How to Make Money as a Teen

Need a small loan of one million dollars?

Whether you have 99 problems and money can solve 74 of them, or you simply want something your mom refuses to purchase, here’s how to amass your own small fortune:

1. Babysitting

This is nearly everyone’s first foray into the work-hard-play-hard lifestyle. While your friends will be watching movies, you’ll be watching children. Not to worry though, because earning your own pocket money is worth it.

Pro tip: babysit in homes where the children are above the age of two and will most likely be sleeping the entire time. That’s how you can also do homework or enjoy a TV show. Doesn’t it feel better to work on trigonometry if you know you’re also being paid for your time?

2. Feed the Hungry

There’s a certain portion of our population that has ravenous appetites and throughout most of their waking hours, they are actually forbidden from eating. A morsel. They are your classmates.

Whether your school has great vending machines or not, there is always something that hangry teenagers will be willing to shell out good money for. Your mom is begging you to eat her chocolate-covered heart cookies? 75 cents for each will yield a pretty fine return, considering that the margarine and chocolate combination are purely addictive. Your cafeteria only serves lasagna? Order in vast quantities of sushi.

**For the super-resourceful: Find a way to get some fridge space in school. It will allow you to expand your operations tenfold.

**Keep in mind that you go to school to learn so if your grades suffer because you’re too busy selling mint-chocolate thins, your counselor will have something to say about it. In order to keep your head in the game, consider hiring another schoolmate to assist so that you can be on top of those history essays.

3. Social Media Management

You know what us teens are really good at? Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. Photo-shopping selfies. Finding artsy locations.

You know what our moms are not the best at? Instagram. (“The”) Facebook. Snapchat (what’s that?). Taking selfies.

Do you get the drift?

No, don’t demand payment from your parents for showing them how to find Aunt Susan on Facebook. However, your parents’ friends may be in business. Their bridal boutique/law firm/restaurant requires digital marketing. You’re the one they need.

Depending on the amount of work, you can charge anywhere from $60/week to $10/photo to $150/Snapchat story. The best part of it is that you can do it all from your phone!

4. Tutoring

There are endless ways to assist someone with their schoolwork.

You can get paid to personally help someone out with their studies – but it doesn’t end there. Say you are an incredible note-taker; Make copies of them before big exams and charge money for each set. You can even borrow someone else’s amazing notes and give them a percentage of profit.

5. Entrepreneurship

Simply put, entrepreneurs solve problems. Those that are super successful seek to hire other people to do the work for them (this is called outsourcing).

Take the example of babysitting: Your neighbors want to have a long-awaited date night. You want to make some extra cash, so you volunteer to trade your time for $10/hour. An entrepreneur thinks: “I will start a babysitting agency. I can line up all the people I know that babysit, set them up with clients, and charge a percentage of the hiring cost.

Two notable teen entrepreneurs who put this idea to work are Noa Mintz, founder of Nannies by Noa, and Alexandria Marrow, founder of Sweets by Alexandria. (Read more about Noa here and Alexandria here.)

You can become an entrepreneur in your own unique way – just find the solution to a problem you are passionate about!

Cover photo by Daniel Odame.


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