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Six Ways Kids Can Earn Extra Money

Written by Ed Avis - 4 Comments

Six Ways Kids Can Earn Extra MoneyKids have earned money for generations by selling lemonade, walking neighbors’ dogs, and mowing lawns. Those ideas still work, but maybe your kids want something a little more clever or out-of-the-box. Here are six unconventional ways kids can make money.

Grow plants

Every spring homeowners around the country dig holes in their yards and insert plants… That they bought at the local garden and home center. There’s no reason they couldn’t have given that money to your kids for plants they grew in the basement over the winter.

There is some investment involved – seeds, potting soil, and plastic trays. And there is definitely work involved. But you don’t need to be a horticulturalist and own a greenhouse to grow plants from seed, and the experience of growing these plants will probably be more valuable to your kids than the money they earn from selling them to neighbors.

Cookies, cookies, cookies

Does your kid like to bake? There’s money in that skill. Here are two ideas: First, the next time you or anyone in your neighborhood has a garage sale, have your little baker set a table with cookies and lemonade. Garage sales attract people with money to spend, and they’ll be pleasantly surprised to see cookies available at the garage sale.

The second idea is more ambitious. All moms need cookies for lunches and class parties, and many don’t have time to bake. Your child can do that work for them, on demand. The neighborhood kids will benefit from homemade cookies, and your kid will benefit from a well-fed piggy bank.

Sports lessons

This one isn’t for every child, but if your teen son or daughter did well in sports at ages 6-8, he or she could capitalize on that skill. Many parents of T-ball players and little soccer stars are seeking an edge for their developing athletes. Professional coaches give lessons starting at $40 for half an hour; your kid could teach a young T-baller basically the same skills for half that.

Not all good players make good coaches, but if your child likes working with younger kids, sports lessons may be an enjoyable, satisfying way to earn a few dollars.

Tutoring

Does your son do well in math or English? Is your daughter a chess whiz or a first-chair clarinetist? If so, then they can take advantage of those skills by tutoring younger kids. Most people think of tutors as adults, but your child may have a better perspective on teaching young kids than an adult – who has probably been out of school for many years – does. And younger kids look up to older kids more than they look up to adults.

Starting a tutoring business can be as easy as talking to teachers in the appropriate lower classes. They may be willing to pass on the names of prospective tutors to children they know could use the help.

School survival handbook

Starting a new school can be terrifying. Your kid can capitalize on that by writing a “guide to survival” for his or her particular school, and selling it to incoming students (well, their parents). This guide, which can be just a 15 or 20 page pamphlet printed on copy paper and stapled into a booklet, should contain inside tips on how to succeed at your kid’s school.

Welcome advice can include tips for pleasing certain teachers, maps for getting from the lockers to class, the best things to choose for lunch, the coolest places to meet friends at recess, and countless other things that only a veteran of the school would know. Of course, the pamphlet could also include good general advice, such as how to make friends and how to schedule homework, but the key to success of this booklet is its insider perspective.

Turning history into money

Most homeowners are somewhat curious about the people who previously lived in their houses. Your child can turn that curiosity into profit by preparing simple historical packets about neighbors’ houses. Here is what can be included in this packet and where it can be found:

  • Previous owners. This information can be found, sometimes online, in your county recorder’s office, register of deeds, or the equivalent in your community
  • Newspaper articles. Articles that mention the property or previous owners can be of great interest. Libraries usually have microfilmed newspapers that can be searched, and many newspapers are now online.
  • Historical items. Items related to the history of the neighborhood itself (e.g.,from newspaper archives or interviews with older neighbors) can be of great interest.

The bottom line

Any time you’ve ever thought “I could do that!” or better yet “My kid could do that!” there’s bound to be an opportunity lurking nearby. What do your kids, or your neighbor’s kids, do to earn extra money?

Published on May 31st, 2011
Modified on March 24th, 2013 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Self Employment, Working

About the author: is a writer and editor in Oak Park, Illinois. He specializes in personal finance, parenting, and small business topics. He is married and has two sons.

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4 Responses to “Six Ways Kids Can Earn Extra Money”

  1. 1
    No Debt MBA Says:

    I definitely made good money for my age by tutoring. It’s not that hard when about half of parents have a tutor just to make sure their kid gets their homework done. I’d also add pet sitting and baby sitting.

  2. 2
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter Says:

    They can also do some yard work. Growing up we could get money for shoveling the neighbours walk or sweeping out a garage.

  3. 3
    Toryn O Says:

    I do great in school, and im pretty athletic, but I dont see how I could be a tutor… Little kids dont really want to learn about Geometry and Plant Biology.
    Anything else for Suggestions?

  4. 4
    https://Www.rebelmouse.com Says:

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Spending some time and actual
    effort to produce a great article… but what can I say… I put things
    off a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

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