The teenage years — that glorious time when mo’ money doesn’t necessarily mean mo’ problems.
The realities of groceries, rent and utilities probably haven’t hit just yet. However, if you’re at that age where you have to start contributing to your cell phone bill, insurance and clothes, you’re ready to find some extra ways to earn some cash.
Whether you are saving for your first car, college or just want to have some extra cash for your teenage adventures, we’ve got you covered with 56 creative (and not so creative) ways to fatten up your wallet.
Ready to learn how to make money as a teenager? Before we get to our list, let’s cover a few of the benefits of earning money as a teen. (You know, in case your parents aren’t exactly sold on the idea.)
Benefits of Making Money
Making your own money is a great way to teach financial responsibility. Just like learning how to crawl before you walk or run, it’s important to take some steps towards financial independence now, so you don’t crash and burn when you’re out there on your own.
Some other benefits to earning money as a teenager include:
- Increased independence
- Gaining confidence
- Building a strong resume
Having a way to earn money is a good idea. Now, onto the jobs!
The Home Jobs
These may not be the most innovative or original, but they start our list as some of the most successful ways to earn some cash.
Just remember that in these scenarios, your parents become your boss. So be ready to get some feedback on the way they want things done. Back-talking and complaining is a sure-fire way to lose this revenue stream.
1. Pick up extra chores
The first place you should look for earning extra money is your own home. Picking up extra chores not only helps you build up your allowance, but it helps your family out too.
These can be your routine chores or special projects like spearheading spring cleaning.
2. Take on Household Jobs
A bit more complex than simple chores, household jobs are regular duties that your parents normally handle.
Maybe you tackle meal planning and get the grocery lists ready each week. Maybe you make everyone’s breakfasts and lunches. Maybe you take over lawn duty and keep up on the mowing, weeding and watering.
As a member of your household, you know exactly what the most dreaded activities are amongst family members. Start with those, and you might just find a very eager parent and a very steady job.
In your Neighborhood or Network
If your family doesn’t need any extra work done around the house, you probably don’t have to look far to find a neighbor, friend or relative who does. Here are some services you can provide within your neighborhood or network.
This may be one of the most reliable and timeless jobs on our list. The need for a great babysitter never ends. And word gets around quick, so it won’t take long before you become a regular. You can also take your services to the next level with a CPR/First Aid class.
Babysit your family, friends or find new clients through care.com.
4. Dog Walking
Dog walking is not a new fad, but there’s a reason it has withstood the test of time. Many pet parents love their fur babies just as much as their human children. And yet, many dog owners find themselves unable to give their pooch as much outdoor time as they would like. That’s where you come in.
It may not be a full-time gig, but the possibility of earning some money by hanging out with pets? Sign us up!
Once you become a trusted face, you will likely also become the first pick for pet sitting. It’s almost vacation season, after all.
5. Sell Refreshments
If lemonade stands are for cute, elementary kiddos, then it just makes sense that a strategically placed coffee and donut stand is made for teenagers. And it doesn’t have to be coffee and donuts, either.
Plant yourself next to a neighborhood park with a cotton candy stand and let nature take its course. If you’re going to venture into community areas, you may have to clear it with your Homeowner Association (HOA).
6. Bake Sale
You don’t have to set up a stand to sell some goodies. You can host a bake sale in your yard to showcase the goodies or host an online event to take orders and give away extra treats.
Don’t forget to call the family and your grandparents to tell them about your recent endeavors. Don’t count your out-of-town or distant relative out, either. What’s better than finding homemade cookies in your mailbox?
7. Clean Garages
If your parents are willing to pay you to clean out the garage, it’s probable that someone else would be too.
You don’t necessarily have to organize everything, but you can if they need it. Sweeping, washing the floors and cleaning out the cobwebs can provide you plenty of work without the invasion of privacy.
Warm summer months are a great time to repaint houses, fences, sheds, patios, etc. A few quality brushes, some music and a good work ethic are all you need.
Don’t think that painting only happens during spring cleaning or the summer, either. Home remodels happen all the time.
Once you perfect your paint skills, you may just be ready for those interior walls.
9. Help with the Elderly
As we age, it becomes harder to maintain a home. Offer your services weekly to run errands, walk dogs and do home chores.
Not only will you be making a little extra cash, but you will also be helping someone immensely. You’ll also might find that you begin to really enjoy your time together.
10. House-Cleaning Services
Put all those years of cleaning your house to work by cleaning other people’s homes. Focus on those not-so-private areas like kitchens, bathrooms and living areas.
Even families working from home would appreciate some extra help on housework.
11. Find the New Parents
Know a few people that came out of quarantine with a new member of the family? Hiring yourself out to help with laundry, food prep, cleaning and other household chores is a good alternative to full-time nannying.
You will get a ton of experience and get some stellar job security. Who better to babysit, pet sit or tutor than someone who already knows the ins and outs of the family?
Plus, word of mouth doesn’t get around quite as quickly as it does with the mom group.
12. Wash Cars
Washing cars is another classic way to earn some money. Start with a few neighbors and let your quality work speak for itself.
Take your services up a notch by detailing the cars as well. Investing in a shop vac, a cleaner and some detailing slime (you read that right, it’s a thing) could be all you need to get you on your way to a successful small business.
If your dream summer job involves getting your hands dirty out in mother nature, then these jobs may be good for you.
13. Pick Up Dog Poop
Okay, it’s not glamorous… but someone has to do it. And you did say you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
Hear us out. No one likes picking up dog poop, which means that you have a good chance at finding someone who will want to pay you to do it.
And if you are already working on someone’s yard, adding a few extra bucks to pick up the poop could be quick and easy money.
14. Pull Weeds
A lot like dog poo, pulling weeds can be a real pain and a great opportunity to make some cash.
Arm yourself with a great podcast, this life-changing weeder from Fiskars and some powerful sunscreen, and you’re on your way to a summer of being a tan, educated and strong individual.
15. Mow Lawns
Mowing lawns is a great money maker for those looking for steady income. Charge by job or create incentives to set yourself apart from the rest.
Maybe that means giving a discount if your client schedules multiple mows in a month or a punch card that helps your clients work their way up to a free service. You can also set up a referral program to provide extra incentives.
If options #12-15 sound doable, you could incorporate them all into a small landscaping business.
Include mowing, weeding, picking up dog poop and any other small jobs that need to be done. You can set your price by the job, giving you complete control of your own schedule and pay.
17. Rake Leaves
As your summer job comes to an end, your fall gig will be starting up. You can either scout for some opportunities in your own neighborhood or offer your services in those beautiful, arbor-filled neighborhoods around town.
18. Clean Gutters
Right around the start of fall, you’ll also want to help clear out the gutters from fallen leaves and other debris.
This can be a messy and risky job, so be sure you get some help and supervision from an adult when necessary.
19. Shovel Snow
Go a step beyond shoveling snow by providing full ice-protection services. Just don’t be that kid who charges your elderly neighbor everytime. It’s nice to help them out for free every once in a while.
Now that we’ve covered all the classic avenues to make some extra cash, here are some of our more non-traditional methods.
20. Garage Sale Flips
I know a handful of people who have made some serious cash buying things at yard sales or thrift stores and selling them on eBay or Amazon. One person even made over $1,900! While it took quite a bit of dedication, work and research to get to that amount of money, you may be pleasantly surprised at the treasure trove that is your neighborhood or local Goodwill.
As a bonus, all that time you spend window shopping counts as research for your business.
21. Buy a Vending Machine
Vending machines are a great way to build up some passive income each month, although you better be ready for a substantial investment cost as vending machines range from $3-10,000.
Once you find a machine, simply scout out a location to put it (making sure you have the business’s permission and are in line with any state laws, of course) and check back once in a while to stock it.
22. Grow and Sell Flower Bouquets
Bouquets don’t run cheap, and yet is there any better gift to give on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or a regular old Tuesday?
Growing your own flower garden and fine-tuning your arrangement skills can be a fun and rewarding hobby. You can snag vases at thrift stores or go for that mason jar look.
Start practicing for family members, and be sure to take pictures of your best arrangements for your portfolio.
23. Grow a Garden
If flowers aren’t your thing, but you still like the idea of growing your business, you can also grow and sell veggies and herbs.
You’d be surprised at how many people would shop from a cute little self-serve Farmer’s Market stand at the edge of your property.
24. Sell Your Clothes
25. Get Cashback through Ibotta
Ibotta is a program that pays you to shop from their featured retailers. Yep, it’s really that simple. Grab groceries for the family, pet toys for Spot and even a little something for yourself by snagging a gift card from your favorite store.
All your shopping has the potential to earn you some cash.
The Creative Outlets
Don’t listen to whoever told you to get your head out of the clouds — instead, get some brilliant ideas while you’re up there. Put them to use by making money from something you love.
Your biggest challenge in these activities will be getting the word out about your lovely creations, but don’t discount the power of social media.
26. Stock Photos
Do you have an eye for photography? Are you the one that the entire family calls for great photos? You can work your way up to new equipment simply by taking and submitting your photos through stock photo platforms.
It might not be the most glamorous work, but stock photos are used all over the internet, and there’s a real need to get pictures for just about anything you can imagine.
Eating cereal? Photo op. Petting a dog? Photo op. Ladybug crawling up a plant? Photo op. Last night’s sushi dinner? Photo op.
You get the idea.
27. Make Portraits
For photos of a different variety, you may put yourself to work master silhouettes. These simple pictures are becoming an increasingly popular way to memorialize the seasons of life.
Check out some examples of silhouette portraits for ideas.
28. Make Cards
Snail mail has always been cool, but cards are making a comeback thanks to the days of quarantine.
If you are thinking of making your own, you’ll be pleased to know that these sentimental goodies are moving far beyond the days of scrapbooking and paper. Crab a Cricut and experiment with fun cartridges. You can also buy watercolor cards and paint abstract scenes on them. Leave them blank or print some cute sayings on them.
However you decide to go about it, you will have a pack of sellable cards in no time.
29. Make Artisan Products
Homemade soaps, candles and body scrubs are all the rage, so why not capitalize on these trends. You will bring in some income while also finding some great self-care items.
Check out our guide on making candles for inspiration.
30. Bake Some Goodies
We’ve mentioned bake sales and selling refreshments, but baking and selling goodies is something a bit different. Master some holiday-themed cookies or cupcakes and showcase your portfolio for family member’s parties.
Between baby showers, graduation parties, the 4th of July and wedding season — you have some serious opportunities to earn some money.
31. Sew Face Masks
If you knit or sew, you can jump on the face mask bandwagon. However you feel about them, it looks like face masks will be here for a while. You can sell them on Etsy or just keep a stash for those students who keep forgetting theirs at home.
Out in the Community
If you are ready to fly out of the nest and move into the world of capitalism, there are a ton of places that offer part-time jobs for students. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas.
32. Grocery Store
Grocery stores are always looking for baggers, cashiers and sales clerks. Depending on your age and experience, you may even find a stocking position.
33. Personal Assistant
Personal assistants help with scheduling appointments, phone calls, travel plans, etc. The need for a good personal assistant doesn’t go away just because everyone’s working from home. Now, employers are looking for virtual assistants.
34. Office Work
If you don’t want to work at a chain like Walmart, local businesses are a great way to get some experience. You will likely do odd jobs like filing, stuffing mailers and stocking supplies.
Going this route might require a bit more digging and asking around than if you were to venture into a chain, but finding a good employer is worth the effort.
Coffee shops operate during those odd hours that work with your school schedule. They open at the crack of dawn and generally stay open through the evening as well. So if you can tolerate early mornings and have that Dutch Brother’s charm, coffee shops are a good fit.
Where do you like to shop? That might be a great place to work. Plan on working evenings, weekends and possibly even holidays, though.
37. Food Services
Don’t roll your eyes at the thought of working in food just yet. Food services go far beyond McDonald’s and Burger King thanks to chains like Chipotle and Cold Stone Creamery.
Small diners and snow cone stands can also make great jobs.
38. Movie Theaters or Family Fun Centers
It may not be as fun as attending as a customer, but there are definitely worse things than hanging out around movies and mini-golf all day. Whenever they open back up, that is.
39. Delivery Services
The Summer Jobs
Want a job that doesn’t take away from school, extracurriculars or your social life? These summer jobs are right up your alley.
It’s no scene from the Sandlot, but lifeguards can have a pretty sweet job in between, you know, saving people’s lives.
41. Camp Counselors
You’ll have to spend a few weeks away from home. Or you get to spend a few weeks away from home. If you feel the mountains calling and don’t mind spending every waking moment with a group of children, there’s a camp somewhere that would love to talk to you.
42. Golf Caddy
Check out your local country clubs and golf courses to see if they need a golf caddy. You’ll get some good exercise, sun and get to be in some of the most beautiful landscapes in your area.
If nothing else, maybe you can pick up a few tricks along the way for your own game.
43. Community Centers
Community centers like the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA constantly need staff members to hang out with and invest in local children. Working in this scene can look like playing basketball, going on field trips and otherwise hanging out with kids.
Use Your Skills
Is there something that you are particularly good at compared to others? Or even that you aren’t super awesome at, but you love doing?
A little evaluation can help you earn extra income while also doing something you love. The best part about honing your current skills and passions is that you get better as you practice. So, not only are you earning money now, but you are also setting yourself up for success if you decide to pursue that as a career later on.
Maybe you find a particular subject to be enjoyable while others seem to struggle. (Looking at you, mathematicians.) Tutoring your classmates or younger individuals can be a great way to connect with your fellow peers and schoolmates. You can also venture out and make your tutoring services available to your neighborhood or community if peers just aren’t your thing.
Don’t limit yourself to just math, either. You can tutor in just about any subject — English, science, sports medicine and even art.
45. Teach Music Lessons
You don’t have to be able to play Mozart’s Symphony No.40 with your eyes closed (or at all) to make a good candidate for music lessons.
Also, keep in mind that children aren’t the only ones interested in picking up musical instruments. In fact, you may find that your mid-age neighbor or a family friend may become one of your favorite and most loyal students.
46. Weld Something Cool
Some people buy great furniture, and some people make it. If you have the resources and skills, you can custom make furniture for family and friends or even just repair their tools or furniture with your abilities.
47. Teach A Foreign Language
Language newbies love to have someone to practice their skills with, even if they know it won’t go well. Plus, the perks of learning a language outside of a book are invaluable.
Chances are that if you’re bilingual, there is someone who would love to hire you to chat with them.
48. Make Jewelry
Jewelry never goes out of style. Don’t get stuck on technicalities — even if the actual piece of jewelry is no longer trending, you can count on the need for jewelry.
When most of us hear DIY jewelry, we think of the beaded variety. However, you can run your own business making pretty sweet cord and leather accessories, too.
49. Take Up Pyrography (Wood Burning)
Pyrography supplies can usually be found at your local craft store. Once you get up to speed, you can sell your items to friends, family and online.
50. Become a Youth Sports Coach
If you are athletically driven or have a sport that fills your soul with joy, coaching might be right up your alley.
Find a local program and see if they need help. If you really want to impress them, consider getting a coaching certificate.
51. Play Music at Events
Advertise your services to play at baby showers, birthday parties and other events. Of course, you’ll have to make sure your music is worth listening to before you start advertising your services.
Interested in how to make money online?This is the 21st century, after all. Here are a handful of options to earn some dough without having to leave your home.
52. Play Video Games
That’s right; you can make money just by playing video games, either through becoming a tester or streaming your gaming session on Twitch.
Are you playing or working? Your parents may never know.
53. Run a Youtube Channel
It might take a while before you become profitable, but running a Youtube channel is a great starting point to becoming an influencer.
There are Youtube channels for just about anything nowadays. Find something interesting, throw a little humor at it (without going full cheeseball) and start building your channel.
The key here is not to try building a successful channel overnight. You should expect some long investment time upfront.
Check out our guide on how to run a successful Youtube channel for tips on getting started.
54. Manage Social Media Accounts
Remember those small businesses we talked about earlier? Chances are that there aren’t many people in that office who know how to use social media.
Offer to run their page and keep them from committing major social taboos.
55. Take Surveys
You have opinions. Why not get paid for them? Companies use online surveys to get quick public feedback before making major marketing decisions.
56. Freelance Work
Freelancers have a place in just about any industry. You can join us in the field of freelance writing or begin blogging for businesses. You can even find some graphic design jobs. Check out Upwork and Fiverr to get started in this field.
Will That be Cash or Card?
With so many great ways to make money out there, you really have no excuse to mooch off your friends or parents for everything.
So, decide what you like and take a little initiative. You may find that capitalizing on something you love turns out to be the best of both worlds.
You might also be interested in: 51 Side Hustles To Bring In Extra Money
Nicole Postview post
Nicole Post is the Associate Editor for ChatterSource. Born and raised in Idaho, Nicole is a mom practicing the art of balance. A minimalist by nature, Nicole loves all things food, copious amounts of laughing, and lazy hikes in the mountains with her family.view post