How Can Small Kids Earn a Few Dollars?
By Art Carden
This morning, our six-year-old earned fifty cents. That fifty cents topped of the money he has been earning recently and gave him enough to buy a $17 toy he wants. I couldn’t be prouder: when he wants something, he finds a way to earn the money to buy it.
Some of our kids’ household responsibilities are non-negotiable. Keep the bedrooms and playroom clean(ish), fix your own breakfast and snacks, help us when we make reasonable requests, etc. The kids still have a lot of opportunities to earn money. Here are a just a few examples of some things our kids do for money:
1. Fix Dad’s lunch (usually just avocados and nuts, so nothing difficult).
2. Fix Dad a cup of coffee when he’s working at home (we have a Keurig, so this is also pretty easy)
3. Pick up sticks in the yard
4. Shelve my books (they’re still working on this as it’s not exactly fascinating work)
5. Scan and destroy documents (with the shredder or in the fire pit–this is obviously closely supervised)
6. Reading word lists. We’re a little hesitant about this because we want our kids to love reading for its own sake, but it doesn’t seem to hurt their reading.
I’ve had less success with paying for book reviews, though I thought saying “Daddy earns money by reading and writing about books; you can, too” would be a winner. Maybe later.
Fifty cents here and a quarter there adds up quickly, and they’re well on their way to mathematical fluency and financial literacy. We’re currently exploring the feasibility of opening Roth IRAs for them. If they have $5000 in a Roth at age 10 and then never contribute again, they’ll still have over half a million dollars at age 70 with a real return of 8%. I would call that a pretty good start.
What are some other ways kids can earn money?