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How to make money if you’re under 18

MoneyMagpie team 16th Aug 2020 23 Comments

Reading Time: 18 minutes

While making a few quid here and there can be easy for those under 18, it’s a whole different story if you’re after a more sustainable source of income. Earning proper money can be difficult without the advantages of work experience or other factors, such as a driving licence.

To help out those under 18 who want to make extra cash, we’ve put together a few ideas. So whether you’re saving for a big purchase, need cash for a holiday or simply would like to earn some extra spending money, here’re a few ways to do it.


Do some transcribing

How to make money if you're under 18_transcribe

Transcribing is listening to recorded conversations (usually interviews and market research sessions) and typing out what’s said. It could be a great first job if you’re under 18.

Although it sounds very simple, it can be tricky. You’ll occasionally have to deal with people talking over each other or recordings made in noisy environments. That said, the barriers to entry are low and you can often do transcribing on a flexible basis.

The market for transcribing is huge. Many professionals in journalism, marketing and other industries need the written data from recordings for their own jobs. With the help of the internet, it’s easier than ever to get started and there’re many agencies to choose from based in the UK and abroad.

To start with, you’ll need to be a fast typist. You can test your speed before you apply. As a guideline, you’ll probably want a speed of at least 70 words per minute to make typing worth your while.

It generally takes transcribers three to four times the length of the audio to complete a file. That means an hour of audio should take three or four hours to complete – plus breaks for your tired fingers! Take that additional time into account when planning your work.

Of course, the process will be slower at first as you get the hang of it, but most people soon speed up.

Though it can be challenging, the flexibility and range of topics you’ll cover makes transcribing an attractive option for under 18s. You might also learn a lot about new subjects. Some agencies allow you to pick and choose the topics that interest you. Those may include areas such as business, politics, science and medicine, entertainment or sport, for example.

With some experience under your belt, you may even be able to set yourself up as a freelance transcriber.

Although it’s usually against the rules to approach clients of the agencies you work for, you could advertise your services to the world on sites like Gumtree. That way you’ll be able to charge more than these companies pay you.

Transcribing can be tough work and you should look for agencies which allow you to preview files before you start. Otherwise, you may be given transcribing jobs at random and find yourself slogging through very tough jobs.

That said, when you identify good audio and become a fast typist, the work can be very rewarding. Not to mention it could be a lucrative source of extra cash and a nice thing to add to your portfolio when you look for jobs later on.


Rent out almost anything!

How to make money if you're under 18_rent

If you’re under 18 and want to easily make extra cash, rent out your belongings. There’re some really useful websites that allow you to rent out almost anything you own – and you needn’t pay a penny in advertising!

RentNotBuy allows you to list whatever you want to rent out for money. Whether it’s a game console or trampoline, for instance, you can advertise it to people who’ll pay to borrow such items.

For example, one individual was earning £120 a week by renting out both his bicycle and his garden trampoline. That’s a steady stream of money and you barely need to lift a finger. For those under 18, that’s a very easy way to earn some extra cash.

There’s not much to this type of making money – you set the price and away you go! If you’re worried about lending your stuff to strangers, you can arrange a cash deposit through the site. And, like on eBay, you can check a person’s history and how other people have rated them. That should give you some peace of mind since you’ll be able to see whether the borrower will take good care of your belongings.

There’s a few websites you can try. The alternatives to RentNotBuy are the fee-free Zilok or Fat Llama, which also offers reputation reviews. You can search by area and find items for rent in your neighbourhood, making pick-up and drop-off much easier.


Do online surveys

How to make money if you're under 18_online surveys

Online surveys can be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash for under 18s from the comfort of their computer.

Completing one survey won’t help you much but if you do a few and regularly, it’ll add up to a nice sum. It’s possible to make around £50 a month if you sign up to a few survey sites and have the time to regularly complete a few of them. Most surveys take between 10-40 minutes to finish.

It’s worth looking at those taking more time, though. The longer surveys typically pay more money.

Good online survey sites to join are:

Also, you can do surveys for freebies which can be just as good as making cash. Get free goodies to test out by signing up to our freebies newsletter.

For more information see our guide to online surveys. It has plenty of useful tips to help you earn money.


Revamp your old clothes and jewellery

How to make money if you're under 18_jewellery

You might not want to rent out your clothes and jewellery out, though, and that’s fine – there’re other ways. You could try revamping them to make new and saleable items. If you’re a bit creative, try chopping up old clothes and re-piecing them together, or adding embellishments to make old look new.

You can also buy cheap offcuts of material, either at your local haberdashers or often at the market, and combine these with your old items of clothing to create something new, funky and most of all unique. There’s plenty of websites and forums out there where you can get tips. Take a look at these:

Another crafty idea is hand-made jewellery. You’ll probably have random strands of beads lying around, or bits of old necklaces – and that’s a great start to make something new that you can then sell. If the beads you have don’t go well together or the colours are boring, then just chop up the thread and pool all the beads you’ve got to try and find nicer combinations.

You can also buy beads quite cheaply online and then make them up into necklaces yourself. Sell them at a craft fair or a car-boot sale – or to your friends. Sites like Etsy are also great for selling crafted goods online.

If you’ve really got a flair for it, you can easily make a necklace for less than £2 and then sell it for £4, making 100% profit. Have a look at these sites to get started:


Make money from your fashion sense

There’s lots more you can do to make money from your fashion sense. Are you always picking up bargains from charity shops and the like? Have you got an eye for fashion? You can use it to make some cash on the side by selling vintage clothes online. It’s yet another fun way to make extra money if you’re under 18.

The great thing about it is that it’s really easy to get started – have a look at our guide on how to make money from vintage clothes. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to go shopping?


Sell Stationary Sets

Buying and selling is the basics of earning money. And what better to buy and sell than the things you use everyday?

Everyone, including you and me, uses stationary. We’ve all got a pen in our bag, or a pencil on our desk, so why not capitalise on it?

There are hundreds of places to get yourself stocked up for school or work, but if you’re looking to make a profit, the high-street isn’t the place to be. We recommend looking elsewhere. Euroffice and the UK Office Direct Limited are two businesses you can purchase essential stationary from.

All you have to do put together your own stationary package, then sell the set for a profit!

You can even add your own branding and packaging to your products, making them look more professional.

Click here to find out other intriguing ways you can make money from selling hampers

Have a go at busking

How to make money if you're under 18_buskingCan you play an instrument or sing? Busking is a great way for under 18s to make money and have some fun. You’ve got to be gutsy and get out in front of lots of people and entertain, but if you give a good show, you can make a lot of money in a few hours.

You can busk all over the place, but it’s important to check if you need a license or a permit before you do it. If you’re caught busking where you shouldn’t be, you can get moved on. If you’re really unlucky, you can even get fined or arrested.

But once the location is sorted, you’re good to go. Just put out a hat or case to collect money and start playing.

We’ve got all the information and tips in our guide to busking.


Become a film or TV extra

You may not become the next Hollywood star overnight but if you like films, it could be a great way to get into the industry. You can make between £80-£120 a day as a film or TV extra. If you fancy seeing yourself on the silver screen (or maybe just in the background of Corrie) see our article on how to make money as an extra. It explains how to get started and the best ways of finding work.


Start a cinema club

How to make money if you're under 18_cinema club

A way to make use of all those (legal) DVDs you’ve got is to start a film club. You can do it at school with your friends or anywhere else where you can host a good number of people and project a movie. To start a film club, you’ll need three main things:

  • A projector

Most schools have projectors so having the film club at school is probably the most convenient place. However, the school’s certainly going to be more willing to lend the use of the projector to those raising money for charitable purposes, rather than for personal gain. If you’re trying to run a film club just for pocket money, you’ll probably need to get a projector from somewhere else.

  • A film

Think about your audience. Who are you aiming your marketing at and what films would they like to see? Pick something that’s appropriate for the age group and something that boys and girls will enjoy watching to maximise your chances of getting a good audience. Picking a new release will probably draw a bigger crowd.

  • A venue

Of course, you’ll need a venue that can hold the amount of people you expect to come. It should also have a nice relaxed environment and lots of chairs for everyone to sit on.

This will obviously depend on the availability of the venue, but if your audience is other school students, it’s probably best not to hold them late on a school night.

Once you’ve sorted these three things out you can then think about making popcorn and other snacks and drinks to sell to make a bit more money.

Finally, you need to decide how to charge people. You can either opt for a monthly membership payment, which then allows people to go to screenings at a discounted price, or just charge everyone the same on the door.

Ultimately, you’ll probably make more from charging everyone on the door, but charging a membership fee would give you some initial funds to invest in a popcorn maker and refreshments, as well as the films themselves.

This will also help with the cost of any marketing materials like posters and flyers, which in the long run will help you make more money.

If you’re interested in running a film club for personal profit, be aware that you must comply with copyright regulations. You need a licence to charge for public viewings of movies.

You can arrange a licence through the Motion Picture Licensing Company. Be mindful of the fact the rates for commercial events are charged at the minimum guaranteed rate per title, or 35% of the box office, whichever is greater. For further information about prices, check out their website.

You may wonder whether people will pay to see films in a small venue in the age of Netflix and 3D cinemas. But by promoting the idea of community and a fun night out with friends, your new cinema club could soon be turning a tidy profit!


Put on a concert

How to make money if you're under 18_concert

If you’re under 18 and into music, here’s another idea. Do you have lots of friends who are in bands or who are budding solo artists? You can make money from organising a concert for them to play in – and give them a chance to get some gig experience. All you’ll need is a venue, an electricity supply and a computer to make some flyers and tickets.

Get started by asking around to see if your friends would be interested in coming to a concert to see their friends play. Do a little market research. Ask people how many bands they’d like to see, what kind of venue they’d like to see them at and how much they’d be willing to pay for a ticket.

Once you’ve got a rough idea of what people want, start going about providing it.

The venue will be the most difficult thing to get. Most halls of any kind will charge you quite a lot to rent them and you’ll probably need an adult present to act as a guarantor. Ideally you’ll want to get a free venue for maximum profit. Think about other options:

  • If you’ve got a garden, you can host a concert there. This would limit the capacity, but even if you only have 25 people paying £2 each, that’s still £50 in a night. Remember to inform your neighbours that you’ll be hosting a concert ahead of time. Let them know clearly the start and finish times so that you don’t get angry neighbours banging on your door (or even worse, the police!)
  • For charitable causes, your school, religious centre or local social club might be willing to let you use a hall for free. It’s always worth asking and don’t forget to really sell yourself and your passion for putting on a good show.
  • If you think you can get a lot of people to come, then you can consider paying for a venue. Make sure that you sell tickets far in advance to maximise your sales. Set a target number of tickets to sell and then divide the cost of the venue across this number. This will show you how much you need to charge for each ticket in order to cover your costs and make a profit. If this figure is unreasonable, then you’ll have to find another venue.

Then, you’ve got to persuade your friends to play for free. If you’re holding the concert for a charitable cause then they’ll hopefully do it out of the goodness of their hearts. But if you’re trying to make money for yourself then you can offer them a share in the profits. This way, they’ll help you sell the tickets and find other acts, so you all get the most out of it.


Become a referee

How to make money if you're under 18_referee

There’s a national shortage of qualified football referees. Perhaps that’s where you can make some money! You have to be over 14 to do the training and you’ll need to be fit and have good eyesight.

The cost of training is £150. This is quite steep but the investment may pay off in time. Perhaps you can ask your parents if they’d be willing to pay it, given that you’ll be learning a valuable skill.

Once you’ve got the green light, you’ll need to allow a few weeks for the training process. During that time you’ll learn all the skills needed to be a referee. That includes the rules of football and how to put them into practice.

The training includes both written and practical exams, but once you’ve passed, you can make a surprising amount a week refereeing for your local teams.

For more information on training and pricing look at the Referees’ Association. You can find a course and register your interest by Googling your local county’s refereeing website.


Get a job when you’re under 18

MoneyMagpie_jobs for under 18s

You may think that because you’re under 18 you cannot get a job. Well, think again. There’re loads of roles that younger people can be hired for to make a tidy amount of money.

Deliver newspapers

Anyone can follow a list and deliver papers. Sure, you have to get up at around 5:45am in the week and a bit later at weekends, plus it’s cold in the winter. However, with the bonus of Christmas tips and lovely summer mornings when no one else is awake it’s a good job that shouldn’t get in the way of your social or school life.

You can earn between £15 and £40 a week delivering every morning. Ask at your local newsagents if there’s a route near where you live.

Work in a Cafe/Restaurant

Another opportunity for under 18s is to work in a cafe or a restaurant. While waiter or waitress roles are the norm for younger workers, you could also get a job as a kitchen assistant. It’s a good opportunity to start your career in catering but also to learn valuable skills for the future.

Ask around at local eateries to see if they’re hiring and keep an eye on job boards online as well.

There’re plenty of part-time and Saturday jobs available on Gumtree or you can use other search engines such as Trovit or Indeed.


Babysitting can be a very lucrative and rewarding business if you’re good with kids. Typically, you’ll be expected to play with the children and possibly make dinner, but then you can relax while they snore away in bed.

All you need is patience and creativity to keep children happy. Apart from that, there’re no specific skills you’re required to have so it’s a great opportunity to make extra cash if you’re under 18. This can be also a great first step into a career in childcare later in life.

How to get babysitting work? Advertise your skills in the local area and by word of mouth. Stress the fact that you’re responsible and trustworthy. When you look after children, make an effort so they have a really good time and therefore ask to have you back.

For more information see our article on how to make money by babysitting.

Fruit picking

If you live in a rural area, you can probably get some part-time work on a farm as a picker. The work is hard and you’ll probably be paid according to the weight of how much you pick, so you’ll really have to work for your cash. That said, if you love the great outdoors it can be a fun way to make money. You don’t need any experience or qualifications so it’s a good opportunity for those under 18.

To apply for picking jobs you often won’t need a CV, but if you have prior experience it’s a good idea to supply the name of a referee. You’ll need to tell your prospective employer a bit about yourself, like your age and availability.

To do the job, you’ll need some old, comfortable clothes, a hat and lots of sun cream so you don’t get burnt. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few days to get up to a profitable speed of picking. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. Check out these sites for jobs:

Be a pool attendant

If you’re 16 or over, you can make money working as a lifeguard at your local swimming pool or beach.

To work at a pool you’ll need a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) and for the beach it’s the RLSS National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ).

You can get these qualifications by joining an RLSS lifeguard club as a volunteer and learning with them or with a commercial training organisation. Some pools will train their own staff while they work. You can get details on lifeguard training courses on the Swimming.org website. If you’re under 18 and a keen swimmer, this could be a fun way to earn money.

Once you’ve trained, all you’ve got to do is get a job. Have a look on:

Alternatively, stop by your local swimming pool to see if there’re any vacancies. For more information, see our article on becoming a lifeguard.

Walk people’s dogs

Lots of people have dogs that they don’t have time to walk. Take advantage of this and offer your services. It’s an easy way to make extra cash if you’re under 18.

Full-time workers are often out all day. Therefore, they may well need someone to check in on their dogs and walk them before they get home in the evening. It’s an excellent way to make money if you love dogs!

You’ll be expected to play with them, pick up after them and check they’ve got enough water and food when you drop them off.

What you earn depends on the area. In London you can charge up to £15 per dog per hour, but don’t overcharge as you won’t be recommended to anyone else and probably won’t be asked back.

This is a great thing to do after school if you’re under 18 as you’ll be back before anyone who has a full-time job and it should only take you around an hour a day.

You could also offer your services to feed people’s pets while they’re away on holiday. This can include cats, birds, fish and many other animals.

For more details on how to become a dog walker, check out our guide.

Work as a chambermaid

If there’s a hotel near to where you live, you could make money cleaning rooms at the weekends. A chambermaid is responsible for changing sheets, picking up and delivering laundry to the linen room, cleaning the rooms and bathrooms and sometimes preparing and serving in-room breakfast.

It’s not great money and the work can be hard. But there’re perks. You can be under 18 to do it as you don’t need any particular skills. Also, it’s usually a morning job leaving you the rest of the day free to make more money.

You can look for jobs on these sites:

Work in a supermarket

Once you’re 16 you can work in a supermarket. You’ll probably only earn minimum wage at first (£4.35 per hour), but you can do overtime and work on bank holidays to earn more.

Your part-time job could even turn into a career. If you stick with one supermarket from when you’re under 18 to when you turn 18, and you’re a good worker, there’s no reason you won’t progress. You can expect to advance up the employment ladder and not remain a shelf stacker forever.

Waitrose is one of the best supermarkets to work for as it’s a partnership. This means that all the employees hold shares in the company. This can motivate them to work to help the company develop and help their shares increase in value.

Whether it motivates you or not, you will get shares in the company which will then be yours to do with as you please. If you’re lucky, you could sell them for a nice profit. You know who the big players are, so have a look on their careers websites for jobs and get applying:


Wash people’s cars


How to make money if you're under 18_car washIf jobs are hard to come by, washing cars is a great way of making some money on the side for under 18s. Anyone can do it. You can tout for business by knocking on doors and offering your services, or print your own flyers and post them through doors. Another idea is leaving flyers on windshields and local noticeboards.

You can get some business cards printed cheaply (and sometimes free with promo codes) with Vistaprint.

It might help to put together a price list so customers know exactly what they’re getting for their money. For example, are you going to clean the car interior as well, and if so, how much more will that add to the price?

If you do a good job and a customer is pleased with your work, ask if you can include a recommendation from them on your flyers/adverts. Washing cars could be a great source of income if you’re under 18.


Run an ironing service

Know your way round an ironing board? You can make good money with a home ironing service. Even if you’re under 18, plenty of people set up business on their own, or you can sign up with an agency.

To get the full lowdown, check out our article on how to make money ironing.


Create your own phone app

Smartphones have changed the way we work and play.Tech-savvy teenagers have already created many successful apps – perhaps you’ll be next!

An app can be anything from a fun game, like the hugely popular Angry Birds, to something more practical, such as Citymapper. People of all ages are now learning how to create apps.

For anyone under 18 doubting this, read the story of Nick D’Aloisio. He was a 16-year-old schoolboy when he ditched gaming to study app design in his spare time. He created a news round-up app Summly, which was later acquired by Yahoo for $30 million.

Nick started teaching himself computer programming and began with simple apps to test the waters. But if you think this might be too tricky, programmes like GameSalad for iPhone and MIT App Inventor for Android exist to show you how to make an app.

If you like, you can have a few friends working on the idea, with some geared towards design and others towards programming.

It’s not only interesting, it can be fun and rewarding too. You can turn your very own idea into a reality. Perhaps you want to create an app for you and your friends to store your school timetable? Or maybe you want to create a fun game app centred on your school day?

This is great for those under 18 with a burning idea. If your app is particularly great you can start to make money from it.

If you want to sell an iPhone app, you can apply for approval to be put into the App Store where, if your app is very good, you may even be featured on their front page. Meanwhile, Android apps go to the Google Play store.

Apps do take a lot of hard work and planning – but with shopping apps and other useful phone add-ons taking the world by storm, you could be at the forefront of a new generation of app designers.

Will you follow any of these steps to make money under 18? Got any other great ideas for making a few extra quid while you’re still at school? Drop us a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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10 months ago

Absolutely fantastic article! It’s refreshing to see such practical and creative ideas for young individuals to earn money and gain valuable experience. The emphasis on developing skills and pursuing passions is a key takeaway here. These suggestions not only provide financial opportunities but also encourage personal growth and learning. Kudos to MoneyMagpie for shedding light on these wonderful options that can truly make a difference in the lives of those under 18. Looking forward to more insightful content like this!

10 months ago
Reply to  David

Check us here for more tips

3 years ago

renting your ps4 , laptop when you don’t use it is also a good way to earn money during your young age

4 years ago

Some great money making ideas.

toms norge
toms norge
9 years ago

That’s a good post.Thank you for sharing.

9 years ago

Hi, found this useful however I would have appreciated a little more depth on the section about jobs as this is my focus point..
I’ve tried newspaper rounds but there are no available jobs at the moment but i may try to broaden my search area. I’ll probably look into selling more, I like the idea of reselling at school, but it probably wouldnt work for me.

10 years ago

Start a mafia.

7 years ago
Reply to  Tony

I sell illegally pirated stuff at school for big discounts xD

Jasmine Birtles
7 years ago
Reply to  Fin

Ooh naughty!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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