Reader Success Stories

  • Anonymous

Jan 3, 2017

    Anonymous Jan 3, 2017

    “I want this cool necklace that i found at a store near my house, but it is $25 without tax. I spent most of my money on gifts for others during the holidays, and I didn’t get any cash this year. I didn’t know what I should to to earn some money, so this gave me some ideas. Thanks!” …” more

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15. Sell on Shopify

Did you know that you don't need to have inventory to sell online? There's something called dropshipping where you can sell other companies' items in your store and ship directly from them to the customer and make the difference. This how Gym Shark got started.

There is a great course on Udemy on how to just that and start earning money without having to invest money into building inventory which you can find here: Build a Dropshipping Empire From Scratch [Proven Blueprint] >>

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.

Making Money By Working As a Freelancer or Getting a Job

Starting a business isn’t the only way for teenagers to make money, you can also get a job.

There are all sorts of part time jobs, full time jobs, and good side hustles for teens.

A full time job is really tough to hold down when you’re in school, and part time jobs can be tricky to juggle alongside school and other activities since managers aren’t always respectful of your schedule.

Many of the same skills that you can use to start your own business, such as things like graphic design, editing, social media, and so on, are also valuable freelancing skills. There’s no shortage of ways to translate life skills for teens into a job, career, or business.

If you don’t want to go through the process of starting your own business or agency, you can still make money using various skills by working as a freelancer or finding temp gigs.

Working as a freelancer is kind of like a middle-ground between starting a business and getting a job working for a company. You have the freedom to choose who you take on as clients, and you should be able to set your own hours in most cases as long as the work’s getting done, but you don’t have to deal with as many of the administrative types of tasks.

Freelance gigs can be a great way to earn some extra money as a teenager. You can often charge a higher rate when you’re working as a freelancer, compared to what you’d earn doing that same work as an employee for another company, plus you can manage your own time a lot more.

Freelancing can be one of the best ways to make money online as a teenager.

One of the traits that makes something one of the best side hustles for teens, in particular, is having the flexibility for it to not take over your entire life. There’s a balance between being young and enjoy your youth and doing fun things with your free time, and also earning enough money that you can do a lot more cool stuff. Freelancing is a good way to strike that balance in a way that works for you, without having to give your entire evenings and weekends to a job.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with finding clients as a freelancer or the minor amount of administrative work that exists, there are plenty of part time jobs for teenagers, you’ll just want to consider the pros and cons of after school jobs.

28. Completing tasks on Amazon MTurk

If you’re above the age of 14, Amazon Mechanical Turk (or MTurk) is a fantastic way to make some fast money online doing simple tasks.

You’d have to register and be confirmed through their site, first of all. One that’s done -you can start looking through a myriad of administrative tasks, survey participation, basic data entry, and other tiny micro-tasks that are outsourced to YOU by other companies.

In the end, companies get to reduce costs by not hiring big-name organizations or using expensive software, and you get to earn some side income on account of your own schedule. It’s a pretty sweet deal! 

6. Make Money Organizing Events

Put those good leadership skills to work and help adults organize events! You could be paid as an assistant or even find people who need to have an event organized.

One idea is organizing birthday parties for small children. It's often a headache for parents with little time and kids with high expectations. You can take that responsibility off them by organizing an amazing birthday party with fun games and cute decorations.

If one kid goes to an amazing party you organized, they'll tell their parents they want you to organize their birthday as well. That's where you can turn this idea into a business.

7. Washing Cars

If you live in the suburbs where there are plenty of cars around your neighbourhood, chances are that people would appreciate the service of getting their cars washed right from their homes. After all, if you don’t wash their car, someone else has to.

Ask your parents if there’s any supplies around the house and learn how to wash cars properly in your own home, and get started with selling this service to your neighborhood! You can also ask around friends and family for a start.

Simply go door-to-door and offer to wash cars for a reasonable price, and you’d be surprised at how many people would find your deal a no-brainer. Besides, if you’re doing this as a teen, most people would respect the hustle and be more likely to support you on your venture.

Gifts and more

If you get money for holidays and birthdays, congratulations! Even though it may be tempting to buy the latest game, pair of shoes, or concert tickets you’ve got your eye on, remember that these gifts can be a great resource to add to your savings and help you meet your savings goals! It’s a great idea to consider putting half of all gifts into your savings. You can even sell gift cards on CardCash, though you must be 18 to use their site.

Important Skills for Making Money as a Teen

Here are some skills or traits that you may want to work on, if these are areas in which you don’t have a lot of experience or you don’t feel super confident. These are things that will help you succeed when it comes to making money as a teen, in business, and so on.

5. Babysitting

Babysitters are getting $10 an hour and up, often working in conditions that are much better than a typical part-time job.

You have to love kids, and it will really help if you complete a CPR course.

It’s often as easy as just letting people in your neighborhood know that you’re available to sit.

Once the word gets around, you may have more babysitting gigs than you can handle.

If you want to go bigger, you can get signed up with Care.com.

You will have to go through a background check, but people who qualify can demand much higher rates than someone working without that level of verification.

Sign up with Care.com

…And Taxes

You may be wondering about that ubiquitous part of life: taxes. As a teen earning dough, you may have to pay taxes on your income if you make over $12,550 a year at your job.

Get hired for part-time jobs

Food delivery

Food delivery

You can also make some extra cash for delivering food. For example, Instacart is an app that provides its customers with same-day delivery on groceries (they too do pick-up services) from their local store. The user does all of their shopping directly through the app and checks out. Once that’s complete, the order is sent to a personal shopper (this is where you come in) to do the shopping and deliver the order that same day.

What’s cool about Instacart, though, is that they offer both a full-service and in-store only option. A full-service shopper goes to the designated store, does the shopping, packs it up, and delivers it directly to the customer (you leave the food on their doorstep in nearly all cases).

But if that sounds like too much, you can also be an in-store shopper, where you do the shopping and get the order ready for the customer to pick up. The in-store option is excellent for people who don’t want to bounce around from store to store all day or make deliveries. Note that you have to be 18 years old to sign up for Instacart.

Another option is Postmates. Postmates hires “couriers” to deliver not only groceries but also food from restaurants as well as other personal items directly to the customer’s home. As a courier, you’ll get compensated based on how many orders you complete in an hour, your waiting time for orders, and how many miles you drive.

On top of that, you get to keep all of your tips. So if you do an excellent job, you can make some good money. You can also pick and choose which delivery requests you want to take – otherwise, you’ll be automatically assigned deliveries. Like Instacart, you do have to be 18 to deliver for Postmates.

Golf caddy

If you live near an upscale golf course, make sure to apply as a golf caddy this summer. According to The New York Times, caddies can earn more than $100 for 18 holes. Not bad, considering that your primary responsibility is holding clubs for someone.

A golf caddy plays a crucial role in a golfer’s success. They serve as a confidant and an advisor when it comes to club selection. If you’re really good at your job, you can be the difference between an excellent round and a mediocre one. The same goes for the size of your post-round tip.

Lifeguard

You need to know how to swim and be at least 15, but if you check both boxes, you have an inside track to becoming a lifeguard. All lifeguards must take a course before they start earning a paycheck. The certification process ensures that the hire is a strong swimmer who understands how to perform first aid.

While you can garner a steady paycheck as well as a tan, make sure you’re up for the responsibilities. Lifeguards have to handle emergencies that can be matters of life or death. If you don’t want the pressure that comes with donning the whistle and rescue tube, consider one of the other options on the list.

Retail worker

Many teens in this country work retail, making it one of the most popular ways to make some extra money as a teenager. The position can be flexible and rewarding, especially if the company you pursue has values that align with your own. For instance, if you’re an aspiring fashion designer, apply for a job with a clothing store.

Many retail stores pay minimum wage, or close to it, and hire people starting at age 16. The average hourly salary for retail workers is $14.12, with many high school students using the job to make discretionary income.

Camp counselor

Sign up to be a camp counselor and make money as a teenager in the great outdoors. You get to work throughout the summer, teaching adolescents valuable skills. Pick something that mirrors your interests, whether that’s Girl Scouts, basketball, or just a general summer camp.

Camp counseling is a job, but it’s also a rare opportunity to get paid to play. You make money while going on a hike or teaching campers how to start a fire. You can also leave knowing you helped people build their confidence, independence, and skills.

Fast food server

Next to retail, fast food is one of the largest employers of teenagersWhile you probably don’t want to work in fast food for your entire life, it can be a great way to earn your first paycheck. Restaurants have a lot of open positions and hire people without industry experience.

Fast food experience can bolster your resume in several ways. Working in a fast-paced environment teaches people how to adapt on the fly and meet tight deadlines. You may even parlay the job into one day working in a gourmet restaurant.

Golf course worker

Many of the jobs on this list, like camp counselors, retail workers, and fast-food employees, require customer service skills. If you’re not a social butterfly, making money as a golf course worker may appeal to you. You work with a small group of groundskeepers who ensure that a course remains in top shape. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know anything about playing golf to work there.

Golf courses see an uptick in golfers during the summer, so clubs hire in late spring and early summer. Some of the core responsibilities include cutting grass, refilling water tanks, raking bunkers, and moving pins. 

Car wash attendant

If you have a passion for cars, get paid to clean them in your free time. Car wash attendants are responsible for taking orders, wiping the frame, and cleaning the glass. It’s a simple way to make money as a teenager, whether you work for a local car wash or start a one-person-crew.

If you decide to go the entrepreneurial route, ask your friends and family if they need a wash. Once you help everyone you know, start knocking on doors in your neighborhood and offering your services.

Video game tester

Yes, video game testing is a real job. Testers work with the video game quality-assurance team to find bugs in the game. Instead of completing missions, their responsibility is to find ways a game glitches or fails.

Video game testers should have outstanding attention to detail, focus, communication, and creativity. You have to articulate to developers how you found a bug so they can recreate your steps and correct the problem. Entry-level testers make about $10 per hour.

Grocery store worker

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to reassess how “essential” their jobs are. Grocery store workers are among the few jobs that remain in demand, even in the face of a recession. Whether you work stocking groceries or slicing meats at the deli, there’s always a way to make money as a teenager at a grocery store.

Many stores, including Kroger, Safeway, and Publix, hire kids as young as 14. You have a good chance of landing a position, even if you don’t have previous experience. You’ll likely start with entry-level tasks, like bagging groceries and collecting shopping carts, before graduating to more responsibility, like butcher or cashier.

Mystery shopper

Companies want unbiased feedback to figure out what they’re doing well and where they can make improvements. Some places hire mystery shoppers to review their customer service, inventory, and cleanliness. It’s free to sign up, as companies pay you to eat and shop at your favorite restaurants and stores.

Mystery shoppers play a vital role in their local communities. They help make upgrades so that future shoppers can enjoy better customer experience. 

Movie theater attendant

If you’re a movie buff, apply to a movie theater. Attendants have a hand in keeping a theater operational year-round. That includes handling tickets, serving food and beverages, running the movies, and cleaning up after the shows.

Movie theater jobs can provide valuable insight into the film industry if you aspire to make films. You’ll also work with people your age and get free movie passes as a perk. The average attendant can expect to earn as much as $16.84 per hour.

Barista

Making a fantastic latte is about more than making money as a teenager – it’s an art form. Baristas learn valuable customer service skills while working in a team-oriented environment. They can even flex their creativity when adorning coffee cups with frothy milk.

Starbucks employs the most baristas in the world, with more than 200,000 employees. You need to be at least 16 to apply for a job unless you live in Montana, where the minimum age is 14. The average barista will make $10.57 per hour.

Ice cream scooper

In the summer, the sale of ice cream tends to skyrocket. Experts estimate there are more than 14,000 ice cream shops nationwide with thousands of open roles.

Scooping ice cream provides a great way to learn practical skills. You can gain real-world business and entrepreneurial knowledge while serving customers and members of your team. You’ll also have access to discounted (or even free) ice cream all summer long.

Music teacher

If you are proficient in at least one instrument, you can turn that knowledge into a music teaching career. You can start by teaching your friends, and move on from there. 

Music teaching work may appeal to you enjoy educating others. According to ZipRecruiter, the average music teachers make $20.64 to $28.14 per hour – but that’s with a lot of experience, so know that you’ll have to start out on a smaller scale. 

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. 

Tips for the Teenage Hustlers

  • Start NOW – When I was younger there were a lot of things I thought I couldn’t do because I was too young. I was wrong and I wish I would have just started.
  • Have fun – You don’t need to get rich off your first side hustle. Have some fun with it and find out what you enjoy doing. You’ll learn a lot.
  • Experiment – As a teen, time is on your side. Experiment with the different opportunities above and once you find something you enjoy doing, don’t give up right away if you’re not making money with it.
  • Consistency and perseverance is key!
  • Learn from your mistakes – When you start something new, you’re bound to make mistakes. Instead of getting discouraged, figure out what went wrong and learn from it.
  • Do the best work possible – If you want your business to grow, you can’t do crappy work. When you do good work, people notice, and your business grows.
  • Be creative – Use the ideas above as a starting point and put your own spin and creativity on them. The more unique you are and the more you stand out, the better your chances of success.

Popular in Wealth

10. Babysit

Getty Images Getty Images

Yes, babysitting might be the quintessential teenage job, but it’s always included for a reason. Parents young and old are always looking for ways to foist their children off on responsible caretakers for the night. It honestly might be as well be you. Babysitting is a high energy job, but it also has high rewards. The more children you watch, the more you make. Plus, if your school schedule is too hectic for a retail job, babysitting always has the perfect hours.

Why you should start building passive income side hustles as a teen

Passive income allows you to make an income, maybe even as much as a full-time job, but without needing to work all the time. The sooner you start building passive income sources, the better.

It will help you save and prepare for the future. It’s beneficial to do this as a teenager because much of your time right now should be focused on your education.

20. Work Fast Food

Getty Images Getty Images

If you’re not opposed to smelling french fries during your work hours, getting a job at a fast-food gig might make the most sense for getting rich. Fast Food restaurants are always hiring, and more than willing to take any teenagers without experience.

What to do with money as a teenager

So you’re a teen who’s figured out how to make some money – which is great!

Now it’s a question of figuring out what to do with money as a teenager.

Here are some ways we’d suggest splitting your earnings.

Keep some for fun things

Having your eye on a financial goal is fantastic. In fact, if this is you, you’re literally already in a better position than many adults who are struggling to manage their money.

But it’s fine to also save some of your money for fun things. That way, you’ll stay motivated to keep making money and also have the chance to live your life a bit.

Save most of it

It’s good to keep a financial goal in mind during all your hard work. As once you get there, the fact you’ve worked so hard to achieve that goal will make it all the more sweeter.

This is why it’s a good idea to save most of your money. If you’re earning cash in hand, keeping it somewhere safe should be fine, but consider opening a bank account instead to store it there.

Generally, you can open a bank account from 14 years old, but until you’re 18, you have to have a legal guardian as a co-owner of the account.

Invest part of it

As mentioned earlier, starting to invest as a teenager is seriously one of the best things you can do for your financial future.

One of the most important features of any investment is time – that is, having the time for your investment to compound (i.e. grow) in value.

So starting as a teenager definitely gives you enough time to do this.

And if you’re wondering what should a teenager invest in, look into low-cost, reliable options like an index fund.

This is what many adults – including me – base their entire investment portfolio on. So do some research into what that is and how to get started and start setting yourself up for future financial success.

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