Summer has arrived, and the kids are bored. They’re so bored they’ve begun asking to go places and buy things, beyond what’s budgetarily possible. Instead of programming your “no” response, it may be time to consider helping your kid learn about earning money.
Financial literacy can begin at a younger age than you think, so don’t write the idea off just yet. One critical lesson is understanding the value of a dollar in relation to work completed. Develop an entrepreneurial plan together that keeps them busy, helps them earn spending money, and presents an opportunity to learn. By summer’s end, they’ll have achieved a full bank account, funded their summer fun, and gained a financial foundation.
1. Help a Neighbor in Need
Look no further than your neighborhood to find many age-appropriate earning opportunities. Basic home maintenance and outdoor upkeep are just inconvenient enough for many people to hire out for their completion.
Discuss with your child the type of work they’d be willing and able to do. Walk around your own yard and home to discuss tasks they could complete successfully. Have them try them out before beginning to offer services to confirm their confidence and aptitude. If they’ve never weeded a garden bed, they’ll need to learn a few basics about distinguishing weeds from desired plants. Give them a quick training and then help them craft their pitch and pricing structure.
Have them draft up a flier to hand out in the neighborhood, along with a contact number. The number could be yours, but if your child is ready for it, consider getting them a kids phone. These phones offer basic services without the extras, which can help teach them responsibility while avoiding distraction. To increase their reach, advertise their services on their behalf on neighborhood-friendly sites like NextDoor.
2. Be a Parent’s Much-Needed Extra Set of Hands
Summer presents a tricky situation for parents — how are they supposed to handle the kids? Daycare and summer camp are expensive, so many parents add childcare to their daily career responsibilities. This leaves families overwhelmed, with kids often exuding boredom and parents stressed to the max.
With many employees working from home, the added task of caring for kids who’ve been in school is a lot. A parent’s helper can be just the saving grace that’s needed. This type of work can even be done by a younger child, so long as they’re trustworthy and follow instructions well. Typically, parent’s helpers play with the children, provide light cleaning, and serve as an extra set of hands. If your kid does these types of things well at home, they could be a great candidate for this job.
While CPR and other certifications aren’t required for this type of work, a good understanding of child safety is advisable. Discuss with your child the warning signs of choking and allergic reactions and how to call for help. Be a part of the discussion with the parent hiring for their services and offer to supervise at first. The goal is to instill confidence: the parent’s in your child’s skills and yours in the household where they will be a guest. Your child could be a godsend to an otherwise overloaded parent — and a great companion to their kids.
3. Make Vacations Stress-Free for a Fee
The to-do list for vacation planning can be endless, and having support while away can be a huge stress reliever. Between checking the mail, watering plants, and removing clues of a vacant home, there’s a lot to think about. Fortunately, your kid can be the solution to would-be vacationers’ woes.
Think about the tasks your kid can complete with confidence for families who are skipping town. As with yard work, it’s smart to practice at your house and consider the usual chores they’re responsible for. If they can complete their list of tasks well at home, you both should feel good about offering them for hire.
Draft a flier complete with what support they can provide for others. Retrieving mail and packages, caring for pets at home, and adjusting lighting to deter break-ins are common needs for vacationers. Aim to keep their first job simple and expect to supervise their work at first.
Present your child’s services to neighbors within walking distance, especially if check-ins will be frequent. Ideally, your child will be able to secure a gig that doesn’t require driving or crossing busy roads. Encourage them to get their work assignments in writing, outlining the expectations and the rate paid for completion. Help them draft up their invoice to make their work official and collect their hard-earned income.
Help Your Young Entrepreneur Gain Lifelong Financial Management Skills
As your child earns money, help them celebrate their accomplishment while understanding the value they’ve created through work. Help them track their earnings in a notebook, setting aside a portion for potential owed taxes.
Chat about how they’d like to use their income and come to an agreement that works for your family. Younger kids may want to buy toys, while teens may benefit from thinking about saving for a car or college. Take advantage of the opportunity to teach them about personal finance in an age-appropriate way. As summers come and go, they’ll build upon their work ethic and financial management skills thanks to their entrepreneurial spirit.