ways to make money as a kidways to make money as a kid

How To Make Money as a Kid (and the lessons learned along the way)

September 21, 2022
Family Finance

How do you teach kids to be hard working, successful adults? To develop an entrepreneurial spirit?

How do you help them learn the value of money?

The answer – help them make their own money.

By making their own money, kids learn the value of hard-earned cash. They learn how to make money and develop independence, a sense of ownership and pride in their work.

On the path to making money, kids learn invaluable lessons and values.

It’s our job to teach kids financial literacy and give them a great starting point for their future.

On the path to making money, kids learn invaluable lessons and values.

They learn how to problem solve, build relationships with customers, manage money, set prices. Most of all they learn to be hard working.

Here's our list of ways to earn money as kids (and what they can learn in the process!):

Easy Money as a Kid at Any Age

How to Earn Money as a Kid – Young Kids

Ways for Teenagers to Make Money

Easy Money as a Kid at Any Age

At the youngest ages, money for kids is mostly used to start saving for their future.

When they grow a little, they reach the age where they start noticing our own use of money and developing their own wants and needs.

Young kids are first introduced with money at a very early age – they watch us at the grocery store, the ice cream store, and when we go buy them toys.

As soon as they start asking about money, that’s when you can really start teaching them about it. Until then, focus on setting a good example and on saving and investing your little one's money.

With compound interest, money saved from an early age can become a large amount over time.

Here are a few ways to make money early on:

1) Receive Cash Gifts for Your Kid’s Birthdays, Holidays, Graduations and Baby Showers

Often, the first money that a kid can make comes from cash gifts and investments for a newborn baby.

Throughout human history, people have enjoyed investing in children’s futures by giving gifts.

Monetary gifts for kids are appropriate for all ages, from gifts for a baby shower, to gifts for a high school or college graduation, and all the events in between.

Financial gifts for kids

Platforms like Greatest Gift turn financial gifting for the future easy and personal with a digital gifting experience and an online cash gift registry.

What kids can learn:

Kids can learn about saving for the long term and setting financial goals. When the kids are old enough, share some of the goals of their cash gifts.

Kids will also learn good family values and the value of giving great gifts.

Share how the gifts are being saved to teach financial literacy and introduce them to savings accounts and investments.

On top of dry financial skills, kids will also learn good family values and the value of giving great gifts.

2) Chores and Allowance

Educating kids about money starts with the first time they receive an allowance or get money for performing chores.

You can start giving a weekly allowance to kids as early as they turn four or five.

Once they start understanding what money is, you can introduce them to a brand new concept: earning money!

Start by giving them a weekly chore around the house or in their room and set a monetary reward for performing the chores.

If you’re like me and don’t have cash lying around the house to give to the kids, you can go digital with apps like Greenlight for both allowance pay and chores management and payment.

Greenlight is an app that lets you pay your kids and holds the money for them, with parental controls.

It even lets you set parent-paid interest on their savings. This way you can teach them more about the power of compound interest.

This may be the first real money that kids make on their own and have a sense of ownership over

This may be the first real money that kids make on their own and have a sense of ownership over.

Remember to set expectations about money do’s and don’ts – define how the money can be spent in advance and avoid future arguments with your kids.

What kids can learn:

Managing their allowance will teach kids to budget their money and save for bigger goals (like a big toy they’ve been eyeing).

Kids who receive an allowance quickly learn the value of money, how to manage a budget, delay gratification, and set their priorities wisely.

Remember, you are their mentor and coach for responsible economical behavior. Set a good example and help them understand and make good decisions now.

You are their mentor and coach for responsible economical behavior

One popular method of managing their allowance is setting up a save-spend-give split rule. For example, the child can decide to set 50% for savings, 40% for spending and 10% for donating and giving.

Chores and rewards teach your kids to be helpful around the house and instills good work ethic in them.

This really is a tried-and-true way for you to let your kids start making their own money and build a healthy relationship with money from an early age.

3) Modeling and Stock Photos

You may wonder why we listed modeling here, and the answer may surprise you: taxes.

Many parents want to set their kids up for retirement by taking advantage of a Roth IRA account, investing money tax free for their kids until retirement.

With a Roth IRA, you can invest earned after-tax money today, and enjoy the investment growth in the future tax free. This is especially worthwhile if you have a low tax rate today, and who has a lower tax rate than kids?

The only catch – you need qualified earned income.

In come baby modeling and stock photos.

If you have a small business where you can use pictures of your kid, you can pay your child a small salary for the use of those pictures. Even posting on social media qualifies, as long as it is for the business account.

If you don't have a business of your own, you can sell stock photos on online websites like Shutterstock or Adobe.

What kids can learn:

Invest the money earned into a Roth IRA. When your kids are a little older, use this as a lesson opportunity to teach them about retirement savings, taxes, and investments.

How to Earn Money as a Kid – Young Kids

Now that the kids are a little bit older, you can start with bigger projects and kiddie side hustles.

The following ways are bigger projects that may require an adult’s help, but they hold within each of them lessons in business, finance, and even digital marketing!

For these projects, kids should know basic numbers, be able to read and write, and perform more complex tasks. You can start some of them as early as age six.

Choose one of these projects (or a few!) to do with your kids to really start teaching them how to make money.

4) Build a Lemonade Stand

The long summer vacation is an opportunity to get your kids their first lesson in business and finance.

Start with the true American classic – the Lemonade Stand.

Help the kids set up a lemonade stand around the block or in a busy park near your home.

Make money as a kid: Lemonade Stand

You kill two birds - it's not only a fun activity for the hot summer days but gives you a chance to teach them about running a business from an early age. They get a chance to practice their math in a fun way by giving change and calculating the cost of their supplies.

Start by making a plan with them and list all the activities you need to start selling lemonade – you need a table, lemonade, some cups and a sign. You also need money to give back as change!

Figure out the cost of all the supplies, help them choose the right location, and spread the word around the neighborhood.

Help them price the lemonade – are there other lemonade stands in your neighborhood? How much would people be willing to give? How much does one cup of lemonade cost to make?

Teach your kids to be kind and helpful to their customers, and they will learn sales and relationship building.

Some states require a permit for a lemonade stand, even if it’s just for kids. Be sure to check it out in your State (you can google "lemonade stand permit [your state]").

What kids can learn:

Everything from everything. Kids will learn to form a plan and execute it.

They’ll learn to choose a good business location, much like real businesses need to choose the best real estate.

Pricing and understanding the cost of their lemonade will teach kids to understand basic business economics, and they can even use their earnings to upgrade the lemonade stand for next year.

Teach your kids to be kind and helpful to their customers, and they will learn sales and relationship building.

Nothing teaches more about the value of a relationship with your customer than a satisfied customer that comes back the next day for another cup of cool lemonade.

5) Garage Sale

Prosperity in the 21st century has led to an abundance of stuff, and we just keep buying and keeping more and more stuff, creating an opportunity for your kids to make money: the garage sale.

When your kids outgrow their toys, baby books or clothes, they can hold a garage sale to make a few bucks and clean up some junk around the house at the same time.

Hold a garage sale on a weekend, and let your kids participate in the process.

You can let them choose what they keep vs what they sell, and what prices to set. You can even let them help negotiate with potential buyers on the day of the sale.

Have a garage sale to make a few bucks and clean up some junk around the house at the same time

You can also choose a charity with your kids together and giveaway anything that is left over from the garage sale.

What kids can learn:

Keep or save – kids will learn to sort the things they own and decide only to keep what they actually use.

If they have a large number of items that hasn’t been used it will show them that they may not need as much stuff as they thought, and will teach them to only buy things they really need.

Set a portion of the earnings to go to charity and teach your kids about giving back.

Let the kids help in pricing their items, and teach them how to negotiate with potential buys. It’s never too early to learn how to negotiate deals!

6) Car Wash

Kids may be too young to drive but they can certainly make money washing cars.

Let the kids start by washing your car. Show them how it’s done, what materials to use, and the level of cleaning they should expect. Help them buy the cleansing supplies

Make money as a kid: car wash

Then, help them expand to other customers!

Start off with some business calculations – what the are the cost of materials, what can you charge per wash.

Next, come up with a plan to get customers. With creative advertising your kids can start off their own first business.  

They can hang flyers around the neighborhood to advertise, spread the word through parents’ friends and friends. Create loyalty promotions and coupons like buy-one-get-one, or reward referrals with a free car wash for every referral.

They may not know what they want to be when they grow up, but they can learn a lot by doing this project and earning money early on.

What kids can learn:

Responsibility, entrepreneurship, marketing and customer care are all things that can be learned by doing a routine car wash.

Help your kids strategize on the best location and the best business hours to get the most customers.

Kids can learn a lot by doing this project and earning money early on.

Take them to buy the right supplies and discuss the cost of supplies as an additional thought exercise.

Come up with promotion ideas and ways to go the extra miles with customers to teach your kids how to build good relationships with customers.

7) Babysitting

While there is no minimal legal age to become a babysitter, parents might feel more comfortable with older kids taking care of their little ones.

Starting at around twelve, kids can start practicing by watching their younger siblings when their parents have to go out.

With a bit of practice, young teens can move on to watching other kiddos in the extended family, like cousins or baby nephews and nieces.

Kids will also start developing leadership skills – after all, it’s not easy to get a four year old to anything you want!

Once they have some experience and confidence in watching children, teens can move on to watch other people’s kids and start making more money.

Ask around parent groups and the parent’s friends to see if anyone needs a babysitter. If you do a good job, it’s easy to get called back for additional gigs.  

What kids can learn:

Kids who are in charge of other kids build up a sense of responsibility quickly. They need to be reliable and trusted, and they need to jump to action when the little ones need it.

Kids will also start developing leadership skills – after all, it’s not easy to get a four year old to anything you want!

On the business side, kids will really learn the value of a long-time customer. One successful relationship can yield a recurring revenue stream for the youngling.

Ways for Teenagers to Make Money 

When kids get to the teen years, they can start making real money.

Summers, holidays, and weekends are perfect for raking in money for a college fund or a first car fund.

As parents, make sure to ask your kids about their first work experiences early on

Younger teens can work at their parents’ businesses and older teens can start getting real jobs.

This is a good time to start teaching kids about setting financial goals and saving money towards them. It’s also a good opportunity to teach them about investments, taxes, and saving for retirement.

Teenagers that earn a salary can take advantage of tax benefits by opening Roth IRA accounts or 529 Plans to save and invest for college.

As parents, be sure to ask your kids about their first work experiences early on. Ask about their first boss, about their coworkers, and any challenge they are experiencing at work.

8) Tutoring

Is your kid a math wiz? Does she know a second language? Getting straight A’s in school? How about playing a musical instrument?

Then your kid could bring in money tutoring other kids.

Starting out by tutoring extended family members can help the child build up confidence and get the ball rolling.


Continue by spreading the word, put up flyers, and post online in community forums, groups, and websites where people search for tutors.

What kids can learn:

Passing on knowledge is not an easy skill to master. Kids need to really know their material and understand how to teach it to someone that doesn’t.

This will develop their communication skills and leadership skills at a young age.

They’ll need to learn to schedule their lessons and be responsible for getting to the lessons on time and prepared, otherwise they risk losing their students.

9) Holiday Jobs

Many businesses peak during the holiday seasons and need additional helping hands. Think gift shops, flower stores, or home decorations.

Ask around the neighborhood business if they’ll be looking for additional help for the holiday.

What kids can learn:

A holiday job can often be the first real job a kid has, and can teach him the value of hard earned cash.

Nothing makes you value your money more than working 8 hour shifts at $12 per hour.

Your kid won’t easily part with that hard earned money.

10) Summer Jobs

Summer break is coming and it’s the perfect opportunity to start saving a large chunk of money. With school ending in June and starting again in September, kids have a whole two and a half months to work a summer job make money.

More than all, they’ll learn that they can make real money on their own.

Popular summer job options include working at the beach or pool, golf clubs, and amusement parks.  

What kids can learn:

Teens will learn to hold a steady job and show up every day to do the work. They’ll get to socialize with other coworkers and deal with customers.

More than all, they’ll learn that they can make real money on their own.

Final Words

Making money as a kid for the first time is a meaningful event.

Kids can start as soon as they’re born and continue with different projects until they are old enough to make real money with real jobs.

Make sure to teach your kids how to handle money and help them build a healthy relationship with money.

Ben ArbovBen Arbov

Ben Arbov is the founder of Greatest Gift

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