Author Topic: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...  (Read 9303 times)

amanadoo

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Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« on: November 27, 2010, 04:44:14 PM »
I'm looking for ideas or advice. My husband is in the Coast Guard and we have moved three times in just over a year. We have two boys, ages one and three and I stay at home with them full time. I do not want to leave them and we have never planned for me to do that. However, money is always tight and we are getting more and more uncomfortable with our state of readiness, if you know what I mean. We are constantly the new kids in town, and don't own any land.

We have been talking about where I might try to work once the kids are in school, but realized a few things. First of all, there is a VERY good chance that we will homeschool the boys. Unless there happens to be some super fantastic school we can get them into, I just don't see us sending our kids to the same kinds of schools my husband and I both went to. The other issue with me working when "the kids go to school," is that we are both passionate about adopting a child when we can financially do so. Presumably, our next child will be younger-than-school-age when he//she joins our family.

We keep moving at inconvenient times of the year. I believe that I could offset our food budget quite a bit if I could ever just get a garden in the ground, but like I said we keep moving. Food is our #1 expense after rent, so that's a big deal. Likewise, I'm always just getting to a new place and don't have time to get set up with a booth to sell baked goods at a farmer's market, which was another idea I had to bring in a little money.

I am working on other skills such as knitting and sewing, but am no where near ready to make even the tiniest amount of money from these things. Husband doesn't like the idea of an in-home daycare for various reasons. And I can't work nights because his underway schedule is unpredictable at best.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I may be able to bring in a little money without leaving the kids? I know I don't have a lot of options here, but figured it would be worth asking you all! The goal would be to save enough to buy a small piece of land that others might not want...just having it out there would be SUCH a boon to our peace of mind!



Offline khristopher23

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 07:32:47 PM »
Hey, I'm not a momma, and haven't been on here in awhile, but my wife is doing pretty well (usually $250-$300 a week for 2-4 hours a day) with freelance writing for textbroker, demand studios, and wisegeek. She is currently doing a blog about different ways to make money at home. I know she talks about other stay at home jobs on there, but I do know the bulk of her income is from the freelance writing. Oh, yeah, we also have 2 boys, ages 2 and 4.

Here's a link to her blog:

http://www.realwaystoearnmoneyonline.com

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 06:22:49 AM »
Quote
I am working on other skills such as knitting and sewing, but am no where near ready to make even the tiniest amount of money from these things.

When we moved to Montana from the east coast in 1993, I left a nice job as a tech support specialist for a software company. Wonder of wonders, a similar job was available here, so I interviewed for it. They offered methe job at LESS THAN HALF of what I had been making in Baltimore; when I laughed and said, "No thanks, I am not putting my kid in daycare to bring home $200 a month," they got very indignant and said that this wasn't the east coast and I shouldn't expect to make the same kind of money. I pointed out to them that it was just as expensive to live here as it was to live in Baltimore. That company left the area a few months later, citing "lack of qualified individuals for staffing" as the reason. I maintain that there were plenty of qualified individuals here, but none of us wanted to do that job for the compensation they were offering.

I was a hobby knitter at the time, so my husband suggested that I see how to make money from my knitting. Fast forward about 18 years and I am now a nationally-known knitting designer, author, and teacher. I've made quite a bit of money (more than I would have doing tech support) in the past few years AND I've been able to work from home, which has had huge benefits for my family. There are many ways to make money in the knitting business--test knitting and sample knitting (I have way more ideas than I have time to execute, so I often hire people to knit my designs for me), technical editing of patterns (I pay my tech editor $27 an hour), etc. Have you checked out Ravelry? (www.ravelry.com). That's a good place to look around and get some ideas.

Good luck, and stick with it. I think determination makes more of a difference than anything.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 06:44:55 AM »
I'm in a similar boat, although my kids are now older (10 and 12). We just moved again in Sept., so I know how it is. I also home school my two boys, so have not been able to take any type of regular job since I quit to stay home with them.

I sold Longaberger baskets for a few years, which did bring a few bucks (but not what you'd be looking for, I think). In general, I'd be very wary of joining up with one of those selling companies. I find that you tend to spend a lot of your earnings buying samples.

However, in the past couple of years, I have been lucky enough to stumble on a part-time job that is rather intermittent, but does provide some income. I'm a proofreader for books. I began doing it as a volunteer for an organization to which I belong. Because I am very fast, I have gained other work since then. I love DTM's idea of using your knitting skills to earn some $$'s . Since you already are a knitter, this sounds like the best suggestion.

Here's another idea along the lines of "A penny saved is a penny earned"...

I have recently been running an experiment with our family budget to see if we can live on what will be our income after my husband retires. By making everything at home, watching sales and some couponing, I have greatly reduced our family's food budget. We are also using more discipline for all the other items of expense in our lives by budgeting for everything every month. We have a very simple envelope system. It is amazing how well it is working... it may help you in the meantime to devise something similar for yourselves. I've been amazed at how much less we spend on useless things when we have to pull cash out of the appropriate envelope before buying things. It has curtailed a lot of impulse buying and stops at fast food joints for us. We've even budgeted for new tires, vacations, and oil changes (you can go crazy with this).

Offline EmmaPeel

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 03:13:31 PM »
I've been on both sides of things many times.  I am currently working full-time.  However, our children are in school all day.  It costs much less to save money than to earn money.  Start by evaluating your budget system.  Is it ideal for you?  If not, make it ideal for you then evaluate your financial needs.  You may find you still need outside employment.  We did. 

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 06:11:17 PM »
I was a hobby knitter at the time, so my husband suggested that I see how to make money from my knitting. Fast forward about 18 years and I am now a nationally-known knitting designer, author, and teacher.

Can you tell us who you are?  I know of lots of designers (Ysolda, Jared Flood, etc).  I'd love to see some of your work, and (of course) buy some of your patterns!

Offline elcoyote

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 08:30:19 PM »
Hey, I'm not a momma, and haven't been on here in awhile, but my wife is doing pretty well (usually $250-$300 a week for 2-4 hours a day) with freelance writing for textbroker, demand studios, and wisegeek. She is currently doing a blog about different ways to make money at home. I know she talks about other stay at home jobs on there, but I do know the bulk of her income is from the freelance writing. Oh, yeah, we also have 2 boys, ages 2 and 4.

Here's a link to her blog:

http://www.realwaystoearnmoneyonline.com

WOW!!! Thank you so much for that!!! That is incredibly helpful. I've been doing textbroker for a year or so, and have pretty much stopped because I couldn't make enough money on it. I haven't been able to find many good alternatives, but that link helped so much!


+1 from me!

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 06:12:26 AM »
Quote
Can you tell us who you are?  I know of lots of designers (Ysolda, Jared Flood, etc).  I'd love to see some of your work, and (of course) buy some of your patterns!

I am on Ravelry as JanetKaye.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 11:15:06 AM »
I am on Ravelry as JanetKaye.

Cool!  I'm on my way over there right now to sift through your patterns!  :)  Thanks!

amanadoo

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2010, 09:25:21 PM »
Thanks for the advice ladies, and Kristopher23 :) .... That's an excellent website your wife has! Please tell her that because of the blog, I got a writing gig that I am hopeful will lead to more.

And dodgetruckmom, I really appreciated your story. It's very encouraging to think that even though these skills are so new to me now, they will benefit myself and my family in very real ways down the line.

I am trying to get the husband on board with envelope budgeting too, but he has an odd aversion to using cash and prefers the bank card. In the meantime, though, saving money (ahem, being cheap, cough cough) has really been the only thing keeping us afloat. We're getting to be old hands at buying used or not at all!

In addition to the writing job I mentioned, which doesn't pay well and is mostly for experience, I am also applying to the Mil2Med program. It's an online course for certificates in medical settings that is free for military spouses. So, if I pass I will hopefully be able to work from home doing medical coding type jobs.

Again, I really appreciate everyone's input here. And I am definitely open for more suggestions if you've got them!

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 06:05:14 AM »
Quote
In addition to the writing job I mentioned, which doesn't pay well and is mostly for experience, I am also applying to the Mil2Med program. It's an online course for certificates in medical settings that is free for military spouses. So, if I pass I will hopefully be able to work from home doing medical coding type jobs.

Although I would love it if knitting could support my family all the time, it can't (especially since our health insurance premiums are going up $200 a month in 2011). And it's not as recession-proof as it used to be; people who want to knit usually have a big stash of yarn that keeps them from having to buy more, and the abundance of free patterns on the internet means that it's harder to get someone to shell out $$$ for my designs when they can just find one for free instead.

We took a double hit last fall--my husband is in construction and all of a sudden everything completely dried up. It used to be that if he had a lean period, my business was making enough to carry us through. However, both of us saw our incomes drop by more than half in 2009. Things have just started to recover this fall. I decided that I needed another source of income in case that ever happens again. We're far enough from town that driving back and forth every day to a "job" isn't really cost-effective, so I enrolled in an online medical transcriptionist program. I am just about done with the first semester and will start the second semester in January. Hopefully it will provide an additional source of revenue and allow me to continue to work from home. So I think you are on the right track.

We all do what we have to when times get tough.

Offline BadgerAngel

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 07:52:59 PM »
I really hate to say anything, but outsourcing and voice recognition technology has pretty much screwed medical transcriptionists.  I'm a general/legal transcriptionist myself, and I've heard some real horror stories from the med girls.

May I recommend www.transcriptionessentials.com?  It's a transcription site, with a forum, that will give you all the information you need.  Please read all of the stickies, please make use of the search function for your questions, and after you have taken a couple of days to do that (and trust me, it will take a couple of days to read the stickies, search out answers for the questions that immediately come to mind, and then process all the information) THEN feel free to ask questions.

The reason I say this is because the members have a very strict outlook that research is one of the greatest requirements of a transcriber, and they're absolutely right.  I just finished doing an FDA presentation regarding genetic research, and I swear I spent more time on Google looking up terms to make sure I had the right spellings than I did typing.

Don't take the girls the wrong way, because they are very welcoming, and we want the board to be a real community, its just that they (and I) get really tired of someone thinking that transcription is an easy job, or that "anyone can do it."  That's just not true.  We kind of want to know you're willing to invest your energy and time into at least TRYING to find things out for yourself.  There are no silver platters there.  That is where I got my start, where I learned everything I know now, and I know that I don't know enough.  *shrug* 

Hope that helps somewhat.  As I said in the beginning, I really hated to tell you about that. 

amanadoo

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 08:18:26 PM »
...its just that they (and I) get really tired of someone thinking that transcription is an easy job, or that "anyone can do it."  That's just not true.  We kind of want to know you're willing to invest your energy and time into at least TRYING to find things out for yourself.  There are no silver platters there.  That is where I got my start, where I learned everything I know now, and I know that I don't know enough.  *shrug* 

Thank you for linking up to that resource. I will definitely pass it on to others as well.

I'm sorry that people have given you the impression that your career is viewed as an extremely easy and without real merit. I certainly do not hold that opinion myself, and hope that I did not imply otherwise. I was never searching for a cake job....I could get a cake job at any factory or grocery store (and would if I had to)....my main concern was finding something that I could do without having to put my children in daycare//preschool. I believe that I have found two promising paths to reach my goals, one of them being the free-to-me schooling that would give me the tools to do a simplified version of what you do. I have reviewed the material and believe I am up for it, and as such would be CRAZY to pass up this opportunity.

Offline BadgerAngel

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 09:16:18 PM »
Oh, I certainly didn't think that!  No, no, no, no!  And I apologize that you may have gotten that impression!

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 06:03:34 AM »
Quote
I really hate to say anything, but outsourcing and voice recognition technology has pretty much screwed medical transcriptionists.  I'm a general/legal transcriptionist myself, and I've heard some real horror stories from the med girls.

You're about the 200th person to tell me this, so it's not anything I haven't heard. However, I have a couple of friends who do med transcription and they tell me that the companies they work for would keep them busy 24/7 if they were willing to work that much. And I've been told by a PA friend of mine that the voice recognition software is far from perfect and that editors are still needed to clean up those reports. I guess we'll find out.

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 08:34:31 AM »
I was a hobby knitter at the time, so my husband suggested that I see how to make money from my knitting. Fast forward about 18 years and I am now a nationally-known knitting designer, author, and teacher. I've made quite a bit of money (more than I would have doing tech support) in the past few years AND I've been able to work from home, which has had huge benefits for my family. There are many ways to make money in the knitting business--test knitting and sample knitting (I have way more ideas than I have time to execute, so I often hire people to knit my designs for me),

Hmmm, do I know you??  I'm a spinner/weaver/crocheter/knitter (i.e. twisted, warped, hooker with sticks!)  I'm on ravelry with the same screen name.

oops, just saw you posted your Rav screen name.

Offline zarkan

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2011, 01:13:15 PM »
Have you thought about doing something like selling Mary Kay Cosmetics or Avon, or some of those jewelry lines with the same business model?  Stella & Dot is one, also Silpada, I think.  I sold Mary Kay in my college days to make extra money.  I wasn't that good at selling, but it made my car payment for me when I needed it to.  Worth checking out for sure.

Funny that the conversation should turn to voice recognition and transcription.  I'm a Certified Shorthad Reporter in California.  As someone who is constantly keeping my eye on voice recognition software, I can tell you that it will not replace a human transcriptionist any time soon because of a computer's lack of ability to completely understand language, and accuracy is so important where official records are required.  Software like Dragon Dictate is great for certain things, I'm sure.  But the thought of not pursuing a career in transcription of some kind shouldn't enter your mind if you're looking into it.  I don't know much about medical transcription because I report depositions and legal hearings.  But that's my two cents.

Speaking of transcription as a "work at home" type deal, you can work at home as a closed captioner.  You have to go through schooling, and there is an online program if there is not one in your area, and you could keep up with it through many moves if needed.  It's not easy and takes at least a couple of years, but it is well worth it.  Court reporting, which is what I do, is very rewarding but is much more work than the trade schools tell you.  You spend a full day at a deposition or hearing, then spend your nights working on the transcripts.  Captioning, however, is confined to the hours you sit at your shorthand machine.  I'm told the income is very good for captioning as well, and you'd most likely work for a corporation that could provide some benefits for you.

If you are a writer, you may look into scoping or proofreading.  You can proofread for anyone who writes, but you can also do well working for court reporters.  Scoping is the reading of shorthand notes and translating them into English, usually using something called CAT software.  It's a great way to earn good money part time setting your own hours.  It pays more than proofing, but it does take some training, although much less time is spent training to be a scopist than being a court reporter!  If you want more information, let me know.  Good luck to you!

Offline Halyna

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 01:24:29 PM »
I am a work-at-home medical transcriptionist. 
You can easily take a med trans course at any local community college.
You can work different shifts if free lancing.
I work for a large university hospital and am on a scheduled shift, but at least I can count on my paycheck.
You can work anywhere, in any city, in any state.  We have women who work  in different states, all they need is the computer. 
In my spare time,I do crafts,but I try to gear them to preparedness (like making wine, growing foods, canning, home-remedy meds, soaps and lotions etc).

amanadoo

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2011, 02:35:11 PM »
I am a work-at-home medical transcriptionist. 
You can easily take a med trans course at any local community college.
You can work different shifts if free lancing.
I work for a large university hospital and am on a scheduled shift, but at least I can count on my paycheck.
You can work anywhere, in any city, in any state.  We have women who work  in different states, all they need is the computer. 
In my spare time,I do crafts,but I try to gear them to preparedness (like making wine, growing foods, canning, home-remedy meds, soaps and lotions etc).

Hey this is great to hear!

Offline Halyna

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2011, 02:12:44 PM »
I dont know if this was mentioned before but you are where I was.....
So, I became a home-based medical transcriptionist.  You can take a couple of cheap courses at your local Community College.  A computer, dictating system, maybe a fax and you're ready to work.

Most places who hire home-based transcriptionists will have you come in for their 'training period' which could be only 2 weeks or longer depending on the employer.  But after that, you work from home, you can probably work your own schedule (working overnight is the bigger bucks).

Then, when I was down & out with 2 little kids at home, besides this, I just sent out letters to local doctors asking if they needed part time transcription work done.  You can build a client base (just be sure you dont take in more work than you can handle).  So, now you are working a full time job and a part time job without having to travel, buy clothes, lunches, etc.  and  still be home for your family.

this worked for me and I'm still doing it. 

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2011, 06:19:34 AM »
I did finish the transcriptionist course I took last year at the local community college. It cost $4000, so I wouldn't exactly call it a "cheap course," but it prepared me extremely well. I am now employed by a transcriptionist company in Texas, working on an account on the east coast (I live in the Northwest). I get up every morning and walk downstairs to my office, where I work for either 8 hours or until I meet that days' line minimum, whichever comes first. I love the company I work for, I love the account, and in just two months I am pulling in enough money to cover half the household expenses. I am hoping that by Christmas I can be pulling in enough to cover 2/3 of the household expenses. It takes some time to learn the doctors, learn the software, etc., but I get faster every week.

Although there is some major upheaval in the transcription world right now, I was told that there is no shortage of medical transcriptionists, but there is a huge shortage of EXCELLENT medical transcriptionists. (I've already had one local company try to lure me away from the company I currently work for.) Remember, you are creating a legal record and you can't just throw on a set of headphones and begin transcribing. :) It's worth it to get good training. The community college program I took was administered by Career Step. They are well-respected in the world of transcription for the quality of their grads, and they bent over backwards to help me find a position after I graduated.

I have to pinch myself some days because it has worked out so well.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Survivalist mommas! Talk to me about working...
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2011, 09:51:58 AM »
I have a friend that has been doing just that for over 10 years now.