Wondering how to make money as a teenager? Finding legit ways for teens to make money fast can be a struggle, not least because you often need a Paypal account to collect money.
And Paypal requires you to be at least 18 years old to collect money through their platform.
Not to mention, there are numerous money making sites such as Etsy and Survey Junkie that require you to be at least 18, with your own bank account.
But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many other great ways for teens to make money.
In this post, I’ll cover the 4 main methods you can use as a teen (at any age) to make money online for FREE (yes, free), and how to legally do them and get paid without needing a Paypal account.
40 CREATIVE WAYS FOR TEENS TO MAKE MONEY FAST
I’ll then cover 36+ other ways you can make money on the side without major expenditure or upfront cost.
Sound good? Let’s get started.
How to Make Money as a Teenager Online: Legitimate Side Hustles
1. Start a Free Online Merch Store
Anyone, whether you’re a teenager or an adult can open a free online store and can start selling custom merchandise or products for free.
Before you panic and think, ‘how can teens make money with this idea? I don’t have any artistic skills so can’t design my own merch’, you don’t actually need artistic skills to succeed with this money making idea.
How? Thanks to sites like, teenagers across the world can sell custom products to Cafe press’s audience for a profit. For Free.
Cafepress is effectively like Ebay. It’s a gigantic pre-existing store where sellers list their designs for a profit.
You’re making a profit on a free listing.
Unlike a Shopify store where you have to pay for a domain name, hosting fees and all other sorts of expensive costs like marketing, Cafepress only takes a slice of the profit after you’ve made your sale.
There’s no upfront costs.
But do people actually buy stuff off Cafepress? Absolutely.
Last year alone, Cafepress turned a $76.3 million revenue. That’s just their share, not a total sum of all their sales.
The biggest overall seller on their site? The classic t-shirt.
But that’s not all you can sell; mugs, hoodies, stickers, water bottles, stationery, wall art, and so much more!
The reason this idea is a great way for a teenager to make money? They allow users aged 13+ to sell on their site.
Plus, you DON’T need to physically ship and sell your own products. No printers needed. No expensive tech software. Nothing of the sort.
You simply upload your design, choose which products you want to sell it on i.e. t-shirts, mugs, hoodies etc and then Cafepress does the hard work for you.
They print, package and ship the item to your customer (and deal with customer returns if needed) for a slice of your profit. But considering they do the heavy lifting, it’s a small price to pay.
This business idea is called print-on-demand. Customers order your product, and then Cafepress print it as and when needed.
Cafepress do NOT ask you to pay any upfront cost either. They will only take out of their profit after you’ve made the sale.
How do I make these designs? Do I need to hire a designer?
Nope! No designer needed. Surprisingly, text based designs work really well, and are often the best-sellers.
Ever heard of Canva? Canva is a free online graphic design tool that helps you create professional looking designs in minutes. There is a pro version, which I love and use, but absolutely can use the free version for this.
Take a look at these 2 text based designs that are selling like hotcakes on Cafepress.
These could easily be made using Canva and listed on Cafepress within 5-10 minutes.
Just remember to remove the white background using a free tool like this one before you upload to Cafepress to make sure the design looks great for your customer.
Think you could come up with some quirky quotes or funny sayings like these?
Staring a free online merch store could easily be your best way to make money as a teen.
And you’re not just limited to making money with Cafepress either.
You can sell your text based designs on these sites too;
- Redbubble (20 Million people per month head to Redbubble to buy merchandise, but you must be at least 16 to sell on their platform)
- Amazon Merch (You must apply to start selling as of 2020)
These sites do have Paypal as a form of payment, but they also have alternatives too.
They will pay directly into a bank account, and yes teenagers can have bank accounts. Parents can set-up a joint account, meaning teens can have their own debit card even.
2. Create Youtube Tutorial Videos
To start a Youtube channel you only need to be 13 years old.
And Youtube can make a lot of money, when done right.
You absolutely do not need to become a fashion or gaming influencer to make good money from Youtube, nor do you need to wait for ad revenue to stack up (which can take a while).
Plus, Youtube Adsense requires you to be at least 18 years old.
So, how can teens make money with Youtube? With affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is essentially where you get paid to promote someone else’s products, and every time someone uses your unique tracking link to purchase that product, you make a commission.
Some commissions can easily be 40-60% of the product’s total cost. That adds up very quickly!
The best way for a teenager to make money from Youtube is to create tutorial videos.
Videos that show people on Youtube how to set something up using a software for example.
Naturally, people want to follow along with a tutorial and so by dropping your unique tracking link in the description of the video, you can expect a good conversion rate.
These tutorial videos don’t need to be super long either to generate good commissions.
Photoshop for example will pay you 85% commission on the first month of the person’s subscription. That’s serious money!
They only require you to have verbal permission from your parents to join their affiliate program, and will pay commissions into your bank account directly. No Paypal required.
You could find popular and highly watched photoshop tutorials, recreate a similar video and upload to Youtube using your special affiliate link.
Adobe photoshop for example even has a free 7 day trial you can take advantage of to film all your tutorial videos.
There are many affiliate programs you can do this with; I’m just using Photoshop as an example.
OBS is a free software you can use to record your screen.
You can also use the free Open Shot video editor or iMovie if you have Mac/Apple to edit your videos.
The great thing about this money making idea? Because it’s a tutorial video, you never need to show yourself.
Type ‘affiliate programs’ into Google and check out their terms and conditions before signing up to make sure there’s no age restrictions.
Some will only allow users 18+ or 21+ to join.
3. Create and Sell Your Own Online Video Course
This online business idea goes hand in hand with the tutorial Youtube idea above.
But before I jump into that, I know you might be thinking, ‘but why would anyone buy information from me when there’s a ton of free information on the internet?’
The thing is, people like convenience, and there don’t like to trawl the internet trying to piece every little scrap of information together. It’s a hassle and wastes a lot of time.
The online education industry is set to grow a whopping 9.9% in the next 5 years, growing from $187 billion (2020) to a staggering $319 billion by 2025. Online courses aren’t going anywhere soon.
So how can you as a teenager make money online by creating video courses? The simple answer is Teachable.
Teachable is a way to package your videos and tutorials into one handy course that people can buy and go through at their own pace.
Now, you may have heard Teachable is a paid software, but there’s a free version many people do not know about. Why? Because they hide it, for obvious reasons.
When you head to Teachable, you’re going to want to scroll past the paid plans and instead hit the ‘take Teachable for a test run’ button.
Teachable is available to users from the age of 13 with verbal permission from their parents.
If you’re clever, using the free trial period for your affiliate programs, you could create enough video content to package and sell in your own online course.
You could then advertise this course in your Youtube video and add a link to it in the description, making it easy for people to buy. Want to check if your idea can make money before you record all those videos?
Head to Udemy, a place where people buy courses and check what’s selling in each category.
Check out how many students each course has.
This will tell you how many people have already bought the course, and what the demand for the topic is like.
How do I get paid without Paypal?
Use Stripe. Stripe is a trusty payment processor (I’ve used myself), that handles all of the payments for you and sends them direct to your bank account.
Again, Stripe allows anyone to use their platform as long as they’re aged 13 or over. Huge bonus.
5. Create Your Own Fiverr Gig
More of a creative idea, creating your own Fiverr gig can be a lucrative way for teenagers to make money legitimately.
Fiverr is a website that lets you sell freelancing services in the form of gigs.
A gig could be something like, ‘I will edit your Youtube videos to a professional, high quality standard’, or ‘I will design a logo for your website’, or ‘I will proof-read your blog posts for grammatical errors’.
These are just some ideas of what you as a teenager can offer as a freelance service.
Now, I know many people may think Fiverr is way too competitive, but if you’ve got an ounce of creativity in your body, Fiverr can make you serious money.
And you only need to be aged 13 or over to register with them. No parental permission needed.
Think about what skills you have that you can offer to the wider world.
Both hard and soft skills are accepted on the platform. Here are a few ideas of what you could offer to start making money as a teenager online right away;
- Video editing
- Writing a blog post
- Setting up a Linkedin or social media profile
- Designing a logo
- Setting up a WordPress website
- Creating voice-overs
- Creating Photoshopped images
Businesses will pay you money in exchange for completing their tasks.
But, here’s where most people go wrong; they copy what everyone else is doing.
To stand out on Fiverr you’ll want to offer very specific gigs i.e. ‘I will design a logo for your pet website’, ‘I will write blog posts for your tech website’, ‘I will create flyers for your political campaign’.
Research and find gigs where few people are offering the same service, and you’re sure to attract more clients.
Fiverr will pay anything you earn into your bank account via a bank transfer.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A TEENAGER WITHOUT A JOB
You absolutely do not need a job in order to make money as a teenager.
There are a huge number of side hustles you can work into your schedule, and fit around other commitments like school or college.
CLEVER WAYS TO MAKE MONEY AS A TEENAGER
If you’re smart you can transform the odd job into a side hustle with regular monthly income.
These clever ways to make money as a teenager are a little more out of the box, but could easily pay off in the long run.
Not only are you earning money relatively fast, but you’re learning key entrepreneurial skills most schools do not teach.
1. Instagram Shout Outs
You don’t need to be an influencer in the traditional sense to start making money. Instagram accounts built around copyright free and credited videos can easily turn into a reliable stream of income.
Think about how many cute animal and pet accounts you’ve seen with thousands of followers.
Companies will pay anywhere from $50-500 per Instagram shout out, be it a post or a story.
If you built a dog account for example, you could promote dog toys, dog treats, dog grooming services etc.
You can do in this any niche; sports, fashion, animals, personal development, positivity etc.
The key is to niche down to a relevant audience. It’s well worth taking the time to build an engaged audience to offer Instagram shout outs.
2. Become a ‘Professional’ Organizer
Professional organizers are in high demand. Not many people like to organize things.
If you love to organize things and make them look neat and tidy, becoming a professional organizer is a great side hustle for teenagers to earn some extra cash.
Start local and ask neighbours if they would like a room or area organized. Teen professional organizers can make anywhere from $10-15 an hour.
3. Do Odd Jobs for Businesses
Businesses are always on the lookout for someone to do smaller, easy to understand tasks to free up their employees for more strategic tasks.
Similar to becoming a virtual assistant, you would do many different tasks for a business, except with this idea you can work for many different companies at one time.
You’re not just tied to a particular person or company.
Websites such as Snagajob help people to find essential jobs that are in high demand in your area now.
They range from simple customer service tasks to database entry to sending out emails.
In addition to the 4 main ways to make money online above, you can try these simple ideas too.
Provide Tech Lessons
You’d be surprised just how in demand basic tech lessons are.
Everything from grocery shopping to banking to talking with friends can be done online, and slowly, more and more services are shutting up shop and becoming online only.
This leaves many people, especially older people without those basic skills to get online. Teach them how for a bit of extra money.
Make and Sell DIY Crafts
Candles, mugs, wall art. Many people recommend selling your crafts on Etsy, but…Etsy doesn’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to use their services.
If you wanted to sell on Etsy, your best bet would be for your parent to set-up the account and then you create the products to sell as stated in their terms and conditions.
You can even create digital downloads to sell, meaning you don’t have to physically ship or package anything.
Dog walkers can make anywhere from $20-50 an hour depending on where you live.
To make this idea even more lucrative, consider walking more than one dog at a time.
Just make sure those dogs get along otherwise you could have a bit of a battle on your hands.
Parents need a break too. If you’re good with younger kids, babysitting can be a lucrative way to make money as a teenager.
You can also set-up a Teen care.com with the help of a parent.
Anything from pet walking, grooming to overnight stays, many pet owners are looking to pamper their pets or leave them with a trusted person whilst they go on vacation.
Looking after pets is a fun and easy way for kids to make extra money.
If you’re a bit older, you could start a Teen care.com account to find pet sitting jobs.
Sell Dog & Pet Treats
People love their pets, especially their dogs. Raw and natural dog treats sales are rising by 23% every year!
Jump online to find a few tried and tested dog treat recipes you can make, bundle them, and sell them to dog owners in the area.
Give them to 2-3 dogs first though to make sure they taste good! If the dog likes it, you know you have a winning recipe for sure.
Do you excel in something that many others struggle with?
Are you good at math or maybe you’re a whizz at churning out beautiful essays that get good grades?
Tutors can earn anywhere from $15-30 an hour, depending on the subject.
Set Up Social Media Accounts For Others
More and more people are looking to get online, especially their businesses.
But, here’s the thing, setting up a business social media profile is different than setting up a personal account.
It often requires more steps and website verification etc.
If you have some basic to intermediate tech skills, you can offer to set-up these all important accounts for them.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Self-employed people often have more tasks to do than they can realistically handle.
This is where you can help out by becoming an assistant or even a virtual assistant.
With this job, you can work anywhere in the world for any company. Every day will be different; one day you could be mailing letters, the next helping with their social media.
Don’t fancy leaving the home? Try helping out a little closer to home.
Your parents might have lots of errands and chores they need completing around the house too. It’s a quick and easy way for younger teens to make money.
Cars cost a lot of money, and yet they’re neglected all too often.
Washing them a few times a month preserves the shine and can potentially lead to earning more money for the car owner should they wish to sell it. Keeping it in tip top condition is your business pitch.
All you need are two buckets, some car wash shampoo and microfiber towels.
Once you get some experience, you can offer more services such as a full car valet to increase the money you can make as a teen.
Make sure to take your time and do an amazing job so you can have repeat customers.
If you’re an older teen, you could even consider staring a mobile car detailing business.
Garden Tidying Services
From mowing the lawn to trimming hedges to raking up leaves, many homeowners would prefer to leave these tasks to someone else.
Professional gardeners can charge a lot of money, so to remain competitive offer your services at a reduced fee and you’re sure to win the job.
Set-up a Farmer’s Market Stand
More of a seasonal idea, if you have crafts, foods or home-grown produce to sell, setting up a farmer’s market is a great way to start earning some money fast.
Jams, honey and sweet treats always sell well at a farmer’s market.
A great way to make money as a kid on a warm summer’s day is to set-up a drinks stand.
Having a drinks stand isn’t an all-year round money maker but it’s a great way to capitalize on a product high in demand; a refreshing drink!
Painting the house is a major job that homeowners often put off due to the fact that it seems so overwhelming and due to the weather too.
However, you as a teenager may be able to offer this service during your spring break or summer break.
As it’s such an unwanted task, you can charge a bit more for the service too.
Help Senior Citizens
The elderly love a bit of help and company, especially if they live on their own.
Check in on the elderly a couple days a week to see if they need any chores or errands doing. It’s a nice way to give back to the local community whilst earning a bit of money.
Are you a great swimmer? Offer to teach some younger children in the area how to swim.
This vital, lifesaving skill is something all parents want their children to be able to do, and well.
If you can take a simple lifeguard qualification too, this will only help your efforts in securing extra swim lessons.
Birthday Party Helper
Parents always need an extra helper at a birthday party.
Whether it’s helping to put up decorations, cutting the cake or just making sure the younger kids are safe, offering your services as a birthday party helper is a great way for teens to start making money fast.
Everyone has the odd job here and there they don’t want to do; grab the post, pick-up some milk, sort through heaps of paper.
See if your family, friend’s family or local neighbours need help with any errands.
Start a Design Business
Have some tech skills? Good at photoshop? A design business is not only a fantastic, quick and easy way to make money fast, but it’s also a legit long term business idea.
From logos to flyers to blog post graphics, many businesses are willing to outsource their design tasks.
Water Plants for the Elderly
You’d be surprised just how many times people forget to water their plants and so therefore they wither and die.
You could even offer a retainer service, meaning they will pay you monthly to keep their plants alive.
Use Your Car Knowledge
Know how to top up someone’s oil or repair a cracked windscreen or replace a broken windscreen wiper?
Adults hate going to a dealership; you may have to sit in the waiting room for hours, sometimes even if you have an appointment!
Doing it from the comfort of their own home saves the customer lots of time, giving you the competitive advantage.
Check around to see if someone could use your handy car service skills.
You could take a free online car maintenance course to show your knowledge, create some cheap flyers and promote your business that way.
Clean Outdoor Furniture
After a long, hot summer or stormy winter, leaves, debris and all other sorts of muck get trapped in and around outdoor furniture.
Many professional cleaners charge a lot of money to restore outdoor furniture to its prime condition, and people just often don’t have time to do it themselves; that’s where you come in.
At a slightly reduced rate, you can clean people’s outdoor furniture and still earn great money as a teenager.
This is an odd job that elderly people will be more than happy to pay for.
Weeding a garden takes a bit of energy, energy that younger people like yourself have in surplus!
Ask a few neighbours or locals if they would be willing to let you de-weed their garden for a bit of profit.
Many newspaper shops still deliver paper rounds. Most paper delivery jobs are part-time and will accept teens from the age of 13.
Many survey sites want kids to be 18 or older, but Swagbucks lets anyone 13 or older to make money.
It’s a great way to make money from home as a teen. It won’t make you as much as money as the other ideas but it’s a quick way to get started.
Build DIY Gift Baskets
People will pay a premium for gift baskets.
Gift baskets are a great way to double your profit and make a bit of extra money as a teenager. The demand for gift baskets has risen by 13% this year, 2020 alone.
Take a look on Pinterest for some ideas to get you started.
Design Wall Art
Wall art always sells well, especially at craft fairs. You can also sell your designs on the Facebook marketplace.
And remember to list them on places like Cafepress!
Create Unique Candles
There are many teenagers making serious money from launching their own candle business.
Take this 17 year old boy for example, his candle business is set to make $1 million this year alone.
Check out our other post for some more creative DIY ideas to make money with as a teen.
How to Make Money Fast as a Teenager
A lot of ways to make money fast as a teenager rely on special events and holidays, things you can do quickly where people are willing to pay for your services.
Here are some money making ideas to get you started:
- Host a Bake Sale
- Decorate Garden for Holiday Events
- Christmas Tree Disposal
- Host an Outdoor Movie Night
- Face Painting Services
- Host a Raffle
- Power Wash Homes
The reason these business ideas work so well?
- You’re creating/finding a great product to sell.
- You’re putting those products in front of the right customers.
- They’re in demand and are ‘easy’ sales, meaning your customer is more likely to buy.
- They can be side hustles if you already work another job or are in school/college.
Whether you’re looking to make money online as a teenager or are searching for easy ways to make money on the side, these are 40 legit ways to teens to make money fast without the need for a Paypal account.
Not all jobs may be applicable to you, but I’d definitely give the first 4 business ideas a go even if you do nothing else.
The sooner you take the first step; the more money you can make.