Learn how to make money as a teenager
My oldest child has expressed interest in learning how to make money as a teenager. This has led to me doing thorough research into what options he has to start making money at his age.
As teens start to get older, they will want their own money to go on dates, hang out with their friends, and go shopping. Their parents may give them some spending money, but at times, they may want more money than what we want to budget for them.
It can be beneficial to learn how to make money as a teen, as well as how to budget and save money as a teen.
Many of the jobs I have found are flexible and can be done on weekends, as opposed to a normal part-time job that may interfere with school.
I got my first job in 7th grade. I was an assistant dance teacher at my dance studio. I had been taking classes 3-4 days a week for almost ten years, and was asked to help lead the classes for the younger students.
This was a great way to make money as a teenager because I only worked a few hours a week, and by working with these students, I also picked up babysitting jobs from the parents who got to know me. I also loved dancing and kids, so it was a fun and easy way to make money as a teenager.
I got my next job as a teen at an office during the summers. I worked 9 to 5 on Mondays through Fridays, and was able to save up a lot of money each summer. It also kept me busy and out of trouble.
The great thing is that the opportunities for teens to make money has expanded a lot since the early 2000’s when I was a kid. There are many more ways teens can make money in 2021.
If you are a teen that is interested in learning how to make money, then you’ve come to the right place.
How can a teenager make money? Continue reading to find out how. Let’s dive in.
If you are interested in earning money as a teenager, then make sure to check out the child labor laws for your location. If you are in the U.S., you can find information on the child labor laws here.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through my links. This is at no extra cost to you. View our full disclosure here.
How to make money online as a teenager
One of the most convenient ways for teenagers to earn extra cash is by finding ways to make money online. Let’s review the different ways for teenagers to make money online.
Complete online surveys
Taking online surveys is a good way to earn a little bit of extra cash. You won’t become rich from it, but it’s easy to do and can be done in your spare time while binge-watching Netflix.
Survey Junkie is the survey site we recommend. You will create your profile and then they will match you to surveys. I recommend using a separate e-mail account for surveys so that it doesn’t create clutter in your everyday account.
Each survey you take will earn you rewards, and then you can cash out those rewards for gift cards or cash through PayPal.
Get paid to play games and watch videos
With Swagbucks, you can also earn points through completing surveys. On top of taking online surveys, you can also redeem points through watching videos, browsing the web, and shopping online.
Use your points to get cashback through PayPal or redeem them for gift cards instead. You can get $5 to start by signing up at Swagbucks.
Start a blog
Starting a blog is a great way to start earning money online in your spare time. However, blogging isn’t a get rich overnight scheme, and does take hard work and dedication.
Here’s a great timeline of how long it will take to start making money with a blog.
The great thing about blogging is that you can write about any interest you choose.
If you are into hiking and outdoors, you can write about that, and review upcoming products that are related to that niche. If you are interested in video games, you can write reviews of new games, as well as give tips and hacks on how to play.
Some blog topics will be easier to monetize than others. How do you earn money from a blog?
You can earn money through affiliate sales. This is done by promoting products, games, toys, etc. on your website then linking to them. This will earn you a small commission if the reader purchases the product through your link.
You can make money through placing ads on your website once you have reached a specific amount of blog traffic.
You can earn money through creating your own printables, products, or courses to sell. These will relate to the topic of your blog.
For example, a personal finance blog might offer budget binders as a product on their website. A homeschool blog might sell educational planners or their own lesson plans.
You can also make money through sponsored posts. If you gain a big following on your website, then brands may reach out to you to promote their product through a sponsored post.
A lot of bloggers will create a YouTube channel to go hand-in-hand with their website and start earning money from both simultaneously. This also will help you create more traffic and build your SEO (search engine optimization).
If you start your blog as a teen, you can be making great money by the time you are done with high school. If you are interested in getting started with a blog, then check out our two posts below.
Make and sell crafts
Are you crafty and good at creating things from scratch? Do you have a knack for crocheting, wood working, or graphic design? You can start an Etsy shop.
There are endless numbers of products you can sell on Etsy ranging from printables, homemade jewelry or clothing, to specialty items made with a Cricut or Cameo. If you are great at graphic design, you can sell budgeting or decorative printables, or create SVG files to sell for other creators.
I have a friend who is a single mom and she makes a full-time income working from home selling sola wood flowers on Etsy. And her business is thriving! Another friend uses her Cricut to create custom made tumblers to sell on the Etsy platform.
Stream on Twitch
Yes, you can make money by playing video games from your bedroom. Seems too good to be true? Well, it can take a lot of work to get there.
There are many different ways to earn money from streaming on Twitch. The biggest thing to note is that it may take awhile to build an audience on the platform. Which means it can take awhile before you start earning a lot of money.
According to Nerd Wallet, you can still find other ways to earn money while building your audience. You can earn money through brand partnerships, donations, and selling your own merchandise.
This is definitely one of the most fun ways to make money from home. However, if you are looking for how to make money fast as a teenager – this won’t be your solution.
Start a YouTube channel
Do you spend your down time watching YouTube videos? Did you know that you can make money from starting your own YouTube channel?
Ryan, of Ryan’s World, has been the highest paid child YouTuber for three years in a row.
Ryan made nearly $30 million in 2020 from his videos on toy reviews. He also has his own toy and clothing line that can be found at your local Target.
Starting a YouTube channel will not bring you overnight success, and there is a lot of competition that you will face on the platform. However, there are an endless number of ideas of what you can vlog about.
Most people prefer vlogs that solve a problem or that answer questions for them.
For example, Ryan’s channel includes unboxing videos of new toys. People who want to read reviews about a new toy might research it online then come across a video and use it as a reference to making their decision on whether to make that purchase.
Other popular channels can include videos about fitness and workouts, make up tutorials, meal planning and cooking, videos about how to fix things around the house, and so much more.
Starting a YouTube channel is one of the most fun ways for teenagers to make money because you can slowly build up your traffic by making videos whenever you have the time. If you want to know how to make money as a teenager without a job, this is one of the possible ways.
Become an influencer – Tik Tok, Instagram, etc.
Social media is everywhere and because of it, there are more ways to make money than ever before. Many teens are already on the apps, Tik Tok and Instagram. On these popular social media apps, users upload photos or videos to share with others.
Similarly to creating an audience on Twitch, you can also create your own brand on Instagram or Tik Tok. Choose a niche, figure out who your audience is and what they are looking for, and be unique.
Continue to put out content regularly and engage with followers. Once you have built a wide fan base, you can reach out to companies to collaborate on future videos and posts.
For example – there are tons of fashion influencers that I follow on Instagram. These women continue to put out stories and posts showing off different clothes each day. Once they have a huge following – they can reach out to different companies to collaborate.
If a business would like to collaborate with you, they will pay you to promote their brand because if you have a big audience then it will get their product in front of more potential customers.
Find freelance jobs on Fiverr
If you have a knack for a specific skill such as graphic design, website development, writing, translation, search engine optimization, etc. then you can earn money by selling your skills on Fiverr.
By signing up as a seller on Fiverr, you will create a profile on their platform to showcase what you can offer to a potential client. You choose how much to charge and can pick up many freelance gigs through their marketplace.
Tech support and website building for local businesses
Do you know how to build a website from scratch? Are you great at solving technical problems on your own computer? Consider marketing these skills to local businesses to make some extra cash.
My cousin taught himself how to code and develop while he was only in middle school. He went on to work for a large company in high school and beyond, and now makes six figures a year.
However, on the side of his normal 9-5 job, he gets paid by local businesses to help out with any tech problems that they have. These can range from fixing everyday computer problems to helping with the business website, and many more.
If this is a skill that you excel at, you can earn good money by doing this part-time, as needed for local businesses.
Sell stock photography
Do you own a fancy camera and have a love for photography? If you have a knack for taking beautiful pictures, then you could sell your photos to online stock photography websites.
Many websites are looking for photographers to take photos for their websites. Some places you can sell your photos to are Getty Images, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Depositphotos, 123RF, and many more.
What can you do to make money as a teenager – offline
Go grocery shopping
By offering to do your family’s shopping, you can earn cash back every time you shop. Ibotta will give you cash back on eligible purchases at your local supermarkets, as well as stores such as Target, Home Depot, Petco, Sephora, and more.
Sign up for Ibotta to start earning money back today for your everyday purchases.
Create on-demand T-shirts for local businesses, such as schools, churches, sports teams, etc.
Many local sports teams, schools, churches, and other organizations like to create T-shirts with their own logo or design on it to wear at community events. Another way how to earn money as a teenager is to create logos and designs for T-shirts, and sell them through online companies such as Teespring, Printify, or PrintAura.
You would create the design, upload it to their site, choose the clothing article, then your consumer would purchase through that website. Teespring, Printify, etc., would then create the T-shirt on demand and mail it to them. You would earn money from each sale.
Make designs for Cafe Press
If you like the idea of creating designs for T-shirts and other items, but don’t want the hassle of creating the finished product, then you can upload your designs to Cafe Press or Zazzle.
These online marketplaces will take your designs and offer them on their marketplace on products such as T-shirts, wall decor, mugs, wedding invitations, and many other items. If someone purchases a product with your design, then you will receive a commission on that purchase.
One of the easiest ways to make money as a teen is to mow lawns. If you have a lawn mower, and don’t mind working outside in the heat, then consider offering your services to your neighbors.
If you know your neighbors or friends’ parents pay for their lawns to be trimmed, then consider asking them for their business. You can make good money by cutting lawns.
We pay our lawn company $35 to cut the grass in our front and back yard. They come out every two weeks, so that’s $70 per month for two hours of work. If you cut a few yards a week in your spare time, and charge $20 to $40 for each lawn, you could save up money pretty quickly.
Similarly to cutting grass, you can offer other services such as raking leaves, trimming bushes, pulling weeds, gardening, shoveling snow, etc. These are all tasks that many families like to have done by a service to save time and/or because they dislike doing the work themselves.
You can invest in a few tools like hedge trimmers, and check around to see how much other companies are charging for their services so you know how much to charge.
One of the most common ways for a teen to make money is by babysitting. I started babysitting when I was 13 years old. You can find babysitting jobs for kids in your own neighborhood, or through friends and family.
Babysitting is a great gig because it’s only a few hours here and there, and it is very flexible. As a teenager, you would most likely pick up babysitting jobs after school or on the weekends. You could schedule these gigs around your schedule.
Not to mention if you love kids, then it’s a fairly easy way to earn money as a teen. You just hang out with and entertain them for a few hours. You might be required to make a meal or help with bedtime.
If kids aren’t your forte, then did you know you can also get paid to pet sit?
You can offer boarding services if a family is going out of town and needs someone to watch their pets. You can also be a dog walker while folks are at work during the day.
If you are an animal lover, then this may be your favorite side hustle to try to earn money. You can ask your friends and family if they need help with their pets, especially if you know they are planning a trip out of town.
If you are great at a sport or some other type of extracurricular activity, you can try to get a job as an assistant. One of first ways I learned how to make money as a teenager was by becoming an assistant dance teacher at my dance studio.
I was only 13 years old when the director asked me to start working a few hours a week. I would help lead the classes for the younger students, as well as be the teacher who led the dances in the recitals.
Many sports and activities require extra help. If you are great at soccer, karate, cheerleading, basketball, or some other type of recreational activity, you can see if the business hires teens to help out with the younger students.
Becoming a camp counselor is a great way to earn money as a teenager. There is typically a need for camp counselors during the summer months.
As a camp counselor you can assist with planning activities and being in charge of them. You may also help with special activities such as athletics, archery, theater, or others (depending on your age and experience).
Some camps are residential camps where children stay overnight, and others are day camps where the kids go home each evening and return the next day. Check your local area to see which camps are offered near you.
The great thing about being a camp counselor is that you are getting paid to be active, get outdoors, and to just have a good time with the kids. It’s often one of the jobs that teens enjoy the most because they are having fun while working.
If you are an excellent swimmer and can stay calm in emergencies, then you may be suited to be a lifeguard. Most places require you to be at least 16 years old in order to become a lifeguard.
Lifeguards work at indoor pools year-round and at community and public pools that are open during the summer months.
Lifeguards are responsible for observing adults and children who are in the water, and rescuing anyone who might get injured or start to drown. They also are responsible for making sure people follow the pool rules, such as no running, no diving in the shallow end of the pool, etc.
To become a lifeguard you most likely will need a lifeguard certification, as well as first aid and CPR. Check your local Red Cross to get started.
If you excel at academics, then becoming a tutor is a good way to make money as a teenager. By helping struggling students with their homework and studies, you can make extra cash on the side.
You can find potential clients through word of mouth or by putting up flyers at school or around your neighborhood. Tutoring can pay well at anywhere from $10 to $30 per hour. This is a great way to make money as a teenager.
House sitters are responsible for keeping an eye on someone’s house while they are out of town.
This can include checking in on the house once a day, or staying there while the homeowner is gone. It can include responsibilities such as taking care of pets, watering plants, etc.
If you are a responsible teenager that adults can trust, then they will let other people know which can help you find more house sitting jobs. This job isn’t something you can rely on for steady income and would only be a side hustle for teens that can be done every once in awhile.
More ways for teenagers to make money
Find an office job
Some businesses will hire teens for entry level positions such as a receptionist, assistant, or bank teller. Using a search engine, like Indeed, can help you search nearby local businesses that may be hiring teens for these positions during the summers or for a few hours each afternoon during the week.
There are a variety of duties you may be responsible for in an office job such as filing, answering phones, data entry, etc.
Chik-fil-a is a family favorite of many and they often hire teens. The great thing about working for Chik-fil-a is that they offer flexible hours and you will have Sundays off because they are closed.
Some perks of this job opportunity is that Chik-fil-a gives employee discounts and offers scholarships to qualified employees.
Most locations require you to be at least 16 years old in order to qualify to work at Chik-fil-a.
Publix and other grocery stores
I have many friends that worked at Publix while we were teenagers. Working at Publix is a great way to start making money as a teenager because Publix is a great company to work for.
All eligible Publix employees can participate in an employee stock ownership plan, and are paid weekly. Other benefits of working for Publix include their 401k retirement savings plan with company match, health insurance plan that includes dental and vision, eligibility for a credit union membership, tuition reimbursement, and more.
Working at a grocery store is an easy way for teens to make money.
Target or other retail stores
Similarly to grocery stores, teens are eligible to work in some retail stores. Target hires teenagers that are 16+ to work at their stores.
Target pays their employees a minimum wage of $15 per hour which makes it one of the best side hustles for teenagers because it pays well. Check your local Target or other retail stores to find a part-time position to earn extra money.
Restaurants also usually hire teens to work as hosts/hostesses, cashiers, and for other various roles. Working in a restaurant is a great job for teens because the hours are usually flexible and only a few hours a day.
Restaurant employees usually get an employee discount at work, as well, which is a nice perk of the job.
If you don’t mind working outside in the winter or summer, then getting a job at an amusement park or theme park might be for you.
There are many different positions that are available for teens such as working at onsite restaurants, or stores, working as a lifeguard if it’s a water park, or working as a game attendant or ride operator.
Working at a theme park is an easy job for teens and can be a lot of fun, as well. Helping children everyday is also a perk of the job and can be very rewarding.
Some theme parks only operate seasonally, while others may stay open year round.
Working at a movie theater is another popular choice for a part-time job for teens. Teens can work at the register collecting money for tickets, or at the concession stands. They may also be part of the cleaning crew for each theater.
Some perks of working at the theaters are being able to watch free movies, and getting free or discounted food (depending on theater) from the concession stands.
Starbucks or other coffee shops
Starbucks hires teens that are 16+ and includes benefits such as health coverage, a 401k retirement savings plan, and stock options for any employee who works 20+ hours a week.
Working as a barista can be a fun job and employees will get discounted beverages, as well. Many other local coffee shops may also hire teens so ask your local store to check their individual requirements.
Teens can take phone orders and prepare food, or work as delivery drivers and earn tips.
Working at a car wash is another easy part-time job you can do if you want to know how to make money as a teenager. Most car washes pay minimum wage and will hire you on a part-time basis.
Washing cars is a pretty simple job but you have to keep in mind that you will be working outdoors in the heat or cold, as well as getting wet while you work. It can be a great way to earn some extra cash as a teenager in your spare time.
Bowling alley attendant
Each bowling alley will have its own rules regarding employment qualifications. Some bowling alleys will hire teens that are 17 years old and up. Check your local bowling alley to see their individual requirements.
Working as a bowling alley attendant can include duties such as working as a cashier, fixing minor issues with the bowling lanes, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, trash removal, cleaning rest rooms, serving food, and other similar jobs.
Golf caddies can be as young as 14 years old at some golf courses. Pay will vary but tends to be about $100 for each 18-hole loop. Golf caddies may also receive tips for their work.
Teens can find jobs as golf caddies at local country clubs or golf courses. They can work on the weekends or summers.
Golf caddies will carry the golfer’s bag, hand them their clubs when requested, be knowledgeable about the golf course so that they can inform the golfer of the distance to the green, and other various duties.
How to make money as a teenager without a job
Flipping items can be hit or miss, but sometimes you can make great money from this side hustle. If you want to learn how to make money as a teenager without a job, then flipping items can be a great opportunity for you.
Flipping an item is when you take an used product and sell it for more than you paid for it.
While some people will go into their local Goodwill or other thrift shop to try to hunt for some hidden treasure to flip; the best course of action is to go to estate sales. You can find many items to buy at a low price and then can turn around and sell them for more than you paid.
Some products may need improvements before they can be sold. This isn’t a job but it is a great way to earn extra cash in your spare time.
You can list your items for sale on websites such as eBay, Facebook marketplace, Craig’s List, Poshmark, and others.
Another way for teenagers to make money on the side is to hold a garage sale. By going through your own items and getting rid of things you no longer use, you can try to sell them at a yard sale.
Garage sales are a quick way to make extra money as a teenager. You can try to have a yard sale once or twice every year to get rid of things you no longer need, as well as make some fast cash.
Sell your items online
Another place to sell your gently used items is online. Using online marketplaces such as eBay, Poshmark, Craig’s List, Facebook marketplace, and others can help you sell your items quickly.
If you intend to sell your items through Facebook marketplace or Craig’s list, then always bring a friend with you when you go to make the transaction.
Make sure to meet at a public, well-lit place, such as a popular grocery store parking lot. Never give out your address or personal information, either.
Sell your items to local consignment shops
Another place to sell your gently used items is at local consignment shops such as Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, and more. Local consignment shops will probably pay you the least of all of these, but they are worth checking out if you can’t get your items to sell anywhere else.
I always recommend donating whatever you can’t sell.
Sell your old smartphones
Did you recently get a new iPhone? Do you have a collection of old phones sitting in your drawer at home? Sell your old smartphones using Gazelle to earn extra cash.
Many times we are unable to trade in our old phones when purchasing a new one, so it’s nice to be able to still make some extra cash from your used smartphone.
Get cashback from everyday shopping purchases
Another great way to earn money is by doing all of your normal, everyday shopping using Rakuten. Whether you shop online or in person, Rakuten offers cash back on any eligible purchase for hundreds of stores.
Rakuten also will find any available promo code or sale online before you check out. We use Rakuten for almost all of our shopping, but especially around Christmas time when we have bigger expenses.
Get $20 to start at Rakuten by signing up with our link here. (Limited time only through my link).
How to make money fast as a teenager
The fastest way to make money as a teenager is by selling your gently used items. You can get extra cash on the spot when you need it if you sell enough products.
If you can find neighbors, friends, or family that is need of their grass being cut or looking for a babysitter, those will also be some of the the quickest ways for a teen to make money.
How to manage your money as a teenager
Once you finally have found a way to make money as a teen, it’s important to learn how to manage your money. I recommend creating a budget that includes any expenses you might have (gas, clothing, etc.).
With the remainder of the money you are earning, you should create three different columns in your budget.
The first column will be for spending. This is the part of your pay that you want to spend immediately – whether on activities, dates, etc.
The second column should be for short-term savings. This is the the amount you want to put aside each time you are paid to save up for a big ticket item, such as a new X-box or car.
The last column is long-term savings. This is the amount of your pay that you will put into a high-yield savings account and not touch.
If you are 18+, then I recommend starting to invest a part of your pay once you are earning money. You can start with stocks, then start investing in low-cost mutual funds.
By starting to invest at a young age, you will be able to earn more money during your lifetime. Of course, always remember that investing does come with risks and to do your research before you begin.
Related post: 17 Best Free Budget Printables (for 2021)
Tips on how to make money as a teenager
Some tips for landing your first job!
- Dress for success. If you are applying to an in-person job, then dress up in business casual for the interview.
- Create a resume. Even if you have zero work experience, you can create a resume that shows your skills and highlights your strengths, as well as any academic awards, volunteer work, or community service.
- Be patient. You might have to wait a few weeks before hearing back from some of the places you apply to. Some places may never call you back. Just keep applying for different positions until you find the right fit for both you and your employer!
- Explore your hobbies and strengths. If you are more interested in some of the entrepreneurial job ideas above, then think about your specific skills. Are you great at drawing or graphic design? Can you create a website or code?
Use your strengths to your benefit. My cousin taught himself to code in middle school and started out with an entry level position in high school at a tech firm. Now he’s making six figures a year as an adult!
Have you found out how to make money as a teenager another way? Leave a comment below giving us your ideas!
Learning how to make money as a teenager is easier than you think!
Related post: 40 Proven Ways to Make an Extra $1000 a Month (in 2021)