8 Supplemental Income Ideas for Homemakers

As a homemaker, I want my main focus and energy going towards the upkeep of my home and caring for my family. However, some of us may find ourselves in a position where we either need to or want to work on something that helps out with the income side of the household.

In my situation, we don’t have children yet, so I do tend to have a little bit of free time that I can devote to other projects. I don’t currently want to take on a job that takes me away from my home responsibilities, so my criteria in looking for income ideas are:

  • Something I can work on (at least mostly) from home
  • Something that doesn’t require a great deal of my time
  • Something that can work with a flexible schedule
  • Something that does not require much initial investment
  • Something that has at least a decent earning potential

So with those qualities in mind, here are a few of my ideas for supplemental income. This list includes examples of things I’ve done in the past and present, as well as ideas I would like to try in the future.

1. Crafting

There are many options to consider under this category. Of course there’s many handcrafts such as knitting, quilting, crochet and sewing which you can use to create things and sell locally, or online (such as through Etsy). In my opinion, it is difficult to make much from the handcrafts unless you are very fast at it, and find a good niche to work in. However, if you really enjoy the crafts, it may not matter to you if it’s highly profitable.

Aside from the more traditional handcrafts, you can also try making your own beauty care products to sell, such as homemade soaps, lotions, and salves. Personally, this is the side I’m more interested in.

2. Baking

I have not tried this myself, but I have known others who had a good bit of success with running bake sales. You could to this less frequently for fundraisers and special events, or try to get in on a weekly farmers market. Another option would be to find a local small store that would like to carry your products (this would also work as an avenue for the crafting option, above).

3. MLM Options

MLM’s (multi-level-marketing programs) often get a bad rap. It’s definitely understandable considering the vast majority of people who jump in and don’t end up with much to show for it – or worse yet, they just end up spending way more money than they ever earn with the program.

However, if you are careful in your selection, there are still good MLM options out there. Here are a few important things to look for when considering an MLM:

  • Low startup cost
  • Low (or no) ongoing fees to stay in business
  • Products that matters to you
  • Selling options that fit your style (for example, not everyone wants to run house parties all the time – other options may include online sales and vendor shows)

Make sure you’re not getting in to something that will cost you lots of money before you see any returns. You don’t want to be broke if it doesn’t end up working out for you. But do remember that you’ll need to put in the effort if you want results. The first 3 years are the most critical in starting any business. Don’t start if you aren’t ready to put in the work to make it profitable.

My personal MLM choice for the last 7 years has been Lilla Rose – a company that sells beautiful hair accessories that actually work for super fine – super thick hair. My hair is of the super fine variety, so I have had my share of struggles in finding solutions that actually work for me 😊.

4. Reselling

You can source items wholesale to resell, or you can find things at tag sales and thrift stores to resell on sites like eBay, or locally through FB marketplace, Craigslist, or similar sites.

You may have a certain niche you’re already interested in like purses or clothes. If you have a good understanding of the value of certain items that can help a lot when you are sourcing things. Having a niche will also help with the reselling part as you will be able to connect to customers with similar interests.

5. Transcription

There are lots of companies that will pay individuals to listen to audio or video clips and transcribe the words into writing. You are usually paid per job which you can pick up whenever you have time. You need a good understanding of English basics and grammar and a decent typing speed. You’ll generally have to pass a few tests to get started with a company. The initial payout is fairly low, but as you build speed and experience your earning potential should increase pretty well.

Some of the bigger companies that are fairly easy to get started with are TranscribeMe! and GoTranscript.

6. Growing Plants

I don’t have personal experience yet with this one, but I’ve heard you can make some decent side income from growing things like micro greens, herbs or certain mushrooms to sell to restaurants. You don’t need a ton of space to grow these and you could even grow them in your basement with grow lights.

If you have a little more space, you could also grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for a little roadside stand or sell them at a farmers market or to a local grocer.

If you grow herbs, this also opens up a few more possibilities as herbs can be dried to retain shelf life, thus giving you the option to store them for longer periods and sell online.

7. Childcare

Working in childcare is definitely a bigger commitment than most of the other options on this list, but you can still choose to do this from home. Your clientele will be a bit more limited with this stipulation, but with patience you should still be able to find clients.

Make sure to check your state regulations on childcare facilities before you get started however. I know at least in my state, as long as I’m watching less than 5 children, I don’t need to worry about the regulations since I would not be considered a childcare business.

8. Online Teaching/Tutoring

There are a variety of options for teaching children or adults online. Probably the biggest market is with teaching English as a second language, but there are also opportunities to help students with homework, or tutor someone in a subject you have more expertise in. Requirements vary for tutoring, so look around and see what might fit your qualifications.

So I’d love to hear, what are your favorite options in this list? What have you tried? What did I miss?

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How To Start Your Own Sourdough Starter – the Easy Way

I initially got into doing sourdough over a year ago after a tooth infection. After doing some research I learned that all the processed grains I was eating were having a negative impact on my tooth health. Did you know yeast bread is a more modern invention? Prior to that people used the sourdough process to get their bread to rise – and they had much better teeth. Turns out the fermenting process diminishes the amount of phytates and makes the end product much easier on the digestive system.

So after learning about the benefits of the sourdough process I decided it would be worthwhile to learn how to do it. Initially it can seem pretty intimidating, but I was pleasantly surprised with how simple the process really is. Yes, it does require regular upkeep, but it really only takes a few minutes a day to get started and then just a few minutes once per week after that – unless you want to bake more often, then you need to “feed” it more frequently.

You Will Need:

  • Kitchen scale
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Container with lid or plastic wrap to cover

Instructions

Weigh out 4 ounces (112g) of water with 4 ounces of flour and mix until well combined. Leave out on your counter (ideal temperature is 75-85 degrees).

After about 24 hours, add another 4 ounces each of flour and water to your bowl.

Continue adding 4 ounces of flour and 4 ounces of water every day for a total 7 days. You should start seeing some bubbles in your starter around day 3 or 4, and by day 7 it should be nice and bubbly.

Your starter is now ready to use in recipes!

Starter Upkeep

Once your starter is up and going, start feeding it at a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of starter/flour/water. So if you want to use 2 ounces of flour you would add that to 2 ounces of water and 2 ounces of your starter.

If you do a lot of baking, you can keep your starter out on the counter and feed it every day.

If you want to bake less often, you can keep your starter in the fridge, which will slow down the process. You will still need to feed it at least once a week. It’s best to feed it 12-24 hours before you plan on using it.

Notes

  • Unbleached, white flour provides the most consistent results, though other types should also work
  • If you notice a brownish liquid separating on the top of your starter, that’s a sign that it needs to be fed. You don’t want to ignore that long or your sourdough starter could die off.

That’s all there is to it!! Who’s ready to jump in and try sourdough for themselves?

11 Benefits of Becoming a Homemaker

The role of homemaker was once a very much expected part of being a wife, yet in today’s culture it has become increasingly more rare (and may I add, less accepted) to find a woman who makes homemaker her sole focus. While it sure is nice to have options as women (and I’m still a supporter of pursuing those options if that’s what gets you excited), following are some reasons you may consider leaving your other job to pursue homemaking full-time.

(Disclaimer: I am writing from the perspective of a homemaker who does not currently have kids – adding parenting into the mix would definitely change your focus, reasoning, and priorities)

1. Focus on Your Priorities

I know we all think we’re being super productive when we try and balance a million different things on our plates – myriad priorities at work, home, in marriage, and other relationships – all the things. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re just not able to do that many things and do them all well. What you focus on is what you will succeed in. I found it to be an amazing relief when I was able to let go of my responsibilities at work and instead turn my focus to managing my own home well and having time for my husband. Those are the priorities that matter to me.

2. Lower Your Stress

Working a full-time job takes a lot out of you – particularly when you still have to add in all your responsibilities at home. It can be quite stressful trying to navigate all the responsibilities at work – with pressure from your bosses and coworkers and all the concerns you have regarding the job you do there. I always found it really hard to shut off work when I was home. I often had concerns from work that would pop into my head add stress when I was home. On top of that, I always felt like I was running behind on everything I needed to get done at home. Even when I did have time to work on my home responsibilities, I often felt too worn out and tired to muster up the energy.

3. Strengthen Your Marriage

Having both spouses work outside the home can often create quite a bit of contention. Since there’s still plenty of work to get done at home, it’s very easy to feel like your spouse isn’t pulling their weight with things around the house. We each tend to think that we’re doing more than the other person. Since I’ve taken on the homemaking role in my home it has cleared up so much of the frustration we previously had. My husband is free to focus on his job, without needing to worry about things around the house. I have the time and focus now to take care of the house without the distraction of an additional job.

4. Embrace Your Individuality

When you fully take on homemaking there is so much room for self-expression. If you love cooking, you can experiment with new recipes to your hearts content. Are you really into home decorating? You can work over your whole house and put your own special touch in every room. Whatever your giftings are, you have so many options to expand on those interests through your role as homemaker.

5. Have Time For Your Hobbies

If you’re a SAHW without kids, you should have time to pursue your hobbies too. Caring for your home shouldn’t need to take the whole day. Perhaps your hobby could even be monetized. Making some extra money is always helpful and it gives you more options if your income needs change in the future. You could set yourself up so you never have to go back to work for someone else even if you should need to provide the household (or supplementary) income at some point.

6. Make Healthier Meals

This was an important one for me. If you’re working another job you know it can be really hard to make time for high-quality, home-cooked meals. When you’ve worked a full day somewhere else, you’re probably not wanting to spend a bunch of time cooking when you get home. You’re tired and hungry, so you grab some fast food or heat up some pre-packaged, processed meal you have in your freezer. I don’t know about you, but I love being able to prioritize our health by making home cooked meals that align with our health values.

7. Have Time for Your Spouse

With so many other distractions going on for the “working woman” it can be hard to make time for your husband. It’s easy to take our spouses for granted when other things feel so much more pressing in the moment, but marriage takes work. Now that I’m home, I like to make sure I leave time in my day to take care of my husband and make him feel loved. Even if it’s just a quick back rub or something simple like getting his food for him, it makes him feel special and blesses our marriage. Not that I never did those things when I was working my other job, but it was more rare and I was often tired (aka grumpy) and distracted.

8. Have Time for Other Relationships

If you have a busy work schedule, it’s often the outside relationships that have to go first. I felt like I was always turning down opportunities to relate to family and friends simply because I was just too busy to add anything else. When I did finally make some time for a phone call, it would often get cut short because I had to run on to the next thing.

9. Say Goodbye to Conflicting Work Schedules

It can be really hard to coordinate schedules when you both work at different jobs. There are so many ways this can be an issue, whether its one of you needing to get up extra early for work and/or the other spouse needing to work late, different days off, you name it. Then whenever you want to take time for a vacation or to visit with family you have to coordinate that with two separate employers and hope they’ll both give you the same time. I found that very frustrating.

10. Take Time for Self-Care

Self -care tends to easily fall by the wayside in the wake of more urgent needs when you’re running a busy lifestyle. Yet it is still important. Leaving your outside job should free up a little time to add this back in. This could be some quiet time in the morning, or some outside time. Maybe you need some more time to exercise or take a relaxing bath. Whatever recharges you and make you feel like your best self, add that into your routine.

11. Create and Manage a Home that Makes You Feel Proud

When you’re working elsewhere, it’s not always easy to keep up with the needs of the house. Consequently, that picture you may have of a beautifully clean house that’s your peaceful oasis is generally left in the dust. Even as one of those “less domestic” type of women, I find it so peaceful and relaxing to have a well maintained, clutter-free home. It also makes me much more willing to invite people to my house and cultivate those relationships that I know I need.

So what do you think? Is homemaking right for you and your family? If this is something you would love to do, don’t let societal pressure hold you back – do what’s best for you 😊.

Why I Chose Homemaking

With society’s focus on doing away with gender roles and stereotypes, I think the role of homemaker has gotten a bad rap. Now don’t get me wrong, I think there definitely has been some issues with gender stereotypes which were very limiting in the past. However, I think it’s gotten to the place now where if a woman wants to do something very feminine, she almost feels ashamed to some degree because she’s just caving to her “gender role.” The same goes for men doing masculine things. I feel like you can’t really “win” no matter what you do. You’re always upsetting someone.

While I don’t feel you should only have to limit yourself to what is perceived as your role as a woman. I think we should feel absolute freedom to embrace our natural femininity. I recently left my job as a nanny to become a full-time homemaker. I had been wanting to do that for a long time. Yet as I was transitioning into it, I felt a lot of pressure. I felt like I wouldn’t have a “good” answer to the questions about what I’m doing with my life. I feel like people assume I’m unproductive and lazy because I’m just “staying at home all day.” I felt like I didn’t have a good excuse to be staying at home because we don’t have kids yet.

Honestly, I’ve put off coming home for a long time because I was waiting to do it until we had kids. It’s just more socially acceptable under those circumstances. But I’ve decided I’m not going to continue to work my life around what looks best to others, or what seems the most socially acceptable. I’m a home body. I love being home. I feel an amazing amount of stress reduction since leaving my outside-the-home job.

When I was working outside my home, I was still trying to do everything to care for my home – cooking our meals, keeping things clean, laundry, errands, pets, not to mention finding time to relate to my husband. I was trying to do it all, but I just wasn’t able to do it all well. I felt like I was always running behind. I felt like a failure. I was resorting to quick meals that didn’t meet my standards for health. My house was almost always a mess. I was always behind on laundry. Whenever I did have time to relate to my husband, I was generally tired and distracted. I was failing at what was really important to me. Yes, I did love being a nanny, but I felt like I was failing because I was helping out other people in their homes while I let my own home fall between the cracks.

We aren’t made to handle everything. I think as women, we tend to be natural multi-taskers, and we gain a sense of accomplishment by staying busy and balancing many things all at once. But the truth is, we can’t do everything and do it all well. You have to pick your priorities and focus on those things. Don’t keep stressing yourself out thinking you have to do it all. Pick what truly matters to you. Don’t let society dictate what that is for you.

For me, I realized I felt the most personal responsibility and ownership for how my own home is cared for. Having time for my husband matters to me. Cooking healthy meals from scratch is important to me. I love organizing and planning, and having that freedom to structure my own time matters to me. I chose to take on homemaking full-time because it fits in with my values and allows me to focus on what matters.