Do you remember the first time you earned your own money? Maybe you had a paper route, had a part-time job in a local shop or did some babysitting. Even though teens still do these kinds of jobs, Gen-Zers have a strong entrepreneurial streak — and they’re far more likely than previous generations to come up with creative ways to make money.
According to generational expert Eliza Filby, Generation Z is already earning money in non-traditional ways. She says, “This generation are sellers as much as buyers. They’re selling goods on eBay, organizing events, selling artwork and selling their skills. They’re starting young, which means that Gen-Z won’t necessarily be relying on their parents to give them pocket money in the same way as previous generations.”
According to research by Gallup, nearly eight in 10 students in grades 5 through 12 say they want to be their own boss. Another study by Millennial Branding found that 72% of high school students and 64% of college students want to start their own business.
Earning a wage is empowering — and it’s a great way to learn about the value of money. So if your teen isn’t already working at the weekend or during the school holidays, encourage their entrepreneurial spirit with the following money-spinning ideas…
A different kind of homework
Not all parents feel comfortable with the idea of paying kids to do household chores, but it can be a great way to introduce the idea of earning money, especially for children who aren’t yet old enough to get a part-time job.
It’s easy to set up a task on your GoHenry app, and your child will be paid for their work when it’s marked complete. Young children could earn small amounts for everyday tasks like setting the table or washing the dishes, while teens could earn a weekly wage for doing the ironing, gardening or washing the car.
The IT crowd
Gen-Zers are digital natives who typically find it easy to navigate all the latest tech. So why not capitalize on these skills and earn money by helping friends and family to set up their new phones, computers, tablets, TVs and smart speakers? Tech-savvy teens could even offer tutorials on how to send emails, use social media, shop online or make Skype calls. Most teens take these valuable skills for granted – but older generations are often prepared to pay for the benefit of their know-how.
Older children could ask neighbors if they’d like some help mowing lawns, raking leaves, cleaning windows or even running to the store for groceries. For safety reasons, it’s best to stay close to home and only ask people you know — and you might want to accompany them for the first few times to make sure they know what they’re doing!
Alternatively, teens could offer a tutoring service for younger children where they help with homework or work with high school children who are preparing for their SATs. This is a great way to earn some extra money without taking up too much of their free time.
If your child is an animal lover, they’ll probably jump at the chance to earn some cash for looking after other people’s pets. If you have neighbors who leave their dogs at home all day while they’re at work, dog walking can be a great way to earn some extra money, but your child will need to be confident about handling dogs — and willing to clean up after them.
At weekends and school holidays, children could also offer to feed small pets, like cats, rabbits, hamsters and fish when their owners are away on holiday. This can be a fun way to earn a little extra, as well as teaching them some important lessons about responsibility.
Teenagers can sell clothes and accessories on online marketplace eBay, although if they’re under 18 they’ll need to do this via an adult’s account. Some entrepreneurial teens have even started picking up cheap secondhand items in charity shops and garage sales just so they can re-sell them for a healthy profit. If your teen isn’t interested in fashion, you could help them to sell their old toys or video games on eBay or at a garage sale instead.
Talented artists could profit from their drawing, knitting, sewing or jewelry making skills and sell their handmade work at local craft fairs. Encourage them to use social media to promote their work, and they could even take commissions.
Does your child have an entrepreneurial streak?
Has your teenager found an innovative way to make money?