11 Ways to Make Money as a Teenager
Earn More Money
If you need some extra cash and have already squeezed 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.
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 nearby. 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.
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, neighbors, 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.
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.
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.
- Start Your Own Ironing Business
Most people hate ironing and that is why this is a great money making idea. With very little outlay, other than your time, you can begin earning money and building your own business.
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.
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 and are presentable, respectful and polite.
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 at 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 weekend.
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 in 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.
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.
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© 2014 Mary Wickison