One of the things I hear from my son regularly is that he wants a “raise” on his allowance. Usually this conversation takes place after he’s spent his savings on something else. Though he’s pretty good about saving up, like all of us, he sometimes gets off track.
While I can sympathize with the idea of earning more money to meet your financial goals or live your lifestyle, I’m also not going to hand my son extra cash just because he wants it. I like to encourage him to earn more money.
How Kids Can Earn More Money
It can be challenging for kids to earn money — especially if they’re under 16 and can’t get a more traditional after-school job. Some of the ways my son, and the kids around the neighborhood, earn money include:
- Lemonade and cookie stands
- Mowing lawns and other yard care
- Growing produce to sell
- Selling plants, like tomato starts, for neighborhood gardens
My son also participates in 4-H throughout the year. He submits projects to the fair, which then earn money based on his ribbons. If he does a good job, he earns more money, since a purple (state fair) or blue ribbon earns more than red or white.
Since I have a home business, I also offer my son the chance to earn money by doing administrative tasks. I let him work when he wants, so he has control over his earnings. We have a time card, and he’s paid for the work he does every two weeks — just like a “real” job.
But, Don’t Let Them Get Too Caught Up
Of course, when kids start earning money, they can get too caught up in it. I don’t want my son to think everything has to be about money all the time. Sometimes we do things because they’re the right things to do, or to help other people — even if we don’t get money.
Some parents are willing to pay kids for doing chores, but I’ve never been into that. I prefer to have my son do some things around the house for free — so he understands that sometimes we do things as part of a family, without expecting monetary compensation.
After all, I don’t get paid for vacuuming the floor, and my husband doesn’t get paid for doing laundry. We do these things because they’re good for our household. So my son doesn’t get paid for keeping his room and bathroom clean or for emptying the dishwasher.
It’s a fine line to walk, but it’s important to teach kids how to be enthusiastic and creative about making money — without becoming obsessed with it.
Do you have any tips for walking that line? How do you encourage your kids to earn money?