Babysitting, lawn mowing and dog walking are all things that are commonly thought of as summer jobs for kids. There are so many other ideas out there that get overlooked, especially for kids that are teens but not quite old enough to get job outside the home. Summer jobs are a great way for kids to continue their financial education and to practice managing a budget.
A weeks ago, Twin Cities Live, an afternoon talk show in our local market, did a segment with me on out of the box jobs for kids.
So let’s look at car detailing:
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve gotten into another mom’s car and had them say, “Please excuse the mess, I’ve been meaning to clean out the van but just haven’t gotten to it yet.” Once, when my daughter was being picked up by a babysitting client, the mom said the same thing to her. An idea was born. My daughter told the mom she cleans out our cars (which is true) and that she’d be happy to do that for the mom. The mom was thrilled. She called our daughter to set up an appointment on a different day when she wasn’t babysitting. Before we knew it, word of mouth had spread and our daughter had a thriving business. She even had business cards printed with her name and cleaning packages on them.
Car detailing has become a perfect business for this particular kid. She’s found she really likes the feeling of accomplishment that comes from really getting something squeaky clean. She can see a huge difference when cleaning out a car used to transport toddlers. For some reason, she finds this more fun than dusting in our house – but I’m not really going to complain about it. She puts on her headphones and rocks out to Taylor Swift or One Direction of whatever while her little fingers are retrieving all those bits of stuff that get in the nooks and crannies of the dashboard.
In the beginning, profits went back into buying Armour All, glass wipes, and other cleaning products. We bought her the first set of products to get her going and she also borrows my industrial-strength portable vacuum cleaner. She offers three levels of service:
- Booster Basic – vacuum and pick up trash: $10
- French Fry Frenzy – detailing includes all surfaces wiped and cleaned: $25
- Total Package – all of the above plus exterior wash and dry: $35
(If you’re in the neighborhood and want a really clean interior, now you know where to go!)
Summer is an excellent time to begin teaching kids about money if you haven’t done so already. It’s also a terrific time to investigate kid businesses and to allow kids to begin to learn about working for themselves.
What types of jobs do your kids do during the summer to earn extra money? We’d love to hear below!