This summer, I treated my kids to a paddleboat ride. I knew they loved it but what I didn’t know was that my nine year old had so much fun that he was setting aside some of his hard earned cash to pay to do it again. It was so cute when one day he finally told me he had saved some of his money for a boat ride that we could enjoy together. I could tell that it made him feel good to use his own money to both do something he enjoyed and to bless others.
So where did he get his money?
We don’t do allowances. I’m not entirely opposed to the idea, there certain are benefits and lessons kids can learn through them, we just don’t do it.
Rather, we provide opportunities for them to make a modest amount of their own money. There came a point in their lives when birthday money just wasn’t cutting it anymore. When they were younger, their birthday money would go a long way. A few trips to the dollar store and they were happy. Now, they save up their money to buy fishing tackle, cameras and apparently paddleboat rides!
Here is a list of five ways that we allow our children, under the age of ten, to pocket some cash.
Selling Items At Used Book Sales
If you are a homeschooler then you most likely have shopped a used curriculum sale or two. If your area holds large curriculum sales then set up a table and have your kids sell some of their books as well. You’ll have a chance to free up some space in your home for next year’s materials and your kids can make a little extra cash. This past year, my kids pocketed some change by selling some like new DVD’s that they didn’t want.
Using a parent’s account, teach your nine or ten year old how to list items on eBay. With my assistance, my son was able to list and sell some old coins that we had come across recently. Before the final sale was made, the buyer kept emailing asking questions about the item we were selling. This was a great opportunity for my son to learn that even if someone is interested that they might not always buy. It was a good example of not counting your chickens before they hatch. He was on the edge of his seat until the sale was made but once the payment went through he certainly felt a sense of accomplishment. At first, he didn’t know if all his hard work would pay off, but it did!
For us, this is hard since we live in the country. It’s just not practical to drive to people’s homes to feed their cats or walk their dogs. There wouldn’t be much of a profit in that. But, recently, we figured out a way to make it work. We had an opportunity to watch a dog, (part great dane!) and several chickens here at our own home. We picked them up and watched them for a week. The kids took up the brunt of the chores and were blessed to each receive money for their labor. This would work out great if you live near a city but you can make it work in the country too. We did!
My husband began teaching my boys, at a young age how to take apart old computers, televisions and other electronics and save the quality metal to bring to the scrap yard. With everything going digital and technology always advancing, there just isn’t a need for old electronics anymore. At certain times of the year scrap yards will pay a high price for certain metals. It keeps my boys busy, it teaches them the ins and outs of electronics and they make a little bit of spending money. It’s a win-win.
To be honest, I personally don’t have much success with yard sales, no matter how much advertising I do. I will say though that my kids thrive on it when we hold them. They love interacting with the customers and of course they enjoy selling their old toys and belongings. We don’t hold yard sales often but when we do, my kids surprise me with how much junk they’ve been saving up to sell for it. They usually end up making just enough to make it worth it for them though.
Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees
Teaching your kids that money doesn’t grow on trees and that people aren’t going to simply hand them what they want is an important lesson to be learned. There truly is satisfaction in earning your own money as a child. Your child will learn to be cautious in their spending habits and appreciate what they’ve purchased with their own sweat and tears. They will learn from their own mistakes when they make a rash purchase and then regret it, teaching them to be more wise in their spending next time. Giving children an opportunity to make even a small amount of their own spending money is a gift that will help them their whole life through!
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