Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dedicated Daughters: saving and making money, part 2

Previously, we discussed how a daughter can be a blessing to her family by being wise with money. Now I'd like to explore a few simple ways to make money from home.

I'd like to stress again that in my opinion, the key to having balanced finances isn't earning more – it's spending less. I was able to put more in savings off the modest sum I make from home, than from the time when I worked many hours outside the home and, apparently, earned much more money. The additional income melted away into expenses such as transportation, work clothes, and "compensatory purchases" – little things I bought because I worked so hard and "deserved it". If you just sit down and calculate how much it costs you if you buy a latte every day, you'll be amazed.

I think that if a young woman must earn a living, the ideal way to do it would be for her to join a family business. However, I know very well that in our day and age, families don't work together very often. Therefore, I'll introduce a few practical ways I've been using to make money from home in the last five years. Of course, I can't cover all the ways you can possibly make money from home – but maybe you'll glean an idea or two.

Working with the little ones – babysitting isn't just a way to earn money – it's also an invaluable opportunity to gain valuable experience with children. By the way, it doesn't have to be done just for money; for example, if you have a relative or neighbor who just had a baby and has several older little ones, she just might need a hand; don't hesitate to ask! The experience will be truly priceless, especially if you, like me, grew up in a small family and never had the chance to help out with little ones in your own home.

Giving lessons – another great way to spend time with children, teach them, learn to understand them; and cultivate the virtue of patience along the way. Throughout the years, I've had the blessed opportunity to tutor many children and teenagers, mainly in math, English and science, and it has been a very enjoyable experience for me. Often, the lessons I learned from the children and their families were more penetrating, and more important, than what they learned from me. Last year I had the privilege to teach a very special and lovely girl from a very poor family. Their joy and kindness to each other, their spirit of cheerfulness even though they had so little, were a precious example of gratitude I will carry with me, I'm certain, throughout the years.

Here, too, I think you can also see opportunities for volunteering. Some years ago, I tutored a sick child for free, during several months when she was at home and until she went back to school. I didn't earn money, but it was a very special and beneficial experience in other ways.
Look what you are good at; maybe it's languages, music, sewing, flower arranging? Whatever it is, there just might be some eager children, or other young ladies near you, who will be glad to pay for you teaching them that skill.

Translating – Along with tutoring, translating is one of my favorite ways to make money from home. The schedule is flexible; you and you alone determine when, how and how much you do every day (as long as the number of offers you take on is also controlled by you). I'm not a professional translator, but since I charge much lower for my services, I've found that many people are more than willing to pay, and as you gain experience, it makes you more and more reliable. This is an option for you, of course, only if you know more than one language.

Typing – even in our digital age, many people – especially older ones – aren't exactly friendly with computers, and will gladly pay you for typing for them. It's a great option for you if you type fast.

There are, of course, a myriad of ways to make money from home, and no one can possibly try them all; therefore, my suggestion to you is – be creative! Explore any skill you are good at and see if it can be made profitable. Are you good at sewing or other crafts? See if you have the time and energy to make items for sale, and how much you would be profited by it; do your cakes and cookies earn compliments whenever they are served? Consider checking where you could sell them, and make a few extra batches. I did that several times at charity events and it was always a smashing success.

This is an area where each one can play to her own strengths. I know young ladies who have developed a skill for photography, flower arranging, making candles and soaps, and even pottery, and successfully earn enough money from home to cover all or almost all of their expenses. Some even took the plunge and started online businesses; even if it's something you don't know much about, it doesn't mean you can't give it a try. Notice that I'm not saying you should jump headfirst into any possibility that looks promising – I am merely encouraging you to think outside the box.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for these wonderful ideas. :-)

I'm at college getting a degree in piano pedagogy. I'm fortunate, I found LAF during the summer before I started college. I think the transition was easier because the changes in my heart and dress didn't require me to change my degree. (I'm sure my parents would not have been so accepting of my decision if it had required this.)
This is something I can do from home and the start up cost is minimal.

Merry Christmas!! :-)


USAincognito said...

I guess I don't see what the difference is of a woman working from home vs. working away from home. You can still choose to work part-time or fulltime, no matter whether you at home or not. Work is work. Can't get any more black & white than that. I guess I am sitting over here scratching my head in confusion. You have blogged post after post about a woman being at home until marriage and not working even when married. Yet, then you post about working. Even if you do have a home based business, it is still a JOB. It is still considered WORKING. And as far as society is concerned, you are still working outside the home - because you obviously are selling/providing services to those outside of your immediate household. So I guess I am completely confused by your blogs on this whole "women working" issue. They seem to be in complete contradiction of eachother.
I truly believe that it is up to each person what they do for income. Some can live just fine on their husband's income alone. Others cannot. Some choose to work because they enjoy what they do. And they are still quite capable of being a wonderful mother and wife at the same time.

Anna S said...


Have you read the series from the beginning? Because if you have, you probably realize I'm talking here to young, *unmarried* women who wish to focus on the home but don't get much support from the people who surround them - and must therefore seek alternatives and compromises. As a sidenote, young unmarried women typically have more time for a home business than married ladies with children.

Now, as to working from home vs. working outside the home... it would be lovely to know if you tried both, and to hear your experience. Because I worked outside the home and currently I work from home and I can tell you it made all the difference in the world for me. Here at home, when I take a 5-minute break from work, I can put in a load of laundry, serve lunch to Grandma, or quickly clean up mess that is made by the cats. I'm not stuck in traffic and my schedule is completely flexible. Compare that with a regular job - I believe it's not the same.

Terry said...

Anna, I agree with you completely. I, too have worked both outside and insided the home and there is indeed a tremendous difference. At home, I could set my schedule around the needs of my family. Outside the home, I reported to a supervisor whose loyalty was to the bottom line, not to my family and I had to submit to what they wanted regardless of how my family life was affected. At some point we must be willing to acknowledge that being a wife (and particularly a wife and mother) is a full time job if you plan to do it well. I get upset because we refuse to be honest with ourselves. Our unwillingness, or even inability, to achieve the ideal situation for our families doesn't make it any less the ideal. Oh, and incidentally, one of my daughter plays two musical instruments and we have discussed the possibility of her being able to teach music to young children during her college years if a need arises to for her to earn money. It is preferable to working for a third party employer for all the reasons I previously mentioned. This was a good post. Thanks.

Kelly said...

Great post Anna. I think as time goes on we will see more and more people, men and women, finding ways to work from home. Simply for the flexibility if offers.
For me having worked outside the home, in the for pay world as I call it, I can say that no matter the job outside the home. That job EXPECTS you to put that job first before all else. A home based business you can pick and chose when and whom to work for, you can take a break when you need to, and fit work to your own schedule.
The number one reason that people start their own businesses, a large portion of which are home based, is for more family time and flexibility of work.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, what is the other language that you speak, if you don't mind sharing?

Rebekah S. said...

What great ideas!! A few years ago, I spent the summer going door to door in my neighborhood (with my mother right there with me, of course) selling my homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownies, and I once made $400 in one summer!! It was amazing. There truly are so many many things a young lady can do from home, if the household is in need of a little extra money.

Anna S said...

Anon, I speak 4 languages, but mostly work doing English-Russian translations.

Green Eyes said...


I concur completely with Anna. Working inside and outside of the home are two entirely different situations. Right now in my household, I earn some money "from home," and my husband has a "job." He does not get a say in his hours, he cannot do anything useful around the house during his breaks, he cannot decide to take days "off" to visit friends for birthdays or similar events.

I work from home, which includes probably a dozen small services I perform, such as making homemade candies, sewing, and cleaning homes (I clean 2 of them periodically. While this is not technically "in-my-home" work, I am still able to adjust my schedule as needed). Unlike my husband, I am able to take a nap if I didn't sleep well (which enables me to do better quality work for the rest of the day), set my own number of hours, and take off any day I want. Any time my husband gets a day off, I can quickly adjust my work schedule so that I can be home with him, relax with him, or even pack up and camp or visit friends with him. If my grandmother needs someone to drive her to a doctor's appointment, I'm available for her. When my friend delivers her baby next month, I'll be able to spend entire days helping her out (since she has no family nearby). I don't make as much money as my husband, true, but my flexibility is entirely worth it to us.

Rebekah S. said...


Anna's not contradicting herself at all! The Proverbs 31 woman worked. She realised that it was her husband's responsibility to provide for his family, but if their household needed just a little more money on the side, then she was free to do that from home. There is nothing wrong with a woman doing work! We are called on to not eat the bread of idleness! But the way a woman does this and the way a man does is Biblically different-God created men and women to have different roles! A woman is called to be a homemaker. Period. This is for the woman's protection, well being, and good. God was in complete control of what did and did not enter His Holy Word. And He commanded women to be homemakers. For instance, Scripture doesn't say you are only to be a homemaker if you have children in the home, then you are free to go out into the workforce. Scripture doesn't say that, and if God had wanted it to, it would have. But it says to admonish the older women to teach the younger women to be homemakers so that the Word of God be not blasphemed. To be a homemaker is clearly(as taught from Scripture) the Christian woman's life long job and responsibility. But, as I said, if the family is in need of some more money, then she is free to do some form of work for the family's benefit, providing that she does so Biblically-in the home.

In Christ alone,

Rebekah S. said...

Wow! You know 4?? That's so neat! I wish I knew more-I only know 1. How did you learn all of those? What are the other 2 that you know?

USAincognito said...


I have been absent from your blog for some time so, no, I did not realize your recent blogs have been strictly for unmarried young women. This helps to clarify a few things.
Yes, I have my own business and I also work outside the home. I do not have the time to go into details as I am getting ready to start my shift here. But when I come home tonight, I would like to comment about my experience in both.

Gothelittle Rose said...

I agree with the others about working inside vs outside the home. What a difference! A lot of it has to do with autonomy, flexibility, and the right to put your family first.

In a way, though, 'inside' vs 'outside' doesn't exactly describe the difference. Even a job inside the home, if it requires many hours each day of utter privacy and strict adherence to a supervisor/boss, resembles an 'outside job', and some 'outside jobs' resemble 'inside jobs' in, as I said before, flexibility and autonomy.

For my job, which I think I've said before, I teach a three-credit college course in computers at the local community-technical college. As an adjunct faculty under an easy-going department head, I have a lot of autonomy, especially since I don't need much guidance to do a good job. Whenever I meet with students to help them out (my choice and as my schedule allows), I can bring my boy with me. The only time I'm held to is Saturday mornings (previously, Wednesday evenings) for about four hours.

Correcting homework, making tests, all of that I can do at home with my kid playing nearby.

Maybe someone ought to think up a list of guidelines about jobs? I might write that up in my own blog. Maybe we who are interested by it ought to all write ours up and see how they're similar.

neuropoet3 said...

I found this post encouraging, Anna. I know that I have a lot of strengths - I just need to come up with some ways to make them profitable from home. :) My hands are really full with my boys and all, but our family is having a tight time financially right now, and I would love to be able to help out some. Of course, I need to finish getting us all settled into our new home, but I'm sure one of my many talents could be useful in this area if I think/pray about it enough. :)

Rebekah S. said...

Another thing I do to make a little money (that I use to buy Christmas presents and birthday presents for friends and family) is clean our next door neighbor's house. She is gone on business trips for up to three months at a time, so I clean her house for her, gather her mail, water her plants, etc. etc. Also, she's not saved, so it's a great mission field as well!

Maggie said...

I am currently work at home, as a stop-gap measure until I can find more permanent work outside of the home. Although I am grateful for the work I do have at home, I am looking forward to getting out of the house. If only to alleviate cabin fever and the ability to talk with others.
Don't get me wrong, it's great to do the laundry on a break, or start lunch; but there is also something to be said about exchanging ideas with like-minded individuals in the flesh, about taking a brisk walk on your lunch break to run errands etc...

just my two cents.

Sue said...

I've only worked inside the home to supplement my income when I was single. But I know others who have home-based businesses or work for an employer from home:

1) My brother owns a small auto-repair shop. He has pays a woman who keeps his books in shape from her home using a computer program designed for this purpose. She also has a couple of other clients and can schedule her work around her family's needs.

2) Our former cat sitter started this business so she could take her young children with her as she went from one client's home to the next and tended to their cats.

3) A friend whose employer allows her to do all her work (computer support) from home, with a little travel every month. Her parents live very close by and her mom is more than happy to care for her son. Her husband is usually home at a reasonable time. She can have lunch with her son, she avoids the commute time to an office, the cost of gas to/from work, the need for nice work clothes, lunches out, etc.

This latter woman's situation may be too much for a woman who only wants part-time work from home, but I mention it because it's an great situation for someone who needs or desires full-time work from home.

My .02,


Anna Naomi said...

Great post! I've never worked a "real job" per say. I've babysat since I was 12, and am now teaching praise ballet and directing plays. I charge less then half of most dance places and nothing for the plays, because I see it as more of a ministry. And, God has really blessed me thus far!

USAincognito said...

First of all, no offense to Rebekah S., but not all women are to be homemakers. Nowhere in Scripture does it directly say, "Thou shalt be a homemaker" or "Thou shalt be married." Like I have discussed on here and on my own blog several times, there are women in Scripture who were SINGLE and NOT MARRIED and they worked - and God blessed them! God has NOT called all women to marry (thus, not all are called to be homemakers). So I am not going to get into another debate on this issue. It is pointless.
To each their own.
I respect that you enjoy being a woman who stays at home. But there are plenty of Christian women out there who do not stay at home nor do they marry - they are truly blessed by God because they are doing exactly what God has in store for them!

Moving on.....

All the years I worked as a family counselor for a company, I had complete flexibility. I scheduled my clients when I wanted to. I was able to do the paperwork either at home or at the office when I wanted to. I think maybe 3 hours total were spent at the office each week as I did everything else at home in my free time. (I traveled to my clients' homes to meet with them there as my clients were poor, inner city families). I had complete freedom to come and go from my home, ride my horses, hang out with friends, take a nap, shop, run errands, clean, etc., and still fit my clients in my schedule. And I was available to my clients 24/7 via a pager in case of a crisis. So there are real jobs out there that do have flexibility and allow a person to still be at home whenever she needs to be.
Sure, I have switched careers and the line of work I am in now (Law Enforcement) does not have the flexibility as my former career as a counselor. But that was my choice to switch careers at the leading of God. HE is the one who put that passion in me and gave me the opportunity to better society by fighting crime. Even with my current line of work, if I need a day off I am able to day trade with another officer or just take the day off as a paid vacation day. No big deal. And family does come first in my department - they gave me time off so I could go be with my grandfather before he passed away over Thanksgiving.
I do also own my own business and therefore know what it is like to operate from the home. But it is still considered working outside the home in my eyes as I am providing a service to my clients - I train their horses. I have flexibility in the time of day when I train the horses but I am also held to a schedule where the horse must be worked with daily for at least an hour.
So, whether working from home or working outside the home, you are able to have flexibility. But it must also be realized that both types of work do require setting a schedule. Otherwise, productivity would be sub par.

....and I am sorry, Anna, if my confusion in my first comment sounded as if I was being judgmental. I was not. Apparently my voicing my confusion struck a few nerves in your readers and they took my rambling to be something more than it was. I was not intending to piss people off nor was I trying to be malicious. Quite the opposite.
Rather, I was literally sitting here scratching my head in confusion. But of course, now that I know you have been posting lately toward a specified group of people, it makes more sense to me as to why you are writing what you are writing. You know I would never attack you personally for what you believe in. That is your personal choice and your personal decision between God and you. And I am glad that you are willing to stand by your own convictions. So I hope you realize I was only trying to have my confusion in this matter cleared up.

Maggie said...

I concur with usaincognito. Not all women are called to be married or to be homemakers. In fact, the gift of singleness is a Gift from God and many women are blessed with this. Why else would we have monastic orders for both men and women?

Anonymous said...

Whenever people ask me what I'm doing once I'm done college, I give them the answer: I know it won't be a typical 9-5 job!

I'm not really a 'card puncher' anyway. Right now I work at a library at my school, and I enjoy that for what it is, but I reall yearn to be my 'own boss' and start a little business or service on my own. I'd like to tutor ESL or teach piano. I'd also like to sell crafts and baked goods, or just creative things like that. If I do find an 'outside' job before I marry and have children, I'd like to work with immigrants and refugees--something humanitarian and ministry oriented. My mom pushed for me to get a public school certification--but I'm pretty much sure I do not want to work in a public school! Anyway, I've had so much more confidence adn sense of calling when I pulled away from thinking in the typical career mindset!

PS...I have a blog now if you're interested in reading..just click my name!

Adlyn said...

WOW anna FOUR Languages! I speak another language besides english and that's french! (I'm pretty good and I know enought to ask someone in french "where is the bathroom!" lol!) and I've always wanted to learn other languages such as japansese, swhaili, and russian!

Gothelittle Rose said...

It is true that there are many women who neither marry nor stay at home, and that God does not call everyone to that life. The problem I see in today's culture is the notion that all women, even the majority who are called to marry, should spend the years until that point preparing for life as a single woman.

I appreciate Anna's series because it speaks to the women who want to prepare for marriage and family, but simply don't know how, because everybody is pushing them to be career women instead.

Parents used to teach all of their girls homemaking skills in case they had to manage a household, and the few who were not called to it may have had some skills they didn't need and had to work harder for those they did. Nowadays, parents teach all of their girls career skills in case they have a career, and the majority who are not called to it have some skills they don't need and lack lots of skills they do!

You can set up a standard path while allowing people to deviate from it. If you're trying to do the best for society, shouldn't you be setting up the standard to fit the majority and allowing the minority to deviate from it?

(Unless, of course, your goal is to change the lives of the majority to fit what you feel is best for them. But that's another story.)

Andrea said...


I think you articulated my feelings exactly. I personally do not think there is anything wrong with a young lady not getting married (wasn't it Paul who said it would be better if nobody got married? I choose to read that admonition as somewhat joking on his part, a form of hyperbole to make a point, but I think he has a valid point in that marriage is certainly not for everybody) but I agree that every girl today seems to be educated with the belief that she will remain single, rather than taught what she'll need to run a house and then given the freedom to discover that she might not need all of those skills after all, if marriage isn't for her.

I'm actually a huge fan of the idea that parents teach both young ladies and young men the skills they'll need to keep a home functioning (I am so saddened and somewhat disgusted to see grown, unmarried men whose mothers still come over to their homes to cook and clean for them because these "adult boys" can't be bothered to even run a load of laundry through the wash!) and then let these skills possibly be proved redundant. It seems a much more practical application than having young, newly-married women tossed into a situation they aren't equipped to handle, making them more flustered by their newly-adopted roles than they need to be.

Incidentally, I'm currently employed as a freelance writer. I write copy for websites (mostly travel and car rental sites) and I like that I can set my own hours for this. I also hope to write for a living, which is something I could easily do from home whether I get married or not. I particularly love the flexibility it allows me since I find my housecleaning schedule is rather odd, and not especially suited to a 9-5 job (I love to wash dishes at five am. I do not know why, but it's just most enjoyable at that time. Then I go back to bed.)

Karen said...

Hmm...$5 a day for a starbucks latte, times let's say 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year...and oh my, you just blew $1300 bucks!! Yet I know so many people who swear they can't live without it!