Kids need to learn that money doesn’t grow on trees, but how do you teach them the importance of earning it on their own when they’re too young to work legally and you don’t want to pay them for chores? Seeking ideas, mom Shiloh J. asks, “What else besides chores would you do to help your child earn money?”
Tabitha M. is also seeking money-making suggestions, saying she has no problem with her 12-year-old daughter’s desire to earn money. “However, I don't believe a child should get paid for household chores. As a member of the house, we each have responsibilities. But she is also not old enough to legally work and I don't know of anyone she could do odd jobs for that I personally know and trust.” For ideas how your big kid can earn money, we turned to Circle of Moms for some tips.
1. Pay for Jobs, Not Chores
While you may disagree with the notion of paying your child to do her chores, there’s probably no shortage of other tasks around the house that you could use help with, and you can pay your child a small sum, to get done. Mom Denikka G. suggests finding tasks that aren’t part of your child’s normal chore list, like washing the car or raking the yard. “If you’re the one doing the dishes every night, have her do them and then pay her for the extra effort,” she says. She also suggests you can pay your child for tasks that don’t get done regularly, “such as cleaning and organizing the attic or basement.”
Catherine C. pays for “work around the house that is not expected to be done,” such as mowing grass, sweeping the garage, babysitting a younger sibling or doing dishes on a night that is assigned to someone else. Meanwhile, Martha V. suggests paying your child to cook the family’s dinner one night.
Keep reading for more money-making ideas.
2. Ask Your Neighbors
When you run out of jobs within your own home, then have your child start asking neighbors you trust if they need help, too, Sarah C. says. “Maybe she could walk dogs, babysit, mow [the] lawn?” Older people who can’t get out and do their yard work on their own are more likely to pay a child to do the work, says Katie H.
3. Make a Profit in Sales
Leanne P. thinks back fondly to her childhood when she set up lemonade stands, shoveled driveways, and walked dogs, and suggests big kids can also create a “business” or develop something to sell to earn money.
Monica W. suggests collecting cans and bottles to recycle. “Or have a yard sale and have him go through old toys and such. [It] kills two birds with one stone: [Your child gets a] clean room and a little extra money,” she says. Or if you live in a rural area, Amanda Y. says you could consider getting some chickens. “We sell our eggs for $1 a dozen. My kids love doing this! Everybody loves farm fresh eggs,” she says.
4. Pay for Volunteerism
Finally, if you just want your child to understand the value of hard work and being charitable, then it’s OK to pay your child for volunteerism, Bobbi V. says. “Make him or her volunteer at a shelter for the poor or old people cleaning bed pans or helping in the kitchen at school. Yes, you will still have to pay him, but he or she will learn a valuable lesson [about] the value of money and what it takes to earn it.”