Help for a newly single parent
May 19, 2005 10:17 PM   Subscribe

I've lost my primary income provider recently (MI).

I will have to find a way to earn a living. Because of children and a long-term disability I am mostly limited to working from home. I am a good web designer, a good technical support person, and I'm a good writer. Please give me some ideas to help me get enough money not to loose my house. Which isn't much but, it's my sole possession. My needs are low and about $2k will carry me though, not in fine fashion, but I will survive. Part-time work isn't out of the question, but also cannot drive, due to the nature of my disability. I recieve a small amount of money for that, but it's not enough to keep me afloat.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
$2k per month? after taxes?
posted by trevyn at 10:20 PM on May 19, 2005

Medical transcription is a common work-at-home job, but to do well at it you need to type well and pick up medical terminology quickly. And have a ear for it. It can be hard to get into (most take a class), but the real learning starts on the job.

You could do customer service--for example, JetBlue's customer service reps are all home-based IIRC. I wonder if there are any home-based phone help desk gigs?

(Yes, not all of my suggestions take advantage of your strengths!)

Web design, technical support, and writing...have you considered a for-profit blog? It has to be good, not just keyword fodder, but if you have a good niche you can write wel about, you can earn some money from ad placement. Freelance writing in general may help.

The writing (and web design too I guess) are good skills to have if you're trying to work out of your home--it beats being only good at, say, sales. The tech support will come in handy if you're working for yourself. :)
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:43 PM on May 19, 2005

This is something I'm working on myself, since my wife and I really want one of us at home with our son, who was born very premature, for as long as possible. Our situation is not as dire as the posters, but it has been tough transitioning to a single income with a new family member after years of being double income, no kids.

A few links, I apologize no hyperlinks but I'm too tired to parse HTML and the autolink button doesn't show up on Safari. Buyer beware of course, scammy type stuff shows up anywhere home work is talked about.

a lot of articles at ivillage - try searching "work home"

I've collected a ton of links on gaining income writing, email me if you want stuff on that.

Finally, don't neglect regular want ads. I've been finding legitimate work from home of an ordinary sort. Not cool work, mind you, stuff like administering health surveys to life insurance applicants, screening telephone personal ads. But, money's money in these situations, right?
posted by nanojath at 10:56 PM on May 19, 2005

Do you speak/have you studied another language? You might be able to find translator and/or tutor gigs online or by advertising if there's a college or community college in your area, or even at high school. Even if you only had up to a third- or fourth-year language in college, you could probably tutor a 1st-year or a high school student, and brush up on your own skills while you're at it. Just make sure you stay one chapter ahead in the book and find some good online resources.
You might also check craigslist if there's one in your area -- I found a good translating job there, and sometimes there are other work-from-home things.
Also, and this is only a little bit but it might help, at Pinecone Research, you get $5 for each survey you take. They only invite you to specific ones, and they ask you little short unpaid ones to figure out which ones to invite you to, but they really do send a check after each survey that's indicated as a paid survey, instead of after like five hundred like some of the other sites.
posted by librarina at 11:14 PM on May 19, 2005

Have you ever done any copyediting or proofreading? You could do a local search for freelance/offsite gigs; there are also some listed here. Good luck! :)
posted by scody at 12:36 AM on May 20, 2005

To continue on librarina's suggestion, if you have relevant education and experience, you could try applying for a position as an adjunct professor at a local university if that's possible. There's usually easily accessible public transportation of some sort for the disabled to and from universities.

If you're really tied up and can't find much else, look into low-level tech support or telemarketing to cover the bills until you can find something better. It's possible you could get a job like this working from home.

Also, since you have children, you could look into getting a license and running daycare services if you enjoy children.

If you have a lot of motivation and can get word of mouth advertising around, you could offer PC support/repair services out of your home as well.

Also, if you've done web design, you just need to get as many contacts as you can and start pushing yourself left and right to find clients. They're out there, and you can make a decent bit of money from it, as long as you're thorough in your reporting and updating the client on what's happening.

If you've got a head for numbers, you could probably also find accounting work that could be home-based.

What you need to do is make a list of all the things you have experience/education/skills in, as well as things you can adapt to easily. Then, start your job hunt. Many companies are more than willing to work with you on time spent away from the home if your work is good quality. In the end, what matters most is how badly you want a particular job, and how far you're willing to go for it.
posted by Saydur at 12:38 AM on May 20, 2005

Try RentACoder . Mostly small, quick jobs that do not pay much, but some are "trials" for steadier work.
posted by Yorrick at 9:19 AM on May 20, 2005

For the love of god, do not, repeat not get involved in any sort of work-at-home scam no matter how desperate you get or how good it sounds. Stuffing envelopes, starting "e-business" websites, all that sort of thing. Most people already know this, of course, and I bet you do too, but be very very careful, and never send anyone money to get a job.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:30 AM on May 20, 2005

Don't forget about the government:

Your children may be eligible for foodstamps, health insurance assistance, or other government assistance, as may you. You may qualify for social security disability assistance. You probably won't qualify for conventional welfare cash (because of owning your home) but those other sources might be considerable.

Not sure how you lost your primary income provider, but if you're alluding to being left by your husband or your children's father, you're also entitled to support from him. The government can help you get support orders and having those orders enforced.
posted by MattD at 1:59 PM on May 20, 2005

There is definitely plenty of freelance work out there, as mentioned. Look into all the sites: rentacoder, elance, craigslist, monster, etc.
Between 10 sites, plus putting up local ads, youj should be able to do okay. Even a few good gigs can help you hit 2k a month. PS: I need a few good web devs. Please find email in profile.
posted by wzcx at 2:10 PM on May 20, 2005

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