It never occurred to me that I would ever be making money working at home with kids around. But, life changes and you have to roll with it or get run over.
In 2013, when our second kiddo was born, I was working full-time as a practice manager for a collaborative care oncology clinic.
We had naturopaths, nutritionists, and herbalists on staff to help patients living with cancer integrate natural medicine into their pharmaceutical medicine protocols.
I loved my job and I felt good about what we were doing to help people during a very difficult time in their lives.
However, when I had our second baby, he showed very early signs of being highly susceptible to respiratory infections and was in and out of the PICU, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms for 10 months straight.
One morning he woke me up at 3AM wheezing with wide eyes and blue lips. We took him to the emergency room and they told us he had pneumonia.
I look hubs square in the eye and told him, “I’m quitting my job to stay home with him and keep him out of daycare” – hubs just shook his head and agreed 100%
Getting On A Budget
We had always kind of followed a budget but, we didn’t have a savings account and had only a vague idea of where our money was going. ‘
I mean, when you’re making plenty of money why would you need to know where you’re spending it, right!?
Yeah, that all changes as soon as you are bringing home $60k a year less than you had been. So, the first step was to get on a serious budget and cut back the spending.
This wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Mostly because the majority of our spending was on eating meals out. I hate cooking.
So, we would just “grab some dinner” on the way home from work and not think about how much we were spending.
But, once I quit my job, I had to start meal planning and being more mindful of how much we were spending on groceries.
I still hate cooking – but, I’ve got some good habits and recipes now that make it easy enough that it’s worth it.
Plus, I am a JuicePlus distributor so, I don’t worry as much about my kiddos not getting enough fruits and veggies if we have grilled cheese for dinner one night a week.
Making Some Kind Of Income
Once we implemented the budget and had a good idea of what our core bills were and where we could cut back, we realized that we needed a little cushion and building an emergency fund would be really great #adulting LOL!
Obviously, I didn’t want to leave the house to work and the work that I could do had to be flexible enough that having a one-year-old running around wasn’t a problem.
So, I started looking for ways to make extra money working at home with kids. Eventually, I was able to grow my ‘extra money’ ventures into enough of an income that I was working full-time.
One of the very first ways that I started making money working at home with kids was as a transcriptionist for Rev.com.
The coolest part about this job was that I could make as much or as little money as I wanted (or had time for) and could work while my son was awake or asleep.
It was a little more difficult to work while he was awake – but, I could do it and having him talking, playing, or screaming in the background was not an issue.
This company was great to work for, always paid me on time, and there was always work that needed to be done.
The way that I approached this job was to decide how much money I needed to make that month and then divide that by the number of days in the month.
This would give me a dollar amount goal to earn for each day. I type 70WPM and would allow myself three minutes to type one minute of audio – that means it would take me an hour to type a 20-minute audio.
Even with interruptions from my kiddos – this was about my average. My average rate of pay per hour with Rev was $10.
No, you’re not going to get rich doing this. But, to make an extra $500 a month – I only had to work two hours a day. What else are you gonna do with those two hours!?
Plus, if you enjoy transcription and want to take it to the next level to start your own business and make a lot more money – Transcribe Anywhere is a legitimate online course that will teach you how to get faster as transcription and help you find clients.
For me, the natural next step after transcription was copywriting. I was already sitting and typing for a couple of hours a day – I figured I may as well make more money for each of those hours.
So, I started researching places that would pay me as a copywriter. I found plenty of “copy mills” – websites similar to Rev but, that provided legitimate copywriting jobs.
This post from Work At Home Woman was one that I referred back to over and over again. Also, Gina Horkey’s Freelance Writer course is an awesome resource for anyone who wants to start a business as a freelance writer and build a list of clients.
In the end, my approach was to contact marketing companies in my region and reach out to make my services known. So many marketing companies need copywriting done for their clients (web copy, print copy, blog posts, etc) and I started working for a handful of them on a monthly basis.
After I had our third kiddo, it was pretty difficult to find the peace and quiet that I really needed to do any kind of business or marketing writing. I had an 18-month old and a newborn at home and they were both constantly moving in different directions.
I made the copywriting work for another eight months after our third was born but, by the time I was ready to pull my oldest out of public school and start homeschooling her for middle school, it was obvious that my copywriting days were coming to an end.
It was a good run though, I did it for two years and made about $2,000 a month after I had my client list built up. Right around the time that I let all of my copywriting clients go, James decided to start working from home, so I had him there to help watch the kids.
I decided that being a VA could totally work with our home office set up and I could still have the freedom to homeschool and parent.
I found an amazing website called hiremymom.com and had a 10-hr a week VA job within a month.
After working with this client for a couple of months, she referred me to a few of her friends and I soon had 20-hours a week of VA work. I’ve been doing that now for almost a year and I LOVE it.
I work in the morning for a few hours and then I have the rest of the day to spend time with the kids. As a copywriter, I ran my own business so I had clients asking for bids and setting deadlines around the clock.
But, as a VA, I’m helping someone else run their business so, when my hours are in for the day, I’m off the clock! I get to just be a mom and I don’t have to worry about anything else.
If you’re interested in being a VA but don’t think you have the right training, Gina Horkey’s Jumpstart Your VA Career is an awesome course that will give you everything that you need.
Start A Blog
My most recent way of making money working at home with kids is starting this blog. We launched it in February and have already made $500 in Google Adsense income.
It doesn’t really feel like “work” so, it’s a little indulgent to have that $500 deposited into our account. I love writing and sharing with people all of the ways that I have found to spend quality time as a family.
It seems strange to get paid to do something I love but, that’s the dream right!? To do something you love and make a living at it?
I took Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blog Academy course to make sure that I was doing things correctly from the start. I have precious few moments in a day and I don’t want to spend any of them on something that is not going to yield some kind of benefit.
There’s no “right way” to make money working from home with kids around
Basically, working at home with kids is an ever-changing evolution and you have to be willing to roll with it.
The biggest thing is to always stay focus on your ‘why’.
Running your own business as a copywriter or working for someone else as a VA means that the hours and the work will ebb and flow. Things get really stressful when you are sending out invoices for hundreds of dollars less than usual.
But, if you have your household on a solid budget, your emergency fund is built up, and you can stay focused on the whole reason you are working from home in the first place – you can weather those times and everything will be fine.
We are not one of those households where hubs works full-time and makes $80k a year and I am working at home with kids for ‘extra’ money.
He and I both work from home and together we make $40k a year.
It’s a far cry from our corporate 8 to 5 careers where we made $100k a year together. But, making the trade of dollars for quality minutes as a family carries us through all of the budgeting and discount hunting.
Our big, juicy, life-changing dream is to grow our incomes to a point where we can live location-independent and take the kids traveling and work from anywhere in the world. #adventureawaits!