By Gwen Payne


Being a single parent is hard enough as is. However, when you must support your family on a single income — something even two-parent households struggle to do in today’s economy — an already challenging situation can easily become overwhelming. While some people might recommend working more hours or finding a job that pays better, statistics show that this is easier said than done. Single-parent households make less than one-third of what two-parent households make, and one in five single parents is unemployed. Time constraints and lack of resources all help contribute to the massive income gaps.


The good news is that in today’s gig economy, you can find good-paying work that requires a few hours of your time. Check out the types of side gigs available, how and where to find them, and how to achieve a healthy work-life balance once you do.


Types of Side Gigs Available to You

The best types of side hustles for single parents are not get-rich-quick schemes. Rather, they are legitimate ventures that can help you earn a decent second income consistently. The top-paying and least time-consuming side gigs are as follows:


  • Pet sitting: Make anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour, upwards of $100 per night and between $500 and $4,000 per month as a pet sitter. You can do it on the weekends with your kids, before or after work, or make it a full-time job.
  • Sell online: If you craft, collect antiques or simply want to get rid of an overflow of stuff, sell items via online marketplaces.
  • Rent extra space: If you have an extra room in your home or an in-law suite, rent it out for extra cash either on a long-term basis or to vacationers.
  • Market your skills: Can you write well? Do you have a habit of proofreading friends’ Facebook posts? Do you have a knack for graphic design? Market your talents to find work on a freelance basis. Graphic design pays well, with many logo design services charging up to $1,000 per logo.


These are just a few examples of side gigs that pay well and require only as much time as you’re willing to devote to them. Other examples include babysitting, data entry, and tutoring.


How and Where to Find Side Gigs

Finding a side gig is relatively easy, as there are dozens of platforms dedicated exclusively to helping individuals find freelance work, including Upwork, Guru, and TaskRabbit. You can also ask friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances if they or anyone they know needs your services.


Starting Your Business

Finding a side gig is half the battle. You’ll also have to land jobs and handle business-related tasks. To run a successful side business, you’ll need to calculate upfront costs, be organized from the beginning, and master the art of time management. You may want to also form an LLC for your business, which can protect your personal assets and comes with tax benefits and extra flexibility. Forming an LLC in Kentucky typically requires five steps, but if you want to put all your focus into running your business, you can just hire a formation service to handle this task.


How to Balance Work and Family Life

You may need the extra income, but you also need to be there for your children. It’s important that you don’t let your side job interfere with your family time. Avoid this by setting and maintaining clear boundaries and automating tasks.


A side gig may be necessary for you to care for your children and support your household. However, it should not come at the sacrifice of your mental health or relationships with your kids. By using the tips above, you can ensure it does not.


SPARC Hope is committed to offering resources to and empowering single parents to improve the lives of their families. To make a difference, complete a volunteer application today!

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