Sometimes money is so tight that the only way to stay afloat or pay off debt is to get a side hustle. Years ago, side hustles meant working a second job somewhere outside the home. For married couples with kids, this might work because one spouse could stay home with the kids. However, for a single mom, sometimes a side hustle just wasn’t worth it because you’d also have to arrange additional child care, which may take up most of the money you make on the side. But times are different now. There are plenty of side hustles for a single moms that you can do from the comfort of your home while the kids are playing, napping, or sleeping.
Side Hustles for Single Moms
There are so many ways to make extra money in the Internet age. What you decide to do just depends on your natural talents and proclivity. Here are a few of my favorites.
Side Hustles You Can Do on Your Own Schedule
These side hustles let you set your own hours. Prefer to work at midnight when the kids are sleeping? No problem. Prefer to work at 5 a.m.? That’s okay, too.
There are plenty of writing jobs available. You can work for brick and mortar businesses, or bloggers, or online businesses. The hard part is getting your first writing job. After that, you can let your samples speak for themselves.
In the beginning, when you’re still trying to get samples, you may need to take low paying jobs. However, with experience, your rates will rise, and you’ll likely get word-of-mouth referrals, giving you more jobs.
If you aren’t a writer, being a virtual assistant is another great side hustle that’s home based. You can find a virtual assistant job working for someone like a real estate agent or a blogger. You’ll likely be given a set of tasks to complete within a certain time frame. I work as a virtual assistant and have specific jobs I have to complete by Sunday night, but I can do them any time during the week. Being a virtual assistant often means you have a flexible schedule, though some people may need your services at specific times and specific days.
If you’d like specific training to be a virtual assistant, there are many online classes you can enroll in. Another excellent resource is the book, The Bootstrap VA by Lisa Morosky.
Etsy Shop Owner
Are you creative? Crafty? If so, Etsy may be for you. However, don’t just think that you’ll make a few items, set up shop and make sales. It’s not that easy. To sell on Etsy, you need to not only have professional looking items to sell, but also have a strong marketing plan, excellent pictures, and amazing customer service.
If you open an Etsy shop knowing all that it entails, you have a better chance of being successful. I’d highly recommend speaking to other Etsy shop owners first. In addition, there are plenty of web articles both for and against setting up an Etsy shop as well as YouTube videos that can explain what you need to know.
Side Hustles You Must Do at a Designated Time
In addition to side hustles that require you to maintain your own schedule, there are also side hustles that happen at specific times, though you do have a say in what those times are.
With so many students still doing virtual schoolwork, the need for tutors has exploded. Kids seem to have a harder time learning via Zoom, and tutors can fill in that gap. I’ve even seen jobs advertised to help kids stay on schedule with their Zoom classes.
In addition to helping Americans, you can also find jobs teaching English to children in China. A homeschooling mom of four I know went this route. She did her tutoring from 4 to 7 a.m. PST. She was finished working for the day when her kids woke up. She worked for VIPKid and loved that the company had the lessons already made for her. VIPKid does require a bachelor’s degree, but there are other companies that don’t.
Teaching on Outschool
My girls (12 and 10.5 years old) have recently discovered Outschool. On this platform, teachers have free rein to develop whatever classes they have expertise in, no degree required. These are high quality classes, monitored by Outschool.
My girls have taken classes on dance, Descendants trivia, and cat behavior. They’ve also started to learn the Japanese language through Outschool and joined a recurring book club and social club. Take a peek at Outschool; there are truly an endless array of classes you can teach.
As a teacher on Outschool, you’ll earn 70% of the class fee (Outschool takes a 30% cut). You’ll be responsible for paying your own self-employment taxes.
Babysitting can be an excellent side hustle. This job allows you to stay home with your own children while also caring for others’ children. A single mother I knew ran an after-school program for five neighborhood kids from 3 to 6 p.m. She charged $7 an hour per child. Each week she earned $525, for a total of $2,100 a month. Plus, she didn’t have to worry about after school care for her own kids.
If you don’t know where to look, consider advertising locally and by word-of-mouth. A more organized option is to join Care.com or Sittercity.com where you can advertise your babysitting services. When I needed child care for my kids, I found the sitters on Sittercity.com.
If you need to make some extra money, know that there are plenty of side hustles for single moms that you can do from the comfort of your own home. I’ve been working online for over 10 years, and I love the convenience and the extra money I make for my family. You can do this, too!
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.