Many kids and teenagers struggle with understanding basic money management. If you’re a kid and you’re reading this, congratulations, you are already way ahead of your peers in your desire to learn about making money.
If you’re an adult, that’s why it’s important to talk to your kids about money matters while they’re still young.
Knowledge about finances isn’t the only tool either – instilling a strong work ethic will follow your children as they grow and only help them in their careers and personal lives.
Letting kids earn their own money not only provides a great lesson in responsibility, but it gives them independence and the start of a strong work ethic. Even if a kid is too young for a normal part-time job, there’s plenty they can do to earn their own spending money while helping out neighbours, friends, and family.
One way to help develop that work ethic is by letting young kids get creative with ways to make their own cash. If they’re not old enough for a job, there are still ways they can work hard, earn their own money, and learn valuable lessons for their future.
Certain times of year provide way more opportunities for kids to make money. That’s why we’re starting off our list during the months the sun is shining, the days are long, and school is out.
1. Play Video Games
What you need: A PC or gaming console, and a webcam
It sounds like a dream job for kids: play video games and make money! With streaming platforms like Twitch becoming hugely popular, this dream can become a reality.
Competitive gaming is forecasted to become a bigger industry than many major league traditional sports, with top competitors already earning pro athlete like contracts worth millions of dollars a year.
Of course, these are the outliers, and you’re more likely to just earn a little side income, but I can’t think of a more fun way for many kids to try to earn money.
2. Mow Lawns
What you need: A lawnmower – either your own or your clients.
Mowing lawns is an easy way for kids to make some extra cash. You could start off slow, maybe push mowing a smaller yard and slowly build up your business until you’re ready to take on larger jobs.
The great thing about this chore is that lawns need tending to quite often, so you’ll always have consistent work and cash coming in. Just don’t branch out too quickly, or you could overbook and end up with a workload you can’t handle.
What you need: A hose, sponges, and soap. Bonus points for signs and flyers.
Everyone wants a clean car in the summertime, so it’s the perfect opportunity to scour your neighbourhood and let everyone know you’ll do the hard work – for a price. You can either go door to door or get creative and makeup flyers to put in your neighbour’s mailboxes or doors advertising your services.
4. Garage Sale
What you need: Your old toys, gadgets, and gizmos. An adult’s help setting up and pricing items.
You’re bound to have old toys, books, and other gadgets you either outgrew or never play with anymore. A garage sale is a perfect time to get rid of these items and rake in some cash. You may need an adult’s help pricing items – that’s always that hard part!
In addition to your own stuff, adults always have items they’re willing to get rid of, help them out. If you do a good part of the legwork, like organizing, carrying, and pricing items, you may be able to work out a deal to get a part of those profits.
5. Weeding/Garden Help
What you need: Garden gloves
The weeds never stop in the summertime, so it’s the perfect opportunity to capitalize on their constant growth. Most people find this chore tedious and wouldn’t mind farming it out to someone else.
Elderly neighbours might have an especially hard time crouching on the ground for so long, so having a go-getter youngster helping them out every few weeks helps relieve that burden.
6. Lemonade Stand
What you need: Cups, lemonade mix, posters, and a lemonade stand if you’re really fancy.
Lemonade stands are a classic way for kids to earn money, and they still hold up today. Remember that garage sale we mentioned earlier? Partnering a lemonade stand with it only increases your profits.
The hardest part about this money-making hustle is figuring out where to set it up. It needs to be in an area that has a lot of traffic, but you need to make sure you have permission to sell your product. Talking with an adult about those logistics is probably your best bet.
7. Set Up a Dog Walking Business
What you need: A leash and dog treats.
Love dogs? Well, then it’s easy to get a side hustle going. Many pet parents struggle to find the time to give their furry friends enough exercise. That’s where you come in. Offering to walk a neighbour’s dog once or twice a day will help them out and put some extra cash in your pocket.
If you choose to grow your doggy walking business, internet sites like Rover make it easy to find new clients that need help. If you decide to advertise your services on the internet, it’s best to talk it over with a parent first and figure out your service area before starting.
If your dog walking business does well, kicking things up a notch and offering services like pet sitting might be the next step. Stopping by for feedings and potty breaks while the owners are away could add even more income into your pocket.
8. Clean Windows
What you need: Window cleaner, paper towels or rag, and maybe a squeegee.
One household chore that’s often overlooked or just plain hated is window washing. In the summertime, it’s always nice to have sparkling clean windows to filter in all the beautiful sunshine.
Most people wouldn’t mind giving up such a tedious chore to a kid willing to help out.
9. General Outside Maintenance
What you need: Work gloves, sunscreen, lots of water.
Most people have plenty of outside work to do in the summer months. This can include everything from cleaning decks and patio furniture to helping out spreading mulch or planting flowers.
Put flyers in your neighbour’s mailboxes so they know you’re willing to help out.
10. Babysit Younger Kids
What you need: Patience and creativity.
Sometimes Mom and Dad need a break. If you love kids, why not try and entertain them for a few hours while getting paid? Summer is a great time to start up a babysitting business – there’s plenty to do – hide and seek, tag, kickball, arts and crafts.
Once you start babysitting for one family, you’ll likely find it’s easier to get even more jobs. Plus, it’s a job that can easily grow with you as you get older.
What you need: A bike or maybe a parent willing to drive you around during early morning runs.
Sure, paper routes aren’t as common as they used to be, but for years it was a rite of passage for many adolescents. Most newspapers need to be delivered early, so you really need to be a go-getter to set your alarm and wake up at the crack of dawn during summer break.
While it’s a job for a more responsible child, the money made from it, especially the tips, might make it all worth it.
While summer brings plenty of opportunity for some money-making hustles, there’s still lots to do year-round to keep your piggy bank full.
12. Rake Leaves
What you need: A rake and a way to dispose of the leaves.
The fall foliage is pretty to look at, but once those leaves are all over the lawn and driveway, they’re just a nuisance. Kids willing to rake and dispose of the leaves could make a killing just in time for the holiday season.
13. Organize Photos
What you need: Photos, scanner, photo albums.
To most people, organizing photos, whether physical or digital ones, always seems to be a project put on the back burner. It’s a big job that requires a lot of time and patience, something plenty of adults are short on.
With lots of options these days to organize digital photos, demand is high for tech-savvy kids that can navigate the best photo retention apps and services.
14. Help Out with Seasonal Decorations
What you need: Clothes that can get dirty.
Many people love decorating, but rooting through dingy garages and attics to get seasonal decor is a bummer. You can help make the season brighter by helping family and neighbours put up and pack up their holiday decor.
If you’re an especially crafty kid, this might be the perfect time to showcase your art skills, either by your superior design skills or creating your own homemade holiday pieces. Either way, your help will earn money in your pocket and get you in the mood for the changing seasons and holidays.
15. Offer Manicures
What you need: Nail polish, nail files, cuticle clippers, nail polish remover.
Manicures are a great self-care practice but can be costly with frequent visits to the salon. If you love painting nails and making others feel good about themselves, this is the perfect side hustle for you.
16. Sell Farm Fresh Eggs
What you need: chickens, chicken coop, feed.
If you’re an animal lover and have the space around your house, raising chickens offers plenty of lessons on responsibility. From feeding the chickens to keeping them safe from predators, owning a pet not only teaches an important work ethic but establishes other lessons like patience and compassion.
Once those chickens start laying eggs, all your hard work will pay off. Many people are interested in fresh eggs, so you should have no issue selling your inventory.
17. Tutor Others
What you need: Textbooks, notebooks, computer, above-average knowledge in certain subjects.
Do you excel in certain subjects? If math or science comes easily to you, maybe you could help out a struggling classmate. Studies have shown that peer learning enhances a student’s ability to comprehend and perform better academically.
Not only will this good deed help out a peer, but it will help you understand the subject matter on a deeper level and give you a leg up on college applications.
18. Help Set Up Electronics or Tech Gadgets
What you need: Basic tech knowledge.
If you’re tech-savvy, you’re in demand. Many people don’t know how to set up computers, cellphones, or social media pages. If this is something you enjoy and you’re good at, you can make a bundle offering your services to those who need it most.
19. Set Up a YouTube Channel
What you need: A computer, cellphone, or tablet.
Most kids these days follow a specific YouTube Channel for entertainment purposes. While you might not break the internet with the number of likes you get, it is possible to monetize your own YouTube Channel with affiliates and related ads.
Something like this doesn’t happen overnight, and you’ll need to work to get a regular following. That means unique and fresh content to generate an audience and up your followers.
20. Sell Your Crafts
What you need: Materials for your crafts.
Unique, one-of-a-kind items are trendy and can bring in lots of cash. If you’re crafty and can make jewelry, decor, or t-shirts, selling your goods will bring in a profit while letting you do something you love.
There are various marketplaces on the internet to set your items up for sale – Etsy is one of the big ones. Kids ages 13-17 can sell their goods as long as they have permission from their parents and a parent or guardian as an account owner.
But don’t just hock all your goodies online – check out local craft shows and flea markets. Starting local might be a great way to build up an inventory and a customer base.
21. Give Private Lessons
What you need: Time and expertise
Do you rock at playing the drums? Maybe you’re one of the best basketball players around? If you have a special talent, don’t hesitate to monetize it. If you’ve been playing piano for years, you probably won’t have any trouble teaching a newbie the basics.
Private lessons allow you to do something you love and make money at the same time.
You don’t need a job to make some extra spending money, even if you’re a young kid. Finding creative ways to help others while earning some dough is something any kid can do. If you’re looking for other not-so-normal ways to earn cash, check out these ideas