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How to Make Easy Money as a Teenager

Updated: Jan 10

—Aurora, IL

woman earning money as it falls on her when she is on laptop or apple macbook working on business or doing a job
This minimalist graphic shows a woman earning money online. You can do the same!

Long gone are the days of teenagers being restricted to doing chores or babysitting as their lone source of income. Nowadays, teenagers wanting to make some extra money on the side have a wide variety of options to choose from. Some methods are easy to start, but produce less money. Other methods require more effort, but are worth it in the end due to the higher rate of pay. Making money not only provides teenagers with the freedom to spend their money on desired items, it also teaches them important financial skills like saving and investing. Many of the methods shown in this article are also online-based, which generally makes them easier to start. Getting involved with entrepreneurship early on will teach young entrepreneurs incredibly important and long-term life skills.


Starting off, some of the lowest-effort ways to make money include online surveys that the user can fill out in return for some cash. Swagbucks is one of the most popular sites with LifePoints, InboxDollars, and SurveyJunkie right behind. Rakuten, another popular site, offers cash back for items bought. Microsoft Rewards, an app that I personally use, offers points for completing quizzes and searching with Bing every day. Although Microsoft Rewards doesn’t give you money directly, you can redeem points for all kinds of gift cards. Game Pass, a game subscription service for Xbox, is a popular choice for Rewards users. Though they are easy, money from survey sites can accumulate quickly, especially if you use multiple at once.

These next activities are a bit more difficult and time-consuming, but you will definitely get much more money out of them. If you’ve got a lot of junk lying around your home, you could sell it online using sites like Decluttr or Facebook Marketplace. As they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This is a surprisingly quick way to make a few extra bucks without much physical effort, though you do need to make sure you market your item correctly in order to attract a buyer. You could even buy high-interest items, like the latest game consoles, and resell them to make a profit. This is a much more lucrative idea, but it can be difficult to acquire the item in the first place!


picture of facebook marketplace, now owned by meta platforms, showing furniture like couches, sofas, beds, drawers, chests, and also toys like figurines
This screenshot of Facebook Marketplace shows items typically sold here, including couches and beds.

If you’re good at writing and grammar, chances are that you will be perfect for proofreading. Many sites like Fiverr or Textmaster offer proofreading jobs where you can edit other people’s work for money. MTurk, a sub company of Amazon, offers freelance jobs for tasks that computers are not currently able to perform. Such tasks go way past proofreading to include identifying objects in images, answering questions from computers, transcribing audio content, and translating content to new languages. Additionally, if you are financially savvy, you can ask your parents to set up an investing account for you. Investing in stocks and bonds is a risky endeavor and requires prior capital, but it has a high rate of return if you play your cards correctly. It also provides valuable experience for the real world.


Another similar method is online tutoring, one of the best ways to make money as a teen. If you have skills in any subject, chances are you can sell those skills. If, for example, if you are good at math, you can tutor younger children on math topics that they may struggle with. The same goes for other school subjects like English, science, or social studies. Great sites include tutorme.com or Fiverr. Both offer great opportunities to make money and get tutoring experience in the process, although it can be difficult to attract potential students among the growing pool of tutors on the website. If people in your friend group or community need tutoring, you can set up private tutoring plans. Private tutoring often nets you more money than Fiverr or tutorme.com. You can tutor students online or in-person—this really shows the freedom and flexibility that tutoring offers. Depending on your skills, you can even set your own rates for tutoring. If you have a record of being high-achieving academically, you can set higher prices, especially if you have standardized test scores to back it up (such as PSAT or SAT). Overall, tutoring is optimal for teens because of its flexibility and money-earning potential.


Now, these are some methods that can be difficult to fit into a schedule, but offer the highest money potential. If done right, these methods could really make you rich for your age! First up on the list is freelancing. Freelancing is a broad term that just means selling your skills online. This could mean creating websites, writing articles, managing social media accounts, programming apps, or designing graphics. The thing about freelancing is that you can do just about anything that you’re good at. If you have a gift for design, you could design websites for businesses. Businesses can pay upwards of a thousand dollars for just one website. Making graphic designs for businesses may pay less, but it is also easier to make one design, making both options more or less equally lucrative. If you were to make an app, you could sell it on the App Store and get money every time a user downloads your app. Other options include creating in-app purchases or displaying ads. Making apps usually provides passive income years after you actually make the app!


minimalist icon of youtube logo and film shooting logo connoting creation of youtube channel business for views, subscribers, likes, comments leading to fame and money
Starting the YouTube channel itself is easy, but maintaining and growing it will require immense dedication.

Another high-risk-high-reward option is a YouTube channel. Making a YouTube channel requires intense dedication and hard work, but the potential reward surpasses every other money-making option for teens. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see teenage successes running YouTube channels primarily focused on gaming. Notable examples include TommyInnit and Ranboo, who both became successful from playing the popular video game Minecraft. To make a YouTube channel, you need to meet the two requirements: Being decent at your topic and filling a niche that is currently unfilled in the proverbial void of YouTube. Once you have found such a topic, you can create the channel. To obtain money from a YouTube channel, you need one thousand subscribers and four thousand watch hours. Though this may seem daunting, persevering through will eventually make you reach that goal. To reach the subscriber goal, it is a good idea to ask your friends and family to subscribe in order to gain a few preliminary subscribers. Your subscriber count, along with your watch hours, will snowball if your original subscribers share the video with their friends. To reach the watch hour goal, you can either make longer videos or livestream. Growth on YouTube is not linear, however; it is exponential, and you will reach success if you are willing to put in the extra effort in the beginning.


All in all, there are numerous ways to make money for teenagers. Some methods, like the online survey sites, are incredibly easy but don’t return as much money. Other methods, like tutoring and selling items, require more effort but have a higher rate of return. Finally, there are the giants of the entrepreneurship world; freelancing and having a YouTube channel can skyrocket your bank account, although they need lots of effort and dedication. Whichever idea you choose, it is sure to help you make a little or a lot of money on the side, which always adds up.

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