If you’re a teen and interested in earning some money of your own, you’re not alone. Many teens are looking for ways they can make money to cover expenses for clothes, entertainment costs, and save up for cars, college costs and other big purchases.
Ways Teens Can Earn Cash
There is an almost limitless number of ways that you can rake in some cash if you’re a teenager.
Check out these 40 ideas for making money as a teen and see if you can use one – or more – to add some cushion to your savings account or to pay for items you want or need.
1. Clean People’s Houses
Many people are eager for help keeping their homes clean. Traditional cleaning services can be costly, so people may consider hiring teens who will clean their homes for a reasonable price.
If you like cleaning and are good at being detailed about it, a house cleaning business might be right for you. To get your business started, make a list of what types of cleaning you’ll do.
For example, will you clean bathrooms and kitchens? Will you dust? Vacuum? Will you clean windows?
Make sure the jobs are jobs you can do well and don’t forget the safety aspect. For example, you might want to rule out cleaning window exteriors that require the need for a ladder.
Next, decide what your hourly rate is. Professional maid cleaning services typically charge between $25 and $35 an hour. If you can do your work quickly, thoroughly and charge $15 an hour, you’ve just given potential clients a reason to hire you over a traditional maid service.
2. Searching the Web
There is a legit site called Swagbucks where people actually get paid for browsing the Internet and more. The points you earn are put into a “bank” and can be redeemed for gift cards to be used on Amazon or at local and online stores such as Walmart, Target and Old Navy.
Swagbucks will allow you to make money to pay for the things you need or want. Best of all, it’s free to join.
3. Get a Paper Route
When my brother was 12, he got his first paper route. Within six months, he had earned and saved enough money to buy a new stereo system and expensive Christmas gifts for each member of our family.
Contact local papers to see if they have paper delivery routes available in your area, or check your local newspaper’s employment section for ads seeking out paper delivery workers.
4. Making Money with Your Smartphone
Companies such as Inbox Dollars will pay you for playing games on your phone, downloading apps, taking surveys from your phone and watching videos on your phone. Oh yeah, and it’s free to join and you get a $5 bonus just for signing up!
5. Run a Farmer’s Market Stand
Many local farmer’s markets charge money when adults set up a stand, but allow kids to do so for free. If you’ve got a small area in your yard, you could grow vegetables to sell at a farmer’s market. You could also sell baked goods or specialty foods at a farmer’s market.
Check your state’s laws about farmer’s market foods before selling baked goods or specialty foods, but many states’ food laws don’t apply to farmer’s market booths.
Are there young kids in your neighborhood or extended family members who need child care? If so, you can offer babysitting services and earn some cash that way.
You can offer to babysit on nights and weekends, or during the summer you could offer to nanny while parents are at work and kids are out of school.
Babysitting is a great job for teens who are responsible, mature and enjoy being with kids.
7. Pet Sit
Another great job for teens involves pet sitting. Some people might want pet care while they’re away at work if they don’t want the pet to be alone.
Others might need pet care while they’re on vacation. The amount of time it takes to pet sit depends on the type of pet.
Dogs will likely require constant care, either at your own home (get your parents’ permission first) or at the pet owner’s home. Other pets such as cats or fish may require that you just check in on them twice a day.
Decide ahead of time which types of pets you’ll sit for and which you won’t, and charge prices according to how much time you’ll spend each day caring for the pet.
8. Dog Walking
If you’re looking to earn money by helping animals but want a less time-intensive job, you could offer dog walking services.
Many people don’t have time to walk their dogs but want their dogs to get exercise and will pay a decent hourly rate to have someone else walk their dog a few times a week.
An organized schedule will help you keep track of your dog walking job commitments.
9. House Sit
If you have a neighbor, friend or family member who is going on vacation, they may want to hire a house sitter to make sure their home isn’t vacant while they’re away.
Depending on what they want, house-sitting clients may ask you to be there for a few hours a day, or they may ask you to live in the house for the entire time they’re gone.
Make sure you get clear instructions about what type of house sitting they’ll want before agreeing to take the job.
10. Wash Cars
Busy adults often don’t have time to wash their cars, but you can make some serious cash doing it for them. You’ll need equipment such as a bucket, soap, rags to wash with and towels to dry with.
If you’re cleaning the interior of the cars as well, you’ll want to get some window cleaner and paper towels.
Most clients will let you use their hose and water to wash the exterior of the car, and their vacuum for vacuuming the interior, but be sure to check with them before you take the job.
It’ll be a good selling point if you come to their house instead of them having to make an extra stop at a car wash service center.
Determine how long it will take you to do the cleaning job, and offer an attractive rate that still gives you a good hourly wage.
11. Organize Homes or Garages
If you’re good at organization, you can start a business organizing people’s homes or garages. Many people want organized spaces but just aren’t sure where to start.
When offering your services, take a thorough look at the job that needs to be done and determine how many hours it will take you.
Then times the number of hours by your desired hourly rate and make that your offered price for the job.
12. Sell Lemonade/Baked Goods/Bottled Water
There are a number of places where you could sell drinks and snacks to local residents. Busy street corners, outside of public baseball parks (if your city allows it) and at garage sales are some ideas.
These types of businesses are especially successful in the summertime or during busy event times. When we go to the local state fairgrounds, there are several vendors on the sidewalk selling bottled water and other packaged snacks.
The key to success in this type of a business is to charge enough to cover the cost of the items you’re selling plus enough to make yourself a profit for your hours of work as well.
13. Work at a Fast Food or Sit-Down Restaurant
Two of my favorite jobs as a teen were working as a cashier at a fast food place and working as a waitress at a local sit-down restaurant.
The fast food job was great because I made a guaranteed hourly wage in a fun environment with fries as a side benefit.
The waitress job was terrific because I made awesome tips along with my paycheck. Both were job experiences that allowed me to make serious money as a teen.
14. Be a Mother’s Helper
A mother’s (or father’s) helper is different from a babysitter or nanny because the parent is typically home most of the time you’re there working.
As a parent’s helper, you’ll likely be asked to do a variety of different jobs to help the household run efficiently.
You might be asked do the dishes, make lunch or fold laundry. You might help a child with homework, change a diaper or take a young child out to play.
Being a parent’s helper allows you to earn money by helping a family while still having an adult nearby.
15. Run Errands
Many busy people and families would love to pay a teen who is willing to run errands for them. They might send you to pick up some groceries or to stop at the drug store.
They may have you drop off/pick up dry cleaning or make a run to the post office to mail a package.
Make the most of your errand running income by working in neighborhoods where stores and other destinations are close to a lot of homes and apartments.
16. Work for a Property Management Team
Working for a property management team is another job I had as a teen. My mom knew a guy who owned a half-dozen rental properties.
When tenants vacated, my mom and I would head over to the house to paint the interior walls and clean the property to get it ready for the next tenant.
We got paid well and were paid directly after each job was finished.
17. Hold a Class at Your Home
If you have a talent such as drawing, painting, or dancing, you could hold classes for neighborhood kids in your yard or home. The classes can be one-time deals or can be held for several days in a row.
If you’re going to teach a class to neighborhood kids, you’ll need to create an itinerary that will teach them what they want to learn and keep them busy for the entire class time.
Be sure to charge a class fee that makes it worth your time and is affordable for parents.
18. Retail Worker
Many clothing and retail store managers are searching out teens to work cash registers and keep shelves stocked. Retail work can be done seasonally, like during the holidays, or can be worked all year around.
A professional appearance, a good attitude and a willingness to be on time count where local retail stores are concerned.
If you have these qualities, you might want to consider a job in retail.
19. Ask Parents for Jobs to do around the House
It’s probably likely that your parents have a lot of stuff they would like to have done around the house, but they just don’t have the time to do it.
Ask them if they have a list of jobs they would be willing to pay you to do. Maybe they’ll hire you to deep clean the basement or garage. Maybe they need help removing clutter in a home office.
They might want you to do a spring cleaning project such as cleaning windows or washing blankets and comforters.
Have them make a list of jobs they need to be done around the house, along with what they’ll pay for each completed job, and decide which ones you want to do.
20. Turn Your Hobbies into Cash
Do you have a hobby that you can make money with? Are you good drawing people or animals? Do you know how to make great videos? Are you gifted at creating logos for businesses?
Are you great at writing stories or poems?
Make a list of the talents you have and offer to hire out for them via local ads or on websites such as Fiverr. Fiverr allows you to list job offerings (or search out jobs needed) for pay from $5 on up.
The key to success with sites like Fiverr is to charge an attractive price to potential clients while making sure you are getting paid at a fair rate.
You might start out making less than you’d like to, but if people like your work and your services become more in demand, you’ll be able to raise your rates.
21. Sell Your Products
Are you gifted at making crafts, jewelry, artwork, woodworking or other items? If so, you can open an Etsy shop and sell your products.
You can also sell them on sites such as Craigslist or eBay, or sell them at local fairs and events.
22. Sell Your Designs
One way to make money that costs very little out-of-pocket is to create designs for t-shirts and other items. You make the design, and then upload the design to sites such as Redbubble or Cafepress, where they print ordered designs on items such as t-shirts, tote bags, and iPad covers.
When someone orders an item with your design or saying on it, you get paid commission from the sale.
23. Grocery Store Employee
Grocery stores have many different job positions available for teens. You could be a cashier, a grocery bagger, a cart handler or a stock person.
Since grocery stores offer jobs that require customer interaction and jobs that don’t require customer interaction, grocery store work would be good for people who love working with customers and those who would rather work behind the scenes.
If you’re a good swimmer and like hanging out at the beach, a lifeguard position might be right for you.
Most lifeguard jobs require workers to have or get lifeguard certification through a qualified organization such as the Red Cross, so check for local lifeguard certification class offerings if you’re interested in pursuing a job as a lifeguard.
25. Movie Theater Worker
If you love people and like movies, you might enjoy a job as a movie theater worker. Movie theaters offer several different job positions such as ticket sellers, ticket takers, concession stand workers and janitorial positions.
Check with your local theater management to see about putting in an application.
26. Umpire or Referee
Local sports organizations often seek out teens to work umpire and referee jobs for kids’ sports teams.
If you love and are good at sports such as baseball, basketball, softball, and football, you could apply to work as an umpire or referee.
These types of jobs usually pay well too.
27. Sell Your Stuff
Is your closet, basement or storage area loaded with clothes, accessories, games, and toys you no longer use or need? Consider selling them at a garage sale, online at Craigslist or on your Facebook account.
There’s also Letgo, which shows your items to people who live near you, so it’s good for selling larger items that you don’t necessarily want to ship.
Want to get rid of some electronic games, DVDs or CDs? See what you can get on sites such as Decluttr or bring them into Half Priced Books for instant cash back.
The general rule for selling used stuff is to charge 10 percent of the retail cost, or more for larger items such as gaming items, bicycles or other sports equipment that is in good shape.
Price your items fairly for a quicker sale, and be willing to haggle with customers. You might be able to talk your parents into letting you sell some of their stuff for a commission earning too.
28. Help a Senior
Many older people are looking to hire young people to spend time with them, read to them, play cards or other games with them, or just simply talk with them.
Check with local retirement communities to see if they have a job posting board where you can offer your services.
29. Be a Golf Caddy
Public and private golf clubs are often looking to hire teens as golf caddies for members and guests that come to play golf. If you like and know about the game of golf, or if you’re willing to learn about it, you could land a job as a golf caddy.
Bonus: Golf caddies often get nice tips from the people for whom they caddy.
30. Collect and Resell Golf Balls
Another job you can get working in the golf industry is collecting golf balls found near local golf courses, cleaning them up and reselling them to local golfers.
You can search outside of local golf courses for stray balls, and you might even be able to get permission to search on course grounds after hours from local club managers.
You can sell your cleaned up golf balls outside of the local golf club entrance (as long as you’re on public property) or you can ask people you know who play golf if they want to buy the balls you find at a price discounted from retail price.
31. Work from Home as a Call Center Representative
Many companies hire call center representatives to work from home instead of having to house them in a central commercial location.
Call center reps perform duties such as scheduling appointments and answering customer service and product information questions.
While many companies that are in need of customer service reps require applicants to be 18 years of age or older, some companies, such as U-Haul, allow teens as young as 16 to work as customer service reps.
Companies in need of customer service reps provide all training for employees, usually in the form of an online service manual you can read to learn about the company and its services and products.
If you are polite and like working with people, this job could be a great way for you to earn money.
32. Tutor Kids
Many parents are looking for reasonably priced tutors for their kids in specific school subjects. If you’re a teen that excels in a particular subject such as math, reading, or a foreign language, you can offer your tutor services to local parents.
Ask neighborhood parents if they are in need of a tutor or check local online sites such as Craigslist for parents looking for tutors. Make sure to involve your parents when meeting up with a potential customer for safety reasons.
33. Paint Fences
Wooden fences need to be painted or stained every few years to protect the wood from deteriorating.
If you like to paint and have neighbors who have wooden fences that need to be re-coated, ask if they’ll hire you to do the job.
You’ll likely need to do some research on how to properly prepare wooden surfaces for painting and on what types of paints are best to use on outdoor wood surfaces before you start.
34. Boat and Camper Cleaning
If you’ve got neighbors who own boats, campers or other recreational vehicles, see if they’d like to hire you to clean them out after they return from outings.
Ask to use their hose and water for rinsing, and their shop vac for vacuuming if needed, and then bring all other cleaning supplies from home to make it easier for clients.
35. Grass and Plant Watering
Sometimes people need help with the task of watering their grass, flowers, and plants. Offer the service of coming to their home and watering these items for them once or twice a week to keep their grass and flowers healthy and fresh looking.
36. Doggie Doo-doo Scooper
Homeowners with dogs have to take the time to do the chore of cleaning up dog poo from their yards. Many of your neighbors might be open to considering paying you to do this job for them.
Schedule regular yard cleaning times for each client in order bring in a steady amount of money for your business.
37. Rent out Your Video Games or Books
If you’ve got a lot of video games or books, you can rent them to friends for a small fee. Charge them a certain amount to rent the item for a week or two, and make sure to tell them there will be a late fee if the item isn’t returned to you on time.
Keep a notebook listing who has what items and when they’re due back so that you don’t lose track of your stuff.
38. Do Lawn Work
One of the jobs my kids used to do was to help their great aunt with lawn work. They would mow the lawn in the spring, summer, and fall, and in late fall they would rake leaves and bag them up for her.
She paid them well for this work, and it made life easier for her.
Chances are that at least some people in your neighborhood could use help maintaining their lawns. Ask your parents if you can use their lawnmower (offer to pay for the gas it uses out of your earnings), or you can use each client’s mower if they have one they are willing to let you use.
If you’re not interested in mowing lawns, you could offer to rake and bag leaves in the fall or shovel snow in the winter if you live in a colder climate.
39. Weed Gardens
If your neighbors have flower and vegetable gardens, you might be able to earn some money by offering to pull weeds from the garden for them.
Weeding usually needs to be done on a weekly basis in most gardens and is hard work for older people, so they might appreciate a teen taking this task off of their hands.
40. Collect Aluminum Cans
If your neighbors drink a lot of canned drinks such as sodas, consider asking them if you can pick up their discarded soda and other beverage cans once a week.
Then bring the cans to a local recycling center where they’ll pay you cash for your aluminum cans.
Ways to Make the Most of Your Income Earning Skills
Anyone can do a job, but it takes certain skills to keep clients coming back. Here are some things you can do to help maximize the amount of money you can make at the jobs you do.
Be on Time
Timeliness is a big deal in the working world. Show your clients or the manager at the job you’re working that you appreciate the work by being on time, every time. Show up early if you have to, but avoid being late.
Have a Great Attitude
Workers and business owners with friendly, positive attitudes will go a lot further, work a lot longer and earn a lot more money than those with a downtrodden demeanor and a negative attitude.
Choose to be positive in your work environment and spread happiness to others with a cheerful outlook.
A professional employee or business owner possesses certain characteristics. For instance, they work well with others, they avoid office gossip and they take their job seriously.
Make sure to have a professional attitude about whatever-money making ventures you participate in.
Do Your Job Really Well
To keep clients coming back for more business and help make sure your manager wants to keep you as an employee, be sure to do your job to the best of your ability.
Do what is asked of you and follow any directions as stated.
Provide Quality Products
If you’re working to make money by selling things you make or own, be sure to provide quality products.
Take the time to do your best work when selling things you make such as jewelry or artwork, and when you’re selling products you own, be sure to clean them up and have them in good working order.
Go the Extra Mile
Going the extra mile is especially important when you’re running a business such as a car washing or house cleaning business. One way to help ensure clients keep asking you to do more work for them is to go above and beyond.
For instance, if you’re doing a house cleaning job, organize a small closet as a bonus. If you’re cleaning cars, scrub out a carpet stain for free.
Make sure your “extra mile” added jobs don’t take up too much of your time but will benefit the customer. The added effort you give will help provide them with a reason to use your services again.
Practice Safety While Working
Always put safeguards in place as you work. It might mean keeping cleaning chemicals out of the reach of small children or pets while you’re doing a cleaning job, or having a parent escort you to meet a new client or work for someone you don’t know very well.
Safety at work is good for clients and for you.
There are many ways you as a teen can put money in your pocket. With a little creativity and some hard work, you can be earning serious cash in no time.