Itching to get out of the 9-5 workforce, and spend more time with your kids?
I share why you cannot take the risk to quit your career.
- You can’t afford to be a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t work
- How you can afford to be a stay-at-home mom
- Work-at-home jobs for stay-at-home moms
You cannot afford to be a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t work
The argument is over: You absolutely, positively cannot afford to be a full-time stay-at-home mom.
No need to delve into arguments about personal choice or what is good for children or families. That’s all been hashed out in the mommy wars. It’s not about those issues. This is about money.
You. Cannot. Afford. To. Be. A. Fulltime. Stay-at-home-mom. You just can’t.
What’s that you say? Your husband is a banker? And your family is rich? Your spouse adores you? Doesn’t matter. It makes zero financial sense for any of those 5.1 million women in the United States who are stay-at-home moms (per Census data). That is about one-in-five married-couple families who have decided to put their family’s futures in jeopardy.
Don’t just take it from me. I recently interviewed Joanne Cleaver, a career consultant and author of The Career Lattice.
“Stepping off the career track completely is career suicide,” Cleaver told me. “Don’t do it.”
Her reason? You will no doubt lose the momentum you’ve built, the network you accumulated, the credibility you’ve earned. But these longtime truths are accelerated in today’s tech-driven world – no matter what industry you’re in. “If you completely leave the workforce, when you return you’ll have to completely reinvent yourself with new skills, new credentials and a new portfolio,” Cleaver said. “You might as well start in a new career.”
These challenges translate into a tougher time getting a new gig when you want one. And once you do, you’ll earn less than had you kept a foot in the workforce while caring for your kids. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Chicago found that when professional women leave the workforce for three or more years, they suffer a compensation hit of 37 percent. For female MBAs who take time off to be with children, pay drop 41 percent relative to male MBA earnings.
However, if you plan ahead and keep a hand in the game, things might turn out differently. Of course, things don’t always happen as planned.
How you can afford to be a stay-at-home mom
1. Start a flexible career you can work at home
Do not aim just to pay the bills and get by, but focus on a longer-term career, advancement and the education and skills you need to get there. Here is a list of high-paying careers that you can do from home, including:
2. Budget — track spending (and cut expenses)
Take a close look at your monthly income and expenses so you can plan a budget that limits how much you spend in fluctuating categories like food and entertainment. Look for ways to save each month, such as cooking at home instead of dining out and limiting your girls nights out to just once a month. (Read: How to create a budget you will stick to).
MoneyPatrol is a favorite tool for moms looking to get a grip on their spending, and saving. This budgeting app pulls in your financial information, and sends you alerts to help you stay on track with your budgets and goals. Get started with MoneyPatrol now for free >>
3. Cancel subscriptions to save money
Speaking of cutting your expenses, you may also want to cut the proverbial cord — as in, cancel your cable television subscription! Doing so could easily free up $100 or more in cash for you to save, and you’ll have more free time to earn money, too. Learn more about the awesome services that will negotiate your utilities and cancel unused subscriptions on your behalf.
True bill will find and cancel unused subscriptions for you, as well as negotiate your phone, cable, Internet and other utilities for free. Check out TrueBill now >>
4. Shop around for insurance rates
Compare rates among different lenders for auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and other insurance products you buy. Check out Gabi to compare car and home insurance >>
5. Transfer your debt to 0% credit card
6. Meal plan
One easy way to overspend is to avoid meal planning — and rely on take-out, restaurants and prepared meals at the grocery store. These are less healthy, and more expensive than cooking from scratch. Get some ideas for meal kits, meal planning and other ways to save on food for your family.
Work-at-home jobs for stay-at-home moms
Ask yourself: How can you keep a foot – toe, knuckle, nail – in your industry while still giving your children the time you feel they deserve? Brainstorm, ask colleagues and mentors for advice, and get creative to make sure you remain relevant. You can’t afford not to.
This post outlines popular, easily accessible careers that many people can start from home, without special degrees or training, including:
- Virtual assistant
- Social media manager
- Grant writer
- Graphic designer
- Clinical research coordinator
- Coder / programmer
- Travel consultant
- Event planner
There are countless ways moms can earn a high income, from home, with legitimate, flexible careers — many of which earn $100,000 or more.
Our Top 2, highly paid work at home careers, without degrees are:
Proofreader. If you’re great with words, detail and grammar, you may also be interested in a proofreading career, which can pay $15-$30 hour from home, on your schedule. Proofread Anywhere is a great online course that teaches you how to get started, land clients and run a proofreading business.
Bookkeepers. Bookkeepers can earn a salary, or build a business earning $75+/ hour, which can be more than $100,000 per year. Entry-level bookkeeper jobs can pay $20/hour. Bookkeeper Launch is the top-rated online video course to help you start and run a successful, 6-figure bookkeeping business.
Want to find work-from-home or freelance jobs? My friends at FlexJobs.com offers the best listings of these positions. Read my FlexJobs review.
Other ways SAHMs can make money
No matter how much income you bring in every month, most moms feel they could can use a little more cash. Or, a LOT more cash. Most of us could use more spending money, and there’s always debt to pay off or college tuition to save for. If you don’t have any other uses for more money, then hell, might as well splurge for something you want, amiright?
The fastest, surest way to make more money is to ask for a raise and/or promotion. Here is my advice (with videos!) about asking for that raise.
One of the best things about being alive today, is there are more ways to make money than ever these days. The internet is a treasure trove when it comes to finding side hustles or new ways to sell your product or service, and there are money-making apps you can use as well.
How to make money selling products
You can absolutely make money selling products, although you’ll want to be careful you don’t get sucked into a multi-level marketing company, or MLM. Research shows that most who join MLMs never earn real money anyway, and they even wind up spending their money on products and marketing by the time they quit.
But you can sell products and make more money. If you’re crafty, for example, you could earn money selling homemade goods on Etsy.com. You can also sell items you already have (think old clothes from your closet, electronics, and more) online through craigslist.com, eBay.com, or local Facebook groups.
How to make money selling products online
Have you ever bought something at a discount only to find out it’s worth way more than you thought? If you are able to sell it for more than you paid, you could make a quick buck.
Online resale sites make it easy to turn this concept into a business. You’ve heard of eBay, right? If you have a knack for sniffing out great deals, posting an item for sale online is easy with your smartphone.
If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of keeping track of physical products, dropshipping might be a good fit. By partnering with a dropship wholesaler, you can sell products online without keeping up with inventory yourself.
With dropshipping, a customer orders from your site and the wholesaler packages and ships it directly to them. The best part? You get to keep the profit.
How to make money selling services
You can also earn money selling your talents and abilities in the form of a service. You could mow lawns, clean houses, help people with bookkeeping, or teach piano lessons, for example. Other ways to earn money selling your services include:
- Tutor kids through VIPKID
- Work as a virtual assistant
- Start a virtual business as a bookkeeper
- Perform tasks through TaskRabbit.com
How to make money selling services online
Selling your skills is one of the most sustainable ways to make money online, and can grow into a full-time career, or even a scalable business. This is how Wealthysinglemommy founder Emma Johnson started — by freelance writing, and then by starting a blog.
One of the best ways to start growing an online service-based business is with freelancing gigs.
The benefits of freelancing, opposed to having a j-o-b, is that rather than following someone else’s rules as an employee, you have control over your schedule and the work you do.
Most types of freelancing don’t require any formal education. You don’t need an English degree to be a successful freelance writer. And if you can answer emails, manage social media, or do other administrative tasks, the role of virtual assistant could be perfect for you.
There are also excellent online courses that can help you learn the basic skills to launch your new career, plus support for finding clients. Bookkeeper Business Launch is a popular first step for many successful freelance, work-at-home bookkeepers who can earn multiple six-figures.
Coding, or programming, is a high-demand, highly paid industry that is especially short of female workers. This work can be done remotely, online.
Don’t panic if you can’t write code. There are many online resources for how to get started, as well as online communities of other coders from whom you can learn.
How to make money fast
If your goal is making money in a hurry, you need to find ways that don’t require long waiting periods or a bunch of hoops to jump through. Here are some of the best ways to earn money in a hurry:
- Rent out your car through ZipCar
- Use GetAround to rent out your car for the day
- Rent out your home or a room in your home on Airbnb, VRBO.com, or HomeAway.com
- Sell jewelry you no longer wear.
- Sell your gently used clothing on ThredUp.com
If you need to earn more money than you’re making now, you may face an even bigger challenge than many working moms: How can you possibly increase your earnings when you have so little free time already?
Fortunately, the Internet makes it easy to learn how to make more money and also make money online in your spare time, affording you the flexibility to control your time, and build your work around the rest of your life. Keep reading to learn some of the best ways to earn cash online without putting yourself out.
Start a side hustle today to make more money
Finally, don’t forget the prospect of starting a side hustle — or a temporary job you can take on in addition to your full-time work. Side hustles look different for everyone, but they can include concepts like driving for Uber or Lyft, babysitting kids, painting houses, mowing lawns, and more.
Online side hustles include some of the ideas we’ve mentioned already — jobs like tutoring kids with VIPKID, taking online surveys, working as a virtual assistant, or finding online freelance bookkeeping work.
Some side hustles you can do from home also overlap; for example, you can work as a virtual assistant or freelance writer online and from your couch, just like you can write freelance articles anywhere with an internet connection.
In this episode, I discuss…
- Why you need a side hustle
- How to get one
- What makes a good side hustle
Maybe you need a little extra cash (or a lot – hello, savings account!), maybe you’re bored with your current career, or you want to safeguard yourself against a recession or an industry crash by having a fall-back plan. Or maybe you’re interested in pursuing your passion project, but you’re not quite ready to make the leap into full-time business ownership. Whatever your reason is, you NEED a side hustle.
Sometimes you want your income-producing activities to be as easy as possible, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Fortunately, the internet makes it simple to earn some quick cash without too much work, hassle, or stress. Here are some of the best ways to earn money with ease:
- Take online surveys with websites like ePoll.com, MySurvey.com, Opinion Outpost, Harris Poll, and Survey Junkie
- Join focus groups using websites like 20/20Panel, FocusGroup.com, and FindFocusGroups
- Play games with CashDazzel
- Review music on Music Xray
- Test new apps using Erli Bird
Bottom line: You can’t afford to be a SAHM without a job
The fact that the majority of moms today will be an unpartnered mother, and divorce rates still stand at around 50% only underscores why all women must prioritize their careers, earrings and future investments. This post elaborates on how stay-at-home moms can leave their marriages, even if you have no money, and what to do if you are abused.