How a kid can make money.

harley asks: I’m ten and I need ways to make money for a school trip to Mexico. Do you have any ideas on how I can get money? My parents are low on money so I can’t ask them.

Hi Harley –

How great!  I will love throwing some ideas at you, especially as I’m such a fan of travel, and I’m so impressed with your willingness to work for the money for this cool trip!  Mexico is really beautiful, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

But how to get there?  Well, I don’t know where you live, but a few kind of universal ways would be:

1)    Yard and House Work.  Most of your neighbors, and your friends’ families, probably have some sort of projects they’d love to get done around their homes.  Maybe it’s continuing work, like keeping their lawns mowed.  Or perhaps it’s some one-off project, like putting a new coat of paint on something, or clearing out an overgrown area.  Of course you don’t want to offer your services for a job that you’re not qualified for, but if it’s just simple labor, people will pay well for a good cheerful hard-worker.

2)    Vacation Care.  When people leave their homes for a vacation or work trip, it’s great to know there’s someone taking care of the place.  Maybe that means feeding pets, watering plants, picking up newspapers or mail, or… well, anything else.  And you’d be perfect for that.  What they really care about is responsibility, and if you show that, they’ll definitely pay for it.

3)    Sales.  Lots of schools provide programs for their students to sell things to earn money for trips.  Candy, wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions – these are all common projects.  But since you’re looking for something you can do on your own, what would be good?  Is there something you’re really good at that you could sell?  For example, if you’re a good artist and can draw portraits quickly, you could set up a stand to do those.  Or maybe you could sell some old toys and clothes you never use anymore.  Or – and I can tell you that Handsome is a total sucker for these – a lemonade or coffee or donut stand near a sidewalk or street… So many people love to stop and buy something from a kid at one of those, even if it’s something they wouldn’t otherwise want!

4)    Babysitting.  Do you like younger kids?  Would you be willing to take care of some for a while?  It can be a lot of fun if you enjoy them.  While they’re awake, your job is usually just to play with them and keep them occupied, as well as to eat with them (meaning you get free food!  Always a plus in my book!). And parents will pay GOOD money for a trustworthy babysitter.  Plus you’ll have the chance to make great friends with these kids.  Lots of fun there.

5)    And last but by no means least… why stop at children?!  What about DOG sitting!  People who have dogs they leave at home all day, who then get lonely and bored and feel bad when they’re alone for hours on end (Ahem!  AAAAA-Hem!  Is Handsome listening?!) will love to have their pets walked or played with or even just talked to, by a loving, responsible, kid.  And what job is more fun than that?!  A dog will greet you with absolute ecstasy every day, and you’ll get paid for having the fun of experiencing seeing the world with a pooch!  And if the people leave town, they might want you to actually TAKE the dog, and keep it at your home while they’re gone, and that’s even MORE fun!


And this is the best part of this whole idea, Harley.  It’s wonderful that you’ll be earning the money for this fantastic trip, but even better that when you come home, you’ll have found a way to make money for whatever you want!  If you’ve been selling lemonade, then you’ll be a good salesman afterwards.  If you’ve been cutting lawns before the trip, those people will want to hire you to keep doing it after you return.  And if you really hit it off with some kids or dogs, those parents will count on you for as long as you’re willing to accept their money!


So good luck, and have FUN!


Thanks again,




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