The talking heads say teen hiring for summer jobs isn't looking optimistic this year. But that doesn't mean you have to be locked out of a summer income. With a little advance planning and initiative, it is still possible to make money before school starts up again. Consider the following:

Try local errand running: Maybe you're a whiz at assembling Ikea furniture or maybe you're available all summer long to pick up people's dry cleaning. Advertise your services as a "taskrabbit" and start making some money! Try sites like,, and

Use your smartphone to make money: EasyShift is a free app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad that lets you essentially be an on-demand secret shopper. You're assigned 'shifts' by product manufacturers who want people on the ground to go into stores and confirm that their merchandise is being displayed properly. The pay rate for a shift is between $3 and $8 and the money is remitted to you via PayPal.

Go old school: It's great to use the Internet or your smartphone to find work, but have you considered something as simple as mowing lawns in your neighborhood, or asking homebound seniors if they need help with grocery shopping or housework?

Think small: Where else should you look for more traditional work? Try small employers. You want to go to companies no one has ever heard of with less than 50 people on the payroll when you're looking for work, not the big name companies that everyone is familiar with.

Network in person: In the small business world, you get jobs by word of mouth. The more networking you do, the more opportunities present themselves. So don't waste time applying to big companies. They scan your resume, send out a thank you letter, and that's the end of the story with them.

Beware of teen summer job danger zones: Have you been approached by a kid on the street or at your home trying to sell you a magazine subscription? There's more than meets the eye to this common pitch and it's all bad. Watch this video to learn more.

Above all else, save money! Years ago, Clark popped up a chart on his website called "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" This chart detailed how a 15-year-old teenager can save just $2,000 a year for 7 years. Then, never saving another penny again, the money can grow to be $1,000,000 at 65, thanks to the amazing power of compound interest. His preferred savings vehicle for you if you have earned income this summer? A Roth IRA. Read Clark's investment guide to find out why, plus see some sample low-cost investment picks.

Image of Theo ThimouAbout the author: Theo Thimou

Theo is director of content for He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times. View More Articles

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