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How to Teach Kids to Make Some of Their Own Money

Having our kids do chores is one way for them to make some of their own money. But, we always want to get their creative juices flowing thinking about other ways to make money also.

After all, part of our job as their parents it to teach them to problem-solve and how to survive in the world without us. So, when my 10 year old daughter came to me with an entrepreneurial idea to make some money, my ears perked up.

The Plan

My daughter, like myself, really loves animals. She is also thinking a little bit more outside of the box than other kids her age. I can’t take all of the credit for that, because I am sure there is a blend of nature and nurture happening there. But, the fact that we regularly discuss our budget in front of the kids, helps change their perspective. Or, at least, we hope that is the case.

Apparently, she heard an ad for an app called Rover, which is used for dog walking, boarding and dog sitting. She thought this might be a great way for her to make some of her own money doing something that she loves.

So she approached me with the idea to set up a profile on Rover and walk dogs. I asked her if she had looked into how it works, how much they pay and what the specific parameters of becoming a “Rover” were. She had not, at that point. I told her she needed to get all of that information and then come back to me and we would discuss it further.

The next day she had all of the information I requested of her, so we talked about it as a possibility.

The Deal

Since Rover is very thorough prior to taking on any new “Rovers,” a background check is required. That also means that you must be an adult, 18 years of age or older, in order to become a Rover. Presley is only 10, so we had to set up the account under my name and she would be allowed to Rover with me.

The process to set up the account was pretty time consuming, but she did help, quite a bit. We had to get pictures of our house, for boarding purposes, and pictures of us with dogs. I put those two things on her plate to get done.

She also helped me with our description of the services we offer, as well as what set up apart from other Rovers.

Once we got all of the necessary steps completed, we also had to send out requests to past dog owners we had watched dogs for to get reviews. That took a little bit more time. Once I sent the requests, I also had to reach out to each individual person to explain what we were doing so they would be more inclined to fill out the review. All of them did and gave us 5 stars, so that was a great bonus!

After everything was submitted and fully completed, it still took close to a week for us to be approved. Part of the process included them reaching out to me to get my assurances that any time children were involved they would be completely supervised by me. I assured them that was, most certainly, the case. So we were good to go.

Here is our profile that was approved and is currently up on Rover today.

making money

As soon as we got approved, we started getting bookings within the first 24 hours. Presley was so excited!

The first weekend we were available to board dogs, we ended up having 3 dogs. I have to admit that it was a little bit chaotic, but the kids LOVED it! Presley did most of the work, including:

  • feeding
  • walking
  • letting them out to do their business
  • drying off wet dogs and paws
  • cleaning up after our guests had gone

When it came down to how much she was actually going to get from her dog adventures on Rover though, it wasn’t the 100% that she was hoping for. While I understand why she believed she should get 100% of the proceeds, this was a good life lesson for her. We agreed upon 50% for each of us, for each event that she is here for and involved in, and here’s why:

  • I am the one who is ultimately responsible, not her
  • I had to set up and maintain the Rover account
  • I have to talk to the pet owners, set up the meet and greet and approve the visit
  • I have to maintain and update our availability calendar
  • I have to supervise what she is doing

Because of all of those things, I felt that the 50%/50% split was fair, for now. Things will probably change in the future as she gets older, but for right now, that is how we have Rover structured.

the payout

The even bigger bonus for her is that I pay her for her services from my business, since that is how I have Rover set up to pay me.

When I get paid, I pay her 50% as an employee and direct deposit it into her savings account. Since she is now making actual income, we are going to set up a Roth IRA through Betterment to put these funds into for her.

This will give her a bigger advantage in the long run, solely due to compounding and the fact that she started at the ripe old age of 10.

I have to say, that I wish I was as smart as she is at the age of 10 because I would be so much further ahead!

While hindsight may be 20/20, it can be a very big teachable moment for our children.

I don’t know where this will go for her, but I am thrilled with what she has done with it so far!