Finding Financial Stability

For years we had a spending problem.  When my husband and I both worked at corporate jobs, we were making good money, but we lived above our means.  We naively thought that our income would always be at that level and that “someday” we would pay off our credit cards.

Fast forward a few years and now our income is 1/3 of what it was in 2007 and our family is twice as big.  We’ve fixed the spending problem by creating a budget, using coupons, cutting all unnecessary expenses, eating out only occasionally and simply doing without quite often.

We now have an income problem.  We own a small business which barely covers our living expenses.  It certainly doesn’t allow us to get out of the financial mess we created for ourselves over the last decade.

income problem

Please don’t get me wrong.  We love owning our own business.  We will never go back to corporate jobs.  I personally have learned so much about myself as a result of the changes in our financial situation.

I now have a different focus when it comes to our finances and that is:  How can I earn extra money while staying home with my four children and continuing to help my husband run our business?

I’ve found a few ways online to help in small ways:

  • Swagbucks – Since 2010 when I started using Swagbucks, I’ve earned $310 in Amazon gift certificates.  I know that isn’t much over 5 years, but that is just for using Swagbucks as my search engine.  I never qualify for the surveys, so I don’t even spend my time with those anymore.  Occasionally, I answer the daily poll or check out the No Obligation Offers for a few extra points, but I don’t do those consistently.
  • Ebates – Whenever I shop online, which is mainly for office supplies for our business or for Christmas presents, I check Ebates and ShopAtHome to see which site is offering the better deal.  These sights give you a percentage of your purchase price back in cash.  Each site requires you to reach a certain level of cash in your account before you can receive a check.  Since 2010, I’ve received just under $210 through Ebates.
  • ShopAtHome – I started using ShopAtHome earlier this year and so far I’ve received about $24 in cash back.  When you use these sites, they also let you know if there are any coupon codes for the stores you are shopping at.

I also earn extra money here and there by selling items I no longer need on ebay or in my local buy/sell/trade group on Facebook.

I’d love to hear how you earn extra money for your family.  Please leave your tips in the comments below!


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