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Have you ever considered working from home?
Honestly, I’d never thought much about it. All the work from home jobs I’d seen before seemed spammy and questionable, or were part of a multi-level marketing scheme (although, to be honest, I joined one of those once simply for the discount :)) The problem I had with that was, I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else. I didn’t want to be locked into the number of hours I needed to work a week, or have to follow someone else’s set of rules.
What can I say? I just like doing my own thing.
The thing is, we weren’t really making it on one income. We were doing okay, but when my husband lost his job a few years ago, we were barely squeaking by. We got all our food from our church, but even that didn’t make much of a dent in the expenses we had each month. We needed more money.
But every time I started looking at jobs outside the home, I felt incredibly wrong for doing so. When I prayed about it, I got a firm “Nope, stop it.” I was super confused. I knew God could see us struggling, I knew He could see me trying… but I felt really strongly He didn’t want me to send A to daycare.
When I found information on blogging, I was intrigued. People were making so. much. money. from blogging. I mean, over a thousand dollars a month – and many more were making over $10,000, some even over $100,000. Insane.
The thing is, they were just normal people. Nothing really special about them. So blogging? It seemed like something I could do. I mean, I like writing. I like helping people. And it was something I could try without risking a huge initial investment.
Turns out, it’s been awesome. And not just blogging: because I took a risk and jumped into self-employment, I’ve taken on other at-home jobs that have allowed us to thrive financially. In addition to this blog, I also work as a virtual assistant and medical transcriptionist for a local pediatric clinic.
My at-home jobs mean my days are super busy, but it also means that I don’t have to deal with a commute. I don’t have a boss. I don’t have to pay for childcare. If my son is sick (like he is today), I don’t have to use “personal time” or anything to stay at home with him – I get to be with him and work when I can.
And if I can’t get work done during the day? I can make up for it later. I can work whatever hours I need to, woo!
Plus, self-employed tax deductions are pretty sweet.
But seriously, even if you’re not a stay-at-home mom, it’s amazing to have the flexibility of working from home if you’re a law enforcement wife. It gives you the freedom to set your hours around your husband’s so you can have more time together, or go on road trips on a whim when he has a few days off in a row.
Whether you want to earn money from home in order to replace a full-time income or just have a little extra “fun money”, there are opportunities for you.
This is, of course, my personal favorite 🙂 After all, I love to write and I love to help people – and that’s pretty much all I do all day with my blog. It’s a fun creative outlet that allows me to connect with like-minded people (a must when you start feeling stir crazy as a stay-at-home mom!)
That being said, there’s a significant time investment that’s going to be required of you before you see a return financially. However, you’ll see in some of the following options, most businesses require a large initial financial investment (especially if you were to open a brick-and-mortar business – but that’s part of why I don’t think I ever would :)). So to have the capability to earn hundreds or thousands of dollars from home for an investment of under $100? Pretty incredible.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, I wrote a full guide to doing so a few weeks back, so be sure to check it out!
Crafty hobbies can get really expensive – so why not figure out a way to make money from them? If you’re a knitter, a painter, or any other type of creative individual, Etsy is a great platform on which to sell your goods.
The tricky part of an Etsy business is determining your return on investment (or ROI). For instance, I’ve considered opening a store with knitted goods before. But to get a decent hourly pay rate, my prices would be astronomical because I’m not a very fast knitter. If I were to open a store, it’d be more worth my time to create patterns and sell the PDF file for them. It would take more time upfront, but from there on out, apart from promotion and customer service issues, it’d be a relatively passive income stream. (And yes, it’s something I’m still considering, since I frequently make up my own patterns anyway!)
If you’re really interested in starting a business on Etsy and want some guidance to do so, I’ve heard great things about this book. It walks you through what you need to know about launching and building a creative business.
Also, even if you’re not that crafty, I happened to find this post today about how to make money from Etsy without having to make anything. Pretty intriguing 🙂
Do you have any special skills you could pass on to others, like a foreign language? Or do you have a knack for science or math that you could use to help high school/college students succeed? If so, online tutoring might be just the ticket.
One company I highly recommend going through if you’re particularly good at math is MathWizTutors. It’s a service that matches you with students who need good tutors. Best of all, it doesn’t take a huge cut of your pay (other companies take up to 40%!) Through them, you can contact 5 students a month for free, and if you’d like to work more than that, they have super reasonably priced plans.
The nice thing about a contract like this is that you get to set your own hours and guidelines, but still get the security of going through a reputable company. It’s easier to find good clients, and takes a lot of the guesswork out of writing up contracts and ensuring payment. You get to just focus on being an awesome tutor 🙂
If you have an eye for catching grammatical and spelling errors, proofreading might be just the job for you.
I’d considered taking this course a few weeks back when I wasn’t so sure about where my blog should go. When I prayed for a sign of what I should do, I got a pretty darn clear sign that this blog is what I needed to focus on (I’m talking a crazy viral post!) So I didn’t pursue it anymore.
Nonetheless, I think this is a great work-at-home job idea. The course is a little pricey (about $900) and you’ll also need an iPad to use her method, but when you consider you’ll not only get the training to be a good proofreader, but also the resources to know how to market yourself (plus access to a group with others who want to do the same)? If you’re willing to put the work in and you’re dedicated, it’s totally worth it.
The creator of the course says she can easily make at least $3,000 a month by proofreading about 20 hours a week from home – so this could be an amazing option for you. There’s a free mini-course you can take through their website to help you get a feel for what you’d need to know to be a good proofreader!
As I said before, this is actually one of my side jobs. A physician a friend of mine works with was looking for someone to enter her paper charts into the computer, and when my friend found out I was looking for a way to bring in some extra income, she asked if I’d be interested.
It’s not particularly exciting work, but it pays the bills, and that’s really all I ask right now.
Most of the time, though, being a transcriptionist means writing out a transcript from an audio file, and it’s frequently for the medical or legal fields. If you’d like to get into doing transcription, there are a few courses that might help you out.
There’s a similar course to the proofreading course I mentioned called Transcribe Anywhere (created by someone else, but just as much hand-holding and guidance involved.) This one has a free mini-course as well that will help you determine whether it’s something you’d be interested in or not.
While it can be a little overwhelming to consider opening your own business, it can be incredibly rewarding. It’s awesome to do your own thing and know that, success or fail, it’s yours, and you alone built it. Talk about feeling empowered.
I’m a twenty-something LEO wife and stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old little boy. I enjoy writing, reading, taking my son for walks and runs in the stroller, and crafting. My goal is for Love and Blues to be a resource for first responders and their families. I write about marriage and family topics, as well as about the quirks that come with being married to a man in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services.
This post contains affiliate links. Read full disclosure here. I was so excited this year…
This post contains affiliate links. Read full disclosure here. My goal this year has…