How to make money as a kid: what you need to know
According to the US Department of Labor
, the minimum age of employment is 14 years old (for non-agricultural jobs). There are certain hours restrictions for youth under the age of 16 and hazardous work restrictions for anyone under the age of 18.
With that said, these refer to full-time and part-time employment positions at businesses. So you can’t be legally employed to mop floors or work as a cashier if you’re just 11 or 12 years old.
But that shouldn’t stop you from making money. There are plenty of ways to earn some extra cash at home or around the neighborhood, at any age. Just make sure you have your parents’ or guardians’ permission and supervision to do these jobs.
15 Legit Options for Making Money as a Kid
So how do you make money as a kid? These are the top 15 options that I’d recommend. I’ve done some of these jobs myself back in the day.
Cutting the grass is an excellent way for kids to make money. Start at your own house to practice your skills. You might even be able to talk your parents into paying you for it.
Next, ask your neighbors. Depending on your neighborhood and the size of the yard, lawn mowing can get you anywhere between $10 and $40 per yard. Each lawn shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two.
Most people need their lawn mowed once per week. Let’s say you’re averaging $25 per lawn. If you can do 10 yards per week, that’s $250 in your pocket.
Don’t stop with mowing the lawn. You can upsell your lawn mowing customers by helping them out with other jobs around the yard.
It could be watering the flowers, picking weeds, fertilizing the grass, or spreading mulch. The list of possibilities here is endless. This all depends on your abilities and the needs of your neighbors. If you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter, you can shovel snow off of driveways and sidewalks to make some extra cash as well.
Hand out flyers around your neighborhood with some of your top yard work services to get started.
A lemonade stand is the classic kids’ startup business.
It costs very little money to make lemonade. You can get a small container of lemonade mix for as low as $3. That should make around 32 cups of lemonade.
Even if you’re only selling lemonade for $1 per cup, it’s an exceptional profit margin. Plus, most people will give you a good tip. You might get lucky and have people pay you $5 or even $10 per cup.
The key to a great lemonade stand is location. Most kids do this in their front yard or at the corner of their street for convenience. But if you can, go somewhere with heavy foot traffic and a high-demand for refreshing drinks.
If you have siblings playing sports, set up a lemonade stand at their games. Don’t stop at lemonade either. You can add iced tea, soda, and waters to the menu too.
Double check if you need a permit in your state to set up a lemonade stand. Most states require it.
Babysitting is typically a job reserved for teenagers. The best way to get started is by securing a babysitting job with someone you know.
Maybe a family member or neighbor needs someone to watch their kid for a couple of hours after school.
Once you get comfortable with this, you can make more money if you babysit families who have multiple kids. Weekend nights when the parents go out to dinner will usually be higher-paying jobs. You could easily earn $60 or $100 by watching 2-3 kids for a couple of hours.
This job isn’t for everyone though. It comes with lots of responsibility.
Pet Sitting and Walking
Similar to babysitting, pet setting is another great way for kids to earn extra cash. If you have neighbors that work all day, there’s a good chance their pets need to be let out of the house.
You can arrange to walk some neighborhood dogs before or after school.
This will only take about 5-10 minutes of your time per animal. Take them out, let them go to the bathroom, make sure their bowls have enough food and water. It’s that simple.
If you love animals, you can probably get at least $50 per week for each dog you walk.
Washing cars requires a bit more manual labor. You’ll also have to invest in some cleaning supplies. But if you like working outside and don’t mind getting dirty, handwashing cars are a great side hustle for kids.
There are a few ways to do this. The first is by holding a cash wash event. You get some friends to help you out and hold up signs around the neighborhood. The event could be a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you and your friends try to wash as many cars as possible during that time.
Alternatively, you can wash cars on your own by building a steady customer base. Again, your neighbors are the best place to start.
If you do well, they can have you wash their cars once or twice per week.
When you’re ready to take this side hustle to the next level, you can start detailing cars. This will take much longer to do and require lots of extra work. But you can charge $100 or even $150 for a full detail.
What’s your best subject in school? If you get straight A’s in math, science, or history, you can take those skills and tutor other students.
Parents are willing to pay good money for their children’s educations. You can easily earn $20 for an hour session.
Lots of times, you’ll just be helping out with homework assignments, test preparation, and things like that. If you’re good at a certain subject and you’ve already taken these classes, this should be a pretty easy job for you.
Teach Adults About Electronics
Students aren’t the only ones that need tutoring.
Lots of adults have trouble using electronics. Whether it’s a new iPhone, tablet, or computer, some adults can’t figure out basic functions for new technology.
If you’re like most kids, using a smartphone or computer will be second nature to you. Explaining how to take pictures, make calls, send messages, and things like that will be easy for you to teach.
The pay for this will vary on each unique situation. Some adults may just want a quick one-time lesson for 30 minutes. Others may want help every week learning how to use different types of software on their computer (like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Google Drive, etc).
Start a YouTube Channel
You’ll need a parent or guardian to help you out with this. Legally, you need to be 18 years or older to get paid from a YouTube account.
But the highest-paid YouTuber of 2019 is 8 years old. Ryan Kaji made $26 million
last year for his YouTube channel, Ryan’s World.
While you might not be able to make millions of dollars (at least not right away), you can still earn hundreds or thousands of dollars on YouTube.
Most houses are full of unwanted junk. But your parents likely don’t want to go through the hassle of getting rid of it. This is a great opportunity for you to make some money.
If you organize a garage sale, you can work out a deal with your parents for a percentage of the money earned. Since you probably didn’t buy any of this stuff, it’s all profit for you.
For example, let’s say they let you keep 25% of everything sold.
But it’s your job to put flyers up around the neighborhood, and set up the entire yard sale. This will probably take at least a couple of hours and might even involve some heavy lifting. So be prepared to get sweaty. Then you can help out once the yard sale starts.
If $1,000 worth of merchandise gets sold, $250 goes into your pocket.
Painting jobs are usually for teenagers. You’ll likely have to get on a ladder to complete some jobs. So doing this with a friend or sibling is probably your best option.
Start with interior painting jobs. Family, friends, or neighbors might need a bedroom in their house painted. They’ll buy all of the paint and materials. All you need to do is the actual painting.
Wear old clothes you don’t care about getting ruined. Take your time and make sure the job is done correctly.
Professional painters could charge up to $1,000 per room. So it’s a bargain for people to pay you half of that. You and a friend could easily earn $200 each for two days worth of work.
If you have some money you want to invest in a business, selling t-shirts is a great way to start. A t-shirt business will teach you the basics of inventory management, pricing, supply, and demand. A ton of entrepreneurs start out with t-shirt businesses.
There are plenty of websites out there that will let you customize a t-shirt design and buy them in bulk.
Let’s say you buy 50 shirts for $10 each. If you sell them at $20 per shirt, you’ll have a $500 profit. There is some risk involved here, since you’ll have to spend money before you can make it. But this is a great opportunity to learn business basics.
Fix and Clean Bikes
If you know your way around a bicycle, you can make money fixing them up.
It seems like there’s a broken bike in every garage in America. Some of these are easy fixes for someone who knows what they’re doing. Things like fixing the gears, putting on a new chain, replacing the tires, or new brake pads are common jobs.
You could get at least $20 for a 30-minute job. Earn even more money by providing the parts.
For example, let’s say a bike needs two new tubes. You can probably get tubes at your local Walmart for roughly $5 each. For a $10 investment, you could charge $30+ for the job.
Become a Personal Assistant
This is another position that is likely better for teenagers. If you have a parent, aunt, uncle, or cousin who needs some help at their job, you can become their personal assistant.
The job description will vary based on who you’re helping out. It could be anything from answering phone calls to getting coffee and opening letters. You’ll probably get paid a fixed rate for each day you work.
One of the best parts about being a personal assistant is that it gets your foot in the door at certain businesses. When you’re of legal working age, you could have an advantage over other people applying for the same job. The hiring manager will already know who you are.
Do Chores For Seniors
Senior citizens could use a hand doing basic chores around the house. So if you know a house in your neighborhood has older people living there, offer your assistance for a fee.
It could be something as simple as carrying groceries into the house from their car.
Some adults will even pay you to spend some time with their elderly parents. You could potentially get paid to spend an hour a day playing games with a senior when you get home from school.