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Hipsters to the Rescue: Legitimate Jobs Needed for Stay At Home Moms (& Dads)

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I literally receive emails regarding this topic on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis, so I thought that it was about time to open this question up to all of you!

Check out the emails I’ve recently received from readers, Christina and Heather:

I am a mother of two wonderful kids.  I teach and my husband is a police officer; both rewarding  jobs, but not the highest paying jobs in the world.  Which is why I am an avid couponer and love all the deals posted on your site.  I would like to start earning some money at home for extra fun things for our family – vacations, etc., but have always been very scared of all of the scams that can be out there to earn money at home.  So I thought maybe some of your followers would offer up some great advice or legitimate positions that would allow someone to work at home and earn a few extra bucks. Thanks!

I was wondering if you could ask some of your readers about working from home. I’m looking for a legit business. I know there are a lot of scams out there. I just lost my job and am getting ready to start school and would like something at home.


OK, Hipsters, it’s your turn to help out these fellow readers. Do legitimate work at home positions exist? If so, where do you find them and how can you tell if a position is legitimate?

Join The Discussion

Comments 512

  1. Sharon M

    I have a MBA and am a a writer/business analyst. I left a high-paying (6-figure) job for a corporation to stay home with my kids. I started looking for freelance writing jobs. I found a position on Twitter doing some resume writing. I contacted a newspaper about doing freelance journalism. I volunteer grant write at a local daycare a few hours a week and trade services for a preschool class. Right now I make about 30-40% of my formerly hourly rate, which is significantly over minimum wage, but way below what I made before (plus, no benefits, 401K, taxes being taking out). I work from home and set my own hours. I hope to increase my rate as time goes by. Your best bet, if you are a teacher is to tutor. Advertise in local grocery stores, Craig’s lists, etc. Be safe and meetup at a public location like a Starbucks or library. You’ll make more per hour if you use the skills you already have and no startup costs.

  2. Jamie

    Thanks for all of these great suggestions! To those who participate in on-line surveys to earn extra money, I’m curious about the income tax implications. Are you acting as self employed or as an employee where income taxes are deducted?

    • lmwynn

      Jamie, I am a member of about 20-30 different survey companies and none of them classify me as an employee, and I’m pretty sure I’m not specifically called an independent contractor either. I’ve never been asked for my social security number and have never been sent a tax form, though this may be because I don’t earn more than $600 in a year, which I think is the cutoff. I am also a member of about 10 mystery shopping companies and those do require your social and send a tax form if you make more than $600 per year, and they definitely stress that you are an independent contractor, not an employee. I’ve been doing those for about 8 or 9 years and haven’t had to claim anything on my taxes.

      • ClintKS

        what do you know about vindale research?

        • lmwynn

          I used to be a member of Vindale and I did not like it at all. Their “surveys” basically consisted of offers that you had to sign up for, and some that you even had to pay for. Most of them were signing up for a free trial, but you had to use your credit card and I almost always got charged halfway through the trial and had to call and complain to get my money back. And you can’t cash out until you have $50 approved in your account. I’ve even had to fight to prove that I completed offers that they said I didn’t finish. I eventually got so fed up that when I finally got my $50 I cashed out and closed my account after I got the check. Two similar sites are Panda Research and MindsPay, though they at least give you a nickel or dime for clicking on their emails even if you don’t sign up for the offer and Vindale didn’t.

      • stephanie

        How do you go about finding the mystery shopping job ? I would love to do that . Thank you

        • lmwynn

          Jobslinger is a really great website to sign up for that lists a bunch of companies. It’s free, and it gives you lots of examples of jobs in your area. Most often when you click on a job, it will bring you to the website of a Mystery Shopping company to sign up. Once you sign up there, you just go straight to the company’s website to search for available jobs. Some good companies I have found from Jobslinger are BestMark, National Shopping Service, Service X, Market Force, and Nationwide Service Group. My one piece of advice is that you should never pay to sign up for a mystery shopping company, or for a site that refers you to those companies, it should always be free to join – the company pays you! ShadowShopper is a perfect example of a site that wants you to pay for a membership, but they just refer you to other sites. I got the free Bronze membership with ShadowShopper and use it to get to the free companies, pretty much like Jobslinger. Good luck!

        • Mike

          Be VERY careful. I just got scammed by a company that said Mystery Shopper. They sent me a money order to cash at my bank then Western Union the money to a out of country location. Evaluate the Western Union location and then give them the transfer info with the evaluation info.
          In reality it was a fake/counterfeit money order and my bank charged me for the amount which was OVER the amount in my account and now I have a -$300+ in my account.
          Very bad since I don’t have a job yet and I was looking forward to having something to earn money for my family of 6. Now I am out almost $1000 dollars.
          I did get another “assignment” before discovering this and was going to cash the Three Post Office money orders but was advised to validate them with the post office first. They were fakes.

          • Jayne

            I just received a money order and assignment in the mail. This sounds very similar to what you experienced. My question is, Throw everything away or contact the Police?

    • Deb

      The short answer is that yes, you do need to claim this income (and all other income) on your tax return. Since the survey & secret-shopper companies often don’t report it, you’re on the honor system to do so. Last year I listed my survey income as “hobby – online surveys” on Line 21 of the Form 1040. The justification for that approach can be found in Publication 535, page 5 (Not-for-Profit Activities) on the IRS website. However, now that you have me thinking about it again, I want to call the IRS next week to double-check my interpretation. (I wouldn’t do surveys if I didn’t intend to make money, but I don’t have expenses and I certainly can’t pay bills with it. I treat it as a hobby, not as a business.)

      The two differences between self-employment/independent-contracting and hobby income are that you don’t pay self-employment taxes on hobby income, but you can only deduct enough expenses to balance out what you earned (and those go on Schedule A) – you cannot take a loss on a hobby.

    • The Paid Housewife

      Yes, I report my for my taxes.
      When you do mystery shopping full-time you do have expenses as it is your business!
      Even mileage on your car is taken into account. Batteries for photo audits, paper needed to print. Sometime I also take jobs (from companies that I LOVE working for) that they don’t reimburse you but do pay a HIGH fee for the project to be done and therefore, that is a deduction/expense.
      I have had a 1099 from several companies for making over 600.
      I also have claimed survey monies as well, as I take it as seriously as possible and do bring in a lot of money doing so.

      If it is full-time, you will have expense and income and it could possibly be in your favor to claim. Every year, it is in my favor.

      • Nikki

        what is the name(s) of the secret shopper companies? I want to get into that but I don’t want to get scammed…

        • Susan

          How can you tell if the mystery shopping companies are not scams?

      • Shelly

        Can you email a couple of the ones you work for

  3. Jack

    I am a stay at home dad. 4 years ago to have extra “fun” money, I started selling Pampered Chef. It is something that you can make as big as you want. Even with the troubled economy Pampered Chef is still working for many.
    It is something that you can do as much or as little as you want. 1 show a week at company average can bring home around $400 in a month. It is well worth the small effort and time that has to be put in.
    http://www.pamperedchef.biz/jackwinans
    I am an Independent Consultant and have a great team of support. Check out my website above and email or call with any questions!

  4. jennandlisa@gmail.com

    I am a stay at home mom and work 2 jobs out of my home. I LOVE that I get to stay home with my daughter while earning a living at the same time. I have been a medical transcriptionist for almost 4 years now and work for a company I love. I went to school online for it (took me about a year) and have been enjoying it ever since. About a year ago, I wanted to really work on my own health and fitness, so I became a fitness coach with Team Beachbody, as I was inspired by the results I had gotten myself with their programs and supplements. It has been one of the most rewarding jobs ever!!! I help people change their lives and look forward to getting up every day hoping to make someone’s day healthier! If you’re interested in learning more about either position, please contact me at jennandlisa@gmail.com. I love what I do and would love to share it with you all! 🙂

    ~Jenn

    • monicag48603

      Hi, how do you go about getting a job for transcription?, I have just graduated as an HIM and they stated that I would be eligible to be a transcription, I would love to work from home to make ends meet! Can you inform me how to go about doing this? Thanks

      • jennandlisa@gmail.com

        Monica, shoot me an email at jennandlisa@gmail.com and I’ll respond more in depth. THanks! 🙂

    • Renee

      I would love to know the company you work for. I work full-time at a medical clinic but I am interested in working from home. Let me know what you can. Thank you.

      • jennandlisa@gmail.com

        Renee~ I work for Princeton Transcription Inc. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please send me a message at jennandlisa@gmail.com and I can send you a more detailed reply. Thanks!

  5. ashley wilson

    Hi! I just became an independent stylist (rep) for Stella &Dot, a rapidly growing very sucessful jewelry company. I LOVE their stuff, and with having it on numerous celebs and in tons of magazines it sells it self. Last night I had my first party and I brought home 219 in cash and it was a SMALL party!
    I am very excited adn this is a great opportunity, if you would like to learn more about this or have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at
    ashdawnn@hotmail.com

  6. Stephanie

    I work for a research division at Ohio State University. I am a student and so I come in to work, but many of my colleagues work from home. It pays well for the amount of time put in. Possibly contact your local University to see if they have this kind of work. If you are in the Columbus Ohio area it is the Center for Human Resource Research department of Ohio State University.

    • Jessica

      How can I find more information on this? I live in Columbus, Ohio.

    • cynthia

      I am also interested in this, I live in the Columbus area and have a child and am interested in trying to find some work from home options so I can be with her.

  7. Jennie

    I have been working from home for almost 3 years for a company called Sutherland Global Services. Their website is: http://www.sutherlandathome.com

    Here is a list of excellent legit resources for other W@H jobs:

    http://www.ratracerebellion.com/job_postings.html
    http://www.westathome.com/why/
    http://www.clarkhoward.com/topics/workathome_help/
    http://www.workplacelikehome.com/
    http://www.cruise.com/misc_pages/employment.asp?skin=001&pin=&phone=888-333-3116

    Good luck!!
    Jennie

    • Stephanie

      Jennie, how do you like working for Sutherland?

    • Vans

      Jeannie-

      Would love to know how you’d rate Sutherlandathome.com Am thinking of seriously applying and your input/advice would be very helpful. Thank you in advance!

  8. Amy

    4 years ago I was looking for something that I could do from home and earn some extra money for our growing family. I looked at several direct sales company’s and found that for me Pampered Chef was the best fit. Not only did I love the products but everyone I talk to say’s “I LOVE PAMPERED CHEF” Everyone eats, and with the economy having slowed down more and more are eating at home. I’m able to teach others through my shows how they can save money everyday by cooking from home. I found my business picked up when the economy slowed down.
    After we had our first child I was able to take several months and just be at home with my baby but I never lost out because I still had catalog shows going so I still got a pay check. Now I’m able to be at home with my precious baby but still have an evening to go out and enjoy some adult company at the same time as I’m making money. Plus Daddy gets time with his little man. Its a Win Win.
    I would love to answer any questions you may have to see if this would fit you. my website is
    http://www.pamperedchef.biz/amyfrey

  9. Jen K

    I started an Etsy business the beginning of July. If you are creative and enjoy making stuff this is great avenue to explore. My business has yet to take off but it just takes time. http://www.jvkom.etsy.com

  10. Maggie

    I’ve been working as a internet rater for 14 months now. There are several companies that do it. Basically it’s quality control for search engine companies. The non-disclosure agreement is pretty tight lipped, so I’ll let the link tell you more.

    http://en-us.lionbridge.com/MultilingualSearch.aspx?pageid=1293&LangType=1033

    It is legit but the fact that you have to take a test (which is not paid) before you are hired turns many off. The test prep was worth it for me. 10-20 hours a week. You are a contractor (responsible for your taxes). Great flexibility since it does not have to be done at any time of day. If I plan to work tonight and my kids are sick, I just work tomorrow. You are responsible for your own work and have little interaction with the company which is rough for some. You are paid once a month. If you end up working for them I would suggest you get a cheap laptop to use since sometimes you encounter viruses or you don’t want the kids to see some of the stuff you rate. You have the option to not partake in known porn items but it’s not 100% guarantee since we all know that sometimes the internet gives you porn when you least expect it.

    • muquee

      Hi Maggie,
      Is the rate of pay decent enough to be worth the risk of viruses?
      Thanks for sharing your information with all of us.

    • Brenda

      I was wondering the same.. what does this pay… hourly rate? TIA

    • Shelly

      Also curious to know more

  11. lmwynn

    I am a recent college graduate and though I work full-time now, I am continuing to do a few work-from-home projects that I started while I was in school. I am a member of a ton of survey companies (about 20-30) and take surveys and do focus groups periodically as time permits. Lately I haven’t been able to do that many because I’ve gotten so busy, but it’s nice to get a $50 check every few months to treat myself.
    I also do mystery shopping for about 10 different companies. There aren’t that many jobs in my area at the times I’m available to do them, so I probably do about 2 or 3 a month after work and on weekends. For someone with more time, you can make a lot more than I do.
    Also, as a few other people have said, I am a member of both Swagbucks and Mypoints. You build up points/bucks for searching, shopping online, taking surveys, and printing out coupons, and then you can use the points/bucks for gift cards.
    Referrals are also a big help with survey companies, Swagbucks, and even a few of the mystery shopping companies as well, so I would greatly appreciate anyone who would sign up through my links. Please feel free to ask and I will post/email them along with more information if needed!

    • AshleyH

      I always wondered if mystery shopping was a real thing. How could I get started with that?

      • lmwynn

        It’s really easy to get started. You sign up with one of the companies (it should be free, never pay to mystery shop, they pay you!), and that one company will have several stores/restaurants as clients. To sign up, you fill in some basic info about yourself, like name, address, age, and you may be required to put in your social for those companies who consider you as an independent contractor and will issue a 1099 for taxes. After you sign up, you check the “job board” that list all of the jobs available in your area, and you may need to do a 5-minute “training” exercise, which usually consists of reading the instructions and you can read the questions you have to answer before you do your shop. Most companies have customer service reps who will be more than happy to answer your questions, which I thought was really helpful when I first started.

    • Michelle

      I’m interested in being a referral on any of the survey sites. Some sites I’m already signed up for, but anything that I’m not signed up to, I would definitely give it a try. Thank you!

    • muquee

      I did mystery shopping a long time ago. There were so few in my area and basically only paid for the product being purchased that I stopped doing it. Would you share what companies you prefer to go through to mystery shop? Thank you.

      • lmwynn

        Muquee, the companies I prefer are National Shopping Service, Service X, MarketForce, Nationwide Service Group, and BestMark. BestMark is a bit strict with the details they require in their reports, but I enjoyed shopping for them the most because I got free Estee Lauder plus my shop fee!

        • muquee

          Thank you so much for the information. I appreciate your time.

    • Shelly

      I’d love the links to all survey research panels or mystery shop also ebates type sites thank u

  12. Caitlin

    When I attended my first couponing seminar about a year ago, the woman who led it offered personalized “coupon coaching” for $50/hour. It gave you the opportunity to get together with her one-on-one and she would help organize your coupons, take you on a shopping trip, or whatever specific guidance you might need. Obviously this requires a little bit of work outside of the home, but those of you who are confident enough in your money-saving skills and have an hour at a time to spare, you can do something like this to make a little extra money on the side.

  13. Bella

    mary kay!!

  14. mj

    my sister in low when her boy was around 7 or more started to clean houses and most of the people they are not at home so You can bring Your child with You …her boy was watching tv ,played nintendo ,read books,draw etc and she was cleaning house meanwhile she made huge money /we live in hamptons NY /You get here from 20 -35 usd per 1 hour cleaning…….
    some clients will allow You to bring a child with You if she or he behaves well …..

  15. ClintKS

    Anyone use vindale research?

  16. Erica B.

    I have a question for those that sell items on Ebay. How do you offer free shipping to your customer and still make a profit on the item that you are selling?

    • Jill

      What you basically do is charge more for the item. But that is not necessarily a good thing because your fees come out of the price for the item, not for the amount that was charged to ship. So free shipping looks good to the customer but you end paying just a little more on the sale price of the item.

  17. Heather

    I work from home selling a really fun product called Scentsy. It is a wickless alternative to using candles. I signed up to sell because I loved the product once I tried it and now, I love to sell it too! My goal each month is to sell enough to pay for my car payment. I am usually able to reach that goal. Plus, I am a member of a very fun and successful group that supports one another. I do love my job! If you’d like to check it out, please visit http://www.scentsy.us/heatherpearson. I am happy to answer any questions about starting out. Good luck!

  18. Leslie

    I work from home doing birthday paties for kids with a company called Noahs Ark Animal Workshop. I have been in it for almost two years. The possibilities are endless with this business! You can also do day crae centers, senior centers , girl scouts etc. They have a start up package right now for $79. You can visit my website, this business is a lot of fun.

  19. Dominique

    Hi Bethany,

    I am interested in both Constant Content, and AMS. I am currently going to school to get my degree in English. I am working part time at a Antique Store, they do not offer full time hours, and I am looking to supplement my income, preferably by doing something in the writing/editing world.

    Could you please give me some more information?

    Thanks!
    Dominique

  20. Mary Jo

    I’ve been with a weightloss and nutrition company for three years. They are reputable,products work (I’ve lost 45 lbs.) and products come with a money back guarantee. Very good comp plan and great support.

  21. Lisa

    There is an excellent group of companies that hire work at home, mystery shoppers, merchandisers and more at http://nocommutepaycheck.com which used to be called Work At Home Mafia. I have found several well paying positions there that pay $10-15 per hour

  22. Lori Soard

    Hi all,

    I’ve been a freelance writer for about 16 years. Recently, a lot of the online markets have dried up. First, I got laid off from LoveToKnow from my editor and writer position along with the majority of writers and editors there. This was my main egg income. I’m really thankful for the time I had there, I learned a lot, but it was a real blow to lose this income. My family is struggling.

    Just this past week or so, Demand Studios announced that they too are not going to have much work for writers. So, my backup income just dried up. I have been actively seeking other opportunities. I just thought I’d better let you know that Demand is no longer a good option.

    Also, just from personal experience here, try to get income from more than one stream. If that main stream dries up, you are in real financial trouble. Good luck to everyone int heir job searches.

    • chris

      Yes, multiple streams is the best deal especially in these tough economic times where things are uncertain and volatile.

    • Lisa

      Have you looked into Interact Media? They are always sending me emails about open writing assignments.

  23. eyesisangel

    I work from home as a marketing executive. I help families save money buying better products for their families and homes. I also help them make money referring their friends to our Wellness products. I absolutely love making my own hours and knowing that I can help everyone I meet without exception to live a better life. I would be happy to go on and on, for more information email me at eyesisangel@yahoo.com or you can find me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/Darkese. Please mention hip2save or I will for sure think you’re spam.

  24. Eleisha Bryant

    This is a very legit opportunity to work from your home. I am an individual business owner with Arise.com.

    You would be a subcontractor under my corporation. Feel free to look at the website and read about it.

    There are a few thing you have to do to qualify if interested.

    1- pass a 10 question type voice assessment- 5 of those are just repeat after him sentences, the other 5 are to make a sentence out of words (ex: mall shoes discount gorgeous……They have gorgeous shoes on discount at the mall). That easy.

    2nd- pay 12.95 for a background check

    3rd- complete a required customer service course (typically 49.00) , you have 1 week to complete it, it is self paced, however, if you are interested I would sign up and get in on the 19.99 promotion.

    4th- after passing the customer service course, you then can see the opportunities for the companies available to work for taking their inbound calls.

    You have to have a computer, internet, a headset and a basic home landline phone. You choose your hours!

    I can call you if you like and we can discuss it further or you can call me.

    Please let me know!

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Eleisha

  25. Sandi Hammitt

    I know that this post is old, but I have just started with a company called Work at Home United. My mentor works her business nearly 100% online giving her time and flexibility for her family! I plan to do exactly the same! I am so excited about my new business! Check out my website and click “get more info.”

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