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9 Easy Ways for Teens to Make Fast Money

Jared is very knowledgable when it comes to ways for teens to make money.

Kids can't just make lemonade anymore!

Kids can't just make lemonade anymore!

Since the lemonade stand is now technically illegal in most U.S states, how can kids make money? Here are nine awesome ways for kids to make money on the side and have fun at the same time.

  1. Work for your family
  2. Provide budget pet care
  3. Become a tutor
  4. Manual labour and hard work
  5. Be crafty
  6. Unleash your creative genius
  7. Do trustworthy surveys
  8. Sell stock photography
  9. Volunteer

1. Work for Your Family

Most people will tell you that in no circumstances should you work for your family, and there are legitimate reasons why you shouldn't. Today, however, I'm going to tell you the opposite, based on my own experience.

When I was sixteen, I had two part-time jobs and one temporary full-time job. The two part-time jobs were in a supermarket and in a retail store, respectively. The temporary full-time job was a harrowing and exhausting experience working for my father.

Under his thumb, I worked 14-hour days as a pressure-washer for $20 an hour. It was hard work, but that's what work should be, and I loved it.

The point is that working for your parents is generally easier than getting to know bosses and coworkers, because you already have a relationship with them. Plus, in some cases, you can get work experience with fewer qualifications. Just make sure that your parents know you are trustworthy and that you work hard, and don't let money get in the way of your relationship.

If your parents don't own a business, you can still work for them. Just ask if they would be willing to pay you some money if you helped with the household chores. Chores would include:

  1. Packing or unpacking the dishwasher
  2. Feeding the pets
  3. Cleaning your room (Just joking!)
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Whatever needs to be done around the house!
There are probably tons of pet owners in your neighborhood.

There are probably tons of pet owners in your neighborhood.

2. Provide Budget Pet Care

Looking after pets can include many things: I've had to feed temperamental goats, take cats for walks, and even feed a peacock (The last one's a funny story, trust me).

Having said that, looking after pets isn't generally that varied and simply requires a trustworthy attitude. So here's a step-by-step process:

  1. Find some pets that need to be looked after. Are your neighbors going on holiday? Does your best friend work this weekend? You get the idea.
  2. Offer to look after said pets. This one's a no-brainer; you can't show up the day before and expect to get the job.
  3. Write down your instructions, and ask questions. How many carrots does Fluffy get, and at what time of day? Is your dog on a diet? Is the cat allergic to lactose?
  4. Do the job you're being paid for. Don't show up late, and don't forget why you're there; pretty simple. Remember that you should do the job even if it's raining; these animals are relying on you.
  5. Expect honesty, but don't sweat the little things. Sometimes you'll get paid before you do the work, sometimes after, and sometimes not at all. Don't stress either way and just keep on going.
Some people struggle with their science homework.

Some people struggle with their science homework.

3. Become a Tutor

Do you have any knowledge or skills that you can teach other people? If you do, you should consider tutoring people who need help in an area of your expertise.

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For example, I was always good at maths, so twice a week, I would bring two or three of my classmates to the public library and tutor them for a small fee. Actually, I was only paid in favours and coffee, but it was work I enjoyed, and it fits with my schedule.

When you tutor someone else, you also reap the added benefit of refreshing your own knowledge in the area, whatever that may be. So, you get to stay sharp and get paid at the same time.

A word of warning, however: If you decide to tutor someone, you place some small part of their education in your hands. This is a big responsibility, as it could mean the difference between passing and failing their class. You should only tutor someone if you are confident in your own ability and have a genuine desire to help people.

4. Manual Labour and Hard Work

Despite its reputation, manual labour is not awful work. Everyone, male or female, can mow lawns or pull some weeds, so all you have to do is get started.

The services you can provide depend on where you live, as well as the season. If you live in Australia, for example, shovelling snow isn't a realistic job expectation for most of us. Believe it or not, Australia actually has grass, so mowing and raking are possible.

To get work doing simple manual labour, it's particularly important to advertise. Sure, you can stick with your neighbours, but if you can make more money with just a little more effort, why not try? Put up posters, hand out flyers, go door-to-door, get the word out.

But always remember that despite appearances, you should always tell someone responsible where you're going to work. Don't show up at someone's house without assessing the risks, and if possible, bring a friend along. Exercise that 'common sense' muscle.

Here's a list of some examples of manual labour, pick one based on your own circumstances:

  • Mowing Lawns: Raking leaves and general garden maintenance.
  • Shoveling Snow: For friends and neighbors.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Farming: Look for summer work in local berry farms, orchards or small, local farms.
Enjoy crafting while making a little extra money.

Enjoy crafting while making a little extra money.

5. Be Crafty

Being crafty is actually really cool. If you're really keen to make money, seriously consider doing something you're good at, and produce works of art. Even if you don't know how to make paper planes, it's not too hard to learn some more complex crafts.

That's where the magic of Google comes in.

Google can not only teach you how to make awesome crafts, like paper beads, but it can give you a platform to sell your amazing paper bead projects on websites such as Etsy! True, it will cost you a small amount to sell your products through Etsy (approximately 20 cents), but if you create amazing products, it's a great place to sell niche products.

If you don't want to sell online, you can always sell your products at a craft fair. This will cost a bit more money, but it allows you to interact and negotiate prices with your customers. You can also build up a local reputation.

Pro Tip: Keep your ear to the ground and discover new trends. Etsy and craft websites are particularly popular with gamers and with mothers. For example, if you hear about a great new game with a growing fan base, start producing high-quality fan-made products for that audience. Hopefully, you'll hit the jackpot by tailoring your products to the market.

But seriously, guys, how awesome are paper beads?

6. Unleash Your Creative Genius

So maybe crafts aren't your thing, or you prefer to take pen to paper. If you enjoy writing, there are ways to transform your passion into a money-making machine. One method of turning quality writing into hard cash is writing online.

There are two ways to make money writing online. You can work as a freelancer, on a per-job basis, which is suited to more experienced writers, or you can submit articles online and earn residual income through advertising, or, paid for every time someone views one of your articles.

7. Do Trustworthy Surveys

A lot of people are wary of survey sites as they have a reputation for being untrustworthy. When you sign up for a survey website, the expectation is that you will be paid for providing your honest opinion and expertise.

Most, if not all, legitimate survey websites will require you to be 18 years old, but in some cases, you can open an account on behalf of an adult. Some let you participate in age-appropriate surveys through an adult's account.

So, before I tell you about how you can make money from survey websites, you should know that there are a select few which may not live up to your expectations. Always do your research by searching for website reviews and looking for website credentials.

You should never pay to join a survey website. If you are asked to make a payment to join, exercise some common sense, and press the back button.

Now on to the good news! From personal experience, I can tell you that there is money to be made from survey websites. Piles and piles of money? No, but every little bit counts, and you can't argue with the money you make by giving your opinion.

A lot of survey websites operate on a points system. The process follows the standard:

  1. Perform a survey
  2. Get points
  3. Redeem points for cash or gift cards

Make sure you find one that suits your needs; I managed to find one that redeems their points through PayPal, which I personally think is better than gift cards.

Make money while sitting behind a camera.

Make money while sitting behind a camera.

8. Sell Stock Photography

The great thing about stock photography is it allows you to make money while you sleep. While I don't believe in passive income, it is a great source of extra cash. High-quality photography is always in demand.

If you enjoy photography and you're pretty skilled, you can sell your photography through online channels. Depending on the website you choose, you can expect to get between 30% to 60% of all profits made from your images.

The process of signing up to work for many of these stock photo companies can be surprisingly complex. In the same way, some can be relatively easy. So, here are some stock photo websites for you to consider:

  • Crestock: A stock photo site that is rather easy to sign up with. You can start uploading photos immediately, but they do undergo a quality assessment phase, which is fair enough. At the moment, Crestock has a focus on stock photos containing people as subjects. No more pretty flowers, please.
  • Dreamstime: Great for beginners, Dreamstime doesn't pay as highly as some of its competitors. To make up for this, it has a slightly less rigorous sign-up process and offers greater control over photo licensing rights.
  • Can Stock: While signing up for any stock photo website can be difficult, Can Stock is relatively simple. Sign up and provide three photos for review, and you can make between $0.25 and 50% of every sale.

9. Volunteer

So, you've read all the way down to the very bottom of this article, and despite my best efforts, you still haven't discovered one idea that you like? Well, if all else fails, work for free.

Seriously, what better way to drum up the hype by providing free labour or services? Work diligently, create an excellent working relationship with your community, and word will spread about your amazing work ethic. Sooner or later, work will come flooding in from people all around, asking for your help!

At least, that's the plan. Even if it doesn't work out that way, it's also great to help out your local community. Because volunteering is about as diverse as it gets. You can normally find volunteer work in any of the following areas:

  1. Soup kitchens or working with the disadvantaged
  2. Working with the elderly
  3. Supporting the environment
  4. Youth education
  5. Sports training

For a massive list of specific ideas, check out this website, which has exactly 366 community service ideas.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


kate on April 07, 2015:

nice one

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 30, 2015:

So helpful! And school will be out soon. Mowing lawns, especially can be quite lucrative for teens.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on March 30, 2015:

Congratulations on the HOTD award! A well deserved one. Great hub! Thanks for sharing these ideas.

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on March 30, 2015:

Home run! Great title and essay, well thought out suggestions. This one's a winner, I'm posting it to my facebook wall to share. Well done! Getting kids to earn and learn a work-ethic at an early age is commendable.


Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 30, 2015:

What an excellent article! It's never too early to work on developing a good work ethic in children. We were fortunate with both of our sons that they found good jobs, as teenagers, that they enjoyed and where they learned a lot that helps them even today as adults. Congratulations on the well-deserved HOTD honors today!

Raine Law Yuen from Cape Town on March 30, 2015:

Lovely. Nicely written with good tips. I currently run a community program to help our youth develop entrepreneurial skills. We have an arrangement with the market management where our participants are allowed to market their products and pay a small percentage of what they make. In this way there is no risk for them.

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on March 30, 2015:

Thanks for the attribute and use of the lemon bowl. I earned money from doing chores around the house. I still have the urge to have extra cash. I use the Internet now.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on March 30, 2015:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all of your ideas. I have teenage grandsons, so I will forward this to them. Excellent hub. And, congratulations on winning the Hub of the Day Award. You certainly deserve it for this well-written hub.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on March 30, 2015:

Great hub, I used to recycle for money, dig roots and wild foods. Selling plants you start from seed is also great! Congrats on the hub of the day! Bubblews has went downhill though, I don't recommend it. is full of potential income as well!

RTalloni on March 30, 2015:

Congratulations on your Hub of the Day for this post encouraging teens to be entrepreneurs. Starting young gives them a head start on days that are around the corner for them when they will have to have income in order to go forward in life, and who knows, if they give it some real thought and attention they might come up with an idea that strikes gold for their futures. Either way, getting their feet wet during these early years better prepares them for later ones.

mySuccess8 on March 30, 2015:

There are numerous ways of making some quick decent money in one’s spare time, whether online or offline. You have shared some of the best ideas for achieving this. Your tips which I love most are about being crafty and using the skills one already has in unleashing one’s creative genius. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

Adam C. on March 30, 2015:

I don't think you should be recommending that teens get mixed up in the scam site Bubblews. And I don't think kids should expect payment for pulling their weight with the household chores. Otherwise, there are some useful ideas here.

Jared Miles (author) from Australia on August 20, 2013:

Thanks for commenting izettl, wow, what an interesting (and busy) teenage life you must have had! You've basically done them all!

I agree that while school work is important, it's equally important to gain real-world experience through work, and you may as well start early.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my Hub, and for leaving such a thorough comment!

L Izett from The Great Northwest on August 18, 2013:

EXCELLENT hub! I am all for this. As a kid I earned a penny per weed I pulled, or pine cone I picked up off our driveway, or rock I got out of the garden. So when I was a teen, I bussed table at a local restaurant, made and sold friendship bracelets, started a neighborhood newspaper where local businesses could pay to advertise in, walked dogs, and babysat. I've always been resourceful. My 5 yr old daughter is starting the way I did.

Honestly I think too many parents see this as trivial so their kids grow up to feel like they deserve a better job than working for someone else or not making much money to start out with. We put a bigger emphasis on school/homework and socializing than making money and working.

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