How to make money as a kid

How to make money as a kid with proven ideas from easy to more technical.

If you’re anything like my 11 year old daughter you’re probably asking for ways to make money so that you can buy legos, games, or apparel. While parents don’t mind providing for your necessities we want you to learn how to make money while you’re young. This is the time to explore, develop skills, and use your passions to make a little spending money.

This list is something my daughter and I have been working on for the last few years.  It started when she participated in a community activity to show and encourage kids to participate in entrepreneurship.  This was a fun activity we were all able to do as a family with the ability to generate a little money.

Parent cue —> How Money Smart Are You?

The list below was put together in order of ease-of-implementation.  Remember the goal is to make money in a safe and easy way. You should not expect to spend lots of money to buy your materials.  The idea is to use your current items or talents/know-how to make money. 

Parents this should require minimal supervision on your part. 

Sell your used stuff

The first is to gather your old, unused toys.  Your closets are probably full to toys you no longer play with.   Have your parent list them on trading up sites.  This is a quick and easy way to get your room organized and make some money.  

Ask your parents to create an eBay account and the same can be done here.  Do the same for the gaming systems you no longer and your gently used clothing.   Also, remember to take key quality pictures before uploading your products. 

House / Pet sit

Offer to pickup your neighbors mail, water their plant, or keep an eye on their house while they are out of town.  Do that enough times and you will be the go-to house sitter expert.  

Sell lemonade

You don’t even need a stand to sell the lemonade.  The neighborhood kids will stand on their yard and shout, “lemonade”!  Sell the 8oz cup for $1 and offer additional goodies to go with the lemonade.  

Parent Cue –> you might want to make sure the product tastes yummy.

Maintain Yards

Maintaining yards involve cleaning flower beds, removing trash, and of course mowing.  Don’t have a mower?  You can plan to borrow the home-owners equipment and do the gig.  

A personal favorite of mine is to keep an eye out for houses listed for sale.  You can then text the listing agent and offer to mow or keep the yard tidy.  This works best where the house is empty.  

Other ideas for kids to make money

The list below will require some technical know-how and  manual or power tools. 

Parent cue –> please plan to assist and supervise your kids while they do these activities.

Create GIFS  

There are free websites that will allow you to upload a picture and create a gif.  Plan to advertise on Facebook and ask for a picture to convert.  You then upload the picture to the website and download the gif.  The gif will then be sold.  

Make wooden signs

You can create custom wooden signs.  The easiest method to do this is to buy wooden pickets and paint them a solid color.  You can join the 3 pickets by using wooden glue, a small wooden piece for the back and some wood screws or nails.

Then select the stencils to create custom and one of a kind signs.   You can buy stencils at your local craft store.  Go to your favorite social media site and advertise the signs.  

Bake goodies

Have a knack for baking?  Consider selling your cakes for birthday parties.  Nothings says unique like a cake baked by a loved one.  Have your parents participate in this activity.

Offer customized goodies

An idea is to offer to customize your friends bags or student’s mask coverings.  A cricut is not a must-have to do this.  You can purchase iron-on material and use your creative skills to draw on the material and then use scissors to cut your masterpiece. 

After cutting you can have your parent help to iron the design on the item.  

That’s it! Pretty easy ways to make some money if you’re a kid. Notice some require little effort while others will need a little more time. Keep in mind that all these ideas will help develop some skills, i.e. communication, sales, profits/loss to name a few.

Parent cue –> You ready to show your kid how to make money? Or do you need help with this topic?

What are ideas would you include in this list?

33 Ideas for Parents To Make Money

Should you be paying your kids an allowance

Kid picking flowers
Kid picking flowers

I never received an allowance and neither should my kids. My logic sounds silly right?

But have you considered how an unconditional allowance is causing damage to your children’s ability to handle money?

Unconditional Allowance

Let’s define unconditional allowance. This is defined as an allowance given to the child without them having done any task or chore to receive it.

I didn’t received an allowance for the chores I should be able to to. This was my contribution to my parent’s house. My spending money came during the summers when I would hoe cotton fields in West Texas. Character-building they called it.

When my kids were younger I struggled on whether they should receive an allowance. Our goal as parents should be to have our children be financially savvy and come to appreciate the work that needs to happen to earn a dollar.

Allowances and Entitlement Attitude

I believe that kids that receive an allowance without having “earned” it have an entitlement attitude. I recall some of my childhood friends who received an allowance and as young adults they struggled mightily in developing a health work ethic and meeting their obligations.

Curious if your poor performers where recipients of an unconditional allowance? They believe just showing up is enough to receive their paycheck. Unfortunately I don’t have the research to draw that comparison but it would make sense.

I still don’t provide a my kids an allowance for doing chores. They both know they can come to me and ask for spending money. I won’t always say yes but will encourage them to find ways to generate that money.

Either the yard needs to be mowed or my blog needs proofreading. The 11 year does a good job of that. The younger one will realize she needs to go above and beyond her chores to earn that money. To my surprise she’ll do just that by doing that extra, like vacuuming, without us having told her.

Why so strict?

Kids are resilient. They will find a means to generate spending money. I am teaching my children to find an opportunity/ need and meet that need. Recently, my 11 year old was making wooden signs and successfully sold all of them!

This proved to be a wonderful learning experience for her. She learned break-even point, revenues, margins, and tools that will benefit her throughout her life.

My learnings

I grew in a household where money was scarse. This limited my world-view and believed many of the myths associated with wealth people. I have taken the initiative to teach my girls an abundance mindset.

An abundance mindset that says that what flows out their hands will come back. A mindset that teaches them to see every transaction as a learning opportunity.

Loss aversion explained and tips to overcome it

How this psychological behavior is causing you to lose lots of dollars

Loss Aversion
Loss Aversion

Loss aversion: the pain of losing is twice as strong as the gain

Hey, did you notice an increase in your paystub?  You may want to check it out.   If you did, you are part of the 90 percent of Americans who will have experienced a positive net gain in their take home money.

But have you given much thought to what you will do with that extra money?

Chances are you haven’t given it much thought.  Honestly, I have not done much with mine yet.

Unfortunately, you and I will struggle to save that extra income because it is so much fun to spend rather than save.  Who can relate?

Wait, I have a mental condition?

Yes, we all do!  There is  a psychological behavior that will keep you from saving.  This behavior is known as loss aversion, or the hate of losing.  Loss aversion is a psychological state of mind where the “pain of losing is twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining”.

We know we need to do something smart with that little extra money and yet we choose to do nothing.   This same behavior is seen  in different areas of one’s life:  health, spiritual well-being, education, and list continues. We know the benefits gained from each of these actions are great, but the pain of losing time, money, relationships, or other resources will keep you from taking action.

Look around your influential circle of friends and you may see the benefits experienced by overcoming loss aversion.   These benefits did not happen overnite.  They probably battled loss aversion at some time yet they did something about it and they took action.

Inaction breeds company and it will have an impact in many areas of your life.

Now that we know that loss aversion keeps us from investing let’s explore the two solutions

The more steps or actions an activity requires the less likely we are to take a step forward to bettering ourselves.   For example, we need to get in shape and for some reason we believe we need a new workout wardrobe, hire a trainer, and post your accomplishments.  These are but a few things that keep you from taking action.  So many unwritten rules to follow it seems.  But disregard those and get going.

 Let’s look at savings and retirement

The lingo alone will drive one insane!  Annual percentage rate, annual percentage yield, certificates of deposit or CD, bonds, IRA, 401K, etc etc!  That is why your accounts have not grown or you have not started.

According to a report, 50 percent of Americans don’t participate in their 401Ks and reasons stated include: feeling overwhelmed with the many choices, laziness, and struggle with deposits.

I remember feeling all the mentioned emotions as I enrolled in my company 401K.  Trying to be in compliance with company policies, understand vacation policy and now 401K!

The struggle was real and I’m glad I took that plunge. I was afraid to ask questions. Here’s an MBA student who has no idea how to invest, I thought they would say.  I had no idea or direction and no one to turn to.

Don’t let that hold you back! Take action.

My experiences have shown that the first step you take, is the most important one.  Over time you will become more educated and can make wiser choices in your finances.

Turn the challenges into solutions

You might have heard the acronym KISS- Keep It Simple Silly.  Try taking advantage of automatic contributions.   Let the accounts withdraw from your check before you have time to spend it.   If you don’t see it you will not miss it.

Understand as you save more it does not necessarily mean you will spend less.  If you have a budget in place this will keep you focused on your goals.  I’m old school and prefer to look at spreadsheets when using my budget.  There are apps that keep this process simple.  Don’t see saving or investing as a present loss but a future gain or victory.  Keep focused on your goals.

Helpful bits

We are visual creatures.  We like wooing and awwing over beautifully created pictures.  I can spend hours on hours looking through Pinterest and Instagram.  Do the same for  your finances.  Use visuals rather than figures to help you achieve goals.

For example, instead on fixating on a $500,000 retirement, use visuals that that money will help you reach.  Visuals such as vacations, nicer home, or activities you enjoy doing with your family and friends.

Don’t allow loss aversion keep you from achieving your goals.  Learn to focus on the gains and not what you will be losing.  Remember the pain of losing needs to be dealt with.  Keep reminding yourself of the benefits or gains you will be able to enjoy.

How have you been able to overcome loss aversion?  Care to share?

Kaizen Tools For Personal Finances

Kaizen Tools Discussed

Kaizen is a well accepted business principal that seeks to improve inefficient practices in industries like manufacturing, logistics, and sales.   Toyota manufacturing is credited for developing the principal. Soon Kaizen would gain popular acceptance in self improvement fields.

The self improvement fields include:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Personal Finances
  • Personal Relationships
  • Kaizen for Productivity and Business

The Kaizen principal is about focusing on the minutiae.  The idea is that one small change makes a huge difference.  It breaks down the job or task into multiple process and then evaluates each process for waste or inefficiencies. 

The eliminating of waste speeds up your process. The change is then made and will be monitored before proceeding to the next process.

2 Powerful Kaizen Tools 

Consider these two powerful tools to improve your personal finances:  force multiplier and automation.  Both achieve similar results and your risk-tolerance will depend on the tool you choose.

Don’t leave before downloading the FREE Kaizen ebook.

Kaizen Tools in Your Personal Finances


Automation is using software to automate and will include automatic transfers. Set up automatic investment for your retirement accounts.  Enroll in your company sponsored accounts and opt-in for the yearly 1% contribution increases.  Take advantage of your health savings accounts (HSA).  These HSA offers tax advantages throughout your life.

Another example of automation is to create an effective spending plan.  Capture all your expenses at the beginning of your pay period and monitor it as you go.  Plan to tweak your spending plan a few times before you can set it on auto pilot. 

I will not be one to tell you can’t have the latte or avocado toast. I don’t believe these goodies will keep your from being wealthy.

Force Multipliers

Force multipliers can be describe as tools that help accomplish your desired goals.  If you prefer to handle cash you can use envelope system to handle your plan.  You can plan to keep cash for gasoline, groceries, fun activities, etc.

We started out with an envelope system and would later go to an automated one.  The idea was to get comfortable handling cash and understanding how our expenses would fluctuate.

Another example of a force multiplier can be a certified financial planner.  The CFP depicts a tool that will amplify your production output, i.e. gains and dividends.  Most CFP will not charge an upfront fee but rather they are paid by commission by the investment firm.

Kaizen Tools in Your Retirement Accounts

Automaton can also provide net worth building gains.  Here you think of diversification through mutual funds, company sponsored accounts, and individual retirement accounts.  Diversification will allow you to weather the ups and downs of the markets.

The method can be considered passive income as you don’t have to talk with your broker or review anything.  I don’t recommend you completely ignore your retirement accounts though.

Force multiplier is a tool that can help you achieve great wealth but comes with greater risk.  Think individual stocks here.  If you put all your earnings in a one individual stock the capital gains are impressive in a bull market.

Now when a bear market roars around the risk is great. Stocks in major oil companies, airlines, and restaurant chains have taken a huge loss and have offset previous gains.

The popularity of commission-free trading has open the door for many novice traders.  I consider myself a novice and invest an amount that will not hurt too much if my portfolio has great losses.

Wrapping it up

Kaizen tools are effective in managing your personal finances and creating wealth.  The tools discussed include automation and force multiplier and are but a couple of tools that Kaizen offers. 

However, regardless of the tools used they will require you your buy-in.   You must dedicate time to achieve your desired results.

How to get the most out of volunteering

Read These 5 Suggestions Before Volunteering

Jay Martinez wrote a great piece about millennials being ready to make a difference.   Check it out here. He pointed out that millennials are willing to step up when the church invests in them.  Are you ready?

The Good News

So you might have been approached by someone in the church asking to volunteer or help out in some capacity.  Chances are you’re feeling excited and believe you’re ready to make the jump and volunteer.

Congrats!  Let me share 5 suggestions that will allow you to enjoy ministry to its fullest and at the same time prevent you from experiencing burning out.   Yes,  volunteers will at some point feel overwhelmed and burned out.

Your volunteering metamorphosis will unfold in the following pattern.  The person who asked you to volunteer will be very helpful in providing direction and guidance.  After a while you will begin to wonder, “Where is all the help!”  The person who asked you to volunteer will have probably been burned out themselves.   The freshly recruited volunteer, YOU, is the getaway opportunity they saw and took.  Remember this is not a reflection on their spiritual maturity so don’t be to harsh when left alone wondering where to go now.

Here are 5 Suggestions You Can Start to Practice Before Volunteering



I’m often in awe of those individuals that join a church and can immediately plug in to a ministry and they excel at it!  Others will jump into as many opportunities as asked to and unfortunately for both, the church and the volunteer, they will slowly start to fade.  They will start to be absentee in their ministry and eventually their church attendance will suffer.  The church body would rather see you in the seats, listening and growing, rather than not attending at all.   On the flip side, if you have been in church for several years you’ve had plenty of time 🙂


Don’t rush into everything and anything that you are asked to do.  Remember, you have an idea of what needs your time and by taking extra opportunities you will be stretched too thin.  Out of all your priorities one will suffer and more often the ministry will be left unattended.  This will be a good time to evaluate your priorities and shed those time-consuming affairs.  Those that don’t add any value.


When suddenly you are left alone with a roomful of loving kiddos you need to ask for help.  Don’t let this fester and bring it to the attention of your ministry leaders.  The last thing any church parents want is the kid’s ministry to become a Sunday daycare.


Not sure about your spiritual gifts?   Churches offer spiritual gifts sessions and those are great.  I believe in application as well and you might want to try out different opportunities to explore those gifts.  If you decide to do this I strongly encourage you to set boundaries.  For example you can say, “ I plan to serve in this capacity for 6 months” or “ I can only serve 1 Sunday a month”, etc.  You set the time-frame.  This will allow the seeker to plan accordingly.


Hear me on this- You can say no and it is perfectly fine!  I understand you don’t like to disappoint but master this pointer and you’ll be spectacular .   No one will be offended if you say no.  They will respect that you value your time and theirs.  You may not be ready and it’s ok to voice that.  Leave yourself an opening if that is an area that interests you.

Summary of the 5 Suggestions I shared for a successful volunteer career

  1. Take your time
  2.  Don’t accept every request
  3.  Ask for Help
  4.  Set Boundaries
  5. It’s Ok to say No

These suggestions came at my expense and at the disappointment of others.  I felt obligated to help out as much as possible and the time requirements took their toll on me.  It wasn’t until later in my spiritual walk that I learned how to kindly and respectfully decline volunteer opportunities.  I shared the suggestions to encourage you to get involve and go about it in a strategic manner.

I’ll leave you with the following comment:

Be a specialist and not a generalist.  Be spectacular and caring in one ministry rather than general and unspectacular in many.