How To Make Money As A Teenager

1. Make an App

I know this one sounds impossible — but it's not. A friend of mine did exactly that and is earning income per month passively from a simple multiplication app on the iOS app store.

She didn't have much technical experience, but she was motivated to take a course on Udemy (the exact course listed below) and built the app when she was still in high school. You can also have an app built in under 3 months following a tutorial like the ones below.

If you find a certain need and market it well, you could charge $1 for every download and/or make money from in-app ads.

Conclusion

Learning how to make money online as a teen is a great way for young people to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and earn extra cash. Be creative! There are many other ways to earn money without leaving home. Have you stumbled upon any of them? Leave your best tips in the comments section below!

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23. Become an Event Photographer

I’m not talking about becoming a wedding photographer. People like to have photos taken at lesser events, like family gatherings and birthday parties.

If you know of such events taking place, volunteer your services as a photographer. You might charge a flat fee to attend the event, like $30 or $40. But it’s light work, and you’ll probably get free food as a fringe benefit.

25. Design Your Own Clothes

Are you clever and good at graphic design? You can create custom designs and put them on shirts, socks, posters, hats, accessories etc.. If you use a service like Printful (there are other companies but Printful is by far the most trusted and largest), you don't have to worry about shipping because they will ship your orders for you directly to your customers once you've made a sale.

So if you're the creative type and designing your own clothing line sounds exciting to you, you can go ahead and set up your own store on Shopify, upload your prints to Printful, and have your own clothes being shipped to customers within a week!

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. 

15. Make and Sell Crafts on Etsy

If you have a talent for making crafts, you can start making some extra money selling them on Etsy.

It’s a site dedicated to those who create and sell handmade crafts.

Making Money Online as a Teen

Moving into the 21st century, you can make money online starting as a teen! There are many different ways to do this, from selling clothes, to playing games, and even taking surveys and sharing your opinion. In this section we’ll take a closer look at the many ways you can earn money, sometimes without even leaving your room.

How to Save Money as a Teenager

Once you’re earning money, it is literally never too soon to start saving for the future… even if you’re making money for the first time in your life. While you are earning extra scratch, it’s a great idea to set goals for yourself, and think about how much you want to save, how quickly you want to build up your savings, and what it will take to get there. Learn more about how to save money.

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.

Make Money on Social Media

Monetize your YouTube channel

Monetize your YouTube channel

You can make money as a teenager if you have a significant social media following. YouTube lets you run ads on your channel if you have at least 1,000 followers and 4,000 hours of watch time. If you plan to earn money, kid-friendly content is a must.

The current algorithm favors creators that make longer videos because it gives YouTube more time to run ads. Length shouldn’t come at the cost of quality, though. If you make a long video, maintain your quality of production to keep attracting new users. 

Become an Instagram influencer

Being an Instagram influencer is one of the newer ways to make money as a teenager. If you have loyal fans, you can promote products and services in exchange for cash. Most people charge $10 for every 1,000 followers they have, though prices vary.

Make sure you have a well-established niche and that all your pictures are high-quality. Stick to a consistent theme so that followers can distinguish your brand. Once you establish these foundational elements, consider collaborating with other influencers and reaching out to brands in your niche to gain more exposure.

Start a podcast

If you have a laptop, you have all the technology you need to make a podcast. Shows like My Favorite Murder and The Joe Rogan Experience have low overhead costs, so the creators don’t spend a lot of money on physical space or production. The key is creating engaging content so advertisers will want to buy airtime.

If you want to earn fast money as a teenager, however, podcasting is not your best option. Both My Favorite Murder and The Joe Rogan Experience took years to cultivate their following. You can always do a podcast as a side gig, though.

Produce a low-budget movie

Making movies has become an attractive line of work with blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame netting nearly $3 billion at the box office. You can make money with a smaller approach, thanks to low-budget filmmaking. Save money by shooting your film on your phone and recruiting friends to work as actors and crew members.

Set up a premiere in your town so that people can look forward to your film. Get enough attention, and you can contact your local movie theater about showing your work on the big screen. If you produce something worthwhile, enter your movie in regional film festivals and get more attention.

Write a book with Amazon KDP

Have an idea for the next great American novel? Put it down on paper and publish it yourself. The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform makes publishing literature and making money as a teenager more accessible than ever.

Amazon KDP gives you control over the publishing process. You can toggle the price, cover art, and dimensions before finally hitting submit. Even if your work doesn’t become a best-seller, it looks great on a resume.

Manage people’s social media accounts

Teens have a leg up on adults in understanding social media. A 16-year-old grows up with apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, while older people have to learn the seemingly foreign technology. You can make money fast by handling people’s social media accounts if they don’t want to learn the platform.

Offering to tweet or post family members’ content for a fee is a small-scale version of an advertising agency. Working as a one-person agency provides a glimpse into the advertising world while making money around the house.

Buy and sell gift cards

The NYSSCPA estimates that more than $21 billion in unredeemed gift cards are floating around out there. If you want to make money online from this market, start buying and selling gift cards. 

Find unused cards people in your family don’t want. Most people sell their unwanted cards for 70% to 90% of face value. If you have a $100 card to Sweetgreen, list it for $90 and trade with someone else for a $75 Amazon card.

The key is flipping cards for a profit, with each transaction netting more cash. Whatever the price you buy the card for initially, mark up the price when you sell. You can start buying cards on eBay, Craigslist, Raise, Cardpool, and Giftcard Granny.

What to do with money as a teenager

So you’re a teen who’s figured out how to make some money – which is great!

Now it’s a question of figuring out what to do with money as a teenager.

Here are some ways we’d suggest splitting your earnings.

Keep some for fun things

Having your eye on a financial goal is fantastic. In fact, if this is you, you’re literally already in a better position than many adults who are struggling to manage their money.

But it’s fine to also save some of your money for fun things. That way, you’ll stay motivated to keep making money and also have the chance to live your life a bit.

Save most of it

It’s good to keep a financial goal in mind during all your hard work. As once you get there, the fact you’ve worked so hard to achieve that goal will make it all the more sweeter.

This is why it’s a good idea to save most of your money. If you’re earning cash in hand, keeping it somewhere safe should be fine, but consider opening a bank account instead to store it there.

Generally, you can open a bank account from 14 years old, but until you’re 18, you have to have a legal guardian as a co-owner of the account.

Invest part of it

As mentioned earlier, starting to invest as a teenager is seriously one of the best things you can do for your financial future.

One of the most important features of any investment is time – that is, having the time for your investment to compound (i.e. grow) in value.

So starting as a teenager definitely gives you enough time to do this.

And if you’re wondering what should a teenager invest in, look into low-cost, reliable options like an index fund.

This is what many adults – including me – base their entire investment portfolio on. So do some research into what that is and how to get started and start setting yourself up for future financial success.

Make Money Online And Offline

Make Money Tutoring

Enroll is one site that hires teens who are at leaIf you are a good student, tutoring other teens (or younger children) is a great way how to make money online as a teen. You can offer your services via Skype or Facetime; there’s no need to meet in person. Your guidance counselor at school might be able to pass your name along to students who need help, or you could sign up on a website that accepts teenagers for tutoring services.

Enroll is one site that hires teens who are at least 15. You can teach just about any subject you’re good at. On SameSpeak, as long as you’re at least 16 years old and speak English as your first language, you can teach English to foreign speakers. 

Make Good Use of eBay

If eBay is one of your go-tos when it comes to shopping online, you already know that you can buy and sell just about anything on the site. Take a look around and see what’s selling, then find a way to procure those items and sell them yourself. If you can find items at yard sales, thrift shops, and rummage sales, you can list them and turn a nice profit. 

If you want to learn how to make money online as a teen by using eBay, you’ll need to set aside some specific time each week for listing and for getting to the post office (or printing out your postage and boxing up your items). Because the system depends on star ratings, you’ll need to be sure you’re shipping on time and providing good customer service.

Earn Money With Your Voice

If you have a nice speaking voice, you could do voiceovers. What would it feel like to hear your voice on television commercials, online videos, radio spots and more? You could find out if you become a voice actor.

Sign up on Voices.com to have your voice heard by talent scouts for well-known (and obscure) brands. If you ace the audition and get hired, you can name your price. You’ll also be able to claim a bit of fame, at least as far as your friends and family are concerned!

5 Ways for Teens To Make Money

Teens have many opportunities for earning their own income. Here, we've used five categories to detail the best ways to make money as a teen: traditional jobs, online hustles, side hustles, business ideas, and passive income ideas.

Traditional Ways To Make Money as a Teenager

Common ways teens have traditionally earned money for decades include:

  • Part-time jobs
  • After-school jobs
  • Summer jobs
  • Weekend jobs

Typical part-time job options for teens include working at fast-food restaurants, car washes, retail stores, grocery stores, and movie theaters. Some employers may require teens younger than 16 to have a valid work permit.

Teens may also be able to find weekend or summer jobs working at golf courses, amusement parks, and summer camps. The median weekly earnings for people ages 16 and older working a part-time job was $317 in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Online Side Hustles for Teens

As more employers hire for remote positions, teens may find opportunities in this trend. Online side hustles and side jobs can be great options for making money as a teen because they don't require transportation and they can allow for a flexible schedule, Stafford said.

At-home opportunities for teens include:

  • Getting paid to take surveys
  • Starting a blog or podcast
  • Monetizing social media, like a TikTok channel or YouTube channel
  • Freelancing on Fiverr
  • Managing social media accounts
  • Flipping clothing or other items
  • Watching videos or playing games with a site like Swagbucks

Some of these online side hustles have more earning potential than others, and how much you earn will also depend on how much time you put in.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay income tax on your earnings, even if they are from a side hustle. Teens with income should talk with an adult about how to handle their taxes.

Offline Side Hustles for Teens

Offline side hustles are another way to make money as a teen. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Walking dogs
  • Babysitting
  • Washing cars
  • Cleaning houses
  • Working as a youth-sports referee or lifeguard
  • Delivering groceries via Instacart
  • Delivering food via DoorDash
  • Teaching music lessons
  • Tutoring

The amount of money teens can earn with offline side hustles will depend on the job. Tutoring jobs for teens, for instance, pay $20 an hour on average as of May 2022, according to ZipRecruiter. Offline side hustles are usually flexible, so teens can make money while still keeping up with schoolwork, socializing with friends, and fulfilling responsibilities at home.

Business Ideas for Teenagers

Starting a business as a teenager can also be considered an investment that could lead to long-term financial success. Teens can develop many products and services that could lead to potential profits. Some business ideas for teenagers include:

  • Selling homemade crafts or products on Etsy
  • Developing an app
  • Dog walking or pet sitting 
  • Lawn care
  • House cleaning or house sitting
  • Freelancing

Starting a business might require an initial investment of time or money, but this money-making opportunity could pay off in the long-term.

Passive Income Ideas for Teenagers

Passive income is money generated from activities in which you don't materially participate, according to the IRS. Rental real estate income, for example, is a form of passive income that adult investors can earn.

Passive income strategies might appeal to a teen looking for low-stress ways to make money, but they typically require an initial significant investment of your time. Some ways to make passive income as a teen might include:

  • Starting a blog or niche website
  • Creating a YouTube channel
  • Selling digital products
  • Selling photos
  • Creating an online course

You may need help from an adult if you're under age 18. YouTube, for example, doesn't allow teens under 18 to monetize their channels unless they're linked to an approved Adsense account owned by a parent.

Also, remember that "passive income" streams still require work. If you want to start a blog, for example, to make money from ads or affiliate marketing, you'll first have to spend some time creating content for it. You'll also have to spend time promoting that content to build steady traffic to generate income.

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.

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.

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.

Warnings

  • Only babysit for people you and your parents or legal guardian are comfortable with. Be prepared to babysit as well.

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  • You should try to get to know the people you are working for in person like their profession, address, contact etc. Share their details with your guardians as well.

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