Hey, Teen! What's the fastest way to make money as a teenager? The answer is a side hustle.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait till you're over a certain age to start earning yourself. And we aren’t just talking about some change here and there from flipping burgers or being a barista; today, teens have the ability to earn more than the average teen salary of $619/week by starting a side hustle.
Find out how to start a side hustle, the legal considerations of a teen business and 20 side hustle ideas to get going fast.
20 Side Hustle for Teens
Here are side hustles that can easily fit into your teen life — between all the classes, chill sessions and extracurricular activities. The majority of these side hustles don’t require you to study more, won’t interfere with your social life and can help you hit any financial goal (get the car!). And bonus: They will definitely add some “oomph” to your resume.
1. Take Online Surveys
Save up for that concert you always wanted to attend by simply sharing your opinion, a valid email address and a little bit of your time — really, it’s all this side hustle for teens requires.
Several companies pay volunteers or survey takers to give them feedback on a project or service. Some of the top sites for surveys are Survey Junkie (ages 16+), FreeCash (ages 13+) and Swagbucks (ages 13+). Completing online surveys while you’re catching up on the next Netflix series or just lounging can bring in $5-$18 an hour.
2. Sell Your Craft on Etsy
If you are a crafty teen, why not set up a shop on Etsy? Yes, Etsy allows minors to sell on their platform as long as you abide by their guidelines. The craft can be anything you are skilled at and have a passion for — handmade jewelry, bath bombs, printable graphics or even made-to-order candles.
The first step to this side hustle is perfecting your product. Once that’s done, list your products and start promoting. Do consider your startup equipment and material costs while pricing your products.
3. Tutor Younger Kids
Constantly the “A” student? You can tutor younger kids and make $12-$17/hour. You can opt to tutor in person or just online. Websites like PalFish and Cambly (ages 18+) allow teens to sign up as tutors. You can get more creative and even build a course to sell on Udemy. To be a successful tutor, you need an area of expertise — is it science, programming or teaching spoken English?
4. Start a Flipping Business
Flipping is possibly the most underrated and profitable side hustle option today. The options are endless — you can make good money flipping furniture, clothes, websites, domain names and even shoes.
Identify your niche and start sourcing products accordingly. If your niche is furniture, you can scour garage sales, Goodwill centers and auctions to find deals. Promote your flipped products via your own website or online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or eBay.
There’s a never-ending demand for trustworthy and reliable babysitters. The amount you can earn depends on the hours and the number of kids you have to look after. Access local opportunities via Care.com (ages 18+), Bambino (ages 13+) or UrbanSitter (ages 18+).
You can also hand out fliers in your neighborhood; it’ll probably be just a few days' wait before you start getting calls from parents eager to get some “kid-free” time. Premium days like New Year's Eve or Fridays can fetch you $15/an hour.
6. Start a YouTube Channel
You can be the next Teen YouTube star! This side hustle for teens does take some time before you can start seeing revenue from ads, affiliate links or brand sponsorships, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth the investment.
How much money can you make from a YouTube side hustle? It varies, but on average, expect between $3-$5 per 1,000 ad views. Start the channel around a topic where you can share your unique voice and content. Ensure to produce high-quality videos and optimize the tags and names of videos because, at the end of the day, YouTube is a search engine.
7. Help Older Generation with Technology
Technology evolving at a lightning pace has left some people frustrated and unable to keep up, no matter how much they try. If technology is your last name and it’s easy for you to set up, operate and explain things such as software, Alexa, Siri, routers and networks, then becoming a specialist tech consultant could be a fabulous side hustle.
Set an hourly rate and start publicizing your services through your grandparents, their friends or local old-age homes. Some people have netted $50-$100 just by helping some Boomers update their software, according to SwiftSalary.com
8. Wait in Line
Too good to be true? Not really. Yes, you can make money waiting in line for people and there’s a demand for it as crowds are coming back everywhere. You can wait in line for new iPhone launches, Black Friday sales, DMV appointments or freebies given by stores. Check out TaskRabbit, GigWalk, InLine4You (all sites require you to be 18+) or Craigslist for opportunities. A coveted iPhone launch can score you $50-$80 an hour.
9. Manage Social Media
Teens are on point with the latest trends — and usually the ones to start them, too! Embrace your know-how of social media to manage social accounts for local small businesses. As a social media manager, you’d create graphics and campaigns to build interest in your client's products/services.
It's helpful to stay on top of the various platform policies and algorithms. Network with businesses through your local Chamber of Commerce or LinkedIn. Teens typically earn between $8-$12 per hour as a social media manager.
10. Clean Houses
Just because this side hustle doesn’t sound “hip,” don’t brush it over. Providing cleaning services is a profitable and low-cost side hustle for teens. You’d just need to invest in some cleaning supplies and transport (if you don’t already have your own).
The best part of this side hustle is that you can work it around your schedule. To save on startup costs, consider buying some supplies like floor cleaners, window cleaners and scrubs in bulk.
11. Referee Sports Games
A sports fanatic and know the game rules like the back of your hand? Refereeing is a fun way to earn money on weekends and evenings. Referees earn $20-$30 for a 90-minute game, on average. And, as you gain more experience over time, you can move up to high school officiating and start earning more.
There may be a course you have to take before you can officiate your first game, but from that point onwards, you can pick games that suit your schedule. Reach out to local leagues and coaches to get reffing opportunities.
12. Test Websites
Use all the time you spend online to give critical feedback to companies on how they can make their website better and get $20-$30 extra week (beginner's earnings). It’s as simple as it sounds: Sign up on platforms like Userlytics (ages 16+), TryMyUI (ages 18+) or EnrollApp (ages 13+) to get started.
13. Offer Pet Care Services
People need someone trustworthy who can step in and watch over their pets when they are away. On average, a quick walk-in to feed and walk the dog can earn you $11-$15/hour. A pet sitting or pet walking business can again work around your studies and schedule. '
Publicize your business by knocking on neighbors’ doors and putting up fliers in the community. Once you provide superior service for their furry friends, you can expect your hustle to grow well through word-of-mouth. To gain additional gigs, create a profile on websites like PetSitter (ages 13+) or Rover (ages 18+).
14. Write a Teen Blog
Blogging is a great hustle that you, as a teen, can start. Find a topic that you think there’s an audience for — it could be a teen fashion blog or one on “running on a teen business.” The key to blogging success is building quality content consistently. Once the blog builds a regular flow of subscribers, then you can then turn to monetizing your blog with affiliate links and ads.
15. Provide Lawn Care Service
One area a lot of people are looking for assistance with is mending their lawn. For a teen, this is an easy money-making hustle, especially during the summer months. You’ll just need to invest in some standard equipment or you could borrow them from your parents (if they have them) — lawnmower, trimmer, grass blower. Some jobs take under 30 minutes and you can earn $50-$70, so why not give it a try?
16. Become a Freelance Writer
All those school essays have probably made you a pretty efficient writer and researcher. If writing is your strength, you can secure writing gigs on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and UpWork (need to be at least 18 years old) or via word-of-mouth. To secure clients, get your parents to review your profile, writing samples and contracts.
17. Do Food and Grocery Delivery
How can an 18-year-old make money? Here’s one way — delivering food and groceries! Daniel Goldberg turned grocery deliveries into a full-time, booming business. Through apps like DoorDash, UberEats and Instacart (all require you to be at least 18+), you can get paid to deliver food and groceries. You will need transportation of your own or one that you can borrow. The best part of this side hustle for teens is that you can work whenever you want.
The earnings can vary from location and demand. Instacart provides earning estimates; a batch of only grocery delivery can earn you $5, while a full service (shopping and delivery) pays between $7-$10 per batch.
18. Start a Print-on-Demand Store
A really cool way to earn money if you are an artsy teen is to start a print-on-demand store. How does this work? You upload your designs that could be printed on logos, T-shirts, mugs and coasters. When someone likes your design, you make money!
The best part is that you don’t need to deal with shipping and inventory, the online platform takes care of it all! Ready to start? Check out platforms like Spring and Redbubble that allow those under 18 to join.
19. Paint Houses
People will pay top dollar for convenience, and there’s nothing better than being able to offer that service to them. Painting for many homeowners is a chore they dread, no matter how much they would like their interiors to be updated.
Offer to paint houses in your free time by signing up on TaskRabbit or Nextdoor (ages 13+) and get an average of $25/per hour. For this side hustle, the startup costs involve paint supplies like brushes, rollers and spray paint — all of which can be bought for under $500.
20. Teach Music
Know a musical instrument? You can start a side hustle teaching it to younger kids via group classes, online or one-on-one sessions. You can schedule classes as per your studies and commitments. Publicize this side gig by promoting it on Craigslist, your own social media or via networking with local music teachers.
How to Start a Teen Side Hustle
So, now we have established that side hustles for teens are an excellent way to make ends meet for the more expensive things (hello, 16th birthday!) and also gain some real-life experience early on. You never know, the entrepreneurial “boss hat” might be your calling.
But, how do you actually get a hustle up and running? Follow these steps, which are further detailed in Incfile’s Side Hustle Checklist.
1. Think of an Idea
Find out what you are good at or can see yourself committing to. You, as a teen, have a distinct advantage where you probably already have the technical know-how and social network to turn any idea into a success. Our mentioned list of 20 teen side hustles can get the ball rolling.
2. Create a Business Plan
To set up your teen side hustle for true success, you need a business plan. A business plan will urge you to think about all the details related to your hustle beforehand:
3. Consider Setting Up a Structure
You’ll not need to do anything immediately for your side hustle to be considered a business — the government will automatically consider it a sole proprietorship. However, as your hustle earnings grow or you find yourself becoming more committed to expanding it, you could benefit from registering it as an LLC.
4. Know Your Finances and Tax Obligations
Yay! Earning money is great, but you need to be mindful of how much is coming in, how it’s being spent and whether you’re obligated to pay taxes on your hustle. No matter how little the income is from your side hustle, you have to report it. Based on the earnings and business type, you’d be expected to pay federal, state and possibly even sales tax.
5. Get and Maintain Licences and Permits
Depending on the hustle you choose, you might need some licenses and permits. For instance, an ecommerce license could be required by your state if you're reselling clothes on Poshmark. Some states also have mandates on acquiring a seller’s permit once your business hits a certain sales threshold.
Is It Legal to Start a Teen Side Hustle?
A quick answer is yes, it’s legal for a teen to start a side hustle. Although a lot depends on what kind of side hustle we’re talking about here. Let us explain.
If you’re considering selling on eBay or signing up for a freelance marketplace like Fiverr, these sites' policies state one has to be above 18. But, there’s a way around this. You can get a family member or of-age relative to open the account on your behalf and then you can manage the store and/or jobs.
Another point of discussion is that contracts signed by teens don’t hold up in court. If you are entering a contract with a client for your hustle, you can have a trusted adult sign on your behalf.
Lastly, you can protect your side hustle by forming a legal entity like an LLC. The laws around a teen or minor forming an LLC are quite nuanced, but it’s not impossible. A lawyer can help you navigate the tricky waters and make your side hustle a legal and protected reality.
How Can a 14-Year-Old Make Money?
Teenagers of any age can use these 20 side hustles for teens to get the dollars trickling in. For more help, check out Incfile's Side Hustle Checklist. It'll help you discover which hustle is best suited for your entrepreneurial spirit and how to get your teen hustle up and running. So, let's get it started, shall we?