5 Teen Money Makers that think outside the box

teen money makers

Teen money-making ideas

Teens have a tough time finding employment before age 16 and even after 16 it’s difficult to balance a job with homework and other activities.

My daughter was going to lifeguard this summer at the local water park, but decided that working with a 1:1 swim coach, joining a swim team, and catching up on her tutoring hours, she couldn’t fit it in.  I know many teens struggle with keeping to a good schedule when school’s out.

She still needs to earn some money, though!  She has her eye on a trip next summer and I’m sure dreams of the freedom of owning her own car.  (scary stuff)

Here are our top 5 teen money makers that you might not have thought of. Some of these we have done and some we plan to try this summer.

#1 Sammie’s Summer School

teen money makers

Last summer Sammie hosted “Sammie’s Summer School”- a once a week playdate for kids ages 3-6.  They had a theme every week, worked on a letter of the day, had “recess” and art and basically had fun playing with their friends.

We set a cap on the number of kids we thought we could handle, arranged for Spencer to be out of the house every Monday morning, and printed up a simple flyer.

We emailed moms we thought might be interested and watched as the spots filled up the first week we advertised!

She made over $400 on a 9-week program and worked  4-5 hours a week.  2 1/2 hours were when the kids were here and she probably spent 1-2 hours in preparation for the lessons, games, and activities.

We had a blast doing it and she learned how hard it really is to keep a small handful of preschool age kids busy for 2 1/2 hours.  🙂

Here is her flyer and registration form if your teen would like a format to go off of:

Sammie’s Summer School Flyer and Registration Form

#2 Sitting with the elderly

When Sammie was 12 she started working for a friend of ours sitting with her elderly mother for a few hours at a time.  We live right down the street, she had access to a telephone in case of an emergency, and the mother was in good physical health, she just got lonely during the day.

Sammie would do cross words, watch TV, have the woman help her with craft projects and just keep her company.  She charged a low rate so our friend felt like she could schedule her often.

Of course, don’t get your kid involved in a situation where the elderly person has a lot of scary medical concerns or lives far away, but for a woman in good health who just needed company, Sammie was a great fit.

#3 Summer Classes

This summer after tutoring is over Sammie is going to offer a one-time hair braiding class to friends and their younger siblings.  She plans to charge just $10 per person for a morning of instruction.  She has become the hair stylist in her group of friends and I’m sure they will be excited to learn some of her tricks.

Does your child have a skill they can teach others?  Sammie learned to braid on youtube! Remember to be an expert you only have to be one step ahead of the other guy.  🙂

Here’s the other class Sammie is offering this summer.  We are very excited for this one.

teen money makers

Her plan is to invite the girls over every afternoon for a week for 2-3 hours.  She will have a theme every day like her summer school and do crafts like duct tape wallets, dream poster collages, weaving, painting and more.

These girls look up to teens and I’m sure they will love the chance to hang with such a cool kid!

#4 eBook

Sammie is in the process of writing a short eBook for kids who have life-threatening food allergies.  She wants to encourage young kids to be proactive with their label reading and learn to be self-advocates for their health.

She isn’t planning on charging a lot for the eBook, but it will be an awesome passive income once it’s done even if it’s just a few dollars here and there.

Ebook writing resources:

Amy Lynn Andrews has a tutorial  how to write an eBook.

Just a Girl and her Blog has a post called How to write and launch an eBook in 3 weeks

We also enjoyed researching this small eBook guide from Money Making Mommy.


#5 Recess (Or Mother’s Helper)

teen money makers

Sammie and Tyler both have worked as a mother’s helper.  Basically, they go over and play with little kids. No diapers or putting down for naps, no responsibility except to play- because Mom is in the house.

Sammie started as a mother’s helper when she was 10 and Tyler is going to start offering a “recess” this summer.

It’s a great age to earn a small wage and learn the value of hard work. It’s also great training for babysitting later because let’s face it, babysitting is good money and a great experience for teens.

My kids charge $1 or $2 an hour per child and work 1-2 afternoons a week.  They still want time to do fun stuff!  For ideas for free fun activities check out our Summer Bucket List!

Shoot me an email if you want this flyer for your active pre-teen kid and I’ll be happy to change the name for you!  No need to do the work again.  Same goes with Sammie’s.  dereth (at) bird with a list (dot) com

Bonus Tip #1 Work on Scholarships

In Missouri, we have a grant program that will help cover the first 2 years of a community college if you hit certain criteria: volunteering hours, tutoring hours, keeping your GPA up, and not missing school, are just a few requirements of this grant.

Sammie is working as a tutor part-time through the month of June.  She’s a volunteer, but I look at it as a big investment in her future.

Bonus tip #2 Ask around

Spread the word among your friends that your kids are looking for work.  You’ll be surprised at the odd jobs that will pop up from family and friends who need yard work done, dogs walked, decks painted, or sticks picked up after a storm.

What do your teens do to earn money?




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