Summer Vacation Means Summer Jobs for Kids

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It’s summer vacation. Don’t let your kids spend the summer on the couch watching TV. Encourage them to earn their own money and start saving today for things they want tomorrow. Here are six jobs that kids as young as age 10 can cut their teeth on and become young entrepreneurs. Some of them may require a little help and coaching from adults, but that’s part of the experience. Help kids get started with marketing – make and hang signs, go door-to-door, put flyers in mailboxes, post on neighborhood websites, or create ads for neighborhood newsletters.

Do Yard Work
If your kids are old enough to use a lawn mower, then mowing lawns is a great job from spring through fall. The beauty of lawn mowing is that kids can push the mower from house to house! If kids aren’t ready for lawn mowing yet there are lots of other jobs: rake leaves, plant seeds, pull weeds, water flowers, etc.

Open a Lemonade Stand 
Younger kids may enjoy setting up a lemonade stand. If the weather is right (hot!) a lot of passersby on their way home from work or out walking the family dog may be ready for a refreshing beverage. Make sure the table is set up on a safe corner that has some foot and car traffic and they can be in business. If you really want to make some money, sell dog treats for the pups that go by with their owners.

The next three jobs may require some adult supervision when kids first begin them.

Walk Dogs
Be a dog walker. Dogs love going for walks and people who work all day love knowing their four-legged friends are getting outside. This job may be easier to get if the kids have pets of their own that neighbors see them taking care of and tending to. Dogs need to be walked all year round, no matter the weather or the time of year, so this job can grown into a continuous business. And good dog walkers never forget to clean up after their pooches!

Watch Someone’s House
When neighbors go away on a vacation, they often need someone to either feed their pet, water their flowers or pick up their mail while they’re away. A good house sitter is hard to find! It has to be someone trusted. But when your child becomes a favored house sitter, like dog walking, this job can become year-round business.

Be a Mother’s Helper
When kids are too young to babysit, they can get some training and earn some money by being a “mother’s helper.” A mother’s helper makes life easier for moms when they are at home. out a mom with her young kids while she’s also at home. They may play with the kids and keep them entertained while their mom does other chores around the house. They may even be asked to help with simple chores themselves.

The earlier kids start working, the faster their savings and their work ethic will grow. And the good things about these jobs? They are close to home and if your kids get one or two good clients, they will keep getting more business!

Keep Your Cool All Summer Without Running the Air Conditioner

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It’s hard to keep your cool when the electric bill comes in the summer. Running the air conditioner every day can really take a bite out of your extra cash. Here are some tips to help keep your home cool and save money.

Close your blinds.  A lot of heat comes through windows when the sun beats down on them. You can lower the temperature in your home by keeping the blinds closed, especially for south- and west-facing windows.

Let the night be your air conditioner. Open your windows at night – but only if it’s safe to do so. That is, if your bedroom windows are on the second or third floor, you may choose to let fresh, cool air in at night. You can even create a cross breeze with fans. In the morning, before the sun is hot, close your windows and seal in the cool. Cool the whole house by opening some more windows while the cool air is flowing in the morning. Never leave windows open when you are not home and never leave windows that will attract burglars to easy access open when you are sleeping.

Grill out. Rather than using your oven or stove, cook outdoors or eat light. The last thing you want to do is turn your home into an oven of its own by cranking the appliance up to 400 degrees.

Change your ceiling fans to rotate counter clockwise. Did you prep your house for winter and turn the fans on to clockwise? It’s time to turn the fans back again. By setting them counter clockwise and running them at a higher speed, you’ll create breeze that feels cooler. Save more money by turning your fans off when you leave the room. Fans don’t cool the room; they cool the people in the room. A fan that runs when no one is around provides no value.

Close some doors. If you have rooms you don’t use, closing the doors keeps the cool air from being wasted in those rooms. BUT remember to open those doors when you’re letting the evening air cool the house.

Get new light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs burn more heat than the newer energy efficient bulbs. All you have to do is walk near a lamp when the light bulb is on to feel the heat.

Run the dishwasher and do laundry at night or early in the morning. These appliances generate heat. Keep the house cooler by running them during cooler hours.

Grow some trees. If you’re in your home to stay, plant some shade producing trees near the house. It’ll be a while to get the best benefits, but soon, you’ll have some nice, natural shade.

And if you’re going to run your air conditioning, get it checked out by a professional. You want to make sure it’s running efficiently and safely.

Remember: when you’re a homeowner,  it’s important to keep your cool without breaking the bank.