A common term searched for on the internet is the ways for a teenager to make money. If that term brought you here, you have arrived at the right place. Below is a comprehensive list of jobs and businesses that teenagers with some initiative, energy and get-up-and-go can quickly put into practice and start earning their first dollars.
I did many of these ideas myself as a teenager; they provided a regular source of money that later helped pay for college.
We have broken the list into two sections, depending on how quickly you can turn the work into cash. Quick money, as it suggests, takes little time and often not a lot of skill to start earning. The long-term category is more aligned to building a small business. Although taking longer, these initiatives could lead to a higher, more sustained income. Those earnings can be substantial and for years well beyond the formative teenage ones.
If you can add to the list to help others out, please let us know. You can use the comments section below or get in touch with our Contact Us page.
The following ideas should take little time to implement and have a teenager earning money very quickly. Some require few trained skills to get some cash in the pocket, with low barriers to entry. Others, such as coaching or tutoring, may take some more time to acquire. But even at a relatively young age, they have often developed skills through school, hobbies, church or part-time work that have value in the marketplace. It’s now time to start to turn those skills into money.
Brave Browser BAT Rewards
Many people still don’t know it is as easy as installing software on your computer and using a different web browser. The Brave browser provides the user with an opportunity to earn money from viewing ads. Instead of making dollars and cents, you gain the crypto token BAT (Basic Attention Token).
They say you can earn about $5 a month in tokens, which is about what I have found using it myself. As of today, I have about 51 BAT, which is worth around $76. Not bad for doing very little other than installing the browser and clicking on an ad every so often.
You can either keep your BAT and build up a small hoarding of crypto. Or you can share some or all of your earnings with publishers and creators.
Magazine and Circular Deliveries
My sister-in-law started her two boys on this a couple of years ago; it put money straight in their pocket on day one. When I caught up with her recently, I noticed that it appears to now be her side-hustle as the boys weren’t that bothered in the end. But she found it good exercise, got to see what was going on in the neighbourhood, and it was modest earnings in her pocket each week.
It’s not much fun in the winter if you live in the colder parts of the world. But at the same time, there is no shortage of work as most people would rather stay in and watch tv.
So if you are looking for paid-for exercise, savings on gym membership, improved fitness and cash in your pocket, there aren’t many better ways for a teenager (or us older ones) to make some money.
Delivering newspapers was my favourite income earner when I was growing up. Starting around 12 years old, I had a paper round; at one point, I was doing four of them at any one time! These jobs provided a good yet modest source of income and enabled me to save from a young age.
Moving Lawns and Gardening
Landscaping has been a good source of income for teenagers over the decades. My older brother and I had regular lawn mowing jobs around the neighbourhood at weekends, providing an excellent supplement to our paper delivery work after school during the week.
You will often find friends, family and neighbours more than willing to pay for this help so that it frees up their weekends – to do the things they enjoy doing after a busy week at work. They also often have the lawnmower and gardening tools already, so little or no capital outlay is required.
For someone good at dealing with people, enjoys being outside and is tidy, this can be an excellent income source, particularly during the warmer months of lots of plant growth. People prefer to enjoy themselves in the sun and relaxing rather than worrying about the laws and weeding.
Washing cars can be more limited to the warmer months and is hard work, but it can pay well. Especially if done as a small group, three or four people can clean a car, inside and out, quite quickly. For someone careful and thorough, perhaps works well with a small group, and can work rapidly, car washing can work very well.
Either around the local neighbourhood or getting permission from a local council or business to set up in their public car park, car washing on a nice day will make quick money for a teenager. And if working with a few friends or siblings, this can be a fun day working together, getting some exercise (it’s tiring over a day) and earning some coin.
Sports Coaching and Referring
Referring and coaching was something I did as a teenager, but unfortunately, there was no money in field hockey at the high school rep level back in the day. However, times have changed, and in particular, in more popular sports, this is undoubtedly a way of earning some money for the teenager in the family. For example, my neighbour’s 15-year-old son referees each weekend during the soccer (football for our British readers) season. At around $70 a day, the referring is a good earner for him.
Dog Walking and Cat Minding
My wife would do cat minding in our small town (she isn’t so much a fan of dogs). For those who have a natural love and affection for our four closest friends, this is not only money in the pocket but also very rewarding.
You can work through the growing number of sites available now. Or as we did when we could travel, pay one of my neighbour’s boys to feed our four cats, yes four, and clean the litter trays, etc. For two visits a day, he earned $10. This was a big help to us as our little ones could stay at home, have their regular food, and not go through the stress of being moved. And much cheaper for us than a cattery.
For immediate cash in the pocket, this is an excellent little earner.
Run a Garage Sale
Dave Ramsey is a big fan of this money earner; one often hears him talk about this on his show. To pay off debt quickly, sell everything not bolted down. Put the dog on eBay and the cat and Craig’s List – the kids think they are next.
It can be a good source of one-off income as most of us don’t have enough “junk” around the place to be holding a regular sale. However, if a sale is organised for once a year, this could be a nice little earner for the teenager prepared to put in some back work, get it advertised and ensure the day runs smoothly. In addition, the family receives a less cluttered living space.
Although the earnings from mining are pretty much the day you plug the machine in and start mining to a pool (assuming one isn’t solo mining), this does take some technical knowledge. Speaking from experience from setting up and operating a small six rig mining farm, if you aren’t familiar with crypto mining already and PCs generally, there is quite a steep learning curve. However, if they already have that knowledge or purchase a working rig, this is a great earner.
A word of caution with this, though. The most profitable coin currently being mined is ethereum (ETH), but this hasn’t always been the case. And looking forward, when ETH moves to proof of stake, away from proof of work, mining rigs will need to point elsewhere for their work. Many say this change is a year or two out; ethereum changes are notorious for being late.
This activity can be a little more difficult for teenagers due to online sites having age restrictions. However, a well-supervised process can be gratifying. Not only from building confidence but gaining knowledge and learning how to help others.
Although all but a distant memory now my teenage years, this is something I’ve recently started myself using a local portal here in the UK. Once you have done a few lessons and started to see similar problems or questions come up, it becomes quite an enjoyable process helping others to learn and develop.
Part-time Employee in the Service Sector
The service sector is one of the traditional ways for a teenager to make money. Depending on your local employment laws, working at a local restaurant, cafe, or shop is an excellent way for a teenager to make money. In addition, they will have to deal with various customers and problems and develop a good work ethic.
Our local Costa Coffee often have older teenagers working behind the counter. They start them off on the till, cleaning tables, clearing dishes, re-stocking the food, etc. And then progress them onto making the coffee (making a good flat white is no easy task).
Selling Stuff from Around the House Online
In line with the garage sale idea, selling stuff from around the house can be more sustained. Ok, some things will probably only sell at a garage sale. But many items are well suited to online selling, particularly with the use of, say, local pick-up – saving the hassle of organising delivery. eBay and craigslist are two of the biggest sites for selling the clutter lying around the house.
In some ways, this process can be better than the garage sale:
- you don’t have to have strangers turning up to your house;
- the process can take longer and so a better price may be had;
- you can take your time, deciding what to sell and at what prices; and
- ebay’s auction process helps to find a price when you may have no idea.
The downside of online compared to the garage sale is it can take longer. And because you don’t achieve as much as quickly, you run out of steam, or other things take priority.
Longer Term Money
Our last section is the longer-term idea. These suggestions are probably going to take more time to show results. But for ways, a teenager can make money; the results could be the biggest out of the three sections.
Good writing is such an important skill, and like all skills, it needs the practice to be improved. Some are naturally better writers than the rest of us, but practice does make perfect for the most part.
For those in their formative years, establishing good writing habits will be an invaluable skill now. Good writing is a must, whether for their formal education or as they enter the working world. So why not combine the practice and an opportunity to make a long-term stream of money?
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a great platform, in particular for those starting. It provides all you need and one of the largest audiences in the world for your books.
But don’t be deceived about making money here; it’s a simple, long-term process that is challenging. But an author that can build a following has access to substantial income over a lifetime of writing.
Online Gaming Tournaments
Making money in this area is perhaps one of the most difficult on the list. We would be interested to hear from anyone who has done well in this area.
Due to the growth and money involved in esports, it is a very competitive area where few will succeed. I notice this situation here in the UK where football, aka soccer, is so dominant. Many a young person is devoting vast amounts of time and energy to the hope of the premier league. And for the very few who make it, the money is incredible. Unfortunately, even fewer stay there for long. As they say in the US, NFL stands for “Not For Long”.
Start a Blog
I can speak from experience on this one, too; blogging is not an easy process. But having had some success over the years, it is a gratifying process once things start to take off. But especially nowadays, as it is a very competitive blogging landscape. Building a successful blog generally takes a lot of time and regular, diligent effort. Writing occasionally, or just as one feels like it, has been the recipe for many a failed blog project.
Financial memos is our main focus in writing at the moment and is a slow process and compared to previous websites projects. Although harder work for the blogger, what google and the other search engines will now rank is of much better quality. Which is a better search and reading experience for the user.
Success will come for those prepared to stick at it, learn the trade, understand SEO, etc. And taking a long time works to financial advantage, too; sustained focused effort over a long period will often produced sustained returns over the long term.
A couple of bits of hard-earned advice here. First, the narrower the niche targeted, the more likely the success of the project. Second, make the idea generation, website maintenance and writing a daily task. Some days you won’t want to, and other days you will. But the discipline will pay dividends over the long term. The compounding of time, effort and money will make a huge difference later in life.
Start a Youtube Channel
For ways a teenager can make money, a youtube channel is similar to a blog; it requires regular content creation. However, unlike a blog, you are building on the second biggest search engine in the world. But of course, the competition is tough, and the range of topics a teenager can cover is more limited. And Youtube has a general age restriction of 13 years old.
Like a blog or ebook, publishing a youtube channel that is narrowly focused will be easier to build. A tighter focus of the topic enables better indexing and ranking of material by the youtube algorithm. For example, “Californian Rabbits” will gain quicker traction in this smaller niche than “pets”, a more competitive niche.
Youtube creation is an excellent channel to help a teenager to develop all sorts of skills that have value. From what we observe, these skills include writing, video and audio creation and editing, storyline creation, and project planning.