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"Mom I Need A Job!": How Kids And Teens Can Earn Some Cash

Here is a list of things that you can do to earn some cash for that something special you always wanted. There are many things you can do that are better than setting up a lemonade stand in your front yard.


One of the first things you need to do is get some recommendations from your school teachers, parents, and friends. These are like a job reference that you would get if you were getting a job. Ask them to write a letter for you to say how trustworthy and reliable you are. You can show these to prospective customers. If you mowed Grandpa's lawn all last summer, ask him to write you a recommendation letter. If you watched your sister's kids for an evening, get her to write a letter also. Ask them nicely to include their contact information so that your customers can call them and ask questions about you. This shows prospective customers that you have had responsibility in the past and you know how to handle it.

Second, you need to think about what you can reasonably do without a lot of help from your parents. That's not to say they can't help you but it is better if your money earning adventure does not interfere too much with your parent's lives. If your parents have to drive you everyday, you may find they are not very supportive of your efforts. Now that you have decided on what you would like to do, make a business plan. You need to figure out how many free hours that you will have available, will there be any equipment you will need to purchase to start your business, who in your neighborhood will be your target customers? In other words, who will you sell your product to? What are you going to charge? Will you need transportation? If you have a bike and can ride it to and from your jobs, it will make it even easier. Write all of this down on a piece of paper. Now present your ideas to your parents. You want them to let you do this, right? Maybe you will need to borrow the family lawn mower or other garden equipment. So sell yourself. Tell your parents that you really can do this by yourself and show them your business plan.


Next, you will want to make flyers to put up at the local grocery store and anywhere else that has a public bulletin board. You will also want to use word of mouth advertising. Tell everyone that you are willing to work and what you do. Be up front with what you charge. Don't undercut your rates but keep them reasonable. Your parents should be able to help you figure out a good amount to charge. You also might want to make up a calling card that you can give to people that you meet. Have your name, phone number and what you do right there on your card, kind of like a business card. Be sure to show people your recommendation letters and tell them they can contact these people to ask about you. Remember that these are only temporary jobs and when the job is over, remember to ask the person you worked for to write you a recommendation letter. Now here are some ideas of what you can do:


  • Run a Sports Clinic: Are you the high school basketball star? Hit more home runs then Babe Ruth? A better soccer player than Pele? Put your talent to use and run a one day sports clinic to teach the basics to kids. You will need to put a time limit on your clinic and keep it to three or four kids maximum but you can charge 25 -30 bucks per kid for a 2 hour session. Hold it at your local park and bring your sports gear. Work on basic moves and plays.

  • Be a Dog Walker: Do you love animals and get along well with them? Lots of people don't have time to walk their pets. Make a flyer and let it be known that you are willing to walk their pets for them. Be sure to include an hourly rate. Get yourself a timer and you're off and running.

  • Computer Expert: A lot of us did not grow up learning about computers and there are some people, especially older folks, who could use lessons on how to email, use the word processor and how to download or upload pictures or programs. Hire yourself out as their personal computer coach. Charge a reasonable hourly wage and you will find yourself, by word of mouth, swamped with people wanting to learn. You also might take this to a community senior center and teach classes there. With your parents help, you should be able to come up with a fee per person for your classes. Be polite and patient with your students and your parents will be proud that they bought you that computer.
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  • Shovel Snow: Now I would not suggest that, with the snow we have had in many parts of the country, you would want to clear snow forever but it can be a great way to make some quick cash. Come equipped with a shovel and ring your neighbors' doorbells. If you charge a reasonable rate, which you and your parents can figure out together, you will probably find your neighbors would rather pay you than do it themselves.

  • Music Teacher: Did your parents make you take piano or guitar for most of your life? Are you pretty accomplished at playing? If so, you are probably good enough to teach the basics to a beginner. Charge an hourly rate for lessons and be sure that they provide their own instrument unless your parents will allow your students over to use yours.
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  • Performer: Do you have a special talent? Maybe you sing well or can play piano. You can hire yourself out to sing or to play music at many functions. Many people getting married would like to have someone to sing live at their ceremony but don't know who to hire. This would work well if you are a teen who can read music and can sing.

  • Be a Tutor: Are you good at math and science and English? Hire yourself out as a tutor. Even elementary school kids can help to teach others. Charge an hourly rate and be patient and polite and you will be making money before you know it.

  • Kid's Birthday Parties: You can advertise as a mother's helper for Birthday parties. Your skills would be running the games or helping with the crafts and watching the children. You could also add that you would be willing to do the decorating and clean up. Give a solid fee for what you would charge for the whole thing. If you are a magician, put together a show of your best tricks and hire yourself out for Kids parties. Like to paint faces? This is also a job that you could get hired to do at a birthday party. Have you learned to make balloon animals, add this to a clown costume and work it up into an act. Clown costumes can be made from old clothes from a thrift store. Now you're in business.
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  • Storyteller: Hire out to Moms who need a break. Come in once or twice a week for an hour and have a story hour with her children. Charge an hourly fee. Books can be borrowed for free from the library, just remember to get them back on time. Or hire yourself out as a crafter and be willing to do a craft with the children. Many crafts can be done with recycled materials and will cost you little or nothing. You can research easy crafts on the internet that use recyclables. Remember to charge for your materials as well as your time.

  • Pet Babysitter: Now this one definitely needs your parent's permission. When many people go on vacation, they need a place to take their fish bowl or iguana. If you are good with animals, you can make a good living taking in these pets while their people go on vacation. Ask for permission to house these pets in a garage or shed while you sit with them, it might just be too much for your Mom if the snake got loose in the house! If you are going to baby-sit dogs or cats, it is best to leave them in their own home and you go to them. Charge a weekly rate for your services and remember you really do need to make sure that they are fed and have clean water and cages. You do not want to have your customers come home to sick or dead animals. Also it is important for you to make sure you really understand how to take care of the animal, it is alright for you to ask the owner to write out the instructions for you. Also get emergency medical information so you will know where to take the pet if something were to happen.

  • Yard Clean Up: Grab a rake and let's go! Raking leaves and weeding are two of the most hated yard jobs. Charge a reasonable rate and your neighbors will be begging for you! With this job, you might want to supply the trash bags but you can also tell them that you supply the labor and they supply the materials. Besides, many people are composting their leaves so you may find that they just want you to rake them in a pile and cover them with a tarp. Weeding is a delicate job, you don't want to be pulling up someone's baby plants so, when in doubt, leave it. You can always ask "Is this a weed?" before you pull it.
  • Portable Car Washer: For this job you will need a bucket, a sponge, a squeegee, window cleaner and a good brand of car wash. Hire yourself out to wash and wax people's car at their homes. You supply the labor, they supply the water. Clean the car body, tires and rims and all chrome on the car. If they want the car waxed, be sure to tell them they need to supply you with their favorite brand. This could even be a two person job but make sure that you don't have water fights with other people's water. Be responsible and you will be asked to do it again.

  • Mother's Helper: Are there a lot of Kids in your neighborhood? Hire on as a mother's helper, your skills should include be willing able to play boards games and outdoor games with the children. Be able to supervise them when out for a walk or a trip to the playground. Be willing to keep them occupied while parents do other things. Be willing to help with dishes and household chores such as vacuuming and light housework. On this job, I would charge an hourly rate. You will find this job is a lot easier if you can come up with ideas for games and activities before you arrive at your job.

Now that you've got the job, get yourself a date book or big calendar and write down all your appointments. Keep yourself organized and remember, people like you to be on time. If you have to cancel, please remember to give people at least a 24 hour notice. One thing that always holds true is that a happy customer is a repeat customer so be sure to leave them happy.

I hope you find employment soon with one of my ideas. Work hard and reap the benefits.

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 7 grandsons. She is a published author and poetress. Born in California, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and many pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, arts and crafts and bargain hunting.

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February 21, 20070 found this helpful

some great ideas there for earning money thank you very much

i would also add in this day and age to write down in a book specially for this purpose every single booking name address telephone number and date and time of booking so that your parents know exactly where you are

and to take a mobile phone/cell phone pay as u go or contract phone with you so that your parents can ring u any moment of the day,

and to make it clear by stating to every single customer that u have given your parents the name address and time of the booking you are currently doing

and that your parents being the kind considerate parents they are might do random phone checks on you for your own safety

child protection is paramount over any money earned and at the end of the day its the parents resposibility teenagers included to provide for their children until they have left school and can earn a adult wage themselves

some jobs dont get money anyway and helping an elderly relative mow a lawn or babysit a tired neighbour for free because your child is kind and caring and did it without thought of being financially recompensed is worth more than money can buy

i have 3 teenagers who help round the house and do voluntary work in the local community besides their studies

until they met the legal age to earn their own money in the UK which is 16 years old then i pay for everything

even between 16 and 18 yrs when they are studying for A levels i would rather they got enough rest and sleep and recreational time in between their studies than worrying about earning money

what do other people think?


Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
July 10, 20070 found this helpful

i am 12 almost 13 and i want to earn some extra cash PLEASE HELP.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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