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!
21 Side Hustles for Teens
Here are the best sides hustles teenagers can start today to make extra cash:
- 🏆 Take Online Surveys
- Play Games Online
- Find Odd Jobs in Your Area
- Babysit or Nanny
- Petsit or Walk Dogs
- Sell Unwanted Stuff
- Sell Your Crafts
- Make Deliveries
- Test Websites for Cash
- Do Online Tutoring
- Sell Your Photography
- Become an Influencer
- Donate Plasma for Cash
- Start Freelance Writing
- Deliver Newspapers
- Find a Part-time Job
- Have a Yard Sale
- Clean Houses
- Do Lawn Care
- Clean Pools in Your Area
- Start Snow Shoveling
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.
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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.
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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.
Care.com offers you the ability to list your services as a care giver, or to list your needs for a caregiver and review background checks.
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.
- Art prints
- Greeting cards
- Leather belts
- Crocheted animals
- Custom-made tables, shelves, chairs
- Handmade Jewelry
- Handmade clothes
- 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
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.
Learn more about becoming an Instacart full service or in-store shopper today and start earning extra money.
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.
14. Start Freelance Writing
Freelance writing can be a productive side hustle for all types of teens. This side gig is great because you can make your own schedule and usually work as much as you want.
Since most teens are in school or freshly out, they are in a unique position to keep their school work ethic for a means of momentum.
Some sites to check out are Freelancer.com, fiverr, and Medium. Fiverr and Medium are accessible for teens age 13 and up to create, share, and build their writing portfolios that can start the building blocks for freelance writing gigs.
15. Deliver Newspapers
This may sound like an ancient practice to some teens these days, but delivering newspapers can be a steady and reliable means of income ($350-500/month). Even though these jobs are part time, that seems to be perfect for the schedule of the average teen.
There are precautions and skills the teen will need, to name a few:
- Make sure you talk to a parent/guardian about the job and that they know your route.
- Become very familiar with Google Maps.
- Write a resume.
- Determine how far you want to travel on your route.
After completing these tasks, and probably a few more that will likely pop up, start applying for newspaper delivery jobs in your area. Check job sites like Indeed.com, Simplyhired.com, and jobs2careers.com to start the process of seeing what openings are in your area.
16. Find a Part-Time Job
Part-Time jobs are the heartbeat of the gig economy, a new alternative approach that is challenging the traditional “career” model. Many people, not just teens and young adults, work part time jobs.
But for the average schedule of a teenager, part-time work seems ideal.
Check on all the main job sites for local part-time jobs. On the big sites, you will most likely find more mainstream jobs like big retail stores, chain restaurants, and manufacturing.
There is also a different approach that some prefer. Which is finding a local owned store or restaurant and enquiring about a job in person.
In addition to the normal methods of looking for a job, also remember that word of mouth is very powerful. Tell your friends, parents, friend’s parents, and even teachers about your quest for part-time employment.
17. Have a Yard Sale
Most teens tend to have things still hanging around from when they were younger. Old toys, sports equipment, bicycles, skateboards, clothes, movies, gaming systems….the list goes on. These items are potential cash just sitting there.
Take an inventory of what you are willing to let go of and start a list. Figure out if the inventory justifies having the yard sale.
The key to a successful yard sale is having items that people want and can use, getting the word out to the community (word of mouth, social media, sites like VarageSale.com and OfferUp.com), and having a parent or friend help with the event. When prepared properly, a yard sale can be a fun event, potentially putting some extra cash in the pockets of the sellers.
18. Clean Houses
Cleaning services can be very lucrative. Work that is laborious and sometimes dirty is often easy to find. If you don’t mind rolling up the sleeves and getting the work done, some real money can be made.
The initial buying of the products needed is something to consider. Maybe someone you know has some extra cleaning products. Thoroughly preparing for a job is half the battle.
Spreading the word about your new side hustle is very important. Friends of friends knowing what you are up to will generally produce a positive outcome.
Check all the big name job sites for possible clients. Posting on social media and job boards are great first steps after you are prepared to clean. Some specific sites for cleaning are Merrymaids.com, Housekeeper.com, and Care.com.
19. Lawn Care
Lawn care is a staple in American culture. It seems the industry has been steadily growing for the last 2 decades, the last 10 years in particular.
One great aspect of the lawn care industry is that it can be a one man operation. If you have the equipment needed, you can start doing solo jobs. It will take longer doing it solo, but you also get to keep all the money. In general, most would agree that the basic starting necessities are a mower and weed eater (leaf blower a big plus).
When the preparations are done, start talking to everyone you know and post on social media about your new venture. Lawnlove.com, Indeed.com, and Craigslist are good places to post about your service as well as browse for potential jobs.
20. Clean Pools In Your Area
Cleaning pools is a very simple way to make some side cash. There are of course different levels of “cleaning”. So decide which is best for you. This could be something as simple as cleaning the leaves out and making sure the filter is clear.
This side hustle can be very productive depending on where you live. Get online and find out what’s happening in the world of cleaning pools in your area.
For more info check out jobsforteenshq.com for pool cleaning options.
21. Start Snow Shoveling
As far as tradition, shoveling snow is right up there with delivering newspapers. Snow shoveling can be a great side hustle if you live in a snow heavy area. In most places, this would be a seasonal job.
This job is hard work and physically demanding but can be done quickly and many at a time if the jobs are lined up. Getting in touch with your neighbors before the season starts is crucial. This gives you and your clients ample time to sort out a schedule and rates. Like all side hustles, social media and word of mouth are very helpful in getting a successful hustle started.
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:
- 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
- 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.