by Kimberly Blaker
An important aspect of helping kids develop into responsible adults is teaching them the value and rewards of hard work and earning their own money. Through this they gain self-esteem, come to understand the real value of a dollar, and become more thoughtful in the way they spend money. Share the list below with your pre-teen or teen for a broad range of ways they can cash-in this summer.
The grass is always greener
What better way to soak up the sun, get fit and make spare cash all at once, than mowing lawns? Create some fliers and be sure to mention that you live in the neighborhood. Include your fees and your phone number and then deliver the fliers to the homes in your neighborhood.
Make the most of neighbors’ garage sales by setting up a refreshment stand in your own front yard.
Too old for toys and games?
If so, clean out those you’ve outgrown and hold a sale. Make a cardboard or wooden sign to attract neighborhood kids and passersby, lay out blankets in your front yard, and spread out your goods. Keep your prices reasonable, and don’t forget a 25-cent box filled with odds and ends.
Are you old enough to stay home alone? If so, you may be ready to care for other children. Spread the word through family, friends and neighbors. Once you’ve gained experience, post fliers on library, grocery, or laundromat bulletin boards. When babysitting, play games and do activities with the kids, and avoid texting or watching TV. Parents love sitters that keep their children busy.
A little dirt never hurt
Garage cleaning is a big chore, especially for the elderly. So, offer your services to relatives and neighbors. When you get a job, be thorough, and move everything into the driveway or yard before you begin. Remove cobwebs with a broom, sweep ledges and the garage floor, and then hose the garage concrete (with permission) to loosen ground-in dirt. When it’s dry, neatly arrange everything back into the garage.
Wood fencing requires ongoing maintenance, so offer to assist your neighbors in sprucing up their yard by painting or staining their fences. The homeowner should supply the paint or stain and the necessary tools. Be sure to follow directions, and take your time to do a careful job.
Offering your services for this dreaded task is sure to be a success. If you get the job, make sure your parents know the homeowner and approve of you going inside. Clean the interior of all windows, including doors, and don’t forget to open the windows and clean the ledges and tracks. Offer to do exterior windows that you’re tall enough to reach without a ladder. Ask permission to hose them down to remove loose dirt. Then wash and dry them by hand.
Life’s a zoo
Pet owners who don’t like to kennel are often in a dilemma at vacation time. Pass out fliers in your neighborhood, and offer to pet sit. Do the sitting in your home, garage, or fenced yard, if your parents agree. Otherwise, make regular visits to the pet’s home. Be responsible, and do exactly as the pet owner instructs, for both your safety and the pet’s.
Are weeds taking over your neighbors’ flowerbeds? Then offer to get them back into shape. Before you get started, find out which are plants, or flowers that have not yet bloomed. When in doubt, ask before you pull them. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and hose the ground lightly to loosen roots. Pull weeds from rock beds, shrubbery and cement cracks. Then dispose of them properly.
Dollars for duds
Have you hit another growth spurt? Ask your parents if you can consign your clothing and split the profits. Look for consignment shops in the yellow pages under “resale,” “clothing – used,” or “consignment.” Find out their policies, and then get your clothing ready. Wash and dewrinkle, then hang or fold it neatly. Don’t forget shoes, jackets, and pajamas, too.
Who’s walking who?
If you’re looking for a new summer pal, why not make it man’s best friend? Pass out fliers to offer your pet walking services.
Make it shine
Round up your friends and get ready for some cool, wet fun! Hold a car wash in your driveway or a parking lot, with permission from the property owner. Make a large colorful “Car Wash” sign, and include your cost, no more than your local car wash charges. Have your supplies handy: a bucket of soapy water, rags or sponge, a hose, and plenty of dry towels.
Tips for business success
• Get your parents’ permission before accepting a job, and make sure they know where you’ll be.
• Dress for the type of job, and wear old clothes if they could be ruined.
• Discuss payment in advance to avoid disputes or hard feelings.
• Do your best. Not only will you earn respect and feel good about yourself, it will likely affect whether you are hired again and can use that person as a reference.
• If you make a mistake, don’t ignore it or try to cover it up. Inform your employer, offer your apologies and ask what can be done. Your honesty will likely make your employer overlook the error.
• Be on time. Call right away if you’ll be late or can’t make it.