Surviving on one income as a single mum is a challenge. Even if you have a job with the flexibility to work school hours so you can honour your mum duties, your household budget may still not add up. In this case, making money from home could be the answer to your money worries.
However busy your life, if you think creatively and are determined, it is often possible to improve your financial situation.
Four years ago, I was working part-time, Uber driving, doing contract marketing work, setting up an online business, and aspiring to be the best single mum I could be.
It was hard, but it was worth it. And I discovered just how capable I really was!
Now let's talk about you, and how you can increase your income without leaving the house.
I've recently updated this list and removed some obvious ways for mums to make money from home. Instead, in the hope of getting my readers ahead of the game, I've listed some more unusual ideas. It might be that none are perfect for you, but they should get you thinking outside the box.
I hope you land on an idea that works for you.
It's time to start cashing up from the comfort of your kitchen (living room, spare room or garage!).
Further reading: How to make money from a hobby you love.
How to make extra money from home
1. Do surveys
Completing online surveys is a fairly effortless way for busy mums to make extra cash on the side. But payments can be minimal and often not worthwhile.
One exception is Prize Rebel because it offers various ways to earn such as online surveys, watching videos, and completing other tasks. There are lots of other online surveys that pay in cash or rewards.
It can’t hurt to hook up with a few as the surveys are easy to complete and even a small extra income is not to be sniffed at.
2. Rent baby gear
Have you ever thought of renting out your baby gear or kids stuff to travelling families so they don’t need to haul all that gear?
This can be especially lucrative if you live in a popular holiday destination or city.
You can list your baby gear for rent sites such as BabyQuip. You can get started with the baby gear you have at home, as long as it is in excellent condition. You’ll need a vehicle, the baby gear and flexibility to deliver.
3. Sell second-hand items for profit
A clever method for making money off second-hand items is to buy from your local charity shops and then sell online at profit. 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 purchase the best items as soon as they reach the store consider volunteering. Not only are you helping others, but volunteering is great for your mental health.
4. Do virtual tarot card readings
Are you a fan of divination? Interested in the occult? Or are you a believer in the power of tarot cards to help people find themselves?
If so, try giving virtual tarot card readings. Today, people are more open to New Age practices. Tarot cards are no longer reserved for those practising witchcraft or fortune-telling. More and more are becoming receptive to tarot readings as a means to gain clarity and guidance amidst uncertainty.
But how do you get started getting clients for your tarot card readings? I have a few friends who provide this service to make money from home, and all of them started by giving out free virtual readings to friends, requesting only a recommendation in return. This is usually done via a video conferencing app, but may also be done using chat or SMS.
5. Manage social media for businesses or become an influencer
Did you know that there are around 50 million influencers worldwide today? For you, that means there are millions of work from home job opportunities as a social media manager (SMM).
If you have proven skills in increasing followers, creating and managing content, and engaging with your audience, you should give being an SMM a try. Sign up to a freelancer platform to find an SMM job, or directly reach out to your favourite influencers on Instagram or TikTok.
Alternatively, you can try being an influencer yourself! If you have an exciting personality or online presence, use your SMM skills to grow your following. Start to make money from home with ads and sponsorships.
6. Do some tutoring
I personally have experienced being a tutor, and it's not just a lucrative but a fulfilling way to make money from home. Tutoring is great for mums with excellent school credentials of their own, with kids who have proven to do well academically, and who have lots of free time in their hands.
Tutorial services can be done face-to-face with kids around your neighbourhood to help your fellow parents who have less time in their hands to teach their kids. On the other hand, you can also offer your tutorial business online via video conferencing. Some platforms accept applications for non-voice tutors, so you should check it out as well.
How to make extra money from home (cont.)
7. Rent a room, your parking space or even your garden
Thanks to the genius creators of Airbnb, going on holiday can actually make you extra income.
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. Opt to only rent out your place while you’re away or turn your downstairs living area into a rentable space.
A bit of spare time and an extra room is all you need to turn your home into a money making machine.
8. Dog walking and pet sitting
Dog walking and pet sitting are fantastic ways to make money from home for mums who love pets. Compared to web-based work from home jobs, there's no investment needed. Your clients already have everything their pets need: house, pet beds, leashes, snacks, and drinks. All you need is time and patience for dogs and cats - and maybe reptiles.
Of course, you can offer this service to families in the neighbourhood. But if you already have lots of experience with pets and some professional training, think about formalising your services by getting a business permit. The hourly salary for these services ranges from $15 to $24, so if you are already a pet lover, why not?
9. Sign-up for cashback
Cashback is music to my ears.
Join for free and shop as normal (necessities only please ladies, we are trying to ‘make’ money here) and you will earn cashback on every purchase.
10. Offer genealogy research support
If you have impeccable research skills, why not try your hand at genealogy research support? This work from home opportunity is great for mums with experience working in records, libraries, and archives. Or, if you have deep knowledge about a specific locality, you might be the perfect person for this job.
You can serve as a customer service representative (CSR) for a genealogist or a company, or directly serve as an assistant. I find the Association of Professional Genealogists resources super helpful if you want to try.
Note: Sometimes, you'll also stumble upon offers to get paid as a research participant or to provide family documents to genealogists. If you're willing to share your family information for a fee, definitely give it a go.
11. Mystery shopping
Mystery shopping is a unique way to earn money from home.
To get started, sign up with reputable mystery shopping companies or websites, such as Mystery Shopper Australia.
You'll receive assignments to evaluate various businesses, from retail stores to restaurants. As a mystery shopper, you'll need to provide detailed feedback on your shopping experience, customer service, and product quality. In return, you'll be compensated for your time and reimbursed for any purchases made during the assignment.
It's a flexible and interesting way to make extra income while helping companies improve their services.
12. Become a voice actress
Oh, my childhood dream. If you have a pleasant tone and can convey different kinds of emotion with just your voice, voice acting is also a great way to make money from home.
You'd need to invest in good recording equipment to start with this work from home job. You'll need a nice microphone, headphones, speakers, a computer, and a soundproof room to record your demos.
Create your own voice acting TikTok or YouTube account as your training ground. This can also serve as your portfolio to find more clients.
Final ideas on how to make extra money as a single mum
13. Babysit other people’s children
Babysitting is a great option for single mums to make money from home 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. Earn shopping vouchers with Swagbucks
Swagbucks has finally reached Australia and it’s worth checking out.
Swagbucks rewards you for all the things you are already doing online. Simply participate in activities like taking surveys and playing games, and you get rewarded with Swagbucks currency that you can trade in for prizes on their website.
It’s free to join and a very real way to make money from home.
15. 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.
Websites like Fiverr 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 making money. A great way for mums to make money from home as well as starting a business.
16. Become an online fitness coach
If you are a fitness enthusiast with a conventionally good physique, being an online fitness coach is an incredible way to make money from home. The boom of the fitness industry is still on, so you can make around $50 per hour as a fitness coach here in Australia.
You will need to get certified as a fitness coach to improve your credentials. You also have to invest in gym clothes and some equipment. To find clients, you'd want to create free fitness videos on various platforms, which can also serve as your portfolio.
You can position yourself as a mum who wants to help other mums reach their fitness goals.
17. Invest some money and see what happens
I worded the title of this point carefully as investing in shares is an easy way to make money by doing very little, but it is also a risk.
If you have some spare cash and know what you’re doing (or you have a friend who does) an investment can be profitable. Usually investments are best long-term, but it is possible to make money fast.
Investing is fun, but be warned it is a form of gambling and can be addictive. An unusual but sometimes effective way for some mums to money from home.
18. Become a product distributor
Another option to make money without being in a full-time job is to jump on the multi-level marketing bandwagon.
I know single mums who use them to make a steady income on the side. 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.
You must believe in what you sell!
19. Ironing and alterations
One of my secret childhood dreams was to become a seamstress. As someone with lots of leisurely experience with sewing, ironing, and alteration services are an excellent means to make money from home while also having fun.
If you have above average sewing and homemaking skills, you can offer these services using equipment and supplies you already have at home. I mean, you probably already have an iron (conventional or standing steam iron), an ironing board, scissors, measuring tapes, needles, and threads.
Since you're already doing regular ironing and alterations, why not get paid? Turn your homemaking skills into a work from home job!
20. Remote video editing or graphic design
For the techie mums out there, you might want to try video editing or graphic design to make money from home. This field is very lucrative, with an average hourly salary of $30.
You'd need to invest in equipment and software to start as a video editor and graphic designer. Computers for video editing require solid specifications, as you'd need lots of storage for installing and running software and saving videos and photos.
Also, this field requires constant upskilling since there's a lot of competition. In addition, you don't just need tech skills; you must be good at marketing and storytelling as well!
21. Become an Uber tester
Last but not least on our list of ways for single mums to make money from home: If you like your apps and online gaming you’ll love this. Become an Ubertester and get paid to test pre-released mobile apps and games.
It offers complete flexibility and there are further career opportunities to become a team leader. Just think your input could be integral part to the creation of the next Candy Crush or Fortnight .. and your ‘cool’ status with rocket with your kids.
Final thoughts on how to make money from home
Having a work from home job is a dream to many mums. If the idea of staying at home while earning does not motivate you, remote work also means you don't have to travel. If that in-office job doesn't provide free transportation services, you save more money because you don't have to commute.
Here, I have listed 21 incredible ways to make money from home - and there's of course, a lot more! You can also check live selling or streaming, ghostwriting, SEO, and other remote gigs.
I love the idea of looking into your skills and thinking of ways to monetise them. If you are an expert in a particular topic, you can write PDFs or sell online courses. You can make handmade, artisanal items and sell them in the neighbourhood or on Etsy for some more extra income.
Of course, working from home is not for everyone. But if it is for you, I hope you found inspiration in the ideas in this article. Even if you're working in an office, these excellent part-time opportunities allow you to stay home with your kids while improving your finances.