Kids and Money: Getting Money

(FE1970, July 2020)
Publication File:

Part of a financial newsletter for kids and parents, this issue explores sources of money for kids.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Revised under the direction of Carrie Johnson, Extension Personal and Family Finance Specialist
Other Authors

Julia Fabijanic, Extension Intern (Undergraduate Student, Human Development and Family Science) Candace Kornelsen, Graduate Extension Assistant (Graduate Student, M.ed. in Counseling)

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Publication Sections
Purse money and piggy bank
Kids and Money - a newsletter for young people
A newsletter for young people

Getting Money

Sources of Money

Everything you want to do seems to cost money. Snacks, movies and video games all cost money. Most families don’t have money for everything they would like. To learn how to take care of money, you need money. So, where do you get it?

Your parents probably give you most of your money. They wait until you ask for it or they give it to you as an allowance. You also may earn some money or get it as gifts.

Earning Money

You may not need a job if an allowance pays for all the things you want. But as you get older, you may want to earn extra money.

What does someone your age do to earn extra money? A few ways might be doing housework, mowing lawns, shoveling snow or doing yard work. Finding work may be harder if you live in the country, but you still can help people with yard work, gardens or household chores.

Don’t get too money hungry. Your job should not be more important than school work, some free time and lots of rest.

Getting Money as a Gift

Finally, you can think of saving money as a source of money because you can get interest on the money you save. Of course, you first must get money to save it. Once saved, you can use this money to meet your wants and needs.

If you save $20 a month from age 10 on, you will have enough for a trip to Disneyland for two when you graduate from high school.

Source of Money Word Find

Source of Money Word Find Puzzle Graphic
Money and Your Kids - a newsletter for parents
A newsletter for parents

Getting Money

Sources of Money

Allowances, earnings from jobs and money gifts are all sources of income for children. Learning to manage these funds is one of the most valuable skills a child can develop. Learning to manage money is part of becoming responsible.

Because saving is discussed in detail in another issue of “Kids and Money,” the focus of this issue will be on earning money.

Children can earn money in a variety of ways. As a parent, you can encourage your children to get part-time work when they’re old enough to handle it. Fifth-graders are on the edge of the teen job market and many will be ready to explore job opportunities at this time.

Job hunting requires self-analysis and decision making. You and your child will need to decide what skills the child has to offer, as well as what job opportunities are available in your neighborhood.

To test job skills, a child first might perform certain extra tasks at home for pay. An example could be raking leaves. This is not a regular household task and, therefore, might be regarded as an extra duty.

Before the child begins the task, the parent could discuss job standards, how much the job is worth, time allowed and so on. An evaluation could take place after the job is done to determine if the child is ready for hire outside the family.

Other jobs that might be appropriate at this time include paper routes, shoveling snow, pet sitting and washing cars. Because babysitting involves being responsible for others, this job should be discussed at length before the child seeks a job assignment. Ask, “Is this child mature enough to care for others? Is the child aware of the community and neighborhood resources in the event of an emergency?”

Also, local laws may govern the age at which one child can legally babysit another. In most areas, it is 12. Babysitting classes might be available for the child to attend. All these are items to consider before a child ventures into the job of child care.

Children may find they truly enjoy earning and spending their own money, but use caution at this point. Children may overdo it. Work may come to interfere with school assignments, as well as important family and social activities. A good rule of thumb is to limit employment to between 10 and 15 hours per week when school is not in session, and perhaps only four to eight hours during the school week.

Suggested Activity

Encourage children to accompany you when you are doing volunteer work. Let them see you do things or work for others for the good of the community and the personal experience. Explain to them that volunteering also is an excellent way to try out various jobs or careers.

Wordfind answers

Word find puzzle answers