35 Ways To Make Extra Spending Money

35 ways to make money for teens (and adults)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 teens 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 teens, they may already be very skilled in certain areas that could easily translate into a nice side income for them. 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.

What type of teen are we talking about?

The 7-year period defined as the “teenage years” sees a wide range of maturity levels. I remember moments where I showed high levels of maturity and moments that are better left unspoken. Interestingly, my immaturity didn’t necessarily decrease as I grew closer to 20 years old. My point is that some of these jobs are going to require a teenager who is “on the ball” in terms of maturity. But if you have (or are) one, these could be much better alternatives to “would you like to supersize that?”

The 35 Ways To Earn Money

1. Make Money Online with Swagbucks

Making money with swagbucksBasically this is a free site that offers you a bunch of ways to earn cash, gift cards, or other rewards.

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. While you won’t get rich doing this, to me it seems like a great way for internet-loving teens to make some money.  Find out more here.

2. Sell stuff on eBay for Mom and Dad

I am sure mom and dad wouldn’t mind sharing some of the profits, if you sell some of their clutter for them. I say ask them for 50% of what you make from it!

3. Freebie Trading

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.

4. Take 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.

5. Raise 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.

6. Build 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.


7. Cleaning 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.

8. Freelance Write

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.

9. Start 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 provides some more info.

10. Sell Plasma

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.

11. Take 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.

12. Fiverr

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.

35 ways to make money - some great ideas here13. Gigwalk

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.

14. Get 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.

15. Have a Garage Sale

If it is something too large or that won’t sell on eBay for some reason, you can always have an old-fashioned garage sale!

16. Tutor or give lessons

Are you great at math, science, 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.

17. Create Myspace Facebook Graphics or Pages

or Twitter backgrounds for that matter. Just set up a simple site to sell your work, get a paypal “buy it now link” and you are off and running.

18. Write product reviews

There are places like CiaoEpinions.comReviewStream.com that pay for product reviews – if you have an opinion and can type quickly this might be a good option. Another one that just popped up is called Ukritic and they allow you to write reviews of products and then you can earn affiliate commissions from the sales of those products. It might not be quick cash, but for those who like to write it may be a decent option.

Jobs requiring a uniquely mature teenager

19. Buy 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.

35 ways to make money - some great ideas here20. Rent 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!

21. Blogging

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. I wrote extensively about how to make money from a blog a few months ago.

22. Design Web Logos

If you have a flair for design, it may be worth trying to make some money designing logos for small business or blogs.

23. Social 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”.

24. Sell articles

Following in that same vein, you can sell articles you write at places like Constant-Content.com, ArticleSale.com, Helium.com.

25. Start 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.

26. Sell 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: Shutterstock.com123RF.comDreamstime.comCreStock.comFotolia.com. As with most things, the better you are the more money you will make, but it can be nice passive income if you work at it.

27. Find odd-jobs on Craigslist

Some of these might be landscaping work, or similar odd-jobs, but it might be great summer time work for teens!

28. Sell widgets on Etsy.com

If you create any kind of arts or crafts or widgets of any sort, you should check out Etsy.com.

29. Join 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.

30. Sell 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.

31. Be 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.

32. Offer 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.

33. Get 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 couple that I found:

34. Teach English (or other Language) Classes Online

35 ways to make money - some great ideas hereDid 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.

35. Make 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…

This article was written by Bob

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