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The Top 6 Creative Ways to Help Make Ends Meet

Making ends meet is tough for many people, but for single moms, it's especially challenging. Here are a few ways to earn an extra income that you may not have thought of before, including selling unwanted items you already own, telecommuting after hours, or renting out a room in your house.
A woman crocheting.

When you're a single mom, it seems like you bear more than your share of the burdens. In addition to working, running a home, and making sure the kids are being raised healthy and happy, you still have to pay all the bills. Making ends meet is twice as hard when you're doing it all by yourself, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Millions of moms all around the world have the same struggle and they have come up with some great ideas for making ends meet. Here are the top six:

1. Get Crafty – If you have an artistic skill, put it to good use by selling your wares online. If you draw, crochet, knit, quilt, paint, sculpt, or do anything else crafty and creative, you can easily set up a shop online (and for very little money -- usually a percentage of your sales). It's a popular way to get some extra cash since people are always looking for unique gifts. You may have a niche you never knew about!

2. Watch (More) Kids – The last thing you may want to do at the end of a long day is watch someone else's kids, but plenty of moms are willing to pay you to do it. If you're looking for an easy way to make ends meet, you can earn money by picking up or dropping off kids at school, watching them in your home, or shuttling them to and from their after school activities. Don't want to take on more kids? Try it with pets.

3. Downsize – If you have clutter, remember that one man's junk is another man's treasure, as the old saying goes. Sites like Craigslist have become famous as venues for people to sell their old stuff. You'd be surprised at what people will buy. Ask family and friends if they have anything they'd like to get rid of and start selling online. For big items, offer local delivery when necessary.

4. Work Online – Telecommuting was once almost unheard of, but now almost everyone is accommodating some form of working at home. The nice thing about an online job is that you can often do it on your own schedule. This means that you can still work your regular day job, have a great evening with the kids and make some extra cash after they go to bed. Everything from medical coding to transcription work to being a virtual assistant is an option.

5. Rent A Room – If you need some extra cash, renting out some space in your house is a very viable option. Ask people you trust for recommendations and put the word out that you're looking for a boarder. You'll need to conduct interviews and run background checks, especially because this person will be around your children. This is why it's best to go with a personal recommendation rather than a public ad. However, plenty of college kids are looking for an affordable place to crash.

6. Emergency Resources – Food stamps (known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) and even Welfare may be a viable option to help make ends meet, depending on your circumstances. Most people don't like to admit they need that level of assistance; however, remember that this is just until you get on your feet. Food banks and food pantries, soup kitchens and other charitable organizations can also help out with food a few times a week, to take the burden off your grocery bill.

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