Side Hustles for single moms

Side Hustles for Single Moms

Elizabeth Macauley

Moms do it all.

In fact, recent Pew Research Center reports found that U.S. moms spent, on average, 25 hours a week on paid work in 2016, compared to only nine hours in 1965. They also spent 14 hours a week on childcare, which was up from 10 hours a week in 1965.

As a single mom, you already know how difficult balancing work and family life can be. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most flexible side jobs to help you bring in extra cash.

1. Babysitting/Child Care

As a single mom, you already know what you’re doing when it comes to childcare. Now you can make these skills work for you by offering babysitting and childcare services.

According to a 2018 survey by Care.com, after-school sitters brought in an average of $242 per week in 2017. This increased from $232 per week in 2016. These rates are only expected to increase in coming years. If that sounds good to you—it gets better.

Babysitting allows you to multi-task. For instance, you already have to watch your own kids, so adding a few more into the mix shouldn’t be a big deal, right? You can even enhance your pay as a sitter by offering extended services. These include:

  • Overnight babysitting
  • Babysitting children while their parents are on long trips
  • Babysitting and working with special needs kids
  • Offering tutoring in addition to your babysitting services

Once you figure out what you want to offer, you’ll need to get the word out about your services. You can do this by:

  • Talking with friends and family. Word of mouth can be a great starting point to get the word out. Clients will be more comfortable when they know someone who knows you. This can help you build a reputation.
  • Advertising locally. You can advertise in local publications or you can post ads around town. Either way, you can’t go wrong with putting the word out.
  • Setting up a profile on Care.com. This site allows you to set up a profile for free. You can then search for jobs that fit what you’re looking for and are in your location. Once you find ones that look worthwhile, you can apply to them. People looking for a babysitter also can view your profile and contact you. To get an estimate of what you can earn, check out Care.com’s babysitting rates calculator. This calculator factors in:
    • Your location
    • How much babysitting/childcare experience you have
    • The number of children you will be watching
    • How many hours per week

2. Blogging

We all have different interests and ares of expertise. As a blogger, you can write about whatever topic fascinates you.

Bloggers can enjoy the convenience of working from home while also making significant money. In some cases, bloggers have been able to make a full salary from producing content. For instance, Glassdoor reports that bloggers can make anywhere from $20,000 to $55,000 a year.

The real profitability from blogging comes after you gain popularity. Once you have a large following, you can partner with affiliate companies and advertisers. It’s through these partnerships that your blog can be monetized. As a monetized blog, you may be asked to provide your audience with:

  • Links to company’s products or services in your content. Companies will pay you for each link you include.
  • A written review of a company’s products or services. Companies pay bloggers with large audiences to discuss their products or services in detail.
  • Discount codes to a company’s products. For purchases that come through with your code, you’ll receive a payment from the company.

In addition to links, reviews, and discount codes, companies may want you to include advertisements on your site. These advertisements generate revenue for you based on the number of views your page gets. Sometimes, you can even earn money from the number of people who click on the ads.

As you consider your options, know that the perks of blogging don’t stop with getting paid. Bloggers get to create their own flexible work schedule. So, if you feel like working at 5 a.m., you can. Or if you work best at 11 p.m. at night—go for it.

To start your blog, follow these quick steps:

  1. Pick a blogging platform and domain. Popular blogging platforms include WordPress, Wix, Medium, Squarespace, and Ghost.
  2. Register a domain name. Choosing your blog’s domain name is important. You want it to be easily pronounced, short, and without numbers or hyphens. Domain names that end with “.com” are usually recommended, compared to “.net” or “.biz.” You can register your name at sites such as Namecheap, 1&1 IONOS, or GoDaddy.
  3. Purchase web hosting. Purchasing web hosting allows your blog to be accessed on the internet. You can purchase this through providers such as GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost, and 1&1 IONOS.
  4. Design your blog. This is the fun part. You can set up your blog however you want. The theme or subject you choose is entirely up to you. However, you’ll want to consider your target audience. Try to pick a theme that fits them. This can help keep them coming back for more of your content in the future.
  5. Create your content. After you’ve set up your blog, you can officially start writing—and building that faithful following.

3. Freelance Writing

Blogging isn’t the only side hustle you can do if you love to write. If you’re an expert on a topic or have writing experience, you may be qualified to be a freelance writer.

According to Indeed, freelance writers in the U.S., as of November 2018, make an average of $30.14 per hour. Depending on the writer’s experience level and the type of content, what freelance writers charge typically ranges from 10 cents to $1 per word. This means that if you write a 1,000-word article for $1 a word, you’d make $1,000. That’s just for one article. If you wrote one article a month at that price, you’d make an extra $12,000 a year.

Making extra cash is not the only benefit of freelance writing. You’ll also have the flexibility to control your own schedule. This allows you to take care of your kids and prioritize their needs. In addition to a flexible schedule, freelance writing won’t cost you a lot in startup fees. All you need is a computer, good high-speed internet service, a place to write, and the time to do so.

To get jobs as a freelance writer, you’re going to want to create a portfolio of your work and writing samples. These can help you land worthwhile writing jobs. If you don’t have any samples, consider writing for a local publication or the community. For example, you could write for your child’s preschool website. Any experience you can showcase will be helpful.

Sites where you can find freelance writing gigs include:

4. Rent Out Your Home

Do you have a spare room in your home that is rarely used? If so, consider putting that room to better use by renting it out.

Renting a room can typically make you an extra few hundred dollars a month. Rental prices will vary based on your location, room size, and use of common areas in your home. For example, say you rent a room out for $500 a month. That’s an extra $6,000 a year. In many locations, you’ll be able to charge more than that. For instance, rooms in New York City are frequently rented for $800 and up.

To determine your price, you’ll want to use sites like Craigslist. Here, you can see what others are charging in your area for comparable rooms. Generally, the smaller your room, the less you should charge.

Before you rent, be sure to meet your potential roommate. This way you can get a feel for how they’ll fit into your home. For instance, say someone insists on being able to smoke inside and you don’t allow that. By meeting early, you’ve identified the potential for conflict sooner rather than later.

As you consider renting a room, keep in mind that there are different ways to rent. You can rent to occasional travelers from around the world or you can rent to longer-term residents. The choice is yours. Either way, you’ll get to meet new and interesting people.

Before you rent out your room, you’ll want to:

  • Evaluate your home. You’re going to want to determine the spaces in your home that tenants aren’t allowed in. You’re also going to want to make sure you have enough space for another person in your home.
  • Prepare your house. To get ready, you’re going to want to put your valuables in a safe, fix anything that needs repair, and put locks on bedroom doors.
  • Determine a price. You can compare prices to ads on other sites to determine the price that is best for your area. These prices will be based on your location, the size of your room, and the type of room.
  • Figure out your requirements. These requirements can include:
    • How long you want renters to stay
    • If smoking is allowed
    • Being comfortable with pets
  • Credit check your applicants. You can do this easily with Cozy.com. This site is designed with landlords in mind.
  • Compose a rental agreement. This should
    spell out:

    • How much the rent will be
    • When money is due
    • If utilities are included
    • How community spaces, like the fridge, can be handled or shared
    • Your cleaning requirements
    • Parking accommodations
    • When quiet hours may be

Sites where you can list your room on include:

5. Baking Business

It doesn’t matter if baking has been your lifelong passion, or if you just started whipping up recipes—you can make money doing it.

The amount you make is really dependent on how much time and effort you put into selling your baked goods. Generally, you can make a couple hundred dollars a month selling baked goods but, obviously, the more orders you fill, the more money you make.

Before you jump into selling baked goods from home, there are a few key elements that you won’t want to overlook. These include:

  • Your state’s laws. Different states have different laws surrounding food that’s sold from home.
  • The time commitment. Baking can take hours. You may need to sell a lot of baked goods to break even.
  • Your kitchen’s capacity. Say your business takes off. Will your kitchen be able to withstand cooking for your family while you fill your orders? Sometimes, there just isn’t enough room. You also will need room to store your ingredients.
  • Your knowledge around dietary issues. You will want to brush up on how to keep baked goods free from certain allergens. Common allergens are peanuts, gluten, and milk.
  • Your baking reputation. It can take time to build a reputation. To start, you can advertise on social media and use word of mouth.
  • How much you need to charge to make a profit. You can calculate the prices for selling your baked goods by using online calculators like BakeCalc and Pricing Baked Goods. You also can calculate prices by hand. To accurately figure out your costs, you’ll want to factor in your ingredients, home utilities, and equipment depreciation. Then you want to sell at a higher price to allow you to make a profit.

6. Housecleaning

As a mom, you’ve probably got a lot of experience cleaning, whether you’re happy about it or not. That said, you can put these skills to work for others and get paid for them.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average national hourly rate for housecleaning services is $25 to $45 per person per hour. This means if you clean a house for four hours, you could earn a minimum of $100.

To get hired, you’ll want to advertise your cleaning services. Sites like Care.com are a great option for this. Signing up is free, and clients can find your profile easily. In addition to signing up on Care.com, you can also:

  • Email potential clients
  • Advertise on social media
  • Post a classified ad

7. House Sitting/Dog Sitting

House
sitting may be one of easiest side hustles yet. The pay isn’t bad, either. In
fact, house sitters typically make between $25 and $45 a day.

As a
house sitter, your role will consist of:

  • Taking care of pets. Pets need food, water, and walks. Cats also need their litter boxes changed.
  • Taking care of the home. This involves regular cleaning and maintenance. It also can include watering plants, lawn mowing, and snow removal. House sitters should remember to bring in the mail and newspaper daily.

House sitting jobs can be difficult to find. However, there are online sites that are helpful. These include:

Sometimes, busy professionals need someone to watch their dog while they’re on vacation or traveling. Or they may need someone to walk their dog during the week, while they’re at work. Either way, pet sitting can make you a profit. According to PetSitter.com, the average cost of a pet sitter in 2018 is $16.80 per hour. However, the range is $14 to $19 per hour in most areas.

You can find dog watching jobs at:

8. Substitute Teaching

Moms are skilled at teaching their children and honing in on their needs. These are skills teachers also need. This means substitute teaching may just fit you perfectly.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, substitute teachers made an average of $13.59 per hour in 2017. Over the course of the year, they make an average of $28,270. For many, this pay—coupled with the part-time and flexible schedule—makes it a worthwhile side hustle.

In most states, you will need a minimum of a high school diploma. Other states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The National Education Association provides a state-by-state summary of the guidelines and requirements to be a substitute teacher.

To find a substitute teaching job, check job boards like Indeed.com. You also can check with your local school district directly.

These are only a few starting suggestions for earning extra income as a single mom. There are hundreds of side hustles for single moms that can prove lucrative. You just need to leverage your skills and find the side hustle that works best with your schedule and your family commitments.

As a single mom considering adding a side hustle to her already busy schedule, what concerns do you have about launching what is basically your own small business? Please share in the comments below. To learn more about managing and growing your side hustle, sign up for our weekly Small Biz Ahead Newsletter to access tips, how-tos, and podcasts.

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