6 Best Side Hustles for Working Parents

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You’ve already got another 9-to-5 job – or at least a full-time job taking up at least 40 hours a week. And you’re a parent to boot. But you want to get some extra cash flowing in when you carve out the time on your own schedule.

Here are some side hustle ideas for working parents who have erratic, busy schedules. Whether you’ve got 15 minutes free or a full day, here are the best side hustle options.

1 | Cash in on Your Opinions

Taking online surveys for extra money may not sound ultra-glam, but it’s a reliable way to make some extra money. Take surveys from your laptop or on your phone – at the playground, carpool, or basketball game.

Most surveys will pay $0.25 to $5.00. Some of the best survey sites will pay up to $10 or more per survey, and offer other ways to earn money like watching videos or using coupons.

Earn just $5 a day doing surveys on your phone, that’s an extra $150 a month or $1,800 a year.

Best Survey Sites to Earn Money

  • Swagbucks: cash out with as little as $3 in earnings. Earn gift cards or free PayPal cash, or even free cryptocurrency for surveys and other site activities. 
  • InboxDollars: get a free $5 signup bonus to get started. Earn cash, PayPal, or Amazon gift cards for taking surveys. 
  • MyPoints: earn points to redeem for gift cards and PayPal. 
  • Upromise: take surveys and complete other activities to earn money for your childÔÇÖs college. Earnings go straight to their college fund. 
  • YouGov: Earn points for surveys that you can redeem for PayPal or gift cards. 
  • Survey Junkie: Earn points for surveys that you can redeem for PayPal. 

2 | Get Paid for Getting Playmates for Your Kids

Watch other kids that are the same age as your own kids. Your kids get playmates (free entertainment). The babysat kids’ parents get a break and a trusted source of childcare. (Parents trust other parents.) And you make a little extra cash. You can set your rates cheap, too, like $5 to $10 an hour. Or ask for more.

  • Offer your drop-in childcare service to friends and neighbors.
  • Reach out to your local mom and parenting groups online – local Facebook groups are a great source.
  • Reach out to other parents from your children’s school or daycare.

3 | Clean Out Your Closets

Sell old clothing that’s outgrown, unworn, or under-worn. For baby and children’s clothes, you can sell at Once Upon a Child and leave with cash on the spot. For teens and adult clothing, you can sell at Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Clothes Mentor, or Style Encore.

Cashing in with a consignment store drop-off is an easy way to earn extra cash while you’re out running errands.

If you have lots of name brand clothing, consider listing your items on sites and apps that will pay more.

  • Clothing resale apps like Poshmark, ThredUp, or Mercari
  • Facebook buy sell groups
  • Facebook Marketplace

4 | Flip Thrift Store Finds

If you dig hitting up thrift stores and flea markets, you know how full of cheap treasures they are. And often, they’re treasures that you can’t use because they don’t “go” with your living room or it’s not the right size or color.

You can still buy it and flip it. Flipping thrift store finds can be a very lucrative side hustle and make a hobby a paid side gig.

Make sure that you don’t over-buy or over-pay. Just because it’s used or at a thrift store doesn’t make it a good deal. Make sure you can clear a decent profit. Do you want to sell lots of $10 finds for $12, making $2 pop? Or do you want to focus your time looking for a $20 treasure you can sell for $80?

Also, make sure you have enough space to organize your thrift store flips.

5 | Meal Planning and Prepping

Are you good at planning and prepping meals? Or just planning them? Offer up your services to other busy parents.

I’ve used this service before offered by a neighbor (before she sadly retired from the biz).

I would get ingredients for 4 dinners for 4 people a week (with generous portions so I could get leftovers), or 16 meals total. Many of the meals were crockpot or Instant Pot friendly. When she prepped meals for her own family for the week, she would just make extra for us.

Line up a handful of families, and it becomes a fairly lucrative side hustle.

6 | Kill Time During Piano Lessons by Dropping Off Food

Deliver food for Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, or other gig economy apps. You can use any vehicle and set your own hours, and cash out up to five times per day.

Many parents will do this one while their child is at a piano lesson or soccer practice. Drop off your kid. Pick up one delivery order. So while your kid is squeaking out tunes or learning to dribble, you can drop off an order of pasta a mile away and make $10 to $25 or more.

It gives you something productive to do while you’re waiting for your kid to wrap up.

This is a perfect side hustle for busy moms and dads who have their kids in lots of different activities.

Additionally, it’s a way to infuse life lessons about money and time management. You can teach kids that it’s good to hustle in some extra money to pay for the extras we need or want.

Other Side Hustles for Moms and Dads

  • Start a blog.
  • Create DIY videos on YouTube: How to braid hair or teach kids how to make a bed. Any skill you know how to easily break down and explain.
  • Pick up freelance writing gigs on Fiverr, Indeed, or Flexjobs.
  • Shop for groceries for others. Shipt and Instacart are always hiring personal shoppers. You can time your deliveries so you’re only picking up an order when you’re going to the store for your own groceries, and make sure to pick up an order that’s on your way back home.
  • Pet sitting – if you’re working from home during the day, offer to board (daytime) someone else’s pooch. Similarly, you can walk dogs or offer to watch a dog while their owners go out of town.
  • Grow starters – if you’ve got a green thumb and some extra counter space, grow starter plants (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and so on) for others. Your kids can help you with this one.
  • Cash in on your sewing skills. Offer to mend jeans, hem dresses, and more. A lot of parents have no idea how to sew a straight line or thread a bobbin. Even if your skills are beginner level, if you can stitch a straight line and you’ve got a sewing machine, you’ve got a business.┬á
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Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is the founder and CEO of Career Done Right. He has climbed the career ladder from an early age and now runs his own online publishing company, MeiggsMedia LLC. He has years of experience in providing millennials career advice, resume writing advice, and personal finance tips.

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