How can a preteen earn a few dollars?

Jobs for Preteens

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Jobs for Preteens

I'm almost 13. Need to make some money. Mom says that I can have a cell phone when I can afford to pay for it. Everyone I know has a cell. I've got to find a way. But I'm not into babysitting and don't have any other ideas. Can anyone suggest a way to make some money?

Get Your Babysitting Certification

Since you are twelve, you are at that age that you can start babysitting. Get your certifications (at your local YMCA, most likely), and get the word out in your neighborhood. Focus most especially on parents who work evenings or weekends, so that you may still attend your classes. You can do homework after the little guys have gone to bed. Other ways to make money include dog-walking or plant-watering for neighbors when they go on vacation. Of course, this idea assumes that your parent(s) are okay with this arrangement, and that you are a responsible young person.

Do Odd Jobs around Neighborhood

I feel that at 12, you should be able to find small jobs in your neighborhood. I did yard work for a long time helping some of the older members of the area, pulling weeds, cutting off dead flowers, fertilizing the lawn, raking leaves, gathering crops, etc. I did that for five years. I also mowed with a hand-mower that I pushed by hand. If you are creative, the jobs will fall into your lap. Always follow through with what you offer to do, be on time, be respectful, and do the very best job you can do.

Help Elderly Neighbors

Babysitting is always a possibility. You usually have to take a class, and learning CPR is valuable. How about running errands for neighbors? You could pick up things for elderly neighbors or do yard work. Even being a "companion" for a lonely neighbor would work. You could offer help with neighbors' yard sales. I have a hard time doing those by myself!
Charlen C.

Work as Junior Camp Counselor

Babysitting is still the best money deal for most preteens, especially if you can offer a "value added" service. For instance, offer to be a mother's helper. Cleaning houses also ranks high in money earning. Offer specific services like cleaning bathrooms or refrigerators to keep the cost down for your clients but earn good money.

Consider being a summer camp counselor as a junior counselor. Unfortunately, it often doesn't pay a lot.

Babysitters can now command $10 or more per hour in my neck of the woods. Check through your parents' address book, school or church buzz book, etc. to offer your services. Make up a business card with your contact information and hand them out when you can (not during church!) and behave in a professional way. Until you're older and more experienced, take jobs only with people in your neighborhood or known by your family.
JD in St. Louis

Related: Jobs for Younger Teens

Four Jobs to Consider

Here are four jobs you may want to think about:

  1. Pet Sitter (feed the cats, fish, etc.)
  2. Dog Walker
  3. House Sitter (pick up mail, newspapers, check on the house, water the plants)
  4. Baby Sitter


Do Yard Work

I have a suggestion that could help a young person earn money and help out an older person at the same time. I know that I, for example, enjoy a really nice-looking flowerbed. Unfortunately, I have a bad back and absolutely hate the idea of weeding. By the time I've been at it for five minutes (or less), my back, neck, and knees are already killing me!

I'd be willing to bet that you probably have neighbors that may have physical limitations (like I do). It wouldn't take a young person very long to remove the few weeds that may pop up in a two-week period (maybe even an hour or less), and I'm sure the employer would be willing to pay $5 or so to help you reach your goal.

Also, keep in mind it won't be enough money that you have to report the income, and it most likely will be paid in currency rather than even a check, which will save you (or your parents) having to go to the bank.

Related: Mother-Approved Fun Teen Activities

Working for Seniors

Being almost 80 years old, there is one job much needed which I don't see often. That is helping a senior citizen. Cleaning their house, keeping their yard done, carrying groceries for them. Basically, whatever they need. I have hired my grandchildren to do the above for me once a week. You can't imagine what a help it is. Besides it being a paid job you are also doing a community service for the aged.

Reviewed February 2018

Take the Next Step

  • Consider these ideas for part-time work for nearly-teens.
  • It is never too early to start teaching your children the importance of saving. Compare savings and money market account rates and open an account for them today.
  • It's tough raising kids today! You need every time and money saving idea you can find. That's why you'll want to get our free weekly Dollar Stretcher for Parents newsletter. You'll find great ideas designed just for parents that will help your family 'live better...for less'! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.

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