Is there really a right age to start hustling? Check out 20 ways on how to make money as a kid
When people talk about kids, they often think about toys, playgrounds, dolls, hot wheels, and video games, and all sorts of things that literally shout, “it’s playtime”. Well, people will agree that life without play, makes a person dull and unenthusiastic. Well, that’s pretty much the same for adults too.
But, do you agree that ‘to play around’ is the only way to enjoy one’s childhood?
Imagine giving them a whole new level of experience where they can have fun while teaching them ways to make money at a young age. No, it’s not that you will totally take away their playtime, the intention is to let them feel and see the importance of entrepreneurship and teaching them how to value hard-earned money.
Of course, kids around 6-16 years old won’t be able to work eight hours a day, they don’t need that yet, and chances are, they don’t want that too. With a ton of technology at their fingertips, kids are many steps closer to earning extra money.
If you are a parent who wants to help his/her kids to make money or a young person with a business mind, the good news is, you will never run out of ways to make money — dedication is the key.
We listed down 20 ways on how to make money as a kid, and we’re hoping we can help you come up with an idea that would suit your personality. Let’s get started!
1. Take online surveys and get paid
One of the easy ways to make money fast is by going online. Have you ever thought about how the manufacturer of your favorite shampoo knew that their formula is already good enough for kids? Sometimes, having two, three, or even ten people to try a product is not enough. Many companies are spending dollars on product testing so they could get solid market research. Why not? They could save more money in preventing unwanted lawsuits that could ruin their business’ reputation.
Even at a young age, your opinion matters. Do not limit yourself or what you can do just because you are a kid. Start earning money as a kid by sharing your insights and experiences using various products that are appropriate to your age. This could go from personal care products to gadgets — if you are lucky enough, some companies will let you keep the products, so make sure to give them nothing but honest and concise feedback. Always remember that your job is to help them find a way to make their products better.
In taking surveys online, your earnings will depend on how much effort and time you are willing to devote. It is also worth noting that a lot of times companies will pay you with vouchers and gift checks instead. You should not be discouraged if they don’t pay you in cash, just think of how much money you can save for getting an item for free. Besides, you can always sell your freebies.
Possible income: $50-100 a month
2. Garage sale!
Have you been to your attic or basement lately? Spending half of your day cleaning up might help you find old but gold goodies that could be a great way to make some extra money as a kid.
It could be branded clothes or shoes you only used once or gadgets you don’t want to use anymore. You can also ask for help from your mom, dad, or your siblings. Who knows? Your garage sale might turn into a family weekend bonding.
Let’s say you found a basketball set in your basement — barely used, almost brand new. You may sell it half of its original price. If you think the items need some cleaning, don’t hesitate to do so. Making it look like it’s new and untouched can even increase the selling price a little.
Of course, people want to earn extra cash, who doesn’t? It’s just that, people should keep in mind that one unwritten rule in setting up a garage sale is that the seller should be fair and just in putting a price tag.
For parents, this is also the perfect time to teach kids about ethics and morals. You see, society has plenty of entrepreneurs already, the question is, what kind of business-minded people do you want your children to be?
Possible income: $500-$10
3.) Squeeze ’em lemons!
Ever heard about someone claiming that putting up a lemonade stand is out to date just because we’re living in a modern world? Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but who wouldn’t love to gulp on a glass of cold lemonade after an exhausting activity?
Of course, you can just ignore the opinions of other people about putting up a lemonade stand being an ‘old idea’. You don’t have to worry that much because contrary to what other people think, you can still make money out of it.
But if you’re up for some challenge, think of ways on how to make your lemonade stand, stand-out. Since you and your parents are in charge, you have all the freedom to tweak the menu the way you like it. Creativity will play a huge part. You may start working on experimenting with different lemonade recipes and come up with your own version.
Go over your YouTube account. find beverage recipes using lemon you haven’t tried before and assess if you can include it to your menu. Here are some lemonade flavors you could try:
- Lemonade + cola
- Lychee Lemonade
- Blue Lemonade
- Honey-Basil Lemonade
- Lemon Iced Tea
Aside from crafting your original menu, your location is just as important. Having a unique list of drinks for a lemonade stand is not enough. If you are lucky enough to be living in a house that is located near the village’s clubhouse or basketball courts, you can definitely start your lemonade business in the comfort of your own backyard. If not, you may ask your elders to help you find a safe and profitable spot.
Planning to have a garage sale? Hit two birds in one stone by offering your garage buyers some freshly squeezed lemonades!
Tip: Once you have sorted everything out, try to come up with daily goals or what they refer to as “quota”.
Possible income: $5-$10
4.) Arts and crafts
One way to make money as a kid without having to spend too much is making your product from scratch. Especially if you are already into jewelry crafting, you are unlikely to spend too much because materials are already at hand.
Esty, tagged as “the most imaginative marketplace” is a site that caters all kinds of handmade products — from jewelries, clothes, decorations to colorful and satisfying slimes, they have it.
Starting a business that lets you do what you like doing is good for your well-being. Art in particular is considered a therapeutic activity. Isn’t it a great way of earning extra cash? Yes, it’s very much possible to earn money while doing the things you love.
You don’t have a thing for jewelry? You might find confidence in painting unique art pieces that could help you earn extra cash. Do not underestimate your cuteness because that might be your edge and your selling point.
In selling art pieces, you have to find the right market for your style. And just because you are a kid does not mean your work has lesser value. Art collectors are more than willing to pay once they’ve felt a certain connection to a masterpiece.
Some people may say, “Pfft! You can’t make a living out of art!”, without really looking into how rich and abundant the creative industry is.
Always remember that there are billions of people around the world that appreciate art more than anything, and they are willing to pay the right price.
This can turn into a perfect bonding with your parents and siblings too!
Tip: Make sure to include the price for your labor and skill in your overall computation. Trust your design and style.
Estimate income: $100 – $1000
5.) Snap a shot!
Imagine your social media feed without visuals, boring right? Kids may not know it at a young age but the multimedia industry is unsurprisingly thriving in the digital world.
If one of your kids dreams to be a photographer, starting young will make them gain more experience. Since it is a huge industry, it might also be a great way to help kids to make money.
And who knows? This could be your professional job in the future.
To start with a photography business, kids should at least have the most basic gear: a camera.
It does not have to be the latest model but should be competitive enough to shoot a high definition photograph. Check if the existing family camera you have at home might be enough for start-up biz.
For youngsters, get started by creating a Facebook page through a social media account, share your works and tell stories about how you are improving your photography skills or tell them what made you love taking pictures. Also, consider selling your work on Shutterstock or iStock.
For parents, if you see some potential among your kids and you have the means to support them, you should give it a go.
Not only you are helping them build their self-esteem but you are also showing them that kids earning money is possible and that making money isn’t a walk in the park. This way, they would gain more respect for you and your job.
Possible pay per photo: $100 and above
6. Become a mystery shopper
Many companies are going the extra mile to know if their employees are doing the right job. Being a mystery shopper is quite a crucial job.
The job is somewhat close to what a spy does — you will present yourself as a regular customer to have a first-hand experience and to know if the employees are complying with rules and regulations provided by the company. Yes, your job is to measure the quality of service that a certain company provides.
If you are around 5-8 years old, chances are you will not yet qualify to do a mystery shopper job. Kids in this age bracket might be too honest to hold a secret and might blurt out that they are a mystery shopper.
Older kids have a higher chance of getting one because their communication skills are probably more efficient.
Participating in market research won’t make money fast. It is also quite impossible to earn a lot of money by doing this alone. But pretty sure, joining market research can be a solid side job depending on how much time and effort you are willing to give.
Possible income: $8-$25 per hour
7. Digitize photos
Some people are sentimental when it comes to keeping their past memories. And one easy way to digitize old photos is to scan them. Older people are having a hard time to get along with technology.
So chances are, they would be needing help from the young ones who are more exposed to the latest gadget trends. Hence, it could be another way to earn money for kids.
Scanning might be a simple task but consider it as a very delicate one. If you want to start with this side hustle, here are the things you need to consider. To parents, you may help your kids by reminding them about these important things about photo scanning:
- Wipe the photos – using a soft cloth, wipe off dust and fingerprints because it might show up on the scan. Don’t forget to wide down the scanner bed, too.
- Stick with what you know – use scanners that you are familiar with, just because you want to earn money doesn’t mean you have to go beyond your skill capacity just to impress your clients.
- Familiarize yourself with different image file format
Estimated pay: $0.39 – $1 per piece
8. Make pastries, cook good food
Let your kids earn money while having fun in the kitchen.
Whether you like to bake or you love to cook dishes, this is another chance for you to teach kids to make money while enjoying and learning. If the kids are under 10 years old, it would be better to get a little help from someone older. If possible, doing it with the parents would make a huge difference.
Out of all the side hustle listed here, this one is special. Can you imagine the moments the family could create while cooking or baking their favorites?
Get started by having a meeting or brainstorming with the whole family about your small business.
Make sure to invite the kids, encourage them to share their ideas, and listen to what they have to say. Make them feel involved — make them feel trusted and that as parents, you respect their skill set. Your hitting many birds in one stone in doing that could help them lift their spirit up while gradually teaching them how to make money as a kid.
After the brainstorming and tasking, the family can now begin executing the consolidated plan. Make sure you have a timeline of goals and a target date for launching.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to promote your small business. If your kids are social media savvy, you can task one of them to handle your social media account and get paid for doing so. Make sure to compensate the kids right, make them realize that hard-work pays off.
Estimated profit: $500 & above
9. Walk pets
American adults and young professionals are busy people, so activities like taking their dogs out for a walk seem to be an extra load in their already busy schedule.
If you are good at handling dogs, here’s what you can do to make some extra money during your spare time. This won’t pay as much as the other side hustles but you could still earn good money.
Aside from making money out of something that you love to do, a dog walking job is good for your well-being. Walking has many benefits for our bodies. And the fact that you’re doing it with a dog doubles the fun.
The job can also teach kids about time management, reliability, negotiating rates, and budgeting when they are buying extra supplies.
Like any side hustles, dog walking is not all fun and play. If your kids are under 14 years old, here are the things worth considering:
- Make sure that they walk dogs in a well-lit and crowded area they are familiar with — watch out for wild and aggressive dogs, as well as fast cars.
- Check the dog’s size. Make sure that the dog will not be a threat to your kid/s.
- Remind them to bring plastic bags just in case the dog poops in between walks
- Bring extra water to keep the dog hydrated, don’t forget to remind the child to stay hydrated too.
Estimated payment: $5-$50/hour
10. Become a product reviewer
When you hear about Amazon, probably the first thing that comes to mind is ‘purchase’. But did you know that you can make money by leaving a product review in the comment thread? Make some money out of the free products or vouchers that you could get. Don’t hesitate to ask your parents for some assistance.
Joining groups for product testers and signing up to different sites that give free vouchers in exchange for reviews are some ways you could become a legitimate product tester. Here are some sites to visit:
What you can get: Free products, vouchers & discounts
11. Lawn mowing time!
Some people have too little time to spend for their family and their “me time”, that they can’t even maintain their own lawns. Whatever it is that they need to attend to, they would still be needing help from others to handle the yard work for them. Let your kid earn money by starting a mow lawn business in his/her spare time.
You may start by deciding if you are gonna go solo or you will ask your friends to join you and form a group of business-minded youngsters to make some extra cash. After you’ve decided whether you’ll do it alone or with friends, you may now start looking and borrowing materials for your biz — never forget about the lawnmower and the string trimmer!
- Advertise early – There are enough ways to promote your business — doesn’t matter if you’ll do a house to house promotion or you’ll use your social media accounts, what’s more important is you advertise it before your prospect clients think about grooming their yard.
- Manage your clients – avoid overbooking; poor planning may lead to unwanted hassle that could ruin the hustle.
- You may offer extra service such as fertilizing or giving your clients a discount for referral can get you additional clients
- Don’t forget to bring enough water to keep you hydrated while doing the yard work
- Bring an extra container of gas if you are using a gas-powered equipment
Estimated profit: $10-$40 per yard
A few years ago, aluminum recycling was a good way of making money fast that even adults were into it. Not until the manufacturing advancements made the thinnest version of cans, making the profit much lesser than it was.
Frankly speaking, this side job can’t support adults anymore, but if you are here to find a way to make money as a kid, then this might work for you. Here are the things you could do:
- Find the nearest recycling center, you can check them at Earth911 or RecyclingCenters.Org
- Instead of just asking your neighbors for used cans, increase the possibility of collecting as many cans as possible by putting recycling bins near the crowded establishments like the church, stadiums, or schools (don’t forget to ask permission first)
- Put bags in each bin to make the collection easier
- Prepare a clearly written sign that says “aluminum cans only”
- Bring to the nearest recycling center and exchange the collected cans for money
The exchange rate per can varies per state.
Estimated profit: $3.9-$30
13. Be a tutor
Love Math or Science? Get paid by sharing your knowledge with other students and help them appreciate the subjects more. It’s a win-win situation for you — you get to exercise your brain while making money.
With the advancements of technology, you can now teach online. If your laptop and internet are efficient enough, you may now start sending your offer online. It’s advisable to start working with clients you personally know.
If you are 9-12 years old, chances are your clients are much younger than you. Here are tips you that could help you prepare a solid online lesson plan:
- Keep the conversation flowing – younger children are easily distracted, their attention can be stolen by almost anything at any time. You have no choice but to turn these distractions into learning. Distracted by a dog barking? You may start to give them trivia about dogs and animals.
- One kid at a time – because they are easily distracted, it would be best for a beginner like you to sit in a private class.
- Riding some waves of emotions – younger children are the most emotionally expressive tutees you can encounter. Once they get comfortable with you, they will be sharing a lot about how they feel. What you can do is try to incorporate these scenarios in the learning process. Use hand gestures to express yourself (e.g. thumbs up, clapping).
- Expect the unexpected – While it’s best to have a lesson plan, things don’t always go as planned. Be emotionally prepared for whatever circumstances.
- Bring unmeasurable patience – Teaching isn’t an easy job. You have to be passionate in order to perform well. If you’re only considering this just to make money, chances are you might give up easily.
Estimated salary: $15-$30
14. Paint a house
Another way to make money is to help your neighbor with their house renovation. You don’t need much experience if you want to start helping other people to paint their houses. Announce your services online and get just enough clients per week. Don’t agree to many deals at the same time, remember that you have to perform well in each painting project. Don’t just learn how to make money, you should also learn how to be a reliable person.
Here are the things you’ll need:
- A comfortable garment that has long sleeves. The worn-out clothes are highly recommended to wear when painting because pigments can penetrate into the fabric, making it hard to remove.
- Gloves to protect your hands from harmful chemicals and gas mask for comfortable breathing
- Extra paint and towels just in case you’ll need one
- A tumbler with water to keep you hydrated
Estimated pay: $8-12/hour
15. Sell T-shirts
If you have extra money to spend, you can start your own clothing line at a young age. It doesn’t have to be grand, you may start by printing 10 pieces for your first batch. If you are just starting, it is advisable that you do your own t-shirt printing, There are many Youtube video tutorials showing the basic process of silk screen printing.
- Love your own style – sticking with your own design is better than imitating designs from huge brands, just because something is trending, does not mean your designs are not awesome.
- Don’t expect to be big overnight – everything takes time and it requires a lot of learning.
Profit per T-shirt: $5-8
16. Fix & clean bikes
Do you have a passion for bicycles? Make other bikes experience the quality of your care by offering your service to your neighbors. Some parents are too busy; they can’t spare some time to clean and fix their family’s bicycles. So if you are up for some side job, get paid while doing the things you love.
Estimated pay: $5-8 dollars per bicycle
17. Be a video game streamer
Some parents get irritated when they hear about video games and computers — for some, these are just for recreational and leisure purposes. But not for Youtube and social media game streamers, video games are what they do for a living. And no, you don’t have to be the best in the field to start your own gaming page or channel. Finding your niche and the target market that could relate to your gameplay are two important factors to consider. And once done right, the money will flow — and yes, that’s a lot of money.
What you’ll need:
- A decent camera and a microphone – it does not have to be the latest unit or model, but just enough to have a clear image and audio quality.
- Get your PC or console ready – If you plan to stream from consoles, you can use built-in cameras like Xbox Kinect.
Choose your platform:
Video game streamers earn money from donations, sponsorships, ad revenue (if they play ads).
Estimated salary: $4-$24
18. Sell skills
Make money earning interest by doing something that requires you to perform your skills. If you have a knack for designing things, you may start building up your portfolio so you could start uploading to various freelancing platforms such as Fiverr.
Aside from designing, here are other skills you may offer:
- Voice Over
- Video Explainer
- Social Media Manager
- Data Entry
Estimated salary: $10-16/hour
19. Rent your gears
Do you have something useful from the basement that you no longer use? But you don’t want to sell them because it has sentimental value? Rent them!
Unlike other money-generating deals, this won’t do you as much but will definitely put your gears into good use while earning some cash.
Estimated profit – $5 and above
If you are old enough to look after younger children, then you might be interested to babysit. This job is available all year round but you may find it more in demand during school break. There are many organizations that train children from 11-15 years of age to become a well-informed babysitter, first aid training included.
You can start by checking out Care.com
Estimated salary: $10 and above
Having an interest in making good money at a young age, is something that your future self would thank you for. It is not just about money, but also about the values and morals you could get from the experience. There are many ways to earn money as a kid, you just have to trust yourself that you can do it, it doesn’t matter if you are still young, you just have to believe and be yourself.