Most advice that teenagers get when it comes to money is to work on menial tasks. They tell you to run small errands for someone, do yard work, or wash someone’s car on a hot summer day.
How to Start Making Money as a Teen?
While there is nothing wrong with doing physical labor or helping out people for a small fee, I’d suggest looking at the bigger picture. Teenagers might be misunderstood in many ways, but they have a lot of energy and untapped skills ready to take on challenges.
You can actually make some serious money if you work with patience and perseverance.
1, Invest in the long term
If you live in the US, Robinhood is your best bet for long-term investment into your future. If you live in Europe, I use and recommend Revolut.
Also, when I say long-term investment, I mean investing and keeping your money in one of these fintech giants for years, perhaps even a decade.
If you take $10 or $100, it will still be profitable in the future. Make sure you invest in shares that have value or ETFs or an IRA.
The stock market has been on the rise for decades, with its ups and downs. There will be fluctuations and net losses over time. But despite multiple financial crises, the chart can only go one way. UP!
Do a bit of research before making an investment. 🙂
2, Vindale Research
Platforms like Vindale Research, a paid survey community, helps thousands of companies get feedback and opinions from consumers on their products and services to look for improvements.
You have to fill out some questions and you get paid for it. These survey communities operate in the US to the UK, Canada, and Australia.
3, Sell stock photos
Be aware that selling stock photos is another competitive industry and this might be insufficient to make a living. But they are easy to start. All you need is an iPhone or a camera with high-resolution.
You will need a good quality camera or an iPhone or Android with high camera qualities.
4, Playing and Testing Games
There are multiple games like in the Metaverse, for example, that is willing to pay people to play video games on their phones, take surveys, or watch videos on their phone. (In some cases you have to be 18 or above.)
If you’re already on your phone, while not make some money while you’re at it?
Always discuss these things with your parents to avoid any scams or accidentally getting access to age-inappropriate content.
How do people make money through Youtube?
The most common way is through ads with Adsense that you can place into your videos after you’ve reached 1000 followers and 4000 hours watched.
All you need is a phone camera to record your videos and you can edit them on software like Shotcut and upload them on Youtube.
If you enjoy writing essays, diaries or generally enjoy sharing your thoughts on paper, this is your chance. You could easily start blogging with WordPress or Wix websites, starting with a free limited account.
However, if you want to make it serious, it requires some money to get started, but it can earn you some through Google ads or sales. Start with Bluehost or Wix!
You can write about anything that you are interested in as long as it brings value to your reader. You don’t need to be an expert, but have some knowledge about the topic you choose.
It is also smart to choose a topic that you enjoy because sometimes blogging can demanding.
Blogging will not bring you a ton of instant money, but nothing in this world does. (Except lottery or inheritance.) 😛
You can earn a lot once your blog gets popular and people start to notice you.
I used to play the guitar and the piano.
So I started spreading flyers and spreading the word about lessons. Soon enough, several parents were interested in learning how to play for their kids or themselves.
I also taught English in non-English speaking countries and Danish outside of Denmark. 🙂
If you are good at something never do it for free!
Fiverr is a place where freelancers, entrepreneurs, and thousands of people every day are looking for various people with skills. Video editing, content writing, drawing, music editing, crafting items, and much more.
With Fiverr you have an enormous customer base where you set the price and compete with others with the same skill as yours.
9, Sell T-shirts
Once again, you can go on Printify or Printful, but instead of drop shipping everything, your entire focus is on T-shirts. Shirts are more common purchases in my experience when I built my first dropshipping company, called Memestores. (I know, brilliant name.)
11, Sell Your Own Products
If you love art and crafts, you can always try and sell your own products at local events like fairs or market festivals.
These products could include trinkets, paintings, handmade objects, or any other jewelry you’ve made. You could also sell these items on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist.
12, Sell Your Old Stuff you don’t need
You could sell your old, unused belongings that you no longer need.
Try and sell books, your childhood toys, clothes you’ve outgrown, or you no longer like.
You can sell your things on multiple platforms like Facebook, Craigslist, or use apps like Letgo or Decluttr.
13, Rent out your Belongings
Rent out things like video games. Rent out other belongings for a given period to friends and schoolmates and charge a small fee every month or week.
14, Tutorship of small Kids
I used to teach English and Music to young kids and even some kindergarteners as a substitute teacher. This is no easy task since you need to build trust with a school or some parents. Also, you need the right connections so that someone vouches for you.
My best advice is to ask around. If you don’t have a “black sheep” or “bully” reputation, you can always ask your teachers for these opportunities. It never hurts to ask. In fact, most teachers would be happy to see your enthusiasm.
15, Parent’s assistant
Becoming a parent’s assistant like a babysitter or caregiver during the day or evening is something you can try at any time. This would once again require trust and responsibility.
But if you have some skills that you can use to teach kids will always be a big bonus in the eyes of the parents.
16, Fast food delivery
The online food order industry is booming. With Covid19 and long working hours by millions of employees in big cities requires food delivered at the doorsteps.
This is where you can come into the picture and help out.
You can try and deliver food on a bike or bicycle and receive a service fee for every order you deliver. This is a tough job, but it is suitable for young and athletic individuals.
17, Set up a market stand
I remember as a kid, my parents used to take me to the market to buy food and veggies every weekend on the market. There used to be a dozen people buying whatever they needed and a lot of young adults and teens selling food off the table.
Maybe this doesn’t sound too glamorous but it’s the first step to retail and sales. Selling things your family or a business made at the market is your best chance to earn some money AND experience. Also, I believe it is a lot of fun.
18, The classic Lemonade Stand
Imagine it’s a hot summer’s day and you are out there with a nice cold lemonade for passers-by.
If your city or town allows these activities, set up a lemonade stand in a busy park or at a fair. You could also sell cold bottled water, baked goods, or snacks.
The profit you make from selling these goods should cover your expenses and leave you with money for the hours you’ve worked.
19, Sell your Study Notes
Text notes and summaries can be sold on a platform called Stuvia.
20, Sell your Research
Use a website called: GRIN. You can upload your work for free and as an Ebook or hardcopy with your unique ISBN. The entire process takes about 5 minutes.
Whatever your research is about, I’d suggest you make it sound appealing to a reader.
21, Publish your work
Let’s start with a basic publishing company: Lulu.com.
They give writers a chance to publish hard copies for their readers or to publish pdf versions of their book. Since this is the self-publishing industry, you will have to sell your book, study, or comic book either by promoting it to friends, family, on social media, or on your personal website (if you have one.)
On the bright side, with Lulu, you can distribute your work to other platforms like Apple’s iBookstore and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, where you can broaden your research’s availability.
22, Share your opinion or experience
There is an app called Swagbucks with a feature called: Swagbucks Answer where you can get paid to give your opinion by doing surveys similar to Vindale Research I’ve mentioned earlier.
You’ll have to give some information about yourself to make sure you meet their requirements in terms of your age, interests and so on.
Once you qualify for a survey, it can be a good way to make some extra cash. In addition, you can earn a free $10 sign-up bonus.
23, Twitch Streaming
Oh yes, Twitch! It’s a thing and it is big!
If you love gaming and the game your play streaming yourself can be one of the most lucrative ways for teens to make money. Many of the biggest Twitchers are teenagers and are making a small fortune from streaming.
It is competitive, but if you build up a follower base and show some charisma with long hours of videos, your chances increase
24, Host events
Become an event organizer and host small events.
Hosting paid events for fun or educational purposes is another way to earn some money. With platforms like Meetup.com are a great way for you and everyone else there to use their brains or have fun together.
You can charge a participation fee from all attendants through a website called Eventbrite where you can set the participation fee and share all the details of your event.
I’ve mentioned Foap and Shutterstock. But you should never turn away from real-life customers. While cameras are expensive, professional photography is no cheap hobby either.
As a teen, you can charge less than a professional photographer and find more clients. Show them some of your work and if they like, they’ll be willing to pay you some serious cash, even if it’s less than a professional.
26, Makeup artist
There are SO MANY makeup tutorials on Youtube. I’m sure many people can do a great job on themselves.
However, if there are carnivals, festivals, or feasts near you and you know who to reach out to, then helping the performers or artists with their makeup can be your best bet for making some money.
27, Office Jobs
This varies from country to country and depends on specific age groups. But taking a part-time job at an office can give you a boost in your career and look good on a CV if you’ve worked for a big corporation or an upcoming startup.
28, Golf caddy
This might not sound like a glamorous job, but hear me out.
Who are the people that go playing golf? Usually influential businessmen with money and network. If you seem like a diligent and trustworthy person and can get a word with some of them, I’m sure they’ll be able to help you step up the ladder faster than others.
It never hurts to be surrounded by wealthy and influential people.
Similar to Instagram, you can choose a niche and create entertaining content for your ideal audience with hopes of going viral. The aim is to attract people who would be an ideal customer if you were to sell products or services online.
For example, if you are a makeup artist you can sell stocks of makeup. If you are a musician, you can advertise and show your musical abilities and let people know about your Spotify account to stream your songs.
TikTok is basically a platform for you to get fans, followers, and buyers.
30, Social Media Manager
Many young people I know can qualify as social media experts. However, it is not only about sharing and posting on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.
With a bit of understanding of the algorithm and content development, you can be a great help to a lot of local business’ website or social media business accounts
Most businesses know they have to get online to attract customers but many don’t know how to do that.
31, Use these apps for passive income
If you have a mobile phone, tablet, PC, Linux, or Mac, you could earn some passive income by installing a piece of software on one or more of your devices.
Here are two apps you can get started with:
- Smart Panel ($60+/year) – Pays $5/month for connecting a PC, tablet, or mobile phone. Also pays a loyalty bonus every 3 months your devices stay connected.
- SurveySavvy ($60-$190/year) – Pays $5/month for each device (PC, tablet, or mobile), up to 3 devices. So you can earn up to $180 a year.
How does it work?
The software you install will collect some of your data in the background. They’ll see things like the apps you’re using, the websites you visit, the amount of time you spend on certain apps, etc.
PS: Do not be concerned about your privacy. Your personal info is kept strictly confidential.
32, Enter competitions
This is obvious advice, but all you need is one big win to earn a substantial amount.
I’ve seen and been in tournaments and competitions while in high school. Most of them were either sports-related or a competition where you had to use your brainpower. I won my first award in a chess competition, earning a couple of free coupons for the school cafeteria. 😛
Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s honest work.
33, Get Paid to Walk
Since you’re a teenager, there’s a good chance that your primary mode of transportation is your legs. Well, did you know that each step you take could be making you money?
With Sweatcoin (and these other apps that pay you to walk), you can earn cash and physical rewards just for walking. All you need is a smartphone!
34, Teach Computer Skills to the Elderly
When it comes to computer skills, I don’t mean IT or show how the latest C++ works in real life. Many elderly in pension houses would only need some Microsoft skills to do their daily errands.
Get in touch with your grandparents and see if they have a network where some of the elderly need help in this field. You can start teaching them for a fixed price on various skills that are basic for you, but relevant for them.
35, Digitize or edit images
There are many tools and software out there like Canva or Pixlr. If you get to understand the basics of editing images by filtering pictures, adding small texts or figures, and such things, you can ask for some money in return.
The aim is to be good at editing and have a good eye for improving all kinds of images.
36, Do household groceries
There are apps that give you cash back on all the stuff you buy – including a ton of groceries and other things your household is using, like clothes home, or office decorations.
In fact, some people have reported earning $500 per month doing this with this app. Be aware though, that you have to be at least 18 years old in order to qualify. But you can always use it through your parents or an adult’s account.
So… problem is solved!
37, Sell website designs
Web design sounds like a serious topic but with so many free tools and tutorials, anyone from a young age can learn a few things. No coding is needed.
On the good side, you can literally make thousands of dollars as a teenager. Put your visual design and tech skills to the test and earn big. I have several books and tips on how to start building your first website, in case you need help or inspiration.
38, Review songs
Go to MusicXray and start testing others’ songs to get paid for your review. You will receive around $0.10 per song you’ve given your honest feedback on.
You need to explain certain elements you hear and like about the artist, what you thought of the lyrics, and how the song works within its designated genre.
39, Use Etsy
I’ve mentioned dropshipping and online sales, but Etsy deserves some special attention. First of all, let’s cut the chase. It’s free to get started!
The reason I’ve taking Etsy separately is that it’s an eCommerce website with a focus on handmade and vintage items. So if you are good at making small trinkets, jewelry, home decor designs, Etsy is the place for you.
Once again, you have to be 18 or above to get started. But you can always use a parent’s or an adult’s personal account to get started.
40, Collect Bottles and Cans
This really depends on where you live. In many Western countries like Germany, Denmark or Sweden, you can get a small return fee that you can spend at a store.
While I was a student in Denmark I used to do this at night while I was unemployed and willing to put my pride aside and collect cans. Was it worth it? Yes.
While I didn’t make a lot, if I collected at least 50 cans, I could receive about 8 to 10 dollars worth of recyclable cans. This meant I had food for the day.
Tough times required tough measures when I was still a student.
41, Teach English online
There are many people abroad with money who are willing to pay extra to listen and learn to speak English with a native speaker. Since it is expensive to go abroad, many people would be more than happy to have one on one discussions online and learn.
For example, on Samespeak, you have the choice of giving English lessons or providing English conversations. It’s actually a fun way of earning some extra money.
Another obvious idea on our list. Babysitting is one of the oldest ways for teens to make money. The only part you need to fulfill is to earn the parents’ trust in your neighborhood.
I haven’t found an app to find a connection between babysitters and parents. But maybe in the future, someone will come up with that idea too.
43, Do landscaping
Do you love gardens or garden work? Do you enjoy nature or botanical gardens?
Landscaping in my opinion is a very relaxing and helpful thing to do for the environment and people alike. And you can get paid to plant new plants or help cultivate existing ones.
You could even combine it with some yard work to make more money!
44, Hospitality and manegement
These types of jobs vary a lot. Also in many countries, you have to be 16 or above to qualify for work.
All in all, there’s always a fast-food restaurant or cafeteria in a city or town where they hire teenagers. Whether you will work with customers, make food, or do the daily clean up duty, working in hospitality is a rite of passage for making money and building experience.
45, Event organizer or helper
There are dozens of festivals, carnivals, parties, musicals, or feasts happening in almost every part of the world.
Having the right connections might come in handy, but you can always try and reach out or apply for a job where you can help out or organize events. The bigger the event, the more responsibility you will have and the higher your pay will turn out to be.
When I went on a study abroad program in Europe, I got a small scholarship grant from the European Union. It wasn’t much, but it helped out a great deal.
There are dozens of scholarships for people studying in different countries or taking up various courses that build skills that would be in high demand.
47, Work in sports
Do you enjoy sports? Are you good at them? Then why not use your skills as a way to make money on the field.
There are multiple ways to earn some money. You can be a coach or coaching assistant. There is also a chance to get paid for being the umpire or the referee of a game.
In order to get a job like this, you need to be on good terms with a school coach or be an outstanding athlete who understands the game. Ask around your network or community organizations to see where you can help out.
48, Pet sitting
This is perhaps the most fun job I have ever tried in my life.
People who work from 9 to 5 with pets, can’t really take care of them all the time. Dogs need special attention especially if their owners go on a holiday. You may be able to create your own book of business by charging a little bit less for taking care of the little ones.
You can find customers by advertising in your own neighborhood, and surrounding neighborhoods.
Do you have clothes that no longer fit you? With ThredUp you can start selling the,. ThredUp is a platform where you can sell gently used upscale clothing.
You can be paid anywhere from $2 up to $20 per item. The items have to be name brands, like Zara, Lacrosse, Armani, or even Hello Kitty :D.
50, Finding odd or rare jobs on Craigslist
If you live in the US, Craigslist is a good place to start for various job offers. Craigslist has grown to become what local newspaper classified ads used to be.
You can find just about anything on the site, including odd jobs.
Some of them involve ongoing work, while others are one-time job offers. Go and select those assignments that you think are a good fit for you.
Conclusion – Make some extra money as a teenager
Making money as a teen is not an easy job. You need to build trust and reliability in the eyes of those you wish to work with. The first thing I would suggest you do is to watch over your reputation. First impressions are a major factor in finding the right connections or networks that can offer you well-paying jobs.
Also, make sure that you develop certain skills. If you want to teach, you have to be confident that you can deliver value to your “client.” Since you are a teen, the expectations are somewhat lower, but there are still expectations you have to meet.
Whatever you chose to do, be confident enough that you can do a good job. 🙂