Monthly Archives

May 2022

HUSTLING

Becoming a Stay at Home Mom

May 31, 2022

Becoming a Stay at Home Mom

First Time on Momma Loves Money?

If this is your first time visiting Momma Loves Money – Welcome! I suggest you check out my about me page to get to know me a little bit. If that has you still wanting to read more, you can read a personal story that is very near to my heart and has help many women so far. This post is the one that I get the most comments, and email responses about.

Stay at Home Mom Divorce – Coping Financially was written in the midst of all the turbulence.  I can tell you right now that each word in that post was typed with tear-stained key strokes. It was a coping mechanism for me to write and help others, but it was also the steps I took to move on financially after my husband told me it was over.

What is the Site About?

Momma Loves Money is a blog/website about personal finances, frugal living, budgeting, DIY, and almost anything related to money. I write many posts about saving money, spending less, making more, and managing the money you already have. But, the main purpose is to help other women to become a stay at home mom.

Reader Favorites:

  1. Is Selling Avon Worth it? A Look at the Numbers
  2. Hubpages Review: Making Money on Hubpages in 2014
  3. Stay at Home Mom Divorce – Coping Financially
  4. Free Printable Budget Worksheets
  5. How to be a Single Stay At Home Mom (Not on Welfare)

My Journey to Become a Stay at Home Mom ( by working from home)

My daughter’s second birthday is approaching and I can’t help but reflect on the last 2 years. Among the many things I have thought about lately is my attempt to earn extra cash from home during that time period. I was much like any other stay at home mom in the sense that I hated not making a financial contribution to the family but I wasn’t willing to go back to the 9-5 life just yet. I knew I was still contributing to the family but I couldn’t see a tangible result. I wanted to see dollar signs as the result of all my hard work and sleepless nights.

Become a stay at home mom

I had barely come home from the hospital and immediately started looking for ways to make money from home. It didn’t have to be enough money to make a full-time income, but enough extra cash to me make me feel better about my contributions. It was something I needed to do for my well being; not because we were struggling. So, if you have felt this way and can relate; I am going to share with you some of the ideas I have tried, and how it went for me. Feel free to try some out for yourself.

Selling Avon to Earn Extra Cash

Selling Avon was my first attempt to earn extra cash from home as a stay at home mom. I had sold Avon as a side job when I was 17 and I actually made a decent profit from it. This time was a little different. The first month, you get 50% of your sales and is usually your best month. But, after that, your commission is determined by the dollar amount you sell.

I wasn’t selling enough to make enough of a profit for the amount of time and energy it took. But, I think this might have been specific to my situation. I just didn’t know enough people and I’m not exactly cut out for sales.

When I sold Avon the first time, I still lived in my hometown where I had my mom, grandparents, family friends etc. I immediately had enough people to sell a few hundred dollars worth of product with no work other than delivery and dropping of books. If you know plenty of people who already love Avon, you know a lot about the product and are willing to put a lot of effort into building a client base; you could likely be very successful at selling Avon.

Read More: Is Selling Avon Worth it? A Look at the Numbers.

Writing For Hubpages to Earn Extra Cash

Anyone who has ever heard of making money blogging has thought of doing it themselves. When I first was debating on starting a blog, I stumbled upon Hubpages. This is where I actually got my start with writing online to earn extra cash from home.

I have never regretted a moment I spent writing for Hubpages. It taught me almost everything I needed to know about being successful as an online writer. I no longer write for Hubpages; primarily because I got what I could from it and have moved on to writing on my own sites.

I haven’t written a new post in probably 6 months and still earn around $70 for the hubs I wrote before i stopped. I was even in the Hubpages Apprenticeship Program. That program actually paid me around $6 for each hub (blog post) I wrote during my apprenticeship. I highly suggest any Momma who likes to write give Hubpages a try.

My Hubpages Earnings

hubpages earnings

Read More: Hubpages Review: Making Money on Hubpages in 2014.

Starting a Blog

The most profitable of all my endeavors so far has been starting a blog. When I started having success with a few of my Hubs, I started a blog in the same niche. Once I saw minor success with that, I started learning more and more about blogging and search engine optimization (SEO). I then started this blog and plan to eventually make a full time income from it.

I have now been blogging part time for about 2 years and 4 months. I make a steady income from my 2 blogs of about $200/month. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I have only been blogging as a hobby. If you would like to know how to start a blog, check out my post over here.

Working for Pennies on Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a marketplace for Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) work. These are things that companies post that their computer systems are not capable of doing. HITs include things like finding relevant results in Google, transcribing audio, checking spelling and others. Most of the HITs come in bundles of hundreds that are worth 5 to 10 cents each. These are very mundane tasks but if you do enough of them, you can do them quickly.

I always used a Reddit group to find the HITs that end up paying the most for the amount of time you spend. HITs Worth Turking For is a community that shares links to good HITs. MTurk is by no means a way to make a living if you are in the US but it can give you some extra cash when you want it. You only need to earn $1.00 to cash out and can be paid directly into your bank account.

Fiverr – 5 Dollars Here, 5 Dollars There

Fiverr is a site where you can offer your services in almost anything for $5. However, Fiverr collects their share at $1 per gig. So, you really make $4 for every gig someone buys from you. I mostly used this in combination with my writing at Hubpages. I offered to write reviews on products and services that were 300-500 words long. You can post gigs for anything you could think of that you are good at. People sell graphics, paper editing, lessons, video creation, you name it. My only advice is to sell a gig that you can do in 30 minutes or less. That way, you are earning an equivalent of $8/hr.

Slow but Easy Money With Swagbucks

I am addicted to Google, or search engines in general. I look up anything and everything online. I am an internet addict, according to my husband. ; ) So, when I found Swagbucks, I was thrilled. You can earn points which can then be redeemed for PayPal cash, gift cards, or products in the Swagbucks store. I, personally always choose PayPal. The typical Swagbuck (SB) to US Dollar equivalent is 1 SB = $0.01. The lowest you can cash out for PayPal cash is 2500 points or $25. I mainly just use Swagbucks for searching but earn around 20-50 SB per day. It takes a while to add up but I’m not doing anything extra that I wouldn’t normally do.

Swagbucks can be earned by:

  • Searching the internet (my favorite!).
  • Answering surveys.
  • Downloading the toolbar.
  • Buying through Swagbucks links.
  • Printing coupons.
  • Taking daily polls.
  • Many more.
  • Entering Swagcodes.

Work From Home Mom Monthly Earnings Reports

I am going to start writing a blog post every month to show you my progress towards becoming a work from home mom. Make sure to subscribe to get updates when a new one is published.

BUDGETING

Free Printable Budget Worksheets

May 31, 2022

Why You Should Use one of These Free Printable Budget Worksheets

One of the biggest problems with family finances is not knowing what their monthly bills truly are. Using one of these free printable budget worksheets can get you headed into the right direction. You will get a true picture of how much you are spending and on what. No more blindly making it from paycheck to paycheck. Once you know where your money is going, you can decide where it is possible to cut back. Below are some amazing money management worksheets to print.

Simple Household Budget by Freebie FindingMom

I love this one because it is really simple and has spaces for you to fill in your own expense categories. If you are completely new to budgeting, you may not want to use this one. Newbies are better off with a budget worksheet that has more guidance. However, if you know what you are doing already and just want a basic format to fill in, this is perfect for you.

– See more at: FreebieFindingMom.

Customizable Budget Worksheet by Dollar Times

This is probably my favorite budget worksheet since I am a control freak. You can completely customize it to have your own categories and line items. Once you add those, you can add in the dollar amounts to each item. This custom budget worksheet is not for the faint at heart and would probably overwhelm someone new to budgeting. I would recommend it for those who know exactly what their expenses are and want to create a good-looking, customizable, organized worksheet. After you create the worksheet, you are able to print it off.

The Sexy Budget from J. Money

I have to say I’m in love with J. Money from BudgetsAreSexy.com even though I’ve never met him. He has the market on making personal finance fun and a lot less boring. His budget worksheet is colorful and has a set of instructions included. This worksheet could be great for a first timer or a budget veteran.

Bill Payment Schedule from Christian Personal Finance

This is a great budget worksheet for those who have a lot of different payments every month and find it hard to keep track of. This is also a great way to improve your credit score because on-time payments can make or break your credit.

 

 This list of free printable budget worksheets will grow as I find more that are worth recommending. If you have one you would like to have featured here e-mail me at meg@mommalovesmoney.com or leave a comment below with your link.

HUSTLING

Hubpages Review: Making Money on Hubpages in 2014 & Beyond

May 31, 2022

Who I am to Give a Hubpages Review?

When I first had the idea to start writing for income, I did a lot of research. I wasn’t quite ready to dive headfirst into the blogging world by owning my own site. At the time, I was a writer; not a blogger. There is a big difference. Today, I consider myself a blogger. Most of the transition, I can attribute to the time I spent writing on Hubpages.

Starting Out on Hubpages

I signed up to write for Hubpages in early November of 2012. I really didn’t know what I was doing when it came to writing for an online audience. There is just so much involved. The style of writing is different, and you have to do so much just to get found on the internet. I started out aimlessly publishing articles and jumping for joy when I would see a few pennies trickle in. It wasn’t much, but it told me that producing an income was possible.

Hubpages Apprenticeship Program

Everything changed when I applied, and got accepted to the Hubpages Apprenticeship Program in January of 2013. Most online blogging courses make you pay a fee to join and watch the videos, or read lessons. Hubpages did the opposite. They paid me for every “Hub” I wrote while in the program – up to 15 per month. The going rate at the time was $6.09 for each article published that met the standard. On top of that, you still received your advertising income from those hubs. And, of course, that income increased because I was learning to produce better content.

Hubpages was a huge stepping stone in my work from home career plan. But, it was just that- a stepping stone. I no longer write for Hubpages but do still have published content earning me money on the site. So, this Hubpages review will give you an in depth explanation of Hubpages and the pros and cons of writing for Hubpages. This is from my personal experience in the last, almost, 2 years.

What is Hubpages and How Does it Work?

Hubpages is a type of blogging community. When you sign up, you get a subdomain. Mine is Learninginlife.Hubpages.com. Your subdomain is dictated by your user name.

You can create your own articles called “hubs”, and earn money through a profit sharing model.

How do You Make Money on Hubpages?

  • Hubpages Earnings Program
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Google Adsense
  • Referrals
  • Contests
  • Bonuses
  • Hubpages Apprenticeship Program

The methods that earn through Hubpages putting ad codes on your hubs, like the Hubpages Earnings Program, eBay, Amazon, and Google Adsense, are split 60/40. But, it isn’t a split of the earnings. It is a 60/40 split of the impressions. This means that 60% of the time a visitor goes to an article you have written, your ad code is displayed. If the visitor clicks on an ad during that time, you get the full earnings. However, 40% of the time, Hubpages’ ad code is displayed. Hubpages will get 100% of the earnings during those visits.

Hubpages Referrals

Another easy method of earning on Hubpages is by linking to other hubs with your referral code. When someone visits another page on Hubpages after clicking on a link with your tracking code, you receive a 10% share of the those impressions and any earnings during that time. If someone signs up to write for Hubpages after clicking your referral link, you get a 10% share of all impressions that writer gets – FOREVER. If you decide to sign up for Hubpages, use my referral link. (Please)

Hubpages Contests

Hubpages often runs contests that can earn you an extra $25, $50 or some other amount if you win. A lot of the time, you enter by writing a hub in a certain topic or theme. I have never won any contests, but plenty of hubbers do.

Hubpages Bonus Programs

Hubpages has been back and forth with their bonus program. But, at the time of writing this, it is still in effect. There is a regular bonus program and a “4×4 Bonus Program.” The chart below, shows how much your bonus would be for each hub based on how many hubs you have published prior to that month and your average earnings per hub. There is a limit of 15 hubs per month that are eligible to receive the bonus.

Hubpages Review - Bonus Program
* Average earnings are computed by dividing the amount that you earned through the HubPages Ad Program last month by the number of your Hubs that were first published prior to last month. ** You must have published at least this many Hubs prior to last month to be eligible for the corresponding tier.

The 4×4 bonus takes this a little bit further. To qualify, you must at least be in tier 1 with an average earning per hub, per month of $0.95 and a minimum of 10 hubs published prior to that month. The additional requirement is that you must publish a minimum of 4 hubs per month for 4 consecutive months before you can earn the 4×4 bonus. I am currently in the standard tier 2 because I don’t publish anything any more. But, if I were to publish a hub today, I would get a $0.68 bonus just for publishing.

My Hubpages Earnings Experience

Many new writers of perspective writers for Hubpages want to know what kind of earnings potential there is. Although, I can’t give you an average; I can tell you exactly what I have made.

Hubpages Review : Traffic

All Time Totals

  • Time Span: 20 Months
  • Total Hubs Published: 105
  • Total Currently Published Hubs: 88
  • Last Hub Published: May 11, 2013
  • Hubpages Earnings Program: $1290.28
  • eBay: $11.56
  • Amazon: $98.21
  • Hubpages Apprenticeship Program: $243.59
  • Google Adsense: $57.97
  • Total: $1701.61
  • Income/Hub/Month: $0.81
  • Income/Hub/Month (Not Including Apprenticeship): $0.69

Last Month

  • Time Span: 1 Months
  • Total Currently Published Hubs: 88
  • Hubs Published in Last Year: 0
  • Hubpages Earnings Program: $107.77
  • eBay: $0
  • Amazon: $0.69
  • Hubpages Apprenticeship Program: $0
  • Google Adsense: $6.07
  • Total: $114.53
  • Income/Hub/Month: $1.30

How Does Hubpages Pay You?

Hubpages pay and earnings are sent out via PayPal, and only through PayPal. Payments are sent on the 28th of every month. You then have to transfer the money from PayPal to your bank account. Sometimes, it takes as many as 3 days to be available to use after Hubpages has paid you. I wish they would do direct deposit or something like that. But, I still don’t have to wait for a check in the mail.

Why I Stopped Writing for Hubpages

After writing for a about 4 or 5 months, I noticed that a certain category of my hubs were doing quite well. This niche was something I knew really well and I knew I could expand on it and write a ton more articles. So, I decided to finally buy my own domain name and hosting. This way, I had complete control over everything and the money I made was all mine to keep. I launched my own blog in September of 2013. I hadn’t even been writing online for a whole year but I was ready to go out on my own.

Since then, I have moved a lot of the articles I wrote for Hubpages, to my own sites. I now have 2 main blogs that I spend most of my time and energy on, and don’t have the time for Hubpages anymore.

Hubpages Review: The Pros

  • No hosting or domain name costs. So, it’s free to start writing on Hubpages.
  • Hubpages has tons of learning material on creating hubs and writing online content in general. Almost everything you need to know to be successful as a blogger can be found in other hubbers’ hubs or in the Learning Center of Hubpages.
  • There is a huge community of writer at your disposal. In the beginning, many of your pageviews and earnings will come from fellow hubbers. They will comment, share, and give you feedback.
  • The staff is amazing and fun. If you ever need help with something, you can easily get in touch with someone who knows what is going on.

 Hubpages Review: The Cons

  • You have to share your impressions, and therefore, earnings with Hubpages. (60/40)
  • You have no control over the website itself or the advertising. If something messes up or the site just disappears, you are out of luck and your content is gone.
  • Your content is reviewed by Hubpages and can be un-plublished if they don’t find it adequate.
  • Hubpages can disable advertisements on hubs if they have any kind of keywords deemed inappropriate. (My hub about How to conceive a Boy doesn’t have ads) Therefore, you lose the earning potential of those hubs.
  • Branding is much more difficult on a subdomain.

Hubpages Review: Final Word

All in all, I would whole-heartedly recommend writing for Hubpages as a learning experience. I, however, don’t think it is an ideal place for experienced writers to make big money. There are people making great money on Hubpages. But, I prefer to have more control over the entire process now that I have learned what I needed to from Hubpages.

If you enjoyed this post, check out: How to Make Money on Hubpages.

BUDGETING

The Debt Snowball Method Makes Paying Off Debts Feel Good

May 30, 2022

I Love the Debt Snowball Method!

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside every time I can scratch a debt off of my IOU list. Most people feel the same. It is like getting weight off of your shoulders. You can finally breath again. The Debt Snowball Method capitalizes on this natural feeling. It uses psychology to aid us in achieving our goals.

What is the Debt Snowball Method?

The Debt Snowball Method is a debt reduction strategy that focuses on paying off the smallest debts first. It is best known for being a motivational tool to becoming debt free. Dave Ramsey is one major supporter of the Debt Snowball Method. He says that personal finance is “20 percent head knowledge and 80 percent behavior” and that people trying to reduce debt need “quick wins” to stay motivated toward debt reduction. I am a major supporter of Dave Ramsey! He has his stuff together and does an amazing job of teaching others. Because personal finance has so much to do with behavior and feeling good, the debt snowball method is a great motivator. It uses positive reinforcement to keep you paying down your debt.

 Who Should Use the Debt Snowball Method?

Debt snowball method
The Debt Snowball method is great for those with multiple credit cards.
  • People who have multiple credit accounts with outstanding balances.
  • People who have large balances on some debt and small balances on others.
  • People who are not very motivated to pay off debt, or are feeling discouraged.
  • People who are tired of having multiple payments and are thinking of consolidating their debt.

How Does the Debt Snowball Method Work?

Step 1: Identify your debts.

Make a list of all your debts in order from the smallest balance to the largest balance. Include the name of the debt, the balance, the minimum payment and the due date. For the typical person, there is no need to list the interest rate unless you have two debts with the same balance. If this is the case, list the debt with the higher interest rate out of the two first. If you many different accounts, you may want to print this Consumer debt manager worksheet.

Step 2: Determine how much extra your budget allows.

Create a budget including all of your bills and all of your income. Make sure the minimum payment on your debts is included in your bill count. Determine how much money is left over from your budget, that is available to pay as extra toward your debts, once all bills are paid. Even if it is only 20 dollars, it will add up and be useful. You can use this Personal monthly budget to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Step 3: Make the minimum payment on all of your debts.

Make sure that you are still making your minimum payments on all of your debts. You don’t want to add anything to your balance because of missed payments or late fees. But, you do not want to pay anything more than the minimum on any debt, other than the debt with the smallest balance. You want to focus everything extra you have on that debt.

However, I do not suggest changing your payment every month to match what your bill says. Look at what your minimum payments are now and continue to pay no less than that amount. Credit cards get you when you owe $2000 and your minimum payment is $20. The more you pay towards that debt, the lower your minimum payments goes. Many times, your minimum payment is less than the amount of interest you are being charged. (More on this in another post.)

Step 4: Pay the extra toward the debt with the smallest balance.

When you are making your payments, add the extra amount from your budget to the payment you make on your lowest balance debt. This should be in addition to the minimum payment. Keep doing this every month until the smallest debt is paid off.

Step 5: Move on to the next smallest debt.

Once you have paid off the lowest balance debt, you will want to repeat steps 3 and 4 using the next debt on the list. But, now that you no longer have the minimum payment for the debt you just paid off, you can put that amount towards the next debt as well. This is what creates the snowball effect. Every time you pay a debt off, the money used for its minimum payment can be combined with the previous one to make a larger payment. This is the momentum you create that encourages you to keep going. It gets easier and easier to pay off each debt as your payment available grows.

Step 6: Repeat.

Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until all of your debt is gone. Congratulations, you’re debt free. Now, focus on staying debt free or just using credit wisely.