One of the best lessons to teach a kid as they grow up is the value of money. At least, it’s one of the best financial lessons a kid can learn. Below I’ve compiled over 14 awesome ideas on how to make money as a kid.
They’re awesome for a few reasons, but mainly because they all have the potential to teach you valuable lessons while making great money.
We’ll get into all 14, but off the bat, I wanted to highlight my three favorite ways to make money as a kid:
- Mowing Lawns
- Making a Lemonade Stand
- Walking Dogs
They’re special for different reasons, but all three of the above allow kids to make some extra money while learning valuable money and business lessons. For example, how to advertise a business and how to find the right price for a product.
Before diving into the full list, please note, Youtube sensation and social media influencer did not make the list below…
Benefits of Learning How to Make Money as a Kid
There are a lot of benefits that come with getting a job and earning your own money. However, there are three lessons that stick out to me as the most important:
1. Learning the Value of Money
Kids who haven’t worked don’t really know what they’re asking for when they ask for $20 to go to the movies or $50 for a new video game. I’m sure many of them view their parents as an unlimited source of money (not all kids, but a few).
Isn’t that where the classic phrase, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” comes from?
Kids assume money grows on trees, parent’s know that unforuntaely it doesn’t.
When a kid puts in 30 minutes to mow a lawn and earns $10, or babysits away their Saturday night to make $30, they start to understand what money is worth and that it, in fact, does not grow on trees.
2. Learning the Value of Hard Work
Getting a job also teaches kids the value of hard work.
Sure, many other activities can help teach this value, like sports, school, camping, hiking, running, and more. Though, there is something unique about working for money.
Money is essential in life. Winning your next sports game is not.
Working teaches kids what it takes in order to make a living. It might even motivate them to find the best way to make money in the future, so they don’t have to trade their time for money for the rest of their lives.
Which leads me to my next point…
3. Money Can Work For You
Hopefully, as a kid does start making money, they’re also saving some of it.
Whether it’s in a savings account or investment account, it will benefit from compound growth:
- If in a savings account, due to interest
- If in an investment account, due to capital gains and dividends
Learning the magic of compound growth at an early age creates a really strong financial foundation to build upon so that they become a fiscally responsible person in the future.
14 Awesome Ways to Make Money as a Kid
It’s time to dive into the list, here are 14 ways to make money as a kid:
1. Mow Lawns and Shovel Snow
As mentioned, mowing lawns is one of my favorite kid-approved jobs.
It’s the perfect job for getting outside, staying active, and also making decent money in a short amount of time. You can usually charge at least $10 to mow a lawn, which usually only takes 30 minutes (depending on the lawn size).
It also teaches valuable marketing and selling skills.
In order to mow lawns, you need clients. Whether it’s going door-to-door or hanging flyers around the neighborhood, it teaches young people how to sell and how to build a business from the ground up.
Plus, you can make it a year-round business. Shoveling snow is the yin to mowing lawn’s yang. It’s the perfect solution to do this year-round and earn some extra cash.
If you live in an area that is always warm or always cold, then you can do one of the options year-round.
Babysitting is better suited for slightly older kids or teens, but is another great option to get paid. You can actually make decent money and a good hourly wage with this option.
Babysitting, on top of paying well, also teaches the importance of building a good reputation.
The key to making good money babysitting is getting repeat clients. Kids will quickly learn the value of building a good reputation, getting referrals, and retaining customers.
3. Sell Crafts Online
There are a lot of incredible stories of kids making thousands of dollars selling unique and niche items online. Whether its jewelry, scarves, or whatever you or your kid might be good at making, one of the best ways to make money online is to sell your items on Etsy.
Oh, and it’s perfectly legal too and you can do it working from home!
Here are the rules from Etsy’s site:
Etsy Rules for 13-17 Year Olds:
Minors between the ages of 13 and 17 are permitted to use Etsy’s services only if they have the appropriate permission and direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian. The account must be registered with the parent or legal guardian’s information.
Etsy Rules for Kids Under 13:
Minors under 13 may not use Etsy under any circumstances. However, a parent or legal guardian may open an account and run it on behalf of the minor.
Creating an online store through Etsy is not your only option, either. You could make money selling the crafts in person or through other ecommerce sites and online retailers.
4. Organize a Garage Sale
Instead of creating something new with a craft, kids can also sell their old stuff to earn cash.
The easiest way to do this is through a garage sale or yard sale.
Similar to mowing lawns, it takes a lot of marketing in order to throw a successful garage sale, a valuable skill for kids to learn. On top of that, kids will learn how to negotiate the value of items.
5. Have an “Online” Garage Sale (eBay)
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of advertising and hosting a physical garage sale, you could also have one online!
That is, sell items on eBay.
eBay has similar rules to kids selling online as Etsy. People under 18 can use eBay, but they must use their parent or guardian account, and the parent or guardian is responsible for everything they do on the site.
6. Make a Lemonade Stand
Another personal favorite way for kids to make money is to create a lemonade stand.
You won’t make a ton of money with this option, but it’s a great opportunity for younger kids to make a few dollars and learn a ton of business lessons along the way.
The main lesson is around pricing and costs.
Kids need to understand the cost to make the lemonade so that they can price it accordingly. Price it too low, and they’ll lose money. Price it too high, and they won’t attract enough customers!
There isn’t something in this world that cannot be painted – you just need a paintbrush.
As a kid, I got paid to paint a chainlink fence.
Whether it’s a room, window frames, a garage, or a fence (wooden, hopefully), painting is a great way for teens to earn extra money.
8. Become a Tutor
Becoming a tutor is one of the most versatile ways kids can make money today. They can become a tutor in:
- And literally any other school subject in existence
Whether you’re informally tutoring kids younger than you or getting a formal job at a professional tutoring company, it can be a great way to earn money and help out fellow schoolmates.
9. Walk Dogs
Walking dogs, pet sitting, or offering general pet care services is my third favorite way for kids to make extra money.
The main reason is that most kids love animals, and it’s fun to walk dogs! It shows kids that you can love what you do and also make money, which is another valuable money lesson.
Plus, dog walking can be a pretty lucrative job and provide you with some legit side income.
You don’t have to be a [insert boring, high paying job here] to make good money.
10. Do Yard Work
Taking lawn mowing to the next level, you can also do a wide variety of yard work. In fact, this might be a natural business expansion for someone who started earning money through a lawn mowing business.
Here are some more ideas on what you can do to help take care of your neighbor’s yards:
- Pull weeds
- Plant flowers
- Weed wack
- Lay sod
Also, just ask your neighbors what they need! Asking your customers for what they need is a great business practice.
11. Have a Car Wash
Another great way to start earning money as a kid is to have a car wash.
Having a car wash is a fun money-making idea that also gets kids outside. The one downside is that you are limited to warm-weather for this option.
Also, this is another job where just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. You’ll need selling and marketing skills in order to draw people (and cars) to your car wash.
Housesitting is an easy way to make money from home (at least, from someone’s home). Though, it also teaches kids how to care for things that aren’t their own.
Becoming a house sitter requires you to be trustworthy, a trait that is admired is both kids and adults.
13. Water Plants
Have a green thumb?
Or, just know how to work a hose?
Next time your neighbors head out of town, offer to water there plants and flowers for them! It’s a great way to earn some extra money fast.
Throw in grabbing the mail as a bonus, and they might offer you a nice tip in return.
14. Start an Online Business
Last but not least, kids can start an online business as a side hustle. There are a lot of different things you could do to make money online, you are only limited to the number of business ideas that you can come up with.
Again, no mention of creating a YouTube channel here, below are some more legitimate ways to start making money online:
- Sell t-shirts
- Sell jewelry
- Take online surveys with Swagbucks or Opinion Outpost (a great way to make money fast)
- Create your own blog or website
- Design websites or do general graphic design
- Freelance as a social media manager (Check out Fiverr or Upwork)
Just make sure you’re the proper age, or have proper guardian oversight, when starting one of the businesses above.
The list of ideas to make money as a kid does not end at 14, just this list does. There are endless other opportunities to get paid to work, so be creative and find one that works for you!
Maybe it’s a seasonal business, like raking leaves or disposing of Christmas trees.
Or maybe it’s a passion business, like training dogs.
Whatever gig you decide to pursue, make it work for you.
Bonus: How to Make Money as a Teen with “Real” Jobs
A teen in high school could do the jobs above, but a lot of them are better for young kids.
A teen has an advantage because they can also get a “real” job, you just have to be at least 14 years old, and are limited in the hours you can work until you are 16 years old. The US Department of Labor lays out the ground rules here.
For kids that are old enough, here are three of the best teen job options that pay a per hour income:
1. Work at a Restaurant
I may be biased here because I worked at a restaurant when I was a teenager, but I think a lot of good can come from learning the complexities of the foodservice industry.
Whether you’re signing up to be a busboy/girl, a waiter or server, a hostess, or a dishwasher, you’ll quickly learn what it takes to make it in a service industry.
2. Become a Coach or Referee
If you or your teen loves sports, becoming a coach or referee can be a good job that combines a passion with a money-making opportunity.
Last, becoming a lifeguard can be a great summer job that both gets you outside and gets you paid.
Check out your local pool, lake, or water park to see if they are hiring!
Summary: How to Make Money as a Kid
Learning how to make money as a kid is a great way to learn the value of money as you earn it. Plus, it teaches the importance of saving money for a rainy day, and how to use your money to start working for you (through compound growth).
Your options are nearly endless too, so find a job that looks appealing to you and apply or start to work on it today!
Just Start Investing is a personal finance website that makes investing easy. Learn the simple strategies to start investing today, as well as ways to optimize your credit cards, banking, and budget. Just Start Investing has been featured on Business Insider, Forbes, and US News & World Report, among other major publications for its easy-to-follow writing.
Thank you for useful post.