5 Ways for Kids to Earn Money this Summer
I like to think that I don’t just give my kids everything they ask for and want. My husband and I make a conscious effort to try to teach them the value of money and the feeling of accomplishment that they get when they have worked hard to earn money—and then saved up to buy something that they really wanted, like iPods.
Ok, I admit that I am a bit of a softy when it comes to buying them “small things” or even a package of overpriced Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo cookies—you know, the packages that are like half the size of a regular package of Oreo’s but still the same price!
But for me, being able to tell the kids “no” was not always easy—especially during the toddler stage. Every mother knows that when you tell a toddler “no” in the middle of the store, tears start falling and the wailing ensues as though the child is actually in some sort of real pain. It’s a meltdown in the middle of the store. Shopping is over. Whatever you came to the store for needs to already be in the cart because it’s time to check out.
At least this gets better when they get older. Now, instead of the total meltdown, it’s just an over-exaggerated, dramatic whine, “We never get anything we want!” But at least now, they understand—money doesn’t just magically appear in daddy and mommy’s wallets—it has to be earned.
We are about one month into summer break already. So to keep the kiddos from getting restless, here are a few ways that they can stay busy, be productive, and even earn a little spending money:
Every year, we have a big garage sale and the boys sort through toys that they want to get rid of and sell them for a few extra bucks. But their big ticket money at the garage sale comes from the snacks that they sell: water, pop, cookies, and chips. We buy it at Sam’s Club, figure out how much each item actually costs, and sell them for $0.50 each—then they figure out their profit. Earning money and a little math lesson too. Win-win.
Mowing lawns during the summer can be a great source of income for older kids or even teens. There may be many neighbors that are willing to pay your kid to mow the lawn each week. This can be a great service to elderly people or even for families that are busy with work or summer sports and just don’t have a lot of time to keep up with the lawn—your kids can make money and they would probably charge a lot less than an actual lawn service, so it is a savings for those utilizing the service too. Another win-win.
If your kids aren’t big enough to handle the lawn mower, offering to pull weeds can be a nice little gig. A few years ago, two boys went around our neighborhood offering to pull weeds for whatever people were willing to pay. I have to say, I appreciate their ingenious summer business endeavor. And they probably made a lot of money too.
Make Items to Sell Online
Of course, mom or dad will have to help with this one, but it you open an Etsy shop, have an account on Ebay, or other online store, you can sell, literally, anything. From hair bows to headbands, friendship bracelets to survival bracelets, to hand-painted mugs, the sky is the limit for creativity—and potential income.
Do Extra Chores
I am really not very big on just giving kids money to do stuff they are expected to do. Cleaning up toys, making the bed, helping with laundry—that is just stuff that I want my kids to do because it must be done and I want them to learn responsibility. However, maybe there are some “big” projects that you can give them to do in addition to their regular household chores: helping clean out the garage, painting the shed, or re-organizing the storage area of the basement.