Around about the time that our kids started nagging us for a new toy or treat every time we visited the shops is around about the time we decided to introduce the concept of earning pocket money. We purchased them their first-ever Coin Pouch or Wallet and prayed they didn’t lose it!
As the experts predicted, giving our kids the opportunity to earn their own money has already taught them a great deal about the value of money and managing it accordingly.
The sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to purchase that beading set or card game months before their Birthday or Christmas with the money they’ve had stashed in their Wallet. Feeling a little disappointed that they splurged their coins on lollies when they could have saved them up in their Coin Pouch for an afternoon in the arcade. The realisation that the only way they can earn more money is through hard or smart work.
“Hard or smart work” – what do we mean by that? Traditionally, the main earning opportunities for children present themselves in the form of helping out with household chores. Household chores are thought to be a great way to teach children about the importance of contributing to the household and are what we would consider hard work. AKA, work they most likely won’t enjoy doing but must complete in exchange for their pocket money. A necessary lesson indeed.
Alongside hard work, we have the opportunity to encourage smart work. That is; using their talents, creativity and passion to create a product or service they can provide for the family or the wider community. In doing so, we’re teaching our children that investing in what makes them happy and unique is always a recipe for success. After all, if you love what you do you never work a day in your life.
- Spa Treatments
Got a child at home who is mature beyond their years and absolutely obsessed with all things beauty? We know we do! Why not encourage them to learn more about providing basic beauty treatments, e.g. braiding hair, makeovers, massages, pedicures and facials. Once confident, they can offer their services to the family for a decided-upon fee ( everybody wins!)
- Making Keychains
Got a crafty kid? Encourage them to save some of their hard-earned pocket money to purchase some keyrings (for as little as $2.50 for 50 pieces from eBay) and some plastic scooby string from the craft store. From there, they can learn to create and sell these adorable, 90s-inspired keychains.
- Making Gift Cards
Got a talented painter, illustrator or master crafter? Encourage them to save up some pocket money to purchase some quality card from your local Officeworks (around $18.00 for 125 sheets). Then, they can use their creativity and the art and craft supplies they already have sitting around at home to create gift cards for their extended family or even the wider community. Here are some ideas to get them started if they’re stuck for inspo.
- Making Jewellery
For the glamorous kiddos who love to accessorise – what better business to get into than jewellery making! Purchase a Mega Beading Kit (which can make up to 16 pieces), from K-mart for as little as $24.00. Then it’s time to get creative! They could sell their pieces to family and friends, or even set up a stall to sell to the local neighbourhood!
- Garage Sale Stall
Got a fashionista or toy hoarder? Teach them about the value of liquidating one’s assets with a family garage sale. Encourage them to gather up their least used toys, clothes and other personal items in the lead up to the sale. You could also encourage them to think about how they might advertise the sale and display their items in an attractive fashion to passers-by.
Round up the business activity with a little lesson in giving back, by taking any items that didn’t sell to the local op-shop.
- Lemonade Stand
It’s a business rite of passage for kids and we never pass one without buying a cup. Perfect for even the littlest entrepreneurs, a lemonade stand never disappoints. Encourage your kids to purchase some lemons and sugar the next time you’re at the supermarket or loan the ingredients with a re-compensation agreement. They’ll love spending their Saturday making and selling their own lemonade using this dead easy recipe.
Let them get creative making signs and setting up the stand as it can be just as fun, as making and selling the lemonade. What they don’t sell will make for the perfect reward, come close of business.
- Washing Cars
Got a car-obsessed kid? What better way to prepare them for their automotive future than by teaching them to maintain and care for a car. Show them where to find a bucket, some suds, a sponge and a vacuum and put them to work detailing in exchange for some pocket money. Once they’re a little more confident in their skills, they could offer their services to the wider family or even the surrounding neighbours!
- Pet Sitting/Dog Walking
Our animal-obsessed kiddos were absolutely ecstatic when they found out they could earn cash by taking care of and walking our neighbour’s fur babies. Caring for an animal is a very big responsibility and your kids will feel extremely grateful for the trust instilled in them to take on such an important job. A fair bit of work will have to go into setting up the business, but the rewards are great if they’re willing to work for them. For tips on starting a dog walking business check out this awesome article.
While considered a chore to some, a true little green thumb will absolutely love getting to work in the garden. Caring for plants is a great way to learn about horticulture and take on some responsibility at home. Watering, weeding and replanting are all a part of the fun of course. Consider letting your child grow some herbs, fruit or vegetables to learn about the origins of their food and the non-monetary reward of caring for plants. Here’s a list of some easy to grow and care for plants to get the garden started.
- Recycling Bottles and Cans
Is your little enviro warrior aware that their recycling efforts could earn them pocket money!? Thanks to the amazing Containers for Change program operating in Queensland and Western Australia, kids can collect recyclable containers between (150ml-3L) and take them to their local container refund point to collect 10c for every container they exchange.
They also have the option to donate their monetary reward to charity, if saving the environment is enough to make them smile.
We hope that with this list they can fill their wallet and fuel their passions.
Anything is possible with a little hard work!