extra income

so thanks to a remarkably understanding boss, i leave work at 3 every day to get my kids from school. the problem is, while they are playing outside, i am sitting here either staring at the computer or worrying about paying the bills i can't pay or... well, actually, that's pretty much it. i am trying to think of something i can do from home for a few hours a day. i like to write, and i think i am pretty good when i am on form, but where would i look to find work like that? i would like to get to a place in my life where i don't need to worry about bills - and i don't mean credit cards, as i have none, i mean basic BILLS.so... anyone?

if this post is inappropriate please delete; i see the drama llama has already been through a couple of times today and i don't wish to stir anything else up.
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yes, normally this is a sensible bunch, but yo, after all that religion drama, i didn't want to upset anyone's applecart or whatever. people can be so SENSITIVE after a good trouncing!
the fact that you mentioned you like to write made me think of a thing someone on my FL is doing...www.payperpost.com

i'm currently jumping through hoops to get them to approve my blog...but it seems like you can make some decent cabbage through that site.
The only way to make decent money with them is to have an extremely popular blog. The big earners are loved by Google and Alexa. Most don't make that much. By the middle of June, I will have made just over $100, in a 6 months of using them. And a good portion of the opportunities require non-LJ-hosted blogs.
That completely depends on the kind of writing you do that you think you can sell.
when i worked at a music distributor i was doing dvd and music reviews by request; they wanted me on the magazine staff but as i had just received a promotion i couldn't go over. i would love to do that sort of writing still, although i recognize that it's not exactly an empty market.
You could find out if there are any other moms who would like someone to pick their kids up from school and watch for a few hours so *they* dont have to leave work early.
most of the kids in my complex ride the bus and run around outside afterward. half of their parents don't get home until after 5; most likely next year i'll be doing something similar, if i can get myself used to the idea (which frankly scares me).
This seems so cliched, but what about medical transcription work? Or any transcription work, for that matter.
I second this suggestion. My cousion did that so she could be a stay at home mom.
You don't tell us what you do for a living already.. and this is very much dependent on that.. but since you have an understanding and reasonable boss.. is there anything that he needs being done that you could possibly do by telecommuting?
i'm a finance assistant, which means i process payroll, reconcile pety cash accounts, and do pretty much anything anyone throws at me and says "can you help with this?" i do have to be on-site quite a lot of the time, but they don't have a problem with me taking work home.
the simplest thing might be to do a little childcare for someone else during that time. you could also look into some editing work if you are interested in writing, or doing book reviews.
childcare = no. see previous answer ;p

editing! book reviews! yes! these are what i want to do! but... where do i look for them?
My post about emails/surveys -- I've never had any trouble with them, but they do take time to build up an account.

Also; Triond is one web-publishing site (They've published me twice [pimping] here and here [/pimping]). Again takes some time, depending on what you write, to build up the money. If you're looking for hard-copy/magazine try:

E-zine Genre listing
S-F reader.com
This one is actual book publishers

Also; try craigslist in your area (or even out of the area, since you never know what you'll find). Look under both 'gigs' and 'jobs'. Sometimes they classify their ads oddly for writers (or at least my local one does). If you have any questions about my post or the sites listed, feel free to ask.
bless you, this is exactly what i was looking for. i do surveys too, although it seems to be feast or famine (i've had a mysurvey account for 3 years and only JUST got 6000 points in my account - and i answer every survey they throw at me!).

i searched craigslist for my area (charlotte) as well as NYC today, reasoning that if it's work-from-home location won't matter that much, if that makes sense.
It's been a while since I checked this site so I've no idea how up to date it is now.

BTW, have you checked out how much after school childcare would cost? It might be worth the money in order to work a few more hours... also, if you are low income it isn't impossible there will be some sort of government subsidy?

While you are home, is there anything you can do with that time that you aren't already doing to reduce costs? I'm thinking cooking, mending etc.
aftercare through our school for 2 kids works out to $600/mo for before and after school. if you're thinking "ouch," that's exactly what i thought. i tried but there is just no way.

i'm on the list for the subsidy. the current list goes back to august. 2005. yikes!

i try and think of things i could do, but the food situation is pretty well in hand (i'm big on leftovers) and they only seem to tear the knees out of their jeans, which makes them shorts, heh. i mean i could CLEAN, but who wants to do that?
My friend does book and movie reviews on http://www.associatedcontent.com/. I'm not sure how much they pay but it might help to bring in some extra money.

As someone else mentioned, surveys can help. Since you said you didn't have much luck with mysurvey.com, try surveyspot.com. You can make a decent amount of money in just a few weeks.
AC's pay is frankly pretty crappy. I tend to get about $7 on a non-exclusive piece.

However, they'll also accept work that is not super-duper polished, so you could do okay churning out a few quick articles a week.
here's a question to reverse things a bit:

is there anything you can be doing in those few hours to reduce the money you spend elsewhere in your life? For example, could you do menu planning, cook batch dinners, repair stuff, etc that would reduce your expenses in some way?
not really. menu planning only takes a few minutes; almost anything i cook is instant leftovers; the only thing i tend to buy fresh and pre-cook veggie-wise is greens. there isn't much to repair that i am qualified to fix (by this i mean the xbox 360 that was a gift and the dvd player). we really have minimal expenses: rent, car, insurance, utilities. no cable, and i'm doing what i can by going without AC to reduce the electric.
depending on how morally acceptable these options are to you:
'sample' college and high school essays, adult phone/chat services...
sad as it seems i would have less of a problem helping high schoolers cheat their way through high school than i would doing adult phone erm... things. also with the spawn running around i wouldn't want them bursting in on something erm... yeah.
Might want to check out www.wahm.com if you haven't already. (Not that I'm a mom, but I do prefer to work at home to facilitate fiction-writing, my not exactly lucrative choice of profession.) Haven't had a lot of luck with that site yet, but your mileage may vary.
suite101.com is hiring freelance writers at the moment. I'm sending in my application once I have more articles.