make money

How to Make Money as a Kid

You don’t have to be an adult to make money. You don’t even have to be a teenager! Regardless of age, you can earn a few extra bucks, even as a kid. There are traditional jobs like babysitting, shoveling snow and doing chores around the house. Then there are special and creative jobs such as handicrafts or home-grown vegetables. Just remember to save some of that money for later.


Put together a babysitter box before your first assignment.

Fill them with anything that might come in handy, such as a first aid kit, snacks, and a phone charger. Also pack things for the kids like coloring books, glitter glue, toys and puzzles. Choose age-appropriate things. For example, if you’re babysitting, bring stuffed animals instead of toys with small parts that a child could choke on. A basic first aid kit includes plasters, hand sanitizer, medical tape, wet wipes and gloves.

Think about how much you want to charge.

As a babysitter, you earn an average of around ten euros. Calculate your hourly wage based on your experience and the number of children to be cared for. Make sure you agree on a price with the parents before they leave you alone with the kids. There are babysitting apps that parents can use to pay you over their phone so you don’t have to walk around with a bag full of cash. Negotiating money can be weird. But you don’t have to be nervous if you ask a reasonable price. You are entitled to it!

Arrive 15 minutes early to discuss rules with parents.

15 minutes is enough to share all the house rules, expectations and contact information before the parents leave. Ask about bedtimes, allergies, and how to discipline the kids. Write everything down in a notebook so you don’t forget anything. At this point, you can also talk about your hourly wage if you haven’t already. Share your price, even though you probably won’t get paid until they get home. Do not come too late. Even a minute’s delay makes you seem irresponsible and untrustworthy.

Get your way when the kids are misbehaving.

Be consistent with the kids. If they tell you that their parents allow them to do things that their parents have clearly forbidden (e.g. staying up after bedtime), play it safe and follow the parents’ rules. They will be impressed by your maturity and competence and will hopefully hire you again. When in doubt, ask. Never hesitate to call the parents if you are unsure or if the children are fussing. Better safe than sorry. You must never hit or yell at children. Use an authoritative voice to remind them of the rules and consequences if they continue to misbehave.

You can take a babysitting course if you are at least 11 years old.

Such courses are available, for example, at the adult education center or at the DRK. There you will also be trained and certified in first aid and resuscitation. There you learn many important things and with a certificate you also get more jobs as a sitter because parents trust you more. Online courses cost from 25 euros, direct lessons around 45 euros. If you are under the age of eleven or are not yet comfortable alone with other children, start as a mother’s helper. You babysit or play with children while mom or dad is around.

Sell things

Host a flea market to sell things you no longer need.

Clean up your room and collect all the toys, decorative items and clothes that you no longer need or want. With parental permission, display these items on a folding table in the front yard or driveway. Put a price tag on each item and charge an amount based on the original price and current value. The best times for a flea market are weekend mornings. That’s when most people who are interested in flea markets are out and about. Ask parents and siblings if they want to get rid of things, too. If you can offer more variety, you will attract more people of different ages. Be ready to act. Know in advance what the lowest price is for each item and stick to it when negotiating with customers.

Sell ​​candy if you have a lot of friends.

Everyone feels like strengthening themselves in the form of a chocolate bar in the afternoon. Buy larger quantities of sweets in specialty shops such as one-euro shops or similar, where they are much cheaper. Then sell individual bars or multiple packs for a profit by doubling the price. For example, if you bought 12 bars for 12 euros, you paid 1 euro per bar. Sell ​​them for two euros, then you earn 12 euros when you withdraw your stake. If you want to sell the candy at school or on the school bus, find out if that’s allowed. Selling door to door accompanied by a parent to avoid risk.

Set up a lemonade stand when it’s hot outside.

You’ll need a folding table, a sign that says “Soda Sale,” plastic cups, straws, a large pitcher, ice, and of course, soda. If you want to make the stand in the front yard, make the lemonade in the kitchen and chill it. Sell ​​the lemonade by the cup. If the stand is farther from the house, make the lemonade ahead of time and store it in a cooler under the table. Charge extra for ice cream and straw (more material means higher cost). While you can sell lemonade in bottles, you can’t charge as much as you can for cups. People pay more for hand-squeezed lemonade that they can’t buy in stores. Sell ​​pretzels or cookies with the lemonade to earn extra.

Sell ​​baked goods if you enjoy baking.

Choose recipes that make it easy to make large batches, like fluffy chocolate chip cookies, moist brownies, or vanilla cupcakes. When you’ve baked everything, pack your pieces into individual portions in pretty bags that you tie closed with ribbons. Set up the stand in the front yard or on the street corner to reach more passers-by. If you’re selling homemade items, you need to be mindful of food safety and cleanliness. Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling food and always make sure to use fresh ingredients. Check with the health department or local authority to see if you need a special permit to sell baked goods. Use baking mixes or use your own recipes. You could also specialize in specific things, such as gluten-free or vegan baked goods. This is how your baked goods will be unique.

Grow plants, herbs or vegetables if you have a green thumb.

If your parents allow you to grow your own things in the garden, choose vegetables that grow easily, such as lettuce, tomatoes, or cucumbers. If you want to grow plants indoors in pots, choose ones that don’t need as much sun or space. Harvest the vegetables when they are ripe and sell them in plastic bags or containers. If you’re selling flowers or herbs, consider selling the potted plant so the buyer can enjoy it for years to come. Herbs like basil, oregano, or chives grow well indoors. Other good houseplants include succulents, ferns, and grass lilies. Most vegetables should be planted in March-April so you can harvest them in the summer. Research your specific plant online or ask your local nursery if you are unsure.

Sell ​​homemade crafts if you enjoy being creative.

Turn your hobby into a business. Whether it’s homemade candles, friendship bracelets, or beautiful greeting cards, sell these items at craft markets, farmers’ markets, or online on Etsy. Calculate the price based on the material used and your working time. The more hours it takes you to make a piece and the more expensive the materials, the higher the price. You must be at least 13 to open a shop on Etsy and under 18 you need parental permission. If you’re under 13, ask your parents to open a shop in their name. A few boutiques and corner shops sell local handicrafts. Find out if there are stores in your area that would sell your work.

Working outdoors

Mow lawns in the summer if you can safely operate a lawn mower.

Wheeled devices are safe for 12-year-olds, while wheeled devices require you to be at least 16 years old. Before you start mowing the lawn, ask your neighbors how long you want the grass to be, which parts of the lawn you should mow, and if there are any special instructions (e.g., don’t get too close to the flower bed). Ask for between 20 and 50 euros, depending on the size of the area. Find out what others are charging in your area. Only mow in daylight and good weather, when conditions are safest. Always wear closed-toe shoes and goggles to protect your eyes from flying grass or debris. If your neighbor has pets or small children, ask that they stay indoors for safety reasons.

Rake the fall leaves.

Grab a rake and some big garbage bags and go door to door offering your service. Ask your neighbors which areas of the lawn to rake and where to leave the leaves, such as on the curb for collection or in a pile in a wooded area behind the house. Rake the leaves into a large pile, then stuff it into the trash bag, which you then tie shut. Avoid raking leaves soon after it rains. Wet leaves are much harder and more tiring to rake. Wait until the garden is dry before raking. If you are tipping the leaves rather than putting them in bags, use a large plastic wheelie bin with wheels instead of a garbage bag. It’s easy to fill and you can roll it anywhere.

Shovel driveways and sidewalks clear of snow.

Take a light but sturdy shovel with a non-stick blade. Think of a strategy, e.g. work down the driveway from above or across it in diagonal lines. Push the snow from side to side, only picking it up when you have to so you don’t get exhausted. Ask for a flat rate of 10 to 20 euros depending on the size of the driveway and whether the neighbors also want the sidewalk and porch cleared. When shoveling snow, always bend your knees, not your hips, to protect your back. Dress for the weather because you will be outside for hours. Wear a heavy coat, waterproof gloves, a hat or earmuffs, and well-soled snow boots to avoid slipping on the ice.

Tend to neighbors’ gardens in the spring.

Offer to pull weeds, plant and water flowers, or mulch the garden. People start gardening as early as March, so you should start offering your services in late February/early March. This is how you get some fresh air and learn to garden. Charge an hourly rate for weeding, planting and mulching. For example, if your price is 5 euros per hour and you worked in the garden for 3 hours on Sunday, then you get 15 euros. Since watering plants isn’t an hourly job, charge a flat rate based on the number of plants and frequency of watering.

Wash cars or bikes if your driveway is big enough.

Get sponges and old rags, towels, car shampoo, a large bucket and hose, and set up a wash station in your driveway a few hours a week. Scrub each vehicle, focus on dirty spots, rinse well and pat dry with a microfiber towel. Take 10-20 euros per vehicle. Advertise your services a week in advance so the neighbors know when your shop is open. Earn some extra by offering to clean the inside of the car as well. Vacuum the floor mats, wipe down the dashboard and clean the cup holders. If you’re really busy, hire some friends. But don’t forget that you also have to share the money.

Find unusual jobs

Do household chores if you enjoy cleaning.

If your parents are already paying you pocket money, see if you can supplement that with even more involvement. Offer to do the laundry, clean the bathroom, or vacuum all the rugs in the house. Let your neighbors know they can hire you too. Elderly neighbors who find certain household chores difficult will appreciate your services. Don’t expect to get paid for chores you already have to do, like keeping your room clean or cleaning up after you in the kitchen.

Take care of houses when neighbors go on vacation.

Water the plants, take out the trash, pick up the mail and keep an eye on everything. You may be asked to check in once or twice a day or even stay the night there so the house doesn’t look uninhabited to prevent burglaries. Follow the rules and instructions of the neighbors and always lock for safety reasons. If you’re staying the night, ask an older sibling or parent to stay with you. Ask your neighbor to write down all important instructions so you don’t forget anything. There is also contact information so that you can reach him in an emergency or if you have a question. Treat the house with respect. Your neighbors confide in you a lot, so you shouldn’t betray their trust by inviting friends over, eating their food, or using things without their permission.

Take dogs out if you like animals.

Ask your neighbors if they need a dog walker. Come by on time every day, bring an extra leash, water bottle, dog bowl and poop bags just in case. Walk the dog for the agreed amount of time and charge a price based on your experience and the length of the walk. Write your schedule on the phone or in a planner to keep track of which dog you walk on which days. If possible, spend time with the dog before the first walk so that you can get to know each other better. Ask the neighbor if you can play with the dog in the backyard for an hour or so before you take him out for the first time. Know your limits. Certain dogs may be problematic for you, such as breeds like Pittbulls or aggressive animals. Cancel if you are unsure, even if the pay is good.

Feed pets and take care of them when the owners are not at home.

Pet sitting is like babysitting, only for animals. If you like animals, let your neighbors know that you’re happy to look after their pets when they’re not around. Always respect their rules and ask ahead of time if you have any questions regarding the instructions. Before you leave, meet with the neighbors to discuss exactly what you should do and how much they will pay for it. How much you charge depends on how long you’re caring for the animal, how many there are, and how much responsibility you have. For example, if you only feed her fish once a day, then you should charge less than if you walked the dog and injected insulin twice a day. Write down any necessary contact information in case of an emergency, e.g. the neighbor’s cell phone number, veterinarian’s name and phone number, etc.

If you enjoy teaching, teach children in areas that you are an expert in.

Think about which subject you are the best at or which topics you know well. Help your peers or tutor younger kids who want to get ahead of the next school year. Post flyers in your area or at the school detailing what you teach, how much it costs, and what services you offer. Take either an hourly price or a flat rate per session. Make sure the price is fair for what you’re offering. For example, if you’re just helping someone learn their math flashcards, then you should charge less than if you’re helping someone with their German essay. Prepare for tutoring by reviewing your materials, purchasing textbooks and practice books, and asking your student what they are learning in class and what they are struggling with.

Paint your friends’ nails if you have a steady hand.

All you need is some pretty polishes and some creativity to start your own mobile nail salon. Charge extra for special designs, glitter or adhesive decorative elements. Offer a discount if someone orders both manicure and pedicure. For example, if hand care costs five euros and foot care costs six, do it together for ten. This saves your customer a euro, which encourages them to spend more. Watch instructional videos online to learn how to draw flowers, swirls, or stars. Cut nails, massage hands with cuticle cream, or discard old nail polish for extra rewards.

Deliver newspapers every morning if they have one in your area.

Find out if there are routes near you by calling the local newspaper. Pick up your sack of newspapers every morning and ride your bike from house to house to deliver them or let your parents drive you. Most newspapers have to be delivered around five in the morning. So be prepared to get up very early. Newspaper delivery prices vary widely. Find out beforehand whether it is worth it for you. If you don’t want to work every day, share your route with two or three friends or family members and swap days off. Many successful men like Walt Disney, Warren Buffett and Tom Cruise started out as newspaper deliverers.

Recycle items at the local recycling center if they accept items.

Some centers pay a little for recyclable items. Ask around for glass bottles, soda cans, cereal boxes, or milk cans. Have your parents drive you there and raise money for your collection. Some recycling centers require you to prepare items before you can drop them off, such as cleaning cans and removing caps from bottles. Ask your local center what the rules are. For example, in the US, look for the symbol (a triangle of three arrows) on the bottom or back to find out if plastic can be recycled. If the number in the triangle is one or two, then recycling can be done, if the number is 3, 6 or 7, it cannot. For numbers 4 or 5 you have to ask at the recycling center.


About the Author

Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter is a senior writer and editor at CouponKirin. His work has been featured by The Associated Press, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and Reuters. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When he’s not writing about money, Carter enjoys traveling around the world.