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Ways For Kids To Make Money And Learn To Budget

Updated on September 15, 2012


When you're a kid, you need spending money. 

Let's face it.....sometimes allowances aren't enough to cover all those things that you want to buy. 

Or maybe times are tough and one or both of a child's parents are out of work, causing a constriction of the pursestrings.

Here are some great ways for kids to earn money and develop work ethic. 

They also get a chance firsthand to learn how to make money, save money for something, and how to manage their own finances.



  • Home improvement. Don't sell your kids short and if you have projects that they can outside their regular chores, teach them to do jobs around the house that you don't have time to do....But be fair about the price per hour. Base their pay on how well they do a job and give them the opportunity to learn skills such as washing the dog, cutting the grass, or washing windows.

  • Hire them to do household cleaning jobs you don't have time to get to, such as cleaning out the garage, washing or waxing the cars, or cleaning cupboards.

    These are tedious jobs but kids will learn life skills by knowing how to do these things with the added benefit of a little dough. They also can apply these skills to working for other people as well so great learning experience.
  • Pet sitting. If you have a child that is particularly good with pets, help him or her get a job for neighbors, friends or family pet sitting. It's a great way to develop pet skills and make money.

    People tend to spend a lot of money on their pets and more and more treat them like family.

    It's always preferable to have a pet with someone they trust and love rather than in a kennel and if a child starts early learning how to care for pets, it will be a life skill they will always have and one they can use to make money!
  • Babysitting. If children are old enough, being a babysitter is a great way to earn money and also develop skills. However, never encourage a child to be a babysitter without having reliable backup help in the event of an emergency or without attending a babysitting class. There are babysitting classes offered at most hospitals and schools. Any child should go to these and get a certificate before offering their services for babysitting.

    Babysitting is a big responsibility and an important factor to consider is the child's personality and aptitude for handling stressful situations. Babysitting isn't for every child but some are particularly great at it.

    Again, always have good backup plans for your child if he or she is a babysitter and make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency or an urgent situation.
  • Become an apprentice. Many children are great at being the assistant. All the while that they are earning a little cash by being someone's leaf raker or car polisher, the child is learning skills and being taught work ethic.

    You'd be surprised what jobs kids will do and not mind doing at all such as pulling weeds while someone else does the heavy yardwork, painting trim, or helping to clean cupboards or garages out.
  • Baking and cooking. If your child happens to be really good at baking or shows an interest in it, encourage them to do it for profit. Maybe start out by having them bake a dozen or so cookies, and then marketing them to friends, neighbors and family. Let them determine the price and go from there.

    Older kids that have a flair for baking might get into baking cakes, breads, pies and even entrees for people. Catering can be a highly profitable business but one needs to have the skills to do it.

    This is a great way to start learning the culinary basics and learning techniques while also learning about profit and marketability.
  • Snack stands. A child or even older children can set up lemonade stands or treat stands at games and events.....if it's allowed. Always inquire first to make sure they aren't violating any rules.

    A large bag of individually wrapped candy for instance can be broken down into 1-piece increments and sold. Or simply set up a snack stand in the driveway and sell.
  • Reselling. If a child can find low cost cards, toys, etc. and then sell them to friends or neighbors, that's another great way to make money. Scouting out garage sales and swap meets is a great way to buy cheap toys or cards and then turn around and resell them.


  • Internet surveys. There are several Internet sites that offer surveys for children to complete that are pay-per-survey sites. They have to be registered under an adult's name and the adult receives the survey specifics by email.

    Check out sites like Synovate panel or other survey websites. Even kids can make money on the Internet if you know where to look.

    Always make sure an adult is in charge of the details and sees what surveys are coming to the child.
  • Paper routes. Just about any kid can sign up and do a paper route. However, it's important to have adult supervision and to have someone available in the event of bad weather, etc. Even a handicapped child can do a paper route with some improvisations.

    For instance, our legally blind son did his paper route using a luggage carrier instead of a bike. He made his own money and he felt successful being able to have a paper route just like other kids.

    They may not make a heap of money, but it's a good way to teach responsibility and the concepts of making money.
  • Yard work. Kids can get just about any kind of yard work job if they're enthusiastic and a hard worker. From the youngest kids to the oldest, people always need help of some kind and it's always less expensive to hire a kid rather than a yard service!
  • Housecleaning jobs. Likewise, all kinds of odd jobs from vacuuming to painting can be grabbed up by kids of all ages. Make sure the age fits the job but encourage your child to use his or her skills to make money.

    It's a great way to reinforce personal housekeeping skills and encourage independence later in life.
  • Recycling.  A great way to help the environment as well as make money.  Bottles, cans, newspapers, etc. can be recycled and all that's needed are some trash bags and probably some rubber gloves!


In short, there are many jobs that kids can do to make their own spending money. 

Sometimes a great incentive if you can afford it is to have the child open a savings account and match what they make.....maybe dollar for dollar or 25 cents or 50 cents to the dollar.  It teaches them important skills about saving money and having their own nest egg then watching it grow.

It pays to advertise.  A great way for kids to earn money is to type up a flyer or draw one up, then print off copies and circulate them. 

Advertising what they can do and when is a great way to get calls.  Then being responsible and doing a good job will get them other referrals by word of mouth or callbacks. 

Having your kids work is the best way to teach responsibility and motivation. 

Many kids on graduation from high school don't know what it means to work. 

Starting out young and knowing how to work can give your kids a boost up in the world later in life because they know the value of working for a living. 

They will also know the value of their money and how far it goes!


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    • bananasforcoupons profile image


      8 years ago from Washington USA

      Thanks for the article. My kids r too young for allowances and such at the moment but great ideas for later use!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      That's a great story Entourage~ I think I made about $0.50 so you're better than I was at it~

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      8 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      I did lemonade stands in my neighborhood when I was really young, boy those were the days. If I made $2.00 selling lemonade I already had a huge smile on my face.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for the read, nanasplace!

    • nannasplace profile image


      9 years ago from united states

      Very good ideas. Thanks

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks so much, makinsense~! I have to admit I fought with my Patrick over this because of his sight (or lack thereof) but he so wanted to be independent. He got quite a bit of TEASING for sure about marching around the block with a luggage carrier but he made money and he was happy....I was happy because he was safe (not riding a bike).

      Anything they can do though to feel good and develop a sense of earning 'potential' I think is a great step in the right direction!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good hub. I hope that a lot of kids stumble upon it. I did the paper route routine when I was young starting at age 13. On Sundays, I was up at 4 a.m. and out into the rain with my bike loaded with papers. It gave me an enormous sense of gratification to be earning my own money as well as an important lesson in responsibility. Some of your ideas will serve even younger kids.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Faye....godspeed to you as well.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Audrey, for a great hub to teach children how to make money and learning budget. tha nk ylou for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


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