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!
The following sections provide information on how to earn money as a kid. They’re segmented by age, abilities, and interests:
How Younger 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 earn 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 idea of the type of work young kids can do at home. These tasks are to be completed above and beyond kids’ daily chores.
To understand 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 Earn 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 their parents.
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)
- A Guide on How to Start a Business as a Teenager
- How to Start Your Own Home Business as a Child
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 your child is a musician, artist, sewist, or enjoys making crafts, there’s a demand for the artistic expression they provide.
The following is a list of ways creative kids can earn money:
For the Performer/Musician:
- Music practice mentor: new musicians may find practicing their instrument a chore. Having an older mentor may inspire them to keep at it.
- Teach music lessons: if your child is well-versed in an instrument they may be ready to begin teaching music to younger children.
- Begin a rock band or quartet: forming a band or quartet with other musicians could be a fun way to make money, so long as your child can find venues to play in.
- Entertain kids or teens at a birthday party: teens could be the entertainment for kids or teens who want dancing or just music at their party.
For the Sewist:
- Make cat or dog toys and accessories: the pet market is huge. Cat and dog owners are frequently looking for new toys for their pets.
- Make scrunchies, hair bands, or headbands: some girls can never have enough!
- Give old clothes new life: Upcycling clothing is growing in popularity. Click this link for a few ideas on how to upcycle clothing.
- Make American Girl clothing: American Girl owners are always looking for new clothing. And kids can make unique designs.
- Become a Fashion Designer: there’s no reason why kids can’t begin designing your own clothing. Breaking into the fashion market isn’t easy, but this guide has advice for beginners.
For the Artist:
- Sell art: Click the link to learn how your child can sell their art.
- Make homemade stationery: stationary is a practical use of art and can be sold on Etsy and other online platforms.
- Sell your ceramics: ceramics is a beautiful and practical art form and could be sold at farmer’s markets, local stores, or online platforms such as Etsy.
For Kids Who Like Crafts:
- Create friendship bracelets: Many kids collect friendship bracelets and love to find unique designs they can’t make for themselves.
- Design jewelry: Jewelry can take on many shapes and forms. Take the time to research the target market before creating designs.
- Make printed t-shirts: Everyone loves t-shirts and it’s easier than ever to sell them with dropship solutions like Printful and Printify
- Knit scarves, hats, and gloves: In cold climates, unique winter accessories brighten up a winter wardrobe.
- Tie-dye clothes: Is it possible to have too many tie-dye shirts? No! And these shirts can be sold online, at farmer’s markets, or in stores.
- Make lip balm: Making lip balm is relatively easy. Click here to see three ways to make lip balm at home.
- Decorate tins for food or storage: These crafts are especially useful during the holidays.
- Make holiday ornaments: Ornaments can be made out of a wide range of materials and usually aren’t too difficult to make.
- Design homemade wrapping paper: Use craft paper and stamps to create unique designs.
- Put together party decorations kit: Take the prep work out of decorating by putting together kits for a range of different parties.
- Make bird feeders/houses: These are good items to create if your child is handy with wood.
- Make keychains: Everyone who drives a car could use a keychain! And the possibilities are endless regarding the medium and designs of 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:
- Training dogs: if you have a dog of your own and have successfully trained him or her, your older child could offer to teach other pet owners.
- Poop scooping for dogs: some owners let their dogs run free in their yards and would willingly pay for someone else to clean up the poop.
- Cleaning litter boxes: also another activity many pet owners would love to outsource!
- Wash dogs: dogs get dirty! And owners need them to be clean. Your child can help.
- Breeding hamsters, rats, or mice: this is definitely something not every family will want to do. But these animals make good pets.
- Making cat toys: cats love to chase after toy mice or run after a ribbon. Cat toys are easy to make if you have sewing and crafting skills.
- Baking dog treats: selling dog treats could be the perfect business if your child also likes to bake.
- Creating customized bowls for cats and dogs: your child will need some experience with clay and ceramics but if your child enjoys art, this could be a fun product.
- Designing unique dog and cat collars: this too may require additional skills such as sewing.
- Raising chickens to sell eggs: although raising chickens isn’t easy, selling eggs only requires setting up a stand at the end of your driveway.
- Breeding worms: another one that not every family will want to do. But fishermen need worms as well as anyone with a compost bin.
- Pet sitting: your child can let neighbors and their community know that they’re able to sit for pets when families go on vacation.
- Horse-sitting: if your family has experience with horses, and knows how to take care of them, becoming a horse sitter could be lucrative.
- Horse groomer: grooming horses is another way to help owners and get some extra cash.
- Help with horse barn chores: similar to horse sitting, this is something an owner might pay for if they don’t have the time to care for their horse every day.
- Become a beekeeper: raising bees helps the environment while also creating honey to sell. But beware: keeping bees isn’t for the faint of heart.
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 – either by selling 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.: this is a classic way to make money but be sure to check local health laws before preceding.
- Baking cookies, cupcakes, and making candy during the holidays: cookies and candy are in high demand during the holidays. Customers will mostly like want to buy them for parties or gifts.
- Serving food at parties: caters sometimes need extra staff to serve food during parties.
- Making jams and jellies: this summertime treat could be sold throughout the year if canned properly.
- Write a cookbook: even kids can write cookbooks! And publishing has never been easier with online tools and services.
- Begin a cooking blog for kids: blogging can be lucrative once you have enough traffic and page views to earn money from advertising.
- Offer cooking classes for other kids: classes could be run out of your home during the summer, after school, or during school breaks
- Sell garden produce: start a garden and sell the bounty! It could be as easy as setting up a stand at the end of your driveway.
- Bake pet treats: pet owners pay large sums on their pets and many would love to give their dogs or cats gourmet 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 Internet 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: while it may take a bit of work to find clients, demand for website creation continues to be strong.
- Create apps: this too could take a bit of up-front work to locate clients but many companies and individuals are interested in creating apps. But they need the expertise to help them do it.
- Fixing computer viruses and other problems: clients for this service can be found both locally and online.
- Teach other kids how to code: many parents want their kids to learn how to code.
More media-centric technology:
- Film YouTube videos and make money on advertising: it will take time and effort to build a following but once you do, a YouTube channel can be lucrative.
- Begin a blog and make money on traditional advertising and affiliate marketing: this will also require a lot of up-front effort to build a following but can eventually turn into passive income.
- Consult on social media: if you are savvy with social media marketing, businesses could use your expertise.
- Manage a blogger’s social media: many bloggers would rather spend time writing than scheduling their social media and are willing to pay good per-hour rates for this service.
Earn Money Through Online 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:
- Babysitting: this is a perennial favorite for teens to make money. And it’s a service that’s always in demand in any neighborhood.
- Parent’s helper: sometimes parents need to be home but can’t look after their kids. Your child can help by being a parent’s helper and at the same time gain experience that will help them become a good babysitter.
- Entertaining kids at birthday parties: If your child has a talent that can be shared at a children’s birthday party, this could be a good way to earn money.
- Helping parents during kids’ birthday parties: Throwing a birthday party for kids can be tiring and a lot of work. Many parents would love help and would be willing to pay for it.
- Face painting at birthday parties or fairs: If your child is an artist who can paint faces, this is a fun way to make money.
- Braiding hair at birthday parties or fairs: If your child has a talent for making interesting braids, many kids would want their service.
- Becoming a music practice buddy: Sometimes new musicians need support when starting out. Your musical child can motivate and help them.
- Helping with school projects/homework: Sometimes kids just need a bit of coaching on how best to handle homework or school projects.
- Tutoring kids on a specific subject: If your child excels in a specific subject and feels like they can help teach kids, tutoring might be perfect for them.
- Read to kids: Small children who are learning to read benefit from being read to. And parents may be willing to pay for this service.
- Teaching kids how to cook: Cooking is a life skill that many parents want their children to learn.
- Coaching kids in sports: Many sports need coaches and are often willing to have teens coach young kids.
- Refereeing basketball, baseball, soccer, or other kids’ sports: This is an excellent way for athletes to make extra money.
- Organize a summer camp focused on a theme (sports, cooking, etc.): Running a summer camp will take a lot of planning and your child will need to abide by local laws. But it’s definitely a fun way to interact with children for a few days or weeks.
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 experiencing rejection (if an application isn’t accepted)
- the experience of being managed and directed by a boss
- possibly gaining exposure to different mindsets and social classes
- 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 many jobs are only available to teens with a driver’s license. But in general, the retail and food industries provide the best opportunities for teens between the ages of 14-18-years-old.
The following articles provide ideas on where high school students can find part-time work:
- 28 Perfect Part-Time Jobs for High Schoolers
- 34 Perfect Summer Jobs for Teens That Want to Earn Extra Cash
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.
One of the best ways to help kids acquire money management skills is to let them have an allowance. In order to be effective, your child must also be given certain non-essential expenses they’re also responsible for.
To learn how to get started with a kids allowance see:
The Kids Money Management Toolkit has everything you need (except money!) to begin giving your kids an allowance. In addition to guidance and advice, you’ll also receive Save, Spend, and Share jar labels, a Kids Money Ledger, a Savings Challenge Sheet, a Jobs-for-Hire Sheet, and a Kids Allowance Contract. Click here to learn more.
In addition to learning how to manage money, kids will need to be taught how to budget, save, and invest. The following are a few articles about how to help kids in these areas:
- How to Teach Kids to Budget Their Money
- How to Teach Kids to Save Their Money
- Teach Your Kids How to Invest Their Money
- Their Money, Their Rules? Nope. A Summer Job Doesn’t Mean Kids Get Free Rein.
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Kerry Flatley is the owner and author of Self-Sufficient Kids. She has a BA in economics, an MBA, a certificate in financial planning, and has been investing ever since she landed her first job. Kerry also has two girls, ages 13 and 15, who have been receiving allowance – and learning money management – for the past seven years.