“Get a paper route. Build a lemonade stand. Carry groceries for your elderly neighbors.” Most of us old people can think of dozens of ways for kids to make money off the top of our head. Most of these involve things that we tried as kids, probably when our parents or grandparents told us how to make money.
However, just as the job market has changed for us adults, it has changed for kids as well. Nobody reads the newspaper. Unless a lemonade stand has a drive-thru that accepts Venmo and sells Skinny Mocha Lattes, they won’t make the same kind of money as we remember making back in the day. Neighbors can get their groceries delivered to their doorstep within an hour or two of delivering. So this begs the question…which time-tested kids jobs are still legit? What other new ways for kids to make money have emerged?
Ways for kids to make money
Thanks to the internet, smart phones, and kids who know how to use them, there are a lot more ways for kids to make money than before. There are also still some great ways to make money without sitting in front of a screen that can teach kids important life lessons. Lessons like “how to talk to people” and “how to help your neighbors.” I have put together a list of unique ways for kids to make money that are all viable options for children of any age. For this list, I threw out jobs that involve driving a car or using apps that require an age limit over 16, but in the future, I’ll publish a guide for teenagers and children over 18 as well. Without further ado, here is my heavily researched and narrowed down list of how to make money as a kid.
How to make money as a kid online or with apps
- Get paid to write – One of the coolest opportunities that the internet has opened up is that anyone can be an author. As a blogger with no formal training in journalism, I am well aware of this. This opportunity is not just limited to adults. Create your own blog or submit posts to other blogs, magazines, newspapers, online journals. Over time, you will start to build a reputation for your good writing and can make good money, even as a kid.
- Craiglist gigs – The “gigs” section of Craigslist, like the rest of the site has some weird stuff. However, there are also a lot of legitimate opportunities for kids to make money.
- Do quick tasks on Fiverr – Fiverr has changed the equation of how to make money as a kid. You can literally post any task that you would do for $5 or $10 and people will pay you for your services. While $5 or $10 is a great start, there is even more money to be made by offering premium services or up-sells after you have done great work for customers.
- Earn easy money with Swagbucks – The site is open to anyone over 13 and offers a lot of ways to make money from home. While no individual activity pays a lot, you can easily make a few bucks a day doing things like watching videos, answering surveys, playing games or even searching the web. They pay out through Paypal or gift cards and offer a great way to make between $20 and $100 per month or more.
- Sell your crafts on Etsy – Etsy is an awesome marketplace for anyone creative or crafty. By setting up a store with as little as one creative product, kids can start making good money. Etsy is another site that requires users to be at least 13 years of age and have a parent that manages the account with them.
- Sell things on OfferUp – Start with the stuff that you have laying around the house. Then, find things that you can sell for a profit. The possibilities are pretty much endless with this one. There are, however, a couple things to look out for with OfferUp. It usually requires in person meetings for transactions, so always be safe and have a parent present. Also, the site is intended for users over 13 and even they must have a parent agree to the terms and conditions for them.
- Make money off your social media profiles – “Influencer marketing” has become a huge trend for businesses. This can include kids. If you have built a social following on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat, companies will be willing to pay for you to talk about them. If you have a following, but aren’t sure where to start, companies like IZEA can get you some exposure to brands. Like anything on the internet, make sure that you use good judgment and only partner with brands that you trust.
- Create or edit videos – With some simple software like iMovie, kids can shoot, create and edit their own videos, or offer their services to other people for money. Create a YouTube channel and build a following, or find people or companies who are willing to pay for help with simple video projects.
- Become a Photographer – Taking photos and selling them to stock photography sites for reuse is a great way to make money over time. With apps like Foap, kids can make money by selling photos, even those taken with a camera phone.
- Build a website – I’m obviously a bit partial to blogging, but there are thousands of ways to make money by building your own website. Selling products, affiliate marketing, banner ads and other tactics can turn a simple website into a money maker. The best part of building a website is that there are no age requirements and you don’t have to leave the house.
While many jobs for kids will have age requirements, there are some jobs out there that allow younger employees than others. Many businesses (especially smaller ones) will hire children as long as they have parental consent or agreement. We are not saying to go out and get a full time job as a kid, but there are a few part time jobs that are great for young people.
- Become a Lifeguard – This is a perfect summer job for a kid or teenager. Most lifeguard jobs require a CPR class and passing a physical test. Once you get past that, the hours are great, you get to be out in the sun and will typically be spending your time at a pool, lake or beach.
- Coach Sports – There are a number of ways to go about getting a coaching job as a kid. You could get hired by a school, camp, or club team. You could also become a private coach for younger children who want to get to your skill level. There are also a number of youth centers or clubs that will bring on kids as helpers or part time employees to help out coaching. This is great for kids who already have a skill or interest in a sport and want to spend more time doing it while making money.
- Referee Games – Along those same lines, many youth sports organizations will hire children to help with refereeing duties. This can include being a linesman, scorekeeper, or assistant to a head referee, or simply being the main referee for games or camps.
- Golf Caddie – Getting a job as a caddie at a prestigious country club may be a tall order. However, reaching out to smaller courses, friends and family or even placing an ad to see if anyone needs a caddie will likely yield at least a few paid rounds.
- Door Hanger Service – This is another job that can be done through a company or on your own. Tons of companies want to spread the word through advertising and that often includes dropping off hangers on doors, leaving postcards on car windshields, or handing out flyers in populated areas. There are a number of companies that offer these types of services and many will hire young people. Or you can reach out directly to companies that you know do a fair amount of advertising and tell them how you can help them get the word out about their brand.
Ways for kids to make money around the neighborhood
- Tutor a younger kid – Finding younger students who need help with a certain subject is a great way to earn some easy money as a kid. You don’t even have to be the smartest kid in school. As long as you know the subject well enough to teach a kid that is a few grades behind you, you are good to go!
- Bonus tip: You can also tutor older people. Do you have a neighbor that needs to learn how to use computers, a phone or a video game system? Stop by and offer your services.
- Offer your photography services – I mentioned this one in the online section, but there are also ways to make money taking photographs without the internet. Reach out to neighbors, friends and family. Ask if they would be interested in having you set up a photo booth at an upcoming party. See if they would like a Christmas card photo taken or a newborn baby shoot. Your prices will be way better than professional photography companies and you can make good money for a quick photo shoot.
- Working events or parties – Beyond photography, there are a lot of ways for kids to make money by helping with events or parties. If a neighbor is having an event soon, offer to help them set up, clean up, pass hors d’oeuvres, serve food, do dishes, or be the entertainment (DJ or play an instrument). It takes a lot of work to put on a party, so many neighbors will gladly shell out a few bucks for some help.
- Dog walking and dog sitting – There are a few ways that you can get dog walking gigs. There are tons of ways to search online and find them, but if you want to stick closer to your neighborhood, do a little bit of research. Find out who has pets in the neighborhood. Find out if they leave them at home all day. Ask when they are heading out on vacation. Then, put together a pricing package and make the offer. You will be surprised how much money a kid can make when you start doing this on a recurring basis, especially if you walk dogs for multiple neighbors.
- House sitting and cleaning – Similar to dog walking, you can put together a package or charge hourly. Ask your whole neighborhood and you’ll probably end up with at least a house or two. If you are having trouble closing a cleaning deal, offer to clean one room for free to demonstrate your expertise.
- Do some lawn/yard/outside work – This is another great recurring way for kids to make money around the neighborhood. Mowing lawns, gardening, pulling weeds, sweeping, or doing other lawn work during the summer and shoveling snow in the winter is a perfect combo.
- Recycle Cans – Okay, this might be one of the old fashioned ideas that your grandparents tell you about, but it still works. Find a local recycling center that pays for cans, then start asking your neighbors if they would be willing to part with theirs. Offer to pick them up each week. Their garbage or recycling bins will be less full and you’ll have some cash in no time.
- Sell bottled water – On hot days or any time there is an event, grab a cooler and a few dozen water bottles. Head outdoors and sell bottles for whatever price the market will accept. Spectator events, sports games at local schools, even garage sales are a great opportunity for this. Speaking of…
- Host a garage sale – Nothing is better than removing items from your house while making money. Kids can organize a garage sale for their own family, multiple houses, or the whole neighborhood.
- Help people move – You don’t have to be hulking around a couch to add some value to neighbors who are moving. Help pack boxes, clean up after they move or take care of pets during the moving process. Everyone hates moving and everyone always needs help. Charging a few dollars for your time is a great way to help a neighbor and make some money.
Tips and Tricks for kids to make money
Chances are that you have found at least one or two things on this list that you (or your child) can to to make some money. But, before you go out and start building your empire, here are a few helpful tips and tricks:
- Build your network – It is something that adults hear all of the time, but kids don’t often focus on. However, getting to know neighbors, parents of friends, and other people in your community is a great way to find new opportunities for a kid to make money.
- Reach out to friends and neighbors – One of the best places to start is always right on your own block. Even if you aren’t interested in doing yard work or chores, getting word out about what you are working on will almost always lead to good things. Maybe there is someone that can help you with a website. Maybe they know a cheaper place to get materials. Maybe they can get you that job that you’ve been looking for. If nothing else, you’ll know your neighbors and get hooked up when you trick-or-treat.
- Keep track of your earnings – Log the time that you spend and keep track of the money you make. This will help you to determine which jobs, neighbors, or activities are the most profitable ones for you. Over time, you can use this to build up your hourly or weekly earnings.
- Put your money to work for you – Part of the fun of being a kid is saving up money for those big purchases that you have always wanted. I encourage that. But at the same time, if you are starting to save some cash, don’t be afraid to think of ways to turn that into more money. Investing in more products to sell, better equipment for your yard work, or advertising to get more customers are never bad ideas to help you put a few extra bucks toward that next big purchase at the end of the summer.
I hope that this list of ways for kids to make money has helped to provide you with at least one or two ideas. As you or your child go out there and start earning, feel free to come back and leave comments about what works for you or any other tips or tricks.
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