Jul 26

How to make money if you’re under 18

Reading Time: 16 mins

Although making a few quid here and there can be easy if you’re under 18, making money can be difficult without the advantages of work experience or other factors such as a driving licence.

To help out those who do want to make some extra cash –  whether it’s saving for a big purchase or holiday, or simply to earn some extra spending money – we’ve thought up some great ways for under 18’s to earn some cash.

Set up a rental club at school

You can make money out of things that you and your friends already own by starting up a rental club at school. Just like LOVEFiLM, you can rent out the DVDs or CDs that you and your friends already own for a much lower fee – so both you and the renters are winners. You will need to:

  • Devise a membership scheme to record every member’s details, including the class they are in, in order to chase up rentals.
  • Have a log book or spreadsheet to record exactly who has what and how long they’ve paid for it.
  • Make a catalogue of all the titles you have – so people can choose what they want to rent without you having to carry the DVDs around all the time.
  • Because you don’t want to have to transport the DVDs to and from school all the time, it’s probably a good idea to use a book-in-advance system where people request a certain title which you then bring for them the next day. They then return the DVD to you as arranged.
  • Running a club like this in school guarantees that if a title is not returned on time you can track down the person who has got it quite easily.

A rental club can work well for loads of things. For boys, renting computer games that you have lying around at home is a good idea. For girls, if you’ve got some nice things in your wardrobe that you don’t mind lending out, you could rent items out at the weekend so that people can wear them to parties. In this case, some sort of guarantee system should be put in place in case the clothes get ripped or stained, however, with the DVDs their value isn’t so much that this should be necessary. If a DVD is mistreated you can simply deny the member who broke it any more rentals.

Bear in mind that although you can sell DVDs and CDs legally, renting out retail copies for profit (in the UK at least) is illegal. You can however buy ‘wholesale’ DVDs to rent for profit (‘wholesale’ DVDs tend to cost three or four times as much as ‘retail’ copies, but that still allows you to make a healthy profit with enough customers).

Rent out almost anything!

There are 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 (from games consoles to trampolines) to people are willing to pay to borrow such items.

For example one individual was earning £120 a week by renting out both his bicycle and his garden trampoline.

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 eBay, you can see a person’s history and how other people have rated them – so you can see whether someone will take good care of your stuff or not).

There are alternatives to RentNotBuy, such as Zilok (which is again fee free) or Ecomodo which is currently run by volunteers. You can also search by area and find items for rent in your area making pick up and drop off much easier.

Do online surveys

Online surveys can be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash from the comfort of your computer.

It’s possible to earn around £50 a month if you sign up to a few survey sites and have the time to regularly complete a few surveys (most take between 10-40 minutes to finish).

The longer surveys typically pay more money.

Your first port of call should be Opinion Panel – this is aimed at people specifically between the ages of 16-30.

Unlike some survey companies, who reward you in points, Opinion Panel guarantee at least £1 per survey.

Click here to sign-up.

Some other good online survey sites to join are:

Also, 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 the most money.


Revamp your old clothes and jewellery

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_tie-dye-shirtsIf you don’t fancy renting your clothes and jewellery out, then you could try revamping them to make new and saleable items. If you are a bit creative, try chopping up old clothes and re-piecing them together. 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. You can get tips internet forums and sites. Take a look at these:

  • Craftster clothing forum
  • What the Craft?

The same goes for strands of beads that you might have lying around. If the beads don’t go well together or they are boring colours 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 to sell either at a craft fair or a car-boot sale, or just to sell to your friends. 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:

  • Beads Direct
  • Beads Unlimited
  • Beadaddict

Make money from your fashion sense

Have you got an eye for fashion? Are you always picking up bargains from charity shops and the like? You can use your fashion sense to make some cash on the side by selling vintage clothes online.

It’s really easy to get started – have a look at our guide on how to make money from vintage clothes.

Have a go at busking

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_buskingBusking is a great way for under 18’s 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 out if you need a license or a permit before you do it. If you are caught busking where you shouldn’t be, you can get moved on (or if you’re really unlucky, you can even get fined or arrested). But once your location is sorted, all you’ve got to do is put out a hat or case to collect money in, and you’re good to go.

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

Become a film or TV extra

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_clapperboardYou 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 shows you how to get started and the best ways of finding work.

Start a cinema club

Another way to make use of all those DVDs (legal of course) you’ve got is to start a film club, at school, with your friends or anywhere else where you can host a good number of people and project a film. 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 is certainly going to be more willing to lend the use of the projector to those who are trying to raise money for charitable purposes rather than for personal gain. If you are trying to run a film club just for pocket money you’ll probably need to be able to get a projector from somewhere else.

  • A film

Think about your audience, who you are aiming your marketing at and what films they would like to see. Pick something that is appropriate for the age group and 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

This is interlinked with the projector, but you still 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.

Once you’ve sorted these three things out you can then think about making popcorn to sell to make a bit more money or other refreshments and when you are going to hold the screenings. This will obviously depend on the availability of the venue, but if your audience are other school students, it’s probably best not to hold them late on a school night.

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 (you can get one at Amazon now for just over twenty quid) and any other refreshments as well as the films themselves and the cost of any marketing materials like posters and flyers, which in the long-run will help you make more money.

If you are 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; however, 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.

Put on a concert

If you’ve got lots of friends who are in bands or who are budding solo artists, you can make money out of 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 and other young people that you know would be interested in coming to a concert to see their friends play. 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 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.moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_concert

  • If you’ve got a garden you can host a concert there – this would limit the capacity, but only 25 people paying £2 each is still £50 in a night. Remember to inform your neighbours that you will be hosting a concert before the night and state 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 the charity you’re raising money for.
  • 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 are 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 will help you sell the tickets and help you find other acts in order to get the most out of it.

Become a referee

There is a national shortage of qualified football referees. You have to be over 14 to do the training and you have to be fit and have good eyesight.

If you’re under 16 then it should cost you £49 for training, registration, child protection and a CRB check and £69 if you’re over 16.  The training process will take a few weeks during which time you will learn all the skills needed to be a referee, including the knowledge of 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 and you can find your local course and register your interest on the Football Association website.

Get a job when you’re under 18

You may think that because you are under 18 you cannot get a job. Well think again – there are loads of jobs that younger people can do to make a tidy amount of money.

Deliver newspapers

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_newspapersAnyone can follow a list and deliver papers. You have to get up at around 5:45 am 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 is a route near where you live.

Work in a Cafe/Restaurant

Another opportunity for under 18’s is to work in a cafe or a restaurant. Waiter or waitress roles are the norm for younger workers, but you could also get a job as a kitchen assistant.

Ask around at local eateries to see if they are hiring and keep an eye on jobs in the paper as well.

There are plenty of part-time and Saturday jobs available on Gumtree or you can use other search engines such as Trovit or Part Time Jobs.


Babysitting is a very lucrative business if you look at it in terms of effort. You’ve got to play with the children a bit, possibly make dinner and then just relax in someone else’s house whilmoneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_babysittingst the children snore away in bed. Its very difficult not to do a good job.

Advertise your skills in the local area and by word of mouth. Stress the fact that you are responsible and trustworthy and whilst the children are awake, make an effort to have a really good time again, so they’ll ask to have you back.

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

Fruit picking

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_fruit-pickingIf 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 will probably be paid according to the weight of how much you pick, so you’ll really have to work for your cash. 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 as well as your age and your nationality.

To do the job you’ll need old 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:

  • Picking Jobs
  • Any work anywhere
  • Fruitful Jobs

Be a pool attendant

If you are 16 or over you can make money being a lifeguard at your local swimming pool or beach.

To work at a pool you’ll need a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) or The National Aquatic Rescue Standard (NaRS) qualification, and for the beach it’s the RLSS National Beach Lifeguard Qualification or the NaRS. You can get these qualifications by joining an RLSS lifeguard club or SLSA as a volunteer and training with them or with a commercial training organisation. Some pools will train their own staff whilst they work. You can get details on lifeguard training courses on the Learn Direct website.

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

  • Leisurejobs
  • Gumtree

Or stop by your local swimming pool to see if there are any job vacancies. For more information see our article on becoming a lifeguard.

Walk people’s dogs

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_dog-walkLots of people have dogs that they can’t be bothered to walk. Take advantage of this and offer your services. You should be able to handle up to four dogs at a time, taking them all out at once and saving time. You’ll be expected to play with them, pick up after them and check they’ve got enough water when you drop them off.

What you charge 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 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 whilst they are away on holiday.

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

Work as a chambermaid

If there is 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 it’s usually just a morning job leaving you the rest of the day free to make more money.

You can look for jobs on these sites:

  • Recruitment & Employment Confederation
  • Fish 4 Jobs
  • Jobcentreplus

Work in a supermarket

Once you are 16 you can work in a supermarket. You will probably only earn minimum wage at first (£3.68 per hour), but you can do overtime and work on bank holidays to earn more. If you stick with one supermarket from when you are 16 to when you are 18 and you are a good worker, 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 in as it is a partnership. This means that all the employees hold shares in the company and this is supposed to 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, have a look on their careers websites for jobs and get applying:

  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco
  • Waitrose
  • Morrisons
  • Asda

Wash people’s cars

moneymagpie_car-washIf jobs are hard to come by, this is a great way of making some money on the side. Anyone can do it, and you can tout for business by knocking on doors and offering your services, or print your own flyers and post them through doors, leave them on windshields and local noticeboards.

You can get some business cards printed for free with Vistaprint. You might find it helps to put together a price list, so customers know exactly what they’re getting for their money (e.g. 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 obviously pleased with your work, ask if you can put a recommendation from them on your flyers/adverts.

Run an ironing service

How to make money if you're under 18Know your way round an ironing board? You can make good money with a home ironing service. 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

moneymagpie_how-to-make-money-if-you're-under-18_smartphoneSmartphones have quickly become the must-have accessory for teenagers, and a key part of their success is the presence of applications – or ‘apps’ for short.

An app can be anything from a fun game – see the hugely popular Angry Birds – to a more practical app – see Next Bus London – and 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 is a 16-year-old schoolboy who ditched gaming to study app design in his spare time and is now working with multi-billionaires in the United States to develop his Summly app.

Nick started teaching himself computer programming and began with more simple apps to test the water – but if you think this might be too tricky, programmes like GameSalad for iPhone and 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 – with you turning 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 with a burning idea, and if your idea 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 iTunes App Store, where, if your app is particularly good, you may even be featured on their front page. Android apps meanwhile go to the Android Market Store.

Apps do take a lot of hard work and thinking – but with programming set to become a core part of the IT curriculum in September 2012 you could be at the forefront of a new generation of app designers.

Want more ideas? Check out our make money section where we’ve got loads of money making ideas that are suitable for under 18’s.

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toms norge
toms norge

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


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.


Start a mafia.


I sell illegally pirated stuff at school for big discounts xD


Ooh naughty!

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