Making money as a teen shouldn’t be difficult.
Young people want their own spending money to hang out with their friends and to buy the latest fashion attire or hottest electronic gadget.
This is great because the more they make, the less likely they will hear the word “no” when going to their parents for the money.
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In my opinion, all teenagers should be able to make their own money either with a job or a side hustle.
Not only does this teach a valuable lesson about hard work, but also money management skills they will need for the long run.
It’s easy to say “get a job”, but sometimes getting a job is not feasible for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Age – Due to labor laws, most teens can’t get a job until they reach a certain age (usually 16). Also, some employers refuse to hire young people because of their age and inexperience.
- Inexperience – Some jobs require a certain level of maturity or skill and are not suited for people.
- Location – Depending on where in the country they live, there may not be enough jobs to go around. Young people in urban and suburban areas will most likely have more opportunities than say someone who lives in a smaller rural town. (Also, due to the economy certain jobs that used to marked for teens and college students are now filled by older adults).
- Schedule – Let’s face it – these days teens are busier now more than ever. When you combine school, sports, and family obligations – when do teenagers have time to work a job?
So what is there for a teen to do when they really need to make their own money, but can’t get (or don’t want) a job?
Thanks to technological advances and the economy, our young people no longer have to depend on a job to make their own money.
Here’s a list of ways teens can make money without a job.
This list has ideas that are suited for young people of any age, however double check to make sure a company’s age requirements are met first.
Join a Rewards Program Like Swagbucks
Possibly the easiest way for a young person to make on this list is Swagbucks. Signing up is free and by filling out surveys, watching videos, playing games, and more – teens can earn points to redeem for gift cards.
I encouraged my son to sign up for Swagbucks and he makes much more than I do each month. He spends more time on it than I do, but I also believe that his age opens him up to more survey opportunities than me.
That’s fine. The more money he makes through Swagbucks, the more money he has to spend on clothes and shoes, and the less money I have to dish out. He also earns points for referring his friends, which is always a plus.
Points can be redeemed for gift cards such as Amazon, iTunes, Sephora, and much, much more. If you want cash, however, you can redeem your points for PayPal gift cards which can be applied to your account.
Other Reward Programs to Sign Up For:
Get Paid to Complete Surveys
No one believes me when I tell them you can make decent money filling out surveys. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t know anyone who has made any money from it or they’ve run across fake companies who never paid out.
I love completing surveys and think it’s a great way for people, especially young people, to make additional income.
Now don’t expect to get rich, though it is possible to make a couple of hundreds of dollars each month from surveys.
Which is fine, because a couple of hundred of dollars each month is usually enough to cover a teen’s basic needs.
To be successful, only sign up for credible companies that actually pay their people and won’t put them through excessively long qualification surveys.
Become a YouTube Star
According to Adweek, YouTube “captures more viewers aged 18 to 34 than any cable network”, therefore making it a great platform for other young people to showcase their talents and bubbly personalities. The low barrier to entry makes it quite easy to get started on YouTube now.
To become a YouTube star, all you need is a camera (an iPhone works just as well when you’re getting started) and something interesting to say for your video can be seen by people from around the world.
Though you may not become as famous as PewDiePie, who at the end of 2016 was still the highest paid YouTube star, you can still make pretty good money if you’re entertaining or good at teaching people how to do something.
YouTubers make most of their money through ads (Google Adsense and other ad networks), sponsorships, and selling their own products such as t-shirts and books.
YouTubers to Check Out
Create and Sell Information Products
I love information products because they are easy to create and sell. It’s a great passive income product, because once you’re done – you’re done. Information products can be ebooks, online courses, videos, photos – anything that can be delivered electronically.
To create an ebook you can literally open up a Word document, type, and download it into a .pdf – today.
When I was in middle school I tried to start a magazine with two of my closest friends. We held several meetings, but couldn’t come up with enough money to print them out. Too bad for me, but great for young people today.
Lila Zimmerman from Fresh Fit and Fearless created a blog and Instagram account to show delicious, vegan, and healthy recipes. She also created an ebook while a college student to show how easy it is to eat while on campus.
Become an Influencer
Social media has literally taken over our lives and young people tend to be on their phones more than anyone else. Coupled with this knowledge, advertisers understand that in order to get in front of a younger demographic, they need to go where they are.
If you have an active social media account with quite a few followers, brands will pay you to advertise for them. There are thousands (maybe millions) of people who have started a business straight from their phone utilizing their Instagram, Facebook and now Snapchat accounts.
Chiara Ferragni is an Italian model and blogger who started her Instagram account while in school. She now boasts over 6 million followers and makes over $12 million a year (here’s a list of the highest paid Instagrammers of 2017).
Start a Blog (Plus a Step-by-Step Guide)
If you haven’t already heard, blogging is a great way to make money. If you can find a profitable niche and produce good content, you can make some money with your blog.
Unlike Instagram or Facebook, you own your blog so you have control over the content you produce. You won’t have to worry about Facebook shutting you down just because you posted something they didn’t like.
Your blog is yours to keep and many young people are making a lot of money from blogging. Fashion bloggers seem to do very well, but as long as you have something interesting to share with others, you can do well.
Bloggers make money just like YouTubers, through ads, products, and sponsorships.
Young people can also make money through their blogs by becoming affiliates. As an affiliate, you refer others to a product and if they buy it, you will receive a commission. Shareasale and Commission Junction are greate affiliate networks worth checking out.
Take Care of People’s Children
I never babysat when I was younger, simply because I thought it would make more sense for me to work at a clothing store (where I got a discount). Once I had my own kid, I found that it was hard for me to find a babysitter and was willing to pay whatever they asked.
Parents are always on the lookout for babysitters to take care of their children, especially when they want some alone time without the kids.
Babysitting is great for teens who are responsible and enjoy children.
I recommend advertising services by word of mouth or through referral companies such Care.com (check their minimum age requirements).
If you decide to babysit children, I would recommend completing first aid and CPR training beforehand.
As a teacher, I recognized that when I paired an advanced student with a struggling one, they tended to catch on a lot quicker.
Students tend to learn best from their peers, so if you know Trigonometry or some other difficult subject, tutoring is a profitable ticket.
Check with schools or ask for referrals from local parents. If you are familiar with the family, you can tutor them in their home, though I recommend going to the library for tutoring. You can also tutor online through Tutor or Chegg.
Provide Pet Services
If you love dogs, you should probably consider walking them for extra money. Most dog owners work during the day, therefore leaving Fido in the house bored all day by himself.
Since people tend to love their pets very much, they will often spend the money needed to get them the exercise and attention they can’t during the day.
You can start by putting fliers up in your neighborhood, but you could probably ask people you know if they will need your services.
If you’re old enough you can advertise your walking and dog sitting services on Rover, which matches dog owners and walkers. I used Rover to find a sitter for my dog when I went out of town and we love her.
Rates vary depending on the type of area you live in, but I would recommend coming in slightly under most of them when getting started. If your stomach can take it, consider adding a pooper scooper service.
Mow Lawns During the Summer
Mowing lawns can be a good way to make money during the warmer months. All you need is a lawn mower and stamina, to get started.
I lived in a townhouse, but I had an end unit with a big back yard. Sometimes my son would avoid mowing the lawn and instead opted to work during the summer. I wasn’t going to do it, so I usually paid between $35 – 40 to people from the neighborhood.
Start off by knocking the doors of your neighbors and then broaden out a bit. Most of the time you will be paid immediately afterward in cash, making it an old favorite among teens.
If you’re a critic and a music lover as well, you will definitely enjoy making money with Slice the Pie. By listening to clips of music and rating them, Slice the Pie will pay you to give your thoughts.
There are many musicians out there who are looking for honest feedback on their music and uses Slice the Pie as a way to do so. It’s an easy way to make money and if you’re consistent, your rate increases the more music you rate and review.
Other activities include reviewing cell phone cases and clothing. A fun way to make extra money.
Sign up for free with Slice the Pie here and start earning money by rating other’s people’s music and more.
Another great way to make money without a job is to sell things you have lying around the house. Electronics sell well on sites such as Craigslist and Ebay, as well as designer clothes and handbags in good condition. Bookscouter is a great place to sell unwanted books, especially textbooks online.
Creative teens can sell their crafts and artwork through Etsy, flea markets or craft stores. Depending on the product you want to sell, opening a Shopify store is a great option to sell sought-after items.
Teens who have a knack for coming up with witty slogans or cute designs should consider selling t-shirts, mugs, phone cases and more. There are several companies that will manufacture and ship items with the designs you uploaded.
Sell t-shirts and more on:
Complete Mini Tasks
There are a few sites out there where a teen can complete mini tasks and get paid to do them, such as data entry, take pictures of display stands, and mystery shopping.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has tasks that anyone can complete. Some of these tasks may involve entering handwritten names of patients for a doctor or checking the accuracy of numbers on a list.
The pay is super low but increases the more tasks you complete. More tasks also raise your score, making you eligible for higher paid opportunities.
Similar companies include:
- Field Agent
- Gig Walk
What if you don’t have a checking account to collect funds from these money-making activities?
Don’t worry, most companies pay through PayPal, so if you don’t have an account go sign up for one. You can also request a PayPal debit card as well.
Simple is a great checking account alternative with no fees. They will send you a card in the mail within a week and you can make deposits and use it to shop. Open up your free Simple account today.