Working From Home

There are many things to consider when working a job at home. This page is about working from home.
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Why do people want to devalue a part time employee? Part time jobs are of value to both the employer and the employee. I work several part time jobs, mostly at home. I do home childcare, I tutor from home, I teach CPR and first aid classes often from home (if for a company I go to their site), and do writing and copy editing for several online publications. I am also a landlord. Yet, I am considered by many to be unemployed.

I was asked if I was ever going to get a "real job" instead of being a stay at home mom. I replied, "I do work and have several jobs. In fact, many weeks what I do totals above and beyond your typical 40 hour a week job." This person told me that what I did was not "real work", because most of it I do from home or, if not at home, because it is only part time.

Some weeks, such as last week, I worked over 100 hours, simply because I have two families whose children I have for 24 or 48 hours straight as their parents work 24 hour shifts. That gives me more than a normal week of 40 hours just in 2 days. Then, during racing season I may still go and work another 2 or 3 days at the speedway, which is usually 12-16 hour shifts.

The IRS considers me to have real jobs, because I sure pay taxes on it. If everyone felt that the jobs I do are "not real", we would have no landlords or property management people, no daycare, preschools, or babysitters, no CPR or first aid instructors. In fact, a lot of jobs could be lumped into that field, because probably somewhere is somebody who does something from home to the extent that almost all occupations could fall under this. I even know of a dentist whose office is at his home in a converted garage.

Evidently, to some people, a "real job" means you must leave your home to work for someone else.

This same person then told me they thought that Pizza Hut was hiring (minimum wage) and perhaps I could quit my part time at home jobs to work there. In doing the math, I would not only incur the cost of fuel to and from work and uniforms, but would actually earn only half of what I earn now in the average week.

Working at home has huge advantages, as you can still keep an eye on your kids and their activities, not have to worry how to get to work on days with bad weather, not having to purchase work clothes, or call in sick, and one can get some small household chores done in during breaks.

It also sometimes has its disadvantages, as having to stay on task to meet an editing or writing deadline when you know the laundry needs to be hung up on the line, or keeping people out of the office and quiet when you are trying to work. And the biggie, people who think they can just drop in whenever and then get mad because you are on the phone or computer and can't just leave to answer the door or to leave with them and do whatever, whenever said person wants you to.

This person said if my job was real, then why do I usually state I am a stay at home mom? Well, because I am "at home". Being at home doesn't mean that you are not contributing to your family's income. There are lots of stay at home moms who add to their income, through Avon, Mary Kay, having a beauty shop in the basement, child care, sewing, tutoring, or giving music lessons. And, to me, being a mom is the #1 most important job there is, next to being a dad.

In fact, being a stay at home mom also saves the family money. I am here to do what a lot of dual working families hire to have done. We have no babysitter, no lawn service, no weekly housekeeper, I pay no one to transport my kids to and from events because I am at work. I have the time to cook and bake from scratch, instead of having to stop and get fast food on the way home from work. I do our laundry instead of taking it to a dry cleaner. I have time to save on our grocery bill by planting a garden. From that garden I freeze, dehydrate, and can over half of our food for the year. I have time to coupon and shop sales and feed our family (5 remaining at home) on $200 a month (month, not week as the average family does). That alone takes me around 4 hours a week to plan my shopping/sales trips. I have time to do my own mending and some sewing (when my girls were younger, I made all their clothing, except for their Christian School uniforms). I also have time to shop garage sales and thrift stores. (Often finding items I can resell at a profit). I also have time to refinish furniture, including a few that began as $5 thrift store finds and resold for a profit.

When I worked full time, I had to pay for a sitter, pay to have my lawn mowed, pay for dry cleaning and we ate out at least 3-4 times a week, because by the time I got home from work at 6 p.m., I was tired. I thought I would get all my chores done on a day off, only to be given mandatory overtime, which is very painful when you are a single mom. Nothing more lovely (sarcasm intended) than paying income taxes on money you earn then having to pay again to have someone do your work for you, while you do someone elses work.

Why pay taxes on a full salary, only to have to pay half that out to other people you had to hire to do your at home work for you? You come out ahead by only working part time and only paying taxes on your part time work. Many part time jobs also give an employee discount which is even a further savings if it is a place where you often shop.

Having said all the above, the person then argued my children were old enough that I could leave them. Yes, I could. After all, the youngest 2 are now in high school. But, often that is when they need you most. This is the age where they can have a friend come pick them up and be gone to who knows where with who knows who. I am here, I know where they are and I know who they are with, and I know the other parents. This is the age of teen pregnancies, teens drinking, smoking, and experimenting with drugs.

Years ago I worked at a crisis center, and for a few months was a volunteer interim director. One thing we asked women "in trouble", (trouble could be anything from drinking to pregnancy, or they had been kicked out of the house or abused), was how did they get into this situation. Over and over the answer from many women, especially the younger ones, was that the behavior that got them in this situation started or usually occurred at their own home, while their parents were at work. "Well, I got into the liquor cabinet while dad wasn't home, or my boyfriend would come over every day for an hour before school as soon as my parents left for work, or I took the drugs out of my mom's medicine cabinet." Basically, because your child is a teen, does "not" mean you are not responsible for them, or need to stop watching them. Often, you need to watch them more, but for different things and different reasons. Teens are easily persuaded by their peers, fashions, and other adults, and often not in the best way.

Work at home moms (and sometimes dads), are not to be looked down at, thought of as lazy bums, or to be criticized. They are both a parent and often more than a full time employee. They are also usually the first to be asked to help with various volunteer activities that parents who work full time "for the man" can't do. Many don't realize that a lot of well known solid companies now hire work at home employees, such as Centurylink, Enterprise Rental, and many many IT jobs.

Next time you visit with a stay at home parent, pay attention to what all they do. Often there is a lot to be learned from them-such as organizational skills, budgeting skills, and other lessons.

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Many people are attempting to work from home during the current lockdown. Here are some tips for being effective without having to go into the office.

A woman with a coffee cup and a computer monitor behind her.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
April 30, 2010

For those who work at a home-based businesses, maintaining an efficient work pace is crucial for fiscal success. Today, these piecemeal workers may need to produce more work for less cost in order to keep up with the market.

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Claire Bush
September 4, 2008

Working from home makes sense for more workers as the cost of gas continues to rise. Telecommuting, whether for a few days a week or a month or even full time, is an option for many office jobs that your firm may consider if it's presented in the right light.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 18, 2013

How can I start online work and make money while working at home on my PC?

By Khawar

Answers

April 20, 20130 found this helpful

A place to start is at Amazon's Mechanical Turk. They have a wide variety of tasks. None pay well but you can work it at your convenience. www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome

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There are also paid to click sites like swagbucks.com and mypoints.com

None of these are get rich quick schemes but I've made as much as $20 in a day on Mechanical Turk.

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December 5, 2009

Does anyone have information on home based jobs? Can I make money stuffing envelopes?

Vonate

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December 5, 20090 found this helpful

I suggest to work at home for yourself, I use to sew for people, made good money, I put a small sign out front "I sew", if you live in town put it on your mail box, also put ads in news papers, the Market Bulletin is a very good paper to put ads in. Also ask the fabric stores near you if they need somebody to do sewing for them, I use to sew for 2 in a small town. As you know baby sitting is a way to make money, so is doing laundry for people, baking cakes, cookies, etc. Just think of what you like to do and make money doing it. Good luck.

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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

Those so called jobs stuffing envelopes are scams. They get you to invest in lists to send the stuffing envelope job to other people.

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You are required to makes copies of the letter you get and mail it to others wanting work at home jobs. You should never pay to get any kind of job.

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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

You can sell things on ebay. I know a woman who goes to thrift stores and buys clothes with designer labels. She takes them home, cleans them and then takes pictures of the clothes and posts them on ebay. Their are many books you can buy that tell you how to set up an ebay account and a paypal account. You can also buy things at yard sales and flea markets and sell them.

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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

Try these two web sites. I worked at home for several years with Cloud 10. I love it, but got laid off but hear they are hiring again. Just browse these two web sites for lots more info.

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www.workplacelikehome.com and
www.homewiththekids.com

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December 8, 20090 found this helpful

I have a day care in my home. I get paid to play all day!

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December 8, 20090 found this helpful

As Deebomb says, those envelope stuffing jobs are a scam. I tried that, here in Canada. So they are probably the same rip-offs everywhere!

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December 8, 20090 found this helpful

I have also tried the "make money filling out surveys" sites. They don't pay you in cash. They "award" points which can be turned into cash, but it takes a few years to make five bucks! I would advise the day care route.

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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

When you give to others it will always return back to you ten fold. You may want to try www.2plus7.com/moneyjackpot Tell two and pay no more. For more info I have it.

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December 13, 20090 found this helpful

All are great ideas. Reselling is perfect.

I sell on Craigslist and leave eBay alone most of the time. It's pricey and you have to deal with shipping, feedback that might be negitive even if it wasn't your fault.

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For example, I bought a 2.49 unopened crewel kit last week, and sold it the next day for 6.00. I didn't have to do anything but bring it home.

I meet people at a nice coffee shop just 1/2 a block from me, they make a bit of my money on a mocha, my home is still secure, and everyone is happy.

If you have a good sized garage, you can also have a sale every other month...inviting your neighbors and charging them 10%. This helps you and them by making some money for them and you both.

If you are crafty, make small things and sell them on artfire.com and etsy.com leaving the website fees and responsibility to others who have the time and money to run the sites.

If you are good at editing, fix resumes and proofread manuscripts or college essays. If you love computer work, you can take a course in medical and legal billing, and stay home and work from your desk.

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Do you have a nice voice? In some states, they will pay you to read for the blind or audio books.

Be a critter sitter if you have a nice big yard and live in the country (most neighbors don't like a lot of dogs barking)...or just do cats. I know a lady in Salem OR who has a cat condo and is doing nicely.

Sewing and altering is also a great idea as mentioned, or make doll clothes and sell them. If you crochet, you can make specialty sets like mufflers and caps for kids, sweaters for pets, or get paid by other crafters to roll yarn, cut out fabric, etc.

Once, I hired my sister to do the small things that I didn't have time to do, and it gave her some money and me some time.

The best advice is to know what you love to do, see it there is a market, start out slow and cheap, and find or create your niche.

Please tell us all when you find it so we know we were part of something creative for you??

Sincerely,
Sandi
Poor But Proud

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January 13, 2011

I am interested in working from home, there are so many ads online, but almost all want money paid up front. For a person who has no job, it is difficult to pay upfront with the risk of not making money at all from all these ads. Is there a way to start a business from home without a down payment, or payment after you start to make money?
Thanks.

By Helen from Orlando, FL

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April 29, 2008

I would like to work from home. I am a mortgage broker. Any ideas?

Bill

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By pamala woodward (Guest Post)
May 3, 20080 found this helpful

Visit pamsparadisetravels.com & click on presentation. Many of my friends that are realtors, brokers, insurance agents, & title reps have used this site to now be financially free from simply working from home for about 2 years! Hope this helps.

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August 11, 2009

A friend of mine in SC needs a job she can work at from home. A medical problem (circulatory) warrants that she stay off of her feet (that cut out her cashier job). She does have a computer and access to the internet. Any legitimate job opportunities out there that you know of? Thanks.

KCC from Canton, NC

Answers:

Working At Home

Have you thought of selling on eBay? You could start with the unwanted items around your house.

By madisonandco

Working At Home

You may want to check out Elance (http://www.elance.com). You can post your services there and then bid on projects that people looking for help post. Elance then takes a percentage when you are paid by someone.

By Lewis (Guest Post)

Working At Home

In my area (NC,USA) doctor's farm out their notes, etc., for transcription. Check with your local medical society or hospital to see about your area.

By <userlink:thr459031>wallflower</userlink>

Working At Home

Why not search the internet for the various Virtual Assistant groups and join the forums and learn about the working from home. Virtual Assistants, start their own businesses working from home offering services like typing, transcription, web design, bookkeeping, etc. You can learn a lot by joining the various forums and hopefully join the groups. If you have the experience this could be a good stepping stone to starting your own business from home. Regards.

Ali, AMF Typing Services, South Africa.

By <userlink:thr760347>Alison F.</userlink>

Working At Home

How about contacting a local school or college? You could help with admin or type student's papers for a fee.

By <userlink:thr685596>Campnluray</userlink>

Working At Home

Since you said "graphics" and have a bit of money to get started, you could also advertise custom made invitations, stationary, greeting cards in bulk, business cards, etc. You would be surprised at the number of people that will pay a little extra to get something that actually has their name printed on it.
You could have them sign their name, and you could scan it and use it for graphics on the cards, stationary, etc. Just a thought. You would have to buy your card stock, business cards, etc., but once you make a sale, you can put it back into your business. Advertise. Newspapers, flyers, your own business cards, and talk, talk, talk. Your best and worst advertisement is "Word of Mouth". Good Luck.

By sfrench1124 (Guest Post) (02/07/2006)

By ThriftyFun

<title-green>Answers:</title>

Working At Home

I work at home for the most part. I am and have been a Pampered Chef consultant for 3 years. Actually I have been able to quit my 9-5 job doing it. Have you ever thought about Home Direct Sales? I typically work 6-8 days a month and make decent income. Plus the flexibility to work around my families needs.
If you or anyone else have any questions about PC, like to know the benefits, or like to give it a try, (it couldn't hurt).

By <userlink:thr528243>sburkhart</userlink>

Working At Home

I'm a mystery shopper and merchandiser. I am an independent contractor. Just go online and type in either word. I apply to companies online all the time. I have about 8 companies right now which is not bad considering I live in a very small town. In big cities, you can make lots of money.

By Renee (Guest Post)

Working At Home

Have you tried going to www.craigslist.com? There are a lot of major cities listed, but even if your city isn't listed some of the other cities have work from home opportunities. Maybe even try a google search for work at home opportunities. There is another website that I have applied for at http://www.workathomeagent.com/. It is a call center type job from home. I chose the hours I want to work, but may not get all the hours I requested.

But it is a process and I am only part of the way through, but should start working soon. I read that If you want to work from home that you need multiple streams of income. Do you have any hobbies that you could turn into a profit? There are lots of craft fairs that do not cost a lot of money to enter. Craftlister.com is a good place to find them.

Do you have a marketable skill? Advertise for your skills. Barter if you can. The Mompack is a great place to ask for advise on starting a business. You may even want to find a group that meets regarding working from home, such as VendorCentralUSA, or WAHMFest, or if there aren't any groups that meet in your area, start one. The information you get from other work at home people will get you started on the right path.

Advertise your business in local community business boards and community happenings in the local papers. Print up some flyers and put on cars, in the local supermarkets, Walmarts, etc. There are lots of opportunities out there just research, research, research. Use the internet, it is your best tool.

By Angie (Guest Post) (03/20/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Working At Home

I do medical transcription at home. I transcribe at night after my full-time day job. The only investment is a computer, Word software, Stedman's software, and a transcriber, and paper. I do the transcription for the office I work for. My set-up is a little different, but I can do it from home in my pj's at my convenience. (03/23/2006)

By Pamm

Working At Home

Just a note about mystery shopping you should never, ever have to pay a fee to join. Check out www.volition.com. There are many options there. (03/25/2006)

By michelleh

Working At Home

For mystery shoppers: try www.mysteryshopperservices.com Sign up is free (never pay to sign up anywhere) And check out mysteryshop.org that is an official website that has job databases and information on gold/silver certifications that make you more valuable, but it is not necessary. They are a great resource. Note: you will not make a lot of money on this, but it is fun if you are a snoop and opinionated like me. And are a stickler for outstanding customer service. (03/25/2006)

By Kelly

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December 5, 2009

What are some of the best "work from home" jobs?

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