Whether your youngster is saving money for a brand new techno-toy or he wants some extra spending cash on your next family vacation, you can help him fill his piggy bank and feel proud of his accomplishment. While it might be difficult for your 12-year-old to make $300 all at once from a single task, you can help him brainstorm a variety of money-making ideas and teach him about financial goals, savings and hard work, too.
You can help your child reach her financial goal by offering a variety of seasonal services to friends, family and neighbors. During the warmer months, she can offer to trim lawns and plant or maintain gardens, and as the cooler weather rolls around, she can add leaf raking to her service roster. During the winter, she can bundle up and help to clear snow off of driveways and sidewalks for a fee. Work with your child to determine a fair price for each of the services and then help her spread the word with posters around the neighborhood and by word of mouth. In addition to yard work, your child can offer dog-walking services for neighbors who are unable to get out if you’re comfortable with the arrangement or pet-visiting services for friends and family who are out of town or at work during the day.
Clearing out some old stuff can contribute substantially toward the total amount of your child’s financial goal. Start by rummaging through the storage room and garage together to find old toys, clothing and books your child no longer uses. You can rummage through your own things to add items to the yard sale, too. Post signs throughout the neighborhood, set up tables and decide on a price for each item. There are also a variety of ways to help increase the profit from the yard sale at the end of the day. You and your youngster can bake before the big day and add a table full of goodies to sell or have your child make a variety of crafts to sell at the yard sale, such as friendship bracelets, Christmas ornaments and wooden craft stick picture frames. When the sale is over, help your child take the leftover items to a local charity.
Your child can earn money relatively quickly just by helping out around the house -- and you might actually get a few moments to relax at the end of a long day. You can make a list of chores that you are willing to let your child undertake for cash, such as taking out the trash, filling and emptying the dishwasher, washing the windows, vacuuming or sweeping the floors and putting away laundry. Assign a monetary value to each one, review the list with your child and help him choose some chores to get him started. If you’ve run out of chores and your child is still looking for more, suggest he give Grandma a call to see if she could use your kiddo’s services, cleaning the house and tidying up the yard, or encourage him to offer the same services to senior citizens in the neighborhood.
Odds & Ends
Encourage your child to help the environment while earning a little money, too, by recycling cans and bringing them to a facility that will pay for the returns. If your child has outgrown her old childhood storybooks, some secondhand bookstores will offer a small amount, such as 25 cents, for each book, and other secondhand shops will pay for old movies and video games. You can also help her sell her used items on online marketplaces or share her lemonade-making skills with a lemonade stand. You can also help your child offer her other skills for a fee, such as tutoring younger children, teaching computer skills or sharing her talents in piano, dance or other extracurricular activities. It might not help your child reach her goal quickly, but it will introduce her to banking, depositing and withdrawing money and earn her a little interest, too.
- The Young Investor: Projects and Activities for Making Your Money Grow; Katherine R. Bateman; 2010
- The Everything Kids' Money Book: Earn It, Save It and Watch It Grow!; Brette McWhorter Sember; 2008
- TeensHealth: 5 Tips for Teen Entrepreneurs
- Northwestern Mutual: How to Earn Money by Saving Money
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