Making money as a teenager – five steps you should follow

Do you give your teens pocket money? It seems that most parents do; in fact, a recent survey found that 4 out of 5 parents gave their teen regular pocket money. Others use an informal system of assessing expenditure on a case by case basis. Many teens like the idea of making money for themselves but making money as a teenager is not straightforward and varies a great deal with age. The opportunities for an 18 year old are vast compared to those for a 13 year old.

Making money as a teenager

Making money as a teenager – school age children

Many teenagers have some form of part time job. This typically begins around 16. A child stops being a ‘school age child’ on the last Friday in June in the school year in which the child has his or her 16th birthday (in England and Wales), so this is typically Year 11.

So what happens before that? The situation is quite complicated and there are a few myths flying around that need to be distinguished from the facts. The law says that a child under 14 cannot be employed, but this rule can and often is relaxed by local byelaws to allow the employment of 13 year-old children in certain occupations. Children in performing arts occupations are classed differently.

Employing anyone under 13 in a business is pretty much out of the question, although of course they can help out with household tasks at home and parents can pay them. A lot of them do. The above survey showed that 45% of teens went to the shops for their parents and 31% looked after younger siblings. This makes sense, financially, as your earning potential is likely to be greater than that of your teen. It makes sense for them to collect their little brother or sister from school so that you can fit in a few extra hours at work. You can even pay them for doing that and still be better off as a whole.

Five steps to making money for school kids

If your kids still like the idea of making money as a teenager outside the home, here are five steps to making that happen:

  1. Have a chat about what they want from the job. Is it simply to earn money? Do they want to get some fresh air and exercise as a break from studying? Do they want to meet people and brush up on their social skills? This will help to narrow down the options.
  2. Establish if it will help with their future CV and personal statement? Any job will earn them a bit of cash but if it looks impressive on their personal statement for university or for an apprenticeship/job then that is a win-win situation. It may even save them from having to get work experience elsewhere.
  3. Check out the legal situation. The employment of school age children is very highly regulated and many employers simple won’t bother because it requires a lot of paperwork. The health and safety of your child is paramount. Will they need any special equipment such as reflective clothing for a newspaper round? How will they get to and from work safely and how much hassle will this cause you as a parent?
  4. Think of how many hours they can realistically put in. Making money as a teenager may be much more attractive than writing an English literature essay or doing physics homework. Calculate how many hours are available for work after taking school work and extra-curricular activities such as sports into account. It is better to take on fewer hours and do them well than prove unreliable in a job.  This employer will potentially be giving them their first reference so it’s a good idea to impress them.
  5. Get yourself out there. This is where friends and family come in. Your teen is a blank sheet as far as employers are concerned so it may help to start working for people who know them. Try businesses where your family are customers, try friends and family. What about sports clubs, music teachers or other adults who know that your teen is reliable and conscientious? Put the word out that they are looking for some part time work and see what happens. Then they can branch out using social media, dropping CVs off at shops and looking out for notices indicating that businesses are hiring. You often see these in shop and restaurant windows. It may be worth sending in a CV even if the business is looking for older employees because they may keep it on file for the future.

Now that you have followed these steps there are plenty of ideas for what jobs they can do outside the home in my next blog post. Check out the top seven jobs for teens here.




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  14 comments for “Making money as a teenager – five steps you should follow

  1. hannah
    February 14, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I remember when i was that age, all i used to really get was pocket money x

  2. February 14, 2017 at 11:09 am

    It’s so much harder for kids these days to get a job than it was in our day. I had a paper round from 13-17 and did two different shop jobs at the age of 16 – one on Saturday and one on Sunday! My son does his GCSEs and turns 16 this year and I really hope he can find something to keep him busy at least some of the time over the summer.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Grade 3 Ballet – Distinction!My Profile

  3. February 14, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Paper rounds were the only jobs I ever knew friends having when we were quite young. I got my first job when I was 15 at the local football grounds x
    Rhian Westbury recently posted…7 Things I Want To Do In AmsterdamMy Profile

  4. February 14, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    When I was young I worked as a waitress in a coffee shop from the age of 16 and a hotel receptionist and barmaid from the age of 18. My parents always instilled in me the importance of earning my own money as a teenager. It is not as easy nowadays but our soon to be 18 year old has been lucky that he has been able to use his passion for sport to help out at local school holiday sports camps. Last year he went a step further and took a cricket coaching course and worked as a coach support worker at his club over the summer – all of which has helped him to build up a fund to pay for his first summer holiday away with his mates this year. Useful post Sharon. Jo x
    Jo (MotherofTeenagers) recently posted…Challenging The Perception of PrettyMy Profile

  5. February 14, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Great tips. I think it is much harder nowadays to get jobs when you are young. I keep saying mine should help out more for there pocket money. Must make up a list or nothing will ever get done 🙂

  6. February 14, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I think it’s really important to work as a teenager if you can get a job. Great tips

  7. February 15, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Fab post. It is important for teenagers to work a small job and earn some money I think.

  8. February 15, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Working as a teenager teaches you lots of life skills as well as helping you learn about money. Great tips here
    Mellissa Williams recently posted…Beauty Tips: Your LipsMy Profile

  9. February 15, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I think it’s so important for teenagers to work. It teaches them so many life skills, such as work ethic, budgeting, saving, financial independence plus of course all the skills from the job itself.
    I worked from the age of 13 and am so glad I did! My children are all 7 and under, so not quite so relevant, but they do little jobs to help earn extra pocket money.

  10. February 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    These are great tips. I remember working in a hairdresser at that age and hated it
    Kerry norris recently posted…Valentine’s Blogger Interview with Pushing The MoonMy Profile

  11. February 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Having a job during teenage years help them to be more independent and learn the value of money. It maybe hard at the start but as you go along, you will learn a lot from it.

  12. February 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I have fond memories of my teenage baby sitting jobs, luckily the kids I looked after were very sweet and I loved having my own money for clothes.

  13. February 16, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m terribly freaked out. My daughter is only two and I never want her to get bigger, get a job married etc she is staying home with mummy lol! But nonetheless a really great post with tip top tips x
    Lindsey recently posted…Golden Gucci Dupes And Cream SweatersMy Profile

  14. May 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

    My daughter had a summer job after GCSEs waitressing which she loved….. she spent all her money on makeup love her! My son has a labouring job lined up for the summer at 15. It’s hard for employers to take on under 16s due to child protection laws. Good post.

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