When you have a family, you can quickly get into a familiar routine. Whether you work or you’re a stay-at-home parent, years doing the same thing helps you feel comfortable and find a pattern that works for your family. If you decide that you need to start bringing in a higher income, the idea can seem difficult to work out. You like things how they are now, except for the lack of money, and you don’t want to disrupt either your family life or career too much. You don’t want to have to leave your job to study, or perhaps you don’t want to leave the kids with someone else while you’re busy working or studying. So how can you boost your earning potential without completely shifting your life?
Consider Your Financial Goals
Before you do anything, think about what your financial goals are. You might not want to become an extremely high earner, but perhaps you’d like to bring a bit more money in. Consider some specific goals you might have for now and the future. Do you want to take more vacations? Would you like to save more for retirement or for your kids’ college funds? These are important things to think about if you want to work out a plan. You might even decide that you don’t need to raise your income, you just need to create a new budget so you can get more from the money you have.
Look for Advancement Opportunities at Work
If you already work, you might have a part-time or a full-time job. When you start considering how to raise your income, the idea of working more hours might not appeal to you. You could end up spending the extra money you make on childcare or other expenses. But it can seem difficult to boost your earnings without causing any major disruptions to your career and your home. Fortunately, you don’t always have to make huge changes. One option might be to look for opportunities to advance at work. Many higher positions might mean harder work, but the hours will remain the same. You could go for a promotion, or you could ask for a raise based on improved performance.
If you’re not sure where to start with advancing at work, you could ask someone to be your mentor. They can offer guidance on how you might map out your career path and what you could do to get where you need to be. It could be a good idea to look for a mentor who is a fellow parent and also knows that it can be difficult to juggle your work and family life. They might have tips on how to keep things smooth at home when you’re aiming high at work.
Study While the Kids Are at School
Stay-at-home parents can sometimes find themselves at a loss once all their kids are in school. They might pick up a couple of hours work, but spend most of their time cleaning, making household plans, and perhaps running errands or doing social things. But it can be hard to go back to work after a period not working, and you might only want to work during the hours your kids are at school. One useful way to use your time is to go to school while the kids are at school. You can attend classes during the day or perhaps take an online course to help you get back into work.
Achieve Higher Education with Online Study
Many parents already have degrees from attending college when they were younger. When you’re considering how to raise your income potential, adding to your higher education might be one thing you consider. Perhaps you intended to do it before, but you put it on hold when you started a family. Now that you have kids, the idea of going to college might not seem feasible. However, there’s a way to make it easier, and that’s by studying online.
You can find a range of postgraduate studies available as online courses, including online Ph.D. and doctoral programs. You might be asking yourself, what are online doctoral programs? After all, study for a doctorate or Ph.D. seems like something you should do within an academic institution. But it’s actually entirely possible to do one of these programs remotely with a number of colleges. And it makes everything very convenient if you’re trying to achieve work-life balance or avoid disrupting your current career. You can study in several fields, from a number of medical disciplines to business studies and education.
Volunteer with the Kids
Finding the time to work on your employability without feeling like you’re abandoning the kids can be tough. Of course, sometimes, you just have to make the sacrifice for a while. However, if you want a way to increase your income potential while spending time with the kids, you could consider volunteering with them. Volunteering is a great way to build some work experience, especially if you’ve been out of work for some time. There are a few things you could consider doing, such as visiting a nursing home with your children. You could also volunteer at their school, so you might be able to spend time with them while you’re helping out. Although you want to pick something that will help you, make sure to keep your kids in mind too and choose something that will be fun for them.
Take a Part-time Job
If you’re already working, picking up another job could cut drastically into the hours you have available. However, if you’re just looking at getting back into work, it could be ideal to find a part-time job. You could work while your kids are at school or preschool, so you’re still available the rest of the time. Or you could find somewhere else for them to be, or have them be looked after by their other parent or another family member or friend. It might not seem like it now, but a few more hours a week without you isn’t going to do irreparable damage. Sometimes you need to accept that adjustments have to be made if you want to improve your family’s future.
Earn Money While Doing Everyday Things
Some parents might only want to pick up some extra cash, rather than dramatically increase their income. If all you’re looking for is some spare pocket money or some more cash to save, you could earn it while you’re doing everyday things. For example, you might be interested in mystery shopping, especially if you already eat out sometimes or like trying out new products. Mystery shoppers are used by retailers to go to their stores and provide a report of their shopping experiences. Typically, you’ll get a refund on what you spend (within a certain amount) and some money on top. Plus, you can enjoy what you buy. It’s unlikely to get you rich quick, but it could help to boost your earnings.
There are other ways to make money as you do the things you normally do. For example, if you spend some of your free time browsing the web, you can find sites that will pay you for doing so. Sites like Inbox Dollars offer you rewards for things like watching videos, and you can also find companies that will pay you for testing websites. These things won’t take up much of your time and could help you have a little more money to spend or save. You can easily do them in your spare time after the kids have gone to bed.
Stepping into the world of investments might seem like something you’re not prepared for. Maybe you think you don’t know much about investing and it’s not for you. But it’s a great way to start earning some money and planning for the future without giving up too much of your time. If you don’t want to take the time to become an expert in investing, there are always tools, services and financial professionals who can help you achieve your goals. There are many things you can invest in, from stocks and bonds to gold. Before you invest your money in anything, it’s important to get it right. You might benefit from speaking to a financial advisor first.
Of course, investing your money doesn’t just mean buying investment items that you’ll sell later. Putting your money into investment accounts is also a good idea, especially if you’re aiming to save for retirement or perhaps start a college fund for your child. Many people use a Roth IRA to start saving for retirement, as well as having a 401k at work. If you want to set up a college savings fund, you should consider the range of options on offer. They can allow you to do things like avoid taxes on the savings and make your money work harder too.
Improving your income or at least your income potential doesn’t have to mean disrupting your life. There are ways to keep things running smoothly. However, it is important to remember that all things have to change eventually.
Disclosure: This post was submitted on behalf of PennyMindingMom.com.