So I might not be bougie, but I am a mom. And I’m a mom who always has a sideline going. When I was a pre-schooler I went door to door to sell my old books and toys. I picked apples off my neighbors’ apple tree to sell. I sold our mailman water from the hose. I’ve always had hustle.
That’s how I discovered BST (Buy Sell Trade) on Facebook. On Facebook, you can find loads of BST groups themed around selling used clothing from popular designers and better-brands. Kids’ brands are especially hot. And after my first purchase, I was hooked.
SOMETIMES BUYING USED AIN’T CHEAP
Buy Sell Trade sounds cheap. It’s used clothes, right? Except BST moms are paying $20+ for used joggers from Childhoods And $300+ for used bubble rompers from Kate Quinn (when they only sold for less than $30 brand new). I’ve even found used girls’ dresses selling for $3,000+.
So how does someone get the extra money coming in so they can afford the Buy Sell Trade rockstar lifestyle?
MAMA NEEDS A HUSTLE
BST has turned shopping for anything used or NWOT tags into a leisure-time activity, if not bloodsport. And buying used has never been more expensive.
Luckily, my husband and I both work. And I have a number of side hustles going. Many of them are related to kids’ clothing
Here are some great side hustle ideas to make a few extra bucks. These are side hustles that I do to make extra money ever year.
A lot of people are amazed at all the angles. I work to bring in extra money and they ask me how I do it. This. Is. How.
Related: 10 Hacks I Use to Get Free Clothes for My Kids.
11 SIDE HUSTLES FOR MOMS (THAT I’VE DONE)
These are 11 great side hustles that are mom-friendly. They’re real side hustles real moms can do – and possibly enjoy.
A lot of articles about creative ways to earn money online make me want to puke. I’m not renting out my home to strangers on Airbnb – that’s where I live with my family. And I’m equally uninterested in mowing lawns, shoveling snow, driving around strangers (even if my kids didn’t trash the car), or selling my crooked crafts on Etsy.
These are all mom side hustles that I’ve personally tried myself. You can do most of them in your bathrobe.
I’m listing 11 of the best sidelines that had in 2021, and how much I made with each of them over the year. Altogether, I made a little over $9,400.
1 | Sell Used Designer Clothes Online – $3,000
I’ve sold my kids old clothes in Facebook Buy Sell Trade groups and made over $3,000. I acquire their clothes cheaply (garage sales, Goodwill, Once Upon A Child). And I re-sell them cheaply: for around 60-cents on the dollar of the garment’s original value brand-new. I did a re-sale study and pulled in loads of data. See how much your kids’ old clothes are worth.
If you don’t overspend on clothes you plan to re-sell, this can be a very lucrative side hustle.
This means you’d need to find a lot of name-brand garments for a couple dollars, or less, at a really cheap thrift store.
2 | Resell Kids’ Used Clothes to Once Upon A Child – $200
I’ve found that Gap, Gymboree, Carter’s, and Cat & Jack don’t always re-sell super well online. On re-sale sites like Mercari or Kidizen, you need to sell these brands in lots for it to be worth it for the buyer. (Why would you pay $5 in shipping for $2 pants?)
And in BST groups, there are times I can’t shed these labels even when I am offering them as free add-ons. (Which is more mortifying than anything. Is my taste that shitty?)
Once Upon A Child will buy these brands. And the consignment chain pays 15-cents on the dollar for whatever they will list the garments for.
I can go in with a brown Target bag full of kids’ clothes and make around $20 to $25 per drop-off. (Items that don’t get purchased, I just bring them in with my next drop-off. But on a different day. Unless it’s stained or really dated, eventually all the clothing gets bought.)
3 | Take Online Surveys from Your Phone – $2,000
I flipping love doing these online surveys so much. I can do them from my phone – or while I have a few minutes downtime before my next Zoom meeting. Most surveys pay around 40-cents to $4, but I have found several that pay $10 or more.
The catch? It’s not a full-time job – not by a long-shot. And you have to qualify for and complete the survey in order to get paid. If you earn $2.74 a day with surveys, that’s an extra $2,000 a year.
I especially love doing these surveys from my phone when I’m winding down at the end of the day – and binge-watching Love It or List It on Hulu. There are a lot of legit survey sites, but the ones I primarily use to earn money are Swagbucks and InboxDollars. I usually cash out with PayPal, or with gift cards to Target or Amazon.
- Sign up for Swagbucks free. Cash out when you reach at least $1 in earnings.
- Sign up for InboxDollars free. Get a free $5 signup bonus. Cash out when you reach at least $15 in earnings.
4 | Collect All the Free Signup Bonuses – $884
You can get free signup bonuses for trying lots of different products or services. I score most of my free bonuses through Swagbucks because I work there (it’s my day job), which means I know the company and I know they’re legit.
Some of the Best Signup Bonuses I’ve Collected
- Varo Bank: I got a $120 cash bonus from Swagbucks for opening an account and depositing $25. So I “made” or netted $95.
- Chime Bank: I got a $250 cash bonus for opening an account and setting up a direct deposit within 30 days. I did it for just 1 deposit only. (The paperwork online to switch back and forth and back again took 20 minutes total. That’s like making $750 an hour, or $1.56MM a year, for taking the time to set up one direct deposit at Chime.)
- Tornado: I got $30 for signing up for this investment app and depositing $20. Free and clear, I made $10.
- Credit Karma: I got $2.50 for signing up and getting my free credit score. No purchase required. Easy peasy.
- NorthOne: I got $150 for opening a bank account with NorthOne and depositing $50. Free and clear, I made $100.
- Axos: I got $40 for singing up and depositing $20. Free and clear, I made $20.
- Stash: Get $75 when you sign up for Stash and invest $5. Plus Stash will give you $10 free for investing. Discounting the Stash bonus, that’s $70 I made free and clear.
- Acorns: Get $50 when you sign up for Acorns (micro-investment app) and invest at least $5. Here, I cleared $45.
- Robinhood: I got $30 when I signed up for this app and deposited $5. Free and clear, I made $25.
- Aspiration Bank: I made $75 when I signed up for an account and deposited $10. I cleared $65. (The current reward payout is much lower than $75 now though. But that reward amount does change frequently.)
- Coinbase: I got $30 when I signed up for this app and deposited $10. (I think the minimum is only $5 though?) Free and clear, I made $20.
- Albert: I got $60 when I signed up and deposited $20. Free and clear, I made $40.
- Cheese: I got $30 when I signed up and invested $10. Free and clear, I made $20.
- PinchMe: I signed up for free samples and got $1.50.
There are 100’s of other low-paying offers and micro-tasks I completed that pay 2-cents to $2. There were just too many to list. I made about $100 off all the smaller ones.
Here’s a screen grab of one of the cash bonus offers.
What’s the catch on this free money?
That’s a question my brainy financial-planner-wealth-management cousin asked me. Companies want new leads and new customers and will pay for it. They give reward programs a commission for the leads. These reward programs, like Swagbucks, will share a portion with you.
Companies like Varo know what a new customer or lead is worth. They how much they can afford to pay for it. And once they’ve got their “hooks” in, of course they’ll try to upsell you
Say they pay Swagbucks $200. In turn, Swagbucks may give you $120. Varo gets a new customer. Swagbucks get commission. You get paid. Win-win-win.
What else do I need to know about these signup bonuses?
For the really lucrative bank and finance offers, you may need to wait about 30 to 40 days for your account to be credited.
- My credit was not pulled for any of these offers (except Credit Karma, but there it wasn’t a hard pull).
- It took 3-5 minutes to open a new bank account or sign up for a new financial app. Since I already have an online banking account, that makes the process go really quickly. (It pre-vets you somehow. Talk to a financial whiz to have them explain it to you better.)
- The signup bonus amounts can change. I signed up for one offer and got a $75 bonus, yet 2 months later that bonus amount was $250. I was bummed. Beyond belief. Any bonus amount today can go up or down, or offers can go away.
- There are plenty of free offers where you can get a cash bonus without having to make a deposit. You can get paid 2-cents to $2 (or more) for completing lots of different online tasks or micro-tasks, like installing the BoxTops for Education app, signing up for the Betty Crocker eNewsletter, getting free insurance quotes, or signing up for catalogs in the mail.
- You can only have one rewards account (like Swagbucks or InboxDollars) per household. This is a fraud prevention measure. So you can create an account and nab all these signup bonuses, or someone else. But you and your partner can’t both do it. You can have a Swagbucks account at home, but your significant other can’t. But they could use a different rewards app, like InboxDollars or Survey Junkie.
5 | Find Online Writing Gigs – $1,600
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I’ve found freelance writing gigs on Fiverr. It is crowded as hell to get started. There are 1000’s of US based writers who are charging only $10 for a quality article. You have to set your rates super low in order to compete and do a couple dozen assignments for $5 to $15 to build up your profile.
Professional writers with Madison Ave clients might make $5 or more per word. But it’s going to take years to get there – and a lot of charisma and natural talent.
I’ve made $1,600 this year from freelance writing gigs. But it took a lot of non-paying gigs and $5 gigs to get there. Which amazes me because SEO content writing is my day job. But even Alex, the 28-year-old writer who makes $378K a year on Fiverr, had to start small.
Find Freelance Writer Gigs
- Reach out to large companies and ask if they need guest posts. It costs you nothing to send a cold email. You could send the same one to each recipient if you wanted.
- Ask your networks, like Reddit boards and mom groups. For this to be effective, it has to be groups where you have pre-established relationships.
6 | Use Ibotta, Tada, and Other Receipt Scanning Apps – $200
I use a bunch of different receipt scanning apps where you can get paid for your supermarket purchases. Generally, you’re getting paid for purchasing featured items (specific brand) or any-brand items, like any brand of chips or bread.
Specific-brand items have higher cash back rebates (like $0.50 to $10). Any-brand rebates are usually 2-cents to 20-cents. But it all adds up. You’ve already made the supermarket buys, just scan your receipt. There are dozens of good receipt apps, but only a few I regularly use.
Receipts Apps I Use
7 | Print Coupons – $70
I can get paid 1 cents for every 3 coupons I print, up to 20-cents per day or $73 a year. I just have to print them. That’s all. Coupon distributors want eyeballs on their coupons. You can’t use the coupons unless you first physically have them in hand.
I print out coupons from Swagbucks, but you can also get paid for printing coupons from InboxDollars or MyPoints.
This is what I do when I’m in the office, so I’m using my employer’s ink and paper. Considering I change the settings to black and white and print out 4 sheets to 1 page (so the coupons aren’t ginormous), I feel like it’s not a big deal.
8 | Get Paid for Other People Using Your Coupons – $100
So this is tied into #7. I get paid for printing coupons, and then I earn 50-cents each time a coupon is redeemed. I’ve brought coupons to the store (mostly Target) and wound up not using them. But rather than toss them, I decided to leave them on-shelf next to the product for other customers.
I did this as a nice gesture, so I could help other people save money and not waste paper. Turns out, people love redeeming free coupons you leave behind. It’s like found money. It’s for product that they’re literally in the process of buying. And the the coupon is right there.
I don’t bring along extra coupons on most store trips. I forget. But I’ve made a little over $100 this past year for just sharing coupons at Target and Hy-Vee.
9 | Claim Cash on Purchase You’re Already Making – $1,000
This is one of my favorites. I love cash back shopping portals. I’ve made a little over $1,000 this past year in cash back rebates from online shopping I was already doing – at stores like Target, Macy’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy.
Retailers like Macy’s and Home Depot want more customers. They pay shopping portals, like Rakuten or Swagbucks, for sending them visitors. Loyalty sites like Rakuten will get a commission, and then share a cut of it with you.
These shopping portals are way better than just credit card retailer rebates.
- There are around 10,000+ featured merchants, not just a handful each quarter.
- You don’t have to visit a specific website first and click on the link. You just install an extension on your browser (it takes 30 seconds). When you’re on an ecommerce site that offers cashback, click a button (from the alert popup) to get it automatically applied.
- You can still use a credit card with cash back rewards to make these purchases. Which means you can double dip on the cash back.
USE RAKUTEN AND OTHER CASH BACK SHOPPING PORTALS
In Buy Sell Trade groups, it feels like Rakuten gets all the love. Rakuten is great; I use it and enjoy it. But I also use several other extensions too. In fact, I use 8 total.
They’re all free. Rakuten doesn’t always have the best cash back amount. And there are other shopping portals that feature merchants that Rakuten doesn’t have. I like lots of options. My loyalty goes to the highest bidder, and when there’s a tie I usually go with Upromise.
Altogether, I’ve made $1,001.54 with cash back rebates. I buy EVERYTHING online – socks, toilet paper, clothes, and even groceries through services like Shipt and Instacart. Daily buys and larger ones (like getting 12% cash back on a swing set purchase, or 2% back for major kitchen appliances) all add up.
CASHBACK SHOPPING PORTALS TO USE
- Rakuten: Sign up and get a free $30 bonus with your first purchase of $30 or more. Get Rakuten.
- Swagbucks: Sign up and get a free $10 bonus with your first purchase of $25 or more. Get Swagbucks.
- Upromise: Sign up and get a free $5.29 bonus. Get Upromise.
- Honey: My husband loves this one. I’m not as into it, but I have made $4.85 from it this year. Honey is another legit one to check out. Get Honey.
10 | Opening a 529 College Savings Plan for My Kids – $320
I finally bit the bullet and opened a college savings account. I had procrastinated for ages.
And once I did the research and found out what a 529 plan was, I was locked in analysis paralysis.
Which state 529 plan should I go with? I don’t have to stick with my home state of Minnesota. Maybe the Florida plan is nice? Or Michigan’s? Because funds in any plan can go to college in any state.
But finally I just did it. I opened a Minnesota plan because that’s where we live.
It took 2 minutes. I can always change plans later and transfer funds. The point was I just needed to start saving. I put $25 in each plan for both of my kids, and then I got $25 for college for free from Upromise when I linked my 529 plan to the Upromise platform.
HOW I GOT $320 FREE FOR THIS
- Upromise gave me $25 for free. It took roughly 8 minutes to link the account to Upromise – here’s a step-by-step guide of how to do it. Get Upromise now, and get an extra $5.29 bonus.
- For my kids’ birthdays, I asked family for college savings plan contributions in lieu of gifts. Family still gave small gifts, but they also contributed cash. This has amounted to $275.
- For interest or returns on this $300, the college savings plans have made $20. (Twenty dollars and some odd cents.) That’s like a 6.67% ROI – now compare that to 0.025% interest you’d get with funds in a savings account. That’s like $0.75 in interest vs the $20 I got with a college savings plan.
11 | Watch Online Videos – $50
While working my 9-5, I watch online video clips on InboxDollars or Swagbucks. Content is peppered with ads, but who cares. I like background noise. And I like tuning in to current events and celebrity news. I probably only make pennies per video set, but that turns into $1 a week roughly or $50 a year.
YouTube and TikTok don’t pay me anything to watch videos. And besides, I still (over)watch TikTok and YouTube too.
While I stick with a couple of reward sites for getting paid to watch videos, there are other ones you can try out to.
- InboxDollars (I’ve tried)
- Swagbucks (I’ve tried)
RELATED SITES I HAVEN’T TRIED THAT YOU COULD CHECK OUT
- Market Force Information
- User Testing
- Vindale Research
- National Consumer Panel
OTHER SIDE HUSTLE IDEAS TO MAKE MONEY
There are other side hustle ideas you can check out, too, if you’re looking for different ways or more ways to make some extra income.
- Become a Virtual Assistant: Find gigs on sites like Fiverr, FlexJobs, or PeoplePerHour. Tasks could include data entry, data research, or sending emails. Virtual assistants can make $10 to $20 an hour. You can bring in even more money if you take on a few clients at a time.
- Become a Virtual Customer Service Rep: Remote workers are a large share of the customer service workforce. There’s a need for U.S. based reps. The gig isn’t all angry phone calls. A lot of gigs are working as a chat agent or responding to emails. There are PT and FT jobs you can find on ZipRecruiter and Indeed.
- Make Money with Crypto: I don’t know a lot about this. I mean I know what Bitcoin is, but that’s it. I do know 2 people who devote 10-20+ hours a week to investing and day-trading crypto. They really love the ins and outs, and make $10,000+ a year. If you’re willing to study up and put in the time, crypto could be a good opportunity to make some extra cash.
- Social Media Manager: This could be a good work-for-trade scenario. Small businesses don’t have a lot of resources to maintain their social pages. If you have a favorite local business or restaurant, you could offer to manage their social media presence in exchange for freebies. Free massages, free meals, free toys, free clothes – that sort of deal.
- Housekeeping / Housecleaning: I’ve thought about doing this one – before I had kids. This is a high demand gig. People want help getting organized and having a clean home. It can pay $30 to $50 an hour. Ask your friends and family. My aunt and godmother used to do this, and her husband made very good money. She’s frugal and she loves a good hustle, too. She would clean homes for the same people she vacationed or dined out with. Her business spread through word-of-mouth.
- Set up an online store on Etsy. I’m not a skilled enough crafter, but some people make good money at it.
- Personal training. I know a handful of people who make extra money with this side hustle job. The funny thing is they aren’t especially fit. Some people just need the motivation of a personal trainer to get out and walk every day, or make sure they go to the gym. Position yourself as more as more of a Motivational Personal Trainers that can make people get in their gym shoes and just move.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THESE 11 SIDE HUSTLES
These are 11 different side hustles that I have going. I explain them to curious friends and family. They generally go from being eager to learn to overwhelmed. With eyes glazed over. It just seems like a lot.
But surveys, signing up for free offers, watching videos, and claiming cash back are stupid easy. You can do them in your PJ’s while picking Cheerios out of your hair. And a glass of Pinot in hand. (Or in my case, Folger’s instant coffee.)
If you’ve got time to sit on a park bench or sit on the couch at night and watch TV, you can string together a few hours to answer surveys and watch videos. You’ll earn a few thousand extra dollars a year or more. You don’t need loads of spare time. Just a little bit of hustle and a lot of hustle juice.
Disclaimer: This post proudly contains my referral links and/or affiliate links, because I’m a mama who loves to hustle. Gotta keep that beer fridge stocked and afford that BST lifestyle. I don’t recommend anything that’s crap.
(Also nothing in this article should be construed as a personal recommendation or endorsement by my employer. My colorful opinions are mine alone.)