As a parent, you want your children to be responsible, hard workers positioned for success. Many parents focus on how well their kids do in school, but their life outside of school is just as important — especially when it comes to work ethic and learning about money. The younger a child can learn about saving, spending, and giving money, the better.
As young people become teenagers, they might be pretty motivated to make some extra cash. They may be able to get a part-time job locally as young as 14, although some workplaces prefer ages 16 and older. However, a part-time job isn’t the only option for your teen. Kids can get experience working hard and earning money earlier than that by taking advantage of creative, fun business ideas. And who knows — they may decide to be entrepreneurs later in life too!
Here are some profitable, fun ways that your teenager can learn how to work hard, earn money, and manage their finances, whether they pursue a part-time job or start their own side hustle.
Lemonade or farm stand
Having a lemonade stand on the side of the road is as American as apple pie, and it’s one of the many ways that young people can make money.
As a parent, helping your young teen sell something near the house allows you to oversee what’s going on while still having your child be in charge of sales, taking money, and making change. Your teen may decide to mix things up by selling something other than lemonade — for example, if you have a garden, they could sell produce or flowers from the garden to neighbors and passersby.
To get started with a lemonade or farm stand, all you need is a table and chairs to set up outside, the products you’re selling, and a way to take money and make change. Your teen can set up outside your home or pick another well-traveled area in the neighborhood.
Another great way for teens and preteens to earn money is by babysitting for other families in your area. Parents love to get out of the house and have kid-free date nights or other activities, and your teen will enjoy earning money while learning how to care for others.
Babysitting is a great way to foster independence and responsibility in your kids. Of course, you can always be a text or phone call away if anything goes wrong, which creates an important safety net for both your child and the kids that are being cared for.
To get started babysitting, it’s a good idea for your child to get CPR certified and spend time researching how to entertain and care for younger kids. Then, your teen can talk to neighborhood families about opportunities.
Profiting from hobbies
People of every age benefit from having hobbies, and often those hobbies involve creating something. Whether your teen sells crafts or charges admission to open mic performances, making money from something you love is truly exhilarating.
If your teen has something they enjoy doing regularly, consider letting them make a little money from it. Of course, putting too much pressure on a hobby can make it not fun anymore, so it’s important to strike the right balance.
To get started profiting from a hobby, your teen can set up an account on an online marketplace to sell crafts or see what it would take to coach others in their favorite video game or skill. If they enjoy open mic improv or comedy, there could be a club in town with an open mic night.
Social media creator
In the U.S., 90% of the population is active on social media. Young people tend to be especially savvy about how to best attract attention online, and helping your teen channel that interest into a profitable business could be a great way to help them connect their passions with earning money.
Being on social media allows you to connect with others, but there is often less pressure than during in-person activities, which means that working with social media could be perfect for a less-social teen. However, make sure that your child, social or not, is aware that there may be predators online, what the red flags are, and how to avoid being taken advantage of.
To get started on social media, your teen could ask around about opportunities to help their school, city council, or other local organizations manage their online presence. Or, they could decide to start their own social media presence on YouTube, Instagram, or another platform.
A part-time job at a local business
Another more traditional option for teenagers is to look for a traditional job at a business in town, such as a grocery store or fast food restaurant. This can help your teen learn how to work productively under a boss, get along with coworkers, and more.
A part-time job also pays a set wage, which makes the income more predictable. That makes it easier for your teen to plan their finances and save up for specific goals. Plus, as a parent, you might be more comfortable knowing that your child is working in a public place with other responsible adults around.
To get started with a part-time job, it’s a good idea for your teen to learn how to make an eye-catching resume, including which fonts are the best options and which ones to avoid. From there, your teen can stop into various businesses and ask about work or look online for job openings in your area.
Helping your child learn about hard work and finances
As an adult, you know the world of work is challenging, and the better prepared your child can be, the more successful they are likely to be as well.
Whether your teen decides to get a part-time job or start a business selling products or offering services, they’ll gain valuable skills and experience. Best of all, they’ll be doing so while they’re still at home, and you can offer essential wisdom and support.