Babysitting and lemonade stands are a dime a dozen these days. Here are some newer ways your kids can earn some money and help them understand the value of money and hard work. Hopefully at least one of these eight ways will be new to you and will be something you can work together with your children to help them prepare themselves for the future.
1. Dog walking
Many dual-income families don’t have a lot of time to devote to their pets. Your teen could be in charge of taking the dogs for a walk in the middle of the day during the summer or after school during the year. They could even pet sit while a family is away.
Teens can help younger kids with their homework by helping answer questions. Little things like multiplication and long division can be tricky for kids just learning, but a teen can not only help them understand, but the practice can help him master it if he hasn't already.
Mothers with several young children are often stretched too thin just taking care of the kids. Having a little help each day to do things like clean the dishes, dusting picture frames, and washing windows could take a lot of pressure off of mom and leave more time for dad to spend time with the kids when he gets home.
4. Basic house sitting
Most teenagers would be capable of doing the little things while someone is away: turning on the lights at night, feeding the pets, retrieving the mail, etc. A family would be willing to pay for having that peace of mind while they are away.
5. Lawn and garden care
When I was a teen, I mowed the neighbor’s lawn every now and then. After marrying my wife, I mowed her grandparent’s lawn each week until we moved away. They were always very appreciative and paid me more than what I felt I had earned, even after my attempts to refuse payment. But why stop at mowing the lawn? Your kids can weed and fertilize the garden and water the flowers to earn a few extra bucks. Raking leaves in the fall and shoveling snow in the winter make this a year-round opportunity.
6. Private lessons
If your teen is good at art, playing a musical instrument, or sports, he or she could make a little money sharing her talents with others while also further honing them. It’s also cheaper than hiring a professional.
7. Personal Assistant
A responsible child could run errands like picking up the dry cleaning, do quick grocery shopping trips, mailing letters and packages, or fetch lunch orders for a small business. Have your teen ask what potential clients would need help with. Many would be willing to offload some of their tasks and pay a little to have someone else do them.
What are some ways you or your children have earned extra money in the past?
People love cute kids. Chances are if a cute kid comes to my door selling anything of value, I’ll probably buy it. My sister-in-law baked cookies and sold them to her friends at school. A friend picked fresh berries and sold them door-to-door. You can help your kids make crafts and sell them to friends and neighbors. There is no shortage of things your kids can sell, and it’s a good way for them to learn how to do it.
Ben lives with his wife, Kilee, and dog, Paisley, in Arkansas. He has a passion for personal finance, sports, and learning. Ben recently started a blog at www.wealthgospel.com where you can find more of his opinions on personal finance. His life goals are to write about personal finance all day and start a non-profit organization to help others become self-reliant and to find their true potential. On any given day, you could find him eating homemade salsa, picking blackberries, or staying up until 3 a.m. to finish a book.