Kids and Holiday Giving: 6 Ways to Make Money

by Andy Hough

The following is a guest post by Lisa @ Car Insurance Comparison, a personal finance blog which offers money saving tips and guidelines.

Earning money at a relatively young age can help teach a number of life lessons. Learning responsibility and the value of money begin the journey toward becoming financially capable – and financially stable. If your child or teen is ready to move forward toward becoming fiscally fit, for some of the following ideas might be good ways for them to earn some cash for the holidays – and perhaps even to budget for the future.
1. Work at Home
While most kids aren’t ready to enter the freelance world just yet, laundry and other household chores are great ways to start earning a bit around the house. This is something that will clearly pay off as well, as – unfortunately – they will need to learn these basic things sooner or later. From the washing machine to the dishwasher, these represent a field of enterprises that are rather simple and easy.
2. Babysitting
Once your child reaches the appropriate age, he or she may consider babysitting for a little extra cash. One way to decide whether your child is responsible enough – and emotionally ready – to earn money babysitting, if to offer to sign him or her up for a Red Cross Babysitting Class. Kids who balk at acquiring the skills necessary to care for younger children may not be ready for the task at hand. If they do prove to be ready and responsible, start within the family and good friends, and then maybe extend from there. And be sure to check the laws: some U.S. states regulate babysitting and work (i.e. minimum wage and employment laws for 20+ hours a week.)
3. Any Old Toys?
Maybe your child has some toys that they don’t play with any longer. If he or she wants to buy new ones, perhaps it’s time to go the yard sale route. That is a cost-effective way to earn money for a trip to the store, or for pre-teens, a good way to weed out their never-used childhood toys and get money for the new items of importance: posters, jewelry, clothing, entertainment, and room décor.
4. Yard Work
You might remember the old days: mowing the yard early on Saturday morning, listening to your portable tape player and headphones. Well, some pastimes can be passed down from generation to generation, and this area is no exception. From moving the lawn to helping with mulch and other tasks, your child can do some work and enjoy the nice weather.
Once your son or daughter has a good grasp of how to use the mower, trimmer, and such, perhaps this could be a way for him or her to earn some spending money. Setup a schedule for the yard work and the older child will be on the way to a regular job, so to speak.
5. The World of Cleaning
This is a catch-all word that could be good for many ages: cleaning.
Think of all the things that can be cleaned around and outside of the house. Younger children could start with the more simple items, such as dusting surfaces and their own room – to the delight of their parents. However, there is plenty of room for more advanced items, like cleaning the family pet or washing/detailing the car. Neighbors may pay to have their own cars cleaned or detailed – or their garages organized.
6. Summer Jobs
Teenagers will sooner or later want a “real job.” Or, to put it more precisely, they will want the monetary benefits that come with having a traditional job of some kind.
Summer jobs offer a great way to start the resume. A teen might consider some of the usual options, such as fast food or the general service industry, or see what else is out there, such as helping out at a camp – and eventually working during the summer as a camp leader. As a parent, you also might encourage an internship; even though these opportunities aren’t paid, it would offer great work experience.
Keep in mind: when kids get jobs, and are under the driving age, the transportation issue may fall into your hands. In the summer months, many can walk, bike, or even take the bus. In all, helping your child to learn a strong work ethic and solid money-management techniques is paramount to their successful adulthood.
How do your kids earn money around the house or in the community? Have you found that the economy has created less of a niche market for kids who have the desire to work? Share your thoughts here!

Guillermo Weaver January 17, 2013 at 1:56 am

Washing Cars – Folks always need the old bucket of bolts cleaned and many would rather pay a kid to do it than a commercial car wash. Have your child develop a specific list of tasks to be completed with each car wash – clean windows, vacuum the interior, wash the floor mats and clean out the trunk for starters. Front your child money for detergent and glass cleaner, grab that flannel shirt left over from your school days, and your kid is ready for business.

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