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Stay at home dads make money in all sorts of ways
The whole situation can bring you down sometimes.
You want to work full time and make money and provide for your family, but at the same time, what’s best for your family may not fit in with that situation.
There are a million reasons to be a stay at home dad for your kids, you could not find good care for them, childcare is too expensive, your kid needs special attention, or you just want a parent to be at home with your kids.
Whatever the reason may be, I hear you; it’s not easy when it comes to money. In fact, it’s downright miserable sometimes.
For me, we went from a ‘dual income, no kids’ family (who were used to doing whatever we wanted) to a ‘single income family with an expensive child.’
Having a child is an adjustment – but not having the money you’re used to, that’s even harder.
If you’re reading this, I am sure you are in a similar situation, and you are trying to figure out how to make ends meet. It is possible to earn some side cash. You just need to figure out what works for you.
Let me share with you what I do to earn some extra cash. Everything I mention below, I have done myself and have earned a decent amount of money doing it.
Working it out with your partner
Before you even attempt to earn money, discuss your intentions with your partner.
You both need to get your schedule in sync if you want to be successful. The last thing you want to do is book a job and then have to cancel because your partner worked late or was unaware of your intention on working once she was out of work.
If you have a client that needs you every Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m., make certain your partner is aware and make sure it aligns with her schedule too. If she really supports you, she can even work on getting out early that day or make other accommodations as needed. It is a team effort when you have a child.
You are set for success when you and your partner have an early understanding of what is going on. If your partner comes home and is expecting a lovely evening together or had a rough day and needs a breather, but you just hand her over the baby and say, ‘see ya’ and leave unexpectedly, then the arrangement is not going to work.
You can end up resenting each other, or working on the side can become overwhelming for one or both of you. If one of you is stressed, the entire situation may not be worth it.
Be honest with your partner, if working is about the money, then let her know. If it is partly about being productive outside of the house, let her know that too. It is easy for your partner to say, ‘hey, we have enough money’ and burst your bubble of working on the side, but how would she know she burst your bubble if you are not upfront with her?
The bottom line, be honest about the reasons why you want to work on the side. Also, work with your partner on your working out your schedules. If it gets to be too much for either of you, be prepared to minimize your workload and be flexible with your side jobs.
Remember, you stopped working to take care of your child and the household if this interferes, then you are defeating the purpose.
**Further reading for dads:**
1. Dog walking
I am a big animal lover, and I believe that animals deserve to be treated well. So dog walking came naturally for me.
Dog walking works well for my clients that have active dogs, and they do not have time to walk them daily. A typical client usually wants half an hour to an hour-long walk. If I only have the dogs for thirty minutes, I just walk them. If the client wants me to take the dogs out for an hour, I usually walk them for half an hour and then take them to a park to play for the other half-hour.
I usually play fetch with the dogs at the park, it wears them out, and their owner appreciates that they are not full of energy at the end of the day.
I let people know that I am flexible and will walk the dogs as early as they want or as late as they want, I am on call all the time. I also let dog owners know that I will walk their dogs even in bad weather, when it’s cold, windy, or whatever the weather may be like. Dogs need to get their energy out no matter what the circumstance.
The best part is I take my daughter with me, she gets out of the house and enjoys being at the park too. I make sure my clients are okay with me having my daughter, and I also teach her how to treat the dogs right.
I get clients by meeting people at the park or through referrals. Once my friends and family find out what I do, they usually recommend me to people they know.
I started by using the Wag application; however, I had many issues with it. If you do not know what Wag is, it’s basically a mobile application that provides dog owners a dog walker from their approved database. Once the dog owner goes on the app and requests a dog walk, all the dog walkers nearby are alerted, and the first one to accept the walk gets the client.
Here are a few issues I had with it:
- Most of the walks I accepted got canceled
- The walks that did not get canceled (extremely rare), I would show up to, and nobody would be there; usually, the app gave me the wrong time
- The dog already went for a walk with another Wag user
- The walks that would show up on my app would get taken even if I accepted it one second after it was announced
As you can see, most of my issues were technical, and I would spend most of my time attempting to call customer service (that was not readily available). I had the app on my phone for months, but due to its technical issues, I never really got to walk dogs.
Oh yeah, did I mention that my contact information was stolen, and I had a scammer call me trying to get my bank account information on behalf of “Wag?” So either they got hacked, or they hire bad people.
Anyways, my experience was not good with Wag at all. I do not recommend it.
**These are MUST-READs for future dads:**
2. Pet sitting
Besides dog walking, I also dog sit – well pet sit because if there is a cat or any other animal in the client’s household, I watch them too.
Basically, when people go out of town for work, vacation, or the holidays, I watch their dogs. Typically, I go to their house a few times a day to feed, walk, and give their pets company.
What I do depends on what the client wants to pay. There are several options, and I can customize what I do for each client, depending on the following:
- Amount of time I spend with them – a half-hour or hour or more
- How many times a day I go over – two to three times a day is the norm
- A walk or no walk
- Playing with them
- The times I feed them
- The number of pets they have
- The time of year
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with taking care of someone’s pets while they are out. You get access to their homes and are responsible for the well being of their pets. Trust is a huge factor in gaining clients.
What I like to do is send the owner pictures every time I see their pets, so they know I am going over, their pets are happy, and they know I am doing a good job.
3. Use your old job skills
I used to work at a cable company, while working there I acquired a lot of different skills and became familiar with entertainment systems, Wi-Fi, cable, satellites, telephone systems, and how to deal with customer issues. Basically, I learned about a variety of technologies that people can’t live without.
Whenever someone I know has issues with their cable, television, or the like, I help them out.
My suggestion is whatever trade, skill, or craft you know – use that skill to do jobs for people. If it is a skill you have that a professional may charge an arm and a leg for, you can do it for a less expensive price.
4. Odd jobs
People are always in need of help!
But some people just do not know where to find help or who to trust. This is where you come into play. If you do not mind getting dirty, there are plenty of odd jobs you can do.
For instance, my aunt and uncle used to clean yards together and do landscaping jobs. Well, my uncle recently passed away, so now I help my aunt with the jobs she can’t do on her own.
There are also things you can do seasonally. During the holiday season people like to put up Christmas lights around their house, but not everyone is comfortable getting on ladders. If you enjoy working with your hands, this could be a great opportunity.
I like to organize stuff, so in the spring, I let people know that I will be cleaning garages. It’s not just about cleaning. It is about clearing the garage out, cleaning the floor (actually mopping), and getting rid of their old junk. The more quality and value of service you provide, the more you can charge.
5. A blog?!
Okay, so we have not made much money off of this blog, but it’s a work in progress.
So many people recommend writing a blog to make some side cash, which is why we started, Not A Power Couple.
In reality, it is very hard. We have definitely spent way more than we have earned.
Writing useful quality posts is exhausting. It costs more money than these “start a blog” articles entail. Finding an audience is a nightmare (thanks for reading this by the way if anyone ever reads this). Then when you finally put everything together – monetizing it feels impossible.
Maybe someday this blog will get some success, but we have put in a year already and have not benefitted thus yet. So if an immediate payout of fast cash is what you are looking for, a blog may not be the best idea.
If you are willing to put TONS of work and go above and beyond, you can make money off of a blog or website.
As you can guess, I am more of a blue-collar worker than a computer guy based off of my side cash recommendations above. To be honest, my wife does the bulk of our blog work, I help her with the Stay at Home Dad articles and social media. Two brains are better than one, but for a blog to work out, you need more than two dedicated brains and endless time.
There is plenty to do out there. As long as people are short on time and are willing to pay for different services, the money will keep going round and round. These are just a few ideas, and they are things I have done as a stay at home dad.
My wife and I have gone through some rough patches because having a parent stay at home is the ultimate sacrifice for your family to make these days when having two incomes is critical.
Sometimes you just have to set your pride aside and do what you must to pay those few extra bills or to prepare for a special occasion.
These are things you do not have to do all the time, you can do them in your spare time, or if you really want to hustle, you can go out and work every evening when your partner comes home from work.
Every job and every opportunity you take opens the door for future opportunities. Typically, when I do an excellent job on something, that person comes back and asks me to do something else. Then they become a long-time client. Or they end up recommending me to a friend or coworker.
Little jobs like these can add up to some good side cash. If you do the kind of job that can charge $100 per project, you do this kind of job twice a week that’s about $200 at four to five weeks per month, that is $800 to $1000 a month.
It will not get you rich quick, but it can help you make ends meet or just be a bit more comfortable during the month. Plus, you feel valued when you put in a few good hours of work outside the house. I know taking care of kids is hard, but being cooped up in your home can be just as hard.
Be wise with your time and get out there, if you do not do the job and take that money, someone else will.