Ways for Kids to Earn Money
By Steve Gillman
Below are some ways for kids to earn some extra money. This
topic is covered in the newsletter as well (subscribe on the
home page) and there is also another page about ways
for kids to make money.
Earn Money - Products
Pine Cone Christmas Tree Ornaments
If you live in an area with pine trees, collecting the cones
you'll need for this will be easy. Bring several plastic shopping
bags and start gathering them up. In some areas, you can get
three hundred cones in a hour or less.
There are two ways to make them hang as ornaments. The first
is to simply tie a piece of thread or string to them near the
fat end of the cone, with a loop for hanging on the branches
of the tree. A better way is to use wire "ornament hangers."
This requires that you twist little "eyelet screws"
into the top of each cone (Wal-Mart has both of these things),
and attach the wire hangers to these.
To really make them pretty, you need to spray-paint them (you'll
need a parent to buy the paint for you). Set up a string in the
yard, or use a clothesline to hang the ornaments on, and spray-paint
them from all sides. They'll be dry in a few minutes. Gold and
silver are great colors, but red and green work too.
If you use all four colors, you'll have to invest about eight
dollars total, with hangers, screws and paint. That should give
you enough supplies to make at least 140 ornaments. You can sell
them for 50 cents each or a set of all four colors for $1.50.
If you sell 35 sets (140 ornaments), you'll make $52, or $44
profit after the cost of your supplies.
If there are events in your town in the summer, like parades
or festivals, you may be able to sell cold pop. Call the city
government and ask them which events they allow vendors at, and
how much it will cost you for a permit to sell pop. You'll probably
need to borrow the money from your parents to do this, because
the permit may cost as much as $50 per day, and you'll need to
buy the pop, a cooler, and ice. See if you can borrow a small
wagon to pull the cooler around in.
I have seen kids sell hundreds of dollars worth of pop in
a day during a parade or festival. You should try to have several
types of soda, and at least one of them should be a sugar-free
one. If you watch for sales, you can get 12-packs for as little
as $3, which is 25 cents-per-can. Sell them for a dollar each,
and make sure they are cold.
Earn Money - Services
This is one of the best ways for kids to earn money in the
winter. All you need is a shovel. If you can't borrow one from
your parents, it will cost about $10 to buy one. Find one that
isn't too heavy.
Ask your parents for permission first, but there are several
ways to get business. You can go door-to-door asking if people
need any snow shoveling done. You can approach people who are
shoveling their own driveways and offer to finish the job. You
can see if businesses downtown need their sidewalks cleared.
Ask around to see what people think is a fair price in your
area. You can charge by the hour (maybe $6 per hour), or by the
job. If you charge by the job, be sure you are good at guessing
how much work it will be to shovel that driveway or sidewalk.
People pay up to $75 or more to have their cars washed and
thoroughly cleaned inside. Of course, there are professional
services that do this, and they have good equipment, so you can't
expect to compete with them. But if you can borrow a bucket,
a vacuum cleaner and some cleaning supplies, you can offer a
cheaper service to your neighbors and your parents friends.
Do your parents car first (maybe as a birthday present) to
get experience. You need to clean every little part of the inside.
That means the windows, the dashboard, under the seats, the mirrors,
and every corner. You should be get a book or go online to earn
how to get stains out of seats too. If you do a good job, you
should be able to charge $20 for your service, and it should
take you a few hours or less.
Kids have been earning money raking leaves and cutting grass
and trimming bushes for a long time. Ask around to see what people
are willing to pay in your area. Usually you can use their equipment,
so you don't have to invest a dollar to get started doing this.
One More Way for Kids to Earn Money
You'll need your parent's permission and help for this one,
but it is a fun way to earn money. Go to one of the places on
the internet that lets you set up a free blog (like Blogger.com).
Create a blog about something that interests you. It can be on
video games, how to raise hamsters, television shows, or anything
that you want. Once you start it, you just have to write something
new at least once every week. It can be your opinion, or advice,
or useful information.
To make money with the blog, you need to find something online
to sell for a commission. This is called an affiliate program.
You tell people about a company's website, and if they go there
and buy something, you earn a commission.
Commission junction (cj.com) handles affiliate programs for
many companies. You can go there and find a product that readers
of your blog might buy. If your blog is on video games, for example,
there are companies that sell games. You just announce on your
blog that they have great games, and put a link to their site
with your code in it (ask a parent for help with this part).
If visitors to your blog go and buy something, you get paid.
Unfortunately, an adult has to open the account to sell these
affiliate products, and the check will be sent to that adult.
The good news is that once your mother or father sets it up for
you, they don't have to do anything else except cash the checks
for you. You can do all the writing for the blog, and you can
tell your friends about it to start getting visitors.