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There are a number of different jobs that 'stay at home' mums can do to supplement their household budgets although all will require some planning to ensure that you are able to carry out the required amount of work. Home work can range from direct selling to dog walking or from administration through to running a small home based business.
Direct selling is one of the more popular ways of earning money from home. Beauty companies such as Avon give mothers the chance to sell their products either by holding demonstration parties in their own or friends' houses or by taking catalogues direct to houses to obtain orders. Other companies offer the same sort of arrangements for selling books, CDs, household goods or baby and child products. It is also possible to make money from offering to carry out chores such as walking dogs or doing other people's ironing. However, this type of work will require you to advertise in local shop windows and/or to rely on word of mouth to obtain customers.
While you are at home with your own children, childminding could be an option. You would need to contact your local council and Ofsted to have checks carried out before becoming registered. Your home would also need to be made child friendly and you would be expected to provide meals for the children.
An alternative job that can be carried out while taking your children for a walk is delivering free newspapers or leaflets for local companies. This type of job is often advertised locally in newspapers or via the job centre and the company will normally drop off the leaflets at your house and you are then expected to complete the deliveries within a set time period.
Freelance work can also be carried out at home but requires more specialised skills such as book keeping, typing, translation or data entry and this type of work will require you to have internet access. By sourcing the work online, flexibility in working times will be ensured. This can be of paramount importance when having to fit work in around childcare.
Online writing is another job option that can be carried out either when your children are at school or at night when they are asleep. Alternatively, your partner may be able to help by looking after them while you carry out some work. If your writing skills are good, other options available include editing or proof reading other people's articles.
Completing market research surveys is another popular way of earning at home although many companies award points for each survey which can be collected and exchanged for shopping vouchers rather than cash.
Choosing to do a direct sales job from home gives you the opportunity to work as much or as little as your children allow while earning commission on what you sell. This can range from ten to forty per cent depending on the company you work for. The amount you can earn for carrying out household chores can be quite low at around £1 per shirt and £5 for walking a dog. Most leaflet delivery jobs pay the minimum hourly working wage and require you to work for at least twenty five hours a week. Childminding requires more time to get set up but it does offer hours which are flexible and earnings for each child you mind full time of around £155 a week. If you decide to run your own freelance business online it is possible to earn from £20 to £40 an hour - but this requires a great deal of commitment (as well as a certain amount of luck in securing the jobs) and ideally you would need to set up your own website.
When it comes to working from home, you would normally be classed as a self employed person and therefore responsible for declaring your own income. You will able to earn a certain amount of money before paying tax. However, you will have to pay National Insurance contributions (class 2).
The amount of initial outlay needed for working from home will vary depending on the type of work you decide to undertake. Things such as dog walking and leaflet delivery require no outlay, while jobs in direct selling may require you to make an investment in stock when you first start the job. Some companies charge nothing for the initial start up while Avon generally asks for a payment of around £15 (to cover brochures and samples). The Direct Selling Association offers advice to those starting in this type of job and they recommend that £100 is the maximum that you should pay. However, you should always be wary of those lesser known companies who ask for a payment prior to starting work. If uncertain of their credentials, do check them out thoroughly as the last thing any strapped for cash parent needs is to be conned out of money.