How to make money as a child

How can a child make money these days? Maybe with some original paintings! See more inventor images.

The lemonade stand – a summer ritual as American as Apple Pie and Slip ‘n Slides. You and your little sister pull a card table up the driveway, shuffle a watery batch of Crystal Light, arrange a stack of Dixie cups, and pin a hand-scribbled sign that reads “Leminade, 25¢.”

That’s how you heard it. Does anyone still make lemonade stands? And can you make money with it?

Not much in terms of money. Unless you can get people to pay $3 per glass. And strangely enough, the soda stand is technically illegal in most U.S. states, cities, and towns. Don’t believe us? Visit, one of several grassroots organizations opposing national crackdown on unlicensed, unregulated food and drink stalls with children.

If not a soda stand, how else can a child make money? Did your parents tell you about your childhood with paper? Nowadays, very few local newspapers hire children as carriers. In 1990, 70 percent of paper carriers were children. By 2008, this figure had dropped to 13 percent [source: Vanderbilt]. Most newspapers now hire “independent contractors,” usually an adult with a car.

But forget about soda stalls and paper routes. We have 10 much more creative and lucrative ways to make money, even if you’re under 18. 10:Selling handicrafts online

Selling homemade handicrafts online is a great way to earn an extra income.

You love to do things? You could sit down with a ball of thread and make a dozen friendship bracelets in an hour, right? But since you only have so many “BFFs”, what do you do with the excess jewelry? Of course, sell them online! is an extremely popular online marketplace for handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, art, and ironically embroidered decorative pillows. Thousands of people have set up a virtual shop on Etsy and some of them make a lot of money. The rest are content to sell a handful of oversized scarves or vintage skirts for the extra money. Is there anyone out there who is willing to spend more than $5 on your chewing gum sculpture? There’s only one way to find out.

While you must be at least 18 years old to have an Etsy account, your parent or guardian can set up the account in their name. Etsy is not free; It costs 20 cents to list an item, and the company takes 3.5 percent of each sale [source:Etsy]. Think of it as your first lesson in ecommerce. 9:Pet care and walking

If you are planning to enter the Gassi business, check with the dog owners to see if their pet is child-friendly.

You constantly harass your parents about a dog, a cat or a dwarf goat herd? Why not channel that animal-loving energy into a career as a pet sitter or dog walker in the neighborhood?

Petsitting is a particularly valuable service during the summer months and during the winter or spring break, when families take extended trips. Accommodating a dog in a kennel costs between $30 and $50 per night. For half of that amount, an enterprising pet sitter could offer to walk with the pet, feed it, and play with it while the family is gone. It’s a bargain for the pet owners and a boon for your piggy bank.

A gassi service is more difficult because it is more difficult to work during school hours. But with a little careful search for neighbors, you might find someone with an older dog who doesn’t need to get out as often, but can still use an afternoon trot around the block. Check with the dog’s owners to see if it is child-friendly and has all its strengths.

There is not so much need for cat walks. But cat sitting is a pretty cute business if you can overcome the whole litter box thing. To get started with your business, hang some flyers in the mailboxes or on the bulletin board in your neighborhood where you offer your services. Or publish your services to a list server in the neighborhood, if you have one. 8:Mowing and shoveling

Their neighbors often look for someone to mow their grass.

Mowing the lawn for the neighbors (or your parents) is still a viable way to make some extra money during the warm months. And if you live in a snow-prone state, you can extend your services into the winter by shoveling driveways or clearing snow in the early morning.

Lawn mowing, like pet sitting, is an excellent way to undercut the prices of professional competitors. The cheapest lawn service charges at least $30 for a small garden, without things like fertilizing, weeding, shrub cutting, and crab grass prevention. If you knock on doors, you’re likely to find a neighbor or two who want a cheaper alternative. You can decide whether you want to focus only on lawn mowing or include other services such as weeding. Since this is hard work, you might want to team up with a buddy to save time, although you’ll have to share the profits.

For safety reasons, you should be over 12 years old to operate a hand-held mower and over 16 years old to operate a ride-on mower [source:AAP]. The same caution should be exercised with snow blowers, so ask an adult before using heavy machinery. 7:Sell used goods online

Mom and Dad’s old toys might be worth something online. You never know!

Flea markets are so 1994. If your parents spend a lifetime stacking old toys, used furniture, or outdated electronics in the attic, grab an industrial-grade garbage bag, throw away the real junk, and sell the rest online. Twenty-year-old millionaire Cameron Johnson was only 12 years old when he made $50,000 selling his sister’s Beanie baby collection [source: Miley]. He had their permission, of course.

After clearing out the attic, you can also look at local flea markets, thrift stores, and junkyards for undervalued goods that can be sold online for a profit.

Sites like Craigslist and eBay are ideal for turning all that junk into someone else’s treasure. It’s also a great way to learn valuable marketing skills, such as “how to take a blurry low-light image from a dingy old desk to make it look brand new.”

Along with this image, you need to write an appealing description of the item for sale; Look at the listings of other websites to get an idea of what others charge for the same commodity. If you need to meet the buyer in person to hand over the item, make sure a parent is present so you don’t get pulled over the table. 6:Grow your own

If your city doesn’t allow you to open a farmer’s stall, you can ask your neighbors if they want to sign up for a weekly garden harvest and deliver it to them.

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