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Mom’s ‘Family for Hire’ Idea Makes Cash and Connections

Lifestyle

Lisa Jackey with her children. | Image by NBC DFW

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A single mother in Plano, Texas, created her own “Family for Hire” business to make ends meet amid rising gas, housing, and food costs.

Lisa Jackey has three teenagers and an 11-year-old, and together all five have been offering services to other families in their neighborhood.

“Packing is one thing, yard work,” Jackey told NBC 5 on June 14. “Pulling weeds, planting flowers. My youngest loves to garden, so maybe someone needs a garden planted.”

According to Jackey, she wanted to make extra money while also helping and getting to know her neighbors.

“I just thought it would be a great way to cultivate community, to help my family do things together, and make some extra money,” she said.

Jackey posted an ad for her family’s services on the NextDoor app.

“There always has to be a couple of negative comments,” she told NBC 5. “People are like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening.’ But I know what my heart is, and I know that my heart goes beyond making money for my family. It also goes to strengthening the community.”

This sense of community is part of why Jackey says she can take less money for pay than many professional services.

“[If someone tells me] ‘I can’t afford this, but I can pay half,’ to me that’s not an insult,” she said. “If someone can pay me half, but it’s helping me, and I’m helping them, and I’m getting to know them, I think there’s much greater benefits that come of it.”

In February of this year, Jackey lost her corporate job and is currently working on a second doctorate degree while looking for more work. Jackey’s two teenage daughters are studying to get their driver licenses, and one recently applied for a lifeguard position.

Jackey said she has seen costs rise for many necessities.

“I have a gas water heater, and my gas has, like, tripled. Dog food — I just went today — and it was $16 more than I typically pay,” she told NBC 5.

Derrick Kinney, the host of the Good Money Podcast and a financial expert, also spoke to NBC 5 on June 14. He explained that North Texans could simplify their finances to face inflation. Kinney added that discussing and setting goals as a family is a good way to start.

“We know the average recession, if we go into one, typically lasts 12 to 15 months,” he told NBC 5. “We want to get very simple, very focused. That way, the family can work with you on finding ways to help you save money, make more money, but you’re going through this as a family and not by yourself.”

Offering specific advice on steps families can take, Kinney said, “What I suggest people do is what I call a ‘financial X-ray.’ On a sheet of paper, write down, ‘Here’s what I own, minus what I owe,’ and on the other side of the piece of paper, write down, “Here are my monthly expenses.’ What you want to do is focus on the highest, most impactful expenses you can cut or reduce.”

Kinney added that families should keep certain expenses, such as streaming subscriptions, if it helps them get through difficult months. By doing so, they can enjoy life “in the process,” he said.

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