How to make extra money as a youth under age 16

The early efforts of young men and women to make extra money from part-time jobs frequently become the first steps toward lifetime careers. Consequently, many of the job-seeking guidelines are similar. With personal help from parents and an organized approach, young women and men can turn these experiences into not only the desired extra money, but also new plateaus of character and skills.

Some proven guidelines for getting/developing jobs are:- With your family evaluate your likes, skills, talents or even possible short-term training to zero in on possible job areas.

  • Look for local needs and be innovative in meeting them. Check your library for books which cover part-time jobs or how to develop your own jobs or services. Lessons for computers, tennis, etc; window washing; car

washing/waxing on location; and cooking/baking/candy making are just a few among the many individual services that pay considerably more than minimum wage.

  • Network your family, relatives, friends, neighborhood, Church. Approximately 70 percent of the jobs are located through this system.
  • Advertise yourself or services through neighborhood fliers, ward newsletters, town or store bulletin boards, free classifieds in weekly papers and by going door-to-door telling your friends and neighbors how you can help them with the service you provide.
  • Be prepared to present yourself at your best if interviews are required. Be on time, dress neatly and use your "company" manners. To prepare, role-play interviews with your family asking the questions.
  • Don't be shy if a resume is needed. Include all your school and Church activities and other interests that show you have a good attitude and are willing to work.
  • When hired, come a little early to work, keep busy, be willing to learn, exhibit a positive attitude and demonstrate your value to those who hired you. - Dick Michaud, Logan, Utah

What we did:

`Ticket to college'

When I was 12 years old, my father took me out to the garage and pointed to the family lawn mower and said, "Son, this is your ticket to college." I really did not understand what he meant at first. Then he explained to me that if I wanted to go to college that he would never have the money to send me, but he would help me earn the money for college. He and my mother helped me prepare and distribute fliers throughout the neighborhood listing my phone number and name as the yard boy to call. I received numerous phone calls and before I knew it I was mowing at least a dozen yards. Not only did I receive jobs to mow yards but also to clean flower beds, trim hedges, etc.

By the time I was 14 years old, I had expanded my yard business to include painting houses. I would start mowing yards in the evening and on weekends in March, April and May. In June, July and August, I worked full-time mowing yards and painting houses. I continued mowing yards in the evenings and on weekends from September through the end of October.

I had several thousand dollars in my bank account for my college education before I turned 16. I have always been financially well off. I attribute that to the fact that my father and mother taught me how to work, earn and save money when I was a youth of 12 years of age. - Lynn C. Grebe, Bay City, Texas

Paper routes

When I was 12 years old, I wanted to earn money for myself and to save for a mission. I found a good paying job as a paper carrier near my home. I had this paper route until I left to serve my mission and had even added three more routes. This also became something that the entire family helped with. I earned sufficient money from these paper routes to pay for my mission. From this type of job, I learned many things about money management, working with people, and made a lot of wonderful friends. - Elder Jonathan Hall, Brazil Curitiba Mission

Set a goal

When I need to make some money, I often baby-sit for members of my ward. I also write a weekly article for our city's newspaper. I make and sell ballet teddy bears to friends and family and at bazaars. I've found that I'm raising more money now than ever before. However, before I was old enough to baby-sit, a fund-raising activity that I enjoyed was selling cool drinks or slushies at the end of our street. Amazingly, I raised quite a few dollars.

I think the key to raising money is determination. If you set a goal, you can reach it. Find something that you're good at. Participate in fairs, contests or sales. Do all that you can do. Soon you will find that the opportunities are endless. - Rebecca Speigle, Shelton, Wash.

Clean houses

I am 14 years old. I suggest you could do the following:

  • Clean houses for friends and neighbors.
  • Baby-sit.
  • Go to the store for people who are not capable. - Stephanie Hunt, Elfrida, Ariz.

Keep it simple

As a youth, I wanted to earn extra money but found it difficult finding a job for one under the age of 16. At the same time, I found it very easy with a goal in mind and with the help of my parents. Here are some things that helped me:

  • Set goals. Have a goal in mind for wanting work. Goals could be for special interests, saving for a mission or helping a friend. As an 11-year-old, my interest became computers. At age 12, I had saved enough money to purchase a small home computer.
  • Keep it simple. You can't expect a 10-year-old to be a car mechanic, but simple jobs are always available. For example, delivering the local newspaper, weeding the neighbors' garden, mowing the neighbors' lawns, selling lemonade, offering to clean your neighbors' home and other simple tasks.
  • Remember to pay your tithing. Growing up, I learned to pay my tithing first! When I did this, I always found I had enough money for the other things in life.

The desire to find work sets in when a child realizes that he or she must work for things in life. My parents taught me that lesson as a child. I started working at age 11, and they continued to help me budget my money and allowed me to take care of my own expenses. They took care of my food and shelter, but mine was the responsibility to purchase clothing, school fees and personal interests. - Elder Marc Porter, Sweden Stockholm Mission

Conduct garage sales

  • Sweep and clean up grounds around businesses and buildings.
  • Gather recyclable items, then sell them to processing centers.
  • Conduct garage sales for a percentage of the gross proceeds.
  • Care for pets while owners are on vacations. - Robert C. Petersen, El Campo, Texas

How to checklist:

1 Set goals; be professional, have manners.

2 Do yard work, paint houses, fences; advertise yourself.

3 Baby-sit for neighbors, friends; help the elderly.

4 Control expenses; learn money management, pay tithing.


May 25 "How to keep children busy during summer vacation."

June 1 "How to curb impulsive spending."

June 8 "How to cope when your child has had a permanently disabling accident or illness."

June 15 "How to help your spouse adjust to retirement."

June 22 "How to teach children respect for the Sabbath day."

June 27 "How to cope with life-altering changes."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2121 or use internet E-mail: [email protected] Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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