College tuitions brought some belt-tightening to our household when both of our girls headed off to the Christian university. It wasn't easy to pay that bill each month, but we were determined that, by God's grace, we would send them to college and pay the bill for the tuition so that they might finish their years there debt-free.
They were expected to work to pay for their personal expenses, as well as books, which you probably know, can set a person back a good chunk of change! They did their part, and we did ours. Praise the Lord, He allowed both girls to finish not owing the school a penny. It wasn't necessarily easy, but the sacrifice was well worth it!
During those years, extra money wasn't available. Money for gifts and little projects around the house, just wasn't there. I began to pray and ask the Lord what I could do to earn some extra money. I was still homeschooling, so I needed to be able to work from home. Remembering the biblical principal to do everything with all our might, I knew I had some "might" that could work. Surely there was something I could do or offer that could stir up some extra income.
The Lord brought my love for baking to mind. So, I began to bake sweet breads, muffins and pies and offer my goods at my bank, the place where I got my hair cut, and to professional people working at the hospital. I loved my business, and I saw it really flourish in the years I worked it.
The last year I had my business, I was so busy at Christmas I didn't even have time to do my own baking. That's when it came to a close. The need was now behind us, and my husband wanted us to have a home life, so I stopped, in deference to him. But it had served its needed purpose and was such a blessing. At the time I stopped, I had grown to baking specific orders of cakes, pies, cookies, cheesecakes...you name it. There was a need for busy people to hire someone to bake for them, and the Lord had brought that to my mind, given me a love for it, and provided for our family in that way.
Do you have a financial need that you're praying about? Think about what you have to offer. What service do you enjoy doing that others would pay to have you do for them?
- Do you love to iron? Most women I talk to hate that task so much they don't do it, and their family wears wrinkled clothes straight from the laundry pile. Iron for a part-time job!
- Do you have knowledge of computers? There are lots of jobs you could do at home, including web design, or helping small companies get out there on social media.
- Do you have affinity for pets? Offer your services to care for people's pets while they're away.
- Childcare is needed for so many families who have to work and don't want to put their child in a day care. Offer your home for a newborn or preschooler.
- If you love to bake like I do, consider starting out with your specialty cake that everyone loves. Then add more items as your business increases. Seek out professional people near you. Delivering was a perk of my business. I did it once or twice a week - usually on Friday so folks had baked goods for the weekend.
- People to do Sewing or alterations are always in need. If you have skills here, I'm sure you could stay busy hemming, or altering those odd-sized bridesmaid dresses!
- Look on Etsy and see what crafty things other people are selling. If you do any of that sort of thing, try your hand at selling your items on-line.
This probably won't be a full-time salary, but might be enough to help you with the little extras that tend to pop up more frequently than dandelions in the springtime. Try to do something that won't take you away from your family. Some businesses can keep you busy doing parties and such; that might make your life more stressful than you'd like.
Pray about it. Ask the Lord to help you be creative and use the resources and the might He's given you. He'll give you joy as you put your hand to work and labor for those you love.