There’s never a bad time to start earning money – or to start developing a sound work ethic – so encouraging your children to make a little cash of their own is always a great idea.
More to the point, your kid might even want to earn a little money for any number of reasons; it might make them feel grown-up and responsible, or they may have something in mind that they want to buy for themselves, for example.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of twenty-six ways your kids (regardless of their ages) can earn themselves a little cash. If you want to help your offspring find their way in the world and learn what it’s like to make money, this is for you.
Let’s get to it…
26. Sell Old Stuff
Let’s face it, kids accumulate a lot of stuff! They quickly grow out of clothes and shoes, their tastes in toys change, they always want the latest games consoles and so forth – but they’re also often hesitant to get rid of it.
A great incentive for them to let go of their old stuff is to let them sell it and keep the money!
Whether they have a garage/yard sale or list it online (on eBay, for example), selling their old stuff (assuming it’s in a saleable condition) is a super way for them to make a little cash.
Babysitting is the classic way for older children (namely teenagers) to make a little money for themselves.
Whether it’s babysitting within the family – for younger siblings or cousins, for example – or outside of it, it’s a great way for kids to learn how to be responsible for others.
Once the babysitter in question gets a few regulars, they will undoubtedly provide referrals to more and more parents (assuming the job done is a sufficient one), which will subsequently bring in more business!
24. Dog Walking
Dog walking is a great way for anyone to make money – and if your child is old enough and responsible enough (and obviously comfortable handling canines), they could do a lot worse than offering their services to local dog owners.
It would get them outside, teach them responsibility and, of course, make them a little dough!
They could also offer pet sitting services – or indeed any services that help people to look after their pets when they’re unable to (such as while they’re on vacation or at work).
23. Pooper Scooping
Another pet-related method of making money for your kid could be as a pooper scooper!
Now, granted, this is a dirty job and not one that anybody wants to do – but that’s kind of the point! There are dog owners out there who hate cleaning up the mess in their gardens – and they’re happy to pay people to do it on their behalf.
Let’s be honest, as unappealing as it is, it’s very, very easy – and given that it will make your kid a few bucks, it’s far from the end of the world in the grand scheme of things!
22. Yard Work
Yard work comes in many forms – and it’s a great way for a budding entrepreneur to start making money from a relatively young age!
It could involve mowing lawns, weeding, raking leaves or even planting a fresh row of flowers!
Yard work can actually turn into a great little side business – especially for kids who live in an area that is warm all the time. Weekends could become highly profitable for your offspring!
21. Newspaper Delivery
A classic way of making money as a child (and of the few “real” jobs kids can have) is delivering newspapers.
Your kid will need to be an early riser to do this – because customers demand their newspapers be delivered in time to read them before they head out to work – but it will keep them active and obviously earn them a little cash.
Hey, they could even think of it as playing a real life version of the classic video game “Paperboy”!
If you want to personally encourage your child to start earning money for themselves, why not pay them a small amount of money to do general chores around your home?
From something as simple as making their own bed on a morning, to doing things like washing up and hoovering, it’s a great way to instil a work ethic in them.
Starting them off by rewarding them for carrying out the simplest of tasks from a young age is a great way to get them into the habit of working for money.
Running errands is a great way to get your kids out of the house in this day and age (when they spend so much time in front of a screen) and, if they’re old enough, having them pick up some groceries for a small financial reward is a fantastic idea.
It’s setting them up for a job they’ll have to do regularly for themselves when they’re older, while simultaneously earning them a little cash and making your life easier.
If it’s something they’re happy doing, they could even offer their services to other people locally – perhaps elderly neighbours who struggle to get around, but are happy to pay a little money to a hardworking youngster in order to have their shopping picked up, for example.
18. Sell Crafts
Crafts items are things that almost anyone can sell for cash – including kids.
Crafts can include things like bracelets and keychains, but older children could create more elaborate items, such as jewellery.
Costume jewellery sells extremely well online or through places like Etsy – and the great thing about creating it is that you can also go to places like flea markets and art shows to sell your items.
17. Lemonade Stand
A truly tried and tested way for kids to make a little cash is with a good old-fashioned lemonade stall.
Adults are generally more than happy to spend a couple of dollars on a cup of homemade lemonade when it’s being sold by a child looking to make a little moolah!
Whether it’s simply because they love the nostalgia or because they genuinely love lemonade, the delicious drink will definitely sell, so this is a great business idea for kids.
16. Recycling Cans
Kids can make money from collecting cans and recycling them wherever they are, but in some states it’s easier than others.
Have your kids search baseball fields, parks, in the streets, or just have them ask people if they can have their cans once they’re done with them!
Each can can be worth around five cents – and that can really add up over time!
15. Washing Cars
For kids who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and use a little elbow grease, car washing could be a wonderful way to make themselves a little money.
These days, pretty much everyone owns a car – and a large percentage of those people want their cars to look good.
With that in mind, your kid could go door to door in your neighborhood advertising their services – and, let’s be honest, most kids like using a hosepipe and getting wet, so they’d probably enjoy it!
Another job that adults don’t really enjoy doing, but one that kids do enjoy doing, is painting.
Kids love anything that’s a little messy, so why not encourage yours to offer their services as a painter or decorator?
Now, we’re not expecting your child to be an expert in what is a respected trade, but any surfaces that only require relatively crude paint application – such as a plain wall, a fence or a shed – could easily be painted by a youngster in exchange for a little cash.
13. Web Design
It’s amazing how many kids have their own websites these days – whether it’s a blog, a picture gallery or just a homepage about all the things they like – and if your kid (presumably a teenager, in this case) knows his or her onions when it comes to web design, why not encourage them to make some money from it?
Simply have them check your local chamber of commerce, look for all the local businesses that don’t have a website, pay them a visit and offer to build them one.
When it comes to their first client, have them offer a discount and ask for referrals in return – that’s the start of a real business venture right there!
A great way to make money as a teenager is to tutor (you know, assuming the teenager in question is good at the subjects they’d be tutoring).
Think about it: teens have access to a huge audience in the form of their high school – and who better to teach younger kids than the older kids who have the relevant information stored relatively fresh in their minds?
Heck, if they’re comfortably with the idea, they could even tutor someone their own age who might be struggling with a certain subject – and teenagers can easily charge twenty dollars an hour or more!
11. Graphic Design
It’s amazing how many kids are a dab hand at graphic design these days – so why not have yours make some money from it?
If you know of anyone starting up a business of any kind, ask them if they need a logo for their business and have your kid design it for them!
Graphic design is fun and encourages creativity – and if your kid is one of the millions who know their way around graphic editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop, for example), what’s stopping them from earning a few bucks from their skill?
We touched on the idea of kids blogging in the web design entry, but your youngster could actually make some money by starting a blog if they have good quality content and regularly upload new entries.
Blogs do take time to monetize, but there’s absolutely no doubt that they can eventually create a passive income.
That means your kid could be making money while doing nothing, just because other people are reading their blog and clicking on the monetized links on it. Easy!
YouTube is absolutely huge – every teenager in the world knows that – and while becoming a bona fide YouTube star is by no means easy, it’s absolutely worth giving it a go.
If your kid enjoys being in front of the camera and has something interesting to say about a popular topic, building a following on the massively popular video-sharing platform could be a fantastic way to make a lot of money.
Money is made by becoming an affiliate or through advertisement revenue – and the content could be anything from product reviews, product unboxing or gaming footage.
Of course, YouTube isn’t the only popular online platform on which people can make money these days – and if you have a teenager who doesn’t want to be in a video, but who loves taking photographs, Instagram could be for them.
The photo-sharing service (which does actually also host short videos) is used by some of the largest ad marketing agencies in the world to sell their products.
If your account can accrue a large following, you could begin selling those products to your followers and earning money as a result.
If your kid is into photography and takes beautiful, intriguing snaps as one of their hobbies, they might want to consider uploading their images to stock photo sites like Shutterstock and iStock.
One they’ve done that, every time someone downloads their images, they’ll get paid a percentage! How could they possibly dislike that idea?
Not only would they be getting paid for something they enjoy doing, it also encourages them to get creative – which is always a good thing.
if your kid is just generally great with computers, let your friends know – especially the ones who aren’t so adept with technology – and have them pay your son or daughter to help them whenever help is required.
If they need upgrades, a virus removing, new hardware setting up, or simply teaching how to use certain software or the internet – anything really – your kid could earn a little cash by assisting.
It will also help your kid to further develop their own skills and could be the start of a lucrative career in the computing industry!
5. Social Media Manager
This is a job that didn’t even exist not so long ago but, these days, if a business doesn’t have a social media presence, they run a severe risk of lagging behind the competition.
Given how much time your teenager probably spends on the likes of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, couldn’t they also quite easily manage the social media accounts of a business?
You kid could get paid to post on all of those platforms and interact with the respective business’ customers! Just have them look around for companies with no social media presence, then contact them offering their services!
Surveys are a very easy way for youngsters to make money – and who doesn’t like taking a survey?!
While completing surveys online wont make your teenager a millionaire, it will certainly provide them with a little extra money each month (although it should be noted that some websites pay in rewards that have to be spent in certain places, as opposed to straight-up cash).
Have them check out the likes of Swagbucks, American Consumer Opinion, Survey Junkie, Pinecone Research and Harris Poll Online, just for a few examples.
3. As An Entertainer
Being an entertainer is a great way to make money for people of all ages, kids included – especially if entertaining people is something that just comes naturally.
Whether your kid is a singer, a clown, a magician or just has a knack for making people laugh and smile, they could very easily turn it into a tasty profit by selling event packages for birthday parties or events.
This is a particularly great method of making money for outgoing teenagers – although, obviously, doing something like this may not be for everyone.
If your teenager is a sports fan with particularly thick skin, why not have them consider doing some refereeing or umpiring? It’s a relatively easy way to make money as a teen!
They might need to do a short course (although that’s not necessarily a requirement in all settings), but it’s worth it.
Of course, the “thick skin” comment was merely in jest – a teenager should be able to take the inevitable complaints of younger children without too much fuss!
If you have a teenager who’s a keen athlete and wants to make money, coaching other (probably younger) kids could be a great way for them to make a little money.
They could coach soccer, basketball, baseball, football, tennis or golf – or any other sport they’re good at, for that matter!
As a teenager, coaching kids is also very rewarding and can help to gain experience if they’re looking to embark on a career in sports in general. As well as obvious places like schools and at local teams and clubs, have them look at places like your local YMCA to see if they allow for coaching.