Summer jobs. These have been a rite of passage for teens, especially as they transition from high school students to college bound adults. My teenagers are no exception. At the start of the summer, my girls landed some very cool summer gigs as tour guides for a local vacation spot. However, about a week ago, we found out that since there are fewer people traveling this year than there was the year before, there isn't as much money being pumped into the local tourism industry. As such, my twins are looking dead in the eye of a layoff, without many other job possibilities on the horizon. And as I spoke with many other folks around my neighborhood, my kids aren't alone. In fact, there are many teens in my backyard who are doing some last resort summer jobs to earn money for college and cars. But as it turns out, these homemade jobs pay better than most "traditional" establishments, while fostering a bunch of local entrepreneurs in the process.
One enterprising young lad in my neighborhood got a few of his friends together and started a lawn service. They went around the neighborhood and advertised their services on quarter sheets of printer paper, tucked neatly in neighborhood doors. The boys would mow lawns for $10 each, in addition to doing other grueling outdoor work for a discounted rate. He split up the chores between three lads in our subdivision, allowing the trio to tackle several yards in a row at a single time. The boys are knocking out four or five lawn services in an hour, earning $40 or $50 between them, netting them each about $12 an hour, $5 more than what they would get sticking with minimum wage jobs.
It makes sense that in a hot climate like Texas, people have pools. A few of the neighborhood kids launched a pool cleaning service, and between two of them, they are earning $10 to $20 per hour -- each.
Even my own youngest daughter got in on this gig, feeding neighborhood cats and walking dogs while the neighbors are on vacation. From this she is earning about $11 an hour for a relatively simple job. At 11 years old, that's not bad money.
Many of the young professionals housed in a nearby apartment complex frequently travel for work. A few of our neighborhood kids offered to house sit for them. They provide simple services like watering plants, pet sitting, checking mail and so on. With a hefty client load in one spot, they are cleaning up, each making $10 to $20 per hour.
Young entrepreneurs make the world go round. And even if your kid finds themselves in the same predicament as mine are in, that doesn't mean they have to sit on the sofa all summer playing Call of Duty 3. Summer jobs are a rite of passage, and they are completely possible, if they implemented the right way, even without an employer.
Of course, you will have to teach them about taxes with ventures like this, but that's another article.
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