How to Make Money As A Kid
Just a decade or two ago, kids didn’t have many interesting ways to make money. Most children earned a paltry weekly allowance for doing chores, yet that allowance felt insufficient.
Nowadays, thanks to technology, kids have an untold number of money-making methods at their disposal. The cool thing is that many of these ways pay much more than taking out the garbage and doing the dishes ever would.
Why Should You Learn How to Make Money as a Kid?
Childhood is meant to be a time of innocence and joy; work is meant for the adults!
Don’t worry though, because making money as a kid can actually be fun. It also brings about several other benefits for your present and future self:
- Earn money – As you get older, you’ll gain more freedom and independence. You can’t enjoy it all that much without money.
- Learn valuable skills early – You’ll be miles ahead of your peers by the time you go off into the world.
- Resume builder – You shouldn’t worry about resumes as a kid, sure, but it doesn’t hurt to put your entrepreneurial endeavors on your resume in the future.
- Fills the time – Your chosen money-making activity gives you a fun way to fill the time.
- Bragging rights – Your hustle can be an interesting conversation topic with friends, family, and classmates.
How to Make Money as a Young Kid
1.) Lawn Care/Yard Work
Mowing lawns is a timeless classic way to make money for kids with a business streak. This is an especially killer way to make money if you live in a place that’s warm most of the year.
The job is easy: plug in some headphones, blast your favorite tunes, and push the mower around until your client’s lawn is nice and trimmed.
You will need your own mower to get started, but it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. If you need help paying for a mower, inform your parents of your new lawn mowing business and ask for their help; they’re likely to say yes if they appreciate drive and entrepreneurship.
Maybe you’ll start earning enough to invest in a driving mower someday.
Want to make more money? Expand to other lawn care services. Raking leaves, edging, cleaning out the gutters, even shoveling snow in the winter (which can be a great workout).
2.) Set Up a Lemonade Stand
Another staple of making money as a kid is the lemonade stand; and once again, these are excellent moneymakers in places where the sun shines often.
In your own neighborhood, you’ll be able to make a few bucks per day. However, you can boost your earnings a ton by setting up at a local park frequented by a lot of people. Everyone there will appreciate a cold, refreshing drink on a hot day, and since you’re a kid, they’ll be swarming to support your business.
See if you can get a parent or relative to help you move your stand to the park; also, be sure to check with local ordinances to make sure you’re following all the rules.
3.) Organize a Garage Sale
You could host a garage sale at your house and make money selling your stuff, but an easier way to make money would be to help someone else set up their own garage sale.
Many adults have tons of junk they don’t need; if only they had the time to sell it!
That’s where you come in. Look around your neighborhood and offer to help neighbors who might want to offload a bunch of junk. Partner up and do all the hard stuff for them – pricing, advertising, and even help with selling the items.
Arrange your payment however you’d like, but we bet you can easily negotiate splitting the profits evenly.
4.) Sell Your Stuff Online
Got a bunch of junk sitting around your own house? You could have a garage sale, but your customer base will be a lot bigger if you move online.
Spend a Saturday roaming around your house and gathering old items. Then, get your parents to help you sign up for a site like eBay to start selling your junk for money. They’ll be happy to help you declutter their house.
Alternatively, you can check out Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, but get your parent’s help in order to stay safe.
Certain items can be sold on specialty sites as well. For example, if you have an old iPhone, you could sell it on Gazelle. They do all the work for you; you just answer a few questions, then ship them your phone in the box they send you.
5.) Walk and/or Pet Sit Dogs
Pet are part of the family, and people want to all their family members to be well cared for. When pet owners go to work or travel, they worry about their furry friends and are willing to pay good money for you to take care of them.
If the pet in question is a dog, the owners don’t even have to be gone for you to earn some cash. The dog owner might not feel like walking the dog that day, so you could swoop in and offer to do it for them.
Spread the word about your services to your neighbors. Post flyers around your neighborhood marketing your services. When you get older, you can make a teen account on Care.com or make a joint account with a parent on Rover.com, both allowing you to reach a wider client base.
6.) Car Detailing
Your neighbors most likely own one or more cars. Chances are, many of those cars are in need of a nice wash and maybe even some detailing.
So why not offer a neighborhood car detailing service?
Car detailing involves a car wash, vacuuming the inside of the car, washing the windows, and polishing both the interior and exterior.
You will need a few items, of course. However, many will pay at least $50 (if not more) to have their car detailed, so by pricing your services a little below that, you could get a lot of customers.
To kick start your marketing, consider detailing your parents’ car. Take before and after pictures to show off to your potential clientele.
If that all sounds like too much, you could stick with a traditional car wash service, focusing only on the exterior of the car.
7.) Recycle Cans
Recycling cans is an amazingly easy way to make money in states with “bottle bill” laws (in other words, you can bring bottles and cans back to the store for the deposit). Each can could earn you 5-10 cents, depending on the bottle bill state you live in.
You can find cans everywhere. Sporting events, baseball fields, streets, even your own house. Gather up cans in a few garbage bags, then bring them to the store the next time your parents go shopping. Easy money.
8.) Sell Crafts
Arts and crafts is a fun activity for all ages, but it’s also an opportunity for kids to make money. You could sell bracelets, keychains, necklaces, decorations, really anything that you can apply your artistic talents too.
You have an advantage here as a kid. All the adults will think it’s simultaneously adorable and awesome that you’re making crafts and will be happy to buy some from you.
Start with your family and relatives first. They’ll happily share your work with their friends, meaning more potential customers coming your way.
Get your neighbors and friends in on it too. The same word-of-mouth philosophy applies; they’ll hopefully mention your work to their friends, parents, relatives, etc.
But of course, you have a huge business advantage simply by growing up in the information age. Etsy is a site dedicated to letting artistic entrepreneurs sell their arts and crafts to others. Once you’re 13 years old, you and a parent/guardian can open an account together so that you can build your store and expand your business.
9.) Bake and Sell Treats
Everybody loves delicious baked goods, so there’s money to be made starting a little business selling your own confectionery creations.
All you need are the ingredients and some cookware. You probably have the latter at home, so you’ll only need to buy the former.
Then when your treats are done, you can have a bake sale in your neighborhood. Make sure the presentation of the baked goods is perfect, as that’ll get you some repeat customers.
Promote your bake sales with flyers, and get your parents in on the marketing action too.
If you want to expand your baked goods enterprise further, make a website. Ask your parents to help your share your website with friends and relatives as well as one social media.
How to Make Money as a Teen
Honestly, you can do most of the younger kids side hustles as a teen and make even more. You’ll finally be of age to access websites that help you market yourself, and you’ll naturally be able to charge more as you’re older.
That being said, here are some ways to make money as a teen.
10.) Cleaning Services
We bet you groan every time your parents demand that you clean the house. Cleaning’s never the most fun thing to do, but when you can charge someone else $20+ per hour to clean their house, your least favorite household chore becomes a lot more enticing.
Plus, adults simply love to help driven young people, especially when they’re doing a task as unpleasant as cleaning.
At first, you’ll have to do some extra work to prove yourself. That might mean doing your first job for free, as well as using your own cleaning supplies at no extra charge.
Leave no stone unturned during your first job. Impress your first client, and you’ll have more business headed your way before you know it.
As business flows in, you can start charging higher rates. In addition, you could charge a premium for using your own cleaning supplies, or offer discounts if the client provides the supplies.
11.) Kids Birthday Party Entertainment
Those who aren’t afraid to perform or make themselves look silly in front of the crowd can get plenty of work providing entertainment for kids’ birthday parties.
Clowns are a common one – you don’t need anything but the costumers guts to make yourself look and act silly.
Or maybe you know a few magic tricks. Magic shows are a big hit with little kids, as even the simplest of tricks could wow them.
Perhaps you have some musical chops. Some parents might want to book musical talent for their son or daughter’s birthday, so get to practicing your instrument and/or singing!
Providing the entertainment for a birthday party isn’t for everyone – you have to be comfortable in front of a crowd. If that’s you, this is a fun way to make lots of money as a teen.
12.) Flip Items Online
If you found de-cluttering your house and selling junk online fun, you’re going to love this money making method.
Basically, you find items at good prices, then turn around and resell them online for a higher price in order to profit.
Where can you find these low-priced items?
They’re all over the place. Check out garage sales, thrift stores, consignment stores, eBay, basically anywhere someone is selling something second-hand.
If you can, try to specialize in a certain item (such as shoes). It’ll help you learn more about the type of item; when you know more about an item, you know how to spot the best value for said item as well as how to sell it for maximum profit.
13.) Start a Blog
Blogging is a tried and true method of making money online. And yes, you absolutely can start blogging as a teen, if not even earlier.
First, you’ll have to pick a niche. Some people recommend picking the most profitable niche even if it’s boring, while others say to focus on your passion regardless of the profit potential.
However, we recommend both. Find something you like that seems to have a decent audience, then go all in on it.
To grow your blog, you have to focus on creating quality content on a consistent basis. Don’t get caught up in the small stuff like which theme to use. Put in the work; write regularly on your blog and the traffic will start to build as the months go by.
Blogs can make money through
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored content
However, as your blog grows, you can build other income streams off it such as
- Membership/premium content
Comfortable in front of the camera? Enjoy editing videos? Tons of people all over the world are making money from YouTube. Some do it part time, but many people make a comfortable full-time income YouTubing. I’m sure you’ve heard of the little kid that makes millions reviewing toys.
When it comes to picking a YouTube topic, you can pick anything you’re passionate about. Whether it’s technology, video games, educational stuff, or reviewing products, you’ll build a large audience by sticking with it.
Gain enough subscribers, and you can become a YouTube partner. YouTube partners make money through:
- Merchandise – Sell your own channel-branded apparel
- Super chats (viewers pay to pin their chat messages to the top of a stream)
- YouTube Premium – When YouTube Premium customers watch your video, you get a portion of their Premium payment
15.) Run Errands for Adults
Doesn’t it seem like adults are always busy? Whether that’s real or just an excuse to not do anything depends on the person, but both types of people would love some paid help handling their errands.
All you have to do is find out what tasks these adults don’t want to do, then offer to do it for them… for a fee, of course.
Once you get your driver’s license, you can boost your earnings by taking on longer-distance tasks like grocery shopping or picking their kids up from daycare.
Tutoring is an excellent job for teens, as well as a great way to get better at the subjects you tutor.
Since you’re a teenager, you’ve got a huge market: your peers! If you excel at a certain subject, you can offer tutoring services to help fellow classmates learn the material and boost their grades.
Of course, charging people your own age to teach them can be a bit awkward; if you don’t feel confident doing so, you can tutor younger kids. Elementary and middle schoolers need help learning, too.
Best of all, the money’s good. You could easily charge $20 an hour. 10 hours per week is $200 in your pocket, which is no small sum for someone your age.
Marketing yourself is easy: Tell your friends and neighbors about your tutoring services. Word of mouth spreads, and you could soon find yourself with a few clients.
17.) Create and Design Websites
Got some technical skills and an eye for design? Small businesses need not just any website, but a good website to survive in the 21st century business environment.
As for where to find these small businesses…
Check with your local chamber of commerce for a list of small businesses in your area. Search online for as many as you can, and make note of the ones that don’t currently have a website. Also, make note of the ones that have slow or poor websites.
Then, you can reach out to these businesses, sell them on why they need a website or why they need their current website improved, then offer to build/improve their website.
This gig pays quite well because websites are critical to staying afloat, yet most business owners don’t have the time or mental space to learn how to build and manage their website.
If you love sports and have a thick skin, look into becoming a referee or umpire for a local kids sports team.
Becoming a referee isn’t too hard, especially if you know the rules of the sport you want to referee. You might have to complete some training, though.
Again, you won’t have fun as a referee if you don’t have thick skin. Not because the kids will get mad at you, but you might catch some negative attention from overenthusiastic moms and dads if you make the “wrong” call.
19.) Take Surveys Online
Did you know you can make legit money sharing your opinions with brands? Survey apps let you do just that.
On these apps, you’re presented with surveys on all manner of topics. If you qualify for the survey, you can earn points or cash for completing them. Points can usually be cashed out for money or gift cards to various retailers.
Many survey apps unfortunately don’t let people under the age of 16 or 18 sign up, but Swagbucks lets users join as early as age 13.
Which is great, because Swagbucks provides several opportunities to earn besides their wide survey selection, such as
- Answering polls
- Playing games
- Shopping online through Swagbucks
- Watching videos
- Browsing the internet on Swagbucks
20.) Social Media Management
Many businesses will think you’re a social media whiz solely because you’re young. Even if you don’t know social media that well, the basics are easy to learn, and the basics are all you need to make money managing social media for local businesses.
As a social media manager, you can expect to
- Draft and post tweets/posts/pictures on various social media channels
- Interact with followers/fans on social media accounts
- Look at analytical data
- Assist with planning a social media strategy
Again, this is easier than it sounds. Some businesses struggle to send out a tweet, so as long as you can navigate your way around the major social media platforms, you should be fine.
Want to earn even more? Learn social media ads, especially Facebook ads. If you can directly make businesses more money, they will be happy to pay you a handsome sum for your efforts.
Facebook ads aren’t too hard to learn, either – Udemy has a zillion Facebook Ads courses that all cost between $10 and $20.
21.) Painting Houses
Painting houses is a pain for a lot of homeowners. They’d very quickly pay a teen (read: you) to paint their house instead.
If your painting gig starts taking off, you can hire friends and peers to join your painting business. Many a high school student has either joined an already-existing painting business or started their own; it’s easier than you might think.
22.) IT/Computer Services
For obvious reasons, the average teen tends to be much more proficient in computers and technology than their adult counterparts. Teens that love technology should look into offering their tech expertise to the adults in their lives.
You could go about this several ways. Most obvious is helping others with software/computer use issues. You can charge your clients to troubleshoot various problems they might run into with their computers.
Or maybe you enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together. You could make your business more about fixing electronics and upgrading computers for people.
A nice bonus to this endeavor is you can stick it on your resume when you get older. Not only will you be able to display your tech skills to future employers, but employers love to see entrepreneurial teens building their own businesses as it shows drive and work ethic.
23.) Make an Online Course
You don’t have to be a teacher to make a course in something. Everybody’s got some skill that somebody else wants to learn. Whatever that skill is for you, you can make an online course out of it.
For example, say you are a techie a la tip #22. You could easily make a course about repairing certain electronics, picking the best device for a certain purpose, a course on how to code, etc.
Once you build your course and market it enough, you can make some serious passive income. The only real work you’ll have to do is updating the course content so it stays relevant, as well as handling questions and concerns from your students.