How students make money as teens

Students can earn money by tutoring, pet sitting, house sitting, dog walking, babysitting and more. Graphic by Sophia Weis.

Sophia Weis

Students can earn money by tutoring, pet sitting, house sitting, dog walking, babysitting and more. Graphic by Sophia Weis.

Jorden Hopp, Social Media Editor

High school students all around the United States are finding new, innovative ways to make money online by using apps like Depop and Etsy. Some students, however, like to stick with the old-fashioned ways of babysitting or tutoring. 

Saving money as a teenager can bring newfound awareness of things like independence and money saving skills. Some people might want to make some money at a young age. Some just want to start learning responsibility and independence or just want some extra, hard-earned money. People usually start off with simple, well-known gigs like baby-sitting, house-sitting and pet-sitting. Freshman Amelia Cook started making money babysitting. 

“I actually started to find some ways to make money when I was 13 because I was just tired of asking my parents for money all the time,” Cook said. “I couldn’t get a typical job in retail or something because I was too young so I looked at some freelance things to do and I actually started with babysitting my neighbors kid. I loved it because it was super fun and I got some money from it.”

Starting off with a job like house-sitting, pet-sitting or baby-sitting is a good way to start making money through helping your community. There are also more options online like using apps like Depop, Etsy and Poshmark to sell or trade items. People use these online apps because it can be more convenient for their lifestyle and it can help them be more independent. Freshman Piper Gilbert uses clothing apps to buy, trade and sell clothes online. 

She finds old or unwanted clothing items, takes pictures of them, posts them and waits for them to sell. She has to make sure to reasonably price them or else they won’t sell. Gilbert enjoys making money off of her old clothes and helping them find a new purpose. 

“I started using Depop at the beginning of the summer just to shop but then I realized that I could be making money off of it, so I started going through my old clothes and selling them on Depop,” Gilbert said. ”I made some trades too and eventually I started to move to other platforms like Poshmark and it became quite the hustle, but I love it because I’m making a lot of money.” 

Becoming an entrepreneur at a young age can often be a lot of hard work. Some people like to use their talents to make money, like making art and selling it online. Sharing something you’re passionate about or good at makes the buyers more grateful for the time and effort you put into making something. Freshman Emily Liang uses her artistic abilities to make money online. 

“Originally, I never really intended on making money from my art; it just kind of happened, I’ve always loved art, anyone who knows me knows that, but I don’t always share it with people. It’s kind of just been a little hobby. I painted a pair of jeans one time and I wore them to school and everyone complimented them and asked where I got them and when I told them I painted them myself. A lot of people told me that I could make a lot of money off of it and so I did just that and I make a little bit, so I think it’s a pretty good start,” Liang said. 

Sharing talents and hobbies is a perfect way to give to others. It’s important to give to the community during difficult times like these, especially when some people aren’t able to get out and do everyday things like get groceries. So, people have started helping out their community to help others and make some extra money. Freshman Hannah Kim makes money by helping her mom contribute to the community. 

“During the summer I needed some extra money and so me and my mom started thinking of simple ways I could make money. She was never really the type to pay me for chores and stuff but she said that I could help her out a little and get paid,” Kim said. “At the beginning of August she started to use an app called Shipt where she would go out and buy and deliver groceries for people, she said I could help her by doing the shopping and she would just drive around and deliver and she would pay me some of the money so we did that.”

Some families enjoy spending quality time together by helping out their community and learning new things about each other along the way. Some people appreciate having a flexible schedule with their jobs so they can have independent time and family time. 

Many people don’t have much free time anymore to spend time with their family and friends with ordinary jobs, though working freelance can be more convenient for a young student. 

I love working on my own schedule

— Piper Gilbert (9)

“I love working on my own schedule because it’s not just like a normal job where I have to go somewhere and work at a specific place at a specific time, I can just do it whenever I want and still make money,” Gilbert said. 

Being able to work at your own time can be beneficial because it allows you to practice being more independent. Being independent lets you make decisions by yourself about how you want to run your business and advertise your services. There are many different ways people choose to advertise. 

“When I first started babysitting, house sitting and dog sitting I looked for ways to get the word out,” Cook said. “I asked my parents if they could just tell their friends and colleagues that I did stuff like this just so that I would be an option for them if they ever needed it, and I advertised on Facebook and Instagram.”

Advertising is an important step in working freelance jobs. When advertising you have to make sure you are clear about what you offer and what you can do for your client. It’s important to include how much you charge and when you’re available. 

“I make sure to advertise how much I charge and I made sure it was consistent and I let them know the important stuff, what all I can offer them, and my name and age,” Cook said. 

Making money independently and at a young age can be time-consuming and stressful, but it’s all worth it in the end for the ability to get hard earned money. Having hard-earned money gives you the satisfaction of working for it and it makes some people feel better about spending.

“Overall, I’d say there are so many good things about being able to work freelance,” Liang said. “From convenience to independence, it’s just such a great option for anyone wanting to start making money on their own.”