Good Neighborhood Jobs for Young Kids
Do your kids ask you to buy them something every time you walk in a store? Then it is time to teach kids about money. By the age of two or three your children can start learning about money and how it works. But at a certain age, your child might want to earn more money than you are willing to give them in allowance or chores around the house. At this point a job outside the home is a good idea.
A young child, though, has very limited options. Sticking within your neighborhood or apartment building is a good idea. If you have extended family around, your child can offer to do jobs for them as well. Now I am not talking about a 5 year old here, but maybe between the ages of 7 or 8 and 15 or 16 - the point in which they could go get a job somewhere else. Of course the younger your child is the more help or supervision they will need from you.
There are many jobs that kids can do that go along with the seasons of the year. In the summer a child can mow someone's grass, sweep the porches, wash cars, have a lemonade stand, weed the garden, water the grass or garden, take care of animals and/or get mail while someone is out of town. Depending on the child's age, the parent might have to be with them while they do their job. To me this is a good trade off. Teaching our kids about money is such a worthwhile thing to do, that if it involves some of my time that is fine with me.
In the fall kids can rake leaves, pick up sticks (something that always needs to be done in our yard), weed and/or pick the garden and other outdoor things. In the winter shoveling snow instantly comes to mind. In the spring yard cleanup and car washing are must haves for most people.
There are also many jobs a child can have any time of year. Taking care of animals really lends itself to children. Every afternoon we take a walk down the street to let the dogs out for our neighbor. They work long hours and find it helpful if their dogs are let out to run and use the bathroom at some point each afternoon. I like this job because I am hoping it will bide me some time before we have to get our own dog. There are some teenagers in the neighborhood that walk dogs each afternoon. They do this for several families and I see them circling the block with different dogs each afternoon.
Babysitting is a job that is good for both girls and boys. Kids as young as 12 are typically able to babysit, of course it depends on how responsible they are. Housecleaning is a job that many people would love to pay someone to do. A young child can vacuum and dust pretty well.
Many jobs that a child can do could really benefit an elderly person or family. Even carrying the mail up to their door each day or taking their trash cans to the street on trash day could really help them. Many elderly people want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, but need help doing so. Many of these people are on a fixed income and don't have a lot of money to pay someone to help around the house or yard. Paying a child a small sum is often doable though.
Children love to work and get very excited about a little money. An arrangement between children and elderly can really benefit everyone involved. Developing relationships between neighbors and between children and elderly are very positive benefits to allowing your child to get a neighborhood job. Allowing your children to have a job from a young age will give them plenty of opportunity to learn about money. Not just learn about it - but also learn to handle it, to spend it, to mess up with it (they will!), and to save it for their future. It really isn't ever too early to start!
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