Mommy-time does exist! It's that precious moment between closing the bathroom door for a little privacy, and hearing the expected "Mooooom!" from the other room. Or the quiet moment at bedtime when the kids are finally asleep before you pass out from sheer exhaustion in a very unladylike position on the couch. If you're like me, adding single parent and employed full time to your resume, the idea of Mommy-time kind of fades off into the distance like the balloon Quinn let go of outside the grocery store. If you are lucky enough to have a little spare time, cherish it and invest it wisely. Eventually, these little additions to your income will make a surprising impact in paying down debt, building a solid emergency fund, and giving you a little financial breathing room.
I work full time and often have opportunities to work overtime, and luckily because I'm in sales, there's also a bonus structure that allows me to support my little family and provide everything they need (with very careful planning). Using these tools, I have given myself enough wiggle room to pay the bills and give my girls the childhood I want them to remember. Here's some opportunities that worked for me:
1. Rebate Apps are the best. I love the idea that somebody wants to give me money for buying the things I was going to buy anyway. No extra time or planning necessary . . . score!
Ibotta is my favorite of the free apps I've tried. It's simple and doubles as a shopping list since you can add items to your list, even if there aren't any rebates available. You can easily search through the rebates by store and there are lots of "any brand" rebates available. Create your list of rebates, go shopping, scan your products, and take a picture of your receipt. That’s it. Use this app along with coupons for the most money saved. My lifetime earnings through this app hit $63 in only a couple months—you can even join a team and get bonuses based on how many rebates your team redeems. (Join my team by using code: ccjsvng and earn a bonus just for signing up.)
Checkout 51 is very similar to Ibotta. It works in exactly the same way, but I find that the brands and rebates aren't refreshed as often as Ibotta, and quite honestly, Ibotta is more convenient to use because of the shopping list feature. But free money is free money!
2. InboxDollars is a website where you sign up to receive ads via email and get paid to confirm the ad. You are paid pennies per ad, but it adds up quickly, and you don’t even notice that you're doing anything. Some of the ads are actually good promotions and offer a discount for InboxDollars participants. The only downside is that you have to be okay with receiving lots of email ads and waiting until you've accumulated $30 before you can cash out.
3. Tutoring is an awesome way to make steady cash from home. If you have any skills, there is probably someone out there who wants to learn how to do that thing. I tutor English, Math, and ESL students weekly. At $20-$25 per hour, you can make a good chunk of change on the side. Musicians and tech savvy tutors can charge more. Check out NextGuru.com and Udemy.com. I tutor in my home and for this reason, I only accept students who have been referred to me from other students or people I know. Any students I get through NextGuru or otherwise, I meet at the library or a coffee shop or we meet via Skype. Stay safe, there are wackos out there!
4. Upgrade and resell second-hand items. Who said mommy time couldn't also be lucrative? If you like working with your hands or have a marketable skill, you can open up an Etsy shop or more simply, buy, upgrade, and resell garage sale treasures! I enjoy treasure hunting through garage sales, and my girls are learning to enjoy our Saturday morning donut runs and drives around the neighborhood. I recently found a scratched up kid-sized dresser that I negotiated down to $3, brought home and repainted, and later sold on craigslist for $25. That's a $22 profit for 15 minutes of work. Time well spent.
Invest your time in something that will bring you satisfaction and a little money for a rainy day.