Mommy, Come Home: A Little Extra

** You can catch up on the Mommy, Come Home series here. **


As I mentioned last week, we budget solely on my husband’s teaching and coaching salary.  We have purposed to live below our means so that his income is sufficient.  That said, it’s a bonus when I can supplement his income without taking away from my primary responsibilities as a wife and mother.

I’ve tried a few different things (direct sales, substitute teaching, tutoring) but each of those opportunities took me away from my family.  That doesn’t work for us.

One job I have felt good about doing with my children at home is part-time babysitting.  Before you write it off, let me tell you how it works for me.

  • I do not keep babies or toddlers.  I love babies as much as the next mama, but they are a lot of work!  The only babies in my house are my own.  😉
  • All of my extras must be potty-trained.  Again… work.
  • I am not licensed.  (Yes, I still pay taxes.)  I am not a daycare.
  • I do not babysit full-time.  I only work with friends who need help one to three days a week.
  • I did not babysit when my own children were babies.

Here’s how fortunate I am.  Right now I’m working with two different families.  Their kids are pretty much the age of my older two.  Basically, I host a playdate and get paid for it!

The money I make from babysitting goes straight into our savings account.  We use it for the second part of our mortgage payment (we’re doubling our payments… should be finished in two years) when needed (very rarely) and the rest is waiting for our vehicles to crater.

Following are some ways that other moms are making money (be it a lot or a little) from home.

  • Jennifer makes wedding invitations, party invitations, announcements, and stationery from home.
  • Mari owns Tea and Traditions, an online tea shop.
  • Stephanie knows that there are SO many ways to make money from home.  “It may not be a lot of money, but every bit helps! I have done a variety of things to make extra money such as blogging, selling crafts and extra items around the house, cleaning for people, helping out families with their aging parents, babysitting etc.  I think the key has been that it is on my schedule and only done after the needs of my family are met. They come first, that is the whole point.”
  • The Prudent Homemaker makes money from home by doing sewing alterations for others.  (Oh, how I wish I had that talent!)
  • Kate is enjoying great success with her very new Stolen Moments Menu Planning.

The options are endless.  With some creativity and use of your talents, money can be made at home to supplement your primary income.

What works for you?  Please share your money-making ideas for stay at home moms.

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  1. I like this idea – it’s smart! Up until now, I may not have felt able to do this (as you said, the baby thing) but my youngest is about to be 4 and so I’m sure that I could swing this on occasion, just for friends to go out on dates and such. My kids always love having other kids over. I’ll have to run this by my husband. Thanks!

  2. Because I have two degrees in education (a B.A. in elementary ed and a masters in special ed), I work as an independent contractor through our state’s Early Intervention program. I am able to set my own schedule for in home therapies (almost all in the early evening when my husband is home). The money is good, and I’m not gone from home much. I can’t say that it’s perfect for our family. I would still rather not have to do it. But, it’s hard to complain when the money is good and when I get to be in the room when things happen like a little girl saying “Mama” for the first time and her Mom crying.

  3. I’ve been trying to think of ways to bring in some income without leaving my family, so I’ll be back to see what others have suggested!!

  4. I’ve been using my “Corporate Skills” to help with interview coaching and resume writing.

    Plus, it keeps my brain from getting fuzzy!

  5. Right now I have a newborn, so taking care of her and my 3 and 4 yo’s definitely eats up my days! But, in the past, I have done translating work from home- I’m fluent in French- and also tutored several subjects. I used to tutor in junior high through college because I could make more doing that than babysitting 🙂 and I still enjoy it! I look forward to contributing a little bit again in the future!

    • @JessieLeigh, I was a tutor in high school, too! Loved it, and the pay was good.

      I also tutored one of my former students for a summer, but working our sessions around nap time didn’t always work…

  6. I guess I forgot to give you my stationery and invitation website! It’s Sentiments: The site isn’t complete, but I’m getting there!

  7. Good for you! I love the sound of the online Teashop, too.

  8. I tutor online, from home, for Sylvan. The pay isn’t super but I never have to leave home and I tutor an hour during naptime and then late in the evenings.

  9. I believe what you said mirrors with the Proverbs woman. We own our own business and I pay a friend of mine one day a week to watch my 3 year old. It gives me the time to do our accounting and my friend some extra cash for her household.

  10. Good Ideas. I’ve often been asked to baby sit but I never know what to charge someone. What is a good rate for like a few hours up to a whole work day? Any ideas how you base your rate?

    • @kim, I’m in Kansas, and I charge $2.50 per hour per child. If I was going to watch infants (which I’m NOT 😉 I would charge $3.00 per hour.

      I know around here people usually pay by the day or week, but I don’t know the going rate. Anyone else?

    • @kim, ON, Canada I charge $25/day but the going rate here is $30-$35/day.

    • @kim, I’m in SC and for full-time childcare, I charge $20 a day. That keeps it at $100 a week which is comparable to daycare prices. I’m taking a break soon from childcare and if I ever go back to it, I’ll at least charge $25 a day. For part-time, I charge $2.50 an hour like Amy does.

      • @Mary Ann, I’m in Phoenix and work full time outside of the home. My youngest son is 19 months. I pay $30/day 7:00am – 5:30 pm. The gal I use is only open M-Th so Fridays are awful. ($75/day for Tutor Time child care drop in center) I see in home is $40/day is common. My gal provides lunches, snacks, and linens while I provide diapers and wipes.

        In San Diego, my sister has a 12 month son. She has a part time slot at a home day care- Mondays and Fridays. She pays $50 per day. She provides linens, food, and diapers. The day care provides just the care 🙂

    • @kim, I’m in Phoenix and work full time outside of the home. My youngest son is 19 months. I pay $30/day 7:00am – 5:30 pm. The gal I use is only open M-Th so Fridays are awful. ($75/day for Tutor Time child care drop in center) I see in home is $40/day is common. My gal provides lunches, snacks, and linens while I provide diapers and wipes.

      In San Diego, my sister has a 12 month son. She has a part time slot at a home day care- Mondays and Fridays. She pays $50 per day. She provides linens, food, and diapers. The day care provides just the care 🙂

  11. I work about four to eight hours a week for a large children’s clothing chain at our local mall. I usually work one weeknight after dinner and occasionally one weekend morning (6a.m. to noon). My husband is more than willing to hang out with our four kids. I consider it a break and a chance to talk to grown-ups! I don’t make a ton of money, but what I do make easily pays for my children’s clothing which I purchase ON SALE, a season AHEAD, with my discount! I never have to pay more than four dollars for any of my kids brand new clothing.

  12. I sell chocolates on Etsy and I make some money from my blog:-) Keeps me home with my kids and my mom.

  13. Thanks for sharing! How do you find the children that you watch in your home? I would like to babysit maybe just a few days a week, but don’t knwo where to find the kids 🙂

    I do have a great way to make extra money from home though! I am an independent consultant for the pampered chef! I love it!! I do about a party a week, while my hubby gets daddy-daughter time, I get a night away and make a little bit of money. You can check out my website at:

    • @Becky, I have a few Pampered Chef items that I wouldn’t want to be without. 🙂

      My sister-in-law, who did some babysitting, moved last year. I took on a couple of her part-time families. Probably not helpful for you. 😉

      When I was still teaching 1/2 days, I noticed that very few daycare providers will take part-time kids. I bet if you advertised at your church or through your local school you’d find some moms who would be thrilled with the opportunity for part-time babysitting.

      • @Amy,
        thanks for the ideas 🙂
        Glad to hear that you love Pampered Chef too! 🙂 If you or anyone you know would like to host a catalog show, I would love to help you out. All you have to do is pass a few catalogs around and you get lots of free stuff! 🙂

    • @Becky, church or neighbors?

      • @Jenn @ Beautiful Calling, I’ve mostly babysat for friends. Of the two that I care for now, one family was former neighbors of some friends and the other I found at a yard sale, literally. We got to talking and they were looking for different care for their then 1 year old. He is now almost 3. 🙂

        Ask God to direct you and bring children to you if that’s what He wants. That’s what worked for me. I’ve never advertised but am always getting calls asking if I have any “openings”.

  14. Great post! My husband is also a teacher and I left teaching almost 5 years ago to SAH…I have been running an online stationery business during that time, but have been thinking about subbing PT too to supplement–problem is I already volunteer in my older boys’ classrooms and do not want to take more time away from my youngest, though my husband is really pushing for some additional income. In the past, I have also tutored and worked PT for Sylvan (not the online version) as well but it can be hard to fit those things in with our own activities/schedules now that the boys are school age!

  15. I babysit a 2 year old (same age as my daughter) days a week and get paid $25/day. Most days it is 8-4. Like you said – I am not a day care (and do pay tax) and the little girl I babysit is a friend’s daughter from church. Have declined two other’s asking me to watch their children since any more little ones would take away from DH, Chloe and John.

    I also make Bunwiches (sandwiches on a bun) for a handful of local businesses when they have meetings and bake cupcakes for another business because once a month the like to honor those who have had birthdays or anniversaries.

    This income pays for all our children’s clothing, toiletries, birthdays, diapers (though I mostly use cloth) and extras.

    Everything that I do wasn’t my idea. It was the Lord who placed it in my lap. Chloe was 18 months and John was 7 days old when I started watching Jaiden. When I was first asked, my response was “Oh, I don’t babysit” but after some prayer and careful discussion with DH, I accepted!

    Long comment – sorry. I am just loving this series and learning so much. I still consider myself new at the SAHM thing and am glad to hear of new ideas and what works for others!!!!

  16. Great post! I’ve tried several different ways of supplementing our income, but most end up taking too much time away from my kids and homeschooling. I love to write and make a bit here and there with that. Mostly I try to be a wise steward of the money my hubby makes…I know that I keep our grocery, clothing, etc. budgets much lower than I could if I worked outside the home. I consider the time I spend on things like that my job! Still, it is always good to keep options in mind for extra income if/when needed.

    Good for you for working on paying off your house early!

  17. I am not a mom yet, but we are trying. When I am a SAHM sometime in the future, I am planning to teach private flute lessons in my home. I was a music education major with flute as my instrument focus and have been teaching privately since I was a freshman in high school. I figure even 10 30-minute lessons per week would bring in about $480 extra per month.

    Another option I have considered (probably couldn’t do it AND the private lessons or it would amount to a full-time job) is an early childhood music business. My church has already offered me the facilities for free, and I have the materials already (currently use the curriculum for my kindergartners in my public-school teaching job). This can also yield a good supplemental income for not many hours of work.

    I think music will yield lots of opportunities for extra income.


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