Are you wondering how to make money as a teenager? Earning money as a teenager can seem like an uphill battle. You have things to pay for, such as clothes, entertainment, food out with your friends, and let's not forget gas or transportation.
As life gets more expensive, you are probably looking for ways to fund these expenses (Hello, 18th birthday party!). Luckily, there are many ideas for how to earn money as a teenager other than gift cards and cash from birthdays and holidays.
Why you should make money as a teenager
Although you may not need to bring in a paycheck, it is still a good idea. Even if you spend most of your money on fun experiences or cute clothes, there is an opportunity to save.
When you make an effort to keep part of your paychecks, it will add up over time. The years will allow compounding interest to grow your money to new heights.
It may seem like a small amount of money is not worth saving; however, every little bit counts. You might be able to turn these earnings into the beginning of your retirement nest egg or even fund your college expenses in a few years!
By starting your savings early, you could have a couple of million dollars by the time you get to retirement age just from saving small amounts. Now wouldn't that be nice? Don't forget that budgeting as a teenager is an essential aspect of planning those savings too!
How to make money as a teenager: 25 Ideas
So what are the best paying jobs for teens? Take a few minutes to check out our list of ideas. Choose something that interests you and get started today. Keep in mind that as you make money, it's important to increase your financial literacy as a teenager too!
1. Start a blog
A blog can be a fun way to make money as a teenager. You can blog about any topic that interests you. Blogging is not an easy way to earn an income, but it can be enjoyable. It's a popular work-from-home job that can eventually make money online.
It may take several months before your blog posts earn a single dime, but it can be a lucrative income once you get the ball rolling. Affiliate marketing and ads using Google Adsense are a great way to start bringing in an income.
To begin, you should have an internet connection and some domain names as options for your blog. However, you only need to purchase one and be familiar with online platforms for marketing purposes.
Be prepared to create regular content for a growing audience. If you are interested in learning more about running a blog, check out our post about building a blog.
2. Tutor younger kids
If you have excelled in a certain subject, then it is time to put those book smarts to the test. Many parents search high and low for a tutor to help their kid make it through a class. If you have expertise in a particular area, market that to the neighborhood.
Simply check with parents in the area if they need a tutor for their children. You can also hang up posters around town for advertising if you want to generate broader interest. As you start to hear from potential clients, make sure to talk to your parents before meeting up.
You can offer tutoring in person, but online tutoring may also be an option. See what will work best for your schedule and the families you are tutoring for.
3. Work at a restaurant part-time
If you're wondering how to get money as a teenager, fast food establishments and sit-down restaurants are always in need of extra help. Many are looking for teenagers to take over the cash register or hostess table, for example. Other potential openings might include cook, busboy, waitress, and more.
Depending on the setup, you could make minimum wage or have the opportunity to earn tips. Either way, you will build your resume while taking home a paycheck. Plus, most have a policy of free or discounted food for employees.
4. Provide lawn and landscaping services
Landscaping is a great idea when it comes to how to make money as a teenager! Many people are too busy or simply don't want to care for their lawns. It is a labor-intensive job that you can turn into a booming business. Mowing the lawn is one simple service to provide in your spare time.
However, you could also plant garden beds, weed flower gardens, rake leaves, clean up after their dog, or water any landscaping in their yard. Be creative based on the lawns in your local area. This is great if you want to know how to make money as a teenager without a job, as it allows you to start working and earning money quickly.
5. Provide snow services as one of your side gigs
Snow can be a big business if you live in a cold area. People typically avoid cleaning the snow out of their driveway at any cost. So, some might even want you to shovel snow from their parking space at work or home.
You can take advantage of that need and offer to shovel driveways, sidewalks, etc. Set up a regular rotation of clients so that you never run out of snow to shovel.
6. Offer babysitting services (A great way to make money as a teenager)
Babysitting can be easy to break into. An excellent place to start your babysitting activities is through family friends. If you do a good job, they can spread the word around the community.
You might be surprised how much you can earn as a reliable babysitter. A typical rate is at least $10/hour plus an extra $3 for each additional child.
Plus, most parents provide a meal to the babysitter. Another opportunity similar to babysitting is a parent helper, which is one of the best ideas when you're wondering how to make money as a teenager without a job.
The parent would be home while you are helping out around the house. That might include anything from entertaining the kids to folding laundry. It can be a good first step if you aren't quite ready to watch a houseful of kids on your own. Some great places to start include care.com and sittercity.com.
7. Start a photography or video editing business
Are you amazing at photography or video editing? It might be your answer for how to get money as a teenager. You can offer to take pictures of an event or edit photos taken by the client. If you would like to try this but aren't sure how, you can get started with learning through YouTube videos and reading about photography.
Video editing would be very similar. This is a good time to brush up on your skillset and earn an income. Photography and video editing are some of the best paying jobs for teenagers.
8. Become a DJ
Although this may require some start-up capital to buy the equipment, becoming a DJ is pretty easy to do. Think of all the parties that are in desperate need of a DJ. Like the ones your friends are having!
If you are able to keep a party flowing smoothly, and want to know how to earn money as a teenager, then this might be the perfect opportunity. Get the word out through flyers and friends to start your new gig.
9. Coach little league sports
Coaching little league sports can be a fun way to earn extra money. Many leagues require experienced players to coach the next generation. Not only will you earn some cash, but also become a role model to an entire team of little leaguers.
You might have more fun than you think. Plus, the schedule is usually pretty flexible.
10. Become a golf caddy
If you are a golfer, becoming a golf caddy is a great option. While you tote around someone else's bag, you can learn more about the game. It can be a fun way to network with people in your community. Start by looking up golf clubs in your neighborhood and reach out about applying for a job.
11. Make money as a teenager working in retail
Although retail work is not always glamourous, it is a solid way to earn an income. Many retail jobs involve operating the cash register, stocking shelves, and talking to customers. When I worked in retail in my teens, my least favorite part was the customers.
However, it was a good learning experience to understand what I did not like about the working world. Most retail jobs start around minimum wage with growth potential. Some companies offer tuition assistance for long-term employees.
Consider researching larger companies to find one that offers that benefit. You might be able to transfer to a different store when you leave for college. Retail is a good job if you want to learn how to make money as a teenager fairly easily and quickly.
12. Work at the gym
If you already spend most of your time at the gym, then you might as well work there. Most gyms will allow you to work out for free as an employee. Not only can you save on your gym membership as one of the rewards, but you also take home a paycheck.
Don't limit yourself to traditional gyms. Also, check out other sports centers. In high school, I worked at the tennis center that I had played for years. It was a fun job with people I already knew and enjoyed spending time with.
Most jobs in these centers are relatively laid back, so it can be a soft entrance into the demands of the working world.
13. Offer pet sitting services as a fun way to make money as a teenager
Pet sitting is how to make money as a teenager; that's fun to do! Many people need pet sitting services for a variety of reasons.
Whether they need someone to take their dog for a walk in the afternoon or someone to watch their cat all week, pet sitting can be interesting work, and it's short-term, so you don't have to commit to a huge job that will take much of your time.
It's definitely one of the best ideas for how to make money as a teenager without a job, because you can work even if you can't drive yet, by pet sitting in your neighborhood.
This is a great way to meet new furry friends and get paid if you love animals. You can find clients by asking your neighbors, through word of mouth, local vet clinics, or on sites like rover.com.
14. Become a house sitter
Similar to pet sitting, people need someone to watch their house when they leave town. This might include picking up the mail and watering plants. Some clients prefer that you stay in their home while they are out of town.
Others just want you to stop by every couple of days. The best place to start this business is through family friends. As you get more comfortable, spread the word through flyers and referrals.
If you do well, you'll get good feedback that you might be able to share with future clients. House sitting is one of the best paying jobs for teens that's easy to do.
15. Clean out garages
Many people need your services if you have a knack for organizing. With overflowing garages across America, you can help clean out their junk in exchange for cash.
So decide on a flat fee for your service. You may want to charge based on the square footage of the garage or the number of boxes you will need to go through.
16. Wash cars in your neighborhood
Cars can be a big investment. A lot of people are way too busy to clean their cars. Washing cars is a good way to earn money fast. You will be able to charge more if you bring your services to the customer. It's one of the best ideas for how to make money as a teenager without a job.
As long as the customer has a water spigot, then you should be able to take your services anywhere. Make sure to bring soap, rags, and any other cleaning products with you!
17. Become a summer camp counselor
If you only have time to work in the summers, a camp counselor is a good option. You'll need to work with a wide range of kids all summer. It can be fun if you get a nice group of kids.
18. Become a lifeguard
Becoming a lifeguard will require specialized training. You'll need to get certified, but it can be a lucrative income for a teenager. Most lifeguards are paid above minimum wage because they carry a lot of responsibility. That's why it's one of the best-paying jobs for teens.
19. Get a job at a theme park
Theme parks can be a lot of fun, even as an employee. Although it will definitely be work, it might be more enjoyable in a theme park environment. Plus, many theme parks offer extra things for their employees, such as free tickets. So it's not only a great way to make money as a teenager, but it has fantastic perks too!
20. Teach kids how to code
Coding is a valuable skill. If coding is something you're good at, you can earn a significant amount of money teaching younger kids to code. Many parents are willing to pay top dollar for their children to learn this skill.
21. Sell food at the farmers' market
Are you a fantastic baker? Consider setting up a stand at the farmers' market. You can perfect your craft and learn how to get money as a teenager while sharing your baking skills with the community.
Plus, you'll be more in charge of your earnings. Instead of a regular income, you'll learn how to run a business centered around your baking skills.
22. Flip items to make money as a teenager quickly
Flipping items is a great idea if you're wondering how to earn money as a teenager. It's very lucrative. You can start by asking your parents if there are any items they would like to sell and give you a profit from.
Then take that extra cash and buy more items to flip for more money. Items such as electronics, books, game systems, and DVDs are easy to start with. You can work on this on your own schedule and sell the items on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.
23. Make stuff and sell it on Etsy
If you are creative and enjoy crafting, there are a ton of money-making crafts you can sell! For instance, printables, bath and body products, jewelry, and more. You can literally have fun and make money, which is why it's one of the best-paying jobs for teens.
24. Start vlogging
If you're not camera-shy, then vlogging is a great way to make money as a teenager! You can set up a vlog on a site like YouTube and get paid to make videos.
Are you great at applying make-up? You can create video tutorials and teach others how to get those beautiful looks you rock every day. You can also teach people to do things like play soccer or guitar.
There are a million opportunities when it comes to vlogging with a YouTube channel, so get started earning from your talents and market them on your social media account.
25. Sell clothes on Poshmark (A simple way to make money as a teenager!)
Selling clothes on Poshmark is how to earn money as a teenager fast! Do you have a closet full of clothes you never wear? Then sell them for quick cash. You can even start selling clothes as a side-hustle to earn money every month.
26. Become a social media manager for businesses
If you love social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok and you know how to use these platforms well, why not get paid for your skills?
Many small businesses need help creating content and managing their social media accounts. This is a great way to make money as a teenager doing something you enjoy!
Now you know how to make money as a teenager, here's what to do with it!
So, now you know how to make money as a teenager! However, it is essential not to spend it all in one place. Yes, it's ok to spend some of it on fun things while you enjoy high school.
But a small amount of savings can go a long way. Your future self will thank you if you make an effort to save a piece of every paycheck.
Save up money to pay for college
Student loans are an option to pay for college. However, student loans can negatively affect your financial future. It can take decades to pay off those loans.
Instead, save your earnings to at least partially fund your college education. If you can avoid student loans altogether, that is amazing. Even if you can only reduce your total student loans, it is still worthwhile.
Buy a car in cash
A car payment can be a big commitment, especially in your teens. You aren't sure where life will take you, but a car payment will only hold you back. Consider saving up to purchase a car entirely in cash.
Shop around for cars to ensure you are getting a solid deal. You don't need the latest model, just four wheels, and a reliable engine. Once you find the perfect car, research ways to cut down on your other car expenses, such as insurance and repairs.
Create an emergency fund
Part of learning how to get money as a teenager is understanding how to keep some of that money. An emergency fund can get you through difficult times and make some extra space in your bank account for things that come up.
Unfortunately, we never know when these hard times will come, but the reality is that they will come at some point. Build your emergency fund now so that you always have something to fall back on if times get hard.
Invest for the long term
If you start investing in your teens, your money has decades to grow. You may be able to increase your investment portfolio to millionaire status sooner than you think. In fact, this is the best time in your life to begin investing!
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.
How to make money as a teenager and jumpstart your future financial success!
It's a great idea to start earning money as a teenager. When you take home your first paycheck, you'll likely have a big smile on your face. If you choose to make smart money moves with your paycheck, then you'll enjoy greater financial stability later in life.
Learn more about making and saving money with our completely free financial courses! Also, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for top money tips and motivation to reach your goals!