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

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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