How 13-year-olds can make money? Best jobs and side hustles to try

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Did you just hit your 13th birthday and are already dreaming of ways to make money? 

Or maybe you’re a parent looking for ways to teach your 13-year-old about making and saving money?

We’ve assembled this list of the best legitimate jobs that teens can do to earn as much as $25 per task or more based on research and experiences from other parents and teens.

We’ve also checked official sources so you can be sure that these are legal jobs for those under 18.

Make sure to read until the end, or you may waste your time on jobs that don’t pay well or take up too much effort.

Let’s dive in!

The Best Ways to Earn Money for 13-Year-Olds

Thanks to the internet, teens today have more options than ever with working at a young age. 

For our list, we combined jobs you can do online and in person. There’s a side hustle for every 13-year-old here, whether you prefer creative jobs or you want something more service-oriented:

Create and sell printables

If you’re wondering how to make money as a 13-year-old in quarantine, you can turn your creativity into cash by creating and selling digital prints on sites like Etsy!

  • How does it work?

Printables are digital designs that can be printed out to create any type of paper goods, including greeting cards, invitations, planners, wall art and more.

Once you’ve designed a printable or set of printables, you upload them to your Etsy store as a digital download.

Customers then buy the printable from your store, download the file and take it to their local printer to get printed out.

  • How much can you earn?

Printables are usually sold for between $2 and $10 each.

There’s no limit to how many times you can sell a design, so there’s basically no limit to how much you can earn.


Earn money playing games online

If you’re a bit of a gaming geek, why not turn that into an income? There are loads of platforms out there where you can get paid to play games for cash.

  • How does it work?

You play games and complete tasks for the platform and you earn points for doing so. These points can be redeemed for cash, which is then sent to your PayPal account.

You can try sites like Swagbucks, MistPlay, and InboxDollars, but you can also start streaming on platforms like Twitch.

  • How much can you earn?

You can expect to get $1-$2 per hour on average with the potential to make more if you get better at playing games.

People who are superb at playing video games can make thousands of dollars per month by streaming their gameplay on platforms like Twitch.


Design and sell t-shirts online

If you’re into fashion and have a creative flair, you could start designing and selling your own t-shirts online.

  • How does it work?

You create a t-shirt design, upload it to a site like TeePublic or Spreadshirt, and set your price. Customers can then buy the t-shirt from your store.

When someone buys a t-shirt, the site will print and ship it to the customer on your behalf.

  • How much can you earn?

You’ll earn a commission on every t-shirt that you sell, which is usually around $5-$10 per shirt.


Watch videos to earn cash

There are quite a few sites and apps out there that will pay you to watch videos. While you will not get rich doing this, it’ s a pretty easy way to make some extra cash in your spare time.

  • How does it work?

You’ll need to watch videos on your phone or computer and then answer a few questions about what you watched.

  • How much can you earn?

You’ll usually earn around $0.01-$0.02 per video, which doesn’t sound like much. But if you watch a lot of videos, it can add up quickly.


Create and monetize a YouTube channel

If you’re a creative 13-year-old who loves to create and star in videos, you could start your own YouTube channel and make money from it.

  • How does it work?

You create a channel, add videos, and start earning money from ads. You can also make money by selling products or services to your viewers.

You can do this for any topic, such as gaming, beauty, fashion, or comedy.

  • How much can you earn?

You can expect to make around $0.50-$2 per thousand views on your videos. So, if you have a channel with 50,000 subscribers and your videos get an average of 500,000 views each, you could be making around $25,000 per year.


Get paid as a freelance writer

If you’re a good writer, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to get paid to write articles, blog posts, and more. 

  • How does it work?

Sign up to a site like Upwork or Freelancer and start bidding on writing jobs. Once you’ve been hired, you’ll complete the task and get paid.

You can also offer your writing services to people and businesses in your area. Don’t be shy about sending emails, walking into businesses, or putting up flyers.

  • How much can you earn?

It depends on the type of writing task. For example, you could get paid $0.50-$1 per word for writing articles, or $20-$50 per hour for writing blog posts.

The more experience you have, the more you can charge.


Do online surveys

There are a number of sites out there that will pay you to do online surveys. This is a great way to make some extra money, and it doesn’t require any special skills. All you need is an internet connection and a laptop or phone!

  • How does it work?

Sign up to a site like Opinion Outpost or Survey Junkie and start taking surveys. When you’ve completed a survey, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.

  • How much can you earn?

You can expect to make around $0.50-$2 per survey, which again, doesn’t sound like a lot of money. But the trick is to do as much as you can. The more surveys you do, the more money you’ll make.


Sell your old stuff

If you’ve got some old clothes, toys, or other items lying around, you could start selling them online or in a garage sale. Remember to ask your parents for permission first!

  • How does it work?

You take pictures of the items you want to sell and post them online. Customers can then buy the items from you. You can set a fixed price or allow people to bid on them.

When someone buys an item, you’ll need to ship it to them on your behalf. If they’re near, you can also ask an adult to meet them and hand over the item in person.

  • How much can you earn?

It depends on what you’re selling. You could make a few dollars for an old toy or a few hundred dollars for a designer dress.


Get a job as a voiceover artist

If you have a nice voice or great speaking skills, you could start making money by doing voiceover work. There are tons of ways to do this, from voicing characters in cartoons to recording messages for businesses.

  • How does it work?

First, start looking for voiceover jobs online. There are a number of job boards out there that list voiceover work, such as Fiverr. You can also call local businesses and ask if they need a voiceover artist for any of their projects.

When you land a job, you’ll usually need to record your voiceover in a studio or record it using your laptop. You may also need to send in a sample of your work.

  • How much can you earn?

It depends on the project. You could earn anywhere from $10-$500 per hour of recording. It can go for thousands of dollars for more experienced talents.


Start a pet sitting business

If you love animals and have some experience caring for them, starting a pet sitting business could be a great idea. You can offer dog walking services, feeding and watering services, watching pets when the owner is on vacation, and more.

  • How does it work?

You can ask around your neighborhood if anyone needs pet sitting or dog walking services. You can also post flyers in local businesses or put up an ad online.

  • How much can you earn?

You can expect to make around $10-$30 per visit, depending on the size and type of pet you’re caring for. 

You can also charge higher for more intensive tasks, such as giving pet medication, feeding/watering multiple pets, or overnight stays.


Sell homemade food and drinks

Love cooking, baking, and have a knack for sales? It can be a fun way to make some extra money by selling your homemade goodies!

  • How does it work?

You can sell online or in-person, such as to your neighbors or local fairs. However, make sure to check your local cottage laws first to see if you need any permits or licenses.

You’ll also want to create a menu of what you’re selling and price it accordingly.

  • How much can you earn?

This will depend on how popular your goods are and how much you charge. For example, if you sell homemade cookies, you could charge $0.50-$3 per cookie. If you sell cakes, you could charge $10-$50 per cake.

The more special or unique your goods are, the more you can charge.


Offer cleaning and organizing services

You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to pay for someone else to do their cleaning and organizing for them!

And as a teen, cleaning and organizing other people’s stuff is an easy job that doesn’t require a lot of capital or special equipment. As long as you’re organized and have a good work ethic, you could be successful in this business.

  • How does it work?

As a 13-year-old, it’s best to start with basic services, such as cleaning the kitchen, living room, or bedrooms. You can also offer to organize closets, cabinets, and drawers.

Naturally, more specialized services, such as deep-cleaning or organizing an entire house, will command a higher price. You can ask an adult to teach you how to do these correctly. Any mistakes could lead to unhappy customers.

  • How much can you earn?

This will depend on the type of services you offer and how much you charge. For example, you could charge $10-$25 per hour for basic cleaning services.


Deliver food or groceries for your neighbors

If you have a bike or don’t mind walking, you could start delivering food or groceries for your neighbors. You can also offer to shop for them if they’re short on time.

  • How does it work?

Because of your age, you can’t sign up for services like DoorDash or UberEats quite yet, but you can still deliver food for your neighbors. Post a note in your neighborhood or ask your parents if they know anyone who could use your help.

  • How much can you earn?

You can expect to make around $10-$20 per delivery, depending on the distance and the amount of food you’re delivering.


Start a babysitting business

If you love kids and are responsible, starting a babysitting business is one of those fun jobs for 13-year-olds that pay well.

If you do great work, you can even establish a regular clientele.

  • How does it work?

To start, ask your parents if they know anyone who needs a babysitter. They probably do! You can also post flyers in your neighborhood or on Facebook.

When you start babysitting, be sure to create a list of rules and guidelines for the kids you’re babysitting. This will help ensure that both you and the parents are happy with your services.

  • How much can you earn?

This will depend on how much you charge and the number of hours you work. Most babysitters charge between $10 and $15 per hour.


 Do odd jobs for your neighbors

If you’re handy and have some free time, consider doing odd jobs for your neighbors. 

This can include things like yard work, cleaning, and minor repairs. Other tasks may include gardening, shoveling snow, washing cars, and more.

  • How does it work?

Basically, your neighbors tell you what they need, and if you have the skill for it, you do the job. This is a great option if you’re not sure what you want to do or are just looking for some extra cash.

To get started, post on Facebook or NextDoor if your community has one. You can also put up flyers or ask your parents if they know anyone who could use your help.

  • How much can you earn?

Most people will pay per task, so your earnings will vary depending on the job. For example, you might charge $20 to mow someone’s lawn or $50 to fix a broken window.


Sign up to be someone’s assistant

If you’re good at organization and have a lot of energy, you could sign up to be someone’s assistant. This is a fantastic way to learn new skills and get some experience in the professional world.

  • How does it work?

You can find an assistant job in different ways. You can search online, or post a note in your local grocery store, library, or other public places.

For example, some local bakers may need someone to help them finish their orders. Or, a busy executive may need someone to keep track of their schedule and handle some of their email correspondence.

Got a landscaping business owner near you? They may need help with things like advertising, customer service, or even yard work.

  • How much can you earn?

This will depend on the person you’re working for and the hours you work. For example, you might earn $10-$15 per hour for basic tasks like handling emails or transcribing meeting notes.

If you’re doing more complex tasks, like managing someone’s schedule or handling customer inquiries, you could earn $20-$30 per hour.

How can 13-year-olds find jobs?

Because of your age, you can’t work full-time, yet.

In the United States, for example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has set some limitations:

  • Children under the age of 14 aren’t eligible for hire.
  • Those between 14 and 15 years of age may be hired in certain jobs outside school hours and only under specified conditions.
  • Children over 16 years of age may be employed without restrictions.

However, there are still ways to find work as a 13-year-old. Here are some tips:

  • Call local businesses around and ask them if they would hire you.
  • Go door-to-door to ask your neighbors for a job. This is a popular way to find gigs like mowing lawns and shoveling snow.
  • Ask for help from parents, teachers, and friends.
  • Search online but let your parents know, so they can check if a site or job is legit or not.
  • Create a job for yourself. If you have a unique talent or special interest, you can always offer that as a service or sell your products!

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find work immediately. Just keep trying. The more you try, the better your chances of landing on an opportunity.

How much can a 13-year-old earn from working?

Job Type

A paper route pays less than an after-school babysitting gig, which pays less than working as a camp counselor, which pays less than working in a restaurant, which pays less than leading tours at the local museum, etc.

In other words, some jobs, especially those that require more skill, will naturally pay more.

Demand

If there are lots of paper routes available and only a few 13-year-olds looking for work, then it’s likely that the pay will be on the higher side.

If there are few paper routes but lots of kids looking for them, the pay will probably be lower.

Location

A city with a high cost of living may pay higher wages than a rural area where it costs less money to live.

For example, a 13-year-old in Seattle may be able to charge more for babysitting services than one in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Because 13-year-olds can’t legally work full-time jobs, you shouldn’t expect to get paid minimum wage either — although you deserve to be paid fairly for your work.

That’s why before starting a job, it’s important to consult an adult you trust to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Advantages of Having a Job as a 13-Year-Old

While you might not have the same responsibilities as a typical full-time worker, learning how to make money as a 13-year-old online or offline is an amazing milestone.

In fact, there are several great reasons—from real-life experience to personal finance savvy—why getting a job at 13 is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Here are some:

Get a feel for what you want to do in the future.

At 13 years old, you’re getting a better idea of your interests, likes, and dislikes. Getting a job allows you to explore them early on.

Here are some examples:

  • You can see if you enjoy marketing and sales by selling shirts, food, and other items.
  • Working as a dog walker requires patience and tact when dealing with animals and their owners.
  • By mowing lawns, you may discover that you like physical jobs better than working at a desk.

By trying out different types of work, you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of work environment, people, and industry suit you best.

Establish a strong work ethic.

Working as a 13-year-old will help you learn the value of hard work, responsibility, punctuality, and integrity.

These are qualities that will benefit you in the long run because they will help you succeed in your career and your personal life.

You will also learn that if you want to achieve something, then you have to work hard for it.

Any job experience looks good on your resume.

When you’re applying for college or for future jobs, having previous work experience will make you stand out from other applicants who don’t have any prior employment history.

It’s even more impressive if you gained that work experience as a 13-year-old. Few teens have the initiative and drive to do that, which means you’re already ahead of the competition.

Have your own money.

Whether you’re saving up for something big (like college) or just looking to have fun money that you don’t need to ask your parents for, it’s nice to know that you have those extra bucks on hand.

Plus, it can make purchases even more satisfying when you use that hard-earned cash you worked so hard for.

Learn how to connect with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and ages.

Working with people from different age groups, cultures, and backgrounds can make you more empathetic and open-minded.

This is a critical life skill, and something even many adults struggle with.

Not only will this help you at work, but it’ll also help you establish stronger and healthier personal relationships.

Improve your mental and emotional health.

Studies show that working can have an amazing effect on one’s mental health. This is true for teens as well.

Teenagers who work are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, like drinking or smoking. They also have more self-confidence, lower rates of depression, and a stronger sense of purpose than those who don’t.

As long as you don’t overdo it, having a job at 13 can boost your mental wellness, especially during puberty.

How to Handle the Money You Make as a Teen

Having a job at 13 means having cash that’s all your own. Congratulations!

Still, there’s more to money than having it. Here are some useful tips to help you become smarter at managing your earnings:

Don’t spend your paycheck as soon as you get it

It can be tempting to splurge, but try not to. Give yourself time to think.

Remember, you spent a lot of time and effort to get that paycheck, so you want to make the most of it. If you spend your earnings impulsively, you’ll be broke before you know it.

Put at least a third of each paycheck into savings.

But the more you can save, the better — save 50% or more if you can!

Make it a habit to save first before spending.

It’s often hard to break out of the habit of spending all of your money at once, especially when you’re used to having an allowance.

When you get paid, take out the amount you want to save and put it into your savings account so you’re not tempted to spend it.

This technique is called “paying yourself first.” The future you are going to thank you for it!

Set financial goals.

They can be long-term or short-term.

Long-term goals might include saving enough money to buy a car, pay college tuition, or take a vacation.

Short-term goals may include buying a new video game or book, paying for movie tickets, or having lunch out with friends.

Open a separate bank account for your earnings.

This makes it easier to monitor what’s coming in and what’s going out — and gives you a record of your transaction history.

It also gives you a record of your spending and, eventually, the ability to use debit cards, checks, and online bill pay.

Make a budget and track your spending.

As a teen, it’s important that you know where you’re spending your money so you don’t go overboard with purchases or just waste them on unnecessary things.

Why is budgeting and tracking your spending important? It helps you figure out what’s important to you (and what’s not).

Account for everything in your budget: savings, food, transportation, entertainment, clothes, and other extraneous expenses, like movie tickets or parties.

Then, review your spending habits from time to time. See where you can cut back, which expenses are draining your wallet faster than you like, and more.

You can keep a money diary or use apps for this!

Start an emergency fund.

At 13, you may not have to worry about big bills right now.

However, it’s important to be prepared for any financial issues that may arise in the future, such as an unexpected visit to the vet if you have a pet or school expenses that pop up during the year.

It’s nice to know you have that safety net even if you never have to use it. An emergency fund gives you that peace of mind.

Start learning about money management strategies and financial planning.

Most schools won’t teach you this, which is why so many adults struggle with debt and find it difficult to save for retirement.

Start with the basics — investing, compound interest, high-interest savings accounts, and different types of insurance.

Then move on to more complicated subjects like retirement planning, stocks, bonds, yield, and risk, etc.

The earlier you learn these, the more financial freedom you can enjoy in the future.

Ask financial advice from an adult you trust.

Because many teens haven’t really immersed themselves in managing their own finances yet, it’s helpful to get advice from a parent, grandparent, or other trusted adult while you’re still learning the ropes. 

Conclusion

It’s awesome that you’re already interested in working at 13 years old. No matter what jobs you choose, don’t forget to let your parents or an adult know. They’ll help check if the job is legit and make sure that you’re getting paid properly for your effort.

Once you start making money, enjoy it, but try to save up and pay attention to your finances. 

Working as a teen can be a life-changing experience. Have fun, stay safe, and explore as much as you can!

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