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We could all use a little more money – but this is especially true when you’re a teen and your pocket money won’t quite cover the Reading & Leeds Festival tickets you and your friends have been eyeing up. To help, this post explores the best ways to make money as a teenager – from online to in-person opportunities.
Making money when you’re a teenager can be hard. There are a fair few legalities in place, such as not working under the age of 13, and when you do, not working for more than an hour before school – or longer than four hours without a break. And you can forget about full time hours – only once you’re legally old enough to leave school, can you start pulling 40-hour weeks.
Whilst these laws are in place for good reason, it can be off putting to a teenager (and their parents!) when all they want to do is make their own income and top up their pocket money allowance.
So, instead of spending hours trawling the internet, looking for inspiration on how you or the teen in your life can make a bit of extra cash, read on to find the top eighteen ways to make money as a teenager.
Quick disclaimer: a lot of these money-making methods will require your parent or guardian’s permission – and quite often, their account! Be open with them, explain your business model, and make sure they’re fully on board before you progress.
- In-Person Money Making Opportunities for Teenagers
- Online Money Making Opportunities for Teenagers
- Final Thoughts on Ways to Make Money as a Teenager
In-Person Money Making Opportunities for Teenagers
Before we get on to the online methods below, lets start with the in-person money making opportunities – and how you can find them.
One of the more traditional money-making methods explored in this post, babysitting is a great way to increase your income.
Advertise in your local shops’ noticeboards, on your local Facebook groups, and always ask current clients to refer you to their friends.
Providing you’re comfortable around children and are responsible and reliable, this can be a great little earner. I babysat my way through my A-Levels, and would take my coursework/textbooks with me so I could study whilst making money when the kids were in bed.
Ok, I did that once or twice – the rest of the time, I was making full use of their snacks and watching Saturday night TV.
Needless to say, it was one of my favourite ways to make money as a teenager – and truth be told, it’s something I’d still love to do now I’m in my 30s!
Retail, restaurant and service providers are probably the easiest places to find jobs when you’re a teenager and beyond – and many of your fellow teens will be Saturday Girls/Boys.
Whilst the wages are traditionally lower in this kind of work – especially when you’re a teenager – if you can find a job that allows you to earn tips, it could work out to be a nice little earner for you.
Plus, being able to show you worked in a customer-facing position at any point in your career will only serve to stand you in good stead.
Similar to babysitting, you’ll need to find the opportunities yourself – but once you’ve got a few clients on the books, it can be a nice little earner.
Advertise in local Facebook groups, on community noticeboards, and on apps designed specifically for dog walkers, such as Rover. Provide a great service, and there’s a strong chance word of mouth referrals will become your main source of client acquisition.
Get a paper round
Another traditional job for teenagers, if you’re able to get up early in the morning, a paper round could be the one for you.
Head to your local newsagents to see if they’re hiring – and if they aren’t right now, ask to be put on a contact list so that if an opportunity arises, they’ll reach out.
Haven’t heard anything for a few months? Pop back in and enquire again. As with most career opportunities in life, persistence and enthusiasm will pay off.
Provide instrument/language/computer lessons
If you’re particularly musically/linguistically/technologically talented, why not sell your skills to those who would quite literally pay to learn them?
Think about what you’re good at – and then take to local community boards and Facebook groups to promote your services.
Perhaps you could teach kids how to play guitar, or if you speak multiple languages, you can tutor those who might want to learn. If you know your way around a computer, could you teach older adults how to use them, or could you teach people to code?
If you’re able to get a few clients on your books, you could be earning a fair amount more than in a more-traditional role – in considerably less time.
Leafletting is a great money maker if you like being outside, and even better if you can rope a friend or two into it as well.
Google ‘leaflet distribution vacancies [and the area you live in]’ and see if you can find anything available. Failing that, consider visiting various service-based businesses in your area, offering your leaflet distribution services to them. Research online what the going rate is in your town – typically, it’d be a set amount of leaflets delivered for £X rather than an hourly rate.
I spent the summer prior to my university years working various jobs, including distributing leaflets to local homes. I spent hours in the sun walking around my local area, posting leaflets through people’s letterboxes, listening to my favourite music – and it’s a gig I would definitely recommend to anyone looking to top up their income!
Car washing/gardening/chores and odd-jobs
Make a list of the day-to-day jobs which are considered tedious or boring – and then charge your neighbours a set amount to do it for them.
Word of mouth is huge here, so do a great job, take real pride in your work, and watch your client base build.
You might need to spend a little at first, such as buying buckets, sponges and shampoo for washing cars, or particular gardening tools if your clients don’t have them, so make sure you bear this in mind.
Signing up to acting/modelling/extras work is a great money maker at any age – but please make sure you have your parents’ or guardians’ permission before signing up to anything!
This will require some adult involvement, to make sure they’re legit (and safe!) opportunities, and they’ll most likely need to chaperone you to any filming or shoot days, but if it’s an industry you’re interested in, it might be worth discussing it further with your parents or guardians.
Whatever you do, stay safe, and don’t keep it secret from your loved ones.
Online Money Making Opportunities for Teenagers
There’s no better money than online money, as compared to in-person opportunities, the potential to earn is huge – and you’re less likely to be subjected to lower wages.
However, it can be more challenging for teenagers, as a large number of these opportunities will require a parent or guardian’s consent – and often, their accounts.
That’s not to say it’s not worth it, and please don’t let these hurdles put you off, but just be aware that there might be a couple of challenges you’ll need to overcome.
Sell your things on eBay
eBay is a great platform for selling your old things (with permission of course), as well as flipping items you might have bought in shops/online for a profit.
Start by having a clearout of your belongings, and then consider whether you’d be willing to set up a business reselling clothes and items using the money you made from decluttering.
Charity shops, carboot sales and Facebook Marketplaces are great places to source your stock – but just be aware that if you buy products to resell, you need to use a business eBay account.
And don’t forget, if you’re under 18, you will need to use a parent’s eBay account in the first place, so make sure you have their permission before going all-in.
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Earn giftcards with Swagbucks
Swagbucks is a great option for those aged over 13, but be warned: it’s a slow way to make money. Sure, it can top up your pocket money, but don’t expect to be making large amounts.
Instead, view Swagbucks as a way to make some extra money completing various online tasks to earn points (or SBs) which can in turn be converted into gift cards, alongside your other money making endeavours.
Sign up to Swagbucks using my referral link here, and receive 300 SB (Swagbucks) bonus when you earn 300SB in your first 30 days
Fiverr is an online marketplace to offer your freelance services to people all over the world.
From social media management, to being a virtual assistant, to editing photos on Photoshop, and beyond, there are a whole host of opportunities to make money on Fiverr.
If you live near a particular landmark, you can even make money by taking photos of you holding a signs with a particular message on (typically for birthday messages).
And the best thing about Fiverr?
The minimum age to join is 13, meaning all teenagers can make money on the platform providing you have particular in-demand skillsets and are reliable.
Sell your old things on Music Magpie
Another go-to for decluttering your room – send in your unwanted books, DVDs and phones in return for some cash.
It’s super easy to send your items in – but be warned: they aren’t known for their high pay-out rates.
I’d personally recommend checking out the ‘Solds’ on eBay first to see if you could make more money selling the item on that marketplace – and if not, the Music Magpie platform is quick and easy to use.
Due to payment being made via bank transfer or Paypal, you’re best to use your parents’ account, so make sure you speak to them about this.
Become a Youtuber
The highest earning Youtuber in 2020 was nine year old Ryan Kaji, who made over $30 million with his channel featuring toy reviews, day trips with his family, and science experiments.
It’s hard to believe isn’t it – that a nine year old kid has been so successful online.
But that’s the thing about creating content for Youtube – there is an audience for everything. Think about what you’re good about and what you enjoy, and how you might be able to build it into a channel providing informative, entertaining and engaging content for your audience.
Are you good at creating beauty and fashion looks? What about studying and organisation tips? Are you a gamer? Or a prankster?
Of course, it’s always worth discussing this with the adults in your life, and maybe having them moderate your comments, but create relatable high-quality content and you could be turning your Youtube channel into an income stream quicker than you’d think!
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Sell clothes and accessories on Depop
Depop is a great platform to sell clothes and accessories on, and once you’ve sold your own unwanted items, you could even consider sourcing stock elsewhere.
From charity shops, to Facebook Marketplace, to finding wholesalers to work with, Depop is perfect if you’re targeting younger audiences.
However, all payments through Depop have to be made via Paypal, meaning you will need to use your parent or guardian’s account to use it (due to their minimum age of 18 requirements), so make sure you discuss it first.
Sell physical and digital products on Etsy
Speaking of minimum age requirements, you also need to be 18 or above to sell your products on Etsy.
However, you could use a trusted adults’ account, and create physical and/or digital products that sell internationally around the clock.
Perhaps you’re known for your crafting prowess, or maybe you can create some downloadable digital products that become a great source of passive income for you.
Whatever your skillset might be, make sure you consider Etsy as a marketplace as it has an incredible reach – just be mindful of their fees!
Write and release your own book with Kindle Publishing
Again one to work on with parents and guardians, writing and releasing your own book with Kindle Publishing can become a great passive income source for you.
Typically, non-fiction books do extremely well here, so if you’re particularly clued up on a topic – or can even outsource to a ghostwriter – you can benefit for months (if not years) to come!
Flip products for profit
Flipping products for profit can be a nice little earner, but does rely on being in the right place at the right time.
If you find an item on Facebook Marketplace, or at a car boot sale, that you think you could sell for a higher price (at another car boot sale, or on another Facebook Marketplace or eBay listing), with an improved listing or a bit of a clean up, it can prove a lucrative income source.
It could even become a gateway into securing wholesale accounts and joblots – just again, make sure you speak to the adult in your life before making any commitments.
Web Design and Development
If you’re particularly skilled when it comes to web design or web development, you’re always going to be in demand!
From creating a listing on Fiverr, to approaching local businesses independently, as your portfolio grows, so will your client base.
And don’t forget, you can always enrol on cheap online courses to brush up on any skills you’re less confident with, that you can then sell as a bolt-on to any service you offer.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Make Money as a Teenager
Sure, employment opportunities can be harder to come by as a teenager – but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to have years of being broke!
Play to your independent skill sets, explore the various in-person and online opportunities mentioned above, maybe get a little creative, and you’ll be able to buy those festival tickets in no time.
Do your research, communicate with the adult in your life, look into the tax implications if you’ll be working for yourself – and most of all, stick with it!
Just because you’re a teenager, it doesn’t mean this couldn’t be the start of something super-successful and enjoyable for you!