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On being a money-making mom

(This post is inspired by Money Making Mom, which I’m giving away in this post. Not sponsored! This giveaway is now closed…congrats to Sarah!)

Money Making Mom

For all of my adult life, I have always earned money in some way, shape or form.

(Actually, I started when I was 14, teaching piano lessons.)

But for most of my life, I have not worked a full-time job, save for a few years there before we had kids.

So, in my 16 years of being a mom, I’ve never been a 100% stay-at-home mom or a full-fledged working mom…I’ve always been a hybrid of the two.

kneading bread dough

And, except for a several-year stint of working at Nordstrom (hated it!), I’ve always been an entrepreneur.


  • taught piano lessons
  • done childcare
  • worked as a photographer
  • played the piano for hire (at church, for weddings, for funerals)
  • done freelance writing
  • blogged

The great thing about all the entrepreneurial jobs I’ve held is that they’ve all been really flexible, which has made combining work and motherhood so much easier.

Laura Vanderkam frequently talks about how if you work your way up to a high-level job, you earn a certain amount of schedule flexibility that you don’t have when you’re entry-level.   This is true, but I see entrepreneurship as an alternate way to gain that flexibility.

camera and laptop

If I had to go somewhere to work for regular shifts, I’d probably have been much less inclined to keep working once I had kids.   But this part-time self-employed bit has been a perfect fit for me.

I’ve been able to:

  • avoid childcare costs almost completely
  • keep using my gifts and talents (which brings me joy and serves others)
  • contribute to my family’s financial well-being
  • avoid burnout (working 40 hours a week away from home would be hard for this introverted homebody!)
  • set my own work days/hours
  • adjust my schedule as necessary for my kids (when they’re sick, need appointments, etc.)
  • make my schedule mesh with Mr. FG’s more immovable schedule

And since I’ve worked part-time, for myself, I’ve been able to avoid a lot of the costs typically associated with working.   I haven’t needed a special wardrobe, I don’t typically commute, I usually have time to cook meals and I haven’t had to outsource household tasks.

While I might not earn as much as I would working full-time, the income from my work combined with the money I save by being frugal (and by avoiding traditional working costs) has had a significant impact on our family’s financial well-being.

slicing bananas for freezing

I don’t think that entrepreneurship or part-time work is perfect for everyone, but for me, it’s been great.

If you’ve been wanting to pursue the idea of working for yourself but you don’t know where to start or you feel discouraged and overwhelmed at the thought of all the unknowns, I think Money Making Mom could be a big help to you.

It’s practical and encouraging and will help you think through not only the how, but also the why of becoming a money-making mom (so that you’re not just pursuing money for the mere sake of making money).   And there’s lots of helpful stuff in there about finding what it is that you’re passionate about and could make money doing.

(Me? I like saving money, taking photos, and writing. So this blog is a pretty darn near perfect fit for me!)

The Money Saving Mom team sent me a review copy to keep, but since I’ve read it now, I’d love to pass my book on to one of you.

Soooo, let’s do a giveaway!

Leave me a comment telling me what your dream entrepreneurial job would be.   How would you love to use your passions and gifts to earn money?

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend upon the number of entrants. One entry per person.   Winner will be chosen at random when the giveaway closes at 11:59 PM EST on December 1st, 2015. Giveaway limited to residents of the continental United States.

(I’m sorry, international readers! It’s just that shipping it outside of the U.S. would be kind of expensive for me.)

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Tuesday 15th of December 2015

Thank you for posting this. I have been thinking about my dream job - and it's still kind of up in the air. Sometimes I hope that I'll spend forever as a Camp Executive Director, working in upper management area of running a summer camp. Then sometimes I think about how when I have kids, I want to be a stay at home mom, but I'm worried I'd get bored. I love writing, photography, saving money, and all. I even started a blog (to help my wife and I pay down our debt). Thank you for being an inspiration.


Friday 4th of December 2015

I have been blessed this last five years to work from home doing what I use to do full time. I would love to share for those of you that might be able to do this as well. I teach at four different online universities as an adjunct professor in their nursing department. I was a nurse for many years full time. Very grueling schedules. I stayed at home with my oldest five children and when they started school, I went back to full time hospital work. Later in life, we had an unexpected pregnancy, and we were in no shape for me to stay at home with this one, so I researched a way to stay at home and still work, and I stumbled on teaching online.

Many people do not think of this, because they think you have to have a degree in education. But many online universities only require a bachelor's or masters degree in the subject area you would teach. So, if you have a business degree, or a psychology degree, or nursing, history, sociology, health, pretty much anything, chances are - you are qualified. Most online universities want people with a degree in their field, and experience working in their field.

I love it. I usually work about 1 to 2 hours a day at the most now that I am use to it and have been teaching the same courses for a while. I make more now than I did working full time out of the home. I can set my schedule, and pretty much travel and do whatever I want, as long as I have my laptop with me. So, if our family wants to go out of town or on vacation - I just take my work with me! I love being home with my family, and still contributing to our financial well being!


Wednesday 2nd of December 2015

My dream job is what you do! Being there for my family and making ends meet by doing jobs here and there. I love photography and painting, I love making headbands (started an etsy shop) and would love to watch another kid at my home too!

Lauren M

Wednesday 2nd of December 2015

I am a librarian and passionate to the point of obsession about organizing information in a way that makes sense. I would love to be able to take a mass of information from companies or individuals researching new products or starting their own businesses and set them up for success through transforming the mass into well-organized, filed sets of data.

Donna's used bookstore sounds pretty good, too, though!


Wednesday 2nd of December 2015

I would love to do something with helping people get organized.

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