This post offers 12 clever ways teenagers can make money
If you’re a teenager looking to earn a few bucks, there are plenty of available opportunities you can tap into. Everything from babysitting and working at a retail store to mowing lawns and waiting tables are all great ways for teens to make money.
But, if you’re looking for “out-of-the-box” ways of bringing in a little cold, hard cash, there are a few ways you may not have thought of. For a few cool, insanely clever and unconventional money-making methods, check out our totally legit list of ways teenagers can make money.
Be an English Tutor
What it pays: $10 per half hour session
If English is your first language and you’re 16 years of age or older you can earn cash simply by doing what you’re already comfortable doing – talking. SameSpeak is an online organization that offers students the ability to learn how to speak and understand English while chatting with “coaches.”
To become a coach with SameSpeak you need to be able to Skype on your computer and be comfortable talking conversationally with students. The company provides coaches with specific details regarding what each student is working on and your job is to help them become more affluent in speaking and understanding the English language.
Coaches earn $10 for every 30-minute tutoring session. You can’t be that! The only downside is that sometimes the program has a surplus of coaches, so you may have to complete the registration and wait until coaching spots become available.
Become a Freelance Writer
What it pays: $25 – $500 per article
If you’re passionate about writing and proficient at editing your own work you can earn money by becoming a freelance writer.
Freelance writing is a flexible and lucrative way to earn money. And, how awesome would it be to start building your portfolio when you’re still in your teens?
While some online companies such as Upwork require writers to be a minimum of 18 years of age, you can jumpstart your writing career a variety of ways. Launching a blog, pitching stories to local newspapers, reaching out to start-up companies that may not have a big marketing budget or even writing for a charitable organization to help promote their charity are great ways to establish a portfolio.
Get Paid to Surf the Net
What it pays: Up to $90 per month
If you consider yourself a professional Web surfer (like most teenagers), then this is for you! A totally legit site called Swagbucks pays people to complete online surveys, play games, shop online, watch videos and movie trailers, and search the Web.
When you complete tasks, you earn points which are put into a bank. The points can then we redeemed for gift cards at online and local stores including WalMart, Target and Amazon, to name a few.
You may not get rich with Swagbucks. But hey, why turn down a few extra easy bucks! The best part? It’s free to join and you can start earning Swagbucks points right away!
Hunt for Golf Balls and Resell Them
What it pays: A few cents – $1.50 per ball (for top brand names)
It sounds crazy, but people actually make money hunting for lost golf balls, cleaning them and reselling them. Why? Golf balls are expensive and golfers have a tendency to lose them all the time.
Tens of millions of golf balls are lost by golfers every year in the U.S. When recovered and cleaned, those balls can sell for pennies or more than a dollar each – especially the top brands such as Titleist.
A few words of advice: Make sure you don’t become a “poacher” and sneak onto golf courses at night (you could get arrested). And, beware of some courses where venomous snakes and gators hang out. Rather, check in with smaller courses (big name courses typically have their own golf ball clean-up team) or venture into (legal) areas surrounding courses to round up lost balls and sell them on eBay. Another way to gather golf balls is by asking previous golfers for their stash or going to flea markets.
Run Errands for People
What it pays: Minimum wage – $12 per hour
Life is busy and sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. That’s where you come in!
If you have a valid driver’s license you can earn good money simply by tackling tasks people don’t have time to do. Things such as picking up dry cleaning, doing light grocery shopping, doing a take-back at a store or taking the dog to the groomer are all simple and easy errands people are more than willing to pay for just to check it off their to-do list.
Spread the word about your errand business by distributing flyers in your neighborhood, dropping a text or email to all your friends (to pass along to their parents) or simply by word of mouth.
Selling Your Stuff
What it pays: Varies depending on what you sell
When was the last time you cleaned out your bedroom? Chances are your bedroom is literally a goldmine. All the clothes you never wear, books you’ve read, (or never read), sports equipment you don’t use anymore, and shoes and accessories you’re tired of can all be converted into cash with a simple app called Letgo.
Letgo is the biggest and fastest growing app to buy and sell locally with over 75 million downloads.
The cool part is, it’s 100% free and super easy to use! Just snap a picture of the item you want to sell and upload it in less than 30 seconds. It’s that easy!
Become a Virtual Assistant
What it pays: Minimum wage – $15 per hour (starting out)
Become a virtual assistant and you can work remotely from the comfort of your own home helping individuals with a variety of assigned online tasks.
A virtual assistant is a helper to someone who needs help to get various tasks completed. As a virtual assistant, you’re basically someone’s “go-to” person to complete a variety of tasks including scheduling meetings, social media management, making travel arrangements, answering emails, proofreading, editing, graphic design, making phone calls or basically anything else they need help with.
As cool as the job sounds, being a virtual assistant isn’t for everyone. It requires you to be available when your boss needs a task completed and because virtual assistant jobs are usually assigned to people who have a breadth of knowledge in various areas, this type of work is best for go-getters who are quick learners. To see what opportunities you might be well-suited for, check FlexJobs which always has postings for virtual assistant jobs. For more information on how to become a teenage virtual assistant, check out this site.
Get Paid to Watch Movie Previews
What it pays: .09 cents – $4.50 per survey
Get paid for doing something you’re already doing – watching videos! Inbox Dollars is arguably the easiest, most convenient and versatile way to make money online with little to no effort.
It’s a fully legitimate online rewards club that pays consumers for their everyday mobile online activities including taking online market research surveys, online shopping, watching videos, playing games and much more!
Plus, right now they’re offering a $5 bonus just for signing up. (You’ll have to watch all the videos in a particular playlist to be rewarded, but playlists typically don’t last more than half an hour.)
Be a Mother’s Helper
What it pays: Minimum wage – $10 per hour
Unlike babysitting where the parents leave you with the full responsibility of the kids while they venture out to dinner or run errands, a mother’s helper gives you a chance to earn money while mom is at home helping her with a variety of tasks.
As a mother’s helper, you could be asked to do any number of things including cleaning up after the kids, keeping an eye on the kids while mom works or cooks dinner, folding laundry or walking the dog. Basically, anything mom needs help with.
The nice thing about being a mother’s helper is that it gives “newbie” babysitters a chance to gain valuable babysitting experience (and get to know the kids better) before mom leaves the house and leaves you alone with the kids.
Make and Sell DIY Crafts on Etsy
What it pays: Depends on what and how much you sell
If you’re the DIY crafty type and happen to have a few handmade items people love, think about selling those items on Etsy.
Etsy is a website that sells all sorts of cool handmade and vintage items from sellers around the world including everything from unique bracelets and pillows to fun tie-dye t-shirts and key chains. Anyway, how cool would it be to have your very own online shop?
If opening an online Etsy shop seems like too big of a commitment for you, consider joining forces with a few of your besties where you each create a couple of items to sell. It’s a great way to earn a few extra bucks while gaining valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Teach Computer Basics to Seniors
What it pays: minimum wage – $12 per hour
If you’ve ever watched your grandma or grandpa try to send a text on an iPhone or attach an image to an email, then you know. Most senior citizens are pretty clueless about technology.
Teach senior citizens how to use their phones or the basics of how to use a computer by using skills you take for granted. Simply contact senior living facilities in your area, reach out to senior citizens in your neighborhood or distribute flyers.
Sign Up for Ebates
What it pays: Varies depending on how much online shopping you do
You’re shopping anyway, so why not earn money while you shop? Sign up for Ebates and start earning cash back at all your favorite stores.
More than 2500 stores are involved in the program including big names such as Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s and Macy’s and although the cash back varies depending on the store, some stores offer as much as 40% cash back.
Here’s the best news, new users can snag a $10 Walmart card just for giving the site a try and they also have a killer referral program. Simply refer a friend and when they spend $25 you’ll earn $25 cash back for every referral you send their way. Yup, every referral!