Kids of all ages can make money – even young kids! Here’s the ultimate guide on how to make money as a kid.
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You’ve heard the stories – kids who at age 6 or 11 had a business idea, found funding, pursued their idea, and made millions before turning 20.
Fraser Doherty is one of those kids who at age 14 developed a recipe to make jam entirely from fruit. After selling the jam in farmers markets and delicatessens for a few years, Fraser took out a $9,000 loan and in March 2007 began supplying SuperJam to Waitrose, a UK supermarket chain.
The deal made Fraser a millionaire before he was 20 and today SuperJam is sold in over 2,000 supermarkets around the world.
Not every kid will have as big a break as Fraser did. But starting a business can be fun and there are plenty of life skills to learn along the way. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the money that comes from running a successful venture.
How to Make Money as a Kid
The following sections provide information on how kids can make money depending on their age, abilities, and interests.
How Young Kids Can Begin to Learn the Value of Work
If your child is between the ages of 6-10-years-old, they may not be ready to make money outside of the home. But there are still ways parents can begin to instill the value of work and earning money in young kids.
Here’s a list of work ideas young kids can do at home. These tasks are to be completed above and beyond kids’ daily chores. To see why it’s important for kids to have daily chores that aren’t paid see: The Hidden Cost of Paying Kids to do Chores
- Rake leaves
- Pull weeds
- Shovel snow
- Wash car
- Wash windows
- Water garden
- Consign Toys
- Recycle used cans
- Lemonade Stand
- Hot Chocolate Stand
For more advice on how to make money as a young kid see: How Young Elementary Kids Can Earn Money and Learn the Value of Work
How Older Kids Can Begin to Make Money Outside of the Home
Once kids reach the age of 10 or 12, getting paid for extra work around the home may not be enough. In order to make more money, kids will need to begin a business with customers other than mom and dad.
Starting any enterprise, no matter how small, can be challenging without some basic business knowledge. Kids will need to know:
- Whether their product or service is in demand (i.e. if people will want to purchase what they offer)
- How to set a price for their product or service
- How to get the word out about their product or service (i.e. advertise)
- The basics of customer service and the importance of making customers happy
- How to manage expenses and income and determine if the business is profitable
Parents can mentor kids on these business basics, and/or purchase a book written for kids that explains what is needed to successfully launch a business and make money as a kid:
Some helpful books for kids include:
- How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000,000 (see the chapter on How to Start a Business)
- Business for Kids: How to Teach Entrepreneurship to Children
There are also online guides to help educate kids about what it takes to run a business. Here are a few concise ones:
- How to Start a Business (for Kids)
- How to Start a Business as a Teenager
- How to Start Your Own Home Business as a Child
Are you wondering when it’s appropriate for your kids to begin doing certain tasks on their own? Sign up for my weekly emails and you’ll receive my Age-Appropriate Guide to Kids’ Independence as a free gift. (Click here to subscribe and get your free list).
Coming Up with a Business Idea
Once kids decide they want to begin a small business outside the home, the first thing they need is an idea. The following sections provide lists of small business ideas for kids grouped by interest.
How Creative Kids Can Make Money
Creative talent provides numerous opportunities for kids to make money. Whether you’re a musician, artist, sewist, or you enjoy making crafts, there’s a demand for the artistic expression you provide.
The following is a list of ways creative kids can make money:
For the Performer/Musician:
- Music practice mentor
- Teach music lessons
- Begin a rock band or quartet
- Entertain kids at a birthday party
For the Sewist:
- Make cat or dog toys and accessories
- Make scrunchies, hair bands or headbands
- Give old clothes new life
- Make American Girl clothing
- Become a Fashion Designer
For the Artist:
- Sell your art
- Make homemade stationary
- Sell your ceramics
For Kids Who Like Crafts:
- Make Friendship Bracelets
- Make Jewelry
- Make Printed T-Shirts
- Knit Scarves and Hats
- Make Tie Dye Clothes
- Make Lip Balm
- Make Decorated Tins for Food or Storage
- Make Holiday Ornaments
- Make Homemade Wrapping Paper
- Make a Birthday Party Decorations Kit
- Make bird feeders/houses
- Make keychains
To see this list with descriptions and ideas on where to sell creative goods, click: 20+ Ways Creative Kids Can Make Money.
How Kids Who Love Animals Can Make Money
Do you have a kid who loves animals? Here are a few ways kids can spend time with or help animals and make some money.
The following is a list of ways kids who love animals can make money:
- A pet companion
- Training dogs
- Poop scooping for dogs
- Cleaning litter boxes
- Wash dogs
- Breeding hamsters and rats
- Breeding mice
- Breeding worms
- Making cat toys
- Baking dog treats
- Creating customized bowls for cats and dogs
- Designing unique dog and cat collars
- Raising chickens to sell eggs
- Horse groomer
- Help with horse barn chores
- Become a beekeeper
To see this list with detailed descriptions click: 17+ Ways Kids Who Love Animals Can Make Money
How Kids Who Love to Cook Can Make Money
Do you have a kid who loves to spend time in the kitchen? There are many ways kids with culinary talent can make money – selling either their creations or helping others learn how to cook or throw a party.
The following is a list of ways kids who love to cook can make money:
- Sell baked goods at farmers markets, fairs, etc.
- Baking cookies and making candy during the holidays
- Serving food at parties
- Making jams and jellies
- Write a cookbook
- Begin a cooking blog for kids
- Offer cooking classes for other kids
- Sell garden produce
- Bake pet treats
To see this list with detailed descriptions click: How Kids Who Love to Cook Can Make Money
How Teens Can Make Money Online
When looking over Inc. magazine’s list of 40 Young People Who Became Millionaires Before They Were 20 it’s remarkable to see how many made their millions with technology.
Sometimes it seems the boundaries to technology and online businesses are endless – even with teen and kid entrepreneurs.
Here are a few ideas of how teens and kids can make money online:
If you know advanced code:
- Design websites
- Create apps
- Fixing computer viruses and other problems
- Teach other kids how to code
More media-centric technology:
- Film YouTube videos and make money on advertising
- Begin a blog and make money on traditional advertising and affiliate advertising
- Consulting on social media
- Managing blogger’s social media
Earn Money Through Surveys and Other Online Paid Programs
- Survey Sites:
- Vindale Research
- Survey Voices
- Global Test Market
Become an Online Tutor:
See this list with detailed descriptions here: How Teens Can Make Money Online
How Teens Who Love Working With Kids Can Earn Money
Spending time with kids can be fun – kids like to play games, run around and be silly. But taking care of kids can also be challenging and carries a great deal of responsibility.
Here are a few ways teens can earn money while taking care of kids:
- Parent’s helper
- Entertaining kids at kids birthday parties
- Helping parents during kids birthday parties
- Face painting at birthday parties or fairs
- Braiding hair at birthday parties or fairs
- Becoming a music practice buddy
- Helping with school projects/homework
- Tutoring kids on a specific subject
- Read to kids
- Teaching kids how to cook
- Coaching kids in sports
- Refereeing basketball, baseball, soccer or other kids sports
- Organize a summer camp focused on a theme (sports, cooking, etc.)
The Benefits of Teens Getting a Job
Starting at age fourteen in the United States, teenagers can get a job with limited hours. While the initial draw of a job is to make money, there’s a long list of other life skills, education, and perspective teens gain.
In fact, college admissions officers told Quartz that applicants who hold jobs over the summer are far more enticing than those who volunteer at an orphanage in India or interned on Wall Street.
According to Susan Warner, an independent college counselor in New York City:
Colleges will forever find holding a job more attractive, and far sexier than going to Costa Rica to build houses and surf in the afternoons,”
Jobs, especially the mundane, unimpressive kind, can expose kids to different mindsets and social classes. And unlike volunteer travel, kids need to work to not only obtain but also retain a job – a good lesson for kids to learn before launching a career. Other benefits of having a job include:
- learning how to fill out an application and be interviewed
- possibly experience rejection (if application isn’t accepted)
- the experience of being managed and directed by a boss
- possibly gaining exposure to different mindsets and social classes (i.e. privileged kids working minimum wage)
- being given the responsibility to follow a schedule that neither the teen nor their parents designed
- experiencing boredom at work
- learning the appropriate way to interact with co-workers and customers
Where teens can find a job:
Once your teen has decided it’s time to get a job, where’s the best place to start looking? Many jobs are only for adults 18 and over and there are a number of jobs only available to teens with a driver’s license. But in general, the retail and food industries provide the best opportunities for teens who are 14-18-years-old.
The following articles provide ideas on where high school students can find part-time work:
- The Best Part-Time Jobs for High School Students (Money Crashers)
- 21 Best Part-Time Jobs for Teens and High School Students (Localwise)
- 10 Great Summer Jobs for Teens (Forbes)
Now That I’ve Made Money, What Do I Do With It?
Making money isn’t easy, but sometimes the biggest challenge is understanding how best to manage money. The temptation is often ripe to spend money immediately after obtaining it.
Teaching kids how to budget, save and even invest their newly acquired money will serve them well into adulthood. The following are a few articles about how to help kids manage money:
- How to Teach Kids to Budget Their Money
- How to Teach Kids to Save Their Money
- Their Money, Their Rules? Nope. A Summer Job Doesn’t Mean Kids Get Free Rein.
Want your own copy of all of the ideas shared in here? Click on the image below to purchase Self-Sufficient Kids’ ebook – an expanded edition of all of the ideas and descriptions of how kids can make their own money.
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