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Family Money

Lifeguard Stand

Looking forward to having the kiddos home for the summer? Perhaps you have a fun summer vacation planned or have the kids enrolled in a week of summer camp. But what about the other dog days of summer? The other 70-plus days of your kids looking at you saying, "I'm bored." Here are just a few ideas to help keep your kids entertained while earning some extra cash.

 

BE A PLAYMATE. Your preschooler can invite a friend over for a play date, giving his mom a much needed break. Your grade-schooler can earn extra money by being a mother's helper. Your teenager can baby sit or be a summer nanny.

LIFE'S A BEACH. There are lots of jobs that are seasonal at the beach, lake or community pool. Depending on age requirements, your kids could lifeguard, work a concession stand or be a helping hand.

BE ENTREPRENEURIAL. If your neighborhood has a lot of kids, get your tween outside to watch the younger kids, creating a "sports camp" environment. Not only will your child get much needed exercise, but he'll be entertaining little ones who look up to him while earning a few bucks.

HOUSEHOLD CHORES. Although most families don't usually pay their children to help around the house, why not add on to what the kids already do and pay them for odd jobs — mowing the lawn, planting flowers or washing the car. If they pass your stamp of approval, then let them hit up the neighbors for extra cash.

THE CLASSIC LEMONADE STAND. Even the youngest child can make a sign and set up a lemonade stand at the end of the driveway. Save the environment and use reusable plastic cups to keep costs down. It's never too early to teach economics!

No matter what your kids do with their free time this summer, the most important thing is to keep them moving. The odd job will encourage responsibility, but more importantly, parents should talk to them about their new found wealth. Set them up for financial success and teach them the envelop system — have them put money in one for saving, one for giving and one for spending now!

Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom to an active 4-year-old. She is always thinking about economics and uses her time with her son as teachable moments.

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