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Helping Kids Earn Money


With Christmas looming, my 7-year-old daughter’s gift wish list seems to grow by the day. She’s been combing through toy catalogs since October and has dog-eared so many pages I’m afraid that Santa won’t be able to deliver all the goods.

In fact, I know Santa won’t be bringing half of the things on her mile-long list.

Without blowing her belief in the big guy, I have been gently reminding her that if (more like, when) Santa doesn’t grant all of her wishes, she still has the opportunity to get them by paying for them herself.

Currently, she earns a small allowance for completing the tasks list on her chore chart. In addition, she receives some cash in the mail from my parents once a month for excelling at school. Still, even if she were to combine both sources of income, she likely wouldn’t be able to pay for all of the items on her gift wish list.

However, just planting the seed of earning potential has yielded positive results. We ended up making a list of ways my daughter can add to her piggy bank. Of course, at age seven, her job opportunities are limited, but if you have older kids who are constantly harassing you to sponsor their trips to the mall, the movies or the soda shop, their options are greater.

For example, tweens and teen entrepreneurs can make money babysitting, tutoring or running a pet care business. The latter is a great money-making opportunity if your child loves animals and has experience grooming and walking pets. Likewise, if your child is gifted in the craft department, she could earn cash making and selling beaded jewelry or sewing outfits for friends, family and neighbors. Finally, if you are a bilingual family, have your child offer to teach foreign language classes. A small ad placed in your church bulletin or community newsletter is an inexpensive and effective way of getting clients.

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.