This article originally began as ‘ways for teens to make money’, but as I have updated and added to it over the years, I have found that many of the items listed actually work for many adults looking to make some extra income as well.
I can remember my teenage days well. I didn’t want to work, but I needed to make money to support my social life. So I umpired, cut grass, and bagged groceries.
I didn’t particularly love any of the jobs, but in order to offset my spending, I needed to work.
The good news for us today is there are a wide range of ways to make money- that weren’t around when I was a teenager.
Most of them require a good work ethic, but there are a lot of new opportunities available.
Luckily for many of us, we may already be very skilled in certain areas that could easily translate into a nice side income for us. For example, I remember hearing about a teenage girl who designed Myspace backgrounds and was making more money than her parents.
So potentially, a teenager who is willing to work hard could make considerably more than working traditional “jobs” like at McDonalds, cutting grass, bussing tables, etc. For even more, check out these 5 legit work-from-home job opportunities.
The 35 Ways To Earn Money
1Make Money Online with Swagbucks
You can earn by answering polls, taking surveys, doing simple tasks (like giving feedback about a website), trading in old video games or books, and even playing games on their site.
I have tried it out and have received multiple payments from them, so I can attest that it is legit.
The screenshot to the right was an Amazon gift card that I got from them, but I have also redeemed my “bucks” for Paypal gift cards as well when I wanted the cash.
I just recently made $2145 in one month selling stuff from around the house on Ebay and Craigslist.
You can even sell stuff for friends or family members and split the profits with them.
A couple years ago I did an interview with a guy who made $28,000 in one year doing this part time. It is work and requires organization skills to do it well, but it is legit.
I tried my hand at it using Project Payday and their training materials to see that it was legit.
Basically companies are willing to pay you to do trial offers for their products. They know that many people who do the trial offer will like their product and continue to be customers, so they are willing to pay people to sign up for trial offers.
So one of the main ways of making money freebie trading is signing up for offers like a Free Netflix trial, emusic.com, applying for a Discover Card, etc. The key to success seems to be having a calendar where you can keep track of when the trial periods end and make sure to cancel before they end.
If you are interested in learning more I definitely recommend Project Payday as they have a ton of training guides (free if you complete a couple offers) that will greatly simplify the process. Oh and they have a A+ rating with the BBB as well.
4Take online surveys
I am not particularly fond of the whole online survey thing since I had a bad experience using CashCrate.
But there are lots of online survey sites and people who do it successfully. Here are a few if you want to investigate it further:
I recommend proceeding with caution and definitely not paying anything to join.
5Raise Money Online
If you are raising money for a community service project or missions, you might want to check out a site like GoFundMe.com. They make it easy for teens to raise money for any type of project. People have used it to raise the money for everything from mission trips to medical bills, weddings and honeymoons, business ventures, and even college tuition.
6Build Websites For Others
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me to build them a website since I started this one a couple years ago. I am not seeking the work and people are requesting it, so if you do a little legwork and pursue small business owners, there is a lot of work available. Teens might be great for this, because they would be able to work for less than some higher end website developers, which would put them in the price range that it seems many small businesses are looking to spend. Here is a great course to help you get started.
7Cleaning out Foreclosed Homes
With there being as many foreclosed homes out there as there are, the bankers (who now own the houses) don’t want to clean them up and they are willing to pay hefty sums for those who will. So it is fairly easy to start a Foreclosure cleanup business and get paid pretty well in the process. If you are interested here is a course you can take to learn more.
As they say on the web “content is king” and everyone wants it. Places like Elance or Odesk have thousands of different job openings available for freelance writers. If you are not in a rush for receiving compensation and know how to do keyword research, there is money to be made writing at Hubpages and Squidoo. For more on this method, check out How to make money with Hubpages.
9Start a Christmas Light Hanging business
If you aren’t afraid of heights and can handle being out in the cold, this is a pretty great business opp.
Some people earn a full-year’s salary just hanging lights for 2 months each year.
Here is a course that I found that teaches you how to do it.
Not sure how old you have to be, nor how painful it is, but if you are into that sort of thing, it can be a way to make some quick money.
You can find donation centers here.
11Take part in medical studies
I have a couple friends who have almost done this exclusively as a job. They were basically human guinea pigs, but they made some decent cash at it. Sometimes they would have be at the medical facility for up to 48 hours, so your schedule may need to be flexible.
Just google “medical studies” + your city to find some options.
Fiverr is a website that allows you to sell your service for $5. There are all kinds of crazy things people are offering and getting paid for on there – like taking a picture holding a sign, recording 2 sentences in an irish accent, recording a video singing a certain song, and even prank calling a friend all for $5.
So if you have a little creativity, there are some fun ways to make some money on the side.
Gigwalk is a fairly new iPhone app that offers payment for completing simple tasks based on your location.
For example users earn by taking pictures of a restaurant’s menu, verifying roadblocks and signage, and other simple tasks.
If you are in a big city (which typically has more opportunities) there is some decent potential with this one.
14Get paid to Tweet
Did you know that advertisers will pay you to send out tweets about their products?
As you could imagine the bigger your audience the more you will get paid, but you can find out more here – SponsoredTweets.com.
15Use Bookscouter to sell books from Thrift stores
Ok here is a simple business idea for you.
Start by downloading the BookScouter app on your phone.
Go visit garage sales or thrift shops and scan the used book sections to find books that you can sell for higher prices.
Many thrift stores sell all their books for 50 cents or less and some of those books are worth a whole lot more.
As you can see in the image to the right, you just scan the barcode with your phone (or enter the ISBN #) and then the app provides the prices that a bunch of book buyback sites are willing to pay for that particular book.
In this case, we can make $3.60 selling this Dave Ramsey book. If I can buy it for 50 cents, then that sounds like a nice profit.
16Tutor or give lessons
Are you great at guitar, math, or kicking a field goal?
Why not advertise your skills to those a few years younger than you?
Many parents are willing to pay a teenager to tutor their child in an area that needs development.
Post an ad to Craigslist for free and see what happens!
17Create Facebook Graphics or Pages
or Twitter backgrounds for that matter.
Lots of small business owners are needing help making their online presence not so lame. If you have even the smallest amount of graphic design skill you can help some of them!
Just set up a simple site to sell your work, get a paypal “buy it now link” and you are off and running.
Jobs for adults or uniquely mature teenagers
18Get paid $35/hr with Lyft
Not sure if you’ve heard, but Lyft is an app that basically eliminates the need to ever call a taxi. Instead of calling a cab, you just click “request driver” and then a Lyft driver gets a notification and comes and picks you up. The service is way faster than calling a cab and is about half the price.
I say all that to say that as a driver for Lyft, you use your own car, drive only when you want to, and (according to the website) get paid $35/hr. Not too shabby.
19Buy and Sell cars for profit
If you love cars and aren’t afraid to haggle, you could start a car flipping biz.
We have a friend of the family who has done this for years.
He scours the classified listings for deals, lands a good deal and then drives the car while trying to sell it for a couple grand more. Sometimes he sells them quickly, sometimes it takes a little longer, but he gets to drives lots of cars (which he loves) and makes a nice side income as well.
Here is an online course to help you get started.
20Rent out your car for $10+ an hour
I just heard about RelayRides.com which allows you to either rent or lend your car to others – and get paid in the process.
If you live in a big city, this could be pretty profitable!
Two years ago I wasn’t sure if there was money to be made blogging, but I have since found it to work out nicely. It isn’t something that will provide much income quickly, but if you stick at it, it can.
Since I have been a full-time blogger for many years now, I wrote extensively about how to make money from a blog for those who are interested in this type of thing.
22Design Web Logos
23Social Marketing Consultant
Many companies are looking for qualified candidates who know the ins and outs of Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter to help them with their social marketing efforts.
Head over to a job site and search for “social media marketing”.
25Start an eBay business
Last year I experimented with starting an eBay business to see if there was money to be made.
While profit margins can be thin selling on eBay, there are over a million eBay businesses, so it is a viable option.
26Sell Digital Photos
Making money as a photographer has become easier over the last decade.
As with most things, the better you are, the more money you will make, but it can be a nice passive income if you work at it!
27Find odd-jobs on Craigslist
Some of these might be landscaping work, or similar odd-jobs, but it might be great summer-time work!
28Sell widgets on Etsy.com
If you create any kind of arts or crafts or widgets of any sort, you should definitely be selling it on Etsy.com.
29Join a Focus Group
There are likely to be focus groups in your area that may be willing to hire teens. Organizations are always looking for participants because there are business advantages for focus groups. Just Google “focus group” and your city to get started.
30Make Money by Viewing Ads On Your Android Lock Screen
I’ve been trying out this android app called Locket that puts ads on your lock screen and pays you for each time you unlock your phone.
I’ve been trying it out for a few days and have made about 3 bucks thus far, so it isn’t huge, but at the same time, I didn’t really have to do any work to earn the money.
Anyway, if you are interested in checking it out, I have a quick video review that you can watch here…
31Be a Mystery Shopper
This is the dream job isn’t it? You get to shop and get paid! The added bonus is that you secretly have recourse when you are treated poorly in the store.
32Offer to do jobs on Zaarly.com
Zaarly is a website that connects those offering random services (like walking a dog, being a personal assistant for a day, giving guitar lessons, etc) with buyers who are looking for those services.
I would suggest checking out some of the ideas listed on the site and sign up and offer those services.
33Get paid from your iPhone (smartphone)
There seem to be some apps popping up that pay you to do simple stuff like take a picture of a menu, or of yourself drinking a starbucks, or verifying that a road is closed – you get the picture.
Here are a few that I found:
34Teach English (or other Language) Classes Online
Did you know that English speakers are in high demand in Asia?
As a result many are turning to freelance English teachers using websites like Italki.com.
The site is basically a virtual online classroom for freelance teachers and students.
Anyone can offer lessons (and set their own price) and anyone can take lessons.
From a quick scan, it looks like making $15-20/hour is a fair expectation.
35Sell Your Video Game Accounts
Are you a gamer?
Try selling your accounts, virtual gold, or virtual weapons.
You can often sell items like these on gamer forums or even on Ebay.com.
This article was written by Bob
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More ways for teens to make money
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