I can fondly remember growing up, trying to figure out ways to make money. I tried to sell baseball cards. I would do extra chores around the house. I even tried to start a club for other kids in the neighborhood to join and charge them a membership fee! A couple of my friends were also interested in ways for kids to earn money.
As I’ve gotten older, I realize that many kids today are just like I was then – looking to make some extra money. Luckily, there are many more ways for kids to earn money today than there were when I was a kid, mainly thanks to technology.
Therefore, I present 49 ways for kids to earn money. Let’s face it, kids want money so they can buy things, they just can’t go work at the mill to earn that paycheck (darn labor laws!). The ideas I list below cover a lot of different areas, so if you find some don’t apply to you or your child, keeping looking because there is something on here for every kid.
As an added learning point, play around with the calculator below with your kid so they can learn how compound interest works. By learning the importance of saving some of their earnings, they can get ahead financially and make money less stressful.
49 Easy Ways For Kids To Earn Money
#1. Start A Lemonade Stand: This is the classic example when thinking of ways for kids to earn money. Just buy some packets of lemonade, get a pitcher or water and some plastic cups and a chair and hang out by the road. Of course having a sign also helps here as does a street that has some decent traffic.
If you really want to get inventive, add in a food product as well. Last summer when my wife and I were back in her hometown we went for a walk and came across some kids with a lemonade stand. They were also selling granola bars with a glass of lemonade.
I’ve also seen some kids skip the lemonade and just sell bottles of water. So there are 3 tips in one!
#2. Create Photobooks: If you are digitally inclined, a great way to earn some money is to create photobooks for people. We all take tons of digital pictures and then they just sit on our phones or SD cards.
You can offer to take some of the photos and put together a photobook for people. I would suggest you make a couple for yourself first or even offer a few free ones to a couple people just to get good at it and get some good word of mouth going.
#3. Do Extra Chores: This is probably one of the easiest ways for kids to earn money. Just have a talk with Mom and Dad about your chores. Maybe you can work out a deal where you add on some extra chores or do some chores that are above your age that you can get paid for.
This is one thing I did growing up. I had my set chores that I had to do to earn my allowance. But then I started doing other things around the house that weren’t expected of me. As a result of this, I was able to earn a few extra dollars each week.
But don’t think this means you can empty the trash cans twice a week instead of once a week and earn more money. You have to find other chores to do. For me, this included things like sweeping out the garage and helping organize it or helping out with laundry.
#4. Babysit: If you are old enough, responsible and enjoy kids, being a babysitter is a great option for you. You can have your parents help get your name out there and even post on Craigslist or Facebook.
The thing that is nice with babysitting is that you can do it year-round meaning you can always be earning money.
#5. Mother’s Helper: If you aren’t old enough to babysit, you can offer to become a mother’s helper. In this role you can play with kids while the parents are making dinner or doing things around the house. This is a big help as the parents won’t have to constantly keep an eye on their kid and they can save a little money by not hiring a full-fledged babysitter.
#6. Recycle Aluminum Cans: This was another way I was able to earn some money growing up. We would buy soda in cans and then I would rinse out the cans (the reason is because in the summer bees and yellow jackets are attracted to the sugar) and crush them. Then I would throw them in a separate trash can. Once I filled the trash can, we would head to the scrap yard for me to sell them. At the time I was making $0.50 a pound.
At first things were slow. But then I was able to get the people at my Mom’s small office to separate their cans and take them as well. Right now, you can get a little more than the $0.50 a pound price I got.
#7. Teach Others Computer Programs: Many adults aren’t great with computers. Even if you don’t know how to use a computer program, odds are you could probably learn faster than most adults.
So find people who need help learning new programs and offer to teach them. There is no telling when you might need to use the same program in the future. Or even better, you might realize there is a smarter way to do something and create your own computer program.
#8. Help A Neighbor Clean Up Leaves: The bane of many homeowners is leaf collection every fall. You can help neighbors pick up their leaves, saving them time and headaches. You could have them collect the leaves in one area and then you could rake and put them into bags. You can also rake out flower beds and gardens too.
If you are old enough, you might be able to use a leaf blower to pile them up and then collect them yourself.
#9. Wash Cars: Our cars cost us a lot of money and yet we neglect them all too often. By simply washing them a couple times a month, you can preserve the shine and potentially get more money when you sell or trade your car in.
That is your business pitch when you go around to neighbors asking if they want to have their car washed. All you need are two buckets, some car wash shampoo and microfiber towels.
Once you get some experience, you can offer more services to increase sales. But for starters, check out this tutorial so you can do a good job and earn a repeat client.
#10. Run Errands: Another great way to make money as a kid is to run errands for people. Whether it is a quick run to the post office to mail a package, a trip to the grocery store for milk, or even to the dry cleaners, there are many errands you can run for people.
#11. Teach About Electronics: Being tech savvy can allow you to help adults set up new DVD players, tablets, smart phones, etc. The list is really endless. All you have to do other than helping out is to get your name out there so you can really make some extra money.
#12. Mow Lawns: If you enjoy being outdoors, you can start a lawn mowing service. Depending on how your neighborhood is set up, you could use their mowers or use your parents. In either case, you can earn a decent amount of money for a few hours of work.
And if you really want to make some money, recruit your friends. You can mow one yard while a friend mows another and you can split the profits.
#13. Water Plants: Go around to houses in your neighborhood and see if they have any plants that need watering. They may have planted new flowers or a garden that needs watering every night. After a long day at work, they might not feel like doing it.
If they have indoor plants, you can offer to water them after school, saving your neighbors time.
#14. Create An App: Have an idea for a new game app? It is easier than ever to create an app and get it onto iTunes or Google Play. Just take your time learning the ropes and submit it.
When you start out, don’t focus on making a lot of money in terms of success or failure. Just try to get it into these stores. If you can do that, you can potentially outsource your knowledge and charge others who want to create an app.
#15. House Sit When On Vacation: If you have neighbors that are going away on vacation, you can help them by house sitting their home while they are away. You can do this by picking up their mail, packages or newspaper or even putting their trash out to be picked up.
Some people might just want you to stop by each day to make sure there aren’t any issues with their house.
If you are old enough you could take this one step further and stay at the house if they don’t live within walking distance.
#16. Set Up Social Media Accounts For Others: Most kids know more about social media than the average adult. As a result, you can easily help them set up new accounts and give them a few lessons on how to use social media for a small fee.
After a few clients, you might even have a list of common questions and issues most people face and can create a guide for them to refer to. By giving them this guide you look more professional and they might be more inclined to refer you to their friends.
#17. Create Videos: You can make some serious money on YouTube. All you need is to create some informative or funny videos and upload them online. As your videos get watched, you will earn a small income from the ads that play at the beginning.
And as more and more people watch your videos, you will earn even more money. But don’t think this is going to happen overnight. It will take some time to build a following. But if you are patient and upload quality videos, viewers will come.
Below is a good video showing some strategies to try out.
#18. Shovel Driveways/Sidewalks: In the winter, you can make some good money by shoveling neighbors driveways and sidewalks. You might even want to reach out to local businesses too if they are nearby.
Bonus points if you are old enough to be able to operate a snow blower. This would make the job much easier.
#19. Walk Pets: Another way for kids to make money is to walk their neighbors pets. If they don’t get home until late from work, you could stop in after school (or anytime during the summer) and let Fido out and take him for a walk.
And don’t think it stops at dogs. While you can’t walk a cat or a fish or bird, you can still check in on them, feed them and maybe play with them for a bit. People see their pets as part of the family so they are willing to pay to make them feel special.
#20. Pet Sit: If your neighbors are going away and don’t need you to house sit, you could offer to pet sit. The fee to pay you might be less than a kennel and they will be able to stay in their own house and not be stuck in a cage.
Just be sure to feed, water and walk/play with them a few times a day and you should be on your way to making some extra money.
#21. Create Craft Jewelry: If you enjoy making crafts, you can turn this into a way to make some money. There are many places you can sell your crafts – at local fairs and bazaars, at consignment shops, even to friends at school.
You could also set up an online store with Etsy and sell online there and on eBay or Craigslist too.
#22. Help A Neighbor Pull Weeds: During spring and summer, helping out with pulling weeds can be a job neighbors are willing to pay for. It is tough work for adults (especially those with bad back) to pull weeds and having a young, able bodied kid do the work is something they would consider.
#23. Do Yard Work: Taking the above point one step further, you could offer to help out with other yard work as well. Pick up twigs, rake cut grass, etc. The options are almost endless as everyone has some yard work they have been meaning to get to. They may be willing to pay you just so they can get it done.
#24. Tutor: If you are good in math or reading, you might be able to tutor other kids for a small fee. You most likely know who in class isn’t as strong in a subject as you are, so you can approach them and offer to tutor them for a small fee. You could also have your parents reach out to their parents and mention how you would like to tutor their kid for a small fee.
Since tutoring lessons can be costly, hiring you for the short term could be just want parents are looking for.
#25. Give Music Lessons: If you play an instrument well, you can offer to teach others how to play. This is one of the best ways for kids to earn money because music lessons can be expensive. By offering a low rate, kids can try out an instrument without committing a lot of money or time into learning it.
Not only will this help them to better understand what instrument they want to play (if any), it also saves the parents money too.
#26. Sell Online: If you have a bunch of toys or games you no longer play with, you can sell them online on sites like Craigslist or eBay. You will need some help from your parents to get the account set up and even handle shipping or meeting the buyer when it comes to Craigslist, but for the most part, you can do this on your own.
#27. Sell Online For Others: After you sell your stuff, you might be able to help your parents de-clutter the house. Offer to sell things for them for a small fee. Once you have some experience doing this, you might even offer your services out to neighbors and others in your community.
#28. Resell Things: Related to the point above, maybe you have an interest in a certain area and know the value of things. If you do, you can go around to yard sales in the area and find valuable items at a discount and then resell them online for a profit.
For me, I’ve done this with video games. I know which older games are valuable and when I find them at yard sales in good condition and at the right price, I buy them and then sell them online for a profit.
Even if you don’t have a strong knowledge of what is valuable in your field of interest, you can spend some time online and figure it out. Just search for your items and include the words “rare” or “valuable” in the search to find some examples.
For example, if you were interested in video games, you would search for ‘rare video games’ or ‘valuable video games’. You can also search around on eBay to see what is selling for a high price.
To do this, just search completed items and you will see what really sells. You can also search for items and include “rare” in your search to find some that you might otherwise miss.
#29. Fiverr Gigs: Are you familiar with the site Fiverr? It’s a great place to earn money for doing various tasks. In fact, many of the computer and photo editing ideas I list here you can do on Fiverr.
The reason you would want to use Fiverr is because you can get exposure to a lot more people than just in your neighborhood.
To start, figure out what you enjoy doing and do the best. Then research it on Fiverr. See what others are offering and for what price. In the beginning you may need to offer more to get your rating up, but focus on doing the best job and you will get more and more gigs. You can check out this guide for tips to get started and be successful.
#30. Resell Golf Balls: I love this option for making money as a kid. If you live near a golf course, you can make out like a bandit with this one. Just spend some time in the woods looking for lost golf balls. Be sure to take a backpack with your so you can carry all the ones you find.
Take them home and throw out any with scuff marks or cuts on the cover. For the rest, clean them up with some soap and a tooth brush. Finally, sort through them by brand. Put the Nike balls together in one bag and the Noodles in another. Then go try to sell them to golfers at the course.
For reference, I buy second-hand balls like this all of the time at WalMart. Golf balls are expensive and this saves me some money. For a 12 pack of balls, I pay $10. Sell your golf balls for a similar price and rake in the money.
#31. Swagbucks: Do you enjoy watching videos? Like to play games online? Then Swagbucks is for you. When you play games or watch videos, you can earn points that you can redeem for cash or gift cards. There are many other things you can do on the site as well to earn points that you can turn into cash. And if you are a parent reading this, you can do this too!
They offer a search function that you earn points every time you do an online search.
You can sign up for free here and get started!
#32. Inbox Dollars: Similar to Swagbucks is InboxDollars. On this site you can do the same things and earn points for cash or gift cards. My suggestion would be to try out both to see which one offers you the games you enjoy the most and the best points per time spent.
Once you figure this out, then you can focus on one site and earn the most points possible.
You can sign up for free here.
#33. Recycle Copper Wire: This is something I do for extra money and there is no reason why you can’t do it either. There are scrap yards that collect copper wire and pay you a couple dollars per pound.
To get started, just go around your house and find wires that aren’t being used. This includes old HDMI cables, USB cables, coaxial cables, etc. You can even use a pair of pliers to snip off the power cord of broken items your parents might be throwing away.
Once you have collected everything at the house, start going around the neighborhood asking for unneeded cables. Be sure to bring pliers for anything they are throwing out that has a power cable.
Once you have a nice assortment, have one of your parents drive you to a local scrap yard and sell your cable for profit.
#34. Bake Sale: Do you enjoy baking? If so, then you can hold a bake sale. You can make various treats and go door-to-door in your neighborhood selling them. Once you find out your best sellers, focus on these and expand.
Maybe one of your siblings plays soccer. If so, go along with your treats and sell to the other parents. Find other opportunities where you can sell your baked goods. If your treats are good enough, soon people will be seeking you out.
#35. Window Washer: In addition to helping out around the house mentioned earlier, you could offer to wash windows. This would be best on first floors since you won’t have to worry about climbing a ladder, but washing the outside of windows is a chore most people overlook. Bonus points if the house has new windows that tilt in. Then you can clean windows on the upper floors without needing a ladder.
It’s easy to do and looking out a perfectly clean window is a treat!
#36. Trash Can Service: When neighbors are away, you can help out by taking care of their trash. You simply take out the trash the night before and put the trash cans back after the garbage man comes by.
You can even do this for people who are not on vacation. I know many people who would pay to have this done. It is one less thing they have to remember to do once a week.
#37. Mail Service: Related to the above is getting the mail. While you can put a hold on your mail while on vacation, you still have to pick it up at the post office when you return. In some cases, the post office will deliver all of the accumulated mail, but sometimes they won’t.
This is where you step in. You can offer to pick up mail instead of having people place a hold on it. This is ideal especially on short trips people might take.
Another time you might get interest is around the holidays. More and more people shop online and risk having their packages stolen by thieves driving around the neighborhood. You could hold onto the package or put them in their garage or out back so people driving by won’t see something on the front porch.
And as with the trash can service, you can offer to pick up the mail on a daily basis too.
#38. Nanny: Are there any children in your neighborhood? Over the summer months, you could offer to watch the kids during the day. This would save the parents a ton of money on day care for the couple of months their kids are off from school.
This is especially true since most day care centers require full payment even if the child is away for a week while on vacation.
#39. Home Cook: If you like to cook, you can offer to cook meals for people. I know there are times when I come home from work and the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. While I do sometimes spend a Sunday cooking for the week, it would be nice to have some fresh meals and not have to do the cooking.
To get started, figure out what recipes you can easily make and put them on your menu of options. Then find customers who want a good, home cooked meal.
#40. Digitize Photos: Many adults have old paper photos laying around the house or in photo albums. For many, these photos are their only copy and if they would lose them, it would be heartbreaking.
You can help out by turning these photos into digital prints. All you need is a computer and printer that scans. Thanks to technology, you can get a good scanner for a lot less than you might think. Here is a perfect example of a great scanner at an amazing price.
Once you scan the photos, save them on a thumb drive and return them to your customer. As an added bonus, you could work out a package deal to create some photobooks mentioned earlier too.
#41. Paper Route: Yes people still read the newspaper. And these newspapers need to be delivered. If you enjoy getting up early in the morning, then this is an option for you. You get assigned a route and go pick up the papers first thing in the morning and deliver them to customers.
In the old days, you would have to collect money too, but that is no longer the case. Just deliver the newspaper and you are done.
#42. Help Seniors: Another way to make money as a kid is to help out seniors. You can simply check in on the elderly a couple days a week for a neighbor or you could commit more time with them and play games or keep them company.
You might even be able to do chores for them while you are there. Anything you can do to help out would be appreciated.
#43. Be An Assistant: There are a lot of self employed people these days and there is always more work than they can handle. You can help out by becoming an assistant.
The type of work you will do is endless. You might mail letters. You might help out with online activities. It really comes down to the profession of the self-employed person.
#44. Make Dog Treats: People love their pets, especially their dogs. Jump online and find a few dog treat recipes that you can easily make. I suggest you try 2 or 3 and then ask friends or neighbors if you can give their dog a treat.
If the dog likes it, you know you are on to something. Make more and start selling them around your neighborhood. You should head to the park too on a nice day and try to sell there as well.
Finally, if there are any pet stores near you, ask if you can sell your treats by the front register.
#45. Wash Bikes: Just like washing cars for your neighbors, you can wash bikes for your friends and neighbors. Washing a bike will take you a lot less time than a car, so you could make a good deal of money.
Bonus points if a neighbor of yours is an avid bike rider. You might be able to talk them into telling their riding buddies about your service. While they come over to drink a beer with your neighbor, you can wash their bike.
#46. Spread Mulch: Another task you can do around the house for neighbors is to spread mulch. Most people lay fresh mulch in flower beds and around trees in the spring, so this would be a perfect complement to any lawn mowing or leaf rake service you may offer.
#47. Test Websites: Have you heard of UserTesting? It’s a website that website owners use to get feedback on their sites. They will create a job on the site asking for testers to give feedback about their website or ask a tester to perform a search on their site.
You as the tester will screen record your experience and give feedback both orally and written. The process takes around 10 minutes and you earn $10 per test.
#48. Birthday Party Helper: Parents throw big parties for their kids birthdays. Many times it is stressful trying to plan the logistics and set everything up. You can help out in a couple ways.
First, you could offer to help set up. While the parents do the bigger jobs, you could set the tables or do a little last minute clean up.
Another option is to offer to watch their kids while they do the set up. Not having to worry about their kids will make the set up go a lot smoother.
#49. Price Comparison Shopper: Most people are stretched when it comes to free time. But we still need to buy certain things. This is where you come in. Become a price comparison shopper.
You have people tell you what they are looking for and then you go find the best price. You can check out Amazon and WalMart online to start and then go from there. Once you have the best price, report back to them and collect a small fee.
In addition to this, you may even offer to buy the item for them so they don’t have to order it. Just add a few dollars to the total as your fee and make sure you let them know what your fee it.
And if you want to make extra money doing this, open up a free account on Ebates. You will get earn cash back for purchases you make through the shopping portal, earning you even more money.
There were 49 easy ways for kids to earn money. As I mentioned at the start, not all of the jobs listed might be applicable to you, but odds are there are a handful of ideas in this list that you can start using today.
So what are you waiting, share the list with your kids so they can start earning money today! And be sure to teach them about money too!
Readers, what additional ways for kids to earn money would you add to this list?
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Compounding Pennies. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.