I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts, views and opinions expressed in this post are proudly my own. #UFundDreams
Ah, a summer job. Do you remember your first summer job? As one of five kids in a big family, we used to do chores to earn a weekly allowance. There were many of us so we all had different spending and saving habits. My father was and still is a finance guy, so I feel lucky that we had a smart foundation for learning. Summer jobs build life skills and financial responsibility, and they do so in such an organic and inspiring way. Even though I didn’t babysit or get retail jobs until my teen years, there were and still are plenty of fun ways that kids of all ages can earn money.
7 Ways Kids of All Ages Can Earn Money This Summer!
First of all, let’s talk about MEFA. As you probably know, this is my fourth summer partnering with them and it’s for a reason! As a Massachusetts resident, and as a mom, I’ve been to a U.Fund Dreams Tour event every summer and fall, and I love to talk about the U.Fund 529 College Investing Plan. It seems like my kids are growing up way too fast! Scarlet just turned ten this month, and Des turned seven last month. The days are long, the years are short, and these kids are NOT getting any less expensive. In fact, everything seems to get more expensive with age.
That’s why I’m sharing seven ways kids of all ages can earn money this summer! Now that our kids are grade school-aged, I find there are more opportunities for them to build responsibility, learn a few things, and have fun along the way too! They’re not teens yet but there is a world of options for them to work this summer! And these are jobs which can help others as well! Win!
1 – Window cleaning, anyone?
This may have been my first job! For a ten-year-old like Scarlet, this can be super age-appropriate and challenging. Windows get dirty on both sides, so it’s double the work to clean both inside and outside the windows. Your child can choose whether to charge by window (maybe $2-$5 per window, depending on size) or by hour! Plus, it’s satisfying work.
2 – Making and selling crafts like jewelry.
It turns out that Scarlet has quite the penchant for making friendship bracelets, lanyards, anklets, and more. Figure out with your child an art or craft they’re really keen on learning and perfecting, and then see how you can go about selling them – to loved ones, at flea markets, farmers markets, etc.
3 – A thorough car wash.
We all have been there, right? I remember that washing my dad’s car was such a joy when I was a kid. And I’d do that for free! Well, what if your child offered the interior and exterior of the car! They get so dirty. I know if someone offered to vacuum the interior of my minivan, I’d be excited to pay for that! So much dirt and dust.
4 – Light pet sitting/walking.
When my childhood neighbors used to travel, I had a key and I’d go into their house, clean the litter boxes, and make sure the cats had food and water. In our town, a local ten-year-old cat sits. Her parents come with her, but ultimately, she’s great at checking in on people’s cats daily. This is a great starter job! Older kids can walk dogs, feed them, give them water, etc. They can also bring in mail and packages, water plants, and more!
5 – Have a lemonade stand.
It’s a tale as old as time, but for a reason. It WORKS! Not only do people love lemonade or other weather-appropriate drinks (even hot cocoa in winter), but I’ve found that people love to support kid businesses. We have a policeman who comes and says he never drives past a lemonade stand. We have neighbors come out, cars stop, and I myself never miss a lemonade stand if I can help it. We were in California a few weeks ago and saw kids having a fancy lemonade stand with sour cherry and rose lemonade flavors! You can bet I stopped. Another fun idea is cold bottled water at sporting events. It’s profitable with the right markup, and the right weather!
6 – Age appropriate yard chores.
Older kids can mow lawns – you just need to choose whether to use your own lawn mower or a client’s lawn mower. Then kids of all ages can help with pulling weeds, spreading mulch, planting flowers and seeds, harvesting, and providing conversation too.
7 – Be YOUR assistant!
My friend owns a hair salon, and when I went in there last month for a cut and color, her daughter was training on the phones and scheduling. It was super cute! Here’s my secret – Scarlet takes photos for me when I need to be in blog photos. And she does a great job! When my mom owned her own business at home (an art school), I was an assistant. I got the students fresh paintbrushes, paint, and water, and helped with some light art technique. Kids can also help with home offices – like filing, mailing, etc. Scarlet is fully capable of taking photos of me, and it helps her learn life skills!
What I love is that these jobs help my kids learn responsibility for finances. Sure, they love to keep a percentage of their earnings, but they can also help contribute a percentage to their own college savings plans. We contribute to their U.Fund 529 college savings plans, our parents do, and now they can too! A 529 college savings plan will offer your kids tax-free growth, which checking and savings accounts don’t do. So while they grow up and their jobs get more advanced, they’ll keep saving and growing!
So as you can see, there are plenty of fun ideas. These are our personal creative ones. I thought of a lot of the ones we all did as kids, but added a little modern twist. And my kids are definitely learning the art of blogging right now. And speaking of which, we’ll be attending a fun U.Fund Dreams Tour event – the Dreams Tour at the Lowell Folk Festival on Saturday, July 27th and Sunday July 28th from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. Come to downtown Lowell for this interactive experience for kids to imagine themselves in different occupations while their parents learn about the details of the U.Fund College Investing Plan. U.Fund representatives will be there to answer questions about saving for college! Find out more about the U.Fund Dreams Tour here.