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Making and Saving Money as a Stay-at-Home Parent

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Staying at home is not always an option for all parents and is a financial struggle for many. My husband and I got married during college and he was starting his first entry'level job as a small paper reporter while I was pregnant with our son. I assumed I would have to keep working after my son arrived. My husband's salary was hardly 20K and, although I wasn't making too much more as a teacher, I figured we would need both salaries plus some evening waitressing to support three people. 

To our obvious surprise, our son was born 15 weeks early and stayed for nearly half a year in the hospital. When he was able to come home, I was sort of forced into being a stay-at-home mom so I could deal with his health problems and bring him to appointments. I have always been a frugal person, but the situation forced me to really learn how to cut costs and even make a little money. When my daughter was born about a year later, I decided to continue staying at home with my kids and was even able to work a lot more. I know it is almost impossible for many families to have a parent at home, especially if they have a mortgage and/or debt. If you are able to stay at home and would like to make/save more money (or even if you don't have kids and just want to make more money), I have created a list of ways in which you can do so. Please feel free to add!!

Get Fit AND Get Paid

Many gyms or health centers have a daycare and most will allow you to bring your kids along. Ask your local gym if they are hiring daycare associates and you can fill out an application. The major plus? You get a FREE membership and don't have to pay for child care costs!! You also get to be around your kids and teach them how to interact with other kids. You can choose to work just one day or every day if they have that option. I work at our local gym and only did it for one day a week so I could get a free membership. Being able to interact with other kids and do art projects without destroying my carpet made me decide to work every weekday morning. I get paid to watch kids and clean; something I would be doing for free if I was at home!


If you have a college degree or are working towards it you can tutor. There are companies you can work for, but the best way is to put up a flyer or by word of mouth. If you have kids, state the hours you can tutor and, if your kids will be around, either request to tutor from your home or let them know that your kids will come along. 

Open a Home Daycare

I wasn't sure if I should include this one but, if done right, you can make some money. Before opening a home daycare, make sure your home is baby-proof. You need to file for a license and your home will be evaluated. The state will tell you the occupancy and you can set the costs and hours. This is a business, so there will be lots of paperwork  and you may have to hire an assistant.


I can't give much advice here, but if you have a passion and love writing, blogging may be for you. Make sure you love the topic of theme of your blog and just stick to it. Don't expect to make much or any money at first but, if you try hard and get lots of visitors, you could make some money. 

Do Taxes

If you are an accountant or have a lot of experience doing taxes, you may be able to make money doing taxes for others. I have a friend who does this and makes pretty good money, She started by doing taxes for friends and they recommended her to others. 

Sell Stuff on Ebay or Esty

If you have a lot of valuable things or stuff you need to get rid of, Ebay is a great option. Also, if you have an artistic talent and can make things, you can sell these things on ebay or esty.

Money Makers. 'Nuff said ;)

Saving Money Quick List


Buy non-perishables and household items in bulk 

Make a grocery list and stick to it

Make cookie dough/pizza dough in bulk and store it in the freezer

Cut unnecessary or hardly used "luxury" household expenses (depends on the person, but this could include cable, phone plan, internet provider,  etc...)

Buy ice cream in a carton at the grocery store and have an ice cream party instead of going out to an ice cream place

Stay within the speed limit

Completely pay off your credit card every month

Unplug all your appliances before leaving the house or use a power strip

Find free activities for your kids

Limit going out for food

Make extra pancakes or casseroles and put them in the freezer for the future. 

Don't spend money to reduce stress

Don't store CC info on online store accounts. It makes it easier to make an impulse buy

Swap babysitting with friends

Brush your teeth and wash your face thoroughly. If you do it right, there is no need to spend 4X the amount on a more expensive product.

Exercise outdoors

Do you REALLY need those shoes?

Anything else? Please share!

VirginiaPeanuts posted Mar 27, 2012

I love the sad face! It's how I feel when I have to take a pass at cute shoes :(

VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 12.5k) posted Mar 27, 2012


What a list. Well done Peanuts. I dind't even know you could make money from a blog. Get good enough, maybe I could be a stay at home parent. :-)

nthsll (rep: 12.5k) posted Mar 27, 2012


Awwww is that you and your little baby??? What about collecting cans and recycle at your local grocery store? Dog walking is another option. Thanks for sharing

gangstabarbie (rep: 21.4k) posted Mar 27, 2012


Great article!...thanks!:)

EzzyLovesToSave (rep: 468k) posted Mar 27, 2012


Thanks for sharing this! I loved that idea of working at a gym! I will definitely start looking for a job like that! Thanks again! ;)

heyimdennise (rep: 7.9k) posted Mar 27, 2012


@gangstabarbie: True! Dog walking might be hard with little kids, but it would be a lot of fun!

VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 12.5k) posted Mar 27, 2012


Online surveys. Pinecone research pays $3 per survey so you don't have to collect points and it's the best of the three survey companies I do.

dealwagger (rep: 10.3k) posted Mar 27, 2012


Just a couple more to add...

Resale Sales: There are both storefront type kid's resale shops, and, in my area, there are resale "Sales" for kid's clothing, toys, and accessories at least twice a year. Check out your area. People pay good money for used kids' stuff. (You should also look into resale shops for your own stuff).

Volunteer: Volunteering is not only good for the spirit, but can leave you with an impressive resume when/if you get back into the work force. It can also help open many doors to future employment opportunities by meeting and working with people.

MHT962 (rep: 3.3k) posted Mar 27, 2012


Thanks for writing this articles. I love the idea of being working in a Gym. I liek the idea of being paid and having free childcare. This made me think of the other career. Being working in a childcare. I heard of free childcare for preschool teacher in the childcare too.

barang_square (rep: 633) posted Mar 27, 2012


Very nice article! Plus'd

erick99 (rep: 446k) posted Mar 27, 2012


@dealwagger: I actually over think surveys. I am bad at taking tests and, although a survey is not a test, I often treat it as one. I'll be like " many hours do I spend watching TV? I wonder if they mean weekends or weekdays...should I give an average?" Nevertheless, I'll have to check out Pinecone, always up for something new!Thanks!

@MHT962: Yeah, you can make some nice money selling the clothes. I have too many cousins to do that though. We are all expected to pass around the hand me downs which is fine because it means I get free clothes when I have a kid. Also, volunteering is great to build your resume if you plan on going back to work once your kids are school-age. I volunteer with a refugee organization teaching English a few hours a week. I don't get paid, but it is very rewarding and it will look wonderful on my resume if/when I return to work.

@barang_square: I looked into working at a preschool. If it is state certified, you will probably have to pay for your children to attend. If it is a church preschool and you know some people, you might be able to bring your kids for free. Never hurts to ask. The preschools around me cost a fortune so it didn't make sense for us because I wouldn't actually be making much, if any, money. Daycare, on the other hand, is usually more lenient but is less structured.

@erick99: Plus'd ;)

VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 12.5k) posted Mar 28, 2012


Super article! Full of Great ideas! Plussed! :)

FibroMom (rep: 264k) posted Mar 28, 2012


Well written here, interesting article. Thanks for sharing. :)

Dexterous (rep: 104k) posted Mar 28, 2012


I liked this article I have no children myself but this article had so good tips that everyone can use

nimase85 (rep: 16.2k) posted Apr 13, 2012


I liked the essence of the article and especially your end note. Plussed it!

kumslee (rep: 5.1k) posted Apr 15, 2012