Let’s face it: The U.S. isn’t known for having stellar maternity and paternity leave policies. In fact, 114 million people don’t get one day of paid family leave, according to advocacy group PL+US.
If you’re stuck deciding between staying home with your newborn or going back to work, don’t fret. There are ways you can bring in cash and be home with your new baby.
Here’s how to make money while on maternity leave.
How to make money while on maternity leave
Although you’ll have your hands full taking care of a baby, there are some side hustle options to consider that give you the flexibility to set your own hours while you’re on maternity leave. Yes, you can even make money during those middle-of-the-night feedings. Here’s how.
1. Sell your unwanted clothes
Perhaps you invested in tons of adorable baby clothes, only to find that your new son or daughter wore them for a total of one week. So, why not sell them?
It’s easy to sell clothes online through web-based consignment shops, and you can make some serious cash. Spend an hour during naptime going through your unworn items as well. You could be sitting on a mountain of money.
Companies like thredUp, Poshmark, and Tradesy let you sell your gently used or new clothing and then take a commission. Some even list your clothing for you and make it easy for you to send in your items by issuing a prepaid, preaddressed kit for shipping.
There are also options to sell your clothes directly to customers and keep a larger chunk of the profits, but they might require more work on your end. VarageSale, for example, lets you sell clothes to people in your area and arrange for pickup.
When you post your clothing online, be sure to take high-quality photos and include lots of details to ensure you get the most bites for the best price.
2. Let people rent your car
Having a newborn means you’re not going to be out and about as much. Sure, you’ll need to make the occasional store run or doctor’s visit, but your car likely will be sitting in your driveway most of the time. So, make some money off it.
Companies like Turo let you rent out your car by the day, week, or month to people who need a set of wheels. The company will set the price, or you can choose your own. Then, when someone rents it, you’ll get 65% to 85% of the trip price, “depending on the vehicle protection package you choose.” You also can set the mileage limit, and you’re protected with $1 million in liability insurance.
For example, if you rent your car out for just two days a week (eight days a month), you could make $206 a month. If you have a two-car household, you could rent one out more often and make more cash. Bumping it up to 15 days a month could make you almost $380 a month. That’s not too shabby if you’re staying home anyway.
3. Become a transcriptionist
There are only so many shows you can binge-watch during feedings and naps. Instead, you can make money during these quiet times by transcribing audio. Companies like TranscribeMe pay $20 per hour of audio, and you could get more if you have a medical or legal background.
There are no startup fees, but you’ll need to go through a quick onboarding process before you can start transcribing. Then, you can work as little or as much as you want and whenever you want.
“I can work at 8 a.m., or I can work at 11 p.m,” wrote one user. “Doesn’t matter. I can stop and start whenever I want to.”
Other companies to consider include Transcribe Anywhere, Quicktate, and Rev. All have different rates, with Rev stating you could average between $245 and $1,495 a month. Sign up for a few services, and you could make a nice chunk of money each month.
4. Be an online juror
Why not get paid to serve jury duty while you’re on baby duty? That’s what companies like eJury, OnlineVerdict, and Jury Talk allow you to do. They hire people like you to virtually sit on mock trials for lawyers and courts, and they pay up to $60 for 20 to 60 minutes of work.
All you have to do is review case information, fill out a questionnaire, and get paid for your time. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get regular cases. But eJury members get about one case per week, depending on their location.
5. Test websites
If you’re going to be awake all day and night, you might as well make some money. How? An easy way to make extra cash from your couch is by testing websites.
Companies like Apple, Adobe, and Facebook want to know to know what users think of their homepages, and they’re willing to pay you for your thoughts.
Third-party services like UserTesting allow you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of assigned tasks, and give your opinion. Then, you get paid $10 for every 20-minute video you complete. That’s basically $30 an hour for browsing the internet, which you’d probably be doing anyway.
Create a money-making maternity leave
Raising kids is already expensive, so taking time off from work to raise a newborn can put a financial strain on your family.
But if you’re wondering how to make money while on maternity leave, know that you have some options. They might not be able to replace your full-time salary, but a few hundred dollars a month can help you cover the cost of groceries and diapers.
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