It’s possible that the days of kids starting lemonade stands are over. While the fact that times change can be sad, it’s also true that opportunities for kids to make money fast have never been better! Besides, let’s be honest – the margins on that lemonade were never that great. So if your child shows interest in starting to earn money, or if you need to put an overactive child to work, here are some ideas on how to make fast money for kids, some tools for getting started, and more in-depth discussion on each:
1. Re-selling items. Your kid can take this online course to become a quick expert: Flipping: – How to Make Money Selling Anything and Everything
2. Cooking Meals for the Neighborhood. Here on the West Coast, vegetarian cooking is in high demand so Happy Vegetarian Cooking for Kids will be of great help
3. Mother’s Helpers. An old practice made new! Teenagers work in the home with new moms and help out with everything from laundry to baby.
4. More options for the specially-skilled
1. Re-selling Items, or “Flipping”
These days the idiom that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” couldn’t be more true or more easy to prove. Ebay and Craigslist have made the garage sale scalable for the entire world. People with niche markets on this site can make a decent living searching out items they know they can re-sell online and, unlike lemonade stands, the margin here can be amazing – especially as your expertise grows.
Known examples of successful niche markets include 19th Century paintings, used lululemon clothing, and rare VHS tapes that were never released into DVD form.
For kids with basic computer skills and a basic understanding of customer service, this can be a goldmine. It can even piggyback on interests that they already have, such as sports or movies. Got an SF Giants superfan? Get that kid collecting and flipping rare bobbleheads. Someone in the family obsessed with Frozen? Collecting Disney figurines might turn a quick buck.
Set them up to take this course mentioned above – “Flipping: How to Make Money Selling Anything and Everything” – more many, many more ideas. And an extra hint: textbooks of any kind can be a real money-maker!
Your child may just need a little help with the shipping and postage aspect for this fast money for kids idea.
2. Cooking for the Neighborhood
Now, of course, a full-scale kitchen requires permitting and health certifications, but a kid-run, adult supervised smaller endeavor can certainly also make your child a few dollars and fill a need. Again, the course mentioned above can help get your child started: “Happy Vegetarian Cooking for Kids”.
Making neighbors aware that you can provide meals to them in the case of a sick family member, new baby, or just an especially busy week may net you more than you can handle right off the bat! Plus, it is especially gratifying to provide nourishment to those in need of a good meal. This is a great idea for a budding chef, as they get to cook but also handle the business aspect: managing orders, setting realistic timelines, and purchasing ingredients.
3. Mother’s Helpers
This is perhaps the option with the least parental-supervision needed, as your child will be working under another set of new parents.
Cultures have used older children for help in childcare for ages, and Mother’s Helpers embody this idea.
A mother’s helper is a little different than a nanny or babysitter because they assist the family while one or both parents are still at home. Mother’s helpers can help with childcare, laundry, cooking, cleaning or other household chores. While your child will be compensated for this role, often this arrangement works for young teens who are not quite full-fledged babysitting age – they can work as mother’s helpers in order to gain skills and training for future and more lucrative babysitting positions.
A post to the neighborhood might look something like this: Hire a Mother’s Helper! Do you work from home? Hire a mother’s helper to entertain your children while you finish up important projects that require more concentration than you can achieve while you have a 2-year-old hanging from your ankles. Household chores getting you down? Ask your mother’s helper to pitch in and together you’ll knock out an enormous amount of work in no time at all! Do you homeschool? How about someone to play with your toddlers while you do lessons with your older children! As your mother’s helper I can provide you with a lot of things but most of all I provide help!
Kids making fast money as mother helpers are good listeners and good at problem-solving. They are also people-persons; shy kids may end up feeling awkward in someone else’s home and may not be able to jump in as much as needed.
Compensation varies widely for mother’s helpers and depends on your child’s level of experience, maturity, and ability to learn what needs to be done. A quick online course can build your child’s resume. Take “Developing Kids Motor Skills and Coordination From 0-6 Years” and market your child as a coach and a helper. This is sure to win over parents, most of whom have big hopes for their child’s future in sports.
A huge benefit of this role is the relationship-building aspect: your child is building a book of clients for years to come as he or she becomes mature enough for full-on babysitting and child-care.
4. Specialty Options
There are some other ideas out there on how to make fast money for kids. Some of the following require more training or time investment and offer a higher risk, and therefore higher monetary reward. All three require specialty skills.
- Writing children’s or pre-teen’s books. A budding writer can come up with the plot that captures other children’s imaginations. While adults have moved into this arena most recently, there is still room for the savvy pre-teen writer to carve out an audience. The publishing world is about marketing, and what’s more marketable than a cute kid writing stories? Have your child take “The Ultimate Mystery Writing Course for Kids” for more confidence, and hopefully you can channel your high school or college education to provide astute editing.
- Facebooking. Got a kid who has some nerdy interests and who is always on Facebook? Get them in on the business. The course “FB Cash Formula: How to Make Money with facebook” can show them how. And might just freak them out enough about the back-end to stop posting every selfie they’ve ever taken or tweet every thought they’ve ever had.
- Coding. Yup. It’s the future. And knowing the basics of coding means a pretty secure job for, well, forever. This is a very specific kid that has enough patience to sit and code at a young age, but they are out there and can start making a buck or start the foundations of making bigger bucks. “Kid’s Coding – Beginner HTML” can get them started and then, most likely, they are pick up more and more just being in the culture.
No one would ever seriously be a proponent of bringing back child labor in this day and age. But the fact is, “labor” means something entirely different in this tech-obsessed culture and can be appropriate, and even helpful, for some kids. While learning how to make fast money will most likely be the main objective for your child, most of these options will get them in touch with their community, teach them real and valuable skills for the future, and maybe, just maybe, get them off social media for a hot second.