Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pulling Dollars out of a Hat: Earning Money Creatively for One Income Parents

If you’re a one income parent, you may have noticed that cash can be a little tight sometimes. Let’s face it, gone are the days that one income can gracefully carry a mortgage, car loan, monthly bills—and still leave extra money for ballet lessons and soccer.

So here are some suggestions for making money creatively when you’re strapped for cash. Although you’ll not likely get rich off of these tips, you have an excellent chance of earning pocket money. And most of these ideas are light on time commitment and flexible on schedule.

Crazy about Craigslist! – Sell your unused items on Craigslist or Kijiji! If you’re child has outgrown the baby stage, you likely have a whole nursery of items that can be converted into cash! Some such items include a crib, change table, bouncy chair, jolly jumper, bassinet, stroller, newborn clothing and toys. Not only will you clear out your clutter, you will earn a few hundred dollars from your overhaul. Just ensure that all items conform to current safety standards and have not been recalled. 

Do What You Know – Are you able to offer haircuts for friends or acquaintances? Can you babysit a few times per week? Have any homemade wares to sell on Ebay or Etsy? How about baking kids’ birthday cakes for friends? Or doing some casual sewing? Can you freelance out your writing skills or offer services in résumé writing? What about teaching piano, computer, math, languages or yoga? Want to mow a lawn, walk a dog, or keep the books? Think of your marketable talents, and you’ll uncover extra cash!

Yard Sale Mania – If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know that my answer to many questions is often “yard sale!” Not only does having a yard sale greatly clear out your home, basement, attic and garage, but it can also generate a few hundred dollars in revenue! Popular items to sell are golf clubs, musical and exercise equipment, older video game systems, kids’ toys and clothes, household items and gadgets, tools and more. Organize a street sale with your neighbours, and watch the bucks roll in!

Ask and You May Receive – Be resourceful and put the word out among friends, family, your religious institution, former colleagues and online contacts that you are looking for occasional work. Let them know what kind of work you can do and when you’re available. Have them ask around on your behalf, and a money-making opportunity may turn up for you. So many employers are looking for occasional or seasonal employees, but don’t know where to begin looking. Simply ask and you may receive!

If you think creatively, there’s lots of opportunities around you to earn pocket money. And these are words you can bank on!

This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and appears in the July 25th 2012 issue of the Kuklamoo blog!


  1. I love your money saving tips and ideas for helping relieve the load on a one income run family. We're one income and we've had people ask "How do you do it??". I always tell's all about budgeting and being aware of what you can and can't do or have. Finding creative ways to still do the things you want. We haven't had to do without anything and we don't have any debt, so it can definitely be done! And your tips are a great reminder of that :)

  2. Thanks Brandi! You're right about "Finding creative ways to still do the things you want". Daily deal sites have greatly helped us in this area. :)

  3. Thanks for the great tips! We are a one income family as well. And yes it is def tough. But with a little budgeting a little can go a long way!

  4. We only became a one income family after having our second baby and we definitely feel the urge to save when we can. Money is definitely tighter, but because of it I have learned to make my own ice cream and bake my own goods to save.


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