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8 Actual Ways I Make Money From Home

Updated on January 7, 2018

I think we all have seen or read the articles discussing how to make money from home or side hustle ideas to help you beef up your income. While these articles and videos are great, a lot of them are just theories. I have gotten some good ideas from these types of articles, but at the end of the day, I need real examples.

I have worked from home for over 6 years now as I homeschool my son. I had to pull him out of daycare when he was two and ever since then I have been trying to figure out how in the world I was going to be a stay at home single mother. That wasn’t something that many people thought was possible. My family thought I was nuts, but there are so many ways to make money from home or home based that I’ve tried and I would like to share the list with you.

While your reasons for needing to work from home. I also have a rare brain disease that can keep me home-bound as well and when I was a single mother, someone had to pay the bills. So there are many reasons for a side hustle and a home based business. I want to help you find some ways that work for you, as they have for me. We all have different skills and knowledge, so while my ways may not all work for you, some will and I hope it gets you thinking about how to monetize your skills to make some extra money to pay off debt, enhance our income or to just survive.

Freelance

I’m a freelance fiction writer that works for multiple publishers throughout the year. This is my main form of income now and has been for many years. I’ve always been someone that has been able to come up with a story on the spot. It was quite useful when I was a teenager and I was trying to get out of trouble. I started freelancing on a couple of platforms, but I now almost exclusively use Upworks to pay the majority of my bills. I make tens of thousands of dollars a year this way.

I started out not making much, but as time went on and scores and comments from work done was calculated and posted on my profile, I am able to make a decent living on this income stream alone. While not everyone may want to be a writer, there are many marketable skills that you can use to make your living. There are always jobs for editors, graphic design, virtual assistance, typing and so much more. Find out what skills are in demand that you can do and get started building your freelancing business.

There are cons to this income stream if you use as your sole one. For example, income may fluctuate greatly, however with a little planning and enough good reviews, finding new jobs are usually not a problem now. I can work more if needed to make ends meet or to pay for a nice trip if I so choose. There is something to be said with making a budget that is flexible. I budget what I need and then go out and make it, instead of trying to budget from a static amount each month. As my needs for the month grow or shrink, so can my income.

Content Sites

You are reading this from a content site that I’ve used for years. I have used many throughout the years, but I always come back to Hubpages for several reasons. The main reason being that I have a good base of articles here that collect royalties whether I am actively writing or not. The other big reason is that there are multiple ways to monetize on this site. Not only does Hubpages have an ad program that will pay you for each page view, but there is also Google that pays you for ad clicks as well on the same view, same article. You are essentially getting two income streams from the same work. This helps in many ways and it is just a more efficient way to monetize the same work.

Content sites are not going to be the most reliable source of income for some people, however like most income streams; with some work in the front side the money will come easier in time and more stable. While it won’t pay the bills by far, I can still count on a small amount each month to go into my PayPal account on work that was done years before in many cases. There have been instances where I have made thousands of dollars in a month when certain articles go viral, so that is always a bonus that I don’t like to look past. The amount of money is very different from month to month, but essentially it is royalties from work long ago. Last year I didn’t actually do anything with the site at all and still had money coming in. The longevity of this income stream is what keeps me going back to it when I have time.

Gardening

I love to garden and what better way to pay for supplies for the hobby, as well as a few bills than to monetize our hobby. I live in a climate that lets me grow a garden for most of the year, save for a few months in winter. I do have a background in nursery work and management, so this comes pretty naturally to me now.

My yard is about an acre, however I use a square inch gardening method because it can be hard to keep up with more than a couple of smaller raised bed plots, but with this method I am able to produce far more than my family will ever be able to use. I give a lot of the produce away to friends, family and neighbors, but there is still more that needs to be used up. While I do can some of it up in jellies and salsa, a lot of it can be sold at a local farmer’s market from May through October.

Not only does this income stream bring in hundreds of dollars a year, it is a great learning tool in aspects of business for my children, as well as gardening in general. I feel like I can grow and sell organic food that is a good product for the community at low prices, as well as making some extra cash that can be used later for my family’s needs. I have also just put out boxes in my yard with a price tag and a collection box for when I don’t have enough to make a trip to the farmer’s market viable. Haven’t had many problems with this, though if someone needs some food, I am happy that I am able to provide some if they cannot pay.

It’s a win-win all the way around and the savings of the fresh produce may not be an income, but it sure feels like it when I don’t have to buy produce as much in the seasons I can grow them. It also seems to help with eating more veggies and fruit because I hate to waste it.

I also grow an herb garden that I use excess bounty to sell at farmer’s markets and I sell the dried packs on places like Etsy. A nominal amount is made this way and usually on the more exotic herbs for medicinal purposes; however once again, every little bit helps in the grand scheme of things.

Crafts

If you are a crafty person, the long winter can be a good time to make some extra money doing an assortment of crafts. I crochet when work is low or while watching a movie at night. Christmas time is a good time of year to sell your handmade crafts at a variety of locations. There are always fairs and markets that pop up during this time of year where you can sell your goods. I usually do crocheted stockings, scarves and blankets that can be bought for Christmas presents at these locations.

There is also Etsy again where you can set up a store and sell any goods left over all year round. In my case, it is always cold somewhere.

This stream of income is a small amount, however once again it is another several hundred dollars into the yearly budget that I can claim and use later when times or lean or towards that end of the year vacation.

Self-publishing Books

So I am a writer by trade and I work for many different publishers. The give me a genre that they want a book done in and a count, as well as other parameters that they want followed. Most of the time everything goes well and I get payment for those books, however not always. Sometimes a book is rejected or not quite what they are looking for, so instead of trying to change it, I will self-publish it on KDP through Amazon and start collecting royalties on sales, as well as add it to their sharing program so every page that is read I get paid for it.

Royalties are constant with a check every month and though it is high and low throughout the month, it is money that would otherwise not come in. The book is an asset to a publisher or to me, so instead of scrapping it, I make use of it in another way. I try to monetize all of my efforts and I don’t want any work to go wasted.

I’m still getting the hang of promoting it, but the royalty amounts have risen over the years and it’s just another small chunk to add to the pile for the annual income.

Credit Card Rewards

This is another unusual source of income, however instead of using my debit cards, I use my credit cards for everything save for rent. I pay the amount off each month and reap the rewards from using the card instead. I don’t pay any interest on the card and it has no annual fees, so the hundreds of dollars in rewards go to gift cards for Christmas or for groceries at local grocery stores.

This can get you into trouble if you don’t pay it off every month, so only charge what you are going to spend anyways and get the rewards that are nominal but a bonus if you do it the right way.


Ibotta

There are many grocery rebate cards and apps that can not only save you money, but pay you as well to use them. The grocery information and receipts are used for marketing research for the companies and as long as you don’t let it influence your shopping, but rather get rebates on what you already buy, this can be a great source of a few hundred dollars a year for a couple of minutes of work a week.

I get better deals on things I am always going to buy and every month or two I get a small deposit in my PayPal account. To me it is worth the time spent to take a picture of my receipt and to pus a couple of buttons. I don’t have the time and patience for coupons, so this is a great way to monetize even the mundane task of grocery shopping.

Consignment Shops

With a boy and a girl on the way in the next couple of days, I have found that getting rid of clutter and clothes that have been grown out of is another asset that can make you a few dollars throughout the year. As kids grow, we end up with clothes every few months or annually that can no longer be used.

Consignment shops are a great way to get them out of your house and help out another mother and child to be in savings. A couple of times a year I will take a load down to the consignment shop of gently used things that aren’t of use to many anymore and as they are sold, I get a small check in reimbursement that can be used for the next size up in clothes or for bills. It is never much, but what isn’t sold is donated and it is out of my house for good. Less to clean up and stress about, as well as a couple hundred dollars to add to my total for the year.

A penny saved is a penny earned

So while not all of these methods will work for you, I encourage you to find assets in your home that are worth a little money, as well as to look into ways to monetize your skills.

I also believe in the ago-old saying of “a penny saved is a penny earned’ Find skills that not only make you money, but save it as well. Cut your kids hair for free with a little time learning how to do it. I save a couple of hundred in haircuts a year doing that. If you don’t know how to do something, learn. We have so many resources to our disposal in the form of the internet that nothing is off limits if you really put your mind to it.

Monetize your unused assets, hobbies and skills, while learning new money saving- skills to boost your income. When your bills are low and kept low, you can make less and feel just as rich.

I hope this helped in some way. Please leave your comments down below how you make money from home or what you do for a side hustle. I’m always looking for new ideas.

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    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 

      16 months ago from New Jersey

      Interesting article. Good ideas for making money from home. I'd like to learn more about Ibotta. Sounds like a good way to make money from going through your daily routine.

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