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Why write about work from home jobs for single parents in particular?
Because I wanted to write a list that incorporates an understanding of how difficult it can be to access decent earning opportunities when you’re tied to the home because of childcare.
On the other hand you may be in need of home-based work because of health problems or disability, or some other reason; whatever the case, I hope this list helps.
The list will include the following types of opportunities:
- Home-based employment, independent contracting & microtasks
- High effort/skill/commitment jobs – essentially a home-based self-employed job or small business
- Medium effort/skill/commitment ways to bring in extra income
- Low effort/commitment ways to pick up extra money
Work from home jobs for single parents and extra income opportunities
I’m going to try to avoid going over the same ground too many times, and this post will be updated regularly. So let’s get into the jobs and money-making hacks:
Home-based employment, independent contracting & microtasks
Amazon has “virtual location” jobs available, but they are some restrictions as to regions. Click here to see what jobs are available.
Apple employs “At Home Advisors” – see what positions are available here.
Sensée offer home based customer service advisor jobs – see what positions are available.
Lionbridge/The Smart Crowd are an established company offering steady work hours (as an independent contractor).
Appen have a variety of jobs available, and these range from home-based contractor work, to microtasks, to corporate jobs.
Clickworker is a site where you can pick up jobs as a freelancer, not an employee. Jobs available include data entry, proofreading, copy editing and site testing, amongst others.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk offers microtasks – with this, you’re also an independent contractor, not an Amazon employee.
Working Solutions’ independent contractor jobs are for US residents, with the exception of a few states.
Would you rather work entirely for yourself? Here are some skilled enterprises you can take on from home:
High commitment, high-medium skill ways to make money
Taking care of someone else’s kids is as serious as it gets. If you want to become a registered childminder, have a look at the official advice here.
Creating online courses
A self-hosted course will naturally give you more control over pricing and keeping in touch with your students, but the established course platforms have more visitors, reputation and the possibility of being found.
Creating written or audiovisual content can be a decent way to earn an income from home, but the truth is:
- It’s difficult
- It’s a long-haul game
- It’s not for everyone
I wouldn’t want to put you off, as I’m clearly a blogger who works from home, but it’s important to know that any kind of content creation business is a lot harder than most people make it seem.
If you can think of a clear subject area in which you have a keen interest (and that you know something about), and you can stick with it for several years, online content creation could be for you.
If you’ve already got an engaged social media following such as a Facebook group or successful Instagram account or YouTube channel, or if you have a blog of your own, you can try monetising it with affiliate marketing.
I recommend Affiliate Window as the best place to start* – I use it myself and have done since 2016.
Many online content creators will turn to virtual assistants to get help with tasks such as social media scheduling, organisation and some content creation.
Whether it’s in print or online, there’s a lot of new information being published every week. Freelance writers are still needed.
If you’ve got the goods, you can supply a local café with homemade goodies, or take on custom cakes.
Selling your photographs on stock sites isn’t exactly easy, but it’s possible. Try out PicFair.
Hair and beauty treatments
Can you plait amazing cornrows? Hair styling can be done at home – particularly braiding and weaves, which require a lot of time and skill, but not necessarily water or styling products.
Kids and adults alike need one-on-one tuition for classes or fun – whether it’s learning to play the piano, build up oil painting glazes or pass their GCSE’s.
According to Debt Free Family, the average UK wage for transcription services is between 50p and £1 per audio minute. Check out their list of places offering home-based transcription work.
Vocal/musical skills – singing, voiceovers and music
I used to sing in bands, but that’s definitely not easy to do with a small child to look after. If you can sing or play an instrument, you can record your work at home and provide it to the people who need it.
Too much hard work? Fair enough – try these ideas instead:
Medium effort, medium skill ways to make money
Make money with your house
This is a big subject in itself, so I’ve written an article about ways that your house can make you money. Some suggestions include things you might have thought of such as renting out a spare room, Some things are simple, but others are a bit more complicated, but still, you never have to leave home.
Ironing services are popular because it’s one of those chores that keeps on recurring, and lots of people seem to hate it. Handily, it’s a task that doesn’t take much room or specialist equipment that you wouldn’t normally have, but you’ll need somewhere to keep those freshly ironed clothes until they’re collected or dropped off.
Selling handmade items on Etsy
Turning your hobby into a business is actually more difficult than it sounds, but whether you want to start small or go all in, Etsy is a great platform for selling items you’ve made yourself. You can also sell printable files you’ve designed, so there’s no need to spend anything on materials to start selling.
Selling secondhand items on eBay
Selling on eBay doesn’t take a great amount of skill or commitment, but if you want to become a pro reseller, that does take some effort. There are also other apps and sites to sell on, such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, and others.
Can’t commit to those? These ideas may be better for you:
Low effort, low commitment ways to make money
Low effort, skill or commitment usually means low income, but sometimes you need only a few pounds extra for something specific, and these can help.
Switching bank accounts
Dependant on the offers available, and how many current accounts you have open, you can make a few hundred pounds for a few minutes’ work. Bank switching incentives generally take a month (sometimes less) to come through, and there’ll be a limit as to how often you can do it.
Using and sharing referral codes
There’s no commitment here at all, just offering your friends and family your referral code to use if they need to try out a new service that you already use. If it’s a popular service you might get more traction from sharing your codes on social media or on your own blog.
Renting out your unused items
Fat Llama allows you to lend items you don’t use – perfect for if you’ve got to take a hiatus from a hobby for just a little while, or you’ve got special equipment you don’t mind sharing for cash.
Renting your car
Drivy, Turo and Hiyacar are a few companies that allow you to make money by renting your car when you don’t need it.
Earning interest on savings
The only effort involved in this is finding the highest-rate savings account you can, which, these days, is often a current account. Saving is a challenge for many of us, but if you can get into the habit, you can generate passive income each month and compound your interest.
Surveys have a bad rap because people often put them in lists like this, but it’s very rare to find someone who can actually make decent money from nothing but surveys. Still, there’s no barrier to entry, no special skills needed and little to lose apart from a bit of time when the kids are in bed.
Smartphone task apps
Apps like Roamler and StreetSpotr pay for small tasks, and there’s also receipt-snapping apps like Shoppix.
Emma Drew’s written an ebook with 50 iPhone apps you can use to make extra money.* At 99p, it should pay for itself if you use just a few of the suggested apps.
Get Paid To sites
No-one gets rich off of these kinds of sites, so let’s not kid ourselves – but they do pay a little bit, and there’s no commitment whatsoever. They’re gamified so you feel as though you’re just playing around.
Some of the most popular are:
Pet sitting is fairly straightforward! There are lots of sites across the UK that will let you sign up as a sitter, but you’ll have to be vetted.
Cashback sites aren’t a way to earn money, but to get money back from what you’ve spent. However, there are sometimes a few “free cashback offers” on the sites if you look around.
Comping is the practice of regularly, consistently entering a high volume of competitions. It’s a hobby that can possibly pay off, but can be tedious if it’s not a hobby you enjoy.
Out and about
If you have a bit of time when the kids are in nursery or school or being looked after by relatives, these ideas may be useful to you. Some may be good for taking little ones along, but others may be best done on your own.
Mystery shopping won’t provide a wage, but it might provide a bit of extra money on the side, some free food, or both.
You’ll have to do a bit of work at venues, of course, but a lot of the administration can be done at home.
Cleaning homes and businesses is a good, flexible job that can allow you to work around other commitments, and you may be able to get some of your work done with baby around, if they’re cooperative.
You may be able to fit a small window cleaning round around school hours.
Like cleaning and window cleaning, gardens need regular upkeep. If you can build up a small gardening round, you may be able to get it done while the kids are at school.
Using your car as advertising
Check out Money Magpie’s article on wrapping your car with ads. Not everyone will be eligible, but hey, it’s worth a shot.
Art schools and universities will generally require life models during school hours, but it’s not for the faint hearted, and not as easy as you might think.
Wo/Man with a van
If you’ve got transportation and are physically able, you might be able to make some money helping out with moving items from one location to another.
My work-from-home story, and some advice on work from home jobs for single parents
Working from home is always going to be a popular subject for money bloggers. It’s not surprising, since the world of work isn’t exactly cut to fit our lives; we cut our lives to fit into it.
Mums looking to get back into paid employment – and I have to emphasise ‘paid’, because housework and bringing up kids is real work – need flexibility, and being able to work at home is ideal.
I’ve been on that quest before as a single parent to a toddler, and I’ve done all sorts to make an income, including sewing and selling clothes, bags and homewares online, and singing in bands.
You need to decide on what level of focus you can apply to your work, and whether the safety net of employment is better for you than the freedom of freelancing. The most important advice I can give you on your hunt for work-from-home jobs is this:
Don’t pay anyone to start a job with them, and don’t join an MLM.