Making Side Income Can Help Blunt The Impact Of Becoming A One Income Family

My wife and I just had our first child 2 months ago, a healthy little baby boy named Carter. Becoming a parent has been a life changing experience, and one I recommend to anyone, but it isn’t without it’s challenges.

While we were preparing to have our son, we realized that we were going to have a lot of added baby expenses in our monthly budget.  Diapers, formula and other baby essentials add up extremely fast!  Add to that the fact that we were going to have to start living on one income, and we knew we were going to have to get our financial house in order.

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make side income

Moving To Living On One Income

Since we had nine months to prepare for the loss of my wife’s income, we had plenty of time to look at our family budget, look at places to cut back, save up an extra cushion and plan ahead for hospital bills.  In fact, in order to make sure we were ready for the loss of her income, we started living on only one income before the baby came.

Some of the things we did to prepare:

Since were were living on one income, we were able to save quite a bit more of my wife’s income, and our cash reserves built up rather quick.   We knew we could do this, but we still knew it would be easier if we had more income coming in.

Making Side Income To Bolster The Bottom Line

While we planned ahead for when we would have to start living with less family income, I also knew that I didn’t want to have to accept less money coming in as a fact of life. I figured I should be able to create some additional income on the side for our family by doing things that I was already doing.

Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. Ecclesiastes 11:2

I’m a big proponent of diversifying your income sources, insuring yourself against a job loss and making sure that if one of your income sources dries up, you won’t be in the poorhouse.  It just makes sense to me.

So what are some ways I created income?

  • I started a money making blog :  I found out by reading other personal finance blogs that there was good money to be made in blogging. So I started my own!  I was able to take the blog to the point where it is now making more than my wife did at her day job.  Read how I did it, and how you can too in my e-book, “Blueprint For How To Make Money With A Blog“.
  • I leveraged my skills from my day job:  Part of my day job involves doing graphic design at the company I work for.   I took those skills I already had and started another site called LogosForWebsites.com where I design logos for other bloggers, and other entrepreneurs online. I also do some design work, and sell the designs on t-shirts, mugs and other things through sites like Cafepress.com.
  • I sell things online:  When our house starts getting a bit cluttered, I find things we no longer need and sell them online via Craigslist or Ebay.  Other times if I find something popular on clearance at a local store, I’ll buy it and sell it online for a profit.
  • Computer consulting:  I do computer consulting for family, friends and others who aren’t as good with computers as I am.  It isn’t a lot of work, but ends up being a few hundred dollars a year.

Of these diversified sources of income, the blog has by far brought in the most money – replacing my wife’s day job income.  My graphic design site comes in a close second. All in all I’ll come close to matching my own day job income this year from my online income sources.

Make Money With Your Blog

The result?  We aren’t very worried about losing my wife’s income now that she has become a stay at home mom.   We’ll still be able to make our mortgage payment without any problem, and save quite a bit of money every month towards retirement.

Other Ways You Can Create Income

While my story may sound like one in a million, anyone can create side income. It just comes down to having the motivation, and the will to succeed.  Find something that works for you, and start it today.  For some inspiration on other ways to create income, here is a series we ran last year called “Ways To Create Extra Income”.

Ways To Make Extra Money Series: Guide To Diversifying Your Sources Of Income

And once you start making that side income, don’t forget to pay taxes on it!  Track your blog income and expenses!

Do you have your own story of making side income to help pad your bottom line as a one income family?  Have suggestions or tips for how to make side income? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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Last Edited: 10th February 2014

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Comments

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  1. says

    Awhile back I created a MindMap for what I called “Income Diversification.” On it I charted all my income sources, along with ideas for more. I need to revisit that mind map and embrace the concept anew!

  2. says

    These are great ideas, and the principal is sound behind creating more income opportunities for oneself apart from a standard day job. For my family, I never want my wife to have to work, so I pursue alternative income sources so I can make that possible for her and the kids.

    Matt, I love your MindMap idea, and I will be doing that shortly. I’ve never thought of that before..

  3. says

    Peter this is awesome. A lot of people don’t realize that the opportunities are out there, you just have to take initiative. Do you prefer living off one income? And how did you save 12 months of living expenses, like, how long did it take you?

    • says

      We prefer to be living on one income as it allows my wife to be at home with our baby boy. At some point she may return to the workforce, but not at least until the child is in school. It is very freeing to be able to have her stay home, and not have to worry about debt, bills/etc.

      As far as our 12 month emergency fund, it took about a year and a half to build it up that big – during which time we had a bunch of other hospital expenses/etc. As long as you make a plan and stick to it, it can be done!

  4. says

    When I was pregnant with my first 3 years ago, we decided that I would stay at home with the kids. We knew that we could make it on one income, but it would be tight. About 6 months after my first was born I came across websites were you could write articles and make money from them. That is how I started freelance writing online. Then the more i did freelance I decided I wanted to make my own sites and make money from them. So, this year I have been concentrating on niche blogging and affiliate marketing. This extra income has definitely helped us afford some of the “fun stuff” we may have not been able to afford. Plus I can still be at home with kids.

  5. says

    Okay, but is it really one income if you’re bringing in extra money from all those sources?

    The most troubling factor to me is that a lot of “one income families” actually have the wife doing all sorts of so-called side hustles like a blog or other online work plus some other methods to earn money. But they don’t consider themselves “really working.” Not to throw feminism into a pretty solid PF subject, but it worries me when women undervalue their contributions. And I think terms like “side hustle” or “side income” really do undervalue anyone’s contribution — male or female.

    • says

      I call it one income because we only have one full time day job paying us and giving us benefits, where-as before my wife was working full time as well. She’s still working full time, just in a non-paying profession. Stay at home mom. Of course there are a multitude of benefits of being a stay at home mom as well – and my wife is loving it – even if it does leave her dog tired at the end of the day.

      But we only call it a side hustle or side income because it is income we’re not getting from a traditional 9-5 job, and each of the income sources aren’t huge by themselves, but are small chunks here and there that add up to create a nice side income. Not to minimize how important this income has become to our family – because it has been huge for us.

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