Remember the days of pocket money? It might not seem like much now, but having a little bit of cash every now and again as children made a big difference. Thankfully, there are more ways for kids to make money nowadays than ever before. Yes, we have the internet to thank – but the good old money-earners are still worth looking into!
Learning how to make money as a kid is as simple as using your imagination. If your kids have designs on starting a little savings pot, or want to start earning their own money to spend, there are plenty of avenues to try.
How Can Kids Make Money?
It’s not just about odd jobs anymore. Kids can make cash of their own through their hobbies and interests. As you’ll see from my pick of workable ideas below, making money online is a big piece of the puzzle. However, as Mums and Dads, we need to make sure our kids are safe, and that they understand the value of the cash they make!
Helping your kids make money is a great exercise and a life lesson that will stick with them for years to come. By encouraging your children to learn more about where money comes from – how we earn it, and how the economy works – you will hopefully instil the beginnings of life skills they’ll take with them long into adulthood. If you prefer to teach your children through games, a board game like Cashflow would be a great avenue to explore.
We all learned pretty quickly that money doesn’t come thick and fast unless you give something back. That is, unless you are extraordinarily lucky! Therefore, it’s really healthy to show your children how they can trade skills for money.
What’s more, it’s a really good idea to show your kids why saving money matters. Money isn’t just there to be spent idly – it’s nice to treat ourselves, but the earlier we all start saving, the better! Saving for university might seem like a long time away, but if your children are starting to think about that, this could be a great way to motivate them to earn some money, and even save and invest!
So – without further ado, let’s look at how to make money fast as a kid – and how to start building those savings pots as soon as possible.
How to Make Money as a Kid Online
As mentioned, there are plenty of ways for kids to make money online. It’s likely many parents won’t have had these fantastic options available when they were younger!
Of course, online safety is a must. Therefore, while all of the following ideas are great for helping to kick-start your children’s savings pots, do ensure you have parental controls in place, or help your kids get started.
Who knows – if your kids make enough money online, they may wish to put their cash into a Junior ISA to claim further interest as the years go by! They’ll never know when they will need this money the most, so it’s time to start saving.
Want to learn how to earn money as a kid online? Here are some perfect starting points.
Make and Sell Homemade Gifts
If you’ve never checked out Etsy before, then you’re in for a homemade treat. Etsy is one of several online marketplaces pivoting towards handmade craft items. However, you’ll find all sorts of gifts and knick-knacks on the marketplace that cover technology, clothing, toys and more.
If your kids have a flair for the creative and are budding artists and/or handicraft experts, it’s definitely a good idea to take a look at selling arts and crafts online. Etsy’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With Etsy, be ready to look a little closer and the terms and conditions, and seller fees, too. These have proven points of contention over the years, so don’t get deep into the homemade selling scene until you’re 100% ready.
And if you don’t want to get tied in to Esty’s platform, you could help your child set-up a full-fledged online store using Square’s online store. It’s the same idea as Shopify, the big daddy in the e-commerce space.
If you’d like to learn more about Square product offerings, do check out our review on Square’s terminal and other solutions. These could perhaps be a bit too advanced for your kid’s summer plans, but you never know!
A simple smart phone with a Square card reader can make for seamless online and offline commerce offering for your little one’s lemonade stand!
Try Paid Surveys
Online surveys aren’t just for grownups! Sites such as Swagbucks are open to teenagers, starting from the age of 13 upwards.
Online surveys don’t tend to bring in tons of money right away, but they are great at instilling a sense of working for a living. Answering a few questions here and there is super-easy – and have you ever met a child who didn’t want to share their opinion?
There are plenty of different online survey providers out there, so make sure to take a look at the pros and cons of the main platforms. Not all survey sites will accept kids (or indeed anyone under the age of 18).
Survey sites will normally allow you to make up to a certain amount of money before you can withdraw. Therefore, this option is a little bit of a slow-burner. There’s also the fact that you may not always qualify for every survey – so be sure to keep an open mind, and be patient!
If your kids show promise of being the next Shakespeares, then they may want to make some money from their literary skills online.
We live in an age where publishing our own creative writing has never been easier, nor more widely accessible. Your kids don’t have to hold out for a publishing deal these days – and authors are getting younger and younger. There are some published scribes who are younger than seven years old!
Therefore, start exploring self-publishing options. Amazon is a great starting point, as is Lulu.com. The latter, in fact, helps you to publish stylish physical books! Amazon’s a brilliant launchpad for kids to publish their own e-books, and the best part is, they can learn how to do it all from a few quick YouTube videos.
Sell Unwanted Stuff
If your son or daughter is fast growing out of clothes, toys, games and the like, then it’s worth making space – and money.
eBay revolutionised the way we sell our old and unwanted items for good. Yes – it’s still worth holding out for the odd car boot sale here and there. However, by selling online, your kids are likely to get more reach – and therefore, potentially make more money.
They could start by choosing a few items they no longer use or want, and taking a look at what other people have for sale. eBay can be a bit of a quagmire depending on the items you’re looking to sell – and given that you can buy as much as you can sell through the online marketplace, it’s a really good idea to make sure you monitor your kids while they set up their stores. Teenagers less so – providing there are boundaries and blocks in place.
Beyond selling their own unwanted stuff, kids might want to start getting super-savvy, and start ‘flipping’ items they come across. For example, you may find some interesting items at car boot sales that receive extra interest and investment online. There’s no laws against trying this – and it’s a great way to learn about making money.
Coming back to the creative side of things, selling photos is a great idea if your kids are already keen shutterbugs. Nowadays, most of us (kids included) have semi-professional cameras built into our smartphones – meaning your own brood may well have much of the kit they need to just get started!
Selling photos online is easy to get into, thanks to available stock photo libraries such as Adobe Stock. Stock photo services will normally pay per use, meaning that any photos your kids take that get downloaded, they get paid a commission, or royalties.
Therefore, as you can imagine, this is a good option to consider if photography is a genuine passion for your son or daughter. As there’s no guaranteed income from the get-go, the more quality photos are uploaded, the better. Then, it’s just a case of playing the waiting game.
The most successful stock photos, as you may imagine, are those that are creative, follow popular keywords and search terms, and which stand out from the crowd. Therefore, if your kids are really sold on making money through photos online, it may be a wise investment to buy some professional camera equipment. Again, it’s easy enough to learn how to shoot photos and videos online with the help of a YouTube tutorial.
Blogs, as you may know already, can be seriously lucrative. Blog about the right things, with the right keywords – and do so frequently – and you could be making serious income. The same goes for kids – if your own brood love sharing stories online, then setting up a blog about their hobbies or creative pursuits might just earn them some money.
Blogging, much like making money from selling photos, isn’t an overnight money maker. You need to consider the different ways in which your kids are likely to make cash from clicks. Are you willing to host advertisements that make money when people click?
Affiliate marketing is a great idea, too. However, this tends to run a little deeper than most, and will need serious, regular blogging effort. Your kids need to be really into writing to make money from affiliate sales.
There is, of course, ways you and your kids could tie things together. Why not use a blog to promote their poetry or online sales? You could run multiple money making channels together and let everything promote itself.
Again, this takes work – sorry to be realistic! However, if your kids hit upon a great idea or niche, there’s no telling how much money they could make.
Start Teaching / Tutoring
If you’re a parent, a guardian or relative of young kids, you’ll likely know that children pick things up incredibly quickly! In fact, with all the fantastic tools available to children and teenagers in the modern age, it’s safe to say that younger people have more of an opportunity than ever to learn new skills – and to teach others, too.
If your kids are particularly adept at specific skills – such as creating art, writing poetry or even playing instruments – why not let them teach others?
Thanks to the advent of Zoom, it’s not unheard of for teenagers to set up relaxed guitar lessons or language coaching online. On a pay-per lesson basis, this could be seriously lucrative. Again, it’s all providing your kids are willing to put in the time and effort – they need to be passionate about their art – that’s the goal!
Starting your kids out in simple teaching and tutoring may even help them to gain an interest in teaching full stop. If your kids aren’t sure what they want to do long-term, it may be a nice little introductory channel.
Set up a YouTube Channel
Speaking of channels, yes – there’s YouTube. I’ve mentioned the service a few times already in this guide, and that’s largely because it’s amazingly useful. People watch YouTube for entertainment, to learn how to fix everyday items, and even to learn new skills. Your kids, therefore, may be interested in publishing videos on topics that interest them. That might be something as simple as streaming Minecraft creations (more on that below) – or, bringing in the idea of teaching and tutoring again, to create videos that can guide people on things they really want to know more about.
YouTube is, however, a highly competitive and saturated platform. Making money from a channel means really driving for likes and subscriptions – and at the same time, looking for monetisation from advertising partners. YouTube makes much of its money from advertising, so they are likely going to want your kids’ channels to be really pulling in the views.
We’re here again – it’s hard work! YouTube is perhaps the most difficult niche to break into (whether as a kid, a teenager or otherwise), simply because of the amount of content already out there. Making money through video content takes a lot of time, planning and care.
There’s also the matter of privacy. If you’re not sure about letting your kids broadcast themselves to the world, be sure to agree boundaries beforehand. With services such as TikTok allowing teenagers to share videos across global boundaries, however, this is fast becoming the norm.
Join the Gig Economy
The gig economy is the ideal that people can make money ‘gig by gig’. For example, you’d earn £5-£10 for, say, writing a blog, or recording a voice over. Services such as Fiverr have become amazingly popular both with users and consumers alike over the years. The best part is, kids and teenagers can often take part, too.
It is, ultimately, the digital equivalent of odd jobs. As mentioned, services such as Fiverr allow users to set up job listings. Users promise to deliver a specific service or product within a set timescale, and buyers pay a flat fee. The listing site will then, normally, take a commission from each successful sale.
This is a slow-burning option, but one that kids can really grow into. Talented teenagers with a flair for music or acting could start earning small amounts of money and build up to impressive, regular cash.
Some people have been able to quit their day jobs simply by taking advantage of the gig economy – why can’t your kids take advantage, too?
Livestream Your Games
Streaming gameplay is a very big deal nowadays. 20-30 years ago, who would have thought that so many people would be entertained by watching others play video games? As it turns out, it can be very entertaining – and for streamers, it can make fantastic money on the side.
The same applies to your teenagers. Do they have favourite games that they like to play online? Are they particularly adept at a specific game and want to show off their skills? Again, this is where services such as YouTube can pop up – and again, the money kids can make through these platforms will vary.
Twitch is a specialised streaming service that focuses largely on gaming. It’s also highly stringent when it comes to appropriate content, meaning you can rest easy (but do make sure to know exactly what your kids are getting into).
Streaming is extremely easy to get into providing you have a good-quality microphone setup and a video capture card. The way you capture video and audio for streaming may vary depending on the console or platform in use. However, if your kids game a lot, this might be an interesting side hustle.
How to Make Money As a Kid Offline
Of course, while there are a million and one avenues for kids to make money online, making cash offline can be just as lucrative! But, how can kids make money without an internet connection? It’s all about using your imagination.
It’s still perfectly possible – and reasonable – for kids and teenagers to want to make a bit of extra money by washing cars, selling items at car boot sales and more. In fact, coupled with a few of the brilliant online money making ideas above, your kids could be making serious cash in a short space of time.
Here are the best ways to earn money as a kid without the need for the web.
Good Old Chores
Many parents reading this guide may remember a time when they used to make a bit of extra pocket money by doing odd jobs for people! As it turns out, people still don’t like doing chores in the modern age, and it’s a great opportunity for kids to learn about basic economics.
Kids can easily do chores for a little money here and there and feel as though they are doing their bit. They may advertise their services on local message boards (not necessarily online), or start out in the comfort and safety of their own families. Mums and Dads who don’t have time to walk the dog three times a day might be happy to share a little bit of money to encourage the kids to help out, for example.
It’s a great starting point for showing children the value of money, and a nice stepping stone towards them getting their first jobs and savings accounts. Of all the easy money making ideas for 12 year olds, chores tend to be the most reliable ports of call.
Sell Unwanted Stuff
I’ve covered this above in the making money online section – but car boot sales and jumble sales still exist, and they’re great for making quick money without having to muddle around with postage and packing. For kids, too, they’re great avenues for getting rid of old stuff to save up for new things! What can kids sell to make money? Clothes they’ve outgrown, toys and games they no longer want – the list goes on.
You can normally find out more about local car boot sales from your council or local authority. Or, churches and town halls tend to run tabletop sales regularly – great opportunities for families to get rid of unwanted toys, gifts and more.
Providing your kids are old enough (and responsible enough), another great way for them to make some extra money may be for them to look after someone’s houses or plants for them. This might be for an afternoon or evening, or even for when a neighbour or relative goes away for the weekend.
This should ideally be set up by an adult of your children are quite young – but much as teenagers have traditionally made extra money by babysitting over the years, house sitting is a great avenue for young people to start making extra cash.
Dog Walking and Pet Sitting
Again, providing your kids are old enough and responsible enough, some will be willing to pay for their dogs to be walked regularly. Many people simply don’t have the time to stretch their pets’ legs as much as they would like.
This is where kids who love pets come in! If your kids already have experience in looking after animals at home, it makes sense that they could make money from walking other dogs and caring for pets elsewhere. Again, in many cases, it makes sense that parents help out as much as possible when setting up the first few contacts.
However, dog walking and pet sitting can be really useful for people who have low mobility or need to attend to urgent errands and can’t leave their animals alone for hours at a time. Pet sitting might even extend to smaller creatures such as gerbils and fish, too!
Babysitting is perhaps the ‘classic’ extra-money profession that teenagers tend to lean towards. If you have neighbours or family friends who want a little time to themselves, then they may be willing to give your kids a little money to ensure their little ones behave themselves.
Babysitting is a side job that demands a lot of responsibility – a great place for older kids to start learning some serious life skills. Add that into the fact that they will be making money, too, and babysitting gigs can help their development.
To babysit for someone you don’t know, kids will normally need references from outside of the family. What’s more, some families may even ask for background checks – these are always worth obliging. Generally, teenagers shouldn’t start thinking about babysitting until they are around 16 years of age. Kids mature younger, of course, but this is a good measure for responsibility.
While gardening may well fall under the chores section above, keeping a garden lush and well-watered rather deserves its own section. Learning to tend to a garden is a great life skill to build, and again, there are many people who simply don’t have the time spare – or the ability – to take care of their own green spaces. Therefore, if your kids are willing to get out in the nice weather and start digging, it could be a great chance for them to pick up some extra money along the way.
Gardening jobs can, of course, be pretty diverse. They run the gamut from mowing lawns to weeding, to watering and keeping paths clear. Gardening is tiring work – but well worth the money, all the same!
Things to Keep in Mind
As responsible parents or guardians, you of course want to make sure that your children are safe and are working within the law at all times. Therefore, it makes sense to take a close look into the types of work kids of a certain age can and can’t do.
For example, there are some jobs that children as young as 13 years old are entitled to do – but they may not be able to work in dangerous situations, or after a specific time. Employers can hire kids younger than 16 years of age outright, but only for menial work such as making drinks, cleaning floors, or – the classic – delivering papers.
Kids can work in the UK, part-time, from the age of 13. Of course, there are younger children working in TV and film – but these opportunities will need specific licenses.
There’s also the fact that National Minimum Wage won’t come into effect from employers until your child reaches 16 years of age. Therefore, up until that time, they are not likely to earn much money!
Tax, unfortunately, can even impact kids! Believe it or not, HM Revenue and Customs has rules in place where children will need to declare earnings if they make up to more than their yearly personal allowance. Therefore, it’s worth looking into these figures before they start work of any kind!
Take some solace, however, in the fact that kids won’t have to worry about paying National Insurance until they are at least 16 years of age.
Why Kids Making Money Matters
Encouraging children to make money isn’t just great for giving them a little extra to use when they want to buy something they really want. Encouraging saving behaviour and economic principles means they benefit from fantastic life skills that they will take with them for years to come. It’s not just about becoming rich, but more importantly, becoming helping learn the skills that will let them become financially free in the future.
Getting kids to get excited about making money means that they will hopefully develop a passion for working in a field that interests them. It means that, crucially, your kids can grow up respecting where their money has come from, and that to keep making money, they need to give something back to people, and society at large.
On top of everything else, kids can build incredible confidence when making money. They’ll have a fund all of their own – and you can teach your own children about the different options available – from savings accounts to stocks and shares.
Building up saving habits young is incredibly important. Unfortunately, we do live in a society where spending outside of our means is sometimes encouraged – which means encouraging a ‘rainy day’ attitude may be seen as something of a virtue in this day and age.
Helping Your Kids Make More Money
A little pocket money here and there might not seem like much. However, this is where you can start to show your kids how money can grow – whether in a savings account such as an ISA, or in their own investments.
Making millions is never going to be possible unless you are smart about how you use your money. Long-term wealth may also seem like a huge mountain for kids to climb, at least to begin with!
That’s why it is always worth looking into high-interest options for your children’s money. This may be an ISA, or it may be an investment portfolio. With a little guidance, there is nothing to say your kids won’t start getting into the saving game all on their own.
Financial education is still something, at this point, that begins at home in the UK. Therefore, to give your kids a little bit of a staggered sense of independence and self-confidence, it’s worth looking into every opportunity and avenue.
The best way you can help your kids make money is to be open and clear about economics! Show them where money goes – what it can buy – and why saving is so important for the potential emergencies of tomorrow.
Helping Your Kids Manage Money
As we all know, making money is very important. However, knowing how to manage the money that you have earned is just as important. If children learn the importance of saving money from a young age, the habit will be ingrained as they become young adults.
The best way to teach children the importance of managing money properly is through games. I learnt my basic concepts of money management from Rich Dad Poor Dad book series. If your children are old enough to read the book, I would highly recommend that. However, if you wish to teach the concepts through a game, then the companion game, Cashflow 101, would be an excellent start. I played that game in my younger days and really appreciated what it taught me.
by Jon Craig
I am the creator of Project Financially Free and I started this journey to both educate myself and share my insights on personal finance. I’m passionate about financial literacy and I invite you to join me on this transformative path. See more.