Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, How do I make more spending money?"

Dear Carol,

I am 12 and I do not have much personal money. I love to hang out with my friends at the movies and the mall, but most of the time I can’t because I can’t afford it. I’m too young to get a job and my parents won’t increase my allowance. I’ve put my info out for babysitting but haven’t gotten any gigs.

- Money Please

Dear Money Please,

It’s hard for kids your age to earn money— but it’s not impossible. I babysat a lot starting at your age, and I made a small fortune. Maybe try another tactic to get gigs, like creating a flyer to advertise near a preschool or pediatrician’s office or working with a parent to post in online neighborhood groups. Also, consider helping a senior citizen with running errands or asking around to see if a neighbor needs assistance wrapping gifts or caring for pets. No matter what, make sure an adult family member vets any would-be employer to make sure they’re trustworthy and you stay safe. In the meantime, invite your friends to some more low-key activities like Netflix night, baking cookies or a cute outdoor photo shoot.

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books including Speed of Life (about a girl who writes to an advice columnist). More at and on Instagram @carolwestonnyc.

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by GL | 11/26/2023