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Increasing Your Income With Side Gigs When You’re a Solo Parent

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Written by Eva Benoit | eva.benoit@evabenoit.com | evabenoit.com

Raising a child is a tough gig for any parent, but raising a child as a single parent can be exponentially harder. There are not only financial considerations, but also time constraints to take into account. And with all the responsibilities of being a single parent, who has spare time for a second job to cover the extra expenses? Leaving the house to work requires finding a sitter, and sitters cost money.

It is a difficult task for any single parent to make money, especially when it costs money to take time off from parenting in order to work. If you find yourself in this cash-strapped situation, check out one of these side hustles that can bring you extra income without leaving your child in someone else’s care.


Customer Service

Many companies hire part-time and full-time customer service representatives to man their online or phone support systems. If you enjoy helping people and don’t mind some of the challenging interactions that come with customer support, then you might want to consider applying to be a call center agent, telemarketer, or customer service or tech support representative. Some of these jobs can be done from home, and the hours can vary. It’s a great at-home option for someone who has free time at night when the kids are asleep.


Vending

Offline businesses also need staff to serve customers in person. Working at a physical location once a week could be the right move for a parent who has a day off from the kids. Talk to the vendors at farmers markets, swap meets, craft fairs, and flea markets, and offer your help covering their booths. It might only be seasonal work or an occasional festival, but the time you put in will help subsidize your income on the side.

Perhaps you would like to be a vendor at a market, fair, or festival to sell goods or crafts. Doing so would be a chance to earn income while bringing your family with you to work. If you’re selling goods in person, cash isn’t always the best payment to accept. Many customers don’t carry enough cash to make purchases, and you’d be missing out on potential sales by limiting your payment method to cash. As an individual merchant, you don’t need to have a credit card merchant account to accept card payments. A portable credit card machine makes it easy for anyone to accept payments from any customer with a credit or debit card. Unlike some of the pricier payment systems that businesses use, Square’s portable system is easy to use and affordable.

Selling Online

Look around you. Your house is probably full of things that you no longer need (old baby clothes, anyone?). Rather than let them take up space and collect dust, sell your things online to clear your home of junk and put some money into your pockets. You can go old school via eBay or Craigslist, or you can list on apps like Poshmark and OfferUp. Most sites take a percentage of your earnings, but there’s a layer of protection to the transaction when you sell through these websites and use an encrypted payment system.

Once you get past selling your unwanted personal belongings, you can use your newfound online-selling skills to start a side business. Many shops in the online marketplace began selling from their own stash and graduated to reselling discounted finds online for a profit. Shopping outlets and discount retailers like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross offer great deals on items that you can turn around at a marked-up (but still less-than-the-suggested-retail) price.

Money and parenting have a paradoxical relationship. You need one to make the other work, but doing one requires giving up some of the other. While having a family means needing to increase your household income to support the expansion, it shouldn’t require sacrificing the time that you get to spend with your children. Instead of giving up all of your family time to work, make your work fit in with the time that you have.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Tips for New Parents: Advice for a Successful Segue Back to Work

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Image courtesy of  Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Written by Eva Benoit


Facing the return to work after having a baby can be a physical and emotional challenge.

Thankfully, new parents have lots of great options. Here is important information on making the

transition back into the workforce a successful one.


Employed by someone else

Back to the grind

Transitioning back into a traditional career role after maternity or paternity leave can be

challenging in many respects. In addition to missing your little one, getting back into the groove

of working outside the home can sometimes be awkward at best. As The Guardian points out,

after taking time off, parents can feel like they aren’t quite up to snuff. After weeks away, you

might be afraid your hard-earned skills and knowledge will be rusty. However, you now have

fresh experiences and perspectives to share with others, and your insights into interacting with

people is enriched.


Whether you’re returning to an existing position or planning to make a career move, revisiting

your resume can bolster your confidence and help you articulate all you gained from your time

away. Plan to examine an online, proven resume template to walk you through the process.


Self-employment

Working from home

If you’re ready to trade working outside the home for working remotely, one great way to test the

waters of self-employment is through ecommerce. The key to establishing a successful

ecommerce business of your own is to grow an active customer base, so you need to focus on

a number of building blocks with that in mind. To stand out from the crowd, create a great

website with an attractive, user-friendly design, and be sure the images are high-quality. Think

of a particularly novel presentation and sales perspective, and offer outstanding customer

support. You’ll also want to harness the power of social media like Instagram and Facebook to

boost a following.



Depending on your background, there are several other ideas out there for becoming a work-at-

home parent, such as turning a hobby into a business. Maybe you love crafting or landscaping,

or you are handy with home repairs. Some other ideas are dog walking, babysitting, or, if you’re

good with numbers, you could do some bookkeeping. Consider your strengths and

experiences, and how they could contribute in framing your work.

Pros and cons

Same workplace, new you

There are many benefits of returning to your workplace, such as the break from parenting and

spending time with other adults, but you might want to restrict some of the burden you managed

before. For instance, if you were the go-to for overtime, your priorities have likely changed. It

helps to discuss your transition with your supervisor, ideally face-to-face, but outside your work

environment. Some employers might allow you to work from home at times, or as Working

Mother suggests, you might be able to ease back into the routine with a part-time schedule.

Discuss your priorities and explore what options could help you manage the transition well.

When you do resume your role, strategize to your advantage. Plan to delegate as much as possible, and embrace a healthy balance between your workplace and parenthood.

Your work, your way

Self-employment is a great option for new parents, offering you independence and the

opportunity to still focus on your little one. You can also flex your hours according to other

obligations, but if you haven’t made the journey of self-employment before, it can be a daunting

thought. This is especially true if you’re used to the security of benefits through your employer,

need to rely on human resources to withhold taxes, or if you tend to get stressed out with family

distractions. On the upside, you can save on childcare and the cost of commuting. Depending

on your former role, you might also save on your wardrobe. Bear in mind as Verywell Family

points out that if you are in the midst of climbing a corporate ladder, it can mean a bump in your

career, so it’s crucial to weigh pros and cons carefully.


After having a baby, going back to work can be challenging. Think through how you want your

lifestyle to look and what will facilitate your situation. With some thoughtful strategies you can

segue back to work successfully.

Starting A Home-Based Business: Tips For Stay-At-Home Moms

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Written by Eva Benoit | eva.benoit@evabenoit.com | evabenoit.com

Photo via Pixabay by PhotoMIX-Company

Photo via Pixabay by PhotoMIX-Company

With the gig economy booming, it’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to self-employment these days; now, it’s easier than ever to start your own business from home, either to earn extra cash or to become an entrepreneur with a brand-new career. Whether you need a flexible schedule so you can take care of young children or are just stuck in a rut at your current job, there are several ways you can get started with your own home-based business.


One of the keys to success when it comes to being a “mompreneur” is doing your research. Are there companies similar to the one you want to start in your area? What is their business model? Will you have the funds to sustain yourself for the first year, after paying for startup costs or materials? Coming up with a solid plan before you make any decisions will help prevent any nasty surprises down the road and will help you maintain success during the process.


Keep reading for some great tips on how to make your home-based business work.

Consider the best business model

There are many different types of home-based businesses you can choose from, but of course, you’ll want to start with one that you already have some experience in. If you’ve worked in accounting or consulting in the past, there are tons of options for you now. If you’d rather begin with a hobby that you enjoy doing and are familiar with as far as the cost of materials, it makes sense to turn that into a business.

Think about startup costs

There are almost always startup costs with any new business, although some are more than others. If you’re going to be selling a product, you need to think about not only the cost of materials, but also the cost to package and market it. Keep in mind that many small businesses don’t make a profit right away, so you’ll want to have some savings as a cushion for at least the first few months.

Know your strengths

Many moms are natural problem-solvers and have loads of self-motivation simply because they have to in order to get through the day. These are wonderful traits to have for starting your own business, and it’s important to know what your strengths are and how to play to them. This will help you realize your potential and push through even when things get difficult.

Strike a balance

Working from home may sound like a dream come true when you’re a busy mom, but it can actually be much harder than going into the office. This is because not only do you still have parental duties, you also have to figure out a way to strike a balance between your children and your job. One of the best ways to do this is to create a workspace that is distraction-free, away from the main traffic of the rest of the home, and set work hours that will allow you to get things done without having to multitask.

Starting your own business comes with a specific set of challenges for everyone, so keep in mind that there isn’t one proven formula for success that will work for every entrepreneur. Write out a business plan before you make any decisions and ask for help from friends and family when it comes to getting started. With a solid plan and thoughtful decisions, you can change your career and make it a success.

Article written by:"

Eva Benoit

eva.benoit@evabenoit.com

evabenoit.com