Learning to save and make money is easier when you have a plan. Follow these steps to create one.
How to Save and Make Money from Home
It has never been easier to generate money online, especially as a stay-at-home mother or working parent. You can even make money from home as a teenager! My blog will help show you ways to succeed in building a profitable side hustle for you and your family.
You can make money from home by starting your own business, becoming a freelance writer or virtual assistant, or selling products online. The possibilities are endless!
There are many ways to make money from home, so if you’re looking to supplement your income or replace your job, there’s sure to be a method that suits you. Get started today and you could be earning money from home in no time!
Learning to Save Money
Before I jump into ways to make money, let me explain how I have gained insight into saving money.
If your parents and grandparents grew up poor like mine, then you may already have a “save money” mentality. In my opinion, saving money is something we should all strive to do every day, even from an early age. So, teaching your kids to turn off lights when they leave a room, take short, warm showers instead of long, hot baths, and drink water instead of sugary juice or soda can help instill good habits and money-saving ideals for life.
My parents worked for years at a local factory, making very little money per hour. And, because I wanted to be able to get a car when I turned 16, I knew I would have to get a job and save my money.
My first paying job when I was 14 years old, was babysitting two little boys during the summer.
Did I love it? Not really, but I learned about being responsible for others early on. I saved my money from babysitting during the summer to buy new clothes for back to school in the fall.
Next, I worked part-time at the local grocery store. I worked about 30 hours per week while also going to high school. Again, I saved up my money and bought my prom dress and school clothes.
The list goes on and on. So, I’ve always worked at least a part-time job since I was 14.
I got married when I was 19 (a big mistake), had a daughter, and got divorced. This was over a span of nine years.
My life felt hard and scary to me, dealing with a mentally unstable ex and trying to make it on my own with a child.
At this point in my life, I realized I would have to go back to school to get a job that could support me and my daughter. And, did I mention that I didn’t get child support? Yes, I was supposed to, but that never seemed to happen.
In 2001 I started nursing school full-time, and I worked part-time at a real estate law firm. Also, my daughter went to a Christian pre-school five days a week. So my days started at 5:30 am, I dropped off my daughter at school at 6:45 am, and I was in class at 7:20 am. I’d pick up my daughter from preschool, do the normal housekeeping stuff til about 8:00 pm, then I’d study, write research papers, and take tests on my computer til about 1:00 am every morning. Then, we’d start all over again.
There were long years of studying, working, and studying more. Finally, I graduated from nursing school in May of 2004. I passed my NCLEX boards and started working full-time as a Registered Nurse in June of 2004.
It was during these “hard” years that I had to cut out every non-essential expense that I could. And, I learned tips and tricks for saving money on one, tiny income.
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Make Money with a Side Hustle
Before I knew anything about a “side hustle” or alternative ways to make money, I would clean up and sell my daughter’s used and outgrown toys, clothing, and shoes.
Also, over the years I would work at a restaurant on the weekends in addition to my full-time job to help pay bills and for extra groceries.
There are many ways to make money with a side hustle, even from home.
Here are a few ways you can make money with a side hustle from home:
- Start a blog and sell advertising or affiliate products
- Do freelance work online
- Sell handmade items or crafts online
- Do odd jobs on TaskRabbit or Upwork
- Invest in stocks, real estate, or cryptocurrencies
- Participate in online surveys or research studies
- Review products or services for companies
- Provide professional home cleaning services
- Offer pet-sitting or dog walking services
- Be a virtual assistant for a business owner or entrepreneur.
- Make and sell homemade food items
- Design and sell print-on-demand products
- Offer consulting or coaching services
- Provide resume writing or career advice
- Sell your photos online
- Give music lessons
- Offer expert advice on a particular subject
- Make and sell jewelry
- Offer home décor items or furniture
- Manage a blog
Ways to Save Money
Making money is important, but also saving money as a stay-at-home mom is key for successfully living on less or on one income.
Once I remarried and had two more kids, it made more sense for me to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) than to spend every cent I made from nursing to pay for daycare services.
So, as a stay-at-home mom and cheapskate, I’m constantly looking for money-saving tips for moms.
My number one tip for saving money is managing my budget. If you can keep your budget in check then you can manage your household on one income.
The following money-saving ideas are perfect for moms or anyone trying to cut expenses and stay on a manageable budget.
20 Tips for Saving Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom
Create a Budget
There are 6 main points to creating a budget.
1) Calculate your net income.
2) Track your spending down to every last dollar.
3) Set realistic goals, as identifying them can motivate you to stick to your budget.
4) Make a plan – This is what you’re actually spending vs. what you want to spend.
5) Adjust your spending to stay on budget.
6) Review your budget regularly – like every couple of weeks, to help you stay on track.
Pack your Lunch
Before you head out for your job or to run errands, make a turkey sandwich, and carrot sticks, and throw in an apple and you are good to go! Be sure to put your food in an insulated bag with a few freezer packs thrown in to keep it all chilled. And, before you leave the house, fill up an insulated cup with lots of ice and water.
There are 3 different methods of going about meal planning:
- Write a menu, create a list, and follow the list.
- Learn prices and shop the weekly circular.
- Buy in bulk and stockpile.
Also, here are four great stores to buy discounted items:
- Trader Joe
Stretch your Grocery Budget
Only buy what has been planned and is on the list. No exceptions!
The USDA estimates that the average monthly grocery bill for one is between $229 and $419. So, if we estimate $300 per person for a family of 4, that’s only $1,200.00 per month for groceries.
How can you stretch your grocery budget:
- Look in your refrigerator and pantry before making a shopping list.
- Join store loyalty programs to earn rewards.
- Check the Sunday paper, use an app and explore other ways to get coupons.
Make sure to revisit your grocery budget every month and adjust. Remember, a little planning goes a long way.
Make Inexpensive Meals at Home
Try to cook and eat at home most days of the week. And, prepare less expensive meals.
For example, a large pot of spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, and a salad is a fairly inexpensive meal.
But, if you had this same meal at an Italian restaurant, it would cost at least $50 for four people.
Learn to Love your Freezer
- Buy in bulk when there’s a sale and freeze.
- Make two dinners at once and freeze one.
- Freeze leftovers or anything that might go to waste.
As long as you keep the freezer organized so you can use any leftovers, the savings add up.
Clean Out the Pantry
About once every other month, make a habit of going through your pantry and using those foods for your dinners for a week.
It’s pretty amazing how you forget what you have previously bought, and have so many duplicate items.
Make your Drinks at home
I’ve done this for years. Mainly, because I actually like water.
The markup on juice, soda, and sports drinks is ridiculous and they’re not even good for you.
We have an inexpensive 3-temperature water dispenser that we’ve had for several years. This makes it super convenient to quickly fill up water bottles for on-the-go.
If you must add flavor, try the sugar-free varieties of water flavor drops or packs.
Also, for coffee. I LOVE Starbucks coffee, but not the prices. A cup of coffee at home is $.25 vs. $4 at Starbucks.
And, I whip the creamer before adding it to make my coffee seem more like an expensive, frothy treat!
Visit the Library
Check to see if your local library has these options:
- new movies
- new music
- new books
- story time
- kids reading programs
- local museum tickets
- ancestry.com and heritagequest.com access
- passport processing
Unplug – Electricity
You can unplug everything that is not in use, like your toaster, coffee pot, microwave, and lamps, to save money. Even if it’s off, it still pulls electricity.
Here are a few other ways to save money on electricity:
- Adjust your thermostat up or down a degree or two, depending on the season.
- Add weather stripping to any doors or windows that aren’t sealed tight.
- Use curtains and blinds, and keep them shut to help cool the room down. And, keep them open to allow the sun to warm them up.
- Turn the lights off when no one is in the room.
- Wait until there is a full load of laundry before running the washer. Washing in cold water uses less energy.
- Load the dishwasher completely full before running it.
- Use your microwave or toaster oven for small things instead of your oven. You will consume about half the power.
Start a Garden
Grow your own herbs in little pots on your window sill.
And, plant a small garden in your backyard with tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers.
Of course, this is great for saving money in the summer.
Get rid of Cable
This is another thing I did back in the day.
Actually, I had an antenna on the roof, and could only pick up a few channels.
But, reading, cleaning, and working in the yard seemed to take up most of my time.
Cable is just a luxury you really do not need.
And, for my daughter, I just replayed her favorite movies and shows over and over again.
Save at the Movies
Here are a few ways you can save if there is a blockbuster you must see:
- Go to the matinee.
- Some days of the week are cheaper.
- Look for student and senior discounts.
- Costco sells tickets at a discount.
- Check out free summer kids’ movies.
- Some theaters have a deal where you can pay one flat fee per month and see as many movies as you like!
Workout at Home
I’ve been doing this one for years.
I’m not sure how much it costs to go to the gym anymore, but I know I’m saving money by NOT going.
Instead, I have a yoga mat, a set of weights, and a bike, and there are TONS of Youtube videos showing you how to do everything imaginable when it comes to firming up, losing weight, and staying in shape.
Ask for a Discount
A lot of places will give you a discount if you just ask. Check out the below ideas.
- Just Ask – The worst thing they can do is tell you “no.” As long as you keep that in mind, there’s really no reason that you shouldn’t ask for a discount.
- Be Polite – Kill them with kindness! Be genuine and make them want to give you a discount.
- Ask for a Manager – A normal salesperson or employee probably won’t be able to give you a discount. If they tell you no, don’t fret! Just ask to speak to a manager because they’re more likely to give you a deal.
- Ask About Future Sales – If they can’t give you a discount, ask them if they can tell you when any upcoming sales will be. If they find out that you’re willing to leave without buying anything and come back later to save some money, they’re likely to give you any sale dates that they have.
- Ask for an Upgrade or Comp – If you’re staying somewhere or doing something that you could be upgraded to the next level, ask!
- Be Persistent – Be confident in your way of asking. Say, “Will you give me 10% off my purchase since I’m buying shirts? That would help me afford this and be able to buy both”
- Negotiate – If they keep saying no, ask something like “what do I need to do to get this to $___?” Let them lay the rules and it just may work!
Amazon Kindle Unlimited
For $9.99 per month (and sometimes $4.99/mo), you can get a Kindle Unlimited subscription that includes:
- Unlimited Reading
- Unlimited Listening (switch between reading and audio narration)
- Magazine subscriptions
- Use on any device (phone, Kindle, tablet, etc)
So, basically all the reading you could possibly do every single month!
Save on Cleaning Supplies
Try using natural products for house cleaning.
Use water, vinegar, baking soda, or essential oils to clean instead of buying multiple cleaners.
Also, instead of wasting paper towels, use old, cut-up bath towels to wipe down everything.
Do your own Mani/Pedi’s
I prefer this anyway, as I don’t like to waste time sitting.
Buy a few nail polish colors you like, cotton swabs, nail polish remover, and an at-home nail kit.
This is cheaper and more sanitary than paying for a mani/Pedi.
In my area, it costs $35 just for a pedicure.
Just think of how much money you will save in a year!
Save on Gas
Before you make a trip somewhere, even across town, think about how much it will cost you.
Also, try to do all your errands in one day to keep from making multiple trips.
And, check out apps on your phone to see who has the cheapest gas nearby.
Stop Buying Clothes
Make a goal not to buy new clothes for six months.
You’ll be shocked at what you can find in the back of your closet and how creative you can be!
And, if you must buy something, try going to a consignment store or check out online apps like Poshmark for barely used, reduced-price clothing, shoes, and purses.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money from Home and Learn to Save Money
No matter your upbringing or your socio-economic status, we can all make positive life goals to save money.
And, we can figure out ways to make money from home via our life circumstances, our likes, passions, and what we are good at.
There is something for everyone, you just have to find it.
Whether you start your own blog or sell goods and services on other websites, there are plenty of ways to make extra money working from home.
So don’t wait any longer- get started today!