Do you get frustrated when your kids ask for money or hound you to buy them the latest gadget? Most kids don't like to do chores, but learning how to work and save money is vital! It builds character, helps teach responsibility, and is one of the most important principles of personal finance. Although some work requires more maturity, there are jobs younger kids can do as well.
Open communication is a great way to to come up with ideas that will work for your child. As you plan ways your kid can make money think about what will motivate and bring success. Some important factors to consider :
- How old should your child be when they first start earning money?
- Are the kids learning helpful skills while making money?
- Are there jobs that your kids can do that already align with skills or hobbies they have?
- Are you/they selecting jobs that interfere with school or family time?
- Do these money making jobs require supervision or can they do them on their own (once they’ve learned how)?
Ways Kids Can Make Money (8 and up)
- Paper Route: This is a great way for them to learn responsibility and earn good money in a short period of time. Many papers are delivered before school even starts which can help with scheduling. Are you an early riser? This one will require your help to drive the kids around.
- Babysitting: This job works well for some pre-teens as well as into the high school years. See your own state's laws regarding babysitting for age requirements of both sitter and children being watched. This is done at the discretion of parents who feel these kids are capable enough.
- Helping the Elderly: Many older people enjoy the help and company of children. There are odd jobs that the elderly need help with. This is a rewarding way for your kids to help and make money.
- Pet Care: Pets need care, washing, walking, even training. These are great activities for kids--especially pet lovers! Pet owners can be busy and in need of help. Also, there are some pet owners who would rather pay a responsible kid to watch their animal than send them to a care facility when they go out of town.
- Mowing Lawns/Yard Work: This is a good way for kids to earn good money even though it's a seasonal job in many places. There are always people willing to outsource yard work to others. Along with mowing the lawns, they can make the yard look nice by pulling weeds, gardening, raking leaves, trimming bushes, etc. Considering the physical aspects of the job, this is probably appropriate for ages 12 and up.
- House Cleaning/Window Washing: There are many different cleaning projects that can be done around homes. Kids may have a chance to work extra chores for parents or help clean homes for other people. They can do a great job of cleaning windows by simply grabbing a rag, squirt bottle and squeegee.
- Collect Aluminum Cans: A pretty quick way to make a little extra is by grabbing aluminum cans around the house or checking with neighbors. Kids can help keep their environment clean and earn some money. The going rates for cans continually change, but opportunity is out there. Check your local listing for recycling centers. The more cans they can collect, the better the money.
- Lemonade Stand: This may be one of the oldest ways for kids to make money, but is still a good one. The overhead is low and most kids know how to do this on their own. This is a more seasonal job as lemonade doesn't do so well during the winter months. :-)
- Sell Stuff Online: You can always find stuff that you don’t need or use anymore that others want. You can help your kids sell stuff online (especially if you aren't that computer savvy). It is important that your kids receive parental supervision for this.
- Jobs on Craigslist: You can find any of the stuff listed here and more in the "Jobs" category on Craiglist. This can be an excellent tool to find work. Unfortunately, there are also scams, so you and your kids will need to be aware of those and other potential dangers.
- Tutoring: This is for responsible kids that will have the ability to see the challenges others are facing in their school subjects and help them to improve their skills. Kids could find possible opportunities by talking to their teachers, looking up postings on websites (Craigslist for example) or through the local newspaper.
- Photography: This could be an effective money maker for those who enjoy taking pictures. You might want to volunteer services at first to get a foot in the door. There are opportunities to take pictures for families, at weddings, for businesses, etc.
- Create/Design Websites: This type of work is in high demand. If your child is capable of doing this you can find friends, family, neighbors and businesses willing to pay good money to have this done. This may require parental supervision.
- Blogging: Even though this can be a challenging way to make money, it can also be creative and rewarding if you enjoy writing or can find a unique niche. If you treat it as a personal journal you probably won’t get many readers, but there are topics out there that people are eager to learn more about.
- Start an Online Business: This is related to selling stuff online. Almost everything is going online now. If your kid has items to sell or a niche idea to build on, you can help them to create their own online business they can do right from home.
- Crafts: If you enjoy making arts and crafts, you can sell them on websites like Etsy.com.
Ways More Mature Kids Can Make Money (14-18)
Ways Very Mature Kids Can Make Money (16-18)
Next Step ... Save
Learning to work is vital. The next step is to learn how to save. See the Money Manage for Kids template - a tool for helping to teach about banking and saving.