How to supplement your regular income

Our family of nine has been greatly blessed by living in accordance with the modern-day revelation of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." The limited income that comes with having a stay-at-home mom has required the whole family to contribute in supplementing Dad's salary. Here are some income-producing ideas we've used:

Grow flowers. Lilies, irises, hostas, daisies are all plants that multiply quickly in your garden. Divide and sell your excess at reasonable prices. You won't be able to keep up with the demand.- Build garden art. Our two young sons build and sell birdhouses and twig planting baskets. Antique shops even express interest in these hand-crafted items.

Go bulk trash hunting. Our society is a wasteful one. Lawn mowers, toys and furniture can be changed into cash by holding a yard sale. We make more than $800 a year in this way.

Utilize your talents. Give piano lessons, tutor math, hang wallpaper. I make extra money by writing a weekly community events column for our local paper. The ideas are endless.

Enter local contests. Encourage your children to enter all local art and essay contests. Competition can be minimal. Even if your child doesn't win, the creative juices will flow. Our family has won $1,000 in U.S. savings bonds in this manner.

The number of ways to supplement your income are many, as are the blessings the Lord will bestow upon you as you live according to His counsel. - Susan DeFeo, Cape May Court House, N.J.

Blessings keep coming

My husband and I - though I had a college degree - determined to follow the prophet when we married and to live on one income. Since the income came from public education and we eventually had seven children, it was a stretch. I tried at-home work, but each time the cost of starting up set us financially behind. I found the best way to supplement was with frugality - stretch what we had to the maximum. We had a garden and a freezer. We bottled and also froze food, bought in bulk, bought on sale or clearance, used coupons, rode the bus when possible, made what we could, repaired, did without. Through it all, we taught our children how to work and be self-reliant.

When the money would not go any further and we needed more, my husband would get a promotion. Eventually, our income became more comfortable, but we did not stop being frugal. What we saved allowed us some memorable trips with our children, missions, help with college for the younger ones (the older ones managed college on their own). Now our children have families of their own. They live on one income, sacrifice for their children and bless our example. Though it was a most difficult challenge, I know now that it was no sacrifice. The blessings keep coming and coming and coming. - A. E. J. Jackman, Salt Lake City, Utah

Needed services

A person needs to determine what it is that she or he can do that others can't or not as well or maybe are too busy to do.

An animal lover can advertise in a free neighborhood newspaper or at a store to animal sit or walk pets when the owner goes on vacations, on business or is working. A person can drive someone or several people shopping or to doctor's appointments for a reasonable fee. - Elaine Carpenter, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Team approach

Stakes in our area have been operating a one-night-a-week stake employment center. They have proven to be very successful in placing the "un" and "under" employed. Employment teams have been created including the following: high councilor, stake employment specialist, assistant stake employment specialist, stake employment secretary, ward employment specialists, home-based business specialist, Internet specialist (who uses a home computer).

This team approach has proven to be an excellent way of helping people not only to find jobs but also to improve their current job situation. Mothers have been helped to find ways to supplement the family income while working out of their homes.

As the home-based business specialist in my stake, I help people create businesses that they can do out of their homes. - Judy Slaugh, Selah, Wash.

Traded for lessons

As do many LDS parents, I've done a lot of volunteer work at my children's schools. Never did I think that my volunteer work would turn into supplemental income, until the principal at the elementary school asked if I would be willing to take a paid position as their new after-school homework club coordinator. This provided me a way to earn some money without taking me away from my children. My two elementary school children were able to complete their homework at Homework Club as well as be mentors to other children in the club who needed their help. All three of us were back home before my middle-school children arrived at the end of their school day.

At the middle school, I have been helping the band teacher with his paper work for approximately one hour twice a week. During the summer, he was willing to come in one morning a week to give all of my children private lessons for free in exchange for paper work while he gave summer lessons. - Teresa Lauritzen, Coburg, Ore.

Begin now

Create more time by consolidating your current work week. Negotiate a shorter work week with telecommuting time from home.

Begin now to develop supplemental income activities. The ability to develop supplemental income will be vital for short-term needs, such as missions, weddings and education. Supplemental income may actuallly bridge the gap between unemployment or underemployment and full employment. Finally, a supplemental income activity may be needed as you make the transition to retirement. - Stephen W. Carter, Sandy, Utah

How to checklist:

1 Utilize your talents; make, sell crafts; have yard sales; enter local contests; be creative.

2 Be frugal; follow old adage of make it do or do without.

3 Be willing to volunteer in your community, reach out; this may lead to paid services.

4 Take advantage of Church employment services.

Write to us:

June 20 "How to utilize modern technology to enhance family history research."

June 27 "How to help young people learn homemaking skills."

July 4 "How to develop more gratitude as a family for freedom."

July 11 "How to overcome compulsive eating."

July 18 "How to develop positive leadership qualities."

July 25 "How to teach young people sensitivity toward people with disabilities."

Aug. 1 "How to make transition from being newly married to becoming new parents."

Aug. 8 "How to help your wife feel more appreciated as a homemaker."

Aug. 15 "How to help your husband feel more appreciated as a provider."

Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to avoid greed," "How to be more resilient in day-to-day life," "How to help heal a family after a loved one has caused deep hurt," "How to avoid the gambling trap."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2524 or use internet E-mail: Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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