14 Legit Ways Moms Can Make Extra Money While Juggling the Chaos of Kids

Between changing diapers, scrubbing sticky fingers, wiping runny noses, putting away toys (because stepping on Legos hurts), dealing with temper tantrums and toting Junior from school to practice to his pal’s house, being a mom is exhausting.

And expensive.

Sure, kids are real joys for the most part — many parents maintain they wouldn’t have it any other way. But you might find yourself all too often strapped for time, money and sanity.

We’ve got you covered on one of those fronts: money.

How to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Just when it feels like the last straw might break, here’s how to make money as a stay-at-home mom, without getting a full-time job…

1. Wait. Don’t Delete All Your Emails

How to make money as a stay at home mom
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Product prices constantly fluctuate online — especially on Amazon.

Because we all seem to have the worst timing ever, it’s bound to happen: You buy an item, and the price drops soon thereafter.

But as a mom, when you need something, you need it, and you certainly don’t have the time to monitor Amazon’s erratic pricing behavior.

Lotus, the mom behind Mommy to Max blog, put it best:

“But, who has the time to track whether the price has fallen after you’ve made a purchase? Or whether you’ve found the lowest price for a product that you’ve just purchased? I sure as heck don’t. (Not to mention the time and energy involved in requesting said options.)”

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It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.

Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

2. Take a Picture of Your Grocery Receipt

You’re not taking a picture to immortalize it — that would be torturous since grocery bills always seem to end up expensive — but to earn money back.

The Ibotta app houses tons of cash-back offers from more than 340 stores, including Walmart, Target, Publix, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

Ginny from The Simple Moms blog wrote about the app. She’d earned $117 in rebates — without cutting coupons:

“I recently stopped my newspaper subscription because I just plain don’t have time to do the coupon clipping. 3 kids under 6 years old makes my brain mush and life busy. The Ibotta app is my coupon alternative and has simplified my life.”

It’s easy, too. Just download the app, find cash-back offers on your favorite products, go shopping, then scan the items’ barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt after.

Some recent rebate examples include $5 back on select Huggies products from Sam’s Club, $2.50 back on Similac infant formula from Walmart and $2.50 back on a case of Bud Light from Target (in case you’re that stressed…).

Sign up now to bank a $10 welcome bonus after you’ve snagged your first rebate.

3. Strike Up a Work-From-Home Business

A mother works from home with her child on her lap.
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Working from home is a great way for moms to earn extra money, especially when you work for yourself.

It might sound impossible, but plenty of online programs will walk you through the steps of starting your own at-home business — one that’ll allow you to set your own hours.

Bookkeeper Business Launch is one such course, and Amy McLaughry shared her experience with the program with Anywhere & Anytime, a blog for stay-at-home moms. She said:

“I get to choose the hours I want to work, where I want to work, and how much I want to work.  I can work while the kids are in school, and then be done for the day when they get home, I am always home for dinner and can make a good dinner for my family, and I can always put my kids to bed.”

If you’re interested in more online courses that’ll help you start your work-from-home business, we’ve got you covered.

4. Let This App Work in The Background

This is passive income at its finest: downloading an app and getting paid to do so.

Granted, the app tracks your behavior in some sort of way (like ShopTracker), but the data won’t get spilled to your friends — just research.

Here’s one app you can download now: Nielsen Panel. If you have a PC or laptop, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50 a year to keep this software on your computer and browse the web like you normally do.

Kelly Land, over at Money Making Mommy, downloaded the Nielsen Panel to her iPhone, and she’s thinking about downloading it to other devices, too. She writes in her blog:

“…you can earn up to $50 a year PER DEVICE. So — I’m thinking because I use my phone, computer and laptop regularly — that could mean $150 for me per year by just doing what I do every day without any changes at all.”

If you want to learn more about passive income, we’ve got a beginner’s guide waiting for you.

5. Drive With Lyft Between Carpool Shifts

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If you’re a stay-at-home mom and want to make some extra money on your own time, ride-sharing might be a good fit. 

Try driving with Lyft.

Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can drive days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

6. Sell Off Those Old Movies (or Annoying Video Games)

You can get paid to sell your kids’ old CDs, DVDs, video games, cell phones and anything techy.

This might be especially useful for those of you with older kids who have flown the nest — but left everything behind.

We suggest downloading the Decluttr app. Crystal Paine, from Money Saving Mom, says it’s super easy:

“Decluttr is quick and easy to use, and I love that they offer instant pricing on your items,” she says. “Unlike other sites, there aren’t any listing, auction, or PayPal fees.”

7. Write What You Know (Mom Stuff)

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Writing is a valuable skill nowadays, so if you know the tricks of the trade, you could make some extra money freelancing, which you can do while the kids nap.

Tap into your interests. You could get paid to write about anything — travel, cooking, technology, personal finance. You can also take notes from these 11 women freelancers, whom Elna highlighted on her blog, Twins Mommy. Each of them have found different ways to make money at home as a freelancer, if you want to get really creative.

Of course, there are tons of parenting publications out there, too, which are looking for first-hand experts (you). For that, we put together a list of six parenting blogs and magazines that pay up to $700.

Hey, you can always pitch a story to The Penny Hoarder, too!

8. Put Away Some Money in Investments

Do you want to start investing but think it’s not for you? Or that it’ll take forever to build a portfolio? (Whatever that is, anyways…)

Acorns is an easy way to get started. Plus, you’ll earn a $10 sign-up bonus.

Digital Mom Blog wrote about the app and how easy it was to save.

Here’s what she said:

“In the last few months, I’ve saved over $500. How Acorns works – it rounds up your purchases and deposits the money into a separate account, which then is invested. This is effortless micro-investing. This isn’t meant to be your only way to save, but it offers a great solution for saving for Christmas, vacation or what have you.”

And hey, signing up is easy.

9. Pocket a Free $10 Gift Card from Rakuten

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We’ve established online shopping is a godsend for busy moms, so here’s another way you can earn money back from your purchases: Rakuten. The online platform offers a wealth of coupons and promo codes.

Gina at Money Wise Moms has used the platform since 2008. Here’s what she had to say about it:

“I use it for all my favorite stores–Children’s Place for my daughter’s ‘slim’ pants, Shoebuy for my hard-to-fit wide feet, and more–and each time I earn cash back on the purchases I would make anyway. We just had to replace a dead computer tower, and I got $21 back just for shopping through Ebates.”

If you sign up now and grab your first rebate, you’ll earn a $10 gift card. (You’ll have to wait 30 days to receive it, but hey, it’s free money.)

10. Do a Little Extra Grocery Shopping

Groceries are pictured in the trunk of Destiny Frith's car.
William DeShazer for The Penny Hoarder

Grocery shopping is probably the bane of your existence, but you likely know your way around those aisles.

If you want to capitalize on that efficiency, consider delivering groceries via Shipt, an on-demand, grocery-delivery service. It works kind of like Uber in that you can accept grocery requests through an app. You’ll receive the list, fill up your cart, pay through the app and head out for delivery.

Last year, we spoke with Destiny Frith, who makes about $20 an hour doing this part time each week. It works perfectly with her busy schedule.

(You can also opt to utilize the service and get groceries delivered to your door. Some even say it helps save money!)

11. Find a Work-From-Home Job

Work-from-home jobs are aplenty these days, and they’re especially convenient for moms who have to juggle sticky schedules.

The mom of three behind Work at Home Mom Revolution has worked from home since she bought her first computer back in the ’90s. She started her blog for moms in 2007:

“At the time, I was a separated, single mom raising three children on my own, and working from home allowed me to be available to my girls when they really needed me most.  I wanted to encourage other moms on their path to finding work from home…”

If you’re not even sure where to start, don’t worry. Work at Home Mom Revolution posts some great opportunities.

You can also use these job search sites, most of which are free. And keep an eye on our Facebook jobs page; we post our favorite, hand-picked work-from-home jobs there.

12. Set a Bet to Lose Weight

A mother and son prepare dinner.
Marcie Hagner and Samuel Hagner prepare a healthy dinner at their home. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

As a parent, you’re busy. You don’t have as much time to focus on yourself and your health. We get it.

If you need some motivation to lose extra pounds, HealthyWage might help. In short, you bet on yourself to lose weight. If you hit your goal, you pocket money.

Marcie Hagner, mom of Samuel, 8, signed up for HealthyWage. She bet $500 she’d hit her goal. If she can hit her weight-loss goals, she could bank $862. Not bad, right?

“Money is a huge motivator for me,” she says in an interview with The Penny Hoarder. “Especially because I don’t have a lot. I don’t want to give somebody $500, especially for something I can control and do.”

13. Rent Out Your Baby Gear

If you travel with your little ones, you understand the chaos that can ensue.

Not only are there constant bathroom breaks and “Are we there yet?” sort of questions, you also need to be able to bring along all your gear: the car seat, the bouncer, the stroller, the crib…  

This can get tricky and expensive, especially if you’re traveling by air.

That’s why a mom of two launched the goBaby app, an Airbnb-style marketplace for traveling parents.

Ksenia B. told the goBaby team:

“We’re still planning to have another child, but currently a lot of this well regarded equipment is sitting around unused. goBaby has enabled us to easily make some extra income on the side with it…”

If you have baby gear sitting around, you can make a pretty penny by renting it out through the platform. Cribs can go from $10 to $50 a day, strollers for $15 to $40 a day and car seats $12 to $25 a day.

Check out all the information online and see if you want to rent out your gear to traveling (probably exhausted) parents.

14. Become a Work-From-Home Disney Travel Agent

Obsessed with Disney? And want to work from home?

One Penny Hoarder contributor caught up with Kari Bonnes, a mom — and a big fan of Disney. When facing a divorce, she decided to take control of her income and founded Marvelous Mouse Travels, a travel agency that specializes in (you guessed it!) Disney vacations.

Although the business is based in North Carolina, work-from-home agents are based across the country as independent contractors. The pay depends on dedication and hours.

“I offer generous commissions to my agents, plus referral bonuses,” Bonnes says. “I have some agents who make $35,000 to $40,000 a year working part time. But I also have others who just book a trip here and there and bring in some side income.”

This content originally found on thepennyhoarder.com