When it comes to making serious dough, okay, yes, adults may have an advantage over kids. Even so, that doesn’t mean kids have no earning power at all. In fact, the earlier you can get your kids into the work-for-pay game, the more prepared they’ll likely be in terms of good financial management. Financial education for kids can start with simple jobs, expanding as your children develop.
- Vacant house duties – Who hasn’t gone on vacation and needed someone responsible to come over and at least water the plants? Your child might be able to make some decent cash by making arrangements with others to handle tasks such as checking on pets, collecting delivered mail or newspapers, scooting over to mow the lawn or just double check that all windows and doors are still locked and secure. The best times for kids to look for this type of work include the summer and holiday breaks when people tend to be on the move, but some homeowners may need these simple services at other times during the year based on their work schedules or second home living preferences.
- Tech support – Technology is wonderful—when you know how it works, that is. The modern generation of kids are more tech-savvy than ever, with kids using computers, mobile devices, video game systems and peripheral office, audio and visual equipment regularly. If your child has a knack for technology, suggest that he show other people how to connect particular hardware, install or set up specific applications, or demonstrate the features hardware or software has available. More adults are looking for this kind of help given that computers and mobile devices are becoming so integrated in business and social networking. Really excellent tech guru kids might even be able to move on to other tasks such as putting together Power-point presentations, videos or other media files for people who have tech expertise but not enough time.
- Shopping – Here’s an earning suggestion just about any kid will pounce on. Your child might be able to take simple lists from others and go purchase the items on the list from various stores or online. A good place to start is the elderly, who might not be able to drive or who might have physical mobility issues. Kids also can look into “secret” shopping. For this job, businesses pay people to shop and then have the shoppers report back on the merchandise, customer service or overall shopping experience. Some companies that do secret shopping don’t provide wages but do provide a shopping stipend and let shoppers keep whatever they buy. Shopping jobs are best for kids who are old enough to have a driver’s license, but they still work for those who can buy online or who are able to visit shopping centers regularly with an adult.
- Chores – Most kids resist doing chores—kids naturally want to play instead of work, and that’s not necessarily a fault. Still, children are a little more motivated to take some responsibility around the house if they see a return other than simple tidiness. Try paying your child a small wage for each chore they complete. If they have time and want to earn more money, suggest they branch out to doing chores for others who might be limited physically or with time. This job is a great stepping stone to performing vacant house duties.
- Organizing/cleaning – Women and men alike know the frustration of cluttered garages, unfinished scrapbooks, a lack of storage space or a dirty living area. Your child can offer to tackle these projects for others at a fraction of the cost of professional maids or organizers. What’s more, she’ll learn to think critically about what method of cleaning or organization is best.