If you have a child between the ages of 7 and 12, chances are that they enjoy earning money, but there aren’t many opportunities for them to earn as much money as they would like. This summer, help them utilize their time off to develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
Of course, we have all heard of the childhood “job” of running a lemonade stand. We may have even tried our hand at selling lemonade. I don’t know about you, but in the rural area where we lived, my lemonade stand was a bust. This idea doesn’t seem to translate well to our modern times. Instead, try these activities to encourage your child to find ways to earn money:
- Concession stand. If you are planning on having a garage sale, let your child run a snack stand and sell things like pop, ice cold water, doughnuts and/or homemade treats. During a hot day at a busy garage sale, quite a bit of money can be made. Let your child keep the money he makes. (You may want to have him pay you back for the treats you bought to supply the stand so he understands that all money he makes is not pure profit. There is also the cost of goods to contend with.)
- Offer pet care services. If you live in an area with neighbors in close proximity, she could advertise a pet sitting service where she could feed and water your neighbors’ pets while they are away on vacation. She could also spend time giving the pets attention and taking them for a walk or letting them play outside. (If your child is less than 10, you would probably want to accompany her when she cares for the animals.)
- Find other services she could offer neighbors. I recently read about a 6 year old boy who offered to roll out his neighbors’ trash containers on garbage day and take them back up to the house at the end of the day. He charged .25 per week. Most neighbors would be agreeable to this because of the low cost and because this is a task some people find annoying. He made a few dollars a week doing this.
- Start a lawn care service. If your child is older, maybe 12 to 14, he could start a lawn care service and offer to do such jobs as mowing and weeding. I know many gardeners would pay someone to weed their gardens for them (assuming he knows not to pull up the plants!).
If your child is interested in making money, now is the time to develop the entrepreneurial spirit. If he learns early that sometimes finding a job is a matter of creating a job, he will be on his way to learning how to create multiple streams of income when he is older. In addition, this is a good opportunity to teach her about budgeting, saving and spending. If you are going to have him fill out a tax return to claim his earnings, you could even have him open his Roth IRA.
What business do you think your child might want to open this summer?