How To Make Money As A Teenager

Benefits of Making Money as a Teen

When you are a teen, there are several benefits to making your own money:

1. Buy Things Your Parents Can’t or Won’t Pay For

You might want things to buy like clothes, entertainment, and electronics.

Perhaps your parents will buy some of these items but there also is often a limit of what they can or will do.

This can also apply to things like saving up for stuff like cars, college and other big purchases.

2. Learn An Important Life Skill

One of the most helpful skills you can ever learn is the ability to earn money outside of a traditional job.

This is important because there could be instances in life where your job won’t provide enough to pay for what you want or need.

Or there could be instances where you don’t have a traditional job due to a job layoff, injury or some other reason.

3. Prepare You For The Real World

When I moved out of my parents’ house, it was shocking to me to learn how much money it costs to live when your parents aren’t supporting you anymore.

You’ll be out on your own one day too, so making money as a teen will provide good experience for you about what it is like to earn and manage your own money.

You might actually be surprised at how you handle the money you earn yourself.

You may handle it differently than you handle the money that your parents give you with no strings attached.


19. Try out for a Movie or TV Show

It might take hundreds of auditions, and a lot of patience, but for all the stars who've made it, it's been worth it. Don't count yourself out just because you're scared to pursue this dream. All it takes is one quick google search to see auditions in your area. You could start at a local theatre or maybe a small commercial to get your name out there. If you're not afraid of hearing the word "No", you can't lose.

Remember, people aren't just born with talent. Maybe some skills come easier than others, but all actors/actresses have spent literally thousands of hours honing their craft. If this is a dream of yours, there's no reason not to start now.

Survey Taker

Many corporate brands seek feedback on their products and offer incentives to answer surveys. Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are two popular sites that allow teens 13 years and older to register for free. Teens can accumulate points by completing surveys, watching videos, playing games, or even searching the internet. Points can be redeemed through PayPal or gift cards.

Knowing Your Rights 

It’s important to know that there are special protections for teens with jobs. In the United States, minors are not allowed to work under the age of 14 (with a few exceptions) and have limited hours they can work when they’re under 16. Federal law also bars anyone under 18 from working in jobs considered dangerous. Many child labor laws in the US were established by the Fair Labor Standards Act, and you can use this tool on the Department of Labor website to see whether the Act covers your job.

3. Get a Music Gig

Are you a good singer? Do you know anyone who would want to be in a band? You could reach out to some restaurants/café and send them recordings of your songs and/or covers.

If they like your music, they might agree to hire you to perform in their restaurant or café (especially if it's a local, family-run place).

Gigs like this are how Taylor Swift started her career when she was a teenager!

21. Teach Computer Basics to Older Folks

Despite the rapid spread of computer, there are a lot of people who still don’t know much about them. This is particularly true of people over 60, who came up in the world before computers were a thing.

Many are only discovering the joys of computers now. But they don’t know how to use them well.

You can offer your services to teach them. Speak with local senior citizens groups or even senior living centers, and see what you can work out.

Just like my son Bentley, sometimes all you need to do is ask!

Teens Can Make Money Online

So, there you go: the best online jobs for teens. Most of these can be done online or else they depend on the Internet to connect you with customers so you can make money.

Remember to keep your parents or legal guardians in the loop—they’ll appreciate it. Plus, if you suddenly become richer than them—and they didn’t know where the money came from—they would be worried!

Your parents already know that you’ll learn the value of money when you earn extra cash as a teenager.

As you’ll learn, the road to financial independence is paved with patience and hard work. Earning extra money now, as a teenager, will teach you how to succeed when you start making more money later in life.

And these online jobs can teach you a lot about working in the professional world. The same is true for old-fashioned jobs for teens like becoming a babysitter, pet sitter, camp counselor, or grocery bagger. Nothing replaces work experience.

6. Direct Sales

Direct sales can be a great first business idea for teens allowing them the opportunity to sell their favorite products and learn about marketing.

Avon is a popular company with quality products and you only need to be 13 or older to get started. Perfectly Posh is a direct sales skincare company that you can also start selling products for at the age of 13.

Keep in mind that direct sales companies may require you to purchase a startup kit to get familiar with the products and perform demonstrations for potential customers.

42. Find Odd-jobs on Craigslist

Craigslist has rapidly grown to become what local newspaper classified ads used to be. You can find just about anything on the site, including odd jobs.

Some of them involve ongoing work, while others are single jobs. You can scan the offers, and take only those assignments that are a good fit for you.

Online Teen Jobs Sell Your Product

My sister started a book-folding company, and my niece, who is a teenager, does a decent amount of work with it. They sell their book folding patterns on Etsy, through an online FB group, and in other places — it’s doing well, and my niece is gaining lots of experience with selling a product online!

Warning: this is not a get-quick-rich way to earn money online. It takes time to build a product, figure out the marketing and distribution, and sell it for a profit. Still, it’s worth mentioning and possibly your teen working on in their spare time. 

#1: Etsy

Age Requirement: 18 unless a parent or guardian is a co-owner of the shop, then 13 and older


Job Responsibilities: Kids running an Etsy shop will need to learn how to list their stock, advertise, interact with customers including answering customer complaints and questions and ship out products. Teens sell everything from cat toys to felt dolls to handmade artwork and many more items.

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: Your teen can receive payment either through a check sent in the mail by the buyer or Etsy Payments. With Etsy Payments, the buyer chooses their method of payment, and the money is deposited in your teen’s bank account. If the teen is under 18, the parent/guardian will need to give their own bank account for receiving payments. Be aware that Etsy takes a 5% transaction fee from every sale and another 3% plus .25 payment if you use Etsy Payments. Payments take 3 to 5 days to reach your Etsy account.

#2: CafePress

Age Requirement: 13 and older. Those under 18 must be supervised by a parent

Job Responsibilities: Users can create slogans, logos, graphic designs and pictures to put on products. The more creative your teen is, the better!

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: Users can earn a royalty on each product that they create and sell, can earn monthly performance bonuses (base price sales of $100 to $500 earn a 10% bonus), or can earn 5% of Marketplace sales. Users can be paid via check (requires a $100 minimum on earnings) or PayPal (requires a $25 minimum on earnings.) Payment is made within 60 days of when the money was earned.

Where to find online jobs for teens

Occasionally you can find online jobs for teens on these marketplaces:

FlexJobs – leading service for finding remote jobs. Age requirement is 18 years of age or older.

UpWork – a global freelancing platform. Age requirement is 18 years of age or older.

Fiverr – an online marketplace for freelancers. Age requirement is 13 years of age or older.

What To Do With The Money You Make As A Teenager

Set Up An Emergency Fund

You never know what expenses may come up when you’re headed to college or even supporting yourself as a teen. It’s important to have an emergency fund to help give you peace of mind when emergencies arise.

Now, an emergency in this situation is not that you found a pair of jeans you love. No! An example of an emergency is when your tire just went out and you have to have it replaced today. If you have money saved for it, it’s easy to cover and you’re not struggling afterward or going into debt to cover the cost.

Whether you’re a teenager or not, it’s SO important to have an emergency fund.

Save For Something You Want

There may be something you’re needing or wanting to buy, and you have to save for it yourself. Maybe it’s a new car, a new laptop, or even a new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting for months.

It’s so rewarding to have money, build the discipline to save for it, and then purchase it yourself. You will appreciate the item more when you buy it with your own money. Plus, you’re building confidence in yourself that you’re able to have the discipline and self-control to save for something worth your money and time. You will thank yourself later!

Save For School

Maybe you’re going to college, trade school, or just wanting to dip your toes in some college courses without committing yet. Having the money saved up to pay for ahead of time will save you SO. MUCH. MONEY.

It’ll save you money in student loans, student loan interest, and spending your student loan money and having to pay it back later. Leaving college or trade school without more debt is worth EVERY penny paying it ahead of time. 

Online Teen Job Get Paid for Taking an Action

Wow, now this is one of the coolest online jobs for teenagers that pay.

Did you know that your teen can get paid for taking certain actions as they go about their day? It’s not necessarily an online job, per say, but it’s still a way to earn cash. Let me show you what I mean.

#1: Mistplay

Age Requirement: 13 and older

Job Responsibilities: No joke…your teen can get paid to play video games! Choose from a list of video games in their mixlist, play for a number of minutes, and earn units as they do. 

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: They pay in units, and teens can redeem these units for gift cards. Gift card options include prepaid Visa gift cards, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation and more.

#2: Swagbucks

Age Requirement: 13 and older

Job Responsibilities: Kids can use Swagbucks in a variety of ways — doing an Internet search, taking daily polls, watching videos, and taking surveys, to name a few.

I’ve personally been using Swagbucks since 2009, and I’ve earned a total of 372,296 Swag Bucks. That’s a whopping $3,700 in cash to my PayPal account!

Bonus Tip: If the child qualifies, taking surveys will reap the largest rewards the quickest.

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: Users can choose from a PayPal deposit, or Visa, or merchant gift card in return for the Swagbucks that they earn. If someone earns 2200 Swagbucks, they can cash out for a $25 gift card. Heavy users can usually get 2200 Swagbucks per month. However, you can cash out for as low as 450 points, which is worth a $5 gift card.

#3: Survey Junkie

Age Requirement: 16 and older

Job Responsibilities: A teen earns money by completing surveys.

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: Payment is distributed via PayPal, or your teen can choose to get e-gift cards instead. They must earn $10 before they can cash out. Most surveys are worth 45 to 350 points, which is the equivalent of 45 cents to $3.50, but there are also surveys worth more points. Most surveys take between 5 and 20 minutes to complete.

#4: SweatCoin

Age Requirement: 13 and older

Job Responsibilities: For every 1,000 steps your teenager takes, they will earn one sweatcoin. With the free sweatcoin program, they’re limited to earning 5 sweatcoins a day and 150 per month. However, there are other levels of the program that allow them to earn more per day, but they’ll need to pay for these versions of the program in sweatcoins.

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: There are a variety of levels to receive rewards. They’ll need 20,000 sweatcoins for a $1,000 Paypal deposit, but there are more rewards they can get for far fewer points.  There is no cash payout.

#5: BoostaPal

Age Requirement: 13 to 25

Job Responsibilities: Users ages 13 to 25 talk to family and friends and ask them to sign up to be a “booster.” Then, boosters shop at the boostapal mall, and for every purchase that they make, the student gets a small cash boost. Boostapal is free for both the booster and the student.

How Am I Paid, How Much, and When is Payday?: Users are paid either through PayPal, gift card, or a physical check. Payment can be requested after your account has $10 in it.

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.

Bottom Line

This list just scratches the surface of ways for teens to make money. There are many awesome money-making gigs for teens who are looking for summer work.

If you’re creative and willing to put in the effort, there are plenty of opportunities to earn good cash.

What are you doing to make money this summer? 

*Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like the number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.

Virtual Babysitting

The need for virtual babysitters has exploded since social distancing has made it necessary for many schools, camps and daycares closed. As a virtual babysitter, your teen would be paid to engage a child digitally by telling stories, playing games, or giving art lessons over platforms like Zoom or Skype. Sessions are short, usually starting at one hour. Parents need child care while they participate in meetings, work from home, or just take a break. Teens should reach out to neighbors and friends to advertise their virtual sitting services.

Tips for the Teenage Hustlers

  • Start NOW – When I was younger there were a lot of things I thought I couldn’t do because I was too young. I was wrong and I wish I would have just started.
  • Have fun – You don’t need to get rich off your first side hustle. Have some fun with it and find out what you enjoy doing. You’ll learn a lot.
  • Experiment – As a teen, time is on your side. Experiment with the different opportunities above and once you find something you enjoy doing, don’t give up right away if you’re not making money with it.
  • Consistency and perseverance is key!
  • Learn from your mistakes – When you start something new, you’re bound to make mistakes. Instead of getting discouraged, figure out what went wrong and learn from it.
  • Do the best work possible – If you want your business to grow, you can’t do crappy work. When you do good work, people notice, and your business grows.
  • Be creative – Use the ideas above as a starting point and put your own spin and creativity on them. The more unique you are and the more you stand out, the better your chances of success.

4. Take Surveys

Another easy task teens can do to earn money is take surveys online. You don’t need any experience to do this and can be as young as 13 years old to get started.

Survey Sites like VIP Voices, Swagbucks, Harris Poll, E-Poll, and Paid Viewpoint and others here allow U.S. teens to start taking surveys for cash and gift cards.

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