How to make money as a teenager in the UK

How to make money as a teenager in the UK

Whether looking to save for a car, pay for college, or earn some extra spending money, there are many ways teens can make money in the UK. For a start many businesses need part-time workers, and the good news is that teens can start working part-time as soon as they are 13 years old. If they feel a little more ambitious and want to be their own boss, your teen can even make money without leaving the house. Here's our guide to how to make money as a teenager in the UK.

 

 

Working while you are a teen

Before your teen starts looking for a job, it's important to know that while they can start working when they turn 13, they are restricted to 12 hours a week during the school term and 25 hours a week during the school holidays. This increases to 25 hours at 14, 35 hours at 15 and 16, and unlimited at 17 and over.

The benefits of making money as a teen

There are many benefits to encouraging your child to find a part-time job. From independence to flexing their earning muscles, working helps build financial literacy and enables your child to understand their earning power.  Alongside this, making money help teens to:

  • Understand the correlation between hours worked and earnings

  • Develop a sense of responsibility

  • Build self-confidence

  • Understand the power of a work ethic

  • Be responsible 

  • Learn how different working is to school life

How can a teen prepare for their first job?

To help teens prepare for their first job, you need to put them in control of their work needs. From punctuality to having a clean work uniform and factoring in how to get to work, ensure that they know this is their responsibility, not yours. Alongside this, talk about:

  • What it means to be professional at work, from listening to what you are being told to having a positive mindset about work.

  • Staying committed. It’s easy to be excited about work in the first few weeks, but teens can lose enthusiasm fast. Don’t give them an easy way out of leaving their job. Remind them they have made a commitment.

  • Safety concerns. Working may mean coming home late, starting early, or working with different people and age groups. Be sure to talk to your teen about safety and what to do if they feel unsafe or harassed at work.

  • Getting paid. A first job also means teens need a bank account to receive their wages. Teens can open a bank account on their own from 16 years old. Another option is the GoHenry teen debit card. A GoHenry account has an account number and sort code so an employer can pay their salary via a bank transfer or BACS.

  • Establish how much they will save from their pay. Suggest that a certain percentage (ideally at least 20%) of their earned income always goes into a savings account. This is an excellent life habit; ultimately, your teen will thank you for it.  

Top ways to make money as a teen

  1. Delivering newspapers
  2. Weekend shop work
  3. Working in a salon
  4. Retail work
  5. Events work
  6. Babysitter
  7. Make and sell stuff online
  8. Paid surveys
  9. Video game streaming
  10. Completing chores
  11. Tutoring
  12. Declutter and sell stuff

Different ways teens can make money

The type of job your teen gets and how much money they make comes down to their age, how much spare time they have, and whether they want to work for themselves or prefer a more traditional part-time job.

The best high paying jobs for teens

The best high-paying jobs for teens aged 13+:

  • Delivering newspapers - £5 a week with more at weekends when the papers are heavier.

  • Weekend shop work - £4.81 an hour. Tends to be in smaller shops, and duties include stacking shelves and clearing up.

  • Working in a salon - £4.81 an hour plus tips. Mainly Saturday work, which includes sweeping up, making hot drinks and washing hair.

The best high-paying jobs for teens aged 14+:

  • Retail work - pay is £9 - 10 an hour. One of the best high-paying jobs for teens is working in the leading supermarket chains. These jobs pay between £9 and £11 an hour. 

  • Events work - pay is £9 an hour. This means helping with the serving of food and setting up for events such as weddings, engagements, christenings and company events. Pay is around £9 an hour. 

  • Babysitter - pays £8 an hour. Depending on the child's age, the hours and how many children your teen will be watching, babysitting can pay anything from £8 upwards. 

Holiday or summer jobs for teens

Summer for teens is the perfect time for earning extra cash and gaining valuable part-time work experience. Here are some ways for teens to make money in the summer:

  • Summer camp. There are many different types of summer camps, from sports camps to summer schools, and they often look for teen mentors, office staff, teachers, activity leaders and coaches.

  • Theme parks. If you live near one, there will be many part-time roles, from food and drink sales to customer service staff and ride attendants. 

  • Summer festivals take place right across the UK and many offer a variety of opportunities for older teenagers. Jobs include selling food, drink and merchandise to stewarding.

  • Gardening is always in need during the summer months, from mowing lawns and weeding to cutting back hedges. Contact local gardening companies and ask if they are looking for extra help. 

  • Other good summer job ideas for teens include office admin, tour guide, waiting staff, cleaner and tutor and cinema work.

Ways for teens to make money online

If, like most teenagers, your teens spend a lot of time online, they could turn that time into money. Making money online means they don't have to worry about getting someone to drive them anywhere, and its flexibility means they can fit it around their studies. Here are the ways teens can make money online:

  • Make and sell stuff online. Selling homemade crafts is big business. In 2021, as many as 25% of young people sold items online, according to GoHenry's Youth Economy Report. If your teen likes making things, why not encourage them to make money from their skills on eBay and by selling on Etsy?

  • Paid surveys. Many companies want to learn what consumers think about their products through paid online surveys. It won't earn your teenager a fortune, but it's relatively quick and easy work; all they need is internet access.

  • Growing a successful YouTube channel takes time, but once your teen gets enough views and subscribers, they can apply to have adverts on their channel and get paid for these.

  • Video game streaming has become hugely popular in recent years. It's a fun way to share a love of gaming and generate some income.

  • Take and sell photos. If your teenager enjoys taking photos as a hobby, they can turn it into cash by selling them online. There are several websites where they can upload their photos; good sites to try are Shutterstock, Dreamstime, iStockphoto and Fotolia.

Related: How old you do you have to be to sell online?

Understanding your first payslip

Getting your first part-time job is exciting, but research from the Money Advice Service has found that teens need to prepare for working life, with only 59% saying they understand their payslips. The good news is it's easy to explain to your teen how to understand their first payslip.

 

Firstly, teens need to understand that a payslip is a summary of their earnings and deductions issued by their employer whenever they get paid.

 

A payslip will, therefore show the following:

  • Pay period - this is the date range that this payslip covers. 

  • Tax code - which tells an employer how much tax-free income an employee gets in a tax year.

  • National Insurance number - every UK person 16 and above has a unique NI number that ensures National Insurance contributions (which help build an entitlement to benefits such as the State Pension and Maternity Allowance) are recorded only against the person's name.

  • Gross earnings - is the money earned before taxes and other deductions are subtracted.

  • Taxable earnings - this is earnings, less any salary sacrifice deductions such as a pension. Deductions only apply to full-time employees.

  • Net payment - the amount paid after all taxes and deductions are taken.

Start a business as a teen and earn money 

There are also plenty of opportunities to make money with small business ideas by offering a useful service, for example:

  • Many parents want help with their kids' academic tuition or teaching them a musical instrument. If there's a subject your teenager is particularly confident in, then they could offer themselves as a tutor both online and in-person in the area.

  • Pet photographer/ event photographer. If your teen is doing a photography GCSE or is adept at taking pictures, they could offer photography services.

  • Tutoring. If your child excels at maths, English, a musical instrument or even a language, they can consider tutoring younger kids.

  • Drink stand. Old fashioned but works well if a location is chosen wisely.

  • Window washing. This is another business well worth trying as you no longer need a ladder if your teen invests in a Telescopic Window Cleaning Pole.

Related: Small business ideas for teens

Declutter and sell their stuff

All kids accumulate too many things, so now's an excellent chance to get them to declutter for money. If your teen has something they don't want or use anymore but is still in good condition, they could make money by selling it at car boot sales or online through eBay, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace.

Make money doing household chores

Your teen can also earn some money by doing some extra chores at home. Think about what household chores would be most helpful to you and suggest that your teenager takes responsibility for them in exchange for pocket money. Here are some ideas:

  • Helping younger siblings with homework

  • Babysitting younger siblings

  • Doing the laundry 

  • Mowing the lawn

  • Cleaning the bathroom

  • Taking out the rubbish

  • Walking the dog

  • Cleaning the windows

  • Cooking

  • Preparing lunch boxes

  • Vacuuming and mopping floors

Find out more about the best chores for teens.

Need more inspiration?

Even if your teen isn’t 16, there are ways to make money. The easiest way to find paid jobs is to ask around. It’s likely you have lists of things that need doing that you never get round to, such as clearing the shed or a cupboard, taking things to the charity shop, or cleaning out food cupboards. Neighbours might need someone for odd jobs like mowing the lawn. Ways to make money as a 13-year-old include:

  • Making and selling things

  • Filling in online surveys

  • Washing cars

  • Odd jobs

  • Testing websites

To make money when you are 14+, why not:

  • Brainstorm small business ideas with your teen that they could easily set up and do from at home. Could they make and sell cupcakes, make party bags for kids' parties, and sell afternoon tea packages or chocolates at Christmas?

  • Sell old toys and books online. LEGO, Beanie babies, Barbie dolls and My Little Pony could all make extra money for you.

  • Offer garden help to neighbours and family. Your teen may need to learn how to redesign a garden, but weeding, planting and mowing the lawn are all in demand.

If your teen is 16 and over, they may still need some inspiration beyond traditional part-time jobs, suggest they consider:

  • Selling unwanted clothes, accessories and trainers online (check what they put up to sale). A quarter of teens (25%) are now earning from selling things on online marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, Depop and Vinted. Skills learnt here include marketing and price setting.

  • According to our Youth Economy report, 23% of kids aged 10+ are already making money from social media, topping up their pocket money payments with micro-influencer work on TikTok and Instagram.

Do teens pay taxes on their earnings?

Under-18s only pay tax and income tax if they earn more than £1,042 a month (over £12,570 a year). Still, everyone has to pay tax at some point, so it's essential to explain to your child what income tax is. Also, at 16, be sure your teen knows they need to pay National Insurance payments if they have a part-time job. This will come off as an automatic deduction that entitles them to things like the state pension, maternity pay and statutory sick pay.

 

Related: Do under 18s need to pay income tax?

 

What can teens do with the money they make?

According to our Youth Economy Report, kids and teens who are encouraged to save are far more likely to continue saving as adults. For this reason, teach your teens to save money as soon as they start earning. Whether they are looking to save up for their first car, a new pair of trainers, or university, getting started is the most crucial step.

 

Your teens can save money by:

  1. Setting up auto save on the day they get paid

  2. Tracking their incomings and outgoings to see where they can make more savings

  3. Budgeting so they have more money to save

  4. Doing extra chores to earn pocket money

  5. Getting a GoHenry prepaid debit card

  6. Delaying gratification

  7. Understanding needs versus wants

  8. Opening a Junior ISA

Related: How to save money as a teen

 

As for how much teens should save, the general rule of thumb is 50/30/20. That’s 50% for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings. The key to saving is consistency. Get them to save a percentage of their earnings or pocket money as soon as they get paid so they learn the right money management skills to set them up for life.

 

Related: Can you invest in the stock market before you turn 18?

How can teens manage their money?

If your teen is making money, there are various ways to help them manage their money, from banks offering current accounts, to building societies with kid saver accounts.  

 

Money from part-time jobs can also be paid straight into a GoHenry account. This is a safe and secure way for teens to get their wages. A GoHenry card means they don't have to remember to pay money into the bank or carry cash around with them when they are out. 

 

It's a convenient way to be paid as once the money is in their account, they can use their GoHenry card to pay for items online, in-store, or withdraw cash from an ATM. They can also set up saving pots and track their weekly and monthly incomings and outgoings via the GoHenry app.

 

 

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Written by GoHenry Published Mar 15, 2023 ● 6 min read