How Can I Make Money at 13?

New teens too young to officially enter the workforce often crave extra spending money. With some creativity, planning and perseverance, you can create opportunities that will allow you to fill your pockets with extra cash. Get into the entrepreneurial spirit and you can discover the value of hard work, along with the opportunity to earn some real money on your own.

Walk dogs and offer a poop-scooping service for neighbours. One thing that most neighbourhoods have in common is lots and lots of family dogs, and many people would love for someone to regularly take their dog out for some exercise and/or scoop the poop from the yard. Advertise by putting up signs near mailboxes within walking distance of your home. Additionally, knock on doors of friends and neighbours with whom you are acquainted and let them know that you are looking for opportunities in the pet-care field. Be open to additional related requests, such as pet sitting during vacations or dog bathing. Once you get a customer or two, your business is likely to grow through word of mouth.

Wash cars in the summer, rake leaves in the fall, and remove snow in the winter. These teen jobs work best and are most fun in a group of friends who want to earn money as a team. Advertise by placing posters around the neighbourhood and by asking your parents and your neighbours to spread the word. Snow removal, yard work and car washing jobs all require attention to detail and hard physical labour. The good news is that once you show your customers that you are good and thorough at these tasks, they are likely to invite you back to do them on a regular basis throughout the season.

Babysit or be a parent's helper. The need for good babysitters, a traditional teen job, never goes away. Many communities now offer courses on how to be a responsible babysitter, and certifications may even be awarded upon course completion. Make sure your neighbours with young children know that you have taken these classes, as that shows a true desire to be a safety-conscious babysitter. Word of a good babysitter generally spreads like wildfire through a neighbourhood, and before you know it you are likely to have more requests than you can accept. For new teens just becoming interested in babysitting, the role of parent's helper is a great first step. Offer to play with someone's kids while the parent is at home. This gives Mom or Dad the chance to accomplish chores around the house while you entertain and keep an eye on the children. Most parents greatly appreciate this service, and it shows them that you will be a fantastic babysitter as soon as you're ready to advance to that level of responsibility.


A smile and a friendly manner go a long way when asking a neighbour to hire you for a job. Be polite and look people in the eye. Only consider taking on jobs that you will enjoy; e.g., if you are afraid of dogs, do not advertise for pet services.


Never knock on doors requesting to be hired unless you know the person who lives at the house. If someone calls you about a doing a job for him, make sure your know the person before accepting the task. If someone you have never met wants to hire you, go meet her with your parent before accepting the job. Make sure a parent or guardian always knows where you will be before leaving for a job.

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About the Author

Based in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Cee Hearn has been writing short stories since 1984 and nonfiction articles on a wide variety of topics since 1992. She has greatly enjoyed teaching creative writing courses to college students over the past several years. She holds both an M.A. and a B.A. in English.