How Can Kids and Young Adults Make Money?

Category Employment
Children and young adults often have difficulty finding ways to make some money for things they would like to buy or for savings. This is a page about how can kids and young adults make money?


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August 8, 2007

We have been getting a lot of requests from young folks looking for ways to make money before school starts. Here are some Brainstormed ideas for them by the ThriftyFun community. What are your tips for what kids can do to make money? Post them below.

Susan from ThriftyFun

Very Important: Before starting any job or trying any money making ideas, you should run them by your parents.

Pet Sitting

How about starting a pet sitting service for neighbors who are going on vacation? The kids can feed and play with cats, change litter; walk and feed dogs; feed birds and fish and keep their respective homes clean and uncluttered. This works well for city as well as suburban dwellers. My son put a sign up on the bulletin board in near the mailboxes in our building and had a very successful (financially) summer.

By Alice

Errands for Elderly Neighbors

The old standbys are yard work, pet sitting, and car washing. How about running errands in the neighborhood? In small towns or in areas where there is a grocery store close by, elderly folks or someone who can't get out, might be thankful to have someone run to the store to pick up milk, bread or other small items for them. Make up a brochure and leave it with folks who can then call you when they need your service. Another thing that could be done is assisting with light housekeeping such as taking out the garbage, vacuuming, dusting, emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes, matching socks, etc.

By Sandi

Wash Cars

How about asking your parents if you could wash their car? Cars are constantly getting dirty (thanks to the birds), meaning they always need cleaning. Ask your parents for $20 per car you clean and you should be making tons of money by the end of the week. Hey, and maybe while you're cleaning their car, someone might ask you to do theirs too. A business in the making.

By Kandi

Start Working Before You Are 16

This may be a little too "mainstream" but we just got our 14 (almost 15) year old daughter a job at McDonald's. They will hire kids that young. Personally, I believe teaching our kids to work is one of the best things we can do for them. Even if they "hate" the job, it teaches them a lot. Also, our daughter has taken lifeguard training through the park system and when she is 16, if she passes certification, will be able to get a lifeguard job. If your child is into sports, umpiring is a way to earn money. Normally, there is some sort of training before the season starts. Country clubs may hire kids to caddy. Of course, these are not "occasional" types of jobs just to earn a little spending money and won't work if that is what they want to do.

By Jan

Be a Class Helper

If you have a local dance class in your area, ask the teacher if they need any help passing out supplies. My two sons volunteer at the local YMCA dance classes for kids ages 4-6. My boys are 9 and 12. The boys help out in classes after school twice a week and the teacher generously pays them $10 a week. The boys enjoy helping out and are proud of their earnings. It also teaches the boy responsibility.

By Kelly

Garage Sale

They can have a garage sale if they have old things they need to give away.

By Celeste

Invest In A Lawn Mower

Ok, the absolute best way for any kid who is responsible enough to make money in the long run is to buy a lawn mower, preferably a riding one, and offer to cut grass. This may seem unrealistic but let me explain. One could ask his/her parents to take him/her to the bank and get a loan for however much the lawn mower would cost. (around $1000) Now, go and buy a lawnmower that is capable of vacuuming the leaves and grass and other debris into bins, THIS IS CRUCIAL. Now you may cut grass professionaly in the summer and vacuum leaves professionaly in the fall! Considering you make $20 a yard, cut at least 2 yards a day, you will make $560 a month! The lawnmower will be paid off if you work hard in June and July. August through November, you will make money! Roughly $2000! Then you store the lawn mower until spring where you can continue the business in the spring, summer, and fall of next year!

By Keith

Lemonade Stand And More Tips

The kids sold lemonade and cookies during our neighborhood garage sale. They made $30! That was profit, paying back Mom for supplies. The kids will also be pet-sitting, which they love animals. Last year my son cut the neighbor's lawn and house-sat while they were on vacation. Sometimes the kids have the best ideas given the chance.

By Amy

Hold a Car Wash, Yard Sale And Other Ideas

My kids make extra money by holding a " new school clothes" fund raising car wash. My 11 year old cares for pets while neighbors are out of town, just about twice a month, for $10 a day! She just made $40 this weekend! They also host a "fund raiser yard sale" where they sale their clothes that they can't wear anymore. Usually we donate old clothes though. Tell them to get creative! What is something they are good at, like soccer. They can host a "soccer camp" in their backyard one week.

By Becky from Alabama

Neighborhood Newsletter

How about starting your own little neighborhood newsletter using your own computer and printer? First you print up a sample newsletter with nothing but neighborhood news (A lot of good news) Then pass out this newsletter to your defined neighborhood. Now you can charge your neighbors a subscription for this letter, but it would be better off to give it to them free. What you make your money on is selling ads to all those youth like yourself that need neighborhood jobs. So much for a ad for a 10 year old dogwalker or a 13 year old car washer. Sell your ads by each edition whether it be weekly, bi weekly or monthly. Make sure you set up a space in your free edition telling all the neighbors that you are selling ads. Oh, you can also list yard sales, cars for sale or furniture, whatever. You won't become rich but I'll bet you can earn enough to get your IPod.

Neighborhood News Flash: Mr. Thrifty Is Gone

By Michael Ruger

Get Paid For Chores or Babysitting

I saw a TV show one time and the father had an absolutely wonderful idea. His son broke one of his electronic games. His father who was very wealthy refused to buy a new one and made his son earn money to buy a new one. So for each chore he did, (cleaning up the kitchen, taking out the trash, washing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, etc) he got a $1.00. Each week he was paid for each item he did. The more he did, the more he got paid. Why couldn't a child do something like this for money. Any working parent would probably love to have kids help out around the house, especially after a long hard day at work. I know I would surely pay my kids to help out with chores around the house. Or do what I did my whole childhood, babysit. I had so many babysitting gigs I had to turn them down. There are tons of families out there who need responsible teens to babysit all summer long while school is out.

By Connie

Get A Paper Route

You can get a job at the local papershop by doing a paper route.

By Hannah

Making Money Advice

There is no such thing as making money "fast and easy". One may make money, yes, but it is a slow process and, at the same time, one has to SAVE! I agree with Sandy: yard work, cleaning, running errands, car washing, anything legal. Target single parents and the elderly, who may need someone to help. They may not be able to pay much, but if you save what you earn, you will also earn interest and eventually, you will get there! Also, make sure you know the difference between a wish and a want. Good luck!

By Willem

My elderly parents always wished they could hire kids to do the things their own kids used to do - like wash cars, mow the lawn, shovel snow from driveways, etc. Try approaching the senior citizens in your area and see if they have work to do, errands to run. Maybe you could take them grocery shopping, take them to the doctor's, run errands and so on.

When I was a kid, I also had a flare for running children's birthday parties, playing games and so on. I picked up money that way, too.

How about setting up a "summer camp" program for the little kids in the neighborhood and entertain them with crafts and games a few hours a day?

By pam munro

Great Ideas To Make Money

Ask your parents if you can use their lawn mower to mow people's grass. Offer to help pay for the gas with what you make.

Set up a mini daycamp for kids. It would just take a few hours a day but give the parent's a chance to run to the grocery store, clean, read a book or have a few friends over.

Talk to people in your neighborhood to see when they are going on vacation. Offer to take in the mail, newspaper, water the plants, take out the garbage/recycling, etc.

Find people that will hire you to walk their dog. Ask the same people if they will pay you to pick up after the dog. Not a glamorous job but I think you will find many people would pay for this.

Make some small crafts and sell them. Friendship bracelets, fun frames, whatever you have for crafts, see what you can make. If you live in an area where you have some traffic, set up a table similar to a lemonade stand.

Have a kid/teen garage sale. Advertise as this and get rid of the things that you no longer need but another kid would think is really cool.

Decorate/paint t-shirts and sell them.

Think out of the box for ideas.

By Leslie Hess

Advice From Other Kids

I'm, 11 and I really want an Xbox 360. I asked my mom if I could do extra stuff around the house and I get about $5 a day. But I'm done with all of that in a hurry. I want to do extra jobs, sometimes I work at my mom and dad's place and I get $5 an hour.

By Joey

I suggest mowing lawns. I'm 12 with a busy life and do it every Sunday. This way, I build muscles and get $10 an hour, that's an average of $50 on Sunday, alone.

By Matthew

I'm 13 and I luv fixin cars so my cousin put me in Quick Fit. Without him, I couldn't work there. Now that I work there, I get money and experience. Every Saturday, I get 80 pounds.

By Rizwan

One thing you could do that I've done over the summer is maybe get together with a couple of friends and start your own business like that. For instance "S&S Landscaping" and come up with something you both enjoy. That is how you make the most money. One thing I did to make money is buy bumper stickers for $0.99 then raise the price and sell them at $4.99. You could make a bumper sticker with your town's initials and sell them for that much more and make that much more profit!

By J-Dub

Well, what you can do is you can sell lemonade. Make flyers and hang them up and on any certain day, you can have a lemonade sell, $0.50 per cup. I've done it and altogether we got $40.00. Have a friend with you.

By Shaina

OK, well, if you play soccer, then refereeing is a great thing to do. You need to contact someone who is part of the soccer league in your town and get the information, take a course, and buy supplies. After you ref a few games, the cost of the course and uniform is gone. Seriously, this job is amazing. For 9-10 year olds, you make $16 per game, and for 11-12 year olds, you make $25. It is even more for older players but since you have to be older than the kids you ref, I don't know about the other rates.

By guyonthesidewalk

Well, you could sell stuff that you don't use anymore. Once I sold some old stuff and I got $200.00.


I think that kids should be able to work at restaurants and places like Kroger or Target. We need the money too, not just 15 or 16 year olds. Many people don't need their car washed or their lawn mowed, and, even if they did, they wouldn't hire kids that are 12 and under. <3 Good Luck

By hello

If you have some old video games or DVD's laying around, you should bring them to EB Games or Gamestop. They let you exchange the games/systems for some cash. An average working game usually gets about $10, depending on what it is- so that can really add up if you don't play a lot of your games. An entire video game system is even more- plus there's the controllers, which adds more money to the total.

By Christine

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February 25, 2014

I am 14 and I put up posters around town for my house sitting service during the summer. Before long, I had 5 different jobs lined up. I charged 5-10 dollars a day, depending on how much work it was. I made over four hundred dollar in about 8 months.

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Debra Frick
February 19, 2007

Here is a list of things that you can do to earn some cash for that something special you always wanted. There are many things you can do that are better than setting up a lemonade stand in your front yard.

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November 11, 2013

I'm 13, with sisters of 11 and 9. We live in a community with lots of little kids. In the summer, we hand out fliers and set up crafts.

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December 30, 2016

My daughter sets up a table on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and sells small munchies like fruit snacks, baggies of oyster crackers, and a drink; hot cocoa in the winter, lemonade in the summer.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I'm a teen in high school trying to earn money. The down side is the economy is really bad right now, so that isn't helping me find or earn money for college. I live in the country so it is kind of hard to do a newspaper route or shovel snow because local plows are every where and more efficient than what I probably could do. If you have any ideas please comment.

By bunny_puppy_animal lover from MI


December 27, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I agree babysitting is something everyone needs. If you make up signs you can hang them locally. Or even pet sitting or house sitting. When I was growing up I had a few people that would go away and I would go feed the dog, grab the mail for them, maybe water the plants, and what ever they asked me to do. I also had another woman that paid me to walk or bathe her dog. Maybe light outside work someone in your area wants? House cleaning for someone? If you ask enough people you are bound to find someone who needs help. Print up some signs that say that you are a responsible High School teenager that is looking for work and note what you are wanting to do.

Just an FYI: Print the sign up and try to make it look mature, I just recently saw a sign similar to the one I am suggesting that the person made with all different colors of crayons and to me it looked a bit childish, if I was hiring someone to help me. I surely would want them mature enough to make a sign that doesn't look like they were 5.
Good luck and I hope that you find some work! It is great that you want to try to get out there and earn your own money!

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December 29, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

House cleaning or general chores. Lots of people can't afford a regular house keeper but need help with certain projects. I do once a month cleaning for two of my elderly neighbors. The hard stuff they can't do anymore like scrubbing floors and cleaning hard to reach places. I also help them with certain yard chores a few times a year. Also, you may be able to take care of people's pets while they are out of town. Before I had my own home and pets I used to house sit fairly often.

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January 2, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hmm... if you're not too proud to do the "dirty work," I'm sure there will be a lot of people willing to pay you. Muck out stalls at a nearby farm, or offer to "pooper-scoop" for people who don't or can't do it for their own pets.
If you have organizational skills, you may be able to Perhaps you could help someone catch up on phone calls or take messages, as a sort of part-time receptionist. help someone get their filing in order. Be a courier, delivering print messages and packages for a small fee. Be a part-time paid companion for an elderly person. Nothing delights my hubby more than having a new audience for the stories I've heard a million times! Put your creativity to work, and remember to think outside the box. Best to you in your job search!

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Answer this Question...

March 21, 2017

I am from India. I am 14 years old. Can you give me some tips for making money?

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July 6, 2013

I'm a girl that is not old enough to find proper work, but need a job to help my family. Do you know anything that I can do that wouldn't cost much? (Also I can't pet sit since we live in an apartment.)

By Abby S.


July 8, 20130 found this helpful

You may not be able to 'pet sit' but, you can walk can offer 1/2 hour slots or 1 hour slots. My grandson did very well at this. My other grandson offered 'poop scooping'. You can offer once a week (charging more) or several times a week which is preferred. People want their yards clean but poop picking falls behind... Bring a little bag or bucket of lime with you to sweeten the ground where you scoop.(adds a little professional touch and is cheap) Your goal is to get a few regular customers. Make sure you are reliable!!

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July 8, 20130 found this helpful

You might find someone in your neighbourhood who needs help with household chores such as weeding gardens or simple housecleaning tasks. Babysitting for age 12 and up is a good option. I believe dog walking can be a good moneymaker. For more permanent employment, you might try delivering newspapers. There is still a need for that, although they may have a minimum age now.

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July 8, 20130 found this helpful

Your post does not say how old you are. Are you old enough and responsible enough to babysit? Maybe a paper route? You will need your parents permission. When I was about 12, I sold greeting cards to my neighbors and friends.

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January 9, 2019

I am about to turn 15 in June. I need to find a job so I can make some money to get a car so I don't have to walk to school on cold mornings and so I don't have to ask for a ride to go places?

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I am a teenage guy who is looking for ways to make money this summer. Do you have any suggestions?

By Calvin Lyman from TX


April 23, 20090 found this helpful

Older folks or those with bad backs or even those without enough time to do their own yard work absolutely love to hire someone to bend down & do the weeding & mow the lawn for them. You could start a "Lawn service:" where you go back once a week. For example: Every other week you could mow & on the off weeks rake leaves & do a bit of weeding or offer to plant flowers. You can bill one of these customers monthly or weekly. My mother hired someone to come each week & keep the yard looking good they even came in the winter & would do some leaf blowing etc. but I'm different, I prefer to ONLY call the person when I need the lawn mowed & not have them just show up each week. Each client is different.

I'm one of those who needs to have a decent looking yard, but our bad backs hinder our doing a lot of our own yard work so just last week we paid a teenager $35 to mow our medium-sized yard. We would have paid him $40 if he would have also weed-eated but he didn't. The mowing took him 2 hours, so he made nearly $20 per hour. We didn't mind paying him that much because he had his own mower & also we knew that he mows for free (or at a great discount) for seniors with severe health problems. We would have paid him less if he had to use OUR mower & gas.

You can buy a brand new lawn mower for under $100 at Sears, so it's a great investment because you wouldn't want to accidentally harm a customers lawn mower. This way, if something happens it's YOUR mower. You can get a used lawn mower for that works for around $40.

Make up business cards & flyers stating the work you'll do. You may want to only mow lawns & not do weeding, it's up to you. You should then ride a bike or walk around your neighborhood at dinner time & knock on doors explaining your services. Be sure to dress neatly! Most people are like me, they are absolutely thrilled to see a teenager that doesn't mind working for a living & they will be happy to offer you a job! This is why they need to see you "face to face". Don't just leave your flyer or business card because they probably wont call you, they need to see you are a responsible & neatly dressed teenager that lives locally. (not a lawn-care company).

Also, take your flyers & put pull-off tabs at the bottom with your phone number & the words "lawn care" & your phone number on them then put these flyers up on bulletin boards at senior centers, grocery stores, churches, laundry-mats etc.

* It helps to offer a Senior discount of $10 (or 10% or so) off the price. (a senior is anyone over 60) Also, if it were me, I'd offer a satisfaction guarantee & not ask for any money until they are totally happy with your work. Also, if someone does a REALLY good job, I like to tip them an extra $5 or so... You can also offer a "$10 off - First time Special" or even give someone $10 off (or whatever) if they refer a friend to you as a regular customer. My chiropractor sends me a discount coupon in the mail for every person I refer to them. You could do something like this. Send them a "thank you" coupon in the mail for referring a friend to you. When someone calls & asks for your service say "How did you learn about me?" & this is how you'll know who referred them to you & if your advertising is going well. Once you get several regular customers, you'll be set!

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

When my boys were teens they made the rounds to all the contractors in the area and asked for any job at all. They got more than they could do but it sure was "grunt" work. They crawled under houses and dug out space for the skilled workers, they laid sod, they cleaned up after a building project, they cleaned garbage from rental houses, they did whatever they were asked. They also worked for farmers picking hay up in the fields and stacking it in barns. After one summer they never had to look for work again. These people called before school was even out asking for them. This wasn't "in the dark ages". These boys are 21 & 22 now. Make yourself available and willing and you'll get work. Good luck!

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

My brother bought his first car with money made from mowing yards.

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April 24, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks guys, I actually have been doing a yard service for the past few months now, and it has been going great. Thank's for the tips, I'm sure that they will help me get more business.

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June 17, 2013

I've been reading all the great ideas posted, however in Missouri there seems to be very little to no help. Are there any other self employment ideas?

By Shaunda


June 19, 20131 found this helpful

Mowing grass, cleaning houses, handyman jobs for senior citizens.

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June 20, 20131 found this helpful

Do you have a camera? Do you like to take pictures? Rather a digital camera or an instant polaroid camera, you can take pictures of people, pets, events, etc. People will pay you for the pictures, especially if you can make an album or a cd for them. Video cameras are great to make an income with too. Sometimes people want videos of their events, or portions of their events such as a wedding, or a father/daughter dance at a wedding reception. Or bigger still, video tape an event like a monster truck show. People will pay you for a vhs or a dvd of the event, especially if they missed it. This employment may involve a little bit of travel to get to the events but it is a wonderful self employment opportunity. You could even specialize in either school pictures, wedding events, pets, still life, etc . You can write to companies and ask if they want pictures taken of some or all of the products they sell for their brochures or advertisements. Write or call on insurance companies to take pictures of what their clients want to insure. Write or call on real estate agents to take pictures of homes or property that they are selling. You can take a picture of anything you want and sell them as your stock photos. These can be sold on ebay or on Shutterfly and many other websites. However, you must have a modeling contract to sell photos of people unless they cannot be recognized in the photo. The possibilities are endless with this. Go online and find other photographers in the field in which you want to specialize, to find out what they are charging for their services. Set your fees accordingly. I think this is a great self employment opportunity for young adults or even retired people (like me) looking to fill time and increase income. I hope this helps you. Good luck!

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April 21, 2014

How do you do a car wash?

By Caytlin

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I'm 13 and I really want to make money. I am really good with animals, I have a pet snake, a cat, and 2 dogs. My sis and I really want to make good money. We considered dog walking and if you think this is good, how much would be a good reasonable price to ask for? Also give other ideas. Thanx.

By nickdavis

Read More Answers

January 30, 2017

12 year olds are not old enough to work a regular part-time job. There are many jobs they can do for family, friends or neighbors. Get job ideas for a 12 year old in this page.

12 year old mowing a lawn.

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January 9, 2014

This page contains advice for teen babysitters. Taking care of other people's children is a great responsibility. There are many important things to keep in mind, to make childcare a successful experience.

Teen Babysitter Playing Dominoes with Child

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January 30, 2017

There are a variety of jobs that children can do to make money. The options depend on their age and experience. This is a page about 10 ways for kids to earn money.

10 Ways for Kids to Earn Money

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