6 Money-Making Ideas for the Entire Family

I am very fortunate to have parents who know the immeasurable value in teaching children at a young age to work hard and to earn what they want. I once wanted a very expensive baby doll, and my parents agreed that they would pay half if I would earn the other half.  At the age of seven, with a burning desire for that new doll, I would have done just about anything. My parents had me pick cherry tomatoes in the backyard for $.10 each tomato. Little did they know this was such an enjoyable job for me! I not only learned how to work, but I also learned how tomatoes should look before they get picked.  Come Christmas, I was $1 short on my half of the bargain, but my parents, seeing I had learned my lesson, got me that doll for Christmas. I still remember the joy I had running up and down the hallway with that baby in tow, knowing I had done my part. That doll’s name is Jennifer, and she is a treasured reminder of the precious gift of hard work.

Teaching children to work is a priceless gift, not a punishment. I am grateful beyond words that my parents knew and taught the principle of working hard to earn what you want as it’s come to my aid in massive ways. The entitlement mentality that many live by is robbing them of the joy and contentment that hard work brings.

I understand that not everyone has the luxury of paying his or her children to do chores around the house (especially when their “toys” start becoming more expensive). This is absolutely not the only method of teaching your children to work for what they want. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to get you started:

Garage/yard sale – Have them contribute some of their own items, help price items or set out the items on the day of, or hold signs to point people to your sale.

Bake sale – Have them help you measure or package or advertise. You could even add these baked goods to the list of items to sell at your garage sale! (Tip: I suggest incorporating popcorn: most people love it, and it’s so cheap when made from scratch!)

Lemonade/hot chocolate stand – I was so excited as an 8 year old to make $10 from this! I don’t remember having much help from my parents on this one, but I probably did! I’m sure it depends on your children’s ages.

Neighborhood car wash (or at a business)This is a great time to teach them how to wash a car, and most people are just so impressed that kids are learning to work that they don’t notice that their tires aren’t perfectly cleaned.

Candy bar selling door to door – This was my JAM! If you don’t have a Costco or Sam’s membership, ask a friend who does have a membership to buy a couple boxes of chocolate candy bars for you and head on out to sell those babies! By the way, the younger children can do really well with this if you’ll but teach them to do the asking!

Taco/Burger/sandwich stand – I would opt for an easy lemonade stand, but with all these food trucks becoming the rage, I say why not give it a try?! You may have a chef in the making!

Not all of these will work for every family, (and I tried to stick to only family-oriented ideas, not individual “fundraising” like card marking, lawn mowing, etc.), but I’m certain that if you’re committed to teaching your children to work, you’ll find a way to show them how to earn money. These ideas may not be your ideal way of teaching them or your ideal way of making some extra income, but maybe it will be the start of something beneficial for your family.

How about you? What are some ways you’ve tried to teach your children to work? Are there any ideas you could add to the list?

Photo credit: Clem Onojeghou

Quote: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. —Chinese proverb

5 Ways to Enjoy Life: Simple and Free

It’s amazing that with so many people in the world, this still remains: Everyone is different! We all require something different to make us “tick.” Maybe you’re not naturally a simple person. My sweet husband isn’t. If the choice is between Best Western and Hilton, you can bet we are going to the Hilton. Does that mean he buys all expensive stuff? Nope. He’s awesome. But no doubt, his natural bent is toward life’s finer things.

Regardless of being naturally practical or high maintenance or whatever, you can enjoy the simple things. It’s all about the mindset. Simply put: determine how you will save money, realize that simple can be fun, and get some sheer grit to stick to it (regardless of complaints from family or friends!). Here are ways you can enjoy the simple life today:

Read books. Books take you places. If you’ve never experienced a book taking you somewhere: don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! And not only does it take you places, you grow as a person. Books are cheap if you look for deals; they are free if you borrow from a friend or become a member of your local library.

Be recreational. Go for walks around the neighborhood, so you don’t have to drive anywhere or pay for a membership. Take your kids and/or pets to the nearest park; play football, basketball, soccer, or create a game using materials around the house. You never know what family memory you are creating! (Just writing this brings back fond memories of packing a PB&J picnic lunch for my younger brother and nephew and walking to the nearby park… those were some GOOD times; I still love driving by that old park!)

Watch only the free/paid for stuff. If Amazon prime is worth the money to you, only watch movies on there. If an extended family member is willing to share their Netflix, only watch that. Then there’s that library again; they have movies as well! I’ve been known to borrow movies from friends. Just be sure to return it promptly so your friend happily lends you movies next time.

Enjoy nature. Get up early to watch the sunrise or enjoy the sunset with friends or go for a hike. There’s something about nature that reminds us that life is bigger than ourselves. Our Creator God would love for you to enjoy nature and become closer to Him through that enjoyment.

Host a potluck. If you’re living on a budget and missing your friends, host a potluck! You’ll have fun with friends without putting out more food than you can afford. If you don’t have games or a TV to offer, ask a friend to bring a game or find a free game online (like Headbands).

I know there’s more out there than just this short list, but I wanted to keep it simple. 🙂 How about you? How do you like to keep life simple and enjoyable? Let me know in the comments!

Photo credit: Unknown