What: Kumbaya is a smart-phone app that aims to connect people needing services with teenagers willing and able to provide those services for pay

Expected pay: You set it

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: 10% (charged to employers)

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Be between the ages of 13 and 18, with a smart-phone and parental permission/involvement

Review:

Kumbaya has some unique features that make it a good way to help teens find part-time jobs. 

For a teen to get access to the app, his or her parent must download the app first. The parent then sends a link to the teen. Parents and teens are encouraged to collaborate on setting up the teen’s profile, which stipulates what the teen can do — babysit, dog-walk, provide services as a mother’s helper, or tutor, etc.. The teen also says what he or she expects to earn per hour. 

The parent can share the teen’s profile with his or her friends and family members. This increases the chance that the teen will get work and that the teen will know the person that he or she is working for. This “trusted community” approach is a good way to safely get started in the working world.

Additionally, parents continue to have access to all the messages that go back and forth from Kumbaya clients and the teen. This can help the parent intervene if a potential client — or the teen — gets out of line.

Payment and Fees

The platform fees, which are 10%, are paid by hiring parents, not taken out of teen wages. The site says it’s waiving those fees during the Covid pandemic to help parents who have been economically impacted.

Teens are paid via Venmo or PayPal within hours of completing a job. 

One concern

The only concern we have about the app is that it emphasizes that the teen should set their rates relatively low to get work. This may be necessary if you’re on the younger end of the age range and can’t work elsewhere. But, if you’re 16 or older — or have significant work experience or important skills, such as CPR — we think you deserve to earn at least minimum wage.

Recommendations:

Kumbaya also appears to be a relatively new website, so you may want to sign up with other teen-friendly sites to find work, too. 

Teenagers may also want to check out Fiverr (you choose your job category), Bambino (babysitting) and Etsy (crafts). You can also advertise your availability to do everything from babysitting to tutoring on neighborhood website, Nextdoor.