In our home, kids didn’t get paid for doing chores. We always said “You do chores because you get to live here.” In the most loving way possible. But there were other ways our kids made money from us.
In the summers, our kids were paid to read. When they were young readers, they were required to read one book a day to earn a dollar. In their older years, they had to read a chapter book for 30 minutes a day to make a dollar. Of course we hoped they’d get into the book and keep reading, but even if they read more it was still a dollar a day. Over a summer they could make over $60 if they stuck with it. This promise was enticing enough for them to read in their spare time and they saw it as a fair way to make money.
Win – Win
This was a win-win for my wife and I. It meant they would read throughout their summer breaks and they could be busy for a whole 30 minutes! Not only that, but it allowed an opportunity to have financial goals at young ages. We would have discussions to help them consider what could be done with their $60. Was there a Transformers toy, a doll or a treat they wanted to buy? What could be accomplished with their hard work? What can they buy if they only read a few times? How will they feel if their sibling reads more often than them and therefore they make more money? (Nothing wrong with a little healthy-sibling competition.) These conversations allowed them to take informed financial responsibility.
What works for you
In your home, chores may be the perfect way for you and them to both benefit. Maybe your kids can set up a classic lemonade stand to earn some cash or collect bottles. There is plenty of room for creativity in finding paying jobs for kids. It’s important that the adult in each scenario is comfortable and clear with the financial agreement. For the lemonade example, do the kids need to purchase their own supplies, or do they just have very generous investors, I mean parents?
The key to kids making money is to use the opportunity to teach financial lessons. Everything from casual discussions on money and choices to helping them understand their personal responsibilities and goals. Allowing these conversations at young ages, assists kids for when they are older, when they are working with more than just $60 a summer. To help them lean into habits of saving money and financial goals, already part of their norm because you made lessons a priority at a young age.
I would love to hear your ideas or success stories on how kids can make money! Message me on social media or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org to share.