I’ve been where you are – after 4-6 months of maternity leave the money starts going down. With my previous job, I would get extra enhancements from unsocial hours and weekends, but on maternity leave that extra cash just wasn’t in the pay packet. After 6 months my wages went down even further and we really felt the pinch, especially with another family member to pay for! Is it possible to make any extra money during maternity leave? Will you have time with a baby added into the mix? Well there are certain things you can do while you have a baby attached to you, or during nap time. They won’t make you a millionaire, but every little helps, and it makes you feel more in control of your own destiny and feel positive. Making a few extra pounds here and there will give you a focus that isn’t about feeding, sleeping and milestones. I’ve tried each and every one of these suggestions, and more besides, so I’ve whittled it down to the most useful things you can do with your time and make a bit of extra money in the process.
Paid Surveys and Points apps
This is one you can do right from the start if you want, those long breastfeeding sessions or when your baby only sleeps on you, put them to good use. Make sure your phone is charged and you’ve got the remote and go for it. Steer clear of those that ask you to download apps and sign up to subscriptions otherwise it gets too complicated. Here are my favourites:
- CitizenMe – you do some for fun and some for 10-60p which is paid directly to your PayPal account. It adds up! They’re all really short too and actually quite enjoyable.
- Attapoll – you get matched with paid surveys, once you get 500 credits you can withdraw £5
- Vypr – They give you ‘Steers’ which are pictures asking your opinion. They add up to points, and once you have 10000 you get £5. It takes about 2 weeks to get £5, of very little time because you don’t get steers every day, and when you get them they take about a minute to complete.
- NewVistaLive – Longer surveys, and you won’t always be suitable. Reply to the email as soon as you can and you’ll get offered more. Reach 5000 points and you get £50.
- Prolific – it’s research based surveys and after you’ve filled in your details they offer you priced studies. Fill in the pre-screening questions and you will only be offered studies you are eligible for. If you want more tips and tricks on Prolific, read this post.
- Swagbucks – you answer surveys and can shop via their links to get points. There’s also the option to watch videos (just leave them to run on silent while you have a bath), download apps and complete offers for credits to spend on Amazon or PayPal. There are lots of options to get points, it’s easy to rack them up. See my Swagbucks hacks post here.
- Fronto is an app you install (only available on android so far) that earns you credits every time you unlock your phone, as simple as that! You can earn extra through the scratch card games and through referring friends and surveys. Make sure you enter my code Midwife1 to kick start your credits (I will get some credits too if you do :))
Start a blog
You won’t make money overnight, but it can give you a creative outlet and a place to explore your new feelings as a mother. The blogging community is wonderfully supportive and it could turn into your new career! I started mine in my maternity leave with my third and it’s turned into a lifestyle and new way for me to make an income. I now have the holy grail of working from home and fitting it in around the children. If you’d like some more information, take a look at my step by step post on How to Start a Blog.
Sell your unwanted items
Not just baby items, but go through anything you no longer need, that doesn’t fit or could be worth something. Sell on Facebook sale groups, eBay, Schpock or Gumtree. If you have enough, run a car boot sale. If you have lots of old clothes and fabric like old sheets, you can get money from selling them by the kilo.
Get paid for posting on social media
If you already have social media accounts, especially Instagram with more than a few hundred followers you could be making money from it. Buzzoole offers credits which can be redeemed for Amazon vouchers, where you can buy practically anything. If you have a good following, try Tribe. You have to own some of the products, if you have them already it’s worth a go.
Make sure you’re getting your entitlements
Have you claimed your child benefit? Are you entitled to tax credits? Make sure you’re getting all the benefits and tax breaks you’re entitled to now you’re a parent and your working situation may have changed.
Offer your services
If you have a buggy and a park nearby, offer to dog walk for your neighbours, baby will love the walk, you get exercise and some money to boot. If you can crochet, sew or make anything, try selling on Etsy with a free shop, or eBay, or setting up a Facebook page to sell what you make. Are you a whizz at website design or could you run an exercise group? Maybe freelance writing is the way forward. Go with your strengths and what will fit in around your new life.
Why not enter a free postcode lottery? I check a daily draw called Pick My Postcode, it’s free and you never know yours could come up. The prize is typically around £1000. If you don’t claim it though you can’t win.
Short Term Loans
Strictly not making money, and should be used with absolute caution, but if you find yourself faced with an unexpected bill you just don’t have the money for, a short term loan might be useful. Just make sure you have the funds available to pay it back quickly, as the interest is higher. SwiftMoney are one of the better companies, but check all other options first and use as a last resort.
Join us for a chat and support over in my Facebook group for pregnancy and parents, I share more of my tips there. I’ll see you there!
Disclosure: collaborative post, all opinions are my own.