There are lots of items I would consider absolutely essential as a mom, but honestly there’s only one item I can’t go 20 minutes without and that’s my phone. And it’s not because I’m playing Candy Crush or posting pictures on Facebook. It’s because of the collection of free apps I’ve gathered that tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Ones that calm my baby, put him to sleep, then calm me. And ones that tell me what’s going on outside the world of baby. And for those moments when I do have time to post on Facebook, it makes the process possible (and fun).
For me, nothing beats being a stay-at-home mom. It is the best decision I ever made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I feel lucky that in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, I’ve found an outlet that lets me escape the hardest parts of the day – the times when you feel unproductive, flustered, lonely, or out-of-control. Being at home is worth it – but it’s still tough!
For me, that outlet has been through writing. It has culminated in this blog, but behind that are freelance jobs, pet projects, and other sources of writing for pleasure or pay. And I didn’t start out as a writer. In fact, I often can’t believe that I’ve even found myself here because writing was never something I actually enjoyed, nor was it something I planned on doing. It just happened. But thank God it did, because now I don’t know what I’d do without it!
Related post: How to Start a Money-Making Blog
So, if you’re considering leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom, or already are and are in desperate need of an outlet, here are all the reasons you need to seriously consider taking on some freelance work:
I’m a HUGE fan of self-help books…though not even slightly a fan of referring to them as “self-help books.” So I’m going to call them what they are – motivational books. These are the books that get you so excited in the morning that you achieve way more than you normally do. You have an extra beat in your step. You exercise more, you eat better. You smile more and you sleep better. They literally have the power to transform your life. And when they’re that good, you should definitely reread them every single year (which is what I try to do).
So what are the best of the best? The ones you should definitely reread every single year? 😉 Here they are:
If you have a blog or website, you already know (or will surely find out soon) that high-quality images are almost more important than the content of your site. As they say – an image is worth a thousand words. When your images aren’t up to par, not only is it way harder to market your material and products, but it also can appear unprofessional. That is why it is essential to learn how to use PicMonkey (or other sites like it) to improve your images.
Basically, it’s worth the investment to find and create amazing images. And luckily nowadays you really don’t need to pay for a thing, so the only real investment is your time.
My absolute favorite go-to site for editing and creating images without a doubt is PicMonkey. It’s totally free, though I’ll be honest that this is one of the few online services where I pay for the upgraded version. I stubbornly refused to pay for years and then when I finally gave in, the increase in quality of my images paid me back 10 fold. Every single image that appears on my blog has been put through PicMonkey for minor or major edits, or has been created there from scratch. I’m telling you, if you use (or need) a lot of images, this site will be a game changer.
It’s fairly easy to play around with and figure out on your own, but here are my best tips to make the most of it and transform your images:
If you ever want to borrow money – whether for an emergency or to make an investment – you’ve got to have a good credit score. It will make the borrowing process ten times easier and more importantly, it will get you a lower interest rate on your loan. In the end, it will put more money in your pocket (and not the bank’s). Whether you’re just starting to build your credit or need to increase your credit score, here are some quick and easy fixes that could make a huge difference:
Related post: How to Buy Your First Investment Property
Writing is a funny thing. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert at it to make money doing it. You just need to be an expert at something – and that’s what you write about. If you do happen to be gifted at writing then you’ve got an extra leg up, but it’s not a prerequisite.
Better yet, writing is one of the most flexible, gratifying jobs out there. You’re creating something tangible (even if it’s only available in cyberspace) and you get better and better the more you write.
In my opinion, everyone should spend some of their time writing. The benefits are endless, but the obvious ones can’t be ignored –
- You can do it from anywhere, at anytime
- You can write about anything
- It makes you better at whatever you’re writing about
- You can make some easy money!
If you haven’t considered writing for a living (or just on the side), it’s time to think about it! And if you’re ready to start dabbling, consider some of these ways to make money as a writer (whether full-time or part-time):
I can’t tell you how excited I am at this discovery. I’m a total LUSH bath bomb addict, but as you may or may not know, those things are expensive! They are hands down the highest quality bath bombs you will find, but at $7-$8 a bomb, it becomes a true luxury. I can’t pay that much every time I want to relax in a bath!
When my husband and I bought our first (and current) house, we loved it because we felt like it was the perfect starter home. It is small and cozy and perfect for two people – maybe a little baby too. The plan was to live there for 3-5 years and then move onto a bigger, more spacious McMansion-style home where we’d raise our kids.
We’re now 6 years in and each additional year we seem to dig our heels in further, finding new reasons why our small starter house may actually be our perfect forever home. Because believe it or not, there are some amazing perks to living in a small home.
So before you sign up for 30 years of paying off your mansion, consider these reasons for picking a small house right from the start:
Coupons can be a confusing thing. On one hand, we know that most coupons are a gimmick to get us to buy products we don’t really need. On the other hand, we’ve all seen Extreme Couponing and know that it’s possible to not pay for groceries at all. And for many of us, that would be a gold mine.
Even the best budgeters usually spend $500+ a month on groceries for their family! Imagine how much could be saved by figuring out how to really make the most of coupons….especially when it means getting free products.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to start saving a bundle (and not spending more!) using coupons:
One of my BIGGEST goals right now is to pay off the mortgage. I won’t lie, it’s sooo hard to stay motivated when you’re chipping away at such a big number, but the benefits are just way too huge to ignore. But the reality is that if you prioritize getting it paid off, it CAN and WILL happen. And your future self will thank you for it!
Related post: 10 Things I’m Doing to Pay Off My Mortgage Early (and the One Thing I Won’t Do)
So if you’re in the same boat as me, consider these different ways for getting your mortgage paid off way earlier than you ever expected: