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Written by single mama blogger, Emily.

Divorce and children

As single mums, we struggle financially a lot more than we’d like to admit. But, is it any wonder? We provide for little people on our own, in a world where two incomes are needed just to get by. And no, judgmental government – it’s not as easy for me to get a full-time job as you’d think. Entry-level positions barely cover daycare costs and can mean you lose child-care rebates, social security allowances and the opportunity to raise your children. For a lot of single mums, that just doesn’t add up.

If you’re looking for quick and easy ways to make money without being on a payroll, look no further. We’ve put together a list of the 20 best ideas which you may not have considered … yet.

1. Join the Aldi testers club

Whilst testing items might not necessarily earn you money, saving money by receiving free grocery products is the next best thing. Aldi has recently been praised in the media for the introduction of their Australian Testers Club – the first in the world of its kind. Four times a year registered Aldi testers will receive 10 free Aldi products in exchange for their honest feedback. Click here for more information or to sign up.

2. Join a crowd share courier program

Yes, there really is such a thing, and you can be a part of it for free. Passel are paving the way, and in the process allowing ordinary peeps like you and me to earn money by doing very little. Simply sign-up (you have to provide your address but it is super-safe), then when you’re at the shops you’ll get a notification if anyone needs a parcel collecting and delivering on your way home. It’s a no brainer really.

3. Get behind the Uber driver wheel

Uber is taking the world by storm, making it possible for anyone with a car to earn some extra cash. We don’t recommend taking your children with you while you Uber like this brave mum. But, Uber driving between school hours can work out perfectly for you if you’re a single mum with school-aged kids.

4. Sell second-hand items for profit

Selling second-hand items on eBay can be profitable if you do it right. A well-known method for making money off second-hand items is to regularly visit your local charity shops. Not only do the items you buy contribute to a worthy cause, but it also gives you an opportunity to make some extra cash. Hint: To ensure you get to purchase the best items consider volunteering. It will make you feel amazing, and help you in the long run.

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5. Become a product distributor

Another option to make some money without being in a full-time job is to jump on the multi-level marketing bandwagon. Yes, that would mean you suddenly become one of the Avon or Tupperware friends you currently avoid, but it’s a great way to earn some extra cash. Just remember to be careful with companies you haven’t heard of before and ensure you try the product you’re thinking of selling before you commit to it full-time.

6. Start a photography business

If you have a creative side, you may consider a photography business as a way to create cashflow. The set-up costs might set you back initially, but if you are motivated and determined then profits are there for the taking. If you’re thinking seriously about starting your own business then consider enrolling in a photography course prior to committing. You can reach out to one of your local photographers, read forums online and join Facebook photography groups to get some more information about what’s required.

7. Start a dog walking business

Dog walking can earn you cash, keep you fit and wear your kids out before bedtime. This makes it a great option for the single mums out there who actually enjoy exercise … and the worst option on this list if you hate it like the rest of us.

8. Create homemade craft

Making and selling homemade craft can be a quick way to make money. Pinterest and Etsy are two awesome places for craft inspiration and eBay, Gumtree or your local markets are perfect platforms for selling your products. Pallet craft, hand-made soaps or lotions, and children’s framed prints are options that can be made to suit any niché market.

9. Become a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shopping can be a fantastic way for families to save money on products they already purchase regularly. Sites such as Mystery Shopper Australia give you the opportunity to review products in return for financial compensation.

10. Find forgotten cash

A fun and easy trick to grow your pockets is to raid your house and car for the money you might have forgotten about. This might sound lazy, but you can gather the troops up and promise pizza for dinner to make it a Sunday afternoon activity. Under couch cushions, car seats, and hung up jackets can all be potential hiding spots for forgotten cash. For added value, get the kids to clean up and put away items as you search through each room.

11. Become a Blogger

If you’re a social media whiz and already post far too many pictures of your children, then you might like to consider online blogging as a profession. Mummy bloggers can make their money through affiliate marketing schemes and advertising costs. The Organised Housewife, Constance Hall, and of course Beanstalk Mums are all examples of mums who started their blogging journey from humble beginnings.

12. Be a Tutor

If you have a knack for teaching you might want to consider tutoring. In 2009 before I had children of my own, I would tutor primary children in English part-time. Recently, I decided to pick it up again but moved my business online. Wyzant connects tutors to students across the world and makes online teaching easier than ever. If you’d prefer to do it solo, advertising on Gumtree or Craigslist and teaching over Skype can be a fantastic (and budget-friendly) option.

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13. Babysit other people’s children

Babysitting is a great option for mums to make money, provided you have the patience, space and appropriate qualifications. Already being a mum makes you highly qualified for this role but a first aid certificate, blue card and police check will ensure both you and the children you care for are protected. If you’re thinking about looking after children full-time, starting a family daycare is another great option. Your children will learn valuable social skills, you’ll be earning extra money and you’ll have the flexibility to raise your children at home. Win-win-win!

14. Make and sell your own jewellery

Jewellery making is not only therapeutic, but can have a surprisingly positive effect on your family finances. Pinterest and YouTube are great places to look for jewellery inspiration. Consider tailoring your jewellery to a certain group of people to find a profitable niche. Silicon, teething and children’s jewellery are in high demand at local markets and online stores.

15. Sell beauty products

Homemade soaps are easy to make and a great way to make money. Not only that, they also offer infinite marketing possibilities by offering day spas, gift stores, and high-end shops an opportunity to sell one of a kind merchandise. Once you get the hang of it, you might also like to attempt some homemade lotions and oils. These also make great presents for family and friends if the idea goes bust.

16. Become a Virtual Assistant

If you have the ability to multitask effortlessly and make the rest of us jealous with your extreme organisation skills then you might like to consider becoming a virtual assistant. Companies like UpWork and 121Temps link assistants with interested companies but consider sifting through your local job sites first for work that might already be available. A confident phone manner, excellent communication skills and a home office are all you need to start.

17. Grow and sell your own food

If you love gardening and have enough space, you can always grow and sell your own produce for profit. Get in touch with your local farmer’s market and invest in a second-hand stall to turn your hobby into a business. If you have older children this can be a great way to get them away from the computer and working outside. Earning their own money will introduce them to the workforce, build character and give them a sense of achievement.

18. Write an E-book

E-books are a budget-friendly way to publish your own book, and can be a great option for single mums who love to write. Publishing costs and revenue splitting are significantly reduced compared to print media, and allow you to tailor your audience worldwide. An interesting topic or how-to manual can make you money and give you something to put on your future resume if you’re a SAHM.

19. Rent a room

Thanks to the genius creators of Airbnb, going on holidays can actually make you money. The fantastic thing about this website is whether you’re positioned somewhere close to the CBD or have a quaint little property in the middle of nowhere, you can still connect with people looking for new holiday destinations. You can opt to only rent out your place while you’re away or turn your downstairs living area into a tropical retreat for couples. And don’t worry, we’re sure the constant sound of Peppa Pig reruns upstairs is sure to provide added tranquility.

20. Create your own business

Finally, if you can’t see something on the list that appeals to you then try your hand at creating your own business. Graphic designers, personal assistants and handymen (ahem..women) are among the hundreds of professions you can choose from. Use free online marketing mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, Gumtree, Craigslist, Ebay and Etsy to turn your skills into a profitable business.

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Ways to make money