Save, make, understand money

Credit Cards & Loans

Ten money making ideas for stay-at-home mums (and dads)

Tahmina Mannan
Written By:
Tahmina Mannan

Money can be tight when you are a stay-at-home mum. Here are some ways to make some extra cash…

Stay-at-home mums have been disproportionately disadvantaged over the years thanks to loss of earnings while taking time off work, lower National Insurance contributions and lower incomes in retirement.

For many mums across the country, going back to work after maternity leave can often be out of the question as childcare costs outstrip earnings.

However, mums can still make some extra cash. Here are 10 ways…

Look after someone else’s kids – if you’re already staying at home and you can handle looking after one more little person, you could consider child-minding. If you’re already part of a mums’ network then you will already have contacts, so use them. There are organisations that can help you get the right security checks as well as support – go to ncma.org.uk.

Become a tutor – if you have a degree or teaching skills, you can earn up to £75+ an hour. The classes tend to be one-to-one and either at yours or the student’s home. Check out http://www.private-tutors.co.uk/tutors.html. Advertise at your local school or newspaper to keep costs low.

Become a virtual assistant – if you have secretarial skills, this could be a good way to make money. You will carry out admin work for companies from your home. This could involve making and taking phone calls, sending emails, transcribing and a wide range of office tasks. Being confident around computers will help because you won’t have an IT person to call up if anything goes wrong.

Visit societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk and http://www.iceni-it.co.uk/experience_needed_to_become_a_va.htm

Another way to make money is to transcribe for journalists and newspapers. Get in touch directly with heads of publications to see what’s available.

Become an Avon lady – if you have good sales skills or just like social jobs, selling Avon products might suit you. You buy the products at a discount and sell them at full price. Remember that there are other direct selling businesses too – like Hebalife and Forever Living – so find a business that suits you and that you can sell well. Read our guide to becoming a direct seller to get you started…

You can also open up your home for a ‘product’ party. The agent will come to your home and all you’ll have to do is invite friends. Most companies will either give you a discount on their products for throwing the party or a cut of their takings at the party. Try Ann-Summers or the Body Shop.

Do the laundry – this might be the last thing you want to do, but doing someone else’s laundry or ironing is a good way to work around the kids’ nap times. You can ask local dry cleaners or an agency, and also advertise in newsagents or by leafleting.


Make money from your parking space – if you live near a station or in busy parts of town, you can rent it out to commuters. Visit Parkatmyhouse.com, put your postcode in and wait for people to get in touch – the service is free.

Get a lodger – depending on whether you have a spare room or not, you can potentially rent it out for a few thousand pounds a year before you are taxed. Obviously how much you make will depend on where you live and what rents are like there. Try place like gumtree.com or spareroom.com.

If you live in London, you could also rent out your free room on a weekday basis. This way you still get the privacy you want over the weekends. Follow our guide to getting a part-time lodger

Visit http://www.mondaytofriday.com.

Similarly, if you have spare space in the garage or the attic, you could advertise to rent it out to someone. Just make sure you set how much you charge lower than storage companies to make it an attractive option.

Walk the dogs – if you take your children and pets for regular walks, why not take along someone else’s canine companion and get them to pay you for it? Earnings range from £6-£10 per half hour. Register yourself as a dog walking company at http://www.narpsuk.co.uk. A great way to get some exercise too.

Freelance – if you can design, write or research, you can probably use these skills to make money on the side. Websites such as http://www.peopleperhour.com and https://www.elance.com/?rid=2SRG9 lets freelancers sell their services to across the world, and you can bid on jobs and make connections with clients that often turn into long-term business relationships.

Test websites – there are companies out there who will pay you to try out their websites, almost like a focus group. Becoming a website tester allows you to provide website owners with feedback on their site, which enables them to make improvements and make their site more user friendly.

You don’t need technical knowledge, just a microphone so that they can record you as you talk about your experience. Try http://www.whatusersdo.com. Expect to make around £6 a test, and they should roughly take 15/20 minutes.

NB: remember that you don’t have to break the bank on advertising whatever service you have picked. Simple handwritten details at the local newsies, school or a quick phone call could do the same trick.