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Are you a teenager looking to make money without getting a job? Unfortunately, many jobs available to teenagers pay minimum wage or may not have the flexibility to give you time to pursue other interests.
As a teenager, you still need money, and you may not be able to ask your parents. On the other hand, you may have bigger ambitions and want to find a great way to make money without getting a traditional job. When you earn your own money, you can use it to go out, shop for clothes, pick up the latest games, grab food with your friends, and more. You can also stash your cash in a bank account and save up for things like a car, school, or to move out one day, which are all great things to save for when you earn money as a teenager.
The issue with being under 18 is that many avenues of earning money are out of reach. Many traditional side hustles, like ridesharing and delivering food, may require you to be over 18. Likewise, PayPal is unavailable to you as well unless you share an account with your parents.
In this article, we'll go over how to make money as a teenager without a job and only focus on the different ways you can earn money without having to worry about an age requirement. We'll also go over the benefits of making money as a teenager and what to do with the money you make.
Let's jump right in.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Making Money As a Teenager Without Getting a Job
While there are many benefits to making money by getting a job, there are specific benefits to making money as a teenager without a job. Here they are.
Learn to Make Money In Non-Traditional Ways
Most people go through life working a traditional 9 to 5 job for the bulk of their adult life. Working traditional jobs means you'll generally earn an hourly wage or salary that is limited to how much a company wants to pay you. It means you'll always have a chance to getting laid off or otherwise lose your job when you least expect it. You'll likely work 40 or more hours a week and possibly for 3-4 decades.
When you learn how to earn money in non-traditional ways, you break free from the mold and gain a more entrepreneurial mindset. Note, that this doesn't mean you shouldn't seek a regular job eventually. Typical full-time work will allow you to support yourself in a more concrete and predictable way. That said, earning money by setting your own hours and creating your own side hustle or your own business can lead to much higher income and greater success if you are one of those that end up becoming successful.
Earn More Money Per Hour Than Typical Jobs For Teenagers
As a teenager, you may earn a lower wage than a typical adult. This means you're more likely to earn minimum wage or close to it. When you create your own avenue of making money, you can earn more money on average than your friend who's working in retail. However, this isn't true for all side hustles, but there are definitely opportunities to earn a fair share of cash doing odd jobs. To maximize your money-making potential, take on multiple endeavors at once if you have the time and energy.
Gain Entrepreneurial Experience
You can earn a lot of money as an entrepreneur, but before you can start earning money, you'll need to figure out what works best for you as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial experience includes learning how to do market research to understand customer needs, building a product or service to satisfy those needs, and then market yourself or your product to your audience.
Beyond that, an entrepreneur must learn how to balance their time and energy, as you're often on your own when you work for yourself and are first starting up – especially as a teen. Many small business owners don't find success long-term, which is why gaining entrepreneurial experience as a teenager is important before you're older and have a lot more at stake.
You may find that this work-life style is not for you, but you may also find that entrepreneur life is perfect for you.
Learn How To Balance Work With Life
Entrepreneurs are known for working 14-16 hours a day sometimes. As a teenager trying to make money without getting a job, you may find that you're working hard between school, activities, and adding in your money-making endeavors. Going at it too hard leads to burnout. With this in mind, you'll want to ensure you have enough free time to pursue hobbies and decompress.
If you believe you want to work for yourself as an adult by creating a business or through side hustle culture, then work-life balance is one of the most important things you can learn to master.
How To Make Money As A Teenager Without Getting A Job
Now that we've talked about the benefits of making money as a teenager without a job, let's talk about some of the best ways you can earn extra money in your spare time.
1. Fill Out Online Surveys
Possibly the easiest way you can earn money online is to join an online survey company like Swagbucks. Swagbucks requires you to be at least 13 years of age, and through Swagbucks, you can earn gift cards to dozens of locations, including restaurants, retail outlets, and Amazon. You can also get Visa gift cards which work anywhere Visa is accepted. If you're 18 or older, you can also set up a PayPal account and cash out your earnings that way.
On the Swagbucks platform, you can fill out surveys to earn the SB currency, or you can do other things like watch videos, surf the internet, or even play games on your mobile phone.
This type of money-making activity can be done on your own schedule in your spare time, such as when waiting for a bus or train, sitting at lunch in school, or hanging out at home.
Most people will earn around $2 per hour on average, which isn't much, but it's a great option if you've got no other way to earn money or you simply want to supplement your income when you have a few minutes here and there to do something on your computer or phone.
2. Mow Lawns In Warm Months
If you're looking for a good way to make money in the warmer months, then mowing lawns may be right for you. If you're friendly with your neighbors, you may be able to simply ask them if they want their lawns mowed. If you don't know your neighbors as well, you could consider making fliers and placing them in mailboxes or simply getting to know your neighbors when you see them outdoors.
Professional lawn mowing services often charge $30 to $80 per lawn, depending on the size and where you live. Mowing generally needs to be done once every week, though sometimes you may find clients wanting every other week.
Using some quick math, if you had 5 weekly clients at $30 per lawn and each lawn took you 1 hour, then you would work 5 hours a week for $150, or $30 an hour. As a teenager, this is some seriously good money compared to what you may earn at a typical retail job.
3. Rake Leaves in Autumn
Similar to mowing lawns in warm months, raking leaves in Autumn is another easy way to earn money doing work outside, and all you need is a rake and some trash bags for the leaves. Raking leaves may not pay as well as mowing lawns, but you'll still be earning money and you may be able to find more work.
Typical people who rake leaves charge $10 to $15 per hour, though some professionals charge up to double. If you either live in a neighborhood or can get to a neighborhood with many yards that need regular raking, then leaf-raking can be a great option for a teenager to earn extra cash without getting a job.
4. Shovel Snow in Wintery Months
Live in an area where winter means snowfall after snowfall? While plow drivers earn loads of money plowing driveways, oftentimes, homeowners need someone to shovel decks, stairs, paths, and similar. Others may not have a plow guy in the area. This is where you come in. As a snow shoveler, you can earn money for showing up with your shovel and taking care of snow removal for your clients. This can be done in your local neighborhood or anywhere you're able to access during the winter.
As a teenager, you may be able to charge by the hour or by the job. You might consider asking $15 to $20 per hour, or you could ask for a flat rate if your potential client is interested.
5. Offer Babysitting Services
Teenagers can make a fair share of money as a babysitter. You'll want to get essential certifications such as first aid and CPR. Having a driver's license is also a big plus to most hiring families if you’re old enough.
You can start taking babysitting courses as early as age 11 through The Red Cross. You'll have to ask yourself if you feel mature enough to handle babysitting and if you know what it all entails to be responsible for children.
The average teenager doing babysitting earned $17.50 per hour as of July 2021. That's a nice chunk of change compared to what you might find working at the store down the street.
Kidsit.com writes a great article on babysitting, which you can find here.
6. Walk Dogs
Dog walking is a service that many busy dog owners hire out. Dogs generally need to be walked three to four times per day for 15 minutes or more. Many dog walkers charge $19 to $29 per 30-minute walk, so if you have clients who need their dogs walked for 2 15-minute walks per day, you might work out a $19 to $29 per day deal with them.
When you factor in how many dog owners are in your area that may need this service, you could certainly make a fair share of money doing this.
Remember, having a love for dogs isn't the only reason to be a dog walker. Having basic animal first aid skills is a big plus.
7. Pet Sitting
People often travel and can't take their pets with them. Cats and dogs need to be fed and checked on daily, and sometimes boarding an animal isn't feasible. In comes the petsitter who visits their clients' homes each day, feeds their pets, and spends some time with them.
The average petsitter can charge $25 to $30 per day, depending on what is required of them. As a teenager, you'll want to have to some references, emergency contacts, and a reliable way to get to your client's homes. You may also want a backup way to get to your client's homes, just in case something happens.
No one wants a furry companion to miss a day of food because their sitter was unable to make it.
8. Tutor Fellow Students
Really good at a subject in school? Consider tutoring others. As a teen tutor, you can make a difference in a peer's life by helping them get through whatever subject you're good at that they're having trouble with. Whether it be math, English, foreign language, history, or another subject, you can earn a decent hourly rate tutoring high school students and younger.
Ziprecruiter.com reports that the average teen tutor rate is $20 per hour. Consider finding five students to tutor per week, and you'll be earning $100 weekly, or approximately $400 per month by tutoring others.
9. Sell Designs with Print-on-Demand
Making custom designs for t-shirts, other clothing, and apparel can be a lucrative way to make money as a teenager. It also becomes a form of passive income once set up. If you're 16 or older, you can sell your designs on a site like Redbubble. If you're under 16, Redbubble will allow your account to be managed by someone who is 16 or older, which means you can still earn money from print-on-demand even if you're a younger teen.
A free app like Canva is perfect for designing t-shirts. You can even see what your competition is doing and base your designs on theirs while focusing on making yours better.
If you go with Redbubble, then it makes sense to learn how the search engine works on that site so you can create products that are easily found in search. This will increase your sales and make you more money.
10. Do Freelance Work on Fiverr
Fiverr is a website where you can offer to do many online services ranging from graphic and logo design to writing blog posts to technical support to video editing and much much more. It pays to scope out the competition and offer less commonly offered services, which means you can generally charge more money for your work. Some people will earn a full-time income from Fiverr given enough sales and building enough reputation.
One of the best parts about Fiverr is that you can be as young as 13 years old to create an account and sell services.
11. Flip Items at School
A more creative endeavor is to flip items at school. What does this mean? A very basic example is going to a discount warehouse store like BJ's, Sam's, or Costco and buying something in bulk like candy, pencils, markers, and other small things that people in your school use frequently. By buying in bulk, you'll save money, and then by selling in school, you'll have the opportunity to markup your wares.
This way of earning money as a teenager is perfect if you have some money to work with. For example, you may be able to buy $100 worth of candy and sell it individually for $200, which nets you a $100, or 100% return on investment.
12. Make Money Playing Games
Earlier, we mentioned Swagbucks, which is an app where you can fill out surveys and earn money through online shopping. Swagbucks also allows users to play mobile phone games to earn money. You won't earn a lot of money per hour of time playing the games, however, you'll have fun, and you can convert the SB into free gift cards that you can use for whatever you'd like. You could even sell those gift cards for cash to anyone who is interested.
13. Monetize a YouTube Channel
Young people are online all the time, and you may have an idea for a YouTube channel that could do well. Popular videos on YouTube include how-to videos, product reviews, tutorials, and product recommendations. To make money with ad revenue, you'll need to be 18 years of age or have a legal guardian who can handle payments via Google Adsense. You can also make money with affiliate links to products you discuss on your channel, though make sure to check program requirements to see if you're old enough to collect payment. If not, a legal guardian can help.
YouTube is a very competitive site, so it makes sense to be patient and to learn SEO. SEO will help you get noticed by viewers, which will increase revenue. Of course, creating high-quality videos that help viewers will also get you more views and more money.
14. Sell Old Things At Yard Sales or Flea Markets
You've outgrown clothes, you have games you don't want anymore, toys you stopped using, and other stuff that you've just been collecting. Selling unwanted belongings is a great opportunity to make some extra cash while also decluttering your living space.
An added benefit of selling old things is that it may teach you negotiation skills as you attempt to get the best price for your stuff as you can. This is a great skill to have both in the entrepreneurial world and when seeking a job as an adult.
15. Sell Crafts
If you have a craft habit, such as crocheting, you can make a fair share of money creating patterns and selling them on a site like Ravelry. You can also sell what you make on Etsy and if you have a sense for teaching, teach others how to do crafts like crochet as well. Of course, you're not just limited to yarn. Crafts are limited to your imagination and what materials you can get your hands on.
What To Do With The Money You Make As A Teenager
There are many other options to make money as a teenager without a job, and the best option will be based on your preference and situation. As you're earning money each month, it's a good idea to have a plan as to what you'll use all this money for. Here are some smart ideas as to how to use your hard-earned dough.
Save for College
College is generally quite expensive, and if you're planning on going and taking out student loans, you may take many years to pay back the debt. Instead, saving money as a teenager so that you can pay your way through college is smart. The more you can pay upfront, the less you have to borrow, and the less debt you'll have when you graduate. With student loan debt being a real problem in the United States, going into college with money saved could save you many headaches years later.
Put Money Aside to Start a Business
You may want to go straight into business once you become an adult. You've gained a lot of experience as a teen entreprenuer, and you're ready to go full force when you turn 18. In this case, maximizing the savings that you earned through your ventures may help you grow your business further as an adult. Once you turn 18, you'll have access to more platforms, like PayPal, and be able to take on more work. With extra money to get you started, you may be able to grow your business and income significantly.
Save Up For A Car
You may need a car, depending on where you're going after you graduate from high school. With the money you've made hustling as a teenager, you'll have more options as to what car you buy. Will you buy a used car and save money, or will you splurge your earnings on something brand new?
Save Up For Your First Apartment or Home
Want your own place? Moving out can be expensive, but thanks to all the money you made as a teenager, you'll have choices as to where to go. Since you learned many money-making lessons, you'll likely continue to make ample cash, allowing you to move out and start a life on your own. So, where will you end up?
Create an Emergency Fund
It's good financial sense to have an emergency fund in case something goes wrong. Most financial experts agree that you should have between three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved up. A CIT Bank savings account is a great place to get started with your emergency fund. Check out our guide on how to save $1,000 fast.
Wrapping It Up
In this article, we discussed how to make money as a teenager without a job, looking at realistic things you can do without seeking employment. We also talked about the benefits of working in this manner and what to do with your hard-earned money.
What types of endeavors will you take on?