It’s that awkward age… the one where kids are becoming more independent and responsible, but aren’t old enough to get a “real job.”
If we think back to the ways we made money as kids, I am sure memories and ideas start streaming in.
So what was the first way you earned money outside of chores?
My husband and his sister used to sell cracked walnuts from their orchard. I personally sold pecans I picked up myself to my own mother when I was in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. Both are great examples of learning to earn money for kids because they are providing not just a product, but a service to someone else.
So the next time your kids are begging you to buy them something new, why not suggest that they earn their own money and buy it themselves? Or, if what they want is expensive, you can offer to pay for half, but only if they can earn the other half.
This will not only teach them a lesson in budgeting and earning money, it will also encourage them to be creative in thinking about how they will earn their money. And it’s just one other tool to add to your intentional parenting arsenal. You will set them up for success by building their entrepreneurial skills early on.
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4 Ways to Help Your Tweens and Upper Elementary Kids Earn Money
Sit down with your child and discuss possible money making ideas. They may like your ideas or it may give them ideas of their own.
Of course, you want to encourage them to save their money as well. And when they have to earn it themselves, it will teach them the value of money and make them more aware of how it has to be earned before it can be spent.
Set up a re-sell snack shop
Even when I was in first and second grade, my parents and I worked together to buy snacks in bulk for me to sell for a profit to local kids.
And what a great concept to teach our kids. That if we buy a bulk box of candy like this Hershey’s variety pack for around $12.50 and sell each piece for $1.00, then they come out on top with an extra $5.50 in their pocket or 44% profit.
It doesn’t have the be the traditional lemonade stand, but can be whatever your child knows will sell to friends and neighborhood kids. It can be done during garage sales, special events, or even on a regular basis.
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Help a neighbor clean out their garage or attic
People are always putting this project off because it’s hard work and no one wants to help them. But there are probably several people close by who would pay someone to help with this daunting task.
Your child can offer to help sort and pack boxes to get everything organized. Or even just stand by to take pictures and post “unwanted items on local for sale and for free sites.
They can charge by the hour, the project or even offer to split the proceeds if the neighbor is going to sell their junk at a yard sale or online.
Pet sitting and dog walking
I remember very vividly dog sitting in 4th grade and babysitting in 5th grade and beyond. To think I was a baby watching babies is slightly terrifying, but I took so much pride and joy in it, even getting certified in CPR.
So sometimes the idea of having your child work isn’t just about money, but it’s also about learning how to take pride in a job or care for a pet to learn the needs of another living being.
If your neighbors work long hours and can’t always make it home to care for their pet by a certain time, this is a great opportunity for an animal loving child. They can offer to walk the neighborhood dogs after school, feed them if necessary and even take care of them over the weekend if the owner is going out of town.
Offer to help with seasonal tasks
This could be raking leaves, shoveling snow, planting flowers, cleaning out gutters, or watering the garden. Find neighbors that could use an extra helping hand and/or will be out of town.
They’re tasks many people don’t want to take on by themselves. Or even at all! Or in the case of maintaining a garden, they don’t want to lose their hard work and investment into their plants while on vacation.
This makes it a great opportunity for your child to make some extra money on the weekends or snow days from school. And if you’re really working to instill responsibility in them, encourage them to collect their own supplies so they don’t even have to ask to borrow a shovel, watering can, or other tool.
It teaches business startup costs and helps motivate kids to earn their money back.
Maybe they even have to take out a “parent loan” to purchase them in the first place.
Plus, an upside to this idea is that for bigger tasks, they can even bring along a friend or two to help and split the earnings as long as they understand that while fun can happen, work is first priority.
Whatever your child decides to do to make some extra dough, help them print flyers that they can hand out in the neighborhood. If you have a neighborhood Facebook Group, post a message. Make sure all your neighbors know how to contact your child if they need some extra help.
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!