Looking for legit side hustles you can do from home while still being available for your kids and able to work around their schedules? Thanks to the rise of the gig economy, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how to make money as a stay at home mom. Besides the obvious (hello, extra cash flow), stay-at-home moms can gain unique benefits from side gigs. You can choose to work the hours that actually fit your life rather than a rigid 9-to-5. When you’re the boss, you can maintain flexibility to handle the unexpected — whether it’s picking up sick kids from school or dropping off forgotten lunches. And without the hassle of a commute, you can add back precious hours to your day (since we all know that being a stay-at-home mom is already a full-time job).
In fact, these benefits for moms was a driving factor in the creation of SideHusl.com, an online resource that researches and views side gigs, says founder and CEO Kathy Kristof. Other helpful resources include SideHustleNation.com and ThePennyHoarder.com.
“For women who want to spend at least part of their time home with kids, side gigs can provide that flexibility. Plus, you can earn extra money and keep connected to your profession without worrying about resume gaps,” says Kristof. “At this stage, there are side gigs in every industry. So you can do one that’s connected to your current career (everything from accounting to marketing or HR to law) or you can do something that you find fun and diverting.” Because of all the options available, Kristof even created an online quiz to help you find the perfect side gig. (Click through to see more ways to make money working from home.)
Read on for eight profitable possibilities, plus stories from real-life stay-at-home moms who are making it happen!
1. Make money as a stay at home mom: Bookkeeping
Know your way around an Excel spreadsheet? Bookkeeping is a great way to make money as as a stay-at-home mom who wants to be their own boss and set their own hours.
Businesses of all kinds need a bookkeeper to take care of day-to-day tasks like managing financial documents, paying bills and processing payroll. And because it can be time-consuming for business owners, it’s often one of the first things that they outsource — which means there’s no shortage of clients waiting to pay you for your services! According to Intuit, you could earn up to $75 an hour by starting your own bookkeeping business (up from $69 an hour in 2019).
Even better, you don’t need a degree or accounting experience to start earning. In fact, you likely have a fair share of experience managing your own family’s finances already. There are lots of online courses that can teach you how to build a profitable bookkeeping side gig. Bookkeepers.com is one of the leading options in the field, and Tiffani Higgins (who made $5,000 per month with her bookkeeping business) also created an incredible resource called The Stay-at-Home Bookkeeper Academy.
2. Make money as a stay at home mom: Virtual assistant services
Just like bookkeeping, being a virtual assistant is a side gig that stay-at-home moms are uniquely qualified for. After all, you’re already a pro at organizing calendars, making appointments, answering phone calls and multitasking. As a virtual assistant, you can get paid to do all these tasks from the comfort of your home.
Starting your own freelance virtual assistant business means you get to choose the services you provide and how much you want to charge for it (you can charge by the hour or set a fixed rate, depending on what works best for you). You can also choose “how” you want to work, for instance, taking on multiple short-term clients or one long-term client. You can learn more about building a lucrative virtual assistant business with online resources like UDemy and The Virtual Savvy.
To find freelance clients, check job platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs and Indeed. Additional talent pools include Belay Solutions, VirtuDesk and The Virtual Hub. Or, consider reaching out to local businesses to see if they need assistance.
Success story: “I bring in $40,000 a year as a virtual assistant!“
In 2007, Kadie Nolan was working full-time as an office manager at a law firm. The economy was in decline, and she wanted to work from home to be with her baby. “Many business owners weren’t able to afford full-time administrative assistants, but they still needed the support,” the 50-year-old explains. “This inspired me to start a freelance virtual assistant business, where clients can hire me for the amount of time they can afford, and I can have the flexibility to work from home!”
“To boost my offerings, I took a short online course and completed an application to become a notary, then I began networking. It was challenging to convince business owners that they didn’t need someone on-site for administrative tasks, but since the pandemic, the remote aspect has been a big benefit. Currently, I work with eight clients (including realtors, business coaches, florists, hairdressers and other small business owners). Clients find me through word of mouth, as well as local networking groups.”
“This side gig adds up to about 5 to 10 hours a week, which entails project management, data entry, real estate transactions, calendar management and travel coordination. Most of the documents I notarize are wills, trust documents and real estate documents. I also offer traveling notary services for real estate closings. I get paid as a 1099 contractor and bring in up to $40,000 per year, which helps pay for things like vacations and my kids’ activities. I love the freedom of being my own boss and being able to be home with my family while making money. It’s also exciting to get to know new clients and learn new things about a variety of fields!”
3. Make money as a stay at home mom: Online tutoring or teaching
What’s more rewarding than watching students experience those ‘lightbulb moments’? Seeing it happen from your home on your own time! Thanks to the pandemic, there are more online teaching and tutoring opportunities than ever — and you don’t need prior teaching experience to start earning, either.
With so many options available, you have the freedom to create the teaching or tutoring side gig that works best for you and your family. Outschool and Wyzant are two popular platforms where remote instructors can earn exceptionally good rates, in the $50 per hour and up range. Prefer to teach lessons at night once your kids are in bed? Platforms like QKids or VIPKids make it easy to teach English to students across the world (with different time zones, you can teach “morning” lessons while it’s nighttime in the States).
Success story: “I make $20 an hour teaching English to kids!”
46-year-old Angela Brumbaugh discovered Qkids, a website that connects children in China with “teachers” in the US to teach them English, back when she was in search of an online side gig with flexibility. She was encouraged to see that the Qkids team is made up of people from a variety of professional backgrounds, and that you don’t have to be a teacher to sign up.
“I met the other requirements, which include being a native English speaker, having a bachelor’s degree and a weekly availability of at least six hours. I filled out the five-minute online application and heard back via email within two days,” she says. “Qkids prepared me with everything I needed to know before participating in a demo class. It went well, and two more demos followed (this time, with real kids!) It was nice to get paid for training, too.”
“Now, I teach 22 to 28 half-hour classes, depending on the week, for $20/hour. I prefer the early morning and late night classes, though you get to choose your shifts depending on what works best for your lifestyle. Each lesson is assigned on the easy-to-navigate online platform and requires no prior planning. I simply log in and do what I do best: teach! Each lesson includes speaking exercises, interactive games, animations, and non-stressful skill assessments. My main job is to guide them with encouragement and lots of smiles.”
4. Make money as a stay at home mom: Website testing
You don’t have to be tech savvy to make money testing websites. Platforms like Userfeel, UserPeek, UserTesting, and Userlytics are always looking for people to evaluate the user experience of their websites. Most profiles take just minutes to complete, and it’s free to sign up.
With most tests in the 20-minute to one-hour range, website testing is the perfect side gig to do from home. Typically, this involves answering simple questions about a website’s functionality to work out any kinks before it goes live. For instance, you may be asked how long it took you to find a certain product on the website to make sure the navigation is intuitive and user-friendly. Again, there’s no specialized knowledge needed — companies will usually collect this information by tracking your computer’s cursor or facial expressions. According to Sidehusl, you can expect to earn about $10 per 20-minute test or $30 per hour.
Success story: “I earn $1 a minute testing websites!“
“I have three children and I was looking for a way to make extra money so I could still be available for them when they came home from school and on holidays. When I saw an ad for UserTesting, a company that hires people to test out websites and apps, I knew it would be the perfect gig, so I signed up,” says Nikki Goldblatt, 54.
“How it works: I get an email when new tests become available and if I have time, I do them. The companies who need testing either have a new website or app they’re launching or they’re making changes to their product and need users to test it out. They ask questions about things like design, ease of use and how a page loads. They want to make sure their site works and won’t be frustrating for people. I also have a headset and a microphone to record my answers, and I take a video of my on-screen activity. The tests take from 3 to 10 minutes, and I earn between $3 and $10 a test. I also signed up for Userbrain, another company that hires testers, where I earn $3 for a 5- to 10-minute test.”
“I enjoy giving my opinions and knowing that my feedback helps improve the websites and apps for other people. I also love that it’s a flexible way to make money and pay for the extras, like splurging on a pair of shoes I wouldn’t otherwise buy myself.” — as told to Julie Revelant
5. Make money as a stay at home mom: Online surveys
As a stay-at-home mom, you have major purchasing power in the marketplace — which is why companies are ready to pay you for your feedback! By taking online surveys, you can earn easy money in your idle time while helping shape products and services for today’s biggest brands.
Online surveys are a fun, low-commitment way to share your opinion on consumer products. Best of all, there’s no upfront costs involved — it’s free to sign up for most online survey platforms. Some popular options include Branded Surveys, Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, Survey Junkie, Dscout, and KashKick. Signing up for a few different options is a practical way to maximize your earning potential.
6. Make money as a stay at home mom: Mystery shopping
Can you keep a secret? While mystery shopping (also known as secret shopping) isn’t technically done from home, it is something that you can fit into your schedule when you’re already out running errands — which is why it earns a spot on our list. Also, free food is often involved!
Mystery shopping entails visiting a business to evaluate the service while acting like a typical customer. You can get a piece of this nearly $2-billion-dollar-a-year industry by making a profile on free platforms like Sinclair Customer Metrics, IntelliShop, A Closer Look, Mystery Shopping Service, BARE International, Coyle Hospitality, HS Brands, Market Force Information, and Shared Insights and accepting the assignments that work for your schedule. It’s also a fun way to add some variety to your routine and check out new and exciting places.
Companies will provide guidelines for each job, plus a questionnaire to fill out afterwards about the experience. Usually, reports are due within 24 hours. Pay varies depending on the company and assignment.
Really not keen on leaving the house? There are also phone mystery shopping opportunities available, which involves interacting with call centers to evaluate the customer service. CallCenterQA pays $5 for each mystery phone call made (these typically take around 10 minutes, and the feedback form takes just a few minutes). Perception Strategies also provides paid opportunities for mystery phone calls in the healthcare field.
Success story: “I earn up to $500 a month as a mystery shopper!”
Back in 2004, Jennifer Hayes (now age 50) was a single mom supporting two toddlers on a teacher’s salary. While searching the internet for ways to make extra money, she discovered mystery shopping. “It seemed like the perfect way to do fun activities with my kids and bring in the cash I needed. Plus, there’s no special experience required — just reliable transportation and good observational skills,” she says. “I signed up with various companies and started taking on all kinds of assignments.”
“Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked with dozens of mystery shopping companies. I still teach full-time while spending 5-10 hours per week mystery shopping, with assignments taking anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Thanks to mystery shopping, I earn about $500 per month and thousands in reimbursements (for meals, trips, gas, concert tickets, etc.). I tend to enjoy the reimbursements more than the pay! I love this side gig so much that I even launched Smartypantsfinance.com with information for people who are interested in learning more about mystery shopping opportunities.”
7. Make money as a stay at home mom: Baby gear rentals
Still have a car seat, playset or stroller from your kids’ baby days? Instead of letting them collect dust, collect extra cash by renting them to other families!
Peer-to-peer rental sites like BabyQuip and goBaby make it easy to connect with families who are traveling and need the exact items that you already own. It’s free to sign up online, and you have total control over when you rent and deliver gear.
Success story: “I earn $600 per month renting baby gear on BabyQuip!”
Back in 2011, Nicole Kitzman (now age 47) rented baby gear for a trip to Oahu with her young twins. She thought it was a great concept, and when she heard about BabyQuip in 2016, she knew she wanted to sign up to rent her own baby gear to traveling families. “Within days, my rental shop with BabyQuip was up and running,” she says. “I spend about five hours a week on this side gig. The bulk of my time is spent communicating with customers, cleaning baby gear, loading and unloading gear from my car, and driving to deliver/pick up the gear.”
“I earn about $600 a month, which helps with regular household expenses. I have been hooked on this side gig because it solves a real problem for traveling families, and families claim it saved their vacation. My most memorable customer interactions are always with the grandparents who rent because they have grandbabies coming to visit. Usually, the grandparents haven’t bought or used baby gear in decades, and they are so relieved and appreciative when you show up with the baby gear their grandkids need to have a safe and fun visit and show them how to use it!”
For even more work-from-home jobs, click through the links below!