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11 Ways to Make Money as a Teenager

Updated on December 13, 2017
Blond Logic profile image

Having met with business owners both locally and internationally, I bring fresh ideas to help you generate more income.


Earn More Money

If you need some extra cash and have already squeeze as much as you can out of your parents, you need to consider making some of your own money. Let's face it, unless you have the gift of the gab and can con your parents into giving you a raise in your allowance (doubtful) you are going to have to look elsewhere.

The idea of setting up a lemonade stand at the end of your driveway and earning a nickel no longer has the appeal it used to, so I have brought together a wide range of ideas for you to consider. Some of them may be better suited to you than others. Some will be dependent on the area you live in, your age, and how much of an entrepreneur you are.

Most of these things will only need a little planning and almost no money to get you started. Just a few notices advertising your services and a willingness to work.

Check tire pressure
Check tire pressure | Source

1. Check Bicycle Tire Pressure

Find an area where there are a lot of cyclists, for example a park, a shopping center or a college campus. Set up a sign which says you will check their bicycle tire pressure for free.

If their tire pressure is low, offer to fill it for them.

Have a donation box near by. You will be surprised how much you can make. People will be glad you are providing this service, and that you are trying to earn a little bit of money without being pushy.

You may need to ask permission from the organization which runs the area you plan to set up in.

2. Deliver newspapers

Although this may seem a bit of an old fashioned way to make money, it still needs to be listed here. Some areas offer a daily paper (either morning or evening), and others may just be a weekly paper. Get your name down for both. If you don't have a bicycle, find other means of delivering it. I knew a young girl in the UK who delivered papers out of a baby buggy. If you can get the Sunday delivery, they pay better.

If there isn't a paper round available for your area, inquire why and perhaps you can get the customers and the route. This is exactly how one of Britain's wealthiest men started his career as an entrepreneur.

Anyone Can Do It: My Story
Anyone Can Do It: My Story

I have this book and when my kids came to visit, it was the first one off the bookcase they wanted to read. This isn't some airy-fairy tale about 'a how to theory'. Duncan Bannatyne did it. He was told there were no paper rounds, and thought, "that's not good enough". He went out and found customers. This is when he was just a kid.

It was that dogged determination which has seen him become one of Britain's wealthiest men. Has it been easy, hell no! Did he give up and whine that life wasn't fair. Absolutely not.

Listen, I know you want to know how to make money. This book can be bought for about a dollar (used paperback), I would say that is a great investment in our future.

Check out your library, they may have it too.


3. Organize a Garage Sale

Tell your parents you want to help them clear some clutter, trust me your offer to help will be appreciated. They may be stunned at first at your offer of help but pleasantly so . Don't just stop with things from your house, include items from grandparents, aunts and uncles, and anyone else you can think of. Everyone has things they want to get rid of, help them to get motivated. Some people will find it wonderful that you are wanting to earn money but oddly enough you may meet some resistance.

I saw this with the families of some our my children's friends. The way around this is to give part of it to a charity. Trust me on this one, you could beat your head against a wall and stamp your feet but it won't get you anywhere. By offering to give some of it to charity you are more likely to sell more things as well. Just choose a charity that isn't controversial, a charity about animals, children or the elderly is a safe bet. Place a sign up at your garage sale making a statement about a percentage perhaps 10% will be given to 'dogs for the blind' charity for example.

Not only will it help sales, this should also make it easier to get people to donate things to you for sale.

Car washing
Car washing | Source

4. Wash Cars

Wash cars for family and neighbors. Often people don't like to wash their own cars. Just think how many drive thru car washes there are and that should tell you there is a need for this service. If you do a good job without any hassle, this could be a profitable weekly income for you. It won't cost much to set up either. Buckets, sponges, and cleaner. Also consider cleaning or valeting the inside of the car for them. This could be as simple vacuuming and wiping down all surfaces.

If you have never done this before, take a look at the video below for some excellent advice on how best to wash a car.

5. Collect Recyclables

These could be cans, bottles, or plastics. This may or may not be possible in your area. If you have at home collection for these, you may be breaking the law if you take these items out of other people's recycling bins. You can ask your neighbors to keep them for you instead of putting them in their bins. You will need to make sure you have space to keep them and that they are clean. If they aren't washed, you could be encouraging rats, and insects which is not what you want. You will also need a way to get these to the recycling center. Ask a parent or older brother or sister if they can take you. If it isn't on their way, the cost to take you there may outweigh the amount you receive.

Also find containers which won't allow any liquid to leak into the car. They will only allow that to happen once and then you will have to find an alternate way of getting your cans etc to the recyclers. If you don't want to pay for gas, offer to wash their car or something else which will take time but you can keep your money.


6. Babysitting

Depending on your age and your level of responsibility you have shown previously, you may be asked to babysit other people's children. If you are dependable, there will be no shortage of clients. Many a young person, both male and female have earned a tidy sum doing this. If you have homework, take this with you and when the children are sleeping, you have quiet time to complete it.

7. Ironing Service From Home

If you have never ironed anything, watch your mother or father a few times. Ask to do the household ironing for a little extra allowance. However, don't stop there, this could become another source of income for you.

I did this as a home business when I was in the UK and was surprised by the different people who needed this service.

8. Yard Work

Consider doing yard work for people. This could be bi-weekly mowing or weeding. This can become a very lucrative job as I know people who started when they were young and carried on doing this. They expanded and now have a fleet of landscape gardeners and vehicles, all from starting with just one lawn. There are a lot of people who need help with various gardening and lawn care projects. Don't see this as just one person's lawn. If your work is good, they will spread the word and you may be turning away customers.

Yard work for teens
Yard work for teens | Source

9. Carol singing

Although this is short lived perhaps just a couple of weeks, depending on where you live, this could be very lucrative. My children went together or with their friends carol singing in the neighborhood.

Unlike Halloween, you don't get candy but cold hard cash! One friend who came along couldn't believe how much she made from this. It can be a money earner.

You will get more money from people , if you wear festive clothing.

10. Work for a Company

Get a job at a company. For many large companies such as fast food restaurants there will be a minimum age limit, usually 16 years old. Although many people balk at the idea of working in one, it is where many people start their working career. They do offer a unique insight into the working world including teamwork, customer skills and time management.

Getting a job in a company doesn't have to be at a fast food restaurant, your parents may know someone who needs help after school or on the weekends.

Window Cleaning Business Cards
Window Cleaning Business Cards | Source

11. Housekeeping and Window Cleaning

Although your bedroom might look like a tornado has blasted through it, I am certain you know how to clean. If this is something you might consider doing, you can make a simple notice and put this at places such as supermarkets, and on community notice boards. Here too, you can make a good amount of money from being a hard worker who can be relied on.

Tasks might include vacuuming, dusting, and even cleaning windows. If you aren't sure of the best ways to do these tasks ask your parents or whoever is in charge of cleaning in your home to show you. Trust me, they will be happy that you are taking an interest in keeping a house clean. If you still aren't sure,take a look at a video..

© 2014 Mary Wickison


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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 16 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Patricia,

      I couldn't agree more. Not only does it build confidence, it encourages them to be self reliant.

      Thanks for reading, commenting and those much needed angels.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 16 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Paul,

      That is an excellent idea. Plus when they are saving for something special, like the summer trip, it makes it more memorable. I think there are many parents who just give their kids money, which is a shame. Going out and earning money gives a teen a good grounding and a sense of pride.

      Great to hear from you and thanks for sharing this.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 16 months ago from sunny Florida

      Good is a good thing for kids to have a 'job' as they are growing up for a number of reasons as you know. Mowing lawns, baby sitting, housekeeping, and on and on are readily available and are often easy work to find. Thanks for including those.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 16 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      These are all excellent ways for teens to make money and my boys did some of these jobs when growing up. One way to motivate is to say that you will match a certain amount of money that they make from their jobs. I did this when my son had a part-time restaurant job before making a summer trip to Germany. I am sharing this hub with HP followers.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Esther,

      Thank you. I think kids fall into different categories, some want to work and others don't see the point if it is being given to them.

      I like to see an eagerness to work in teens.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Esther  Strong profile image

      Esther Strong 3 years ago from UK

      Some interesting suggestions here for the industrious teenage.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Thelma,

      I too wish someone had suggested these ideas to me. Nowadays kids are so eager to get out and work. They seem to have missed that 'climbing trees' age.

      I feel giving them the opportunity to earn opens up the opportunity to discuss budgeting, and saving as well.

      Glad you found it useful.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Tori,

      I think if teenagers see a problem and can offer a solution, they are already ahead of the game. I think within our own families we need to encourage a 'think outside the box' mentality. It is a more effective way of problem solving than telling a young adult, "we do it this way because we've always done it like that."

      I'm pleased you enjoyed the hub, thanks for reading.

      Have a great week.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      How I wish somebody suggested that to me when I was a teenager. Nowadays some of your suggestions are done by teens in Germany to add the money to their allowances from their parents. Great and useful hub! Thanks for sharing.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      Lots of great ideas listed here! I think that building work experience as a teen is very important, even if you are only doing something as simple as delivering papers. I liked your idea about filling up people's tires - very creative! If you use the resources around you and get to know your neighbors, then there could be plenty of opportunities to earn a little cash here and there.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Lisa,

      I have used this on a separate hub in ' how to make money online as a teen'. I placed a link at the end of this hub.

      I decided to split the two as the list was getting quite long.

      My son did this when he was younger selling running shoes and did well out of it.

      Have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      LisaKeating 3 years ago

      I love the ideas here. I would add selling things on eBay through parents' account. Make sure you have permission to sell the items--don't sell sister's new purse. Teens can accumulate a lot of music, movies, and games that could be sold online. Nice hub.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Sam,

      You are right. Writing and getting published is not the sole domain of adults.

      I think everyone dreams of earning like Stephen King but as you say, a down payment on college is nothing to sneeze at.

      Thank you for your thoughtful and indeed useful comment.

    • Sam OWheelohan profile image

      Sam OWheelohan 3 years ago from Midwestern USA

      Christopher Paolini did the write a book method, this is often an overlooked way to make money and share your experiences at the same time. It doesn't even need to be a best seller, there are plenty of things to write about and someone out there will read it, just make sure you go for royalties and don't fall for the buyout option.

      There is no age limit to writing a book either or getting published (I have one I wrote when I was 5 I should have tried to get published back then, good thing I didn't since I get to illustrate it now and edit it), you can even just take pictures and compile them and make a reference book for artists, you probably won't make Stephen King money but you can probably make a down payment on college.

      And all you need is a word program of some sort, or even just a basic layout program and camera, plus with Ebooks you can self publish these days so you don't even need a publisher.

      Whatever you decide to do to make money though you need the willpower and determination to do it first.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Torrilynn

      I think new ways to make money on everyone's mind. It is easy to get discouraged if something doesn't work but we shouldn't, we should just try something else.

      I think that is the difference between those who are successful and those who aren't in any field. Those who are have failed more times, they just keep trying until something works.

      The reference about the paper delivery, is from Duncan Ballantyne's book. There was no delivery round, and so he canvassed the people in the area and developed more customers, then he had a paper round. Most kids would have given up.

      Determintion is necessary in anything we really want to do.

      Thanks for reading and your kind words.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Thumbi7,

      I think in most countries the children are supported by their parents. Many teens receive a small allowance for doing chores around the house as well. However, many teens want to buy more than their allowance will allow and as such need to look elsewhere.

      I believe this starts an entrepreneurial vision for many young people and opens their minds to the possibilities for self employment and business ownership.

      Thank you for reading and your comment.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      thanks for the hub. making money is always on one's mind. I like the tips that you said such as organizing a garage sale and delivery the paper. overall, very well written. thanks.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 3 years ago from India

      Very interesting. We don't see this in India because here a teenager is laso supported by parents.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      I think a bit of work only does them good.

      Thanks for reading and the sharing.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Cool ideas, and just in time for summer break. Put them kids to work. LOL. Shared!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Grand Old Lady,

      This is one of the things I see here in Brazil. There are many entrepreneurs with businesses of all sizes.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Meredith,

      I too had one but I lived in the country and no one passed by. LOL

      I should have done more market research.

      I could see them doing that or smoothies as well. Great idea.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi AustinStar,

      What a wonderful idea. Not just for him but his actions made his community a safer place. He/she saw and opportunity and a need, they will go far with that type of vision.

      Thanks for reading an adding another potential way for teens to make some money.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      These are great suggestions on services that people can do for extra money, no matter where they are in the world. Thanks for such a helpful list.

    • merej99 profile image

      Meredith Loughran 3 years ago from Florida

      This is a great list!

      I've one more to add... Lemonade stand!

      It's one of my first jobs and I loved it. :)

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I know of an enterprising teen who went around painting addresses on little signs, the curbs, wherever they were allowed. The deal is that emergency services need a larger indication of which house is which and addresses are hard to see from the street and a moving vehicle.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Times have indeed changed.

      Both of my kids have an entrepreneurial spirit which started quite young but I think there are many kids who are just given money.

      As parents I think it is our duty to encourage them to earn their own .

      Financial planning and budgeting is a necessary life skill to teach our children.

      Thanks for reading, have a lovely weekend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All good suggestions. What I was thinking about as I read this was that back when I was a teenager, nobody had to give us suggestions on how to make money. :) How times have changed.

      Have a great weekend.