“You are going to have to work. It’s as simple as that.” Those were the words said to me by my husband as I rocked my 2 month old. This baby, although not planned, could not have been more loved. She came into our lives at a rocky time, and should not have changed anything in our home regarding our finances. I thought that all couples had their ups and downs. I did not know that a few months later, the ground that I stood upon would be so shaken that I would be left not knowing how I was going to purchase groceries one particular week.
I remember that week very clearly; the bank accounts were frozen, and I had paid the little I had to the lawyer. Credit cards were gone too as none with in my name. He was the big money-maker; I was the one whose job was to be the SAHM. We agreed on that. I did not go out much then. I was waiting for the Pendente lite award from the Judge. I looked and felt like hell, and saw no reason to go drive anywhere. That would only waste precious gas money. Once very clear day, I remember counting out change to pay for milk. No kidding… it was absolutely all that I had. I drove a Mercedes, but had about $10 dollars in quarters to my name. I only cared about feeding the kids. I had plenty of formula stock-piled, and as I saw the shit hit the fan, I had stocked my freezer and pantry as I could. I was a mama bear hunkering down for the long winter.
Things have changed a great deal since then. Money is still tight, and I am really overdue for a vacation, but I have learned some things over the past 10 years that may be helpful to others, and I really want to share some of that information. Recently, I wrote about disliking, ok HATING MY JOB. Why do I stay? Well, I stay because it offers me a few pieces to the puzzle that is my current financial picture. It offers me a steady check, and it offers me medical benefits, and it offers me the ability to work from home, which was essential to me as I not only had young children, but I was taking care of my mom. Since the passing of my mom almost a month ago now, I certainly think about going outside of the home to work, and the various new options that this offers, but for now, I leave things as they are.
So, why do I do this? I do this because I have learned through the years after my divorce, that one of the best things I can offer to myself is the following: Multiple Streams of Income. While it takes a bit of juggling, I find myself having far more comfort in the fact that I am receiving different pieces of the financial puzzle from various sources. How do I manage this? For anyone who is interested in some possibilities to consider, I offer the following short list of ideas ( and at any time, I am doing some, if not all of these):
1. 1099 Contract positions – You are not an employee, but rather contracted to do either a long term or short term job. Currently, I have one that I have retained for 6 years. Places to find them: Indeed.com, FlexJobs.com, VirtualVocations.com, HireMyMom.com, etc… There are many options out there.
2. Ebay- I have done Ebay on and off for many years. I love it. It takes some time and creativity, but the money is out there to be made.
3. Amazon SF ( Seller fulfilled,) or Amazon FBA – Did you ever wonder how Amazon seems to have any possible product that one could imagine? Well, Amazon has an amazing program called FBA. It takes learning and research, but again, there is money to be made in a “flexible” manner.
4. Set up a local service business – again, the ideas are endless. I know someone who started a doggie clean up service. She is so happy, and so are her clients. She takes care of their “business” while the kids are at school, one day per week, and that is one piece of her puzzle. It’s not for me, but she loves it!
5. Virtual Call Centers through Staffing Companies – There are many, many of these out there. I know them well, so feel free to contact me if you want to know some additional information.
Make sure that you are seeking proper tax advice, and that you are a good record keeper. This set up might not work for everyone, but it works for me. I have been doing this for so long, that the idea of adding a long commute morning and evening, just means taking time away from home and family. Again, having multiple streams of income means that money comes into the house every week, sometimes more, sometimes less. But when you are a single parent, is there ever enough?