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Kids under 14 are generally too young for traditional jobs, but that doesn’t rule out entrepreneurialism. Finding ways to work for pay early on can establish good financial habits that will stick. All it takes is an idea and the ambition to pursue it. Need some help getting started? Here are 12 simple ways for kids to make money online and offline.
How to make money as a kid
Ways to earn money as a younger kid
Younger kids can find easy ways to earn at home or in the local community.
1. Do chores and odd jobs around the house or neighborhood
Kids who are old enough to help out with household responsibilities and yardwork can cash in on their chores. For example, families can assign a dollar value to tasks like washing the dishes, vacuuming, folding laundry or pulling weeds.
2. Babysit, walk dogs and feed pets for pay
Nothing exudes responsibility like being the go-to trustworthy sitter for busy parents in your neighborhood. The trust part is critical. Establish a good rapport with your neighbors and you can make a solid hourly rate for looking after kids younger than you. Charging $10 to $15 an hour isn’t out of the question. Think you can do it? Ask your parents to help you spread the word, make flyers or send an email to let prospective clients know you’re ready to work.
Walking dogs and looking after pets when neighbors are away is another way for kids to make steady money. Let friends and neighbors know you’re interested and available.
3. Sell your stuff in person or online
Getting rid of unwanted clothes, books, toys, furniture and more can be a quick way to make money. Kids can organize a garage or yard sale, or sell items through apps and websites. Marketplace app OfferUp is available to children 16 and older, with parental supervision.
Crafty kids can also sell their art, jewelry, T-shirts and other creations in person or online. Children ages 13 to 17 may use a parent or legal guardian’s account (with their permission) to sell on Etsy. Parents and guardians can operate accounts on behalf of children under 13.
4. Sell lemonade in the summer
Don’t have any items to sell? Set up a good old-fashioned lemonade stand (some states and cities require a permit, so check your area’s laws first) when it’s warm outside, and make your pitch to passersby. Mix the lemonade with a bubbly seltzer and add the option to your sign to really catch the attention of customers. Charge a little extra for the fizzy version.
5. Teach others a skill
Spread the word about hobbies and talents you have that others may want to learn. For example, you can host a class on how to draw or give music, cooking or soccer lessons.
» MORE: 7 of the best money-making apps
Ways to earn money as a teenager
Kids 13 and up have access to additional online platforms to monetize their skills, among other options.
6. Find local gigs through Nextdoor
Use social networking groups to find work in your community, if allowed. Teens 13 years of age and older can go beyond word-of-mouth and offer services such as babysitting, dog walking or mowing lawns through the Nextdoor app.
Freelancing can help teenagers make money online and build their portfolios. It provides flexible hours, the potential to set your own rates and a market for just about any skill you can think of. Potential jobs include writing blog posts, designing logos, editing a podcast or creating a website.
Most freelancing marketplaces restrict eligibility to people 18 years old and over, but you’ll find some sites with younger age limits. Fiverr, for example, is open to users 13 and older. If existing websites and apps are too limiting, ask a parent to help you set up your own freelancing business. Learn about more business ideas for teens with an entrepreneurial mindset.
8. Tutor your peers
If you excel in one or more school subjects, offer to tutor fellow students for a fee. Simply asking classmates or siblings to hire you is a good strategy to start. You can also post flyers in places like schools, libraries and coffee shops — just make sure to get approval first.
9. Take surveys
Taking online surveys usually doesn’t require skills or experience, which can be a good fit for kids with ample free time. Some sites, including Swagbucks and MyPoints, are open to teens as young as 13. Here’s how they work: Users earn cash, gift cards or other rewards for answering questions and sharing opinions on different topics.
This work has drawbacks though: It can be mind-numbing, pays little and often requires survey takers to share their demographics or other personal information. Kids and parents should consider these aspects before proceeding.
10. Search for regular jobs for kids
Child labor laws make a few employment exceptions for children under 14. Kids of any age can work for their parent’s business, for example, or take up certain agricultural and entertainment-industry work. Paper routes may be nearly extinct, but those are permitted too.
Of course, teenagers who meet the standard minimum age requirement have vastly more opportunities available to them. Grocery store, retail and restaurant industry jobs are popular options.
Check out online job boards, look for help wanted signs and inquire about open positions at businesses near you.
Ways kid creators can earn online
Creative kids with ambition (and a lot of patience) may be able to make viral social content and gain a following.
11. Monetize your social media accounts
Making money with social media takes time, dedication and a lot of followers. Still, plenty of kids have earned recognition — and dollars — from dancing, reviewing toys, giving tutorials and creating other content on popular platforms. TikTok, YouTube and Instagram allow children 13 and up to use their services.
12. Get paid to stream on Twitch
Enjoy playing or talking about video games? There’s an audience for that on Twitch. Kids who are at least 13 years old and have parental or guardian supervision can set up livestreams on the gaming platform and earn money through donations, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and other methods. A wide audience won't come easy though. Learn more about what it takes to make money on Twitch, and try some of these other options in the meantime.
Tips for making money as a kid
Earning money at an early age can foster responsibility, work ethic and a better understanding of how finances work. But it’s important for families to set priorities and ground rules.
Talk to parents, teachers, counselors and other trusted adults. They can offer guidance, supervision (when needed) and even connections to paying gigs in some cases. Check out online resources too. For example, you can learn more about young workers’ rights and job opportunities on the U.S. Department of Labor website.
Always check terms and conditions before using any online platform to make sure you meet the minimum age and other requirements, and watch out for scams.