While the traditional 9-5 office model is slow to adapt to the needs of modern parents, some moms and dads are taking matters into their own hands. They are looking at ways to earn extra income while having flexibility in their schedules, including finding a side hustle.
Whether it’s for a specific financial goal like paying off debt or saving up for something big, this extra income has been instrumental in building up financial security for their families.
Motherhood and Money: Making It Work
You can make this year your financial best by finding ways to earn more and work it around your schedule.
If you’re thinking about making the leap into entrepreneurship, but are unsure where and how to start, here are four moms who have transformed their family’s finances through their work.
Lesson #1: Diversify your income
Sandy Smith has been creating businesses to reach not only her family’s financial goals but also help others.
Besides running the popular blog, Yes, I am Cheap, she’s branched out into selling online with Amazon drop shipping and has online courses.
Last year she also launched the Elevate conference, which is dedicated to promoting and highlighting personal finance experts of color.
All these income streams give her a cushion should one of them dip or fade out.
How about you -if your hours at work were cut or you’re laid off, do you have an income stream to absorb at least some of the blow? Even if you earn a few extra hundred dollars a month, that money can be tucked away to fill up your emergency fund.
Lesson #2: Give yourself runaway before switching into a full-time entrepreneur
Side hustles can not only be a source of income you can use for goals like paying down debt and saving up for a house. As you grow your client list, you may find that it would make sense to pivot it into your primary source of income.
Another awesome momprenuer is My Debt Epiphany’s Chonce Maddox. In 2015, Chonce started side hustling so she could pay off debt, including a high-interest car note.
She kept building that income until she reached the point where she was able quit her day job.
One of the best ways you can transition into self-employment is by building up a buffer with savings. That way you’ll know you have enough to pay your bills and will feel comfortable with your new business income until it increases.
You can use Mint’s goal feature to set up a ‘freedom fund’ and track your savings and progress quickly and easily.
Lesson #3: Designing Work Around Family and Circumstances
As a military spouse, Jen Hemphillhas had to carve out a flexible career that could also be remote.
After seeing a need in her community, she became an Accredited Financial Counselor and began serving women and empowering them with their money.
Cat Alford is another woman who built her business around her family. She became a freelance writer after having twins, allowing her to have time with them and earn income.
Working around the family isn’t usually easy, but many parents feel it’s worth it.
How do you find the right side hustle or work for your circumstances?
Fulfilling a need, having a market, and having a talent and/or skill is where you can build a business.
Where do you see a need around you? What talents and skills do you have to offer? How much time can you sustainably devote to it weekly?
Spending time upfront analyzing yourself and circumstances can assist you in finding the best path forward.
Lesson #4: Dump your debt and free up more options
Sandy’s original purpose with earning extra money on the side was to pay off. With her site, Yes I am Cheap, she funneled that money to pay off over $50,000 of debt!
If you’re getting a tax refund this year, think about setting aside a portion to pay down debt.
This can help your monthly cash flow going forward, giving you some more breathing room in your budget.
Lesson #5: Seek passive ways to earn income
Trading time for money (like becoming a Lyft driver or freelance writer) is a common way to earn money, but it’s not the only way.
Sandy Smith earned income through her mugs. She designed them, but she outsourced much of it and sold on them amazon.
Cat Alford took her skills as a freelance writer and created a course to help others start their online careers.
It definitely takes work to initially create and set up these businesses, but after you’ll have a passive income stream.
This can be an opportunity for you, as well.
As you work your side hustle, look for other services or products you can offer that’s less time-intensive. For example, if you’re a bookkeeper, you can create a guide or a short course for other DIY entrepreneurs.
Having a passive source of income can allow you to grow your bottom line without increasing the hours you work.
Stay on Top of Your Money
No matter what side hustle you’re looking at, I hope these stories encourage you to get started on your dreams!
As a reminder, please make sure that you keep track of the money you’re receiving because it does count as income, and down the line you will need to report and pay taxes on it.
Want to make it easy on yourself? Use software like Quickbooks so you can quickly see how you’re doing and adequately set aside money for your estimated taxes.