Being a mom is a full-time job, but let’s face it: The pay’s not great. So if you’re in the market for a job that’ll help you pay the bills without having to give up your at-home perks, there are plenty of gigs out there that will work with a busy parent’s schedule. Whether you want to transcribe interviews, walk dogs or grocery shop for cash, here are 18 of the best side jobs for moms.
1. Sell Your Clothes
You don't have to sell the clothes off your back ... but how about the clothes in your closet? If you've got cool outfits just collecting dust, now's the time to unload! Just send your unwanted threads to secondhand clothing companies like Poshmark and Thredup, and they'll pick and choose what's good enough to sell (they can send back your clothes or donate the things they don't choose). The company gets a piece of your sale, but you won't have to do all the hard stuff, like packaging and sending our your goods to the customers.
What it pays: Varies, but more if you've got designer duds to sell—a Gucci handbag, for instance, will get you 90% of the listing price (about $286) on Thredup; whereas a pair of Old Navy jeans will only get you about 5% (that's about 55 cents in your pocket).
Note: If you'd rather trade your clothes at an actual brick-and-mortar store, there are plenty of places to go. Stores like Uptown Cheapskate, Buffalo Exchange, Clothes Mentor, and Plato's Closet all have locations across the country and accept men's and women's clothes. Got kids' clothes to unload? Once Upon a Child has stores nationwide and will pay you on the spot for your new or gently used kids' clothes (or gear).
2. Test Websites
If you've only got a few minutes to spare, but want to earn extra coffee cash, be a website tester! Web analytics companies hire testers to explore various websites and report back on what works and what doesn't. Usually, the job entails visiting a website and performing a variety of tasks (add a few items to your shopping cart, for example). Testers can take on as much or as few as they want—which means you can work as little as 10 minutes a day if that’s all you have available.
What it pays: $10-15 per test. Each test takes about 10-20 minutes.
3. Rent Out Your Gently-Used Baby Gear
If you're like most parents, you've probably got loads of baby gear piling up somewhere in your home. And while you could sell it all on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, why settle for a one-time payment when you can rack up some dough by lending it out again and again?
Enter GoBaby, a peer-to-peer site that has been called "the Airbnb for baby equipment." You simply log on and list your new or gently-used baby stuff (cribs, strollers, baby tubs, high chairs, rockers, bouncers, etc.), and wannabe renters contact you when they need gear on-the-go.
What it pays: It depends on what you're listing, but you get 100% of the rental fee (goBaby makes money by charging a 10% transaction fee), so if you list your stroller at $20 a day, you'll get $20 a day. Not bad for doing nothing.
Where to apply: Gobaby.co
4. Be a Customer Service Agent
Are you good on the phone? Do you have the patience to cheerfully engage a not-so-cheerful caller? Companies use customer service agents for a variety of tasks, including answering customers' questions, making travel reservations and providing tech support. All you need is a phone line and good internet access.
Good to know: Amazon is always hiring for its "Virtual Location" jobs, which include customer service gigs as well as remote sales jobs. Apply here.
What it pays: $17/hour or $35,903 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
5. Do Other People's Grocery Shopping
You know that feeling of freedom you get when you're at the grocery store ... alone? Turn that glorious solo time into pocket cash by becoming an on-demand grocery shopper for companies like Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Google Express. The perks? Flexible hours (work whenever you have free time), a fairly easy job, and quick direct deposit of your earnings. To be eligible, you just need to have a car, a valid driver's license (and insurance) and be able to lift between 30-40 pounds without help.
What it pays: $10-25 an hour, according to this Huffington Post article.
6. Be a Freelance Writer
There's a huge demand for written content all over the web. Whether you want to write about your personal experiences or be assigned topics as needed by the publication (there are even a few writing jobs open right here at Red Tricycle), look for jobs at job sites like Indeed.com and Remote.co or on media-specific sites like Mediabistro.
What it pays: Varies by publication—from as little as $4 per story to $250 or more for full-length articles.
7. Unload Your Stuff
Want to get rid of your CD or DVD collection? Got an old cell phone or video game console you've long since abandoned? Time to unload! For CDs, DVDs and video games: Try sites like Decluttr, Selldvdsonline.com, or Eagle Saver, where you can sell your old DVDs and Blu-Rays without having to worry about shipment costs or listing the items yourself. For electronics: Decluttr buys cell phones, tablets, video game consoles and textbooks (in addition to CDs and video games); and Amazon's trade-in program accepts things like cell phones, Kindle E-readers, tablets, video game equipment and books. Amazon pays for the shipment costs and lists your item for you. You get paid in Amazon credit—or use your trade-in to upgrade to new Amazon devices.
What it pays: Varies, depending on what you're selling and how much you've got to sell. At Amazon, for instance, you'll be paid via an Amazon gift card equalling the appraised value of your device (plus you may get credit toward a new, upgraded device).
8. Teach English Online
You don't need to know another language to teach English, and most online ESL companies provide complete lesson plans to make your job easy. All you need to do is apply, sign on and start connecting with kids from around the world. Note: This is a great gig if you're looking for something to do when your kids are sleeping, since your students may be in a totally different time zone.
What it pays: $10 to $20 an hour, according to The Work at Home Wife.
9. Type Your Way to a Paycheck
Are you a fast typer? Use your skills for extra income! Sign up to be a transcriptionist at Transcribe Me or Speakwrite.com, both which will pay you to transcribe audio clips. You can work as little as an hour or two—whenever you've got the time. It's monotonous work, but an easy job.
What it pays: $12-20 per hour.
10. Get Artsy
Channel your inner artist and sell your goods online at sites like Etsy and Amazon Homemade. Both sites take a commission, with Etsy taking a 3.5% commission as well as a 20-cent listing fee; and Amazon taking a 15% cut and a $1 referral fee (this covers payment processing, marketing, seller support and fraud protection).
What it pays: It depends on what you're making and how much of it you sell. This Etsy superstar reports making $53,000 in her first year of Etsy sales; however, Etsy forums suggest otherwise.
11. Deliver for Amazon
If you've ever used Amazon Prime Now, you know the wonder of needing a pack of diapers RIGHT NOW and receiving them on your doorstep in just minutes. The magic behind the on-demand service? Drivers who are willing to pick up your orders and get them to you, pronto. It's good for the drivers, too, who can work when they want (just turn on the app and start taking orders). As for pay, drivers get paid depending on which jobs they take, with more urgent items (those that need to be delivered in an hour or less) offering the highest pay. The only catch? You've got to live near an Amazon warehouse to get the gig. Find participating cities here.
What it pays: Up to $25 an hour.
Where to apply: Flex.amazon.com
12. Self-Publish a Book
If you've always wanted to write the Great American Novel (or maybe just a cute bedtime story) Amazon makes it easy to do it on your own. Just get writing ... then log onto Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing to upload your book. The site will convert your creation to an ebook and/or have it made available as a printed book. You don't have to pay a cent! Every book is printed only when it is ordered (so no need to prepay for books). You'll be a published author before you know it. The KDP site even gives you free tools to help you write, illustrate and organize your masterpiece.
What it pays: It depends on the price and size of your book, and whether it's in color or black and white—but according to Createspace's royalty calculator, a 200-page 6X9 book without color will get you $2.75 per copy sold if you set the book price at $10. (which is, by the way, way better than the 10% royalty most mainstream publishers offer new authors).
Where to apply: Kindle Direct Publishing
13. Join a Direct Sales Team
Whether you're selling Monat hair products or LuLaRoe leggings, you’re definitely not alone in your quest to start an at-home direct sales "business." We've all been solicited by friends online to buy something; maybe it's time you joined the sales club yourself. Direct sales jobs offer flexible hours; an awesome work/life balance and an excuse to throw “product parties” with your friends to show off your wares.
But be forewarned: While direct selling is a multi-billion dollar market, the average seller makes less than $750 per year—and that's before expenses, according to this article. Of course, there are exceptions, especially if you're uber-organized and good at self-promotion.
What it pays: Our guess is as good as yours.
Where to apply: A few of our faves: Discovery Toys (toys & games), Rodan and Fields (skin care), doTERRA (essential oils), LuLaRoe (clothing); Monat (hair care); Barefoot Books (children's books); Beauty Counter (“safe” skin care and cosmetics); Pampered Chef (kitchenware).
14. Give Expert Advice
Do you have a law degree? Are you a nurse or doctor? Whether your know-how is in medicine, law, cars or home improvement, cash in on your knowledge by answering questions for Justanswer.com. Anyone can apply to be an expert; you make money if your answer is voted the most helpful.
What it pays: Anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour (but that’s, of course, only if you’re giving the “best” answers … and lots of them).
Where to apply: Justanswer.com
15. Walk Dogs
Maybe you're not ready to hand your home over to the dogs, but did you know you can burn 200 calories an hour just walking man's best friend? Go! Cancel your gym membership and spend your mornings palling around with pooches.
What it pays: Up to $25 an hour.
Where to apply: Rover.com
Love all things sweet and furry? Get yourself listed on Rover.com and turn your home into a crash pad for pups (and maybe cats, too). You get paid by the day or hour, depending on the setup. Note: This job is especially lucrative if you live near a major tourist destination.
What it pays: About $20 per hour (and $1,000 a month, according to the site), depending on your availability and your chosen rate.
Where to apply: Rover.com
What it pays: You set your rate, but average babysitting rates range from $10-25 an hour.
18. Got style? Be a stylist for Stitch Fix.
If you're one of those stylish mamas who hasn't ditched the high heels and still carries a brand-name purse instead of a dirty diaper bag—Stitch Fix might be the perfect work-from-home job for you. Don't know it? Stitch Fix is a clothing delivery company that sends you personalized wardrobe choices based on your preferences, lifestyle and price point (you fill out a questionnaire to determine these bits). You get five outfits in a box; pay only for what you keep (which can be everything or nothing).
Behind this service, of course, is a team of work-from-home stylists who pull together the outfits, client by client. Stylists get a rundown of the customer, then scramble to find something fabulous. Stylists must commit to working 15 to 30 hours per week and be available for an on-site training session in their city. Currently, Stitch Fix needs stylists in Austin, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco.
What it pays: $15.64 per hour according to Glassdoor.
Apply here: Stitchfix.com/careers/styling
— Melissa Heckscher
Feature photo courtesy Pixaby