12 Fun Ways Your Teen Can Make Money

ways your teen can make money

In light of the ever increasing student loan debt, people are looking at various potential issues that might have led to this startling crisis. Some blame the government, others blame inflation; of course there are also those who believe that the lack of financial literacy is the primary concern.

In some ways, there is truth to this matter. Low financial literacy is indeed a contributing factor to the student loan crisis. It's not the sole factor, obviously, but it's worth thinking about the lack of proper financial training for young people.

The problem is that a lot of teachers and experts focus on teaching students about investments, retirement funds, and general economics.

However, to really help today’s teens out it is time to get back to the basics.

Teach teens how to make money.

And as they begin making their own money, teach them how to manage their money properly. Have them open a savings account at a local financial institution and talk to them about spending and saving money now and in the future.

If attending college is something they hope to do one day then show them how to begin saving for their tuition and living expenses, instead of filling out student loan applications. Keep those loan applications as a last resort.

Is your teen ready to begin making money? Here are some fun ways that they can do just that.

teen with a part time jobGet a Part-time Job

This may be the most obvious suggestion.

Help your teen scan the local newspapers and online job ads for age appropriate jobs that they can do safely. Show them how to create a resume or fill out a job application correctly. Perhaps there are grocery stores or fast food restaurants in your area that they could apply at. Or perhaps you know someone that owns a business and loves to hire students.

Sell Arts And Crafts

Etsy is a great marketplace for creative people. If your teen has the skills for creating dolls, jewelry, hand bags, cosmetic cases, and pretty much anything else, they could find a willing and happy market online. Their talent can be very lucrative if they learn how to use it properly.

Become A Tutor

If your teen excels in certain subjects suggest that they offer their services as a tutor for other students. To get the word out have them speak with the teachers of those subjects and let them know that they offer those services.

Also, speak to the student guidance counselors and let them know. Often if a student isn’t doing well, the teachers or counselors will let the parents know. And when they do that they can also suggest your teen’s tutoring services.

Work As A Freelance Writer

Your teen can capitalize on their writing skills and get paid jobs. They can easily find work online and pick only the projects that interest them. They could write for tech or gaming blogs, contribute to teen magazines, or write for neighborhood businesses.

Teach English

If your town has a lot of new immigrants, your teen could offer their services and start teaching them English. It doesn't have to be complicated; they just need to formulate a feasible teaching plan, start from the basics, and help these newcomers learn the language.

Sell Your Photos

There are websites like Shutterstock and Bigstock Photo that accept photos from just about anyone. These photos are used as stock images. Just pick out the most lucrative keywords and try to submit them to these websites. Your teen will make money each time someone purchases a photo.

Wash Cars

It is a lot of hard work, but that also means they can charge more. Depending on the services required (like cleaning, waxing, and buffing), your teen can tack on extra charges for extra work. It's also possible to offer both external and internal cleaning.

And instead of waiting around for people have your teen go out and find them. Knock on neighbor’s doors on a Saturday afternoon and offer to wash their car so that they have one less chore to do.

Run an SAT Review Course

If your teen managed to ace their SATs, congratulations. Here's another opportunity they can try. Conduct a course for students about to take their SATs. And they will get more students if they work hard to provide review materials and mock exams.

Design A Website or Develop Apps

A lot of teenagers are actually very tech-savvy. This is because the new generation really is more ingrained towards technology. They were born into this, and cannot imagine a world without the Internet, so it just makes sense that they would use it to make money.

Design a Logo

If your teen isn’t into tech but they are very creative then they can sell their artwork online.

They can create customized logos for bloggers and websites. They can build a portfolio by offering their services on Fiverr first.

Make Jewelry

It doesn't have to be really fancy; but jewelry has to be unique to sell. A lot of people have a creative talent that helps them create wonderful products. Design bracelets, earrings, and even pendants and keep studying new techniques online. This can be a very fun way to make money.

Start a Business

Check out this story on how a 9 year old girl started her own business and now at 17 she is the CEO of a six-figure business. She is also the youngest person to ever ring the NASDAQ Stock Market opening Bell.

She has also been interviewed on TV many times which instantly exploded her sales. If she can do it, so can you.


    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 08/06/2013 5:19 a.m. #

      These are some really good ideas! I just worked a traditional job at a couple pizza places when I was a teenager. Definitely was a good lesson in work ethic and the value of a dollar.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 11:17 a.m. #

        Yes, you worked at Pizza Hut. I would have loved that.

    • Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

      Tara @ Streets Ahead Living 08/06/2013 8:24 a.m. #

      Working a part-time job is my greatest suggestion for a teenager, especially if she/he is not heavily involved in an after-school activity. My mom told me that if I wanted to buy things growing up, outside of the occasional, necessary clothing item (like replacing a pair of jeans that no longer fit), I had to buy it myself. So I got part-time jobs, working at mostly food service places and I feel those experiences have taught me a lot that I still value to this day--like how terrible those jobs can be and why you must always treat food service employees with respect.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 11:19 a.m. #

        That is so great that you worked as a teenager and made money to cover your own spending. It helps a person learn how much things actually cost and how long it took them to earn that money in the first place.

    • Free Money Minute

      Free Money Minute 08/06/2013 8:36 a.m. #

      I agree that low financial literacy in our young population is they key to people getting into financial trouble. I really think this needs to be a focus of study in high school as it affects nearly every part of your life. Getting a job and earning money early on is a good way to get your teen on the right track towards financial prosperity.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 11:23 a.m. #

        Yes, a job or a business that allows them to make money is a good way to get them working towards financial prosperity. As parents you never know where it might lead them. Look at how many teens started working when they were young and are now earning a very high income.

    • krantcents

      krantcents 08/06/2013 8:58 a.m. #

      All good ideas! I used to volunteer for paid experiments when I was in college. Many were sponsored by the Federal government such as U.S. Navy.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 11:24 a.m. #

        I read somewhere that volunteering for experiments was an option. Very cool.

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 08/06/2013 11:19 a.m. #

      There is no better way to teach teens about money then having them earn money. I worked as teen and it was a great experience. It give me a bit of financial freedom as now I had my own money to spend. Even more importantly I learned a lot about responsibility and the fact you had to EARN money. Kids get so used to be handed money but nobody hands you money as an adult.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 11:26 a.m. #

        Very good point Shannon! No one just hands you money as an adult.
        Working as a teen has so many advantages, whether they work a few hours a month or more, at least they are making their own money and gaining experience.

    • femmefrugality

      femmefrugality 08/06/2013 2:17 p.m. #

      Another cliche one---babysitting! I worked a part time job (well actually a few different ones) in high school, but none of them made me the same pay per hour as babysitting! And that one was a lot more fun for me. (That being said, it usually didn't come up 5 times a week like a part time job can.)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 3:30 p.m. #

        It sounds like you made some good money babysitting and the fact that you enjoyed it is just icing on the cake.

    • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

      Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr 08/06/2013 2:59 p.m. #

      Those are some great ideas, Sicorra! When I was a teenager, it seemed like the only option was fast food and the few lucky kids who scored jobs at the Mall. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't have a job in high school. I worked through college but not high school. My parents never made a big deal about it and I rarely asked them for money anyways. My brother had a part-time job and he let it affect his grades and actually ending up dropping out of college to work full-time. I think because of this my parents didn't want to overly pressure to me work or think that minimum wage was a lot of money. I do think teens should work as long they don't put it above school. It does give them a great opportunity to learn about money and I worked in fast food in college. Trust me, I didn't want that to be my life so I wanted to graduate and move on!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/06/2013 3:34 p.m. #

        You're right Tanya, it shouldn't be a job that takes teens away from their studies and they end up not doing well in school.

        Working as a teen doesn't necessarily need to be an all or nothing situation. It could be something that they work at just a few hours a week, and then work a lot more hours on their summer break when school is out.

        It is all a balancing act, the same as when we are older and have jobs and a home life to manage and possibly little ones as well.

    • Corinne

      Corinne 08/07/2013 12:56 a.m. #

      Great ideas Sicorra! It's so important for me to teach my kids financial responsibility. I was a bit spoiled growing up and while I don't wish my kids to struggle, I want them to learn the value of a dollar.
      Glad to see tutoring on the list. In high school I tutored a girl who started kindergarten at the elementary I went to, and she had just come from Japan. I got to see her progress and also become more confident and outgoing. It was a wonderful gig.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/07/2013 7:06 p.m. #

        Corinne, your high school tutoring job sounds like it was very rewarding for both you and the young girl that you worked with. How fun!!

    • Rita P @ Digital Spikes

      Rita P @ Digital Spikes 08/07/2013 3:30 a.m. #

      Really good ideas to make money. If we start teaching our teens from now only how to manage and earn money definitely they can handle their future with less stress. Eventually it can lead to financial prosperity. Only thing here is they should equally concentrate on their studies too along with their part time job

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/07/2013 7:09 p.m. #

        Yes, it is important for a student to find balance between work and studying, but again, they will need to have that skill later in life as well, so working while going to school is good practice for them.

    • CarolB

      CarolB 08/08/2013 9:13 a.m. #

      Hi Sicorra, Great job ideas! I am so giving this to my "money-hungry" teen! He's too young at 15 for an official paid job, but we have implemented a list of jobs around the house that he can earn money by doing them. Each job has a corresponding dollar value attached to it. The big one on the list is cutting the grass and other yard work - no need for a lawn service here, I've got a money-hungry teenager in the house. It's working pretty well - he's saved up quite a bit this summer.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/08/2013 4:07 p.m. #

        Thanks very much Carol.
        15 is too young in your area for a real job? It seems to vary. That is great to have an in-house gardener! I would so love that too. Not only does it help him make money, but it also teaches him how to take care of your home so that when he has his own he will already have all of that experience.

    • Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Famiilies

      Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Famiilies 08/08/2013 12:51 p.m. #

      Great list of ideas. I have noticed that employers are making it harder to get a job at the age of 16, with the exception of fast food. Companies avoid young children because there are more labor laws that have to be followed to avoid getting huge fines. I know that when I turned 16, I worked so that I could pay for my car, gas, insurance, and other things that I wanted.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 08/08/2013 4:13 p.m. #

        Thanks Christy! I didn't realize that it was becoming more difficult for teens to get jobs. Is it different or the same across the country?

        Good for you though for working at 16. It is nice to be able to pay some of those expenses on your own.

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