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LEGIT Nine Proven Ways for Kids to Make Money

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Kanvi

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My three kids are some of the most determined, pro-active people I know. When summer comes around, they’re usually the first to ask me about part-time jobs. If there aren’t any jobs available for them, they’ll start thinking up ways to earn money. Their lemonade stand and dog-walking service were pretty well-known in our neighborhood.

My kids are budding business people, but I also know that they’re not unique in that regard. Kids in general are pretty enterprising. All the kids on our block have their own money-making schemes. The kid from next door has a pretty lucrative car-cleaning business. The one across us gives pretty good tech support to geezers such as us!

As a tribute to those kids, and to inspire your own, I’ve compiled a list of great ways for them to make money. All these methods were tried and tested by the kids in my neighborhood, and are guaranteed to make a good sum of money.

Most of the items listed are appropriate for kids of all ages, but be sure to select a business that suits their abilities and interests. But you may not even have to. If you show them this list, chances are they’ll be the ones to tell you what they would like to do!

Without further ado, here’s my list:

1. Provide neighborhood tech support

Believe it or not, the best tech support person in our neighborhood… is a nine-year-old girl. Adults merely adopted technology. Kids were born in it, molded by it. So it’s not surprising that kids are great at giving tech support.

The most common jobs she gets are setting up home routers, reformatting drives, setting up smart TVs, and backing up files to the cloud. She also holds one-on-one tutorials for people trying to figure out how to use their gadgets. She’s not the best teacher, but the knowledge is there.

Apart from earning money, all these interactions will teach your kids how to be more sociable. They will also strengthen their problem-solving skills.

2. Provide basic web design and social media management for small businesses

Here’s another tech-related racket. We come from a small town, and there are a lot of small businesses here without any web presence. Since these are mom and pops, they’re not the type that would hire a large, corporate web agency. But they don’t mind hiring particular teens and pre-teens in their neighborhood. Those kids are heavily into graphic design and coding.

The kids have been making good money, and in turn, those small businesses are able to have an online presence. The kids aren’t elite-level yet, but I think it’s only a matter of time before they become large agencies start noticing them.

Providing websites to small businesses is teaching these kids how to be responsible, solve problems, and know how to service a client’s specific requirements.

3. Sell lemonade and other refreshments

This one’s a classic. It doesn’t matter how high tech kids get, they will always want to sell lemonade. Selling lemonade is a great way to teach kids the value of providing a seasonal service. When the temperature shoots up, nothing soothes me like an ice cold glass of lemonade. And my kids know that… which is why they jacked up their prices after their first year of selling!

Selling lemonade will also teach your kids how to manage inventory, since lemons don’t last forever. They’ll have to plot how many lemonades they plan to sell, and buy the appropriate amount of raw ingredients. It isn’t rocket science, but if this is too complicated for them, you can always help crunch the numbers.

If there’s a lemon orchard near you, selling lemonade will also teach them the value of working with local businesses. Try encouraging them to buy from small growers instead of going to the supermarket.

4. Wash cars

I live in a pretty dry and dusty climate, but when it does rain, cars get absolutely filthy. We’ve been seeing more rains these days, which means more grungy vehicles. Most car owners are busy work-class types, so they don’t have much time to clean their vehicles.

A few enterprising kids saw this as an opportunity to make money cleaning cars. And believe me, business has been good. They usually clean cars during weekends. Every Saturday morning, you can see them going from one garage to another with sponges, hoses, and bottles of car soap in hand.

If your kids want to try this out, be sure you teach them how to properly handle the various soaps and waxes that the job requires. But overall, I think this is a great way for kids to make money, regardless of their location. It also teaches them how to respect and care for other people’s property.

5. Offer dog-walking and pet-sitting services

My kids absolutely loved this! It all started when a neighbor, who lived alone with her Labrador retriever, had to make an emergency trip out of town. My kids were already familiar with the Labrador (who was, in turn, fond of my kids) so my neighbor asked if they could care for the dog while she was away.

My kids jumped on the chance… but then they had to learn that this was an actual responsibility. Every morning for one week, they had to get up, go to the house next door, refill the dog’s food bowl, and take him for a walk around the block.

They settled into their job pretty nicely. Our neighbor was pretty pleased with their service, and referred them to a bunch of people who needed this service. This is now my kids’ top money-making project.

This is a great way to teach your kids how to care for another living thing. They also need to be responsible and have a fondness for animals. If they meet these criteria, have them give it a try!

6. Get a paper route

Yep, people still read print newspapers. (Or at least, they still do in my town) Hearing newspapers landing on my neighbors’ driveways is one of my signals to wake up and start my day.

Newspapers are still pretty common, and kids can make a good amount of money by working a paper route. I also had a paper route as a kid, and it was a pretty fun job. I’d wake up early, wait for the delivery van, load up on newspapers, and get to work.

I had to delivery all my newspapers within a set time, so it taught me time management (and how to avoid angry dogs!)

7. Assist the senior citizens

There are what I call “tweener seniors.” They’re old enough to need help doing things at home, but they’re not old enough to move into an assisted living facility.

Some of the more responsible kids on the block, regularly help these people in various day to day chores, such as cooking, cleaning, and even hobbies such as knitting and scrapbooking! It’s not the most exciting job for them, but if your kids are keen on helping others, they may want to give this a try.

I need to point out that this isn’t a caregiving job; there are licensed professionals who provide that service. All these kids do is help around the house and provide company. That said, you could use this as an opportunity to teach your kids basic first aid and CPR. These are skills they’ll carry with them into adulthood.

8. Mow neighbors’ lawns

It doesn’t get more classic than this. But mowing lawns is still pretty lucrative… so much so that a few grown-ups have started providing a similar service. This only encouraged the kids to get creative and provide a better service.

Kids are quicker than adults, so they were able to mow lawns faster, earning more money in a single afternoon than the adults. But they earned the most of their money by maintaining robotic lawn mowers. More and more homes in our neighborhood are investing in robotic lawn mowers. The thing is, not all of them know how to maintain and care for one. Well, those are things kids are more than capable of doing. In that regard, they got the adult mowers beat!

Mowing lawns is a time-tested job that will teach kids perseverance, and how to update a service to stay profitable.

9. Provide music lessons

Sure, there are a lot of adult music teachers out there, but I noticed kids respond differently when their teacher is someone their age (or a few years older). They speak the same way, are into the same things, and most likely listen to the same music. And having that sort of common ground is a great way to build rapport with students.

If you have a kid who’s skilled musically, ask them if they’d like to teach music to other kids. They’ll earn money, gain some street cred among their peers, and who knows? They may even form a band.

Teaching music encourages kids to communicate better. It also encourages them to refine their craft.

The Verdict

All these methods are legit ways for kids to make money! And by legit, I mean they’ve all been tried and tested by the kids in our neighborhood. If you have kids, or know kids who are looking for ways to make some money, show them this list and get inspired!

Your Turn

This experience is based on my kids’ experience, and the experience of the kids in my neighborhood. Now it’s your turn to share! Do you know any kids who’ve earned big money?

Let’s hear your (or their) stories!
 

Iroh_Spirit

Well-known member
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#2
Those are some great ideas. I wish those opportunities were available when I was a child. I certainly would have cashed in on them.
 

Kanvi

Moderator
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#3
I would think anything but point 1 and 2 has been there for the last century for any entrepreneurially spirited kid to do or am I missing something?
 

June

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#7
Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you had a blast during the holidays (and are ready to take on new money-making ventures)!

As a fresh start to the year, I want to contribute to this topic on proven ways for kids to make money, and also ask some questions. It’s because my first-born has expressed interest (finally!) in augmenting her allowance with a part-time job. So...looking at this list, I’m pretty happy to know that there are plenty of ways she can earn on the side. Number one on the list (providing neighborhood tech support) is already something she does for her dad and me, anyway. She has also been called countless times by our elderly next-door neighborhood to fix something because “the Internet quit on me!” (her words, haha!).

I think this task, in particular, is something she can excel at, especially since our neighborhood is filled with older people who can’t be bothered to learn the ins and outs of modern technology. She really doesn’t mind doing tech-related things for them in her free time. Except maybe this time she can already charge people for it (present company excluded lol)?

See, this is where I get iffy about it. How would you go about telling people you’ve done chores for that you are already charging for them? Wouldn’t they get pissed off?

My daughter and I would appreciate any advice about how to start charging for tasks she’s already done in the past anyway. Thanks in advance!
 

Naomi

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#8
Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you had a blast during the holidays (and are ready to take on new money-making ventures)!

As a fresh start to the year, I want to contribute to this topic on proven ways for kids to make money, and also ask some questions. It’s because my first-born has expressed interest (finally!) in augmenting her allowance with a part-time job. So...looking at this list, I’m pretty happy to know that there are plenty of ways she can earn on the side. Number one on the list (providing neighborhood tech support) is already something she does for her dad and me, anyway. She has also been called countless times by our elderly next-door neighborhood to fix something because “the Internet quit on me!” (her words, haha!).

I think this task, in particular, is something she can excel at, especially since our neighborhood is filled with older people who can’t be bothered to learn the ins and outs of modern technology. She really doesn’t mind doing tech-related things for them in her free time. Except maybe this time she can already charge people for it (present company excluded lol)?

See, this is where I get iffy about it. How would you go about telling people you’ve done chores for that you are already charging for them? Wouldn’t they get pissed off?

My daughter and I would appreciate any advice about how to start charging for tasks she’s already done in the past anyway. Thanks in advance!
Happy new year!

If your daughter provides excellent service (and from the tone of your post, it looks like she does!), I think people wouldn’t mind if she starts charging for her services. In my neighborhood, people love industrious and resourceful kids, and they have no problem paying kids for various services and odd jobs. I actually think they prefer to pay, since it means they can hold the kids accountable, lol

The key is ease the clients into it, and charge accordingly. Your daughter can stick an announcement at the community bulletin board announcing her services. This will be, in effect, her declaration that she’s going “pro.” But I need to point out that as soon as she does this, she needs to charge everyone the same amount. Word gets around fast in small neighborhoods, and the last thing you guys want is a neighbor getting mad because you charged them more than another person.

My daughter used to have a pretty decent baby-sitting side hustle. She started out doing it for free (or in exchange for small tokens, like a new pair of shoes), but eventually started charging. She made the announcement on our compound’s FB group. Even when she started charging, she had built up so much trust with our neighbors that they didn’t mind paying.

Good luck to your girl!
 

Holden

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#9
As the old Bob Dylan song goes: these times, they are a-changin’. I tried to get my youngest son interested in a paper route or mowing lawns, but nah. The little squirt wasn’t into into that. His mother and I initially thought he was lazy, but the truth was actually the opposite. The kid just wanted something that involved tech. He’s pretty tech-savvy, even for someone who was born immersed in technology. So we tried to think of an appropriate way for him to earn money from his skills. We hit upon a nice idea for him: personal social media consultant.

My boy now teaches “oldies” around the apartment building and in our family how to use social media. That includes popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram. First, he teaches them how to set up an account. Next, he teaches them about the basics of each platform. That includes stuff like how to find people to follow, how to write and share posts, and how to take great pics. But what we’re really proud of is the fact that he even tells his clients how to avoid scam or malware-ridden sites. To be honest, he can’t really differentiate yet which sites are scams, but the fact that he knows they exist is awesome!
 

Amos

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#10
My oldest son is pretty old-school. He’s extremely tech savvy, but when it comes to summer jobs and kid-friendly side hustles, he kind of prefers traditional jobs like mowing our neighbor’s lawns and selling lemonade. Guess he’s an old soul like dat. Actually, a funny story: my son got his start in the lawn-mowing game when our neighbors, a newly-wed couple, paid him to cut their grass. Well, my son was happy to do the job… but he thought that meant he should also got the other lawns, as well! He moved on to the next two houses adjacent to ours! Luckily, the homeowners were pretty cool with the surprise lawn-mowing they got.

That story is meant to show how kids are pretty hard-working by default. They’re young, and eager to prove themselves. It’s our job as parents to give them a good outlet for that drive. And part time jobs and little gigs like mowing lawns are great ways to instill a strong work ethic in kids. And when they start earning their own money, you can use that as an opportunity to teach them how to save money. Most of my son’s earnings goes into his bank account. We have an agreement were we match whatever money he makes, for added incentive!
 

LazyMacy

New member
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#11
Wow my younger sister would have a lot to say on this topic! Glad you brought it up in this thread. She’s living proof that kids can make money using their skills and talents and that it is never too early to learn about the value of a dollar and how to earn it. When she was only 11, she learned to bake simple breads and pastries from our mom. Then she moved on to more complicated recipes she found online like with video blogs and stuff. The following summer, she was already accepting orders from neighbors who love her oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Now that she is 15 she already has a steady stream of customers no matter what the season is. Some of them are her classmates and some are even members of her school’s faculty! She’s made an arrangement with my mom to give a percentage of her earnings for electricity and some of the ingredients she uses which our mom buys. I think it’s awesome how she understands how you have to spend money to make money.

It’s too bad I didn’t get her enthusiasm for baking otherwise I would have cashed in on some of that passion too. But it’s always nice to see the younger generation practicing their entrepreneurial skills at such an early age. I guess I’m just a proud older sister!
 
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