Having a baby is expensive, yet entirely worth it. If you’re preparing to go on maternity leave, keeping up with bills while away from work can be a daunting task. However, there are plenty of ways to have a side hustle and earn money during your bonding time with your baby.
Since you’ll want to stay home with your baby as much as possible, following money-making ideas can be completed from the comfort of your own living room. So, what are you waiting for? Start reading! Some of these are so good, you might even want to use them to make some extra cash prior to going on maternity leave. This is the best way how to get paid while on maternity leave.
1. Work Remotely
There are plenty of online remote jobs you could sign up for, but there’s one remote job you won’t find on any freelance site. That job is the one you currently have!
While it isn’t really feasible to continue working from a restaurant remotely during your maternity leave, many other jobs might have some online opportunities. Speak to your supervisor about continuing to work from home. They may ask you to come in once a week or so, but just let them know that you’ll be bringing your baby too.
If there’s not as much work for you to do remotely, you might get paid less than you would for in-person work. However, that’s still some extra cash in the bank!
Continuing to work remotely is especially helpful if your job doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. However, if you have the ability to take a paid maternity leave, do so. If you need some more time at home after your maternity leave is up, use the remote option as an extended leave of sorts.
If your work doesn’t offer paid maternity leave or remote work options, cash in on your paid holiday and sick days. Chances are you won’t have enough to last the entirety of your maternity leave, but this could give you a slight boost in terms of income for a while.
If all else fails, you can always find another job with either paid maternity leave or remote work! Learn more about working remotely in the “Online Services” section below.
2. Lower Your Costs
You don’t necessarily have to work to make money. When you’re spending less, it can sure feel like you’re making more! So, how can you lower your costs while on maternity leave?
Decrease Your Expenses
First, think about your streaming services. While it’s nice to have access to every streaming service imaginable, they can get quite pricey. Below we’ll look at basic streaming service plans and how much they cost.
- Hulu: $14.99/month
- Netflix: $12.82 / month
- Disney+: $7.99/month
- Discovery+: $4.99/month
- Peacock Premium: $5.99/month
If you add all these up, you’re paying almost $50 a month for streaming services. Pick your favorite one or two streaming services and cancel all the other subscriptions.
You can also pay attention to the electric bill during your maternity leave. Do you really need all the lights on when opening the curtains would provide just as much light? Probably not.
Another way to lower your costs is couponing! Many forego couponing because it requires quite a time commitment, but now you’ve got the time! Use websites such as Rakuten and Groupon to collect relevant coupons. Additionally, you should look for the store that offers the lowest price before shopping. This may require you to visit multiple stores to obtain all the items on your shopping list.
Sign up for grocery store apps to save even more money. These apps will show you the lowest deals, offer you in-store coupons, and collect points for every purchase.
Get Free Things
One way to spend less is to get stuff for free. If your best friend or oldest sibling no longer needs their baby clothes and things, they might offer them to you. You could save hundreds of dollars collecting used baby items.
Don’t be offended if someone offers to buy something for (or give something to) you and your baby. These people are only watching out for you. Even if your friends and family don’t have items to give you, there are plenty of companies that will send you and your baby free products.
For example, when you join the Huggies Club, you get a free diaper sample pack. Similarly, when you join Enfamil Family Beginnings, they’ll send you tons of free formula samples!
You can also use websites such as Your Baby Club to claim hundreds of free samples for your new baby. Amazon, Walmart, and Target will also send you a free welcome box when you make a baby registry with them.
Make a budget
Another great way to control your costs is to make a budget. A budget helps you to know how much money you need to earn to cover your costs, but also to be able to save and invest. And remember, a budget doesn’t have to be a boring thing, see it as your best friend!
3. Become a Mystery Shopper
Mystery Shopping doesn’t lower your expenses; however, oftentimes these companies will pay you to make purchases and then some. While you might not be going out very often, you could still make a couple hundred dollars using the service every month.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing companies that offer mystery shopper opportunities. One of the most popular mystery shopper programs is offered by Elite XCS. With this program, you get to decide when and where you work. Here’s a list of other Mystery Shopper companies to join during your maternity leave:
Remember, you should never have to pay to be a mystery shopper.
4. Find Your Own Money
Believe it or not, you probably have money laying all around the house–and not just between the couch cushions. If you’re a soda drinker, start collecting your aluminum cans. Take the cans to your local recycling plant and trade them in for cash! Unfortunately, it takes a lot of cans to make a couple dollars. That said, every penny counts when you’re saving for a new baby.
In addition to pop cans laying around the house, you might have unclaimed money laying around the country! We’re not talking about that $10 bill you dropped while at the mall in Chicago. No, you might have unclaimed property in the form of checks and other monetary assets.
Use the website Missing Money to find any of your unclaimed property. This website works in affiliation with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators to get you your money. Do a search for your and your spouse’s name and claim any found property!
5. A Good Old Fashioned Yard Sale
Now that you’re a new parent, you likely have changing style preferences in terms of clothing and decor. While a glass sculpture classed up your home before, it now has the potential to get broken by a crawling baby.
Planning for and running a yard sale requires lots of time and organization. You should have plenty of time to organize a yard sale during your maternity leave.
Gather up all your old clothing, furniture, and anything else you might not need anymore. Go through the boxes in your garage to find items to sell. Determine how much each item is worth to you and label them. (Make sure the price you choose is realistic. You can use websites such as eBay to compare prices.) If it is the summer or spring, host a traditional yard sale.
Pick a day to lay everything out in the yard and sell it. Advertise your yard sale on the local community Facebook pages and hang up flyers. The more people who know about your yard sale, the better chances you have of selling everything.
After the yard sale, take pictures of the remaining items and post them on online marketplaces. This could be Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Poshmark, eBay, and many others. You can even list the items on all these sites!
If it’s winter, chances are you don’t want to be spending time in the cold doing a yard sale. If this is the case, just list everything on online marketplaces and forego the physical yard sale.
Any items left after two or three weeks on the marketplace should be donated to your local thrift store or family crisis center. They’ll enjoy the donations and you’ll enjoy the extra space in your home!
6. Online Services
As promised, let’s discuss what online options you have to make money while on your maternity leave.
When browsing the web, you frequently get asked to take surveys. Companies use the survey results to make educated marketing decisions. Survey results are so valuable to companies that they’re willing to pay you to take them.
When you sign up on sites such as Branded Surveys, Survey Junkie, and SwagBucks, you take surveys to earn points. Once you earn enough points, you can cash them in for cash! Some sites might only offer you Visa gift cards or credits at certain stores; but regardless, you could make a fair bit taking surveys during your maternity leave.
So, turn on your favorite show and start taking surveys. It may take a while to earn enough credits to cash it, so be patient and keep at it!
All you need to be a transcriber is a computer, keyboard, and a good pair of headphones. Every word you type puts a little cash into your pocket.
If you speak another language, you could get paid even more to type. For example, the website Gengo pays you to translate a variety of documents.
Blogging has become a very popular way to make money from home. While you’re on your maternity leave, take advantage of a free domain name and start blogging. What better way than a mommy blog to commemorate the first days with your baby? (Daddy blogs are also acceptable.)
To make money off your blog, you’ll need to sell products and/or use services such as google ads. Another way to monetize your blog is with affiliate links.
If your blog makes enough money, you might consider continuing it even after your maternity leave ends.
Selling Crafts/Products Online
If you have an affinity for crafts or baked goods, you could market your services online. Websites such as Etsy allow you to sell your arts and crafts. Register with the website and start listing your products! You set the price, and you earn the cash.
On Etsy, you could sell items such as jewelry, pottery, paintings, and so much more.
If crafts aren’t your thing, maybe baking is! Take advantage of local Facebook groups and pages. Post the items you’re baking and what you’ll sell them for. You’d be surprised how many orders you get this way! Don’t forget to tell the group why you’re selling baked goods.
Due to new tax laws, try to do as many transactions in cash; otherwise, you could be subject to a variety of taxes and business fees.
7. Watch More Babies
Babysitting was most of our first jobs. As you know, you can make a pretty penny babysitting. Since you’ll already be home with the baby, why not see if anyone else in the neighborhood needs a temporary babysitter. If you choose to do this, make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin. Remember, maternity leave is a time to bond with your baby!
In some areas, you might find an elderly person looking for some live-in assistance. If they’re willing to let your baby tag along, this is a great way to live rent-free, or at least at a reduced rate, while earning some cash on your maternity leave.
House sitting is also an excellent way to earn money on your maternity leave. When people go out of town, they may need someone to watch their house, water their plants, or feed their animals. Someone might even pay you to just stay at their house while they’re away.
Be careful when accepting jobs to house sit or babysit off websites such as Craigslist. Meet up with the person in a public place before accepting a job offer. Always tell a friend where you’ll be staying or who you’ll be watching!