The first thing to do is check with your current employer. Is it possible to do the work you do now from home? If not, think of other possibilities. It may be possible to step down and take a different role at work, or share the job with someone else. Be sure to form a plan before presenting it to your boss. Working from home will have to benefit your employer in some way too. Some things that benefit your employer include paying you less, not paying for your health benefits, and having more space for other employees. If your spouse has health benefits, consider giving up your benefits and going to an hourly wage; this will be an attractive solution to your employer. You'll also have to specify that you'll be able to meet your work goals and work unsupervised.
Before approaching your employer, decide how much you need to make, and whether it can be accommodated by working from home. Decide whether to adjust your earnings to your lifestyle or your lifestyle to your earnings. If you absolutely MUST make a certain amount each week just to pay the bills, figure out how much you need each week then adjust by the hours you have available. Keep in mind that you can't work round the clock, and it may be hard to get in a full day's work, especially if you have children and a house to maintain. Find a reasonable amount of hours you can work and divide by the money you need. This will tell you how much you need to make per hour, and will also give you an idea of what kind of jobs you can take. Consider all aspects of the job. If you write, for example, a low paying job may not sound like a good opportunity, but if it's something that can be done in less than 20 minutes, it may fit into your hourly wage goal after all. Conversely, a job that pays well may actually pay less per hour depending on how much research and templating needs to be done.
If it's possible to adjust your lifestyle to your earnings, do so. Cut out unneeded purchases, or save them for good months when you make more than expected.
Remember to account for work related expenses. How much do you spend on childcare, gas, clothing, lunch? Can you save money on these by working from home? Set a budget, but remember that there will be new expenses that go along with working from home, like increased heating and electricity and additional food purchases for at home lunches. You may also have business related expenses like office supplies, marketing and licenses. You also may want to have at least a part-time childcare arrangement to give you some time to work.
If you decide to get a new job working from home, one thing to realize is that you may make less than you do at your current job. It may be difficult to find an at-home job that affords the same salary and work schedule as an out of the house job. Most likely, you'll get paid only for the work you do, whether that's answering the phone, writing content, or working on projects.
Doesn't sound so bad, right? The problem is, you actually have to work and work steadily. Think about your out of the house job. Chances are, even if you're busy, you have time to make personal phone calls, take a break, maybe even do a little online shopping. If you work from home, all those things will take away from the time you work, and can decrease your earnings.
Hourly wage is something else to consider, especially if you're producing content like writing, graphic design, or web design. In an office job, most likely you get paid for the day or by the hour, whether it takes 2 hours or two weeks to produce an item. At home, you'll probably be paid by the project. If a $50 project takes 10 hours to complete, you'll be making less than minimum wage. But if you can do the job in an hour or two, these earnings may be acceptable.
If you can't meet your hourly wage with the at home job of your choice, you might need to consider other things; either look for a different job or add more income. One way to add income is with residual passive income streams.
Passive income streams include activities that make money, even after you've done the work, such as writing ebooks, doing affiliate marketing, and selling on eBay and other venues. Set aside time when you have no other work to do, or adjust your schedule to fit in some time to work on passive income. One idea is to work on passive income streams while you still work full-time out of the home - either in the evenings or while you're on vacation. The money you make can be used for savings or emergency funds, or used for big purchases at the end of the year.