Let me guess: your child just asked you if they could have another $20, right?
However, this time instead of handing over the money, you decided to find out how to make money as a kid in today’s world.
How to Make Money as a Kid
As a parent, I’m a big believer in entrepreneurship. When you know ways you can make money, you can control how much money you make.
I’ve tried to instill that entrepreneurial mentality into my four kids.
One way I do this is to not give them extras like toys or games unless it’s their birthday or another gift giving occasion, like Christmas.
If they want something extra, they need to buy it themselves. But they won’t get the cash from me – at least not for free. I rarely give them money unless they earn it.
Bottom line: if they want extra stuff, they need to find a way to earn the money. This teaches them to come up with several creative ways to earn cash.
My kids know how to make money. And if you’re a kid, you can learn to make money too.
Here is are a few ways to make money as a kid.
Believe it or not, there are dozens of ways kids can make money. We’ve divided our ideas into three groups: Selling your stuff, making money locally and making money online.
See if you can find some ideas for you or your kid to earn some cash.
Make Money Online
If you don’t want to make money by working locally, why not earn cash working online? Here are several ideas for making money online when you’re a kid.
1. Sell T-Shirts
Did you know there are companies that will allow you to upload your t-shirt designs and sell them online?
My daughter has done this since she was about 14. Sites such as CafePress will allow you to add your designs to their site.
When someone likes your design, they can buy it printed on a t-shirt. CafePress handles all production, shipping and customer service.
They give you a portion of the sale price for each item that gets sold with your designs. Bonus: CafePress will print your designs on other items such as laptop covers too.
This is what’s called “passive income” – income that requires work up front but then can make money with little or no help from you.
Note that you have to get your parents’ permission and help to open up a CafePress account.
2. Take Surveys
If you have your parents’ permission, you can make money by taking surveys and doing other activities online. Here are the names of some survey companies that let kids as young as 13 join.
Some of these companies only do surveys. Others pay you for other tasks such as playing games, watching videos and searching the web.
3. Make YouTube Videos
If you’re like my kids, you might like watching YouTube videos of other people doing funny things. Or videos of people teaching you something.
Did you know you can make money from YouTube videos you upload? If you allow ads to play during your video, YouTube will give you money each time someone watches your videos.
The more views you get, the more money you earn. You can make videos doing funny stuff, or you can make videos that show people how to make or fix things.
The possibilities are endless.
4. Sell Your Photos
Another way you could make money is by selling your photos online. If you have a gift for great photography, you can upload your quality photos to a site like Shutterstock.
Each time someone downloads your picture for use, Shutterstock pays you a commission. This is another site you’ll need to have your parents’ help with.
Make Money by Making Stuff
If you’re a kid who has a gift for creating things, why not sell them? Here are some ideas for things you can make yourself and sell.
5. Make Jewelry
Do you have a knack for making jewelry. Why not make earrings, bracelets and necklaces you can sell to others?
Start by getting supplies from a local craft store. Make up a few pieces, then wear them around to advertise.
Participate in local craft fairs or garage sales to get more exposure.
6. Make Crafts
Are you good at making craft items? Maybe you know how to dress up a picture frame with paint and sparkles.
Or you can paint a sign with a popular Bible verse or other saying. If you’re a crafty person, why not sell your crafts?
You can sell them locally, however, with mom or dad’s help you could sell them online too. Sites like Etsy let people sell their crafts to people around the world.
7. Knit, Crochet or Sew
Can you knit, crochet or sew? If so, why not sell your handmade items to those around you? You could make mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and more.
Or you could cross-stitch designs on dish towels. Another idea would be to knit or crochet baby hats or booties. The possibilities are nearly endless. Sell your knitted, crocheted or sewn items locally or sell them online.
8. Sell Lemonade
Everyone loves to drink a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day. If you live on a busy street, you can sell your lemonade right in your front yard.
If not, ask mom or dad if you can set up a stand in a busy area. Make sure your lemonade tastes good and is cold.
Hint: you can add other goodies to your stand too. Freezer pops, popsicles and ice cream bars are some ideas.
9. Sell Hot Chocolate
Just because the weather is cold doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Why not sell hot chocolate? You could add popcorn to the deal for extra income.
Take advantage of the cooler weather and warm people’s hearts with a cup of tasty hot chocolate. Offer mini marshmallows for an extra special touch.
10. Sell Baked Goods
Do you like to bake? Are you good at it? Why not sell baked goods? You could sell cookies and muffins to local businesses for their morning meetings.
Or sell cupcakes or cakes to people having birthday parties. Another idea would be to sell your baked goods at a garage sale or during a local event like a state fair. Check with your local government to find out what the food laws are in your area.
Some states have regulations about selling food from home.
11. Sell Your Art
Are you a talented artist? Why not sell your art? You could advertise it locally by having a lawn sale. Or you could sell your art on eBay or Etsy.
Be sure to create art that appeals to a broad customer base. For instance, make paintings that could hang in homes with a wide variety of decor themes.
Another option is to sell commissioned art. This is art that people ask you to make. For instance, you could draw someone’s pet. Or you could draw a picture of a favorite superhero.
Tell people what kinds of things you draw or paint and set your prices to include supplies and your time.
These are just some of the ideas of stuff you could make and sell. Make a list of things you’re good at making, and see which ones might be items that others would want to buy.
Next, we’ll go over some tips for how to help make your business profitable. If you’re selling stuff you make, be sure to keep these tips in mind.
Tips for Selling Stuff You Make
There are tips to having a successful business when you sell stuff you make. Here are a few that will help you maximize your income.
- Price your item right. Take into account the cost of supplies, the time you spent making it and any shipping or advertising costs.
- Advertise! Wear your items, or advertise on social media accounts. The more people that know about your stuff, the more potential customers you have.
- Provide excellent service. Make quality products. Follow through on promises such as delivery dates. Return customer inquiries in a timely manner. Build up a great reputation and word will spread.
By following these tips you can help increase the number of items you will sell. Now let’s talk about other jobs you can do.
This next list encompasses jobs you can do right in your own neighborhood or town.
Make Money Locally
Here is a list of jobs you can do locally. Advertise to people who live in your neighborhood or city. See which of these jobs might be good for you.
12. Have a Garage Sale
You might be able to make big money holding a garage sale. I made close to $800 at my last garage sale.
You can sell your unwanted toys and games, or sell clothes you’ve grown out of. And I’d be willing to bet your parents might give you some things to sell if it means you’d help them declutter the house and garage.
You could also ask family members like grandparents for donations to your garage sale. The more stuff you have to sell, the more potential you have to make money.
Advertise your sale on Craigslist and on garage sale sites. Put signs around the neighborhood to point people to your sale.
Here are some tips for holding a successful garage sale:
- Price items attractively. Aim for 10% of retail
- Be willing to haggle with customers who want a deal. Give them two-for-one sales
- Serve snacks and drinks – either sell them for cheap or serve them for free.
- Be sure your sale is organized so people can look through it easily
- Sell items that are in good shape
- Coordinate your sale with citywide sales or encourage neighbors to do a neighborhood sale. You’ll get more traffic that way.
Use the tips above and you can make good money at a garage sale. Hold them once or twice a year if you have enough stuff to sell.
13. Start a Babysitting Business
This is a job I did regularly as a kid. And I made a decent amount of money doing it until I was 15 and could get a job at a restaurant.
If you like playing with and caring for kids, why not start a babysitting business? Depending on how many kids you care for at once, you can make a decent hourly wage.
In some areas, babysitter wages start as high as $10 per hour. And you can earn more per hour if you’re paying for multiple kids.
Here are some tips for earning the most money as a babysitter:
- Be a fun, yet responsible, baby sitter. Make sure kids adhere to the rules, but have fun with them and play with them too.
- Get your babysitting certification through the American Red Cross or other local groups. These groups teach CPR, first aid and other important babysitting tips. Having your certification will be an attractive feature to parents.
- Register your services on a site like Care.com. This is an official site where people can find babysitters. You’ll have to have your parent create your caregiver profile.
- Go “above and beyond” if you want returning customers. Provide extras like light housekeeping. Bring a “fun” bag with coloring crayons, coloring books and small toys for kids to play with.
By being responsible and attentive to the kids you care for, you’ll establish a reputation as a great babysitter. Word will spread and you’ll increase your chances of being hired by other parents too.
14. Offer Pet Sitting Services
Is watching kids not your thing? How about caring for pets? People often hire others to pet sit for their dogs, cats and other pets.
Maybe they’re out of town for work or for a vacation. Or, they might not like their pets home alone all day.
As a pet care provider you will spend time with pets, feed them and clean up after them. Some pet care jobs can be done quickly. You’ll just need to stop into the house once or twice a day.
Other pet care jobs will require a few hours of work. For instance, maybe someone wants you to come and spend a few hours a day with their dog.
Still others might want you to bring your dog to their house so it’s not alone during the day. You can determine the services you’ll provide and what you’ll charge for doing so.
If you like animals this could be a great job for you.
15. Work as a Doggie Doo-doo Scooper
This is one of those jobs that dog owners might not like. However, it can make you big bucks. Advertise your services for cleaning up doggie doo-doo to neighborhood dog owners.
Bring your own bag and scooper, and dispose of the remnants in the owner’s outside garbage can. Charge by the hour, as some yards might have more to clean up than others.
It’s not the cleanest job around, however, people often pay well to have someone else do it.
16. Start a Dog Walking Business
Another way to make money by working with animals is to start a dog walking service. You can pick up dogs from the houses of busy owners and spend an hour or so walking them.
One of the great things about this job is that you may be able to walk more than one dog at a time. More dogs means more money per hour.
Remember that as a dog walker, you’re responsible for the behavior of the pets you walk. Keep them away from strangers to avoid liability issues from dog bites and other behaviors.
And have doggie doo-doo cleaning supplies for if your charges do their business while on a walk.
Advertise in your neighborhood with flyers or at pet stores or veterinarian clinics.
17. Do Basic Lawn Services
Are you good at mowing lawns, raking leaves and shoveling snow? How about offering basic lawn care services around your neighborhood?
Advertise with flyers to take residents’ lawn care jobs off their hands. Have your own lawn mower, or use theirs if that’s okay with them.
Do a great job and follow any directions the homeowner might have regarding their home. Charge by the job. Depending on the size of the lawn or sidewalk, some jobs might take longer than others.
18. Deliver Newspapers
This is a job my youngest brother had when he was a kid. And he was able to earn several hundred dollars a year at it.
In fact, in just six months he earned enough to buy his own stereo system and nice Christmas gifts for each member of our family.
The thing you need to know about delivering newspapers is that it’s a rain or shine job. You can’t not do your deliveries because it’s raining or snowing.
In addition, it’s usually a 7-day-a-week job. And if you have morning delivery clients, you’ll have to get up real early and deliver before school starts.
Check local newspaper ads or call your local newspaper for details on available delivery routes.
19. Wash Cars
Do you like washing cars? Why not get paid to do it? Start by getting your own washing supplies. Buy a bucket, some washing and drying rags, and some soap.
Get some window cleaner, paper towels and a portable, hand-held vacuum. You’ll use your clients’ hose and water. Clean both the inside and outside of the car, and do a thorough job.
Charge by the job. Most clients will pay about the same. However, some clients might have cars filled with fast food or other garbage. Charge them more if it’ll take you longer to clean their car.
Advertise your services with neighborhood flyers or to a neighborhood website or Facebook group.
20. Water Plants
Do you like caring for plants? Why not offer your services as a plant waterer. You could water people’s indoor and outdoor plants.
The key to doing this job well is to get instructions from each client. Have them tell you how often they want you to come and how much water to give each plant.
Some plants need more water; others, like cactuses, need less. By learning how the owner wants you to care for each plant, you can do your best work.
21. Be a Mother’s Helper
A Mother’s Helper is different than a babysitter. They usually work when the parent is at home. In addition, they do a variety of tasks. As a Mother’s Helper, you might:
- Watch the kids
- Wash or fold laundry
- Clean the house
- Play with the kids
- Do other household chores
You’re basically there to help the parent in whatever capacity he or she needs. But since the parent is still at the home (at least most of the time) you’re not completely on your own.
Advertise your services through family, friends or on social media.
22. Weed Yards or Gardens
This is another job a lot of people don’t care to do. If you like tidying up yards or gardens, offer your services as a garden weeder. Bring a bag or check with the homeowner as to where they want the weeds discarded.
23. Clean Houses
Do you like cleaning the house? Are you good at it? Why not start a business offering light housekeeping duties? You could dust, vacuum and clean the bathrooms.
You could work to get regular clients where you clean a few times a month. Or you can offer to help them clean on special occasions, like before the holidays.
Charge by the hour or per job.
24. Run Errands
People who are busy or housebound often need someone to run errands for them. For instance, you might pick up a few groceries or make a delivery to the post office.
Charge by the task. Make sure you charge what your time is worth. Think of the task in terms of hours and determine your desired hourly wage.
25. Help Seniors
Many seniors (people age 65 and older) need help around the house. Some just want someone to spend time with them.
Provide your services as a “personal assistant” and make a list of tasks you can do for your elderly clients.
Advertise at assisted living apartment complexes or senior centers.
26. Provide Tech Support
Are you good at technical stuff? Can you set up or fix computers, smartphones or other devices?
Luckily for you, there are lots of people out there that don’t know how to do these things. Advertise your services and charge an hourly rate for tech-related tasks.
27. Offer Face Painting Services
Do you have a gift for art? Why not become a face painter? Kids love having their faces painted at events and parties.
You could offer your services to children’s birthday parties. Or you could rent a booth and participate in local fairs and other events.
Practice drawing different things on paper until you’ve perfected your face painting skills.
28. Tutor Other Children
If you’re good at school subjects like reading and math, you could offer tutoring services. In other words, parents would pay you to help their children with various school subjects.
For instance, some kids have trouble learning how to read. If you’re good at reading you can help teach them.
Or you could teach them how to operate a computer. Or you could help them with learning their math problems.
If you’re good at school work and have patience for teaching kids, tutoring might be a good job for you.
29. Sell Golf Balls
Do you live near a golf course or golf driving range? You could collect the golf balls that players hit outside of course boundaries.
After you collect them, wash them up and re-sell them to golfers for a fraction of the cost of new golf balls.
30. Rent Your Movies or Video Games
Do you own a lot of movies and/or video games? Why not make money renting them out to friends? You could charge a dollar a day like they do at Redbox.
Make sure to keep track of who you rent to, what they rent and how many days they have the item.
What About Taxes as a Kid?
You might be wondering if you as a kid need to pay taxes or report your income to the IRS. The answer to that question is……..maybe. All earned income situations are different.
However, in many situations a child does not have to file taxes or report income if they made less than $1050 during the year.
Have your mom and dad check with their tax specialist to find out if you have to report your income. But I’d suggest keeping track of it on a spreadsheet just in case.
Be sure to keep track of any expenses you incur while you work as well. For instance, if you start a car washing business you’ll want to keep track of what you spend on soap, paper towels and other supplies.
As you can see, there are many ways for you as a kid to earn money. Choose to do jobs that you’re good at and that you think will be fun. And be sure to get your parents’ or guardian’s permission before starting any job.
Which of these jobs do you think sound fun? Have you earned money doing any of them in the past? Let us know in the comments section.
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