8 Ways Kids Can Earn Money This Summer

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Want to teach your kids about money this Summer? Kim from Thrifty Little Mom is sharing 8 easy side jobs your kiddos can do for extra cash. And none of them involve the typical lemonade stand!

I've been wanting to teach my kiddos about money, and this summer seems like the perfect time! There are a LOT more options out there outside of the typical lemonade stand and when I showed my kids these ideas, they couldn't wait to try them. They even had a few suggestion of their own! Seems I have a couple of budding entrepreneurs on my hands! #teachingkidsaboutmoney #kidsandmoney #summeractivitiesforkids #summerideasforkids

I’m going to be honest, summer break for my family is great until around day 5.

The excitement of my son being around more and doing all those fun mommy-son things I envisioned somehow wears off. Each activity I come up with that should have taken up large chunks of time, lasts about 5 minutes. Then I’m out of creative juices and have to take a step back to regroup (which typically means starting up a Disney movie!)

If your school-age kids are home for the Summer, you may be looking for some creative ways to keep everyone’s sanity intact. Give those little minds something educational and productive to do and consider helping your kids design their very own small business.

Here are eight ways kids can earn money this Summer, so they can learn responsibility, and also be introduced to the amazing world of being a solopreuner!

1. Doing Extra Chores

One very simple way to improve your own productivity around the house is to involve your kids in everyday cleaning and household chores. Create a chore chart with specific tasks you know they can accomplish. Add a monetary value to each chore, and at the end of the week hand out the money.

If you’re  looking for a different take on chore charts, be sure to check out my post on setting up reward charts for your kids. Instead of money in exchange for work around the house, you let the kids choose an activity the want to do at the end of the week. There is even a free printable reward chart you can use to keep track of their progress and the rewards they want!

2. Washing Cars

Whether it’s your own car or the neighbor’s car, invest a little money upfront on supplies like soap, sponges, buckets and towels, and encourage your kids to get little car wash business going.

If your children are older, consider additional tasks, such as detailing cars using a wet/dry shop vacuum in the garage to clean the upholstery. They can also wipe down and dust the dashboards with microfiber towels.  Be sure you let them practice on your own vehicles first though!


3. Pet Sitting for Friends and Family

In the summer, lots of families go out of town and putting the family pet in a kennel for a week is often too much money or too much heart ache. If you hear of a friend going out of town who needs a person to check in on their pet while they’re away, this is the perfect time to teach your child responsibility.

Depending on age, you’ll probably want to walk over with them {at least at first}, to help feed, water, and/or take the pet outside so you don’t spend your evening looking for a lost puppy who gets away!

4. Hosting a Garage Sale

If your kids have tons of toys that need to be cleaned out, host a garage sale for them to sell their stuff. Have your children go through their toys and choose ones they don’t play with anymore.

Typically speaking, garage sale goers will drive by and if all they see is kids stuff, they may not even stop.  So while they are going through their items, it might not hurt for you to go through your own and put a little extra cash in your pocket. Since garage sales are typically early in the morning, your children could also sell coffee and doughnuts to customers.

For more help in setting up a garage sale for success, you might also want to read, How to Have an Effective Garage Sale.

8 Ways Kids Can Earn Money This Summer | Creative Savings Blog

5. Selling Clothes or Sports Equipment

If you have a tween or teen with way too many clothes or lots of unused sports equipment, ask them to pick out the stuff that doesn’t fit or that they don’t like anymore and take it down to a retail resale store like Plato’s Closet or Play it Again Sports.

At Plato’s Closet, a store employee will look through their clothing items and if it’s something that they want, they will offer cash for it on the spot.  Unlike traditional consignment stores, the item doesn’t have to sell before you get paid.  You are literally selling your items to the store.

Play It Again Sports, on the other hand, has a consignment option or a cash on the spot option. You can let your teen keep the cash for something they want to do that summer.

6. Raising Money For a Local Charity

Earning money doesn’t always have to be for their own benefit. Encourage a spirit of giving in your kids by finding a cause in your community to support. Have them decide what they might do to raise money for that cause, like a bake sale or craft sale of items they can make at home.

Once the money is raised, take them down to the charity’s office to turn in the funds so they can see the entire process from start to finish.

7. Starting an Etsy Shop

If you have a really crafty kid, invest a little money in supplies for a couple craft projects, then have them come up with a name for their very own Etsy shop.

Parents will have to be involved in the setup of the shop but it’s a great way to teach your kids to be solopreuners early on in life! They will stay busy making products for the store, taking pictures and packaging the items. Then you can break up your day by driving down to the post office to mail off the items they sell.

Etsy Logo

8. Selling on Ebay

My nephew has been an Ebay toy finder since he was 12. He learned what the hottest toys on Ebay were and then whenever his family went out, he searched the thrift store toy aisles and garage sale bins for discarded treasures. His dad helps him sell them on Ebay and he gets to save up the money.

If you’re a family who visits lots of garage sales and thrift stores on the weekend, encourage your kids to do a little research about what kinds of toys sell really well on Ebay. Then, when you go out on the hunt, have them look for those items to re-sell in an Ebay store.

Summer doesn’t have to be several months of survival. Seize the time as a way to help your kid learn about creating a business. You can teach them about investing and returns, overhead, loss and profit. It’s a real life economics class!

How have your kids made money over summer break?


Kim Anderson | Thrifty Little MomKim Anderson is a blogger and writer at Thrifty Little Mom.com where she encourages families to pursue freedom from debt while finding joy in frugal living.  She lives in Atlanta, GA with her electrical engineer husband, her talkative 3 year old son and the family Beagle, Bit.  She has a slight obsession with iced coffee, has trouble taming her creative side, and never leaves home without a coupon.

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I think the only difficulty with kids and the internet is that most payment processors require you to be an adult to use their services. Obviously PayPal has some sort of “teen” scheme now, but parents need to be aware that nowadays an ever growing proportion of income is being made online, and the simple 9-5’ers in a lot of cases are the ones who are “behind” in the younger generations mind.

    Parents, support your kids in their online ventures, there are kids making more than your boss simply by blogging and running youtube channels!

    1. Mathieu, his Dad is really into selling on Ebay as a hobby and so he picks out the items and his dad sells them for him on his own store. He gives his son the profits from those items! He really gets into it!

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