What do you do when your day job isn’t making ends meet? If you’re a single mum, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck. You can’t afford to quit your job and go back to school in order to land a higher-paying job, and the extra childcare expenses would eat up any income you earned at a second job. If you’re in this situation, there’s one more option to consider: a family-friendly side hustle.
What’s a side hustle, and how can it be family-friendly? The Motley Fool offers this simple definition: “A side hustle is a gig that allows you to make money in addition to your primary job.” As gig-based work, a side hustle doesn’t have set hours or a boss peering over your shoulder. Rather, it’s an entrepreneurial venture that lets you determine when, how, and how much you work. That flexibility is a big part of what makes side hustles work for single mums. When the kids have soccer practice or someone comes down with the flu, you don’t have to bargain for time off with your boss, you can just shuffle your schedule as needed. Furthermore, with so many options for side hustles, you can find a gig that doesn’t require you to leave the kids with a sitter.
For side gigs where you can bring the kids along (or that at least don’t require a babysitter), consider these options:
● Walking dogs.
● Pet sitting in your home.
● Babysitting in your home.
● Writing ebooks.
● Becoming a notary public.
● Making and selling crafts.
● Baking and selling homemade goods (first check your city’s cottage industry laws at www.PickYourOwn.org).
● Tutoring in your home or online.
● Offering music lessons in your home or online.
● Selling garden produce at the farmers market.
● Renting a room through Airbnb.
● Reupholstering and selling vintage furniture.
● Mending and tailoring clothes.
When determining the best side gig for you, don’t just go for what’s most convenient. You’ll be sacrificing free time to your side hustle, so it’s best if it’s something you enjoy and are skilled at. Consider how much you can earn through a side gig as well as the investment—money and time—that it requires. While teaching music pays more per gig than dog walking, it also requires more planning and prep work. If your primary job is challenging, you may not have the energy for a mentally taxing side gig. On the other hand, working mums who find their day job unfulfilling may see the side gig as an opportunity to explore a passion.
Even if a side hustle is fun, it’s important to remember that it’s a business. And like any business, you may need certain traits to be successful. The best business owners are willing to take calculated risks and adapt to challenges as they arise. They’re capable and confident problem solvers, viewing setbacks as learning experiences rather than game-enders. They learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others, and they’re constantly on a mission to improve. And to keep the business running day by day, they’re regimented and self-disciplined. Luckily, life as a single working mum requires a lot of these same traits, so starting your own gig-based business won’t be a stretch.
There’s no worse feeling than being unable to pay the bills and seeing no way out. But if you have some creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a healthy dose of tenacity, you have options for solving your family’s financial problems. If your bank accounts are dwindling, try your hand at one of these side gigs—or come up with one of your own!
Thank you to Daniel at Dad Solo for the great blog!