An important aspect of helping kids develop into responsible adults is teaching them the value and rewards of hard work and earning their own money. Through this they gain self-esteem, come to understand the real value of a dollar, and become more thoughtful in the way they spend money. Here are some ideas you can explore with your preteen or teen for ways they can cash in this summer.
The grass is always greener – What better way to soak up the sun, get fit, and make spare cash all at once, than mowing lawns? Create fliers mentioning that you live in the neighborhood and include your phone number and your fees. (Base this on yard size and keep them below the cost of professional services.) Deliver the fliers to the homes in your neighborhood, lodged between doorknobs or tucked under mats. Never place anything in mailboxes.
Young entrepreneur – Make the most of neighbors’ garage sales by setting up a refreshment stand in your own front yard. All you need is a small table and a handmade sign. Set out a pitcher of lemonade, disposable cups, and wrapped cookies.
Too old for toys and games? – Clean out those you’ve outgrown and hold a sale. Make a sign to attract neighborhood kids and passersby, and lay out blankets in your front yard, and spread out your goods. Keep your prices reasonable, and don’t forget a bargain box filled with odds and ends.
Kiddie care –If you are old enough to stay home alone, you may be ready to care for other children. Spread the word through family, friends, and neighbors. When babysitting, play games and do activities with the kids, and avoid talking on the phone or watching TV. Parents love sitters that keep their children busy. Also, don’t forget to clean up and wash dirty dishes.
A little dirt never hurt – Garage cleaning is a big chore for most people, so your services may be especially welcome. When you get a job, be thorough, and move everything into the driveway or yard before you begin. Remove cobwebs with a broom, sweep ledges and the garage floor, and then hose the garage concrete (with permission) to loosen ground-in dirt. Get an end of lease cleaning in Brisbane for the tenacious dirt stuck on ledges and perform deep cleaning. When it’s dry, neatly arrange everything back into the garage.
Fence finishing – Wood fencing requires ongoing maintenance, so offer to assist your neighbors in sprucing up their yard by painting or staining their fences. The homeowner should supply the paint or stain and the necessary tools. Be sure to follow directions, and take your time to do a careful job. Read up on some common questions around deer fences since their proper maintenance and set up are crucial to their functioning properly. No one wants their gardens trashed by pest so be diligent.
Window washing – Offering your services for this dreaded task is sure to be a success. If you get the job, make sure your parents know the homeowner and approve of you going inside. Clean the interior of all windows, including doors, and don’t forget to open the windows and clean the ledges and tracks. If you are tall enough to reach exterior windows without a ladder, ask permission to hose them down to loosen dirt before washing and drying them.
Life’s a zoo –Pet owners who don’t like to kennel are often in a dilemma at vacation time. Pass out fliers in your neighborhood, and offer to pet sit. Do the sitting in your home or fenced yard, if your parents agree. Otherwise, make regular visits to the pet’s home. Be responsible, and do exactly as the pet owner instructs, for both your safety and the pet’s.
Weeds away – Are weeds taking over your neighbors’ flowerbeds? Then offer to get them back into shape. Before you get started, find out which are plants, or flowers that have not yet bloomed. When in doubt, ask before you pull them. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and hose the ground lightly to loosen roots. Pull weeds from rock beds, shrubbery, and cement cracks. Then dispose of them properly.
Dollars for duds– Have you hit another growth spurt? Ask your parents if you can consign your clothing and split the profits. Look for consignment shops under “resale,” “clothing – used,” or “consignment.” Find out their policies, and then get your clothing ready. Wash and dewrinkle, then hang or fold it neatly. Don’t forget shoes, jackets, and pajamas, too.
Errands for the elderly – Are there handicapped, disabled, or elderly persons in your neighborhood that may need some help? Offer to run errands within walking or biking distance. Attach a basket to your bike or carry a backpack for easy transporting. If you have your driver’s license, offer to do more distant runs.
Who’s walking who? – If you’re looking for a new summer pal, why not make it man’s best friend? Pass out fliers to offer your pet walking services.
Make it shine – Round up your friends, and get ready for some cool, wet fun! Hold a car wash in your driveway or a parking lot, with permission from the property owner. Make a large colorful “Car Wash” sign, and include your cost – no more than your local car wash charges. Have your supplies handy: a bucket of soapy water, rags or sponge, a hose, and plenty of dry towels.
News courier – Hop on your bike or blades, and spread the news—that is, deliver the news. Apply for a route with your local newspaper, or add your name to the waiting list. Place newspapers either in a newspaper box or on the front porch, and make sure they’ll remain dry. It may even increase your tips.
At your service – Offer homecleaning services to your neighbors, and plan to do the following tasks, unless other arrangements are made. Dust furniture and window ledges; vacuum carpet and stairs; sweep and mop tile, linoleum, and wooden floors; scour sinks, bathtubs, and toilets; shake out rugs; vacuum upholstered furniture; and make beds. Find out which cleaning products (supplied by the homeowner) to use on fixtures, appliances, and furniture, to prevent damage.
Pool patrol – If sunbathing is your thing, then this is the job for you! Find out the age and certification requirements for lifeguard duty, and then apply at a community pool, YMCA, or nearby beach. While keeping an eye on swimmers, keep your skin safe by using a good sunscreen.
Daycare duty – Do you love little kids? I mean lots of little kids? Then contact local daycare centers and home daycare providers, and find out if they’re in need of a young assistant. Tasks may include assisting with crafts and activities, reading stories, helping with lunch and snacks, and cleaning up.
Nurturer of nature – If you’re a nature lover, don’t forget about your local parks. Possible positions may include assisting with planned activities and events, maintaining park grounds, and tending ticket booths. Call area parks to find out what jobs they offer and how to apply.
Tips for business success
Follow these tips to keep the loot rolling in and to play it safe.
• Get your parents’ permission before accepting a job, and make sure they know where you’ll be.
• Dress for the type of job, and wear old clothes if they could be ruined.
• Discuss payment in advance to avoid disputes or hard feelings.
• Do your best. Not only will you earn respect and feel good about yourself, it will likely affect whether you are hired again and can use that person as a reference.
• If you make a mistake, don’t ignore it or try to cover it up. Inform your employer, offer your apologies, and ask what can be done. Your honesty will likely make your employer overlook the error.
• Be on time. Call right away, if you’ll be late or can’t make it.
By Kimberly Blaker