Kids and Money: Summer Job Ideas for Kids Under 16

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Lemonade StandThe school year is drawing to a rapid close. For many of us, that means trying to figure out what our kids will do all summer. If you want your kids to learn a life lesson, and make some money in the process, you might encourage them to get a summer job.

A summer job is a great way for kids to learn the value of hard work, as well as get some practical experience with money management. A summer job offers your children a chance to go beyond allowance and earn their own money. You can use this as a chance to teach them valuable financial skills, and help them put into practice such time-honored money moves as saving, wise spending and even investing. Here are some ideas for summer jobs for kids:

Young Children

Even young children like the idea of making money on their own. My son gets an allowance, but it’s not really doing it for him as an 8-year-old. He has suggested that we start paying him for chores, but that’s not something we’re into. (Whether or not to pay children for household chores is a debate for another day.) In order to earn extra money, he is thinking of things he can do. A classic, of course, is the lemonade and cookie stand.

However, even young children can be paid to run errands and do odd jobs. If there are those in the neighborhood looking for help clearing brush, or getting rid of rocks, this can be a worthwhile opportunity for young kids. There are kids in our neighborhood who sell iris bulbs from their flower garden each year.

My son also enjoys doing 4-H projects. He receives ribbon money for his displays. This year, he’s looking forward to sewing and model rocketry. And, as a lifetime 4-Her, I have seen kids as young as six or seven showing lambs and other animals — and getting paid for them at auction. (I actually earned ribbon money all the way until I graduated from high school, although I never raised animals.)

Tweens and Young Teenagers

There is an age, about 10 – 15, that children begin to really wish that they could earn some money. However, until your child is 16, getting a traditional job flipping burgers, acting as a runner at the local law office or doing any number of other jobs just isn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t mean they can’t earn money. Some jobs that are available to children that are a little bit older include:

  • Lawn care
  • Dog walking
  • Pet sitting
  • Baby sitting

Siblings in my neighborhood have a flag service: For a yearly subscription, they will put flags out in front of your home on the appropriate holidays. It is also possible to sell your stuff, online or offline. Kids can go through their old toys, sporting equipment, video games and other items, and have a yard sale. Try to arrange a neighborhood yard sale, and all the kids in the neighborhood can get in on it. And, of course, you are never too young to be an online entrepreneur.

What other summer jobs are available for kids under 16?

(Photo: adwriter)

{ 71 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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71 Responses to “Kids and Money: Summer Job Ideas for Kids Under 16”

  1. Tyler says:

    I worked for our local little league as an umpire starting at age 14.

  2. daenyll says:

    The concessions stands for my local pool and the ball parks hired starting at 14.

  3. I didn’t work until I turned 17. A mistake IMO. I will encourage my kids to get summer jobs earlier.

  4. zapeta says:

    A lot of people I knew at that age mowed lawns for extra summer cash. A few people had paper routes but I don’t know how many kids do that anymore.

    • Shirley says:

      Two of my boys had paper routes and I will say that it is a great way for them to see the ‘real world’ but it certainly isn’t a pretty picture.

  5. Demi says:

    I swept off driveways, side walks and small parking lots. I washed cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, camping trailers, and horse trailers. I pulled weeds, painted fences and pool decks. I did some simple walking distance shopping for my older neighbors. I washed out pools before they were refilled for the season. I walked dogs, picked up after dogs (made most money this way!), and babysat dogs for the afternoon. I washed windows outside, painted curbs, and painted fire hydrants. I collected aluminum cans and newspapers for scrap money taking them to the recycler on Saturdays. I stacked firewood. And I worked a couple hours a night on Fridays and Saturdays at the local outdoor drive in movie theater delivering drinks and popcorn as a waiter. I never went in any houses and I rarely if even used power tools. Needless to say…since I was 12 I was always doing something to make money over the summer. By the time I was 17 my Chevy was paid for. I was the only kid on the block with my very own wheels! I charged a flat fee of $3 an hour, cash. (1970’s money). Today…$5 to wash a car, $5 to pick up dog dirt. $2 per window to wash outside. $5 to paint a fire hydrant. Materials when possible were always by others.

  6. Demi says:

    Oh…and I use to help the local older paperboys insert their Sunday sections into their Sunday papers (when they use to do that) for $2 per route x 4 routes at the drop point per Sunday. $8 for an hour and 1/2 worth of work. Not bad at the time. That meant getting up at 5AM every Sunday morning to go to the paper drop…which was right across the street at the local elementary school. Mom could watch me out the kitchen window. But that $8 every Sunday allowed me to put my own Offering on the Church plate which really helped build my appreciation for money, and also helping others with it.

  7. skylog says:

    i can certainly put my vote towards lawn care. a friend and i did this over the summers of our last three years of high school and made quite a bit of money. that said, it was not all about the money, we learned a great deal about organization, hard work and using out time wisely.

    we were probably more advanced than others, as his family had several riding mowers and all the tools one could imagine. in the end, we learned a great deal and certainly had a fairly large sum of money in the bank as we headed off to college.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Find you’re kids passion and help them turn it in to a Business

  9. ray ray says:

    i am trying to find a job i am 12 and need one, See my bff is going to mexico for the summer and she asked if i could come i can. I just have to raise 1,100 dollars. I havent had much luck. All i have so far is about 10 dollars

    • Hecter says:

      I would suggest walking to ur nearest neighbors house (dont be afraid) and ask if theres anything to do espically like shoveling snow in the winter or raking leaves in the fall i made an easy 200 bucks last year and only worked for like 20 days . Another great idea would to be Ask a family member if theres anything u can do for money just Put urself outthere and ull get to goto mexico I beleive in u Ray Ray(:

    • something says:

      that is all you have to do it is not that hard so have fun with it do odd jobs for nabors

  10. Hihii says:

    Well I’m 10 and me and my friend want to do a summer job but we dOnt know what

  11. Clara Mccaffery says:

    Always love to find a new and exciting part of the web!

  12. something says:

    ok well ill try

  13. jazmin says:

    my friend wants me to come with her on vac. i need 300 how do i get it?

  14. Sky says:

    I am 12 years old and i want my own dog. we have a family dog but i want my own, i can get one but i have to her myself i need 450 dollars, what kind of work should i consider doing? i have elderly neighbors maybe i could help them? Plz respond! im so eager to hear your thoughts!! 🙂

    • someone says:

      I was in your situation once I really wanted a puppy so what I did was do yard work for some relatives and baby sat and I wouldn’t spend any money I just kept on saving and one day I could afford a dog

  15. someone says:

    I was in your situation once I really wanted a dog and what I did is some yard work for some relatives and baby sat.I also didn’t by anything else just kept on saving and one day i got me a really cute puppy.

  16. Savy says:

    Hi I am 13 and I really need a job but I can’t really think of any.I can’t do yard work for people around my neighbor hood cause they just have there kids do it.And I really can’t think of any and I need a job to earn money fast

  17. sally says:

    Hi I am 13 and I really need a job and I can’t think of any.I can’t do yard work around my neighbor hood because everybody just have kids to do it.So I can’t think of any and I need a job fast.

  18. sheldon says:

    i really need a job i cant just stay at home i would do anything for a job

  19. supp says:

    please help!!!! if i want to baby sit where would i advertise it???

  20. Dane says:

    It is a good idea to advertise. Especially for things like baby sitting and lawn care. Take pieces of paper, write your service, the cost, and make it colorful! Post it on the neighborhood entrance/exit, or the mailboxes if you have one of those mailboxes at the front of the neighborhood with everybody’s mailboxes in it. But check with neighborhood watch before you do that, because it could be banned in your neighborhood.

  21. alexis says:

    hi my name is alexis and i am looking for a summer job

  22. allissa says:

    i dont know wheree to sign up for a jod on this wedsite.

  23. kanzie says:

    Hey! im 13 and I would like to get a job this summer but i dont want to babysit or dog walk cuz theres really none of them in the area.. So what are some good suggestions to earn a good amount of money this summer? Thanks!(:

  24. Anonymous says:

    hi Kanzie, just b/c there are o dogs or babies in your naborhood you cood always try the next neiborhood or two over and you cood always have your mom or dad come meet the parents of the child or owner of the dog with you the first time you go or a day or before to meet them. Good luck!

  25. Nikkie says:

    im 14 atm and i just made 35 buck in a day by selling all my old video games i don’t pay anymore, i also have quite a bit of stuff for sale on Craigslist, that’s the best way i have made money over the summer, so far i made about 80 bucks off of a few things on Craigslist.

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