Do you desire to make money as a teenager without working for anyone? If YES, here are the 50 best ways to make money in high school without getting a job. A lot of teens are always on the lookout for ways to make extra money of their own so that they will not have to depend on their parents for cash to cover expenses for clothes, entertainment costs, save up for cars, college costs, and other big purchases.
As a teen, making money of your own means that you will be less likely to hear the word “no” when you go to ask adults for money. Why ask when you can easily use your money for your needs? In that vein, it only makes sense that as a teenager, you should have a side hustle that can earn you some cash.
Not only will a side hustle help to teach you a very valuable lesson about hard work, it will also teach you skills like money management which will definitely come in handy in the long run. It’s easy to say “get a job”, but sometimes getting a job is not feasible for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Age: Due to labor laws, most teens can’t get a job until they reach a certain age (usually 16). Also, some employers refuse to hire young people because of their age and inexperience.
- Inexperience: Some jobs require a certain level of maturity or skill and are not suited for younger people.
- Location: Depending on where in the country they live, there may not be enough jobs to go around. Young people in urban and suburban areas will most likely have more opportunities than say someone who lives in a smaller rural town. In addition, due to the economy, certain jobs that used to be marked for teens and college students are now filled by older adults.
- Schedule: it is no surprise that these days, teenagers are busier than ever. When you combine school, sports, and family obligations – when do teenagers have time to work a job?
So what is there for a teen to do when they really need to make their own money, but can’t get (or don’t want) a job?
If you are in high school, you don’t need to worry about working because there are dozens of ways to make money without a job. Whether you’re too busy to work, you don’t want to, or your parents won’t let you, if you want some extra money, you can get it. Here are just a few of the many ways you can make money without a job.
50 Ways a Teen Can Make Money in High School Without a Job
1. Sell Candy At School
It is a well-proven fact that teenagers like sugar and other sweet things. If you go around your high school during lunchtime with a box of chocolates, you’re bound to sell out in a day. This comes as no surprise because we all think we need a sugar rush to get us through the last periods of the day.
You can make really great money if you buy candy in bulk; for instance, if you buy a box of thirty chocolate bars for 15 dollars and sell each bar for a dollar, you’ve made a net profit of 15 dollars right there! Now imagine selling two or three boxes a week… This is definitely one of the best ways you can make money without a job.
2. Sell Unwanted Gifts Online
If you have gifts from friends, family members, and relatives that you do not want, you can easily photograph the gift and post them on eBay. Unless you think this will offend the relatives or friends who bought the gifts for you, selling unwanted gifts online is a quick and easy way to earn some extra cash.
Since you didn’t buy the gifts, even if you sell them for one dollar, you still come out with more money than you had before. You would be surprised at how much you can sell some items that you may perceive as worthless.
3. Garage Sale
Some clothes have seen more days and had more love than your unwanted gifts, so you can’t sell them online. If you think they’re still sellable though, why not have a garage sale? Sure it requires getting up early on Saturday morning, but if you have enough to sell, you can make a ton of money in a garage sale!
Keep clothes cheap; 50 cents for T-shirts, $1.00 for trousers, because this will attract more buyers who will buy in bulk. Ask your family members for items you can sell too. They’ll be glad to have more space in their closet and you’ll make a pretty penny.
4. Edit Your Friends’ Essays
Some teenagers are not too good with grammar and spelling nor do they have the eye for details that are needed to spot errors in their essays. If you have this skill, why not market it? Try to keep your services cheap though so as not be appear greedy.
If you know a friend who struggles with self-editing, offer your help for a small fee. As word spreads of your skillful eye in editing, before you know it you’ll have a regular job! This income will be free of tax, commute and you also get to be your own boss.
5. Extra Chores
If you bring up doing extra chores to your parents, their faces will light up! When you ask for money in exchange for your hard work, they may be less eager to say yes, but odds are they’ll still concede. Offering to do a few extra chores that were not initially assigned to you is one of the best ways for teenagers to make money without getting a job.
You can do chores in your free time and, since your parents aren’t requiring you to do them, stop whenever you’ve made enough money. Ask them if they have a list of jobs they would be willing to pay you to do. Maybe they’ll hire you to deep clean the basement or garage.
Maybe they need help removing clutter in a home office. They might want you to do a spring cleaning project such as cleaning windows or washing blankets and comforters. Have them make a list of jobs they need to be done around the house, along with what they’ll pay for each completed job, and decide which ones you want to do.
6. Sell Crafts
If there is a craft that you are skilled at and you have some free time on your hands, you can make money from it. Check out Pinterest for craft ideas and see if you have a knack for creating little trinkets. After you have made your craft, you can use social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to market your craft by taking a picture of your wares and uploading them there.
Let people know that you’re selling your new product and they will definitely want to buy it. If you find out that you are having a lot of orders so much that you cannot keep up, you can enlist the help of a sibling or friend and then split the profit when you sell your wares.
7. Bake Sale
If you have a specialty cupcake or cookie that your friends are always begging you for, why not make some money off of it? Spend an afternoon baking your little heart out, and making sure all of your treats look as good as they taste. Then you can have a bake sale virtually anywhere; at the park, in your driveway, wherever you think you’ll find hungry people with a sweet tooth! Baking pastries can be a very big business.
8. Clean People’s Houses
A lot of people are in need of help in order to keep their homes clean. Hiring the services of professional cleaners can be quite costly so it is not surprising that a lot of people will be glad if they could have a cost-effective alternative. If you like cleaning and are detailed about it, a house cleaning business might be right for you.
To get your business started, make a list of what types of cleaning you’ll do. For example, will you clean bathrooms and kitchens? Will you dust? Vacuum? Will you clean windows? Make sure the jobs are jobs you can do well and don’t forget the safety aspect. For example, you might want to rule out cleaning window exteriors that require the need for a ladder.
The next thing you will have to do is to set the amount of money you will be willing to accept for an hour of work. Normally, professional maid cleaning services charge about $25 to $35 for an hour of worth of cleaning. If you can do your work quickly, thoroughly and charge $12 to $15 an hour, you’ve just given potential clients a reason to hire you over a traditional maid service.
9. Run a Farmer’s Market Stand
A lot of local farmers’ markets charge adults money to set up a stand. However, they allow kids and teens to do so free of charge. If you’ve got a small area in your yard, you could grow vegetables to sell at a farmer’s market.
In addition, you could also sell baked goods or specialty foods at a farmer’s market. You should always check your state’s laws about farmer’s market foods before selling baked goods or specialty foods, but many states’ food laws don’t apply to farmer’s market booths.
If there are young kids in your neighborhood or extended family members who need child care, you can offer babysitting services and earn some cash that way. You can offer to babysit on nights and weekends, or during the summer. You could offer to nanny while parents are at work and kids are out of school. Babysitting is best suited for teens who are responsible, mature, and enjoy being with kids.
11. Pet Sit
This job is similar to babysitting but it involves pets. Some people might want pet care while they’re away at work if they don’t want the pet to be alone. This service is also highly needed by people who wish to travel or go on vacation. The amount of time it takes to pet sit varies from pet to pet. Dogs will likely require constant care, either at your own home (get your parents’ permission first) or at the pet owner’s home.
Other pets such as cats or fish may require that you just check in on them twice a day. Decide ahead of time which types of pets you’ll sit for and which you won’t, and charge prices according to how much time you’ll spend each day caring for the pet.
12. Dog Walking
This is another pet-related idea. If you’re looking to earn money by helping animals but want a less time-intensive job, you could offer dog walking services. A lot of people do not have the time or the strength required to walk their pet, but they want their pet to get adequate exercise; they will pay you decently so that you can carry out this task for them. An organized schedule will help you keep track of your dog walking job commitments.
13. House Sit
If you have a neighbor, friend, or family member who is going on vacation, they may want to hire a house sitter to make sure their home isn’t vacant while they’re away. Depending on what they want, house-sitting clients may ask you to be there for a few hours a day, or they may ask you to live in the house for the entire time they’re gone.
Make sure you get clear instructions about what type of house sitting they’ll want before agreeing to take the job. They may also want you to clean the house during this period so try and work all the modalities out with them before you accept such a job.
14. Wash Cars
Busy adults often don’t have time to wash their cars, but you can make some serious cash doing it for them. You’ll need equipment such as a bucket, soap, rags to wash with, and towels to dry with. If you’re cleaning the interior of the cars as well, you’ll want to get some window cleaner and paper towels. Most clients will let you use their hose and water to wash the exterior of the car, and their vacuum for vacuuming the interior, but be sure to check with them before you take the job.
If you will be able to go to their house to offer this service as opposed to them having to drive to where you reside, that will be a better option and also help you to get more customers. Determine how long it will take you to do the cleaning job, and offer an attractive rate.
15. Organize Homes or Garages
A lot of people love having an organized home or garage but they just don’t know where to start. If you’re good at organization, you can start a business organizing people’s homes or garages. Before you fix a rate for a particular job, you should see the space in question to determine how long it will take you to finish up the job. Then multiply the number of hours by your desired hourly rate and make that your offered price for the job.
16. Sell Lemonade or Bottled Water
There are plenty of places where you could sell drinks and snacks to local residents such as busy street corners, outside of public baseball parks (if your city allows it), and at garage sales.
These types of businesses are usually very lucrative during the summer or during busy evening times. In most local state fairgrounds, lemonade and bottled water stands can be seen everywhere. The key to success in this type of business is to charge enough to cover the cost of the items you’re selling plus enough to make yourself a profit for your hours of work.
17. Run Errands
From elderly people who are too weak to carry out some tasks to young parents who have little children to take care of and as such are not chanced to do certain tasks themselves to just plain lazy individuals, there are always people in need of help to run some errands.
The errands may be domestic tasks around the home, even grocery shopping or they may have you drop off/pick up dry cleaning or make a run to the post office to mail a package. You can get paid to carry out these errands. Make the most of your errand running income by working in neighborhoods where stores and other destinations are close to a lot of homes and apartments.
18. Hold a Class at Your Home
If you have a talent for drawing, painting, or dancing, you could hold classes for neighborhood kids in your yard or home. The classes can be one-time deals or can be held for several days in a row.
If you’re going to teach a class to neighborhood kids, you’ll need to create an itinerary that will teach them what they want to learn and keep them busy for the entire class time. Be sure to charge a class fee that makes it worth your time and is affordable for parents.
19. Turn Your Hobbies into Cash
Do you have a hobby that you can monetize? Are you good at drawing people or animals? Do you know how to make great videos? Are you gifted at creating logos for businesses? Are you great at writing stories or poems? You can make a list of the talents you have and offer to hire out for them via local ads or on websites such as Fiverr. Fiverr or Upwork allows you to list job offerings (or search out jobs needed) for pay from $5 on up.
The key to success with sites like Fiverr is to charge an attractive price to potential clients while making sure you are getting paid at a fair rate. You might start out making less than you’d like to, but if people like your work and your services become more in demand, you’ll be able to raise your rates.
20. Sell Your Designs
This is yet another way to make money that will cost you very little. You can create designs for t-shirts and other items. You make the design, and then upload the design to sites such as Redbubble or Cafepress, where they print ordered designs on items such as t-shirts, tote bags, and iPad covers. When someone orders an item with your design or saying on it, you get paid a commission from the sale.
21. Umpire or Referee
Local sports organizations are often in need of teens to work umpire and referee jobs for kids’ sports teams. If you are good at sports such as baseball, basketball, softball, and football, you could apply to work as an umpire or referee.
22. Sell Your Stuff
Is your closet, basement, or storage area loaded with clothes, accessories, games, and toys you no longer use or need? Consider selling them at a garage sale, online at Craigslist or on your Facebook account. There’s also Letgo, which shows your items to people who live near you, so it’s good for selling larger items that you don’t necessarily want to ship.
You can declutter your space while still making some money from it. Price your items fairly for a quicker sale, and be willing to haggle with customers. You might be able to talk your parents into letting you sell some of their stuff for a commission.
23. Collect and Resell Golf Balls
If you stay close to a golf course, you can collect stray golf balls, clean them up and resell them to locals golfers. You can search outside of local golf courses for stray balls, and you might even be able to get permission to search on course grounds after hours from local club managers.
You can sell your cleaned-up golf balls outside of the local golf club entrance (as long as you’re on public property) or you can ask people you know who play golf if they want to buy the balls you find at a price discounted from the retail price.
24. Tutor Kids
Many parents are looking for reasonably priced tutors for their kids in specific school subjects. If you’re a teen that is good in a particular subject area such as math, reading, or a foreign language, you can offer your tutor services to local parents.
Ask neighborhood parents if they are in need of a tutor or check local online sites such as Craigslist for parents looking for tutors. Make sure to involve your parents when meeting up with a potential customer for safety reasons.
25. Paint Fences
Fences that are made of wood need to be repainted from time to time in order to prevent the wood from deteriorating. If you like to paint and have neighbors who have wooden fences that need to be re-coated, ask if they’ll hire you to do the job. You’ll likely need to do some research on how to properly prepare wooden surfaces for painting and on what types of paints are best to use on outdoor wood surfaces before you start. All this information can be easily found on the internet.
26. Boat and Camper Cleaning
If you’ve got neighbors who own boats, campers, or other recreational vehicles, see if they’d like to hire you to clean them out after they return from outings. Ask to use their hose and water for rinsing, and their shop vacuum for vacuuming if needed, and then bring all other cleaning supplies from home to make it easier for clients.
27. Doggie Doo-doo Scooper
Cleaning dog poo from yards may be one of the most hated chores but still, if you are a dog owner, you will have to carry out this task regularly. As a teen, many of your neighbors might be open to considering paying you to do this job for them. Schedule regular yard cleaning times for each client in order to bring in a steady amount of money for your business.
28. Rent out Your Video Games or Books
If you have a lot of video games or books, you can rent them out to your friends for a small fee. You can charge them a certain amount to rent the item for a week or two and make sure to tell them there will be a late fee if the item isn’t returned to you on time.
You should have a notebook where you will keep a record of the people who you have lent your properties and when they are supposed to return them so that you will not lose track of your things.
29. Do Lawn Work
One job that is quite popular among kids and teens, in general, is lawn work. They would mow the lawn in the spring, summer, and fall, and in late fall they would rake leaves and bag them up for neighbors who are in need of such services.
Ask your parents if you can use their lawnmower (offer to pay for the gas it uses out of your earnings), or you can use each client’s mower if they have one they are willing to let you use. If you’re not interested in mowing lawns, you could offer to rake and bag leaves in the fall. In addition, shoveling snow in the winter is another lucrative job for teens if they live in a colder climate.
30. Weed Gardens
If your neighbors have flower and vegetable gardens, you might be able to earn some money by offering to pull weeds from the garden for them. Weeding usually needs to be done on a weekly basis in most gardens and is hard work for older people who own a garden, so they might appreciate a teen taking this task off of their hands.
31. Sell old books
If you have old books living around in your house that no one has a need for, you can sell them off to make some money. If you would like to take this business a step further, you can go to the local thrift shop in your area and get used books at a very cheap rate.
You can then sell them off for as much as $5, $10, or even $100 depending on how valuable the book is. In addition, you can make use of BookScouter. It’s an app that enables you to scan any book’s ISBN and then find out the highest price you can sell the book for online. BookScouter searches over 40 buy-back-book sites to find you the highest price.
32. Get paid to test websites
A lot of businesses are willing to pay people money for them to test their websites so as to determine how user-friendly it is and how the website “feels” generally when it is being used. Without a doubt, it can be quite difficult for you to find your own clients as a teen, but there are websites like Usertesting that exist that can handle that for you.
You can sign up for free, then whenever they have a new site to be tested, you will be notified. You visit the said site, then report back with your experience. The pay differs from site to site, but Usertesting pays $10 flat for every site review you complete.
33. Start a blog
Due to the tremendous amount of people who use and rely on the internet on a daily basis, blogging has become a very profitable business to start. For sustainability, it is best to specialize your blog in your area of interest. Blogging presents a plethora of niches that a teenager can focus on such as fashion, lifestyle, gossip, health, relationship, food, politics, entertainment et al.
Blogging is a great investment in terms of time and money because an article you wrote for 4 hours will be up and available for viewing for as long as your site lives. Furthermore, it requires essentially no money to keep going but has the potential to make you plenty of money.
To monetize your blog, you can either sell an advert space, make use of affiliate marketing, sell eBooks or webinars or just simply use Google AdSense. To start and run this business, you need to have an internet-enabled computer or laptop.
34. Make videos
These days, almost everyone uses YouTube on a regular basis. Initially, people upload videos on YouTube for fun and to become popular, but these days, it is very possible to earn legitimate money from YouTube. The top 10 channels on YouTube make at least $20,000 a month, and that’s not even considering how much they are capable of making in merch sales, or under-the-table endorsement type deals.
Also, there is a very popular trend of “Let’s Play” or videos of people playing video games and running a commentary in the background. It has become very popular in recent times and there are hundreds of thousands of people trying to break through it. The website TwitchTV is also an example of the rising prevalence of Let’s Plays.
It doesn’t matter if you’re playing video games, or music, or talking, as long as what you’re doing is interesting and people want to watch it. However, you should note that becoming successful on a video platform such as YouTube or Twitch takes a lot of hard work, diligence and sometimes even luck! But all the same, if you can make a few videos and get some subscribers, it can be a great secondary source of income.
35. Sell virtual property
As a teenager, you may be too young to go into real estate but there is no age limit to selling virtual property. If you love to play video games, then you can take advantage of this. Online games such as Second Life can offer you such an opportunity.
Ansche Chung is probably the most famous person to have ever benefited from this method, who became a millionaire by repeatedly selling land and houses on Second Life! Yes, a millionaire from playing games, and that’s no joke. People have also been known to do this for characters on World of Warcraft and can make upwards of a few hundred thousand a year.
It’s important to note these people created their own whole system for maximizing their ability to produce high-level characters/worthwhile properties. There is a market for it, though, and if you’re good with systems and repetitive tasks, this is something you can accomplish.
36. Street performance (Busking)
If you have an entertainment skill that people will appreciate, then you can take it to the street and make some money from it. From playing violins to guitars and even dancing, there are a lot of performances you can put up to make some dough.
You should however be careful of your local ordinance and the laws about street performance; in a lot of places, you’ll need to buy a permit from your city hall. If you aren’t having any luck with it, try the next town. The truth of the matter is just that some towns have a different reception to it than others.
37. Become an Influencer
Without a doubt, social media is a very powerful force and young people tend to use it a lot. With this in mind, advertisers know that in order to get in front of a younger demographic, they need to go where they are. If you have an active social media account with quite a few followers, brands will pay you to advertise for them.
There are thousands (maybe millions) of people who have started a business straight from their phones utilizing their Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat accounts. Chiara Ferragni is an Italian model and blogger who started her Instagram account while in school. She now boasts over 6 million followers and makes over $12 million a year.
38. Complete Mini Tasks
There are some websites that offer to pay people for the completion of a mini task. As a teen, you can make use of these websites and earn some money for yourself. The mini-tasks that these websites offer include data entry, taking pictures of display stands, and mystery shopping. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has tasks that anyone can complete.
Some of these tasks may involve entering handwritten names of patients for a doctor or checking the accuracy of numbers on a list. The pay is not great, however, it tends to increase with the more tasks you complete. More tasks also raise your score, making you eligible for higher-paid opportunities.
Websites that you find these mini-tasks include Clickworker, Crowdsource, Field Agent, Gingit et al. If you don’t have a checking account to collect funds from these money-making activities, you can always make use of PayPal. You can also request a PayPal debit card as well.
39. Web Designer
Do you know web designing (web design or web development)? If so, you might find work designing or creating websites for customers easy. These days, every entrepreneur needs a website and with this skill, you can help them to create it for a fee.
By working part-time out of your home you might be able to assemble a list of clients to keep you busy while you’re attending school. Even though you will be spending long hours stuck in front of a computer, you will be setting your own schedule, earning great money for part-time work, and possibly setting up a business that continues beyond high school.
40. Star in a movie
Most movies involve roles for a wide variety of age groups and producers are always looking for teenagers as extras or small parts. If you would like to be part of a movie, you can also make money while doing it. You can make use of some websites like www.movieextras.ie who notes on their website that 82% of people on their books last year received paid work and via acting on the set of Red Rock, RAW, Fair City, etc.
41. Set up an online shop
These days, up to a third of clothing, furniture, and household appliances are bought online. You can collect things that other people don’t want and set up a shop to sell these goods online on portals including Donedeal, Buyandsell, eBay, et al. You can also make crafts, handmade cards, jewelry, et al., and sell your creations on Etsy.
42. Customizing Things
If you have a Dremel or some paint you can easily customize your friend’s belongings for a fee. For example, Painting a pencil case with a custom theme or Engraving their name on it. This method could be very popular at the start of a term when people’s stationery needs naming.
43. Bicycle repair
If you are savvy in bicycle repairs then you can offer to repair people’s bicycles for a fee. In many parts of the country, this business tends to be seasonal, but you can find ways around that. You can offer to store people’s bicycles over the winter after you do a tune-up and any needed repairs on them. If you stay in a location that permits all year cycling (a place where it doesn’t snow), then you can offer this service all year round.
44. Fix Computers
In today’s world, almost everyone in Illinois has a laptop or a desktop. With continual use, it is unavoidable that these gadgets will eventually break down and will thus require repair. This is where the services of a computer repair technician come in.
To be able to carry out the task of a computer repairer, it is expedient that you will have to be technologically inclined. You can learn some basic computer repairs over the internet. Make sure that you add to your poster; “If I can’t fix it, you don’t have to pay me”. It’s only fair because no one wants to pay for a defective item that wasn’t even fixed in the first instance.
45. Muscle Power
If you’re a clean-cut, respectable teen and have a few friends who are too, you can be a hired muscle when people need to move things. Even if you’re just one person, you can often put up flyers saying you’ll help people move heavy objects. A lot of people will hire a couple of high school-age boys to help them move things. They generally don’t charge as much as established movers.
If you have the physical strength that is required then, there is a lot of money in this, but you have to be willing to do a lot of work. Try to keep your fees reasonable, always dress well, be kind and respectable, don’t be nosy, and be careful. Especially when going up and downstairs. You don’t want to damage anyone’s property.
46. Searching the Web
There is a website called Swagbucks where people actually get paid for browsing the Internet and more. The points you earn are put into a “bank” and can be redeemed for gift cards to be used on Amazon or at local and online stores such as Walmart, Target, and Old Navy.
Swagbucks will allow you to make money to pay for the things you need or want. Best of all, it’s free to join. Swagbucks is one of the most popular ways for teens (age 13+) to make money online. You can take surveys, watch videos, or just search for stuff online.
47. Animal Control
Many yards have rodents like gofers, mice, rats, squirrels, weasels, and raccoons. Homeowners pay a ton of money to have them removed. If you learn how to do this safely, market yourself to the neighborhood to let them know that you are the go-to guy for rodents.
48. Carpet Cleaner
Carpets need to be cleaned about every 6 months. If you want to solicit your services doing this, rent or buy a carpet cleaner. You could do it room by room, or even just spot clean an entire house. If you rent the machine, try to set up several homes that day to maximize your profit.
49. Clean Gutters
Gutters will fill with leaves and debris and will clog if not cleaned. Spray them out using a forceful sprayer and even install gutter guards to up-sell your service.
50. Strip wire scraps
Collect wasted copper wire from constructions sites or from electrical contractors, strip and sell it to metal salvaging companies. You can make a lot of money doing this.
51. Pet grooming
A lot of pet owners don’t have the time, equipment, and skills that are required to groom their pets. So if you love pets, you can take up this service. Pet grooming requires very little start-up funds and skill in order to begin.
52. Leaflet distributing
As a teen, you can be paid to distribute promotional flyers, campaign leaflets among others. The cool thing about leaflets is you can truly pinpoint marketing for your clients not just in a particular town, but to houses in a particular neighborhood, or on cars in a particular parking lot!