Parents do not have to worry about their children leaving home. There are many effective ways and, more importantly, to enable children to make money online safely.
1. Used books.
Do you have a vast collection of books?
Even a small collection? People are always looking for books. And used book stores, eBay, and your local classifieds paper are a great way to make some cash and clean off a shelf or two too.
I know of several country families who support their cash needs by selling their used books. I wouldn’t invest in a storefront, but if you have a great collection of books, particularly in a specific area or two, you shouldn’t have any trouble starting on eBay or with a regular website.
If you don’t have your own books to sell now, you can usually get great books at yard sales, local thrift stores, or at libraries (their discards, don’t walk off with them). Many times, people are willing to practically give books away, if only you’ll take them out of their house.
2. Extra garden veggies or fruits?
Why not set up a roadside stand or get a booth at a local farmers’ market? You don’t have to be an official farmer to sell your veggies. If you have tomatoes coming out of your ears, but no cash for the canning supplies, set up “shop.” You’ll be amazed at how many people will stop and be grateful for your homegrown efforts.
3. Bake bread or other pastries. Are you a good cook?
You don’t have to be, yet. But with some effort and a desire to bake you could keep your town in cookies, brownies, whoopie pies and homemade bread.
I did this when I was down to my last $5 one month! I had a ton of flour, but very little else. I baked up all kinds of bread – cinnamon, sandwich, round herb loaves – and asked the local farmers’ market if I could sell what I baked.
I sold out before the market closed that day – and made enough to put gas in my car, buy food for the week and more flour and other ingredients so I could go back again the following weekend. I supported myself and my three children for quite a while with my baking business – a business I enjoyed immensely.
4. Type. Can you type?
I don’t mean fast. You don’t have to type 100 words per minute to make a few dollars typing. You just have to be willing to spend the time typing when someone else isn’t.
I had no idea how to type when I put a notice in the paper saying I’d be willing to type resumes, term papers, business proposals and what have you.
But I did know another girl who was charging $2 a page. I charged $1.50 a page and even though I’m sure my hourly rate was terrible, I made a lot of extra cash, typing away…and able to stay home with my new baby and listen to NPR all at the same time!
5. Tutor. Were you brilliant in Algebra as a kid?
Well, I wasn’t, but I was the local grammarian. I was a whiz at English Grammar, spelling and history and made $10 an hour helping local high school and college kids study for their SATs, edit papers, you name it. This is a great way to feel useful and make money at the same time! And again, all you need is a flyer and your phone number. Offer to tutor at the local public library or at the local YMCA.
6. Give lessons. Play the piano?
Know how to use a spinning wheel, knit or decorate a cake? Secure a location (a church basement, community center room or library are great places to start) and place a few ads and flyers around town.
You will be surprised how happy some folks will be to pay $25 or $30 to learn what you know! You could hold one class or a series of classes.
Make sure you investigate how much others charge for similar classes in your area, don’t undercut yourself, but unless you have a lot of teaching experience, don’t overcharge – particularly on you’re first to go round.
7. Write and publish a booklet.
This could easily complement your class or lessons or work well on its own. While most people are in favor of getting initial information off the web – myself included – writing a booklet on your topic of expertise and then marketing it in appropriate publications could net you – no not millions, but a nice steady income.
Remember, in this type of writing, being more specific is better. Don’t write a booklet on “how to fix your car.” Write the authoritative guide to “fixing the 1970’s Volvo station wagon.
” Or whatever. An alternative – or extension of publishing the booklet is to write it up and then publish it as a pdf – that interested folks can download off your website. Of course, they would have to pay $5 or whatever you deem your booklet worth, in order to get the download. Offering these kinds of services is a lot easier than I initially thought. PayPal is a great source for this type of transaction.
8. Run errands for people.
This is so simple, I was surprised I hadn’t thought of it years before – particularly when I was in high school and had gotten my first car. This service would be wonderful no matter where you live – rural, urban or suburban.
Put up flyers, place announcements in the local paper. Run all kinds of errands – pick up dry cleaning, buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, drop off the film, take a dog to the groomer.
You would be shocked at the kinds of things people will pay you to do. I was once paid to walk two kids to school every morning!
This is also the kind of service you could offer to a local nursing home or senior center. Seniors may need someone to travel for them – or they might want to go along for the ride.
Obviously, you will need to make up a fee schedule – if you are just picking up a prescription, you might charge $5 or $10, but a full grocery list is going to be a bit more. Work out an “hourly” rate (how much it’s worth to you to do the errand, taking into account time spent, gas, etc.) – and make sure that you can combine errands. And keep your cell phone handy (if you have one, I didn’t and did just fine).
9. Walk dogs, pet sit, house sit, babysit.
Do all four – or just one or two. These are self-explanatory – but there is always a market for them. Now, I’m not saying open a home daycare.
If you’re not sure it’s what you want to do for a career – then don’t. But how many of us babysat as teens just for extra money?
You can do that too. Put your name out there and babysit for an evening or for a day or two. Housesitting can almost be like a paying vacation and my kids loved the jobs I took on as a petsitter – cleaning out cages, feeding dogs and cats – it was like having pets without having pets!
10. Make something.
Before polar fleece home accessories were readily available at Wal-Mart, I made quite a good living sewing baby blankets, booties, pillows and other items out of polar fleece fabric. Right now, if I had to, I would knit a bunch of Wristies (fingerless mittens) and take them to my local craft fair, gift shop or consignment store.
Are you good at making something?
Maybe you make the world’s best tartar sauce. Or you make beautiful baby hats. Or wooden spoons. Whatever it is – I guarantee that if you do it well and offer it at a fair price, someone will like it and buy it. Be creative.
I got started with baby blankets because I made a few for my first two babies and my friends started asking me to make one for them.
Wristies happened the same way and although I don’t sell them now, I do make them as Christmas presents and save myself the shopping!
eBay is a great way to teach children to manage and sell their products.
Children can sell items such as old figures, toys, video games, and comics.
Girls can sell dolls, old clothes, and accessories at much cheaper prices. People are always looking for discounts and eBay allows them to do so.
12. Online surveys
have quickly become one of the best ways to make money online if done properly. Many survey sites allow 13-year-olds to conduct simple surveys on video games and television programs.
Companies pay a high price for the opinions of companies on specific products and services. Make sure that as a parent, you’re exploring the site your child wants to join before you do so.
By creating a free blog on sites like Blogger, children can easily place relevant AdSense ads on their blog through Google. This method is also a great way to improve teen writing skills.
Making money is just another bonus. People always want to read about things like sports, toys, and clothes.