11 Ways To Make Money As A Preteen Without A Job

lawnmower mowing grass, a job teenagers can do to make money

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You may have children who are preteens that are looking to work.  Many jobs available to preteens, such as 12 year olds, pay minimum wage or may not have the flexibility to give them time to pursue other interests.

Preteens may still want to earn money themselves so that they can save up for things in their future. 

A 12 year old may have 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’re a preteen.

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 preteens as well unless they share an account with their parents.

In this article, we'll go over how to make money as a preteen without a traditional 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 preteen and what to do with the money you make.

Let's jump right in.

Benefits of Making Money As a Preteen Without Getting a Job

While there are many benefits to making money by getting a job, there are specific benefits to making money without a job

Here are some:

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.

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Earn More Money Per Hour Than Typical Jobs For Teenagers

Preteens may earn a lower wage than a typical adult. This means they’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

Preteens can earn a lot of money as young entrepreneurs, but before they can start earning money, they need to figure out what works best for them. 

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 preteen. 

Many small business owners don't find success long-term, which is why gaining entrepreneurial experience as a preteen is important before you're older and have a lot more at stake.

A preteen may find that this work-life style is not for them, but they may also find that entrepreneur life is perfect.

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Learn How To Balance Work With Life

Entrepreneurs are known for working 14-16 hours a day sometimes. As a preteen trying to make money without getting a job, this may not be possible as you’re balancing work and school.

Going at it too hard can lead to burnout. With this in mind, preteens will want to ensure they have enough free time to pursue hobbies and decompress.

If a preteen believes they want to work for themselves as an adult by creating a business or through side hustle culture, then work-life balance is one of the most important things they can learn to master.

How To Make Money As A Preteen Without Getting A Job

Now that we've talked about the benefits of a preteen starting a business or side hustle, let's talk about some of the best ways they can earn extra money in their spare time.

1. Mow Lawns In Warm Months

Preteens can make money in warmer months by mowing lawns for neighbors.

If your preteen is friendly with your neighbors, they may be able to simply ask them if they want their lawns mowed. 

If they don't know their neighbors very well, they could consider making fliers and placing them in mailboxes.

 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 your preteen had 5 weekly clients at $30 per lawn and each lawn took them 1 hour, then they would work 5 hours a week for $150, or $30 an hour. 

As a preteen, this is can be a real good chunk of change compared to what they may earn at a typical retail job.

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2. 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 your preteen needs is a rake and some trash bags for the leaves. 

Raking leaves may not pay as well as mowing lawns, but your preteen can still earn money, and there may be plenty of work in your neighborhood.

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 preteen to earn extra cash without getting a job.

3. Shovel Snow in Wintery Months

Live in an area where winter means snowfall after snowfall? While plow drivers can 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 your preteen can come in. As a snow shoveler, preteens can earn money for showing up with their shovel and taking care of snow removal for their clients. 

This can be done in their local neighborhood or anywhere they’re able to access during the winter.

Preteens may be able to charge by the hour or by the job. They might consider asking $15 to $20 per hour, or they could ask for a flat rate if their potential client is interested.

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4. Offer Babysitting Services

You can pay your preteen to watch younger siblings when they’re 12 years old. They’ll want to get training in things such as first aid and CPR.

Preteens can start taking babysitting courses as early as age 11 through The Red Cross. As a parent, you’ll want to decide if your preteen is responsible enough to babysit younger siblings

Kidsit.com writes a great article on babysitting, which you can find here.

5. 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 your preteen has clients who need their dogs walked for 2 15-minute walks per day, they 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, your preteen may make good money in this endeavor.

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.

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6. 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. 

A preteen interested in this venture will want to have some references, emergency contacts, and a reliable way to get to their clients’ homes. 

They 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.

7. Tutor Fellow Students

Is your preteen really good at a subject in school? They could consider tutoring other students. 

Preteen tutors can make a difference in a peer's life by helping them get through whatever subject they’re good at that the other student is having trouble with. 

Whether it be math, English, foreign language, history, or another subject, your preteen can earn a decent hourly rate tutoring other students.

Ziprecruiter.com reports that the average teen tutor rate is $20 per hour. Consider finding five students to tutor per week, and your preteen could be earning $100 weekly, or approximately $400 per month by tutoring others.

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8. 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 preteen’s school use frequently. 

By buying in bulk, you'll save money, and then by selling in school, your preteen have the opportunity to markup their wares.

This way of earning money as a preteen is ideal if they have some money to work with. 

For example, they may be able to buy $100 worth of candy and sell it individually for $200, which nets them $100 profit, or 100% return on investment.

9. Monetize a YouTube Channel

Young people are online all the time, and your preteen 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, the preteen will need to have a legal guardian who can handle payments via Google Adsense. 

Your preteen can also make money with affiliate links to products they discuss on their channel, though make sure to check program requirements to see if they’ree 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 your preteen get noticed by viewers, which will increase revenue. 

Of course, creating high-quality videos that help viewers will also get them more views and more money.

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10. Sell Old Things At Yard Sales or Flea Markets

Your preteen has outgrown clothes, have games they don't want anymore, toys they stopped using, and other stuff that they’ve just been collecting. Selling unwanted belongings is a great opportunity to make some extra cash while also decluttering a preteen’s living space.

An added benefit of selling old things is that it may teach your preteen negotiation skills as they attempt to get the best price for their stuff as they can. 

This is a great skill to have both in the entrepreneurial world and when seeking a job as an adult.

11. Sell Crafts

If your preteen is into crafts, such as crocheting, they can make a fair share of money creating patterns and selling them on a site like Ravelry

They can also sell what you make on Etsy and if they have a sense for teaching, teach others how to do crafts like crochet as well. Of course, your preteen won’t be limited to yarn. 

Crafts are limited to your preteen’s imagination and what materials they can get their hands on.

What To Do With The Money You Make As A Preteen

As your preteen eans money each month, it's a good idea to have a plan as to what that money will be used for. 

Here are some ideas.

Save for College

College is generally quite expensive, and if your preteen is planning on going and taking out student loans, they may take many years to pay back that debt. 

Instead, if your preteen saves the money, they can pay their way through college if they’ve amassed enough.

The more they can pay upfront, the less they have to borrow, and the less debt they’ll have when they graduate. 

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Put Money Aside to Start a Business

Your preteen may want to go straight into business once they become an adult. They’ve gained a lot of experience as a preteen entreprenuer, and they’re ready to go full force when they turn 18. 

In this case, maximizing the savings that they earned through their ventures may help them grow their business further as an adult. 

Once they turn 18, they’ll have access to more platforms, like PayPal, and be able to take on more work. 

With extra money to get them started, they may be able to grow their business and income significantly.

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Save Up For A Car

Your preteen may need a car when they get older, depending on where they’re going after they graduate from high school. 

With the money they’ve made hustling as a preteen and teenager, they’ll have more options as to what car they buy. 

Save Up For Their First Apartment or Home

Moving out can be expensive, but thanks to all the money your preteen made, they’ll have choices as to where to go. 

Since they learned many money-making lessons, they’ll likely continue to make ample cash, allowing them to move out and start a life on their own. 

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. 

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Wrapping It Up

In this article, we discussed how to make money as a preteen without a job, looking at realistic things one can do without seeking employment. We also talked about the benefits of working in this manner and what to do with one’s hard-earned money.

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