a year and a half. Not having to blanance it with kids, I still have to find the balance between work and personal life, which is hard to do. I sometimes work 10/12 hours a day, even though I’m a salaried employee at 8 hours per day. My coworkers that have children have to put their kids in daycare. In reading these comments a lot of women talk about different opportunites that the look for online. My biggest piece of advice is that working from is in some ways harder and more time consuming than being in the office (I had my same job in downtown Chicago for three years, then moved to Texas for my husbands job and kept my same position). It is very much work. I get irritated when people think working from home somehow makes it easier, yet I find myself working longer hours and spending a considerable amount of time on the phone.

    I have a degree in Political Science, but work in the interactive marketing field. I got into this field by accident, just by teaching myself in college how to build websites. I would strongly encourage anyone looking to work from home to find a skill that they enjoy and pursue that. You really have to have a skill, something to offer, to make it work. And the amount of dedication and self control is very important. It’s easy to get distracted at home and you must have rules. I get up at 5:10 to workout. Get home by 6:45. Shower, eat, do my full makeup and hair, and get dressed in real clothes. Absolutely no TV. I have a home office set up so I have my “work” space and personal space. I am to work by 8:30am, possibly earlier. No breaks or anything over getting a cup of tea or a glass of water. And my lunch break is limited to what I’d normally do in an office. I have had to teach my husband to be quiet when he gets home and not interupt or distract me when I’m working.

    Overall, pursuing a work-at-home opportunity is great. It does allow you flexibility. The best part is that I no longer have my two hour, one way, commute that I had in Chicago. But the worst part is getting out of the house, making sure I make time for myself and getting face-to-face human interaction. It’s also educating everyone else that just because you work from home does not mean that you are not working.

    If anyone is in a situation where they have a professional job, I’d strongly encourage you to talk to your employeer about working from home one or two days a week. See how it goes and communicate with your boss. Schedule meetings for days when you’re in the office but get your paperwork and other to-do’s out of the way when you’re at home. Arrange for what will happen with your kids (if they are old enough to be quiet when Mom is working, etc).

    But, just remember, it’s still work!

  • P.L. says:

    I am looking very forward to this and it is perfect timing. I am in the process of quitting my job due to health reasons, but we cannot live on one salary. We don’t have a lot of debt if you are looking at totals, but we have a lot of bills each month (house payment, 2 car payments, 2 student loans, some medical bills). I am not sure what we are going to do, but I know we will figure out a way somehow. This will be very helpful.

  • I’d love to hear your or others’ advice on how to make the transition from working at a regular job (I work a Monday-Friday, 9-5 job outside of home) to working as a mom. Are there ways I can sharpen myself now, things I can educate myself on, and skills I can learn via the internet when I have down-time at work to prepare myself to make the transition to being a stay-at-home mom someday and working at home for a little bit of income?

  • Melanie says:

    I am looking forward to your posts! I am looking into work at home options now… 🙂

  • Kim Crouch says:

    Thanks for doing this.

  • sara says:

    I am really excited to hear from u, i am housewife with 1 kid , i want to work from home , can’t wait to hear …..

  • chalica says:

    I consider myself a work at home mom. I write restaurant reviews for a local magazine and have a family photography business. Both do take me out of the house on occasion, but its been very flexible and I can work around my husband’s schedule.

    I’d be happy to write a guest post for either my photography business or my food writing venture.

  • Tiffany says:

    I’m looking forward to this series!

  • Amanda says:

    Rebekah, what do you do from home? I am interested because I was a teacher overseas (but no teaching license in the US), and I am in grad school now, but can’t really justify the 60 hr work weeks I feel like I am putting in….

  • Amy says:

    Can’t wait to read the posts. I have been looking around for honest articles that would be helpful. Thanks for all that you do.

  • Kristie says:

    This come at a perfect time for me. It feels like I am the woman who you are talking about. My husbands job has many cutbacks and we have 4 kids. Times are more than tight. It feels hopeless as I try to hang on God’s word. I have been a SAHM for 8 years and over the years I have sold purses/jewelry, worked on ebay before the fees were outrageous, sold on other auction sites, sold avon. Ebay brought in my most income. Now I just can’t seem to lower outgoing and increase incoming. Any encourgement would be a blessing . Thank you, a mom.

  • Jennifer says:

    My husband is a teacher and with that come plenty of opportunities for him to earn extra money doing side jobs. He has done everything from summer school, to coaching, to reffing, to teaching driver’s ed, helping out at games, etc. You name it and he has done it, it seems.

    Since I became a stay at home mom, I too have looked for as many ways to earn money myself as I can. letting people know that you are always on the look out to earn money is a great way, because they think of you when something comes up. It seems I always have something going on the side to earn money and it has allowed my years as a SAHM to be much more relaxing since we use the money I make to fund the wants part of our budget (if there isn’t a pressing need). I look forward to your series and would also love to do a guest post.

  • jenbme says:

    Thanks for doing this. I can’t wait to read it!

  • Heather says:

    I would be interested in making even a few hundred dollars a month. I have two kids and so that limits what I can do, but idealy online work would be best for me.

  • Jenn says:

    Your contact (and other) tabs aren’t showing up on your header…I’d be interested in a guest post (well, I don’t know that I’d have enough for a whole post on my own). Anyway, email me if you need someone to fill a little space:)

  • Kristin says:

    I can’t wait to read this series. Thank you so much for doing this. As a new mom (just had my first 6 months ago) I have been desperately searching for ways to stay home with my baby instead of working outside of the home. So far, we just aren’t there financially and we have to come up with some way for me to have some sort of income. I am looking forward to learning more from you and hope to find the inspiration we need to make it work.

    I would be interested in reading tips for getting started on this process — what resources are available for those looking to transition to working from home? Also, how do you balance working at home with taking care of kids/family?

  • Stacey says:

    Thanks for doing the series! I am excited to hear about how you are making it as a work at home mom. Currently I am in an internship with moms talk radio network and can’t wait to get started with my own business. I look forward to your series and learning lots!!!

  • Laura says:

    I am so excited that you are doing this! I currently am teaching and will continue to teach until we have children. My husband wants to build us a house before we have kids. We have been saving like crazy, so that we can pay for it out of pocket, but it might still be another few years. I really want to be able to quit teaching after I have my first, but this could be fairly difficult, since my husband makes less than I do and his employer does not provide insurance. If I am able to come up with a way to make some extra income on the side, it might speed things along, and maybe in the future I can stay at home. Thanks so much for all of your help and encouragement!

  • Dawn says:

    I’ve been working from home for over 20 years and homeschooling for alot of that time. When the kids were little I was part of a homeschool group and was able to have my kids homeschooled by a very good friend of mine so I could get more work done. As they got older, they learned to let Mommy have lots of time to herself and not bother her unless it was an emergency or they had a question with their schoolwork they could not find anywhere else. This taught them how to be self-sufficient and patient. I only have one child at home now that I’m homeschooling and sometimes I miss those days of lots of little heads busy over their books!

  • Christina says:

    Thank you to everyone who has chimed in about individual health plans! I won’t post any more about it after this one because I don’t want to hijack the topic (but based on all the feedback, maybe it’s a possible topic???).

    Anyway, to answer Heather’s question (at 11:37 a.m.), yes, I should qualify for Cobra coverage when I leave my job (I’m still there at the moment). I have been leaning toward wanting to have a baby sooner rather than later so that we can do Cobra for a short period, have the baby on it, then switch to an individual plan. Then we’ll have time to get settled into a new plan before the next one (probably). My husband is just so absurdly weary of Cobra; he doesn’t seem to understand that it probably would cost less than individual coverage (possibly lower premium but DEFINITELY lower hospital bill–the cost estimator under my current plan would be about $3,000 which is about double what we paid for our son, but is nowhere near having only $1,000 in coverage towards maternity).

    I think I’m starting to pull him to this side of the fence. 🙂

  • Twin Mom says:

    I think in-home childcare is the most viable business for at-home moms. It’s a lot of work and commitment, but if you’re serious about a significant income stream, it’s the only one I’ve seen work for most people.

    Make sure your medical insurance covers NICU care. Our bill was over $100,000 for preterm twins and insurance covers over 85%. Think about the potential of a six figure bill BEFORE you let yourself get pregnant.

  • heather says:

    Yeah, I can’t wait! I just had baby #3 2 days ago. I am a registered nurse and can work just prn (as needed) but was really hoping to not go back at all. I would love to hear your wonderful ideas. You have been such an inspiration over the last year since I found your blog. We have gone down to just $60/week on our grocery budget thanks to all of your wonderful advice. God bless!
    Heather

  • John says:

    Great to hear you have 3. We have 6 and more people seem to have a part time hobbies on the net nowadays. One way we have found to monetise ours is with affiliate marketing. Thanks for the article… John… http://InternetMarketingWithJohn.com

  • colleen says:

    I found my current part-time job on the wahm.com website. This site is full of great information!

  • Marie says:

    I don’t know if what I do would interest any of your readers, but I teach piano/voice lessons out of my home. I have a music education degree and advanced certification in piano, but several very effective and talented teachers do not. I used to teach school and quit to start a family and to devote more time to my studio. It was a good decision, as I work almost 2/3 fewer hours each week and make more than I did as a teacher, and the personal rewards are great – building relationships with outstanding kids and being able to do what I love from home.

    I realize that this is a very specific skill, but I also think that anybody with a special talent or interest has the ability to turn it into an opportunity to assist in their family’s finances. If you are interested or would like me to share more about this let me know. I’d be happy to.

  • Crystal I really love your blog, while I’m in the UK so the coupons aren’t something I can use, I like your upbeat attitude and service to others! Such a great example to me!

    I have a question that pops into my head every time I see friends get jobs to work from home, that I hope you don’t mind my asking you.
    Where I struggle is, as moms and wives first, is there a contention with the idea of wanting to earn more money? I can 100% understand it when you are trying to go from 2 parents working outside the home, to having mom home, or getting out of significant debt, or when you first have a baby and feel your place is in the home. I guess where I struggle is, once a family has enough to pay their mortgage (if they have one), bills, have an emergency fund to get by for a year with no income and of course tithe, then why would a family want to earn more? Why would a mom want to spend an hour or two or three (+) a day doing things away from serving, taking care of her husband and children? I know that many do it over nap time and when the little ones are asleep, but I’ve always wondered if less time on the computer and working would allow for more family time, less stress in the family, more time serving others? This is 100% not a criticism, it is just something I see a lot with friends whose husband’s incomes more than provide and yet they feel the need I guess to work from home and not totally just be home with their children?
    Thank you for your lovely blog!

  • Wow I can’t believe the number of comments you got on this subject. I am really looking forward to you and others sharing their experiences as work at home moms. My husband has a full time job and I have been out of work for 18 months now and really would like to continue being home for my 6 and 3 year old children. I’ve worked hard to reduce our expenses but am now trying to build ways to increase our income in a flexible manner. DH has spurts of OT and I hate the idea of leaving my family at home each weeknight while I head out to a job – plus if it meant DH couldn’t get OT then that would be a financially dumb move.

    I like the idea of multiple streams of income and am curious how many people have them and how they juggle those ‘business ventures’ along with being mom and wife.

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this, I can’t wait to here your advice!

  • Sophia says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series! I’m going to be married next spring, and I’ve always had an income stream of my own. For the last several years that has been babysitting and caretaking. My man said he didn’t mind me continuing with those jobs after we were married until kids come. Neither of us expect that to take very long, so I’m very interested in finding ways to keep an income stream going even when I have to be at home to look after little ones.

    The things I’d be most interested in would be:

    Lots of creative ideas to try out!

    How do you manage the tax aspect? a lot of “work at home” jobs aren’t exactly traditional.

    What about balancing family time? Especially with more than one little one!

    In the same line, how did you manage to keep the income stream going when you had your baby? wouldn’t a lot of “work at home” things (such as the blogging) automatically dwindle when you can’t pay close attention?

  • kelly says:

    I cook meals for 3 working moms that I know. This makes me between 50 and 75 dollars a week income. This is not much, but it is helping me save for a van without touching my husbands income to do it. I love to cook and use new recipes so for me this is fun.

  • Katy says:

    This is such a great topic to write on! I can’t wait to read your thoughts and suggestions! I would like to be a stay at home mom when my husband and I decide to start a family. We both work full-time, and I am having troubles figuring out just how it will work. We follow a budget each month, and I’m trying to find some “on-the-side” things to do for a bit of extra income. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

  • Great idea! I am a SAHM who has had to come up with creative ideas to bring in extra money each month. I’d be happy to share some of these with your readers.

  • I can’t wait to see this series! If you still need a guest poster, I’d be happy to write about teaching online for local colleges. Let me know. Either way, I can’t wait! 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Just want to share some thoughts for those who did get laid off, etc., and need a little extra cash. When I worked full-time, I also was raising three children alone. One Christmas, I was working non-stop & needed some cookies for Christmas; a friend who worked part-time offered to bake them; I paid her well; she got extra $s; my family enjoyed the same Christmas treats as when I had time to do them myself.

    I also hired part-time housecleaning help (windows, floors, etc.) when I could not get it done – holidays, birthday parties, etc. Extra $s for the person I hired.

    Also I hired babysitters (both teenagers and adults) to help w/the children when it was necessary. Stay-at-home Moms babysat my eldest daughter when I worked. I had a reliable babysitter and they got paid well. When the girls were both in orthodontics, I paid someone to take them occasionally when I simply could not take off work to go.

    If I were unemployed unexpectedly, I’d let people know what I am open to doing, and for how much. I would not only search the job listings, but let everyone know I am willing to help the busy households and how I could help. And sometimes, these contacts can let you know of job opportunities you may not otherwise know of.

    My daughter today pays $15 an hour for a babysitter when she has to go run errands and go to the grocery store. That occasional $30-$45 for her is worth it – she gets her errands and shopping done in minimal time. The little ones stay home; their routines and naps are not interrupted.

    These ideas may not be for everyone, but if you get even one idea from all this – then you are on your way to creative ways to make $s. This economy is tough, but America was built by our “tough” ancestors. People helped one another then and by helping each other, people will get through this as well.

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