Summer Money Making Ideas for Kids

One of the things that the summer seems to bring out in kids is a desire for more money.  Many of the activities kids do with their friends can require a fair bit of cash and not all parents are willing or able to provide their children with the money needed to go around to water parks, amusement parks, pools, movies, etc.  In fact, even if parents can it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s advisable.  One of the ways kids learn about money and how to stick to a budget is to make their own money and realize how much work it takes to earn that cash and how much it costs to do these things they, at times, take for granted.  School may have ended, but learning doesn't have to.

So if you are the parent of any age child who is interested in learning a bit about money and budgets or who simply wants some money to spend, here are some tried-and-true money making activities for kids in the summer.

The “Lemonade” Stand.  We all know this one and probably pass dozens over the course of the summer.  Although most are actual lemonade stands, they need not only be lemonade.  I have seen kids do iced tea, juices, water, pop, and more.  Your child is limited by their initial budget and imagination in this one.  I also have seen kids create more than just a drink stand and also offer homemade treats as well.  In this way, if the kids are learning cooking too, that’s all the better right?  It’s like a mini bake sale at home.  Of course, if you really want your kids to learn, you’ll have to have them buy the ingredients or at least take note of the cost of them and then work out how much their base is (from how much they used) in order to figure out their profit.

Recycling.  Most people put their cans and bottles into the recycling and they are picked up by the city, forfeiting all refunds the person is entailed to.  At only five or ten cents per bottle, you need quite a few to make some serious cash, but if one has permission to help sort the neighbours recycling for them and deal with those bottles, a lot of cans and bottles can be acquired pretty quickly.

Mowing Lawns.  Chances are if you grew up in a neighbourhood with lawns, one or two kids took on the job of mowing almost all the lawns.  At $10 or so a pop, it can be pretty lucrative while also getting kids good exercise and outside time.  Another bonus is that it’s work that can be lumped together (i.e., kids can spend two-to-three days doing all lawns then take a break until they’re needed again) or they can space them out so they always have some money coming in.  Part of learning a budget is learning how quickly one needs/wants the money and figuring out the best type of work for it.

Babysitting/Parent’s Helper.  People often overlook this these days and yet babysitting remains a very lucrative job option for older kids whereas being a parent’s helpers can be lucrative (relatively-speaking) for younger kids.  Babysitting teaches responsibility, empathy, and helps prepare kids for later when they have their own children.  I’m always amazed at how individuals (men and women) who babysat when they were younger are so much more confident as parents right off the bat.  The experience is invaluable.  (Just a reminder that parent’s helpers are younger children who will help around the house and play with kids while the parent is home.  These kids are often 7-10 so they are too young to legally babysit, but can provide mom with some help and a break and toddlers and preschoolers often prefer to spend time playing with younger kids over adults.  It’s a win-win-win for all parties involved.)

By Tracy Cassels

July 14, 2014