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How to Make Money as a Kid


How can a kid make money nowadays? Maybe with some original paintings! See more inventor pictures. Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

The lemonade stand — it's a summertime ritual as American as apple pie and Slip 'n Slides. You and your little sister pull a card table up the driveway, mix up a watery batch of Crystal Light, arrange a stack of Dixie cups and tack on a hand-scrawled sign reading, "Leminade, 25¢."

Or so you've heard. Does anyone really do lemonade stands anymore? And can you make any money doing them?

Money-wise, not much. Not unless you can get folks to pay $3 a glass. And strangely, the lemonade stand is technically illegal in most U.S. states, cities and municipalities. Don't believe us? Check out LemonadeFreedom.com, one of several grassroots organizations opposed to the national crackdown on unlicensed, unregulated food and beverage stands staffed by children.

If not a lemonade stand, how else can a kid make money? Did your parents tell you about the paper route they had growing up? Nowadays, very few local newspapers hire kids as carriers anymore. In 1990, 70 percent of paper carriers were kids. By 2008, that number dropped to 13 percent [source: Vanderbilt]. Most newspapers now hire "independent contractors," typically an adult with a car.

But forget about lemonade stands and paper routes. We've got 10 much more creative and lucrative ways to make money, even if you're under 18.