I've said it before and I'll say it again, in order to be a stay-at-home mom we have had to sacrifice certain things. We don't own new cars, don't take yearly vacations, do without cable and various "frivolous" items that some may take for granted. Yet we gladly do without certain materialistic things in order for me to stay at home. I understand that there are some mothers who are not so lucky to be able to stay at home, and others who wouldn't want to stay at home even if they could. For us, we have found a set-up that works.
With that said, we are living on a smaller wage than the average American family. Our bills are paid and our only debt is our mortgage (which is not "bad" debt). We can live off of one income and do for the most part but I do like to find ways to earn money from home. I feel that I do my best when I find ways to save money, because saved money is just as good as earned money. Having a little extra cold hard cash on hand is nice too though.
There are a lot of various ways to make money from home. There are many actual jobs with a nice profit that can be done from home, but that is not what I was looking for - I just wanted a little extra income flow each month. I have a few sources of income, which doesn't add up to a lot but makes a difference.
eHow is where I write a few how-to articles a month. I just started last month and have ten articles up on their site so far. My total from the last 30 days is at $14.50 so I will be paid next month as you only have to reach $10 before getting a payout. Even if I don't write anything new in a given month my old articles will continue to earn profit. The more articles I post, the more I will earn. The articles take about 10-15 minutes of my time so the investment is worth it. I figure even if I earn just $10 a month that is an extra $120 a year.
Garage Sales. Every year when the weather turns warmer my mom and I have a garage sale. We also have one towards the end of fall. I am able to get rid of excess stuff that we have and make money at the same time. Last year our Spring sale netted me $150 and the Fall sale was somewhere around $90. I use all my garage sale money for buying at other garage sales during the summer. So in essence, I sell my kid's outgrown clothes, toys, and household gear at my sale, and buy new clothes, toys, and household gear at other sales. It is a win/win situation.
Consignment Shops. My Aunt owns one of the consignment shops in town. You get 50% of the proceeds from your stuff that sells. I try to take the nicer name brand clothing and books to my aunt's shop to sell as I can make a little more that way than I would be able to at a garage sale. I often only bring a small bag of stuff to her shop once a month or so, often as I am sorting through drawers or closets, so I don't bring a lot there but enough to net an average of $12 a month, sometimes more. That is another average of $120 a year. Some consignment shops will buy your items outright, so you can walk in with your items and out with a check the same day.
SwagBucks. I know you are all probably tired of hearing about SwagBucks so I will make this quick. By doing searches through the Swagbucks search bar I am able to win points, which I am then able to redeem for gift certificates. I focus mostly on the Amazon gift certificates. Since October when I signed up, I've earned $125 in Amazon gift cards. I am able to buy gifts from Amazon and also am able to purchase things we need for the household. Right now I have enough Amazon gift cards to purchase an electric skillet. My old electric skillet went haywire this week and will now only turn onto the highest setting, which ends up burning everything. I did my regular internet searches = earned points = turned them in for Amazon gift cards = got a free electric skillet free, basically. It is a great program and if you want to learn more click here.
Everything I listed above earns me, on average, over $600 a year. None of them are time consuming (except the garage sale, which takes a couple days to prepare and a couple days to tend to). They are all things that can be done by a stay-at-home mom to earn a little extra cash, or by someone who works and wants a little extra on the side.