In my corporate job I earned good money – and then I stopped earning money altogether. It came as a bit of a shock. Especially after parental leave payments finished as well. I now feel bad about spending money on myself and “non-essentials” like make-up. Something I wouldn’t have worried about before. Not that my husband is the type to control my spending; it is more that I feel I’m not entitled to it. I know that’s not right but I’ve been so used to having my own money that it just feels weird to ask. I do feel like I am taking from our little family and that I’m being selfish. This leads me to my first income stream:
1. Give myself pocket money (or, in other words, start budgeting)
We’ve had to cut back our spending quite a bit and we have made a tight budget. I’ve allocated pocket money to both of us individually and also for us as a couple. I think I had more disposable income for myself when I was a student.. Saving money is hard. We started obeying all budget friendly tips from “stop having takeaway coffee” to “have a budget and stick to it”. However, whichever way we tried to cut his income, it always seems to be less than expected halfway through the month. I’m dipping into our savings every now and again when something unexpected happens. The car breaks down, a tooth has to be fixed and the car seat has to be bought. Something happens every month. My husband is growing more and more worried the smaller our savings balance goes. Buying a house seems to move farther out of reach by the day. This means rather than saving we have to earn some extra cash. This led me to my first endeavour:
2. Sell things I have at home
I’ve started looking at everything in my house with following thoughts: “Do I really need it?”, “Is it worth anything?” and “How much can I charge for it?”. I’ve sold quite a bit and I’m now officially out of stuff that can be turned into money. I’ve also sold a couple of things I shouldn’t have – I’m sort of regretting not having a couple of things now like my baby monitor which I didn’t need in our old house but which would be handy in our new one. Now not having any more to sell I’ve looked into earning a bit of money on the side some other way..
3. Use existing peer to peer platforms to earn additional income
There are a number of fantastic ways of earning some extra cash these days. In the days of peer to peer platforms everyone can provide services as an individual to another person. I checked out a number of them:
- Fiverr or Freelancer : perfect for creative mums with a graphic design, website development or copy writing background. Essentially you post your services and people browse and choose their preferred supplier.
- Uber.com: fantastic for social people with a nice car, some time on their hands and who like driving. You effectively give other people a ride, just like a cab, and they pay you for it. Most people will have heard of that one and the other super famous one:
- AirBnB.com: suits home owners with a big house or a holiday home which they would like to rent out for a period of time.
- Spinlister.com: This one is just finding their feet in Australia. You can list your bike or your surfboard for others to hire off you.
- Etsy.com or https://www.hand-made.com.au/: You can list your gorgeous, handmade item here for sale.
However none of the above suited me and I really wanted to find a way so that every mum could make some extra money- for herself. This initiates potential income stream number 4:
4. Use stuff I already have
It all started when family visited and I had nothing for their little baby girl. I had no network of mums I could call on and so nobody could lend me their car seat or stroller. Hire businesses were quite expensive and also quite far away from where I lived. Fast forward a couple of years and I have my own baby. Being at home and not getting any additional money means that I was quite keen to use things like my pram, stroller, high chair, bassinet and all the other baby equipment I already have at home and which I’m not using anymore. I came up with the idea that more families probably have stuff they don’t use so they could hire it to another family who needs something for a short amount of time because of travelling, trying out a new brand or because they only use for a short time anyway like capsules. Essentially, parents hiring out their baby stuff to help out other parents.
I have dabbled in creating the platform earlier but I got really serious about it while on maternity. Tree Hut Village was born. The name stands for a parent community and for being able to rely on each other (i.e. “it takes a village to raise a child”). I wanted to encourage parents to hire baby equipment rather than buy cheap “disposable” baby equipment that goes to landfills pretty soon after purchase. And of course, it’s about mums being “mumpreneurs” or dads being “dadpreneurs” while at home with the kids.
Tree Hut Village launches at the mid-November and I can’t wait to put my baby equipment on there to be rented over the holiday season.
What do you do to generate some additional income? Let me know below – I would love to share it on my Facebook page with other parents.
Mum and Director
Tree Hut Village