All of the Best Ways for Teens to Make Money (47+ Ideas)

All of the Best Ways for Teens to Make Money (47+ Ideas)

How To Make Money As A Teen With A Part Time Job

This is the most traditional way to make money as a teen. Although these aren’t as scalable as starting your own neighborhood or online business, they can offer a steady stream of revenue for you. As a teen trying to make money, this can be a great way to get started.

61. Become A Bus Boy

Becoming a busboy is something you can do at any a

Becoming a busboy is something you can do at any age, and most restaurants are in need. You don’t need any experience and you can even get free meals. If you work there long enough, you might even get promoted to a waiter.

This is great because as a waiter you not only get paid your regular wage but you also get paid tips. This is a great way to learn about customer service and multitasking.

62. Work At A Retail Store

Whether you live near a Macys, Target, or Walmart retail stores are constantly hiring part-time workers. The majority of your workday will be folding clothes, manning the cash register, or making sure things are where they need to be. The work isn’t too demanding, and as a teen, you can usually work as much as you want allowing you to make as much money as you’d like.

63. Make Money As A Teen Working At An Amazon Warehouse

Amazon has fulfillment centers all over the US. While working in an Amazon warehouse you’ll be responsible for fulfilling orders that people place through the company. This is another job that you can turn from a part-time job into a full-time job during times like the summer. You have to be okay with being on your feet and being able to lift objects of up to 30 lbs.

Not only will this give you great experience with operations, but it’s also a great resume builder. Everyone knows Amazon and having that on a resume can be leveraged to get different positions.

64. Become A Golf Caddy

This is one of the best ways to make money as a teen. Golf is considered a “rich man’s” sport so if you can become a golf caddy you can find yourself around people who have a lot of money. The job also isn’t too hard. You mainly are in charge of carrying the golfer’s bag, keeping the clubs clean, and walking ahead of the golfer to locate their ball.

This is great if you already love golf and like spending time with other golfers. Not only will you be around golf all day, but you will also have an opportunity to pick the brain of the golfers and ask them questions about their careers. Hearing their perspective about careers and money can help you acquire knowledge that it took them years to figure out.

Video

22. Create and Sell Art

I once ran into a teenager who was creating and selling his own artwork at a fair. That is, he was creating the artwork at the fair, and selling it.

He was creating dazzling artwork with spray paint. It was exciting stuff, and he was actually selling it – at about $20 each.

If you have an artistic streak, selling directly at fairs and craft shows can be a serious moneymaking opportunity.

Consider Taxes & Fees

notYour account will not be tax-exempt. But it will be taxed at your tax rate. This is usually a good thing since you’ll probably have a much lower rate than your parents.

Here’s the tax liability if you’re under 19 years of age:

  • The first $1,050 of investment income is tax-free.
  • The next $1,050 is taxed at 10%.
  • Any income in excess of $2,100 is taxed at your parent’s marginal tax rate, which could be as high as 37%. This is what is often referred to as the “kiddie tax.”

Conflicting School Schedules

One of the biggest drawbacks to teens having afterschool jobs is that it can often interfere with school activities.

Is your teenager involved in a lot of extracurricular activities? If so, they may not be able to work and keep up with everything they want to do. Keep in mind that many extracurriculars look great on a college application. They also help your child become more well-rounded and engaged with peers.

When your teen works a lot of hours at a job after school, they might also start to struggle with their schoolwork. Or, they could fall behind, homework, group projects, and other educational priorities. It’s important to find a balance between the two. For some kids, that just isn’t realistic.

17. Sell on Etsy

Are you particularly craftsy? Are you good at art? You can sell your crafts on Etsy! It's a website specifically for buying and selling handmade items such as jewelry, decorations, clothing, etc. Here's a complete beginner's course for selling on Etsy.

10. Dog Walking

This is a variation on pet sitting, but it tends to be more consistent. That’s because a dog needs to be walked every day, often several times.

While people are at work all day, they may need someone who will walk their dogs. You can make a steady income walking the dogs of several customers. Since you can do this in your own neighborhood, you won’t even need a car.

Make money on social media

Monetize your YouTube channel

Monetize your YouTube channel

You can make money as a teenager if you have a significant social media following. YouTube lets you run ads on your channel if you have at least 1,000 followers and 4,000 hours of watch time. If you plan to earn money, kid-friendly content is a must.

The current algorithm favors creators that make longer videos because it gives YouTube more time to run ads. Length shouldn’t come at the cost of quality, though. If you make a long video, maintain your quality of production to keep attracting new users. 

Become an Instagram influencer

Being an Instagram influencer is one of the newer ways to make money as a teenager. If you have loyal fans, you can promote products and services in exchange for cash. Most people charge $10 for every 1,000 followers they have, though prices vary.

Make sure you have a well-established niche and that all your pictures are high-quality. Stick to a consistent theme so that followers can distinguish your brand. Once you establish these foundational elements, consider collaborating with other influencers and reaching out to brands in your niche to gain more exposure.

Start a podcast

If you have a laptop, you have all the technology you need to make a podcast. Shows like My Favorite Murder and The Joe Rogan Experience have low overhead costs, so the creators don’t spend a lot of money on physical space or production. The key is creating engaging content so advertisers will want to buy airtime.

If you want to earn fast money as a teenager, however, podcasting is not your best option. Both My Favorite Murder and The Joe Rogan Experience took years to cultivate their following. You can always do a podcast as a side gig, though.

Produce a low-budget movie

Making movies has become an attractive line of work with blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame netting nearly $3 billion at the box office. You can make money with a smaller approach, thanks to low-budget filmmaking. Save money by shooting your film on your phone and recruiting friends to work as actors and crew members.

Set up a premiere in your town so that people can look forward to your film. Get enough attention, and you can contact your local movie theater about showing your work on the big screen. If you produce something worthwhile, enter your movie in regional film festivals and get more attention.

Write a book with Amazon KDP

Have an idea for the next great American novel? Put it down on paper and publish it yourself. The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform makes publishing literature and making money as a teenager more accessible than ever.

Amazon KDP gives you control over the publishing process. You can toggle the price, cover art, and dimensions before finally hitting submit. Even if your work doesn’t become a best-seller, it looks great on a resume.

Manage people’s social media accounts

Teens have a leg up on adults in understanding social media. A 16-year-old grows up with apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, while older people have to learn the seemingly foreign technology. You can make money fast by handling people’s social media accounts if they don’t want to learn the platform.

Offering to tweet or post family members’ content for a fee is a small-scale version of an advertising agency. Working as a one-person agency provides a glimpse into the advertising world while making money around the house.

Buy and sell gift cards

The NYSSCPA estimates that more than $21 billion in unredeemed gift cards are floating around out there. If you want to make money online from this market, start buying and selling gift cards. 

Find unused cards people in your family don’t want. Most people sell their unwanted cards for 70% to 90% of face value. If you have a $100 card to Sweetgreen, list it for $90 and trade with someone else for a $75 Amazon card.

The key is flipping cards for a profit, with each transaction netting more cash. Whatever the price you buy the card for initially, mark up the price when you sell. You can start buying cards on eBay, Craigslist, Raise, Cardpool, and Giftcard Granny.

2. Photograph an Event

You only need one client to start a business! See if one of your parents or parents' friends are hosting an event where you can charge for your photography skills!

If you don't have a nice camera, you can rent one and take a photography class online. Once you take pictures at one event, you can get a referral to start photographing other events!

Senior pictures are also a great opportunity to use your photography skills! Put your name out there — talk to parents, fellow students — and get your first job.

Is An After-school Job Right for My Teen?

An after-school job is a great way for your teenager to gain experience. They’ll also make connections with people, and learn what the working world is all about. As a bonus, they’ll even start to understand the value of a dollar!

But, employment is not the right fit for every teen. If you have a teen who is very active in their extracurricular events, or who might easily fall behind in their schoolwork, a job might not be the best fit for them right now.

One of the best things you can do is to talk with your teen about some of these pros and cons. Don’t be afraid to work with them to come up with the best possible solution. Chances are, as you work through a list of advantages and disadvantages together, the right answer or compromise will come to both of you.

If you need help setting goals, brainstorming ways to ensure that education and work stay balanced, or discussing how to maximize time at school or doing school work, please contact me soon.

rt to buy their own clothes, pay for gas for their car, etc. Embracing the character-building and financial benefits of an after-school job can be very beneficial.

Still, it is wise to acknowledge that there are some arguments against afterschool jobs for teenagers, too.

Whether your teenager has been asking to work an afterschool job or you’ve been trying to find one for them, it’s important to understand the pros and cons.

First, do keep in mind that this article is simply a guideline. The pros and cons of a job should be heavily-based on your teen’s circumstances, and the needs of your family.

Work odd jobs

Babysit

Babysit

Babysitting provides an option for many teens to earn some extra money, especially if you want to get started in early childhood education. The job comes with specific responsibilities and a reliable paycheck, making it one of the most popular ways to make money as a teenager. 

If you’ve never babysat before, take a course from your local YMCA or Red Cross. You can also join babysitting websites, such as Care.com and Zum, to increase your chances of finding parents in need.

Parents frequently need help watching their kids, whether they’re going out for the night or dealing with an emergency. According to a study from UrbanSitter, the average babysitter earns $16.75 per hour when they watch one child. Rates may vary depending upon where you live. Note that Illinois has the highest minimum age requirement for babysitters at 14 years old.

Mow lawns or remove snow

If you’re willing to get a little dirty, start a lawn mowing business. People need lawn mowing services from spring to fall, so there’s always demand, especially among professionals, the elderly, and others who don’t care to do physical labor. 

According to HomeAdvisor.com, you could make between $50 and $220 cutting a single lawn each month, with the average person earning $135 per month.

Don’t limit yourself to mowing services. Expand your offering to include pulling weeds, raking leaves, watering plants, and painting fences. The more services you can provide someone, the more likely you are to make them a repeat customer.

If you live in an area with a snowy winter season, you can similarly make money by offering your services shoveling or blowing snow and de-icing walkways.

Walk dogs

Many people choose dog walking to make extra money, get some exercise, and hang out with dogs. If you already know someone else with a dog, try making them your first client. You can even set up a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule to plan your dog walks in advance.

You can also sign up for one of the many dog walking sites, such as Rover.com and WagWalking.com. The platforms let you create a profile where local pet owners can request your services. Indeed says that the average dog walker makes $15.75 per hour, making it a great way to cover things like gas or clothes.

Recycle

You can earn a few hundred dollars in cash every month collecting and recycling cans. Some states pay $0.05 – $0.10 for lightly used cans as a way to incentivize recycling. 11 states have container deposit laws, including:

  • California.
  • Connecticut.
  • Delaware.
  • Hawaii.
  • Iowa.
  • Maine.
  • Massachusetts.
  • Michigan.
  • New York.
  • Oregon.
  • Vermont.

While returning old cans may be the most prominent way to make money with recycling, it’s not the only way. TerraCycle, a private recycling business, pays volunteers nationwide to handle hard-to-recycle items. That includes things like plastic toothbrush tubes, potato chip bags, and shampoo bottles.

TerraCycle awards people two points for every shipment over seven pounds and pays $10 for every 1,000 points people earn. You can also recycle cardboard on BoxCycle or return cooking oil for $0.75 a gallon to biodiesel companies. Other recyclable items include expired ink cartridges, automobile batteries, and scrap metal.

Collect golf balls

If you decide to take a job as a golf course worker, you have a golden opportunity to collect and resell used golf balls. Even the best golfers will occasionally lose their balls in the woods or water. Stroll these parts of the course long enough, and you can amass a sizable collection.

Once you clean and sort the balls, you can sell the balls online or to the pro shop. Remember that not all golf balls command the same price. The Titleist Pro V1, one of the most expensive golf balls in the world, retails for $48 a dozen. If you sell 12 used Pro V1s, you should get paid at least half the retail price. 

Always make sure you check with the golf course, though, just to make sure you have permission to gather the golf balls.

Work at a farmers’ market

Do you have a knack for making baked goods? What about growing juicy tomatoes or harvesting honey? If you said yes to any of these options, you might have a future at your local farmers’ market.

The next time you visit your farmers’ market, survey the stands to see what people are and aren’t selling. You should find something that no one else sells, but that still meshes with the culture and tastes of consumers. 

Remember to start small with your stand. Tents and gear can be significant cash investments, and you’ll want to know your products are a hit before expanding.

Clean houses

If you like things in order, you might excel at cleaning other people’s homes. You can start as a solo cleaner or work with a friend to tackle cleaning projects. Data from ZipRecruiter shows that house cleaners get paid $14 per hour on average.

House cleaning comes in two varieties: surface-level cleaning and deep cleans. Surface-level jobs target visible mess and untidiness. Cleaners at this level may offer dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping services. Deep cleaning takes more time and effort because it addresses hard-to-remove dirt and grime, which means it also pays more.

6. Get Them to Invest in a Business

For a more exciting approach to investing, consider investing in a business. But as a parent, be careful. Make sure nobody tries to get your teen to invest in a business that is only designed to take advantage of people. This happened to me in college with a shady “t-shirt for credit card application” business.

With proper vetting, though, investing in a business can be very exciting. Whether they decide to open their own business or have researched businesses owned by family members or friends, investing in a business makes everything personal and is an excellent way for your teen to want to learn about business and investing quickly.

While I do believe failure is a great way to learn, you want to make sure your teen isn’t setting themselves up for failure by investing in a business that isn’t sustainable.

I think the cost of investing in individual businesses can be too high for some teenagers. So you as the parent need to be willing to act as the voice of reason, when necessary.

This can be difficult. But making sure your teenager is investing responsibly is essential and will allow you to help protect them before they make a huge mistake.

9. Set Up Uniform Transfers to Minors Accounts

Uniform Transfers to Minors Accounts, or UTMA accounts, are great options if you are looking to help your teenager start investing. They can be set up with a wide variety of different types of investment accounts.

This not only allows you to try out different investment options so your teen can get experience with different types of investing, but the money can be used for any purpose, including education.

These accounts are made for the benefit of a minor and have to be controlled by a custodian, who is usually the parent of the teen. When the child reaches the states age of majority, they can have access to the money.

The income made from investments in the account will be taxed at the child’s rate and will vary depending on their age and whether or not they are a student.

I think UTMA accounts are an excellent option for teenagers who want to start investing, as they allow them to have control in the investment process. But the parents have the final say in changes that are made in the account. UTMA accounts can be held in banks, with investment brokers, and even with mutual funds.

What to Do With Your Money

Once you’ve earned some money for yourself you can do whatever you want with it! However, before you go and spend it all, take a look at these other options:

Treat Yo Self

The fact that you’re taking the initiative to start learning how to make money on your own is pretty significant. Not a lot of teenagers do what you’re doing now.

For that reason, once you start making some money, be sure to reward yourself. Go out and buy something that you’ve wanted for a long time. Just don’t go too crazy!

Reinvest in Your Business

If you’ve started one of the side hustles above like reselling things at school or starting a blog, your business needs money to keep running. Make sure to re-invest as much of your profits as possible back into your business so that it can grow.

Save it

Once you start earning money, it’s important that you don’t blow it all. Saving money is an essential rule of finance and learning how to save early on will benefit you greatly later in life.

Plus, if you ever want to make a big purchase (e.g. car, computer), you’ll need some money saved in the bank for it.

Invest it

If you’re only 13, it may seem a bit silly to start investing so young, but by starting early you actually have a huge advantage.

Here’s how:

Let’s say you invest $1,000 when you’re 15. With no additional contributions and an 8% avg. return rate, by the time you’re 45, you’ll have $10,062.66 just from interest.

That’s your money making money without you doing anything.

Now let’s say you waited until you were 20 to invest that $1,000. With the same 8% return rate and no additional contributions, at the same age of 45 years old, you’d have only $6,848.48. That’s $3,214.18 less just because you waited 5 years to start investing.

I wish I started investing when I was younger!

If you want to learn more about getting started, check out this beginner’s guide on how to invest as a teenager.

The Bottom Line

Most people understand that they should be investing, but many may not have considered the benefit of investing for or with their teens. Getting teens started with investing at a young age can help them to build wealth and financially prepare for the future as well as provide them the financial literacy they will need to succeed later in life.

What To Do With The Money You Make As A Teenager

Set Up An Emergency Fund

You never know what expenses may come up when you’re headed to college or even supporting yourself as a teen. It’s important to have an emergency fund to help give you peace of mind when emergencies arise.

Now, an emergency in this situation is not that you found a pair of jeans you love. No! An example of an emergency is when your tire just went out and you have to have it replaced today. If you have money saved for it, it’s easy to cover and you’re not struggling afterward or going into debt to cover the cost.

Whether you’re a teenager or not, it’s SO important to have an emergency fund.

Save For Something You Want

There may be something you’re needing or wanting to buy, and you have to save for it yourself. Maybe it’s a new car, a new laptop, or even a new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting for months.

It’s so rewarding to have money, build the discipline to save for it, and then purchase it yourself. You will appreciate the item more when you buy it with your own money. Plus, you’re building confidence in yourself that you’re able to have the discipline and self-control to save for something worth your money and time. You will thank yourself later!

Save For School

Maybe you’re going to college, trade school, or just wanting to dip your toes in some college courses without committing yet. Having the money saved up to pay for ahead of time will save you SO. MUCH. MONEY.

It’ll save you money in student loans, student loan interest, and spending your student loan money and having to pay it back later. Leaving college or trade school without more debt is worth EVERY penny paying it ahead of time. 

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