20 Legit Ways Moms Can Make Extra Money While Juggling the Chaos of Kids
Between changing diapers, scrubbing sticky fingers, wiping runny noses, putting away toys (because stepping on Legos hurts), dealing with temper tantrums and toting Junior from school to practice to his pal’s house, being a mom is exhausting.
Sure, kids are real joys for the most part — many parents maintain they wouldn’t have it any other way. But you might find yourself all too often strapped for time, money and sanity.
We’ve got you covered on one of those fronts: money.
Just when it feels like the last straw might break, here’s how to make money as a stay-at-home mom, without getting a real job…
1. Wait. Don’t Delete All Your Emails
Product prices constantly fluctuate online — especially on Amazon.
Because we all seem to have the worst timing ever, it’s bound to happen: You buy an item, and the price drops soon thereafter.
But as a mom, when you need something, you it, and you certainly don’t have the time to monitor Amazon’s erratic pricing behavior.
Lotus, the mom behind Mommy to Max blog, put it best:
“But, who has the time to track whether the price has fallen after you’ve made a purchase? Or whether you’ve found the lowest price for a product that you’ve just purchased? I sure as heck don’t. (Not to mention the time and energy involved in requesting said options.)”
Enter Paribus, an online tool that scans your emails, tracks your purchases and pays you (75% of) the difference if it discovers a price change after you buy something. It works for Amazon and 29 other stores, including Zappos, Walmart and Target.
It’s money you otherwise wouldn’t get back. All you have to do is download it and go on your merry online-shopping way.
2. Take Online Surveys While the Kids Nap
Online surveys are an easy, nearly mindless way to make some extra money or earn giftcards — especially while the kids nap.
However, it can be difficult to find legitimate sites that won’t spam up your computer and inbox. That’s why we recommend InboxDollars and VIP Voice, which both received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
“I loved earning free gift cards from Inbox Dollars when Jesse was in law school and I had a lot more time than money,” writes Crystal Paine, blogger at Money Saving Mom. (Jesse is her husband.)
You’ll earn money for doing a number of tasks, including taking surveys, playing online games, redeeming coupons, reading emails and shopping online.
3. Participate in Top-Secret Missions While Running Errands
QuickThoughts is another survey site, but it’s a little different in that it uses your location to send you “missions.” (You can take normal surveys, too, but the missions are more exciting.)
Here’s an example: You stop by the drugstore to grab some meds for your sick kid. QuickThoughts might notice and ask you a few questions. Was the line long? Bathroom dirty? The seasonal beachside display on point?
Stephanie, the stay-at-home mom of four who runs Blended Life Happy Wife, uses the QuickThoughts app:
“(QuickThoughts) makes it easy for me to do surveys on the go. I can see the entire question and answer options on my phone screen without difficulty. (QuickThoughts) surveys range from a few minutes to as much as 30 minutes and it is random.”
She says she’s used QuickThoughts for nearly a year. For each survey she takes, she earns $1. Once she reaches $10, she cashes out for an Amazon gift card.
4. Share Your Amazon Purchase History (We Won’t Tell Anyone)
You’ve likely heard of the Harris Poll.
It’s a market research firm that tracks various aspects of consumer behavior, including your Amazon buying habits through ShopTracker — if you so let it.
Don’t worry, though. It won’t share how much you’re buying on Amazon with your spouse. Rather, it simply tracks it for research purposes.
So what do you get out of it? An easy $36 a year.
“I started using ShopTracker last year and it’s insanely easy,” writes Latoya, a mom of two and the blogger behind Life And a Budget. “The only thing you need to do is register and install ShopTracker’s application. This only takes like two minutes and you’ll be rewarded each month.”
This is perhaps the most passive way for moms to earn a little extra each month, so go ahead and give ShopTracker a try. (Do note, though, you need at least a Windows 7-compatible PC; the platform won’t work on a Mac.)
5. Strike Up a Work-From-Home Business
Working from home is a great way for moms to earn extra money, especially when you work for yourself.
It might sound impossible, but plenty of online programs will walk you through the steps of starting your own at-home business — one that’ll allow you to set your own hours.
“I get to choose the hours I want to work, where I want to work, and how much I want to work. I can work while the kids are in school, and then be done for the day when they get home, I am always home for dinner and can make a good dinner for my family, and I can always put my kids to bed.”
If you’re interested in more online courses that’ll help you start your work-from-home, we’ve got you covered.
6. Let These 4 Apps Work in The Background
This is passive income at its finest: Downloading an app and getting paid to do so.
Granted, these apps track your behavior in some sort of way (like ShopTracker), but the data won’t get spilled to your friends — just research.
Here are some apps you can download now:
- SavvyConnect: Earn $5 per month per mobile device you connect — up to $180 a year. A mom over at Money Pantry uses it and says:
“To be honest, I don’t even notice it’s there since it doesn’t really interfere with anything. What I love about this whole thing is that although $180 may not be much, I am getting it without really doing anything.”
7. Snag a $10 Amazon Card When You Sign Up For This App
This app helps you save money, too. It’s called MyPoints, and it rewards you when you shop online and print out coupons.
Sharon Rowley, the mom who started the Mom of 6 blog, uses MyPoints to earn money when shopping online, which she says she does all too frequently:
“I love to shop online. No dragging kids in and out of stores, no standing in line to pay, no temptation to throw something additional into my cart because it looked all bright and shiny there on the aisle. And I don’t even have to get out of my jammies to do it.”
She also loves that you can pair MyPoints with coupons and other existing deals. There’s nothing like a good deal-stack! Check out MyPoints to start earning points towards your next gift card.
8. Sell Whatever Your Kids Have Outgrown
Clothes. Toys. Books. Strollers. Car seats. Cribs…
You name it, and I bet you can find a place to sell those items online.
For example, the letgo app lets you sell just about anything (as long as it’s legal). It takes about 30 seconds to snap a photo and upload it. You’re selling to folks in your area, so you won’t have to worry about shipping. Plus, letgo doesn’t take any cut of your profit.
“I know I’m not the only one with baby stuff that I’m definitely not going to use anymore, like newborn clothes! I use Letgo to list all the things I’m definitely not going to need anymore, or things I don’t mind buying new for the next baby. It’s also a good way to make a little extra cash!”
If your kids are a little older and have college textbooks collecting dust, try getting some money back for them. To find out where you can get the best deal, use Bookscouter. Type the book’s ISBN into the search bar. Then you’ll see which platform is taking the most money.
9. Drive for Uber or Lyft Between Carpool Shifts
Nicole Leigh Shaw of Scary Mommy blog muses about moms driving with Uber:
“We moms already spend hours a week toting kids to practices, parties and appointments, why not make money off of it? And if we can scrape the dried applesauce off the middle seat in the back row, we might even get more than one-star ratings from our fares.”
Shaw is joking, but we did chat with Nureka Chapman-Henderson, a mom of five who drives with Uber and makes about $100 per week. She doesn’t drive frequently, but she does do it between trips to the grocery store. For her, it’s perfect.
Worried your car doesn’t meet the requirements to drive people around? You can still get paid to deliver food with UberEATS.
10. Sell Off Those Old Movies (or Annoying Video Games)
You can get paid to sell your kids’ old CDs, DVDs, video games, cell phones and anything techy.
This might be especially useful for those of you with older kids who have flown the nest — but left everything behind.
“Decluttr is quick and easy to use and I love that they offer instant pricing on your items. Unlike other sites, there aren’t any listing, auction, or PayPal fees.”
Just download Decluttr and scan an item’s barcode for an immediate quote. If you like the price, you can send it in — all with free shipping.
11. Write What You Know (Mom Stuff)
Writing is a valuable skill nowadays, so if you know the tricks of the trade, you could make some extra money freelancing, which you can do while the kids nap.
Tap into your interests. You could get paid to write about anything from travel to cooking to technology to personal finance. Here’s a list of seven blogs that’ll pay you up to $100 per story.
Of course, there are tons of parenting publications out there, too, which are looking for first-hand “experts” (you). For that, we put together a list of six parenting blogs and magazines that pay up to $700.
Hey, you can always pitch a story to The Penny Hoarder, too!
12. Stash Away Some Money in Investments
Do you want to start investing but think it’s not for you? Or that it’ll take forever to build a portfolio? (Whatever that is, anyways…)
The Broke Dad Blog wrote about Stash (yeah, we had to throw a dad in this list!).
Here’s what he said:
“Overall I feel like Stash is a great way to try out investing in the stock market if you don’t have a large amount of residual income to invest with. I figure I can come up with $5 a month for sure to invest and I am going to try to go for at least $5 a week to start.”
If you have $5 to spare, and 5 minutes of your time, signing up is easy.
13. Watch Videos and Earn Money
While your kid watches Sesame Street, you can make money watching videos of your own.
“I have had so many friends tell me to use Swagbucks but was never really into it until one day I was home bored on maternity leave. I was weary because so many of those sites are spammy or hard to use but I thought I would check it out! Much to my surprise, the Swagbucks site was so easy to use, navigate and not spammy at all!”
Swagbucks has a special section called Swagbucks Watch. You’ll earn points toward free gift cards for watching videos. If you’re feeling skeptical like Hurt had been, take the 1-minute tour of the site to see how it works.
You’ll get a $5 bonus for signing up and watching your first video.
14. Pocket a Free $10 Gift Card from Ebates
We’ve established online shopping is a godsend for busy moms, so here’s another way you can earn money back from your purchases: Ebates. The online platform offers a wealth of coupons and promo codes.
Gina at Money Wise Moms has used the platform since 2008. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“I use it for all my favorite stores–Children’s Place for my daughter’s ‘slim’ pants, Shoebuy for my hard-to-fit wide feet, and more–and each time I earn cash back on the purchases I would make anyway. We just had to replace a dead computer tower, and I got $21 back just for shopping through Ebates.”
If you sign up now and grab your first rebate, you’ll earn a $10 gift card to either Target, Walmart, Macy’s or Kohl’s. (You’ll have to wait 30 days to receive it, but hey, it’s free money.)
15. Open a Credit Card For a Bonus and/or Rewards
We don’t suggest you rack up debt, but if you’re a responsible credit card holder, you can earn hearty sign-up bonuses, reward points or discounts just by going about your normal spending.
Plus, you can set up automatic payments, so you don’t have to remember when to pay that sucker off.
One of our contributors, Odysseas Papadimitriou, uses credit cards to save big bucks. “Knowing where to find the best deals — on credit cards, in particular — has helped me save hundreds, maybe even thousands, on child-related expenses,” he writes.
We like the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® because you’ll get 1.5% cash rewards on every single purchase — with no limits.
Plus, when you sign up now and rack up a $1,000 tab in the first 90 days (which probably isn’t too hard with kids), you’ll get $200 back. Oh, and there’s no annual fee either. Just make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t get hit with interest.
You can also check out these six credit cards. All of them come with sign-up bonuses and no annual fees — many feature cash-back offers.
16. Do a Little Extra Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping is probably the bane of your existence, but you likely know your way around those aisles.
If you want to capitalize on that efficiency, consider delivering groceries via Shipt, an on-demand, grocery-delivery service. It works kind of like Uber in that you can accept grocery requests through an app. You’ll receive the list, fill up your cart, pay through the app and head out for delivery.
Last year, we spoke with Destiny Frith, who makes about $20 an hour doing this part time each week. It works perfectly with her busy schedule.
(You can also opt to utilize the service and get groceries delivered to your door. Some even say it helps save money!)
18. Take a Picture of Your Grocery Receipt
You’re not taking a picture to immortalize it — that would be torturous since grocery bills always seem to end up expensive — but to earn money back.
Ginny from The Simple Moms blog wrote about the app. She’d earned $117 in rebates — without cutting coupons:
“I recently stopped my newspaper subscription because I just plain don’t have time to do the coupon clipping. 3 kids under 6 years old makes my brain mush and life busy. The Ibotta app is my coupon alternative and has simplified my life.”
It’s easy, too. Just download the app, find rebates on your favorite products, go shopping, then scan the items’ barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt after.
Some recent rebate examples include $5 back on select Huggies products from Sam’s Club, $2.50 back on Similac infant formula from Walmart and $2.50 back on a case of Bud Light from Target (in case you’re that stressed…).
Sign up now for a $10 welcome bonus after you’ve snagged your first rebate.
19. Find a Work-From-Home Job
Work-from-home jobs are aplenty these days, and they’re especially convenient for moms who have to juggle sticky schedules.
The mom of three behind Work at Home Mom Revolution has worked from home since she bought her first computer back in the ’90s. She started her blog for moms in 2007:
“At the time, I was a separated, single mom raising three children on my own, and working from home allowed me to be available to my girls when they really needed me most. I wanted to encourage other moms on their path to finding work from home…”
If you’re not even sure where to start, don’t worry. Work at Home Mom Revolution posts some great opportunities.
20. Set a Bet to Lose Weight
As a parent, you’re busy. You don’t have as much time to focus on yourself and your health. We get it.
If you need some motivation to lose extra pounds, HealthyWage might help. In short, you bet on yourself to lose weight. If you hit your goal, you pocket money.
Katelyn Pincock and her husband Cort tried it out. The parents of two bet $75 per month for six months. She bet she’d lose 40 pounds, and he bet he’d lose 60. Both hit their goal and banked nearly $3,000 to help pay off their debt.
“The mother of two children under the age of two gets her exercise on bike rides through the park, the kids snuggled into a bike trailer behind her,” senior writer Dana Sitar wrote of Katelyn’s experience.
If you want to see how it works, check out the couple’s story.
21. Rent Out Your Baby Gear
If you travel with your little ones, you understand the chaos that can ensue.
Not only are there constant bathroom breaks and “Are we there yet?” sort of questions, you also need to be able to bring along all your gear: the car seat, the bouncer, the stroller, the crib…
This can get tricky and expensive, especially if you’re traveling by air.
That’s why a mom of two launched the goBaby app, an Airbnb-style marketplace for traveling parents.
Ksenia B. told the goBaby team:
“We’re still planning to have another child, but currently a lot of this well regarded equipment is sitting around unused. goBaby has enabled us to easily make some extra income on the side with it…”
If you have baby gear sitting around, you can make a pretty penny by renting it out through the platform. Cribs can go from $10 to $50 a day, strollers for $15 to $40 a day and car seats $12 to $25 a day.
Check out all the information online and see if you want to rent out your gear to traveling (probably exhausted) parents.