Teens typically want more independence as they get older. They often reach a point where they don't want to rely on mom and dad for every penny, but they might not have time for a part-time job yet. If they play sports or are involved in school, they may be unable to handle set schedules and answer to a boss.
It doesn't mean teens can't work, though. Teens have many options for side hustles to make more money than a part-time job would make.
How To Start a Side Hustle for Teens
Teens can start a side hustle doing about anything today, so there are only a few skills necessary. The perfect teen side hustle is that which connects to your teen's passion.
Have your teen list the things they enjoy to determine what side hustles might work best. For example, does your teen like:
- Working with kids
- Handling computers
- Spending time online
- Dealing with animals
- Handling social media
Use this list as a starting point to determine what your teen can do to earn money.
Reasons To Start a Side Hustle for Teens
You might wonder if it's right for your teen to start a side hustle or if it's too much pressure. Here are some great reasons to consider letting your teen begin independently.
- Creates a feeling of independence
- It gives teens a sense of how the real world works
- It gives teens' money more time to compound
- It helps teens explore their passions to determine what they want to do in their future
- Teens can work side hustles when they have free time; they don't have to worry about a schedule and a boss
21 Side Hustles for Teens
After narrowing their list of what they like to do, teens can match their skills and passions with the top side hustles for teens. They can also mix and match, doing a couple of side hustles to maximize the money they earn to reach their financial goals.
1. Answer Surveys
It sounds crazy that teens could make money answering surveys, but they are a highly sought-after demographic. Companies want to know what teens think of their products or how they think.
Market research companies pay people to answer surveys online. Teens can do this during any free time, day or night, and earn a few extra dollars. Some surveys take longer than others and pay accordingly, so it's a good gig for teens looking to make extra money.
The most popular survey sites are:
- Survey Junkie
2. Play Games
Teens that love games can make good money playing them. Again, this may sound surprising, but companies pay teens to play games because it exposes them to advertisements. It's the advertisement exposure companies care about, so they push popular games out to teens to encourage them to play for pay while secretly advertising too.
Popular sites to get paid to play games include:
3. Watch Videos and Do Other Small Tasks
Micro-task websites make it easy to make money online. For example, you can make money watching videos (ads) or doing other small tasks, such as visiting a website, reviewing music, or reading an email. But, again, this is all in the name of advertising.
InboxDollars is an excellent site for micro-tasks, as are Amazon MTurk, and SlicethePie.
4. Website Designer
Teens interested in graphic design with some training (either school or self-taught) can make money as website designers. It works best if teens create a portfolio of their past work to show potential clients what they can do.
You can work in your free time, take on the jobs you can handle, and earn a decent amount of money. Fiverr is a great platform to advertise your services, or you can use word-of-mouth, especially if you're in college and have a place you can advertise in person.
Teens that love to write can make money blogging. It takes time, and commitment, though. Pick out an excellent niche to start with. For example, teens that love books shouldn't blog about just any books. Instead, they should choose a genre and narrow their audience.
Once they have a large audience, they can monetize their blog with ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate links. Each time a reader clicks on their links and makes a purchase, the retailer pays them a commission.
6. Freelance Writer
Teens who love writing but want something more structured than a blog can make money freelance writing. As freelance writers, teens write for small businesses. They can write the company's blog posts, social media posts, or other written content.
Depending on your teen's abilities, they may be hired to write an eBook or help create marketing material.
7. Social Media Influencer
Teens that love social media and have a large following should consider working as social media influencers. Brands pay teens to advertise their products to their audience. It's a cheap form of brand advertising and gives teens a chance to make money.
Being a social media influencer is fun because teens get to try new products and share them on their social media pages however they want.
If your teen is great with kids, they can make money babysitting. It's easy to get babysitting gigs in the area; just spread the word that your teen is available.
Teens can babysit at night while parents get away or work as a nanny in the summer when they're out of school and parents have to work. Teens can charge by the hour or day, depending on how they want to run their business.
9. Mow Lawns
Do you mow your lawn? This can be the perfect opportunity to take your skills on the road and cut your neighbor's lawn.
Many hire lawn care people to mow lawns, weed, and edge their yards. It is an excellent opportunity to take your skills and make money off them.
Teens that don't mind physical labor can make money mowing lawns. Just advertise their services around the neighborhood, and word will spread fast. Also, if your teen has little knowledge about landscaping, they can make money trimming bushes and trees, planting flowers, and caring for gardens.
All you need to do is know how to take care of a lawn, sell your services, and make lawn care a side hustle.
10. Watch Pets
Pet sitting is a big business and one that many teens love. Teens can watch pets in the owner's home or their own home.
If your teen is uncomfortable managing pets long-term, they can offer a dog walking service, walking dogs while their owners are at lunch or away. It is a great way to make a lot of money at once as they can usually walk a couple of dogs at a time, getting paid by more than one person with one job.
11. Sell Stock Photos
Sites like Shutterstock and iStockPhoto allow amateur photographers to sell their photos online. The nice thing about this gig is that teens upload a picture once but can make money for months or even years.
Teens who love photography or are majoring in it can make money in their chosen profession as a side hustle. It's a great way to build a portfolio and make money before becoming an adult.
High school and college students make great tutors for kids their age or younger. Teens who excel in a particular subject can help classmates or students worldwide.
Teens can tutor in person at places like the library or other students' homes. They can also tutor online using Zoom or another video chat service. On average, teens make $50 an hour of tutoring.
13. Test Websites
If you have a teen who loves to tinker with websites and find bugs and problems, they can make money testing websites with UserTesting. They pay $10 per test, but it only takes a few minutes to run through the site and provide a quick review.
14. Auto Detailer
Teens that love cars can make good money as auto detailers. They don't have to work at a car dealership or deal with the required hours. Instead, teens can start an auto detailing business from home or detail customers' cars in their driveways.
15. Sell on Etsy
Etsy is a site for all things crafty. Creative teens can make money selling the stuff they make, utilizing Etsy's large audience. There are hundreds of categories of items teens can sell, from paintings to homemade jewelry and everything in between.
16. Design T-shirts or Mugs
Creative teens can make money designing t-shirts and mugs. Sites like RedBubble and Teespring create shirts and mugs on demand. All teens have to come up with the design and market it. Then, when they make a sale, the company handles the work.
17. Sell Unwanted Stuff
Your closet and drawers are full of stuff, and clothes that may be old are unused. It may be an excellent time to sell that for some extra money. If you have unwanted things, your teen can go out and sell these items on different social media networks like Facebook Marketplace or even some apps online.
They can put on a yard sale to sell things they may not want. These experiences can help them grow their skills in sales for later in life.
18. Make Deliveries
Have you heard of Instacart or DoorDash? These are two popular delivery services for people ordering food online for grocery delivery or food delivery.
You must be at least 18 years old to work in these services, but it is a great way to make some money. Even Uber Eats can be a place to work to deliver food.
Recycling is not the most exciting side hustle. Anyone can start this hustle and make some money off of it. Aluminum cans, scrap metal, and anything else you can recycle for cash is free game.
To make an effective side hustle, you can ask community centers to put a recycling bin out to collect cans and bottles. It is a better way than digging through the trash for the cans.
Recycling can be lucrative if you get enough to recycle. So take something that many may look down on and put the effort to make a little side income on your recycling.
20. Pool Cleaning
Pool cleaning can be a lucrative side hustle for teens in the summer. As people go outside more often, the pools need to be cleaned. Only some have the time to go and take care of their pools, so they hire folks to help clean the algae and put the right chemicals in the pool.
If you grew up around pools, you may have learned how to take care of them and can use those skills to create a little side hustle business cleaning pools.
21. Referee Youth Sports
One of the best side hustles for teens is to referee youth sports. If you are competent at a sport like baseball, basketball, or soccer, organizations need people to referee these sports.
Soccer refereeing is especially big, as many youths and kids play every weekend. You can make some good money refereeing these youth sports competitions.
Side hustles for teens are an excellent way for teens to get ahead. Whether they want some spending money or have goals they want to save for, there are many ways for teens to make money on the side.
Not having to answer to a boss or keep a strict schedule gives teens the freedom to make money without sacrificing their schoolwork or extracurricular activities.
This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.
Steve Cummings is the founder of the personal finance blog The Frugal Expat. As a traveler and expat, he has learned a lot about how to save money, live frugally, and invest for the future. His mission is to help people in saving, investing, and reaching financial independence.