Hey friends! My name is Brooke and I blog over at from under His feathers (the name is based on Psalm 91:4).
Becoming a stay at home Mommy to three children wasn’t exactly an intentional choice of ours, though it was what I’d always desired. Fate took the choice and the struggle of leaving my cushy corporate job and benefits away from me, which was a true blessing in disguise. Although unemployment led me to this new role, we are sort of victims of the economic downturn and the “challenging” financial situation we find ourselves in, because of course I could probably go find another cushy corporate job, but I chose not to and that’s where the victim part ends.
I was liberated from my job in September 2009. I can say that it was probably one of the best days of my life. I got that job when I was 20 years old, unmarried, and pregnant with my son. I’d been there nine years and grew through the most significant and soul-rocking changes of my life at that job. Now I was settled, happily remarried and stable and I wanted out. I had my baby girl who was 13 months old and I wanted to be with her at home, and had already been crunching numbers and brainstorming on how we could manage to live on unemployment + my husband’s income if the proverbial axe ever fell. It made no sense on paper, but sheer will and determination led me to creatively seek out ways of making money so that this could become a reality. Of course, my husband losing HIS job also last year was not part of that financial plan… sort of complicated things a bit.
Our situation has become rather dire. Our house hits the auction block December 6th. My unemployment benefits ran out in August. We cannot seem to find part time work. The need to find additional sources of income has become absolute necessity. Desperation leads you to try to find ways to make money in any way possible.
What I want to share with you are some of the ways we have creatively generated income for our family and “made it work” which for us means keeping the lights and gas on, among other things. Outside of this stuff, we have had zero income. I know we are not alone in our situation, and I am hoping that maybe this might inspire or help some of you too!
· I’ve offered my (paid) assistance to other up and coming home-based businesses (photography, listing items on eBay or Etsy, cake decorating, etc) who will provide me with work and flexible hours.
· I’m into the business of resale… in every way possible – via Craigslist, thredup.com, eBay and Etsy, kid and adult consignment shops… need I say more? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Understand the value of what you find while thrifting or yard sale hunting and you can make a profit!
· For about 8 months I provided childcare for my nephew. This held us up financially for that period of time.
· My hands and feet + time = cash. Last month my husband and I washed dishes for a wedding and made $150! This is in addition to the cupcakes I decorated for that same wedding. We made $250 that day! J
· My husband is a carpenter and built a tree house for my Mom in exchange for cash. He also remodeled HIS mom’s kitchen for an hourly wage and the project held us up financially for 3 or 4 months.
· Learn to coupon… this may not seem like income generated, but you will be shocked at how much money you will put back in your pocket. Team up with other couponers to swap coupons – a friend of mine gives me all the organic/natural coupons and I give her all the rest of mine. You can stock up and save by buying more items that are both on sale AND that have a coupon. SouthernSavers.com is a good place to start for folks in the South.
Of course, all of this takes time, and as mothers with households to run and noses to wipe and faces to feed it can certainly be an adjustment trying to fit in any of these tasks. But, give a little, get a little, have grace and patience for the rest… we can’t do it all mamas, but we can do some, and put it all together it’s a mighty fine piece of work!
be sure to email me if you want to get in on this feature!