School's out, and that means a slew of pricey summer activities for kids: beach trips, movie tickets and snacks, theme park visits, birthday parties and more. But this is the season to say no to incessant requests for mad money. Encourage your teen to get a part-time job instead—not only will he or she have enough cash to cover expenses, but part-time work looks great on college applications and provides great real-world experience. Plus, it's important for your kids to learn how to manage their money sooner in life rather than later. Here are some top part-time summer jobs that don't involve babysitting or mowing the lawn.
Take Online Surveys and Write Reviews
Companies are eager for consumer feedback—and they're willing to pay! On sites like Swagbucks and MySurvey members complete simple tasks like taking surveys, writing reviews and watching videos to redeem rewards that can be cashed out or loaded onto a gift card. Teens can even preview up-and-coming music as reviewers on Slice the Pie. Note: Most of these sites have a minimum age requirement (13, 14 or even 18 at some), so be sure to check the FAQs before your kid signs up.
If your teen has a flair for all things DIY, encourage him or her to set up shop on Etsy (with your supervision). There are no membership fees, and after Etsy's 3.5% cut, sellers get to keep all the profits via Paypal. Just note that under-18s are barred from participating in the site's community spaces.
Be a Pet Sitter or House Sitter
While most professional dog and house sitting services require that their sitters be over 18, that doesn't mean your teen isn't fit to perform those duties for a trusted neighbor or friend. Depending on where you live, your teen can expect $15 to $30 per visit, and even more if an overnight stay is required. Put the word out among your friends that you have a kid eager to help out, or post on NextDoor to tell your neighbors about your teen's availability.
Join a Catering Company
If your kid is interested in cooking, look no further than the food industry. Summer is one of the busiest times of year for catering companies (think weddings, holiday parties, picnics) and they're always on the lookout for able-bodied people to pitch in.
Teens who love sports and fresh air should consider caddying at a local golf course. Sure, the day can start pretty early and there's lots of lugging heavy clubs around, but the tips are excellent! Another sporty option: umpiring local Little League games.
Enjoy Free Entertainment at Work
Movie theaters have great basic summer job offerings, such as usher and concession stand worker, with perks like free movie tickets. If you live near a performance venue (say, a concert hall or a playhouse), jobs there let teens catch great acts while they work!