When’s the best time for your child to learn financial responsibility? Why not this summer?
According to a survey taken by the Council for Economic Education (CCE), 22 states now require students to take an economics course as a high school graduation requirement. But you don’t need to wait until high school to teach your kids about money. As soon as they learn to count, kids can understand the concept of earning, saving and spending money.
Economics doesn’t have to be boring. The CCE has just released two new resources to help teachers integrate financial literacy into the curriculum. “Playful Economics” and “Financial Fitness for Life” tackle topics such as saving money, credit cards, bank accounts, and college debt. The books are geared toward various age ranges and grades and include worksheets that parents can use at home.
But why wait until school starts? Summer will soon take a stale turn, when the kids are bored and looking for things to do. It’s not too late for kids of many ages to get a summer job. Doing so will chase away the summer doldrums and allow your kids to earn some money and learn an economics lesson.
Here are seven summer jobs for kids of different ages, from the elementary school student to the son or daughter bound for college.
1. Household Chores
Even a preschooler or kindergartner can begin doing chores for an allowance. Start with simple chores for little ones, like picking up toys and graduate to more involved chores as your kids grow.
2. Lemonade Stand
While it’s not likely to be a standing gig, setting up a lemonade stand is a fun business adventure that encourages creativity.
3. Pet Sitting / Dog Walking
Dog owners who work all day long or pet owners heading out of town for summer vacation might need someone to walk their dogs or look after the cats while they’re away. Pet sitting or dog walking are great money making opportunities for kids in the summertime. Be sure your child is comfortable with the pet.
4. Mowing Lawn / Yard Work
Mowing the lawn is a great summer job for the kid who loves to be outdoors. Some might be one-time only opportunities when clients are on vacation while others could be regular jobs throughout the summer months.
If your child is too young to use a lawn mower, perhaps they earn money planting flowers, pulling weeds, or raking yards.
5. Car Wash
A car wash is a money-making opportunity for a group of friends or neighborhood kids who enjoy being outdoors. Be sure the kids spend more time hosing down the car than themselves!
6. Babysitting / Summer Nanny
For the older teenager who loves kids, babysitting is a great way to earn extra spending money during the summer. College students home for the summer might be able to land summer nanny positions for families where both parents work outside the home.
Lifeguards are found at beaches, lakes, community swimming pools, even hotel pools. Minimum age requirements vary by positions, so be sure to inquire.
It’s never too early to begin teaching kids the concept of money. And it’s still not too late this summer for kids to find job opportunities that will fill their piggy banks before school starts.
By: Kelli Robinson
Kelli is a freelance writer and career counselor whose articles have been featured in local, regional, and national print publications. She specializes in parenting and family topics. Her parenting column, “My Big Top World” is featured in North Carolina newspapers. A Pittsburg native, she now lives near Charlotte, NC with her husband, kids, cats, and dogs – and all the insanity that comes with them.