It might come as a surprise for some, but financial freedom is not only for adults. Teenagers can also get in on the action and start earning for themselves even at a young age– even as young as 13 years old.
If you have no idea how to make money fast as a teen, I’ve got your back, momma! In fact, you’ll be surprised to find out that there are many ways to do it.
I am not talking about a few bucks doing chores at home or running errands for neighbors. These are legit money-making schemes that will allow your kids to pay for things and enjoy some degree of economic self-sufficiency.
How To Make Money Fast as a Teen
Financial literacy should start at a young age. This way, you can be sure your kids become financially independent as early as possible.
One way to teach teens to become financially literate is actually to have them try to earn money on their own. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Get a Part-Time Job
Even as a teenager, your child needs to recognize the value of earning a living and saving money at the same time. However, make sure he balances this out with schoolwork, after-school activities, and a healthy social life.
Finding a part-time job is an excellent middle ground. It offers a glimpse of what it’s like to be employed, both in terms of work and pay.
One of the most accessible industries to break into if you are a job-seeking teenager is the fast-food industry. You can help prepare food and beverages and serve them to customers. You might also have to clean the floors, tables, and other parts of the establishment.
The skills needed for this line of work are pretty basic, and these are things you often do at home. If you want to work behind the counter and take orders from customers, you’ll only have to learn the menu by heart. Either way, you simply go through some basic training, and you are good to go.
Granted, working in a fast-food restaurant can be a bit stressful, especially if it is a very busy place. However, if you’re up for it, it’s a sure-fire way to earn money.
If the fast-food industry is too demanding for you, you could consider working in the retail industry. The pay is similar, but it’s less stressful because retail stores generally don’t get as many customers as fast-food restaurants.
You could greet customers as they come in, offer them store products, and answer any of their questions. You could also help with product returns, take inventory, or keep the place clean and presentable.
Again, the pay in the retail industry is similar to the fast-food industry. However, if you manage to land a commission-based position or some sort of leadership role, you could earn more.
Washing Cars or Work as a Car Wash Attendant
Another money-making opportunity for kids with school and other responsibilities is working in a car wash. As a car wash attendant, you will wash, buff, and shine cars. This goes for both the interior and the exterior.
Additional tasks will include collecting and disposing of trash and vacuuming the inside of the car. Again, these are skills that most kids are already used to doing anyway. You will just need a bit of time to become familiar with the tools and the routine.
One major adjustment is that you will have to do everything as efficiently and safely as possible. However, once you get the hang of things, you can have a stable source of income.
Another variation of this would be to set up your own car wash service. If car owners don’t want to visit the car wash or don’t have time, you could wash cars at their home– providing a great service that is convenient for your customer.
You could even set up monthly appointments to bring in predictable and stable income.
Those in their late teen years might already be too big for summer camp. If this is your case, you can go as a camp counselor or even a junior camp counselor (age and requirements depending) instead and make some money during the summer months.
It generally pays a bit more than a part-time job in retail or the fast-food industry. Plus, it could also be more fun being outside most of the time and taking part in camp activities. It is a better option if you do not like being cooped up in a building or a room for hours.
However, you would be taking on more responsibility, as you’ll need to ensure the safety of the younger kids. You would also be making sure that the kids are following the guidelines. Other than those tasks, you simply need to deal with routine responsibilities, like cleaning up some parts of the camp.
If you think you are a strong swimmer, being a lifeguard would be an excellent opportunity for you. You can help keep kids and their families safe, get some tan, and earn some money at the same time. You will be out in the open breathing fresh air, which is another reason why you should give it a shot.
The thing is that you would need certifications for CPR, AED, and first-aid to become a lifeguard. As you can imagine, getting all these certifications would take a bit of time.
Fortunately, training for these skills is available all year round from organizations like the Red Cross. You can take them whenever you are free and finish them without disrupting your schedule at school or at home.
In addition, these are skills that will make you more hirable for other jobs. So, if you put in the time and energy to get certified, finding another part-time job in the future would be easier for you.
Dog Walking or Pet Sitter
Does your heart melt every time you see cute dogs? Do you know how to handle yourself around them? If your answer to these questions is yes, you could make a lot of money walking dogs for their owners.
There are plenty of fur parents who need someone to walk their dogs regularly when they are out working. Even better, they are willing to pay good money to anyone who could do this for them.
Other responsibilities include caring for the dog, feeding it, and making sure it gets enough exercise. Dog owners need these services, especially if they have to travel but cannot take their pets.
It sounds like a lot of work, but there shouldn’t be any problems if you love dogs. Besides, it pays more than other part-time jobs, and you’re more or less in charge of your own schedule.
Grocery Store Cashier
Working as a cashier for a grocery store is another excellent option for teenagers, especially if you live near one. It is a job that does not require special skills, but you will have to familiarize yourself with the cash register.
Some of the responsibilities of a cashier include scanning the items for customers, bagging them, and taking payments. There might also be times that a cashier will help take inventory and stock shelves.
If you do not mind performing any of these tasks, you could earn money by working behind the counter. One thing you have to check, though, is if the neighborhood that the store is in is safe.
Movie Theater Attendant
If you are a big fan of the movies, why not consider working as a movie theater attendant. This is an excellent way to not just make money, but save money as well with an employee discount! There are many positions that teens could easily step into– selling tickets, taking tickets, working concessions, cleaning theaters, etc.
Do you already spend a ton of time at the golf course? Why not turn a passion into a way to make your own money? If you are an avid golfer, I’m sure you know that being a caddy is more than just handing out golf clubs, but it can be a fun way to make money without the monotony of some other more traditional jobs.
2. Get a Side Hustle
While a part-time job offers a bit of flexibility in terms of schedule, it does require some long-term commitment. Personally, I want something that has more wiggle room in terms of work hours.
If you feel the same way, you could take on a side hustle instead. Here are some of the most popular options.
Are there many young families in your neighborhood? Are you comfortable taking care of kids smaller than you? If so, babysitting offers a great way to make money and keep your schedule relatively free at the same time.
Babysitting is much better than getting a part-time job in several ways. Firstly, it pays more by the hour. After all, parents are more than willing to pay good money for someone trustworthy enough to look after their kids.
Secondly, you can just do it whenever you are free. If you have an upcoming exam and you need to study, you can just say no. However, you can do some studying once you have put the kid or kids to bed.
Lastly, you’ll be helping out your neighbors, which means that you would be racking up some brownie points from them. It might come in handy someday if you need help with something and they have the means to do so.
Another excellent earning opportunity for teenagers is tutoring. It is a great side hustle if you are doing well with your academics and are good at explaining complicated topics.
There are many reasons why you should consider being a tutor. Compared to other side hustles, it pays well and could easily fit your schedule at school.
You would be working with a fellow student, which means that you have similar free time. You can even tutor someone from your own class and do it during break time. It is also a great opportunity for you to make some friends and enhance your social life.
Aside from explaining complex subjects to help other kids struggling in specific classes, you could share some studying tips. By giving them better studying methods, they would be able to catch up on their lessons faster.
Writing is something that is taught early on in school. Aside from being a very useful method of communication, it is also an effective way for students to understand a subject.
What you probably did not know is that it could also serve as your ticket to financial freedom, even as a teenager. If you are good writer and have access to the internet, you can do some freelance writing to earn money.
There are several platforms where you can find and get some clients. Among the most popular are Upwork, Fiverr, and even Craigslist. All you have to do is create an account, and you can start applying for available projects.
Take note that most employers would ask you to present writing samples. It is a normal part of their screening process, and you should be ready to submit some of your best work.
Kids today are growing up side-by-side with digital technology. Using the internet and mobile devices has become second nature to them. Teenagers who need the extra money could use these skills and start a podcast.
Podcasting is gaining popularity these days, but it is still less crowded than blogging. This means less competition for you and a higher chance to gain a loyal audience.
What makes doing podcasts a great option is that it is fun to do. There’s a good chance you have listened to or watched one yourself and found it entertaining. You might have even thought that you could do it yourself, so why not?
If you manage to gain a following, you can make a lot of money from ads and sponsors or from selling products. With a lot of hard work and some luck, you could be financially independent. You can even help your parents out with some of the bills or debt, if any.
Get Paid Playing Online Games
Another fun way to make money is to play online games. Believe it or not, some sites pay people to complete specific tasks, including playing video games.
A good example of this is SwagBucks or simply SB. It is open to everyone over the age of 12. You can use it at home using your laptop or on the go by downloading the app. All you have to do is sign up to start taking surveys, watching videos, and, yes, playing games.
Every time you finish something, you earn reward points you can exchange for money or gift cards. Do it regularly, and you could have a steady stream of income coming in. Just take note that some tasks have a daily limit. Therefore, you will have to do other tasks as well to make good money.
If you like buying things of value and consider yourself good at it, you should try flipping. It can be anything, from sneakers to bags to old antique stuff. As long as you are interested in them and have a good idea of what they are worth, you could flip them.
The idea behind flipping is simple. Firstly, find something that you could buy cheap (a yard sale is a great place to start!), but you think other people would like. Yard sales, facebook marketplace, and online buy nothing sites are some of the best places to find cheap (and sometimes even free) items to flip.
Then, sell it for a higher price. You could start honing your skills for this, and someday you would be flipping houses and other bigger items.
What makes teenagers and young adults good at flipping is that it involves doing a lot of research. Kids today know how to maximize search engines and other online resources. As such, they are in a great position to find out things that others can’t, including the value of rare items.
Taking Online Surveys
Businesses today are very big on user experience. Every day, they do online surveys to get people’s opinions about a product, a service, or whatever they are selling. They use this information to improve their brand and make it more attractive to consumers.
The good news is that they are willing to pay anyone to do these surveys. Even better, it is something that is very easy for a student to do during their spare time –after school or during break times.
Take note that not all survey sites accept teenagers as participants, but some do.
The most popular ones that allow kids over the age of 13 are Survey Junkie, Pinecone Research, and SwagBucks. When you complete surveys, depending on the company, they will either pay you in gift cards or via an electronic cash (Paypal, Stripe, etc).
Uploading YouTube Videos with Your Own Youtube Channel
YouTube arguably has the most extensive collection of video content on the internet, and they are great at monetizing it. If you are looking for a money-making side hustle that can earn you serious cash, this platform offers unlimited opportunities.
It does not have to be something complicated or long. You can take videos of yourself unboxing the latest iPhone or a pair of Jordans and upload them. Just make sure that you use the right keywords in the title and the description box so that search engines can find them easily.
Similar to podcasts, you can earn a lot of money from ads or even subscribers if you manage to get many views.
While data entry might not be one of the more exciting job prospects it doesn’t require a ton of experience and it can be a good job for people who need more flexibility with their schedule. Usually, you just need your own computer and an internet connection.
One of the best ways to make money that has no age requirement is to do odd jobs for people. Hauling stuff away, cleaning out a garage, sorting recycling, raking leaves, literally the sky’s the limit. A good place to start could be to ask family members, family friends, or people in your neighborhood. This has the potential to make extra cash fast!
You could start by assessing what current skills you have or jobs and tasks that you already do. Then perhaps make up a list or flyer advertising them and start handing them out to advertise your services.
3. Start a Business
If you are wondering how to make money fast as a teen, side hustles and part-time jobs offer quick solutions. However, neither of them is scalable. Between school and other important things, teenagers can only work a very limited amount of time. Of course, this also means that there is a limit to how much they can earn.
One way to work around this is to start your own business. Regardless of your age, there are different ways to bring out the entrepreneur in you, depending on your skills and interests.
Businesses today need to maintain online visibility to put their brand in front of customers. It involves creating a lot of content for various purposes, from advertising to social media posts. Many of them are in video format, which creates a high demand for video editing.
If you have some video editing skills, you can start your own business and even do it from home. Start small by doing small projects for your friends who are active on YouTube or other platforms using free software. Once you have built your portfolio, you can move on to bigger projects and invest in professional software.
Social Media Services
Another option for digital-savvy teenagers is to manage social media accounts for businesses. Most brands today use social media to connect with their target audience. It is a great way to generate high-quality leads with a high chance of being converted into sales. You can take advantage of this development by providing the needed service. Plus if you are looking into graphic design as a career, this could be an easy way to gain some experience.
To attract clients faster, create a social media account of your own and advertise your skills. You can also approach local businesses that do not have a strong online presence yet and offer your services.
If you are not a big fan of digital technology, don’t worry. There are other business opportunities available, like providing lawn care & yard work services around the neighborhood.
This operation is fairly easy to start. You can borrow or invest in a lawnmower or a snow shovel, depending on the season. Once you have your equipment, print out some business cards to hand out to your neighbors.
Aside from being easy to start, another good thing about a lawn care business is that it is easy to scale up. You can just add more tools and equipment as you get more customers. Your friends can also join in and add to the workforce if needed.
Do you like playing the most popular online games today? Did you know that you could actually turn it into a lucrative business? Using streaming services like Twitch.tv, you can broadcast your games and earn money from them.
The idea behind this business is that many people actually enjoy watching others play, not just play the game themselves. Some like it so much that they are willing to make monetary donations to their favorite players. The streaming service generates revenue through ads and subscription fees. Everybody wins.
Start a Clothing Line
If fashion is more your thing, you can start your own clothing line or T-shirt brand. To do this, you would need a great design to print on the shirts. You would also need a website and active social media accounts to get the word out about your business. This means that you would still need some knowledge of digital technology.
Try printing the shirts on-demand at first so that you won’t need much upfront money. Then, you can slowly build up an inventory as more and more people are buying your shirts.
Another business that is easy to start even for teenagers is candle-making. All you need to do is buy some candle wax, wicks, and containers. If you want, you could also invest in essential oils, which you can use to add fragrance and make your products more appealing.
As with any other business, you also need to focus on marketing your business. You can promote your candles as premium products similar to popular brands in terms of quality but at lower prices. Even if you use the same high-quality ingredients, you could still make a profit.
Etsy has made it easier than ever to sell your crafts online. Per Etsy’s terms and conditions, a minor at least 13 years old may sell on Etsy, but with parental permission. Also, all financial information (like a Paypal account) would have to be that of a parent or legal guardian.
Why Is It Important?
Teenagers are young, but they are far from helpless. This is especially true for today’s generation of teenagers.
With unlimited access to information and ever-evolving technology, young people have all the ingredients to make money and fast. All they need is a gentle nudge in the right direction to be financially independent individuals, even at a young age.