How to Make Money as a Kid: 20+ Realistic Options
Bet you didn’t know that one of the worlds most well-known and credited financial geniuses of our time, started making money in the stock market at just 11 years old. His name? Warren Buffett. Today, he’s worth approximately $79 billion dollars! To give you a visual on the number of zeroes that is, that’s $79,000,000,000.
Perhaps one of his biggest advantages he had over others, is the age at which he began seeking to make money. Today it’s even easier to make money no matter what age you are. If you are ambitious, hardworking, and driven to make money, you certainly can turn a quick profit in no time.
As a kid, you may be asking yourself first, how to make money and why start now? Here is a list of 10 big reasons why you should start making money as a kid. We’ll then discover more than 20 potential answers to the question of how to make money for kids, plus how to get started and how much you can make.
All you need is to keep that childlike characteristic to dream big alive and strong, and you’ll do very well! I can’t promise $79 billion well, but anything is possible!
→ Related reading: 150+ Side Hustle Ideas for Your Spare Time
Why You Should Start Making Money at An Early Age
Before we introduce the many ways you can start making money, an intro on why you should get started at an early age is only appropriate. If the example of Warren Buffet above isn’t enough to excite you, consider the following reasons that making money at an early age will be very beneficial:
The Savings Snowball Effect
Many may be familiar with the term “compound interest”. To not bore you to death on the details of that financial term, the analogy of a snowball paints the picture perfectly.
Imagine building a big snowball after a winter storm. To start, you need to make a small snowball, then you start rolling the snowball and it gradually gets bigger and bigger. Pretty soon, it’s bigger than you are!
That’s exactly what happens when you start saving money, and better yet, investing it. Once you start saving, it may seem like a small amount at first. But over time, you’ll look at it and be amazed at how much money you’ve saved.
If you’ve invested it, you’ll be surprised that your savings may have doubled or tripled from the amount you contributed! Imagine this taking effect starting at an early age, you’ll be miles ahead of everyone else financially.
Prepare Yourself for the Future
Perhaps you aren’t totally sure what the future holds for you quite yet. All the more reason to start preparing! Regardless of what’s in store for your future, it will most likely depend somewhat on your ability to financially pay for it. That may mean starting a business, paying for school, getting married, helping out a family member or friend, etc.
Just like taking a test in school takes preparation, so do finances. I’m sure we can all relate to not preparing properly for a test in school and come to find that some of the questions seem like foreign language to us! Preparing for the future is much like preparing for a test. The better prepared you are financially, the more able you will be to take on the financial challenges and excitement the future brings!
Get A Head Start on Money Basics
One thing we can never get enough experience with is money. Sure, you may learn some basic money principles in school, but in reality, money can be one of the biggest obstacles in your life if it’s not properly understood. Starting out making money at an early age will teach you first hand how money works, and how you can dominate your financial future!
Be Among the Top 1% Financially
Did you know that the median American household only has $11,500 in savings? It’s not uncommon to have unexpected events occur in life, such as the loss of a job, a major health event, or your car breaks down. Chances of that $11,500 lasting very much longer than a couple months if you lose your job, are slim to none!
Imagine if you started making money as early as possible, and started saving, investing and planning for the future, years in advance as compared to everyone else? You’ll have surpassed the average savings of the median American household before you’re even in college!
Enjoy Financial Rewards as A Kid
What good is working hard for money if you can’t enjoy at least a little of it?
What if you had the financial means to pay for the next latest and greatest toy that everyone dreams about?
Well, starting to earn money as a kid certainly gives you the ability to do just that! Be careful not to spend all your earnings. A wise man once said that saving a portion of all your income will provide a prosperous future.
Save For Education
Rather than thinking of this as paying for school, think of it as saving money to pay for the answer to the big question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Whether this means college, paying for a coding bootcamp, or paying for classes at a trade school, they all have one thing in common: they cost money.
Save For Your First Car
A new/used car in today’s dollars will cost a pretty penny. Depending on the luxuries you want in your first car will depend on how much it will cost you. Generally speaking, your first car may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 or more. Starting early to save and pay for your car in cash will just be another major head start to the game of finance.
Save For Retirement
Most of you reading this might be thinking “Retirement?! That’s decades away!”. And I don’t blame you. Frankly, you would be a bit odd to begin saving for retirement as a kid, but odd is what we’re looking for because most Americans forget to save and end up working their entire life. Consider this.
If you want to live on a moderate income of $50,000 per year in retirement, you will need to have saved up $1,500,000, and that’s not counting inflation. Inflation simply means that prices on average increase year over year. A candy bar 20 years ago may have only cost $0.25 or less. Today, it may cost $2.00. That’s because of inflation. Add an inflation rate of 2.5% increase in prices per year, and the of retirement savings needed to retire on a $50,000 income then becomes $4,614,921.50 if you assume you will retire in 45 years from now. With numbers like that, you better start early if you want to reach the goal.
→ Related reading: 5 Steps to Get Your Retirement Savings on Track
Taking it even a step further, if you decide to start making money and saving some of it for retirement, you have a great chance of actually retiring earlier than most people! That means you don’t have to work until you’re 65 years old and could possibly retire much earlier depending on how much you save!
→ Related reading: 9 Steps to Financial Independence (How to Retire Early)
Change the World!
I’m willing to bet that between now and age 30 (give or take a few years), you’re going to have a great idea that may just change the world.
Great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs (founder of Apple), Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com), and Elon Musk (founder of Tesla, SpaceX and many others), all started out their businesses that began with a great idea.
Their ability to launch that idea involved at least having a little cash available to launch their first product, website or service, and the rest is history. Making money as a kid and saving a portion of it will give you a big boost for the day that your bright idea is born.
How to Make Money for Kids
Truth be told, the list of reasons to start making money as a kid could be endless. So, here are 20+ ways that almost anyone can start doing to make some extra cash with just a little bit of elbow grease.
1. Take Online Surveys
Did you know that you can actually make money by giving out your opinion through paid online surveys? Companies like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie allow you to create a free account and start making money taking surveys. Businesses love feedback from customers about their products and services, so companies like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie pay you to answer questions and perform tasks online for businesses seeking this feedback. While there are a lot of survey companies, not all will be options for kids. Both Swagbucks and Survey Junkie allows kids 13 or older to make money.
Potential Income: For starters, some survey companies (like Swagbucks) will even pay you to set up your free account, so there’s already free money for the taking. However, each survey or task usually takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity. Payment may range from $1 to $20+. If you assume that you can make an average of $5 per house taking surveys, and if you spend one hour per day, that’s $150 per month. Not bad!
2. Start a YouTube Channel
Ever wonder why you can find a video on YouTube on just about anything? That’s because there are millions of entrepreneurs with both knowledge and interest in topics and share it on YouTube to make money. If you have a particular interest or strong knowledge on a topic, you can start creating quick videos teaching people the basics of your chosen topic and YouTube will pay you as your viewership grows. Many kids are making money with simple videos playing with or reviewing different toys.
Potential Income: You get paid from the ads YouTube displays on the videos, thus the more views you have the more you get paid. YouTube pays anywhere from $1 – $5 per 1,000 views of your video. If you have 10,000 views in one week, and you average $2.5 per 1,000 views, you will make $25 per week. Keep in mind that this can be a recurring stream of income for as long as the video exists, and people keep watching it. Create multiple videos that get 10,000 views per week, and you’ll get $25 per week per video! Of course, these numbers are hypothetical, but some kids are making huge amounts of money with YouTube.
3. Start a Blog
A blog is similar to a YouTube channel in that you create content on a particular topic and publish it for people to find via major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Rather than making videos, you’ll be writing about your chosen topic or expertise.
To start, consider a blog topic to begin with. Most likely a great starting point is asking yourself what you do in your spare time and what are you good at? These are great topics to create a blog on. Next you will begin creating blog articles (like this one), teaching people the basics on the chosen topic.
→ Related reading: How to Start a Blog
Potential Income: You make money on your blog by placing ads on your website, inserting affiliate links to related products or services, and getting paid when your readers click on these ads or affiliate links. The ads work in a very similar way as it does creating a YouTube channel. You get paid usually per 1,000 views or clicks. Affiliate links are website links within your blog that link to products or services at an online store like Amazon.com.
If your blog is about books, you can write a book review and insert a link at the end of the book review sending your readers to Amazon.com to purchase the book. Amazon will then pay you a small commission for referring customers.
The amount of money you make depends on the amount of traffic you can get to your website, which takes time to build up, as well as your monetization method. Great bloggers can make anywhere from a few hundred bucks per month, to a few thousand bucks per month and even a few hundred thousand bucks per month. The sky is the limit!
4. Start an Instagram Account
Making money on Instagram also depends on the number of followers you have, and the interests of those followers. If you can create an account with a strong following of your particular specialty, such as health and fitness (for example), you can start making money.
You can make money through sponsored posts from companies that want to promote their product to your audience, by referring your audience to affiliate products (like we discussed in creating a blog), selling your pictures or licensing your pictures posted, and even by selling your created digital products like a course or video.
Potential Income: Like blogging and creating a YouTube channel, making money on Instagram depends on how large of a following you have, and how engaged those followers are. The more followers, the larger an audience you have to promote products and services to, and the more brands will pay you to post their products to your audience. Thus, the amount of money you make is similar to making money blogging and on YouTube.
Some make hundreds of dollars per month; others make thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is all determined by the work you put in and how diligent you are at keeping your account healthy and active.
Babysitting is very much in demand with so many parents having busy schedules. The more experience you have and the better you can meet the needs of parents, the more money you can make. It all starts by marketing your services to local parents in need of babysitters. This could be through door flyers, word of mouth, or promoting via social media. As you build up a list of repeat customers, your income will be more steady and consistent.
Potential Income: Your income is based on the hourly rate you charge. If you charge $10 per hour and babysit for 5 hours per week, that’s $50 per week. The better you get at making it fun for the kids and easy for parents, the higher you can charge per hour.
6. Mow Lawns
If you like being outside, mowing lawns for neighbors could be a great way to make some extra cash! Mowing lawns can be charged per project, or by the hour. If you have a few extra hours each week to make extra money, you can start knocking on doors to neighbors asking if they need lawn mowing services. Other ways of promoting are through door flyers, word of mouth and social media.
Potential Income: You can set your own rates and charge per hour, or charge per project based on the size of the lawn. If you charge $20 per hour and you work for 10 hours per week, that’s $200 per week. If you charge per project, and each project is about $40 and you complete 5 lawns per week, that’s $200 as well. Charging per project may be easier and allows you to potentially make more money per hour if you’re a fast worker.
7. Rake Leaves
Raking leaves in the fall is a quick and easy way that is certainly in demand. Pick out homes that have large trees and clearly need some help raking leaves and knock on their door to ask if you can rake their leaves to make money.
Potential Income: Charge per hour or per project, depending on your preference. If you’re a fast worker, charging per project may be a more efficient use of your time and ability to make more money. Your potential income is calculated the same way as mowing lawns.
8. Pull Weeds
Pulling weeds is a job that not many people enjoy doing and are certainly willing to pay you to do for them. Again, you can advertise your services by knocking on neighborhood doors, leaving flyers on doors and in mailboxes, word of mouth and promoting on social media. Soon enough you’ll have a full schedule of clients.
Potential Income: If you charge $15 per hour and it you can work 10 hours per week, then you will make $150 per week. If you charge $15 per project and complete 10 projects in 5 hours, you’ll make $150 per week but in half the time!
9. Shovel Snow
Shoveling snow can be both a great workout and a great way to make money. Advertise your services via word of mouth, knocking on doors, passing out flyers and advertising on social media.
Potential Income: Your income will depend on how much snow your area gets during that winter. Some winters are heavier with more storms than others, creating more opportunity to make money. As with previous yardwork jobs, you can charge both per hour or per project.
10. Wash Cars
The nice thing about washing cars, is people may pay more than they would at the local car wash because they do it at the convenience of their own driveway (unless you advertise car washes in an available parking lot somewhere).
Potential Income: The easiest way to do this is to advertise via word of mouth, flyers, door knocking and social media. If you can promote that you will wash their car weekly for a recurring fee, you can get great repeat business. Most people will be willing to pay anywhere from $10-$15 per car washed.
11. Clean Houses
Cleaning services can be for both neighborhood homes and even office spaces of local small business offices. Work includes vacuuming, dusting, cleaning windows, washing baseboards and walls, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, etc.
Potential Income: The easiest way to charge for cleaning houses is hourly, since the tasks needed per house or office may vary per project. If your hourly rate is $10 per hour and you work 10 hours per week, that’s $100 per week in easy money.
12. Dog Walking
If you have a dog with a lot of energy, you will understand the value in having your dog walked daily! It’s easy to promote, just look for houses with dogs in the backyard and send them flyers, knock on their doors, use word of mouth marketing and social media promotions.
Potential Income: You can split up your walks into time frames, and let the owners decide. Perhaps you have a 15-minute walk, 30-minute walk and 60-minute walk. You charge $10 for 15 minutes, $15 for 30 minutes and $25 for 60 minutes. You could make anywhere from $250 to $400 per week if you work 10 hours per week.
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- How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything
13. Have a Yard Sale
This works best for those of you that have lots of old stuff that needs to be cleaned out. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure! Promote your yard sale locally through fliers, word of mouth, and social media.
Potential Income: Your income is dependent on the amount of stuff you have at the yard sale, but making a few hundred dollars with a yard sale on a single weekend is realistic for most people.
→ Related reading: What Can I Sell?
14. Sell on eBay
eBay can be thought of as an “Online Yard Sale” type business. You can sell anything from used goods bought from yard sales, thrift stores or stuff around your house, to brand new products bought on sale and listed online for a higher price. Millions of people are making money selling on eBay, even beginners.
Potential Income: Income depends on the selling price minus the cost you paid for the product and fees. If you sell used books and you buy a book for $5 and sell it for $10, then you can make $5 per book sold, minus fees.
15. Sell Crafts on Etsy
Etsy is a craft website that allows creative craftsmen (and women) to post their work for sale. If you like making jewelry, you can sell your work on Etsy. Anything from jewelry to wedding supplies to art and craft work can be sold online if you start an Etsy shop.
Potential Income: This is entirely dependent upon your sales price. If you’re a master at making creative jewelry, and it takes about 2 hours per piece made and can be sold for $50, then you’re making about $25 per hour of work.
16. Sell Baked Goods
Selling baked goods can be a great way to monetize your passion. If you love baking and are great at it, people are willing to pay top dollar for a great tasting birthday cake, or even just some tasty cookies for the weekend!
Potential Income: The income is dependent on your ability to create tasty goods and/or well-designed goods.
People are willing to pay good money for painting services. You could be painting rooms in a house or outside work like painting/staining decks, swingsets, fences, and sheds.
Potential Income: You income will vary depending on the details of the job, but making $10 – $20 per hour even with the most basic of painting jobs is possible.
18. Take Photos of “Help Wanted” Signs
JobSpotter is a service offered by Indeed.com, a job posting website. JobSpotter allows you to take photos of “Help Wanted” signs locally and send it in to Indeed.com. You will get paid for every submission that is approved. You can start making money with JobSpotter via this link.
Potential Income: JobSpotter pays you in points that can be redeemed for gift cards. Each point is worth one cent and you are awarded between 10 – 100 points per photo. If you take decent photos, you could make $1 per submission. If you submit 20 in a week, that’s potentially $20 for little time.
19. Remote Work on Fiverr
Fiverr.com allows you to promote your digital skills online. Projects can include odd jobs online such as creating a singing video (seriously), to graphic design work and even voice acting services. The price you charge is up to you, as long as it’s in increments of $5 (thus the name Fiverr).
Potential Income: You can charge anywhere from $5 to $500+ for the services you offer. Your potential income is dependent on your user reviews, quick message responses, on time work and customer service. Your income can vary anywhere from $50 per week to a few hundred dollars per week. Keep in mind you must be 13 years old to make money on Fiverr.
20. Design T-shirts
Companies like Teespring, Spreadshirt, Bonfire and even Amazon allow you to design your own custom t-shirts and sell them for a profit! If you’re great at designing, you can make a decent income from creating awesome work designing t-shirts! For info on each website that you can make money designing t-shirts, visit the following links:
Potential Income: Your income varies depending on where you design your t-shirts. Teespring, for example, will let you design a shirt, set a sales price and sales goal, then promote your design. If you meet your goal, they will pay you out the profits via PayPal.
21. Sell Your Hair
Did you know that you can make money by selling your hair? Websites like Hairsellon.com allow you to sell your hair. You start by creating an account, posting an ad about your hair, and buyers will start making offers! Visit the following link for more info.
Potential Income: The income is dependent on the hair length, thickness, color and whether it’s chemically unprocessed human hair (aka virgin hair) or not. Ultimately the price is what someone is willing to pay for it. View Hairsellon.com/hair-price-calculator/ to estimate how much you can make selling your hair.
The Sky Is the Limit!
When all is said and done, there are infinite ways you can make money as a kid, and there are nearly infinite reasons on why you should start making money as a kid. Looking back, I can tell you for certain that I would have loved to know the “why’s” and “how’s” to make money in my early years, because I’d be years ahead financially. A word to the wise: start making and saving money as early as you can!
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