Help your kids earn money for themselves in person and online. Learning basic money skills is so important and here are some ways to introduce these essential life lessons.
Growing up I was the kid that was always trying to find ways to earn an extra buck. I would do extra chores on the weekend, babysit for neighbors, and organize garage sales. I loved to look at what other people were doing around me to earn money and try to figure out how I could replicate it. This led to me competing with school fundraisers by selling my own frozen cookie dough, to me buying the large boxes of Costco candy bars and reselling them to friends and family for a profit.
While these side jobs never made me rich like I thought they would, they taught me really important life skills: Hard work, saving, trying new things, sales, etc.
There are so many opportunities nowadays to earn money as a kid. Now is the perfect time to start teaching your kids how to earn money for themselves and develop a healthy relationship with money.
With past experiences and research, I’ve come up with a large list of ways that kids can earn money for themselves. Some of these may include initial investments and extra help on your part, but I’m positive you’ll find a few ideas that will be a great fit for your child and situation.
Know a neighbor, friend, or family member with small kids? I’m sure they would love a break or even some extra help now and then. At around 12 years old is when kids are usually capable of caring for younger children. This however depends a lot on the ages of the children they are watching. Make sure that both sides are comfortable with the arrangement.
Tip: A great way to set yourself apart from other babysitters is to clean up around the house. Simply doing the dishes and picking up the playroom can make you stand out from the crowd.
If your child loves pets, this might be the best way for them to learn how to earn money for themselves while also enjoying the work. I can almost guarantee that you have a few neighbors that have pets. Offer to have your child feed and care for their pet while they are on vacation or to even take their pet on some extra walks during the week.
If you do not have a pet of your own or are not sure if your child can handle this job, offer to supervise them until they have a better understanding of what is expected of them.
Mowing laws is something that most people don’t like to do, but typically it needs to be done once a week for at least half of the year. If you already have a lawnmower this may be a great side hustle for your child.
Make flyers and hand them out to neighbors to see if any of them want that extra help. It’s possible to make around $30 per lawn, but make sure to charge more if their yard is large or they are having you do both front and back yards.
Tip: Offer extras like pulling weeds, trimming trees and bushes, or even cleaning up dog poop.
If your child isn’t looking for a consistent flow of cash but wants to earn a lot over a weekend, maybe suggest hosting a car washing event. Create some signs, gather up some friends and supplies, and get to washing.
This side hustle takes a lot of initial work and investment but can teach your kid how to care for other animals. You’ll need to purchase some chickens, a coop, and feed. Buying organic is becoming even more popular so it will be easy to find customers to buy eggs once you get started.
This is a great side job for little children as they can help you gather the eggs in the morning, feed and clean up for the chickens, and make deliveries.
This is a great way to not only introduce hard work into your child’s life but also teach them the value of their possessions. Gather all of your no longer used items, set out signs, and host a yard sale. Have your child be in charge of marketing, money, and negotiations to help them learn a lot of basic life skills.
Let your neighbors know that your child is responsible and looking to care for homes while neighbors are on vacations. Your child can water plants, pick up mail/packages, feed pets, and put out trash bins.
All of these services can be monetized and I’m sure many of your neighbors would appreciate the comfort of knowing their house is taken care of when they are gone.
If your child is good at school and loves to teach others this would be the perfect side job for them. Put up flyers at school or even let classes know that your child is offering tutoring sessions for harder subjects.
Tip: If your child scored high on their ACT’s or SAT’s, they can offer study help to others to help them earn a good score as well.
Have a child that can drive but doesn’t have enough time in their day for a real job? Picking up kids from daycare, shopping, or doing laundry are all services that your child can offer to family, friends, and neighbors for a price. Or you can find services that are taking up your time and have your child help you out for pay.
If your child is very creative or loves to decorate this is a great money maker for them. I recently planned my daughter’s first birthday, and it was a lot of work. When it comes to the theme, food, and decorations it can get pretty overwhelming. I would have paid a lot to have someone else take over the planning and I’m sure others would do the same.
Your child would love to be a referee for a sport that they are into, and may already be spending that time each day playing that sport. If they have a specific sport that they are very interested in and skilled at, they may enjoy refereeing for games. This may be a great idea also if they have younger siblings in the league and they can referee and support their brother/sister at the same time.
When the holidays come around, gifts that need to be wrapped start to quickly add up. Buy some extra wrapping paper and supplies and have your child wrap their sibling’s gifts and others. Offer these services to family and friends that would appreciate the extra free time during the holidays. Make sure to set a rate per gift wrapped and label the gifts correctly.
This may be the perfect job for kids to do with their extra time during the school break.
There are so many different websites that will pay for you to take surveys. Have your child sign up for a few and do them during their free time or while watching a show. Here is a list of a few of them:
This is a great way to earn money that has a lot of flexibility on how much you do and earn. Look at my other post on photography for more details.
Tip: Look into your child’s school and see if they offer a photography class that they can sign up for.
If your child loves to thrift shop and find deals they will love this way to earn some extra cash. Many people make a good living buying and relisting items. Trial and error, along with some research will help them find what category they should focus on. eBay, OfferUp, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace are places to list items for sale.
Many kids are earning money through curating content on YouTube nowadays. Have your child create their channel and base it on something they are passionate about and can stick to. Successful channels are usually advertising toys, playing games, and/or showing crafts.
We wrote a separate post on how to start a blog and I strongly recommend looking it over if this is something your child might want to do for themselves. While blogging does take a lot of time and effort, it can be very rewarding. With blogging, you have a lot of control and the opportunity to get creative. Read our post here to figure out if it’s a good match.
Your child might already be crafty and make items that they can list and sell on Etsy, and if not, a short search on Etsy will show you the endless items that they could make. What’s great about this side job is that there are a variety of crafts that people sell (woodworking, beading, welding, etc) and any child could find something they are interested in making.
Helping your child learn how to earn and manage money is one of the most important life skills that you can give them. Not only will they be presented with many opportunities to spend, save, invest, and earn money in their youth, but they will constantly be making decisions around money once they move out and are on their own. The sooner you can start introducing smart money practices into their lives, the better.
Here are some valuable money lessons that every child should learn:
These lessons can be taught in many ways and it’s up to you and your family with how you want to teach your children these lessons. As a child, I was introduced to these topics by my parents through a variety of activities and responsibilities. I’ll list a few of these ideas that I plan to use in the future with my daughter.
Have a family “bank account” where your child stores their money. Encourage them to save by giving interest on top of their savings if they keep money in that account for a certain amount of time. Have them be in charge of keeping track of what they earn and spend.
Include your child in your budgeting and give them responsibilities. I.e. Give them a budget for the groceries for the week. Have them help you plan the week’s menu and purchase all of the food needed for that week while staying within that budget.
Give your child the responsibility of purchasing certain needs or wants for themselves. Slowly increase their responsibilities as they get older. This can include clothes, entertainment, gas, etc. Encourage and support them in finding ways to earn, save, and spend responsibly.