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.
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.
So potentially, someone who is willing to work hard could make considerably more than working traditional “jobs” like at McDonalds, cutting grass, bussing tables, etc.
THE 35 WAYS TO EARN MONEY
1Make Money Online with Swagbucks
You can earn money by a variety of methods including:
- Answering polls
- Using their search engine
- Doing simple tasks (like giving feedback about a website)
- Getting cash back for shopping online
- Taking surveys
- 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. They also offer a $5 bonus!
Oh and they also have an A+ rating with the BBB.
2Get paid to listen to the radio
While I enjoy Pandora online radio, they definitely don’t pay me for listening.
But InboxDollars (for U.S. only) recently rolled out their own online radio player that pays you to listen!
There are plenty of types of music, so you can surely find something you like.
As you would expect, you aren’t going to make a full-time living using it, but if you use it each day while at work, it should earn you well over $100/yr.
And right now you can instantly get a $5 bonus just for confirming your email address after signing up.
After signing up, just click “More” in the navigation bar, and then click “Radio” like in the image above.
3Start making money scanning your groceries
Have you heard of the National Consumer Panel (NCP)?
Well, they pay you to scan your grocery purchases with their Smartphone App.
Basically, as a member of NCP you help manufacturers and retailers make decisions on what products to develop or improve.
How it works:
- Sign up for your free account here
- Next NCP will provide you access to use their Smartphone App
- Then, you’ll use your phone to scan the barcodes on all products you purchase during any shopping trip.
- You record some other information like where you shopped and how much you paid.
- Each week you are compensated with points that can be redeemed for CASH.
For more info, you can check out their website or sign up here.
4Get paid to drop Google
Google is a great search engine, but Bing has really stepped up their game in the last few years and really is giving Google a run for their money.
If that weren’t good enough, they want pay you to switch.
So if you do a lot of searches online, you can earn using Bing Rewards.
The points you get can be cashed out for gift cards (including Amazon.com).
And the eye-candy Bing provides is so much better than Google!
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.
6Get paid for testing websites
Many big companies are looking for feedback about the usability of their website.
This is where Usertesting.com comes in. You sign up for free and then answer questions about a particular website, explaining what is good or bad, confusing or clear, etc. and then you get paid.
You have to be accepted into the program and must be 18+, but the payouts are pretty good! Their current payouts are $10-$15 per test and the tests normally take about 20 minutes.
I found the video below from a tester explaining how it works.
7Use 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 or going to BookScouter.com.
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.
Most of the sites offer free shipping as well, so you don’t even have to pay shipping.
AirBNB is a site that allows you to rent out your home to other people who may just want to visit where you live.
You can rent it out as little or as much as you want and can list it to rent by the night, week, or month. They offer a $1,000,000 guarantee to protect you from any kind of property damage that was caused by renters.
They also have a renter rating system, so you can choose whether or not you want to rent it out to a particular renter. Check out the video below for more:
If you are interested, find out more at their site.
9Buy 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.
10Sell your closet
If you are anything like my wife, you have a closet full of old clothes that you don’t wear any more.
You can easily sell them on a site like ThredUp, which will pay anywhere from $2-$25 for items from Gap, Banana Republic, J.Crew, etc. You can click here and then scroll down to the bottom to see what items may sell for.
What I love about them is that all you have to do is pack up your clothes in a box and then just ship it to them – you don’t even have to pay for shipping!
The image below is from their site explaining how it works:
11Take 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.
12Work as a virtual call center agent
One of our writers worked as a virtual call center agent and this is what she had to say about LiveOps.com
“Live Ops is a company that hires virtual call center agents. You are responsible for paying for your own criminal background check prior to starting work (this costs around $30). You also must have your own dedicated phone line and a quiet workspace.
Once you are all set up, Live Ops has an excellent online training program that teaches you how to handle calls from customers. You will be taking calls for many different companies. When you start working, your phone will ring and a script will pop up on your screen. You simply read the script word for word and input customer information as you go along. If customers have questions, there is a section on your screen with FAQ’s and you are also logged into a virtual chat room should you need to ask for support from a supervisor.
The pay is .25 per minute of talk time. Agents typically make anywhere from $7-$14 per hour. As for the hours, they are totally flexible. You can choose which shifts you want to work each week and the shifts are broken down into half hour increments giving you optimal flexibility. You can even log in and work if you are not scheduled for some impromptu cash.”
13Get Paid to Shop
There is a cool app (Android and iPhone) called IBOTTA that pays you for your everyday shopping that you do. It is completely free and pretty easy to use.
Just watch the quick video for more info, or click here to get started.
14Build 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.
15Get 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.
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.
17Tutor 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!
18Create 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.
19Get 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 to pick people up and drive them around. Not too shabby.
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.
22Raise 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.
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. There are now lots of sites looking to buy digital photos:
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 vintage items or 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.
29Design Web Logos
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. (update: Locket did away with their payment program unfortunately) 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!
If you are not familiar with mystery shopping, the gist is that companies often hire everyday people like you and I to come in and pose as regular shoppers.
All the while we are paying attention to how clean the store is, how kind the employees are, etc and then reporting back our findings.
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 Plasma or do Medical studies
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 plasma donation centers here or if you want to do medical studies, you can just google “medical studies” + your city to find some options.
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.
This article was written by Bob
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