How Side Gigs Can Be a Lifesaver for Cash-Strapped Single Parents

Guest blog from Julie Morris of

The majority of Americans are interested in starting their own business one day, according to recent polls. For the millions of cash-strapped single parents who are raising children, starting a side gig or freelance hustle can be a crucial part of reducing financial stress while helping make ends meet.

Starting your own business might seem intimidating at first. While it is certainly a big step that requires some proactive planning, dedication, strategy, and commitment, launching a business can become a lucrative way to pay bills, support your family, and maintain your sanity.

Why start a side gig?

Many single parents feel held back by the demands of their busy lifestyles. Balancing parental responsibilities with a full-time job is hard work. Many single parents also feel held back in their careers (and their earning potential) because they lack a college degree. According to Skillcrush, a leading provider of online coding classes, it is possible to create a higher-paying career without a college degree. The key is freelancing or working remotely from home.

By taking evening classes in an area that interests you, you could start learning new skills that will help you launch your own business. The internet has made it possible to launch a business from the comfort of your own home, so it really is possible to watch your children grow up while also making extra income. Research has also shown us that entrepreneurs tend to be happier, healthier, and enjoy a higher quality of life than the rest of the population. 

Getting started

One of the first things you’ll need to do before launching your venture is update your resume. Even though you’re not applying for a job with an HR department, depending on the type of side hustle you want to pursue, you may have to submit a resume to potential clients to show off your skills and experience, and really sell them on why they should work with you. If you’ve got gaps in your employment history, a functional resume is a good option. This type of resume focuses on your skills and competencies rather than where and when you’ve worked in the past, and you can use an online program to build one for you (many are even free).

Next, start putting the word out with friends, family, and former co-workers that you’re starting a side hustle, even if you haven’t quite figured out what you’ll be doing yet. Not only can they be a great sounding board and offer advice about where they think you’ll shine, but they can also refer you to potential clients and mentors.

Which type of gig is right for me?

If you’re sold on starting your own business but are unsure where to start, you might consider learning to code and create websites. As we mentioned, it is possible to take coding classes online from home. A freelance web developer or designer can earn thousands of dollars per project, and there are many different projects you can find if you search online job boards. 

If you’re not excited by the idea of building websites and you’re a natural-born salesperson, you might consider selling health- and food-related products, such as smoothie powders or tea blends. Thanks to the rapidly growing popularity of matcha tea in particular, you might consider dropshipping tea from companies like AliExpress. You could start a website where you sell these products online and are able to spend minimal hours per week running your business. This allows you to relax, spend time with your children, and still bring in some extra income.

Creating your own side gig from the comfort of your own home can be a lucrative way to bring in some extra money without sacrificing too much valuable time spent with your family. You’ll still be able to watch your children grow up. You’ll still be able to maintain a high quality of life. You’ll be happier, calmer, and better able to give attention and support to your family while knowing the bills will be paid each month.

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