Calling all Gen-Z’s!
As the current generation of teenagers, you may be starting to think about ways to make money. Whether it is a summer job, a side hustle or starting a business, a global survey of 1,800 Generation Zs confirms that achieving financial stability and being entrepreneurial are important factors in the lives of this generation.
66% deem being financially secure more important than enjoying what they do and 58% want to own a business.
As fellow pragmatists, we want to help you get started early and achieve your financial goals.
So, whether you need seed money to start a business now, want to build up a college fund or simply need cash to hang out with your friends – below are 93 ways on how to make money as a teen in 2021 and beyond.
College and University applications are a hard grind. If you have been through it and have been successful at it, then consider offering your services as a coach to help other students through the process.
Depending on your skills, you can proofread entrance essays, help with resumes, forms, student loans, compiling volunteering experience, etc. to guide others through the admission process.
Did you nail the SATs? Or any other professional entrance examination? If so, you can become a coach to guide others through preparing for their own examinations. Start by leveraging your social network to spread the word – soon younger siblings of friends will be lining up for your help.
If you are good at Math or Science, many tutoring centers hire tutors to teach kids of all ages. You can look for jobs in your area at your local Kumon. If you have no previous experience and want to teach online, try WyzAnt. If you have experience, look for jobs on Indeed.com or advertise in your neighborhood. If you have already graduated from high school, you can also sign up for Tutor.com.
There are plenty of opportunities to teach English online, but most of them require a Bachelor’s degree. If you are not there yet, you can check out Preply, which does not list any specific qualifications to teach.
If you’re a Tuba master or a Guitar guru, there are plenty of people willing to learn how to play an instrument or belt out a perfect note. Advertise on Fiverr to start. For the best online music learning platform, sign up as a teacher with LessonFace for end-to-end video conferencing & scheduling integration.
Similar to above, you can sign up to Fiverr, Preply, or any freelancing website to teach art – if you’re good at sculpting, painting or any of the art disciplines.
If you are 18 and above, you can also set up an AirBnB experience in your city – where you can teach a group art activity to people who sign up. For example, if you live near a picturesque setting, you can take a paying group to paint landscapes outdoors.
In addition to T-Shirts, Etsy is the best platform to sell handmade or unique items. If you have an eye for design and a knack for creating anything with your hands, you can sell on Etsy (you must be at least 18). There are tons of categories to choose from, so basically any unique item you can create can sell well. For inspiration, check out the various categories and top-selling items on Etsy here.
Turn your hobby into a money-making venture by selling your original photographs online on stock photography websites.
All you have to do is upload your photos to stock photography websites and if their customers purchase your photos, you get a royalty payment. Ensure that the photos are your own and follow the guidelines, which differ from site to site. Some of the top-paying stock photography sites are Alamy, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime.
Another great website to sell your photos on is Canva, which is one of the biggest online graphic design websites out there. Users can use free options or purchase stock photography for their projects – which is where your photos can get sold.
If you are 18 or over, create your own Amazon store and sell anything. Amazon is getting competitive so do some research on top-selling categories and look for opportunities. If you can source a product and sell it at a lower price, or better quality, than the competition, you can still be successful on Amazon in 2021.
The best part is Amazon’s FBA service – where you simply generate the orders, and Amazon manages inventory, shipments & returns.
While Amazon has taken over the e-commerce space, eBay remains one of the top places to make money by selling online. Just like Amazon, you have to be at least 18 years old to create your eBay store.
There are advantages and disadvantages to selling on eBay vs. Amazon. Unlike eBay, Amazon sells its own brands, and thus, competes with 3rd party sellers (like you) on its platform. On the other hand, Amazon offers the FBA service.
There are other differences, so do your research to figure out which platform works best for the products you want to sell. Either way, the startup costs are very low and there is potential to make a good amount of money with the right product & marketing.
If you’re like us, you have clothes in your closet just waiting for the fashion to come back or for the size to fit again. While both of these things are possible, it is also possible to clean out your closet and make some money.
Websites like Poshmark, ThredUp and Tradesy all offer a marketplace for you to sell your gently used clothing online. Being a fashionista will certainly pay off, but some of these sites even accept Gap clothing.
Similar to selling clothes, you can sell old purses. Did Grandma give you a Louis Vuitton purse for your 15th birthday? Or Did you work all summer long to buy a tiny Coach wallet 2 years ago? If your purse, wallet,, or bag has any value, it can be sold online. There are plenty of sites that take designer bags, but if you don’t have one of those, you can also try reselling other gently used brands on eBay or Craigslist.
The sale and purchase of sneakers have completely blown up as a niche industry! If you can get your hands on a rare pair (think standing in line for 2 days for Jordans), you can make an eye-popping profit by selling them online.
There are lots of dedicated sites to sell your sneakers online. Look into StockX, Flight Club, Grailed, and Stadium Goods – these are all trustworthy big-name players. Be sure to read the fine print regarding commission fees and payment structure.
If you are good at spotting trends or coming up with popular word combinations & variations, snap up some domain names that you think people will want to use in the future. You can then set up a ‘for sale’ message on the domain to offer it to the highest bidder. This may not make money immediately, but as good ‘.com’ domains get harder and harder to find, businesses are willing to pay a price to acquire a good name.
Lucky enough to have a car in your teens? If it is a half-decent car, you can put it up for rent on Turo. Car rental demand is at an all-time high and supply is very low. If you live in a busy city with lots of tourists (post-covid of course), then expect to make decent money by renting your car.
If you or your parents live in a busy urban area, renting out your spare parking spot can bring in a decent chunk of change every month. A parking spot in New York City can cost as much as $400 per month. High monthly rates are also common in cities like New Jersey, San Fransisco, and Seattle.
Fiverr is an online marketplace that connects service-based freelancers with paying customers. There are thousands of services that can be offered, so check them out and see if your skills and interest enable you to offer your own services. You need to be 13 years of age or older to sell on Fiverr.
If you are at least 19 years old, you can get paid to complete a multitude of tasks on Task Rabbit. You can leverage skills in categories as broad as furniture assembly, moving and handyman services to car washing, sewing, or window cleaning.
Mechanical Turk is an Amazon-owned site where you can get paid to complete tasks using the skills you already have. You can sign up if you are at least 18 years of age. You will not be required to do anything physical. This site focuses on ‘human intelligence’ tasks like identifying pictures, data entry, and taking surveys.
Are you fluent in multiple languages? If so, offer your services as a translator. You can sell translation services on Fiverr or on other freelancing websites.
A virtual assistant supports other businesses or people remotely. You can offer to do any tasks that you are good at – social media, data entry, writing, managing appointments, etc.
You can look for VA jobs on Fiverr, Upwork or FlexJobs. You can also reach out to local small businesses with an offer to manage tasks for them.
There are many niches to pick from if you have a penchant for shopping. Similar to Grocery Delivery, people who are too busy to shop for any number of items will hire a personal shopper to do it for them.
If you have Whole Foods nearby, see if you qualify to sign up as an Amazon Personal Shopper. You will shop for groceries within the store, not deliver them.
While there is a lot of competition in the online t-shirt selling space now, if your designs are good, you can still make a decent amount of money selling t-shirts online.
Sign up for Merch By Amazon – if you are at least 18 years old and you get accepted, this is the most hands-off online t-shirt selling platform. You just upload your designs and Amazon will take care of all the logistics.
You can also diversify by selling your t-shirts on Etsy or Shopify. This takes a little bit more work and you will need your parents to sign up if you are under 18. You will have to set up your store, but once done, associate your Etsy or Shopify store with a Printful account. When you are ready, upload your designs to Printful & link the product on your Etsy or Shopify store.
There are a ton of top food delivery services in nearly every city in America. You can make a decent amount of money by signing up to deliver food for companies like DoorDash or Uber Eats. The best part is that you can set your own schedule. You don’t even need a vehicle; in urban areas, you can easily deliver with a bike or on foot.
You must be at least 18 years old to deliver for DoorDash. UberEats and GrubHub require you to be at least 19 years old.
How much can you make as a food delivery driver? ,
According to ZipRecruiter, the nationwide average is $14 per hour, but if you happen to be in a big and busy city, you can make as much as $29 per hour. Here are the top 10 highest paying cities for food delivery in the USA.
Do you have an eye for picking the best produce? Maybe you have the aisles memorized at your local grocery store. If so, grocery delivery is for you.
Similar to food delivery, there are a lot of services that hire shoppers to shop and deliver groceries for customers. Walmart, Instacart, Shipt and Amazon Fresh are the top grocery delivery services in the USA.
You must be at least 18 years old to deliver for Instacart & most of the above companies.
How much can I make as a grocery delivery driver?
The pay depends on your location and how many hours you put into it. The exact pay is not disclosed, but Instacart and Shipt shoppers have reported anywhere from $9 per hour to $25 per hour, depending on location.
For groceries, it’s no surprise that weekends are the busiest time for order deliveries, so it won’t interfere with homework nights.
If you have your driver’s license, approach local flower shops to deliver flowers in your
free time. Once you prove that you are responsible and can meet timelines, expect the
work to keep rolling in.
Love to write? Have experience or knowledge about a marketable area or niche?
Then write your own blog to make money online.
There are several ways to make money online using your blog. You can start by writing about a particular topic, showcasing your expertise, and then offering your consulting services or informational products for sale. If your content is good, you should be able to engage some clients early on.
Once you manage to get a lot of traffic to your blog, you can make money by placing ads with Google Adsense or Media.net. If your visitors click on these ads, you will get paid for that click. The pay per click is very low, but it can add up to a decent amount if you get a lot of traffic.
Another great way to make money from blogging is to become an affiliate marketer. As an affiliate, companies will pay you to direct customers to their products via recommendations on your blog or social channels. If the redirected customer purchases, you get a commission.
Once your site has a good amount of traffic, you can sign up for affiliate programs in your niche. You must have great content to get approved for many affiliate programs, so focus on building that up first.
If you have always been told that you have a ‘radio voice’ or just love to talk & engage with people, start a podcast to make money in 2021.
Podcasts are growing in popularity. There is no limit to the topics to choose from – there is an audience for everything. There is very little equipment needed. You can start with your phone and a pair of headphones. If you want a great microphone, you can start with this highly-rated microphone set from Amazon.
Decide the topic or theme for your podcast, plan out at least the first 10 episodes & get started. Remember that to get on to Spotify, Apple, or Google, you’ll need a podcast host – Podbean and The Podcast Host are the top-rated ones.
Do you enjoy sharing your daily activities, personal passions, and recommendations with friends and family? Not afraid of social media and a little criticism from the whole wide world? If so, consider becoming an Instagram influencer and make money from sponsored posts while receiving some free goodies from brands for trial.
You will have to pick a niche and post a ton of content, regularly. Once you start getting traction, your social media following and the income can snowball.
Lights, Camera, Action! All you need is a camera and some of that charm to become a star on Youtube. You can start a YouTube channel, create videos on any topic of your liking and make passive income based on the number of views on your videos.
With malls and stores opening up post-covid, there is a real shortage of retail workers. You should not have much trouble landing a gig as a salesperson once stores open up. If you are good at sales, consider a commission-based position in electronics, furniture, or hardware stores – commissions can add up if you’re good at convincing customers to purchase.
A traditional job for many teenagers before you. Working as a server or as a fast food line employee has been a right of passage for generations. The demand for food service staff is spiking with many pre-Covid workers deciding not to return. You can likely find restaurants willing to pay a decent wage plus tips to incentivize workers back.
If you live near a golf club, you can apply to become a golf caddy. The job entails carrying golf bags, retrieving lost balls, holding the flag on the putting green, etc. A lot of walking is involved, so you can get away from all the screens and get healthy while making money.
35. Join Swagbucks
Swagbucks rewards you for everyday things you already do online. You can get free gift cards and cash for answering surveys, testing products and services, reviewing online videos, etc. The payouts are not high, but if you already do a lot of these activities online, then why not get rewarded for it?
Click here to join Swagbucks.
Use apps that give you (and your parents) cashback for shopping as you usually do, including on groceries, gas, clothes, etc. There are several cashback reward apps, but two of the best ones are topcashback and Rakuten (or eBates).
Download either one of the apps, upload your receipt if any of the items are listed on the app, cash out. Each app offers cash-back on thousands of stores, many of which you likely already shop at.
Is this a dream? Play video games and make money? Yes, but be forewarned that making money from playing video games is not easy. As you can imagine, there is a ton of competition and only a select few are good enough to make real money from playing at the top level.
Still, if you are good at it and want to make a side income, you can get paid to test video games at BetaFamily or PlayTestCloud. For example, PlayTestCloud will test you with a qualification test and if you are accepted, a 15-minute survey can pay $9.
Believe it or not, several apps will pay you to sign up and complete health and fitness programs. There are several to choose from – Download and sign up for one or more of Pact, Good Coins, Charity Miles or AchieveMint.
ShopTracker, Nielsen Mobile Panel, and Mobile Xpression are some apps that either reward you for just using your phone or to take part in research-based activities.
Advertise your dog-walking services on neighborhood forums (ask your parents to sign up for the NextDoor app). Typically, dog walkers can charge $15 to $20 per 30 minutes of walking per dog.
If you are good with kids, busy parents are always looking for trustworthy babysitters. Start with family and friends to build referrals, and then spread the word via flyers or on NextDoor. In-demand babysitters can make anywhere from $15 to $30 per hour.
Condo and home cleaning services are in high demand. Enroll with an established company or offer your own cleaning services. Starting with family and friends’ houses will build up your references and experience. Good cleaners can charge $20 to $25 per hour.
As travel opens up, pet owners will once again want to hire pet sitters to take care of their pets. Look on PetSitter.com for available jobs. The average pay is around $15 per hour.
Grab your snow shovel and do some good old-fashioned door-knocking in your neighborhood. You can also look for snow shoveling jobs on Task Rabbit.
Similar to snow shoveling, offer your grass-cutting services in your neighborhood. You can make recurring income by offering a discount for packaging grass cutting and snow removal services together.
You can leverage Task Rabbit to look for mover jobs in your city or sign up with a local moving company. Remember to lift with your legs!
We’ve all heard the phrase: “it takes money to make money.”
Well, one of the best ways to make money is to invest in the stock market for the long term. Over time, your money compounds and grows. If you start as a teenager, your future self will thank you in your 30s and 40s.
You need to be at least 18 years old to sign up for a brokerage account, but parents can open a custodial account for minors.
Over the past decade (2011 to 2021), the average stock market return has been 9.2%. The S&P 500 has returned 13.6% over the same time period. Since the year 2000, the S&P 500 has returned an annualized average return of 8.9%.
While these are great returns, there is never a guarantee that past performance of the stock market will repeat itself in the future. Ensure to invest according to your goals, investment timelines, and risk appetite.
Do you love cooking or baking? If so, consider starting a catering business on the side to share your food and flavors with the less culinary-inclined.
Based on your skills, you can supply fancy cupcakes for kids’ birthday parties, your world-famous lasagna for friends’ house parties, marinated skewers for summer parties, etc. We know a 16-year-old who started a designer cupcake business out of her mom’s kitchen, and at 18, has hired a ghost kitchen to keep up with the demand.