How Can a 10-Year Old Can Earn Money Fast?

Updated on December 29, 2011
C.M. asks from Bartlett, IL
14 answers

This year my daughter wants to go to the American Girl store for the unveiling of the American Girl of the Year. She's excited because this year's American Girl is a gymnast and she is a gymnast. She's REALLY into American Girl Dolls!

This year we already bought her an American Girl doll for Christmas along with many other wonderful gifts. We are not giving her any more money. She asked her grandpa for money or an American Girl Gift Card for Christmas for the doll, and usually he likes giving money (because he hates shopping for young girl stuff) and he loves giving her what she asks for. She explained the whole thing about wanting the Girl of the Year, but that she wouldn't be available until January 1st. Grandpa can spend his money however he wants though, and he bought her presents instead.

My daughter is not only very disappointed (and we are disappointed but we understand that grandpa can give whatever gift he wants because it's his money) but she was hoping to get the doll at the celebration.

We've told her that she can EARN the money to get the doll. Any ideas for what a 10-year old can do to earn money? It won't be earned from doing chores for us though, because we are tapped out as far as extra money goes.

Thanks! We hope to make this into a good learning experience. You don't always get what you want, and if you want something bad enough, you'll earn it!

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answers from Detroit on

Can she be available as a "mother's helper" to any friends or people in the neighborhood, and then get paid for it? Or what about shoveling snow if there's enough out there that driveways and sidewalks need it? Or could she consider trying to sell some of her older toys and other things she is willing to give up on E-Bay?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Return the doll you bought and some of the Christmas toys she received and let her use the money to purchase the American Girl of the Year.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Is there a family member that lives close that she can "clean" or baby sit while they clean?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

can she bake goods and go door to door to your family and friends and neighbors that you know ?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

She can ask friends, relatives, and neighbors if they have any chores that she could do for some extra cash.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Totally agree with the mother's helper idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I second the shoveling snow and mother's helpers ideas. If she shovels snow, perhaps she could work with a friend, so there are two of them or more together? (less money, but fun and safer) The mothers helper job would be good if you think she's got the temperament for little kids and their demands. Either way, good for you that you are having her earn her money! This is a great opportunity for her to feel very proud of having worked for something she really wanted. That doll will be very special to her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Have her ask any people you know if there is anything she can do to help making money. Have her explain what she is earning the money for.
It may be difficult if everyone is as financially tapped as you are, but I know at that age....I made a lot of money ironing. I guess I was a born ironer because I did a good job and I had people call me to help with their laundry or to press things before they went out. I ironed better than the women. I had a true talent. I passed that legacy down. My son can iron better than most women.
Anyway, try babysitting, housecleaning, go through clothing etc to see if they can be sold at consignment shops. If you know any neighbors who can use some work in the yard or reorganizing cupboards, have her offer herself.
It's worth a try.
My son actually made extra money helping some of his teachers get ready for going back to school after the winter break. He helped lug their paperwork to the classes, move desks, etc. They paid him personally. My son will stack wood, babysit, walk to the grocery store... there are plenty of things she can offer to do.

I applaud you for helping her understand that she can earn what she wants. Some women and I were just talking about that at work today. Our kids have always appreciated things more if they actually earned it.

I hope you get some great suggestions. If your daughter can't get what she wants this time, she will have an early head start on things for next time.
She can do it!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Does she have something she can sell to a local consignment store or on Ebay, such as clothes or even American Girl stuff or other toys and collectibles? Clothes in mint condition might be another option for consignment.

If you have a Half Price Books (consignment) chain in your area, she could sell books, music, or movies for some cash.

Otherwise, no other ideas, since she can't get a job anywhere...unless she has a family member who runs a business like a restaurant or small business who would be willing to let her work a few hours doing simple chores or paperwork to earn some money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It could be turned into a credit experience either with you or grandpa or another relative as we are talking a lot of money for a small girl. She has to show to the "bank" that she has a down payment and a plan of many things to do to earn the money. The "bank" could purchaas and even retain the "collateral" the doll until the loan is paid for. She will have to work snow so far to earn money shoveling but it is coming, some neighbors have trash in yards that need to be picked up, limbs to be stacked for spring disposal. Momma's helper with trusted people. No door to door sales as she is so young and things happen quickly. No chores in strangers houses but known people have dusting, transporting things up and down stairs to get things back to their place. Once she has paid off her debt she will have it. If she defaults it will be new in box for ebay or craigslist.



answers from Chicago on

I know my answer is no fun, but this sounds like an excellent opportunity to teach her some of life's lessons/money matters...

When my daughter wanted a second doll, we gave her the opportunity to save her allowance ($2 per week), birthday money, and extra "bonus" money from being mom's helper over the course of the year. Yes, she was not thrilled with the fact we wouldn't buy her another doll, but the lesson was important. At age 7, she saved up almost $75, and when it was time to get the doll, we covered the rest. She had worked hard all year, and she did learn the value of $100. It became a good tool throughout the year that taught her the value of a dollar. "Yes, I know you want that (whatever), but did you know it costs 1/3 of an American Girl Doll? Think about which one you would have, then make your decision."

The good news is that she has an entire year to save up! Lots of time to help out, save some money (while still being able to spend a little throughout the year). It will make her doll an even more special purchase!



answers from Chicago on

Oh my gosh, I wish she lived around here. There are thousands of papers to be shredded or alphabetized. People might have little clerical things like that around their houses. I suppose some people might be nervous about shredding papers, but it is realy a pretty safe venture.Ha,ha my own son won't even do it for money and I do not have shelves, etc. Ask your local church if anyone wants leaves raked or driveways swept..almost time for snow out there, there might be an older person who needs a driveway shoveled. (SHE's a gymnast right-perhaps quite strong?.(Leaves-um yes there are still a few, you would have to hang around of course if you don't know someone.) Just never know what sorts of things people might be willing to spend a few dollars for. Any puppies need walking out there?



answers from Chicago on

Have her go through her toys and sell things she no longer plays with. We just sold our Fisher Price Spike the Dinasur on Craigslist for $65. If she can find enough good quality toys to sell, she should be able to come up with the cash. Also, a good lesson. My kids make tons of money this way.



answers from Savannah on

At that age, yeah---she can try to do the mother's helper thing or ask around for chores to do. Does she have an allowance and spending money saved that she can tap into? (If not she should start doing that kind of thing this coming year, in my opinion). If things are in condition to be returned, then I think it's a good idea: return a few things for the toy that would be more valued. If not, sell a few things on ebay or craigslist. She's not old enough to be a full babysitter, but perhaps if you've got friends that are hosting or having a party, she could get a little mother's helper gig.....I'd love to have someone keep my sons happy and occupied so I could host for New Year's Eve.

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