If you’re a teen interested in earning some money of your own, you’re not alone. Many teens are looking for ways they can make money to cover expenses.
I mean, there are things to buy – clothes, entertainment costs, electronic gadgets. Plus, it is good to save up for cars, college costs and other big purchases.
If you are one of the many teens who need or want to earn money to cover these costs, read on. We’ve got a long list of ways for teens to make money. Choose the ones you think will work best for you, and start earning today!
In This Article
- Video: Top Ways to Make Money as a Teen
- Ways Teens Can Earn Cash
- 1. Searching the Web
- 2. Clean People’s Houses
- 3. Make Money Sharing Your Opinion
- 4. Sell Your Stuff
- 5. Run a Farmer’s Market Stand
- 6. Babysit
- 7. Pet Sit
- 8. Dog Walking
- 9. House Sit
- 10. Wash Cars
- 11. Organize Homes or Garages
- 12. Sell Food and Water
- 13. Work at a Restaurant
- 14. Be a Mother’s Helper
- 15. Run Errands
- 16. Join a Property Management Team
- 17. Hold a Class at Your Home
- 18. Retail Worker
- 19. Ask Parents for Tasks
- 20. Turn Your Hobbies into Cash
- 21. Sell Your Products
- 22. Sell Your Designs
- 23. Grocery Store Employee
- 24. Lifeguard
- 25. Movie Theater Worker
- 26. Umpire or Referee
- 27. Get a Paper Route
- 28. Help a Senior
- 29. Be a Golf Caddy
- 30. Collect and Resell Golf Balls
- 31. Be a Call Center Representative
- 32. Tutor Kids
- 33. Paint Fences
- 34. Boat and Camper Cleaning
- 35. Grass and Plant Watering
- 36. Doggie Doo-doo Scooper
- 37. Rent Your Video Games
- 38. Do Lawn Work
- 39. Weed Gardens
- 40. Collect Aluminum Cans
- Ways to Make the Most of Your Income Earning Skills
- Be on Time
- Have a Great Attitude
- Be Professional
- Do Your Job Really Well
- Provide Quality Products
- Go the Extra Mile
- Practice Safety While Working
Video: Top Ways to Make Money as a Teen
Ways Teens Can Earn Cash
There is an almost limitless number of ways that you can rake in some cash if you’re a teenager. From online jobs to money-earning apps to in-person work, the possibilities are many.
Young entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the workforce. They can be the group that grows up to create businesses that will employ tens to hundreds to thousands of people looking for jobs.
Check out these ideas for making money under 18. See if you can use one – or more – to add some cushion to your savings account or to pay for items you want or need.
1. Searching the Web
Swagbucks is a legit site where people get paid for browsing the Internet and more. The points you earn are put into a “bank” and can be redeemed for gift cards to be used on Amazon or at local and online stores such as Walmart, Target and Old Navy. You can also get gift cards for PayPal.
Swagbucks will pay you points to complete small tasks such as:
- Complete surveys
- Play games
- Search the Web
- Watch videos
- Shop online
Using your Swagbucks account in your spare time will allow you to make money to pay for the things you need or want. Best of all, it’s free to join.
Swagbucks has a Trustpilot ranking of 4.3/5 and on top of that, they have a $10 sign-up bonus!
2. Clean People’s Houses
Many people are eager to help keep their homes clean. However, traditional cleaning services can be costly. As a result, people may consider hiring teens who will clean their homes for a reasonable price.
If you like cleaning and are good at being detailed about it, a house cleaning business might be right for you. To get your business started, make a list of what types of cleaning you’ll do.
For example, will you clean bathrooms and kitchens? Will you dust? Vacuum? Will you clean windows? Make sure the jobs are ones you can do well.
Remember to keep in mind the safety aspect too. For example, you might want to rule out cleaning window exteriors that require the need for a ladder.
Next, determine what your hourly rate is. Professional maid cleaning services typically charge between $25 and $35 an hour. Let’s say you decide you can do your work quickly, thoroughly, and charge $15 an hour. You’ve just given potential clients a reason to hire you over a traditional maid service.
You can get work by advertising your services with family, friends and neighbors.
3. Make Money Sharing Your Opinion
Companies such as Survey Junkie will help you get paid for your opinion. Brands want to get your feedback and they are willing to pay for it.
They have over 10 million members and you can take surveys if you’re at least 13 years old.
If you like to give your opinion about things – why not get paid for it?
4. Sell Your Stuff
Is your closet loaded with items you no longer need? Consider selling them at a garage sale or online.
For instance, do you have video games, DVDs or CDs lying around? See what you can get for them on a site like Decluttr, which makes it super easy to get rid of a lot of items quickly.
If you don’t want to the hassle of selling items one by one, then Decluttr can be a great option. You just scan the bar-codes of all the items, put them in a box, and put the free shipping label they provide.
To make the most money, selling your items one-by-one will get you the greatest amount of cash in hand.
The general rule for selling used stuff is to charge 10 percent of the retail cost. You could charge more for larger items such as gaming items, bicycles or other sports equipment. The better shape things are in, the more likely you are to get a higher price.
Want to help increase your earnings when you sell your unwanted stuff? Price your items fairly for a quicker sale, and be willing to haggle with customers.
Hint: you might be able to talk your parents into letting you sell some of their stuff.
Work out a deal where you split the profit with them in exchange for doing the work of selling the items.
5. Run a Farmer’s Market Stand
Many local farmer’s markets charge money when adults set up a stand, but allow kids to do so for free. If you’ve got a small area in your yard, you could grow vegetables to sell at a farmer’s market. You could also sell baked goods or specialty foods at a farmer’s market.
Farmer’s Market vendors sell a variety of things besides fresh fruits and vegetables. Some sell dessert bread, cookies or muffins. While others sell canned jellies, pickles and other items they canned from their own fruits or vegetables.
Make Some Extra Cash by Taking Surveys
Taking surveys in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra dough fast. Check out Survey Junkie which will pay you instantly with cash via PayPal. They have over 10,000,000 members and have an 4.5/5 rating on Trust Pilot.
There was a group of teens at our local farmer’s market that used to make brick oven pizzas and bread at the local farmer’s market.
It’s important to check your state’s laws about farmer’s market foods before selling baked goods or specialty foods. However, many states’ food laws don’t apply to farmer’s market booths.
Are there young kids in your neighborhood or extended family members who need child care? If so, you can offer babysitting services and earn some cash that way.
You can provide your babysitting services on nights and weekends during the school year. During the summer you could offer to nanny while parents are at work and kids are out of school.
It’s not uncommon for babysitting teens to make $10 an hour, $15 an hour or more. Babysitting is a great job for teens (even 14 and 15-year-olds) who are responsible, mature and enjoy being with kids.
If you want to look outside of your current circle of family, friends and neighbors for babysitting clients, check out Care.com which is a database listing available babysitters in specific areas. If you are under 18 years of age, you’ll have to have a parent or guardian’s permission to be listed on the site.
7. Pet Sit
Another great job for teens involves pet sitting. Some people might want pet care while they’re away at work if they don’t want the pet to be alone.
Others might need pet care while they’re on vacation. The amount of time it takes to pet sit depends on the type of pet.
Dogs will likely require constant care, either at your own home (get your parents’ permission first) or at the pet owner’s home. Other pets such as cats or fish may simply require that you just check in on them twice a day.
Decide ahead of time which types of pets you’ll sit for and which you won’t. Set your prices according to how much time you’ll spend each day caring for the pet. Hint: We mentioned Care.com above. You can sign up for Care.com as a pet sitter too.
8. Dog Walking
If you’re looking to earn money by helping animals but want a less time-intensive job, you could offer dog walking services.
Many people don’t have time to walk their dogs but want their dogs to get exercise. These people will pay a decent hourly rate to have someone else walk their dog a few times a week.
Advertise your services with neighborhood flyers, on Facebook or at local pet stores.
If you’re walking dogs that get along with other dogs, you can walk several at once and increase your income. An organized schedule will help you keep track of your dog walking job commitments.
9. House Sit
If you have a neighbor, friend or family member who is going on vacation, they may want to hire a house sitter to make sure their home isn’t vacant while they’re away.
Depending on what they want, house-sitting clients may ask you to be there for an hour or two a day. Or maybe they might just want to check in on the house every day. Some homeowners want a house sitter to live in the house for the entire time they’re gone.
Make sure you get clear instructions about what type of house sitting they’ll want before agreeing to take the job. Negotiate the pay you’ll receive with potential clients and get a signed contract.
10. Wash Cars
Busy adults often don’t have time to wash their cars, but you can make some serious cash doing it for them. You’ll need equipment such as a bucket, soap and rags to wash with and towels for drying.
If you’re cleaning the interior of the cars as well, you’ll want to get some window cleaner and paper towels. A portable hand-held vacuum can be a great accessory as well.
Most clients will let you use their hose and water to wash the exterior of the car. Some may lend you their vacuum for vacuuming the interior, but be sure to check with them before you take the job.
It’ll be a good selling point if you come to their house to wash their car. This eliminates the need for them to make an extra stop at a car wash service center.
Determine how long it will take you to do the cleaning job, and offer an attractive rate that still gives you a good hourly wage. Learn to work quickly and efficiently to improve your hourly rate.
11. Organize Homes or Garages
If you’re good at organization, you can start a business organizing people’s homes or garages. Many people want organized spaces but just aren’t sure where to start.
If you have a knack for that type of work, you could be the answer to their prayers. When offering your services, take a thorough look at the job that needs to be done, and determine how many hours it will take you.
Then times the number of hours by your desired hourly rate and make that your offered price for the job. You can advertise your services on Facebook, with flyers or with emails. Contact friends, neighbors and family members and let them know about your organizing services.
12. Sell Food and Water
There are several places where you could sell drinks (like lemonade) and snacks (baked goods) to local residents. Busy street corners, outside of public baseball parks (if your city allows it) and at garage sales are some ideas.
These types of businesses are especially successful in the summertime or during busy event times. When we go to the local state fairgrounds, there are several vendors on the sidewalk selling bottled water and other packaged snacks.
The key to success in this type of business boils down to cost. Be sure to charge enough to cover the cost of the items you’re selling. Plus, add in an extra amount to make yourself a profit for your hours of work as well.
As an example, you can usually get bottled water for about ten cents per bottle at your local Walmart or Aldi store. If you sell the bottled water for $1 a bottle, you’ve just made a hefty profit.
And because sports, fair and other venues tend to sell water for much more than that, clients will be happy to pay $1 for your water.
13. Work at a Restaurant
Two of my favorite jobs as a teen were working as a cashier at a fast-food place and as a waitress at a local sit-down restaurant.
The fast-food job was great because I made a guaranteed hourly wage in a fun environment with fries as a side benefit. The waitress job was terrific because I made awesome tips along with my paycheck. Both were job experiences that allowed me to make serious money as a teen.
If you like the idea of helping serve people food, inquire about jobs at restaurants near you. You could also work as a cook, a busboy/girl or a cashier at local restaurants.
14. Be a Mother’s Helper
A mother’s (or father’s) helper is different from a babysitter or nanny. It’s different because the parent is typically home most of the time you’re there working.
As a parent’s helper, you’ll likely be asked to do a variety of different jobs to help the household run efficiently.
You might be asked to do the dishes, make lunch or fold laundry. You might help a child with homework, change a diaper or take a young child out to play.
Being a parent’s helper allows you to earn money by helping a family while still having an adult nearby. Check with local families and advertise with flyers to find work. Decide what your hourly wage will be based on the type of work you’ll be required to do.
15. Run Errands
Many busy people and families would love to pay a teen who is willing to run errands for them. For example, they might send you to pick up some groceries or to stop at the drug store.
Or they may have you drop off/pick up dry cleaning or make a run to the post office to mail a package. One tip will help you make the most of your errand running income. Choose to work in neighborhoods where stores and other destinations are close to a lot of homes and apartments.
16. Join a Property Management Team
Working for a property management team is another job I had as a teen. My mom knew a guy who owned a half-dozen rental properties.
When tenants vacated, my mom and I would head over to the house. We’d have to paint the interior walls and/or clean the property to get it ready for the next tenant. We got paid well and were paid directly after each job was finished.
If you like the idea of doing that type of work, check with property owners you know to see if they need help. Or advertise your services online (with your parents’ permission).
17. Hold a Class at Your Home
If you have a talent such as drawing, painting or dancing, you could hold classes for neighborhood kids in your yard or home. The lessons can be one-time deals or can be held for several days in a row.
For example, you could hold a day camp where kids come to participate in scavenger hunts or other activities.
If you’re going to teach a class to neighborhood kids, you’ll need to create an itinerary. The itinerary should include teaching them and keeping them busy for the entire class time.
Be sure to charge a class fee that makes it worth your time and is affordable for parents.
18. Retail Worker
Many clothing and retail store managers are searching out teens to work cash registers and keep shelves stocked. Retail work can be done seasonally, such as during the holidays, or you can work at stores all year round.
A professional appearance, a good attitude and a willingness to be on time count where local retail stores are concerned.
If you have these qualities, you might want to consider a job in retail. Check with clothing, home improvement and big box stores near you for available work.
19. Ask Parents for Tasks
It’s probably likely that your parents (or grandparents) have a lot of stuff they would like to have done around the house, but they just don’t have the time to do it.
Ask your parents if they have a list of jobs they would be willing to pay you to do. Perhaps they’ll hire you to deep clean the basement or garage. Or maybe they need help removing clutter in a home office.
They might want you to do a spring cleaning project such as cleaning windows or washing blankets and comforters.
Have them make a list of tasks they need…