20 Safe Ways to Make Money as a Kid
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Every teen and preteen wants to know how to make money as a kid. From making money online to setting up a business in your backyard, here are some great ways to teach your kids about money and the value of hard work.
Whether it’s to buy a new video game, AirPods, or just to feel like they have their own spending money, every kid wants their own cash.
My 13-year-old spends a lot of time talking about jobs she’s going to have when she’s older. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s plenty of ways for her to make money now. And that money doesn’t have to come from me giving her an allowance. It can come from her own hard work and creativity.
In fact, there are plenty of ways for most kids to earn their own cash. From selling their own handmade crafts, to starting a YouTube channel, to helping neighbors with yard work, it’s easier than ever to make money as a kid.
12 In-Person Ways to Make Money as a Kid
While it’s a lot simpler for older teenagers to make their own money, kids younger than 14 still have plenty of options.
1. Bake Sale/Lemonade Stand
The lemonade stand is a classic and one of the most popular ways for kids to make money. If you’re in a premium location or put one near a yard sale or parade route, you can expect some decent results.
Kids can expand their sales (and profits) by also offering things like baked goods, donuts, or more exotic drinks like kombucha or flavored lemonades.
Parental involvement: Low to moderate. Kids as young as five can set up a lemonade stand, but depending upon their age, you might need to supervise, help make or pour drinks, or assist with collecting money.
2. Have a Yard Sale
If your house looks anything like mine, it’s full of toys my daughter has outgrown or stopped using. Encourage your kids to set up a yard sale to get rid of their old items and make some money at the same time. They can even combine this with their lemonade or bake sale or sell homemade crafts to draw in customers.
Parental involvement: Low. You’ll need to help them organize and price their items and supervise the actual sale, but they should be able to handle customer service, collecting money, and giving change on their own.
3. Sell Crafts
An easy way for kids to make money is to sell crafts they make online, especially if they’re the more artsy type. This can include making friendship bracelets, painting, drawing, or even knitting scarves. They can make seasonal items, like warm hats for the winter, or items that sell year-round. Themed items are popular as well, as are items for pets.
This is one of the most open-ended ways to make money as a kid.
Parental involvement: Low. Although you’ll have to help them purchase the materials, drive them to the store, or possibly front some “seed” money, your kids should be able to make and sell their items, especially if they’re older and selling them at school.
4. Pet Care Services
Although you have to be 18 to get started with Rover, kids can still make money walking dogs or feeding cats.
In fact, people in your neighborhood might be more willing to hire your child to walk their dog than a stranger. You can help them get started by posting on social media or helping your child put flyers in neighbors’ mailboxes.
Kids might have to charge less than adults, but if they have a few clients at once, it can add up to some decent cash over time.
Parental involvement: Low to moderate. If your kids are taking care of pets on your block or in your neighborhood, they should be able to walk or ride their bikes to their clients’ houses. If they want to walk dogs or feed cats across town, you’ll have to drive them. You might also need to help with advertising their services or dealing with clients who don’t pay on time.
Related: 7 Cute Ways Dog Lovers Can Make Money with Their Canine Pals
5. Babysitting or Mother’s Helper
Like lemonade stands and mowing lawns, babysitting is a classic way for kids to make money. While older teens can watch younger children, younger teens, and even tweens can get in on the action by working as a mother’s helper.
Whether a mom needs extra hands at the pool or someone to keep her younger kids occupied while she works, your child can cash in on that. It’s a great way for tweens and younger teens to earn money over the summer or during school breaks when parents really need help.
Parental involvement: Low. You might have to drive your child to their client’s home if they live far away or help them with finding clients, but that’s about it.
6. Yard Work
Earning money doing yard work is something even little kids can do.
From pulling weeds, to watering plants, or raking leaves, there’s never any shortage of work that needs to be done around the house. Older kids can up their earnings by cleaning out gutters (as long as they’re not afraid of heights), shoveling snow, or mowing lawns for the neighbors.
Parental involvement: Low to moderate. Depending on the child’s age and what they’re doing, your involvement can range from a supervisory capacity to letting them do the work on their own. However, if it’s a potentially dangerous task, like being on a ladder, you might need to stay with them the entire time.
7. Tech Support
Kids are amazing at using technology. I’ve lost count of how many things my daughter has taught me to do with my phone and iPad.
If your child is good with technology, they can start a business or service helping neighbors and friends perform updates on their devices, digitize pictures and documents, and even give tutorials on how to use various apps. They can also help people set up their new devices or computers or offer to do virus scans.
This can be one of the more lucrative ventures for kids, and one with the lowest start-up costs.
Parental involvement: Low. Beyond helping them set their prices and advertise their services, there is almost nothing you need to do to help them perform this service.
Related: Should Kids Get Paid to Do Chores? Experts Think Maybe Not
8. Wash Cars
Washing cars is a cumbersome task most people would prefer to avoid or pay someone else to do for them. Your child can take advantage of this by offering car washing services around the neighborhood.
They can go door to door with a bucket of supplies or they can ask clients to come to their house. If you live in an apartment complex, check to see if there’s a car washing bay for your kid to set up shop.
If washing cars isn’t an option, or your child wants to make even more money, they can wash outdoor furniture, patios or decks, or clean front porches.
Parental involvement: Low. You might need to ask your homeowner’s association or apartment complex for permission to use certain areas, and you might have to help pay for supplies, but your kid should do all the work. Don’t forget to account for an increase in your water bill as well.
9. Farm Work
If you live in a rural area or near a farm, your kid can get a job doing farm work. Things like cleaning horse stalls, feeding animals, moving hay bales, or other non-machine related tasks are all tasks kids can do to make money.
Check your state laws and regulations to see if there are age or work-hour restrictions for kids to perform farm work.
Parental involvement: Low to moderate. If you own a farm, it’s a lot different to have your kids work for you than it is finding them to do work somewhere else. You won’t have to drive them or help them find somewhere to work. However, you do need to make sure what they are doing is legal so neither your kid nor the farm owner gets into any trouble.
10. Get a Part-Time Job
The simplest way to make money as a kid is to find a part-time job.
Most states don’t permit kids under the age of 14 to work in a traditional setting. However, it might be worth looking to see if your state makes any accommodations for jobs like dishwasher, junior camp counselor, or bagging groceries for kids younger than 14.
Parental involvement: Moderate. You’ll need to make sure you can drive your kid to and from work and be available during their work schedule (unless transportation is provided). You’ll also need to make sure their paperwork is completed and filed with the correct entities and they have a bank account to deposit their paychecks.
11. Start a Band
If your kid plays an instrument like bass or drums, you can encourage them to find others who play instruments and start a band. It can be a rock band, jazz band, or any other kind of music they like.
If they’re good, they can play at birthday parties for a flat fee or at all-ages shows in bars, where they’ll earn a cut of the profits.
Parental involvement: Moderate to high. You’ll need to provide a place for them to practice, transportation to and from gigs, act as a roadie by moving instruments and other equipment, and make sure they meet all legal requirements for performing in places like bars.
You might also need to work with other parents or restaurant owners to make sure your kid and their band aren’t getting taken advantage of.
12. Do Extra Chores
The simplest and most efficient way to make money as a kid is to do extra chores around the house. If you don’t pay for basic household chores like feeding the dog, setting the table, or folding laundry, consider finding some bigger projects for your kid to do.
Organizing the garage, painting a section of a fence, or cleaning out closets are all time-consuming tasks. Having your kid do them not only teaches them to work for their money, but it also gets those annoying tasks done.
Parental involvement: Varies. How much you need to be involved in having your kids do extra chores for money depends on what you ask them to do and how old they are.
8 Online Ways to Make Money as a Kid
If your kid spends a lot of time online, you can encourage them to use some of that time to make money.
13. Start a YouTube Channel
While earning money from a YouTube channel takes time and a lot of work, if your kid is a natural on camera or has a special talent, you can encourage them to start their own channel.
They can do anything from unboxing games and toys to sharing crafting tutorials. They can even have an interview show where they bring on guests like friends or grandparents. If they gain enough views and subscribers, they can start monetizing the channel with things like ads and sponsorships.
Parental involvement: High. Not only will you have to monitor the accounts for inappropriate comments and followers, but you might also need to do the video editing (or hire someone to do it) and camera work.
Older kids should be able to figure this out on their own, and it’s a great way for them to learn some tech skills, but you’ll need to be hands-on if this is how your kid wants to make money.
14. Use Your Instagram
One way to make money on Instagram is to become an influencer. Having a lot of followers means you can work with brands and companies to advertise their products.
You can also be an affiliate so your kid will get a part of the sales when people buy products they recommend from a link they provide. If you don’t want your kid to be an influencer, you can encourage them to use your family pet instead.
In order to have their own social media account, children must be a minimum of 13 years old.
Parental involvement: Moderate to high. When it comes to making money from social media, parents need to remain vigilant. You’ll want to monitor how your child is presenting themselves, watch for inappropriate comments or private messages, check their followers list daily, and make sure the companies they’re partnering with are legitimate.
15. Start a Podcast
Kids have a lot to say about pretty much everything. You can encourage your child to harness their words and ideas and start a podcast on a topic they love. If they’re younger, you can start one with them and use it as a fun side gig for the two of you to spend time together and make some extra cash.
As a bonus, they can learn what goes into creating a podcast, like editing and writing show notes, which helps develop marketable skills they might be able to use later on. If they’re shy but still want to share their ideas and thoughts, they can start a blog.
Parental involvement: High. You’ll most likely need to purchase the equipment and editing software, as well as work with your child to get the podcast uploaded into places like iTunes or Stitcher. You’ll also need to help with tasks like editing and promotion, as well as negotiating with any potential advertisers and sponsors.
16. Sell Old Technology and Toys
If you have old toys and technology lying around the house and you want to get rid of it now, consider using Decluttr. You can encourage your child to part with that old LeapFrog reader or box of Legos and allow them to keep the profits.
They can also sell books, video games, or board games they’ve outgrown. The best part is that kids of any age can earn money by selling their stuff with Decluttr.
Parental involvement: Moderate. You’ll have to download the app and help them scan their items, especially if your child is on the younger side, and you’ll need to make sure everything is mailed. You might also need to help them go through their things and sort them into what’s appropriate to sell and what isn’t.
17. Take Surveys
Joining Swagbucks is a great way for adults to earn extra cash in their spare time, but if your child is at least 13 years old, they can join too. The program works the same way for kids as it does adults, and it’s an easy way for your kid to monetize the time they’re already spending online.
If you’re interested in learning more about using Swagbucks for yourself or to help your kid make money, check out our Swagbucks review.
Parental involvement: Moderate. While your child will be the one answering the surveys and earning the money, you’ll need to make sure the surveys and tasks are age-appropriate. As with any online venture, you need to be cautious of any contact from unknown adults or phishing scams.
18. Become a Brand Representative
If your child is an athlete, gamer, or social media influencer, you can connect with relevant and appropriate companies for your child to work as a brand representative.
Generally, all they’ll have to do is post about the product on social media or put a logo on something like a shirt or a backpack. They might be asked to wear, use, or share certain items at specific times, like during holiday sales or big events.
For working as a representative, they’ll receive compensation in either cash or free stuff.
Parental involvement: Moderate to high. You’ll be the one negotiating with the companies, and you’ll also need to monitor the social media accounts. If your child is too young to have their own account, you’ll also need to take pictures, post them, and write the captions.
19. Sell Designs on CafePress
Is your kid interested in graphic design or do they have an eye for catchy patterns and slogans that would look great on a T-shirt? If so, Cafepress is a great place to start a custom T-shirt business. If they design something that connects with an audience or current trend, they can make big money with their design.
Parental involvement: Moderate. You will need to stay on top of orders, make sure payments are processed, and respond to customer inquiries or complaints, but your kid will be responsible for creating the designs on the site and making sure the inventory is refreshed and updated regularly.
20. Fiverr Gigs
As long as your child is at least 13, they can make money with Fiverr. Just like adults, kids can sell services starting at $5. Those services can include things like writing, graphic design, voiceovers, or animation. If they want to increase their income-earning opportunities, kids can offer packaged services as well.
Parental involvement: Moderate. Like with other online gigs, your child will be responsible for performing the tasks and services, but you’ll need to moderate inquiries and complaints, handle payment issues, and check regularly for inappropriate private messages.
Related: Should Parents Pay for Their Children’s College Education?
Making Money as a Kid Still Requires Parental Assistance
While the kids do the actual work, parents play a vital role in helping their children make money.
Put a Plan Together
Before your child starts making their own money, sit down together and help them formulate a plan. Ask them what skills they have to use to earn some cash. Find out why they want to earn money and what they plan to do with it. You can even work with them to create a business plan so they have some direction for their venture.
Open a Bank Account
Most banks require a parent or guardian to be listed on a bank account for kids under 18. Your child will also need you to drive them to the bank to open the account. On the way, you can discuss with them the different banking options they have and what might work best for your child.
There are also online banking options if transportation or finding the time to get to a brick-and-mortar bank is difficult.
Now that your child is making their own money, they need to know how to manage it. You don’t want them to spend all of their energy working only to see the profits wasted.
They need to be taught how to put some of it away for taxes, to buy more materials, to pay for advertising, and to save for their goals. While they can (and should) keep some of it for frivolous spending, it’s important they know how to budget each paycheck that comes in.
Most of these jobs can be found in and around your immediate neighborhood, making them perfect for teaching your kids how to get themselves to work. However, some of them might require you to drive them or find alternative options for transportation. If that’s the case, you can consider charging them a fee and use it as a teachable moment for what it’s like to pay employees.
Help with Negotiating Prices
The bulk of your help will come by helping your child set their prices. Whether it’s figuring out how much to sell their crafts for or if they should get paid hourly for yard work or by the task, you’ll need to provide guidance on what they should charge their customers and clients. You can do this by researching together online or talking with them about what they think is a fair price.
Don’t forget to tell them to include the cost of materials, transportation, or anything else they need.
Advertising and Marketing
Whether you’re helping them design and distribute flyers, creating an online profile, or using your own social media account to share their services, your child will need help with advertising and marketing their business.
You can also talk with them about how to market and advertise safely, what makes a good ad campaign, and why it’s important to know who their clients are when developing their marketing plan.
If your child is doing anything online, especially via YouTube or Instagram, you need to talk with them about online safety.
Topics should include how to deal with negative feedback and comments, handling inappropriate direct messages, how they present themselves, and how what they do online now can affect them in the future. You should be prepared to monitor their accounts daily to check for these kinds of things.
It’s also important that you talk with them about protecting personal details like addresses and phone numbers, not sharing bank account information, and maintaining as much privacy as possible.
It Is Possible to Make Money as a Kid
Making money as a kid is definitely possible, especially if your child is motivated, entrepreneurial, and has money-related goals. Encourage your kids to try different ventures to see what they like and what they don’t, as well as what nets them the most profit for their efforts.
If your child is interested in earning their own money, make sure you talk to them about things like start-up costs, taxes, and how to handle difficult clients. You’ll also be responsible for driving them to their job and monitoring their business accounts.
You can’t take a passive role if you have a child who wants to make money. When kids work, parents work. But when done together, it can be a great learning experience for everyone.