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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 @ with your thoughts.

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  • Danielle says:

    I’ve tried several times to maintain a home based business of my own. But every time, there just isn’t enough time in the day to make my family and house a priority. It doesn’t help that my husband is a firefighter so home a lot and I try not to work when he is home.

  • Jessica W says:

    I am a SAHM to my wonderful cat napping 6 month old. My greatest challenge- he doesn’t nap! It’s difficult to do things. I currently mystery shop (phone calls an internet inquiries) but make very little money. I’m having a very difficult time figuring out something I can do at home to bring in some much needed income. I’ve also started aggressively couponing to cut down grocery expenses. I would love to see a section in your book for the SAHM that doesn’t get a quiet strech of time during the day with realistic ideas. Thanks!

  • Diane says:

    I can’t wait to read this book! The things that I have tried to earn money didn’t work. Now I am scared to try new things as most ideas I hear about don’t seem profitable. Congratulations and thanks for addressing the topic!

  • TIME! I haven’t had a chance to read your second book yet {it keeps getting checked out at the library- ha!}, but I have the biggest issue with trying to balance my family with my time working on growing my blog. My husband helps a lot with the kids once he’s home so I can work on blog posts, etc. but I don’t want for my relationship with him to suffer either since most of our time together has to be in the evenings too. It’s a really hard balance right now {my kids are almost 4 and 2 and we have another on the way in October}, so I haven’t had as much time to work on blogging as I’d like….which has meant slower growth than I’d like. Hope that helps!! Good luck with the book!! 🙂

  • tina says:

    I have had some great work from home ideas/opportunities but unfortunately they require some kind of start up money(whether it be software, web hosting, or other tool) that I just don’t have.

    One time I needed $8 to start up a side business to make money and honestly I didn’t even have the extra $8. We had to sell stuff that month to tie over in groceries, so that opportunity was passed over. So frustrating.

  • I’m always looking to expand my blog and related side projects. Can’t wait to read the new book; I loved the first two!

  • beth says:

    YES ! I would love to consistently increase my income. With that said, my husband and I made a choice ten years ago to leave our corporate jobs( and dependable income) to run our own small business and put our talent to better use. Needless to say there have been good years and lean years. There are many blessings and many challenges to running your own business and the cash flow is my greatest challenge. I need to work full time as well as keep my family going at home.
    So, I needed to find ways to supplement our household income Thankfully I found MoneySavingMom blog, along with a few others, and learned a few things I could do with limited time. I have fully funded our Christmas savings for the past five years through taking surveys in the evenings, purchased new phones, computers, etc by selling the old ones on Ebay and play the” drug store game” to stock up on health, beauty and cleaning supplies.
    But I am always on the look out for more $$$$$ opportunites

    • Amber says:

      If you don’t mind me asking, what websites do you use for taking surveys? I’ve signed up for several, but don’t seem to make much doing them even after spending countless hours. Also, when you say “the drug store game,” what are you referring to doing & how? Lol. I’m new to the couponing, & very eager to save & make as much money as I can. Being a single mom, not working right now; I need as many ideas as possible. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give!

      • beth says:

        I signed up for quite a few survey sites including Global Test Market, My Survey, Toluna, Opinion Outpost, Ipsos and Ipoll. There are some nights I qualify for quite a few surveys and earn around $10 and some nights I try and try and qualify for none! The goal is to take them every night for the money to start accruing – but make sure you track every survey you earned by survey number and site to insure you get your points/money ( I love spreadsheets!)

        As for the Drug Store game its all about stacking manufacture coupons with drug store sales/coupons and maximizing the Extra Care Bucks (CVS) and Register Rewards and Points(Walgreens). I am not an Extreme Couponer. I do not buy products I do not use or subscribe to a clipping service. My stock pile is modest but full of items I “purchased” for free by following the advice on playing the game that I found on Money Saving Mom as well as Moms by Heart and Southern Savers.

        Good Luck!

  • LInda Bossle says:

    Gosh, I absolutely love this idea of income for an impact!!! That is my heart’s desire. I’m on my 18th year of homeschooling and I worked outside the home nights and weekends that whole time. My mom has alzheimers, so I have quit my job and we are moving her and my brother in with us. So, I would love a homebased business, but I find that I do not have any original ideas.

  • Linda Cannon says:

    I’d like to save money, but right now I work full-time during the day as an admin (my primary bread and butter), three nights a week at the gym as a personal trainer/Pilates coach/life coach, have a fitness ministry at my church on Saturday mornings (Bible study from 8-9, teach a group fitness class from 9-10:30 as a Body and Soul trainer), and am finishing my degree online at Liberty University (graduating in June of 2015). I am revamping my website ( and blog so as to monetize it a bit as a Shakeology and FitBit affiliate, and am learning to be a bride having married in June. My husband works the midnight shift, and so we see each other for about 20 minutes at night during the week when he wakes up to go to work. I also just moved to his home so I’m now commuting 120 miles a day (60 each way) which takes about 2-2/12 hours out of my day. Open to all ideas and looking forward to your new book!!

  • Michelle W says:

    I am SUPER EXCITED about this topic! My husband is a pastor and we have 5 little ones under foot. His job makes enough income for us to live on, but our savings are incredibly sad and every time we build our emergency fund a little, low and behold, an emergency comes up! I would love to hear tips on how to turn a few hours a day into a little bit of income on the side for our family. Even a little bit would be helpful! Thanks!

  • Michele R. says:

    Yes, yes, yes!!!! I have a great full-time job, yet I am always looking to earn extra money. My husband has had some professional setbacks in the last few years and is currently a full-time student in an MBA program. Although its only a 2 year program, we are only 6 months into it and it is a constant struggle to stay positive and keep reminding ourselves that its not forever. Neither of us are afraid of hard work and would gladly get a second job to earn that extra money. I never do it, however, because my time at home with my 3 kids and dog is precious to me. I am reminded every day of how fast these kids are growing and I think they need me at home more than they need me to bring home another paycheck so they can have the latest toy. So, we have chosen instead to focus on what’s important and try to teach our children the lesson to make do with what you have and find ways to make the money you do have stretch to meet your needs.

    I’m so excited for this new book and would love to help you in any way I can.

  • Billie McWilliams says:

    Hi Crystal, I am a mom of four and i find it really hard to make money at home. The saying “you have to have money to make money” is so true. We don’t have much extra and it is not possible to spend it starting a business or website that could possibly fail. So I spend every free second I have doing surveys and swagbucks. I can make around $200 a month if I spend several hours a day working on the computer. With four kids this doesnt always happen.I would love to find something that pays well and I can do part time. Your blog has been such a blessing to our family.

  • Jenny says:

    Very excited about this topic. Currently wrestling with the spirit of giving/tithing and trying to build a solid foundation beneath me for doing so. Both DH and I grew up in families that either did not attend church or did not contribute much to it financially (nowhere near a tithe, gross, net or otherwise). Very interested to see how you lay a basis/foundation for giving, then encourage women to do more with what they have while increasing their earning capacity, and then give beyond what they originally may have considered “enough”. Again, great topic!

  • Leah says:

    I would love to increase our family’s income. I want to work from home because I have a two year old daughter. I just havent found any ideas. Im so glad you have a book like this coming out. Your blog has really helped my family save money. I cant wait to read the book!

  • Melissa says:

    I echo many of the same sentiments – time and lack of resources and original ideas. I find that when I would like to try something that market is tapped out (photography?? Um yes, tapped but I still try). For me it’s being consistent with trying something, sticking to it and not getting frustrated when something isn’t working, finding new and creative ways to market and not being shy about it! I feel very insecure, like my work isn’t good enough, and I avoid conflict like the plague, so customer complaints are very difficult for me.

  • sarah says:

    We need more income! But with only one car and me homeschooling there is no opportunity during the day to leave the house. And DH doesn’t want me leaving him with the kids every night to go work. And again with one car it’s not practical because of some activities the kids have several nights a week. I really feel our society is against SAHM because the fact that I want more income makes me feel like like I’ve bought into the lie of always needing more which pressures me to work.

  • Jacki says:

    I am a SAHM to two young girls with older children that are out of the house. I am disabled and I am unable to add income to our family. It has always been this way, even when the older kids were home. Our second child is severely disabled and I had to stay home to care for her. Now that I have a disability, our income has never been supplemented by me. I don’t qualify for disability payments because I haven’t earned enough work credits. I would love to be able to earn some extra for paying off debt, saving for emergencies and such.

    • Jody says:

      Some states pay parents to stay home to be the care provider for their child with a disability. I’m not sure where you live but in California it’s called In Home Supportive Services, in Texas I believe it’s called CLASS and I know a couple other states do it also I’m just not sure what their programs are called. Usually the child needs to have a Medicaid waiver. This had been a huge help for our family for me to stay home with my son and still contribute financially. I hope you’re able to find something similar where you live!

  • My husband and I decided before marriage that our goal was for me to be able to stay at home and train/raise our children once we were blessed with them. We worked very hard to save, save, save & pay off over $50,000 in student loans over 4.5 years of marriage, making lots of sacrifices and pretending we only had one modest income to live off of so that we could put the rest towards debt. After working as a registered nurse for four years, I was blessed to quit my outside-the-home job this summer and now stay at home with our 1 year old son. I have a side business that I am currently trying to grow, but my biggest struggles seem to be A. time management/family prioritization (my toddler keeps me busy!) and B. finding the right audience that is interested in PURCHASING. It is easy to find people that are interested in the products, advice & anything I can give for free, but actually finding customers that have/want to PAY for the product/s is difficult. I think practical advice on ways to find paying consumers would be very helpful. I love to blog, help & teach others, but if there is no financial kick back for me, it defeats the purpose of trying to help bring in extra income that we need. I am excited about this new book! 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    I would absolutely be interested in reading this book! I have followed your blog for many years and have learned a great deal from you regarding saving money, etc. I currently work from home as a daycare provider and have done so for the past 13 years. I love working from home and being my on boss! The job that I have is rewarding, however I think that it could possibly be time for a change. I am not a huge risk taker so that is what I think holds me back the most from venturing into starting something new. I would be very interested in learning other ways to contribute to my families household income. Good luck and I look forward to reading another one of your books 🙂

  • Leigh says:

    We need more time!!!!! I work full-time and spend 2.5 hours a day commuting even though we only live 17 miles from my job. To live closer would cost a lot more than we currently pay in rent & gas. My husband works nights and weekends so our two small kids always have a parent home with them. We make ends meet but don’t have a lot of money left over. I’ve been saying we need to diversify our income but we haven’t figured out a way to do so with our already tight schedule. We shop sales and use coupons on what we can. Our oldest is 3 and has a long list of allergies (both food and environmental). His allergies alone have increased our monthly spending by $300-$400. We would love any ideas you have!

  • Jaciroot says:

    This is a huge topic of interest for me. And something I have wanted for a very long time. I used to do free lance graphic design work but my client is no longer around. At this point, I dream of crafting things to sell at craft shows and online. My biggest struggles to overcome are:
    – time (finding some…I homeschool, have three young ones and one on the way).
    – my perfectionism…if I can’t do it right and have adequate enough time to accomplish something of worth, then why do it at all.
    – balance…organization and time management are not my gifts, but my hubby likes things neat and tidy and done so I find myself spinning wheels just trying to keep up with my daily small tasks to keep harmony and order.

    Looking forward to reading your new book when it comes out!

  • Sherri says:

    We definitely need to increase our income! I am a teacher who has homeschooled my three daughters. Now that one is in college and two are in high school, I have time to teach others. Unfortunately, most families who homeschool are not willing (or can’t afford) to pay for tutoring/classes. I’ve tried offering a class and mentoring online, but that has flopped as well.

  • Bethany says:

    I’m a single girl, newly out on her own in the career world and budgeting has become really important to me over the last year, but not just budgeting money, but time. When you’re single, I think people assume that you have tons of time to dedicate to things because you don’t have kids or a husband to take care of, but my pace is somehow filled with craziness even still. I try to do extra things to make money like dog sitting, selling Mary Kay, and writing freelance articles etc., but it’s really hard to find the time and energy. Knowing that this will only get harder when I get married and have kids is not exactly encouraging! So I guess my biggest struggle is just time management: namely figuring out what the most important things are. I want to make extra income to work toward becoming debt free and using my income more to God’s glory, but I don’t want my free time to be all about making money because I know I need some margin and don’t want to become obsessed with money. This feels all over the place but I guess the main things I struggle with are time management, priorities, and balance. Thanks I’m super excited about this book! It’s totally something I’ve done a lot of thinking about, without a ton of solutions. I’m so glad you’re writing about this.

  • amber says:

    With me homeschooling both of my children time is the issue with me making extra income. Once school is done it is time for cleaning, cooking and getting the kids ready for bed.

  • Ashley P says:

    Opportunity. There just doesn’t seem to be any (at least for me). I currently work outside the home and am expecting my second child. But I have no idea how we’re going to survive once he gets here. Hubby works nights, and tries to sleep during the day when our toddler naps. But Lil’ Man doesn’t nap long and hubby’s running ragged. I’ve tried looking for stay at home jobs so he can get a normal day shift. But everything I’ve looked at either requires a noise free environment (which, with a toddler and a new baby is going to be straight up impossible), or some sort of degree (which, if I could afford school, I’d already have).

    I can’t afford day care. I can’t rely on friends and family to help me because we live on the extreme end of the county. And I can’t just quit and live on one income. My hubby just doesn’t make enough to support all of us by himself. And it’s not like we’re living the life of luxury here. We have no cable, one car, I take the train to work to save on gas, and I eat chicken and rice more often than I’ll even admit to myself. So it’s not like I can cut back on anything. Neither hubby nor I have a degree, or the means to go back to school. We’re just trapped and praying like crazy that God comes through. Because without His aid, we simply won’t make it.

  • Megan says:

    I am SUPER excited about this book! When I’m struggling with income/blog ideas, I often come to your site and read some of your posts under “How to Make Money Blogging” under your Business section because you are such a wealth of information!
    Yes, I want to increase my income. My biggest struggle is I haven’t made enough money to advertise to get my name out there. I also don’t have time to match up entire store ads since my main “job” is to take care of my 14 month old and 4 year old. 🙂 I try to only “work” on my site when my youngest is napping, or after they go to bed. All that being said, it’s just a struggle and frustrating. At times, I feel like I’m “fighting an uphill battle”. I don’t want to “compete” with any of the sites, because most of them are great. I just want to be able to increase my income while at home with my girls.

  • Sarah says:

    Haha I was just thinking about this last night! Amazing how God works!
    Here are all my struggles. I have an established direct sales business, I just need to make the decision if I want to work it and make money or not. I also want to write, but am unsure how that will pan out. I wouldn’t mind finding some small part time job as well.
    So my struggles are finding God’s will, completely committing to something, working out childcare if needed, and getting some serious time management in place.

  • Sue Wildes says:

    I am recently divorced and bought a new home myself which is a big step for me and I am very strapped with money. I work a full time job as well as 2 part time jobs and also have a daughter in college and I volunteer for a non profit farm with funding events and programs. I do not have a college degree and that does make it difficult to get my foot in the door with some of the wonderful contrator positions that we have in our area. I have recently started applying again for some positions being offered by contractors but it is such a low starting salary I can’t take the cut to work my way up to make better money.

  • Cortney says:

    I am very interested in this topic! I started a home business this summer and have been struggling with balancing time between working full time outside of the home, grad school, cleaning my home, and making sure that my family stays my #1 priority. My husband and I are working on setting up guidelines of when I should work on my business and what times should be reserved for family time.

  • Melissa R says:

    Hi Crystal – my struggle had not necessarily been wanting to increase my income BUT letting my desires come before my income. I was laid off from my part-time work from home job last April and struggled with what I wanted to do next. I really just wanted to stay at home and be “all there” for my kids homeschooling and being a homemaker & wife (and not working) but I think the Lord has called me to start my own business at home as a consultant (which has been great so far). I make almost double what my husband makes and he struggles in a construction job that is hard on him physically. He wants to change employment to something less straining on him and if my business takes off then it will enable him to look. I REALLY just wanted to be a SAHM – so I could have the extra time but I think I really need to concentrate on my business. It is just really hard to find the balance starting my own business, homeschooling (I still have to research for this year’s curriculum *ugh*) and maintaining a strong relationship with the Lord, my husband and my children.

    • Amber says:

      If you don’t mind sharing, what kind of stay at home consultant are you? Did you sub contract from a Co.? I haven’t been able to find any reputable or inexpensive at home business. Thank you for your post!

  • Once again, I can’t wait to read your newest book! Another topic (like the other two) that is close to my heart. My prayers are with you as you write this book. I am a new SAHM to a 4 month old son. I teach part-time music classes (2 afternoons a week) and my husband is a teacher as well. We both teach at small parochial schools where the income covers expenses, but our budget is tight. I teach piano lessons and do quite well making some extra money, but now the struggle is to find the time (with my son around) to teach the lessons. I paid for my Masters by teaching piano lessons so I am well aware what a blessing this side job is. I am praying about how to supplement our income – through teaching, piano lessons, blogging and whatever else I can do. We’ve looked into investment properties but don’t have the start-up money necessary (yet) to get involved. We continue to pray and ponder. Thank YOU, Crystal, for the encouragement you give daily to me – and so many others!

  • Rebecca says:

    Oh my goodness, YES!!! I am so very interested in this topic for your now book and I can’t wait to read it when it comes out!!! I have followed your blog for many years now and have read both of your books. I’m blown away by your wealth of knowledge and practical advice you give on your website on so many topics that I find of interest. I find myself visiting multiple times a day for any new updates!! I would absolutely LOVE to be able to earn additional income with a work from home position. My biggest struggles right now are 1.) Coming up with an original or interest worthy idea to start a blog, 2.) I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my work so it takes me multiple times to find just the right words to express a thought or idea and 3.) I don’t want to say or do something that will offend another person.

  • Raquel Evans says:

    I have started a cooking blog and youtube channel, which I’m hoping will eventually start to make money. My problem is not so much managing my time, though as with anyone I have my ups and downs with doing that effectively. My problem is chronic health issues that make it difficult to properly manage my ENERGY to get everything done.

    Despite improvement from natural supplements and good diet, it’s rare for me to be to schedule out tasks for a day and work on my list straight through, or even for a few hours at a time without having to sit down and rest, and sometimes mental fog prevents me from just alternating between physical chores like washing dishes and mental chores like writing blog posts.

    I realize this may not be directly in the scope of a book on earning income, but I would be thrilled if I could find more resources to help address this kind of issue, especially in the context of things I really want to put energy into, like my cooking blog.

    (I’ve been tempted to buy your book about getting out of survival mode because I enjoy your blog and your approach to managing life, but hesitant because I’m afraid I’d be spending money on one more system that I don’t really have energy to use properly.)

  • Rhoda says:

    I would love to increase my income. I struggle with getting so excited ably having more money in the bank account and spending it on me! What holds me back is my fear of rejection.

  • We are a one-car family and my husband works 54 hours a week, so even though I’m running an MLM business as much as I can while I’m at home, I’m not able to be out meeting people for coffee or teaching classes as much as I would like to be, which so far has limited my success a bit. I looked into doing some medical transcriptioning, but in our area they only take “licensed” transcribers who pass a $500 6-month class, and we can’t afford to invest that right now (and we have a baby due in December!).

  • Sarah M says:

    I am definitely interested in that topic. I do want to increase my income, and have tried a few times throughout my mothering years (7), but it’s been really hard. We’ve decided homeschooling our kids is a priority, and that is a non-paid job in itself. I’ve tried direct sales (Usborne books) which I loved and I was good at, but it was a heavy time commitment if you want to make a part time income.
    I would love to be paid to write, and have had a blog for years ( ) but it gets barely any traffic. I’ve wondered about this. I’ve tried to network with other writers, share all over social media, but it hasn’t really ever gone anywhere. My dream job would be to write children’s books. I’m afraid with all the talk about how the publishing industry is SO different than it was even 10 years ago, I’ll never get a book published because I have such a small following. My goal for this year is to get a piece or two published in a children’s publication, so I can start getting my name out there, but it’s a terrifying thing, especially since I haven’t had tons of encouragement for something I already write for free, my blog!
    I also truly wonder if I’m able to be divided that way and give my all for both….I can do an individual thing really well, but I don’t know how I can divide up so many things and do them all well.
    Sarah M

  • Rachel says:

    I don’t know anyone who would answer the first part of your question with a no. Everyone wants to increase their income right?! My biggest challenge is that I am a full-time working mom with a 9-5 job. When I’m not working, I have a 7 year old who I want to spend time with, as well as my boyfriend, family, and friends. What’s holding me back? I feel like even if a side job earned a bit of extra cash for me, it wouldn’t be worth the time I lost with those I love.

  • Rebecca says:

    I am excited to read this book and participate in any way I can. My husband and I both work fulltime. He has gone back to college to get a second degree, this one in Accounting. We also have a fun, energetic one year old boy. We would love to have more, but cannot afford for me to stop working. We have an excellent budget/tithing/saving plan in place, and by God’s grace and blessing have flourished with it. I cannot stop working until he is able to make enough, which is looking like it won’t be until he graduates, a few years down the road. I have enjoyed and benefitted from your site and ideas and look forward to more.

  • Kristen says:

    Great idea!!! I am a stay-at-home mom to three (4, 2 and 10 months). We are going to begin homeschooling next week. My biggest struggle when thinking about bringing in extra income is how to find the time and still spend time with my kids, maintain our home and sleep! With a baby who is very cranky a lot and no family nearby, I would struggle with any sort of a scheduled “job”. Right now, we’ve decided that homeschooling and me being home is enough but in the future, I’d love to do something to bring in some extra income without compromising family and homeschooling. I know, I want it all, right?? 🙂

  • Miriam B says:

    For me, the struggle is trying to focus on a single idea/income source and then working at it without getting distracted. I know several small ways to make a little bit of money and I tend to spread myself too thin trying to tackle all those small ways every single day. I need to get better about staying on task and working hard at a single great idea.

  • Cambria says:

    Of course I would absolutely LOVE to increase our family’s income each month. For the first year after our daughter was born, I stayed home and didn’t contribute anything to our monthly income. In the last few months I’ve started doing some fitness and nutrition coaching from home and it has made a huge impact on our family’s income already. I am loving that I get to work with people again and help them work toward their goals. Time is definitely the biggest obstacle because I know if I had more time, my income would be greater, but for now having balance (avg about 10 hours a week of coaching) is my priority!

  • Kandace says:

    Love love love your books, can’t wait for this one! My biggest challenge, other than time & energy as a SAHM, is self-doubt. I’m limiting myself. I’m capable of doing any number of things but I talk myself out of starting, even out of coming up with ideas of what to do and how to start. The biggest way I contribute financially to our household now is by managing our money (paying all bills, reconciling accounts, keeping the budget, etc) and doing what I can to stretch our dollars.

  • Lyn Morris says:

    Your statement about keeping priorities and balance caught my eye. I have recently been struck with the fact that God doesn’t ask us to live a balanced life with Him, but to put Him first – then everything after. I understand the balance concept and terminology – have strived to have that my whole life! But when I focus on putting God first, I can then look at priorities.

  • Mika says:

    I run a small handmade children’s clothing company, as well as raise my 5 kiddos (no homeschooling here, I’m a completely failure there!), be a wife to my husband and TRY to keep my home at least somewhat tidy. While the income has started coming in with alot of hard work over the last few years, I’d really like to “bump it up a notch”. Self-discipline is definitely my shortfall, I spend way too much time screwing around and not doing what I SHOULD be doing, so I’m always looking for ways to help with that. I’m very passionate about what I do, and am very confident in my products..but I know I need to get the house in order before I really try and figure out marketing (which I also am no good at! You need to give lessons!).

  • Ellie says:

    My current job is closing it’s doors soon, so I’ll be without a job for the first time in 10 years. It’s gotten me to understand that I shouldn’t be relying on one income. I currently have a blog that narrowly makes $100/year. That’s not the right answer for me, but I haven’t figured out was is yet. If I fit your needs, I’d like to work with you for your upcoming book.

  • Alicia says:

    I love this topic and am super excited about your next book! I feel God is speaking to me, because this topic has been on my heart for some time, and this is the second post in the past 2 days I’ve read about starting a small business from home.

    It’s always been a dream of mine to have something I enjoy doing that I earn money from and work on from home. I have 2 (soon to be 3!) children, and I’m just getting ready to leave my part time job to stay home full time. With that said, I am constantly dreaming and looking for that perfect thing.

    One of the hardest parts for me is money. We don’t have anything extra, and it is difficult to get something started up without any extra resources. Another difficult part is finding exactly what it is that I could do , that a million and one people aren’t already doing. I have a hard time narrowing ideas down, and overwhelm myself to the point where I don’t even know how to get started. I doubt myself a lot and end up talking myself out of anything I start pursuing- is this worth it to my family? me? financially? will it ever actually go anywhere? I end up right back at square one.

  • Rose says:

    Love your blog ! I read it everyday for tips, links and inspiration.

    I have been working on several business projects to increase “residual” income in additional to only 1 monthly paycheck in the household. One promising project is definitely in wellness industry – as this is the next business realm in the states as people become aware of keeping their health and number of baby boomers are increasing. The project I signed up has been making my family getting healthier and full of energy everyday- especially my 7 yr son is free of allergy inhalers for 1 year now – with peace of mind without rushing in to ER, additional income each month is always enticing!

    I am hoping that gradually I will work less hours and spend more time with my family, perhaps I can walk away from my regular paycheck job and transform this “additional residual income” opportunity into financial freedom.

    • Amber says:

      I would like your information on “getting asthma free.” My 13yr old daughter has very bad asthma & allergies which limits her in so many ways. It breaks my heart. So I am willing to try anything to get my girl out of misery! Thank you in advance.

      • Rose says:

        Amber, I totally understand know your you feel- it breaks a parent’s heart to watch the child suffers in non-stop coughs, along with hard rib bone pushing to breathe in little air. I remember only thing I could do in the past was to pray for effective steroid medicines and nebulizers. It was indeed a very painful experience.
        I’d like to help your daughter with what I learned to make our son out of his suffering and pain in asthma. Email me so I can send you more information. Love~

  • Heather c says:

    This is a great topic! I left a high paying government career almost 5 years ago to become a stay at home mom because my job left zero flexibility for family. While I’m so glad I did and grateful we have been able to get by on one income (thanks to your site :0) ) I still have struggled to try and help out income wise. With 2 kids under the age of 5 I have a hard time finding the time to work without sacrificing our quality time together, my husband works long hours and with no family to help us the only option we’d have is daycare which is something we both don’t really want. I had applied for a few part time jobs but so few employers offer flexibility for parents it’s really hard, and as a family we just decided to make do with less for now until the right opportunity comes along since I know we can always make more money but never get these years back. The other part of this topic that I and I know a lot of my stay at home mom Friends struggle with is feeling validated when you aren’t earning a paycheck. :0) can’t wait to see how you shape your book!

  • Vivian says:

    How to balance daily life in order to make more income is my challenge. I try to be organized but then I feel like I write down things in to many places. I challenge myself to be successful by having daily routine (shower, cooking, exercising, calendar update, bills, shopping, etc..) but of course I miss doing something or I just do things to fast and incomplete.
    As a family are budget is tight but are able to be successful in paying things but there is always the time that where we ask where did the money go. Being able to increase our income is always in mind. We have great ideas but where do we find the money to start our idea.

  • Christie says:

    I would love to find a way to earn some income from home. What holds me back are a few things… First of all, “ideas”… trying to find something that is financially *worth* the time and effort invested. Because the second block is “time” (always juggling to keep priorities in their proper place — not wanting to ever look back with regret!) Lastly, it’s lack of self-confidence and self-discipline (I could really use some regular encouragement and accountability, and step-by-step direction. I am not in any way a business-minded entrepreneur, but envy those who are!)

    Congratulations on all your success, Crystal. You are an inspiration! I look forward to your next book.

  • lyss says:

    Desire to make a little income from home? Yes. What’s holding me back? Opportunity and know-how. I have no “skills”, and I’ve never had a “job” other than some housecleaning and teaching piano back in college. The only thing I can think of is sewing or other crafts to sell. But I am not a salesman! I have no idea how to go about it. The other thing I struggle with is confidence. Like I said, I used to teach piano, but since I haven’t done it in so long, I’m kind of scared to start up again. I guess I should start with my own kids and gain some confidence…

  • becky says:

    Three things hold me back: 1. family/home responsibilities, 2. lack of education/perfectionism, and 3. poor health. It seems like by the time I take care of my family and myself I have no physical and/or mental energy left to do anything else productive!

    Homeschooling, driving kids to activities/lessons/etc, meals, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, spending time with friends & extended family, managing the budget, time with my husband…this is what I do. Add in taking care of myself (sleep, exercise, down time/margin in my schedule to plan, read, pray) and there’s no time/energy leftover.

    I’ve put thoughts of employment/income production on the back burner until my kids are older and/or my health issues improve. But when that day comes I know my lack of education and experience will hold me back. I had a poor education to begin with (very very small, rural school) and then quickly dropped out of community college and quit my job at McDonald’s (yes, fast food is the extent of my employment history!) to get married at 18. That was almost 20 years ago and I’ve never been employed or furthered my education in that time. I am easily intimidated because of this.

    I have always read a lot and that definitely has helped broaden my world, but I often feel ignorant and incapable of excelling at anything outside the comfort zone of my home, family, and social circle. I’m a perfectionist (I tend to not want to try something that’s important to me if there’s a chance I’ll fail) so I would have to work up a lot of courage to go back to college or to seriously pursue ways I could use my talents to bring in income. I have always been dependent on someone else’s income (my parents, then my husband) and, though my husband does make a comfortable income and has life insurance, it worries me at times that I am totally incapable of supporting myself and the kids if something were to happen to him.

  • Patty says:

    Echoing many of the challenges other posters mentioned.

    Please include information for single parents. I work full-time but it’s not enough. I’ve never been able to find a 2nd income opportunity that:
    –didn’t take me away from my child for lots of more hours
    –didn’t require childcare (which I would have to pay for due to not having anyone I can leave her with for free on a regular basis)
    –didn’t have big start-up costs
    –had a decent potential for return-on-investment, both financial and time

  • Karen says:

    What is the best way to utilize facebook and other social media to grow my business? I offer tutoring in my home. I need to reach more parents, but I’m an introvert. Also I am not tech savvy; I don’t even own a smartphone. I have a personal facebook page, but do I need a business page? If so, what are the costs, and how do I go about setting that up.

  • AmazonsRock says:

    I’ve donated blood since I was 18. It was a no brainer for me to take an hour out of my day as often as I could to provide for someone else.
    Seven years ago I met someone who would become one of my best friends, and she shared with me how her mom requires regular blood transfusions. Now that I had a personal connection to blood donations, it was an even bigger motivator to keep those appointments.
    About two years ago, her mom began needing regular plasma donations. I learned about a local company that does Plasma donations, and compensates donors for their time and gift of life.
    Initially I saved up the money from those donations to help pay for our Disney vacation.
    This time around, we’re saving up to fund an agricultural education program in the village of the girl we sponsor through World Vision.

    The benefits of this version of side income are numerous, but here are a few:
    1. I’m much more conscious about what I put into my body because those who receive a plasma donation very often have compromised health and/or immunity.
    2. I get uninterrupted reading time, research time, movie time. It’s me time without me feeling guilty.
    3. I get to make a difference for someone else, even if it is as small as 2 hours of my time.
    4. The compensation is minimal, which means I can’t do much with it initially. Since it’s a small amount, we don’t factor it into our regular budget, but we do consider it for project/dream expenses.
    5. Because we don’t touch it, and allow the money to regularly grow, we end up with a large sum that makes a difference in our big goals.
    6. Our daughters get to see (and experience!) the satisfaction that comes from giving back, saving up, and thinking outside the box to achieve goals.

  • Emily says:

    I have no desire to increase our income. My husband makes enough and I don’t have a single entrepreneurial bone in my body. Just no desire. I have 5 kids that keep me plenty busy and when their older I will probably go back to work but for now I am content with our income and the way we spend our time.

    • Raquel Evans says:

      Can I just say that I think that’s awesome! I really appreciate it when people know what they want and aren’t swayed into thinking they ‘should’ want something else because of popular opinion.

    • michelle says:

      Agree Emily! We have 3 kiddos and I am home full time. With homeschooling 2 out of the 3 and caring for our family my plate is more that full. The Lord has been so faithful and good to increase my husband income as our family needs have grown.

  • HEIDI says:

    My struggle with increasing income is my struggle of work family balance. My husband has a demanding job so the kids are 100% my responsibility. We do share this on evenings when he is home. We don’t have family to help with the kids. I work outside the home with some work at home tasks included. The more I work, the more stressed life becomes for me and sometimes bitterness develops because my husband isn’t able to share morning routines, etc. What has worked for me is working part time and still there for my kids before and after school. I make up lost income by living simply and striving to be content. That means staying off all those cool decorating sites!

  • quinn says:

    Yes. As a SAHM I would like to balance out our budget.
    I a new mom of a 10 month old.
    I am a Massage Therapist. I massage a couple client’s a month.
    I struggle with:
    *Dropping off R when husband is home from work
    *Being afraid work will consume my thoughts like it did when I worked full time.
    *Being afraid I will take too much time away from my family.

  • Anna says:

    I’d love to help make a little extra income as a SAHM, but while I’ve brainstormed a few times, I haven’t clicked with anything.

    Biggest things holding me back are probably,
    a) being busy already caring for my family
    b) not knowing what to do; it seems like so many things that I think of there are already so many people doing- the market is already taken, so to speak.

  • I definitely want to increase my income. My biggest struggle is the fear of putting too much time and effort into something that is not going to work for me to provide financial stability to my family.

    I feel like I am actually in a great position because I have an established blog to use as a platform for launching a business. But now what?

    Do I want to put the effort into writing an ebook and find out it doesn’t sell?
    Do I want to promote a direct sales company, which requires buying the product for my personal use in order to promote?
    Should I work for other bloggers as a VA while simply building up my blog content and increasing readership?
    Should I forget blogging and just go out and get a “real” job.

    I dabble at a little bit of everything because I am too scared to put all of my eggs in one basket. However, by dabbling I am not creating success for myself at anything really.

  • Laura Smith says:

    Great topic! Can’t wait to read the book!

    I do make an income from home, and I LOVE it, but it’s been a lot of hard work to even get this far.

    In the beginning my biggest struggle was mentally giving it my all and sacrificing my time to build the business before it was making a dime and didn’t necessarily have any guarantees of doing so. Of course, I’m very glad that I stuck with it, and it did become easier as my efforts started paying off and I started having more and more confidence. It was also tough to really take my work seriously when I only had a handful of readers and hadn’t yet made a dime. However, I feel like doing so anyway (treating it just like a “real” 9 to 5 job and working at it as if I had already achieved the success that I hoped to) was my biggest key to success.

    One of my biggest struggles currently is how to manage and grow my business without exhausting myself or taking away too much time from my family (before I can afford to hire much help although I’ve done so sparingly where I can). It seems that so many success stories involve a season of the person admitting that they overdid it to get where they are now, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making that mistake.

    Also, making business decisions is really tough and I still don’t feel like I’ve been able to build a really good support group for myself where I can ask questions and get advice from people who are in a similar situation. I know the importance of a “mastermind group,” but I’ve struggled to really form one that works well and lasts.

  • Jennifer says:

    I would love the opportunity to spend more time with my children and continue to live comfortably. Unfortunately, I already have a full time job that takes me away from the home 40 hrs. a week. My main hurdles would be:
    1. Time. I don’t want to be away from my children any more than I already am.
    2. Finances. I don’t want to risk leaving my steady job, with great health benefits, for an uncertain financial future.
    3. Fear. That’s a big one. Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence in my abilities, but I have 3 little ones to consider and a husband too!

  • Hailey says:

    I would love to become a wahm but financially can’t afford it right now. I’ve been in a place of limbo the past few weeks talking with God trying to figure out his plan for me. I would be happiest at home with both kids, and would cut down $880 (monthly) on daycare expenses but then would lose the income, and health insurance I bring home. I’m trying to find alternate ways to generate income while working at home and have started a blog.
    The things holding me back are:
    1. Consistency- it seems like I’m SO motivated to keep up with the blog one week but then the next I may be down/depressed about something and don’t really feel like writing much at all.
    2. Time- the time to write a blog on a daily basis is outstanding! You would never imagine the time it takes when you’re reading through blogs (like this one). It’s even harder for to remember to take pictures of my cooking, house projects, etc. while doing them to upload to my blog. A toddler, an infant and a cell phone are hard to juggle. 😉
    I love the idea of making money to cover the gap in our incomes but have yet to find a reliable way to make me take the “leap of faith” to become a stay-at-home-momma. Thank you for this blog, currently I’m planning to attempt freezer cooking enough meals for the winter (my husband’s “off season!) Wish me luck!

  • Cathy R. says:

    Both my husband and I are unemployed, but we are also older with no children at home. We’re too young to retire, and couldn’t afford retirement at this juncture in our lives anyway. It is our dream to travel the country and be able to manage our business from a laptop (on the beach, in our motor home, etc.) We need knowledge of the most economic way to achieve the appropriate skills online, and what type of businesses we can manage with computer networking and computer security skills. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  • Glad to hear you’re writing about this topic! There’s eventually only so much one can cut. There’s a lot to be said for earning more too. At least in theory, there’s no limit on that! From my own research, I’d say that what holds a lot of people back is not investing adequately in childcare. We often view it as money out the door, but it’s an investment in growing one’s business/income, just like buying a computer or setting up a website (albeit less tax deductible, alas…)

    • Lisanne says:

      Laura’s comment hit it on the head for me, childcare is the biggest stressor in running my home business which I am passionate about. I am enjoying seeing the growth of my business but I’m feeling the childcare growth pains right now! (Hi, Laura, loved your book on time management!)

      Like you said, I’m hesitant to “invest in childcare” even though I know it’s the key to success. I have “frugal tendencies” and I dread paying the high cost in getting good, consistent care. I do it and have done it, but when you put it that way, to “invest in childcare” Laura, I feel validated that I’m not alone in this struggle. It confirms the decision I made for this upcoming fall… This is discussion is perfectly timed for me!

      I am a private voice teacher. Last fall, after moving to the ‘burbs from the city to a S.F.Home, I started my in-home business and scheduled lessons after my husband came home from work in order to take care of our kids (3yo and 4 months at the time). B/c the baby was little, it made sense that Daddy was the best person to be with him during the toughest hour of the day. Though what I found was, it ended up adding more stress to his job (our main source of income) when he would leave work sooner than he had intended. He is very supportive of my teaching and knows the “fuel” it gives me to be a better, more balanced mom. However, I couldn’t help but feel we were somehow defeating our purpose. He liked getting home to the kids, but by starting lessons at 5p, it limited how many students I could take on. My purpose in teaching voice is to bless our family and to bless others, not to add stress.

      Therefore, this fall I have committed to hiring a sitter and teaching on a day that he works late each week. This will prevent cutting into his work time and it will be a nice built-in break for me (from my children during 3:30-5pm!) on those long days when he’s home well after bedtime. I don’t like that this will cut into my profits– but I think it’s necessary to be independent of “Daddy-only childcare” if I want to continue to grow my studio. (I have 6 students this fall, I’m not looking to have more than 8 students/week at this stage of life).

      Taking on outside childcare adds stress to my life. I have to depend on a sitter to be here consistently, communicate effectively with them and be as organized as possible. Also, I know the value in nurturing that relationship with the caregiver. Often the sitters are young women who are watching how we as mom/wives “do life” and it’s in all of our best interests to keep that relationship positive and nurturing on both sides… unfortunately they are there when kids seem most needy, when we’re coming or going to work 🙂 It can be exhausting! At times, “is this even worth it?!” goes through my head. 🙂 Even though I know the answer (for me) is yes.

      So- the cost and burden/worry of childcare is a huge hurdle I think moms have to cross in order to say “I’m worth it.” They not only have to prove it to themselves but to their husbands, to commit to seek it out, pay for it, and to shoulder the burdens (not often talked about) that come with managing childcare.

      • Hi Lisanne – thanks for your response! And yes, while it can work out great to have Dad take care of the kids while Mom works, if that’s compromising his job then that’s being penny wise and pound foolish. Good luck on growing your business! (And I’m so glad you liked my book!)

  • Amber Woods says:

    I would love to increase my income in order to continue to stay at home with my kiddos. I am a very creative person, with lots of artistic abilities, but have yet to find what my in home business or moneymaker is. Everything I start to do, I realize there are already people in town doing the same thing.

  • Jill says:

    My greatest struggle is finding something I am good at. I have the time, I have been a stay at home mom for almost 5 years. I see there are a lot of opportunities with writing, crafting, photography, etc. I guess I haven’t found my niche yet.

  • Cari says:

    What holds me back? A large part is my family responsibilities. I’m someone who feels guilty being on the computer while my kids are awake. Plus, they don’t really let me stay on the computer long if I tried anyway. I’m not a huge fan of TV and try so very hard to limit that time. I’ve actually always wondered how you were able to juggle babies and toddlers with your business. They seem to require so much attention!

    The other thing that holds me back is skill. It’s been years since I’ve had a job and my degree in college is borderline worthless. Everything I’ve researched about making money online has been pretty discouraging as I don’t feel fit to run a business but there’s not too much else out there for my limited time.

  • Amy says:

    My biggest roadblock is lack of education. I’d love to go to college when my kids are all in school but don’t want to get into a ton of debt to do so. Also I’m worried about trying to balance school on top of family life without both suffering. I’d love it if there was an affordable online do it at your own pace college.

  • Ronni says:

    Do you want to increase your income?
    Of course! Who doesn’t? 🙂 Up until just recently, I’d been the family breadwinner, making barely enough to survive.

    If so, what are your greatest struggles when it comes to trying to increase your income?
    Time. Working from Home. This is my 6th year working from home as an online teacher, and juggling family life and focus on your job is VERY VERY hard! Yes, I’m thankful I get to stay home with my kids, but I feel like while working from home can be the best of both worlds, it’s also the WORST of both worlds. I sometimes feel like I’m both a bad mother and a bad employee because neither ever get my full attention. 🙁 I can’t imagine trying to put in more time that I already do toward working to increase income.

    What do you feel like is holding you back?
    Oops. Kind of answered that in the paragraph above!

  • Erin says:

    What holds me back is the feeling that the market is over-saturated with SAHMs trying to bring in a side income. It seems about just about everyone I know is picking up a camera and calling themselves a photographer, or making and selling crafts online, or begging for viewers/subscribers for blogs, or selling (insert candle, nutritional supplement, make-up, kitchen tool, essential oil, ect.). My Facebook feed is clogged with people advertising all sorts of these things. I get the feeling it’s the exception, rather than the rule, that these side businesses end up being profitable, or worth the immense time commitment or initial investment. I did, however, at one point bring in a side income working part-time using my bachelor’s degree. The reason I don’t work anymore is that the childcare expense began taking up too much of my paycheck. These days we supplement our income with my husband’s career. He put a lot of training and education into it and it seems to be paying off. He often picks up extra shifts and opportunities that his job offers. Its a lot easier and a lot more reliable than trying to start up something on our own.

  • Wendy says:

    Few things that hold me back:
    What if I fail? I admit I am sometimes scared of change… And what if I don’t have enough time? My weekdays start at 4:30am and end at 8pm or later. The weekends are for catching up around the house, grocery shopping, and fun stuff. If I could create some extra income which I could work on from home, I might be able to cut back my regular job, save time commuting etc…

  • Sarah says:

    I would like to increase income by working from home but it needs to be something that can work with having a 2 year old running around the house. So something that requires making important phone calls is completely out!

  • Lisa Riddle says:

    I try to find ways to supplement our income/increase our monthly earnings without adding more to my plate. I am a teacher by trade so I have found teaching courses, selling lessons/materials I’ve already made on teacher swap sites, etc. has been an excellent idea for me. It doesn’t take much extra time out of my day but assures a minimal increase in our income–usually enough to supplement “fun” activities, school supplies I would like for work that would normally come out of our family budget, saving for vacations, etc. It has also encouraged me to be more intentional, purposeful, and innovative in my craft. When I come up with lesson ideas (which I truly love to do) I take the time to really think through them and create materials that I know I can share on the site with other teachers, homeschooling moms, etc. I tailor those lessons/materials with others in mind, knowing that the differentiation I make in the lessons will also benefit my diverse group of learners year after year. Once I create a high quality product not only am I able to use it year after year but it is benefitting other teachers/homeschoolers as well, which is a great feeling. I keep the same things in mind when I teach a course for teachers/at the local university for extra pay, making sure I create a quality presentation/material that can simply be tweaked and used again and again. A little time and effort up front is worth it. 🙂

  • Asheritah says:

    So many great comments here! I, like many other readers, want to increase my income from blogging. The first 8 months of blogging I didn’t see a penny, but that’s because I felt guilty about affiliate links and sponsored posts on a faith blog. I’m slowly learning how to incorporate products and companies I believe in, and 3 months later I’m seeing a small but steady stream of income. I’ve read your book on making money blogging and I’m planning on starting a niche site where I can more liberally apply some of those principles.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on monetizing faith blogs: how to do it well without “selling your soul.” 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I’m excited about this kind of book! I’m currently trying to work from home. I would love to increase my income to help my family’s financial situation. I feel like I have been held back by lack of time and money. I am a mom of 2, a 4 year old and a 6 month old! I am blogging and using a few affiliate marketing programs but haven’t seen any kind of money yet. I would love to get ideas and guidance from someone who is successfully working from home!

  • Carrine says:

    I would love to increase our income. What is holding me back? Time (I’m a homeschooling mom of 6) and money. I’m not sure it’s the right season to pursue working because I need to focus on my family/children. But there are some extras that I would love to purchase that I just can’t fit in the budget.

  • Lindsay says:

    Yes I would like to increase my income. I feel like my greatest struggle is gaining customers to my house cleaning business. I feel like my strict schedule is holding me back. I am not willing to work in the evenings when my family is home when some offices would like me to clean.

  • Meg says:

    I’m actively looking for a second income stream to supplement my full time job. Specifically, I want to be a freelance writer. I was a newspaper reporter until a few years ago and I miss the creativity of playing with words until they sing. Concerns about setting up quarterly taxes and billing have made me hesitate to jump into the fray. I have visions of either IRS problems or handing every nickel I make writing to my accountant. I’m waitlisted to take a class in self-employment/small business finance at the local community college. Should space open in the class, it could be just what I need to take the plunge.

  • Beth says:

    This sounds like it’s going to be a great book! My biggest hurdles are time, and lack of confidence!

  • Stephanie K says:

    I want to earn an income. I take surveys and I’m a member of a discussion group but I don’t make more than $15 a month. The biggest thing holding me back is time and organization. I find the only time I have to really focus on ‘working’ is when the kids are in bed or school. I need more organization in my schedule. We have a morning routine and nighttime routine but the middle of the day is for getting done whatever needs to be done. Part of it lately is getting our house ready to sell, now that it’s on the market I can focus on taking more surveys and my blog. Plus school starts next week.

  • I would love to generate a little income from home… I think for many moms roadblocks include figuring all the logistics of starting a small business out and figuring out what work from home opportunities are legitimate. Personally I’m hoping to generate a little income from my blog with the goal of increasing our savings. I know, people tell you not to make a blog in order to make money, I wanted to make a blog regardless, but I would also like to monetize it in order to help my family out a little if I can. If I don’t make any money from it, it’s ok, it’s an enjoyable experience regardless, but it would be nice 🙂

  • Sharee says:

    I think this is a great topic! I would love to make more money to bless my family and community. I feel like I’m so overwhelmed by working enough hours to provide for my family and then give them the time they need that I can’t focus on changing things for the better. When I do cut back, I start to panic that any project I’m working on may fail and then we would be in financial trouble, so I drop what I’m doing and go back to working more hours.

  • Kim says:

    Yes, I would love to earn extra income! Time and energy are holding me back. We have four kids and at least once a night at least one of them wakes me up. This happens every single night. I don’t remember the last full night’s sleep I had. If I had more energy because I was well rested, I think I could really make some head way on earning extra income. (We are working on improving sleep habits, but it’s a slow process for us!) I recently started a blog, but I rarely have time to work on it.

  • Loretta says:

    I’m a 30-yr-old single, currently living with my parents and helping in their business. I would love to be able to get into photography, wedding planning/decorating, baby shower planning/decorating, etc. But I don’t have the equipment for photography, nor can I afford it. And as for the other things, I don’t know how to really get started. And as someone said above, the market seems over-saturated with these types of things. I would love to be able to earn more income because there are so many needs in the world and I would love to be able to contribute more to help make a difference. But I’m feeling stuck and don’t know how to move forward without adding more to my already overflowing plate of responsibilities. Doing something I really enjoy would make me ‘tick’, but right now looks impossible. I would love some advice!

  • Ashley says:

    We could really use more income, but I’m so busy just with running the home. We have a toddler and a baby.

  • One thing that holds me back is time. I do feel like I am almost always in crisis mode (I just got your book from the library, so now to find time to read it 🙂 ). And I have been constantly pregnant or nursing for 3.5 years (and don’t foresee it stoping anytime soon). And I tend to be lazy and procrastinate. So time is an issue for everything in my life.

    Another issue is figuring out how to get my businesses out there. Right now I have a blog and etsy shop. I don’t have a big budget for advertising (I have saved the money I have made to invest back into it, but I am frugal and I only like to make an investment if I know it will pay off). So figuring out where to advertise, what to advertise, how to advertise etc.

    And another issue is balancing family and business. I know a lot of moms get up early Orrin’s other time to work. Getting up early has never worked for me. Even if I could manage to be awake then, I would not be functional or get things done. My best work time is actually 10pm-2am but I no longer have the luxury of working then because my kids won’t let me sleep in enough to do that. So I have to adjust to working at not ideal times, which means I am less efficient. And I don’t want my businesses to take away from time with my family or time needed on work around the house (since I am not earning income for our family yet, blogging time has to be done on my time which is scattered randomly throughout the day, which is not conducive to actually getting blogging work done). So what do I do with all that?

    Those are my questions. I hope they help. I look forward to reading your book!

  • Kelly says:

    I would love extra money so we can afford daycare for a 2nd child, but I have no idea when I’d have time for it.

  • Melissa Miller says:

    Yes I would love to increase our income. What is holding me back? Not many skills that could be translated into todays field of work, money and schedules.

  • Sharon says:

    I would like to increase my income but feel somewhat stuck. I am (was) a teacher with a master’s degree but chose to stay at home when my first daughter was born. She is now 7, and we were blessed to have another baby girl who is almost 2. We don’t want to put her in daycare and we have no family living close by to help out. Would like to bring in some extra income such as through tutoring on evenings/weekends, but find I have little time or energy left after doing all the other things I do…it really is a full time job being Mommy to two young children! (I am more exhausted now than I ever was with a classroom of 20+ kids:) Thank you for all you share Crystal, I have been following your blog about 5 years now I think!

  • Amber says:

    YES PLEASE HELP!! I have been wanting to start my own business for many years. I feel God has led me to your site for that reason. After many hours of researching how to work at home, what company, etc. I am at a dead end I feel. I am just starting to coupon, & take surveys. So any ideas you have would be great

  • M. E. says:

    I am bedridden most of the time (over 95%) and I’m trying to find legitimate ways to make money to pay on my bills, including many medical bills. I don’t have many Facebook Friends, around 65 I think, but any amount of money that I can make, more than what I have, would be GREATLY appreciated. I cannot do GREAT things, like many others, but I do MY VERY BEST to be Heavenly Father’s Hands On Earth and continue the Mission of Our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, which is to serve others, even if it is from my bed. I have tried to find work that I could do from home, but most of the offerings are just scams from dishonest, immoral and unethical people, whom I just don’t care to have as my associates. I will be most appreciative for ANY information or advice anyone would be willing to share with me.

    My past employment history progressed over seven (7) years from a Subscription Agent, Advertising Associate and Proofreader to Collection Supervisor, Credit Manager, Administrative Assistant, Executive Secretary and Confidential Secretary (including Secretary to the Board of Directors) for a publisher. Over several years, prior to my illness, I was co-owner of our small family owned business which was multifaceted and included art, creative design, photography, custom work, etc.

    I have many friends who consistently “pinch their pennies” and try to supplement their income in any righteous manner possible. I know with this upcoming venture, you and your family will be even more busy than normal, if that’s even possible; YOU are truly a SUPER BUSY LADY! I value the time I spend reading your articles. I appreciate the money and time I’m able to save because of your suggestions and sharing. You will certainly be on my mind, as I know you are making a large investment of time and effort, along with numerous sacrifices to make your new book a reality. I pray that you and yours will be RICHLY BLESSED for ALL YOUR EFFORTS to serve others, especially those you do not even know, but still care greatly about, because you understand God’s Plan. May all your readers be richly blessed with the things they need, as well!

  • Sera says:

    Like most, yes I would love to increase my income, which I know I will since I’ve been doing a pretty good job at it so far.
    I am quite a creative person and over the years I have done and come up with unique ideas to supplement our income. Sure it isn’t a huge amount of money but every little counts right? Having a family of 7 and being able to stay home with them is such a blessing If i can help in any way with money then I’m more than happy to do so.
    And just within this last month I started my own photography business where my target clients are people who can’t afford a pro. I love heelping others and helping my family at the same time. Great idea for your book and if there is any way I can help with giving some ideas or what not I would be more than happy too.
    For all you out there, don’t get discouraged there is a way to make some extra money, you just need to find what works for you either through conventional or unconventional ways. And then things will click and work itself out. Just realize that for most of us, it takes time. 🙂

  • Rebekah Marks says:

    I want to increase our income with the goal of following Dave Ramsey’s plan. We’re currently on Baby Step 3 (building an emergency fund of 3-6 months living expenses), so the profits from my business for now are going toward that. I also will use it, infrequently, to buy things for the house (such as paint or bed clothes) and not touch the family budget with those purchases.

    I sew clothing alterations, and am very busy from it, even without advertising. The biggest block to me is self-discipline and a lack of energy. I have a simple schedule on paper that allows time to work, maintain the house, and sleep adequately, but I fight being overly tired and in pain all the time from my current pregnancy. On days I sew, the house and family are neglected; when I work on the house and family, the alterations are neglected.

    One other block is knowing how to price my work to match the value of my time and skill. I’ve worked out a pricing plan, but some jobs end up being much harder to do than I thought originally, and I make sure the work is done as I would want done for myself: that it fits the customer exactly, and has no exterior marks of having been altered. As a result, I am consistently raising prices on certian types of work, especially on tailored and formal wear. Live and learn!

  • Mary Beth Patnaude says:

    I tried for years to increase my income from home. I was never successful at it, so I decided to increase my skills in order to make the transition from clinical practice to academia (I am an occupational therapist). Last year, I got a full time appointment as a professor. It has almost doubled my income, but has not come without sacrifices. My husband has had to pick up the slack, and I don’t have as much time to spend with friends. To me it has been worth it, because we have 5 children and my husband is a pastor. We would never have been able to put them through college.

  • Desire is definitely there but I don’t have the money to spend on the endless opps., out there. And I find that there aren’t many out there that doesn’t require a lot of what I don’t have—“money”. So my skills are what is holding me back. What I also find frustrating is the endless supply of party type business that for most of us will fail because of the lack of “friends” or people we know that will not continuously buy from us to keep our profits up. I also homeschool so if I do earn an income it has to be something I do from home. For me I would love to be a copy editor or something similar but I don’t want to freelance to do it. I would prefer to work for a publisher directly. Not earn a million dollars but would love to earn even a modest income.

  • Lynne says:

    I would love to be a SAHM, but I am the breadwinner. When my hubby and I met I made way more than him because he never finished college. So when we had kids, rather than put them into daycare he stayed home. I work 3 sometimes four after school (I’m a teacher) activities so that we can make extra money. So why would I like to make another income…so I can hang out with the kids I am totally vested in. Yes I enjoy encouraging and teaching other people’s kids, but I really want to homeschool my own.

  • Jamie says:

    WOW. I am so amazed at all the comments. I never realized that there are other people like me 🙂 Crystal, I just got from the library two of your books (money saving moms budget and say goodbye to survival mode)(not started them yet, LOL) I am not a book reader. Used to love reading when I was younger. Just felt the desire to go get some books. I am a sahm mom with three kids (ages 16, 12 and almost 4). I have a desire to write, but lack the self confidence and time. I feel guilty spending so much time that I do on savings blogs and trying to get the best deals for my family. I think what holds me back is same as some others-I do not have much job experience ( I have been a grocery store cashier and bank teller). I am not tech savvy either and would love to have my own blog about saving money. I keep feeling the pull to write a book about humorous stuff that happens and laughter is my sanity saver sometimes 🙂 I feel overwhelmed with kids and house chores and such. My desire for more income is to help us pay off debt and fix so many things around the house that need fixed. We do not use credit cards either. I also suffer from anxiety especially social environments. One of the main issues is that I have Meniere’s disease and hearing loss. I do wear an aid, but it does not provide me with all confidence I need to hold a job again plus the stress can trigger an attack.I feel guilty at my inability to work. I do work hard to save my family of 5 a lot of money thru couponing and such. I do not desire for fancy things like the latest gadgets or fashion. I am simple girl, but I want to do debt free and be able to save money. It seems we can never really have a savings because something always comes up. Well I do not want to ramble on. Thanks for all you do Crystal. Thanks to everyone for sharing. I would never open up like this, but seeing that others share my same dilemmas and desire makes me feel less like it “is just me” 🙂

    • Jamie says:

      I forgot to mention I earn gift cards from mypoints and reward tv. I also have been doing surveys for years which sometimes I have a hard time staying focused on, but every little bit helps. Survey money is a small income. I love opinion outpost, mysurvey and pinecone research 🙂 I have signed up for swag bucks but found it too overwhelming..

  • Rachel M says:

    I’d like to learn more about investing the little bit of money I’ve managed to squirrel away. I see these boastful posts that say you can save $1.00 a day from the birth of your child and they will have 4 million by retirement but they never really say how to do the investing part. I don’t know what stocks to buy, or what is a really good investment, etc.

  • su says:

    hi Dear Crstal,
    being mother at home with family i always try to find way for healthy living choices and comes earning money.. but i really don’t know how to be creative and confident(upcoming challenges) which i feel is necessary to start any business. i would really like to start my own business but unable to understand in which field i would work passionately. I feel like i am bit lazy and procastinate.. many things which i know i will have do at some point of time for sure.
    i read here that many women are blogging and making money..but i think for successful blogger u need to be good at expressing your feelings or experiences and creativity …so to show its effect.My native language is not english but now a days i am improving my vocabulary through 2 books which i found really helpful..but I think still i am not prepared for blogging yet.. it may take more time . One more thing about blogging is as i said i am not consistant/focused so if suppose i start blog how i would be able to mainain it as GOOD blog? so again creativity comes.

    If suppose i take a task to complete .. after sometime i feel i need a change… i get boared with routine work very frequently so what holds me back here ..i don’t know.. what to do for this..
    biggest challenges for me is
    being lazy and procastinating(so not sure about my working ability)how to be creative? confident?in which field i am passionate to work enough for long time?how to be passionate about work? mother toung is not english if i would think to start a blog ?no writing practice at all for writing a blog so how to practice for writing ?how to blog with new topics everyday ?if after all this hurdles i think to blog but what subject that will come natural to me and that will be interesting for readers too ?how to keep motivated/disciplined ?how to be focused/consistant?how to arrange resources for business like money..

    i know some are of mind set and some are technical problems but these are the things holding me back..
    sooo many things …. so really need some direction and for that i am waiting eagerly for your new book.. which i think will help me in many of the above

    THANKS A LOT FOR choosing such a helpful topic and running this blog as a an Inspiration for us.
    Wish you and ypur family a very Happy life..

  • 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:


  • 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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