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How to make money as a teenager in the UK

There are lots of good reasons why a teenager may want to make money. 

It could be that they are looking to boost their savings for something in particular, or that they want to supplement their pocket money. 

As a parent myself I can see the value in teens having a job or a side hustle to bring in a little extra cash, and will encourage both of my kids to do this when they’re older. 

Teen smiling about making extra cash

When I was a teen I worked as a swimming teacher from the age of 14 – teaching kids aged 5 how to swim – and then later as a lifeguard once I was 16 and old enough to get my lifeguarding qualification. 

Both of these jobs gave me so many benefits. I made new friends, learned new skills and it gave me a financial boost! 

There are lots of ways for teenagers to make money in the UK and we’re going to take a look at some of the best options here! 

If you’ve got teens wanting to earn money online then I’ve got some quick wins that will earn you cash fast, as well as some casual jobs that are appropriate for teenagers. 

This post contains affiliate links.

The law on working under 18 

It’s important to understand the law around working as a teenager first so that you don’t fall foul of any problems. 

Kids in the UK can work part-time from age 13, however they can work at a young age in areas such as theatre, television and modelling, according to the guidance on the Gov website.   

Children can start full-time work when they are 16. At this stage they can work top to a maximum of 40 hours per week. 

This article is more focused on ways to make money online and boost your pocket money rather than full-time work. However if you’re successful in some of these ideas they could generate a full-time income, such as operating a YouTube channel or selling products online. 

Quite a few of these money-making options will require some help from a parent or guardian. 

It’s also worth adding that teens need to be mindful of how they get paid. Check what the options are for payment and ensure you follow all the rules when it comes to accounts and age limits. Teens may need to have payment sent to their parent or guardian’s account in order to receive it. 

It’s always a good idea for teens to chat with their parents when looking to take on odd jobs, employment or set up a side hustle so that they can talk through being safe and fitting working hours around other commitments such as school. 

How to make money as a teenager online 

There are many reasons why as a teenager you may be looking to make some spare cash.

Before the internet most teens would be looking for shop work or offering to do odd jobs – choices were pretty limited.

But today there are tons of opportunities for teens to make money online without a job. This is great because it means that the methods of earning money as a teen can fit around school. I’ve also got some creative ways for making money offline later in this article. 

Make and sell products online 

Making your own products to sell online is a wonderful and rewarding way to boost your income! It can be done in your own time, and you never know where it can lead once you gain momentum. 

There’s really no limit to the list of ideas for stuff you can sell online. Teens with artistic talent could create their own designs for T-shirts and hoodies, or make jewellery. 

Here are a couple of big online platforms you can use to sell your products from. 

  • Redbubble. You will need to be at least 16 to sell on Redbubble. This site is a great way for creatives to sell their designs as it handles the printing and despatch to customers for you. There’s a variety of products your artwork can be printed on – such as T-shirts, bottles, posters and phone cases. There’s a good explanation of how Redbubble works here.   
  • Etsy. The site has a minors policy that bans kids under 18 from having their own account. However kids aged 13 to 18 can use an adult account with the permission of the account owner, according to Etsy’s guidance. There’s a huge list of things you can sell from Etsy. If you’re a whizz at design then you could design printable invitations, posters and checklists. This would mean you don’t even have to post out products to people, you create a digital product and upload it then Etsy sends it out every time you make a sale! 

Sell stock photos 

There is a huge market for stock photos and lots of different types of photos you could take at home and sell online. 

Stock photos are in high demand from a huge range of companies and individuals to use online and in marketing material. 

Websites such as Shutterstock, Depositphotos and Creative Market give you a platform from which to sell your photos. 

The types of stock photos you could take don’t have to include people. They can just be of objects illustrating a particular theme (possibly arranged in a flatlay which is where the camera is located above the subject of your picture) or of a place. 

Themes for stock photos include: 

  • Food 
  • Places 
  • Work 
  • Emotions (you may need models for this, look for friends to volunteer, but make sure they give permission)
  • Events and holidays (for example Christmas and Easter)
  • Medical conditions (pictures of skin conditions for example) 

Declutter and sell your stuff online 

Teens could clear out their bedroom and offer to get rid of unwanted stuff elsewhere in the house too. There’s always something lying around the house that you can sell!

Unwanted items can be sold at car boot sales, but it’s much easier to sell them online through Facebook Marketplace or eBay for example. Always follow the rules for age restrictions on these websites, as teens may need help with an adult with an account to use them. 

Things you can clear out from your house to sell online include: 

  • Furniture 
  • Clothes 
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Old tech – including unused iPods, phones, smart tablets and computers 

Become a tutor 

Lots of parents are looking for help with their child’s tuition or to teach them a musical instrument. My brother used to teach local kids how to play the guitar when he was 16/17. 

You’ll need to be quite well versed in whatever it is you’re teaching. Most online tuition companies ask you to be over 18 to qualify to be a tutor. 

However younger teens may be able to students to teach music, drawing or other subjects privately through friends, family or on Facebook with help from their parent or guardian. 

Find odd jobs on Fiverr 

There’s a range of opportunities on the freelance jobs marketplace Fiverr. Job types include logo design, graphic design, writing and translation, voiceover work, blog post writing, programming and tech help and many more.  

If you are a whizz at design or are great with technology then give it a go. The pay will not be amazing – the clue is in the name – however it’s a good way to boost your income. 

You are permitted to use the site Fiverr if you are over 13, but if you are under 18 you must use an account belonging to a parent or guardian.  

Flip other people’s stuff 

If you’re a teen with an eye for a bargain then this is a great little way to make extra cash. 

You’ll need to scour online auctions, car boot sales and charity shops for items you think you can sell at a higher price. 

There’s good money to be made here, as many people undervalue items for sale. Or they might be selling items that are in need of repair or updating. If you have skills to do this then you can improve the item before selling it on at a profit. 

Some ideas for stuff you can flip include:

  • Old furniture
  • Garden tools
  • Power tools
  • Sports equipment
  • Clothes

Sell your old books 

Go through your book collection and sell on the unwanted books. This can be done on Amazon, eBay or Facebook Marketplace. 

Always research the cost of the books when sold secondhand first, so that you don’t under or over price them. 

Survey sites 

Some survey sites will only accept people are 18 or over so always check the age eligibility when you’re looking to sign up. 

These top picks here have some age limits, which are outlined below. 

  • YouGov. I love using YouGov however I have been on it for over a year and still haven’t been able to cash out. If you’re happy to be in it for the long haul then this is well worth signing up to. You need to be over 16 to join the YouGov panel. 
  • Qmee. You will need to be 16 or over to use Qmee. It’s a popular survey site and there are no minimum payout thresholds. 
  • Valued Opinions. You can sign up for an account with this survey site from age 16. Then you can earn up to £5 per survey. 
  • Slice the Pie. The age limit here is a little lower at 13 years. This is a cool site for teens to try as it pays you to write reviews of songs, clothing and accessories.  
  • InstaGC. You can use this site from age 13 if you have parental consent.  

I have a complete guide to survey sites that can make you extra cash here.

Become a YouTuber

Starting and growing a successful YouTube channel can take time. But once you have reached the required level of subscribers (1,000) and views (4,000 in the last month) then you can apply to place ads on your YouTube channel. 

Picking a niche is important, so consider what type of content you want to place on your channel. 

My children love watching other kids on YouTube! There’s a wealth of different types of channels out there – from baking to unboxing and playing with toys. Gaming online is also a HUGE market for YouTube. 

YouTube only allows kids aged 13 to 17 to start their own YouTube channel with the permission of a parent. Kids under 13 cannot start their own YouTube channel, so in this case the child would need a parent to set the channel up for them in their name. 

The minimum age to monetise a YouTube channel is 18, but you can get around that. You’ll need to get a parent to set up an account with AdSense (which is the system through which you earn money) and then you can earn through that.

Always talk to your parents if you’re under 18 before setting up a public social media channel. Many people do this successfully and safely, but it’s important you do this in a safe way with adult support. 

Most teens will be aware of the big YouTubers who are raking in millions from their channels. However there are lots of monetised smaller channels that still do well!

I have a YouTube channel that I don’t pay much attention to but makes me around £100 a month. 

Start a blog 

Anyone can start a blog and, if they focus on it as a business proposition, make money from it. If I could go back to my teen years, knowing what I know now, I would most definitely start a blog. Probably even two or three! And then grow them to money-making enterprises. 

Many people still think of blogging as like writing your own online journal, but actually blogging for money online involves focusing on writing about stuff that helps other people. 

To get started with blogging you first need to pick a niche. What will your content be about? For example you could write about jokes, with articles including “best jokes for teenagers”, “best jokes for the whole family”, or “funny jokes for Christmas cards”. 

Whatever you choose, having a niche which you focus on is very important. This makes it more likely that your content will show up in search engines when people are searching with particular questions related to your niche. 

I have a guide to starting a blog over here. 

Sign up to Sweatcoin 

You will not make a fortune using Sweatcoin! But if you have a smartphone and are very active then you can benefit from it just for going about your everyday business. 

Sweatcoin is an app that you download and run on your phone. The app tracks your activity throughout the day and you will earn Sweatcoins for your steps. 

Once you earn enough coins you can swap them for things in the Sweatcoin store, such as digital watches, music downloads, clothes and running gadgets. So you can’t get actual cash from the Sweatcoin app, you can only use your Sweatcoins to purchase things via the app’s own marketplace. 

But considering it’s a pretty low maintenance way of getting benefits you could give it a try and have a go at saving for something in the Sweatcoin offers. You can boost your Sweatcoins by referring friends to the app. 

Ways to make money as a teenager without a job

Signing up to even a part-time job may not be a commitment you want to make. This is particularly the case if the shift hours may clash with schooling. 

So these are a few money-making ideas for teens that don’t involve a job and are flexible. 

Dog walker 

If you love dogs but can’t have one at home then this is a great way to get outside with a four-legged friend! 

Try offering your services to local people who you know have dogs. You could also offer to help out at an established dog walking business, so that they get the clients in and you just help out with the walking. 

Pet sitting 

People go on holiday all the time and need their cat, hamster, guinea pig, bunny etc feeding while they’re gone. 

Find people you know with pets or look for people in your local area searching for a pet sitter – they may be asking around on Facebook. 

Teaching others how to use technology 

Teens tend to be pretty slick when it comes to the latest technology and gadgets. 

So it makes sense to use this skill by offering your expertise to help others! You could help with installing software, getting email setup, or giving a walkthrough of how a tablet works. 

Mystery shopping 

People who make money through mystery shopping complete a variety of tasks such as visiting shops and reporting back on their experience of customer service and product choice, or taking images of shop displays. 

Some companies have an age limit of 18 for new mystery shoppers. For example Serve Legal specifically looks for teens who are 18 or over to test out shops on selling age-restricted products. 

Another area worth checking out that’s similar to mastering shopping is task apps. For example Roamler will pay from around £2 per task. The tasks include things like visiting a grocery store and taking a photo of a particular aisle.

You’ll always need to be aware of how payments are made however, as some of these companies will only payout to PayPal – you need to be at least 18 years old to have a PayPal account so you’ll need to use your parent or guardian’s account. 

Offer to do odd jobs for the neighbours 

There might be people living close by looking for help with a list of chores they need to do around their home. 

This might include mowing the lawn, picking up leaves, gardening, clearing out a garage or shed, cleaning or help with cleaning up after pets (for example clearing out cages and hutches). 

You can drum up this kind of work by creating a leaflet and posting it through people’s doors with your contact details included, or go door to door offering to do odd jobs. Teens should always chat to a parent before going ahead with this. 

Other ways for teens to make money 

Sell products to your friends 

If you have a talent for making stuff – scarves, jewellery, hats, whatever it may be – then try selling it to your mates.

This is a good option if the idea of setting up an online store, as suggested above, is a little daunting to you. 

Digitise people’s photo albums 

It’s hard to believe but not that long ago we still used camera film to take photos and that film then had to be processed into physical prints of pictures! 

Unfortunately physical copies of photos don’t always age that well and can become tatty and faded. This is why there’s a great market for scanning old photos into a computer so there’s a digital copy of them to keep forever. 

My dad scanned all of our old family photos, going back to my grandparents’ collection of photos, into the computer and it took him weeks! Try offering your services to local friends and family, or see if you can advertise your services on a local Facebook group (with help from your parents). 

You’ll need a scanner and computer to carry out the work. 

Wash cars 

Offer your car washing services around the neighbourhood. You could team up with a friend or two to clean faster and get through more cars. 

Other ways for teens to earn money 

Hunt for rare coins 

This is kind of a niche one and you’ll need to develop a really specialist knowledge to spot things that you could make a profit on. But if it grabs your interest it could be great fun! 

There are tips for turning this hobby into a money-maker on this blog post.  

Football referee 

Love football? This is a great way to make a little extra money if you’re a fan of the game. 

You can qualify as a referee from age 14. The course to qualify costs around £140. 

Amateur referees can be paid between £20 and £40 per game. There are details on how to become a referee over on Ref Stuff and the FA.  

Become a lifeguard 

I’m adding this one in because this is how I made money as a teen and honestly it was such a great job. Plus the pay I received was better than what my friends earned working in shops or McDonalds. 

In order to work as a lifeguard you will need to qualify by passing a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) course. You will need to be 16 when you take the test to be eligible for this.

There are week-long courses available that end with the test. So there’s a little investment up front in order to train and then take the test, but then you can go out and find work!

Many leisure centres and pools need casual lifeguards, so investigate whether the ones near you need extra part-time lifeguards. I used to do weekend shifts and shifts right after school from 4pm onwards. 

Newspaper delivery 

A newspaper delivery round is a simple way to make extra cash. It will involve early starts, as most people want their newspaper delivered before they’re up for breakfast. 

However if you live close to a newsagents this can be a cool way for teens to earn money every week. 

Babysitting 

If you love kids then why not try babysitting. There is no legal age, according to the NSPCC, at which a child can babysit, however if a parent leaves their child with someone under 16 then the parent remains responsible for their wellbeing.  

So legally someone can offer babysitting services under 16 – although you will need to follow the employment laws outlined above – however it’s down to the parents to decide what age they feel comfortable with. 

For this reason if you’re a teenager wanting to find babysitting jobs then it may be easier to start with reaching out to friends and seeing if anyone needs help. Try to advertise that you’re looking for babysitting work on a local Facebook group or get your parents to ask their friends with younger kids if they need any help.  

Fruit picking/ seasonal farm work

Farms are often looking for casual workers to help throughout the year with things like Christmas tree sales, harvesting crops, and general maintenance. 

You may be able to find this type of work on the big jobs websites, or by contacting your local farms. 

Ways for teens to earn extra cash 

So there you have it, lots of ways to teens to earn extra money. 

As you can see there are a lot more opportunities out there for young people to make cash apart from just shop work!

A lot of these things could continue to be money-making side hustles for years to come. 

It could be a case of trial and error when it comes to figuring out what method is going to work the best for you. If something doesn’t work out then come back to the list and try another. 

Finding something you enjoy and that actually delivers on your expectations can be tricky, but once you find what works for you then you can enjoy the extra money it brings in. 

You may also like my ideas for earning an extra £1,000 a month

Ways to make money as a teenager in the UK