Previously a money-earning kid, now a money-earning adult, I'm here as a 21-year-old to share my experience and knowledge with you!
Big kids have it tough. You're old enough to want things and smart enough to realize that sometimes, your parents won't give it to you. About 10 years ago, I was a kid in your position. 11 years old; too young to get a job, too old to get what I wanted handed to me. You've likely already come to the same conclusion I did at that point: you need your own money.
I did what you're doing now: I turned to the internet in hopes of learning how to earn my own money. The thing is, so many of those guides rely on the assumption that you are a little kid, satisfied with very little money. I wasn't. So, here's a list of things you can do to earn money as a big kid—from my own experience
1. Sell Your Video Gaming Skills
Offer to level up your friends' gaming accounts or beat that boss they've been stuck at. Train their Pokemon, get them a fancy badge on Fortnite, earn them Neopoints, whatever it is that you youngins play nowadays, there is money to be earned from it.
2. Do Odd Jobs & Chores for Neighbors
As a kid, neighbors and family are the best way for you to start to earn money. Offer your neighbors to take out the trash, sweep the driveway, vacuum the house, etc. for a fee. I, for one, would definitely pay any entrepreneurial kid who came to my door asking for work, and can guarantee that if you put in some effort in asking around, you will have work (and money!) in no time.
3. Pull Weeds
No adult likes pulling weeds. It's probably a fact. It's annoying and time-consuming and hurts our old people backs. You kids, however, are young and full of energy, so pulling weeds isn't going to be a hard job at all. Depending on the area, you could earn $10 or more per hour pulling weeds from yards.
4. Mow Lawns
If you're old enough, and if your parents approve, mowing lawns is a definite money-maker, especially in the spring and summer. Grass is always growing, so lawns are always needing to be mowed. Ask around for local prices based on yard size, and then offer to beat the lowest price.
5. Rake Leaves
This, too, hurts our old people backs, so any adult with a brain is going to jump at the chance to pay a kid to do this chore for them. Tell neighbors and family that you're offering to rake and bag leaves for a fee, and you'll have money piling up faster than the leaves you just bagged.
6. Shovel Snow
While snow days are literally the best, for some reason, adults tend to dislike when it piles up in their driveway. After you flush ice cubes down the toilet for more snow, let your neighbors know that you can shovel their driveways for money. They'll be lining up at your door tomorrow!
7. Match Socks
A bit boring, yes, but this is the easiest way to earn money. Tell your parents and family that you'll match their bin of unpaired socks for, say, $0.25 a pair. While it's not 'quick cash', exactly, this is definitely a mindless way to earn money while watching TV.
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8. Write Online
If you like writing, this won't even feel like work. There are so many ways for you to earn money from your writing. You can start writing a blog (though if you lack the patience to grow a following, you can always write for websites that already have an audience, such as Hubpages or Medium), write stories, or sell your writing to online magazines. I made $50 when I was 13 by selling an article to an online magazine, so there's room for kids to write, too!
9. Host a Yard Sale
Having a garage sale is a quick, easy way to get money for your old clothes and toys. You won't get top dollar for your items—garage sale patrons are deal seekers too—but you'll have a great time meeting neighbors and make some money too, so it's worth it. You could also sell cookies or lemonade for extra income.
10. Sell Stuff Online
There are SO MANY websites and apps that you can use to sell stuff online. Some do have age limits, but you can have your parents make you an account so that you can still use those. Mercari doesn't have an age limit, and is more user friendly than eBay, and both, along with Poshmark and Vinted (for selling clothes and accessories) are safe and easy shipping-only sales platforms. There are also local, face-to-face selling websites, like letgo and VarageSale, but if you do decide to use any in-person sales sites be sure to have a parent OK it, and always have a trusted adult present for the transaction.
11. Walk Dogs
Love dogs? If you're strong enough, and you and your parents are cool with it, spread word in your neighborhood that you're willing to walk (friendly and trained!) dogs for neighbors for a fee. Just make sure to not accept a dog if you're uncomfortable with their size or temperament—which not only means you're scared of them, but also if you think they may be too strong for you to control.
12. Teach the Elderly Computer Skills
You're growing up in one of the first generations surrounded by technology. It's not something you have to learn; it's second nature to you guys. If you have a plethora of patience, and a good understanding of technology and how to use it, go to your local senior center and offer to tutor the elderly there on computers and phones.
13. Create and Sell Art
Art is one thing that is always in demand. Make paintings, jewelry, pottery, fashion, greeting cards, and whatever else you can come up with, and then sell them online or at a garage sale. Etsy is a good place to sell art, but so is Mercari (and the fees are way lower!).
14. Thow a Bake Sale
Do you like baking? If so, ask a parent to help you bake cookies, cupcakes, cakes, or whatever else you want, then sell them at a bake sale! You can ask your parents or a big sibling to post about your sale on their social media or tell friends and family about the sale. You will sell out!
15. Tutor Younger Kids
What's your best subject in school? Are you particularly good at math? Reading? Science? Whatever area you're gifted in, there's bound to be another kid whos struggling with it. If you're confident in your knowledge, offer to tutor a kid a couple years younger than you so that you can help them understand the material and earn money too! Who knows, you may also make a friend.
If you have an interest in plants and access to a yard, you could start a garden in the spring and sell the food it produces. Seeds are very inexpensive if you buy them online (they are available at stores like Lowes, but they're less expensive online) and you can sell the fruit or veggies the plants make while learning an important science skill!
There's so much you can do as a kid—this list doesn't even begin to cover it all. Use your creativity, think about what you enjoy and are talented at and use that to customize your possibilites. Whatever you end up doing, have fun and do your best. You'll have money and repeat clients in no time.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Brittney K Walker