When I was a teenager, it seemed as if I never had enough money to get the things I wanted and needed. Whether it was a few dollars for an upcoming date, finding extra money to buy new clothes, or hoping I could somehow save up enough money for a car, figuring out how to make money as a teenager can be tough.
However, in today’s world where labor shortages are popping up everywhere and technology is offering more and more possibilities to earn income, you may be surprised to learn what’s out there.
If you’re ready to get on the road to riches, here are some common and not-so-common ways teenagers can make extra money.
Popular Jobs for Teens
First, you and I both know there are many common jobs that are always popular for teenagers, such as:
- Fast food
- Paper routes
- Mowing lawns
If you want a job that you can get pretty quickly and work as many hours as you wish, I suggest looking at fast food and retail. If you work at a fast-food restaurant, you’ll not only be earning money but also be entitled to a free meal during your shift. At a retail store, you’ll also get plenty of hours, as well as a discount on any merchandise you buy.
As for other options, such as paper routes and running a lawn care business, you’ll need to be very self-motivated.
For example, with a paper route, ask yourself if getting up at 4 a.m. each morning is what you want to do before heading off to school. However, the good thing about a paper route is it only takes 2-3 hours per day, leaving you plenty of time for other stuff.
Summer Jobs for Teens
If you prefer to work only during the summer, you can always find plenty of available jobs.
For example, you may find a job at a local movie theater or making deliveries for a restaurant or other business. But with most teenagers, summer jobs as lifeguards, camp counselors, amusement park workers, and landscaping helpers are always popular since they let you be outside and active when the weather is great.
Summer jobs let you concentrate on your academics and extracurricular activities during the school year, which is always important as you prepare for college. It will also help you learn and develop various in-demand hard skills and soft skills that future employers will look for in a candidate.
If you are wondering how to make more money as a teenager, having a side hustle may be just what you need to get your pockets overflowing with cash.
Once you start looking around, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities to earn extra income!
For example, if you’ve got business ambitions and have a knack for buying and selling things, making the rounds at local yard sales and garage sales can yield big profits. Once you start buying and flipping items, the money can add up quickly.
Should you be interested in more traditional side hustle gigs, consider babysitting or pet sitting.
If you love kids and are very responsible, babysitting can be very lucrative. Since there are always single and working parents looking for affordable child care, your babysitting skills may be in high demand very quickly.
Or, if you prefer the company of Fido or Fluffy, pet sitting and dog walking can help you earn extra money. For many people who work long hours or are on vacation, knowing they can leave their pets at home and have someone like yourself who is responsible and caring come in and take care of them will lead to more money in your bank account.
One of the best parts about side hustles is that you don’t have to worry about not being hired because you don’t have a lot of work experience as a teenager.
Making Money Online
During the course of your day, think about how much time you spend online, either sitting at a computer or using your smartphone. As it turns out, I bet it’s several hours per day at a minimum. If you really want to capitalize on this screen time and make some money along the way, building your fortune online will soon make you the envy of all your friends.
As to how you can do this, some of the most popular ways include:
- Taking online surveys
- Creating a YouTube channel
- Playing video games
- Watching videos
- Starting a blog
- Become a virtual assistant
Yes, you read that right! You can actually get paid to play games and watch videos in your spare time.
As for those surveys, look to such survey sites as Swagbucks or Inboxdollars where you can earn points and exchange them for PayPal cash or gift cards. Open to everyone age 13 or older, this site has paid out more than $330 million to participants since it began. Also, Treasure Trooper is another reputable site. Known for its fun look, you can get paid for answering questions, taking surveys, play games, and more. You won’t make a lot of money fast, but it is a great way to make some easy side income.
If you are always watching YouTube videos, you may want to do more than watch. Instead, create your own channel and start making YouTube videos. Believe it or not, countless teens like yourself are creating YouTube channels and earning hundreds and even thousands of dollars per month in ad revenue. When you stop to think that the average YouTube channel makes $3-$5 for every 1000 views, this can add up in a hurry.
On a similar note, if you start a blog you can also make money online through ad revenue, affiliate links, and sponsorships. Or, you can put your social media skills to use and earn extra cash as a virtual assistant.
Sell Your Skills
Even though you are young, you have many skills people would be more than willing to pay for to make their lives easier.
For example, should you be an expert at setting up computers and other types of technology, you can be sure there are plenty of people, especially older adults, who will be willing to pay you for your services.
As for your other skills, your academic expertise can also pay off. If you are the person your friends and others are always looking for answers, you can make money fast as a tutor. If you happen to be especially good in math and science, you can bet there will be plenty of parents who will gladly pay you to help their kids earn higher grades. Since the competition to get into the best colleges today is hotter than ever, showing others you can give them a competitive edge will pay off for you in more ways than one.
The more experience you have, the more skills you will learn. And since employers look for knowledgeable people, but sure to add these skills to your resume!
Think Outside the Box
While many of your friends may be looking at the traditional fast-food jobs and other employment options usually available to teenagers, your quest for how to make money as a teenager might have you thinking outside the box. If so, you could be on your way to making a good income by doing things nobody else is even considering.
Pick Up Dog Poop
Although it’s not a glamorous way to earn money, starting a pooper scooper business can be very lucrative, especially if you’re also offering pet sitting services. While people love their dogs, they don’t love having to go around the yard cleaning up Fido’s poop. However, that’s where you come in.
Contrary to what you may think, more than a few folks will gladly pay someone else a few bucks for this much-needed service. By just looking around your neighborhood and putting up some fliers, you’ll likely start getting lots of phone calls and text messages.
Freelance on Fiverr
Though I’ve already discussed a few ways on how to make money online, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention freelancing on Fiverr. If you’re at least 13 years old, this online marketplace will let you set up an account where you can offer an array of freelance services starting at only $5.
Because it is a very flexible online platform, you can offer virtually any service you want. For example, if you’ve got a distinctive voice that sounds wonderful to others, you can offer to do voiceovers.
By taking some time to think about all the things you can do, the chances are that offering some of these services on Fiverr will lead to additional income.
Become a Rental Mogul
If you’ve ever heard of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, you know it’s all about how to get rich. For Robert, one of the ways he did so was by starting a comic book library in his home when he was young. By letting kids stop by and read his vast array of comic books for two hours at a time, the money quickly added up.
Whether you want to do this or rent out your video games or sports equipment, you may find many kids and even adults are much more eager to rent something than buy it outright.
Mop Up The Money
If you don’t mind a little hard work or getting dirty and sweaty, you can mop up the money by starting a housecleaning business. Since it won’t cost that much to get a broom, mop, and other cleaning supplies, you may want to consider asking a friend who is also hardworking and reliable to go into business with you.
While you will have to start out doing the cleaning yourself, you may build up the business to a point where you can hire others to do the work instead. Before you know it, you’ll be a bona fide business owner before you hit 20!
Drive for Dough
If you have your driver’s license and a reliable vehicle, join many others by driving for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, or the many other services available today. By doing so, you can earn good money, work the hours you want, and essentially be your own boss while still in high school.
But before you sign up, make sure you talk it over with your parents to make sure they approve.
Get Paid to Walk
If there is one thing you do plenty of each day from the moment you wake up until you go to bed at night, it’s walk. But did you realize you can get paid for all that walking? Yes, it’s true!
By downloading various free apps such as SweatCoin, Runtopia, StepBet, and others to your smartphone, you really can get paid to walk. While one payout option is cold, hard cash, other options include gift cards, product discounts, and more. It’s an easy way to make money doing an activity you’d be doing anyway!
Now that you have some tried-and-true and new ways to earn extra income, you know how to make money as a teenager. Since it’s possible to do many of these options simultaneously, I have a feeling you’ll soon be earning more money than you ever imagined.
This post originally appeared on Have Your Dollars Make Sense.
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.