How to Make Money as a Teenager

Earning your own money as a teenager can provide you with newfound independence and freedom. However, when you’re juggling school, activities, and a social life, finding time for a job can seem daunting.

Luckily, there are many creative ways to make money as a teenager online with a bit of effort and perseverance. Whether you want to save up for college, a car, or just have extra spending money, financial independence is possible.

In this post, we’ll explore the diverse money-making options available to teenagers today. From traditional jobs to entrepreneurial ideas and everything in between, you’ll learn how to start padding your wallet.

Why Making Money Matters for Teens?

Having income and managing your own finances from a young age provides many benefits beyond just extra cash. Here are some of the key reasons to start earning money as a teen:

  • It teaches responsibility, time management, and discipline. Juggling work obligations with school and activities helps you develop critical life skills.
  • It allows you to save and work towards future goals like college, a car, or moving out on your own.
  • It gives you freedom to spend money on things you want without asking your parents.
  • It provides valuable real-world experience that looks great on a resume and college applications.
  • It helps build confidence and business savvy by learning professional skills.

Part-Time Jobs for Teenagers

Getting a part-time job is likely the most traditional way for teens to earn money. Here are some of the most common roles suitable for teenagers:

Retail Jobs: Stores like grocery shops, clothing boutiques, car dealerships, and more routinely hire teens for roles like cashier, sales associate, and inventory clerk. These jobs help build customer service and communication abilities.

Food Service Jobs: Restaurants, cafes, fast food chains, and coffee shops offer part-time gigs for teens as hosts, servers, cooks, and dishwashers. These build multitasking and teamwork skills.

Tutoring Jobs: If you excel in academics, tutoring younger students after school or on weekends can be lucrative. Subjects like math, science, languages, and SAT prep are in demand.

Childcare Jobs: Babysitting younger kids in the neighborhood or working at a daycare are options if you enjoy caring for children. Patience and responsibility are key.

Manual Labor Jobs: Landscaping, house painting, construction, and similar hands-on roles allow teens to earn decent pay. Just be ready for physical demands.

Here are some tips for landing your first part-time job:

  • Check online job boards, local business websites, and community papers. Also ask family, friends, teachers, and neighbors to recommend openings.
  • Prepare a resume highlighting any volunteer work, achievements, and skills. Include any prior informal jobs like babysitting or lawn mowing.
  • Dress professionally and make eye contact for interviews. Research the business and role, and practice potential questions.
  • Start with shorter shifts of 4-6 hours, and adjust your availability based on your school schedule.
  • Be punctual, diligent, and reliable at work to build trust and possibly increased hours.

Online Money Making Opportunities for Teenagers

The internet has opened up a ton of new opportunities for teens to make money online. From the comfort of home, teens can leverage their skills and interests to earn cash through freelancing, content creation, reselling items, and more.

Some popular ways teens are making money online include:

Take Paid Surveys: Taking online surveys won’t make you rich but can be an easy way to earn a little extra cash in your downtime. Just be selective about which survey companies you use. SurveyJunkie, InboxDollars, and Swagbucks are a few reputable options.

Freelance Writing Gigs: There are many opportunities online for teens to get paid for their writing talents. You can create blog posts, articles, web content, ebooks, and more for clients as a freelance writer. Look for freelance writing gigs on sites like Fiverr, Flexjobs, and ProBlogger that allow users under 18 or don’t have age restrictions.

Social Media Management Gigs: Leverage your social media skills to handle accounts, post content, and run advertising campaigns for brands and influencers.

Virtual Assistant Gigs: Provide administrative, research, data entry, or other assistance virtually. List your services on sites like Fancy Hands and Belay to get hired.

Affiliate Marketing: Earn commission promoting products or services on your website, social platforms, or YouTube. Find affiliate programs through companies like Amazon, eBay, and more.

Selling Handmade Products: Design arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, baked goods, and other items to sell on Etsy, Facebook, or your own ecommerce site.

Online Tutoring: Use platforms like Chegg, Varsity Tutors, and Wyzant to find virtual tutoring gigs if you have academic expertise.

Coding/Programming Gigs: If you know languages like HTML, JavaScript, or Python, offer web development or coding services as a teen freelancer.

YouTube Monetization: Produce regular videos within a niche and enable monetization through the YouTube Partner Program. Profit from ads, sponsorships, and affiliate deals.

Transcription Services: Convert audio or video files to text documents for clients. List your services on sites like Rev and GoTranscript.

Online work provides flexibility to fit around your schedule. But discipline and professionalism are still crucial to succeed.

Monetizing Your Skills and Talents

Beyond traditional jobs, creative teens can leverage their unique skills and hobbies into money makers with a bit of business savvy. Some ideas in this realm include:

Music Lessons: Play guitar, piano, voice, or other instruments? Offer private lessons to neighborhood kids or virtually. Post flyers or list services on community boards.

Lawn Care: Many busy families would welcome a helping hand mowing lawns, weeding, planting, or shoveling snow. Reach them by going door-to-door or posting on Nextdoor.

Selling Handmade Crafts: Sell homemade jewelry, candles, ceramics, knitted goods, woodwork, and other crafts on Etsy or local consignment shops. Consider taking custom orders.

Food Products: Bake and package cookies, cakes, breads, or other treats to sell, or make jams, sauces, seasonings, and more. Ensure proper handling and packaging.

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking: Offer dog walking, pet sitting, training, grooming, or boarding services if you’re an animal lover. Spread the word to neighbors or list services on Rover, Wag, or social media.

Tech Support Services: Help adults and peers troubleshoot computer, phone, TV, or printer issues. List your affordable services on community boards and Nextdoor.

Photography Services: Market photography services like portraits, events, product shoots, and more through social media or local advertising.

Social Marketing Services: Assist area businesses by improving their social media presence and running campaigns.

Get creative and think outside the box based on your unique interests, talents, and skills. The possibilities are endless!

Teen Entrepreneur Ideas

For business-minded teens, starting your own venture can be an exciting way to both make money and boost your resume. Some examples of teen-friendly startups include:

eCommerce Businesses: Create an Shopify store selling fashion, accessories, crafts, or other goods. Consider dropshipping items for convenience.

Social Marketing Agency: Formalize your social media marketing services with professional branding and advertising.

Food Truck Business: Ambitious teens can partner with parents to start a food trailer or cart, obtaining permits and licenses needed. Start small with weekends and events.

Reselling/Flipping Business: Sell products you source cheaply from yard sales, thrift stores, clearance racks, or wholesale suppliers for a profit on eBay, Craigslist, or local ads.

Tech Support Business: Formalize your computer and tech assistance services with a proper business name, scope of services, hourly rates, and marketing materials like flyers.

Starting any business takes research, planning, and likely some financial investment. But with diligence, a creative concept, and excellent execution, entrepreneurial teens can thrive.

Budgeting, Saving, and Investing Your Earnings

Making money is only half the battle – you also need to manage it wisely. Here are some money tips:

Create a Budget: Track your income and expenses. Identify needs vs. wants. Use Excel, Mint, or other budgeting apps to stay on track.

Open a Bank Account: Open a checking and savings account when you turn 18 (or younger at certain banks) to securely deposit earnings. Take advantage of teen account features.

Limit Spending: Avoid tying up all your new income on impulse purchases. Set savings goals and limits for discretionary spending.

Pay Yourself First: Automatically deposit a portion of each paycheck into savings before spending money.

Save for Goals: Set aside money regularly for bigger goals – college, study abroad, startup venture, etc. Consider a high-yield savings account.

Learn About Investing: Once you turn 18, consider investing a portion of savings into retirement accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc. to earn compound interest.

Build Credit: Become an authorized user on a parent’s credit card temporarily. Open a student card when older and make payments on time to establish good credit.

Tax Planning: Learn about filing taxes as a teen worker. Earned income may be taxable, so prepare to set aside a percentage for the IRS.

Find a Mentor: Connect with a financial advisor, tax professional, or business mentor to provide guidance on maximizing and managing your earnings.

Balancing Work and Personal Obligations

Juggling a job on top of school, activities, family time, and a social life isn’t always easy. Here are some tips:

  • Only take on what you can handle. Start small and slowly increase workload. Monitor stress.
  • Add work blocks to your weekly calendar and schedule time for schoolwork and leisure around those set times.
  • Let employers know upfront which hours you’re available, and stick to those commitments.
  • Chat with teachers if your job interferes with assignments and see if extensions are possible.
  • Involve parents to help reinforce priorities and time management. Enlist their support.
  • Stay energized with 8+ hours of sleep, healthy food, and exercise. Take time to relax and recharge.
  • Learn when to say no – either to additional hours at work or social invitations if your plate is full.
  • Ask peers, mentors, and professionals to share how they coped with the same challenges.


While earning money as a teenager does require some effort and sacrifice, the benefits of working early provide lifelong skills that will serve you well. Each experience – both successes and failures – offers invaluable lessons.

Explore a diversity of options, from babysitting and dog walking to launching an online business. Tap into your interests, creativity, and ambition. Don’t let age hold you back. With the tips and guidance above, you can get started on the road to financial independence today.

What unique ways did you make money as a teen? What challenges did you face, and what advice would you share? Let me know in the comments!