Like it or not, having a certain baseline of money in your bank account can make life a lot easier and can save you a lot of stress, which is why so many young people are thinking about how to make money as a teenager.
Money is freedom from a lot of struggles that you would face if you didn’t have as much of it. Money’s not going to solve every problem in your life, and it’s not going to guarantee that you’re always happy or fulfilled, but having money will eliminate many worries and pains that you may otherwise face, at least up to a certain point.
Having an extra $50 each month means not having to worry about paying your phone bill. A few extra hundred could be the difference between worrying about your utilities being shut off. An extra thousand bucks a month means you don’t have to fret about your living situation since your rent or mortgage are covered. Having tens of thousands or more in the bank means you’re all set for any emergency repairs to your vehicle, health scares, and so on.
I’m not saying you should dedicate your entire teenage years to working and making money, I’m just saying it’s a great time to start thinking about making money during your free time since this money will open a lot of doors for you, especially if you come from a less-fortune or privileged background.
What Are the Best Ways for Teens to Make Money in 2022?
The best way to have a lot of money is to start young. Starting earning money and being smart about it from a younger age can make up for not earning as much later in life. If you don’t plan on having some huge high paying job, you can still create a comfortable living for yourself…
As the entrepreneurial spirit undergoes a renaissance, it’s no surprise to find more and more young people wondering how about to make money as a teenager.
Or maybe you just want some extra spending money for the weekend? Whether you’re thinking of earning a few extra bucks here and there during your free time, or starting a business and creating a fortune from a young age, this guide will cover many good ways for teens to make money.
We’ll be looking at easy ways to make money as a teenager, the best side hustles for teens, and how teens make money right now.
How Teens Make Money in 2022
Let’s start with a rapid-fire list of ways for teens to make money, and then we’ll do a more in-depth dive into specifically how you can get started and thinks you’ll need to keep in mind.
The three main categories of ways that you can start making money as a teen are as follows:
- Starting a small business
- Getting a job / freelancing gigs
- Selling things you own
Starting a small business for teens can be something as simple as putting up a flier at the dog park and offering a dog walking service, or knocking on doors and offering lawn care services. There are also plenty of freelancing gigs that you can find, that are sort of halfway in-between starting a business and getting a job. Finally, there are all sorts of jobs for teenagers that you can apply for, especially if you’re sixteen or older (which is the minimum age for employment in some areas).
You can start a business at any age in your teenage years, and it’s easier than ever thanks to the internet. People are pretty comfortable paying at teenager to walk their dog or cut their lawn or babysit, but they might think twice about hiring a marketing agency that’s lead by a teenager, for example. But thanks to the internet, you can run your business without having to face any age-based prejudice.
And finally, the last category is for people who need to make money fasting. Selling some of your belongings or old collectibles using a classified website or app is a good way to bring in some quick cash. The problem is that it’s not sustainable, you’ll run out of stuff eventually, and it’s never fun to have to sell your belongings if you don’t want to. If you have some old stuff collecting dust in the closet, selling it is a good way to get some extra money that you can use to make even more money.
How to make money at 16 years old: At sixteen years old, you may have your driver’s license already which opens up the doors to thinks like working as a delivery driver or driving certain vehicles around a job site.
How to make money at 17 years old: Seventeen year olds are in a somewhat awkward position since they’re so close to being adults, but there are still hurdles like opening a bank account at 17 that can cause issues. Nonetheless, it’s a good time to hone your skills and make a plan for when you turn eighteen and the floodgates of opportunity are truly wide open.
How to make money at 18 years old: As an adult, you’ll have more doors starting to open in terms of different ways to make money, you’ll have an easier time opening a bank account and getting a small business loan, and other benefits.
Making Money as a Teenager by Starting a Business
Let’s start by looking at a handful of businesses that teenagers can start. Our criteria for these businesses was to include ideas that have low start-up costs, where you can do all or most of the work yourself, and where you can have a flexible schedule.
Lawn Care / Snow Shoveling
What you have to do: Shovel walking paths and driveways, perform other yard card tasks.
How much you can make: $20-$80 per yard.
How to get started: Buy or borrow a lawnmower or a snow shovel depending on the season, make a little flier or business card, and go door-to-door.
Learn more: How to start a lawn care business (coming soon!)
You can start by knocking on the doors with the longest lawns and offering to mow their lawns on the spot for a low flat price, and you can do the same in the winter right after it snows. People are more likely to impulsively decide “Sure, I’ll give this kid $25 to shovel this huge snowfall for me,” when there’s someone standing at their door, ready to do the work.
This is one of the easiest and lowest-cost businesses to start. All you need is a shovel or a lawnmower, everything else can be added later on. After you’ve mowed a few lawns, you can invest in an edge trimmer, then eventually a riding mower so you can work more quickly, and so on. It’s almost like a game, where you gradually level up your business as you go.
On that same note, if you live somewhere with harsh winters, you can shovel snow with a basic shovel until you’re able to afford a roof rake, and eventually a plow that you can attach to a truck, if you want to start clearing longer driveways and parking lots for huge earnings.
If you decide to work all year long, you’ll have twice as many opportunities to find new customers since your snow-clearing clients may also need yard-card
Graphic Design or Video Editing
What you have to do: Creative work including making advertising materials, social media posts, editing videos for streamers or companies, and more.
How much you can make: $15+ per hour starting out, much more as your business grows.
How to get started: You’ll need some software (Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a go-to) and a bit of training on how to use it. Having a good eye for design helps, but you can also learn this skill.
Learn more: How to start a graphic design business / How to start a video editing business (coming soon.)
Learning the very basics of graphic design alone can be enough to get your foot in the door, but having a strong understanding of web standards, design principles and theory, and what clients are looking for in this space will help you grow your business.
Take a look around the internet, at every post you see on social media and every image on every website… These are all examples of graphics and graphic design, in one way or another. Graphic design can also include things like creating logos for websites and brands, and a brand’s overall style and image.
Video editors are also always in demand. You can get a gig editing for a company’s YouTube channel, or you can even start out editing vods for smaller streamers and content creators while you learn the ropes and improve your skills.
This is one of the more easy ways for teenagers to make money as long as they’re comfortable with starting a business and working with clients. These skills are very in-demand as digital media continues to grow.
Social Media Services
What you have to do: Manage social media accounts for brands, create social media accounts of your own to sell ads on.
How much you can make: $1,000+ per month when you have a couple of clients.
How to get started: Ensure you’re familiar with all of the popular social media platforms, and that you see how different types of brands can excel on the various social networks.
Learn more: Starting a social media marketing company (coming soon!)
Starting a social media business is a great opportunity for teenagers who are already comfortable and familiar with how social media works. Brands want to connect with different audiences in a natural way, and social media is one of the best ways to do this.
You can create social media accounts of your own to advertise your social media management services to businesses on social media. You can also approach local businesses who aren’t doing much on social media yet, and offer them a proposal on how you can take care of their social media posts and get them more attention, followers, likes, comments, and ultimately sales.
As an alternative, you could create a social media following around a topic that interests you. If you love houseplants, you can create a page all about plants and then reach out to plant companies, who can buy advertisements on your social media page.
A Candle Company
What you have to do: Make candles, promote them and find places to sell them.
How much you can make: A few dollars per candle, upwards of $10 per candle.
How to get started: Start by purchasing some candle wax and containers for your candles. Decide between using soy, beeswax, or other options, and which types of wicks you want. Think of branding and who you’re going to promote these candles to.
Learn more: How to start a candle business / How to start a soap company (coming soon!)
A candle company, like many of these businesses, largely comes down to marketing and how you’re going to be promoting the business. People can purchase cheap candles from a dollar store, but higher-end candles can sell for upwards of $30 or even $40 each.
A good way for a teenager to enter this market could be to use the same ingredients as the premium types of candles, but to offer them for a more accessible price. There’s still room for profits there, and it’s more practical than trying to sell candles for $3 or $4 each by competing with the cheapest grocery store or dollar store types of candles.
You can use various types of essential oils to create different scents by mixing them. Try to create scents that will appeal to the type of branding you’re trying to create, and that will appeal to your target market. For example, there are some companies who are starting to make candles for men, and they’ll typically have a woodsy musk to them.
One unique angle would be to make candles designed for studying that have a calming fragrance, or candles to burn while gaming that have an invigorating scent. Encouraging your customers to burn their candles during certain parts of their day could be a unique angle to take.
A Cosmetics or Soap Company
What you have to do: Pick a small handful of products to offer at first and get really good at making them, then create unique branding and figure out how you’re going to sell your products.
How much you can make: A few dollars per item, up to quite a bit more once you’ve built a brand.
How to get started: Start with tried and tested recipes and gradually tweak them to suit your own brand and style. Find a cohesive way to bring all of your products together into a singular line, make a website to promote or sell them, and test lots of different recipes and containers until you’ve really dialed everything in.
Learn more: How to start a cosmetic line or soap company (coming soon!)
Soap companies are similar to candle companies, and cosmetics in generally opens the doors more for product SKUs to sell. This can be tricky if you’re spreading yourself too thin, and it’s more expensive to offer a lot of products upfront since you’ll need to purchase a wider range of supplies. On the other hand, if you find someone who enjoys one of your products, they’re more likely to order some of your other products next time.
Telling a brand story is a huge part of differentiating yourself in these types of businesses. People either buy the regular stuff from a grocery store, or they opt for something more premium, and the brand’s story often plays a big role in what they choose.
Being skilled at social media is a talent that will help you immensely in businesses like selling candles and soaps and cosmetics, so this is a way to get a leg-up as a teenager-owned business, compared to some of your competitors who are a bit older and might not be as experienced or savvy online.
A Clothing Line
What you have to do: A huge part of this business involves marketing, branding and network. The shirts/clothing are what you sell, but you have to convince people to want it.
How much you can make: A few dollars per shirt depending on whether you make them yourself or use a print-on-demand service.
How to get started: You’ll need designs, a website, and some social media accounts that are growing.
Learn more: How to start a cosmetic line (coming soon!)
How to earn money for teens usually includes the idea to start a clothing line or a t-shirt brand. Everyone wears t-shirts, teenagers are usually pretty conscious of what they’re wearing and what they’re representing with their t-shirts, and so it’s not a big surprise that this idea pops up a lot.
A website is very important for a clothing brand, Shopify is an easy option but it’ll cost some money each month. You’ll need designs, and you’ll need to either screen print the shirts yourself, or use a print-on-demand services.
Using a POD service (print on demand) is easier because the quality will be great, and you won’t need any money upfront. In some cases, they’ll take care of accepting the order, processing the payment, making the clothing item, and shipping it to your customer. Oftentimes, you’ll handle the order yourself, but a lot of the process can be automated.
Making Money By Working As a Freelancer or Getting a Job
Starting a business isn’t the only way for teenagers to make money, you can also get a job.
There are all sorts of part time jobs, full time jobs, and good side hustles for teens.
A full time job is really tough to hold down when you’re in school, and part time jobs can be tricky to juggle alongside school and other activities since managers aren’t always respectful of your schedule.
Many of the same skills that you can use to start your own business, such as things like graphic design, editing, social media, and so on, are also valuable freelancing skills. There’s no shortage of ways to translate life skills for teens into a job, career, or business.
If you don’t want to go through the process of starting your own business or agency, you can still make money using various skills by working as a freelancer or finding temp gigs.
Working as a freelancer is kind of like a middle-ground between starting a business and getting a job working for a company. You have the freedom to choose who you take on as clients, and you should be able to set your own hours in most cases as long as the work’s getting done, but you don’t have to deal with as many of the administrative types of tasks.
Freelance gigs can be a great way to earn some extra money as a teenager. You can often charge a higher rate when you’re working as a freelancer, compared to what you’d earn doing that same work as an employee for another company, plus you can manage your own time a lot more.
Freelancing can be one of the best ways to make money online as a teenager.
One of the traits that makes something one of the best side hustles for teens, in particular, is having the flexibility for it to not take over your entire life. There’s a balance between being young and enjoy your youth and doing fun things with your free time, and also earning enough money that you can do a lot more cool stuff. Freelancing is a good way to strike that balance in a way that works for you, without having to give your entire evenings and weekends to a job.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with finding clients as a freelancer or the minor amount of administrative work that exists, there are plenty of part time jobs for teenagers, you’ll just want to consider the pros and cons of after school jobs.
More Easy Ways for Teenagers to Make Money
Here are a few more ideas of easy ways for teenagers to make money. These are a bit more unorthodox or unique, and will require you to have certain skills already, but if you’re great at music, studying, or even video games then there could be some great opportunities waiting for you. Any of these following methods for making money as a teenager will be a lot more enjoyable than a typical high school job like flipping burgers or working at a movie theater.
Are you good at music? Guitar? Piano? Drums? You can post a classified ad or put up some fliers around time offering music lessons. If you aren’t sure where to start, it can be useful to watch some online videos of music lessons, to get a feel what a typical lesson might look like.
If you’ve taken music lessons yourself in the past, you probably have a better idea of what a typical lesson looks like.
You can even teach music lessons online. Experienced adult players may not come flocking to have a teenager teaching them music, but people your age will be more comfortable with a peer. You can advertise your music lessons in places that musicians go, on local bulletin boards, and on local classified websites, and even social media.
Are you really good at gaming? Believe it or not, you could literally get a job as a videogame coach. If you want to work with pro-tier players, you’ll probably need to have a bit more experience yourself and acoldates to show for it, but if you’ve managed to climb the ladder in any prominent games, even cracking the top 500 or top 1000, or just being in a relatively high rank, you can probably find some people who will pay you to watch their vods, coach them, and help them improve.
If you’re near-pro skills yourself, you’ll be able to find higher-tier clients and maybe even get a job with an eSports team. For more ‘average’ players who want to coach videogames, there are always some bronze or silver players who would pay $15 or $20 per hour to have somebody teaching them the basics, too.
Flipping Stuff Is One of the Best Side Hustles for Teens
Buying things at garage sales or thrift stores and selling them for a higher price is called “flipping”. It’s becoming more and more popular, and teems are particularly good at it since they’re quick at looking things up to see what they’re worth online.
There’s some risk involved here, since you don’t want to end up stuck with a bunch of stuff that won’t sell. Once you figure out what sells quickly and easily, you’ll have an easier time. If you have a hobby or interest, you might be able to focus for that, for example if you know a lot about toys, dolls, video games, records, old books, or any other types of collectibles you could find at garage sales and thrift shops.
You can earn anywhere from a few dollars for each item you flip, upwards of hundreds or even thousands in some cases. It’s plenty of money to have enough to spend some on cute date ideas for teens.
Do you know your way around a textbook? Tutoring students that are younger than you, or even people in your same grade, is a great way to earn some extra spending money. Something very convenient about this is that you can even do the tutoring at school, like during a spare period or on lunch break, so you can earn money during the time that you’d already be at school.
Starting a Podcast
Starting a podcast for teens can be a fun and creative project that can also eventually turn into something that generates money. Podcasts earn money by promoting various products or selling advertisements, and it can be quite lucrative once you have developed a consistent listener base.
If you want to have a podcast for teens to listen to, you could think about your own interests and things you’re interested in hearing about, or you could give a teenage perspective to existing topics and themes of our world.
This is a classic hustler move. Buying up different drinks and snacks from the dollar store or ordering them in bulk on the internet, and then selling them at school or sporting events or parties can be an excellent way to put together some money on the side.
This is one of the good side hustles for teens who want to learn the very basics for buying, selling, and running a small business. However, this isn’t really something that will translate into making you thousands of dollars a month, and there are probably some rules and regulations that you’ll run into if you’re trying to do this on a larger scale.
But buying $10 worth of candy and snacks and selling them at school for $20 or $30 every day or two is a pretty good way to keep a little money in your pocket.
Important Skills for Making Money as a Teen
Here are some skills or traits that you may want to work on, if these are areas in which you don’t have a lot of experience or you don’t feel super confident. These are things that will help you succeed when it comes to making money as a teen, in business, and so on.
Now You Know How To Make Money as a Teenager…
… But the knowledge itself is only the very start, you’ll learn so much more as you go, once you get started. Getting started is the really difficult part, and then sticking to it what will determine how successful you become on your journey towards making money as a teenager.
We’ve covered many different strategies for how to make money as a teenager, now it’s time to go and make it happen. Whether you’re looking to start a business, or just to find some good side hustles for teens, looking at how teens make money is a great way to figure out a plan for yourself.
There are other ways for teens to make money that we didn’t even have a chance to feature yet, and as you continue your journey, you’ll learn more and more of the best ways for teens to make money and you’ll be able to focus on the ones that work for you.