Dear Brandon,Broke Brook in Baltimore
My dad just lost his job and my mom works part time. I used to get an allowance every week for doing chores around our home, but now my parents can’t afford to give me one.
All of my friends spend their free time at the mall shopping and going to movies. Since I can’t afford to do these things anymore, I’m starting to feel left out. What should I do?
I’m sorry to hear that your parents are going through a tough time, and also that you’re broke. But, you know what’s free? I know you do, because you mentioned it in your question: time!
You might not be able to buy things at the mall, but you can still go and hang out. Or, you can invite your friends to chill at your house where you can watch all the movies you want, and they can shop online, without costing you a dime.
You could also use some of your free time to earn a little extra cash so you don’t have to depend on your parents for that.
If you’re old enough to babysit, you could see if anyone in your neighborhood is looking for a babysitter.
Or, you can ask your parents to help you sell some of your old stuff on eBay. There are collectors out there who go crazy for childhood toys, so you could probably make some decent cash off of some stuff you had when you were a little kid.
If eBay isn’t an option, you could have a garage sale.
And you know all those household chores you’re doing for free now? You probably have some neighbors who also need help with that stuff, who aren’t unemployed.
You could take some of that free time of yours and make a flyer, listing all the different things you can do, and then give them out to everyone on your street.
Some things you could do:
- Wash windows
- Give pets a bath (take it from me, it’s actually really fun!)
- Do laundry
- Clean bathrooms (though I’ll be honest, this wouldn’t be at the top of my list)
- Scan people’s old photos for them so they have digital versions
- Tutor younger kids in subjects they’re struggling with
If you’re crafty, you could make things and sell them to other kids at school. I came up with a few ideas for this around the holidays that might be fun to make:
The cool thing about finding creative ways to make cash is that everyone wants to do this. That stuff at the mall isn’t cheap!
Once you’re bringing in the big bucks, all your friends will want a piece of that action. And when they’re helping you bath puppies and scan pictures, you definitely won’t feel left out.
I hope this helps!