How to Make Extra Money for Your Homeschool Family

How to Make Extra Money for Your Homeschool Family

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How to Make Extra Money for Your Homeschool Family

As many of you already know, living on one income can be challenging for homeschool families. Often being frugal and resourceful come in handy as a homeschool mom. You may need money in addition to what is in your budget for things like children’s clothing, homeschool curriculum, or extracurricular activities.

I have been homeschooling for a decade, and in that time we have always relied on one income. Like any typical American family, there have been transitional periods for our homeschool family over the years; job changes, income flux, and unexpected expenses.

Rather than charging expenses on a credit card, I had to become wise about options to bring in some extra money at times. So I wanted to share with other homeschool families some creative and some practical ideas to bring in additional cash when you need some. Notice I say extra cash and not an additional income, please note the difference.

How to Make Extra Money for Your Homeschool Family

Creative Ideas to Bring Extra Cash into the Home

Sell Handmade or Unique Products on Etsy, eBay, or Craigslist. If you have a unique talent for creating handmade items, this might be just the thing for you.

Craft Shows – Rent an inexpensive booth at a craft show and sell something that you can turn a profit on easily. I did this for a few years and could bring in $500-$1000 in one weekend or sometimes in one Saturday. Choosing a product that is “hot” or “in” at the time is critical. You can make your products or buy wholesale and resell them for a profit.

Upcycle Junk – Yes, way before Pinterest was cool I was upcycling vintage and unique pieces into boutique chic items. I would scour yard sales or thrift stores for interesting furniture and home décor; and later fix, paint, and breathe new life into a piece. Sort of like flipping furniture and accessories out of my garage. To give you an idea of the profit you could make, I once bought a dresser from Goodwill for $17 and flipped it for $300. Or I once purchased a breadbox that needed no work; it was an adorable mint green metal bread box for $2.50 that I actioned on eBay for $39 + shipping. So all that to say if you have patience, a good eye for unique items, and the willingness to sand, paint, distress, and possibly fix an item; you can make some side cash here and there.

Create an Etsy or TPT Shop of Digital Products – Digital products are an easy way to create something once and sell over and over. It is a fantastic way to generate passive income. Just find out what you are good at designing or teach your self some cool new skills! (TPT = Teachers Pay Teachers)

Practical Ideas to Bring Extra Cash into the Home

Maybe you don’t want to create anything. That’s ok! Here are some simple ways to generate a bit of cash right from things you already have.

People underestimate what will sell online. I used to look at our used clothing, toys, and other household items and think the easiest way to discard them once we no longer wanted them or could use them was to donate them. Which I still do with “some” of our stuff. But I have trained myself over the years to know what I can make a profit on and what I would be wasting my time to try and sell. You can learn this by watching similar items to your own for sale on eBay before you try and sell them.

Sell Your Family’s Used Clothing

Every quarter I go through each closet (my kid’s, my husband’s and mine) and remove clothing that we have outgrown, won’t wear again for whatever reason and organize it in the standard sell vs. donate piles. Because I do this quarterly, it goes pretty quickly. Of course, if there is something I can hand down to another child or gift to my nieces I do that before selling or donating.

Once I have things sorted out, I can sell a group of similar items in a “lot” on eBay or Craigslist. Or sell the individual outfit or piece alone if it is a name brand and can bring you more money. You can even do this now on Facebook in the marketplace.

Other great places for selling clothing: Poshmark and thredUP are both options for selling clothing online. Poshmark takes a bit more time to list since it is similar to eBay in terms of taking photos, listing the clothing with descriptions and later shipping your items once they have sold. What I do enjoy about thredUP is ordering a clean out kit and filling the bag with all my clothing (they also take children’s clothing) and shipping it to them. Super simple, however, the return will be much less since they are buying your clothes to resell and make a profit on.

Tips for Selling Your Used Clothing Online

  • The key to selling your used clothing on eBay for the most significant return is washing, ironing beforehand and good clear photos. Doing these steps can help you get the biggest return. I know you may think ugh I don’t want to iron all this, but I promise it will increase your bottom line.
  • Accurately estimate your shipping and calculate that into your eBay listing in advance. If you want to skip shipping items out (which isn’t that big of a hassle) list locally on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. You will need to allow people to come to your home to pick up the items or arrange a meeting spot to complete the transaction.
  • List the details of each item; size, condition, and brand.

Sell Your Family’s Used Curriculum

Now hear me out on this. I know many of you save everything, but I am leaning toward a more minimalistic approach to simplify my life. If I know that I won’t use it again, I sell it. I used to save curriculum and homeschool resources with the mentality that “you never know when I might need this.” And the truth is 99% of the time it would never get used again. Not to mention that all these items that I was hanging onto began to overwhelm my current curriculum, supplies, and resources so I couldn’t find what I wanted when I needed it. It is worth more money if I sell it than letting it collect dust in my closets. Check out my system for cleaning out your homeschool space.

Trust me, simplify.


Tips for Selling Your Used Curriculum

  • Bundle resources if you have many small pieces that you think won’t amount to much.
  • I use eBay, Facebook groups, Craigslist, and curriculum fairs to unload curriculum and books that we no longer want or need.
  • Contact local homeschool groups or your local library to find out when your community holds a curriculum fair, sale, or swap. You can rent a table or booth affordably in most cases. If the rental for a table or booth is too high or you don’t have enough products to sell; team up with another homeschooling mom and split the table or booth.

Clean Houses – When it comes to making sure my family is well taken care of, there is nothing beneath me. I have an excellent work ethic, and it has served me well all my days.

You can do this a couple of ways. Maybe if your husband is off during the week or you have an older child that can babysit the younger ones; you could clean a house or two a week. You could make $100-200 a week for 1-2 homes in a few hours each.

Advertise on Craigslist or put up a flyer in your local library and thoroughly check out your employer in advance.

The benefit to small jobs such as this is working around your family’s schedule, creating your hours, and quick cash once the job is complete.

Babysit – When I was homeschooling only one child, I took on a full-time position babysitting in my home for my newborn niece. It worked out well with our schedule. I created a routine that meshed with our current homeschooling plans and even though the hourly pay wasn’t a lot. It added up after 35-40 hours each week.

If you can handle homeschooling your children while watching others, it’s an easy way to supplement some extra money. However, I advise you thoroughly think this through. If homeschooling is already a challenge, you may not want to add in additional distractions.


Utilize your Gifts and Talents

You are not just a homeschool mom! What are your gifts? Tap into what comes naturally to you.

If you have teaching experience try VIP kid or a similar company offering your teaching services. Or teach a small class to homeschoolers on something you are well educated about or have extensive experience with. Photography, cooking, or an academic course.

If you are organized and great with administrative work, take on some side jobs working as a virtual assistant (VA) for bloggers or web companies. Becoming a virtual assistant is a fast growing and seemingly lucrative option. You can set your own hours, work around your family’s schedule, and be your own boss. You can charge hourly rates or create bundled packages to sell with the services you offer.

Are you a gifted writer? Can you create cute printables? Write blog posts and sell them. Become a ghost writer for someone else’s blog. Design printable bundles and sell them. Again, customizing your hours and rates.

If you are wondering where you can sell products and services like ghostwriting, VA work, or printables; Facebook is full of groups for content just like that. You can also list your services on places like Upwork and Fiverr.

How to Make Extra Money for Your Homeschool Family

Do you make an incredible pound cake or pecan pie? Here is an idea! Take orders in advance. If your husband works somewhere that sales among employees are permitted, send a sample or two one day. Allow the place of business to taste your goods and then have an order sheet nearby. Maybe place the cake in the break room with a sign-up sheet next to it. You can take orders in advance and deliver them all to your husbands work and collect your earnings upon delivery.

You can also sell your delicious treats to other businesses with the same method. Deliver a free cake or pie (or whatever you do well) and leave some printed order forms too. Or business cards. Giving a sample upfront is a fantastic way to drum up new business. If your items are tasty, it is likely that word of mouth will spread fast. How do I know? Yep. I used this method to promote a business I owned at one time. It worked. 

Are you a seamstress? Another side job where you set your own hours and take the jobs that work for you. Alterations are always in demand. My mom did this for a couple of years from the comfort of her own home. She did custom jobs, alterations, and even made products to sell online or in craft shows.

I hope you enjoyed this brainstorming session! I am sure there are so many ideas that I missed. Drop them in the comments here below so that I can add them to the list. Let’s make this an excellent resource for homeschool moms and their families.

 

Comments

  1. Annette V

    some excellent ideas. I need to figure out some of the legal aspects for some of these as Canadian laws are finicky lately…

    1. Thanks Annette! Yes, these options were all thought of based on the US. I am sure some of them are adaptable. 😉

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