The Home Business Time-Money Tradeoff

Most women decide to become a WAHM because they want to spend time with their children while they’re growing up, but yet they still need some income to make ends meet.

The problem is, as anyone who has ever started a business knows, newborn businesses tend to need as much attention as newborn babies, depending on the business of course.

Newborn businesses tend to need as much attention as newborn babies. #homebusiness Click To Tweet

Most WAHM’s seem to, at least at first, be directed towards two businesses that normally don’t do a whole lot of anything but waste time (And some money), in my experience: mlm (multi level programs, or home party demonstration type mlms) and crafting.

I am not saying crafting (or MLM) is always a bad idea if that is really your passion and you’re good at it, and you can set yourself apart from the competition. But if you’re crafting out of a need for cash more than out of a love for what you’re doing, that’s not going to work. You will fizzle out. It would be like that first job you ever had flipping burgers (I lasted about 7 hours at Hardees…). If you don’t  love it, you’ll really drag as you work at it.

The way I look at it, as a WAHM, we need to love whatever it is that takes every minute of time away from our kiddos.

As a #WAHM, we need to love whatever takes a minute away from our kiddos Click To Tweet

Saving Money to Buy Time

One possibility is to save money to buy yourself some time not working. Every penny saved is about two pennies earned, since you don’t have to pay taxes on it.


As with home businesses, any WAHM can easily blow enough time working on money saving activities to equal a full time job while making less than minimum wage in an effort to save a few bucks.

My view is to save money in those areas that will cost you the least amount of time and money while giving you the biggest savings. I am a big believer in cutting back to austerity mode (whatever that may be for you and yours) while trying to build your WAHM business into a money maker. The less you’re spending the better, while you try to get any new venture off the round.

I’ve talked about this topic more in other areas of my website, such as this article on Living Frugally within your Values, and my post on Saving Money with Top Down Budgeting Ideas.

Every WAHM Needs Passion

It’s hard to have passion about someone else’s product or multi-level marketing business opportunity. It’s hard to get excited when you buy a “business in a box” opportunity. What you need is something that will energize you and excite you, instead of just chasing after the carrot on a string.

You need work that will energize and excite you, instead of chasing the carrot on a string. Click To Tweet

If you’re excited about something and really love it, then you’ll have no problem spending time working on it, even if it takes a long time to get your WAHM business off the ground. But, if you’re excited and passionate, most likely you’ll have it up and running much faster!

Passion can be like fuel and as moms we all need more fuel, right?

Find something you're passionate about. Passion can be like fuel. Click To Tweet

Every WAHM needs More Time

There really aren’t enough hours in the day, are there? I wish there were.

Don’t just run far away from those WAHM “business opportunities” that you’re not really passionate about, but avoid those that take up too much of your time away from your precious kids. Don’t miss a childhood while trying to earn enough money to give them stuff.

The key is not to work harder, but to work smarter. As with saving money, do those things which give you the biggest bang for your buck, especially if they keep on paying.

Work smarter not harder. Do what gives you the biggest long-term return. Click To Tweet

Some WAHM Magic: Seek Out Residual Income

Keep on paying? How does a WAHM find a job that keeps on paying long after the work is done?

Well, I have a few business ventures that pay me though I don’t do (much) work on them any more.

Hub Pages

The first, and perhaps easiest for you, is to write for One year, I had a goal to write one hub (article on random topics) for every day for two months. I didn’t really succeed at doing that, but I did get 50 of them done. I make about $25 from those every month. Some months that number rises, and some months that number falls.

Now, that may seem like peanuts, but $25 for work I did last year sometime and will never do again is a beautiful thing.  I used to go to craft fairs and, when all was said and done from gas, car issues, clothing, craft supplies, broken items, the table, etc, I made $50 profit, and if I wanted to make $25 or more next month I had to work all month making crafts all over again.

No, I’d rather work an half hour a day for two months and get $25 a month for the next however long hubpages is around.

This year, my goal is to write one a day for the whole year, as I imagine that will provide me with a nice bit of pocket money. I’ve not been right on it as I’d like, but I’ve posted pretty regularly there.

Kindle Ebooks

A few years ago, I wrote three ebooks, in the hopes of achieving some WAHM success and wealth. I’d get some decent money but not much. I sold them on, as pdf’s. I eventually converted them for Amazon Kindle, and thought, “hmm maybe I’ll make some cash…” I sell about 200 copies a month of just one of those, making $0.35 per copy, plus I USED TO get paid when people borrow the book (update: amazon changed how they pay you, so this income dropped off in a huge wage).

Actually, the beauty of it is that I make a few hundred dollars a month doing pretty much nothing (after the 4-6 months of creating the ebook of course). I make even more if I get myself out there and pound the pavement (or rather, pound Facebook). But, I’m content with the money I make doing nothing, and I’m pretty lazy too, so I don’t do too much marketing of those, as long as they are doing well. Plus I’d rather not sound like an infomercial all the time. 🙂

Still, think about how much easier it is for me to get excited and tell people about my books, when the topic comes up in conversation, versus me trying to sell Tupperware to someone (or the modern equivalent: essential oils or leggings.) Does anyone get really excited about plastic containers? I don’t.

When saving money comes up in conversation, I share some insights and then say, “Oh, I have a book on that. Do you have a Kindle? If not there’s a print book too…you may like it.” I finally had business cards made up for each of my books.

When someone talks about teaching their kids how to do chores, I have a book on that topic too (Beyond the Chore Chart). Actually, my super helpful hard working teenage children are like bill boards for that book. Whenever I get a compliment on their work ethic, I often sell another book too. 🙂 Ditto for Quiet Times in Loud Households, which is about encouraging your children’s spiritual development.

There was a time cost, of course, in creating all of those ebooks, having them proofread, and editing them.

That’s the point of residual income, though. Create the content once, and earn from it multiple times.

That's the point of residual income. Create the content 1x, earn multiple times. #residualincome Click To Tweet

Printed Books through

Still, others prefer paperback books. I sell a small number on, which lists them onto and other locations. Again, I created them, edited them, and formatted them for print, but then I really don’t do much after that. I make about $50/month on print books.

Google Adsense & Other Ads

Using Google Adsense and other ad services on my website is also a great way to earn some cash-o-la. I don’t want the ads to look (too) tacky. Of course you can’t control what an ad looks like most of the time.

Google’s ads are served based on the keywords I have in my website or the recent searches the visitor has done online. I get paid for every 1000 page views (every 1000 times someone has viewed an individual page) and every time someone clicks one of those ads.


Zazzle is fun.  I just started doing this after spending three years thinking about it. Like I said, I’m lazy. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it but a sale came in from Zazzle to me while typing this, and all I did was upload a design. My work-in-progress store is here, awaiting me to photoshop up some more designs.

I created some funky and fun designs, usually with quotes and other sayings, and Zazzle puts them on t-shirts, mugs, and other swag. You can see some of my basic designs here on my website all in one place. Like I said, it’s fun.

Since I just started, I’ve not made too much but I’ve been SHOCKED at the fact that I made anything at all, as I didn’t even start marketing. I was planning on creating a whole line before marketing but shockingly Zazzle customers didn’t wait for me to finish. How cool is that?

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