If you’ve got maternity leave, you’ll want to use it wisely. It is a time to focus on your own recovery and bonding with the baby. Depending on your employer or the country you live in, maternity leave could be paid or unpaid. It could be as short as just a few months and as long as 28 weeks (shout out to the Czech Republic). But, no matter how long or short, many new moms are thinking about financial stability while they’re not in a position to work full time. Although maternity leave rules usually prohibit salaried employment elsewhere, there are many stress-free side hustles and business ideas that could help families bring in money during this time. Here are just five to consider:
Tutor or Teach
Teaching is one of the easiest ways to make extra cash and now more than ever it’s easy to do from home. If you’re already an educator, try Wyzant, Outschool, and Tutor.com to apply for work-from-home options. If you’re new to this, you may want to start within your network. Contact friends and family who may be willing to have you coach their kid in math, reading, or another skill that needs attention. Otherwise, consider teaching things you already love to do– offer an online cooking class, be a practice buddy for someone learning a language you already speak, or give a webinar on a topic people always ask you about. You can charge a moderate amount, but stay consistent, and when you’re back in the office, you may have a bustling side hustle to boot.
Freelance graphic designers, writers, and content creators make money with their minds. Most moms do these things anyway–just for the love–but maternity leave is the right time to monetize. After all, if you’re on paid leave then you don’t have to undercut your raise to work for less than you deserve. Instead, put your services on Fiverr, Upwork, and Tribaja, among other sites to find online businesses and individuals looking for what you do.
Alternatively, if you’ve been doing this as a favor for friends for many years, now is the time to charge a modest fee. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay a preggy mom or a new mom, and these early adopters can be helpful to write customer reviews and offer recommendations to higher paying customers outside of your network.
Most moms experience a phenomenon called “nesting,” which is when moms start cleaning and organizing the home in preparation for the baby–who may still be months away from being born. During these cleaning binges moms may be ready to toss everything in the trash, but instead consider setting it aside to sell later. A garage sale is the first line of action. Put it all on the lawn and let the money come to you. If your items don’t sell out completely, take photos of the other items and sell them on sites like Amazon, eBay, CraigsList, and Etsy.
And if all else fails, take valuables to donation sites like the Salvation Army and Goodwill. These establishments can give you a tax receipt for the value of your items. You may be able to use this donation value to lower your taxable income and pay a bit less on your income taxes this year. Easy money!