There comes a golden time in every parent’s life when all the kids are old enough to be in school during the day. While this free time feels like an endless supply of mini vacations at first, all the Netflix binges and video games eventually get old. Before you know it, you will be looking for any excuse to get out of the house and run errands. You’re a parent in the prime of your life; not a retiree. You need something constructive to do. Why not make a little extra money?
There are more and more opportunities for people to find little bits of extra work, thanks in large part to the internet. It’s called the gig based economy. Basically, individuals are hired to do one little job at a time. The hours are flexible, and the variety of work is almost endless.
Below are a few ways to market your talent and make a little income in the process.
If you’re the person all your friends and family call to fix their printer or check out a laptop when it’s acting funny, doing IT work on the side can be a great option. All you need is a strong working knowledge of computers i.e. power user– no fancy degree required. And if you’re ever stumped, just check out YouTube. There are a ton of videos on there to walk you through most problems.
Many potential customers are individuals who aren’t computer savvy, and just need a little help setting up a new computer or a wireless router for their grandkids. It’s a simple job, and they don’t want to pay an IT company $70 plus dollars an hour for what amounts to a quick fix.
Shade Tree Mechanic
There are many parents who are gear heads. Either it’s a hobby, or they learned how to fix a lot of car problems because they didn’t have the money for a mechanic. If you’re one of these, you can make some extra bucks.
Like with IT work, there are many people who only need a simple fix or maintenance done but don’t want to pay a small fortune to do it. This could be anything from changing out spark plugs, adjusting brakes, a tune up, or something random like getting a window back on its track.
Who hasn’t heard of Uber by now? The rideshare service is becoming a fixture in cities all over the world. While Uber is always actively recruiting new drivers, they don’t accept any random person wanting to get behind the wheel. The Uber driver requirements are fairly simple, but the company takes them seriously. Drivers have to be insured, pass a background check, and have a clean, safe car in good repair. A twenty-year-old minivan with dents and a floor littered with fast food wrappers isn’t going to cut it.
Art & Design
There are several small business and organizations who need a little logo drawn up or a bit of artwork for a project. Another good market for this side job is to help out someone with a home improvement idea. A parent or grandparent might want to decorate a child’s room with Disney characters (beware of copyright infringement) or maybe paint things up to look like a castle.
Many homeowners have saved a small fortune by taking the DYI route, when it comes to home repairs. Not everyone has that talent though, or otherwise lack the time. Installing a new ceiling fan, patching a hole in the drywall, or fixing a leaky sink. This could also extend to doing other chores like cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters, especially for the elderly or infirm who can’t perform physical labor.
Every parent is an expert at cleaning up disaster areas. While going out and cleaning another person’s house while yours has a stack of dishes and a floor carpeted with toys may feel like cheating, it can still be a good way to earn some extra cash. Most of the time all you have to do is a little light general housekeeping or a thorough cleaning of a single room.
A quick ad on Craigslist or Local Sales Network is an easy way to get started. Just be careful and take steps to keep yourself safe. Always tell someone where you’re going, what you’re doing, and when you’ll be done. And if a situation or house feels sketchy, leave.
No matter what your talents are, there is something any parent will be able to do while the kids are at school. And thanks to that gig based flexibility, if one of them stays home sick or the kids are out for a holiday or snow day, rescheduling the work is a snap.