Making money as a teenager is totally possible. Even if you aren't old enough to get a job you can still start your own business, whether that is a local business, such as dog walking, or online, like doing video game coaching. There are a lot of opportunities out there.

As a teenager, you have to deal with your fair share of pressure. School demands, extracurricular activities, and more.

The million-dollar question is how the heck you are supposed to find time to make any money. And I get it completely – no young person wants to beg for money from their parents all the time.

Whether it’s a basic job at the mall, something part-time, or starting your own business, there are countless ways to make money if you’re a teenager.

Here are a few of them.

Find a Job Online

Take surveys

How To Make Money - A Guide For Teens - Swagbucks

Believe it or not, you can make money taking surveys. Swagbucks is the best-known survey site, providing users with points to their favorite retailers for completing surveys, watching videos, or searching the web. The company has given out more than $330 million to teens and adults to date.

While Swagbucks may be the most popular way of taking surveys, it’s not the only one. TreasureTrooper, VIP Voice, Toluna, and Survey Junkie have opportunities for teens looking for a side hustle. Some of the sites have referral programs, where you can make some extra cash by having friends sign up for the service.

You must be at least 13 years old to join. For example, Swagbucks lets you invite your friends to join and you’ll earn 10% of whatever they earn, whenever they earn it. So if a friend earns 500 Swagbucks in a day, Swagbucks will give you 50 Swagbucks (10%) because you referred them.

Get started with our list of the best survey sites.

Stream on Twitch

Becoming a famous Twitch streamer isn’t easy, but many people make a living by playing video games and streaming their gameplay on the Twitch platform. For example, Twitch streamer Jeremy ‘DisguisedToast’ Wang makes about $20,000 per month, depending on his viewership and the games he’s playing. But know that not everyone makes that kind of money.

To get started, you’ll need to be good at playing video games that people want to watch other people play. You’ll need a webcam and a computer capable of playing demanding video games. From there, you simply sign up for a Twitch account and begin playing video games. Depending on how many people subscribe to your channel to watch you play will determine if and how much money you will make.

Gaming competitions

If you’re a competitive gamer, you can make a decent side income with gaming competitions. For most people, it won’t be a full-time salary, but if you win gaming tournaments for games like Call of Duty or Fortnite, for instance, you can earn some big money.

There are plenty of people who are examples of this. Bizzle makes over $300,000 playing in Fortnite gaming competitions, for instance. Suppose you’re good at some of these competitive games. In that case, you can probably make the most money playing in competitions (versus just streaming your gameplay on Twitch). Just remember that you’ll need to win consistently to earn a lot.

Sell in-game items

For nearly every online multiplayer game that I can think of, such as Call of Duty, the most valuable items (like special weapons) are tricky to find. To find these items, many people spend hundreds of hours scouring the game online. So as a teen, if you can muster up that kind of time, there’s a real market for these hard-to-find items.

Companies like PlayerAuctions allow you to sell your in game items for real money. Fortnite, GTA5, Overwatch2, even Roblox and Pokemon are all reasonably popular in terms of sellable items. Some games, such as DOTA 2 and Counterstrike allow you to sell found items outside of the in-game interface, too, on sites such as Loot Market.

One thing to make sure of, though, is that you’re not getting scammed (which is relatively easy to do in this market). Unless you have a lot of experience selling in-game items, I would stick to smaller items to start, and even consider selling your Steam items right through their platform (even though you can’t get actual cash from this).

Start a blog

This isn’t a post about making money blogging, so know that I will scratch the surface here intentionally. The first thing you have to realize is that blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time and discipline if you want to make actual money from it.

For example, two of my money-making blogs took well over a year, and over 100 well-researched articles to even start making any money. Yes, there are exceptions, but in most cases, you should plan on writing at least every week for a year before you start to build an audience and make money.

To start a blog, you’ll need a domain name and hosting – at a bare minimum. You can look for a domain name on sites like Namecheap and NameMesh, and you can find hosting through sites like Bluehost or SiteGround. Once your site is up and running, you can start blogging and building an audience.

The most common ways to make money on blogs are through advertisements and affiliate marketing – which is when you link out to another product and get a commission if someone buys it, such as Amazon.

You can also make money through memberships, creating your own products (like a course), offering consulting services, or having sponsored posts on your site (when a person or company pays you to write on your blog – usually to drive business to their company).

Either way, it’s a long journey, but if you stick to it, you can make some real cash from a blog.

Get paid to walk

Believe it or not, you can get paid to walk by using apps. One example is SweatCoin – which pays you to take walks outside. The way it works is relatively simple. When you take 1,000 steps outdoors, SweatCoin gives you 0.95 SweatCoins. You can then redeem your SweatCoins right in the app for rewards.

While you can’t convert your SweatCoins directly to cash, you can exchange them for things you’d otherwise spend some money on, such as gift cards or other products. The lineup of rewards changes every day, so make sure you save your SweatCoins for a reward that really piques your interest.

Another app to consider is Runtopia. Runtopia is geared toward those who not only want rewards but also want to improve their fitness level. The app lets you set exercise goals for things like cycling, walking, and running. There’s also an audio coach you can play while doing one of these exercises, which is pretty cool.

While you’re doing your workouts through the Runtopia app, you can complete tasks or participate in a community. By doing this, you’ll earn what they call Sports Coins. You can then redeem those points for things like discounts, PayPal cash, products, and free memberships.

The way I see it, if you’re already running or walking, it’s a no-brainer to use one of these apps.

Earn cash back

Earning cash back online has become so popular that it’s not only easy to do, but the competition has led to some fantastic offers that let you make serious side-cash. One of the best cash back apps is Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping offers coupon codes that automatically get applied to your card, but they also offer credits when you shop through certain stores (Walmart, Ebay, etc.). You can redeem these credits for gift cards.

Become a virtual assistant

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) says workers must be at least 14 years old to have a non-agricultural job, and they must work limited hours. That figure jumps to 18-year-olds if the occupation involves hazards.

You can still find jobs online for teens, even if they’re not posted on traditional employment search engines, like Indeed or LinkedIn. Being a virtual assistant provides a reliable way to earn money as a teenager. The position entails handling administrative tasks for someone while working remotely. Some of those responsibilities include:

  • Email management
  • Social media management
  • Research
  • Writing and editing
  • Clerical tasks
  • Basic bookkeeping
  • SEO optimization
  • Calendar organization

The best way to find a virtual assistant position is through your social network. Perhaps your parents or your friends know a business owner that needs help with day-to-day tasks. The specific job description will vary between clients, but either way, being a virtual assistant provides a great way to start earning money fast.

Just have a good attitude and be willing to help in any way that you can. You can get started at around $15 or $20 per hour.

Perform data entry

A 16-year-old can work a range of jobs without limits on their working hours, though federal law prevents teenagers from accepting hazardous roles. HireTeen brings all those positions into one place with its platform for online teen jobs. Some of the most common money-making opportunities include food, retail, health care, and business services.

While updating spreadsheets may not be the most glamorous option, companies continuously need data-entry services. It involves typing and voice-recording data into computer files so the business will have up-to-date documents. Accepting a data entry role means you could make $45,000 per year or $15 to $20 per hour.

Tutor students

Get paid for earning excellent grades in high school. You can turn your knowledge into a paycheck. Tutoring comes with flexible hours and the ability to set your pay rate.

Put the word out that you are offering tutoring sessions. You can create a post on sites like Craigslist or Fiverr, but also consider any local message boards, such as Nextdoor. Keep in mind that you aren’t trying to reach the kids, you are trying to reach the parents, they are your real customer.

Sell stock photos

If you like taking pictures then opportunities to earn money licensing photos through stock sites are out there if you know your way around a camera. When you upload your content to Shutterstock, for example, the company pays you a 40% commission every time someone downloads your image. The exact paycheck depends on the retail price and how many people use your pictures.

The more photos you sell, the more Shutterstock pays. You can earn a pay bump when you hit certain uploading and selling milestones. Many other stock libraries, such as Alamy, Photoshelter, and Getty Images, have similar models.

Set up an Etsy account

Etsy is a great way to make some extra money, especially if you have a knack for making vintage or craft items. The website attracts more than 30 million buyers and $3 billion in sales each year. It charges a 20-cent fee for each listing and a 3.5% commission fee, leaving you with a bulk of the transaction.

Selling printables is very popular on Etsy and a fairly passive way to make money. If people can download your product then you don’t have to worry about shipping or buying materials and making a product.

While Etsy stands out for a rich inventory of jewelry, party supplies, art, and clothing, it’s not ideal if you want to make money fast. It takes time to set up and start building a reputation online. 

Spend some time browsing Etsy for ideas.

Join Fiverr

Fiverr started as a platform for freelancers to earn $5 per gig. That included writing, translating, graphic design, programming, or recording voice-overs that sound like Sean Connery. Since Fiverr launched in 2010, the website has updated its ways to make money, with gigs costing between $5 and $10,000 and many more services.

Don’t think that you need extraordinary skills to list on Fiverr. There are people who offer video game coaching, fantasy football team analysis, and even just being a friend to talk to. Check out this list of out of the box Fiverr offers.

If you have a little bit of talent, you can turn it into cash on Fiverr. The website sees a new gig every four seconds and has completed more than 50 million transactions. All you have to do is post your gig, deliver outstanding work, and watch the paycheck arrive in your bank account.

Translate languages

Do you know another language? The creators of Gengo want your help. After you take a test to verify your language proficiency, you can make money translating documents online.

Pay starts at $0.03 per word, but you can start making more if you produce high-quality translations. Gengo reviews your translation before forwarding it to the client. While the amount of work varies day to day, translating offers an easy and flexible way to make money online.

Create an eBay account

In 2001, eBay had the most users of any e-commerce website in the world. While the platform doesn’t have the luster of the early years, it remains a viable money-making opportunity for part-time and full-time work. All you need to get started are items to sell.

The company lets you auction anything from shoes to soaps and food trucks to Ferraris. Create a listing for your item, set a deadline, and sit back as online users make bids. The fee structure varies depending on the things you sell, though you can expect eBay to take commissions between 0% and 12%.

Launch a Shopify store

Shopify makes it easy to launch a business and start making money online. Start a free trial and add the products you want to sell into your inventory. After you create key pages and take care of shipping and payment details, you can open the store to the public.

Shopify can circumvent the traditional brick-and-mortar store model through dropshipping. The process involves someone starting a business and selling products without ever stocking the inventory. 

The business owner sends all the merchandise from a third party, so they save on overhead costs. Note that dropshipping has received criticism for its lack of quality control, high shopping expenses, and low-profit margins.

Scour Craigslist

Craigslist may be the largest crapshoot on this list. The site is a way to earn money working odd jobs from sales to software and from marketing to miscellaneous gigs. You can find part-time positions at the bottom of the page and post your resume, so recruiters can find you if nothing matches your immediate interests.

Earning money as a kid is more straightforward if you have some things to sell. Post items that you no longer want or use, including a compelling headline, pictures, and a description of the product. 

People will email you if they’re interested in your products, and you can negotiate a price and mode of delivery. Just be careful about meeting up with strangers, and be wary, since Craigslist has a reputation for scammers.

Become an online entrepreneur

There are plenty of ways to make money that I haven’t mentioned. One of the most inclusive options is by becoming your own boss. Find a problem to solve and start a business. You’ll have oversight of what items to sell, the company branding, and your salary.

The options are endless. You could launch a small bakery that delivers cookies, or create a website showcasing your graphic and web design abilities. As long as you can find a pressing problem that you can address, people will pay you to fix it.

Here are 30 businesses you can start with almost no money.

Learn a profitable skill

Maybe you don’t have a marketable skill that people are willing to pay for – yet. That’s alright. You can always use the present moment to learn one and get paid for it later. Get started for free at Alison, a comprehensive classroom for technology, science, language, and literacy.

Alison teaches you the skills to make money around your neighborhood, home, or online. You can explore existing passions, leveraging your insights into your own business or part-time job. 

Work Odd Jobs

How To Make Money - A Guide For Teens - Work odd jobs

Babysit

Providing baby sitting services is an option for many teens to earn some extra money, especially if you want to get started in early childhood education. The job comes with specific responsibilities and a reliable paycheck, making it one of the most popular ways to make money as a teenager. 

If you’ve never babysat before, take a course from your local YMCA or Red Cross. You can also join babysitting websites, such as Care.com to increase your chances of finding parents in need.

Parents frequently need help watching their younger kids, whether they’re going out for the night or dealing with an emergency. According to a study from UrbanSitter, the average babysitter earns $16.75 per hour when they watch one child. Rates may vary depending upon where you live. 

Mow lawns or remove snow

If you’re willing to get a little dirty, start a lawn mowing business. People need lawn mowing services from spring to fall, so there’s always demand, especially among professionals, the elderly, and others who don’t care to do physical labor. 

According to HomeAdvisor.com, you could make between $50 and $220 cutting a single lawn each month, with the average person earning $135 per month.

Don’t limit yourself to mowing services. Expand your offering to include pulling weeds, raking leaves, watering plants, and painting fences. The more services you can provide someone, the more likely you are to make them a repeat customer.

If you live in an area with a snowy winter season, you can similarly make money by offering your services shoveling or blowing snow and de-icing walkways.

Walk dogs

Many people choose dog walking to make extra money, get some exercise, and hang out with dogs. If you already know someone else with a dog, try making them your first client. You can even set up a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule to plan your dog walks in advance.

You can also sign up for one of the many dog walking sites, such as Rover.com and WagWalking.com. The platforms let you create a profile where local pet owners can request your services. Indeed says that the average dog walker makes $15.75 per hour, making it a great way to cover things like gas or clothes.

Pet sitting services

Offering pet sitting services can pair really well with dog walking. You can have pets at your house, which would be boarding them, or check in on them at their house while their owners are away.

You’ll need to care for the pet, such as food, walks, love, maybe even medication. But pair this with your dog walking services and you could have yourself a successful business.

Recycle

You can earn a few hundred dollars in cash every month collecting and recycling cans. Some states pay $0.05 – $0.10 for lightly used cans as a way to incentivize recycling. 11 states have container deposit laws, including:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont

While returning old cans may be the most prominent way to make money with recycling, it’s not the only way. TerraCycle, a private recycling business, pays volunteers nationwide to handle hard-to-recycle items. That includes things like plastic toothbrush tubes, potato chip bags, and shampoo bottles.

TerraCycle awards people two points for every shipment over seven pounds and pays $10 for every 1,000 points people earn. You can also recycle cardboard on BoxCycle or return cooking oil for $0.75 a gallon to biodiesel companies. Other recyclable items include expired ink cartridges, automobile batteries, and scrap metal.

Collect golf balls

If you decide to take a job as a golf course worker, you have a golden opportunity to collect and resell used golf balls. Even the best golfers will occasionally lose their balls in the woods or water. Stroll these parts of the course long enough, and you can amass a sizable collection.

Once you clean and sort the balls, you can sell the balls online or to the pro shop. Remember that not all golf balls command the same price. The Titleist Pro V1, one of the most expensive golf balls in the world, retails for $48 a dozen. If you sell 12 used Pro V1s, you should get paid at least half the retail price. 

Always make sure you check with the golf course, though, just to make sure you have permission to gather the golf balls.

Move garbage cans on trash day

Trust me, your neighbors hate having to remember trash day. Offer to take their cans down to the curb the evening before trash day and then bring them back to the house when empty.

Knock on every door in your neighborhood and you’re almost guaranteed to get a few customers. Charge $5 a week. This is a great one for younger kids.

Work at a farmers’ market

Do you have a knack for making baked goods? What about growing juicy tomatoes or harvesting honey? If you said yes to any of these options, you might have a future at your local farmers’ market.

The next time you visit your farmers’ market, survey the stands to see what people are and aren’t selling. You should find something that no one else sells, but that still meshes with the culture and tastes of consumers. 

Remember to start small with your stand. Tents and gear can be significant cash investments, and you’ll want to know your products are a hit before expanding.

Clean houses

If you like things in order, you might excel at cleaning other people’s homes. You can start as a solo cleaner or work with a friend to tackle cleaning projects. Data from ZipRecruiter shows that house cleaners get paid $14 per hour on average.

House cleaning comes in two varieties: surface-level cleaning and deep cleans. Surface-level jobs target visible mess and untidiness. Cleaners at this level may offer dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping services. Deep cleaning takes more time and effort because it addresses hard-to-remove dirt and grime, which means it also pays more.

Clean pools

If you live somewhere where a lot of people have pools then take advantage. Pool upkeep can be a pain for busy homeowners and it’s nice to have someone else handle this chore.

If you don’t already know how to clean a pool then find someone in your life who can teach you, a friend’s dad or a neighbor will work.

Then look at a satellite view of  your neighborhood and make note of the houses with pools. Then it’s time to start knocking on doors and offering your services. You can charge up to $150 per month for weekly service, or even more depending on where you live.

Get Hired for a Part-Time or Summer Job

How To Make Money - A Guide For Teens - Get hired

Deliver food

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.

Related: 10 Jobs like Instacart

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.

Summer 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 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.

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.

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 as a summer job can provide 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. 

Giving music lessons 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. 

Make Money on Social Media

How To Make Money - A Guide For Teens - Make money on social media

Monetize your YouTube channel

You can make money as a teenager if you have a significant social media following. YouTube lets you run ads on your channel if you have at least 1,000 followers and 4,000 hours of watch time. If you plan to earn money, kid-friendly content is a must.

The current algorithm favors creators that make longer videos because it gives YouTube more time to run ads. Length shouldn’t come at the cost of quality, though. If you make a long video, maintain your quality of production to keep attracting new users. 

Become a social media influencer

Being a social media influencer is one of the newer ways to make money as a teenager. If you have loyal fans, you can promote products and services in exchange for cash. 

Make sure you have a well-established niche and that all your content is high-quality. Stick to a consistent theme so that followers can distinguish your brand. Once you establish these foundational elements, consider collaborating with other influencers and reaching out to brands in your niche to gain more exposure.

Start a podcast

If you have a laptop, you have all the technology you need to make a podcast. Shows like My Favorite Murder and The Joe Rogan Experience have low overhead costs, so the creators don’t spend a lot of money on physical space or production. The key is creating engaging content so advertisers will want to buy airtime.

If you want to earn fast money as a teenager, however, podcasting is not your best option. Both My Favorite Murder and The Joe Rogan Experience took years to cultivate their following. You can always do a podcast as a side gig, though.

As you gain followers you can start charging for ad space to companies who want to reach your audience.

Write a book with Amazon KDP

Have an idea for the next great American novel? Put it down on paper and publish it yourself. The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform makes publishing literature and making money as a teenager more accessible than ever.

Amazon KDP gives you control over the publishing process. You can toggle the price, cover art, and dimensions before finally hitting submit. Even if your work doesn’t become a best-seller, it looks great on a resume.

Manage people’s social media accounts

Teens have a leg up on adults in understanding social media. A 16-year-old grows up with apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok, while older people have to learn the seemingly foreign technology. You can make money fast by handling people’s social media accounts if they don’t want to learn the platform.

Offering to tweet or post family members’ content for a fee is a small-scale version of an advertising agency. Working as a one-person agency provides a glimpse into the advertising world while making money around the house.

Buy and sell gift cards

The NYSSCPA estimates that more than $21 billion in unredeemed gift cards are floating around out there. If you want to make money online from this market, start buying and selling gift cards. 

Find unused cards people in your family don’t want. Most people sell their unwanted cards for 70% to 90% of face value. If you have a $100 card to somewhere you’ll never shop, list it for $90 and trade with someone else for a $75 Amazon card.

The key is flipping cards for a profit, with each transaction netting more cash. Whatever the price you buy the card for initially, mark up the price when you sell. You can start buying cards on eBay, Craigslist, Raise, and Giftcard Granny.

FAQs on how to make money as a teenager

There are somethings to know if you are going to be making your own money.

Will I have to file a tax return?

Yes, you will most likely have to file taxes. If you get a job that gives you a paycheck you will be paying your taxes as you go along. You’ll notice that your paychecks are lower than your hourly wage times hours worked. That’s because taxes are withheld and submitted to the government on your behalf.

You’ll want to file a tax return because there is a good chance they withheld more than needed and you’ll be eligible for a return. If they didn’t withhold enough taxes you’ll definitely want to file a return because you will owe money and you don’t want to get in trouble with the IRS for not paying your taxes.

If you started your own business, such as dog walking, you are getting paid but taxes are not being withheld. For example, if you charge $20 to walk a dog you’ll receive the full $20. You’ll need to pay taxes on that money so you’ll have to file a return, sorry.

What should I do with the money I make?

You have a real opportunity now that you are making money as teen. I highly recommend starting a Roth IRA and start saving for retirement. I know that sounds crazy but even a small amount now will make a huge impact to your financial future.

Just $60 a month starting at age 15 will be slightly over a million dollars at age 65 if invested and earning 10% per year.  So anything you can spare today will be a big deal when you are older.

Here’s how to open your first IRA.

You’ll also want to open a checking and savings account so you can spending and saving money as you see fit.

Here’s a list of our best free checking accounts.

Summary

There is a job for you, no matter what your skills and interests are. You can get a traditional retail or fast food job and earn a steady paycheck or become an online entrepreneur, selling personalized products and services. Even if you’re only 14 years old, companies like AMC Theaters, Pizza Hut, Kroger, and Six Flags will hire you.

Making money shouldn’t supplant the importance of schools, after-school activities, or sleep. Keep one eye on the future, using the experience to learn what you want in a career.

Exercise discretion when applying and accepting jobs. Look at positions that align with your ambitions so you can experience things related to your career path. It’s never too early to consider a profession or earn some extra money.

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About the author

Chris Muller picture
Total Articles: 280
Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. He’s also built and run a digital marketing agency, focusing on content marketing, copywriting, and SEO, since 2016. You can connect with Chris on Twitter.