You can say all you like that life is not only about money. But without money, there won’t be a meaningful life. Like it or not, we need money to survive, to live and to have a good quality of life. So, get kids used to the idea that things don’t come in $0. Let them learn to earn, spend, save and invest.
Well, before they can even think about spending, saving and investing, they need to first earn their own money! Here are 10 ways kids can earn their first dollar:
1 – Sell produce. This would be fun if you have the land area to grow some vegetables. They can learn about gardening while trying to make some money!
2 – Sell pre-loved toys at a much discounted price. Set up a mini-stand where many children or families walk pass. Make sure the toys are still in good condition and are being sold only because your children do not play with them anymore and not because it’s faulty.
3 – Set up a mini bakery stand. Few people can resist the temptation of muffins, cookies or brownies. Have fun baking with your kids and sell them to passing neighbours! And if there are still leftovers, get your children to approach neighbour’s houses and knock knock!
4 – Offer shoe-shining service to neighbours. This one you might have to let your kids approach houses nearby and knock knock, ask if they would like to pay for a shoe-shining service.
5 – Sell slime!
6 – Sell friendship bracelets or beaded jewellery.
7 – Walk small dogs. You can use the Pawshake app. Register your child as a dog-walker. This is not an active way to earn money as it depends on whether you get contacted for your service or not.
8 – Busking. If they have a talent to show, do it in public and collect some coins at the same time! It might be singing or doing simple magic tricks.
9 – Decorate plain wooden photo frames and sell them.
10 – Do household chores. I’m a bit wary of what paying kids to do household chores would teach them. If you would really like to use this as a way to introduce them to “work for money”, perhaps the least you could do is to get them to do a work that is for the common good like loading the dishwasher, wiping the dining table after a family meal. It’s a big no no for me to pay kids to pick up their own toys, make their bed or clean their room because that is in itself their responsibility. In fact, household chores that benefit the whole family should also be done without money involved. We want to train them to understand that family help one another around the house.
What do all these ideas teach children?
Firstly, they teach kids to not be scared to approach potential customers.
Secondly, they teach children that before money comes in, a lot of work needs to be put into what they’re offering to the customers.
Thirdly, the longer they do something, the more they learn and hence the more efficient they become.
And one last note from me, don’t set the price of your kids’ services or products at market rate. Set a much lower price. We want to encourage buyers to support your children’s “business” and give them more confidence to keep trying.