9 Lessons I’ve Learned as I Become a Money Making Mom

It’s been 5 years since I officially became a stay-at-home Mom.

It was a dream that had been years in the making! My husband and I are working hard to make this dream of ours a reality for our children. Since he teaches at a parochial school, our budget is extremely tight. I know many of you can relate! I knew early on that I was willing to do whatever it took so I could stay at home. Over the five years (as I stayed at home and our family grows), I have learned a lot as I continue working to become a mom that makes money (from home) for our family.

It’s a passion near and dear my heart because I want to stay home with our children, yet I know how tight our budget it. We already live frugally. We don’t have any debt (other than our mortgage). Yet, we need to bring in more income so we can reach our other saving goals. That is where I come in as mom.

Moms today have so many opportunities! It is truly a blessing in the variety of ways that we can provide for our families. I don’t claim to have all the answers and my income is increasing slowly but surely.

That said, I am learning lots and I am making progress toward this goal. I want to take the time to share what I’ve learned so far in the hopes that it will encourage other moms who have that desire to earn extra income to support their family.

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Here are 9 lessons I’ve learned as I become a money making mom.

1. Every little bit counts.

I answer surveys, teach piano lessons, coordinate social media, create custom books and blog. I’m constantly trying new things and exploring different ways to earn money. Some things work (blogging and custom book orders) while others fail (my recent craft fair, for example). Yet, I keep trying because every little bit of income adds up! As my blogging and custom book businesses grow, I am able to scale back on other money making pursuits. For now, I continue doing whatever I can to earn our family money.

2. Maximize all the little pockets of the day and use them to earn money for your family.

I can quickly check email, search on Bing and Swagbucks and answer an occasional survey while watching the girls play in the morning. I blog during naptime and create custom book orders at early in the morning before the kids wake up.  I don’t always use my time wisely but I’m working hard at it! (Speaking of this, The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner  was a life-changing read for me.)

3. Learn what works for your family.

This is incredibly important! What works for me and my family may not work for you – and vice versa. My husband is a hardworking teacher who coaches in the evenings. I’m not in the position to go out and host parties like some do after the kids are in bed. However, I can blog during those quiet evenings and earn money that way! I teach piano lessons around the school calendar so I can enjoy summers off with my teacher husband.

The Whirrett Family

4. Take note of what you enjoy and learn how to make money with those talents.

I’ve always enjoyed writing and saving money. The fact that I can combine both of these talents to encourage others? It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to earn money through blogging! That said, it’s not true of everything! No one is paying me to bake them homemade bread or my delicious buckeyes…yet. 🙂 I have a mom friend who has become a very successful Premier Jewelry consultant. She has an outgoing personality and loves sharing the beautiful jewelry she wears – without being pushy. Another friend is going on her third decade of selling Pampered Chef because she loves to cook and make other lives easier in the kitchen. Take some time to think about what you enjoy doing and how you can make money with those talents of yours.

5. Turning a hobby into a business takes time.

This was one of the most important reminders I took away from Crystal Paine’s new book, Money Making Mom. She has spent 10 years growing her blogging business (at Money Saving Mom) into what it is now. I loved how honestly Crystal shared her failures and setbacks in this book. Yes, there are the rare bloggers who earn a 5 figure salary in under a year, but those cases are few and far in between. Most of us have been working hard at building our businesses for years before we see a profit. We have to give it our all and put the time in to see the end results. (If you want to learn how I’ve built my hobby blog into a business on a budget – you can read more about my blogging journey and blogging tips here.)

MMM Show Up

6. Embrace unexpected opportunities.

I wasn’t expecting to add a new part-time job doing social media three years ago. I’ve learned a lot about it in these past years as I work with my blog. My name came up in conversation and I was offered a part-time job running social media for our Indiana District of the LCMS. It’s very part-time, with only 2 or 3 hours of work a week. There are 2 brief meetings I attend but I can and do bring the kids along to most of them. The rest I do at home on my own time. When you are approached with an expected opportunity, take the time to consider if this is something that fits your passion and season of life. That does lead me to the next thing I’ve learned.

7. Know your limits.

I could teach dozen upon dozens of piano lessons every week if I accepted every inquiry I received. I taught piano lessons for 15 years, but when Nathan started Kindergarten this Fall, I stopped teaching lessons. I wanted to be able to pick Nathan up from school every day. The income was a blessing but the time came to move on. I simply can’t do everything – and do it all well!

8. Reevaluate regularly.

What worked when I was teaching and pregnant looks different from now when I’m home with a 5, 3 and 1 year old. I know I will be re-evaluating when our fourth baby is born in March as our family grows again. All of my part-time jobs have flexibility for which I am thankful, but I will continue to evaluate and readjust as necessary. As my blogging brings in more income and when my custom book orders increase, I’ll scale back on other commitments.  I continually evaluate how I am earning income for our family, and which business opportunities are best worth my time and talents.

9. Know your why. 

I do what I do so I can stay at home with my children. That’s the most important why in my book. We waited a long time for our family and I don’t want to lose these precious moments with them. Yet, that’s not the only reason I blog. I blog to encourage other busy moms who are looking to simplify their life at home. I blog to share money saving ideas and resources and recipes and yes, lots of practical encouragement!

One of my favorite quotes from Crystal Paine is, “You were created to make a difference.” I want to make a difference to my own family – and to other families. I believe God placed us in this specific time and place for a reason. Let’s make a difference!

MMM Created to Make a Difference

These are just a handful of the lessons I’ve learned in my quest to become a money making mom. If you are looking for more ideas, I highly recommend Crystal Paine’s newest book, Money Making Mom. In it, she shares lots of practical encouragement for different ways you can earn money for your family. Whether you work or stay at home, have young children or older ones, if you are interested in learning more about how to financial support your family, add Money Making Mom to your reading list!

Now, let’s continue to encourage one another! What do you do now – or have you done – to support your family financially? Do you have big dreams of doing more? I’d love to hear your money making dreams in the comments below!

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  1. If it’s me you’re speaking of, I’m actually in the middle of my THIRD decade with Pampered Chef!! Can you believe it?! It’s been an amazing opportunity for our family all through our growing kids years, allowing me to be a SAHM while also choosing the schools we wanted for our children among lots of other things! (If it’s not me you’re speaking of, disregard! ????)

    1. It was you…and decades changed! 3 decades is AMAZING! I’m so impressed at what you have done for your family through Pampered Chef. Keep up the great work, Lori!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this list. I think my favorite points are to reevaluate often, do what works for your family and remember your why.
    All of them were good, but this really struck me.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much, Jen. I’m glad you enjoyed my insights. I think it is really important to reevulate regularly because you and your family are continually changing. Like I said, what works now for me will be changing in a couple months when my newest baby is born. Still, I love that we live in a world where the opportunities to be a money making mom are so plentiful!

  3. I love that you shared part of your story, Kristen. It’s great to get a glimpse into the lives of real moms who are trying to be a great wife, parent, and still contribute financially. My biggest takeaway from Crystal’s book was exactly the same–hard work is important. It can be discouraging to plug away at something with limited results at first, but it definitely builds character and makes the successes that much sweeter!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I agree that it is certainly a juggling act, but I also love the glimpses into real life moms who are balancing the opportunities before them in any given season. And yes, we do learn to build character through our perseverance…and character produces hope, which does not disappoint us! 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing! I know we didn’t really plan how we would save money when we decided I would stay home fulltime. But then Norwex fell into my lap. As I start learning to share my passion for serving my family with others (by cleaning of all things), I am learning more about managing my time and how to build a “small” business.

    1. I’m so glad you are able to find something that works for you and your family – to keep you home with the boys as you build your business! It’s a lot of work, but good thing Moms aren’t scared off by a little hard work! I hope your Norwex business is a profitable one for you!

  5. I like that you said you reevaluate regularly. That was one of the things that stuck out to me from Crystal’s book. None of us will ever arrive. We have to constantly be looking for what works for us in each season. When I tutored a student last spring, it was the perfect timing because my son was still a baby. I can’t imagine tutoring all day now that he is a toddler!

    1. Exactly, Emily! We will never arrive because seasons change. I loved teaching but right now (in this season), I honestly can’t imagine going back! I don’t know if you are, but if you’re looking into blogging for this season, I highly recommend Elite Blog Academy! It’s not for everyone, but if you’re serious about making an income from your blog, Ruth’s course has been life changing for me – and completely worth the investment!

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