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Can Kids Make Money?

Updated on April 24, 2008
Most kids are keen to earn their own money!
Most kids are keen to earn their own money!

It seems strange that we need to ask whether kids can make money, when we have examples of kids making huge incomes as actors, singers, and Olympic athletes.

There is a sense, somehow, that these kids are special. That they have some great talent, and that "ordinary" kids need to wait until they are old enough to get an ordinary job at an ordinary fast food outlet or ordinary car wash or ordinary retail store. They must then live an ordinary existence on an ordinary part-time minimum wage until they graduate college or get a trade qualification.

But this is simply not the case.

In many places, kids are prohibited from being employees until they reach a certain age, but that does not prevent them from earning money.

Are you Underestimating Your Kids?

There was a time, not so long ago, when there was simply no notion of "childhood" as a separate stage of life.

Children were shorter, had smaller hands, and couldn't think so clearly, but that didn't mean that they got to sit around and be treated like pampered pets. They were a vital part of the family farm or business, and the work they did was real work that needed to be done.

Kids who grow up on farms have a head start in some ways over city kids, because they usually have meaningful work to do as part of the family enterprise from an early age.

We have moved so far away from this, partly in response to genuine concerns for the welfare of children working in factories in the 1800s, and partly as a result of compulsory education, that we are now raising a significant proportion of the population to adulthood with no experience of work, or even meaningful responsibilities.

While these kids may appear to be having a good time, many of them struggle with low self-esteem and depression from age ten onwards. Psychologically, human beings need to know that they make a difference, that they are needed and valuable, that they contribute and are part of something bigger than themselves.

Kids want the opportunity to participate and contribute. Teach them how to make money, save money and invest money, and they will grow in confidence and self-esteem.
Kids want the opportunity to participate and contribute. Teach them how to make money, save money and invest money, and they will grow in confidence and self-esteem.

Children who don't have the experience of significant adults relying on them to do their job, children who have everything provided for them, start to get anxious. Subconsciously, they know that something is expected in return.

Sometimes, that something is simply being available when the parent wants to have "quality time", which can feel to the child as though they are a form of entertainment for their parents.

Sometimes, that something is academic or sporting achievement. If you want to have an idea of how that feels to a child, you can't go past the movie The Breakfast Club. The kids in that movie have reached the age of sixteen, and they all articulate in different ways the plea to be taken seriously as individuals.

We really don't know how capable kids can be until we give them a chance to show it. The kids in our Cash Smart Kids program are taking on business ideas on an even footing with adults, and doing it well. On the internet, nobody knows how old you are ...

Whatever your challenges as a family, and all families have them, kids from the age of six or seven can actually make a concrete, practical contribution to helping meet the challenges. What's more, despite any initial grumbling about any kind of change, deep down they actually want a meaningful role in the family.

It's a good thing that poverty no longer forces children to work in terrible conditions instead of going to school, at least in most parts of the world. But let's not let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction, and arbitrarily deprive kids of the chance to make a contribution which is meaningful at an adult level, a contribution which they are perfectly able to make.


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    • profile image

      Trin 7 years ago

      I live in Florida and don't have any ideas about getting money! I was thinking about doing a fundraiser for cancer or breast cancer, but I'm still not sure if I should or shouldn't because I'll need money to buy equipment and that's the whole reason i'm doing this; to get some money because im broke! Help! What should I do! I was going to wash cars for $5, but there is a car wash in my neighborhood. I can't garden because all their is in our neighborhood is grass and mulch and if you dig a hole you have to pay a fine. I can't walk or bath dogs because I can barely handle my own dog, so for sure I can't do that. I already know my mom would say no to selling stuff on ebay. AND I would collect aluminum cans BUT we don't drink soda or lemonade in my house so I dont have any cans! Which leaves me with babysitting! I'm still thinking If I should think about what im good at and just do that for money(like doing hair or nails) or babysit. I don't know what i should do there is a lot on my mind! HELP ME PLEASE! I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE OPTIONS THAT ARE AVAILABLE!!!

    • jimbo9 profile image

      jimbo9 7 years ago from Kettering, Northants. UK

      Hi. This is a fantastic Hub. It is well thought out and very helpful to kids and parents alike. A youg man who went to my grandaughters school and lives near us has made over one million UK pounds in just 2 years. He started an internet business from his bedroom at 14 yrs old, he is now 16 and a millionaire. I hope this will inspire all young people who are reading this great blog.Every succes. Jim Hogan.

    • profile image

      David Rokhan 7 years ago

      I reckon one to the easiest ways how kids can make money is to sell the latest fads at school to your friends. If you pay attention you'll notice that your friends will go crazy over basketball cards, marbles, tamogochi toys, phases like this just come and go. If you can just buy a box of these things and sell it to you friends at lunch time you'll be able to make some easy money on the side

    • profile image

      ordinary person 7 years ago

      ordinary count:








      must be a new record...

    • profile image

      Ava 8 years ago

      Hey Trevor,

      You could start a bisnuess and then give promotions to people that you know. for example, you could give a buy 1 get one free or buy 3 and get 1/2 off on your next service.

      good luck!

    • profile image

      Trevor 8 years ago

      I really wanna make money, and I don't know how. My parents won't let me make money online, so what should I do? (AND NO ODD JOBS PLEASE!!!)

    • profile image

      Need cash fast 8 years ago

      Hi, I'm a teenaged boy who is trying to save up money to buy a laptop. With my already saved money I estimate I'll need about $400-$500. I don't need it urgently, but I would like to collect it over a span of a few months. My dilemma is, I'm too young to get a real job, and the pnlyjobs my parents let me do is shovel our driveway when it snows. I've tried to sell stuff on eBay, but everything I'm willing to sell is worthless. What should I do?

    • profile image

      Hannah 8 years ago

      hi i need money. i don't ever get money!! HELP!!!

    • profile image

      Tyler 8 years ago

      Hi. im now 14 and need some money for many things, to pay for my own cell phone and for a new laptop. I can do many things, but i have no idea what to do. i live in a not so populated area and being besides me, there's only one more family with kids on my neighborhood. I can code html for websites, im very good with computers and have ru-built mine about 3 times, almost a fourth as soon as i get more ram (which i need to buy), and i can mow lawns. But i have almost no time cause i have to babysit my brothers FOR FREE till about 3-5 and my parents refuse to pay me. With me going into my freshman year and wanting a full scholarship to M.I.T. i wont have much time. The only way i make almost no money is by using triond and writing online pages (like the one you wrote), but it makes about 1 cent per month. Any help?

    • profile image

      Salyric 8 years ago

      Hi I am 15 years old and now is not the time to ask my parents for money because we are going on vacation in a few days but I am planing to start a business soon but I dont have any money to help start it and plus I need money for he november concert for miley cyrus in charlotte but i dont think i can go with out any money what can i do to help to promote the money growth.

    • Inspirepub profile image

      Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Yes, Emmie, there are lots of ways.

      Check out

    • profile image

      Emmie(: 8 years ago

      Hi, i need about $400 for a trip to New York. I'm only 13, so is there any way I can make money... fast??? Im leaving the end of this month. (My parents are willing to pay 200, but i would like to earn some of it on my own to make the trip more fun!)

    • profile image

      Ayana 9 years ago

      Hi i need to make $400 in the span of two months any ideas to help my make money fast!

    • Inspirepub profile image

      Inspirepub 9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Check out the links on thos page, unknown, there are lots of great resources there.

    • profile image

      the unknown 9 years ago

      hello im trying to make money to buy a computer can anyone teach me how to do it

    • Inspirepub profile image

      Inspirepub 9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Yep, it's a good feeling being captain of your own destiny!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Overall this is good advice. Kids need to be thinking creatively- that's the most important thing about making money as a kid. I babysat, walked dogs, and started a neighborhood newspaper by getting local businesses to pay and advertise in it. My mom made free copies of the newspaper at her work so I made decent money from my venture. I just started doing a bunch a different jobs to make money here and there and I feel like a kid again, but it feels good to make money for me and not a big company.

      Keep inspiring kids.

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      Charity 9 years ago

      Hello My name is charity andi need to 700 dollars im trying to buy a phone and christmas presents for my family. Any ideas on how to make the money because im only 11

    • Inspirepub profile image

      Inspirepub 9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Have you tried looking at things you can do to make money online? It may take a little while to learn the "tricks of the trade", but once you know them, you have something you can do in the safety of your home whenever you want.

      If you don't like computers, think about what you could make and sell.

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      undracheln 9 years ago

      I need money fast!

      I all ready babysit twice a week and my parents won't raise my allowence.

      I don't know how to make more money! (My mom hates animals!)

    • Inspirepub profile image

      Inspirepub 9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hi Anaya - if you want to make money babysitting, you will need references. If you have not babysat before, start with family, neighbours or friends, and you may need to do it once or twice for free. Ask them if they will be a reference for you, and take down their phone numbers.

      Then, you need to find people with young kids - that may mean walking around the nearby streets, introducing yourself, or putting up notices at the local kindergartens and elementary schools. When people call or email to ask about your babysitting service, you can give them references to check out.

      Sometimes it helps to give out "buy one, get one free" vouchers, too - that encourages people to try you out for at least two times. You make less money on those two times, but you get two chances to impress them, and everybody loves a bargain, so they are more likely to try you out.

      Good luck!

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      purple212 9 years ago

      Hi my name is anaya and im so upset about my age right now of being thirteen and all well im trying to find an easy way to make some money for a laptop do you have any ideas about babysitting?

    • Inspirepub profile image

      Inspirepub 9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Start a business, Branden!

    • profile image

      branden palacios 9 years ago

      stop giving us big words and jusrt tell us how can they make mony!