Updated: 3 days ago
Millions of Americans work second or third jobs to help make ends meet financially. Student loan debt is the main culprit for this, but there are many other contributing factors too.
Unfortunately, single moms are among those that are all too often forced to work multiple jobs.
Today, we're going to discuss the best side hustles for single moms, many of which can be worked from the comfort of your home.
Best side hustles for single moms
To help us compile our rankings, we considered a number of factors. The side hustles you see ranked below take into account the following:
Flexibility of hours
Ease of getting started
With these three factors in mind, let's start ranking our favorite ways to start making a little extra money. Let's start with the best side jobs, and then we'll move into our more entrepreneurial recommendations.
Top side jobs for single moms
As a mom looking to make more money, you'll have a few different options available to you. You may opt to take on a second job, a side hustle, or even pursue an entrepreneurial venture yourself.
My favorite second jobs for moms include:
Teaching English online
1. Teach English online
If you have a few extra hours per week and are looking for some guaranteed income, there are a number of sites online where you can teach English online. This year, my favorite sites include:
You won't get rich teaching English online, but you may be able to earn about $20 per hour or so from home, and that can make a real difference when it comes to paying your bills.
Another great second job for moms is tutoring online. Not only can it be worked entirely from the comfort of home, but you may also be able to make a good amount of money doing so.
In fact, there is no shortage of sites you may consider working for, including:
These sites tend to pay you based on the subject that you teach, but in general, you can expect to earn between $15-$20 an hour on average.
Depending on how it goes, you may even opt to start your own tutoring business.
Related: The top work from home jobs in 2023
3. Deliver food
Never before have there been more options to get paid for making food deliveries. Companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, and Shipt have made it really easy to make some extra money driving around your town or city.
Now, delivering food is our last recommendation for single moms looking for side jobs, and this is true for just one reason. The work takes you away from your house and your children, so this may not be feasible if your children are young and need supervision.
Regardless, here is a little more information to help you decide which of these platforms may be worth driving for.
For those looking to complete deliveries without having to go food shopping, DoorDash tends to be my top recommendation ahead of Grubhub. Here's why.
The DoorDash platform automatically bakes in a generous tip that users need to opt out of. Plus, you get to keep 100% of your tips.
Grubhub is another great money-making option for single moms. Essentially, the platform works very similarly to DoorDash. But one or the other could be better in your geographic area.
Eligibility to deliver on both programs is also similar and will require you to:
Pass a background check for criminal activity and driving infractions
Have a reliable vehicle
Have a smartphone that can support updated iOS and Android software
The largest grocery delivery service, Instacart is available nationwide. I recommend Instacart because of the flexibility it offers workers. You may opt to become a full-service shopper, meaning you both shop for and deliver the groceries to the customer. Or if you're not crazy about making the deliveries, you can opt to
My other favorite part of Instacart as a side hustle is that there are guaranteed minimum pay thresholds that you'll meet for completing a job.
Shipt is another grocery delivery service that competes directly with Instacart. Owned by the Target Corporation, Shipt is a great option because of the ease of getting to work. A streamlined application process will have you up and completing orders in no time!
Small business ideas for single moms
For those mothers looking for something a little more entrepreneurial, here are some great business ideas for moms to make money from home.
4. Work as a virtual assistant
Single moms looking to work from the comfort of home may opt to start a virtual assistant side gig. VAs, as they are oftentimes known, complete administrative and other tasks for businesses in a remote capacity.
As a virtual assistant, your responsibilities will likely include some or all of the following services:
Returning phone calls
VAs earn somewhere between $20-$30 an hour on average, but it is possible to earn more, particularly if you specialize the services that you offer.
Related: Learn more about starting as a virtual assistant
In my opinion, this is the best job for a single mom to work from home.
5. Make money on Airbnb
Even if you don't own a property or have a spare bedroom to rent out, you can still make money on Airbnb by doing things such as:
Running an Airbnb cleaning business
Providing photography/copywriting services
The downside here is that your work is likely to bring you outside the house, but if you're able to scale and hire somebody to manage your accounts, you may be able to return to a virtual environment, manage your side hustle, and collect the revenue generated.
Related: Learn more about making money on Airbnb
6. Buy and resell tickets to events
Another entrepreneurial side hustle you may consider operating from the comfort of home is starting a ticket resale business. This strategy will require some cash expenditure as you get started, and you'll definitely want to study up on buying tickets to events that you'll likely be able to sell at a profit.
Other than the cash outflow required to buy your first tickets, this can be a great side hustle for busy single moms because it can provide you with a good source of passive income. Other than buying tickets and then listing them for sale, you will spend time just waiting for them to sell.
Remember to check out our guide to reselling concert tickets at a profit for help in maximizing your chances of turning a profit. We'll cover:
How to price your tickets
Which events to buy tickets to
How to best get started
7. Sell unused or unwanted items around the house
You'll probably be surprised by how much money you can make selling items around your house that you either don't use or don't want anymore. Even older technology or used items may be worth something to somebody.
When my wife and I moved into our new house, the previous homeowner left a couple of lamps behind in the garage. And while they weren't to our taste at all, a quick Google search revealed that one of them was routinely selling on eBay and other sites for over $1,000. Talk about a surprise.
Anyway, the moral of the lesson is to never assume that an item is worthless. Take a couple of extra minutes and do a little research before you start throwing things away.
We recommend that you consider selling these items through sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.
8. Try your luck at pallet flipping
Our final entrepreneurial recommendation for moms across America to consider is pallet flipping. Pallet flipping, the act of buying bundles of goods that retailers discount, and then selling those items individually, can absolutely be a strategy that makes you real money.
The con to pallet flipping is similar to that of flipping concert tickets - you will need to spend some money to get started. But many love the thrill of the hunt. Sometimes, with the way pallets are shrink-wrapped, you can't see the entirety of the products contained within them.
There are plenty of guides online on how to select pallets ideal for resale too.
9. Start a blog
Blogging can be a great way to make some extra money from home. The process is very accommodating to a mom's lifestyle, and you can blog from anywhere at any time. Plus, the options are seemingly limitless.
Bloggers write about everything from personal finance to lifestyle to travel. Plus, of all the strategies I've mentioned so far, this one offers the best potential for passive income for single moms.
All you'll need to get started is a computer, laptop, or tablet. I've also written an in-depth guide to help you get started blogging!
10. Create and sell an online course
Everyone has expertise in something. So why not use this expertise to help others?
One great idea for you could be a parenting course, focused on motherhood or even conquering life as a single mom. A side hustle that can also help others? Sounds like a great idea to me!
There are plenty of online resources to help you package and market your course, but I recommend that my readers explore Kajabi and Teachable as a starting point.
11. Obsess over cash back
Quite possibly the easiest way for moms to put money back in their pockets is to focus on cash back. Pay attention to whatever rewards any of your credit cards may offer but use them responsibly.
As an added cash back boost, I recommend that you register for and begin to use cash back apps such as Ibotta and Rakuten. These apps oftentimes run promotions for many of the country's most popular retailers, and they run really good deals for Black Friday and other retail holidays over the course of the year.
12. Work as a travel agent
Another fun and profitable side hustle for single moms is to moonlight as a travel agent. Plenty of sites hire part-time travel agents to work from home, and the work can be fun too!
If you're a huge Disney fan like I am, you may even consider registering as a Disney travel agent. You can offer your services for free, and then earn a commission from Disney each time one of your clients' travels.
13. Proofreading books or articles
Proofreading has exploded in popularity over the past five years or so as more and more content creators have begun writing on the side. Your responsibilities are simple. You'll be tasked to review a manuscript of a blog post, book, or other type of written content and search for:
You can make good money from home with this strategy too. In fact, you may be able to charge up to $40 an hour once you're established.
To get started, I recommend that you offer services on Fiverr and Upwork.
14. Reselling on Amazon
Becoming an Amazon seller and creating your own store can be a great way for single moms around the country to build a second income. This side hustle can be worked completely from home, and your initial startup costs can be minimized too.
In time, with some early wins, you may be able to grow a full-time dropshipping career too.
15. Start an Etsy store
There is a booming online community of creative moms building income through an Etsy store. Selling digital downloads on Etsy has exploded in popularity for those looking to build a passive income stream or two.
The best part is that you can get started for well under $50, and your overhead costs will remain low as you continue to sell.
I've written a whole guide to help you get started.
16. Work as a freelance writer
There has never been a better time to be a freelance writer. Opportunities are everywhere on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and even through LinkedIn or other social media networks.
Plus, once you successfully complete some work and do it well, it becomes much easier and more lucrative to secure future work.
More side hustles for moms
For moms more comfortable with the traditional trading of time for money, there are plenty more side hustles to consider. Do keep in mind that these tasks and side gigs may require you to work as an employee or contractor for other businesses nationwide.
Some of these are likely to take you outside the home, but if that isn't an issue for you, can help you earn some extra money quickly.
Among my best recommendations include:
16. Professional driving: Similar to delivering food, driving for Uber or Lyft will lead you to work as an independent contractor. You'll also be able to make your own hours and work when you want to, making this ideal for busy moms with unpredictable windows to work.
17. Doing miscellaneous jobs: As a mom, you probably have unique skills that you can offer to others. Signing up to perform these jobs with TaskRabbit or another like site can provide you with the opportunity to get paid for cleaning, fixing things, running errands, and performing other work supported by the app.
18. Complete online paid surveys: Apps like Swagbucks and Amazon Mechanical Turk can be a great way for mothers to make a few dollars here and there between their million other duties. For moms looking for flexibility, this may make all the sense in the world.
19. Do others laundry via Hampr: Hampr is a platform that connects users with workers to complete their laundry. As a mom, you're probably doing plenty of laundry as is, but if you don't mind doing some extra loads here and there, you may be able to make money for doing so.
20. Become a taste tester: Did you know that you can actually get paid to eat? Companies across the country are looking for taste testers to help evaluate new products and work as mystery diners at popular chain restaurants. Here is a guide to becoming a taste tester.
Passive income ideas for single moms
I've saved some of the best for last. My favorite side hustles are those strategies that can generate some passive income. Luckily, single moms have plenty of options to make some money passively, including:
21. Renting out space on Neighbor.com
22. Renting out a spare bedroom on Airbnb
23. Investing in the stock market or other assets
24. Downloading the Tapestri app
25. Learn affiliate marketing
What is the best job for a single mom?
This is the million-dollar question.
There are so many awesome side hustle options out there to consider that it would be impossible to list all of them. But as it pertains to single moms, a special set of criteria need to be met.
So if you're looking to build a side hustle, you'll likely want to find something that meets these parameters:
Work from home
Low startup costs
1. Work from home
Being able to work from home can be a huge plus, saving you lots of time and money that would be spent on childcare or a babysitter. But as a single mom, it becomes more of a necessity.
2. Low startup costs
You'll also want to pick an activity with low (or zero) startup costs. It is common for single mothers to have tight budgets, so it is important to avoid taking on any more financial stress than necessary.
3. Fast and steady income
Going hand in hand with low startup costs, it is important to find a gig that offers the potential to make money as soon as possible. Nothing is immediate, of course, but making some money within a calendar quarter (3 months) should be a good goal for you!
4. Flexible hours
Being a parent oftentimes means putting your kids first, even when it is inconvenient. This likely means that you're looking for a gig that can be worked on your own time, whenever you have the time.
The bottom line
Whether you are exploring side gigs to make progress on your student loans, care for your kids financially, or otherwise improve your financial standing, side hustles are one of the best ways for single moms across the country to earn some extra money!
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