As a minor, how can I make money online?

Why you should make money as a teenager

Although you may not need to bring in a paycheck, it is still a good idea. Even if you spend most of your money on fun experiences or cute clothes, there is an opportunity to save.

When you make an effort to keep part of your paychecks, it will add up over time. The years will allow compounding interest to grow your money to new heights.

It may seem like a small amount of money is not worth saving; however, every little bit counts. You might be able to turn these earnings into the beginning of your retirement nest egg or even fund your college expenses in a few years!

By starting your savings early, you could have a couple of million dollars by the time you get to retirement age just from saving small amounts. Now wouldn’t that be nice? Don’t forget that budgeting as a teenager is an essential aspect of planning those savings too!

6. Sell Custom Merch on Redbubble

Redbubble is a global print-on-demand marketplace. You can create an account (if you’re at least 16 years old) and upload your own artwork or designs. Redbubble’s visitors can then purchase a wide range of products that feature your designs or art.

The appealing aspect of Redbubble is that it’s a great passive income business. They handle all the details related to taking orders, printing the products and shipping them to customers, so all you need to do is upload your work and create enticing listings for your products.

Selling on Redbubble can be an ideal online job for a teen that enjoys art and design. If that’s you, you’ll probably enjoy the time you put into your efforts to make money on the platform. It’s also completely flexible, since you can work on new designs whenever you have the time. 

You may already have some designs or art that you can upload to get started quickly. However, you’re likely to get the best results by creating designs with specific types of products in mind.

Making some extra cash on Redbubble is definitely possible, but you shouldn’t expect to earn a fortune. 

Some examples of merch you can sell on Redbubble include: 

  1. T-shirts and hoodies.
  2. Hats.
  3. Stickers.
  4. Phone cases.
  5. Posters and other wall art.
  6. Water bottles.

If you’re going to sell on Redbubble, it’s important to understand laws related to copyright and intellectual property. The designs and artwork that you upload must be 100% your own, and you cannot depict copyright-protected characters, logos, etc. without permission.

For example, you cannot create an illustration of your favorite Disney character because that would violate copyright law. These types of violations could result in Redbubble closing your account, and you could also face bigger issues like lawsuits.

However, Redbubble has on occasion struck deals with copyright owners to allow artists to sell fan art on the site. For example, Rick & Morty and Steven Universe merchandise is allowed, if it adheres to certain guidelines.

Editor’s Note: Many websites suggest that teens sell custom-designed merch on CafePress, which is even more popular than Redbubble. However, you have to be 18 to use that site.

Related: How to become a freelance graphic designer.

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Gifts and more

If you get money for holidays and birthdays, congratulations! Even though it may be tempting to buy the latest game, pair of shoes, or concert tickets you’ve got your eye on, remember that these gifts can be a great resource to add to your savings and help you meet your savings goals! It’s a great idea to consider putting half of all gifts into your savings. You can even sell gift cards on CardCash, though you must be 18 to use their site.

Once you turn 18: Using Apps

When you turn 18 you'll have more options for employment, but you may still want that flexibility with when, where, and how much you want to work. Here's some apps that make it easy to find work when you want it.

What to Do With The Money You Make as a Teen

If you decide to start making money as a teen, it is important that you have a plan for the money that you earn.

Make sure you put money in three different areas:

  1. Give
  2. Save
  3. Spend

A good rule of thumb is put 10% toward giving, 20% toward saving and 70% towards spending.

You can adjust these percentages depending on your needs and your level of discipline.

Making a plan for your money will help you build money habits that will be beneficial for the rest of your life. Making money, spending money and saving money are three different things. Part time jobs like these are great to get you started.

47. Window Cleaning

If it’s a job that an adult either is unlikely to do or doesn’t want to do, it’s a chance to make money as a teenager.

Window cleaning is one of those jobs. It’s not that it’s particularly hard, it’s just that most people forget to do it.

All you need is a squeegee and a large bottle of Windex, and you’ll be in business.

7. Become a Language Tutor

This is a very specific kind of tutoring.

With the huge influx of immigrants into the US, there’s a big market for people learning to speak English. This is especially true of the children of immigrants.

You can provide this service directly to clients, or you can join a website like SameSpeak. You can earn $10 for every 30-minute session on the site.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make quick money as a teenager?

We've discussed several online and offline options in this article. But you can also think of:

  • Working as a camp counselor
  • Babysitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Working as a referee or umpire
  • Selling clothes on Poshmark
  • Deliver groceries with Instacart
  • Deliver food with Doordash
  • Starting a lawn mowing business
  • Being a lifeguard at your local pool
  • Walking dogs
  • Working at an amusement park
  • Washing cars
  • Setting up Christmas lights
  • Doing maintenance jobs at a golf club
  • Working as a receptionist, and many more!

Do Event Photography

All you need is your first client to start this business. If your customers are pleased with your work then referrals will bring in more. If you don't have a good camera you can even rent one. Take an online photography course to improve your skills and then put the word out there!

Get a Gig as a Musician

Are you a musician or singer? You could join a local band or go it alone by auditioning for gigs at local restaurants and cafes. That is how many professionals get started.

Design Logos and Media

Are you artistic? Got a flair for design? Build up a portfolio of your design work and then freelance using a site like Upwork or Fiverr. With so many new websites popping up these days designers providing a professional service are in great demand. 

Grow your Instagram Account

Specialize in a particular niche and grow your Instagram account 'till you have 40,000 followers. Then you can start charging people to post content on your account. You can charge anywhere from $30 to $300+ for one post, depending on the number of followers you have and their level of engagement.

Do Makeup for Clients

Do you love playing with different looks and watching YouTube videos on applying makeup? Put your passion to work! Try out your ideas on friends and family members, and build up a portfolio of your work. Create a simple website to showcase your talents and then advertise your services online. You could also contact local photographers to let them know you are available to do their clients' makeup. Events such as weddings and parties can bring in a ton of work. This is also a great referral business. 

Write an ebook

Do you love writing? Have fun and live your passion! Do your research if necessary, write your own ebook, and self-publish it on Amazon. You can cover any topic under the sun. From educational books to science fiction stories, everybody is publishing their own book now.  

Monetize Your Blog with Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn extra cash if you already have a popular blog or website. You promote companies' products on your site and get paid a commission for every sale. You don't have to deal with shipping products or customer support. The more traffic you can get to your site, the better your chances of making money. There are many free courses and Youtube videos available to get you started in this business.

3 life skills your kids can learn from making money online

Starting an online business isn’t only great for your kids being able to contribute to their education fund or save up for that new gaming console, but they’ll also learn some pretty cool life lessons along the way.

1. Business 101

On the most practical level, the best way to learn how a business operates is by running your own. No matter if your child decides to sell homemade jewellery online, or make slime on their own YouTube channel, they’ll have the opportunity to learn about what it costs to run a business and how profit margins work. It’ll also give them the opportunity to think about how they want to brand themselves, analyze the marketplace, and how to finance their startup costs.

2. Forge their own career path

The traditional career path has gone the way of MySpace, and today more and more small businesses are popping up in Canada. Kids who run their own business online learn that a job opportunity is what you make it. They’re more likely to be confident in taking risks, or try different careers without worrying about settling on one job for their adult life. After all, who says you can’t create makeup YouTube tutorials and help solve the global water crisis?

3. Develop communication skills

The average kid is already a pretty good sales person. Any parent who has argued back-and-forth about a later bedtime would agree. But when kids run their own business, it takes those negotiation skills to another level. Now they’re in the real world learning to deal with customers, how to communicate effectively, and even how to negotiate on price.

15. Flip Items

Age Requirement: 18 and older

Payment Method: Paypal, direct bank transfer

If you love those before and after HGTV shows, then you should seriously consider making money flipping furniture and other home decor. 

Rob and Melissa over at Flea Market Flipper have made over $133k in a year, flipping furniture and other home decor finds they sourced from flea markets. 

What’s great about flipping items, is that even teens can start this lucrative side-hustle. 

To get started, you simply need to scour Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist for any used, genuine wooden furniture (not IKEA stuff) or unique household items. Then, you can freshen these up with your handy DIY skills and make money!  

Now, in order to sell your re-stained, re-purposed, and re-painted goods online, you’ll need be 18 or older to sell on all of these online marketplaces. 

But for those of you under 18, you can simply get the help of a parent or guardian who is willing to create and manage the account for you. I’m sure they’d love to help you get an online side-hustle off the ground!

More Side Hustles for Teens To Make Money Online

Qmee 

You will need to install Qmee on your browser before you can make money off it. It will show some advertisements when you are online, and you will get paid for each ad that shows. If you click an ad, you will have money deposited into your account with Qmee. Payment is made into PayPal regardless of the amount earned.

Ibotta

You will simply get paid to do something you love – shop. If you’re planning to go out shopping, simply take a peek at the app, check the rewards for specific products and then head out and make some cash back. New users earn $10 the moment you sign up. Your rewards can be cashed out in the form of gift cards, Venmo, and PayPal.

YouTube

If you love making videos then this may be the ideal channel for you. You will need to enable monetization and sign up with AdSense. Depending on the viewership your content gets you will be able to make good money.

If you have a speaking voice that is clear and are interested in voiceovers then you should consider this website. There is no age requirement for this site. Create a profile and upload a voice sample. You can expect to earn no less than $100 per job. There are various membership levels for voice talent, including a youth discount for a child and teen members.

Boostapal Ambassador Program 

Teens 13 and up can earn by introducing new people to the website. You can make as much as $60 every week with referrals.

Upwork

You need to be 14 at least to sign up and create a profile detailing your skills. Simply bid for the jobs that fit your profile, and you are confident you can do well. As you build your reputation, you will be able to earn about $10 hourly.

Online ways to make money as a kid

If your child is digitally savvy, then they may be more inclined to find ways to make money online instead. Either way, your child should ask your permission before they embark on ways to make money. Since they are minors, they need parental permission to engage in these activities.

  • Take online surveys. I love taking online surveys and so do my kids! These can be a lot of fun, and since the kids are on their devices more often than not, they might as well be making some money at the same time. Some of our favorite online survey sites are Swagbucks and MyPoints.
  • Create illustrations. If your child likes to create illustrations, then they could make some money with this skill. Get them a decent illustrating tablet and intuitive software (I suggest Clip Studio Paint Pro) and they will be on their way. A great website to have them set up a portfolio on is Deviantart.
  • Make crafts or jewelry to sell online. If your child loves to create jewelry and crafts, then selling them online may be a great way for them to make money as a kid. The most popular website for things of this nature currently is Etsy.
  • Make YouTube videos. Our kids today are technology savvy, right? YouTube is a platform where some decent money can be made if your child loves to create videos. Kids can be product testers and make videos of them testing out products from different companies. Even if your kid just wants to make videos talking about particular subjects (video games, how-to-videos, etc.), they can place ads in their videos to start generating income. As a parent, however, you should be monitoring this money-making avenue closely.
  • Sell their old stuff online. There are many different platforms for your kids to sell their old stuff online. Some of our favorites are eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Poshmark, and Amazon
  • Start a blog. If your child loves to write, starting a blog at a young age could potentially help your kids get to the point of monetization by the time they could really use it. Writing a blog can be a lot of fun, but it can take a while to start making money with a blog. So this could be more of a longer-term goal that kids can grow into over the years.
  • Start taking photographs. Taking photographs can be a great way to put your child’s hobby to good use. Some of the best sites that might be willing to pay them for their photographs are EyeEm, Foap, and Scoopshot.
  • Streaming. If your child is already big into watching streamed live content, then it may be time for them to start creating their own. Live streaming through Twitch is a great way to get them started.
  • Selling digital goods. Creating an ebook or a course is a great way to begin selling digital goods with very little overhead.
  • Making music. If your child has a musical ear, then this may just be the money-making genre for them. One of the best places to get started is Spotify.
  • Create games. One of my children is huge into video games and is always coming up with ways for the games to be better. If this sounds like your child, then it may be time to investigate creating their own game and monetize it (trust me, it’s a lot easier than it sounds).
  • App tester. Since most of our kids are very embedded in the digital world, it only makes sense for them to make some money by testing apps. There are quite a few places your child can begin doing this, but two of the best places to get started are TesterWork and UberTesters.

Sell Old School Books for Extra Cash

Bookscouter

An excellent site for getting rid of your old books for the most money by comparing offers from over 35 book vendors around the globe. You can also download their free app, available for iPhone and Android devices. This will enable you to snap photos of books’ barcodes, saving yourself the time of typing in ISBNs.

RELATED: Sell Your Books Books Online ( Get Paid for Books Reviews Too!)

Benefits of teaching your kids about money

The benefits of teaching your kids about money are almost endless, especially in today’s society where most of us have more debt than income. If you can begin teaching our kids about money when they are really young, then they will grow up knowing more than you did.

The value of a dollar

One of the biggest, and easiest, lessons to teach your children about money is the value of a dollar. This lesson can begin with the grocery store example from above. A good way to do this, depending upon their age, is to tell them how much money you have budgeted for this particular grocery trip. Then, they can help you add up all of the items as you go.

When kids do this, they get to see a physical example of how much groceries really cost. Once this concept is grasped, the next step is to give them a small amount of money to spend on their own. Start with $1 or $2 to show them how far that little bit of money doesn’t actually stretch. 

How to save for long-term goals

Opening up a savings account for your kids is a great way to help them begin to save money for long-term goals. When they are younger, they won’t have access to withdraw funds themselves, so you will be in charge of what they can take out.

A good way to drive this point home is to have them choose something big that they would like to save for. Depending upon their age, that can vary widely. But some items to consider may be:

  • Bike.
  • Skateboard.
  • Video games.
  • Gaming console.
  • Phone.
  • Furniture.
  • Trip.
  • Car.
  • College.

Once you and your child have chosen their big item, then you can help them break down the total cost and how long it will take to save the money to get there. The deal is that they won’t be able to take the money out of the savings account until they have the full amount due for the item.

This can really help keep them laser-focused on the big goal and hopefully get them interested in finding other ways to make money as a kid.

What disposable income really means

As kids get older, they start to understand a bit more about bills and how much things cost. Teaching them about monthly recurring living expenses is a really good lesson to impart before they fly the coop. I know my first years as an adult were spent living hand to mouth and eating the cheapest foods I could find. This was because I had little to no money since almost everything I made went to living expenses.

Teaching your kids about what disposable income really means is exceptionally important. This message can be taught in a few different ways. But, a great way to show them is to have them go through your budget with you. This way they can see what your recurring expenses are as well as any remaining money, or disposable income. 

Read more: How to make a budget: our step-by-step guide to managing your money

How much retirement might cost and how to save for it

When it comes to retirement, I suggest telling your young kids to include this number in their monthly recurring expenses budget. This way they will be sure to put something away towards retirement every single month and not let it fall by the wayside.

How much retirement costs will vary depending on where your child chooses to live and what they have planned for their retirement. The conversation will look different depending on  the ages of your children as well. No matter their age, even if they are saving only a few dollars per month toward this far-off goal, they will nonetheless be developing habits that will keep them on good financial footing throughout their lives. And as they get older and begin to earn more they can begin to save more.

This will be extremely helpful to them due to the magic of compounding. If only I had known about compound interest when I was a teenager. Oh, how I would have made different financial choices!

Read more: The beginner’s guide to saving for retirement

Overall financial independence

The biggest benefit your children will get out of you teaching them about money at a young age is the ability to achieve financial independence. This is a big one! Especially because a lot of us, as parents, haven’t even achieved this. 

Since we, as parents, want our children to live a better life than we did, helping them to achieve financial independence only seems natural. And one of the best ways to teach them that is to get them involved in making their own money as kids.

Read more: Financial independence in your 30s: How realistic is it?

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Tips for Teenagers with Online Jobs

Here are some pointers to help you find success with your online job:

Keep Your Parents Posted

Remember to keep your parents or legal guardians in the loop—they’ll appreciate it. Plus, if you suddenly become richer than them—and they didn’t know where the money came from—they would be worried!

Your parents already know that you’ll learn the value of money when you earn extra cash as a teenager.

Learn on the Job

As you’ll learn, the road to financial independence is paved with patience and hard work. Earning extra money now, as a teenager, will teach you how to succeed when you start making more money later in life.

And these online jobs can teach you a lot about working in the professional world. The same is true for old-fashioned jobs for teens like becoming a babysitter, pet sitter, camp counselor, or grocery bagger. Nothing replaces work experience.

Watch Out for Scams

Unfortunately, the online world is full of scams. When you’re hopeful about starting a new online job, you could fall victim to one of these schemes.

To avoid this, stick to the ideas on my list or vet your job opportunities with these questions:

  • Is the job asking me for money? Whether you’re being asked to buy software or invest in a product, you shouldn’t be parting with money in order to get a job. This is a huge warning sign.
  • Does the employer want me to meet in person? You shouldn’t need to meet an employer in person to become a virtual assistant or a graphic design freelancer. If you do need to meet someone in person, make sure you’re meeting in a safe, public place. And make sure your parents or guardians know what you’re up to.
  • Does it seem too good to be true? You won’t make a hundred grand a year as a proofreader. You won’t become a millionaire by working the survey sites. Over-the-top promises may be strong signals that the job isn’t for real.
  • Are there too many personal questions? Your mother’s maiden name, your middle name, your Social Security number, your bank account numbers… all this info shouldn’t be required for you to get a part-time job or a side hustle gig. Be careful sharing personal data. Identity thieves love to steal credit profiles from young people.

One of the best ways to avoid scams is to source your side hustles from vetted sites. The Steady app compiles legitimate local and national gig economy jobs to help you start earning extra money. It’s 100% free and worth a try if you’re not sure where to start looking.

Get a PayPal Account and a Bank Account for Teens

You may have noticed a lot of jobs on this list pay through a PayPal account, which can link to your bank account.

But PayPal won’t verify an account unless you’re an 18-year-old. So to make this legit, you’ll need help from your parent or legal guardian to set up your accounts.

It’ll take some legwork upfront—and up to 30 minutes of your parent or guardian’s time. But it’ll be worthwhile when you have your own bank and PayPal account set up so you can make money and control where it goes. We recommend starting a checking account to store your money and start building savings for the future.

Learn more:

Bonus: Start Investing

While it’s not exactly a job, another excellent way to improve your financial situation as a teen, and to build a solid foundation of financial skills for the future, is to start investing. With the help of a parent or guardian, you can create a UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) account so you can begin investing. 

Of course, you’ll need some money to invest, so an ideal situation would be to combine investing with one of the other online jobs covered in this article. At the same time, many investing platforms are now free to join, with no minimum account size and no trading fees; that means you can get started even if you only have a few dollars.

If you start saving and investing as a teen, you’ll be well ahead of most people you’re age, and you’ll significantly increase your odds of achieving long-term financial success. Compound interest is a powerful force, and the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be.

For more details, read our guide on how to start investing as a teen.

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