Got a Broke Teen? 10 Ways to Earn Extra Money For Young Adults

Got a Broke Teen? 10 Ways to Earn Extra Money For Young Adults

So your kids are growing up. The days of diaper changes and midnight feedings are in the rearview mirror. These changes can be a great blessing and a bit of a curse. One of the most repeated questions you'll hear as kids grow older is "Mom, can I have some money?" If this question is ringing in your ears, you might find yourself desperate for your youngsters to find ways to earn extra money for themselves.

Earning one's own cash has a positive effect on self-esteem and feelings of future capabilities, according to researchers at Columbia University, an extra benefit all parents would appreciate.

Often though, the problem comes when brainstorming money-generating ideas for teens. Why not hand off some of that responsibility? We can help you find some tried and true ways for your teenager to make a few bucks - or more!


The tried and true classic! As long as there have been families, there have been parents searching for a responsible young adult to watch their little ones while they have a date night. Give your child a leg up on the competition by having them take a CPR certification class.

Music Lesson Teacher

Does your child play the guitar like John Mayer or have super human trombone skills? Turn that talent into a money maker. A great resource is your school counselor, who can connect you with younger students who might be looking for a music teacher.

Lawn Mowing Business

In today's busy world, folks have less time for chores like lawn mowing and maintenance. Why not have your teen make some flyers with a catchy business name and hand them out around the neighborhood? You may be pleasantly surprised at how lucrative a summer of lawn mowing can be for your child.

Companion Services

Often, people in the "sandwich generation" – caring for both kids and elders – need help. This can often mean simply sitting with an elderly person and discussing current events or listening to stories from another era.

Joining the Family Business

Does your family run its own business? If not, what's holding you up? Worried about finding good help? If you're lucky enough to be your own boss, hiring one of your kids could be great on-the-job training and a money maker all in one. Maybe the entrepreneurial gene runs in the family and your child has a great business idea of their own! Check out the Small Business Administration's awesome guide for youth who dream of starting a business.

Cleaning Grandma's House

As grandparents age, the chore of keeping the house clean can become difficult. Why not let your child take on the task for Grandma? Once they become familiar with cleaning Grandma's house, your teen could always branch out and find more homes to spruce up. Depending on the scope, this job could also count for a teen's school community service hours.

Personal Assistant Services

Blame the pace of modern living again, but personal assistant services are becoming essential. Many people are working demanding full-time jobs with little flexibility. The responsibilities of a PA can run the gamut of services, with jobs like dog walking, helping with groceries, gift-wrapping during the holidays, returning library books and so on. For an older, responsible teen, this could be a great way to earn extra money and make some valuable connections!

Tutoring Services

Having a brilliant kid doesn't just pay off in scholarship money--it can also provide a great stream of income before they take off for college. Younger kids are much more motivated to please a compassionate teenager than a frustrated adult. Meeting with your child's school guidance counselor is a helpful first step in connecting your child with other kids who might need a tutor.

Online Proofreading

So much of today's job marketplace can be found through online services. There are many sites looking for low-cost proofreading services for projects like college essays, e-books, blogs and the like. If your teen has a knack for words, this might be a great job to consider!


The days of taking the family down to the local department store for a posed photo shoot are pretty much over. Most families today are looking for a more natural and authentic picture to hang over the mantle. If your teenager has a creative streak and love for photography, why not consider offering low-cost beginner photo shoots? This kind of business could be something they carry on long into adulthood.

The possibilities for your teen to earn extra money are endless. Encourage your child to find reward and purpose in whatever job they choose to do. Forward this list to them, and the constant pestering for cash will be a thing of the past.