Real Money Making Ideas for Pre-Teens and Teens
By Kimberly Blaker | Contributor
An important aspect of helping kids develop into responsible adults is teaching them the value and rewards of hard work and earning their own money. Through this they gain self-esteem, come to understand the real value of a dollar, and become more thoughtful in the way they spend money. Share the list below with your pre-teen or teen for a broad range of ways they can cash-in this summer.
The grass is always greener
What better way to soak up the sun, get fit, and make spare cash all at once, than mowing lawns? Create some fliers, and be sure to mention that you live in the neighborhood. (Don’t forget your phone number!) Include your fees based on yard size, keeping them below the cost of professional services. Deliver the fliers to the homes in your neighborhood, lodged between doorknobs or tucked under mats. Never place anything in mailboxes.
Too old for toys and games?
If so, clean out those you’ve outgrown, and hold a sale. Make a cardboard or wooden sign to attract neighborhood kids and passersby, lay out blankets in your front yard, and spread out your goods. Keep your prices reasonable, and don’t forget a 25-cent box filled with odds and ends.
Are you old enough to stay home alone? If so, you may be ready to care for other children. Spread the word through family, friends, and neighbors. When babysitting, play games and do activities with the kids, and avoid talking on the phone or watching TV. Parents love sitters that keep their children busy. Also, don’t forget to clean up and wash dirty dishes.
A little dirt never hurt
Garage cleaning is a big chore, especially for the elderly. So, offer your services to relatives and neighbors. When you get a job, be thorough, and move everything into the driveway or yard before you begin. Remove cobwebs with a broom, sweep ledges and the garage floor, and then hose the garage floor (with permission) to loosen ground-in dirt. When it’s dry, neatly arrange everything back into the garage.
Life’s a zoo
Pet owners who don’t like to kennel are often in a dilemma at vacation time. Pass out fliers in your neighborhood, and offer to pet sit. Do the sitting in your home, garage, or fenced yard, if your parents agree. Otherwise, make regular visits to the pet’s home. Be responsible, and do exactly as the pet owner instructs, for both your safety and the pet’s.
Are weeds taking over your neighbors’ flowerbeds? Then offer to get them back into shape. Before you get started, find out which are plants or flowers that have not yet bloomed. When in doubt, ask before you pull them. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and hose the ground lightly to loosen roots. Pull weeds from rock beds, shrubbery, and cement cracks. Then dispose of them properly.
Dollars for duds
Have you hit another growth spurt? Ask your parents if you can consign your gently-used clothing and split the profits. Look for consignment shops under “resale,” “clothing – used,” or “consignment.” Find out their policies, and then get your clothing ready. Wash and dewrinkle, then hang or fold neatly. Don’t forget shoes, jackets, and pajamas, too.
Errands for the elderly
Are there handicapped, disabled, or elderly persons in your neighborhood? If so, they’re apt to need some help. Offer to run errands within walking or biking distance. Attach a basket to your bike or carry a backpack for easy transporting. If you have your driver’s license, offer to do longer distance runs.
Who’s walking whom?
If you’re looking for a new summer pal, why not make it man’s best friend? Pass out fliers to offer your pet walking services.
Make it shine
Round up your friends, and get ready for some cool, wet fun! Hold a car wash in your driveway or in a parking lot with permission from the property owner. Make a large colorful sign, and include your price. Have your supplies handy: a bucket of soapy water, rags or sponges, a hose, and plenty of dry towels.
If sunbathing is your thing, then this is the job for you! Find out the age and certification requirements for lifeguard duty, and then apply at a community pool, YMCA, or country club. While keeping an eye on swimmers and soaking up the sun, keep your skin safe by using a good sunscreen.
Do you love little kids? I mean lots of little kids? Then contact daycare centers and home daycare providers, and find out if they’re in need of a young assistant. Tasks may include assisting with crafts and activities, reading stories, helping with lunch and snacks, and cleaning up.
Tips for business success
Follow these tips to keep the loot rolling in and to play it safe.
*Get your parents’ permission before accepting a job, and make sure they know where you’ll be.
*Dress appropriately for the job, and wear old clothes if they could be ruined.
*Discuss payment in advance to avoid disputes or hard feelings.
*Do your best. Not only will you earn respect and feel good about yourself, but it will likely affect whether you are hired again and if you can get a positive reference.
*If you make a mistake, don’t ignore it or try to cover it up. Inform your employer, offer your apologies, and ask what can be done. Your honesty will likely make your employer overlook the error.
*Be on time. Call right away if you’ll be late or can’t make it.