How to Make Money Online as a Teenager

Addressing Internet Safety

Sure there are plenty of ways teens and kids can make money online, but safety is also important. For example, teens should know when and where it is appropriate to post personal information and also be extremely cautious when giving out a social security number.

For more tips about how teens can be safe online see: Parent’s Guide to Protecting Kids Online

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How to manage your money as a teenager

Once you finally have found a way to make money as a teen, it’s important to learn how to manage your money.  I recommend creating a budget that includes any expenses you might have (gas, clothing, etc.).

With the remainder of the money you are earning, you should create three different columns in your budget.

The first column will be for spending.  This is the part of your pay that you want to spend immediately – whether on activities, dates, etc.

The second column should be for short-term savings.  This is the the amount you want to put aside each time you are paid to save up for a big ticket item, such as a new X-box or car.

The last column is long-term savings.  This is the amount of your pay that you will put into a high-yield savings account and not touch.

If you are 18+, then I recommend starting to invest a part of your pay once you are earning money.  You can start with stocks, then start investing in low-cost mutual funds.

By starting to invest at a young age, you will be able to earn more money during your lifetime.  Of course, always remember that investing does come with risks and to do your research before you begin.

Related post: 17 Best Free Budget Printables (for 2021)

Tips for Finding Babysitting and Other Gigs

No matter what, people are always going to need help with childcare, house work, yard work, and other chores in their lives. The key to finding these gigs is getting the word out that you are the person to call to perform them. You can print out simple fliers advertising the jobs you are willing to perform (like lawn mowing) and your email or phone number, and post them on community bulletins in coffee shops and grocery stores. Talk to your classmates about how much they charge for these types of gigs—that way you’ll be charging a rate that is fair to your clients and yourself. 

Of course, it’s always best to work smarter, not harder—so get people you know to spread the word for you! You can tell your guardians, family friends, and relatives that you are looking to pick up some work, tell them when you are free, and have them ask around. Remember to thank someone if they hook you up with a gig!

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!

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.

Get Hired for Part-Time Jobs

Food delivery

Food delivery

You can also make some extra cash for delivering food. For example, Instacart is an app that provides its customers with same-day delivery on groceries (they too do pick-up services) from their local store. The user does all of their shopping directly through the app and checks out. Once that’s complete, the order is sent to a personal shopper (this is where you come in) to do the shopping and deliver the order that same day.

What’s cool about Instacart, though, is that they offer both a full-service and in-store only option. A full-service shopper goes to the designated store, does the shopping, packs it up, and delivers it directly to the customer (you leave the food on their doorstep in nearly all cases).

But if that sounds like too much, you can also be an in-store shopper, where you do the shopping and get the order ready for the customer to pick up. The in-store option is excellent for people who don’t want to bounce around from store to store all day or make deliveries. Note that you have to be 18 years old to sign up for Instacart.

Another option is Postmates. Postmates hires “couriers” to deliver not only groceries but also food from restaurants as well as other personal items directly to the customer’s home. As a courier, you’ll get compensated based on how many orders you complete in an hour, your waiting time for orders, and how many miles you drive.

On top of that, you get to keep all of your tips. So if you do an excellent job, you can make some good money. You can also pick and choose which delivery requests you want to take – otherwise, you’ll be automatically assigned deliveries. Like Instacart, you do have to be 18 to deliver for Postmates.

Golf caddy

If you live near an upscale golf course, make sure to apply as a golf caddy this summer. According to The New York Times, caddies can earn more than $100 for 18 holes. Not bad, considering that your primary responsibility is holding clubs for someone.

A golf caddy plays a crucial role in a golfer’s success. They serve as a confidant and an advisor when it comes to club selection. If you’re really good at your job, you can be the difference between an excellent round and a mediocre one. The same goes for the size of your post-round tip.

Lifeguard

You need to know how to swim and be at least 15, but if you check both boxes, you have an inside track to becoming a lifeguard. All lifeguards must take a course before they start earning a paycheck. The certification process ensures that the hire is a strong swimmer who understands how to perform first aid.

While you can garner a steady paycheck as well as a tan, make sure you’re up for the responsibilities. Lifeguards have to handle emergencies that can be matters of life or death. If you don’t want the pressure that comes with donning the whistle and rescue tube, consider one of the other options on the list.

Retail worker

Many teens in this country work retail, making it one of the most popular ways to make some extra money as a teenager. The position can be flexible and rewarding, especially if the company you pursue has values that align with your own. For instance, if you’re an aspiring fashion designer, apply for a job with a clothing store.

Many retail stores pay minimum wage, or close to it, and hire people starting at age 16. The average hourly salary for retail workers is $14.12, with many high school students using the job to make discretionary income.

Camp counselor

Sign up to be a camp counselor and make money as a teenager in the great outdoors. You get to work throughout the summer, teaching adolescents valuable skills. Pick something that mirrors your interests, whether that’s Girl Scouts, basketball, or just a general summer camp.

Camp counseling is a job, but it’s also a rare opportunity to get paid to play. You make money while going on a hike or teaching campers how to start a fire. You can also leave knowing you helped people build their confidence, independence, and skills.

Fast food server

Next to retail, fast food is one of the largest employers of teenagersWhile you probably don’t want to work in fast food for your entire life, it can be a great way to earn your first paycheck. Restaurants have a lot of open positions and hire people without industry experience.

Fast food experience can bolster your resume in several ways. Working in a fast-paced environment teaches people how to adapt on the fly and meet tight deadlines. You may even parlay the job into one day working in a gourmet restaurant.

Golf course worker

Many of the jobs on this list, like camp counselors, retail workers, and fast-food employees, require customer service skills. If you’re not a social butterfly, making money as a golf course worker may appeal to you. You work with a small group of groundskeepers who ensure that a course remains in top shape. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know anything about playing golf to work there.

Golf courses see an uptick in golfers during the summer, so clubs hire in late spring and early summer. Some of the core responsibilities include cutting grass, refilling water tanks, raking bunkers, and moving pins. 

Car wash attendant

If you have a passion for cars, get paid to clean them in your free time. Car wash attendants are responsible for taking orders, wiping the frame, and cleaning the glass. It’s a simple way to make money as a teenager, whether you work for a local car wash or start a one-person-crew.

If you decide to go the entrepreneurial route, ask your friends and family if they need a wash. Once you help everyone you know, start knocking on doors in your neighborhood and offering your services.

Video game tester

Yes, video game testing is a real job. Testers work with the video game quality-assurance team to find bugs in the game. Instead of completing missions, their responsibility is to find ways a game glitches or fails.

Video game testers should have outstanding attention to detail, focus, communication, and creativity. You have to articulate to developers how you found a bug so they can recreate your steps and correct the problem. Entry-level testers make about $10 per hour.

Grocery store worker

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to reassess how “essential” their jobs are. Grocery store workers are among the few jobs that remain in demand, even in the face of a recession. Whether you work stocking groceries or slicing meats at the deli, there’s always a way to make money as a teenager at a grocery store.

Many stores, including Kroger, Safeway, and Publix, hire kids as young as 14. You have a good chance of landing a position, even if you don’t have previous experience. You’ll likely start with entry-level tasks, like bagging groceries and collecting shopping carts, before graduating to more responsibility, like butcher or cashier.

Mystery shopper

Companies want unbiased feedback to figure out what they’re doing well and where they can make improvements. Some places hire mystery shoppers to review their customer service, inventory, and cleanliness. It’s free to sign up, as companies pay you to eat and shop at your favorite restaurants and stores.

Mystery shoppers play a vital role in their local communities. They help make upgrades so that future shoppers can enjoy better customer experience. 

Movie theater attendant

If you’re a movie buff, apply to a movie theater. Attendants have a hand in keeping a theater operational year-round. That includes handling tickets, serving food and beverages, running the movies, and cleaning up after the shows.

Movie theater jobs can provide valuable insight into the film industry if you aspire to make films. You’ll also work with people your age and get free movie passes as a perk. The average attendant can expect to earn as much as $16.84 per hour.

Barista

Making a fantastic latte is about more than making money as a teenager – it’s an art form. Baristas learn valuable customer service skills while working in a team-oriented environment. They can even flex their creativity when adorning coffee cups with frothy milk.

Starbucks employs the most baristas in the world, with more than 200,000 employees. You need to be at least 16 to apply for a job unless you live in Montana, where the minimum age is 14. The average barista will make $10.57 per hour.

Ice cream scooper

In the summer, the sale of ice cream tends to skyrocket. Experts estimate there are more than 14,000 ice cream shops nationwide with thousands of open roles.

Scooping ice cream provides a great way to learn practical skills. You can gain real-world business and entrepreneurial knowledge while serving customers and members of your team. You’ll also have access to discounted (or even free) ice cream all summer long.

Music teacher

If you are proficient in at least one instrument, you can turn that knowledge into a music teaching career. You can start by teaching your friends, and move on from there. 

Music teaching work may appeal to you enjoy educating others. According to ZipRecruiter, the average music teachers make $20.64 to $28.14 per hour – but that’s with a lot of experience, so know that you’ll have to start out on a smaller scale. 

19. Personal Assistant

Do you know an adult who is unusually busy?

That person may need help with a wide variety of small jobs. That can be anything from running errands to doing work in his or her business or profession.

If you have good organizational and administrative skills, this can be a serious moneymaking opportunity. It can also be excellent training for a future full-time job.

37. Assisting the Elderly

Many elderly people prefer to live in their own homes, rather than going to a senior facility. But there are many aspects of home maintenance and basic living that they have difficulty managing.

You may be able to help elderly people in your community with basic jobs like housecleaning, shopping, or organizing personal effects. In many cases, the person may just want camaraderie.

Mow lawns

One of the easiest ways to make money as a teen is to mow lawns.  If you have a lawn mower, and don’t mind working outside in the heat, then consider offering your services to your neighbors.

If you know your neighbors or friends’ parents pay for their lawns to be trimmed, then consider asking them for their business.  You can make good money by cutting lawns.

We pay our lawn company $35 to cut the grass in our front and back yard.  They come out every two weeks, so that’s $70 per month for two hours of work.  If you cut a few yards a week in your spare time, and charge $20 to $40 for each lawn, you could save up money pretty quickly.

Important Tips for Getting a New Job

It may seem intimidating to start applying for jobs and trying to convince adults you don’t know that you have what it takes for them to hire you. Remember, almost everyone feels this way when they start out!

Creating a Resume

You can approach your guidance counselor, a librarian, or a teacher for help making a resume, which is basically a fancy word for a one-page document that has all of your work, volunteer, and extracurricular experience on it. There are also plenty of online templates for resumes you can check out, including some designed just for teens.

But how can you create a resume when you’ve never had a real job? You can include any second (or third) languages that you speak, times you helped with bake sales or other fundraisers, skills you’ve gained by helping your parents, and other areas where you excel, like being punctual, keeping organized, your artistic skills, and willingness to get along with others. 

Safety Tip: Remember to keep the adult(s) in your life informed of where you are working, and never meet up with anyone alone.

When should a teen get a job?

Teens should consider getting a job if they're ready to make money and can handle the responsibilities of being employed. Starting a side hustle is also a great option for teens who don't want a set work schedule.

17. Sell on Etsy

Are you particularly craftsy? Are you good at art? You can sell your crafts on Etsy! It's a website specifically for buying and selling handmade items such as jewelry, decorations, clothing, etc. Here's a complete beginner's course for selling on Etsy.

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.

What to Do With Your Money

Once you’ve earned some money for yourself you can do whatever you want with it! However, before you go and spend it all, take a look at these other options:

Treat Yo Self

The fact that you’re taking the initiative to start learning how to make money on your own is pretty significant. Not a lot of teenagers do what you’re doing now.

For that reason, once you start making some money, be sure to reward yourself. Go out and buy something that you’ve wanted for a long time. Just don’t go too crazy!

Reinvest in Your Business

If you’ve started one of the side hustles above like reselling things at school or starting a blog, your business needs money to keep running. Make sure to re-invest as much of your profits as possible back into your business so that it can grow.

Save it

Once you start earning money, it’s important that you don’t blow it all. Saving money is an essential rule of finance and learning how to save early on will benefit you greatly later in life.

Plus, if you ever want to make a big purchase (e.g. car, computer), you’ll need some money saved in the bank for it.

Invest it

If you’re only 13, it may seem a bit silly to start investing so young, but by starting early you actually have a huge advantage.

Here’s how:

Let’s say you invest $1,000 when you’re 15. With no additional contributions and an 8% avg. return rate, by the time you’re 45, you’ll have $10,062.66 just from interest.

That’s your money making money without you doing anything.

Now let’s say you waited until you were 20 to invest that $1,000. With the same 8% return rate and no additional contributions, at the same age of 45 years old, you’d have only $6,848.48. That’s $3,214.18 less just because you waited 5 years to start investing.

I wish I started investing when I was younger!

If you want to learn more about getting started, check out this beginner’s guide on how to invest as a teenager.

How Parents Can Help Teens Learn Financial Responsibility

Talking to kids about money from an early age can lead to lifelong benefits that can keep them in financial health. Some ways parents can help teens learn financial responsibility include addressing topics such as:

  • Budgeting basics
  • Setting savings goals
  • The benefits of investing
  • The importance of managing debt

Parents can also teach financial responsibility by setting a good example and sticking to a budget, regularly setting savings goals, and managing their debt. They can talk to their teens about their own financial decisions.

Parents can also help their teen manage financial products such as credit cards, bank accounts, or even IRA accounts. They will often need to co-sign for these products for their teens. Some budgeting apps offer debit cards for teens and allow parents to monitor their spending activity.

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.

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. 

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.

Key Takeaways

Many people believe you cannot make money as a teen. However, you are never too young to make money. That’s because you are never too young to provide value. The education system never teaches people how money works. Let me briefly explain. Many people look at money as a goal in life. However, money in and of itself has no value. What money has is the ability to purchase the things that you want. It is a medium of exchange.

The way money gets transferred is through a value proposition. The reason why a candy bar cost $1 is that that is the value of a candy bar. No more no less. The reason a Ferrari costs hundreds of thousands of dollars is that that is the value of a Ferrari.

If you want to make money as a teen you need to start thinking about what value can you provide to someone and at what price. When I started dog walking I saw that the average person charged $15 for a 30-minute walk. So I charged $8. I eventually worked up to $15-$20 a walk, but I understood that if I wanted to enter the business I should provide more value than the money I was asking for. Once I was able to establish a reputation for myself then I was able to increase the cost of my service.

When trying to make money as a teen, think the exact same way. With these 60+ strategies, you have more than enough options to get started on your entrepreneurial journey. All it’s going to take now is for you to take action, be patient, and show up day in and day out. Wishing you all the best of luck. 

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