13 Best Side Hustles for Teens to Make Legit Money

As a teenager you are always looking for some extra cash, whether it’s needed to go out to eat with friends, or to pay mom back for your cell phone bill, cash is king! The good news is that in the world we live in today, it’s possible to make some serious extra cash, or get a head start on your life savings, by finding some great side hustles for teens.

By side hustling, you’ll learn new skills, gain financial literacy, and maybe even make a lot of money! And if you do it right, it won’t even interfere with your school, sports teams, or social life.

Let’s get to it, here is how to make money as a teenager with side hustles!

13 Side Hustles for Teens

Here are the best sides hustles teenagers can start today to make extra cash:

  1. 🏆 Take Online Surveys
  2. Play Games Online
  3. Find Odd Jobs in Your Area
  4. Babysit or Nanny
  5. Petsit or Walk Dogs
  6. Sell Unwanted Stuff
  7. Sell Your Crafts
  8. Make Deliveries
  9. Test Websites for Cash
  10. Do Online Tutoring
  11. Sell Your Photography
  12. Become an Influencer
  13. Donate Plasma for Cash

1. Take Online Surveys

You can take online surveys for money during your free time and make easy mindless cash, or at least a free gift card or two! There are a lot of survey sites out there, and the majority of them allow teens to join.

Anyone over 13 can sign up for Swagbucks, while Survey Junkie and Branded Surveys are great options for teens over 16.

LifePoints and InboxDollars are two other popular survey sites. But note that you must be 18 to use these apps.

If your ideal odd job doesn’t require you to leave the comfort of your bed and laptop, there are plenty of other ways for teens to make money online.

2. Play Video Games Online

Yes, that is right, you can get paid to play games online! This won’t make you a ton of money but what teen doesn’t spend a lot of time on their phone playing games?

Download an app like Rewarded Play and get paid for that wasted time!

If you are more of a serious gamer, you should consider starting your own Twitch account. Twitch is an interactive live streaming service.

People can pay to subscribe to your channel, while you hang out and game. Some Twitch streamers make a ton of money through the platform.

3. Do Odd Jobs in Your Area

Finding odd jobs around town for teens has never been easier.

Download the Steady App and start searching for full-time (if it’s summertime and you want to get too serious business making extra cash), part-time, or gig work opportunities.

You can even narrow down your search to jobs that you could walk or bike to rather than driving a car.

4. Babysit or Nanny

You already knew about this one, but it can be a really good side hustle for teenagers. Reach out to family members or neighbors to see if they need a regular babysitter. Before you know it, you might have a regular gig.

If you’re over 18, you can also check out websites like Care.com., Sittercity, or UrbanSitter to be matched with families in your area.

5. Petsit or Walk Dogs

Take your love of animals and make some extra money with it. If you’re 18 or older, you can download Rover on your phone and create a profile.

You’ll be able to set your own rates, mark which services you offer, and get matched with people who need pet care in your area.

I can’t recommend this side hustle for teens enough. You get paid to spend time with cute, fluffy dogs and cats and it can get you outdoors and active rather than sitting inside on your phone all day.

A good friend of mine made $32 per hour walking dogs and on average around $100 per night for pet sitting!

6. Sell Your Unwanted or Outgrown Stuff

Your closet’s overflowing with clothes you never wear, or outgrew last year. Perfect! Why not sell it to make some money online or in person?

Download the Depop or Poshmark apps on your phone and begin selling the clothes you don’t want.

Or use Decluttr to sell your old phones, books, games, and other stuff laying around. Decluttr requires you to be 18 to sell, but you can ask your parent to manage the app for you.

You can also sell old books, technology, and other miscellaneous items through a yard sale or garage sale. Just make sure to ask your parents before you sell anything!

7. Sell Your Crafts or Art on Social Media

Etsy allows you to begin selling your creations at age 13. Here are some ideas of things you could sell to get your creative juices flowing and make some money online.

  • Paintings
  • Art prints
  • Greeting cards
  • Pillows
  • Leather belts
  • Journals
  • Crocheted animals
  • Custom-made tables, shelves, chairs
  • Handmade Jewelry
  • Handmade clothes
  • Accessories
  • DIY home decor
  • Custom T-shirts

You can also create a business page on Instagram and promote your work there for friends and family to help you share and grow a following.

I have a good friend whose daughter started her own jewelry business during COVID and made over $4,000 sitting in her room making earrings, bracelets, and necklaces and selling them on Instagram!

8. Make Deliveries

If you’re over 18, you can help people grocery shop with Instacart or deliver fast food with DoorDash.

All you need to do is sign up and choose jobs when you are free. You’ll go to the grocery store, shop for the items, and deliver them or run to a restaurant and pick up an order and deliver it.

9. Test Websites for Cash

Companies will pay you to use their website and give them feedback.

If you’re over 18, you can sign up with UserTesting to get started.

You can make $4 for every five-minute test, $10 for every 20-minute test, and up to $120 for live interviews.

10. Do Online Tutoring

If you are a good student and enjoy working with other teens, you can make money by helping other students learn your favorite subjects.

You can find tutoring clients through word of mouth or your school, but there are a lot of online tutoring websites too.

You can also teach English just by having conversations with foreigners online. All you need to be is a native English speaker. Try it out with Cambly.

I give Cambly my seal of approval and highly recommend it! I had really fun conversations with people literally all over the world and got paid $10 per hour.

11. Sell Your Photography as Stock Photos

If you have photography skills, you can sell your photos as stock images for third-party websites like Shutterstock, Dreamstime, or iStockPhoto.

It’s super easy, and you can make some quick, creative cash!

12. Become an Influencer

OK, this is easier said than done, but what teenager hasn’t dreamt of being famous on social media? If you can figure out how to a unique build social media fame, you could have a super-fun, money-making side hustle.

Give YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram a try, it can’t hurt to at least try!

13. Donate Plasma for Cash

Getting paid to donate plasma might sound a little gross, but it’s actually really easy and you get paid for it.

Visit your local plasma donation center (find one in your area here) to find out if you qualify to donate. Once you qualify, you can donate a couple of times per month to make extra money just sitting back and waiting.

Pros and Cons of Side Hustles for Teens

Not everything is perfect in life, so let’s go over some of the pros and cons of side hustles for teenagers:

Pros:

  • Make extra money
  • Learn new, marketable skills
  • Obtain financial literacy
  • Learn how to manage money
  • Learn how to save money
  • Side hustles can turn into full-time jobs
  • Learn responsibility and time management

Cons:

  • High upfront costs for some side hustles
  • Some side hustles can be mind-numbing, leading to burnout
  • Maintaining a side hustle could be too stressful to manage
  • Could take up too much time and distract from your education
  • Monetizing a hobby you enjoy could take away the joy

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about side hustles for teens.

What are side hustles for teens anyway?

A side hustle, or side gig, is a form of employment that you do on the side of your full-time commitments.  Whether you’re an active student, or just graduated a side hustle can be an easy way to make extra money to help you pay the bills, save money for your future, invest, or just have something to spend on chocolate milkshakes.

So, as a teen, here’s what a side hustle could look like: You go to school all day, but in addition to playing video games when you get home, you could crochet stuffed animals to sell on Etsy.

What should teens look for in a side hustle?

When looking for a side hustle, find one that not only fits into your current schedule but also matches your interests.  Don’t know how to crochet? No problem. You can monetize your love of video games, drawing, pets, fashion, food, or pretty much anything.

The best side hustles are flexible. They let you be your own boss. You get to decide when to work and when to take it easy.

While the potential gains from side hustles are endless, there are also potential drawbacks. As a teen, you undoubtedly have a lot already going on. So it’s important to make sure you actually have the time to make extra money without letting your grades slide.

It’s also important to consider if you really want to turn your hobbies into a source of income. There’s always the risk of no longer enjoying a hobby once you’ve monetized it.

How do you ensure your side hustle doesn’t interfere with school?

To balance your life as a teen with a great side hustle, you just have to be intentional. To begin, look at your schedule and your non-negotiables. Decide how much of your free time you can spend on this side hustle. And be realistic. Remember to leave time and space for any fun teen stuff, like hanging out with friends.

Once you decide, write these goals down. Let’s say you want to make $100 per month and work a maximum of five hours a week. Do your best to stick to this goal and you should be able to avoid some of the overwhelm that can happen when you’re working and going to school.

And if the overwhelm happens, remember what your priorities are: school, friendships, family. Side hustles are great, but you can always pick one up when you’re an adult.

How can having a side hustle help teens gain financial literacy?

The majority of young adults lack financial literacy, money management skills, and income stability. This is because most teens don’t have money to manage or any real-world experiences with jobs or an income.

Having a great side hustle or part-time job can help young adults learn how to manage their money. Because they’ll have money coming in, they’ll need to open a bank account.

They can learn how to budget and set financial goals and save up for purchases. Once they have saved enough money, they can learn about investing at a young age.

How can having a side hustle during high school help teens develop important skills?

Having a side hustle can help teens gain hands-on experiences working in new, challenging environments with people they don’t know. It can help them develop interpersonal skills. They’ll learn how to manage their time well to succeed at all of their many commitments and responsibilities.

Which Side Hustles for Teens is Best for You?

If you’re a teen and you want to make extra income, the world is your oyster.

There are countless opportunities to make a few extra bucks, whether by providing an in-demand service in your local community or monetizing your love of drawing.

The key is to learn how to manage your time and money so that your side hustle doesn’t interfere with your schooling. Instead, you want a side hustle that will help you save for your bright future.

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