By Gregg Murset | May 9, 2017
Pew Research Center reports that in 2014 less than one-third of teens had a job. While some of the decline has been attributed to more teens participating in unpaid volunteer work to fulfill a graduation requirement or boost a college application, others simply cannot find work. That does not mean parents have to let their kids spend the summer lounging or staring at a screen playing video games and browsing social media. Instead they can start them on the path of becoming investing tycoons.
“Parents should start planning with their kids about what types of jobs they are qualified to perform about two months before the school year ends,” noted BusyKid Co-Founder and CEO. “Parents should also come to terms with their kids about how money earned over the summer will be used.”
According to Murset, parents interested in helping their kids take the first steps toward financial independence can try the following this summer.
–Eliminate the potential for excuses. If your child tells you no one is hiring tell him or her to start their own business by offering to do odd jobs for neighbors. Your kids can check the neighborhood for houses that look like they need yard work done, the fence painted or families with kids who might need a sitter.
-Get creative with chore charts. Chores don’t have to apply just to your own home. Reach out to friends and family with a list of chores and rates. Kids can keep busy earning money for their labor while friends or family will be able to save on hiring professional housekeepers or landscapers to do tasks your kids are old enough to manage. Use an online chore chart to track and schedule what jobs need to be done for who and when.
-Evaluate your own household costs. Many households could cut their spending over the summer by putting professional services on hold and handing over tasks to the kids instead. Draw up a contract for your kids to manage lawn care, clean the house, maintain the backyard pool and wash the family cars. Paying them a few dollars for chores could save a few hundred over the short summer break.
-Organize a community garage sale. Have teens reach out to neighbors and friends to find out if they have items they want to get rid off. Host the sale at your home and have kids pick up items from the neighbors. The kids take responsibility for organizing what items belong to each person and marketing the sale. In exchange for running the operation have neighbors agree to sales prices for their items upfront and ask if they will agree to a 10% fee for including their items in the sale.
-Keep an eye on earnings. Instead of allowing your kids to spend their summer earnings in the blink of an eye agree upfront that some money will be earmarked for spending while other portions will be invested. BusyKid allows you to invest as little as $1 in stocks, to help kids get started in the market and hopefully grow their earnings.