Introduction: How to Make Money - As a Teen
There comes a point in every teenagers life when they wish they had a bit more cash, unfortunately the standard teenager jobs aren't for everyone (burger flipping & lawn mowing).
But don't worry with a little creativity and perseverance you can easily make good money doing something you love. You can turn literally any skill you have into a good money-making opportunity :D
This instructable shows you some of the ways you can make good money without loosing your sanity with a repetitive boring job, we will be adding to this over time so remember to check back for updates and new money-making ideas.
This is a collaboration between =SMART= , Rishnai, Gjdj3 and dsman195276
We hope you like the instructable :D
Step 1: Hard Labor
- Mow lawns
- Shovel snow
- Do basic landscaping, such as trimming things (that aren't grass)
- Deliver papers
- Clear gutters
- Rake leaves
- Dig ditches
- Clean cars
- Clean windows
- Housework (Dusting, Hoovering, Sweeping)
Step 2: Moola.com
Moola.com is a new website that describes itself as a "Massively Multiplayer Rewards Game." It's basically a bunch of players all online competing against each other for money. You get a free penny when you sign up and can play games to keep doubling your money. This is made possible because you have to watch a short advertisement before each game.
There are two ways to register for Moola.
1. You can go to their site and register. This is the most basic way to sign up.
2. The second way to sign up is asking a current member to send you an invitation. If you do this both you and the person that referred you get a 32 cent bonus.
Once You're Signed Up
Once you're signed up they give you one free penny. As of right now there are 3 games to play to increase your money. They are...
1. Hi-Lo (Picture 2)
In this game you try to guess whether the next card in line will be same/higher or lower. Your goal is to lock in farther and with more lives than your opponent.
2. Ro-Sham-Bo Fu (Picture 3)
This game is a big shiny flash version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. There are a set amount of points at stake for each battle and your goal is to finish with more than your opponent.
3. Gold Rush
The site describes this game as A 2-player game of strategy, in which the most clever bidder goes home with the Gold! First player to reach 32 points will be declared the winner. Basically, you try to outbid your opponent without going too high so that you'll have more to bid later in the game.
Bonuses And Strategies
One bonus Moola.com offers is the bonus wheel. Every several games you get to spin the bonus wheel to get extra money, no strings attached.
There are also betting strategies on Moola. One betting strategy is found here, at http://all-moola-cheats.tribe.de/node/16 . It gives recommendations on how long to play on each level of Moola and when to cash out. If you don't like that strategy, many players make up their own.
With a little work and clever betting you can make a lot of money using Moola. If you want to join Moola via invitation, you can leave a comment or PM me, Gjdj3 about it. If you don't though, you can just sign up on the website. We don't want this Instructable to be a big advertisement so it's important that you understand that Moola is not a referral scam. You can make a lot of money without soliciting other people to join.
Step 3: Sell Gadgets to Your Friends
*NOTE* This is different than selling kits. See Step 4 for kits.
If you're reading this, odds are that you are a member of Instructables. This means that you have one of the easiest ways to make money... selling cool gadgets to your friends. You can use your maker skills to build cool things cheaply, and turn a profit selling the things you make. There are some gadgets that are very easy to do this with
The iPod Charger
Think about it. Nearly everyone these days has some device that charges from a USB port. It might be a cell phone, an MP3 player, or even something else altogether. Bottom line, people have a lot of gadgets that burn through a lot of juice. They need to charge their devices.
You can make your own very cheaply to sell to people. The best part is, you can make a very large profit by showing them how much they would pay for a commercial charger. Commercial chargers run between 10 and 50 dollars and some aren't even truly portable, only adapters.
To make a 9V charger you only need a few parts and most of these are easily scrounged from old electronics. You can find USB jacks, LEDs and resistors from old electronics that you don't even have to pay for.
One of the simpler designs for a 9V charger is here. It lists the parts and shows you how to make it. Remember, you don't need to etch a PC board, you can always just solder it together.
This is another great easy thing to do that also won't cost you too much, if anything at all. Now that you've sold your friends a charger, the cable should be an easy sell. Why should they limit themselves to charging their iPod when they can buy one of your custom cables and charge their phone too?
Making these cables is easy. You just need the two cables that you want to splice together. There are three ways to go about getting these.
1. Get the cables from your friend. You can't charge as much because they're supplying the materials, but you don't have to buy anything.
2. Buy the cables and splice them together. You can go out to your local Best buy, then the Verizon store and get an iPod cable, then a phone cable. Then you splice them together and sell it for twice the price.
3. Buy a specialty cable preassembled. You can get a preassembled specialty cable from my store. I don't mind if you go out and sell it for more to your friends.
The only problem is that you need to know how to construct the cables if you're choosing options 1 or 2. It's really easy. If you'll look at the picture (sorry, I had to get one from the internet. I couldn't cut one apart at the moment) you'll see that a USB cable is composed of 4 wires and most charger cables are composed of 2.
To get to these wires you need to cut the cables in half and strip away a bit of the outer insulation. Then you'll see wires like in the picture. Just wire red (+5V) to red and black (Ground) to black. Then either put electrical tape around it to seal it off and put it back together, or else use heat shrink tubing.
By doing stuff like this you can make a lot of money easily.
Step 4: Sell Kits (Make an Online Store)
This is really one of the easier options. You can go to the For Sale section of the Marketplace, Found Here, and post a forum topic with what you're selling in it.
"Well what do I sell in it?", you say. It's easy. If you've made a good instructable or you have your own original gadget you can sell kits for other people to make. My store is a good general example of things to sell.
You can sell kits, assembled gadgets, or a combination of thing.
This is very simple and really there are only a few more things to add. I'll put them in list form to save you time.
- The gadgets you sell must be your own. (Brenn10 has had some problems with people trying to sell the same exact kit he is.)
- Have a PayPal account. This makes it easier and safer, therefore making it more likely for people to buy from you.
- If you're shipping electronics parts use anti-static bags. (This isn't absolutely necessary, but you can recycle from old things you've received at no charge to you.)
Step 5: Buy/Sell Video Games
Unfortunately for this one you do need to start with some money, about $30.
You'll also need a bike.
Now lets get started. First, wait until your city has a citywide garage sale day (or something like that where people would sell things they don't need). Individual neighborhoods will have these too sometimes. Go around and buy all the good cheap video games you can find.
When that is done, keep the ones you like (you were most likely going to buy one or two of those with the money you make here) and trade the ones you don't in to a local game store.
There is about a $10 average store credit for each game, and a $8 cash credit. as long as you bought the games for less then $8 you make money for practicality doing nothing!
Step 6: Get Creative !! (Non-Electrical)
As you have probably guessed by now the best way to make money other than hard labor is selling things, The last four steps have been selling or making electronics but these are not the only things you can sell.
If you cant solder or you don't know alot about electronics there are plenty of other things you can make and then sell, For example..
You could easily get the wood and a hammer and some nails, then cut the panels of the birdhouse and nail them together. Now comes the fun part. Ask around and tell people that you are selling customized birdhouses. When you find someone that is interested, ask them what design/colour-scheme they want and then paint the birdhouse and sell it to them. You will get more money because it is customized. You could go even further than a colour-scheme and add a bird feeder or water bowl to the side!
Here are the instructions for a Simple Birdhouse
One great way to customize a birdhouse is to give it a custom finish by gluing cool looking rocks all over the surface. Then, in the spots where there aren't rocks, apply glue and cover it with sand. It looks really nice.
This is a very easy and cheap project you can do and then sell to anyone. The Stick-Pencil consists of surprisingly a stick from a bush and a regular pencil. What you basically do is cut a stick out of the bush, drill a hole in the middle, open the pencil and put the graphite from the pencil into the stick, forming a novelty pencil you can sell to anyone who writes. If you made a couple of these pencils and took them to your school you could easily sell them all in one day
Here are the instructions for the Stick-Pencil
If you have a Dremel or some paint you can easily customize your friend's belongings for a fee, For example, Painting a pencil case with a custom theme or Engraving their name on it. This method could be very popular at the start of a term when peoples stationary needs naming.
Step 7: And Now It Gets Weird
If you're feeling adventurous, you can turn pretty much any petty skill into an income. It really depends on what you're interested in, so make a list of what you really enjoy doing. Even if it has no money potential.
Got it? Good, let's move on.
Step 8: Mechanical Ability
So you've made your list. You like riding your bicycle. You also don't mind working on it, greasing chains, truing wheels, tightening spokes, changing cables.
With a flyer, a phone number and your bike you can make this a job. It is easy with any flyer campaign to get swamped. Don't be afraid of this. Just get some paper or open up Excel and schedule. Leave yourself free time.
Put up your flyers just far enough away from home that you're anonymous, but close enough that it is easy to ride your bike to a job. Give one to each house. Leave it tucked behind the storm door or, if they don't have a storm door, get it wedged in between the door and the doorjamb. Fold it so it's not hiseously huge. Try to avoid scotch tape. Also avoid putting it in their mailbox. Tucked between the mailbox and their siding (if their box is on the house next to the door) can retain your flyer but avoid pissing off hte Post Office.
Flyers should say something like "Bill's Bicycle Maintenance. Riding a poorly maintained bicycle can be difficult and potentially dangerous. But who has time to fuss over it? Having your child's bicycle tuned up is both easy and affordable with Bill's Bicycle Maintenance. It's as simple as dialing 555-1234" Have a diagram.
Step 9: Mechanical Skills (Continued)
Topping up someone's tire pressure, making sure their spare is inflated, and changing their oil is an easy racket to get into. If you love working on cars but want to be semi-self-employed, this one's for you. A big plus is you don't have to answer to any boss, other than yourself.
An oil change is as easy as jacking up a car, putting it on stands, and loosening a bolt. Tighten that bolt, change a filter, pour in five more quarts, and you're done. Really, it's not that tough. This is another job that you can canvas fliers for, but I find door-to-door with a business card is far better.
But for some reason, people hate oil changes. People hate to go to the mechanic and leave their car with a stranger. They feel stranded. More often than not, the mechanic does nothing to put them at ease. To them, he is a greasy slime ball to be avoided, even if that means going to the dentist instead. This gives you, mein entrepreneur, an opportunity. Go to them. Do it in their driveway. They can watch from the comfort of their living room. They don't have to go out of their way. It costs a bit more than Grease Monkey, but you're no monkey. You're a sophisticated person who wants to make things more convenient for your fellow man. For a small fee, of course.
If you have an interest and ability in basic auto mechanics, a bicycle and a backpack or saddlebags, you have everything you really need. There are instructables about changing oil. It's far from perfect, but that 'ible has the broad strokes.
Some small changes:
READ THEIR OWNER'S MANUAL. WITH CLEAN HANDS! Ideally, you should ask them how many miles the car has. If it's high miles or they request a specific oil, get that specific oil. If it's high miles, tell them you'd like to use GTX High Mileage since it's over 75 or 100,000. Explain how much extra that will cost. Be informed. Be courteous. If they want Diamond Shamrock house brand from the gas station down the street, say "Okay." It is a good idea if you're carrying all you need with you to carry one or two sets of High Mileage or Q Performance, then if you find someone who wants regular oil or average synth, you can go get it real quick, but you don't need to go several miles if someone says to use the fancy oil.
Don't use a crescent wrench, they can have a nasty habit of slipping and damaging bolts. Be responsible and use a socket set. Bring both metric and standard sockets, but don't bring your spark plug wrench. The drain plug won't be huge, and it won't be teeny-tiny. Use common sense. A socket wrench will be easier to use anyway.
Salad bowls won't cut it to catch the used oil, although we've all done it once, right guys? Did your wife ever let you borrow the "nice Cool Whip set" again? If you're on a budget and don't have or want one of those newfangled oil catcher containers use two empty milk or water jugs and a funnel. Two. Not "I think it'll all fit in one." Two.
Do not dump used oil. It can be recycled at any auto parts store. Free. You can wait till you have twelve gallons the have your parents drive you.
Bring paper towels. A whole roll. Use them. Bring a plastic garbage bag. Put greasy things in there. If you spill any oil, get it off the engine. Lay out paper towels uner the oil pan before you get wrenching. Now don't count on them.
Surgical gloves are a good idea. They are cheap and will eliminate that "greasy mechanic look" which your clients will find off-putting.
You'll need two jack stands and preferably a hydraulic jack. The jack is optional since their car comes with a difficult to use screw-jack (So called because if you need it on the side of the highway, you're screwed). The jack stands are mandatory. You'll be jacking the front end (with the parking brake on!) and putting it on stands. never trust a jack with two tons of car and you under it, dig?
Be a good person. Be clean. Don't be nosy. Do your work well. These apply to any job you could possibly attempt.
Step 10: Fix Computers
Now, there is lots of money to be made in computers. Fixing them accounts for a lot of that. The geek squad charges around $100 a hour to fix your computer.
I can show you a little troubleshooting you can do to fix most viruses.
First, if the computer is frozen but you can move the mouse, press ctrl + alt + delete. that will open the task manager. Just use that to shut down the computer. That should fix it.
If it has a virus, just run a virus scanner. You can find free ones on the internet (make sure they're legit). The only problem you may have is that it takes one of those things around 4 hours to do its job. But still, they work.
For everything else, you can always try searching instructables for one on computers.
Now just make sure in the poster you add "If I can't fix it, you don't have to pay me". It's only fair. I mean, how would you like it if some kid came into your house, tried to fix your computer, failed and then asked for his pay?
If the computer is frozen and you can't move the mouse, ctrl+alt+delete will still work. Then get around using the arrow keys and tab to move around. Shift+tab moves backwards. alt+f4 closes the active window. Alt+tab cycles through available windows. Someitmes you need to hit enter to select something. Other times it's the spacebar. the esc (escape) key will often take you back all the way to the start of something. Pressing the backspace (not "delete") key will take you back one. Ctrl+z is undo, although many times this is unavailable. Ctrl+y is redo, in case you go a little too far with your undoing.
If the computer is completely frozen, hit the power button on the front of the case. On older computers it is an actual switch, but on new ones it is just a "suggestion." If the power button doesn't work, reach around the back of the case and unplug the huge wire. Plug it back in, and on the bootup you will see what's called a BIOS screen. Hit esc or one of the function keys (there are usually directions), and you'll be able to putt around and try to fix something big. Generally you want to "boot in safe mode," then go about the rest of your troubleshooting. Again, this is if it's a big issue.
CD drives can burn out, parts can break, and for any number of reasons, they can get stuck. There is a small hole in the front of each one. In event of catastrophic failure, if you need to get a CD out, straighten out a paperclip and stick it in the hole. Feel for a clasp by gently pushing until something clicks. The drive will come open, and you can get the disc.
If someone's internet commection won't work (and they have dial tone and have paid their bill), unplug the power to their modem for a full minute. Plug it back in and let it get done waking up. Try the internet again. It'll probably work. If tey're still on dialup, they might be trying to dial a bad number. Open the browser login window, right click, properties, and select a different number. Other times the window itself will have a dropdown list of numbers. Look around. Try a different number till it works.
To defrag a hard drive, make sure the person knows that the computer will be unusable for several hours. Files load much faster on a defragged drive. It'll take possibly over a day, depending on how big the drive is, how fast the processor is, and how much RAM they have. Go to "My Computer," right click "Drive C:" (that's the primary hard drive), go to the "tools" tab, and hit "defrag." Now wait. Turn off their screen to save power. When their computer stops clicking (old ones) or the whirring stops and/or the light on the front stops blinking like mad, it's probably done. Tell them that when that hapens, turn the screen on. If it says "finished defragging," close that window. If it's still working, just turn the screen back off and wait. If it prompts them about something that they're not sure of, tell them to call you.
Don't limit yourself to just fixing computers. You can also offer to customize computers. You can set up a dual boot, install Linux, or make their XP look like OS X. There are a lot of great instructables to show you how to do these.
If you can't get to the BIOS screen, odds are it's because your computer's key get you there is not the escape key. Most of the time it will tell you at the bottom of the starting screen. If not you can just google the name of the computer to find what key it is.
One important tool for anyone wanting to fix computers is the bootable Linux Sytem Rescue CD. Download it here...
Once you get the CD I would advise keeping it with you on all jobs. It has great tools for fixing your system like GParted and other tools of the sort. To get it to boot, just go to the BIOS screen and set CD to the top of the boot order.
Finally, I would keep a bootable USB Stick or CD with Linux on it in case they've messed up their OS and it won't start.
Step 11: Sell Moded Nerf Guns
There's a lot of money to be made in nerf guns, mostly in moding them. I've seen a moded nerf gun go for $200 on eBay. The pistol he moded was a $6.00 toy.
Most mods are easy.
1. Take it apart.
2. Remove the air restrictors.
3. Replace the barrel (Maybe).
You can find more in depth instructions using a google search.
The best gun to mod is the NERF Nitefinder. It's cheap($6) and are easy to mod. All the moding equipment is about $10 and that includes a 10 long piece of 1/2 PVC for barrels.
If you do everything right it should shoot around 80 feet. You can easily sell one for $20 on eBay. You're probably thinking that it's only a $4 gain, but now you have all the materials to make about 10 more.
Also, you can always sell homemade nerf darts. They're easy to make and you could probably sell 25 of them for $10.
edit by: DSman195276
keep in mind that a clear coat of paint will always make the value go up, nobody likes the stock colors blue and yellow and orange(or recently black, yellow, and orange).
you can also sell kits for a mod you did, and have instructions online so they can make it. id you do stuff like i did on my sniper pistol and use parts from other guns you should be able to make money and give a 30% discount on all the nerf stuff.
that is because you will have pieces left over from other nerf guns you mod, like if you do a side-arm intergreation to a long shot to sell it, you have the fake barrel left over to use in something like my sniper pistol. if you charge about 3.00 for both those pieces you make 6.00 off of the little pistol on the front of the long shot, and a side-arm intergreated long shot with a thing of paint can go for a lot.
try to mod cheaper guns, there is nothing worse then buying a vulcan and breaking it through moding. there goes 40.00, but if you were to break a nitefinder it would not be such a big deal.
i would recommend you start out moding nitefinders and mavericks until you get the hang of moding. then you can try some more extreme mods on other guns.
Step 12: Teach People to Do Stuff
You can teach other people to do any of these things, or anything else you're good at. Teach people to draw. Teach people to play music. Teach people to dance. Whatever you can speak authoritatively on. There is good hourly money in this.
Folks at school would probably pay you to teach them to play an instrument if you're really good at it. Put up a flyer on the school bulletin board. If you're great at playing jazz, say you're giving "jazz drum lessons" or "jazz guitar lessons" or "jazz sax lessons", whatever you play. Same with speed metal, or any other any other genre.
You can take out an ad in the newspaper or on your local craigslist too, but make sure that it's clear that you and your gear will be going to their place, not a whole bunch of strangers to your place. Your parents probably wouldn't be keen on that. Big instruments like drums or piano should already be at their house (bring your own sticks), but something like guitar or sax is something you should bring for yourself. Don't bring one for them.
Offering the first lesson free is a good way to bring people in.
Keep a spreadsheet, whatever you do.
Step 13: Tutoring
This is an expansion on step 12.
You can tutor people in a class you're good at, but oftentimes there is less money potential. Expect to talk to the appropriate teacher to see if you can get some extra credit in their class for tutoring in that subject.
Industrial arts teachers are generally less likely to give extra credit than other teachers, and might not let you do after school shop. Of course, if your shop teacher does have an after school shop time, then find out who is struggling in that class and offer to help them. If someone just can't work a scroll saw but you are good at it, offer to do all or part of their scrolling after school in exchange for something.
If it's a cash fee, make it a small one. Otherwise maybe you can get them to do a lot of your sanding (my 8th grade shop teacher made us sand everything by hand, till it was "smoother than a frog's hair split five ways").
If you're helping people with schoolwork that they'd otherwise be failing, don't ask for big payments. That's bordering on extortion. But enough for a Big Mac is reasonable. Or maybe have them bring a Big Mac to tutoring. That would be fair.
A five course meal, on the other hand, wouldn't be. Use common sense, and be a good person. If word gets around that you'll help people with trig or lathe work or whatever, people might actually come out of the woodwork (no pun intended) and offer you things to get you to choose them to tutor next. Accept these offers, but don't get greedy. Don't deliberately make people compete, because then it's just bribing, not fair compensation.
Step 14: Muscle Power
If you're a clean-cut, respectable young man (or woman) and have a few friends who are too, you can be hired muscle when people need to move things. This includes refrigerators, washers, and pianos. Even if you're just one person, you can often put up flyers saying you'll help people move heavy objects.
A lot of people will hire a couple of high school-age boys to help them move things. They generaly don't charge as much as pro movers, and are marginally less likely to be creeps. If you're a strapping young man, there is a lot of money in this, but you have to be willing to do a lot of work. Of course, there are no "fixed hours," unlike being a stock boy down at the warehouse. That's the main argument for being freelance muscle.
Don't ask too much money, dress well, be kind and respectable, don't be nosy, and be careful. Especially when going up and down stairs. If you drop somebody's property and it's damaged, be prepared to pay for repair. You don't "have" to, but I will personally come and find you if you drop someone's piano and don't do your best to get square with them. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Speaking of pianos, don't even joke abut dropping them, pushing them down the stairs, or otherwise going all Wiley Coyote on them. It's not funny, and it is downright criminal. In some states, if you willfully damage someone's property over a certain dollar amount, or are showing the intent to do so, they are justified in using force to prevent further damage. Don't be stupid.
Step 15: The End...... So Far
Thanks for reading the instructable, if you have any good ideas leave a comment below and we'll add them to the 'ible, or if their really good you can become a collaborator and add a few steps yourself !
This instructable will be added to and updated as we think of more ideas and get new collaborators so if you like it favorite it and check back for updates :P
So thanks, hope you liked it, don't forget to comment, rate and vote :D
Step 16: Metacafe
Metacafe.com has a new program that pays you if your video is good enough. Once your video reaches 2,000 views you get $100! after that, for every 1,000 views you get paid $5.
For more info go to: www.metacafe.com
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.