TODAY   |  April 09, 2012

The best jobs for stay-at-home moms

In this changing economy, more women are looking for ways to become “mom-preneurs,” working from home while raising children. Personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi talks with TODAY’s Natalie Morales about some great jobs for moms.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

NATALIE MORALES, anchor: This morning on TODAY'S MOMS , jobs for stay-at-home moms. With our changing economy more women are looking for ways to make extra money while staying at home. Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance expert and the host of "Financially Fit" on yahoo.com. Good morning, Farnoosh .

Ms. FARNOOSH TORABI (Personal Finance Expert): Good morning.

MORALES: I like the statistic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , 40 percent of the country's workforce are going to be self-employed by the end of the decade. So that has to be really good news for women, stay-at-home moms.

Ms. TORABI: Great news for stay-at-home moms. I mean, there's a lot of advantages to being a full-time caretaker at home...

MORALES: Mm-hmm.

Ms. TORABI: ...and working. And a lot of the moms I interviewed for this story said that not only does this provide financial independence for the family to save more and pay down debt...

MORALES: Right.

Ms. TORABI: ...but for the moms it's a little bit of an activity. It's something to do outside of being a mom. And then of course having that financial independence.

MORALES: So important.

Ms. TORABI: I -- it's so important. Many families are learning the hard way how vulnerable you can be when you just have one income.

MORALES: That's right . That said there are a lot of stay-at- home work scams that you have to watch out for.

Ms. TORABI: Yes.

MORALES: So what are some red flags ?

Ms. TORABI: So one of the biggest scams right now is companies asking you to pay a fee before they secure you the job.

MORALES: Yeah.

Ms. TORABI: Or asking you for your credit card information. Or any sort of sensitive financial information. Those are huge big red flags . So you want to do a really thorough background search.

MORALES: Mm-hmm.

Ms. TORABI: Just like a company would look at your history, look online see if there are any complaints. Sites like jobitorial.com, and glassdoor.com actually have anonymous reviews by employees, current and previous. And go to the BBB , that's the Better Business Bureau .

MORALES: Better Business Bureau .

Ms. TORABI: BBB . org to see if there are any reported complaints.

MORALES: Great. OK, let's get to some legitimate jobs out there.

Ms. TORABI: Yes.

MORALES: And you say some great things, some good ideas for moms, perhaps, if you're good at scheduling or organizing,, is you can start your own service as a personal assistant.

Ms. TORABI: Yes. And you can do this either virtually or physically. And there's one big site out there called taskrabbit.com where Task Rabbits , as you would become...

MORALES: Yeah.

Ms. TORABI: ...earn anywhere from 45 to $50 a day essentially running tasks for everyday people who are too busy to do their own tasks. So whether it's picking up groceries while -- for somebody else while you're doing your own groceries...

MORALES: Mm-hmm.

Ms. TORABI: ...or dry cleaning or doing some data entry online or research online. There is a bit of a qualification process. You have to go through some exams. But usually it takes about a week and 70 percent of applicants get qualified.

MORALES: And qualify. OK, next you say try online tutoring . Now this is for those who have a specialty or are educated in something.

Ms. TORABI: Right. You need at least a college degree in some cases. Tutor.com is a popular website for a lot of moms and dads going on there to find extra work. There again, is a bit of a qualification process. You don't need a teaching license but you do need about a college degree . There's a couple of exams you have to take as well as a background check.

MORALES: Right.

Ms. TORABI: But you can earn anywhere from 10 to $14 an hour. And math and science tutors earn the most.

MORALES: That's great. OK, now if you have some extra space in your backyard or whatever, you say pet sitting or boarding is a good way to make money.

Ms. TORABI: I love this. Yeah, because also a way to involve your kids especially. I interviewed a mom in Phoenix who's doing this and she's got teenage sons and it's a way for them to earn some money, too. The money that she earns from pet boarding she gives a little bit to her sons who also walk the dog, feed the dog. She uses a site called sleepoverrover.com which is a local Phoenix site that connects pet boarders and pet owners.

MORALES: Mm-hmm.

Ms. TORABI: But if you don't have something like that in your town check the local vet, vet's office, or the local pet store to put up ads.

MORALES: All right. Well, some great ideas all around. I know you have a lot more ideas.

Ms. TORABI: Yeah.

MORALES: So Farnoosh Torabi , thanks so much.

Ms. TORABI: You're welcome.