How to Make Money as a Kid – 21 Proven Ways by Age Group


The world kids live in these days is different than when I was a kid. Their wants are different, and the technology has changed, so I wanted to compile a list of how to make money as a kid. Here are some of the best ones: For 7-9-year-olds, water plants for neighbors on vacation. Or take the lemonade stand to the next level with fresh-squeezed lemons & fresh-baked goodies. Tweens & teens can make money from YouTube, Instagram or starting their own website. But offering car detailing, pool cleaning, or gutter cleaning is great too. But there's a lot more to know about kids earning money, and the best jobs for kids. So today, we're compiling a list of the best of the best ways for kids to make money. We'll break out the best jobs by age brackets. And we'll even talk about how old kids have to be to do certain jobs. Let's get started!

Ways to make money as a kid at home

When I was a kid, after school, I just went outside and played with my friends. When I hit 15, I started throwing newspapers (a brutal, thankless, and painfully low-earning job). Then I moved to dishwasher and finally fast food. The world kids live in these days is different. Many kids have smartphones, social media accounts, and can spend hours playing games online or watching videos of their friends. And while that might seem mindless and pointless, it actually gives kids a huge advantage in understanding technology, how to use it for marketing skills, and how they can use the internet to their advantage. The world we live in today is also expensive. So kids naturally are looking for ways to make a few bucks on the side to pay for that new iPhone, laptop, or pair of shoes. In this article, we're looking at a wide variety of jobs, and in many cases, I break them out by age range to make it easy to find the results you want quickly. We'll also look at both virtual jobs and physical jobs as each requires different skills, timeframes, and produce different monetary results. Kids should always make sure to check with parents before taking on any job or side hustle.

Best ways to make money as a kid

Some of the things I cover here are all fairly physical tasks; no harm in that. But they also involve going to stranger's homes, which can be concerning for us parents. They are great to make fast cash where you get paid on the spot. But for an ambitious kid with a more long-term view, here are some better options:

1. Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube is free to join. If you can get views, then you can get subscribers. If you can get subscribers and viewers, then you can run ads on your YouTube channel. I even know of cases where kids under age 10 are making MILLIONS from their YouTube channels! You can get started with nothing but a cell phone and something to say. The trick is coming up with interesting or engaging content and publishing regularly on a set schedule. The good news is YouTube makes it easy to upload videos and schedule them for posting at a later date and time.

2. Start a website

My websites (I have 4) make me almost $6,000/month currently, and I plan to step away from my day job completely in 2020 and go full-time. While I've been blogging consistently since 2016, my real traction didn't really start until I got all my mistakes out of the way and started really focusing on the important stuff in early 2019. I have a very detailed post on how to make money blogging, including a step-by-step guide. So just click the link to read that now on my site.

3. Can kids make money from Instagram?

Well, Mila Stauffer currently has 358,000 followers on Instagram, and she's not even 4 years old yet! Obviously her account is run by her parents, but she gets sponsorships from MAJOR companies like Tylenol. But she's far from alone or unique. TONS of kids have Instagram accounts and there are boatloads of influencers on there with huge followings. They get sponsorships, get paid to recommend products to their audience, and can also get into affiliate marketing where they mention (and ideally show a product or talk about it on video) something and provide a link (in their bio where links actually work on Instagram). Then when people click the link and buy that product, they earn a commission. The trick with Instagram is to post frequently and consistently and really engage with your audience. Respond to comments, ask questions, and captivate them to keep them hooked.

How to make money as a kid fast and easy

Sometimes we just need some quick cash. For kids, that could be to buy a cool new game all their friends have, or the latest craze going around the halls (does anyone remember fidget spinners?) In these cases, we don't want an online business that takes time to grow, so it's time to get down to business as simple as possible. These jobs are not online or social media-based, these require a little bit of elbow grease. The good news is you can use social media apps to your advantage in getting some of these jobs. Back in the day, kids didn't have the ability to post for work on apps like NextDoor or Facebook. No; we walked from door to door. So make sure to take advantage of that even for physical jobs as it can take a LOT of the legwork out of finding customers. That way you or your child can focus purely on doing the jobs and making the money. Because the jobs vary significantly based on the age of the child, I've broken out some of these jobs by age range to make it easier to find the perfect options for your needs.

Money making tips for kids ages 7-9

Ages 7-9 can be a tough age for young entrepreneurs as some of the options I talk about later in this article just aren't appropriate for this age range. Luckily, there are some though that are perfect for 7 to 9-year-olds!

1. Next level lemonade stand

Anyone can set a table out and make a pitcher of Country Time powdered lemonade. But what if you took it to a new level and really wowed your neighbors. Elements like this can make it extra special:
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Fresh-baked cookies, muffins, or other snacks
  • Offer a sugar-sweetened version and a stevia-sweetened version for those avoiding sugar
Set it up in combination with a garage sale and you've got an even better way to make some money. Just make sure your signs tout the perks of your lemonade. It will be obvious once they taste it, but we have to give them a reason to stop in the first place. My wife and daughters did this and made big money! It does help to have a mechanical citrus juicer though as the hand squeezers get old real quick with that many lemons. The juice we bought (years ago, actually, and it still works perfectly) is the Breville Stainless Steel Citrus Press (click to check the current price on Amazon Prime). It's got almost 1,000 mostly 5-star reviews, is an Amazon's Choice product and comes with free Prime shipping.  Did I mention it's made of all stainless steel? This thing is a tank! Use it not only for this, but it's a great way to make fresh margarita mix, or juice grapefruits too. CLICK HERE TO SEE IT ON AMAZON

2. Rake Leaves

Kids love leaf piles, but you know what's even better? Making money from those leaves. This job is more of a fall job (or a spring job if they didn't rake before winter). So it's not a year-round thing. But I HATE raking leaves. If some kid came to my house offering to do it for $20 bucks, I'd gladly hand him or her my money. All you need is a rake to get started, but don't forget to pitch their service on your neighborhood Facebook group or NextDoor app. Just for safety reasons, if it's not someone you know or right on your block, it might be best to go with them at this age.

3. Water plants during vacations

Sooner or later, everyone goes on vacation.  Everyone takes at least 1 vacation each year, and 28% of us take 3 or more vacations each year. You can see all the stats, including why southern states are twice as likely as northern states to vacation, in a recent article. Almost everyone owns plants, and even for those that don't, if it's a summer vacation and they don't have a sprinkler system, they will most likely want their yard watered. So it's a great opportunity to make some cash watering for your vacationing neighbors and they get the added security of someone being at their house and would-be thieves seeing activity.

Money making tips for kids ages 9-12

1. Have a garage sale

Most of us adults don't have the patience to run a garage sale, so we often end up just taking otherwise valuable stuff to Goodwill when, with a little time and patience, we could turn that junk into $50-100 (or more). So for an ambitious kid and some willing parents, you can scour your house for unwanted stuff and turn that into cash in just a few short hours of your time. Garage sales work best doing them the following way:
  • Round up everything in your house that no one uses and sell it (with permission, of course)
  • Any clothing that hasn't been worn in a year or more is also a perfect choice
  • Have it both Sat & Sun morning
  • Plan to start early - 7 am or 8 am at the latest
  • Put out signs in your neighborhood at major intersections (just a few words, clearly written, with arrows)
  • Post on NextDoor and neighborhood Facebook pages
  • Have plenty of ones and fives on hand to make change
  • A metal cash box (and a 2nd set of eyes to watch it) works even better
  • Have a price on EVERYTHING (sharpie on masking tape works great)
  • Be prepared to negotiate and haggle on prices
  • Don't price things too high; this isn't eBay

2. Walk dogs

Dog owners LOVE their dogs. And unlike cats who are more than happy to lounge around the house all day, dogs need love, affection, and walks to burn off energy. Chances are you have DOZENS of neighbors who own dogs and sooner or later, they will all go out of town for a day or 2. Others might be willing to pay you every day for short walks. While you can go around and knock on doors, you could also sign up for Rover. Rover is a nationwide network connecting dog walkers like you with people who want their dogs walked. It's just that simple.

3. Help seniors with tasks around the house

The elderly who still live at home sometimes struggle with some tasks around the house. That could be some touch-up painting, leaf raking, changing cat boxes, or even such mundane tasks as emptying the dishwasher or sweeping and mopping.

How can a tween make money fast?

Some jobs also pay quickly and just require a little elbow grease, but aren't quite right for younger kids. So for kids ages 9-13, these are some good options:

1. Mow lawns

Got a lawnmower and maybe a weedeater or leafblower? That's all you need to charge $20 for a front lawn or maybe $35-50 for front and back. Most lawns might take an hour, so $20 bucks an hour isn't bad! The work is seasonal, of course, so this won't be consistent money all year, but at the right time of year, this is great for quick money.

2. Offer to care for other pets when the owners are out of town

Beyond dogs, when anyone with a pet, be it a cat, snake, hamster, birds, or anything else, they too are going to need someone they can trust to feed and water them while they are out of town. Again, chances are most of your neighbors have a pet or 3, so go door to door, put up flyers, or post in your neighborhood Facebook group or in the NextDoor app.

3. Wash Windows

Most of us love a clean house. BUT, most of us never get around to cleaning our windows until they are filthy! Even those neighbors of yours who have a housekeeper probably find that their maid doesn't do windows. But window cleaning is surprisingly fast and easy (just ask any window tint shop).  All you need is some glass cleaner and paper towels. Take it to the next level with a squeegee and you're set. Sprayway World's Best Glass Cleaner (click to see the current price on Amazon) is literally rated the highest of all glass cleaners on Amazon and comes with free shipping!

How can a teenager make money fast?

Some jobs just aren't quite right for those under 13. So here are some great options for ages 13 and up that are WAY better than throwing newspapers as I did:

1. Detail cars

Everyone loves a clean car. But those of us with kids know that keeping a car clean on the inside is a tall order. So, start a car wash and detailing business with a few price tiers. Maybe a basic wash for $10 bucks, but throw in a basic clean on the inside (vacuum and Armor-All wipe down) for $35, or an all-out sparkle clean where you really detail, spot clean carpets, and upholstery for $50. Chances are you get get a few repeat neighbor customers who hire you every 1-4 weeks.  As with the above, go door to door, put up flyers, or post in your neighborhood Facebook group or in the NextDoor app. Make things easy with the Armor All Premier Car Care Kit (click to see the current price on Amazon Prime)! Great reviews and star rating, free Prime shipping, and comes with everything you need; wash pads, air fresheners, glass cleaner, tire, shine, original protectant, wax, and more! CLICK HERE TO SEE IT ON AMAZON

2. Clean rain gutters

If you have a leaf blower and a ladder, you can make fairly easy money going to all your neighbor's houses who have rain gutters and offer to clean them out. This works great in fall before the winter sets in, and again in spring before the rainy season starts (since clogged gutters are no fun when it's pouring). Being on the ladder, you'll want a leaf blower that's lightweight. Since you'll be at someone else's house, you also don't want an electric blower since you don't know where the nearest outlet will be. Plus the cord will be a hassle on the ladder. Gas blowers are smelly, noisy and require a lot of maintenance. Enter the 3.5 lb battery powered leaf blower from WORX (click to see the current price on Amazon Prime)! It's the #1 leaf blower in the new release category, but has already gotten tons of awesome reviews and has a near-perfect star rating. And it's currently under $100 bucks! CLICK HERE TO SEE IT ON AMAZON

3. Babysitting

The age-old job teens have been doing since the dawn of time. I did it too in my teens (and now as a dad, lol). But unlike when I did it, you can make decent money at it these days. Many teens who babysit make $10 an hour for 1 kid. Don't be afraid to ask for more if they have multiple kids (especially pre-k age who can be a little challenging, up to $20 an hour or more is totally reasonable in those cases. For worn-out parents just looking to catch a break, they'll be more than happy to pay. Charge a premium price and throw in the following services to take your babysitting to the next level:
  • Making dinner for the kids
  • Cleaning the kitchen afterward
  • Letting the dogs out to potty
  • Feeding/watering pets

What can you sell to make money as a kid?

With online sites like eBay, Etsy, or even Shopify, it's easier than ever for kids to buy and sell stuff, or make stuff and sell it. Here are some tips to get started:

1. Hit up the clearance aisles at places like Wal-Mart and Target

These places ALWAYS have a clearance section or shelf, or at least items on clearance. Many times these items are deep discounted, up to 50% off. The beauty of it is, while it might be that heavily discounted in your town, it's not necessarily that discounted all across the country. You see, every time a retailer touches a product, they lose money from the labor they're paying. So even if Target 1 store in Dubuque, Iowa has way too many Diaper Genies and another store in Kansas City keeps running out, they aren't likely to ship the extra ones in Iowa across the country.  They would probably lose less money just by discounting it and getting rid of the excess. So when you find those deals, you can sell it on eBay or set up an Amazon FBA account and resell them (at full price on Amazon). There's even a great app that shows you the going price for items on Amazon, so you can tell at an instant if it's a money-making product or not. Get the Amazon app on Android or iOS.

2. Make and sell T-shirts

Kids these days are on the pulse of trendy sayings, slogans, jargon, and styles. But most T-shirts in stores are created by old guys like me. What if there was a way to make your own T-shirt designs and sell them. WITHOUT setting up a print shop in your house or having to have a place to hold dozens of boxes of blank T-shirts? Well, there is! Teespring is a website that allows you to create T-shirt designs (and other stuff too). They handle the printing, shipping, and customer service. Just list your items on eBay, Etsy, or anywhere else that sells stuff. If you have an Instagram page with a large following, post the images there and have a link to where to purchase them in your bio (since you can't have links in image descriptions). They've been featured in USA Today, HuffPost, and the New York Times.

3. Take surveys and get paid

This one is really just selling your time as you aren't selling a product here. There are a number of different companies out there that pay you to take surveys. The trouble is, most of them won't allow anyone under 18 to sign up. Enter Swagbucks! Swagbucks allows kids 13 and over (with a parent's permission), of course, to sign up. Get paid for giving your opinion (trust me, kids this age, have PLENTY to say) from the couch in your PJs! Join for FREE and start earning today! They've been featured on ABC and HuffPost too, so you know this isn't shady. CHECK OUT SWAGBUCKS TODAY - just click to get started!

Can you get a job at 12 years old?

No is the short answer; not at a business anyway. The minimum working age for teens is 14, according to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law regulates the number of days, hours, and frequency that 14 through 17-year-old kids can work as an employee of a company. Even at age 14, there are a lot of restrictions though. 14-year-old kids can't work jobs deemed hazardous. These jobs include mining, excavation, working with explosives, and using some power-driven equipment like a forklift, bulldozer, etc. Some states do have laws that differ from Federal, so you can check your state's laws here. But don't expect to work a "normal" job until age 14. Even with appropriate jobs, at ages 14 and 15, there are still a lot of restrictions.
Teens ages 14-15 can only work when they are not in school (so no dropping out to work as they did back in the 1930s). They also can't work more than 3 hours per day on a school day, or over 18 hours total during a school week.
They can, however, work an 8-hour shift on a non-school day, and up to 40 hours total during a week they are out of school.

Money making tips for teens

Other things that are great ideas that I haven't already covered here include:

1. Pool or hot tub maintenance

I've owned a few hot tubs, and while I love a good soak, remembering to test the water weekly, rinse off the filters monthly, and change them yearly often falls off my radar. Let's face it though. Dipping a test strip into the water and adding chemicals to adjust it isn't rocket science.  You could easily offer your services doing weekly maintenance on your neighbor's pools or hot tubs.  The beauty of it is, these people already have the tools you need; you just provide a little bit of your time. The average hot tub maintenance each week is probably under 10 minutes, but you could easily charge a monthly fee of $20-40 bucks.  Get 10 of those houses and that's a decent monthly income for a teen!

2. Deck or fence restaining

This is another task I don't think about until I'm lounging on my back deck and notice how bad the stain is looking. In reality, you could get customers to agree to a touch-up schedule of every 3 months for a deck and every 6 months for fences. Just get yourself a backpack sprayer (like the bug spray people use), and fill it with the stain your customers already have, and do a quick touch up for big bucks. The price would vary depending on the size of the deck or fence and whether you have to move a lot of furniture off the deck first. But I think at least $40 bucks each time is about right. The Field King Professional Backpack Sprayer (click to see the current price on Amazon) is the one you want for this job. No leaks, an Amazon's Choice product with almost 800 near-perfect reviews. It comes with free shipping too! Spray on your stain or sealer with a professional touch quickly and easily. CLICK TO SEE IT ON AMAZON

3. Build and sell cornhole game sets

Even if you don't know the name "cornhole" you've seen them everywhere. These are similar to horseshoes except you toss small beanbags across a distance to a small wooden board with a hole cut in the middle. If you want to make them official, the boards are 2' wide by 4' long with a 6" hole cut 9" from the top. You have legs in the back (closest to the hole) that raise it up 12" and then short legs in front that raise it up 3". From a carpentry standpoint, these are pretty easy to make.  Paint them with your local school team colors, your state's colors, or whatever else is popular in your area. Advertise them in neighborhood Facebook pages, NextDoor, or just have one in your front yard with a sign saying they are available for sale. Custom painted ones go for $80-100 or more on Amazon, so you could easily sell yours for $60 or more. You can get 2'x4' plywood at Home Depot for about $10 bucks that are already the size you need. Then get a 6" hole saw (click to see the best one on Amazon), which you can obviously use hundreds of times, to cut the hole. It just goes into the cordless drill you probably already own. A couple cuts on some 2"x4" for the feet and you're ready to paint. Then get the #1 selling cornhole bags on Amazon Prime (click to see the current price on Amazon) for well under $20 bucks and you're done.

Did I cover everything you wanted to know about the best ways for kids to make money?

In this article, we took an in-depth look into the world of kids and making money. We looked at what the best jobs are for younger kids ages 7-9, but also tweens and teens. We talked about online businesses, social media, and pounding the pavement. Ultimately, we answered the question of how to make money as a kid. What's your favorite way to earn extra income on the side? It's not geared specifically towards kids, but one of my most popular posts lists out 53 ways to earn extra money on the side. Just click the link to read it on my site.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Content