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How to Make Money at High & Middle School [2020]

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If you’re in middle or high school right now and are looking for ways to make money, let it be known that there are many easy ways to do so, even if you’re barely in your teenage years.

While I talked about the many ways kids could make money in the past, I wanted to focus on the many ways you can make money at school.  From selling things to recruiting classmates, there are quite a few ways to make some money in your spare time.  While you won’t get rich using these strategies, you may be able to make $20, $50 or maybe $100+ per month.  It will greatly depend on how hard you hustle.  This can be said about anything, though, right?

So, if you’re in school, whether it be middle school, high school, or heck, even college, let’s take a look at the many ways you can start earning right now.  These options are 100% legit and can make you $50+ a month relatively easily.

How to Make Money While at School (Middle and High)

Take Surveys and Recruit Friends

I don’t know if you have heard of this strategy before, but there are research companies out there, many of which accept members older than 13+, who need your opinion.  In exchange for your opinion, they will pay you every time you complete a survey, sometimes as much as $10+.  Most surveys will pay you $0.25 to $2, but it does add up, trust me.

The cool thing about these survey companies is that they will pay you to recruit your friends and sometimes, even give you a portion of what they make.  For instance, Swagbucks will pay you 10% of what your referrals earn plus a bonus if they make so much in the first 30 days.  Simply put, if you take surveys and recruit some of your classmates, you can easily earn $25+ a month doing this.  Heck, even if you don’t recruit people, you can hit that threshold rather easily.

If you like this idea, there are a variety of survey companies that are willing to accept you today.  These include…

I have already researched all of these companies and can vet for them.  You only need to be 13+ and you can get started immediately.  And, yes, it’s 100% free to join.

I recommend you join today and start recruiting your friends as well as doing the surveys on your own to start earning a nice chunk of money each month.



Sell Candy

Search for “how to make money in school” and one of the top answers is to sell candy.  I can see why.  Kids love candy and it’s easy to operate.

If you want a low-cost approach to make a decent amount of cash, consider a bulk box of candy bars and then flipping it for a profit at your school.  But, first, you will want to make sure that your school allows this.

And, how much can you earn selling candy at school, you may be wondering?

Well, it depends on the candy bar, but looking at the Amazon listings as well as local store listings, it appears your bars will cost you about $0.65~ each.  If you sell a 48-pack for $1 each, that gives you an almost $17 profit.  It shouldn’t be hard to sell 48 candy bars in a week.  In fact, you may be able to sell them in a day if your school know about you.  Just make sure you do the proper market research to know what everyone wants so that you’re successful with this venture.  I would start with the basics and venture out.  This includes Sour Patch kids, Snickers, Kit Kat bars, Air Heads, Skittles, Reese’s, Hershey’s bars, M&Ms, and Twix.

If you like this idea, be sure to check out your local Dollar Tree and discount grocery outlets as they often have candy bars for less than what you can buy in bulk.  This can increase your profits even more.  Try to shoot for $0.50 for king size candy bars and about $0.30-$0.40 for your average-sized bars.

Get Crafty

If you’re crafty, consider making items that you know may sell at your school.

And, if you’re wondering what the heck you should make, I would turn to Etsy for some sort of inspiration.  Browse through the thousands of listings to see what may be of value at your school.

From customized pencils to water bottles, there are so many ideas.  It’s up to you to figure out what may work.  And, even if you don’t know how to start, YouTube, I’m sure, has a ton of free tutorials to get you on the right path.

Sell School Supplies

There’s going to come a time when someone runs out of an essential school supply.  From erasers to pens and pencils, try to become known as the school supply kid so that you can help resupply them for a small cost.

Like candy, you can buy many school supplies in bulk, helping you create a hefty profit.  For instance, you can buy a 150-pack of pencils for $12 on Amazon.  Even if you sold each pencil for a quarter, you can profit $37.  Combine that with erasers, pens, highlighters, etc, I don’t see why you couldn’t average $30+ a month.

If it’s something of interest, here are some of the better selling school supplies:

  • pencils
  • pens
  • notebooks
  • highlighters
  • paper
  • folders
  • colored pencisl

The nice thing about school supplies is that they never expire and they are always in demand in a school setting.

Flip Stuff to Sell

If you’re good at it, consider buying items, whether it be a local retailer, thrift store, or even online, and then flipping it at your school.  The name of the game here is to find something that’s on clearance or heavily marked down that you know can be flipped for a profit.

For instance, if you found a video game at your local thrift store for $5 and the most recent eBay sold listings state it’s going for $12, that’s an almost $7 profit.  These items add up if you can find a few every time you go out.

If you’re considering this, check out the many retail arbitrage apps out there.  These apps can let you know what kind of profit you can expect if you were to sell it online.  If you know there’s a demand for a product at school, consider buying.  Worst case, you could always get your parents to help to flip the items online.

Sell Drinks

This one can be tougher as it will take up more space in your locker but it’s a money-maker nonetheless.  Again, if you go this route, please check with your school administrators to ensure that it’s allowed.

From soda to energy drinks, an average 12-pack of soda can cost you $2 or so.  Sell each can for about $0.50 each and that’s a nice $4~ profit.  Students always need something to drink, and if they know you have something of value, you can be known as the soda kid pretty quick.

Again, soda isn’t my favorite, simply due to having to lug around the drinks throughout the school, but it’s an option, I suppose.

Orbeez

According to Candy Dealers on YouTube, you can make up to $200 a week selling Orbeez out of a water bottle.  According to his video, you will empty a water bottle and then fill them with Orbeez to later sell.  If you get popular enough, kids will be hitting you up left and right.  This is a great option if you’re in middle school right now.

The great thing about these is that you can buy more than 50,000 Orbeez for as little as $7.  Yes, that’s 50,000.   Even if you fit 2,000 Orbeez (that’s a high estimate) and sell for $3 each, that’s a potential $65+ profit!  There’s a bit of labor involved, but the profits make up for it.

This is a nice break from the traditional candy and drinks.



Rent a Phone Charger

Nowadays, almost all students have a phone, and the best thing about it is that many students are forgetful or lazy to recharge their phone before coming to school.  This is where you can come into the picture.

Using a portable power bank, which retails for about $15~, you can either let a student borrow it or charge their phone in your locker for an hour during class.  Charge them a $1 or so and it’s pure profit after your initial investment.

Get to be known as the charging kid and people will come to you before class to have their phones charged.

Tutoring

I have talked about tutoring in the past, but the problem with that guide is that it focuses on online options only.  Fortunately, you can take this same strategy and apply it to make money at school.

If you’re proficient at math, English, science, or whatever subject it may be, consider tutoring your classmates for a nominal fee.  Just let them know in class and see if the word spreads.  You could place an advertisement on a school billboard if this is available too.

In most cases, you can tutor after school right inside the school library but you can meet elsewhere, depending on the situation.

Create T-shirts

If you’re able to get your hand on a low-cost screen press, you can create customized t-shirts for your classmates.  The Cricut machine, for example, can retail for less than $150 to $200, on average, and this is more than enough to get started printing at home.  Throw in blank t-shirts, which can average about $3 each, and you can get your t-shirt brand off the ground.

Start printing out logos or wait for someone to hand you a logo, etc, that you can put onto a shirt.  As long as you have a digital file, the Circut machine can print it out.

I would recommend taking special requests and then charging $10 to $15 per t-shirt.  Even if it costs you $5, you could potentially profit from $5 to $10 each.  Get 10 orders a month and that’s a cool $100.  You could charge even more if you’re able to design them as well.

Recycle

If you live in a state that gives you a certain amount back for each can/bottle, consider loading up a trash bag after school.  If you live in Michigan, for example, you can get $0.10 back for every can/bottle returned.

Now, I know this won’t work for every state, but I just wanted to mention it in case you do live in one of the states that pay.  At the moment, this includes California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

Even if you take home 10 to 20 bottles a day, that’s $1 a day or about $20~ a month.  Hey, it’s not much, but it can add up!

Others to Consider…

I tried to list the most popular options above, but there are other options to consider as well that may make you money while at school.  Some of these include the following:

  • collectible cards
  • hair clips
  • makeup/beauty accessories
  • notes
  • stickers
  • event tickets
  • video games

Final Thoughts

I’ll be honest.

Making money as a student in middle school or even high school is going to be tough.  From strict rules to a lack of demand, you will be lucky to make $30+ a month.  I’m not saying it can’t be done.  Just don’t be discouraged when you don’t see a ton of sales.

Nonetheless, if you want to make money, it can be done, but you will have to hustle like the rest of us.  With that hustle, you can learn what your school wants as well as what makes you the most money.  In doing this, you can hopefully learn something about business and then apply it to your future endeavors, where the sky is the limit.

Remember.  If you want to sell anything at your school, just make sure it’s allowed.  The last thing you want is to find out your goods have been confiscated and you’re out your money.

As always, if I’m missing any options and/or you want to comment on what I already included, you’re more than welcome to add to the list above.  Feel free to do so in the comments below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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