Whether you are a homeschool family or not, if you have made the decision to have mom stay home with the children, you have made a decision to live on one income. That is, unless you are fortunate enough to have an opportunity to do some work out of your home. However, even that is limited as you can't ignore your children all day! You may be able to get in a few minutes here and a few minutes there. If your children are a bit older, you may be able to get in a few hours at a time, maybe once or twice a day. Some of you may even be able to have your children help you. After all, the things they will learn are priceless. Why not find an area you can make a little extra spending money? Below are some things that may be able to help you get started. Some of the links below will show you an example of what can be done. Other links will direct you to products to help you get started.

Remember one of the aspects of the "Moore Formula" is work. What better way for your children to learn this than first hand. While they may not be able to help in all aspects, and in some businesses, maybe none at all, they will be able to at least observe.

Children's Businesses

You'd be surprised how many business ideas your child can come up with. I've heard of selling cookies, selling lemonade, pet walking, lawn weeding and mowing, planting flowers, etc. It seems that when a child is doing it, someone will reward their effort. Be sure they understand the costs involved in doing anything. If you "donate" their supplies, they don't understand they can lose the investment.

Children who are good at making quality crafts, like crochet, knitting, sewing, embroidery, woodworking, leather working, etc. can sell their items at a local craft fair, on their own web site, or even on eBay.

Writing eBooks

You can write an eBook on something of which you are very familiar, then sell it. Or you can find one or more great public domain works and make an ebook out of them and sell it. The great thing about eBooks is that you don't have to find a publisher or printer to get your work out. You can sell it on your own, via the Internet. It's not that difficult.

You can also create an eBook and give it away. Why? You can make sure there is something in there to send people to your web site. Sometimes just getting your site out there will help.

You can create eBooks in different ways. One is a PDF file which just takes your document and the software converts it to PDF format which can be read by the Adobe Acrobat reader. You can also create a Kindle version of your book. If you are interested in that, please let me know as I can tell you about where to get a program to convert your book into Kindle format. Older children would be able to help you out in typing or doing other "fancy" things for the eBook (like graphics or doing other neat things in HTML.)

Become a Virtual Assistant

If you have any experience at all, you could probably market it to small businesses. A Virtual Assistant helps entrepreneurs and small business do various jobs. Answering emails, helping with customer support, making phone calls, editing writing, creating web sites, all sorts of things, all from their home. You work as you have the time and they save money by paying you, a self-employed worker. The pay you only for the hours you work and don't have to hire someone who may sit in the office for several hours with nothing to do. You can take on as many clients as you are able. Here is my Virtual Assistant site to give you more information on what you can do: JoDeeSoles.com.

I took a class to get me up to speed on some newer things online. If you are interested, please go here to find it: Educating for Success.

Web Design

Several years ago I did some web design and got paid for it. I didn't have much time, so I made sure I took clients that would be low demand. I no longer do this to get paid, but I do design all my own. I do several free for missionaries, churches, and family. Now that most of my children have graduated, I have some more time. I now create web sites again, using WordPress, for some clients. Below are some of the web sites I created and keep up to date:

YouCanBuildYourSite.com - a family-friendly site dedicated to helping others learn how to set up their own web site.
JoAnn Petrosino - a realtor client of mine.
JoDeeSoles.com - my Virtual Assistant site.
EntrustedToUs.com - this web site.
The Soles Family - my family web site.
Geithman.com - my dad's web site for Florida condo rentals.
Jesus Every Day includes a Verse of the Day newsletter you can receive.
GreensandPinks.com - my two favorite colors! It's a site with Paint Shop Pro tutorials and graphics I've made for others.

If you are interested in doing web design, you can use any of the software programs available to do this, however, not all will do everything you would like. So, you will probably have to know some HTML. For some great FREE tutorials to get you started, check out this web site:

HTML Tutorial

This is one area where your children may excel past your own abilities. You can allow them to take off, but due to the internet and the way some of the people with access can be, you will need to keep an eye on things, not only for your children, but for yourself. One of my children has their own website/blog. Check it out here: Restoring Waters.

What about getting a domain name, and what about finding someone to host your domain name? There are many out there that are inexpensive, but remember that sometimes you get what you pay for. I currently use Web's Edge Domain for registering my domain names. They have a very competitive fee and are fairly easy to use. For hosting, I've used Christian Web Host and am currently using 1&1.

While Christian Web Host may seem a little more expensive, every time I've had a question or problem, they have taken care of it right away. To me, the customer support is more important than a cheap price. I don't get anything for referring you to them, I just give you my recommendation based on service I've received from them and comparing them to other companies I've used. Just build your cost into the mix. Just writing this makes me wonder if I want to get back into it. The only problem, TIME!

After Christian Web Host, I used IX Webhosting. The reason I switched was price, as well as a recommendation from someone else who has used them for quite some time. I had no problem with Christian Web Host at all, and do recommend them. IX Webhosting's packages include single or multiple domains. Since I have multiple domains, this is where the big savings came in. It is an easy service to use, however, I cannot recommend them. We had continual problems with our email. We had problems with our site from time to time, but the email was the big problem. I never got a satisfactory answer about the problem, either.

We are currently using 1&1 and have been very pleased with it. It's not as easy to use as the others I've used, but the cost is very reasonable. Again, with multiple domains, there is a great cost savings. Included in each of their domain hosting packages is at least one free domain name registration. Also, you can manage unlimited domains with each of their packages, as long as you stay within the parameters of the package you purchased (disk space, monthly transfer, etc.) Their "Home" package is just $4.99 a month (however, they have special deals all the time). Their business packages, which include CGI capability, start at $9.99 a month.

If you have any specific questions on either service, just send me an email.

eBay Selling

While we don't do this right now, my husband did some selling at one time. It got us through the lean times when my husband got hit with a lay off. We had peace from God about him becoming self-employed. So my husband was able to sell a few things on eBay to get us through.

One thing you may want to consider if you do sell on eBay, is to sign up for the higher level PayPal account. This will allow you to take credit cards. While you will have to pay a percentage for any payments you receive, you will have more people willing to buy from you.

Your children will be able to help you a bit with this business. They can help you prepare items for shipping, writing the item description (great writing assignment), or for taking photos for your "for sale" page. They can also set up the web page.


Craft Businesses

First, you must be very careful with these. Some crafts, while inexpensive to make in regard to materials, are very time consuming. If it takes a long time to make it, make sure you get what your time is really worth. Sometimes it's just not that great an idea, because you'd never be able to sell your item for what it's really worth. Choose carefully. You can always make those items as gifts and save money by not having to purchase something.

Another way to work in crafts is to sell patterns or teach classes. If you have the talent to create patterns, and even kits with the patterns, you may do much better than making the craft yourself. Software programs will even allow you to convert graphics to patterns. Just be sure you don't use any copyrighted items when doing crafts. One way to sell your patterns is via an eBook (see above.)

Your Own Internet Business

Goes without saying. If you have the knack for something, go into it.

You can start an internet business or you can start a storefront - or both, if the business can be served by both.

A great place to help you is EducatingForSuccess, which is an online community run by a homeschool mom. Her story in how she is able to continue to stay home after her husband's death is great. This community has lots of great advice from those who've been there. There are also contests to push you to learn and show what you've learned.

I've looked at several programs recently in anticipation of starting a new web site. I'm not going to call it a business. We at first thought it would be, then felt that since our target is churches, we should make it free with the option to donate. In any event, we still needed software for various things.

To see comments on Newsletter scripts, Site Subscription scripts, and Web Based Bulletin Board scripts, click here.

We also have our own card business. I am a distributor for a company where you order cards online, at a very competitive price. Once you order the card, they will print it, put it in an envelope, stamp it, and put it in the mail for you. You never have to touch it. I even purchased my own handwriting font, so it looks like I hand wrote it. Try it for free to see how it works here: YouveSentMail.com. You'll never forget a birthday or anniversary again with their email notification of an upcoming event.

Saving but not Making Money

Not everything has to make you money, but saving money can be almost like making money, but you don't have to pay taxes on it!

For example, our phone service is not typical. We make and receive calls via the internet. As long as you have a broadband connection, you can get a phone number this way. You still make and receive calls via a phone number. You almost don't even notice a difference, except in the price! You can get unlimited local and long distance calls (in the US, Canada, and a few European Countries) for $24.99 a month. If I send you a referral, and you sign up via that referral, you'll get at least one month free. If you are still a customer after 90 days, I'll then get a free month. It's almost like money in my pocket, since I would be paying for it anyway. If you're interested, check out Vonage and see if it will work for you. Don't forget to check out their low international rates, too! And don't forget to let me refer you. Just send me an email telling me you want a referral (don't forget to include your email address so I can send the referral.) If you have any questions, just let me know via an email.

There are other companies that allow you to make referrals. If you like the service, take advantage of it! If you don't like the service, don't sell it to your friends, they won't be friends long.

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