Being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) has a reputation for being this glamorous privilege that only Stepford Wives, with rich husbands, can obtain. But it is so much more!
While I agree that being a SAHM is a privilege, it is also a choice and it’s not just Pinterest wins and rainbows all of the time. It involves a lot of hard choices, feelings and work. We didn’t make the choice for me to stay home, based on a wealthy income and it being easy. We made a choice to completely change our lives and to live on less in order to provide our daughter with more one on one time. And it works for us.
As I have said before, I worked before Jackalynn was born, and I worked up until I was taken out on maternity leave due to sciatic pain. I had worked since I was 15 years old, so it wasn’t an easy transition from having my own money, to being fully dependent on someone else. I wasn’t the only one who made a change either. For almost 6 months, Jairo was working 2 jobs and was only home for a couple hours a day, and those hours were spent sleeping. Now, instead of working a Monday to Friday 9-5 job, he works Graveyards Sunday-Thursday. This was probably the hardest change, because he is not a night person, but he has adjusted to it and actually enjoys his new job.
Being on Maternity Leave was easy at first. It was nice to relax, take naps and just get ready for Jacky to be here. It was even nice for a while after she was born, but then, as many new Mom’s and even experienced SAHM’s will tell you, there comes a point when you start to feel like you don’t contribute. For me, those feelings came when bills got tight and we started struggling. I immediately felt guilty. I felt like I was not doing enough for my family and felt so sad and helpless.
So why not just go back to work?
I could do that, sure, but have you priced childcare lately? If I went back to work, my entire check would go towards Jackalynn’s care, she would be in someone else’s hands all day, and we would still be in the same situation, financially. That’s why I don’t go back to work.
So instead, I got to work thinking of ways I could help from home. Here is my list of ways a bored, SAHM can make some extra cash and beat those SAHM blues.
- Online Surveys – There are several websites and apps that will pay you to take surveys online. These are normally connected to companies and brands that need feedback on their products or services. My favorites are:
- Opinion Outpost – Take surveys and collect points for rewards.
100 points = $10 Paypal money. You can also redeem points for airline miles, amazon gift cards or make donations to a charitable cause. I have been using this site since December 2016 and have made $205.
- Quick Thoughts – Similar to Opinion Outpost, but less activity and less reward options. Most surveys pay out $2.00, $00.10 if you don’t qualify for a survey. Using this app, I am able to earn one $10 Amazon gift card per week.
- Surveys On the Go – Up until this week, this was my least favorite survey app, because it was very low activity and low payout. I’ve yet to earn enough to cash out a reward. But this week, I got a ‘Beer Study’ that will pay $15, and I have started getting higher paying surveys daily. I will have to do an update at some point to let you know how this app works out in the long run.
- Opinion Outpost – Take surveys and collect points for rewards.
- Coupons and Rebates – This method takes a little more skill and work, and I am still in the process of perfecting my system, but this is a sure way to save money daily, as well as earn money on things you normally purchase.
- Ibotta– My favorite way to earn money back on my shopping trips. There are a ton of rebates on everyday items (including beer and wine for my fellow #winemoms) and it’s so easy to use. Once you reach $20 you can cash out in a number of ways, including Paypal. Since January I have earned $69 in rebates.
- Couponing – There are a number of ways to find coupons, and honestly, you should take advantage of all of them, but first, visit The Krazy Coupon Lady for all things coupons. This is my go to for coupon advice. Once you have an idea of where to start you can print them from coupons.com , smart source and red plum. Sign up for loyalty programs or newsletters from your favorite brands, and receive exclusive coupons in your emails.
- Send Feedback – You may not realize how many brands you use on a daily basis. But a lot of those brands will send you valuable money saving coupons, or free samples, just for your feedback. After reading an article on Tough Nickle about this, I had to try it and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of coupons and samples I received in the mail from companies like Johnsons, Folgers, P&G and so many more!
- Ebates – Another way to earn rebates on shopping trips. This way involves more online shopping, but if that’s your thing, then this might really benefit you! I earned a little cashback purchasing some things through Groupon, and there are a ton of other sites to shop from.
- Product Testing – I was product testing long before I was pregnant, but now as a SAHM I have made it a regular hobby and I love the hell out of it. There are lots of different ways to become a product tester, these are my favorites.
- Influenster – I have been an Influenster for almost 3 years now. In the last year I have started receiving boxes at least once a month. Boxes can include a number of different things, depending on the badges that you unlock. My current box included 2 lip liners and 2 lipsticks.
- Crowdtap – I signed up for Crowdtap a little over a month ago and have already received 2 full sized samples, and earned $20 in Amazon gift cards by participating in daily polls, surveys and simple missions. This is easily becoming my favorite way for product testing.
- BzzAgent – This is similar to Crowdtap, without the possibility to earn gift cards. I signed up a little over a month ago and have received 2 full size samples to test and review.
- In case you weren’t keeping track, thats a total of 5 full sized samples within a month, absolutely FREE!
While these ways might not be for everyone, its something to try! I know that it’s not much, and nothing close to a working income, but it is enough to help us to have a little extra pocket money, and it keeps me from getting cabin fever!
I know that there are a ton of Mom’s out there struggling with the same feelings I had, and I hope that this list might help.
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