Giving your children the opportunity to make their own money is a great way to help them learn sound money management skills. Proper money management skills are something every child can benefit from learning and the best way to develop these skills is to encourage your children to begin earning their own money. Your child does not need to go out and get a part time job in order for this to happen ñ they may be too young for that yet or you might simply like them to start small. There are many safe and easy ways for your children to start earning money and, by doing so, they can increase their self-confidence and begin to develop financial awareness and money management skills.
Ways for Young Children to Earn Money
Stands and Bake Sales
For many people, lemonade stands and bake sales are a staple in childhood memories and they are great ways for younger children to earn money. All you need to do is set up a card table at the end of your driveway or on your front lawn and provide your children with a pitcher of lemonade and maybe a plate of fresh-baked cookies. Be sure to keep an eye on your children while they are outside ñ perhaps get a little yard work done or just set up a lawn chair and settle down with a good book.
Many parents give their children an allowance and if you want your children to develop strong money management skills you should encourage them to earn their allowance by performing chores around the house. Younger children are capable of cleaning up their rooms, feeding pets, and setting the table. These chores will help children to feel as if they have a special role to fill and they will be able to earn a little spending money.
I use children’s chore cards at my house as an incentive for my children to do chores around the house.
I use a simple 3×5 index card. At the top is their name and that week’s date. Below the date is a list of chores your child is capable of achieving and the amount they are paid each time they perform that specific chore.
I selected the chores based on realistic goals for their ages. For example, my nine year old can do more than my six year old and my three year old can do the least of all. This means that the tasks vary.
The earnings for each task reflect on hard the task is. For example, when you take out the kitchen trash or the recycling it is easy. They close up the bag and throw it into our garbage holder in the garage. It takes less than 1 minute making it worth .25. Also, this is a job just for my nine year old, because my six year old is too short. However, the upstairs trash is different. There are many little trash cans to dump into one bag and then haul down stairs and then it will be taken out to the garbage bin. This task takes more time and energy. My kids can use team work and each make .75 cents.
Ways for Creative Children to Make Money
If you have kids that can’t stop crafting, these ideas are for you.
Craft Fairs and Farmer’s Markets
If your child is very creative and loves to undertake craft projects then you might consider renting a booth at a local craft fair or farmerís market. Check with a few of your local churches to see if they have any of these events coming up and encourage your child to start making things to sell ñ seasonal items like Christmas ornaments are always a hit at craft fairs. If you want, you can supplement your childís projects with some baked goods.
Start an Etsy Online Store
Etsy.com is a website like eBay but specifically designed for handmade wares. If your child is adept at sewing or is capable of making products that might be likely to sell you might consider creating an Etsy.com store. Etsy.com is very easy to use and does not require any monthly fees ñ you only pay $.40 per item listing in addition to a small percentage of the revenue when an item sells.
Tips for Older Kids to Earn Cash
Children in middle school and high school can make a decent amount of money by babysitting for friends and relatives. Simply let your friends and relatives know that your child is available to babysit and the calls will come flooding in. Before you allow your child to babysit for anyone, however, be sure that you know and trust the family for whom they will be sitting and obtain contact information before letting your child go.
Providing tutoring services is another great way for children to earn money ñ it also helps them to further their own education by practicing the skills they have learned and by teaching others. Tell your friends and family that your child is available for tutoring or give your childís name to the school as an available tutor.
House Sitting and Pet Sitting
Watering plants for a neighbor on vacation or stopping by to walk and feed a friendís dog is another great way for older children to earn money. If your child does not like to do chores around the house he or she may feel differently about performing these tasks for a neighbor or friend if monetary compensation is involved.
There are many ways for children to earn their own money and it is a good idea to encourage them to do so. It is important for children to learn responsibility and good money management and providing them with an opportunity to earn their own income is a good way to do just that.
Whatever means your child chooses to go about earning money, make sure to tell him or her that you are proud of their efforts. Supervise your children to ensure their safety as they take on jobs inside or outside the home, but give them the freedom to do with their earned income what they choose. After all, that is how they will learn how to manage money properly and by having the opportunity to make mistakes and to experience success.